Saturday, September 12, 2015

In their time

mattered a
whole lot.

  People talk of situations
  Read books, repeat quotations
  Draw conclusions on the wall 

They had a
diarist to
record it.

Bob Dylan
Love Minus Zero
Warner Brothers
Special Rider©

Friday, September 11, 2015

Take a bow, Harry

The many rent the skies
with loud applause, yes-
terday, as Senator Reid
held his caucus togeth-
er with adroit exploita-
tion of disreputably un-
representative practice.

Tit is seldom so nicely
met by tat, as when ob-
struction clears a path.

Georg Frideric Händel
Alexander's Feast
  The many rend the skies
Ode by John Dryden
  for St Cecilia's Day, 1697
  Oratorio adaptation, 1736
Harry Christophers
The Sixteen
The Symphony of Harmony and Invention
The Sixteen Productions, Ltd., 2005©

op. cit.

Photography Bruce Weber

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Does anybody know if we actually need a badger brush?

   All right. I don't
   really care, either.
   But Gail Collins is
   back, and there are
   going to be quizzes.
   If I were her candi-
   date with the name
   on a fake I.D., I'd
   make other plans.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Can one belong to someone else's poetry?

A. To whom else.
B. At what time.
C. Tell me more.
D. All of above.

     It then seemed to work out all right.
             I put a comment in your glass, we
             were a pair somehow.
             It showed on the scoreboard,
             then we were at a loss for the night. You know
             how with some things you just let go, well
             that was one of those times.
     Go out in the store and paint it. It hurts.
             Add to the light, a feverish, new vexation
             now become part of time

             and all it grazes.

John Ashbery
  New Poems
  [final verses]
Harper Collins/Ecco, 2009©

Maya Lin


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Once more into the bleach?

Mrs Clinton, whose political activities continue to draw interest, is said to be looking forward to presenting remarks tomorrow on the international nuclear accord with Iran. On the same day, two rivals for the other Party's Presidential nomination also plan to cast a distinguishing light upon themselves, by denouncing the likely fail-ure of the same instrument, to "obliterate" Iran, an objective to which she, herself, famously gave voice when losing her campaign against the current President in 2008. 

Possibly we shall see if copyright applies to the public musings of a candidate scorned, but of greater interest here is whether they ever expire. Asking, as she is, to carry forward the implementation of this accord, people may wonder if she actually means to do it. They can expect her to be adamant again about something, therefore, and so these new remarks may well carry a thrilling, more than a nuanced definition, unless modulated by timeless ambiguities of statecraft -- a self-deflating anti-climax, on split-screen with Ted Cruz. Has she negligently entrapped American diplomacy in another pissing contest with the warmakers, or has she assimilated the genuine power of the quiet determination which produced this pact?

Her listeners will be attuned to a much deeper principle than sincerity. They will want to know if she can voice their inherent embodiment of the conduct of peace, and desist from abusing this virtue as shameful, this aspiration as naïve, this commitment as treacherous, and its triumph - no more than conditional, as it always is - as false. It is upon her comprehension of this arms accord that they will assess her credibility, not by vows to raise the wagers of Republicans. She is on the spot she asked for. The greatest light is ready for her close-up.

Gillian Laub
Tel Aviv, 2007

Monday, September 7, 2015

Plus que ça change

It was the healthy side of Cowper's self-distrust that it never allowed his imagination to become self-indulgent or self-deceptive, as the roman-tic imagination was so often tempted to be. With modest amusement he would prick the bubble of his daydream, and turn towards home.

On this date some years ago
I ventured where I am. I do
not paint pictures and I do
not write poetry; I turn to-
ward my place of origin, as
even painters and poets do,
but my home is many places.

Lord David Cecil
The Stricken Deer
  The Life of Cowper
Constable & Co., Ltd., 1929©

Richard Diebenkorn
1922 - 1993

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Combed by moonlight

vine of

   If I could be a mirror
            you could see yourself in me,
   and I could see you always
            your essence and your beauty;
   if I could be a comb
            slowly, slowly I'd begin
   to part your hair,
            combing it again and again!
   If I were a little wind
            all of me would press
   against your breast
            blowing sweetly,
   and at last if I were sleep
            I would come at night
   to bind your sweet
            eyes in the dark.


Athanasios Christopoulous
1772  - 1847
Karen van Dyck
Peter Constantine, Rachel Hadas,
  Edmund Keeley, and Karen van Dyck
The Greek Poets
  Homer to the Present
Norton & Company, 2010©
op. cit.

Android photograph, Laurent
September, 2015