Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Cognizance Born of the Absence of Anything Else

My right eye:

The complete list of 131 words I needed to look up reading Cormac McCartney's *Suttree* below. Ed asked me, after I wondered to him if the dwarf in Suttree's typhoid fever dreams is related to The Thalidomide Kid in *The Passenger, "what do you make of the end? Is Sut alive," I replied that I think the maggot ridden three-quarters decayed corpse he saw in his cot on his houseboat was him (Ed asked everyone this question in 2015). I left out words that I couldn't find (I didn't look beyond Duck Duck Go, yo), some guessable - reck and grue, for instance - and obvious by context types of vegetation or bird or critter. Current plan: will not read any other McCarthy, nor reread other McCarthy, until I reread *Suttree* in a year or two. Current plan next novel: wait for whatever the next novel I try to find me, not me it. O, the grey tinted words are new, the white tinted words you may have seen before. My left eye below, my right eye doesn't exist any more:

AbscissionThe act of cutting off; severance; removal
AccrescedTo increase, to grow
Addorsed:Oriented back-to-back, as of two animals or objects
AlbifiedTo make white
AlembicAn alchemical still consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, used for distillation of liquids
AnentWith regard to, about, in respect to, as to, insofar as, inasmuch as
AnnularShaped like or forming a ring.
AnthropariansA human or a creature having human characteristics or traits
ArchitravesThe molding around a door or window
AspectantOf birds, fish, and animals other than beasts of prey) face to face; respectant
AspergillumA genus consisting of several hundred mould species
AthanasiaDeathlessness, immortality
AustralDesignating, or pertaining to, a zone extending across North America between the Transition and Tropical zones, and including most of the United States and central Mexico except the mountainous parts
BanjaxedDamaged, ruined, smashed
BenisonBlessing; beatitude; benediction
BewrayTo expose; to reveal; to disclose; to betray
BlivetAn electronic signal that is normally high or on, but goes low for a very short period and then returns to high
BloodliensI'm guessing a deliberately mispelled pun
ButyljawedAttended by ponderous and mercurial figures composed of colored gas and wrenching themselves slowly apart
CacodemonsAn evil spirit in a nightmare
CalcimineWhitewash, or whitewash with zinc oxide or other pigments added, formerly used as a coating for plaster walls and ceilings
CarinatedShaped like the keel or prow of a ship
CastellatedFurnished with turrets and battlements in the style of a castle
CataplasmsA poultice or plaster, spread over one's skin as medical treatment.
CeriseA deep to vivid purplish red
ChamferingTo cut off the edge or corner of; bevel.
ChiminageA toll for passage through a forest
ClaustralOf or relating to a method of establishing a new colony, found in certain social insects, in which a queen (in ants) or a queen and king pair (in termites) sequesters itself in a small chamber and hatches the first generation of workers, nourishing them primarily on stored body fat
ClerestoryThe upper part of the nave, transepts, and choir of a church, containing windows
ColloidThe gelatinous stored secretion of the thyroid gland, consisting mainly of thyroglobulin
CoproliticA hard roudish stony mass, consisting of the petrified fecal matter of animals
CotyloidShaped like a cup; cup-shaped
CrocketedA projecting ornament, usually in the form of a cusp or curling leaf, placed along outer angles of pinnacles and gables
CumbrouslyRendering action or motion difficult or toilsome; serving to obstruct or hinder; burdensome; clogging
CuspidineA fluorine bearing calcium silicate mineral
CyclocephalicCondition in a malformed fetus characterized by poor development and a varying degree of fusion of the two cerebral hemispheres
DexterNoting the side of a heraldic shield that is to the right of one who bears it. The opposite of sinister
DiddapperOne of sundry other small grebes, as the pied-billed dabchick
DoggeryA low drinking-house; a groggery
DosshouseAn extremely cheap hotel for poor people who have no home in a city
EldritchStrange or unearthly; eerie.
ExecratorOne who curses and denounces
FlangeousA projecting edge, rim, or rib on any object, as the rims by which cast-iron pipes are connected together, or the marginal projections on the tires of railroad-car wheels to keep them on the rails.
FleeringThe act of scoffing or gibing
FusticA common name for several plants and a dye produced from these plants
GalligaskinsLoose trousers or leggings
GlozyA stylish, vintage-style display font
GonfalonA banner suspended from a crosspiece, especially as a standard in an ecclesiastical procession
GorgetA piece of armor protecting the throat
GrumousAdjective of grume: a thick, viscid fluid; a clot, as of blood
GuidonA small guiding flag or streamer, as that usually borne by each troop of cavalry or mounted battery of artillery, or used to direct the movements of infantry
Halm:The stem or stalk of grain of any kind, and of peas, beans, hops, etc.
HematiteA common iron oxide compound
HistoplasmosisA fungal infection caused by Histoplasma capsulatum
HobA projection at the back or side of a fireplace on which something may be kept warm
HoddenA coarse kind of cloth made of undyed wool
HoydenA high-spirited, boisterous, or saucy girl.
HypoplasticAn underdevelopment or incomplete development of a tissue or organ
KapokA silky fiber obtained from the pods of the kapok tree, used for insulation and as padding in pillows, mattresses, and life preservers
KraitA small and extremely venomous snake
LapstrakeA style of boatbuilding using overlapping planks
LimboidHaving a likeness or similarity to the conditions of limbo or to those held therein
LunuleA small crescent-shaped structure or marking, such as a depression near the hinge of a bivalve shell
LycanthropyThe supposed power of certain human beings to change themselves or others temporarily or permanently into wolves or other savage animals
Macled:Crystallized, as in diamonds
MarcassinFrench: a young wild boar
MascaledComposed of, or covered with, lozenge-shaped scales
MasticA vague term that generally refers to fast-grab glues for tile
MaugerIn spite of; in opposition to; notwithstanding
MenhirsA single tall standing stone as a monument
MesosaurA group of small aquatic reptiles that lived during the early Permian period
MiltFish sperm, including the seminal fluid
MorlingThe wool from a dead sheep
MucronateEnding abruptly in a sharp point
MudraA symbolic or ritual gesture or pose in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism
MuricateCovered with short rough points or studs
MurreyA dark red mulberry color
Nacre(O)Mother of PearlI wouldn't trade you for another girl
NeapThe ebb or lowest point of a tide.
NemoralOf or pertaining to a wood or grove
NielloAny of several black metallic alloys of sulfur with copper, silver, or lead, used to fill an incised design on the surface of another metal
PannierOne of a pair of baskets carried on the shoulders of a person or on either side of a pack animal.
ParacleteAn advocate, especially the Holy Spirit
PargetA mixture, such as plaster or roughcast, used to coat walls and line chimneys
PauldronThe armor of the shoulder when it is a piece separate from that of the body and of the arm
PawkyShrewd and cunning, often in a humorous manner
PellagrousSymptoms of a disease marked by dermatitis, gastrointestinal disorders, and mental disturbances and associated with a diet deficient in niacin
PhagocytesTcells that protect the body by ingesting harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead or dying cells
PlastronA metal breastplate worn under a coat of mail.
PorringerOriginally, a porridge-dish; hence, a small vessel deeper than a plate or saucer, usually having upright sides, a nearly flat bottom, and one or two ears
PortressA female porter or keeper of a gate
PulingA plaintive piping, as of a chicken; a whining complaint.
PurflingAn ornamental border, generally composed of ebony and maple or sycamore, inlaid in the edges of violins and similar instruments
RaddledShowing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering
RadiolariansProtozoa of diameter 0.1-0.2 mm that produce intricate mineral skeletons, typically with a central capsule dividing the cell into the inner and outer portions of endoplasm and ectoplasm
RatchelBroken-stone, hard-pan
RelictA species that inhabits a much smaller geographic area than it did in the past, often because of environmental change
RimeyTo compose in rhyme; to versify
RimpledFolded, wrinkled, rumpled
RufousStrong yellowish pink to moderate orange; reddish
ScariousThin, dry, membranous, and not green
SelvedgeA "self-finished" edge of a piece of fabric which keeps it from unraveling and fraying
ShirredBroken into an earthen dish and baked over the fire
ShrikeAny of various carnivorous songbirds of the family Laniidae, having a screeching call and a strong hooked bill and often impaling its prey on sharp-pointed thorns or barbs of wire fencing.
SnellA short piece of gut, gimp, or sea-grass on which fishhooks are tied; a snood
SoffitsAn exterior or interior architectural feature, generally the horizontal, aloft underside of any construction element
SoricineOf, belonging to, or resembling the shrews
SpallA piece of stone chipped off by a blow of a hammer or mallet
SpalpeensA rascal: a term of contempt, or of contemptuous pity, for a man or boy
SpandrelA roughly triangular space, usually found in pairs, between the top of an arch and a rectangular frame; between the tops of two adjacent arches or one of the four spaces between a circle within a square.
SpattledA flat blade for stirring, mixing, or molding plastic powdered or liquid substances
SpelaeanDwelling or occurring in a cave
SpelothemsA geological formation by mineral deposits that accumulate over time in natural caves
SpilesA small wooden or metal peg used to control the flow of air into, and carbon dioxide out of, a cask of ale
SploRotgot whiskey, quickly, poorly distilled
SqualoidCharacteristic of a shark or dogfish
StanchingWatertight, sound. strongly built : substantial
StobbedA short straight piece of wood, such as a stake
TareAny of several weedy plants that grow in grain fields
TarnA small mountain lake or pool, especially one which has no visible feeders
ThookedShort-term memory loss after eye-contact is broken
Trematode:Obligate internal parasites with a complex life cycle requiring at least two...
TriturationsThe act of reducing to a fine powder by grinding
UnpawledA broken hinged or pivoted device adapted to fit into a notch of a ratchet wheel to impart forward motion or prevent backward motion
VagWhat asshole cops do to people they perceive as vagrants
ViridVividly green
WithershinsA term meaning to go counter-clockwise, anti-clockwise, or lefthandwise, or to walk around an object by always keeping it on the left.
WithyA strong flexible willow stem, typically used in thatching, basketmaking, gardening and for constructing woven wattle hurdles.


Bill Knott

Here not long enough after the hospital happened   
I find her closet lying empty and stop my play   
And go in and crane up at three blackwire hangers   
Which quiver, airy, released. They appear to enjoy

Their new distance, cognizance born of the absence   
Of anything else. The closet has been cleaned out   
Full-flush as surgeries where the hangers could be   
Amiable scalpels though they just as well would be

Themselves, in basements, glovelessly scraping uteri   
But, here, pure, transfigured heavenward, they’re
Birds, whose wingspans expand by excluding me. Their   
Range is enlarged by loss. They’d leave buzzards

Measly as moths: and the hatshelf is even higher!—
As the sky over a prairie, an undotted desert where   
Nothing can swoop sudden, crumple in secret. I’ve fled   
At ambush, tag, age: six, must I face this, can

I have my hide-and-seek hole back now please, the   
Clothes, the thicket of shoes, where is it? Only   
The hangers are at home here. Come heir to this   
Rare element, fluent, their skeletal grace sings

Of the ease with which they let go the dress, slip,   
Housecoat or blouse, so absolvingly. Free, they fly
Trim, triangular, augurs leapt ahead from some geometric   
God who soars stripped (of flesh, it is said): catnip

To a brat placated by model airplane kits kids
My size lack motorskills for, I wind up glue-scabbed,   
Pawing goo-goo fingernails, glaze skins fun to peer in as
Frost-i-glass doors ... But the closet has no windows,

Opaque or sheer: I must shut my eyes, shrink within   
To peep into this wall. Soliciting sleep I’ll dream   
Mother spilled and cold, unpillowed, the operating-
Table cracked to goad delivery: its stirrups slack,

Its forceps closed: by it I’ll see mobs of obstetrical   
Personnel kneel proud, congratulatory, cooing
And oohing and hold the dead infant up to the dead   
Woman’s face as if for approval, the prompted

Beholding, tears, a zoomshot kiss. White-masked   
Doctors and nurses patting each other on the back,   
Which is how in the Old West a hangman, if
He was good, could gauge the heft of his intended ...

Awake, the hangers are sharper, knife-’n’-slice, I jump   
Helplessly to catch them to twist them clear,   
Mis-shape them whole, sail them across the small air   
Space of the closet. I shall find room enough here

By excluding myself; by excluding myself, I’ll grow.

1 comment:

  1. speaking of virid - vividly green

    i was today years old when i learned that people write UVM for University of Vermont

    i learned that fact while reading the comments at the nytimes on an article about how even vermont is not a place to escape the harsh effects of climate change

    it was our friends at wikipedia whom informed me that the acronym stood for "Ūniversitās Viridis Montis", Latin for "University of the Green Mountains"

    a comment by me was published there - i wrote

    I urge everyone to read The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. You can find a downloadable copy of this, and if your reaction is like mine you will find it very reassuring. To be sure, there are centuries of conflict and negative population growth ahead, but if things go the way the authors envision, a world civilization will be re-established on a more stable and environmentally conscious basis in a mere four hundred years or so. "We shall overcome someday", for sufficiently broad conceptualizations of "we", "overcome", and "someday."