Friday, November 9, 2018

I Look in That One Kind of Dwindled

  • I'm not a Bernie guy, my fascination pivots on professional Democrats versus Bernie.
  • I know stopping leftist populism is Job One! for professional Democrats,
  • but read Sanders' diagnosis of midterms and prescription for going forward 
  • and how much professional Democrats hate him for saying this shit
  • not because it's true but because none of it will ever happen
  • even if professional Democrats wanted it to, which
  • Bernie certainly knows
  • (which explains why it's personal, the seething Bernie hate, to professional Democrats, who
  • can't? won't? triangulate why people like me seethe at them).


Clark Coolidge

I look in that one kind of dwindled. And in this,
look up, a truncheon in my fist, tin pot
on my head, the war. My father, I’m looking at, is my
age then and thin, his pants streak to the ground,
shadows of rosevines . . . His father sits beneath
a cat. Here the shadow has more flavor than my
trains, elbows on livingroom floor, bangs that
curl, opera broadcast, The Surreptitious Adventures of
Nightstick. I lie in the wind of the sun and hear
toots and smell aluminium smoke. The tiny oval
of my mother’s youth in back and the rest is dark.
Sundays, the floor was black. At the beach, here
I’m a nest of seaweed, an earlier portrait of
surrealists I saw later, a stem of grey what
rises from my scalp. My hair is peaked in brine.
And this here hat, dark green fedora over same green
corduroy suit for a trip to the nation’s capitol,
how far askance I’ve been since and never another
hat. Cromium rods, the hand in the guide’s pocket
seems far removed. Blurry shoes on sandstone steps,
double and over exposed. Then in this one the SECRET
points to my head, shaved, and emblem, OPEN, striped
in “pirate” T-shirt and HERE IT IS. My elbow bent,
upright this time, behind a pole. I had yet to
enter at this snap the cavern beneath my sneakers.
To the right my soles protrude from beneath a boulder,
for I had trapped my mother and she asked Why.
Taken. Given. Flashlight brighter than my face,
another grotto, where the ball of twine, indirection,
gave out but we never got very far in, Connecticut.
I swim out of another cave in a further frame, cramped
gaze of sunlit days, apparel forgot. Later I reel
in a yell as my cousin takes a bite from my shank
beneath ranchhouse breezy curtains of Marion. On a trudge up
from the gasoline rockpit in the gaze of Judy Lamb,
she carries my pack, my jeans rolled as I step on
a pipe. Estwing in hand and svelte as only youthful can.
Most of those rocks remain and she married a so-so
clarinetist. My greygreen zipper jacket leans against
a concrete teepee, my father looking bullchested stands
before. Perhaps we had just argued. Central Park cement
steps of pigeons, the snow removed. Overexposed
whiteshirt at the drums, stick fingers ride cymbal
at the camera raised, livingroom Brenton with orange
& black “sea” wallpaper and orange&black tubs. I wore
a wristwatch then and never again, drumtime hitching
me past it. I graduate from highschool in white dinner
jacket and diploma and frown, too many hot shadows
back of the garage. Must roll up the bedroll with
skinny arms and lam for the caves. Dave & A. Bell by
the Ford Company Squire first time allowed alone to tool
Bleak grass scapes of Knox farm. Rope down a crack,
mosquitoes and Koolade, sun dapple leaf moss sandwiches, ache.
Then in this group more drums on the roof, the gravel
and the flat, a cover attempt for no album even thought.
I tap and step in the dim known street. Lean on a
chimney to inhabit the sky, deep with drops. Here
I’m pressed on a wall of Tennessee limes, stones-throw
from mouth of the underground we camped in. Too many
thoughts, elide. Then lie on a beach in a doughnut
pattern shirt with a stick, a pipe?, in my mouth as my
cousin grins shiny beyond. Truro, also waiting for the
caves. With the poets then I’m fat and the driveway is
dark, the clapboards all white in a day of all talk.
This then all ends in color, my red bandana and shirt out
on Devil’s Pulpit, open hand addressed to the grey
where Hawthorne and Melville now view of a highschool.
While the water still spills, and the cat squints at leaves
blown, my father wears Brahms, families lean in on one
for a group shot, and the rock remains shattered in a star.


  1. when i was a stoner my eyes would get very red indeed

    now i get high on "the real thing" - defined by firesign theatre as a shoe shine, a clean windshield, and a full tank of gasoline

    i am - or was - a bernie guy - possibly i may read taibbi's interview and express my opinions, which will be worth at least as much as anyone pays me for them

    as far as "civilizational suicide" goes, once again i express my hope that human adaptability may enable civilization in some sense to continue, even while recognizing the probability of a bottleneck ahead in terms of population - see William R. Catton, Jr.'s books "Overshoot - The Ecological Basis of of Revolutionary Change" and "Bottleneck: Humanity's Impending Impasse" - the paragraph on the back cover of the latter, published in 2009, reads

    The roots of our time's troubles are ecological, deeper than current economic manifestations. Anguished posterity will call this 21st century 'the bottleneck century.' Occupationally specialized people today are necessarily dependent upon an intricate web of exchange relations. Ultimately self-destructive, that web fosters myopic preoccupations, making us mutually predatory. Even when functioning normally--and not in a collapsed condition, as currently--this system of relations is pervasively dehumanizing. It tempts even the wisest and most civic-minded to favor 'remedial' policies that can worsen the real predicament. A basic trio of disturbing trends--humans having become so numerous, so ravenous, and so short-sighted--has made the nature of today's human prospect far more dire than most policymakers dare acknowledge. Recognition of, and adequate adaptation to, the deteriorating biogeochemical foundations of human life have been impeded, so human societies (even our own) are almost certainly going to act in ways that make an inevitably difficult future unnecessarily worse."

  2. Do not be influenced by self-important ignoramuses like Abby Martin who, when presented with evidence that her little hobby-horse theory is woefully inaccurate and ignores much intense years-long struggle by both leadership and base at both state and federal levels to confront and overturn the power structures of one-party state (which btw is where the suppression happens, not in the House—fuckin' idiot) and federal gov'ts, whines well, yeah, but why can't they do more? Why don't they act NOW?

    My take on the election is that at that crucial state level, it turned back a decades-long effort by the Koch-funded Federalist Society (which I witnessed the birth of when I was in law school) to achieve supermajority of captive one-party rule state govts so they could call a rigged Constitutional Convention to implement Citizens United-type reforms and possible anti-abortion and voter suppression elements into the the constitution itself. The Dems taking back at least 7 governors offices and state leg's this week forestalled that effort. It was a major victory in a battle that's part of a generational war that ignited with the passage of Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and Nixon's undoing. 2010 was the crucial election for gerrymandering and John Roberts's gutting of the VRA and Citizens United ruling were key victories for the bad guys. So that is the battlefield we are fighting on now. No Dem is a dictator who rules by fiat, and we don't want or need one. But we need to battle on to reverse those losses. It's happening in real time and right in front of our eyes. So, for her to glibly insist nobody's doing anything is just plain stupid. Granted, it makes a good, inciteful (sic) tweet. Just don't be bamboozled because it plays into whatever outrages or grievances Bernie hopes to incite in the Berniecrats to assuage his own craven power lust. Don't be ignorant or short-sighted like people like Abby.

    1. Further counter example: The great state of Florida just passed a ballot initiative re-enfranchising former felons whose votes were suppressed. But according to Abby, D's are doing nothing about voter suppression. That's such bullshit. Does she think that the Republicans in that state struggled for years to overturn that horrible post-Jim Crow law?

      Second. When the Republican legislature of Virginia overrode the Dem. governor's bill re-enfranchising former felons, the Dem governor personally signed each and every form to allow these formerly vote-suppressed, mostly minority citizens the right to vote. But according to Abby, Dem leadership has done nothing to combat voter suppression—when literally the Dems have re-enfranchised literally millions of vote-suppressed citizens.

      That's the problem with people like her making those sorts of arguments: She can tweet that shit and the angry Berniecrats scream about how the Dems are doing nothing and we need a revolution and blah blah blah. To counter her arguments, you have to examine many facts and look at the entire contextual landscape, but by the time you do, she and her ilk have moved on to the next selective outrage. I worry that in retweeting her, you are endorsing this sort of ignorance-peddling.

    2. Even further C.E.: The D's chose, ran, supported, canvassed for, organized, mobilized for, and got elected a woman, literally a nobody, to run against Chris Kobach for governorship of Kansas. Kobach, for the ignorant, is the face—if not the architect—of Republican voter suppression theory and tactics, with a personal connection to Trump. She won, humiliating someone everyone thought was an absolute shoo-in in a ruby red state. It wasn't even on the radar of potentially close races. It was a massive victory.

      So yeah, D's doing nothing about voter suppression. Come the fuck on! I mean, I know you like to ride around on your little 'I hate motherfucking Democrats' hobby horse and select ridiculous rhetorical flourishes from them that confirms that bias (and sure it's funny sometimes, and even telling (less often)), but these are real, tangible, massive, and unignorable gains. It's a generational war being fought on many fronts all at the same time. Another example, here in GA, D's are struggling against an entrenched, corrupt R. absolute power structure (Gov, Leg, Secy State, Atty Gen) reveling in its ability to flaunt conflicts of interest in its own self-interest. There are tons of lawsuits by people other than Palast. D. money and legal talent is literally flying into the state as we speak to combat it. Same in FL an AZ. It's literally infuriating to read her Tweet being cited as authoritative—i.e., as a rhetorical question from which there can be no dispute because the answer is so obvious and so obviously provides yet another reason to hate Democrats. Sorry for the rant.

      Hate feeds on ignorance and selective outrage.

    3. Jim H - you make excellent points - our host here gives insufficient attention to accentuating the positive especially in the political sphere - stuff happens, and will be dealt with - sometimes - once in a while - the situation develops to our* advantage

      *what you mean 'we', white man?