Saturday, July 9, 2016

Saturday commute cxxix: Visiting aunts


 The day my father stayed in bed
 Aunt said  Ann  send the boy out
 but I said father said
 he would teach me to tickle trout

 Not today  nor any day
 Aunt said 

            So I went out and scratched
    the pig's back  gave the horses hay
    and all the morning watched
    them come and go  the other aunts
    and neighbour women  all with their
    aprons to their eyes  

Herbert List
Wilhelm Kempff

Édouard Manet
The Explosion
[The Paris Commune]

Jon Stallworthy
A Familiar Tree
  Old John  Young John
Norton, 1987©

Johann Sebastian Bach
Arioso, BWV 992
ca 1704
Wilhelm Kempff
Deutsche Grammophon©
op. cit.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Water Melon & Delon

     Services so bespoke,
     one knows not to ask


   and mango bloomers
   nobody knows about


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer politics

Problems of political
philosophy are best un-
derstood if the margin-
al cases are clearly

     In the afternoon I walk
     to the top of the bluff

     and sit in the sun like
     an invalid or the survi-
     vor of a bad accident
     made thoughtful. The is-
     land feels warm and re-
     assuring beneath my back
     but then it turns scorn-
     ful of my stupidity. 

     Your element is the air,
     it says, blowing its
     grasses across my face.
     Your element is the sun
     which falls in brilliant
     crimson on your closed

     You relied so much on
     mechanical assistance
     you lost touch with your
     proper element and equal-
     ly lost touch with the sea. 

     Why the undergoing of
     extremes to see a few
     things a little differ-
     ently? What need of such

     The grasses continue to
     brush my face, the sun
     to fall on my shut eyes.
     Far off the sea crumbles
     and crumbles away at the

Franz Neumann
1900 - 1954
The Democratic and the
Authoritarian State
  Essays in Political and
  Legal Theory
Free Press, 1964© 

James Hamilton-Paterson
Playing with Water
  Passion and Solitude on
  a Philippine Island
New Amsterdam, 1987©
op. cit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The forest for the trees, anyone?

I trust this page has made its im-
pressions of Mrs Clinton's inter-
esting history clear enough, for
us to venture a question into the
practices of our Federal Bureau,
in reviving the ex parte punish-
onial origins. We pass over the
more salient question, of wheth-
er a police scold would undertake
to chastise a male Cabinet Secret-
ary for conduct tending to make
him squeamish, ignoring its legal-
ity. No, we pass over the exotic
relish a cleric was expected to
extract from such a frisson of pi-
ety, simply to ask this: have we
so abandoned discipline for our
contempts, that our highest echel-
ons of law enforcement are reduced
to projecting calumnious infamies
of prosecutorial frustration, in
confessing the law has been obeyed?

Then throw us in the dock, not the
ducking stool, Your Excellency.

17th C Ducking Stool
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Williamsburg, Virginia

Buying pictures vi

   I would enjoy walking endlessly upon the sand,
        if the windy course
        of an almost Irish remorse
   did not imitate you, and insistently beckon me elsewhere,
   and my longings had not become centuries, when the air
        is reflected by a star.

As soon as my course came to an end, I took
Marceline to La Morinière. The doctor had 
advised that she was out of danger and only 
needed fresh air to help her get better. I 
was greatly in need of some rest myself. I
had been worn out by the long vigils next to
her bed, which I had insisted on keeping my-
self, the prolonged anxiety and especially
the sympathetic symptoms I had experienced
at the time of her embolism, when the spas-
modic beat of her heart was echoed in mine.
I felt as if I had been ill myself..

It was the start of haymaking. The air was
full of pollen, of scents, and it went to
my head like strong drink. It was as if I
hadn't breathed for a year, or else had been
breathing nothing but dust, so smoothly did
the honey-sweet air fill my lungs. As if in-
toxicated, I had sat down on a bank and now
had a panoramic view of La Morinière. I 
could see the blue roofs, the still water
of the moat; surrounding it, the newly mown
fields, and others still full of grass; fur-
ther away, the bend of the stream, the woods
where I had gone riding with Charles last au-
tumn. I could hear singing, and it was get-
ting closer; it was the haymakers on their
way home, their pitchforks and rakes slung
over their shoulders.

Frank O'Hara
Donald Allen, editor
op. cit.
  Homage to André Gide
  Voices, 1954©

André Gide
David Watson
op. cit.
Penguin, 2000©

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Where satirists are called to Heaven

     And should your conscience tell you 
     that Mr. Trump might not be the right 
     choice, Robert Jeffress, the influen-
     tial pastor of First Baptist Church 
     in Dallas, explains that “any Chris-
     tian who would sit at home and not 
     vote for the Republican nominee” is 
     “motivated by pride rather than prin-

   I'd love to kiss
   you, but I just
   baptised my hair.

Peter Wehner
The New York Times
July 5, 2016©

A.I. Songouroff
1911 - 1982

Monday, July 4, 2016

First Monday in July


  I still don't think
  anything ever so sur-
  prises me as when a 
  random highlight
  scratches so I can
  hear it.

Jim Richardson
Paul Himmel
André Kertész

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Trials of the spare day

Have I confided my suspicion, yet,
that chores might not be my strong
suit? Probably, by the way that I
conduct this page; but one can nev-
er be too careful. With some prac-
tice, I've mastered a rudimentary
knack for neglectfulness - I sense
a paradox in that - but the allow-
ance of any extra day in a week-
end exerts a discomfiting irrita-
tion with spending it at home. I
don't care to watch the clock as
the dust mounts about me, anchor-
ing cobwebs I have no opportunity
to notice in a healthy ration of
free time. The ceilings, usually
no distraction to me, can cast
such networks of disillusion as
to interfere with the pleasures
of reading on one's back, or doz-
ing off without some dog's pro-
testing usurpation of a place
he's used to exploiting, alone.

I'm thinking, the fault lies in
a chore's exerting an insufficient
claim upon one's gift for heroism.
We fault this attitude in an offen-

sive lineman in football, coveting
the skylarking of ends and other,
showier exemplars of their common
trade. As a householder of dimin-
ished staff, I'd regard it as an
impertinence to blame myself for
nobler inclinations than hosing
down the patios; but that's just
it, I've determined. What the he-
roics of housekeeping require, is
a well qualified team with whom
to pursue the project, in every

Monterey Peninsula
Voisin C-25 Cabriolet

Herbert, Beaton, Capote