Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tanning time

   The tanning phase of the 
   upholsterer's trade ad-
   dresses the conditioning 
   of the pelt, before its 
   dyeing. In most tanning, 
   therefore, there is no
   reference to a tanline.
   This, nevertheless, does
   strike the craftsman, e-
   ven the beast, as exotic.

Bruno Barbey 
Fez, Sidi Moussa 

Egon Schiele
Autumn Tree in Movement

Friday, November 21, 2014

In for a fix?

  When is it safe to go online?
  I'd finished my latest Wode-
  house, an overlong thing that
  frittered away its élan with
  tiresome repetition of screen-
  play set-pieces, and I thought,
  well, I'd skip further stimu-
  lation and get to bed early.
  Later, something awoke me, so
  in curiosity about media spin
  on what's next for undocument-
  ed aliens, I turned to the
  Sulzbergers' website, only to
  be greeted by a flashing red
  advertising blitz from one of
  our leading policy engines of
  the warfare state. Fixers on
  the prowl, unsleeping.

  Moments later, I returned to 
  The Times' site for a screen 
  cap of this brazen interven-
  tion, to find it replaced by 
  a warm image of the logotype 
  for Royal Dutch Petroleum; 
  and again I found my naïveté 
  had brought me up short. 

  I know, it's true, The Times 
  doesn't just give away infor-
  mation. It force-feeds me.

P.G. Wodehouse
The Luck of the Bodkins
op. cit.

Werner Bischof

1916 - 1954
New York

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pomegranate seeds abound

  I have lots of acquaintances
  who conceive of our world in
  comestible terms, with the
  consequence that to recommend
  something to one of them is a
  mistake to do in the hearing
  of another. This is because of
  human variety, a reality which
  many enthusiasms would prefer
  not to exist. And so I told my
  friend, when he'd overheard me
  in that way, that I couldn't
  propose to waste his time with
  one resource, at the expense to
  himself of a more suitable one.

  Good to know, he said. I will
  trust you. God help me.

Good to know, I replied.
Then you don't need
to trust me.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Man with a twig

As if certain algae
that keep islands of skeletons
alive, that make living rock from
trash, from carcasses left behind by others,

as if algae
were to produce out of
themselves and what they most fear
the detritus over whose
kingdom they preside: the burning
fountain is the imagination
within us that ingests and by its
devouring generates
what is most antithetical to itself:

it returns the intolerable as
brilliant dream, visible, opaque,

teasing analysis:

makes from what you find hardest to
swallow, most indigestible, your food.

Frank Bidart
Metaphysical Dog
  Of His Bones Are Coral Made
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013©