Thursday, October 5, 2023

I Am Thinking of How Many Times This Poem Will Be Repeated

Hey, I wanted a back-up to Melon's and mastodon sucketh, someone recently sent me a key, I'm now on bluesky,

My right eye. New town every hour, search it, a twitter (and Bluesky too) account I scroll daily because its creator obsesses over maps like I do, mapped places you've been in person before you looked for it on a map and places you've seen on a map before actually visiting and the world as a map of itself of course. He had been offering bluesky keys and while I didn't ask directly for one (but yes, was hoping) I genuinely asked how does he have so many keys when I've been wait-listed for months? He sent me one. Here is my avatar there (for now and maybe forever but)

The urgency for a lifeboat should SS Melon sink has passed (and it was the threat of twitter's death and the end of my network there that panicked me about Melon, not Melon the Shitsmear himself: there's a reason all but two posts a year are tagged My Complicity). I think my calming the fuck down about it and what the fuck riding with it, aided by mastodon's massive suckage (my frantically chosen first lifeboat) and Bluesky's refusal to send me a key a contributing factor to many of my old digital habits pleasantly less compulsory, less mandatory, less spazzticknessity

Painting now compulsive, obsessive, watch me fuck it up, I insist. If you're on Bluesky please let me know, I'll be as busy there with it as it is with me. Gridolinks usually compulsory here, not today, progress offsetting regression bleggalgazewise, have a song, a poem, they're still and will always be mandatory


Jack Spicer

What are you thinking about?

I am thinking of an early summer.
I am thinking of wet hills in the rain
Pouring water. Shedding it
Down empty acres of oak and manzanita
Down to the old green brush tangled in the sun,
Greasewood, sage, and spring mustard.
Or the hot wind coming down from Santa Ana
Driving the hills crazy,
A fast wind with a bit of dust in it
Bruising everything and making the seed sweet.
Or down in the city where the peach trees
Are awkward as young horses,
And there are kites caught on the wires
Up above the street lamps,
And the storm drains are all choked with dead branches.

What are you thinking?

I think that I would like to write a poem that is slow as a summer
As slow getting started
As 4th of July somewhere around the middle of the second stanza
After a lot of unusual rain
California seems long in the summer.
I would like to write a poem as long as California
And as slow as a summer.
Do you get me, Doctor? It would have to be as slow
As the very tip of summer.
As slow as the summer seems
On a hot day drinking beer outside Riverside
Or standing in the middle of a white-hot road
Between Bakersfield and Hell
Waiting for Santa Claus.

What are you thinking now?

I’m thinking that she is very much like California.
When she is still her dress is like a roadmap. Highways
Traveling up and down her skin
Long empty highways
With the moon chasing jackrabbits across them
On hot summer nights.
I am thinking that her body could be California
And I a rich Eastern tourist
Lost somewhere between Hell and Texas
Looking at a map of a long, wet, dancing California
That I have never seen.
Send me some penny picture-postcards, lady,
Send them.
One of each breast photographed looking
Like curious national monuments,
One of your body sweeping like a three-lane highway
Twenty-seven miles from a night’s lodging
In the world’s oldest hotel.

What are you thinking?

I am thinking of how many times this poem
Will be repeated. How many summers
Will torture California
Until the damned maps burn
Until the mad cartographer
Falls to the ground and possesses
The sweet thick earth from which he has been hiding.

What are you thinking now?

I am thinking that a poem could go on forever.


  1. 1/google finds 2,150 hits for "psychoanalysis" "an elegy" "jack spicer"

    2/i put myself on bluesky waitlist - so far my wandering to mastodon and threads has not torn me away from twitter, as i persist in calling it

    2.1/i also call NIST "the bureau" if i ever have occasion to speak about it - i often drive by its campus, have never been inside

    3/some people say that the amazon - former rainforest, former monsoon-maker - is already broken - whether this is done, or just in the process of being done, or something that could be halted or even reversed, i don't know

    1. blurb for a book to be published next month - cory doctorow's the lost cause: a novel of truth and reconciliation in our polarized future

      It’s thirty years from now. We’re making progress, mitigating climate change, slowly but surely. But what about all the angry old people who can’t let go?

      For young Americans a generation from now, climate change isn't controversial. It's just an overwhelming fact of life. And so are the great efforts to contain and mitigate it. Entire cities are being moved inland from the rising seas. Vast clean-energy projects are springing up everywhere. Disaster relief, the mitigation of floods and superstorms, has become a skill for which tens of millions of people are trained every year. The effort is global. It employs everyone who wants to work. Even when national politics oscillates back to right-wing leaders, the momentum is too great; these vast programs cannot be stopped in their tracks.

      But there are still those Americans, mostly elderly, who cling to their red baseball caps, their grievances, their huge vehicles, their anger. To their "alternative" news sources that reassure them that their resentment is right and pure and that "climate change" is just a giant scam.

      And they're your grandfather, your uncle, your great-aunt. And they're not going anywhere. And they’re armed to the teeth.

      The Lost Cause asks: What do we do about people who cling to the belief that their own children are the enemy? When, in fact, they're often the elders that we love?