Saturday, January 11, 2014

Into winter's night a little comfy flannel

  Oh, one really is well reconciled
  with this execrated world, to see
  at least the young unrelegated to
  the itchier textures of life. One
  may well think I couldn't possib-
  ly be serious; but as to that, no
  more than two responses tumble to
  this affidavit. First, it doesn't
  matter a fig whether I am or not.

   Second, it's like Russian vacuum
   tubes in your pre-amp, if you're
   listening, some night. It's only
   what the music deserves. I don't
   ask how old is Thomas Tallis, as
   many anguished millions will not
   hear him. He can't be nullified,
   or flannel made to be unfeeling.
   Or shall the lamb have no voice?

Jancis Ancens for Zegna

Landlocked in Corpus Christi


  The bread and the wine   of the mind permitted
  In an ascetic room. 

Wallace Stevens 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Who enjoys holding a low opinion of knaves?

The governor of the State where I took my undergraduate degree, it turns out, is what is called enmeshed, in what is called a scandal. The man's business engages in racketeering against an entire city in his fiduciary care, and this is analogised to a zit. Make note, dear reader, lest ye dream too small. Earl Long, eat your heart out, with chocolate toppings.

But let's be fair, I was educated in a rogue's paradise; and I can tell you forthrightly, the scion in my Class of its discreetest of blue collar families, was screamingly drop-dead gentlemanly, with or without his lacrosse stick perched across the trapezius lent of our heavenly father's own private collection. In short, a way around these little matters has never detained a New Jersey fellow of qualities, unduly. One knew them not to stand upon the ceremony of public proceeding, needless to say; but a genial doze amongst the fishes might be arranged for small fry, chastely renounced.

Whence now, the governor's heroic declaration, that with his cashiering of toadies he's stashed away enough good will amongst his ballot-riding simpletons, to be assured of their acceptance of his apology, in lieu of any actual penalty for the flagrantest unequal protection of the laws since the dinosaurs sacrificed themselves for our fuel. And yet, begging the indulgence of a readership already overtaxed by laundry and eugenics in the same week, can anyone really suppose that one cares about the politics of this matter, given that he has Wilson's precedent to uphold, of shining the occasional watt upon the conduct of his feast at the public trough? 

Like you, dear reader, I repaired to a finer judgment on the contours of such matters, in the specifications adduced by Mr Orwell, that they be the product of a stable society where the all-prevailing hypocrisy did at least ensure that they should have strong emotions behind them. And were anyone to doubt what strong emotions precipitated this reckless endangerment of persons deprived of transit, we have the governor's own quotation of The Godfather's Jack Woltz, a man in my position cannot afford to be made to look ridiculous.

You may say, that I stray repeatedly into the vein of self-reference, but I fear this understatement of my direction would arise from ignoring the title of this posting. I am only sorrowfully implicated in this critical strand, as an unwitting consumer of claptrap; and I'd ask permission to stipulate to that hoary, anachronistic postulate, that crime ought not to pay. Cui bono, Mommy, is a question I did not invent. Who profits from the impress of a crime, until it is discovered, is of implacable statutory interest. One had that dreary sort of education, too. Yet didn't this little caper resonate of the style of George W. Bush's Falwellian caryatid at the US Department of Justice: How much do you adore the President?

Are you and I, possibly, the last ones standing, who despair of the expedient press conference apology? Mind you, I'm old enough to remember the best. President Clinton's endless protestations of the grisly ordeals of venery only reinvigorated the entire lexicon of hypocrisy; while, given the alternatives, he very reasonably felt safe in accusing the electorate of idiocy, rather to its face. Now it's happening again, and we are contemplating the pristine beauty of apology, being brought low as a tactic of self-interest.

It strikes one's footnote-
resistant mind to propose, 
albeit for the several mil-
lionth time in this one lan-
guage alone, that an apology 
suffices only and uncondi-
tionally to the extent that 
it is not linked to one's 
exoneration, but to one's 
exposure. It cannot be in-
voked as a merchandising
shield; or it is an insult 
heaped upon injury, with 
contempt aforethought. But
why should our knaves un-
befriend us so? Mr Liebling
foretold our chagrin, not
with them, but with the
treason of our own clerks.

This office-holder only ac-
cuses himself, too wide of
the mark; and taking every-
thing into account, it is
not merely his aim that is
deplorable. It is also his
ability to depend, upon our
debauchery of apology.

A. J. Liebling
The Earl of Louisiana
The Press
  The End of the Free Lunch;
  Collection reprinted from
  The New Yorker
The Library of America, 2009©

Francis Ford Coppola
  and Mario Puzzo, screenplay
The Godfather
Paramount, 1972©

George Orwell
The Decline of the English Murder
Penguin, 1965©

Thursday, January 9, 2014

People have been remarking of cold in North America

  I think one
  needs to be
  careful yet

  Keep active
  Run the tap
  Breathe out

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Succour for the offstage puppy

Hare, hunter, field - remember the eugenicist's merry quiz for feeble mindedness? Make a sentence of them, and you escape sterilisa-tion, a fate which cost a fortune, the last time I looked. But look what happens, when we crop the puppy from the frame. We're left with celebrating our intentions, capturing our sympathy in the most charmingly disarming perspective, missing the mystery of what it is, we're treasuring. The offstage puppy, the mind, is portrayed as too endearing to be beheld, much less examined; and we fall back upon praising our praises of it. Why would anyone wonder why?

You can tell, dear reader, that I found a pretty room today, and I'm mightily inclined to show it, to lend succour to your contemplations. In such a space you can well anticipate solace, and empathy in detail; and in the undoubted classicism of its inspiration there is implicit consolation of taste. The gods wept, &c.

I believe so enthusiastically in the genius of architecture to work such wonders, that I share the stimulation of their presen-tation with heightened imagina-tion. But I am interested in the assumptions the container bears toward what it's supposed to domicile, if not to crop from the field. I have to admit, that to allow one's container to accrue by mere accretion (a style oft-protested at Ivan Terestchenko's page) is to crop the puppy from the field by neglect, at best, verging upon cowardice. I think, if there is any succour to be extracted from design, one cannot run from the eugenicist. The hunter did not know the field where he'd be welcomed as the hare. The gods are out there. We know they are.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Antiphon to a dissident

I elicited an angry al-
beit evidently gratify-
ingly orgasmic response
from a fellow to whom I
wrote today, to ask why
he had abandoned rmbl -

I must be stupid since
I can't understand what
the fu** you are talk-
ing about 90 percent of
the time. There. I've
said it. Wishing you a
happy new year.

The project of my page
is not distinguishable
from those which never 
see publication; often, 
like them, it adapts no
more than coincidental-
ly to publication's ex-
pectations. It is plain
to me, that a pretense
is always available, of
one's being unintelli-
gible, given the lati-
tude someone might wish
one hadn't claimed, to
project the acquisition
of understanding. Show-
and-tell and how-to 
were never my better
classes. I don't write 
for the sake of the in-
formation. It would be
peculiar to expect this
page to betray Wolfgang
Pauli's dilemma: it is
there, but I cannot see
it. The more I fail, the
closer I am. I am not e-
ven sorry, this is hard.
I write for the sake of
those who know it is.

   The fog I call the world is not a cloud of atoms
   only, but a cloud of feelings, and ideas. I mind
   my little bumps. I grieve. I think about non-being.
   All I do is what my flesh can do, yet everything
   my flesh can do feels strange. I am the swelling
   of a salt sea onto an armature of chalk, the calm
   of a tidal pool where brain cells live, the wind, 
   the lightning storm where thought flares into thought.
   I taste damp sparks inside my tongue. If sayings
   gather under the name of Faith, or Art, I let them
   when they let me let them, and my mind clears.

Brooks Haxton, who composed this poem, thought of it as an antiphon to the phrase in the 40th Psalm, And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. I don't think it unfair, although his lawyers might, to adapt it to the seemingly secular problems of physics, a contingent kind of loan on the strength of a noisily seconded guess, that confusion may be our style.

Brooks Haxton
  Antiphonies to Psalms
  I Am
op. cit.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Portugal, by the way, resurfaced

  I've always wondered
  how to make sense of
  the Azores with any-
  thing less than some
  days among the ruins
  of Evora.

  Without history, the
  traveler must fumble
  in the dark, and the
  sonorities of humane
  practices fall flat.

   I think this is
   the most beauti-
   ful language my
   hearing can as-
   pire to absorb,
   dissolving even
   softer than Ver-
   laine's this na-
   tive, restless

Kevin Flamme
  Hermès, 2014