Sunday, December 30, 2018

Who Would Never Take for Granted All the Pleasures and the Fun

Alex Chilton born 68 years ago two days ago ^

72 today, it was four decades ago, but Horses, Radio Ethiopia, and Easter mattered:

78 today, I should play some Nesmith solo (and this IS a Nesmith song) but this is my 2nd favorite Monkees song (Elric played Nesmith, I was Dolenz):

71 yesterday, beyond loving ELO, my Jeff/Lynn marriage (people can vouch) halfway through 30th year
59 tomorrow, youngsters, The Replacements were once a big thing, you've never heard of them:


  1. my favorite nesmith song is cruisin'

  2. 1)with respect to ducks and the work of james tate, asserted to be a potential dissertation topic, i have found the following (emphasis added):

    James Tate

    An ad in the newspaper said that a local author
    would be signing his new book at the bookstore today.
    I didn’t even know we had any local authors. I was
    going to be downtown anyway, so I decided to drop in
    and see what he looked like. He was short and fat
    and ugly, but all kinds of beautiful women were flirting
    with him and laughing at every little joke he made.
    Even though I didn’t know anything about his book, I
    wished I had written it. A man came up to me and said,
    “I hated it when the little girl died. I just couldn’t
    stop crying.” “Thank God for the duck,” I said. He
    took a step back from me. “I don’t remember the duck,”
    he said. “Well, then, I’m afraid you missed the whole
    point of the book. The duck is absolutely central,
    it’s the veritable linchpin of the whole denouement,
    I said.
    (I had learned that word in high school, and
    now it served me well.) “But what about the little
    girl?” the man asked, with a painful look of bewilder-
    ment on his face. “She should have been shot a hundred
    pages earlier,” I said. “I don’t think I like you,”
    the man said, and walked away clutching his book.
    I looked over at the author. He was signing a young
    woman’s cleavage, and the other woman were laughing
    and pulling open their blouses to be signed. I had
    never even thought of writing a novel. Now, my mind
    was thrashing about. The man I had offended earlier
    walked up to me and offered me a glass of wine. “If
    I may ask you, sir, why were you so rude to me?” he
    said. I looked up from the abyss and said. “Because
    I am nothing. Because I am a speck of dust floating
    in infinite darkness. Because you have feelings and
    you care. Do you understand me now?” “Perfectly,”
    he said. “Cheers!”

    2) this poem reminds me of a passage from the path: what chinese philosophers can teach us about the good life (puett & gross-loh, 2016)

    Note that paying attention to your emotional responses is not the same as "mindfulness", the popular notion that is based loosely on the Buddhist idea of attachment and nonjudgment. It is not about observing your feelings, accepting them, and then letting them go so that you can achieve a sort of personal peace....Cultivating the heart-mind is an outwardly-directed act intended not to remove us from the world but to engage us more deeply in it so we can better ourselves and those around us through every interaction. It's about paying attention not in a mindful sense but in a Confucian one.

    1. Thanks, Charley, a first edition of the new and last book will be arriving at your house in July.

      I'm sure there are fewer ducks than I think but it feels to me like there's a duck in every one of Tate's later poems.

    2. 1)i will be glad and grateful to have a copy of tate's last book

      i feel sad that he was apparently not well enough to reply to my letter about my hypothesis that 'shroud of the gnome' is a film noir version of 'hymn of the pearl' - although recognizing that he might not have responded anyway - poets poetize, commentators commentatorize might well have been his attitude

      1a)i came across this yesterday -

      Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing.

      James Tate (1999). “The route as briefed”, Univ of Michigan Pr

      2)i typed the quote from puett and gross-loh from a physical book i have checked out of the library right now - but more from that book - including the part i represented with ... - can be found at

  3. an example of how poetry is everywhere - webster's tone here is arguably tate-esque, although less whimsical than much of his fellow poet's ouevre:

    A Quick Visit to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
    Loren Webster

    Before they went home, Jeff and Debbie wanted to visit Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.
    I warned them that birding would be slow there, and it was,
    but they still wanted to see it and seemed to enjoy our visit.
    Unfortunately, we heard a lot more birds than we saw,
    and I ended up focusing on more permanent residents,
    like this frog and turtle.
    We did see two Great Blue Heron
    and a lot of Ring-Billed Gulls,
    but that was about it.