Sunday, June 7, 2020

crawled through town like a freight train

  • Part Two,  cop edition. In case you haven't seen Part One, the cops were charging on horses at protesters when leading cop clanged his head on a stoplight, so:
  • threatening protesters with injury or death by horse-trampling < protesters throwing water bottles at the cops whose horses would have trampled them
  • Pigs
  • The guy made infamous for assaulting kids for putting up George Floyd protest signs on Capital Crescent Trail lives a quarter mile from me, the neighborhood listserv begging people to leave the family alone and do not protest in front of the house, the guy a known pest, the family well-liked despite that
  • Pigs
  • Day one, set aside to dry, not having access to a top of the line scanner not the concern was once since I've doubled the application of water and couldn't scan the canvas when wet which is when watercolor best, and no, no plans to oil or acrylic  

  • I got Dr Sevrin ears
  • Meanwhile
  • When a friend earnestly wonders why our shitlords don't off Trump: Trump signed an executive order Thursday evening that would waive requirements under a suite of environmental laws, a move the administration says will boost the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic
  • Re: the above, also too
  • There can be no change 
  • Crying laughing crying at the George Floyd protests 
  • Tuesday past in DC 
  • I'd be curious up to the point of actually doing the research the % change in Brees shirt/shit sale before and after this
  • I've yodeled long Trump serves at shitlords' pleasure though I wonder if our shitlords bumping up the % on Trump's leash (sic) even while Trump tries to preempt the rate hike 
  • Cops are crackers
  • Fuck helmetball
  • New Sunday post tradition until it isn't, I go to my shelves and boxes of CDs and grab a musician or band I haven't listened to in years and post two songs starting today with


Daniel Schonning
God says to the meek one, “On Sunday mornings, have them say ‘Yes’—say ‘Yes,’ brightly.
Have them nestle dollar bills in the knots of elm trees; use three times the zest in their lemon curds.
If it’s snowing, open the flue and start up the fire. Tell them there’s a double-dutch
jumprope with their name on it. Paint the windows violet, paint the lattice pink. Tell them every
knock-kneed great blue heron is just like me: long legs, quick eyes, and chock-full of
longing. Tell them I’ve got a real doozy of a crossword clue that I just can’t get—eight letters, ends with an x.” So the
meek one says, “All right”—goes to the window, sets his yellow workgloves on the sill. He could
not be more tired. His fingers have that tingling feeling, like they’re boiling—it must be below zero outside, he thinks, too cold for walking. But it’s plenty warm in here. If he’s honest, the meek one’s had
one hell of a day. His mother’s dying—can only eat bananas, milk, and bits of uncooked dough. He just can’t
put it out of his mind. Her voice is thinning out a little more each morning: when she wakes up crying, it sounds like a kestrel singing from far off. Sounds like she’s got a
question stuck in her throat. What that means to the meek one, he doesn’t know—for now, he’s waiting for the snow to fall a little softer, for the
room to darken, so he can set out—keep x-ing the boxes on his to-do list. At least it’s warm here, he thinks. God says to the meek one, “On
Sunday evenings, have them bundle their children in blankets made of pansies—yellow over blue—then hunker down for the night. And if they have to leave, remind them
to zip up their coats—it’s cold, ice cold, out there. In the crawl space
under that double-wide, there’s a nest of jaybirds—tell them not to look, or the birds are prone to
vanish. Ask if, sometimes, everyone would just keep quiet.
When a foghorn lows at night, pours itself out on the salt reeds and beaches, rattles the pier’s
x-shaped pilons and sets the gulls flying, ask if they’ll just listen.” So the meek one says, “All right”—keeps looking through the window. There’s a grove of
young aspen trees—“daughters,” they’re called—laid bare by the cold. The meek one is not sure they’ll make it. As a gray snowbird
zips from one naked branch to the next, the meek one thinks
about his mother. She’ll be getting hungry soon. She mostly stays in bed, but yesterday the meek one found her crumpled on the
bathroom floor. Her long hair—always in a neat, high bun—was spread wide on the slate, bright as zinc. One summer, when the roads were dirt and the roof was tin, a thunderhead
crawled through town like a freight train—no rain, no hail, just hot wind and lightning. At the time, the meek one’s mother said the storm could take the house right off its feet; would
draw the meek one clear up to heaven if he didn’t just stay put in that bathroom, hold tight to the hot water valve, and hope—said she’d be right back. But the meek one couldn’t help it. When the storm shook the house, he ran to the main room and peered out the window.
Even in the half-light, the meek one saw his mother at once. She was lying on the knoll outside, holding quick to two fistfuls of grass—watching the black cloud fill and empty with long threads of light. She was speaking into the wind. The warm air surged against her upturned face, must have filled her lungs—drew skyward a havoc of her black hair. At the time, the meek one thought she might have been saying, “Please.”
From the other room, the meek one hears his mother wake, try to rise. The light dims. He slips his gloves into his back pocket, takes up his list and marks one box with an x. Turning from the window, the meek one says, “All right.


  1. Regarding this tidbit observation on the human condition, you know, the cognitive dissonance variety: "...the guy a known pest, the family well-liked despite that."
    Your observation parallels an insight I shared with my Chinese immigrant friend. She carved out a better than modest living in the parallel economic system humming just beneath the surface of American society. My friend, fiercely proud of her country's stature and China's world leadership, opined that I'm the first American man she met who is "a bit small and unlikable" as compared to most other western Pennsylvania men in large part because I request candor in our interactions.
    The dilemma follows like this: How to explain to my friend that the bellicosity displayed by our politicians toward China will be acted out by these seemingly good western Pennsylvania men with a breathtaking alacrity and never by me, you know, the "bit small" person?
    So one has to wonder what the rest of the family members do to balance the "well-known pest('s)" behavior?
    Or is it the ongoing battle between generosity and cognitive dissonance?

  2. The Formal Invitation

    James Tate

    I was invited to a formal dinner party given by Marguerite Famish Burridge and her husband, Knelm Oswald Lancelot Burridge. I had never met either of them, and had no idea why I was invited. When the butler announced me, Mrs. Burridge came up and greeted me quite graciously. "I'm so happy you could join us," she said."I know Knelm is looking forward to talking to you later." "I can't wait," I said, "I mean, the pleasure's all mine." Nothing came out right. I wanted to escape right then, but Mrs. Burridge dragged me and introduced me to some of her friends. "This is Nicholas and Sondra Pepperdene. Nicholas is a spy," she said. "I am not," he said. "Yes, you are, darling. Everyone knows it," she said. "And Sondra does something with swans, I'm not sure what. She probably mates them, knowing Sondra." "Really! I'm saving them from extinction," Mrs. Pepperdene said. "And this is Mordecai Rhinelander, and, as you might guess from his name, he's a Nazi. And his wife, Dagmar, is a Nazi, too. Still, lovely people," she said. "Marguerite, you're giving our new friend a very bad impression," Mr. Rhinelander said. "Oh, it's my party and I can say what I want," Mrs. Burridge said. A servant was passing with cocktails and she grabbed two off the tray and handed me one. "I hope you like martinis," she said, and left me standing there. "My name is Theodore Fullerton," I said, "and I'm a depraved jazz musician. I prey on young women, take drugs whenever possible, but most of the time I just sleep all day and am out of work." They looked at one another, and then broke out laughing. I smiled like an idiot and sipped my drink. I thought it was going to be an awful party, but I just told the truth whenever I was spoken to, and people thought I was hilariously funny.

  3. The Formal Invitation


    At dinner, I was seated between Carmen Milanca and Godina Barnafi. The first course was fresh crabmeat on a slice of kiwi. Mine managed to slip off the plate and landed in the lap of Carmen Milanca. She had on a very tight, short black dress. She smiled at me, waiting to see what I would do. I reached over and plucked it from its nest. "Nice shot," she said. "It was something of a bull's-eye, wasn't it?" I said. Godina Barnafi asked me if I found wealthy women to be sexy. "Oh yes, of course," I said, "but I generally prefer poor, homeless waifs, you know, runaways, mentally addled, unwashed, sickly, starving women." "Fascinating," she said. A leg of lamb was served. Knelm Burridge proposed a toast. "To my good friends gathered here tonight, and to your great achievements in the furtherance of peace on Earth." I still had no idea what I was doing there. I mentioned this to Carmen since we'd almost been intimate."You're probably the sacrificial lamb," she said. "The what?" I said. "The human sacrifice, you know, to the gods, for peace," she said. "I figure it's got to be you, because I recognize all the rest of them, and they're friends." "You've got to be kidding me," I said. "No, we all work for peace in our various ways, and then once a year we get together and have this dinner." "But why me?" I said. "That's Marguerite's job. She does the research all year, and she tries to pick someone who won't be missed, someone who's not giving in a positive way to society, someone who is essentially selfish. Her choices are very carefully considered and fair, I think, though I am sorry it's you this time. I think I could get to like you," she said. I picked at my food. "Well, I guess I was a rather good choice, except that some people really like my music. They even say it heals them," I said. "I'm sure it does," Carmen said, "but Marguerite takes everything into consideration. She's very thorough."