March 21, 2014
Timothy Donnelly, “To His Debt”

Where would I be without you, massive shadow
dressed in numbers, when without you there

behind me, I wouldn’t be myself. What wealth
could ever offer loyalty like yours, my measurement,

my history, my backdrop against which every
coffee and kerplunk, when all the giddy whoring

around abroad and after the more money money
wants is among the first things you prevent.

My phantom, my crevasse—my emphatically
unfunny hippopotamus, you take my last red cent

and drag it down into the muck of you, my
sassafras, my Timbuktu, you who put the kibosh

on fine dining and home theater, dentistry and work
my head into a lather, throw my ever-beaten

back against a mattress of intractable topography
and chew. Make death with me: my sugar

boat set loose on caustic indigo, my circumstance
dissolving, even then—how could solvency

hope to come between us, when even when I dream
I awaken in an unmarked pocket of the earth

without you there—there you are, supernaturally
redoubling over my shoulder like the living

wage I never make, but whose image I will always
cling to in the negative, hanged up by the feet

among the mineral about me famished like a bat
whose custom it is to make much of my neck.

March 16, 2014
Hart Crane, “Voyages - III”

Infinite consanguinity it bears—
This tendered theme of you that light
Retrieves from sea plains where the sky
Resigns a breast that every wave enthrones;
While ribboned water lanes I wind
Are laved and scattered with no stroke
Wide from your side, whereto this hour
The sea lifts, also, reliquary hands.

And so, admitted through black swollen gates
That must arrest all distance otherwise,—
Past whirling pillars and lithe pediments,
Light wrestling there incessantly with light,
Star kissing star through wave on wave unto
Your body rocking!
                                and where death, if shed,
Presumes no carnage, but this single change,—
Upon the steep floor flung from dawn to dawn
The silken skilled transmemberment of song;

Permit me voyage, love, into your hands…

(Source: poetryfoundation.org)

March 15, 2014
John Clare, “To John Clare”

Well honest John how fare you now at home
The spring is come and birds are building nests
The old cock robin to the stye is come
With olive feathers and its ruddy breast
And the old cock with wattles and red comb
Struts with the hens and seems to like some best
Then crows and looks about for little crumbs
Swept out bye little folks an hour ago
The pigs sleep in the sty the bookman comes
The little boys lets home close nesting go
And pockets tops and tawes where daiseys bloom
To look at the new number just laid down
With lots of pictures and good stories too
And Jack the jiant killers high renown

March 14, 2014
Anne Carson, “God’s Work”

Moonlight in the kitchen is a sign of God.
The kind of sadness that is a black suction pipe extracting you
from your own navel and which the Buddhists call

“no mindcover” is a sign of God.
The blind alleys that run alongside human conversation
like lashes are a sign of God.

God’s own calmness is a sign of God.
The surprisingly cold smell of potatoes or money.
Solid pieces of silence.

From these diverse signs you can see how much work remains to do.
Put away your sadness, it is a mantle of work.

March 13, 2014

I’m sorry, but listening to Radiohead makes me want to turn off all other music forever and spend every second I’m not listening to them singing their praises and persuading the world of their greatness.

(Source: youtube.com)

March 13, 2014
"From the experience of reading abstract philosophical texts, we all know the relief one feels when the argument is interrupted by what we call a ‘concrete example.’ Yet at that very moment, when we think at last that we understand, we are further from comprehension than ever; all we have done is substitute idle talk for serious discourse. Instead of inscribing the particular in the general, which is the purpose of any cognition, one has reversed the process and replaced the understanding of a proposition by the perception of a particular, forgetting that the possibility of such a transaction is precisely the burden of the proposition in the first place."

— Paul de Man, “Aesthetic Formalization in Kleist”

March 5, 2014
Charles Bernstein, “The Harbor of Illusion”

At midnight’s scrawl, the fog has
lost its bone and puffs of
pall are loomed at
tidal edge. No more to count
than density arrows its
petulance at crevice laced
with dock, not hour’s
solstice nor brimmed detour—
over the haunch of lock and
tress the vein pours sweetly
and Devil’s door knows no
more than pester and undone—
the seering moors where I
refrain of lot and camphor.
Only this, a ripple
against a blind of shore that sands
us smooth and mistless: let
he who has not stunned make
sound, cacophany of
nearing, having fell, of
pouring, having stalled. Though
free to bore and load, let
rail retail conclusion, finicky jejubes
at waste of moor, or lord these
tower, tour the template, thoroughfare
of noon’s atoll.

February 18, 2014
John Clare, “Song: O Wert Thou in the Storm”

O wert thou in the storm,
How I would shield thee:
To keep thee dry and warm,
A camp I would build thee.

Though the clouds pour’d again,
Not a drop should harm thee;
The music of wind, and rain,
Rather should charm thee.

O wert thou in the storm,
A shed I would build thee;
To keep thee dry and warm,—
How I would shield thee.—

The rain should not wet thee,
Nor thunder clap harm thee.
By thy side I would sit me,—
To comfort, and warm thee.

I would sit by thy side love,
While the dread storm was over;—
And the wings of an angel,
My charmer would cover.

February 13, 2014
William Carlos Williams, “XVI” (from Spring and All)

O tongue
licking
the sore on
her netherlip

O toppled belly

O passionate cotton
stuck with matted hair

elysian slobber
from her mouth
upon
the folded handkerchief

I can’t die

—moaned the old
jaundiced woman
rolling her
saffron eyeballs

I can’t die
I can’t die

(Source: faculty.dwc.edu)

February 13, 2014
"Gossip reduces the other to he/she, and this reduction is intolerable to me. For me the other is neither he nor she; the other has only a name of his own, and her own name. The third-person pronoun is a wicked pronoun: it is the pronoun of the non-person, it absents, it annuls. When I realize that common discourse takes possession of my other and restores that other to me in the bloodless form of a universal substitute, applied to all the things which are not here, it is as if I saw my other dead, reduced, shelved in an urn upon the wall of the great mausoleum of language. For me, the other cannot be a referent: you are never anything but you, I do not want the Other to speak of you."

— Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

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