Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday commute xcvii: Gérard goes underground

  Not since his all-nighter 
  in the loading dock of the 
  Pierre Hotel has Gérard so 
  mystified us, as when he ac-
  cepted a chum's invitation 
  to spend Christmas at Guan-
  tánamo, that exclusive thumb
  of Cuba where our very most         distinguished guests are dom-
  iciled, their distance from 
  our shores renewed in this 
  week's shining Budget Deal, 
  hailed far and wide as the 
  very model, given the alter-
  native, of how to govern.
  And we thought Cromwell's
  New Model Army was austere.
  Probably ours is hiring?

But now, already Gérard succumbs to a whiff of good cop/bad cop conster-nation, such as can beset the best of us, subjected to any instrumentality of protection by our State, whence now and then he ventures to the infir-mary, taking counsel with Abdulaziz, who'd just graduated from Riyadh when we brought him to our beach.

That was 12 years ago.
Here is what he told Gérard:

  Praise God, who placed
  a garden and an orchard
  in my bosom

  so they will be with me

I Shall Not Complain
Marc Falkoff, editor
op. cit.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Oh, no ketchup, please

  Lucky thing, he didn't
  text this. Can you im-
  agine, letting the NSA
  know how to tease you?
  That truly would carry
  bigbrotherhood too far.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pray for sunshine, and some peace

     Given any weather 
     someone's candy's 
     gonna run.


  It is to the strength of     this amazing invention we     are to attribute that         unequal'd fire and rapture,   which is so forcible, that   no man of a true poetical     spirit is master of himself   while he reads him. 

     On its face, it seems
     unseasonable this week 
     for one to be remember-
     ing the poem of force,
     as Simone Weil so ex-
     actly saw it, even as
     its most radiant heir
     recited it in English,
     capturing the distur-
     bance, say, the shock
     and awe of genius.

     I make allowances for
     the best, or what are
     holiday wishes worth?
     Peace will never seem
     more perfect, than in
     this recorded absence.

Alexander Pope
  The Iliad of Homer
  Alexander Pope,
June 6, 1715
Penguin Classics, 1996©

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Origins of Wednesday iii: patriotic activity

My child, when you reach
  strange shores, and your food
Is gone, and hunger makes you eat
  your tables,
  [Anchises said]
Then trust that home
  and rest are there. Be mindful,
Lay buildings out and raise
  defensive walls.

  This is that hunger       [said Aeneas],
  waiting till the end
  To put a limit to our     exile.



The Aeneid
  vii, 124 - 129
19 BC
Sarah Ruden, translation
Yale University Press, 2008©

The People of the United States
The Constitution of the United States
December 15, 1791

Richard Leon, J.
United States District Court
  District of Columbia
December 16, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Itinerant red

  revenons, à
  nos moutons

     Consider how, when sought,
     The cliff-head whales that frequent
     The sunlit radius of Antarctica
     Tail down beneath its fields of rustling ice
     Then 30 minutes later raise
     Their rainbow spouts above a far lagoon.


   Information takes
   the whale's tack.
   It will come.

   An intelligent as-
   pect of Logue's i-
   dea rests on hints
   seen in the poem -
   that there is only
   one school of red.


Christopher Logue
All Day Permanent Red
  The First Battle Scenes
  of Homer's 'Iliad,' 
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003©


Monday, December 16, 2013


  Some signals
  are like any
  other throw-
  away, priced
  a wasteline.

  Tautness hid
  with shadow.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday mendicant

   Ho. You wouldn't
   have, I suppose,
   a plaid one could
   believe in?

     Shall the dust
     praise thee?
     Shall it declare
     thy truth?

Psalm xxx
op. cit.