Friday, July 06, 2007


“Singin’ in the Rain”

Winding out of contending, out of most minuscule attending, unspooling the energies, I knew its beginning a few days back, longing to be sopped up by the language itself, or the scenery, or the road, longing to avoid the niggardly parse and parcel. Tomorrow off “up north,” a Michigander’s literal redundancy—for years a restaurant exist’d down the street call’d “La Piñata” (a tipping Manhattan with a cherry in burnt orange neon on the façade, a “lounge”)—it changed one day to “Up South” (ribs and collard greens, catfish and dirty rice, an affable waitress with terrible teeth): a backhand’d linguistic honorific, a nod to the lingo. Didn’t last, nothing lasts. (Make that: “Nothing fuckin’ lasts,” see what it does to the “tone.”) Tore down the poor-begotten cinderblock’d thing and put up a bank, architecturally doodad’d, local, “correct as any bank’ll ever be” (make that: “any fuckin’ bank, &c.)—and somehow I’d druther the cigarette-soak’d post-bowling league washup of the crummy “Mexican” joint. All the authenticity of the edge-of-town auto warehouse strip. Didn’t I one night, maybe twenty years back, meet a former high school girlfriend there? And turn about to see my own self belaboring a stupendous boredom, mutual politesse caning the evening away? Whack that piñata to see Sisyphean dung beetles and many-legged larval vermiforms bounce curling across the stain’d carpet? Sizeable galls and skeptical bust’d up pods of no pea known? I did, I did. Nothing lasts. Nothing f—.

Not even the nothing of not seeing. Strange Parisian revery cough’d up by the night. Adolf Loos says, “Every art is erotic.” Which is dandy, ’cept this morning I’m thinking about how I ought to’ve bought some more dog food for the kennel. That quotidian itch to throw bunkum at the lofty, first pretext. Ed Dorn probably had it right: “And it Is the supreme form / of the argument that foreign Policy / has always been an Internal policy / at the heart of the american Inability / to propagate a Central Thought.” And soothsayingly “later”:
In this case it is poco a poco
in the fabrications of the aer
turning back the sunlight
promoting the early return of the glacier
and it is Also possibly,
in line with our habitual craziness
absolutely nowhere.

We do not even yet
know what a crisis is.
“Inability / to propagate a Central Thought”—that indispensable mock-repartee with the world, “bully-good,” romantic and excessive and sound. (La haine du bourgeois est un phénomène romantique, excessif, comme tous les phénomènes romantiques, mais très sain. [Hatred of the bourgeois is a romantic phenomenon, excessive like all romantic phenomena, but very sound.] Élie Faure.) I don’t, of course, know what it is I’m saying—pure pleasure of textual hair-mussing, cap-thieving, firing up the bystanders for a chase. Which is more or less what a tiny respite is for: to gabble idiocy (in order) to recoup. A week or so.

Élie Faure, Ed Dorn, Adolf Loos