Saturday, December 24, 2011

TC: John Ashbery: At North Farm


La terre rouge: photo by Guy NĂ©chois, 2007

Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes.
But will he know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you,
Give you the thing he has for you?

Hardly anything grows here,
Yet the granaries are bursting with meal,
The sacks of meal piled to the rafters.
The streams run with sweetness, fattening fish;
Birds darken the sky. Is it enough
That the dish of milk is set out at night,
That we think of him sometimes,
Sometimes and always, with mixed feelings?

At North Farm: John Ashbery, from A Wave (1984)

Monday, December 19, 2011

TC: Born-Again Christmas


File:Charadrius ruficapillus.jpg

Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus), Orford, Tasmania
: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

I wouldn't mind being born again as a Red-capped Plover
If I were to be born again as a Fan-tailed Cuckoo
or a Bassian Thrush
a Dusky Woodswallow
a Little Penguin
a Pink Robin

or a Superb Fairywren

I'd be on top of the world
If I were to be born again as a Bennett's Wallaby
I'd be over the moon

If I were to be born again as a Moon Jelly
a Bubble-tipped Anemone
a Venus Flytrap Anemone

or a Zebra-striped Gorgonian Wrapper

life would begin again in a new and interesting way
for I would be beautiful
This old body's is on its last legs
If it could be born again
as a Red and White Christmas Tree Worm
it would wish you a happy Christmas and be gone
into its feathery Christmas wreath in the deeps

File:Cacomantis flabelliformis.jpg

Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Ccomantis flabelliformis), Bruny Island, Tasmania: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

File:Zoothera lunulata Bruny.jpg

Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata), Bruny Island, Tasmania
: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

File:Artamus cyanopterus Mortimer.jpg

A Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) parent feeding chicks in a nest at Mortimer Bay, Tasmania
: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

File:Eudyptula minor family exiting burrow.jpg

Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) family exiting burrow, Bruny Island, Tasmania
: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

File:Petroica rodinogaster.jpg

Pink Robin (Petroica rodogaster), Mount Field National Park, Tasmania
: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

File:Malurus cyaneus PM.jpg

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), Male, Peter Murrell Reserve, Tasmania
: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

File:Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus Bruny.jpg

Bennett's Wallaby (Maacropus rufogriseus
rufogriseus), Bruny Island, Tasmania: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010I

File:Moon jelly - adult (rev2).jpg

Adult Moon Jelly (Aurelia aurita), Monterey Bay Aquarium
: photo by Dante Alighieri, 2006

File:Entacmaea quadricolor (Bubble tip anemone).jpg

Bubble-Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor):
photo by Nick Hobgood, 2006

File:Actinoscyphia aurelia 1.jpg

Venus Flytrap Anemone (Actinoscyphia aurelia), Gulf of Mexico
: photo by Aquapix and Expedition to the Deep Slope, 2007 (NOAA)

File:Colonial anemone zebra.jpg

Zebra-striped Gorgonian Wrapper (Nemanthus annamensis), a type of colonial anemone
: photo by Nick Hobgood, 2005

File:Spirobranchus giganteus (Red and white christmas tree worm).jpg

Red and white Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus)
photo by Nick Hobgood, 2005

Thursday, December 8, 2011

TC: Paratasis


File:Karpacz Samotnia sniezyca.jpg

Now that a blizzard of idiocy has buried the world, logic must take care of itself.

Everything that is possible at all, is also impossible.

"Goofy is Pluto" is nonsense.

It is impossible to go wrong in logic unless human beings are involved.

Any sentence that makes sense is bound to be mis-heard.

Now that logic must take care of itself, can we trust it will be clothed, warmed and fed?

Can we identify the individual signs of idiocy in the midst of a blinding snowstorm?

If the signs can no longer be made out, why is it we must have signs?

If someone were to have torn down the signs in the night, would we know the difference?

If Pluto is Goofy, it may be Pluto who has torn down the signs.

Are those glimmerings we see through the blizzard the headlights of the logical snowplows?

The turnings in the road are dangerous in zero visibility.

Pluto would never be caught dead out on a night like this without the snowshoes of logic.

Were Pluto to be found dead in a snowdrift, would Goofy be more likely to lament or to celebrate?

Can logic be attributed to a system of thought that exists in defiance of logic?

When the drifts rise to cover the tops of the buildings, will the muffled cries of Pluto continue to be heard?

File:Karpacz Samotnia sniezyca.jpg

Samotnia Shelter, Karpacz, Karkonosze, Poland: photo by Klapi, 2006

Sunday, December 4, 2011

TC: Clean


Cat cleaning itself (showing hooked papillae on tongue): photo by Jennifer Leigh, 2007

Oft turns the ageing mind to Frances
Waldman's blunt query, back seat of full taxi,
Riding downtown, that chill February,
To young Angelica: "Maybe marrying
Him seems like a good idea now, but where
Will it leave you in forty years?
" Being there
Herself, she should have known: old. Low blow, Frances!
The minds of the old are dirty, dirty
With the pained truth of all those years. Old, one grows,
At least in the opinion of strangers,
Ever less loveable (fact of nature), and so,
It follows, ever less easily loved--
Yet still, old does not so easily
Surrender the capacity to love
Nor the need to be loved. If anything
These things increase as one ages, somewhat
Inconveniently let it be said.
No one young likes to think of love among
The old. Consider the film Cloud Nine
In which seventy-somethings conduct
A none-too-discreet affair: things get sloppy,
No fleshy detail's spared us. Would you
O reader, not yet superannuated,
Wish to look away? En route to dust, let us
Guard and preserve, if not our virginity
(Pace Andrew Marvell), then our privacy.
Let's not talk about dignity, only wild
Creatures get to maintain that. And of course
As I'm writing this, Smokey the cat
Fastidiously scours his private parts with
Busy tongue. Animals, unlike us, are clean.
Young, the parts that interested one
Most in books and movies were the dirty ones.

TC: Clean: from The New World, Libellum Books, 2009