Friday, June 10, 2016

We go home now v

After the too darn hot invasions
of politics upon our Spring, the
deficit of bliss has been feeling
to me, as any deferred sea voyage
felt to Melville's Ishmael; and I
wrote to a friend, that I wanted
to turn to envisioning very happy
things, really happy things, like
a sail in a kayak, at a minimum.

Such wordless things really do af-
ford le mot juste in riposte and
repair - not remotely in evasion -
of torments from our gratingly
self-important candidates: a grue-
some rapture in readiness to lead
representing, to our common hear-
ing, the nadir of being qualified
to do so. It was with sheer good
luck, I suppose, on hearing NPR's
Fresh Air discussing a new study
of Justice Brandeis, I was drawn
to the entirely serviceable one I
already possess, to remember that
what I welcome in an exemplar, is
one who will let one feel clean.
Not free merely from molestation,
but of humiliation, of scorn, of 
usage against one's integrity, as
if there were no health in us.

     To honor Brandeis, the faculty at 
     Yale Law School proposed giving him 
     an honorary degree. According to 
     Thurman Arnold, President James 
     Rowland Angell turned down the re-
     commendation. The following year 
     the faculty again nominated the 
     Justice, Angell agreed, but the 
     trustees said no. The 3rd year the 
     faculty sent in Brandeis' name, An-
     gell approved, the trustees agreed, 
     but the Yale Corporation turned it 
     down. Finally, in the 4th year the 
     faculty said yes, the trustees said 
     yes, and the Corporation also approv-
     ed. Justice Brandeis, however, said 
     No, having imposed upon himself a 
     rule against such honors.

His discipline will never be the
tenor of this election. Could it
guide one, then, to withstand it?

Melvin I. Urofsky
Louis D. Brandeis
  A Life
Random House
Schocken Books, 2009©

Michael Bidner
  Pont Neuf, 1990
  Potsdam, 1996

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Do one thing

  Save this country
  from Donald Trump.


               We need
               the night

               to see 

               the purpose

               of a single

               star, to see

               what is every

               sailor's map

               the constellated


               of a dark


               to see

               the night

               as more

               than salt,


               than tar.

Denis Bold
Inverness, 2015©

i    Matthew Pitt

iv  Carlo Scarpa


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Return of the middle pages

 Projections offered yesterday, of
 one last, free night, were contra-
 dicted by lusty claims of politics'
 end by mid-afternoon. Californians
 awoke to the full impotency of the
 self-government they subscribe to.

 Welcome to the rebirth of hedonism,
 the assertion of the divine right
 of overhead cams and a good suspen-
 sion for which their world is known.


 Even as we prepare to reclaim our
 relationship with other interests,
 those middle pages of our papers,
 we expect to hear it is irrespon-
 sible to ignore the obligation to

 Whose hedonism is that, anyway? 

Benny Stilling
Poster for the Danish
  release of The 400 Blows

Loomings iii


     The keel of the moon
     breaks purple clouds
     and the quivers
     fill with dew.

     Ah, but like love
     the archers

     are blind!

     The border fetish is of a
     piece with climate change
     denial. Who'd have guess-
     ed the cistern where they
     quiver is a wall of lies?

Federico García Lorca 
Poem of the Saeta
  Early Morning
  aka Before the Dawn
W.S. Merwin

Francisco García Lorca
  and Donald Allen
The Selected Poems of
  Federico García Lorca
New Directions, 1955©

Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Gelatin silver print

Monday, June 6, 2016

Buying pictures v: what the market will bear

  The day is expected to be 
  the last that will give a
  night for many years, be-
  fore Californians are not
  subject to a choice they
  will be denied, not to be
  used by Trump or Clinton.



  The Bear flag (1846)
  wasn't raised for a
  life to be led under
  glass. There will be

Egon Schiele

Max Yavon
South of Market
Silver gelatin print

Italo Valenti