Thursday, September 24, 2020

those with a taste for blue or belligerence

For the sake of argument let's say the Democrats *aren't* in on the obvious machinations to ensure the installation of King Trump, I... 

Have a gorgeous new Yo La Tengo song




Brenda Hillman

Sometimes  ,  when i'm

            very tired  ,    i think
 of extremophiles    ,   chemolithoautotrophs
       & others with     power for changing
    not-life into lives  ,    of those that eat rock
& fire in volcanoes   ,     before the death
 of the world but after   the death of a human
                              ,    of their taste
for ammonia or iron  ,     sulfur & carbon
                             ,   somehow
 enough of it to go on ...     As workers
          taste revolt       ,   they grow
at the vents of oceans   ,     turning mute vapor
into respiration            ,   changing unhinged
   matter to hinges        ,  near the rims of sea
trenches or the caves     ...     Our friend wrote
    of writers living              in gray hiding,
                            ,     of those who love glass
    & early freedom   ,    steep sand
  & late freedom       ,     sex among gentle
     or bitter grasses     ,   those with a taste for
 blue or belligerence   ,   obscure lives, she
called them               ,   the writers
    of radical mind     …
The living prefer life    ,  mostly they do
                         ,   they are ravenous
                         ,    making shapes in groups
    as the dying grow     one thought
          until the end ,   wanting more
              specifics   ,   desert or delay
          until the i        drops away into
          i am not here ,   the mineral other
pumps & vast vapors  ,    ridges & shadows beyond
            the single life it had not thought of—


  1. one of the poems you have linked to - freedom, revolt, and love - reminds me a bit of the beginning of one of my favorite scenes in the bourne movie series - the bourne legacy - rachel weisz's character is visited by assassins but with the aid of jeremy renner's character she survives - as oscar wilde said the good end happily and the bad unhappily - that is what fiction is for

    and speaking of good and bad - james wright's poem at the executed murderer's grave begins with a quote from freud - civilization and its discontents - freud heaps scorn on the notion thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

    and speaking of poems linked to here, we read in dan chiasson's the math campers

    Near Caspian Lake one day
    Chief Justice Rehnquist
    Swore Stephen Breyer in, only
    A part-time village clerk to witness.

    contrariwise, a different account states that the lone witness to breyer's swearing in was his wife, whose interesting background suggests she would be too busy to be a part-time village clerk

    and speaking of the supreme court, and washington, perhaps in the aftermath of a relatively chaotic election the court will affirm that the constitution means what it says - that state legislatures have the power to decide how presidential electors are selected

    consequently, the republic will be saved from the massive mail-in voter fraud that the democraps are planning, and the trump years will continue

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

    1. as i read my comment over, i want to make clear that i should have put in quotes "the republic will be saved from the massive mail-in voter fraud that the d.'s are planning" - i don't personally believe that massive mail-in voter fraud is being planned, nor do i think that the trump years continuing will save the republic

      i do believe that some people think that, and may take actions intended to continue the trump years because they believe that a biden victory would be very very very bad

      i have given money to bernie sanders repeatedly over the years, and have accepted his advice to vote for hillary and plan to do the same for biden, not that it will make any conceivable difference in the electoral result due to the state in which i reside

      a new england protestant pastor [john f. hudson] has recently written

      One of my favorite prayers and one of the most popular of well-known prayers is the Serenity Prayer, attributed to the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. It begins, “God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” On my really good days, when I actually realize all the simple blessings of this life, even in the midst of all the brokenness, I actually get to that serene place. A state of mind where I am able to see just what I do have ultimate and final control over -- my attitude towards everything -- and that which I do not have control over.

      Just about everything else.

      Acceptance does not mean I capitulate to the sharper edges of life, edges we are all experiencing right now in this year that has been a collective train wreck in so many ways. COVID. The election. The economy. The struggle for racial justice. How the church I serve will survive in the midst of the pandemic. The winter months looming ahead, long and cold months where I might have to return to inside isolation.

      In the largest sense I do not have control over these happenings. And when I forget this truth: when I brood and am filled with worry and watch the news obsessively and grow dark in my view of the world, and become cynical or even worse, apathetic in the face of life, well ... there goes my serenity. Being centered in myself and God. Trusting somehow that this too shall pass and that 2020 will give way to better days.

      may peace be with him, and with us all - to the extent possible under the circumstances