Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Living the Circus Life


I sought a theme and sought for it in vain,
I sought it daily for six weeks or so.
Maybe at last being but a broken man
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show,
Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.


What can I but enumerate old themes,
First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose
Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,
Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose,
Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems,
That might adorn old songs or courtly shows;
But what cared I that set him on to ride,
I, starved for the bosom of his fairy bride.

And then a counter-truth filled out its play,
`The Countess Cathleen' was the name I gave it,
She, pity-crazed, had given her soul away
But masterful Heaven had intervened to save it.
I thought my dear must her own soul destroy
So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
This dream itself had all my thought and love.

And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
Heart mysteries there, and yet when all is said
It was the dream itself enchanted me:
Character isolated by a deed
To engross the present and dominate memory.
Players and painted stage took all my love
And not those things that they were emblems of.


Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.
-William Butler Yeats, "The Circus Animals’ Desertion"

Monday, August 22, 2016

Always Tip the Doorman!

It's a new guy this time
He has the same jacket and gloves
But it's definitely a new guy
I pull the collar of my coat with
The tips of my fingers
And approach the roped off entrance
Of the building

He stops me with a
Sudden hand on my chest
"I'm sorry sir,
but you're not allowed
in today."

"What? Not allowed? I was
Just here yesterday. The guy
At the door let me right in."

"No matter sir. You're not
Allowed in today."

"Well, shit."

I take a seat on the
Rain painted curb
And stare at my reflection
In a dirty puddle

Some cookie cutter schlub
Comes down to the same partition
I was turned away from
The rope is lifted without a word
From either of them

I un-crane my neck from
The door's direction
Meeting my own stare in
The puddle of dirty water

I push off the curb with
Renewed energy and
Approach the doorman again

"Alright, I think I can go in now."

He pulls his white gloves
By the wrist to eliminate any
Excess space in his fingertips
And meets my eyes
With a smug look on his face
And shakes his head

How the hell are his gloves so white
When all the puddles around here
Are so filthy

"Just because you were in here
Yesterday sir, does not mean
That you will be allowed entry
Today. I'm sorry, but that's the
Way that things work."

I bend my mouth into an
Upside down horseshoe
Studying the gaudy marquee above
The padded door

The doorman sees me staring at the blinking
Chipped letters
Sensing my resentment
He tightens his gloves again
And stares at the brick wall
Across the alley

I wander off in the rain
To go find something
Else to do
-Ben, "Members Only"

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Timelapse v. Hyperlapse

The moon in time lapse sliding over skyline
the way a remote frisbee might wheel through air
as slowly as a banjo once floated across the wide
Missouri River in my mind when as a boy
the devil to pay permitted me to dream-up
my get-away from home, far from my parents’
witchy vigilance & the wine-barrel cellars
of their household—this after my experimental
stuffing of a dinner fork into a light socket
in the green gazebo under backyard grapevines.
That fuse box blown & blackened was the bliss
of departure—it was thrilling, but sometimes
I have to stop to touch my life & see if it’s real.
How surprising to find that I wanted so much,
and mostly got it. My fantasies are fewer now
(one involves living through a day without
resentments, the other getting seated next to
gorgeous Fanny Ardant on a puddle jumper).
No need to see my life as a story the world
has to read, no need for sentimental
mooning & nostalgia—blessed with a bit
of amnesia anyway, I don’t recall much
of what went down. I know that it’s engraved
there on some cellular level, & that I can’t
command the consequences. Like a spider
who has climbed atop a survey stake in a bull-
dozed field, I feel slightly truer in any case.
- David Rivard, "The Moon in Time Lapse" (1953)

Thursday, August 18, 2016



from Wikipedia:
The Holocene (pronunciation: /ˈhɒləˌsiːn, ˈhoʊ-/) is the geological epoch that began after the Pleistocene at approximately 9,700 BCE and continues to the present. The term "Recent" (usually capitalised) has often been used as an exact synonym of "Holocene", although this usage is discouraged in 21st-century work. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words ὅλος (holos, whole or entire) and καινός (kainos, new), meaning "entirely recent". It has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1, and can be considered an interglacial in the current ice age based on that evidence.

The Holocene also encompasses the growth and impacts of the human species worldwide, including all its written history, development of major civilizations, and overall significant transition toward urban living in the present. Human impacts on modern-era Earth and its ecosystems may be considered of global significance for future evolution of living species, including approximately synchronous lithospheric evidence, or more recently atmospheric evidence of human impacts. Given these, a new term, Anthropocene, is specifically proposed and used informally only for the very latest part of modern history involving significant human impact.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

On Authorship...

“The story is not in the plot but in the telling.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Experiencing Insomnia?

Does experiencing the Real, at times, feel Surreal?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What's Your Style?

Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art

Bullfighting can be an art
Boxing can be an art
Loving can be an art
Opening a can of sardines can be an art

Not many have style
Not many can keep style
I have seen dogs with more style than men,
although not many dogs have style.
Cats have it with abundance.

When Hemingway put his brains to the wall with a shotgun,
that was style.
Or sometimes people give you style
Joan of Arc had style
John the Baptist
García Lorca.

I have met men in jail with style.
I have met more men in jail with style than men out of jail.
Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.
Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water,
or you, naked, walking out of the bathroom without seeing me.”
- Mellany Sanchez, "Bukoski Poem on Style"