Saturday, March 4, 2017

One day, on earth

   I know better than to try
   to relinquish or to cure 
   my incongruousness in the
   connected world, for I in-
   herited an open space, re-
   served within plain sight
   to be discovered.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Who launched a thousand questions

I've seen some of the films of Olivier Assayas,
and some more of those of Juliette Binoche, for
whom he created The Clouds of Sils Maria in 2014,
just released by Criterion in dvd. I knew nothing
of the actor depicted in this still shot from the
same movie, her character watching the screening
of another movie, shot in monochrome in the 20's.

She is the most compelling screen presence in my
experience since Jeanne Moreau, whose extravagant
of such charismatic allure that it is thrillingly
exhausting to assimilate their diversity and con-
tradictions in real time. Juliette Binoche draws
many of them; others, she ripostes with an almost
sovereign indulgence. But Kristen Stewart was the
Dynamo, Binoche the Virgin in Assayas' reverie on 
collaboration in the arts, and she places a small 
film, for me, alongside the best of Orson Welles.

If it were his Othello, she would be his Micheál
Mac Liammóir; his Chimes at Midnight, his Moreau.
But the Moreau everyone will remember spontaneous-
ly, in watching Clouds of Sils Maria, is the one
who ran the legs off Jules et Jim for Truffaut,
and keeps his name the most beloved since Renoir.

Olivier Assayas
  Director and 
The Clouds of Sils Maria
Studio Canal et al, 2014©

Henry Adams
Mont St Michel and Chartres
Princeton University Press, 1981©

Thursday, March 2, 2017


   One morning she was woken by
   the thud of leather top boots
   on stone stairs, by scrambling,
   by oaths. Soon after, she heard
   something rattle the brickwork
   up her chimney, smelled the 
   burning. Before she knew it 
   was no more than a chimney fire,
   she was frightened but, when the
   other girls told her she stood
   at the door, an overcoat over
   her naked body. A fireman, black-
   ened by soot and water, smiled
   brilliantly at her as he came
   downstairs .. Ever since she'd
   had a soft spot for firemen.

John Constable
Seascape Study with
  Rain Cloud
Royal Academy, London

Henry Green
1905 - 1973
Chatto & Windus, 1943

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


The latest oration of the Great 
Innocent has left sufficient num-
bers of our betters in dark con-
fusion, to warrant an influx of
fresh air. Especially do the mes-
merised seem to have been captiv-
ated by a dark suit, a Yale tie
(and God knows, by what license),
and the poignant sight of a Gold
Star family being split on stage,
as proof positive of a remission
of sins, and auguries of a fol-
lowing wind.

Laurent is the surviving brother
of this sort of Naval officer, in
a disproof of command tactics re-
sulting in his "loss" by friendly
fire. Of course this is routine in
amphibious operations, the "risk"
our Great Innocent's mouthpiece
continuously presses to our ear,
as some hot air of famine for our

Yes. The State is now an endear-
ing sloop of our Great Innocent's
recreations, so that as a father
denounces any retreat behind the
destruction of his son, a widow
may be solicited to be his guest
at some Wagnerian apotheosis in 
the House of Ryan.

Who knew, who struck the fathoms
for the depths that he would go?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cosumnes River Preserve antagonizes the President

It has the impertinence to bear
protection by a Waters of the
United States rule of 2015, ap-
plying to unnavigable waters --
unknowable to the Constitution's
Commerce Clause, hence of no leg-
itimate national interest in the
ingenuity of Originalist claptrap.

Worse, obviously, it bears the
protection of executive action
based in irrefutably urgent fact,
by an African-American President.

California watershed. It is life-
giving, life-sustaining, and pre-
carious. The health and character
of every species sheltered in its
resource draw its benefits. Most 
infuriating, it is beautiful.

California Bureau of Land
Bob Wick

Juliet Eilperin and
  Abby Phillip
Trump to Direct Rollback
  of Obama Era Water Rule
The Washington Post
February 27, 2017©

Nicely done

The Sergeant-at-Arms having
made note of the Executive's
arrival, the Speaker enter-
tained a motion to adjourn,
which, being seconded by ac-
clamation, brought the pro-
ceedings to a dignified close.

And so to dinner on his fate.

Monday, February 27, 2017

We go home now x

The frost is gone from the meadow grass in the early mornings.
      Maybe, somewhere, the nymphs and graces are dancing ..

Undoubtedly, it is just as well
that the experience of the nat-
ural world has suggested to so
many people a sense of seeing
something a genius has position-
ed; it is just as well, because
some marvelously opened minds
have bent themselves to sharing
this impression, in works which
seem to me to show undying life
of their own. For me, a greater
pleasure for the senses in the
natural world is the impression
too, tasted it or felt it; and
then to go indoors, which is
to say, into this understanding, 
is to know the nymphs and graces
where they live.

David Ferry
  New and Selected Poems
  and Translations
  Odes I, iv
op. cit.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ever forget what you were going to say?

Ah, yes, practice, practice
and we, too, might make it
to Carnegie Hall. It must be
said that our Great Innocent
has certainly seemed to have
prevailed in his battle with
stage fright, by the simple
expedient of reversing rôles,
excoriating his remarks with
his own voice. But now he ar-
rives at the netherest of in-
fernal gates, Capitol Hill, 
to emit such sounds all over
again. We had only one, lin-
gering reservation of anxiety
for him, born of occasional
distraction by multi-tasking -

but what was I going to say?

For, improvisation and the
Great Innocent are not the
most salubrious of combina-
tions. History has noticed.
He might have begged us, for
example, to stay tuned last
week for a crescendo of ven-
geance on the 9th Circuit's
ruling against his policing
farce, only to swerve off-
noggin with frettings about
his interlocutory magnitude.
He doesn't need a script, he 
he needs a valet de chambre. 

Ah, but seated just above
him, all will be provided.
Or, what's a Paul Ryan for,
if not to keep a guy on his
mark, to fulfill his part?
A delicate whisper, is all.

There'll be no forgetting
what to say, at taxcutting
time, no sweet idylls in
Crimea, while bankers lie
weeping in their chains.