Saturday, April 21, 2018

Rafter of Satin and Roof of Stone

  • Iggy's 71 today.
  • So Powers' Overstory broke the sweet run of reading focus, and I remember everything I don't like about Powers which reminds me too much of a few things I don't like about me. 
  • Too much undergirding with short cuts in service of ideas so self-evident to me I can't be bothered with honest but boring joist buttressing, for instance.
  • See, a young woman, stoned and naked, electrocutes herself on a shoddy light switch and dies for two minutes, when she revives she's anew, knows her past life a sham, and tree spirits talk to her now! 
  • Also too: the hero of the novel are trees and trees are going to lose and I can't take it, another thing I don't like about me.
  • Horrible writing dialogue, Powers and also too me, and I'm better, for fuck's sake. 
  • I miss writing dialogue, but not as much as I miss Thursday Night Pints.
  • Gist: joist.
  • Here's Olive last night:

  • The above bigger at other place.
  • Coexistence III.
  • War profiteers v people of the United States.
  • Law is a flag, and gold the wind that makes it wave.
  • You can't handle the truth.
  • So, I'll set Overstory aside and perhaps pick it up again, though I can't ever imagine doing so. 
  • Picked up Murnane again, me and my addictions. 
  • UPDATE! Murnane, too soon. I remember everything I don't like about Murnane which reminds me too much of a few things I don't like about me.
  • Too much undergirding with faith that the image of books on the Hungarian Revolution on a bookshelf I can see from under the bed in the downstairs basement of my maternal grandparents house in 1968 while my grandmother, who doesn't know I'm under the bed, curses out my crippled grandfather for his uselessness resonates as much as life defining moment to you in the millionth gong as it does to me in my billionth. 
  • In good news, it only took 58 and a half years but Dickinson finally sings to me, her Dark helping unDark me. Better yet: Dark me.
  • Robert Smith 59 today.


Emily Dickinson

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers -
Untouched by Morning - 
and untouched by noon -
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection, 
Rafter of Satin and Roof of Stone - 
Grand go the Years, 
In the Crescent above them -
Worlds scoop their Arcs - 
and Firmaments - row -
Diadems - drop -
And Doges surrender -
Soundless as Dots, 
On a Disk of Snow.


  1. your speaking of 'things i don't like about me' leads me associatively to this poem by james tate

    Faultfinding Tour

    I was on a faultfinding tour of my own soul.
    Oily rags everywhere, there's a nut
    missing there,
    a hinge blowing in the wind, paint peeling, cracked
    windowpane, water dripping, plugged drain, dust babies
    twisting in the night. It's not so bad. It will still
    fly. A few creaks and shudders. I recall a thousand
    years ago I was fighting for my life. An angel in a
    tree surprised me. A snake swallowed me, and I
    traveled that way for years. It was dark and I was
    thirsty. Then I woke, and I was in a city. I ran.
    I climbed the side of a building. People shouted.
    Shots were fired. I was at a party, drinking champagne.
    It was somebody's birthday. Colby Phillips made a speech,
    and the lights went out. Somebody kissed me. I was in
    the mountains being tracked by wolves. The wind was
    fierce. I couldn't see where I was going,
    but I trudged on. I fell from a cliff. It felt like flying. Indeed,
    I believed I was flying. I held my arms out, and the
    drafts lifted me. The wolves were howling, for that is
    what they do so well. Their dinner was sailing through
    the air. The stars were out. A full moon lit up the
    little towns below. I was going home. My heart gladdened.
    Love and work. Work and love. And the loud sobbing
    through the night. What to make of it? The study of
    maps, the naming of plants, the endless railway tracks,
    the hawks, the bikes, the walking sticks, the masks,
    the postcards and paperclips and lipstick stains
    and you're never coming back, the soufflé was a grand
    success, his death came as no surprise, the telephone
    is on fire, the toys scattered across the lawn,
    a frog the size of a dog, the police car slowly spinning in
    the rain, hello howdy, how's your tooth, who stole the
    newspaper, I'm sorry, I forgot, I didn't see a thing,
    there's a newt in the basement saying your name, she's
    gone to the store for some nails, a drill, a wheelbarrow,
    a rake and a rabbit. The soul's mansion is ancient, and
    sadly needs repair. Throughout the huge, windy rooms
    a song still lingers, faint murmur or hum, forever,
    yesterday, or never again.

    here's another poem by tate


    "Would you like to have your head examined?"
    I said to Kinky, who was holding his head. "Oh yes,"
    he said, "I would like to know what's wrong with
    me." Gloom was his life, despair was his only food.
    I opened up his head. My God, it was dark in there,
    and full of cobwebs with dead flies in them. "There
    are no lights in here," I said. "It looks like you
    have had no visitors in years. And there's not a
    trace of an idea, just a rat gnawing on its tail
    hoping to become a saint in some counterfeit hell."
    "I love that rat," Kinky said. "He's the last of
    my monsters, old skin and bones."

    the following is by red hawk, which appears as the prologue to Self Observation: The Awakening of Conscience: an Owner's Manual

    The Teaching

    It is as old as the stones.
    It came with Humans to the Earth
    and it offers them a way out
    of the web of sorrows
    but at a price:
    we must observe ourselves,
    our behavior, our
    inner and outer responses,
    objectively. This means
    without taking a personal interest
    or doing anything about
    the horror
    which self observation uncovers:
    like a bad boy with a stick
    overturning a stone
    and finding a mass of crawling things
    beneath, but
    he refrains
    from stomping on them.

  2. 1)speaking of hungary and its politics, as your maternal grandparents' bookshelf did - pat buchanan uses that country as an example of how people are democratically choosing authoritarian leaders - from nationalist and tribalist motives

    i live in and for the most part enjoy a pluralist multiethnic county and country in the political sense, and extended family of relatives and in-laws in the personal sense, and yet i can see why others might want to cling to one people, one political entity, one leader

    2)and on the other hand, a ted talk about sufi music and the path of love