Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday commute lxxiv: Crime of the upturned face ii

Without thinking to book-end
the year by resuming a train
I have been wondering how much
there literally is of parting,
of leave-taking in the taking,
in our address of the upturned
face. We suppose, there cannot
be liberty until so little re-
mains of this ambiguity, which
we know cannot dissolve. Still
more to the point, I wonder if
2012 will not be remembered in
this country as a year of pro-
found interpretive deliverance,
caused by the emergence of a
class so steeped in compulsory
anguish, no suspension could 
relieve it; so long compelled 
to die, its refusal finally 
lanced a humane trepidation.

Was it true: that phobia were a
fear, not a scruple? If we did 
not end that sense of parting,
in our rapport with the upturned
face, had we seen an end of fear 
of it?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Suppose it were Friday lxviii: Clean shirt workout, not so bad?

                          There's nothing worse than telling the young they'll evolve, a friend from our Context wrote in the other day.                                     I complimented him on his unassailable suggestion against insulting them with any hope. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Clean shirt long evening

 Beth Nelson

  that people must sound
  so different, who know
  the same thing.



The Symposium
4th Century BC
Christopher Gill, translation
Penguin Classics
Penguin Books, 1999©

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Clean shirt golliness in haste

 The neurological deadline in media
 is unutterably severe. When a fact-
 check or a copyright citation can
 mean the difference between a hy-
 pothetical lawsuit and missing the
 entire Baltic plain on its way to
 work, not a few of us have made a
 concession or two, to bring timely
 solace to downtown Vilnius. But of 
 course, that is not what I mean.
 Nor is St Petersburg to blame.

No. It turns out, that in churning out the news and such comment as it may require (and coming from our Gothic culture in particular) one has no more than 5.5 seconds, tops, in image hang time, to register a clavicle before the reader's gaze. And it had better be a good one, or demand only spirals for ever costlier cuts. But can we, dear reader, shape our news as Mr Murdoch does, to suit the compulsive habits of a certain clientele, at the expense of all sanity?

We all have our Shetland memories of a kinder, gentler media world. If any of one's readers happened to be looking at the time, I think we would all be ever so glad if they would step forward now, to identify what precipitated this abrupt and, may I say, almost arbitrary demand for clavicle imagery, which has now become a baseline of expectation in our neue sachlichkeit of cognitive consensus. Was it to balance a flock of Falwellian blondes in Addison's and Steele's old perch, for which the once-proud pectoral parapet has been press-ganged into reportage? I shudder to speculate; but as I temporise on the side of truth, dawn encroaches upon Oslo ..

Monday, December 24, 2012

Comfort ye

             all people

Clean shirt reckless moment

Split the lark, our genius maiden
wrote, and you'll find the Music.

For unfashionably numerous years,
I have participated in the reflex
the West cherishes toward Christ-
mas; and I still find its tug un-
answerably endearing. I can see,
a crucifix bobbing on a brother's
choral surplice; I can smell the
grandeur of my first given book,
Le chanson de Roland. Is this not
the most sensuous feast day there
is, if memory's palate wafts the
freshest collars of our vestry?

The day marks the launching of a
struggle far from encompassed by
the single Life it celebrates. I
now perceive this occasion as one
distinctly of revolution; and ap- 
prehend how scary it would have
been, for absolute autocrats to
have trembled and stars to alter
course. The scale of the rumours,
alone, would have been enough to 
and send wise men scuttling for
bribes, convening shepherds of im-
peccable witness to attest to it. 

Rip the chorister's cuirass on
Christmas, and there is Miss
Dickinson's menstrual metaphor,
self, the ultimate replenishing

    Loose the flood - you shall find it patent -
    Gush after Gush, reserved for you -
    Scarlet Experiment! Skeptic Thomas!
    Now, do you doubt that your Bird was true?

The radical event, so hand-
somely assimilated as sur-
passingly protective, will
always signify that quality.
But there is a post hoc, er-
go propter hoc halo of in-
terpretation in such parti-
san teleology, which ultim-
ately falls away. Instead,
a prohibitive watershed of
infinite mystery and possi-
bility in this anniversary,
I admit to my friends, al-
most to fear.

Helen Vendler
Dickinson: Selected Poems
  and Commentaries
Belknap Press,
Harvard University Press, 2010©

William Shakespeare
Sonnet 29
op. cit.