Saturday, December 31, 2016

31 December 2016

Beauty is something to be eaten: it is food. But if it comes by air, like song? What beauty, this end of year so like one of yours, Simone, a kind of inverse premonition of the cruelty that comes of pain. An old record left in a rain forest testifies to the material production of sound only. Its scratched grooves repeat like scars on a monk seal's underbelly. Re-assemble sound and let us eat it like a choir's meal. One member resigned because she won't sing for a fascist. The dancer's lineage includes a woman reputed to have been a Nazi. What does she do with her dance, except repeat it? Kanani liked only a few brush strokes of her painting, those that represented nothing except background to yellow flowers floating on “landscape without horizon line.” Fog fills the forest like lint. Lint, Michigan? my daughter asks.

--31 December 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

30 December 2016

Totalitarianism's idolatrous course can only be arrested by coming up against a genuinely spiritual way of life. He assumes power as a mask. To assume is not to know, but to trust that one might. I assume the weather will remain cold but that assumption is mine, not the weather's. He presumes to govern it, too, in the guise of markets and consumer spending, a strange weather that clings like fog to things. The red wheelbarrow at Ace Hardware in Kea'au can be had for $43.66. If I buy it, will I better understand the poem that named it? If I sell my name, will it mean more to me? My student was surprised I asked him to define “happiness.” It's a given, but everything here is sold. We're indebted to happiness; we give it everything we have. “I was shocked at the pain I saw in peoples' faces in Ohio.” Where is the aisle, or isle, that holds it close, like a “laying deer” (at 50% off) or the tuition we'll never pay? The spirit asks only for minimum wage, but in Cleveland you're not even allowed to vote on that.

--30 December 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

29 December 2016

Uprooting breeds idolatry. While green, Pepe the Frog's a white supremacist. Many Trump voters are not racists, nor do they condone hatred. Irony may be dying, but I still sense it in my bed springs. The dream life of liberals mingles sex and horror. Fences may get the Oscars, but Caterpillar 3 speaks more directly to us. Someone fucks random body parts, while another somebody eats them. Ants have aphid farms, gently rub aphid bums for their sugar. That's more erotic than any movie trailer in theaters this week. In our search for cows, Radhika and I drove by the fallen-down house, trash strewn up to the street, and the man who lives in a junked car. This is what comes of Thoreau. Another junker sits 20 feet away, and a clothes line's slung between two trees. That's an old gray sweat shirt hanging there. Well hung, someone notes of the Frank O'Hara painting. He's naked, post-lunch, and we've already driven past.

--29 December 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Volcano, Hawai'i Island.

28 December 2016

It isn't the quantity of metal which matters, but the degree of alloy. Aaron “transcends” social media by sitting on the stoop with his dog. I suggest “being” would work better. He replaces “transcend” with “cultivate”; simply “being” being too dull a thing. Most days, Louis DuPre drew a horizontal line on the board to separate us from what transcends us. He wore beautiful brown leather shoes. Why can't a man live on an island and be, he asked. Being works better, but it does not work. Sits in the rain and notes its rhythm. Men at Work was a book about playing. To be busy is either to make work or to make excuses. To excuse is sometimes to forgive; that comes not from thought but impulse. Sins of anger are more forgivable than those of pain, (Marcus Aurelius). Recent outbreaks of violence at malls across the country were not linked in any way, authorities tell us. Effects without cause are chaos. It's what keeps us in line.

--28 December 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

24 December 2016

However beautiful the sound of a cry of woe may be, one cannot wish to hear it again; it is more human to wish to cure the woe. At the cemetery I saw a woman pour tea in a paper cup; her mother placed it on a grave. All I saw was the matted gray hair of a woman sleeping beside the Kāne'ohe Post Office, her things arranged neatly beside an open blue umbrella. The President of Need would take that from her. No blue umbrellas! Cloth is so weak! “I'm fine for a while and then a feeling of existential dread comes over me again.” The tall handsome man with AIDS could not sleep, because he might die if he did. So she came and watched television with him. One night he asked her to lie down, and she did. Your best weapon now will be a toothbrush and shampoo, and your own frail body.

--24 December 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Simone Weil Series: 12/23/2016

Whoever is uprooted himself uproots others. “We elected a man with mental illness—not that I have anything against mental illness.” A tweet demands discipline at the level of the morpheme. Let there be an arms race!--six short sounds and an exclamation. A fascist poetry takes image as fact, metaphor as act. Trump Tower fucks with us. Question of the day: what kind of animal is the Grinch? Is he dog or is he dragon? Should we walk or slay him? We prefer myth to morning walk when myth makes us agents, our names preceding the strong verbs our instructors demand of us. My Netflix queue includes Human Centipede 3, named the second worst film of 2015. It's all act: castration, cannibalism, kidney rape, clitoris candy. The sound of the letter K lends itself to hate. The debt is all ours.

--23 December 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Series (I hope)

Second Simone Weil Series:


There has been a lot of freedom of thought over the past few years, but no thought. I thought I heard a bird means I did not, where thought sits in for mis-perception. Thought sits on the bench, alert to her team's mistakes. Someone advises knowing game theory, then abandons his thread. Pull hread and it unravels, the tapestry and its knights, its ladies, a loom's slow etiquette. Fast forward cannot alter the flower's process, but adrenaline rips bud from battered stem. Repetition, like an injured knee, takes time. No matter how many times she watches The Triplets of Belleville, she wonders how the dog climbs stairs on such narrow legs. Trump's adviser avers: “drain the swamp” was performative. So lock her up.

 --22 December 2016