Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dogs Cannot Write

  • Reminder: everything is a work.
  • Seven theses for the Socialist Left.
  • It's already here.
  • The answer is NO, he types into his self-incriminating blogging platform.
  • Shameless opportunism. I have a vague memory of seeing that Coen Brothers movie, which considering I've seen at most two movies a year since 1977 (people can vouch) probably says more about me than the movie.
  • I haven't talked about my eyes lately, the RX that turns my eyes redder than a stoner still working, my eyes why I think about movies at all, as in, what when I can't read, as in see the typed words, not not comprehend what my eyes still can scan?
  • Remember that article that said unless we overthrow Exxon by Thursday we'll die by Saturday?

  • When Borth Nethesda offers beachfront properties.
  • I thought to say, either they're complicit and stupid or complicit and smart, then lamely said, I don't get it to a Hillaryite Colleague both proud and proudly offended to be called a mob.
  • Reminder: everything is a work.
  • He is a Marxist.
  • Reminder: everybody is they.
  • Fleabus, best cat ever.
  • I did see Holder's kick, hear Clinton's jab, the Atlantic Ocean, coming to Poolesville.
  • UPDATE! No one will ever accuse me of being a pioneer in rapid, mobile autopsies. I hope.
  • Life in the Either/And-ocene v Death to the Either/Or-ocene is not a wash.


August Kleinzahler

The dog Stoltz pushed his paw pads into my neck,
the warm, beaten leather deep under my chin,
and let slip the one paw to up near my mouth
with all the filth of the many blocks we trod,
together trod, a well-moistened, adenoidal sound,
part sigh and part growl, coming out of him,
transported, he seemed, in a slow-motion delirium
as I tickled his chest and behind his ear
when he just then told me he’d tear out my throat,
looked in my eye and smiled, best as a dog can,
then turned ruminative and spoke once more:
—I simply have to knock off that essay on Sassoon.
This would have been Sassoon the war poet, understand.
Dogs cannot write. My mother told me this.
As for his talk, well, I took no special notice.
His love of the war poets was well known.
Stoltz would have been part bull and something else.
Two friends walked by just then, handily as these things go,
and inquired of us sitting down there on the stoop,
not even, a doorway merely, along a busy street,
how went the day and what pursuits was I attending;
but what interested the two of them most
were the tergiversations of the dog Stoltz,
first beast, then scholar, then abject and adored.
(Say, who among us does not care to be undressed?)
He was not really my dog, you see, and of this made note,
but were glad as well at my having a new dog in my life.
It was a busy stretch of pavement, Amsterdam maybe,
or Broadway, or farther down just south of Chelsea.
I can tell you it was the West Side, of that I’m certain,
and it was mild, spring-like, a few drops in the air.
The friends passed along and the dog Stoltz slept.
He was not my dog, you know. He simply followed me out
of what can only have been a very fine home,
such were his graces, his recondite tastes.
But he was a killer too, and rather smelled.
I cannot accommodate another animal now, please understand.
I am between places. I will yearn for Stoltz, but no.


  1. 0)that's a handsome cat

    1)speaking of animal companions, i read kleinzahler's poem

    1a)speaking of kleinzahler, i read that he is the first poet laureate of fort lee, new jersey

    1b)coincidentally, on more than one occasion i lived at or in the vicinity of fort lee, virginia, the headquarters of the branch of the army in which my father spent most of his military career

    2)and speaking of the military, today's poem mentions sassoon, the war poet

    2a)one of sassoon's war poems:


    You told me, in your drunken-boasting mood,
    How once you butchered prisoners. That was good!
    I'm sure you felt no pity while they stood
    Patient and cowed and scared, as prisoners should.

    How did you do them in? Come, don't be shy:
    You know I love to hear how Germans die,
    Downstairs in dug-outs. "Camerad!" they cry;
    Then squeal like stoats when bombs begin to fly.
    * * * * *
    And you? I know your record. You went sick
    When orders looked unwholesome: then, with trick
    And lie, you wangled home. And here you are,
    Still talking big and boozing in a bar.

    as published in The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon, 1920

    2b) the epigraph of which is

    Dans la trêve désolée de cette matinée, ces hommes qui avaient été tenaillés par la fatigue, fouettés par la pluie, bouleversés par toute une nuit de tonnerre, ces rescapés des volcans et de l'inondation entrevoyaient à quel point la guerre, aussi hideuse au moral qu'au physique, non seulement viole le bon sens, avilit les grandes idées, commande tous les crimes—mais ils se rappelaient combien elle avait développé en eux et autour d'eux tous les mauvais instincts sans en excepter un seul; la méchanceté jusqu'au sadisme, l'égoïsme jusqu'à la férocité, le besoin de jouir jusqu'à la folie.

    (Le Feu.)

    2c) rendered by Google Translate - with a surprising capitalization - as

    In the desolate truce of this morning, these men who had been plagued by fatigue, whipped by the rain, upset by a night of thunder, those survivors of volcanoes and flooding glimpsed how much the war, as hideous in Moral than physical, not only violates common sense, degrades great ideas, commands all crimes - but they remember how much she had developed in them and around them all the bad instincts without excepting one; malice to sadism, selfishness to ferocity, the need to enjoy madness.

    3)an article in the guardian about how it was discovered in 2013 that sassoon's poem had been toned down from his first version attracted the following comment -

    My great uncle who was a veteran of the Gallipoli campaign and later served on the western front, told me how British soldiers who were shell-shocked, were sent on ” snaffle raids” where they would attack Turkish lines, at night, armed only with a bayonet. Needless to say, they never returned, but were never intended to.

    4)and speaking of world war i, filmmaker peter jackson's documentary movie 'they shall not grow old' is being praised - colorized vintage film, interviews with survivors made when they were old, etc

  2. this struck me when reading ajay singh chaudhury's "it's already here", which you link to

    When it comes to centrist technocracy and the climate, it’s not that the emperor is wearing no clothes. The whole suit is on fire.

  3. Hey; I knew Stoltz. He did smell, it's true -- but I put that down to his general casualness around bodily hygiene, rather than evidence of some character flaw.

    Killer? No. A brawler, was ol' Stoltz, yeah; but even when his 'blood was up', he never did more than nip you. I only knew him as an older Pooch, mind you, but he thought Augie (as he called Kleinzahler) overestimated his "baser instincts". We're big on base instincts, as you might imagine. And, I never learned where Stoltz came from. We're not big on sharing any personal information you can't learn from having a good sniff.

    And the Sassoon? Well, Stoltz (whose Urgrossvater had served on the Western Front) never liked his poetry much. 'Memoirs Of A Fox-Hunting Man', or '-- Of An Infantry Officer', yes. He liked Graves' Good-Bye To All That, too; I will always remember that Stoltz introduced me to it. And each year, he always found a Poppy to put in his collar come Armistice Day, and insisted on silence at 11 o'clock. A hound of habits, was ol' Stoltz.

    As far as where Stoltz (or any other Dog) not being able to write, that had nothing to do with illiteracy, and everything to do with a lack of opposible thumbs. Augie (Stoltz often said) allowed his sentimentality and anthromorphizing, when it came to Pooches, to get the better of him.