Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Difficult-To-Say-In-Words Things"

I like him so much...I don't always have the words for why exactly...And maybe this is why...Bless him.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"a word is elegy to what it signifies"

Robert Hass has mostly made it into my head by way of his work with Czeslaw Milosz, but I'm fast becoming an enthusiast of the fellow apart from all that. Here's the one that's getting to me lately...say "blackberry" three times.

Meditation at Lagunitas

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you
and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

© 1987 Robert Hass

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Impression You Sell

Sarah and Steve Mason and I were celebrating Fun Boy Three's "Our Lips Are Sealed" last night and working our way over to the therapeutic-charismatic powers of Tears for Fears when it was remarked, "80's music...It's all there." I'm feeling the resonance of many a witness lately, and this one came to me on the Ipod today. Please join me in my exploration of this chronically, underestimated poetic-prophetic resource (I initially serendipitously misheard the opening line as "The deception we're TAUGHT":

The Fixx...One Thing Leads to Another

The deception with tact
Just what are you trying to say
You've got a blank face, which irritates
Communicate, pull out your party piece
You see dimensions in two
State your case with black or white
But when one little cross
Leads to shots, grit your teeth
You run for cover so discreet
Why don't they

Do what they say, say what you mean
Oh well, one thing leads to another
You told me something wrong
I know I listen too long
But then one thing leads to another

The impression that you sell
Passes in and out like a scent
But the long face that you see
Comes from living close to your fears
If this is up, then I'm up
But you're running out of sight
You've seen your name on the walls
And when one little bump
Leads to shock miss a beat
You run for cover and there's heat
Why don't they

Do what they say, say what they mean
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong
I know I listen too long
But then one thing leads to another
Yeah, yeah, yeah

One thing leads to another

Then it's easy to believe
Somebody's been lying to me
But when the wrong word goes in the right ear
I know you've been lying to me
It's getting rough, off the cuff
I've got to say enough's enough
Bigger the harder he falls
But when the wrong antidote
Is like a bulge on the throat
You run for cover in the heat
Why don't they

Do what they say, say what they mean
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong
I know I listen too long
But then one thing leads to another
Yeah, yeah

One thing leads to another...

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Gifted...

What could be more Rock and Roll than the deconstruction of Rock and Roll.
Is this Rock and Roll?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Post-Celebrity Age

The unflashiness of the thing, to my mind, ups the volume of its credibility feeling and it gets me wondering if we're entering a time when more and more people are less and less wowed by celebrity, a time when famous people are expected to come to us more notably unplugged and on the level. It's as if he's apologizing for the idea that his two-cents might have an impact. Anyway, Joe Versus the Volcano ROCKED.