Friday, September 18, 2020

In the Dictionary Looking Up the Distinction Between Necessity and Need

  • My goddamn free blogging platform made good its autobotted promise to kill the "legacy blaaager" interface which I used until I couldn't
  • I'm not going to bitch beyond saying once only, Fuck! my goddamn free blogging platform, and
  • (a) if things look different that's why
  • (b) I can't set as default that links open in a new window like I could before, I have to check the open in a new window box for each link, forgive me in advance if I miss some, if you're like me you like a new window, if you're like me it feels like cheating for stats to make people back arrow, and
  • (a) this will take getting used to, and I've already learned don't enlarge font, don't bullet, don't do shit until you have to because code is a motherfucking snake
  • (c) The loaner 2021 Subaru Legacy I'm driving (while my 2013 Subaru Impreza gets recall fixes and new tires and complete realignment) a fucking casino slot machine and yet I can drive it
  • (a) >>dB<<
  • (d) I am telling you three times, we are being reprogrammed
  • Here's Earthgirl's oil still drying Portrait of Dogduck





Saskia Hamilton


I was in the dictionary looking up
the distinction between necessity
and need, or requirement, “the constraining
power of circumstances.” The dictionary
gives an example from Sidney and Golding:
Of the necessitie that is conditionall,
and not of the necessitie that is
absolute. Sidney met his end one morning
when, writes Greville, by the banks of the IJssel,
an “unfortunate hand” sent forth a bullet
that broke the bone in his thigh.
So great was his thirst, he asked
for drink; but before it touched his lips,
he saw a “poor soldier carried along”
who “ghastly cast his eyes up” at the bottle.
Sidney gave it to him. You, whose
“necessity,” he said, “is yet greater than mine.”
Within weeks, and with the “fixing
of a lover’s thought on those eternal
beauties,” he died in Arnhem on the baker’s street.


Is there point to critical interpretation
that gives us “what we all know already, what
inescapably and instantly strikes
the eye,” as Rosen wrote in June? Then Ricks
asked if Rosen would agree to any
like assertion of a musical phrase
striking the ear? I spent the hours that season
in a basement library magnifying
Bishop’s hand ten times to read the word
“tidal.” On the daily train along
the river, the conductor sometimes returned,
sometimes pocketed, my ticket.
“An interpretation,” Rosen said,
“must either uncover or create a secret.”
“I give you simply what you have already,”
reasoned Lowell. A fine morning.
Steady summer construction
on the avenue stories below.


After the peace, autumn Sunday,
a fine one, smallest child inside, eldest
on a train journey, and he and a friend
in the meadow by the river.
He wore the military duty belt,
the find from the brush that he’d been snapped in
a few days before. They found the tree to climb
and then jumped down this time
onto a mine that had once—though the field
had been swept, they all thought—been laid there
by an unfortunate hand. For sixty years
his face looked up from picture frames
in the houses of their friends. She kept
in her clothes a piece of his skull,
and her thumb would stroke it,
as she had once stroked the fontanelle.


The crow took a cracker and my grandfather
scolded it. Six, drinks under the apple tree,
the foxgloves leaning over flower beds
and down at children sipping juice,
white butterflies among the buddleia
and nettles with their feathery trichomes,
and hover flies in the last uncleared area
where meadow met the garden and lawn, arbor
and house. Amice was the crow’s name, it stepped
sideways, crossed its beak on the bench.
The order of six o’clock: shoulder blades
settling down the back, salt on fingers,
prints on glasses, books closed, their linen covers
warming in the westerly light.


  1. i like that portrait of duckdog and hope birdclock will also have the honour of being portrayed in paint

    speaking of art made at your house i have left a comment pertaining to your most recent haiku-adjacent poetising which you link to here

    speaking of pop music i enjoyed 'walk by your house' and also the commentary about it which i found at

    another pop song i have enjoyed recently and which also reminds me of the emotional space of 'longing for someone in a teenage way' was a new song by taylor swift - 'betty'

    your link to 'poetry lessons from those advanced in age' resonates, to me, with your neighbours looking for another guy to join their saturday night scrabble - "youngish seniors" reminds me of a point made in Thriving After 55: Your Guide to Fully Living the Rest of Your Life by Henry C. Simmons & E. Craig Macbean

    there are stages of one's functioning and comfort in retirement, they say, although not everyone goes through all of them - the first part can be 'late middle age' - your capacities and leisure activities continue much as before [this is where your neighbours are now, it seems]; then, at an unpredictable time, one might transition into another phase, when a health event produces a significant impairment; and finally not just some, but most, of one's previous lifestyle is gone - even to the point of being essentially bedridden, which for some people can go on years, literally [i have had relatives who went through this]

    in the meantime, bop til you drop -

    which for me today could include reading some or most of the material you link to here - often your page is the first i look at each day - i hope you will reap a rich reward for your good deeds, in this life, the next, or the one after that