Posts Tagged ‘time’

Literary Profilers And The Horses They Ride

25 Oct


Sun Setting On Arlington, VA


Gleaned from a online post published by Matthew Z:

Reading is almost always an aesthetic preference, unless it[sic] has permission through certain jargon, both "legal" or "political" to engage in praxis. The politician assumes himself to be beyond art because he actually has the power at his fingertips to physically move his ideas around. The artist has no such power of course and is reduced into the realm of aesthetics—that motionless form of subjective preference.

For starters, despite the strategic blandness of a general political attempt at writing, I think it might be useful to consider their words and actions as more along the lines of an aesthetic preference as well. The artist might gasp at this notion, stupidly assuming, through hand-me-down compartmentalizations, that the "brown bagging suit" is not worthy of being even considered in an aesthetic sense. [But, the politician]... is beyond aesthetics because he can actually make things move.

Art is otherwise, happily motionless and heavily protective of its specialized terms in the name of priority and approbation of course, more than anything else really ("Pick me, pick me, I am the best aesthete in the room! This term belongs to me and me alone in order for me to be able to sell my persona, and if you try to apply to something else, my chances become lowered on this front.").

From the first sentence forward, I detect poor writing, poorly constructed sentences, enough ugly grammar to frighten off all but the strangest bird, and a keen need to escape the mundane by driving straight through it with a Mac truck, but that is it's charm, and I jest, only because this first sentence is not true, but is often directed at me and anybody else who struggles to break out of the box of rote linguistics, or worse, profess literary interests for their own sake, with or without the harsh harness of originality further enslaving the urge to explore.

The message, however, is on the money, and yet, one is left with the question of what's next? Most activist aesthetes eschew art in favor of radical politics, but what has radical politics done for us lately? Today's radicals don't seem to realize the frontier has been vanquished. There are few words, and fewer ideas which require our blood sport devotion. We have long since accepted that the golden ages of idealism have passed us by, and now we are left with little but the grunt work of making our lives count one by one, each to our own strengths of reason, inspiration, and passion to make it so. We have certainly been given fair warning.

This call to action is what Matthew Z means by poetry being replaced or fulfilled by praxis, but like so many others before him, his plea falls not on deaf ears but upon cowardly spirits and the cacophony of competing interests. This is not a resolute failure but the patient and conservative spirit of Nature conferring to us its most preferred role. Time is not man's play toy.

But will the poet of today accept this understanding of his own unspectacular clockwork, keen to the literary profilers and the horses they ride?


Lampshades Made Of Flesh

11 Nov

Long and white pickings
of the litter slid past
this old television set
where filthy & famous
flying objects affectionately
gorge themselves on civics
the fool's camera, off topic,
some gorgeous idea devoured,
their own well-greased
bravado and beauty
to set Smith free from
the mules of mockery
of misery and forty acres
of danger, democratically.

Society of the spectacle
ain't without its icecapades
or pumpkins carved up for freight
until writing clay poems in short raids
scattered along the glittering class
loving then shooting on first sight
sane pigeons walking the awful plank
hands in nobody's pockets, nobody's
like some promised quack on the run,
we believe ourselves dutifully astonished
swooning at the slow taint of suicide songs
entering nations now as the thief moons
simple courtesy to some frenzied
God of the dead licking steroids.

Hatred and phobias best in news
best in show, framed for flight
no time for sergeants or shirtless Jews
no cross-bearers, no Zen numbers, no holy waiver
to rot this new perspective, only
the icy pool of blood to spend
words in a book of terror
left as Joe Mohammed's
calling card
to each of us who doubt
we're on the invitation list
engraved by fourteen centuries
of lust wandering the sands of time's
last stand. Time is the detonator.
Time is the fire, the flame, the scream.

Time in due time will prove itself the liar,
or bring back lampshades made of flesh.

[ 2002, Washington, DC ]

An Interruption: Time Stretchmarks

08 May


Time Stretchmarks


BUT SUCH IS TIME and perfect timing, off time, under time, in time, time and time again, sloppy time, never enough time, Miller time, tea time too.

Neat time, time in a bottle, my time, the time of my life, in the life and times of Uncle Joe Stalin, time to shape up, time to get a job, time it all the way to the bank, time to take it to the enemy, tell me when it's time to get married the fifth time.

Shallow time. Shag time. Sane time. In the time it took to drive a bus off the cliff on a Seventies cop show, that's show time. For the third time today I needed time. Time to go to the bathroom. Time to shit or get off the pot. Time was when fun just cost a nickel.

Time this. Time that. Time warp. Time tunnel. Time is where the heart is. Time enough to think of a good response this time. Time to grow up. Time to eat and run. Time to suck the chrome off that bumper crop of party time. Time to beg the difference.

Time to cut the mustard. Time to pick out a receiver downfield. All the time in the world. Time to wipe my ass with a timely hook and refrain. Timex time. Time to cash a cheque. Time to win the battle but lose the war on drugs. Time it took six women to satisfy each other's curiosity in a dark room over lunch time. Time to kick the bucket.

Time to write a novel about time. Time to brush her hair the same way her sister used to brush hers, timing each stroke to the beat of time. Time to draw a conclusion. Time to mark a certain number of correct answers to the incorrect questions with a number two pencil.

Time to give up a lost cause.

Time to shut down the chicken farms along that sparkling river. Time to read the classics in their original language. Time to make lunch bags sing before our children race off to school. Too much time on my hands, not enough too keep my feet warm.

The time it takes to build a universe only to have it collapse in your face is nothing like the time I helped Aunt Mardis rip through a chocolate cake in the olden days of French ascendency.

It takes time to learn to ride a bicycle. Time to reap what one sows. Or maybe not, this time. Maybe that time is instantaneous time, time accurately remembered. Time to sing before she swallows for the last time that nasty pill. Time to harvest a generation. Time to swallow before you hang ten. Time to look before you cross.

By the time it took to dig up the Erie Canal times they were a changing. It's not about time, it's about attitude. By the time I get to Phoenix many husbands won't have time to take out the garbage. The driver swore to the witness that he didn't have time to stop. Time takes a holiday but time never vacates the premises.

Time laughs at odd moments but time never bargains with the Devil or leftover sandwiches. Time is that which doesn't kill you. Time kills that child inside only to seemingly reappear later.

Time is a long, cool woman in a black dress. Time is kinky. Time paints by numbers. Time is a disease of the pancreas. Time is a pretty heart-shaped tattoo on Wendy's breast in some window in Times Square. Pi is a variable in a timeless equation.

Time understands all wounds. Time wounds all heels. Time is an asset. Time is a pain in the ass. Time is only as good as your next biological movement. Time is the needle in the haystack. Time is secondary but don't tell her that.


Too Much Time

Nothing like a good time in the sack to make time fly. Time has no fear of flying, but Erica and Henry both knew what having a good time was about, and it was not about time, but the enjoyment of time. Grown-up time.

There is no such thing as time travel today, but recordings keep time in ways none of us truly understand past its fetish draw, but time was when a fine time was had by all, double time, life plus time. High time that boy got a job. Time the unfortunate child born without legs who beats a faster smile than you do.

Observe that same child pursue time into measuring itself with old technologies in a world that presumes time can't reverse itself while it can so readily repeat itself dipped in statistics. Time is a two-way mirror. Time is a dirty joke, rain, and the annual flooding of the muddy Missisippi.

Time is nothing but what you or somebody else makes it, except when it's game time, and don't try to tell me about how much time it would take to make the timeless world safe for timelessness because everybody knows it's all in the timing, even though most of us are suffering a bad sense of two timing.

There's never enough time to transcend one's station, especially when mobile. Time is far too formidable a friend on feverish afternoons to let stand in the cold rain without knowing that time sometimes stands still without your assistance.

Without time on my side I perish with the daffodils. Time is a time-honored sport everyone must play in order to graduate. Time forgives. Breaking rules for time is not always a bad time, but does require timing it just right. Time scars. Grab the moment to make time while others bargain, losing time to others, until another time comes.

Time is a stiff upper lip in a compromising position. Time defers to gravity, but for one writer, time is nothing but a madcap schemer bought and sold on the installment plan, money paid back over time, but then earning time for Old Doc Destouches who didn't live long enough to get mixed up in time, time and time again, was a thankless time.

Time is a nightmare to Klaw's girls who prefer time raw and risky more often than their less time-tortured sisters. Time dresses up for special guests. Time is the major importer, exporter of stolen goods across state lines in situations where time is barely legal. That's time standing in the shadows, losing her shirt to timeless romance.

Time is nobody's business but the rates are skyrocketing. Time is colorless, odorless, tasteless. Time left is time right on time. Time left to itself is useless. Time blows tall buildings to the ground. Time grounds water tables and small asterisks into dust bowls older than TIME ITSELF because time is the wind in the sails of marginality until time itself stops.

April 2000, Washington DC

Time Sleeps Close To Earth Now

20 Mar

Time sleeps close to earth
now as we groan without irony,
asking bright future,

where is thy promise? Sinister factors
threaten with extinction the entire global nest
as proud terrors of control
and fickle poisons of chaos
are unleashed

to give us all a taste of the wicked ruins.

ALL nations and ALL peoples
must recognize and name
this ever-pursuing power grab
which separates the wheat
from the chaff in its own
peculiar language.

It is time my friends to acquire the future.

[2000, Washington, DC ]

The Golem Line

04 Oct


Line of Credit


Originally published on October 4, 1996

Or art was never meant to be taken off the shelf. This morning I awoke at 10 AM after channel tobogganing until the wee moments of early. Fifteen seconds into my new morning a power spike kills the fan and several scattered appliances around the house. Well, not killed, but put down for a sleep while men at work raid the street for quick fixes, but the Hollywood timing of it was a mindblower.

In the past thirty days this is the fourth major brownout on this section of Eighteenth Street. I find it odd that the brownout only affects part of the house. After all, we have our own breaker box, and I presumed we had single feed into the house. Hope it doesn't spread to the computer room as I write this. Timing is a sharp stick since we all know Lucifer is the author of time. Speaking of Lucifer, this morning I also pick up Blum's book, A HISTORY OF THE JEWS for the first time in weeks and was juiced by the page I'd bookmarked when last I read from it.

I had not finished my Liberty Lobby piece I'd started a few days earlier. Kevin Kreider is an old drinking pal, part of the Jack Johnson, Rob Bussius, Tim Shipman, Jim Benjamin, Priscilla Winters, Gabriel Thy and BS routine at its most regular interval from the Forestville warehouse era of 1992-1993. He & Rob Bussius (now married and serving Uncle Sam as a paratrooper stationed in Hawaii) have worked at Liberty about fifteen years between them. Young Kevin is Jewish, has writerly aspirations, and his pretty wife just had their first child. We call him Young Kevin because of his slight but handsome stature.

When I mentioned to Tim about the D'Sousa reference to Liberty I plunged into some speculation of Kevin's employment there, tossing out the line that no doubt he's a planted spy who reports back to the B'nai Br'ith Anti-Defamation League. I've been down there a few times with the two boys of Liberty, even unsuccessful applying for a job there myself at the insistence of Bussius, and reinforced by Avril Shipman, Tim's kindly mom, who gave me a contact name. Turns out they weren't hiring was the response I got over the phone. I dropped the chase, but it's a quaint friendly office located at Third and Independence, SE, right in the heart of Capitol Hill, so to speak. Jarred to realize that a barely concealed form of white supremacy was not only alive and kicking in this raging country, but, how damned really close I am to it, begged the question then, as to why not? In the knowledge of all these other rather militant groups in opposition, any other opinion would be stupid and politically corrupt...

A twisted question of personal cowardice keeps me both near and far on the issue of race to say much on the topic. Stating principles, everybody loses. Silence is kept, nobody wins. But I will have to wait until the beast shows itself. That's the only clue I have. The beast will show itself, so I wait. While discussion is hushed up, I realize this will immediately—in a so-called politically correct black ascendancy culture—brand me a foul racist type from the south, must have something to hide. Nonsense. I simply have no to add to the conversation. So I wait. Go figure, shameless finger-pointing lemmings. Might as well be albatrosses the good they provide the nation.

Page 262 from AHOTJ: “It was the sages who let the devils into Judaism. The difficulty was, of course, despite the Bible’s condemnation of sorcery, and despite the Judaic belief that all actions were willed by God alone, ruling out any kind of dualism…

“There were not many devils in the Bible, but they did exist: Mevet the death-god, Lilith the child-stealer (sometimes an owl), Reshev the plaugue-god, Dever, another sickness-god, Belial, a sort of devil-commander, satan, leader of the anti-God forces, Azazel, the scapegoat-god of the wilderness. So the invasion of Judaism by devils over the period of 150 BC to 300 AD had some precedents. Needless to say, [High Priest] Hillel could understand devil language too. Devils varied greatly, though according to Issac of Acre, they all lacked thumbs. Some, like Satan and Belial, were formidable, serious…

“To combat these devils, an army of angels came into existence. These too had biblical sanction in some cases. Angels like Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Metatron had special alphabets, derived from ancient cuneiform writing or obsolete Hebraic scripts, the letters often containing small circles which looked like eyes. These letters were put on amulets and other charms to magic away devils. Or they could be driven off by pronouncing special combination of letters. One such was the name of the devil in Aramaic, which was given as abra-cadabra…

“Letter combination magic, performed by using the secret names of God and the angels in special formulae, was known as ‘Practical Kabbalah’. In theory only men of great sanctity could, let alone should, exercise this white magic. In practice, protective charms were mass produced and circulated freely in the ghetto. There was also black magic, invoked by manipulating the ‘unholy names’. According to the Zohar, the sources of this forbidden magic were the leaves of the Tree of Knowledge in the Book of Genesis…

“The most stupendous piece of magic was the creation of a golem, an artificial man into which a ba’al shem, or Master of the Name, could breathe life by pronouncing one of the secret divine names according to a special formulae. The idea derives from the creation story of Adam, but the actual word occurs only once in the Bible, in a mysterious passage in the Psalms. However, Talmudic legends accumulated around the golem. Jeremiah was said to have made one. Another was made by Ben Sira. From the fifteenth to the seventeeth centuries the notion gathered force, so that the ability to make a golem was attributed to any many of outstanding sanctity and kabbalsitic knowledge. The golem was brought to life to perform a variety of tasks, including defending Jews from their gentile enemies. In theory, a golem came to life when God’s secret name, with the letters arranged in the correct order, was put into its mouth; it was deactivated by reversing the the name. But a golem occasionally got out of hand and ran amok—thereby generating a new layer of terror-tales…”

As we are the hollow man of TS Eliot, we are all golems, and the acronymics, go fish! The porridge is always spoiled by too few or too many cooks...

The primary question being, had I already read the page before bookmarking, or had I finished the previous page, bookmarked the next page as is usually my habit in this matter, or is all this only so much blarney, irrelevant to anything anybody anywhere needs to know, or may find mildly amusing, or self-incriminating? It's not like we have loss of life or limb anywhere among us to date...

Monday 26 September 1955: Relativity Mr. Eliot

12 Mar
            (Every opening day event
            is safely defined
            according to the board
            of heavy commissioners,
            who having frequently
            engaged in parasitic
            intercourse with important
            anti-matter details, do
            thus proclaim this work
            to bless the eyes and tongues
            and postage stamps of public
            yen with fire and dogma, that
            these blessings endure secure
            as the new lamp post
            in the old land of triumph,
            as foretold in the chapbook
            of Turquoise Laughter,
            found on the bookshelves
            of those sleazy sectarians,
            the Unknown Poets.)

My god! Those scrambled tenses
Are breathing insects
About to inherit the earth
As the meek ones.
Should we give the order to poison them,
The lie more likely to succeed beyond
Crock derivation, say?
The social instincts and mortal thunder
Track across the skies of deprivation. They
Mock us and tell us paradise
Has ranked us this way.

He comes much later than Voltaire.
With able lunacies guarding
Their classical moons,
In numbers too written
To catch a falling
Sparrow by jet liner.

So doggedly
He comes before us,
Letting us spoil him with a role
Abandoned to grief, walking,
To serve eyes never before ruled.
An expanded version of the likeness
Of man is displayed in his temples
More pulled to powerstare.

A coward without wings
Brings no one change, but
To you who think
Without a padlock brigging
Your brain, to you who think
His work is discriminating,
I say knows the difference in universal
Meaning between sugar and salt
And his birthright.

Give fair attention to the perfumery
He exposes, the sweat, the toil,
The semen.

Missing no link!

Question him if in doubt.
The idiom may be lost in translation.
Condemned to die or forty years
He shall return. When he walks among men,
The obvious is hidden, orphic
Associations and fresh failing crops,
And door alarms.

Left Bank will soon pass away like the rest.
And Burnt Norton will accuse Lucifer
As the author of time!


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""