Saturday, March 24, 2018

"Mirror of a soapbubble sphere"

                       think sun on gasoline.
                       Splendor, and splendor,
                       and not a one in any way

                       distinguished from the other
                       -- nothing about them
                       of individuality. Instead
                       they're all exact expressions
                       of the one soul,
                       each a perfect fulfilment
                       of heaven's template,
                       mackerel essence . .

The American President's rapture, only
a weekend ago, to be on the cusp of as-
sembling a Cabinet chorus line of sat-
isfying symmetry, must have reached an
iridescent blaze of delight at this
week's climax in a duet of popinjays
of popping off to prove the poet's vi-
sion of their designing soul. How hap-
py must he be, as they gleam on ice be-

                       each as intricate
                       in its oily fabulation
                       as the one before.

Mark Doty
Fire to Fire
  A Display 
  of Mackerel
Harper Collins, 2008©

Luka Isaac

Paul Schulenberg©
Oil on canvas
Provincetown series

Friday, March 23, 2018

Suppose it were Friday cl: Longhand revisited

   I welcome the gathering news
   of social media's incompatib-
   ility with society. A letter
   in a familiar hand was never
   out of synch with communica-
   tion, yet today I doubt that
   anyone under 50 can identify
   the handwriting of anyone he
   knows. Everyone known to us,
   whose hand we'd know, seems
   not to be with us, anymore.

   Say, who is touched anymore.
   For whose message would one
   drop everything, to give it
   pride of reception's place,
   to credit its concentration,
   in a caesura of acceptance?

   That feature of one's pace
   is revealed as the place of
   the capacity for friendship.
   Longhand, postage, transit.
   Where's their obsolescence?

   And what burdens our habits
   have placed, one would rath-
   er not assess - on poetry,
   literally to furnish those
   sentiments, scalded or scrap-
   ped altogether from us - not
   to mention, on policy, those
   evolutions of reflection, un-
   known beneath an OLED screen.

   Worse, naturally, is the de-
   fault to hired practitioners
   by atrophy of one's own hand.
   Worse, naturally, is the in-
   experience of time, itself,
   in spews of prestidigitation,
   compared with crossing a T.
   Worse, naturally, is the e-
   rasure of life's tangibility.

   In every way, the letter is
   closer to the being, the foil
   of alienation, of absences.
   Shape a vowel, hear the image,
   draw a breath. Sounds normal
   enough, in memory.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Monomania's monorail, on track

    I could swear, I'd read some-
    where, that the President of
    the United States had placed
    a call to congratulate a dic-
    tator on his election, after
    boasting last week, of lying
    to an allied Prime Minister;
    but that he didn't mind this
    being known, only that every
    advisor in his employ begged
    him not to dabble in treason.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxvi: Next, it'll be Ricky Nelson's fault

I was captivated to see the col-
umnist Ross Douthat, right-wing
anthropologist for The New York
Times, coming out so forcefully
today against the corrosive in-
fluences of television, just as
everyone is finally resigned a-
bout selfies. In a nutshell, he
finds that if the sluice gates
of exuberantly disorderly ignor-
ance which brought us the pres-
ent American government had not
been Rupert Murdoch's networks,
they almost certainly could not
have preceded the President's
own life, or he wouldn't have
heard of them. This places the
line in the sand of the fall
of man in his roguish progress
at about the time of Ozzie and
Harriett, that suspiciously in-
ocuous suburban sitcom for the
showcasing of unnervingly cal-
low white male millionaires,
on the fault line between the
big band era and rock & roll.

The Douthat Thesis is bound to
distort futures in Ricky Nelson
DVDs, but this instability pales
next to the real subversiveness
in the underlying content. One
has only to step into the latest
pop up boutique in blankest Mon-
tana, to pick up one's own en-
semble in the only two garments
any gentleman has ever truly re-
quired for a weekend in Paris.

We may say, people mustn't just 
wear what they want; but that's
only because speech is free, and
wanting never is. Conservatives
are supposed to know this stuff,
aren't they?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

De stijl of the times

If anything about the present
American government deserves
to survive the conflagration
it so openly solicits, it is
its deliverance of the profes-
sion of law from tired protes-
tations of ethical constraint.

has been exploded as unsus-
tainable, enabling our law-
yers those opportunities for
advancement we extend to cat-
tle and dairymen, poachers
and policemen. With the full
collapse of reality, which
has lined our pockets, has
finally come that annoyance
with legality which no caste
should be compelled to up-
hold. And the more the Pres-
ident's lawyers can lift
that burden by example, the
sooner we should all be re-
lieved of employing them.

Theo van Doesburg

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Practicing for good weather

     Through your carapace,
     reports of irregularities
     reaching you apace,

Paul Muldoon
Horse Latitudes
  90 Instant Messages
  to Tom Moore, xlvii
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006©

Charles Hellmuth
Lower Broadway

Sailboats in Blue Water
Late 19th C