Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SAMUEL BECKETT from Malone Dies

But I have felt so many strange things, so many baseless things assuredly, that they are perhaps better left unsaid. To speak for example of the times when I go liquid and become like mud, what good would that do? Or of the others when I would be lost in the eye of a needle, I am so hard and contracted? No, those are well-meaning squirms that get me nowhere.

Monday, January 30, 2017

EMINEM - “The Way I Am”

Dre, just let it run
Aiyyo turn the beat up a little bit
Aiyyo… this song is for anyone… fuck it
Just shut up and listen, aiyyo…

I sit back with this pack of Zig Zags and this bag
Of this weed it gives me the shit needed to be
The most meanest MC on this - on this Earth
And since birth I’ve been cursed with this curse to just curse
And just blurt this berserk and bizarre shit that works
And it sells and it helps in itself to relieve
All this tension dispensing these sentences
Getting this stress that’s been eating me recently off of this chest
And I rest again peacefully (peacefully)…
But at least have the decency in you
To leave me alone, when you freaks see me out
In the streets when I’m eating or feeding my daughter
Do not come and speak to me (speak to me)…
I don’t know you and no,
I don’t owe you a motherfucking thing
I’m not Mr. N'Sync, I’m not what your friends think
I’m not Mr. Friendly, I can be a prick
If you tempt me my tank is on empty (is on empty)…
No patience is in me and if you offend me
I’m lifting you 10 feet (lifting you 10 feet)… in the air
I don’t care who was there and who saw me just jaw you
Go call you a lawyer, file you a lawsuit
I’ll smile in the courtroom and buy you a wardrobe
I’m tired of all you (of all you)…
I don’t mean to be mean, but that’s all I can be it’s just me

And I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news everyday I am
Radio won’t even play my jam
‘Cause I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news everyday I am
I don’t know, it’s just the way I am

Sometimes I just feel like my father,
I hate to be bothered
With all of this nonsense it’s constant
And, “Oh, it’s his lyrical content -
- the song 'Guilty Conscience’ has gotten such rotten responses”
And all of this controversy circles me
And it seems like the media immediately
Points a finger at me (finger at me)…
So I point one back at 'em, but not the index or pinkie
Or the ring or the thumb, it’s the one you put up
When you don’t give a fuck, when you won’t just put up
With the bullshit they pull, 'cause they full of shit too
When a dude’s getting bullied and shoots up his school
And they blame it on Marilyn (on Marilyn)… and the heroin
Where were the parents at? And look where it’s at
Middle America, now it’s a tragedy
Now it’s so sad to see, an upper class city
Having this happening (this happening)…
Then attack Eminem 'cause I rap this way (rap this way)…
But I’m glad 'cause they feed me the fuel that I need for the fire
To burn and it’s burning and I have returned

And I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news everyday I am
Radio won’t even play my jam
'Cause I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news everyday I am
I don’t know it’s just the way I am

I’m so sick and tired of being admired
That I wish that I would just die or get fired
And dropped from my label, let’s stop with the fables
I’m not gonna be able to top on “My Name is… ”
And pigeon-holed into some pop-py sensation
That got me rotation at rock'n'roll stations
And I just do not got the patience (got the patience)…
To deal with these cocky Caucasians who think
I’m some wigger who just tries to be black 'cause I talk
With an accent, and grab on my balls, so they always keep asking
The same fucking questions (fucking questions)…
What school did I go to, what hood I grew up in
The why, the who what when, the where, and the how
'Til I’m grabbing my hair and I’m tearing it out
'Cause they driving me crazy (driving me crazy)… I can’t take it
I’m racing, I’m pacing, I stand and I sit
And I’m thankful for every fan that I get
But I can’t take a shit, in the bathroom
Without someone standing by it
No, I won’t sign your autograph
You can call me an asshole I’m glad

'Cause I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news everyday I am
Radio won’t even play my jam
'Cause I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news everyday I am
I don’t know, it’s just the way I am

Sunday, January 29, 2017

LEONARD COHEN - "Democracy"

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

MAY SWENSON - "The DNA Molicule"

is The Nude Descending a Staircase
a circular one.
See the undersurfaces of the spiral treads
and the spaces in between.

She is descending and at the same
time ascending and she moves around herself.
For she is the staircase
“a protoplasmic framework an internal scaffolding

that twists and turns.”
She is a double helix mounting and dismounting

around the swivel of her imaginary spine.
The Nude named DNA can be constructed

as a model with matches and a ribbon of tape.
Be sure to use only 4 colors on 2 white strands

of twistable tape.
“Only matches of complementary colors

may be placed opposite each other.
The pairs are to be red and green

and yellow and blue.”
Make your model as high as the Empire

State Building and you
Have an acceptable replica of The Nude.

But and this is harder you must make her move in a continuous coil
an alpha-helix a double spiral

downward and upward at once
and you must make her increase

while at the same time occupying the same field.
She must be made “to maintain a basic topography”

changing yet remaining stable if she
is to perform her function which

is to produce and reproduce the microsphere.
Such a sphere is invisible to but

omnipresent in the naked eye
of The Nude.

It contains “a central region and
an outer membrane” making it able to divide

“to make exact copies of itself without limit.”
The Nude has “the capacity for replication

and transcription of all genesis.
She ingests and regurgitates

the genetic material it being
the material of her own cell-self.

From single she becomes double and
from double single.

As a woman ingests the demon sperm and with
the same membrane regurgitates

the mitotic double of herself
upon the slide of time

so the DNA molecule produces with a little pop
at the waistline of its viscous drop

a new microsphere the same size as herself
which proceeds singly to grow

in order to divide
and double itself.

So from single to double and double to single and
mounting while descending she expands while contracts

she proliferates while disappearing
at both of her ends.

Remember that red can only be
opposite green and blue opposite yellow.

Remember that the complementary pairs
of matches must differ slightly in length

“for nature’s pairs can be made only with units
whose structures permit an interplay of forces between the partners.”

I fixed a blue match opposite a red
match of the same length

in defiance of the rules pointed them away
from the center on the double-stranded tape.

I saw laid a number of eggs on eggs on the sticky side
of a twig.

I saw a worm with many feet grow out
of an egg.

The worm climbed the twig a single helix and
gobbled the magnified edge of a leaf

in quick enormous bites.
It then secreted out of itself a gray floss

with which it wrapped itself tail first and so on
until it had completely muffled

and encased itself head last as in a mummy pouch.
I saw plushy iridescent wings push moistly out

of the pouch.
At first glued

together they began to part.
On each wing I saw a large blue eye

open forever in the expression of resurrection.
The new Nude released the flanges of her wings

stretching herself to touch
at all points the outermost rim of the noösphere.

I saw that for her body from which the wings expanded
she had retained the worm.

Friday, January 27, 2017

YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA - "Ode to the Maggot"

Brother of the blowfly
And godhead, you work magic
Over battlefields,
In slabs of bad pork

And flophouses. Yes, you
Go to the root of all things.
You are sound & mathematical.
Jesus, Christ, you're merciless

With the truth. Ontological & lustrous,
You cast spells on beggars & kings
Behind the stone door of Caesar's tomb
Or split trench in a field of ragweed.

No decree or creed can outlaw you
As you take every living thing apart. Little
Master of earth, no one gets to heaven
Without going through you first.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Nothing I did or said among the other boys came to me naturally. As a result, in every encounter, even the most glancing, I had to be a performer, for at all times I was aware I was impersonating a human being.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

And they too will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 

Then the King will answer, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ 

And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
HAROLD BLOOM from Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

Recently I mourned when reading the obituary of the founder of The American Flat Earth Society.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LOUISE BOGAN - “Several Voices Out of a Cloud”

Come, drunks and drug-takers; come, perverts unnerved!
Receive the laurel, given, though late, on merit; to whom
        and wherever deserved.

Parochial punks, trimmers, nice people, joiners true-blue,
Get the hell out of the way of the laurel. It is deathless
        And it isn’t for you.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Alex Stoddard, 2010
JOHN KEATS - “Lines on seeing a Lock of Milton’s Hair “

Chief of organic Numbers!
Old Scholar of the Spheres!
Thy spirit never slumbers,
But rolls about our ears
For ever and for ever.
O, what a mad endeavour
Worketh he
Who, to thy sacred and ennobled hearse,
Would offer a burnt sacrifice of verse
And Melody!

How heavenward thou soundedst
Live Temple of sweet noise;
And discord unconfoundedst:
Giving delight new joys,
And Pleasure nobler pinions –
O where are thy Dominions!
Lend thine ear
To a young delian oath – aye, by thy soul,
By all that from thy mortal Lips did roll;
And by the Kernel of thine earthly Love,
Beauty, in things on earth and things above,
When every childish fashion
Has vanish’d from my rhyme
Will I grey-gone in passion
Give to an after-time
Hymning and harmony
Of thee, and of thy Words and of thy Life:
But vain is now the bruning and the strife –
Pangs are in vain – until I grow high-rife
With Old Philosophy
And mad with glimpses at futurity!

For many years my offerings must be hush’d:
When I do speak I’ll think upon this hour,
Because I feel my forehead hot and flush’d,
Even at the simplest vassal of thy Power, –
A Lock of thy bright hair!
Sudden it came,
And I was startled when I heard thy name
Coupled so unaware –
Yet, at the moment, temperate was my blood:
Methought I had beheld it from the flood.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

LI BAI - “Autumn River Song”

The moon shimmers in green water.
White herons fly through the moonlight.

The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnuts:
into the night, singing, they paddle home together.

America was never white, you racist fucks.

“Town of the Sound of a Twig Breaking”

Their faces I thought were knives.
The way they pointed them at me.
And waited.
A hunter is someone who listens.
So hard to his prey it pulls the weapon.
Out of his hand and impales.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

SAM SHEPARD from Action

I’m getting better now. Even in the middle of all this violence.

Friday, January 20, 2017


History has to live with what was here,
clutching and close to fumbling all we had—
it is so dull and gruesome how we die,
unlike writing, life never finishes.
Abel was finished; death is not remote,
a flash-in-the-pan electrifies the skeptic,
his cows crowding like skulls against high-voltage wire,
his baby crying all night like a new machine.
As in our Bibles, white-faced, predatory,
the beautiful, mist-drunken hunter’s moon ascends—
a child could give it a face: two holes, two holes,
my eyes, my mouth, between them a skull’s no-nose—
O there’s a terrifying innocence in my face
drenched with the silver salvage of the mornfrost.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Those — dying then,
Knew where they went —
They went to God’s Right Hand —
That Hand is amputated now
And God cannot be found —

The abdication of Belief
Makes the Behavior small —
Better an ignis fatuus
Than no illume at all —

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

RAY BRADBURY in conversation with Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke on the cosmos and the human mind

I think it’s part of the nature of man to start with romance and build to a reality. There’s hardly a scientist or an astronaut I’ve met who wasn’t beholden to some romantic before him who led him to doing something in life.

I think it’s so important to be excited about life. In order to get the facts we have to be excited to go out and get them, and there’s only one way to do that — through romance. We need this thing which makes us sit bolt upright when we are nine or ten and say, “I want to go out and devour the world, I want to do these things.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TOM WAITS - "Warm Beer And Cold Women"

It's warm beer and cold women, no I just don't fit in
Every joint I stumbled into tonight, that's just how its been
All these double-knit strangers with gin and vermouth
And recycled stories, in the naugahyde booths
And the platinum blondes and tobacco brunettes
I'll just be drinking to forget you, I light another cigarette
And the band's playing something by Tammy Wynette
And the drinks are on me tonight

All my conversations now, I'll just be talking about you, baby
I'm boring some sailor as I try to get through
I just want him to listen now I say that's all you have to do
He said I'm better off without you, until I showed him my tattoo
And now the moon's rising, ain't no time to lose
Time to get down to drinking, tell the band to play the blues
And the drinks are on me I'll buy another round
At the last ditch attempt saloon

Warm beer and cold women, no I just don't fit in
Every joint I stumble into tonight, that's just how it's been
All these double-knit strangers with gin and vermouth
Receding hairlines, in the naugahyde booths
And the platinum blondes and tobacco brunettes
I'll just be drinking to forget you, baby, I light a menthol cigarette
And the band's playing something by Johnnie Barnette
At the last ditch attempt saloon

Monday, January 16, 2017

W. S. MERWIN - “Memorandum”

Save these words for a while because
of something they remind you of
although you cannot remember
what that is a sense that is part
dust and part the light of morning

you were about to say a name
and it is not there I forget
them too I am learning to pray
to Perdita to whom I said
nothing at the time and now she
cannot hear me as far as I
know but the day goes on looking

the names often change more slowly
than the meanings whole families
grow up in them and then are gone
into the anonymous sky
O Perdita does the hope go on
after the names are forgotten

and is the pain of the past done
when the calling has stopped and those
betrayals so long repeated
that they are taken for granted
as the shepherd does with the sheep

Sunday, January 15, 2017

LI BAI - “Parting”

Green mountains rise to the north;
white water rolls past the eastern city.

Once it has been uprooted,
the tumbleweed travels forever.

Drifting clouds like a wanderer’s mind;
sunset, like the heart of your old friend.

We turn, pause, look back and wave,
Even our ponies look back and whine.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

“Of Mere Being”

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor,

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cesare Peverelli, 1955
H. L. MENCKEN in 1920

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tallulah Bankhead.


Nothing good was ever written in a large room.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

ANNE CARSON - "TV Men: Lazarus"

Repetition is horrible. Poor Lazarus cannot have known
he was an
imitation Christ,
but who can doubt he realized, soon after being ripped out of his
warm little bed in the ground,

his own epoch of repetition just beginning.
Lazarus Take 2!
Poor drop.
As a bit of salt falls back down the funnel. Or maybe my pity
is misplaced. Some people think Lazarus lucky,

like Samuel Beckett who calls him ‘Happy Larry’ or Rilke
who speaks of
that moment in a game
when 'the pure too-little flips over into the empty too-much.’
Anne Carson, from “TV Men: Lazarus”

Sunday, January 8, 2017

LOUISE BOGAN - "Song for the Last Act"

Now that I have your face by heart, I look 
Less at its features than its darkening frame 
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame, 
Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd’s crook. 
Beyond, a garden. There, in insolent ease
The lead and marble figures watch the show 
Of yet another summer loath to go
Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.

Now that I have your face by heart, I look.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read 
In the black chords upon a dulling page 
Music that is not meant for music’s cage,
Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed. 
The staves are shuttled over with a stark 
Unprinted silence. In a double dream 
I must spell out the storm, the running stream. 
The beat’s too swift. The notes shift in the dark.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see
The wharves with their great ships and architraves; 
The rigging and the cargo and the slaves
On a strange beach under a broken sky.
O not departure, but a voyage done!
The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps
Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps 
Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW from The Quintessence of Ibsenism

The liar’s punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.

Friday, January 6, 2017


It is ten o’clock in the morning and I am already overwhelmed by the idea of today. I’m trying, I’m trying. I keep walking around on the verge of tears chanting, ‘It’s okay. It’s okay,’ and taking big breaths. My goal is to stay safely in between self-analysis and self-destruction. I just feel like I’m draining people right now. There is only so much I can ask for while giving nothing back.

I think if I wear something I like and pull my hair back and take the dogs with me, though, I will feel confident enough to go to the store and buy some orange juice.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

HAROLD PINTER from No Man’s Land

I’m a staunch friend of the arts, particularly the art of poetry, and a guide to the young. I keep open house. Young poets come to me. They read me their verses. I comment, give them coffee, make no charge. Women are admitted, some of whom are also poets. Some are not. Some of the men are not. Most of the men are not. But with the windows open to the garden, my wife pouring long glasses of squash, with ice, on a summer evening, young voices occasionally lifted in unaccompanied ballad, young bodies lying in the dying light, my wife moving through the shadows in her long gown, what can ail? I mean who can gainsay us? What quarrel can be found with what is, au fond, a gesture towards the sustenance and preservation of art, and through art to virtue?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ANTHONY DOERR from All The Light We Cannot See

We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.

Monday, January 2, 2017

SAMUEL BECKETT from Footfalls

How outwardly unmoved.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

JULIAN BARNES on failure

This is not an affectation, failure is what writers do. It is built in. Your immeasurable ambition is eked out through the many thousand individual words of your novel, each one of them written and rewritten several times, and this requires you to hold your nerve for a very long period of time – or forget about holding your nerve, forget about the wide world and all that anxiety and just do it, one word after the other.

And then redo it, so it reads better. The writer’s great and sustaining love is for the language they work with every day. It may not be what gets us to the desk but it is what keeps us there and, after 20 or 30 years, this love yields habit and pleasure and necessity.


Tom Waits