Saturday, July 14, 2012

Way to go, France!

I know the delights of your
country, said Brasidas to a
satrap, who was comparing the
life of Sparta with that of
Persepolis, but you cannot
know the pleasures of mine.

A Discourse on Inequality
Maurice Cranston, translation
Penguin, 1984©

Friday, July 13, 2012

Even if it's mainly just a morning

Suppose it were Friday lxiii: pitching from the apron

Away. What club do I use,
to carry this lie with just
enough backspin to hold the
green, without pulling up
short? How do I get to Car-
negie Hall, with just enough
practice? Thirty years from
now, how am I going to an-
swer the guy who is standing
here: Who's going to remind
me; who's going to say, I
ever knew?

Come, water.

For me, half the loveliness of
anarchy lies in how intimate its
challenges are: audacities never
inflicted by formality. And the
invigoration of formality lies in
how proficient its responses are:
mercies never extended by anarchy.
Some unforgettable ones traverse 
the apron between both lies. They
bring elegance, so to speak, to 
discretion, as much as the other 
way 'round.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Did the Sans-Culottes take a position on the T?

  Friends of mine, good
  friends, are marrying
  on Bastille Day; and I
  T. The question, as ev-
  er, is the pertinence
  of form.

More and more, the tidepool of the
T shirt's gatherings and submerged
deformations presents a screen of
form for the eye's rest and reflec-
tion. In the original cropping how-
ever, detail of the figure domin-
ates, isolated with more than some
awe by the T's border. For rest we
proceed downfield, and sure enough,
the screen is restored in all its
seemingly untelling deflections,
except that every trace of surface
activity is biased by the perfor-
mance of drapings, already stipul-
ated. Vionnet, you read our mind.

How well this pretty volatility
articulates itself, then, is no
wonder to students of the struc-
ture. The gift for movement is
not all in the fitting, or ev-
en nearly all. It is in the ret-
icence, the subtlety of scale,
between gesture and structure.
They are a sea unprecedented.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Relics from the aristocratic shelter of liberty

An expanded argument of
this principle appeared
here yesterday, obvious
enough by suggestion, 


Pierrot [detail]

Hermès, S.A.
Young man with scarf

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"All that we see is penetrated by it -- "


All that we see is penetrated by it -
The distant treetops with their steeple (so
Innocent), the stair, the windows' fixed flashing -
Pierced full of holes by the evil that is not evil,
The romance that is not mysterious, the life that is not life,
A present that is elsewhere.

And further in the small capitulations
Of the dance, you rub elbows with it,
Finger it. That day you did it
Was the day you had to stop, because the doing
Involved the whole fabric, there was no other way to appear.

You slid down on your knees
For those precious jewels of spring water
Planted on the moss, before they got soaked up
And you teetered on the edge of this
Calm street with its sidewalks,
its traffic,

  As though they are coming to get you.
  But there was no one in the noon glare,
  Only birds like secrets to find out about
  And a home to get to, one of these days.

The light that was shadowed then
Was seen to be our lives,
Everything about us that love might wish to examine,
Then put away for a certain length of time, until
The whole is to be reviewed, and we turned
Toward each other, to each other.

The way we had come was all we could see
And it crept up on us, embarrassed
That there is so much to tell now, really now.


John Ashbery
As We Know
  As We Know
Collected Poems
  1956 - 1987
Mark Ford, editor
The Library of America, 2008©

ii  Photography BCW
    East Wing