Friday, October 29, 2010

Saturday commute iii

We are not going to be remarking at length on the style of our alma mater's play in football this season, which seems to draw too liberally from a misimpression it has managed to sustain through many years, of aloof contempt for achievement. 

(The front four, gaudily emerging from the courtyard of Pyne Hall, exists only in repulsive fantasy, the essence of this popular volume). Suffice it to say our performance on the field owes much to Macbeth's experience of Birnam Wood, such is the zealotry of our tight ends to yield to sudden trees that reception better reserved for themselves.
But we know something about these spontaneous presences, so often associated with the magical as to lend great startlement to our collisions. The apparition of the unexpected aviator has vexed us all before.

What, indeed, are we to make of this chronic embodiment of judgment on our unpreparedness? Wasn't it always just as likely, that such obstructions would plant themselves in our way from the ground below, as from thin air? Now the sudden aviator stands athwart our gridiron weekend as an admonition to give gravity its due. Lads who take flight for pigskin need to know the rate of speed of obstructions on the ground, is greater than that of theirs in air. And watching them.

Fergoshsakes, beat Cornell!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting closer by indirection

What do you see?

Wait. Stand closer. You've got to get close. Let it pulsate. Let it work on you. Closer. Too close. There. Let it spread out. Let it wrap its arms around you . . 

A fine play on acquiring permission to be an artist has been written and staged in London and New York. It has been staring us in the face since before this space opened, and in many respects, it is why we are here. As one looks to the artists of the blog, the meaning of that acquisition has grown clearer. It isn't a transaction at all. It's an acceptance. 

Conversation imagined by John Logan
Dedicated to Stephen Sondheim
© 2009

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Friction towel

our Puck in Porto Rafti

All that love can give 
to distinguish itself 
from friendship is 

Every way and byway 
of the mind is elated 
by the towel snap of friendship,

as the mug of pure permission 
pours its balsam to the heart.

Time After Time
Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne, 1947
Chet Baker
Blue Note, 1954
EMI, 2007 ©

Tassos is back

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From "The Rest of the Way," poems for James Merrill

Subtle Plato, patron saint of friendship,
Scolded those nurslings of the myrtle-bed
Whose tender souls, first seized by love's madness,

Then stirred to rapturous frenzies, overnight
Turn sour, their eyes narrowed with suspicions,
Sleepless, feverishly refusing company.

The soul, in constant motion because immortal, 
Again and again is "deeply moved" and flies
To a new favorite, patrolling the upper air

To settle briefly on this or that heart-
Stopping beauty, or flutters vainly around
The flame of its own image, light of its life.

Better the friend to whom we're drawn by choice
And not by instinct or the glass threads of passion.
Better the friend with whom we fall in step

Behind our proper god, or sit beside
At the riverbend, idly running a finger
Along his forearm when the conversation turns

To whether everything craves its opposite, 
As cold its warmth and bitter its honeydrop, 
Or whether like desires like - agreed? - 

Its object akin to the good, recognizing
In another what is necessary for the self,
As one may be a friend without knowing how

To define friendship, which itself so often slips 
Through our hands because... but he's asleep
On your shoulder by now and probably dreaming

Of a face he'd glimpsed on the street yesterday,
The stranger he has no idea will grow irreplaceable
And with whom he hasn't yet exchanged a word.

J.D. McClatchy, An Essay on Friendship, 6th canto
The Rest of the Way, Knopf, 1990©

"You will never be forgiven for this book"

I like strangers, I guess.

It's better to have one person . . isn't it?

Maybe for some people. But not for me, he lied. Sometimes I never even know their names. 

Sometimes we never say more than a few words. It all happens so natural, so easy.

Sounds lonely.

Isn't everything?

[He] sat back in his chair and looked about the old-fashioned bar with its dark heavy wood. Several club members sat drinking quietly at a corner table. 

You've changed.

I know. When you almost die, you change. When you've been a soldier, you change. When you get older, you change.

You seem a little more   . . definite now.

About some things. But I still don't know how to get what I want.  

Gore Vidal was born in 1925
at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
At age 22 he emerged from wartime service to present
a novel which was finally accepted by Random House.

The City and the Pillar (1948) is in its 10th
edition and is in translation throughout the world.
Mr Vidal has never been forgiven for this book.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"when architecture heals ..."

on a notion raised by
a reader of the previous posting

Pretty maids all in a row 
lined up
Outside my cabin door
I’ve never wanted any of ‘em wantin’ me
Except the girl 
from the red river shore.

Well I sat by her side and 
for a while I tried 
to make that girl my wife -

She gave me her best advice
and she said
Go home and lead a quiet life.

Well I been to the East and I been to the West
And I been out where the black winds roar
Somehow though I never did get that far
With the girl 
from the red river shore.

Well I knew when I first 
laid eyes on her
I could never be free
One look at her 
and I knew right away
She should always be with me.

Six blocks south of the Sherry and two east,
an easy walk between drinks and dinner,
you would find her
if you were 'hungry
and it were her world' . .

Red River Shore, Bob Dylan ©
375 Park Avenue, plan and edifice, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  and Philip Johnson