Sunday, December 9, 2018

We've Been Living - I Think - in a Kind of Drowning Light

38 years ago about 11:15 PM EST last night I was 21, lying in bed, tripping, blissed, happy, with Audrey H...., listening to WGTB when the announcer broke in to say John Lennon had been shot and killed. Seems silly to say now, but it was the biggest KABOOM! of my life at the time, and if I no longer need to play The Beatles or listen to Lennon solo except on Holy Days because I can hear any song I want at any time in my head I still remember the KABOOM!


  • The view of Paris from London. 
  • I saw a tweet from the head of Clinton Inc scold progressives for cheering the Yellow Vests protesting a carbon tax - Climate Change, don't you know, actions against - because it's the poorest, with no jobs or jobs that barely pay, can solve Climate Change economics by taking food out of their mouths to put in their gas tanks to get to their janitor jobs in the high-rise condos of the global elite.
  • I am telling you three times, Republicans and their cracker idiots, sure, but motherfucking Democrats of the world and their idiots are charged by the global elite with ensuring the death of us all.
  • Socialism and Ecology.
  • Who the elite fear: If one feature of any truly revolutionary moment is the complete failure of conventional categories to describe what’s happening around us, then that’s a pretty good sign we’re living in revolutionary times.
  • Who needs a phrygian hat when you have a 4 Iron? I can never quite believe what I know to be true: that the so called “liberal-left” press – using liberal in the American sense – is actually a neo-liberal conservative press. The conflict between image and reality is hard for me to fully comprehend. These machines pump out the propaganda: that reform, which is actually the long delayed reaction to previous reforms, is “necessary”; that an austerian rhetoric that has failed for the past ten years is the only economics we need to consider; that globalisation, with the pressure on the working class and the insane inequality that it aggravates, is our no alternative, we are socially liberal one stop shop; etc. The rule seems to be, if the press is solidly behind gay marriage, and is also solidly behind making sure that gay partners have less health care, education, and public resources, that the factories they work in our shipped to lower labor ports of call, and the infrastructure that they rely on is benignly allowed to decay, well then, the press has done its job as socially liberal, nay, progressive!
  • A cure for metaphor-blindness.
  • Dreams of a Rabbit Fiend.
  • I walked by the Dakota a week ago today in NYC on Central Park West, does Yoko still live there?
  • Did not walk down to Strawberry Fields, saw the sign, no.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • When Galaxie 500 covered Yoko &John.
  • 500 Glass Negatives.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links. 
  • Actinism is the property of solar radiation that leads to the production of photochemical and photobiological effects. Actinism is derived from the Greek ακτίς, ακτῖνο.
  • Remember this.
  • The End of Endings.
  • Mac Low and Rothenberg and Mac Low's Light Poems.
  • Mac Lows's Light Poems, one of my treasures, I don't know if it's still available but if you want one and I like you let me know:


Jackson Mac Low

I know when I've fallen in love       I start to write love songs
Love's actinism turns nineteens to words & thoughts in love songs
as your "A" & the date made "actinism" enter this love song 

Also I seem to start dropping punctuation
My need for punctuation lessens     like some people's need for sleep
My need for sleep lessens too     but later I fall on my face
Lack of punctuation doesn't catch up with me like lack of sleep
It doesn't make me fall on my face 

So bright the near noon light   the toy photometer twirls   in
the sunlight slanting in from southeast thru the southwest window
the stronger the light the faster the light motor turns
diamond vanes' black sides absorb   white sides radiate photons
See it go 

A "42" draws the northern lights into the song
as yesterday into the Taggart Light Poem twice they were drawn
as "aurora borealis" & "aurora"   by "A"'s & by numbers
There they seemed eery & threatening   Here they seem hopeful
as they seemed when last I saw them   over the Gulf of St. Lawrence
cold euphoric after making love wondering
at swirling curtains & sudden billows lighting the sky northwest 

I remember their evanescent light as neutral or bluish white
I remember the possibility of yellow the improbability of red
not like Bearsville's rose & blood sky twenty-five years before
Now these memories mingled with pictures' descriptions'
project on inward skies idiosyncratic northern lights
that only exist while I'm writing these lines for Anne
Even the next time I read them the lights they arouse will be different 

Nineteen sheds a tranquil light on our love song thru your "T"
Our love's tranquil light revealed by 19 & by T
is turned by 15 to an aureole tipping an "A"
The "A" becomes your face The aureole grows 

Relucence from my face glows back on yours 
A telephone bell can deflect & dissipate my light
The deflected light is lost to poem & person
I turn my telephone off these days to help ordinary light breed poems 

The sun is so bright on my desk now   except on the typewriter keys
that there's no need for the light of the student lamp placed to
      shine on the paper 

But now       five hours later       the lamp's       the only light
& I begin the poem's       "astrological"       section 

Acetylene light may be what Virgo needs to see the "pattern
except that for him this is something" he will
only acknowledge if it can be seen in natural light 

Can we gain new light from astrology that ubiquitous superstition
You Sagittarius Woman     Me Virgo Man
What "can happen between them is a" mazing
a dizzying     a stupefying or dazing     a crazing
a great perplexing     bewildering     amazing
forming a maze of something or making it intricate
being bewildered     wandering as in a maze
What has happened between them is amazing 

What is happening between us is amazing
more intense & vivid than electric arc light     tremendous light
brighter than acetylene light friendly as reading lamp light

"But a young Sagit-
tarian need have no qualms about taking on a
man considerably her senior if he is a "Virgo"
Rand's random digits underline our case
in this lovely silly optimistic sentence 

We've been living     I think     in a kind of drowning light 
"He reaches the age of forty At anything less than that age
he is not even a possible for a Sagittarius"
Me Virgo Man You Sagittarius Woman
Orgone radiation flimmers between us
our curious safety light 

"What can happen between them is superb
Something he has spent half his life dreaming about
At last it has come true" O ingratiating
astrological light may you never prove false
even to one who has often decried you as no light
but superstitious darkness natural light would dispel
or the electric arc light of empirical science 

The way I'm writing this poem's like using
trichromatic artificial radiance
not as decorative light     in place of
ordinary solar radiation     as you photographers do 

Before I was forty "not even a possible for a Sagittarius"
now I'm sixteen over the line & safe with you 

"Her     but a young Sagittarian need have" none    
     "qualms" have no basis
Are we dreaming     Is this Virgo Man still dreaming
as "he has spent half his life"     they say     "dreaming"
"Sagittarian & Virgo"
"The pattern is perfect"
The poem is over


  1. Think about me. I used to live about a mile and a half up CPW from The Dakota. Walked, rode by it often. Kids played in a nearby playground. Took a writing class in the church next door—Unitarian IIRC. Three things always forefronted: 1) Lennon falling; 2) Rosemary's Baby; 3) Lenny Bernstein who lived/died there (and whose principal bookkeeper was a friend/neighbor).

  2. the writing class you refer to may have been at:

    The Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York is a congregation within the Unitarian Universalist Association located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It is the last surviving of seven Universalist congregations in the city, founded on the belief of universal salvation that emphasized the love of God for all people. Today, the congregation is non-creedal, welcoming a diverse range of religious beliefs and practices.

  3. on metaphor

    0)the nyrb article states

    One of the most influential twentieth-century poems in English appeared in Poetry magazine in April 1913. It is two lines long, or three, if Ezra Pound’s title is counted.

    The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
    Petals on a wet, black bough.

    1)an explanation for the MICFiC acronym goes as follows:

    the Military Industrial Congressional Financial Corporate Media Complex - a conspiracy to use, abuse, and confuse the people; speaking metaphorically, to milk, shear, and slaughter the sheeple - except that the slaughter is literal, not metaphorical.

    The reason that perpetual war is American policy is because it maximizes the power and profits of the MICFiC.

    2)i am fond of a line from a song by irving berlin, which i incorporate in one of my oft-repeated phrases -

    may the Creative Forces of the Universe stand beside us, and guide us, through the Night with the Light from Above - metaphorically speaking

  4. on the other hand, my favorite haiku - about and written during a buffalo winter evening - is entirely literal

    White nights are bright nights
    snowflakes slant through street lights
    and muffle my footsteps