Saturday, March 28, 2015

Their reckless Saturday

    Asphalt giving up
    the creepy retail
    drink dissolving,
    traffic noise pa-
    thetically dis-


Thursday, March 26, 2015

We hear the moldings of fact

       Now there is waged a war
       of spectacles, and it is
       always urgent to extin-
       guish the alien vision.

       It isn't what we resemble
       as we assimilate informa-
       tion. It isn't how we look
       as we think about it, to-
       gether. It is that we do.

       Therefore, it isn't ever
       even, what we listen to, 
       that sparks the blaze we 
       didn't light. This is set
       by a nature we share. The
       moldings may be a bruise,
       may be a caress; beneath
       them, something stays. 
       It's that it is in us, to
       listen, that not a thing
       can ever stop. The war is
       against vitality. When we
       fall, we only rise. How
       horrible we must look, we
       allow anyone always to say.

       It is the fairest slight.

Luke Edward Hall
  project for a framing

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

He's a generation late

Imagine Rick Santorum 
or poor Joe McCarthy.
Man spends his whole
Senate career gaining
renown for his genius,
and someone comes a-
long to surpass him.

                       Gee, thanks, Mr Cruz. 
                       But I guess I can fig-
                       ure this out.

Émil Geronne

Memo on the misanthrope

I'd never actu-
ally heard this
guy before, but
his anguished
swoon on C-SPAN
came as plan-
gently famil-
iar pathology,
twisted parox-
ysms of panic.

We have our own
fox in the at-
tic, and nobody 
ever said any-
thing. How come?

       Tell him, if he
       isn't careful,
       I'll let him in-
       hale it.

       So Lothar .. betook himself to his gymnasium,
       and at the first whiff of all the delicious
       manliness within its echoing portals he snort-
       ed like a horse. The abiding smell of men's
       gymnasiums is a cold composite one, compound-
       ed of the sweet strawberry-smell of fresh male
       sweat, the reek of thumped leather and the
       dust trampled into the grass of the floor and
       confirmed there by the soapy mops of cleaners,
       but to eighteen-year-old Lothar this tang
       meant everything that the wind on the heath
       meant to Petulengro and he snorted it now like
       a horse let out to spring grass.

Richard Hughes
The Fox in the Attic
Chatto & Windus, 1961©
The New York Review
  of Books, 2000©

Monday, March 23, 2015

A rewatchable whodunit?

Today's provocatively predictable perorations by yet another pretender to the Presidency have brought to mind the wholesome rôle of suspense in our lives, such as on the question of whether the human mind could ever be enlarged in the same organic space. Impregnability to fact, much less to empathy, reminds us, further, of modern decay, more than its amusement, in the English murder mystery. How rare it would be, if suspense were its sine qua non, for one ever to listen to Ted Cruz twice. We know the victim, we know the perpetrator. Yet, if wit were to play a leading part, restoring rhetoric to its obligatory delectability, our rapport with murder could be rekindled. And this might not be unbeneficial.

Stimulating this speculation, much more than the routine travesty to be mounted today at Jerry Falwell's faux university, was a review posted over the weekend at Orlando and The Fountain, of a new stage adaptation of du Maurier's Rebecca. Whereas the revered Hitchcock impression of that story cast the house as one of the myriad oppressors of the innocent heroine - a university, if you will, in Falwellian terms - the play seems to center the drama in the sea, and this must be counted not just as a coup de théâtre, but a promising enlargement of rhetoric.

Unhappily, it is the hermetic socia-bility of the ontological fringes that dilapidates their mysteries. Theirs is not only always the same murder, it's always the same unexamined motive. How much do you want to serve George Bush, our favourite alumna of another cage aux folles used to demand, in hiring applicants for work at the United States Department of Justice. The font of moral discipline in du Maurier's Manderley was never so pathetically prescribed, as to spoil the suspense it so richly bestowed. Orwell only had it right, the decline of the English murder flowed from a lack of terrible wrestles with the conscience - the very seat, of consequential action.

George Orwell
Decline of the English Murder
  and Other Essays
Estate of Eric Blair, 1946©
Secker & Warburg
Penguin Books, 1965©

Luke Edward Hall
Two Views of Chiswick, London
  Photograph, Orlando and the Fountain
  Charcoal sketch, private commission

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A tidy cache-pot of conspiracies

  How easy it sometimes
  is, these days, to un-
  derstand the fashion-
  able disdain for infor-
  mation. The tidier the
  perch, the more the hy-
  phens; and you don't
  see a confident man do-
  ing hyphens.