- The problems of Bartleby
- Twelve billion tons of ice melted in Greenland yesterday
- Reading, and mourning, *Moby Dick* on the cusp of climate catastrophe: Melville’s 200th birthday coincides with the human-made sixth extinction, as well as with the emptying, warming, and clogging up of the world’s oceans via overfishing and the dumping of plastics. Such facts imbue his novel with renewed and melancholy relevance. Reading his book about a sentient, majestic, and desperate-to-live marine mammal in a period when the planet’s whales — and all other creatures — are under such threat grants the work a grim ecological cast.
- And then there is Chapter 77, *The Great Heidelburgh Tun,* on decapitating the slaughtered whale to extract profit, what my copy opened to when I picked it up just now, and...
"HAVE MADE EARTH A MIRROR OF HEAVEN"
my name is Alice Elizabeth, so am I
Allie Sheedy of the movie Short Circuits thus angry
or Elizabeth McGovern self-controlled?
This question is posited
on a television screen where I can't quite identify
the actress shown—which is she?
I am Allie and I will continue to rant.
My voice rises in real life often—
because I am 'passionate' ... that's
a convenient word.
I'm still in the forest, darkening
wishing I were 'nicer.'
Hardwood says, You should stand up soon
I'll help you
I say, I have cramps
I say, I'm using my period, to get pissed off and to Know.
I dreamed, last night, about an immense Dead Seal
below the surface of the water in a harbor
pull the curtain down.
For months you would not break the spell
for eternities you have not done so, citing economic
exigencies; the whole thing is a mess.
I might rather be dead
than doing what it takes to keep the seal under water
E is for seal. For spell. For suppression.
To take part in you is to die
is why one dies
Have I said this before?
I am Alp the Dizzy.
The dead seal isn't a person, it's poetry the seal
of selfhood, dead grotesquely large and richly hardening.
"Hardwood it was someone like you
you drowned the seal"
"No I'm making both you and it 'hard.' "
And I'm still in the forest.
And I'm still in the forest
Money's more the real live poetry
abstract symbolic imaginary
trade your life for it and trade it for your life
so you'll have something 'to do'
Sink the whale
and sleep all day in the real world, up and functioning
more fully imagined and dreamed, in society's
than in your own, imagination?
I'm standing up Hard
I keep being Hardwood myself, dark and hard.
Initiating a new 'broken symmetry' (spinning to the
Left, like a newborn neutrino)
so that we can have a new consciousness ...
am I doing that? Yes I think so.
The forest contains a French restaurant
every meter or so ...
difficult to fast in this dream vision.
We're a very unpopular group today
We've shot off another great bomb
and we've shot down a terrorist,
an Arab, young, before
we even found out what he "knew."
Tell me something beautiful, bitter
because we are somehow bitter, forever,
a taste included in origin, in love, in you.
So I don't have to be cloyed.
... soul's waters are reticent
It had nothing in it,
that swamp; because I didn't know how to look for
the parts of its obvious whole—death is
minute, flavorful parts—which are said to spin
as I'm said to walk, moving while else
mostly unconscious of that.
In the new consciousness
there i was in w___ville speaking to one of my canadian cousins, approximately my age, generationally speaking, and i trotted out the four existential questions facing the self-reflective human - where do we come from, why are we here, where are we going, what's for lunch?ReplyDelete
this was in the context of a discussion of religious orientations - i declared myself to be a practicing catholic - there should probably be air quotes around the adjective being used as a noun there - and she proclaimed herself an atheist
nevertheless, she revealed she is the person who writes the thank you letters to people who donate money to the local food bank, which is run by the w___ville area inter-church council and operates out of the w___ville baptist church
in the spirit of the hardcore atheism she adheres to, she proclaimed "nowhere" to the question about "where are we going"
i tried to argue that the answer depends on the definition of "we"
the lone ranger and tonto joke could have gone here, but i had already used a lot of my usual jokes this trip and wanted to save a few for next year, in case that comes to pass
her sister's partner - a charming fellow - a retired dentist from northern new brunswick who said his name was "ghee" - also said he was an atheist now - although decades ago he was an altar boy - he mentioned harari's
i intend to send to these people a dvd copy of "monty python's the meaning of life" - possibly they will enjoy it
It's been easy until now
But you'll likely question how
You have traveled far, it's true
But there's much more left to do
For it's time to pay the toll
And we never know the sum of what we owe
You can't go back from where you came
You must move on and face the flame
Of the last bardo
You can pray unto your god
But your prayers will bring you naught
For in here you bear the scar
Of exactly what you are
It matters not what you believe
And it matters even less what you think you know
So put on your little show
But no further will you go
Til you pass the last bardo
You will surrender all you hide
And be cleansed and purified
And of your burden you'll be free
If it takes eternity in the last bardo