Monday, June 26, 2017

Bright ideas of health care

    With the wind gusting so wildly,
    So unpredictably,
    I'm willing to bet one or two ants
    May have tumbled on their backs
    As we sit here on the porch.

    Their feet are pedaling
    Imaginary bicycles.
    It's a battle of wits against
    Various physical laws,
    Plus Fate, plus -

    Wondering if anyone's coming to their aid
    Bringing cake crumbs,
    Miniature editions of the Bible,
    A lost thread or two
    Cleverly tied end to end.

Charles Simic
New and Selected Poems
  1962 - 2012
  On the Meadow
Houghton Mifflin 
  Harcourt, 2013©

Sunday, June 25, 2017

One on the rocks

If I listened long enough to you,
I'd find a way to believe that it's
all true.

                Your paintings aren't weapons, some-
                one wrote for him to say, you would
                never do that to them, never reduce
                them like that. Maybe you started
                the commission thinking that way but
                then art happened. You couldn't help
                it, that's what you do ..

Of all the arguments to present,
to a man who knows what he's do-
ing, I think the effort to dis-
miss a moral crisis he confronts
is the symptom of a script which
has to end, one way or another.
Expression always has something
to do for others, if it is art.

                If you can't find your courage in a
                war, you have to keep looking for it
                anyway, and not in another war ei-
                ther; in where it's old and jammed 
                until the rocks start moving around,
                a little light and air, long time no
                see .. The war ended, and then it 
                really ended .. I watched the chop-
                pers I'd loved dropping into the sea
                as their pilots jumped clear, and one
                last chopper revved it up, lifted off
                and flew out of my chest. 

Tim Hardin
Reason to Believe

John Logan
  Scene iv
Oberon Books, 2009©

Michael Herr
  Breathing Out
Alfred A. Knopf, 1977©

Eddie Redmayne
i   Out
ii  Esquire UK

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday commute cxliii: To the inland station

Do I close my eyes to listen as
a host plays the Impromptus dur-
ing cocktails; or while I am in
love, to hear Barbirolli in the 
Adagietto of the Mahler 5th? Do 
I go somewhere else because I'd
be protected; or do I claim the 
sun's impartiality for shelter.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sharing secrets

  The tourist season doesn't end,
  it only gets pre-empted.

  A friend just forwarded a re-
  view copy of a pretty splashy
  superbook of his, due in Novem-
  ber, which naturally has the
  unsociable effect of making one
  squirm to discuss it too soon.

  Now by e-mail, can you stand it,
  another friend announces he and
  his wife expect a child in Nov-
  ember, which pretty well margin-
  alizes news of lesser exploits,
  and just as Summer is beginning.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Take a likely aviator

The natural solicitude of mankind,
for the health and happy-headedness
of the aviator, has been manifested
here before, not so much as a pay-
ing of dues or prayer for safe pas-
sage, as a recklessly ill-concealed

Just as in that underlying case, of
discovered cause, we encounter the
aviator under duress again, and pon-
der his vulnerability to this fate.

Take a demonstrably credible aviat-
or, and make an utter hazard of
his haircut, belch fumes from his
face, while bleaching out its tex-
tures and concealing its ornaments.
And still men clamor to go flying.

Josef Krovina x Ivan Kassa

Donny Thump-Thump warms his flock

The other day, exploiting this illus-
tration, the theory of the well-reg-
slated militia was discussed, to keep
tabs on the new government. That gov-
ernment's neglect of this phrase, in
its rapture to bear arms, need not in-
hibit rational people from collaborat-
ing in their defense, as a bucket brig-
ade of evidence carriers. Last evening,
over a modest salad of cold chicken,
frisée, and the usual binding and dec-
orative elements of a late Spring gar-
den in the mid-Atlantic, I undertook
my share of this chore by watching a
dvd unfurling Felipe Cazals' Canoa
(1976), inspired by the facts of a
small town's descent in the state of
Puebla, into a night of ill-regulated
militancy. I could have been at a rally
of Donny Thump-Thump's, but as I say,
I was detained by chicken salad.

I could have heard the rally's prefig-
urement, in a season of broadcasts and
postings from alt Right Hell; I could
have witnessed the inventions of one
great, revolting lie about a President's
birth, or catalogued the depredations
of a strip mall pizza parlor against
the faithful and the innocent. I don't
know; don't such lambs of god ever con-
sider chicken salad?

I could have thrilled to the snarl-
ing orator, his orange-tinted self,
exhorting acts of violence he dared
not name too often in one place, but
left no doubt of in his wake. I might
have steadied myself to look chanting
hordes right in the face, beneath his
nodding, beaming countenance, and its
louchely bloated grin. I had chicken
salad to get through, and agrarian
travelers as itinerant terrorists.
All of modern Mexico knows exactly
what I might not have learned, had
I gone to Donny Thump-Thump's rally.
I had to see what he means, to know
what he says. I had to see what he
meant that day he descended by his
gaudy escalator, to save our souls.

Felipe Cazals
Tomás Pérez Turrent
Alex Phillips. Jr.
  A Shameful Memory
Conacine/STPC, 1976©

ii  Andrei Tarkovsky
      Polaroid print, undated

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Real government, real men

Sixty minutes into Costa-Gavras'
Cold War thriller, State of Siege,
a sexy masked terrorist interroga-
tor guides a captive CIA advisor of 
a repressive South American régime
to the core of his character's il-
lusions. Their dialogue now returns
to life in the nature of the new
American government, and tends to
make one sentimental for the music
of Mikis Theodorakis. Who restores
the state of mind of a nation to
grotesque alternatives, first em-
bodies one for seduction's sake.

Tupamaro: A policeman might become a 
revolutionary and vice-versa ..

Captive: Not a true policeman.

Tupamaro: Do you belong to a specific

Captive: Yes, in a way. Our vocation
is to uphold order; which means, that
we do not like change. We're conserva-

Tupamaro: Here, many become cops out of
hunger, not by vocation.

Captive: Yes, but they become policemen,
while others, out of hunger become thieves.

Tupamaro: You think hunger gives you the

Captive: I believe, that a man, a real man,
always has a choice. Don't you?

Tupamaro: No. We don't believe in real men,
[sir]. We believe in men, and their right
to equality.

Captive: I believe in those things.

Tupamaro: No, you do not. You accept in-
equality, you defend privilege. Actually,
what you believe in is ownership. 

Captive: What do I get out of it?

Tupamaro: The illusion that you're one of
the bosses, when in fact you're an errand

We accept that this is why the new government
sustains its unbroken partisan commitment to
the President's incompetence and instability,
given the vanishing opportunity he presents to
win the repressive alternative, of battles it
has lost before, and must surely lose again -
on the strength of a collage of ante-bellum
white male fetishes, crumbling before our eyes.

What illuminates the new government's betray-
als of these voters is his hunger to run any
errand to be petted as a boss. What brightens
the exposure of his Congressional conspirators
is the very same errand. All over again, des-
pair is premature. They make themselves real.

Franco Solinas
Pierre-William Glenn
State of Siege
KG Productions, 1972©

Fairfield Porter
Calm Sunrise

Friday, June 16, 2017

Suppose it were Friday cxxv: Calder at the moment

    Like a face crossing a mirror
    at the back of the room, Eros
    moves.. He never looks at you
    from the place from which you 
    see him. Something moves in
    the space between. This is the
    most erotic thing about Eros.

Anne Carson
  The Bittersweet
  What is this dialogue about?
Princeton University Press, 1986©

Dominik Sadoch

Alexander Calder

Whitney Museum
Calder: Hypermobility
An exhibition, June 9 - Oct 23
New York