Thursday, May 2, 2013

Boston ii

     As if bodies were the soul's ornaments,
     A mullah turned the Koran's carpet page.
     Old Babur made a couplet instead - of Age
     and Youth, his 'throneless days,' their violence.

     The opium pearl, to ease him out of life,
     Made a garden of pain. The rugs, the tent
     Dissolved. A flower still appeared. He went
     On rearranging the couplet and devised,

     To keep death at bay, five hundred and four
     Versions. His first poem had been to a boy
     From the bazaar whom for a day he had adored,

     Whose glances he could still see in the dark
     That lined the geometric border's void,
     Reproduced in glistening egg-and-dart.


     Each grain of sand
     Takes an eternity to articulate
     History's figure of speech for randomness.

J.D. McClatchy
The Rest of the Way
  Kilim [fragments]
op. cit.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We did enjoy that bit again, on shutting down Guantánamo

The President was at his temptress'
best at his appearance before repor-
ters yesterday, offering glimpses of
how he won his Office. He wasn't so
great on the force-feeding of prison-
ers, contrary to international pro-
tocols subscribed by the American Med-
ical Association, but he was close to
Wordsworth's perfect heaven on the no-
incarceration, at least at their most
infamous outpost. Much tidier (there
were those killjoys who muttered), a
fastidious splat of drones.

Already from the wings, on the other hand, the snare-drum roll of excuses caught his signature riff of Executive incapacity, as he moued of going, fan in hand, to his sadistic Congress, begging a humane release from his predecessor's use of war powers. As the curtain closed upon his presentation, it was as if the tease of déjà vu had run its natural course, and our right wing carny matrons, from Gerson to Krauthammer, hardly needed then to spank us back to shame.
The President conceded long ago, accepting the authoritarian illusion of being kept safe as a human right, which it is not. It is a policy - and not inherently a cruel one, but for its vain and tragic dread of life.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Annals of colloquial adoption i

       I forget how we
       started calling
       each other, Mon
       vieux. It was a
       good day; mirth
       in a shared pre-
       dicament gained
       a sardonic atti-
       tude, with plen-
       ty of years for
       practice to per-
       fect it.


Monday, April 29, 2013

On a 29th of April in the hills of Santa Barbara

I only wish I had been there,
for the whelping of this puppy,
whom I photographed taking the
breezes off the bay at Ft Mason,
San Francisco, at 20 weeks. By
coincidence a successor of his,
also from that marine paradise,
took his final inoculations in
Virginia today. And now there
may be chasings after taunting
tennis balls, and probably a
menacing of geese, who exploit
the shaded pond with raucous 

Photograph Laurent
M-6, 50mm Summicron

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Entre deux mers

  Trelawny, not believing
  Shelley an atheist truly,
  once asked him why he
  called himself one. He

  "I took up the word, as
  a knight took up a gaunt-
  let, in defiance of in-
  justice." ..

  The most constant Shelley-
  serpent was the pitiable
  outcast - the Pariah, as 
  he called himself - whose
  hatefulness could be trans-
  formed by love. When he had
  battled against life for
  long enough, a woman or a
  girl would catch him as he
  wearied and press him, soft-
  ly, to her breasts.. He had 
  no sting; he meant no harm.

Ann Wroe
Being Shelley
  The Poet's Search
  for Himself
Pantheon, 2007©