Saturday, September 24, 2011

A recurring coincidence

Often I think 
of your voice against 
the needles of dawn
when the dampness was operatic 
in Ann Arbor lilacs
and the gold 
of my flesh 
had yet 
to be regimented 
in freckles.

Frank O'Hara
Commercial Variations
Donald Allen, editor
The Collected Poems
  of Frank O'Hara
op. cit.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weaving spiders, come not here iv

On Thursday evenings,
the Bohemian Club will
present entertainments
in the dining room. It
will be natural, to ap-
plaud or otherwise mark
one's delight. One ev-
ening, I clapped; and
from across the table,
a fellow barked, Those
are hands that have
never worked. Al-
though not uncon-
scionable in that 
precinct, friends did
exploit this outburst
unlimitedly in private,
and it is a jest that
follows me to this day.

I regard this portrait,
then, with curiosity -

The face is excellent.
The hands are coarse.
What went wrong?

I honestly have never
minded this silliness
behind the closed doors
of convivial subscrip-
tion. But I have dread-
ed and detested its
publication to an un-
knowing world since my
earliest youth. I have
known since the age of
6 or 7, that I would
need law, and that I
would need my own kind,
if more than one of us

Why don't we just send 400 redheads to Georgia

Gandhi'd have done it
in a New York minute.

Send them 400 redheads
and suborn 1200 liars 
to swear they were res-
ponsible for an entire 
season of homicides.

OK OK, I'll do it - but I shall stand firm for the wainscotting

You know how tiresome even our best friends can be, when they know some-thing before we do. Ever since our giving up riding for mah jongg, they've been upon me to redo the tackroom - Bring it, Ingrid implores, at least to the 90s. Mm, I don't know that I'll go that far, but I do see the point of a D ring looped to one's Légion rosette, should a stray bridle surface on a South Wind. Then the lanyards from summer camp, nos-talgically adapted for coasters, could also be fetched into the renovation. And with the saddles, of course, we shall have belts for simply days. It's not as though the project were entirely silly ..

You'd think, I know, Why not auction off the saddles - a few of them, rather decent - for some equine charity? But the equine charities are into us all for enough as it is. Besides, one is somewhat sentimental about who rode where and how and when; and you know, it's just going to be some parvenu software guru who uses sharp practice to pay not a penny more than necessary to outbid our loyal farrier. I'd end up paying for them all again, you see; and one can never have too many belts these days. I can scarcely forgive myself for not making provision for chauffeur, who had to improvise with neckwear when the cleaners lost his uniform.

I think the renovation will afford us all some fun, but I have had to make it known, that upon Aunt Dinny's wainscotting I shall have to stand implacably firm. I happen to know that behind the 3rd and 5th panels from the bell tower window, she laid up her pre-war magnums of St Émilion; and the risk of their movement at this stately phase of their progress is quite insupportable, decanting excepted, of course. 

It's why I happened to accept the place, and certainly she was entitled to one's promise to adopt this house-hold tradition. Hence the chauffeur's new duties (even uncravated, now), are to guard this quaint corner of her quite merrily distributed cellar, pending bringing in those wicked paintergoddies of Ivan's, for a yummy trompe l'oeil from Puccini.

I do worry, but only a little, that someone is going to want me to re-do the floors. How shall I be able to confess, that I just did; and I know where my box of crayons is kept, 2nd plank in from the Cheval Blanc.

The gentlemen's apartments, too, must remain as they are. What was good enough for me, on summer visits to the dear and knowing lady who became my Aunt, is certainly fine enough to see me out. And how else, may I ask, should the succession to this pleasant patch of peace be settled, if not by the way it came to me?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tonight, Georgia wants to kill a man, Texas killed another

What shall we
discuss this
my darlings?

who don't
know spoons?

I'd like 
to know.

I went to
Yale Law;
I went to

No one
ever said
to me, what
I want to

do I
to my

You know
tell me,

Charon, you know, is the satellite of Pluto

I was glad when they named this satellite, discovered only in 1978, for our oarsman to the next world. Its diameter is half of Pluto's, which I can well believe, with such constant deltoid work the very nature of its circuit. Imagine the responsibility, of being an only satellite. Solac-ing, to know he's up to it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You will remember, I think, Banquo?

You know: the fellow the Macbeths had to dinner, unexpectedly, having observed the precaution of assassinating him that afternoon? The guy who braved the witches with his host, and whose heir would reign if steps were not taken? Before Coppola and Puzo, there was Shakespeare; and guys, already leaping into the plays because they must, will find they are always with them as they read their governance. But for me, Banquo means another thing, primordially.

Has anyone not noticed, that the postings since our farewell to the Hotel Albemarle have borne the theme of betrayal? As in Banquo's appearance at the feast, this was completely subconscious and unexpected. What does it mean, for a parting from a great attachment to turn upon one's own choice? We had scarcely begun to draw the bath of that poem; and as we closed the tap and sat there, the poem rising by itself, I wonder if it was shame of our displacement, and not the indifference of the invisible hand of readership demand that drew us from the bath. Maybe, guys will understand our example. I do not.

   If you don't like it, you can get on with it, I said.
   Others can pick and choose if you can't.

T.S. Eliot
The Waste Land
  II A Game of Chess
      ll 152 - 154
op. cit.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Morning coffee

Of all the assumptions which bring people together in the kitchen with-out prior notice, or even much acquaintance, morning coffee seems to place its preparation among the most laconic in our experience. We will be more loquacious on routes to the corner cab stand than we are in awaiting this expectation's fulfill-ment. I know a distinct resistance toward that precipitous boil to which the water is bound to come, in these circumstances - as, on a ruthless treadmill, I allow inertia to impose its percolation; and I know I prefer to will what little I may do at home. We could speak freely, but what good would it do?