Tuesday, October 31, 2006

wallace stevens


in dawn we
spare like sole footfall

mica flakes
gold black and carmine
in the valves

banked stone, rock
veined with gold and gray
tensed, like waves.

there was a
shore. she sang a song.

(anguish of
pink in the water.
dripping sun

on waves of
rock and silver, gold,



pale with
against the unpeeled
grapefruits. must
fern tip
waxen as dawn.
by process of inference
it has a shape to it
but it slips
white and silver
in wet fingers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

acc. to proust again

this post is about to be extremely annoying. but forewarned is forearmed (with two big ones, reaching approximately up to the elbow).

according to proust, as far as i understand him, an object is not complete until the present. this includes any object at all: tennis balls (which changed for me in their aspect complete when i read that stupid plaque at shakespeare that said "tennis balls, my liege" from henry v and now can't think of tennis balls without adding a phantom "my liege" onto their rear end), papaya, the lived self. that whole explanation of 4-d as, if one could see it, the tree growing in past to the piece of paper in hand presently which always annoyed the shit out of me makes more sense now (though still annoys the shit out of me).
since the present's always changing its frame, the object is never complete in "time," yet is always complete in our perception, which supplies endless frustration. and proust attempts to lay down guidelines by which time can be dealt with, acknowledging all the parts that make it whole (or as whole as possible--through the specificity of his work he, by process of a logic he exemplifies, shows us exactly how his misrepresentations-slash-incompletenesses could have taken place--the process of creation of an object in action, which is pretty wild). when you think about it, this misrepresentation, the leaving out of the parts of what we felt and thought while we were making our current state (or subject) that we somewhat subconsciously understand as marring the picture, is part of what makes time so painful (though i really shouldn't talk as time hasn't had the occasion to pain me yet exactly as such) (that is, time has pained me, but not a ton). we forget, ergo it loses its reality, ergo something--it feels like being halved. i remember the things i did for v, most of which i hope to god v doesn't know about...i remember those dreams with the princesses and the chains, but i remember them as facts. the meat got sucked out. it might have been physical (another solid reason to hate the body). but do i want to go back, or not to have been the person that did those things? i don't think so. i mean, i'm not sure, but i don't think so. mostly because i can't imagine myself without them: my perception of the object of me-formerly and me-today is completed out of their components, however dependent the reality of me is upon them.
which i guess is a question that could be answered quite easily, if wrongly, by asking someone else who they thought i was. were i the theoretical laura riding, the answer might be the same as mine...
okay, this is boring. the point is that objects, super-saturate as they are, in the framework of time become various things, incomparable to either other objects which theoretically look like them or themselves not-in-time. the object percieved is entirely dependent upon the person recieving it--but as everything is an object to everyone provided it isn't themself at the present moment, this is less unequalizing than it seems.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


it's a void because you expect something to be there.

i break for you
yellow horace:
at the
red and black
i break for you.

outlined like a cameo,
features ousted
yet so vivid.
to the bust
i break for you,
to the parvenue
the hilt. to the
choke snag bitch.
to the braugh and to the
to the auuu
to the nnnaah

burgher she wrote

i don't know much about existentialism, but i think that everyone must know death because our bits are dying all the time. we lose and regain--and even choose to lose and regain--structural integrity with reckless abandon: drinking alcohol, eating too much or too little, smoking, not to mention the fact that every part of ourselves we can see, with the possible exception of the eyes, is dead. i've always had to go on the explanation that it's natural to avoid death, that something intrinsic kicks in when the body's threatened to get it out of danger. but everything seen and touched is dead. if a person really is as extremely isolated within him or herself as lacan says, if that search for continuity does turn into obsession, humans go toward death as much as they run from it, right, because you want to understand what is inside you as what is outside you? in this case i'm speaking of "life" and "death" in the proustian object manner, in which each thing is every other thing that can possibly be allied to it and at the same time its own significantly different variant.

i'm just asking from, as always, a fairly concrete standpoint, which is that the world is getting apocalyptic much sooner than i expected--and yet i think that if i don't die from ecological malaise i'll probably still be living into the drought and the dust with continuity on my brain, reaching out and hoping to hold death-in-life or life-in-death, or dife, as i may wish to call it, and coming up empty. that's why i like this safeway floral job: all the action. i lose myself and it's there, things go, flowing, and are not furled and terse like a sad chopped eggplant.

everyone just about lives in an apocalyptic age. one of the few things i took away from high school european history (aside from catchphrases such as "catherine the great had sex with horses") was that anecdote about the people in 1000 AD who firmly believed the world was going to end with the year. they went up onto a hilltop and waited for the angelic hordes to beat the crap out of the demonds--and then when nothing happened they went home. to more oppression, bad harvests, slaughtering, kids dying, whatnot, doubtless.

Monday, October 23, 2006

laura riding, you despise me


I break for you:
not the smack of fleshy parts
hitting the sides of the meat locker
fresh from the chainsawer,
nor the sick crack of bone from bone
like the skull
under the ice pick,

but literally,
the verb unto the noun,
to break becoming
the broken--the absence of
whole, the gap, the lack,
the void around it
that makes the fragment a fragment

Saturday, October 21, 2006

unusually crappy

i have been two
acquainted with the night.
i know what it is
to sleep on a sofa. the patterns
and the curling
asunder and possible husband
and wife yelling
at each other.

today i read frank o'hara while sarah brightman was playing in the background. it's like white explorers with primitive music: i can't help but acknowledge the body sensation of what sarah brightman does with her voice. every finer sense wishes to rebel, but i can't deny, i just can't, what she does to my senses. and combined with frank o'hara, whose every second word rang on a nerve ending like a soviet on a beetroot... that little orange book was my own, my precious. i even considered stealing it, before i realized i was chicken.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"it's the shape of light as it hits another shape"

something something something.

www.figure-ground.com: frank gehry all over. i don't know. it's nifty.

soft and tender
like a leech on a limb
caring for your juices.

i think, personally, from a standpoint of no knowledge whatsoever, that van gogh saw like he painted, even, when he was at his craziest. of course this is damning him as an idiot savant or a child like one of those 19th century white man's burden types who can't help but acknowledge the unnerving effect of primitive religions and art forms, but i'm just going to go with it. that particular despair expressed in the brushstroke is like a graph with x and y axis. on the x-axis you have shape, and on the y-axis you have color, which are the two materials of a brushstroke, as far as i can figure. and i think in van gogh the y-axis, paint, stands in for desire, while the x-axis, shape, stands in for the incontravertable inevitability of time and the nature of things--y-axis is static and x-axis moves (as in proust--this whole thing is borrowed from proust). hence it's like the intense color-saturation of his stroke is an attempt to hold still, to capture in all its incredible reality, the moment-thing, the thing in the moment, all its beauty, intensity, completion--the thing blazingly at rest, because the color causes it to be so whole. whereas the shape of the stroke moves it along--van gogh's paintings, especially the landscapes, are tacitly not at rest, as are not things to those who experience them--the stroke isn't whole, isn't finished, but is defiantly, outstandingly broken, not even sinuously, often, but like the cup of a wine-glass shattered on a floor: the thing won't stay still; the beauty, intensity, completion are mocked by its continual expression of change. i am thinking of van gogh's self-portrait when i say that pointilism is different because it waits; van gogh's stroke reaches at you, broken. it's like lepers in a parable. kind of.

how the fact that the shape of the stroke is also, in reality, static, and that the painting itself is static, works in here, i don't know.

also i know that anyone with the least bit of depression knows how sometimes the objects around you slow down as time speeds up until ears, eyes, taste, touch, smell, speech, motor function, everything just wants to... you can barely blink, and everything is alive--you know? it's a physical sensation by process of elimination: your emotions are too overwhelmed to know whether they're sad or happy or if you feel anything at all. i don't think i experienced it as van gogh experienced it, but i feel a connection to it; said x versus said y is a deep axis--it goes deep, like a mexican ice pick down into trotsky's head.

i'm not sure i know how to spell incontravertable. shouldn't there be another "i" in it somewhere? also i don't know whether the ice pick was mexican-made or not. dude could have brought one over from russia. i might've, had i been in that situation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


query: is there any such thing as love, and is there anything but love? i'm not talking romantical, but familial. in certain cases it gets into you so far that you can't determine what the hell you are anymore. i hate it and wish it would die, or kill me, like it's been trying to do the last 23 years of my life...of course i've been trying to kill it right back. the fact that niether of us have succeeded must be--what? love's victory?

she said it to no one

still life

there was a glass of alcohol
placed on the counter
like something out of hopper.

there was a small white cotton yarn ball.
around the ground it had run on a string, growing smaller.

there was meat for the fine black ants
the piled bone china.
there was fruit for the bats
hanging jointed from the shadowed

the ants were falling off
envelopes from letters.
there were atomies in the liquids
there were atomies in the leathers.
the bats had rolling beady eyes,
and the alcohol stood waiting
like it had just been poured while
the string ran around
on the floor until abating.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

in thy orbisons be all my sins remembred

strauss's "morgen" teaches exactly how far a person can go into specific and borrowed ecstasy. i've never been there, i've never seen the place or even someplace like it, and yet i've got this exact knowledge of the place it takes place in, and the light. were it a painting it'd be of a woman in a white hat against a white townscape far away, with the sea in her veil, every detail so intimately portrayed that one doesn't need to see her eyes, which are shadowed by the hat, to know what they look like, what they portray--whose they are. one of those moments forster attempts to attain when he says things like "freddy got wet," and what he means is "they were all so overjoyed to be running around and in love that the fact that freddy got wet needs no exposition because it's the simple pure beingness of it, the crowning physicality of this multifaceted moment which in reality when it's taking place is perfectly simple, perfectly natural," and fails because you know what he's getting at and you say, "oh, forster, if only you weren't so proud of yourself for discovering your technique of writing as you are." the self-awareness just freaking kills it for me--but i love maurice. especially the first three-fourths.

why the hell should these things matter? i don't know; i don't know. is it because i'm lonely? is it too much northern exposure?

there's a faith--outmoded, but true--in some suffixes. that in "personhood," for instance, as well as "actualization." this was language that was on the move. it was going somewhere and changing something.

an accomplished cynic is one who works at it. someone wrote a book of sonnets, one sonnet per day, to a loved one--it was okay that they weren't good because she was a lesbian. and they probably were good. but that was the class in which i wrote my notes backward to save my brain from crawling out my ear and making a break for it. hence everything was tainted by association, even creely. he was lost in the furor over duncan, who i hate with a blinding and overwhelming fury. leaving in misspellings or searching them out is not proof of the mutability of language, the mystical in the everyday, or the multiplicity and sometimes the overriding inevitability of communication. it is an overabundance of typos, and unendurable self-satisfaction. for god's sake, the guy's overweening metaphor had to do with a field. maybe i just don't appreciate fields. maybe somebody touched my no-no spot in one once and ever since their incredible thisness has been soured, cancelled in my panicked psyche by the attempt to forget... or maybe it's a stupid metaphor. and the thing is that he returns to it a lot. "often i am permitted to return to a field," he says, explicitly emphasising the whole problem. possibly it was a meadow. or something. also the fact that it was a blank field. there wasn't even anything in it. except some fairies making rings and pursuing their fairy rituals. which furniture sounds to me like what a male madeleyn basset would put into his field had he a metaphorical one. it just kills me. this is apparently "sara expounds on the fact that she hates gay authors mostly because she can" day.

i don't know what's wrong with me. it's like verbal diahrrea, but it's written, and written in a public space. the below is a largeish picture of a catamaran.


the cleaner i sing, the cleaner i write. how bizarre is that? it's like new connections are being forged or maybe just cleaned in my brain by the thor god up in there and his shiny hammer and fine firey furnace, i tell thee 'struthly. we went to a democratic party gala tonight. i saw a girl i'd gone to high school with and always liked as a friend. now i think given a third of an opportunity i could like her as more than a friend but i kinda doubt she's either gay or single... it was kind of electric, though. exciting. i've been having more of those moments recently.

the point was that democrats suck. they suck less than republicans, but the basic premise of politics nowadays seems to be that the average american has NO FUCKING CHANCE IN HELL of understanding ANYTHING about a platform aside from a few basic taglines. which i for one am completely insulted by. it's obvious that i could understand the issues if i wanted to; i just don't want to. politics to voters is like the fragmented underside of a dropped plate. part of me wishes they'd just give up the pretense; the other part wishes to start an agrarian revolution like they did back in 1840 or whenever and travel around oaklahoma and various points north south east and west sockless like jerry joe jackson or whoever the hell that dude was who didn't play baseball and whose basic oratorial premise seemed to be that he was like the common man because he didn't have either the time money or flexibility for socks...possibly. (actually i don't remember why he was sockless, but DAMN, man.) unfortunately the agrarian revolutionary part of me is small, and lacking in drive though not desire (i wish i knew what freud would say to that). so mostly i wish they'd drop the pretense and appoint some nice liberal dictator who wouldn't kill significant parts of the population for eugenic reasons. also he/she would make the tsunamis go away and get giant freezers for the polar ice caps. i mean, not very american of me, i agree, but also not much work for me. and meanwhile these democrats are standing up at the podium there going, "health care for all, tax cuts, out of iraq, better education, clean energy, curbing global warming, and republicans suck my sweaty balls (in some cases figurative). also lower the debt." and i'm like, sounds good. sounds impossible, but good. heh heh, yes, bush is an idjit. heh. i can get on board behind the "let's do good stuff and bush is stupid" campaign. and i may.

but i might not mean it entirely.

ah, little sanderson, i knew you would.


softer and faster monkey.
great winged trees hold you
below the root, your furred parts
disarrayed in a jungle floor.
soft eyes and snout
like a pitcher handle:
pungent leaffall over and under
and thin layered topsoil over
and under.
softer and faster under
the great winged trees monkey.
drops skin from skin,
molecule by scant molecule,
and there is a smell. and a certain
not to be explored.

it was wrapped in a wet leaf bag.
under apocryphal sunset.
the sky burned red over the highway.
hey down a down.

Monday, October 16, 2006

lotta stuff.

i think i ought to give northern exposure the credit of saying that the manner of its images, the way they are, is completely self-knowledgeably, like, jungian or dreamlike: the things you never knew existed but always wanted to exist exist in northern exposure, like that guy's review of the director's work in the black rider program. the things they come (well, came) up with are so beautiful i find myself in tears at the end of every other episode, on the average.

i think i have a fever, but the thermometer says otherwise. to which i respond, in the manner of ira gilligan, hey, i know my body.

i do so many stupid things; it's good to start seeing things as sponges. this is the new face of my slight and ineffectual obsession with the feeling of things, the meat of things, the reality of things...sponges. objects (events, flora, fauna, phenomena, places) are like sponges that have been super-saturated with a liquid which is thicker than water but less ominous than car fluid of any sort--olive or canola oil, i think, especially in an afternoonish sort of light. golden, in short, and thick, without being honey and sticky. ANYWAY, this liquid has saturated the sponge to the point that if you do so much as pick it up, it drips--squeeze it ever so lightly and it overflows. it has an inherent shape, like water in a pitcher, but unlike water in a pitcher you only have to touch it to get it all over you... it's heavy, loaded with liquid. and even left alone it seeps, slightly, glistens. it's time, i think, to tell williams he was not wrong but not right: language is mimic of things. it's not just an arbitrary structure placed on top of distant and rocklike things, but instead an intimate mirror: in naming something, the something becomes named and hence changes, but doesn't the name change too? and powerfully? if you're thinking, and not being lazy? gertrude stein's disbelief in repetitions are an example of this, except that i'm saying that the interaction isn't just word on word, but word on world. if we're stuck in a sensory meatsack, at the very least we have access to its every part. we're sensitively tuned. new facilities replace old ones, new deficiencies old. language isn't just a desperate intellectual need to control, to stagnate, to hold back, to reform into something knowable, defined, solid--because if you say that, you condemn art in the same breath. which might not be a bad thing. but why bother? art is every sensual interaction, i firmly believe: every smell the brain interprets is a piece of art, because it's an interpretation, a making-private, possibly an interpellation of the thing-smelled, everything sighted, tasted, heard... anything that cuts and is bled from, anything that hits and causes pain--a bruise, by this logic, is an art form. a scab is an art form, a muscle, a smoke-riddled lung, a cancer, a death, a laugh, a moustache. the working heart and the orgasm. i don't know.

it isn't war being waged between ourselves and our outside surroundings, our spongiform things--it's a relationship. it's not necessarily a healthy one, you know, i know. if an idea can't stand the test of pain it has to go back to the drawing board or possibly the punishment closet. but this relationship ought to be facilitated instead of shoved to the back of a consciousness in which the battle between concepts and objects heaves on like the wine-dark sea.

the more negative way of expressing it is, i experience freshness anyway, no matter how badly i want not to. i shove certain terrors into certain compartments, because i can, because it's easier, or at least less frightening--but the drawers i put the things in are badly packed. there's air, gaps within the drawers because the edges don't match. and if i'd pick up each and squeeze slightly, each drawer would be full to the brim not just of terrors but of their juices, and this would be good because i'd know each--i'd have my own set of distinct terrors, each interrelated in a complex yet infinitely satisfying web of correllations and ownerships, and each time a new one manifested it would go into the web supplying the whole with infinite freshness... but my mind's too weak to do it. the things that frighten me remain shadowy and dry, incapacitated, insufficiently, by their own indistinctness. i don't want to avoid terror any more. i want to slam it to the ground and get its liquids all over me--i want the same for every object in my brain. because these parts do make me. they just don't make me in the manner that it would seem.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


yellow it is beating against
the eyelids, the left and the right ones.
it is a sun inside it, as if it
had ingested a sun.

light up each dark cavity,
red and gold. light up and burn

spreading one to each
finger tip, to the left and right ones.
and out the mouth through the yellow

burn it, you red and yellow pleasure.
lay waste it to the skin, you gold and carmine joy.

jealous freaks can find a man of their own

roy orbison is different from elvis.
on the surface, i acknowledge, they are very similar in sound: they quaver, they do funky things with their vowels, and instead of a glidy beauty or poppin' hitchiness, the aesthetic their voices share seems to be characterizable by a two-step process of punching and receding. so much for the surface.
now i'm not knocking elvis. i'm elvis's main woman. i love elvis. but roy orbison's voice does something for me that...well, it works. it works me. for one thing it's not entirely pleasant to listen to. it's like milk that's gone slightly off: 9/10ths of it is smooth sailing and then on the 10th left over you get that kick of pain. it's looking at james dean while knowing something of his history. it wakes you up, in short.
and then when you're awake the contexts it resides in are so...the word that comes to mind is "ridiculous," but that's not quite what i mean. like the song "leah," in which the words are so freaking inelegant and fragmentary that you're like, okay, so they were kidding, right? it's the german-monkeys-with-typewriters-as-backstreet-boys-lyricists syndrome. but at the same time somehow it ends up making some sort of unexpected sense. it's so raw--its materials are raw, and the song ends up raw, but covering for it by being all put together, sort of, so it's like leatherface wearing mata hari. except not that graphic.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


calmet. sticks like a yaller buzzard.
stick it down into her guzzard.
keep her sensed with spatulate
yesterday insatiate.
frozen like a turkey dinner
on a platter.
frozen like a brother.
with a letter.
she was yaller.
with it in her gallet.

Monday, October 09, 2006


you know that whole genre of '40's or possibly '50's holiday songs about unfortunates? and how they're all so candy-light it's almost impossible to understand what the hell everyone was thinking except that you can't help feeling it yourself? i'm thinking about roy orbison's "pretty paper," and the only reason i'm claiming it belongs to a genre is that the first time i heard it i thought the basic conceit sounded familiar: we're all busy and happy during christmas except for a guy on the street corner who's niether. he's the holiday weepy guy. it's non-specific as to why he's weepy: is he a panhandler? or is he just lonely?

roy orbison was crazy awesome. his songs that i've heard are all culled from other bits of songs. he's the frankenstein of his day. and then there are the songs that actually have structural integrity, and you can hear orbison sort of wandering around them going, where the hell am i? which kind of makes them great as well.



the first time i noted
the mechanics of infection

red swelling to
yellow pus
like bent horace under set.

and the crust
that crumbles off

so hot to
the touch.

when the scab's peeled
it's hollowed
like a pinked and opened mouth

yellow sky weeping
against the hot red seed.

excess and stanzate


devils in the sideshow.

the snake lady said
they put her tongue in her mouth.

they rolled like screws through cork,
a bicolored pinwheel: red and yellow,
she told it, oiling up her skin translucent.

she smiled and when her hips moved a thousand lights
off the sequins. she was curved with light and dull gold, sheathed
in it. like a dagger. there was devils in the sideshow
they said and i heard them. the snake lady said

they put her tongue in her mouth and she smiled so
when she said it. she was caught out in gold pure and dull.
filigree like little discs in light. she was oiled sheer.

she was glancing like the pinwheel: further and further through.
she was smiling and oiled. light dripped on her, pooled, rolled.

that heavy snakes tail. in the red and yellow dusk.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


safeway floral

i begin dreaming
disjunct parts of
my job into
cellophane paled around azalea
and roses centered in
resistant beds of fern.
the circling motion of
lifting black plastic
buckets out
from copper-ringed displays.
keys on the cash register
a fitted clicking;
water into the buckets a

wild half-
deep in
the sensation
of it.
like petals
in the bucket
of it.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

something for next to no-one


defiler of the pubic realms:
the warm cherry stone cast down into wet depths.
it was rewarded and sent back.
but dirty and rooted like oyster shells
upon rocks. at the beach.

a little dirty yes. but it could be
made into a whole. unstickied.
it could be hollowed,
the molluscate disc sucked out.

it was whole just strange: it was unique.
around the site of it the roots swirled gently
aimless like anemone frondules.


we stuck
very close to it

hoping they'd
suck down it
like starlight
into a black hole,
like toilet paper
down to its

there was
an infinite elon-
gation, and time
because imm-
easurable, the words
ceased to have
any referent.
hence it remained
whole and
they disappeared
down it.
hey down-
a-down it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

un spatulo? un spatule. (italian subject to restrictions of spelling, also idiocy)

it's not necessarily my right (cuz i don't believe in 'em), but it's certainly my perogative to speak, and not just to my mom in the car, so here goes:

you know what pisses me off? people who assume that because an opera's libretto doesn't transcribe word for word from its source material, it sucks. i'm talking specifically about marriage of figaro and carmen, because i know them. carmen i know for facts; marriage i know from half-reconstituted memories. carmen's libretto is taken from the merimee. it adds to the merimee a bunch of plot--and takes away some other plot/narrative devices, such as the narrator himself as well as the entire third part of the story--and micaela. micaela was added to suit the suits at the opera comique. she was supposed to be an example of a good girl in the face of all that carmeny badness. that this is an aspect of her history there is no denying, and frankly no need to deny. because, in the manner that merimee takes the narrative structure of a travel history and subverts it to serve his purposes in the short story "carmen," meilhac 'n' halevy (the librettists), in conjunction with bizet, take micaela and subvert her "purpose" to suit their own conception of their piece--or so it appears to the viewer (which came first? the conception or the subversion? and why should it matter?). micaela isn't some farm girl who can't hit the barn-side of a broadosaur; she's both verbally and musically very articulate and extremely self-determined. there are a few examples i could give of this but they wouldn't make much sense without half an hour, a recording, and prof. leicester actually on hand to get you through the parts i fuck up. in short, just because the opera carmen is in part a product of the blunting, modifying, and anti-revolutionizing forces of commerce and the people who make it happen in no way is mutually exclusive of the fact that it's also just as subversive, intelligent, and self-aware as the short story.

in marriage, and keep in mind i'm on less fresh ground here, i'm going on the same premise that was established in carmen class: that just because something's different doesn't make it worse, even if the thing it's based on is a masterpiece in its own right. like i get that people would be angry about any changes to the beaumarchais script, simply because it's so freaking wonderful. truly i do. but, the places of most difference between the play and the opera being in the foci of figaro's speeches (trimmed down, not only for effectualness, but for political considerations) and in the character of the countess as expressed through her relationships with the count and cherubino, i feel that it's possible for both original script and revised libretto/music to be equally brilliant. for instance, in opera-figaro's aria in the final act, the name of which i don't remember, wherein he's singing play-figaro's speech from the final act, the one culled practically directly from beaumarchais' mouth, except without all the politics, personal anecdotes, and, you know, approximately 5/6ths of the words, what da ponte does is focus on the portion of the speech in which figaro's basically all, "women are disgusting, lascivious, and cruel--"words culled, in a character who's continually not only representing but questioning his representation of himself and others, from a tradition that he has not thus far plumbed--in extent, showing to what (verbal, lack of verbal) place of utter destruction his belief in suzanne's infidelity has brought him (but that's an argument for another place). so it's easy, because the other, more overtly political stuff is cut, to say, hell, da ponte sold out for a quick fix to his subject. but why bother saying it, when the aria speaks for itself? there is just as much energy, intelligence, and despair in the opera's figaro at that point of the opera as there is in the play's figaro at that point in the play. figaro in singing becomes a conduit, not of something so outrageously, overtly, marvellously political as figaro in speaking--but the music speaks for itself, outrageous, overt...

a better example (one that i can support better): "sull'aria," the famously beautiful duet in which a lady and her maid sing about completely subverting class structures and male hegemony by literally becoming each other. you could argue that the music is so beautiful because the countess elevates the subject material onto this higher plane of beauty and refinement, but actually it's the subject matter that's being "elevated" by the music, that is to say, refined, made into crystal, localized, given every advantage of gorgeousness. mozart doesn't just let the moment drop, but instead turns it into one of the most lovely moments in all of opera, and most certainly in all of nozze. it's like putting a flashing neon sign above an eatery: what in the play is disseminated, wide-ranging and with all kinds of forking implications explored, that is the interactions between the lady and her maid, in the opera is gathered into one moment of music so lovely that one can't help but stop and take notice. i think this is what i mean: the energy of the play is present. it's changed in certain of its shapes; it's polished and roughened, but it's just of no use to tell me that because figaro's incandescent and wide-flung energies are focused onto the romantical portion of the plot, or that because the countess's intentions are deliberately brought out of the grey with regard to cherubino, the opera is less brilliant, wields less force, has less in its sights and scope, than the play does.

and for anyone who thinks "obviously" that beaumarchais rings chauvenist in today's world because of the summation remarks of his characters at the end of his play should just take a crash-course in rethinking obvious stuff. no matter what his characters say, no matter what even he himself may have intended, beaumarchais is above all a shifter, a worker, a trick who moves between interpretations and verbalizations, paying all but staying with none...even when he wants to. that, by the way, is why i think that the part when he calles women traitorous whores and whatnot is indicative of many things, but most of all of his despair: i read it in an article, i think, that figaro identifies with women because he himself is in such a circumscribed role--all the advantages ever except for that of birth, and that one biological fact holding him back again and again, not to mention other facts of a superstructure so impressive as to be read, in his ever self-conscious mind, as something very closely akin to biological--hence his descent into an albeit figaro-articulate condemnation of women as opaque sluts is, for him, a crashing to the bottom of some barrel of signification. he isn't lost for words, but lost for perspectives--he has run headlong into a situation he can't master, can't understand...which for him is unprecedented. it's like him crying in the court scene. which is like elvis crying in the chapel.

must...go...bed... (picture's like cherubino, get it?...)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

this is a historical map of belarus

all this you can put on paper.

i don't know much, but i do know that strauss will consistently kick you in the gut. and then come back for to kick you some more. strauss, mussorgsky, and sibelius are the three single reasons that art songs should be around. them and some other people.

strauss is morning music. every time i hear the stuff i want to be back in sophomore year of college sitting on the deck of the apartment with argenta and andrea inside dousing tofu in sweet mustard, dancing to the monsoon wedding soundtrack and watching the sweet hereafter. what's bizarre is that it's an actual ache--an actual longing for a certain smell, a certain texture... silver and gray and white sky with lemon yellow just around the edges, a precursor to blue, and a stray eucalyptus leaf. on the deck. and me with a cigarette, listening to edith wiens sing "die nacht." when i had the room to myself i tried vaguely to decorate it like the lady does the room in a sentimental education. and it's lost, that place. not all of it was good--occasionally, in fact, it was quite bad... freshman year at merrill i used to sit on the window ledge when chloe wasn't there and listen to "jalene" by cake. hence "every time i pull you close, push my face into your hair" is irrevocably linked with the pines and the rain.

man, i can see why people get suckered into nostalgia for their college days. nothing too remarkable while they were happening--just the attempt to get through a series of unreasonabilities with some semblance of self, and the failure of that attempt, along with your printer and two thirds of your sanity--but afterwords it's like, those were the days when something was happening to you, something that went below the skin and hurt... that oily sweetness in and lust for desperation. and you wonder if it'll come again. but really it's happening as you long for it--i have no desire to get my life moving and yet there it goes. which is pain. which i ought to be embracing.

the above is a historical map of belarus (see title).

Monday, October 02, 2006



i was in the dark though. it was a meat dark.
but i was in it. i was inside it like a seed.
there were protrubances like sharp-ass rocks and
i was desperate i say. and root-filled.

but i found a way outside it. i pulled and crawled on out of it
and there was meat for days. there was
meat for the fat white flies, even. there was
meat for the children.
hey down a down.
meat for days.


the idea here being quantity before quality, i give you... (i love this two titles thing. you get one, and then when you think you're done you've got another.)

persephorydice (2)

reminders of lips.
or little shiny drops.
seed inside
crunching like
a shell.
...turn around.
and sensation
of juice.
stain not lithe.
everything flickering
about the edges.
a core of
...turn around bright eyes.
bright red not thick.
also the tiny
...every now and then i fall apart.

did you know that the dude who invented sea-monkeys apparently (according to my five seconds of internet research) used the money he made to fund anti-semite groups despite the fact that he himself was jewish? man, if that's true, literally nothing is innocent.