Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saturday commute cvi: Routings

A friend telephoned from New Orleans
the other day, to say he and his wife
are expecting their first child. The
recklessness of conveying this infor-
mation to me by way of an NSA routing
station didn't much concern me at the
time, but upon reflection it was ob-
vious that he'd identified himself as
a practicing heterosexual, and me as
an enthusiast for the prospect of this
enlargement of his family. I'll never
be able to count the agencies that now
possess this information, much less
track their use of it. Tiers of stat-
istical dominoes clatter cacophonous-
ly even now, in amplifying the event.

I do not disparage a time when families of nice people freely transmitted salient joys of lives to be shared, signatures unencrypted on unsealed documents in public con-veyance. One brother exults to another on his wickets and his runs, a message honourably forwarded for a penny.

I believe there is something sacred
in this, something beautifully and
awesomely mysterious; and its inno-
cent physical manifestations are
scarcely less so, in enrichments of
personality, temper, dedication and 
time. When I'm asked, which element
I'd be prepared to see eliminated,
it seems to me I've answered that.

Compliments to Tiffany's

Generally speaking, I think
a man wears a watch he in-
herits, but this opinion is
harmlessly, even if extreme-
ly, in the minority, and I
never press it. There's no
amusement in persuasions of
modest adjustments.

I would feel a breach in my
connection with time, to go
out shopping for a device
which, inevitably, would 
presume to style it for me.
I adopt the alias here, in
the same spirit with which
I subdue horological vanity.

I understand, to accept any
inheritance as neutral can
suggest a dangerous lethar-
gy at best, and the Lethe
is no place for timepieces. 
But here an acquiescence is 
ironically liberating. 

This practice shields any
number of temptations to
blunder and waste, attrac-
tive as it may be to many,
to exhibit those very vir-
tues, manifest as they may,
some temporal fulfillments.

My sidelong glances in the
jewelry stores at wrist-
watches have basically been
modes of biding my time, as
a companion may be pursuing
something in another depart-
ment. Today's mild expres-
sion of delight, therefore,
may be taken as the wilfully
deprived judgment that it is.

Against, finally, the disu-
tility of the watch, estab-
lished conclusively below,
there is, of course, its
ceremonial function, which
is not so easy to dismiss.
The courtesies of evening
dress are not empty minded.
Their rigidities, on the
masculine side, only afford
the blithest holiday from
dissonance and peculiarity.
The machine is clothed, 
not shot from cuffs; and
never withdrawn, except to
respond to another's in-
quiry. What a difference,
from a gathering of hounds.
At its height, as we so of-
ten find, chivalry's for 
the waist, not the wrist.

   I would not care for a watch
   I could not read immediately.
   It would need to be well made
   and it would need to be right.
   I think the many dozen monkeys
   lashed to screens in the work-
   room at Tiffany & Co may have
   hit upon a device I could use.

   Except when it were ever true,
   that time is of the essence.


Juan-Manuel Fangio
  and Stirling Moss
Monaco, 1956

Erik Bruhn
  and Rudolf Nureyev
New York, 1963
Diane Arbus

Jean-Pierre Léaud
  as Antoine Doinel
France, 1959
The 400 Blows
François Truffaut

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Gladdening news of Andrew Cooper

  sighted some time back on Divisadero 
  will remember Andrew Cooper, for wear-
  ing many of their clothes before they 
  did. A sense of what it feels like to 
  be Andrew Cooper may be denied to many, 
  difficult to experience. Just let out a 
  little of this part or tuck a little of 
  that, and Andrew Cooper is at any guy's 
  fingertips. Not bad, for a simple T shirt.

Monday, March 30, 2015

So in the afternoon we listened to Così fan tutte

   and after his
   dinner I gave
   him a rawhide
   toy, serving
   myself a Mus-
   cadet with a
   pigeon over
   pea shoots in
   a pale vinaig-
   rette. Gugli-
   elmo with his
   whiskers made
   us laugh.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Lorenzo da Ponte
Così fan tutte
Herbert von Karajan
Philharmonia Orch & Chor
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Nan Merriman
Rolando Panerai
Léopold Simoneau
Lisa Otto
Sesto Bruscantini
Walter Legge, producer
EMI, 1954©

Portrait of a household under siege

  Anticipate photogenesis,
  but gather up the read-
  ing lamps and cachepots
  for the excursions of a
  newborn English dog.

  Two years ago,
  his plane ar-
  rived from Cal-
  ifornia and he
  became Virgini-

  He's better at
  it, right down
  to his accent.

   I requested an
   they sent me a
   cavalier. When
   there are wood-
   cock, his ora-
   tions stir the
   County. And be-
   tween these ep-
   isodes, we are
   plotting their
   return, polish-
   ing our marrow
   spoon, quietly

   His genius for

   the victimless
   pounce has not
   yet gained the
   panache of his
   rising. Yet we
   accept this in
   such répartée,
   as heralds all
   to play.

Winchimes Cypress Point

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shared bath


 None of these is 
 a picture of any-
 thing I'm related 
 to without recourse 
 to memory. But no-
 body's designated
 to remember. One
 could decide to be

ii    Jerome Blum
iii   Franz Kline