Friday, May 26, 2017

In the End I Just Went for a Walk


Franz Wright

I was having trouble deciding 
which to watch: Night 
of the Living Bloggers, or 
Attack of the Neck-Brace People. 
In the end I just went for a walk.
In the woods I stopped wondering why 
of all trees 
this one: my hand 
pressed to fissures 
and ridges of
bark’s hugely magnified 
fingerprint, forehead 
resting against it 
finally, feeling 
a heartbeat, vast, silently 
booming there deep in 
my hidden leaves, blessed 
motherworld, personal 
underworld, thank you
thank you.


  1. i read an article recently about trump’s cognitive decline

    when i read this i felt a twinge of empathy for him as no doubt he’s still intact enough to know he’s slipping – missus charley says he always looks angry and i wonder if maybe this is one of the main things he’s angry about – there’s an old saying, “memory is the second thing that goes” – are we really sure we will be happier or safer when pence assumes the power of the presidency – well, maybe we will

    1. I'm on record on this blog & twaater saying Pence will be far far worse, and even more frightening, will be hailed as a savior.

      I could go find it, but that would be research. Someone can vouch.

  2. 0)your link to the achievements of capitalism gives a list from a short story - by donald barthelme - the story is at one further remove

    1)as a grad student i read many, many stories by barthelme - when i should have been doing other things, no doubt - i realize now that reading a story like the one linked to is an experience not unlike browsing the web

    2)as an example, here is barthelme's first paragraph

    The first thing I did was make a mistake. I thought I had understood capitalism, but what I had done was assume an attitude -- melancholy sadness -- toward it. This attitude is not correct. Fortunately your letter came, at that instant. "Dear Rupert, I love you every day. You are the world, which is life. I love you I adore you I am crazy about you. Love, Marta." Reading between the lines, I understood your critique of my attitude toward capitalism. Always mindful that the critic must "studiare da un punto di vista formalistico e semiologico il rapporto fra lingua di un testo e codificazione di un -- " But here a big thumb smudges the text -- the thumb of capitalism, which we are all under. Darkness falls. My neighbor continues to commit suicide, once a fortnight. I have this suicides geared into my schedule because my role is to save him; once I was late and he spent two days unconscious on the floor. But now that I have understood that I have not understood capitalism, perhaps a less equivocal position toward it can be "hammered out." My daughter demands more Mr. Bubble for her bath. The shrimp boats lower their nets. A book called Humorists of the 18th Century is published.

    3)one googles - and there is a book by william makepeace thackery, english humorists of the eighteenth century

    4)one googles again - and finds no source except barthelme for the passage in italian

    5)the italian passage in barthelme's story reminds me of tom clark's piece, "which saint is this?", which you cite,the title of which is the question posed by ivanka when she saw a picture of a soccer star in an italian restaurant - it is, perhaps, tom clark himself who has captioned the photo of ivanka Questa stupida bambina ricca non avrà mai un indizio!

    6)may the creative forces of the universe have mercy on our souls, if any

  3. a kind dog, liverpool

    An ill-fated cat fell into the hands of some juvenile ruffians commencing the first stage of cruelty. They alternately stoned their victim, dragged it through a pool of dirty water, beat it and bruised it, and menaced it with drowning. Bipeds passed by unheeding the agonised animal's cries of distress, but a dog having contemplated for some time this scene of inhumanity, and barked his disapprobation, rushed forward, furiously drove one by one the little wretches from the spot, and rescuing the fainting and bleeding animal from the deep ditch, bore it off to his quarters. He then placed it on the straw, licked it all over, and laid down by it; and after this he brought it provision, and the people of the house, inspired by his example, gave it warm milk. Day after day did the dog tend the sick object of his care till it was recovered; and for many years after they were to be seen at the Talbot Inn, Liverpool.

    -- from George R. Jesse, Researches into the History of the British Dog, With Original Anecdotes, and Illustrations of the Nature and Attributes of the Dog, From the Poets and Prose Writers of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Times (London: Robert Hardwick, 1866) pp. 122-3.

  4. Weak, stupid, vainglorious leaders open the door for Far Worse. History is full of 'popular' movements, and more-or-less legitimate governments, which became laughingstock Sock Puppets that couldn't govern -- until the Iron Hand of Even Worse slips into that sock puppet. Then, KYAG.

    Pence seems part of the Sock Puppetry -- his role would be holding the door open to Even Worse. My sense is, he would turn his grandmother out to a pack of Turkish Bikers if it would help bring about the Kingdom O' God On Earth.