Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Is taste a human right ii

To become lost amid underperforming texts
the stranger won't answer. By which time
it was nosebleed territory anyway. The geese
had put away their young, then fled; all that remained
to be determined was local angst, over which who cares what
by sitters in a landscape, I say: how is this remote?
Yellow wine will rinse it all away, and how many of us
are there? Is it my imagination or must one foregather
to bring stuff in?

                  Long before that, the tocsin
had sounded in the autumn dell, Toxins were released.
One's by-now crystallized antipathy to daring new
solutions swamped local perennial borders.

Because at least getting too serious had reputable
antecedents. Being in the way didn't matter,
nor should it, yet who knows what embarrassments can leak
this way, foreground moony entertainments? Just a clench
suffices when their guard is up. The horse pilots,
sleeping rough in their thousands,
announced commodious outcomes contradicting too-prompt
displays of local affection. The broad petals of language
are stiff and may get very bad.
They make it very bad
in our language tutoring.

   Possibly you have noticed, too,
   that so few people seem to have
   heard the good news about them-
   selves. They want refreshment but
   ask, 'Give me the biggest red ya
   got', and this aspiration for
   punishment is but a consequence
   of deprivation, a means of sub-
   stantiating to themselves that
   they can take it and respect it.
   You see it everywhere, if not in
   every thing. 

   In growth there is a center that
   opens as balanced wine, unfold-
   ing congruently, responsively,
   gracefully, authentically, and
   lastingly. Which came first, the
   principle or the fact? Taste is
   an expression of the human trait
   of memory. We can watch expertise
   reviving as a birthright, across

Quick Question
  New Poems
  Far Harbor
op. cit.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Not more than a moment ago

   I had the
   very same

   strikes one
   as being so


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

As grotesque a vision as has ever seemed plausible

And, for the next few years, 
advances in smartphones and 
tablets will continue to be 
subtle and iterative, driven 
by the twin processes of sim-
plification and connection. 
The advanced Touch ID finger-
print sensor built into the 
5S’s home button, while a 
seemingly basic technology 
(it replaces your password 
with your thumbprint in a 
handful of very specific ap-
plications) is a perfectly 
representative feature. Today, 
it’s merely a convenience, 
since putting your thumb where 
it goes a hundred times a day 
anyway is less annoying than 
typing in a password. But it’s 
also a step closer to the day 
when we no longer have to remem-
ber or store dozens of passwords—
a fundamental reinvention of the 
way we approach identity and com-
puter security on a daily, even 
hourly, basis. It breaks down one 
of the barriers between humans and 
our machines.

As if hailing the invention of eyeglasses, cleverly bobbing on the bridge of the nose so effortlessly, their correction of vision is almost spontaneous, the geek for The New Yorker gives us a thumb-rest of innocuous integration with a quite different world as it is: the one constructed of choices repeated, all day long. And what is this breaking down of "barriers," may we guess, but facilitating fingertips favouring that pattern? Could I commission an optician to convey to me a confessional screen in Prince of Wales tweed, I'd send it out for cleaning once a year and still save on battery life.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The naïf

The struggle to portray the
President as a Chicago pol -
tough, cynical, exploitive,
implicitly shady - has foun-
dered opportunistically on
the Koch payroll's chorus
that this alien has sadly
not matured into that compet-
ence, after all. The struggle
is incurable, yet helplessly
constructive; a little jaun-
dice in studying the holder
of this gruesomely dangerous
office is not ill-judged, and
has led, in his accession, to
a most salubrious correction,
on the whole.

Let us accept that the diplom-
acy which is being pursued, to
his political enemies, may not
meet his sense of what is re-
quired for protecting Americans;
it is too soon to know. It is
ue in the war zone.

It is a pity that his enemies
find the suspense unendurable,
and do all they can to assure
that we renounce hope. But we
ask no escape from who we are.

T off

A thin wash of morning
rain on the decks was
perfect. Between Exit B
and Exit C was a twenty
yard stretch unhindered
by deck chairs. We raced
towards it in our bare
feet and let ourselves
go, sliding along the
slippery wood till we
crashed into the railing
or a door being suddenly
opened by a passenger ..

Cassius felled the ancient
Professor Raasagoola Chaud-
haribhoy during one record-
setting projection of his

Michael Ondaatje
The Cat's Table
  A Novel
op. cit.

Have you never read Ted Cruz?

I ran into Andy Westerman in
the parking deck of the U.S.
Senate's classified reading
room, and together we went
off for coffee to check out
the column Ted Cruz contrib-
uted to The Post today, on
how better it is for Assad
to spray sarin gas around,
than scary zealots in rebel-
lion. Modest of him, don't
you think?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Parbleu! A Monday without "consequences"

Even Gérard, summoning his best never complain, never explain mode, would scarcely allow himself to hear of it, when the White House Chief of Staff portrayed the horror of a Monday without consequences - short, he brightened to suggest, of annihilating some of the suf-ferers. Oh, the decline of wit, some muttered, perilously close to the sin of disgust, plunging the silver into the mustard to assuage the wilting pâté. Not that this depredation of chemistry seemed the outrage, anymore, that it used to be. And so they gathered, to draw up a list of cornichons of correction, petty torpedoes of tartness to assure a Monday of demonstrable consequences. But the disturbance was as short-lived as the delicate little thwacking promised by the Chief of Staff, as a consensus coalesced around an airlift of floppy purple fingers, tiramisù left over from the buffet of the Emerald City, to point the way to saving face all 'round.