Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday commute xciv: An awkward shortage for stairs

    What will fashion think of
    next, in those cyclic sac-
    rifices we're compelled to
    make to its shifting sands
    of taste? And how like Ti-
    berius, too, to command an
    appearance of us just now;
    yet what an amusing way of
    celebrating our inequality.

John Todd


Friday, September 5, 2014

Course correction

  Frank O'Hara at
  a rail station.

  Fifty years ago
  for the summer.

  We left Federal
  Court yesterday
  not somber, but
  seeing simpler.

          Just when I was getting completely through
          dried out, balled up, anxious and empty
          like a gulch in a John Huston movie
          I went to see Strange Interlude and began
          to go away for a weekend on the beach
          into that theatre again and again
          now I have a pot of basil a friend gave
          me and am reading Keats again and realize
          that everything is impossible in a different way
          well so what, but there's a difference
          between a window and a wall again.


Frank O'Hara
Again, John Keats, Or
  The Pot of Basil
MS 8 June 1963
Ephemeris 2
May 1969
Donald Allen
The Collected Poems of
  Frank O'Hara
op. cit.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sometimes a perfect radiance percolates from the dankest muck

We don't know whether to credit
the Napoleonic fatuousness of
Louisiana's legal lineage for
any of the ingeniously still-
worry for intact children in
woolly families, or whatever
he was thinking, against the
plain and glaring defense of
children in Justice Kennedy's
opinion for the Supreme Court
of the United States in the
cases striking down populist
homophobia in recent preced-
ents; we just know to relish
the sight of such desperate
dislocation twixt subject and
judgment, while we can, in
these waning hours of bigot-
ry's hoariest stand. 

Sometimes a perfect radiance percolates from the dankest muck. It is the gift of any anguished exposure of ignobility, to furnish in the extremity of its indefensibility the very predicate and path for a resolved exodus to loftier ground

In his stunningly personal
declamations, extending dir-
ectly into passive aggressive
self-pity for epistemological
isolation, this judge went way
beyond the call of this duty,
in resounding tones of Confed-
erate martyrdom at its lowest.

Could anyone be ungrateful to
notice, that Marty was enter-
ing a rant against a settled
matter, the right of unmar-
ried couples to adopt child-
ren, as an illegitimate human
interest for Louisiana to
resist, against children's
spilling out into congenital-
ly innocent hands? Such was
his deliriously inventive
way of asserting that mat-
rimony is not a fundamental
right - a position bound to
strike a chord in every home -
but that propagation more or
less is obligatory, maritally
ornamented or not. 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is Philosophy to Morals as Acetylcholine is to Grace?

      Just play.

Who knew? A professional philosopher
has opined that Hannah Arendt's end-
lessly contested characterization of
Eichmann's furtherance of the judeo-
code may be certified as erroneous,
because conclusions she reaches by
evil was not the banality of a bur-
eaucrat. I have less hope that this
proud self-promotion can enhance the
stature of that discipline, than I
have for biochemistry's criticism of
the dance. Readers who believe, none
of us has a dog in this hunt, expose
themselves to a potentially rude sur-
prise, as the floor they've stood on
to achieve that footing, quits early.

I have reasoned confidence in proces-
ses of literature in this matter, as
previously reported; and I have just
as much confidence that this is not
a taxonomic tournament, in the first
place. Arendt's perspective cast val-
ued light on the horrors of bureau-
cratic vitality - inertia, in floor-
speak - and left no daylight for any
inference of thoughtless "evil." But
the zest for a quarrel over terms is
undying, especially with philosophy.

Monday, September 1, 2014

When it seems a lot of work

    When it seems a lot
    of work, to let the
    air do all the work

    I think it is prob-
    ably because of all
    the water.