July 13th, 2011 / 10:18 am
Random & Roundup

Rule of Threes

1.  I’m reading Gail Mazur‘s new book of poems, Figures in a Landscape. The final two couplets of the title poem, an ekphrasis of the imagination:

If no one looks at us, do we or don’t we disappear?
The landscape would survive without us.

When you’re in it, it’s not landscape
any more than the horizon’s a line you can stand on.

In this book I’m encountering the melancholy of a beach in winter, a poet microscoping her life and then telescoping her life, a poet who’s so careful with every word that sometimes I’m afraid I will break them just by thinking too hard.

2. The Summer 2011 issue of Sixth Finch is up and running. I just enjoyed Leora  Fridman’s “Pistons,” which begins, “I tap out my knowledge of neatness on an old machine for / sending pigeons,” and flaps out into laser beam lunacy. The issue, wholly, invokes small town, prairie view summers. Potted plants of madness and bleeding cow heads abound.

3. When you wake up in the morning, do you have a song in your head? Mine is “Today” by the Smashing Pumpkins most days. This morning, though, it was “Proud to Be an American.” This is the morning after reading about TBHQ in our chicken McNuggets and how, according to the St. Pete times today, Tea Party members in Florida are tackling a new issue: manatees. “We cannot elevate nature above people,” explained Edna Mattos, 63, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, in an interview. “That’s against the Bible and the Bill of Rights.” God forbid we limit our drunken boating excursions.

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  1. Jarred McGinnis

      I grew up in Florida. I’ve been away a very long time. Last Spring, I returned and realized what an incredible childhood I had to think creatures like Manatees mundane.

  2. deadgod


      But parts of Kings Bay have been a federal wildlife refuge since 1980.

      When the first sanctuary rules were put in place in 1980, there were about 100 manatees there.  Now Federal officials estimate that more than 550 manatees use the bay year-round, and in the winter more than 100,000 people show up in Crystal River to see them.

      Once upon a time, there was a farmer who worked hard all the time, and whose family worked hard all the time, in order to subsist among the bounty of nature. 

      One day, he realized that one of his geese was laying golden eggs, the exchange value of which would free him and his family, not altogether from work, but from so much work for just enough to survive. 

      Now they could go on the internet and rail about literature and identity injustice and “creative” “writing” “programs”!! 

      – but, for a single scrumptious meal, the farmer butchered the goose that was laying golden eggs and would have continued to lay golden eggs if not for its dismembered and digested state.

      All opportunity and all prosperity in America rise from a foundation of socialized infrastructure.

      Fiscal ‘conservatives’ are not competent arithmeticians.

      Teabaggers hate America.

  3. Eppie

      I like manatees. 

  4. Guestagain

      Do scopes of attention (narrow/broad/shallow/deep) change or cancel what is being observed per the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?
      Does not only beauty but observational uncertainty make up the melancholy of a beach in the winter?
      Are the stooges above illustrating  the political right, center, and left?
      Bleeding cow heads abound?
      So many questions here…

  5. alexisorgera

      Can you unpack for me this line, “All opportunity and all prosperity in America rise from a foundation of socialized infrastructure.” I’d like to hear more.

  6. alexisorgera

      so many answers!

  7. deadgod

      It is a doorway to numerous and copious rants.

      To be as brief as possible:  whether you’re reading this in your home or office or a coffee shop, wherever you are, everything you can see or touch or hear or smell or taste that’s the product of work and of political economy got there at least partially on a public road. 

      ‘Free’ market fanatics (and milder fiscal ‘conservatives’) might – most I’ve met on this level will – pooh-pooh socialized infrastructure:  ‘oh, if the government hadn’t built the road, an oil company would have’.  Really?? – for no short-term, cascade-upward benefit??  (Private business is “government” – just operating at a higher rate of privatized taxation (called ‘profit’).)

      Now, move from transportation to energy.  Education.  Stewardship of natural resources.  Health.  Criminal and civil justice.  Product safety, pollution, workplace safety.  Consider what percentage of inventions are fostered publicly, through public-university labs, private R&D subsidies, and publicly educated researchers.

      – and this list is not even effortful.

      Who wants Coke and Pepsi–who’ve been lying for decades about what sugar actually requires agriculturally and does anatomically–‘to compete’ for the privilege of managing the public sector?

  8. deadgod

      [cough]  I mean that everybody practices – and would rather practice – socialism than a more destructively life-extractive political economy, whether they realize that they take this advantage or they don’t.