Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why, of course one noticed

 Went out in the car
 at lunchtime, and the
 radio was full of strange
 noises on all the stations.
 Then I remembered, that's how
 they do it, when we're supposed
 to be coerced.

Jannis Beck

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's a raid

    We do not greet a new administration
    in the intended, or even in the cus-
    tomary sense of that institutional
    term. There is to be nothing adminis-
    trative about it. We greet a sophis-
    ticated, advanced and implacable com-
    bination, to exploit this world by
    intimidation and humiliation, in bi-
    lateral axes of expediency and cynic-
    ism. That transposition fatally ex-
    tinguishes the lavish estate of com-
    mon ground, the magnanimous Mitch Mc-
    Connell opened to the only legitimate
    President in the last three regimes.

    There can be no purpose but resistance.
    This is the shelter, the rest for love.

Vojtech Kunes

Thursday, January 19, 2017


          People are pairing off
          for the shelter before
          they can remember only
          the latest siren tweet.

Time After Time
Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne, 1947
Chet Baker
Blue Note, 1954
EMI, 2007©

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Beyond category

If I remember Ellington,
with whom this expression
is very fondly associated,
it's Billy Strayhorn who
comes to mind; if I honor
Martin Luther King, Jr, 
I'm not forgetting Bayard
Rustin; when I was a boy,
James Baldwin was writing
stories I needed to hear.

I'm glad as hell, I lived
in my time with such men.

   And to see,
   the weather
   fall upon a
   man's faith
   without any
   it expects,
   has been to
   acquire it. 
   We're here.


Damon Winter
  Barack Obama
  Glen Allen, Virginia
  October, 2008
The New York Times, 2008©

Giuseppe Verdi
  III, ii
  Va' pensiero


The West Bank and I

I realize, of course, snarks will
impugn my sincerity in this dis-
cussion, for an impudence of con-
fiding one's thoughts from the
dressing room. I remark from this
setting only to convey some sense
of the ubiquity of experience in-
vaded by one's pre-occupation,
with any risk of post-Occupation,
of such a casino-rich slash of
desert, simply seething for de-
velopment. But, again, I stray.
We are not Bugsy - er, I mean,
Benny - in making a living. We
use governments for wet work.
Now we're really getting one.

velopment of the West Bank - my in-
defatigable bankruptcy attorney -
is not that he knows who's butter-
ing his bread, but that he defers
to the next generation, as in hust-
ling my dearest flamingo past the
tacky scribes at Federal Court.

Oh, what selflessness! What Polon-
ial footing in the back stairs of 
a bondholder's intrigue. Fate must 
thus distill a conspicuous, ex- 
quisitely lingering unraveling of 
his reputation, as soon as it can 
be found, draped behind my promises.

ii   David Friedman, Esq.
      United States District Court
      New Jersey, 2010
      Bloomberg News©

William Shakespeare
  IV, iii

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Will nobody just swat this fly?

Hey, c'mon, guys, this is gettin' tiresome.
Our Great White Hope of Unbelievable Deals
is trashing the Atlantic Alliance, dismant-
ling the European Union, and selling Crimea
down the drain for an arms treaty its invad-
er is begging for, and he's not even on the
payroll yet. Or is he? He's telling his pals
to keep whatever they can grab, if they will
only stroke his fanny. Wow. That's original.

              Yo, Jefferson Davis. Take Fort Sumter.
              Let's create a brand new relationship. 

And the majority Party in Congress? Are we kidding each other, or are we noticing finally how
little it takes to bend them over, for his
signature on their bills of fantasies of ruining the nation, even if it costs the ancient trust
of the world where they plan to do business? 

Or are they so insulated by their rotten boroughs, they can hustle us for anything that lands in their pocket?

Meanwhile, over at The Times, David Brooks is letting his ostentation get the better of him again, with the suggestion of ignoring what the Pretender says, and studying only what [else] he may do which may be Presidential. Many have been tempted to this illusory escape from the vortex of his manipulations, forgetting what lovely wreckage a regime can wreak by mere PR. 

Too bad for that little hypothesis, that the Chancellor of Germany was compelled to take promptly to the microphones, to decry the instability of American credibility as of the publication of his latest use of words. 

ii       Robert McCabe

Monday, January 16, 2017

Abroad at home

I never forget that it was a fit of laughter
that changed the wind for us. Since then, I've
always kept something absurd to say to myself
when things go wrong: when, for example, the
customs officers hunched over your expired pass-
port decide your fate in an incomprehensible
language, and after a few ill-received inter-
ruptions, you scarcely dare lift your eyes from
the ground.

Then some silly pun, or the memory of a situation which still seems comic, is enough to give you heart - even to make you laugh out loud, alone in your corner - and it's the turn of the men in uniform not to understand; 

they look at you in puzzlement, 
raise an eyebrow, check their 
fly-buttons and assume an ex-
pression, and then the obstac-
les they'd put in your way are
removed, who knows why.

Nicolas Bouvier
Robyn Marsack
Marlboro Press, 1992
New York Review Books, 2009©

Nicole Gomes
Ioannis Stefanidis
Kwamman Chu

Sunday, January 15, 2017



         More and more
         we become our
         own soup kit-
         chen, anyway.


The sting of bein' verified

I have a debt to Dooley Wil-
son, Sam at Rick's American
Bar, who hoisted a glass of
Cordon Rouge with Miss Elsa
and Rick, to pluck the sting
of Paris' bein' occupied, by
darkening phalanxes of grey.

A light that has gone out in
our "news" has seemed to have
gone out here. It would only
have been arrogant to try to
be exempt from a sudden glob-
al darkening. That this might
have emerged from our chaste
swath of North America, which
is to say, from the most ar-
able land and welcoming ports
the globe has ever offered to
a continental fragment its o-
ceans to preserve - yes, it
has been a disturbing inter-
val in which to question what, 
indeed, we have done here. 

This phalanx isn't novel. On-
ly its voice can claim that;
while behind him, are all the 
scam's usual suspects. He as-
sumes office by the most ac-
rid division since Lincoln,
without so much as the fig-
leaf of a plurality, but by
quirk of a slavery-favoring
Constitution -- not a lynch-

pin our first Republican ac-

Wednesday's séance with Amer-
ica's press, conducted in New 
York by the nation's eclipsing 
ass of undiapered panic and 
rage, in the tawdry vault of 
his own pyramid, was all any 
observer needs to see of that 
mesmerising distraction he 
exerts upon a Fourth Estate
whose office he dreads, which 
his incurable gloom compels 
him to tease. Anyone else who
comments in public is clubbed
by a klaxon dismissal of rel-
evance, for the testimony of 
a loser. Now we are reminded:
we're here for all that.

For rmbl, I remember how we
opened with a tentative but
happy welcome, to pursue an
elusive particle one could
not have defined better than
by the exclusion proposed in
the greeting, upper right.
How wonderful now to be hung
for a sheep, for time light-
ly served as a lamb.

I don't see anything in this
petulantly obtrusive fiend
of brutish chaos, to obstruct
our founding faith in some-
thing certain, that we sense 
is there, constantly urgent 
and worthy. On the contrary.
He martyrs himself every day.

One could want no purer pro- 
pulsion, no lovelier deliv- 
ery to that sustaining par-
ticle at last. He teaches us 
to breach the bastions of our
oceans, the veils of our bor-
ders, the shadows of exhaust-
ed fictions that he bellows 
to inflate. All that's left  
is all that could be matter,
if ever it could perish. 

Michael Curtiz
Julius J. Epstein
Philip G. Epstein
Howard Koch 
Warner Brothers, 1942©

untitled, Portugal

Michael Bidner
Border collies, Baltic Sea