The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of paraheliotropic trees

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: June, 2009

Mozart, 1935 – Wallace Stevens


Mozart, 1935
Wallace Stevens

Poet, be seated at the piano.
Play the present, its hoo-hoo-hoo,
Its shoo-shoo-shoo, its ric-a-nic,
Its envious cachinnation.

If they throw stones upon the roof
While you practice arpeggios,
It is because they carry down the stairs
A body in rags.

Be seated at the piano.
That lucid souvenir of the past,
The divertimento;
That airy dream of the future,
The unclouded concerto . . .
The snow is falling.
Strike the piercing chord.

Be thou the voice,
Not you. Be thou, be thou
The voice of angry fear,
The voice of this besieging pain.

Be thou that wintry sound
As of the great wind howling,
By which sorrow is released,
Dismissed, absolved
In a starry placating.

We may return to Mozart.
He was young, and we, we are old.
The snow is falling
And the streets are full of cries.
Be seated, thou.

Let’s write it like this

An Arcade Fire video from YouTube is pulsing on one screen, with heavy drumbeat and tired voice. A white pill is starting to dissolve in my stomach, singing eat me, and this will make you happy. The New Yorker website, on another screen, already has an article about the chaos in Iran and the fumbling quandary that leaves Washington in. The New York Times website, on a third screen, as if pushing us towards a momentary respite, announces that there will be a partial recount. My mind flexes in response, and I say Florida, and I know how this turns out.

Sleeping is giving in, the song-screen screams. So lift those heavy eyelids. A cliched tired writer whispers just another morning in the 21st century. Sounds like a Neil Young lyric maybe.

Where is the horse, and where is the rider? I sit up in my bed, a laptop computer fulfilling its function on my lap, wearing only a bath towel, waiting for one roommate or another to finish using the shower. Shortly, I’ll head for work. Tonight I see my mother. And then another. It’s Bloomsday.

Where will I walk today? Usurper.

I owe my One a phone call. Ah, ah, ah, ah.

I read about the Iranian recount. I see an article about driving while black. I think to send it to my brother. I realize I don’t have his email address. I have neglected him, I think. Oh, life. How many mistakes and errors have I made? What ruin have I wrought?

I hear the door slam closed. Someone has left the building. I can go wash myself. Maybe void, as they say.

There’s a link for you. (Ulysses was the first hypertext, but all the links were brorken.)

I’ve been somewhat silent for awhile. Cheating on myself with others. The dignity of work. Busyness and business. Went to see the Icthyians last Sunday, swallowed down a cocktail of chemical contradictions — found myself being pulled in too many directions. Enjoyed myself certainly, a numby haze, compounded by a Swine Flu false alarm. I spend my days these days down in the Financial District, where old narrow streets and old narrow buildings vie with the skyscrapers of yesteryear and countless myriad lunch-places. There is an old honesty to that area — the first place — the Old City.

No brilliant revelations. I have to work harder, be more. I have to shape my body — exercise — run — lift weights. I need new white sneakers, and t-shirts, and shorts. I survived another semester of law school — by hook, crook, and the mercy of my teachers. I sent my daimon to take the test for me. How many ghosts do I have walking around and running errands for me? Which one is real? Does it slumber? Does it dream? Iambic feet. Maybe. Book of Forms.

I know the song the ocean sings. I am a series of references. My breath upon the water imposes narrative upon reality — mythmaking of some kind or another — my action is a message — a translation — adding (or excavating) significance. Growths and protuberances. Polluting biology upon the still and natural world. Who are we? What are we? Beautiful monkeys, clay on the potter’s wheel, the Potter’s name is Death and Struggle and Scarcity, cruel cold world, fought for love, or love too — love too is an expression of that endless war of survival, fought from the very beginning by Old Grandfather Amoeba, whose still out there, somewhere, hiding in a corner.

My words lack backbone, form, and structure. Crippled. Blobbed. Grotesque. Containing multiples. Many lives. Many views. I twist in all directions. Beautiful faces. Names spoken with pregnant meaning. The distances between us. Lies within lies. What is the truth and what is truth? Two very different questions — I took the one less traveled, it’s made the difference — I was 10 when I read that — I was the imaginative Birchbender, dwelling in and learning to doubt the Pathetic Weather-Based Fallacy — it was a dark and stormy night — two nights ago the crash of thunder woke me from my sleep — automatic response took over, I closed the window —

Even now — the night grows later — I grow tired — I’ve stretched — I’ve expanded — the more I do the more I can do — cobwebs across my eyelids — I wonder if some of its been flushed — if the seven different chemicals canceled each other out and left me babelike in the morning.