Sunday, April 29, 2018

No Elixir to Revive the Amputated Flower

  • I've knotted myself reading again and now I can't read anything.
  • I don't regret abandoning Powers, though I concede reading Powers within a day of finishing a Murnane novel diminished Powers' chances before I'd begun.
  • Tried Enard's Compass: the page after page of references and allusions to 19th century history and music and literature, especially Central European history and music and literature, requires I research what I don't know to get a fuller picture of what Enard's attempting, and forgive me, no.
  • On book table next to bed, Murnane's new book of collected short fictions (sic, it's what he calls them), I read "Stone Quarry" yesterday morning for breakfast, mind-melded.
  • Mowed the lawn thinking of the fiction, drove Planet to airport thinking of the fiction.
  • I will scan the fiction "Stone Quarry" into PDF on Monday and share with you if you ask.
  • Back from airport, I pick up Murnane's new book of collected short fictions and thumb the pages, stop, it's the title fiction, "Stream System."
  • I am a hypocrite, here is an allusion: the scene in Ishiguro's *The Unconsoled,* set in an unidentified Central European city, when Ryder is in the apartment of his childhood friend Fiona where Fiona has gathered friends who doubt Fiona's claims of knowing the famous Ryder.
  • When Fiona asks Ryder to confirm their relationship Ryder bleats like a terrified just stuck pig.
  • That's the sound "Stream System" made when I tried to read it.
  • Since the butchering squeals I've not read anything printed on paper bound between two covers and won't until I reprocess "Stone Quarry" while hiking with Earthgirl shortly.
  • I'd read Murnane in the 90s, long before my recent epiphany that he chimes my bells, which means I need think of this as more me and Murnane than Murnane and me.


David Britton

Under the trees, where everything
Is still possible in prescribed doses:
Hundreds of accordion-like units
Without edges. But there is no unwinding
Of minutes to stay the execution
Of a rain-shot weekend in early
Beach weather, no elixir
To revive the amputated flower
Still kicking on its ghost-stem
In a bowl of water, no direction
In which to steer
The hapless, puzzled out-of-towner
Other than straight ahead,
To the sheer drop-off
Where his guidebook gutters
Or deposits him, addressless,
In thin air.


  1. where will you post the Murnane pdf? link on twitster? hereabouts?

  2. 1) i like the top picture

    2) this is interesting

    3)over at bbbb's blog a few people, self included, expressed faith in the continued existence of our species - at least qua species, not necessarily as a civilization

    who knows if it's good or bad?

  3. Thanks for the Bad Crow update. I've met Weldon in the flesh several times, when we were both busy being homeless; glad he's back at it.

  4. 1)as i write it is may day, in northern hemisphere tradition celebrated as a spring festival - this morning i saw for the first time this season a group of goslings with their parents - they are not little things any more, but are already elementary school age, it seems

    2)it is also international workers' day, a holiday established to memorialize a famous battle beteen capital and labor, the memory of which has been extirpated in the very country where it happened (here - chicago, specifically)


    and more comments on the novel the circle by dave eggers