Friday, December 29, 2023

The Song Choices Were Limited So the Grooves Were Dug Deep

:hospital animal emergency 365/7/24 a in morning Day Christmas Written
Olive attacked Louie,* scratched his eye. In the ten minutes I’ve been here a standard poodle who swallowed a large stuffed toy, an elderly dog w face ripped up after two dogs attacked, an elderly man with an elderly dog wheezing for breath turning slowly in circles on it's leash, and in walks a distraught but dignified elderly woman carrying a box with her cat who died Christmas Eve, I don't want to put her in the trash, she said, I don't know what to do, and the hospital took the box
I’m crying. I’m a hot mess sideways. Hundreds of humans will die today via the genocide my tax dollars pay for to be laundered into profits for shitlords and I get furious and enjoy and indulge my fury but an old lady in tears walks into an emergency vets and hands over her only companion for cremation and I melt into hopelessness and *this* feels like a greater sinful indulgence, the fuck wrong with me


This possibly the longest between posts here ever, nine days. I thought my apostasies complete but I'm shocked anew and obsessing, you who follow me on twaater can vouch, this extermination of a people and a place with the full support and in many cases gusto from who are my purported battalion against trumpian hordes. My senators are useless, my congressman, in Democratic leadership ladder his job is to be the progressive congressperson mocking crackers, I knew he corporate was but still, I'm disappointed, not even *this* fuck? the fuck wrong with me

Nothing that is happening anywhere in the world, whether protest already quashed or current protests being quashed and all future protests to be quashed can be stopped by you and me together, and I seem constitutionally unwilling to keep explaining how and why when you already know though I think I think it worse than some of you do, no excuse for barking at the moon daily no matter how fast we eat the latest and shit out the old, so yes, same shit tomorrow

Olive instantly understood my disappointment and her doghousing and she self-isolated upstairs for two days after (C, every bit if not more abnormally nice as her mother (I can't imagine who I'd be if they weren't L & C), suggested Olive was lovingly defending me (though I was never under attack though Olive's first view of Louie was him licking my ears so maybe she *was* says this mark, I'm happy Louie likes me)). I'm working on it

*Olive = our cat, Louie = my daughter's sweet puppy, Olive Louie's first cat encounter (which he's recovered from and he's friends with Fleabus, yinz know Fleabus)
Gas, Gaza, and Western imperialism
"Yes, and that’s why, until a few months ago, financially supporting Hamas was Israeli government policy."
A history of Israeli attempts at ethnic cleansing
The forces behind the assault on opposition to Gaza genocide
The Bomb In The Backyard: A 2023 Coda
The Mongol Hordes: They’re Just Like Us
(if you're paywalled - you shouldn't be but if - and want a pdf just email me, it's a fascinating article)
Oligarchy and DemocracyThe Year in Corruption!
The idea of a ‘precolonial’ Africa is theoretically vacuous, racist and plain wrong about the continent’s actual history
The Year We Stopped Being Able to Pretend About Trump?
Last weekend's Maggie's weekly links
The big hole re-openedSome thoughts on the substack controversy
Avedon Carol's occasional links
Sasha unquits!Notes from Overground
The Pathos of Obsolete Reference Books
The Guardian asked him to write about blogging
Last weekend's { feuilleton }'s weekly links
Review of two new translations of Swann's Way
The 500 Best Guided by Voices songs
(the above GbV song this shitty blog's Theme Song #3 (I'll spare *me* another riff on BLCKDGRD's theme song crisis of being in chaos and *not* being a crisis), the one below the grid my favorite GbV song period)


Diane Seuss

What kind of juke do you prefer?
For me, it’s the kind with three
songs and thirty-seven blank
title strips. Three songs, and two
are “Luckenbach, Texas.”
The third is beautiful and arcane,
but the patrons hate it,
and the record skips.
I prefer the three-song juke
and the three-toothed human

smile. I found the juke of my dreams
in a bar called “Chums,” no clue
the origin or meaning
of the quotation marks. It was a prime
number of a bar, and now it’s dead.
One night, drinking half-and-
halfs, half beer, half tomato juice,
with schnapps chasers, a cheap
source of hallucination.
A soon-to-be-defrocked Catholic

priest, Vic Jr., my mother, and me,
our faces streaked blue with pool
chalk, juke red as a beating heart,
and just a strip of hollyhocks
and a tree line between us
and the northern lights.
I was young. I looked like a Rubens
painting of a woman half-eaten
by moths. What lucky
debauchery, the ride back

on a washboard dirt road,
taking everything for granted,
flipping off the aurora borealis
like it was some three-toothed human
in flashy clothes dancing
to get my attention.
I wasn’t a mean drunk then,
just honest.
Next morning, mom walked in
on the naked priest

in the shack’s garage,
washing himself with a rag
and cold water from the well
in a metal dishpan. I’d later do dishes
in that pan and wash my hair
in that pan. We popped popcorn
on the one-burner wood-burning
stove and ate it out of that pan.
I’m talking about a time and a place.
All I can say of it is that it was real.

The song choices were limited,
so the grooves were dug deep.


  1. 0/i had hoped to see another post here this year - and i enjoy the graphics very much - as i may have said before, it seems to me you have found your métier

    1/and speaking of "posts" and "this year" - the washington post has a review of top stories feature - "the 7" - the producer and host of the audio version is

    missus charley and i listen to it every weekday morning - today we heard that pierre is leaving at the end of the year i.e. today - almost certainly due to a general reduction-in-force although no reason stated nor next workplace given - spouse and self will miss him, he had a friendly vocal presence

    2/speaking of people i have never encountered in the irl world, recently i regifted a novel - which i received from a cyberfriend - that i was unlikely to read in toto after having read a few paragraphs here and there - to a person i know irl who is fairly likely to read it - the recipient is my first degree relative whom i have, for the past few years, talked to every week or two, but been in the physical presence of only once or twice a year despite living merely half an hour drive away - he reads literature quite a bit and is likely, in my opinion, to enjoy this book or at least to give it a chance

    3/speaking of the details of living in real life, i tend to wonder if seemingly autobiographical poems actually are, or are not - the "aurora borealis" mention in "juke" is not inconsistent with diane seuss having been born in michigan city, indiana, and growing up in michigan the state

    3.1/nor is a bar named "chums" inherently implausible - a buffalo bar/restaurant called "circle of thieves" was on a bus route i took, and i always wondered how literally the name described the clientele

    3.2/i didn't recall having heard of the song titled "luckenbach, texas" - but it exists, it refers to waylon and willie, and there's a video of waylon and willie and their chums performing it - on the other hand, a jukebox with only 3 records, 2 of them this one, seems like a magical realism detail

    4/william rees points out that other animals live in the world they encounter - the part they are designed to notice

    whereas people live in the world of stories about the past, present, and future

    my hypothesis: the triumphs and tragedies of the human trajectory through time - individually and collectively - are shaped by the stories that live in and through us, and perhaps by changing our stories we can still influence the way we experience the remaining days of our lives

  2. Meanwhile: let's start spreading the positively proactive mindset of spreading the painstaking debunking of shameless and grotesque lies... lies promoted by people, perhaps, who think we're so stupid we'd never catch on?

    also THIS: