You said Stop
making losers your heroes.
Somebody else somewhere
told me make friends with them
and you won't be alone.
So far it's worked out.
A friend is a friend
who aw man I can't go on wi
How do you like my petroleum skirt?
It’s specially made. When I wear it to work
It blows student minds, who like to ask me,
Are you trying to make a point here, Mr. D?
("Here" is not the "point" is the reply I prefer.)
And as you can see, I also like to wear
It out--Sorry, by the way, about your couch.
These coal shoes, too, might be a bit much.
I wear them to play hoops. The sign there reads
No black soles on the court, but a person needs
To make his mark, right? My solar wallet's
Inefficient, though its coolness quotient’s solid:
People always turn my way whenever I use it.
I'd let you borrow it, but you'd probably lose it.
Ahead the freeway moves cars together,
Leaves on the same curving current of wind,
Ascending the contour the lanes take
Hills before them shaped, smoothed by men.
A leaf separated from a larger volume
Or a strip pulled gently from unrolled silk,
A strip gently banked carries out
A smoke-gray Corolla, an old Explorer.
Toward meaning a pattern exists—
Movement in one direction, another:
A little more off the top, please,
Have you got these in a different size.
Toward meaning for those who read it,
That is. Brain evolved to recognize such
That makes the body housing it survive.
Survival is, or thriving, whatever that is,
Requiring meaning past breathing.
Cars lean down at unseen circumstance
Before them, slowing, an array of red lights
Lights up invisibly connected communicating
Something the mind can read—electricity made
Visible in bulbs racing down the spine to foot
For instantaneous brake. I’m sorry I’m late.
Next time give yourself more time, o.k.?
And the next thing I know was that some hands grabbed me and lifted me out of the tide--and if it wasn't again Moondoggie, giving me this smug, big grin as if he had just been standing by to fish me out.I wanted to get off the board--trying to help Lord Gallo retrieve Fiasco. But he had a firm grip on me."Don't fidget--Gidget""Oh--go to Gunneriff!" I told him. It was part of the monkey-talk I had picked up from the boys. I didn't know exactly what it meant."Take it slow, Joe.""Turn deaf, Jeff."That chopped him royal.
Your politics are conventional,
As all politics are;
Your habits unmentionable
But mention them you do
So that all can see what
You’re giving and not
Giving away for free.
Each transmission lands
With the grace of a crunch
Of a crashed car.
That’s why you’re a star,
Honey, and boring,
On the computer the game’s so peaceful:
No Phoenix to cheer Artest’s walk
And bring stress to the room.
When we do get the games on t.v., I lately
Turn them low for peace. The laptop screen
Shows balls enlarging (the view's
From above the court) to mimic
The arc of the shot, and if they go in:
2PT (or 3) on a ball
Filling the circle of the key, and
If it goes out: MISS.
The Lakers are down by eight.
They’re hard to love but I want the win.
“Desire / Desire is the answer,
hunger / Never rests,” Silliman says
In his new time poem “Revelator”
In a book next to these keys;
It keeps us going (jejune phrase
Of the sort I was surprised to see,
Too, in his poetry, but true).
He'll sometimes make a joke to obscure—
I think this is the method—the information:
The heart (or what “surrounds” it),
Meaningless term shared by many who seem
To mean it. Lakers will lose.
Silliman and Collins both understand it.
We yolk unequals equally.
The tongues of fire taste and see,
The first phrase worn by use, and I wanted
To make a new one to describe what the wind
Brings the disciples, but thinking upon it
There’s no improving it.
What nourishes: What doesn’t burn.
The clouds look stretched my son tells me,
As if they’re being pulled apart. I don’t
Remember clouds like that, though that
May signify nothing. But May like this—
Cool and windy with a daily threat of rain:
What does it mean? The light is cascading.
There are things in life one must do
and then there's "must," as in in heat,
which is the condition the beast shot
in "Shooting an Elephant" enjoyed,
if that word can here be employed.
Orwell wore a mask. His fate
grew to fit it. And he wrote he knew
what he "must do": Shoot the elephant.
He could have said no, but the elephant
could do nothing about its rage, what
with its biological imperative and all.
There were no other elephants around
to get busy with. I'd be pissed, too.
Oh, Athis, beautiful boy, Ovid betrays us
By sketching your grace, dexterity, and history—
Your birth of a nymph “Beneath waves
of Ganges’ purest waters”—as if
Leading us into new, even hopeful, tales.
Since all end in some shift away
From what’s what through no fault
Of the circumstantial victims—and victims
They are—think Philomela’s rape,
Think Actaeon’s dismemberment—
We should expect when we read “Yet as
an archer [you] had greater gifts, /And as
[you] drew an arrow to [your] bow”
The inevitable bodily change. We get it.
No bird or tree, your face instead is smashed
By Perseus into a “net of bones.” For what?
The dunes smudge hazy beige
in the valley. Wait, Friend,
till we park and escaping into heat and sky
you’ll see in the small humps of sand you
tumble across toward the largest
dunes tracks of animals zipping and
turning from and under Manzanita.
Whatever those plants are eventually
give out as sand drifts become hills
and troughs between them grow
deep and flat with cracked dirt
made by temporary pools.
Pick a ridge and stick to it along
its long, gentle slope until the apex
arrives under your feet. Look out.
I’ll wait until you see it. There,
above the horizon. Look how
quickly it moves. There’s no stopping it.
Sweet phenomenon, your time is at hand.
Whatever passed between us remains within
Like a vague heat. You brought many
Together to one place. We occupied it and
Enjoyed each other for what each was
And all seemed grateful. Attention wanes.
There’s nothing to be done about it.
The germ of death assures it, and that people
Are less interested, less attentive than they were
Is to be expected. There are other things
They’ve turned their eyes to. There are other
People. They came when they could, and we didn’t
Know each other but seemed to know each other
Anyway and were grateful for it. So long.
The spark from the red clamp on the car battery
is the light that nibbles the air around the terminal,
or to be more accurate: when the air is consumed
light is produced. If overcharged the battery
might produce hydrogen that will when sparked
explode. My autoshop teacher said he was once
working on a ’68 Mustang and that kind of thing
shot the battery straight up—knocking the hood
off its hinges—fifty feet. Blow at it with your mouth,
like this, whoosh (or poof or *sigh*), before you
use cables or remove the contacts. Be careful
where you lay the screwdriver. The physics of this
seemed impossible--if the explosion’s at the top
of the battery where the gas supposedly pools.
Besides, my woodshop teacher had him beat, telling us
about the time his buddy working on the band saw
snatched back his hand as if shocked and shook it
and his thumb past the first knuckle flew through
the room. The hood meant something but the digit
meant more. We were in eighth grade then. I didn’t
shower after P.E., being afraid of the other boys.
Carl Sandburg’s “We’ll get along”
is no rare evidence for it.
Also admissible in court:
“the heart of the people, / Laughing”;
“I am a pal of the world”; “When I,
the People, learn to remember,”
and “use the lessons of yesterday.”
Malcolm Gladwell (writes with confidence!),
likes to say: “We need more generalists.
Generalists outperform specialists
in many tasks.”
I believe it. Formulation
as practice is a must to move
any direction and also death.
The map for example
(as I’ve told you tiresomely
before) creates and kills land.
I didn’t know Point Conception
would be so big, so windswept.
A person thrashes legs in bed
as if something in them’s just beneath
the skin, and sleep is burdensome,
sometimes one prays,
sometimes one wants formulation.
(I’m like everybody else. Help.)
I am mass.
You know that through me
the workingman, the maker of food
witnesses history. Napoleons
and Lincolns die. Napoleons
seed prairie for plowing.
Terrible storms forget me sucked out
and wasted. Death makes
me give what I forget.
I growl and spatter.
The waterfall said, You’ll get sick
From beavers crapping up river,
But I had nothing else to drink!
I’m not afraid to use my fists--
No matter what my mom says!
In the factory, they make containers
Now to be used later, and they ship
Them in even bigger containers.
Officer, wait, I'm not finished!
Look: The sword I bought has Gandalf on its hilt.
We took the island course inland
Where the hills were split by rain,
Where paths of red dirt lay, and roads
were wet and black and windy.
With car parked we heard leaves
Brushing against leaves, and later,
The path clinging to our shoes,
We found the car where we left it
And brought back on its floor mats
The land to our hotel room. Oh well,
We said, one after the other,
We never did make the volcano.
She'd planned on pushing me in, she said,
Which would’ve been pretty cool,
I admitted. In my voice I hid it,
The secret thrill. And then she jumped
My bones—first time in twenty
Married years without tears.
Driving at night, the song,
the speakers, that one
teenager with radio low,
walking. The sun
dips the horizon, blocked
from oncoming evening—
shapes the scent of whatever
is in bloom. You wish
to tell the person you’re with,
against impulse, but surrender
again beneath the wide sky
without weight. Remain
Music while running softens running.
Sand absorbs somewhat the shock
beneath bones knocking together.
Nighttime’s cooler. There are no lenses
to smear with sweat. Stretches of walking,
and not eating too soon before (or long after),
and supportive (but not overly so) footwear
along with non-binding clothes—be they
made for wicking the moisture away
or mere lightness—will all together help
facilitate the kind of movement
the limbs need to evade attention so
that the mind can possess what ails it--
scorpions, in MacBeth's case, but not
The Scorpions. No offense, but I hate
those guys. Well not those guys.
Their music: I dislike it, though I’m sure
they're all perfectly nice men. Ah, poetry!
If, when driving at night, the song
comes to the speakers, that one
you knew, a teenager at home
with door closed and radio low
while your parents watched t.v.
downstairs; or if you’re out walking
as the sun dips into the horizon,
and even if that action’s blocked from view
you feel in the oncoming evening
the clarity of shapes, the eaves sharpening
along their edges and the scent
of whatever is unidentifiably in bloom
nearby, and you wish to tell the person
you’re with something indelible
and time-restraining; or if you struggle
against your own impulses but in dismay
surrender to them again beneath
the “wide and never lost” sky, the sky
that retains its unregistrable curve
while the earth’s scalable curve slides
within it, sphere suspended within
sphere comprised of what is without
weight—Why does it remain here
with us? What is this that I feel?
I am making all things new begins with
two trochees, first a quick slide eye-yam then
a buckled floor, the k hardening the
slip from stress to tonal drop: kinetic,
continuous. What it leads to all things
new is three beats consecutively stressed
slowing tongue and teeth, the dynamic drive
of the verb working to make audibly
serene (or quiet and emphatic, depending
on your reader) its object, second word
of which contains four distinct sounds, like all
four elements bound into one raft,
one “floating, cohesive mass.” So, out of
volatile command, in terms of sound, comes
the placid sea, which in proximity
we read is no more. Look and See often
launch the sentence, but older translations
or sensibilities prefer Behold,
as do I, for it suggests that to see
is to possess, which as kids my older
friends never understood when they’d say,
as they frequently did, See with your eyes
and not your hands, showing to us the new
small world they got for Christmas or some
other reason, which they then brought to school.
I beheld them each one, its life draining
away unknowingly--or, to be more
precise about it, my life--dressed in clean,
new skin. I held it. It’s gone. It’s going.
Like most storytellers who use mystery as a structural device and not a thematic device, Lynch is way better at deepening and complicating mysteries than he is at wrapping them up. And the series' second season showed that he was aware of this and that it was making him really nervous. By its thirtieth episode, the show had degenerated into tics and shticks and mannerisms and red herrings, and part of the explanation for this was that Lynch was trying to divert our attention from the fact that he really had no idea how to wrap the central murder case up.
- David Foster Wallace
I'm not sure why I'm on this kick, but I recently read this essay and these passages stood out to me. They seem to me to be onto something. (And I do very much like Lynch's work, or about half of it.)
[David Lynch's] loyalties are fierce and passionate and entirely to himself.
I don't mean to make it sound like this kind of thing is wholly good or that Lynch is some kind of paragon of health or integrity. His passionate inwardness is refreshingly childlike, but I notice that very few of us choose to make small children our friends. And as for Lynch's serene detachment from people's response, I've noticed that, while I can't help but respect and sort of envy the moral nerve of people who truly do not care what others think of them, people like this also make me nervous, and I tend to do my admiring from a safe distance.
The thing I want I can’t have.
The thing I want so bad I can taste it:
I can’t have it. It doesn’t change me
Wanting it. I still want it.
You’d think age would blunt
its force, you’d think
other satisfactions, you’d
think so. It may be wrong
to want it but I don’t care.
I want it and there’s no way
I’m going to get it. So
there we are, there we are,
there I am.