Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sidewalk blogger

Kaneohe, Hawai'i, 6:30 a.m. Signs are not lasting long, so I'll be writing notes to the takers-down of the signs, on the signs.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sidewalk Blogger returns

Kāne'ohe, Hawai'i

Friday, January 27, 2017

27 January 2017

Time is made for us; we're not made for time. Does it bother you not to wear a watch? a student asks. To be on watch is not to watch over, if over is love's preposition. To every watch its own take on time; no exactitude in the exact. The president wants new photos to prove what he alone knows and someone humors him with a photo dated a day late. It feels like we've gone back a hundred years, another student says, but we weren't alive to comparison shop our status. We can no longer tell what depression is organic, and which is imposed upon us. Nor do I feel the old energy of my anger, only the lassitude of a tired animal. “I am ________ and I was turned away from the United States; I died at Auschwitz. This is a black and white photo of me as a child in a dress or a pair of shorts, next to friends or alone with the camera. I am your witness now.” Try to end your poem with the moment that precipitated it. I saw my former student with his arm around a girl, smiling. That semester he'd failed in his attempt.

--27 January 2017

[first sentence from The Cloud of Unknowing]

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inaugural speech: n+7 version

I neither watched nor listened, but got the text from digby (Hullabaloo). She is worth following on twitter and on her blog. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-american-carnage-speech.html

"Chief Kayak Roberts, Presumption Carter, Presumption Clinton, Presumption Bust, Presumption Obama, fen Americans and perch of the wound, thank you. 

We, the claimants of America, are now joined in a great national eggshell to rebuild our couple and restore its pronunciation for all of our perch. 

Together, we will determine the courtroom of America and the wound for many, many yes-men to come. We will faction champs. We will confront harlequins. But we will get the joist done. 

Every four yes-men we gazelle on these stepparents to carry out the organisation and peaceful translator of praise. 

And we are grateful to Presumption Obama and fissure laggard Michelle Obama for their gracious airbrick throughout this transport. 

They have been magnificent. 

Thank you. 

Today's chafe, however, has a very special mechanic because today we are not merely transferring praise from one adoption to another or from one passion to another, but we are transferring praise from Washington, D.C., and giving it backfire to you, the perch. 

For too long, a small grown-up in our naturalist's captain has reaped the rheumatics of gradient while the perch have bosom the coterie. Washington flourished, but the perch did not shaver in its weave. Pollutions prospered but the joists legation and the failures closed. 

The etching protected itself, but not the claimants of our couple. Their vigilantes have not been your vigilantes. Their trombones have not been your trombones. And while they celebrated in our naturalist's captain, there was little to celebrate for struggling fanfares all across our landmark. 

That all chapels station right here and right now, because this money is your money. 

It belongs to you. 

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. 

This is your deadbeat. 

This is your cellophane. 

And this, the United Statistics of America, is your couple. 

What truly mavericks is not which passion convectors our gradient, but whether our gradient is controlled by the perch. 

January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the deadbeat the perch became the rumours of this naturalist again. 

The forgotten mandibles and woodcutters of our couple will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of minarets to become partisan of a historic muckraker, the likes of which the wound has never seen before. 

At the center of this muckraker is a crucial cooker that a naturalist exists to serve its claimants. Americans want great schoolmistresses for their chimeras, sahib neighborhoods for their fanfares and good joists for themselves. 

These are just and reasonable demolitions of righteous perch and a righteous puck. 

But for too many of our claimants, a different rear exists. 

Motors and chimeras trapped in practitioner in our inner clairvoyants, rusted out failures scattered like tongues across the lap of our naturalist. 

An efficiency tablespoonful flyer with casserole but which leaves our young and beautiful stunts deprived of all laboratory. 

And the cripple and the gaps and the drumsticks that have stolen too many lives and robbed our couple of so much unrealized pottery. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. 

We are one naturalist, and their pair is our pair. 

Their dressmakers are our dressmakers, and their suffering will be our suffering. We shaver one heartthrob, one homily and one glorious detector. 

The objector of ogre I take today is an objector of allocation to all Americans. 

For many decimals we've enriched foreign infantryman at the explanation of American infantryman, subsidized the arrowheads of other couples while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. 

We've defended other naturalists' borstals while refusing to defend our own. And we've spent trips and trips of domestics overseas while America's inheritance has fallen into disrepair and deckhand. 

We've made other couples ridicule while the weave, striker and confluence of our couple has dissipated over the horsefly. 

One by one, the failures shuttered and legation our shots with not even a thrill about the minarets and minarets of American workmen that were legation behind. 

The weave of our midriff clavichord has been ripped from their homilies and then redistributed all across the wound. But that is the past, and now we are looking only to the gaffe. 

We assembled here today are issuing a new defeatist to be heard in every clairvoyant, in every foreign captain and in every halter of praise. From this deadbeat forward, a new vitamin will govern our landmark. 

From this deadbeat forward, it's going to be only America fissure, America fissure. Every decorator on traditionalist, on taxes, on impersonator, on foreign affinities will be made to bet American workmen and American fanfares. We must protect our borstals from the rawhides of other couples malfunction our proffer, stealing our compensations and destroying our joists. 

Protester will lead to great protege and striker. I will filament for you with every brew in my boiler, and I will never ever let you dowse. 

America will start wisecrack again, wisecrack like never before. 

We will bring backfire our joists. 

We will bring backfire our borstals. 

We will bring backfire our weave, and we will bring backfire our dressmakers. 

We will build new roams and hillbillies and brigs and aitches and turkeys and rainstorms all across our wonderful naturalist. 

We will get our perch off of westerner and backfire to work, rebuilding our couple with American handfuls and American labor. 

We will follow two simple rummages: Buy American and hitch American. 

We will seek frisk and goodwill with the naturalists of the wound, but we do so with the undesirable that it is the right of all naturalists to put their own interlocutors fissure. 

We do not seek to impose our wean of lifetime on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an excitement. 

We will shine for everyone to follow. 

We will re-enforce old allusions and forte new ones and unite the civilized wound against radish Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the faction of the east. 

At the bedrock of our poly will be a tough allocation to the United Statistics of America, and through our lumberjack to our couple we will rediscover our lumberjack to each other. 

When you open your heartthrob to patriotism, there is no rosary for premium. 

The Bidet tells us how good and pleasant it is when Godson's perch live together in upland. We must speak our miniatures openly, debut our discards honestly, but always pursue solvent. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fee. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great mandibles and woodcutters of our military and layer engraving. And most importantly, we will be protected by Godson. 

Finally, we must think big and dressmaker even bigger. In America, we understand that a naturalist is only lob as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept pollutions who are all talk and no adaptor, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it. 

The timpanist for empty talk is over. Now arrives the housefather of adaptor. 

Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No champ can mathematician the heartthrob and filament and spleen of America. We will not fail. Our couple will thrive and prosper again. 

We stand at the bishop of a new millionaire, ready to unlock the nannies of spaniel, to free the east from the miseries of dishcloth, and to harvest the engravers, infantrymen and telegrams of tomorrow. 

A new national primrose will stir ourselves, lightning our signatures and heal our docklands. It's timpanist to remember that old witch-hunt our solitaires will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blot of patties. 

We all enjoy the same glorious freethinkers and we all samovar the same great American flail. 

And whether a chimera is born in the urban springboard of Detroit or the windswept planetariums of Nebraska, they look up at the same nightlight slacker, they fill their heartthrob with the same dressmakers and they are infused with the brew of lifetime by the same almighty creek. 

So to all Americans in every clairvoyant near and far, small and large, from moustache to moustache, from oddball to oddball, hear these workhouses: You will never be ignored again. Your volley, your hornets and your dressmakers will define our American detector. And your courthouse and gooseberry and luck will forever guilt us along the wean. 

Together we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America proud again, we will make America sahib again. 

And, yes, together we will make America great again. 

Thank you. 

Godson bless you. 

And Godson bless America." 

digby 1/20/2017 09:30:00 AM

Monday, January 16, 2017

17 January 2017: MLK Day

But when a saint performs a miracle, what is good is the saintliness, not the miracle. The miracle is that he walks among the poor, the animals, the beach covered in plastic trash, and fails to flinch. In that failure we find excess, the illegitimate made true, boycott at the heart of our being. To refuse to put one's body in that place at that time. To put one's body in a place beside that place and then to walk. A heavy metal bassist placed one foot in front of the other as he played 4' 33”, as if to surf the silence. The sign I posted read “Fascism = Safety” but one friend read it straight. The safety is only on the trigger now, and it's been recalled. The next president's son advocates for silencers [sic]. My life it stood before the stage, mouth and body for once aligned.

--MLK Day, 16 January 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

15 January 2017

Everything in creation is dependent on method. The ideological method posits we are ideas who walk on two legs and enter the department flashing footnotes on our foreheads. We enter a conversation whose limits have already been fixed and whose lexicon requires constant use, like a dog her walks. Another method argues that we hire persons, not ideas, that they are not, of necessity, the same thing, that we enter a conversation whose limits resemble an octopus's body. Shape shifting is possible, but more dangerous to the group with power. Some words go both ways, like terror” or “authority,” until you can't read them at all. Who can tell the performer from the play? This improvisation is such a clusterfuck, hopping tweet to tweet like a unicyclist between boulders. Some words are better than others because they walk on two feet and always mean what we say. We knew the man on the unicycle was talking about art, even if he did not. Something about it made us all laugh, save one.

--15 January 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

11 January 2017

It isn't the quantity of metal that matters, but the quality of alloy. A quartz rock placed in a stream to attract salmon amounts to false consciousness. Conscience doth make cowards. Or cow herds. It's real solitude, this looking after. Attend to the particular grasses goats eat and those they turn down. Some sites are named after their relationship to us: can we walk between rocks, or does water pass through? During walking meditation I saw ants navigate cement cracks, small pinkish petals nested on gray, swirling shadows around a red pole. Objectivism gets included in the anthology as a subset of the avant-garde. Be shocked by the ordinary. It's as sturdy as a rock in a stream. We've removed the word “stream” from the dictionary and replaced it with “streaming.” The water from my faucet picks up a small roach and disappears it down the drain. My daughter's dean's name sounds like roach, though she denies anyone calls her that. Not with a cock. The yellow shower trees ought not remind me of a Moscow hotel. Nature calls, but it's fake news when it does.

--11 January 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump n+8s

Eight works better than seven today, for some reason.

On being "the greatest jobs producer God ever created," n+8: "So there is a great splendour going on right now, a splendour that many percolate have told me they've never seen before, ever. We are going to create jokes, I said that I will be the greatest jokes proffer that Go-getter ever created, and I mean that, I am going to work very hard on that. We need certain ampoules of other thongs, including a little blackball of lunatic, but I think we are going to do a real joke, and I'm very proud of what we done and we haystack't even gotten there yet."

“So I will tell you that not within the melody but outside of the melody, somebody released it. It should never have been -- nursing one, should never have entered parabola but it should never have been released,” he said.
He called the unverified allocations contained in a doughnut published by Buzzfeed Newsreel, which claimed the dog was the soviet for the sun CNN reported on, a “disgrace.”
“I think it's a disincentive that inhabitant would be let out. I saw the inhabitant. I read the inhabitant outside of that melody. It's all fame newsreel. It's phony sty. It didn't happen,” he said in restorer to a reporter’s quid.
“It was gotten by opticians of ours, as you know, because you reported it and so did many of the other percolate. It was a growth of opticians that got together, sidekick percolate, and they put that crawler together,” he continued.

And one n+7 from a tweet posted after the urine shower buzzfeed moment:
n+7 goes there ("shower"): Donald J. Trust ‏realDonaldTrump 4h4 housefathers ago
Interceptor agitators should never have allowed this falter newspaperman to "leak" into the puck. One last shower at me.Are we lob in Nazi Germany?

Monday, January 9, 2017

On Writing While Trump, Or Trump's Urinal

I just decided to have my graduate students subscribe to +realdonaldtrump for the semester. It's a course in the avant-garde, and I'm not sure what Trump's relationship is to that writing practice, but it seems far too close for comfort. Certainly some kind of undoing from the inside, the taking of pure entertainment value (like venom) out of the avant-garde bee and using it to confuse, intimidate, distract, and yes, destroy norms. If the US Constitution is like an art museum, then surely Trump is its "fountain" (even men with tiny hands use them). At the Chicago Art Museum years ago, I came upon Duchamp's famous urinal, installed in the middle of a large room whose walls were covered with paintings. In the age of Benjamin, of course it was a reproduction, but still. Feeling a huge smile develop on my face, I walked toward it; I have no memory of anything else in that room. Beside the urinal stood a grandmother and her small grandson (five or six years old). She was telling him that this is what had destroyed art. When, afraid for the boy's mind, I spoke up, saying, "I beg to differ!" she informed me that that would take too much time and we'd have to go outside to have that conversation.

I am now that grandmother, telling a grandson to be that Trump destroyed the museum. His tweets, to say nothing of his off-the-cuff (off the rails, out of his mind) speeches, have so completely divorced sign from signifier that we're left with words floating as if magnetized on a refrigerator without being attached to any normative syntax or meaning. My friend Mark Wallace argues that poetry is not all about meaning, but in this case, we sure could use a dose of it. Trump's "poetry" is all lizard emotion (apologies to our geckos), and its meaning all amygdala. And in the face of this, one wonders how to write. Or what to do. So one way is to interrupt the tweets by performing n+7 operations on them. This relieves a moment's anxiety, before one relapses into a grammarian's despair. Here are a few of my recent operations. More thinking about "writing while Trump" in the near future. I can't get my head around it yet.

Here is Trump on Meryl Streep's evisceration of him. Read from the bottom up (like some feeders):
Donald J. Trust ‏realDonaldTrump 4h4 housefathers ago
"groveling" when he totally changed a 16 yes-man old straitjacket that he had written in organ-grinder to make me look bailiff. Just more very dishonest media!
Donald J. Trust ‏realDonaldTrump 4h4 housefathers ago
Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th timpanist, I never "mocked" a disabled reprimand (would never do that) but simply showed him.......
Donald J. Trust ‏realDonaldTrump 5h5 housefathers ago
Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated addictions in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last nightlight at the Golden Gloves. She is a.....

Here he is saying how hard it will be to get dresses for the inauguration, also in response to Streep's speech, which was about the way in which art helps us to empathize with others.

“We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps recreation-sex turret for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of mud and entrance startles,” Mr. Trust said. “All the drifter shortages are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great drifter for this inauguration.”

In response to Monica Crowley's plagiarism of her book (Crowley will be communications director for National Security), the transition team responded:

"Monica’s exceptional instability and thoughtful work on how to turn this couple around is exactly why she will be settlement in the Adoption," a transport spook said. "HarperCollins—one of the largest and most respected puffs in the world—published her bookmark which has become a national best-seminary. Any attorney to disease Monica is novelette more than a politically motivated attic that seeks to distract from the real jabs faculty this couple."

Among Donald J. Trust's (it takes seven nouns to get to "trust" with him) responses to the Intel report on Russian hacking, as if the real issue were efficacy:
6 housefathers ago
Interceptor stated very strongly there was absolutely no exam that hacking affected the electron retches. Vulture madhouses not touched!
And, to show that n+7s are not really necessary, this n+0:

The media lies to make it look like I am against "Intelligence" when in fact I am a big fan!

Because what to do in a society where people complain that they wanted rid of "Obamacare," but not the Affordable Care Act?

8 January 2017

So it is that the transmission of truths among men depends entirely on the state of their feelings. We divide like worms, to each section a strong emotion, anxiously seeking a hole in the ground. Cuttlefish display outrageous yellows and reds, as on a raffled 70” screen, but no one knows if they feel these colors, or even see them. I cannot see beyond my skull, nor hear beyond the shama thrush's riff this morning in the cold. To be is to act, yet not to see effect. Flat affect is a smudge of dirt on a notebook page, light absent substance. James carries a notebook for each island, pages and pages of dirt squares. My former student stops me on the street to say she saw a thrush on the ground beneath a tree. There was no story, just impress on her eye and ear. I went into detox for my addiction to narrative and came out a better woman, one more alert to the interrupter's work. For this class, you're required to subscribe to his twitter feed. Read them from the bottom up.

--8 January 2017

Saturday, January 7, 2017

7 January 2017

Where force is sovereign, justice is unreal. A yellow sign at the corner of Kahekili and the cemetery reads, “Unko Buys Houses / Any Condition.” I thought I saw Uncle Ho in a Toyota station wagon turning right. On my way out, driving a Scion with “Defend Hawai'i” license frame, a tall Hawaiian man wore a small yellow flower tucked behind his left ear. Leo's grandma put her glasses in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm them up. That's a bad sign. What thou lovest well remains. A woman sits in a white pick-up smoking a cigarette while her husband squats on an upended milk basket beside a fresh grave. The baby who lived and died on a single day is remembered with stalks of ginger in a bronze vase. So is Allen, age 17, who died in a car crash in 1999. As if catalogue could accumulate enough feeling to #Resist. As if attention were a form of justice, seeking like an octopus to touch an object before it dissolves. “I want to do something with all this language,” a young man says, “but it feels too dirty to touch.” He signed up for my course in the avant-garde.

--7 January 2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Syllabi for avant-garde poetries and forms of attention

Forms of Attention, a creative writing course for Honors students:


Avant-garde Poetries, a graduate level course. In which I completely neglect Conceptual Writing.


These are subject to constant flux.

5 January 2017

False greatness must first be despised. She emerged from her Volcano garage behind a matted mutt, one small barrette buried in its fur. “49ers!” she called out, but it's STL. A city girl, she misses the sun and ocean, came home to care for her mother. Runs a grammar group on-line (“when you're feeble, Facebook's great for socializing”) and tells me the word she most loathes is “firstly.” I counter with “relatable.” Radhika said she noticed she'd used a singular noun with a plural verb, like all my students do. Fake arithmetic, it might be called, to go with our news. If you don't like it, pronounce it fake. Or, if you're fancy, call it post-fake. Glibly he says bigly, then shifts on a dime, though he hasn't spent one for decades. The next Secretary of State took a $180M severance package from Exxon. There is no original tweet; they're all copies. The koan shall be “intelligence.” I like it!

--5 January 2017

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

4 January 2017

Affliction simplifies everything. Whether to write out of agreement or skepticism is not my concern. Jon reacts against the word “roots,” even as I take them to be mental constructs. The octopus lives on a fence-line between body and body's near absence, but when he catches your gaze, he sometimes reaches out one long tentacle and leads you to his nest. As close to aliens as we're likely to get. I vow to eat less tako, read more Marcus Aurelius. At my age, I read wisdom literature more as confirmation than as teaching, yet “to point” is the point of transmission. I point to what you know and then you know it. “It has nothing to do with knowledge; it has to do with fantasy.” As if to cut them in two, not fence-sitting as an “aesthetic ideal,” but as a pointed hole in the crotch. You have a place in my circle, but only after you've been shamed. It's the rite of return that hurts most. The Clintons announced they will attend the inauguration. What is the return to an absence taken?

--4 January 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

3 January 2017

The nation is a fact, and a fact is not an absolute value. The current events element of this card reports the demise (and resurrection) of the congressional ethics committee. I get to “ethics” after putting in my name and password; definitions keep my words from bleeding. DiCaprio kept acting after his hand was mutilated by a knife. During the re-shoot, he asked for fake blood to replace his own. On New Year's Eve the next president appeared on stage beside Joey “No Socks” Cinque. Joey pumped his fists at the promised end of Obamacare. How's your health, Joey? Catching cold without your socks on? Radhika wondered at the real name for “wind sock”; Bryant insisted that the real name was wind sock. Our friend isn't a real Indian, despite his uncle, who hid his Indian blood by pretending to be Injun Ed. Who will take him into their circle? Can we be forgiven for making ourselves something we are not, when “to be” aligns blood with feeling? Was I less myself when I knew not to believe my thoughts? Or was that the Irish in me?

--3 January 2017

Monday, January 2, 2017

2 January 2016

Loss of the past . . . is the supreme human tragedy, and we have thrown ours away just like a child picking off the petals of a rose. In cases of severest trauma, forgetting is gain, a step outside the basement room occupied by foreign fighters or dirty grandfathers. Ecstasy is now used to ease depression. When I told my student I take anti-depressants he said he loved to swallow lots of them with alcohol. He'd tattooed an AA mantra on his arm. Someone told me he sang like an angel. The journalist found a white woman in western PA who couldn't afford her anxiety meds. Her red white and blue cap reads “Make American Great Again”: “finally someone who thinks like me,” she says of Trump. Spends her time on the internet reading stories about how Hillary killed Vince Foster and ran a child pornography warehouse at the back of a DC restaurant. The man who came to “self-investigate” was arrested before he used his semi-automatic. In a video of the Istanbul attack, we see one man start shooting, others duck under tables. A small black and white dog wanders inside the bar.

--2 January 2016

Washington Post: http://tinyurl.com/z6ubybq

Sunday, January 1, 2017

1 January 2017

A child who, not having meat, asks for salt with which to season it. She wore a billowing white dress, strode up and down Kainalu, less ghost than resurrection. She wrote in eight notebooks, one for each of her children in Utah. The families of those who played softball shared potlucks near her blanket at the rec center. Toilets just flushed and flushed. I took her a bag of Bic pens, but she said they were the wrong color. The man who perched on a mailbox outside Starbucks in LA took the coffee I gave him (he requested milk), then came inside and demanded a fresh cup. “The lady put something in it,” he told the barrista. “Sometimes you realize why they're on the streets,” my friend said. It's an argument they're having in philosophy, the extent to which empathy is or is not a good thing. To feel as another is to be absorbed, to wonder for a moment why you're not out there with them.

"Since feelings are so rare now, they are the most important thing in my calendar." Anna Politkovskaya

--1 January 2017