Persephone

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For Cecilia

Imagine time the place where shadows grow
Divine, and spread like fans that winnow noon
From dawn and dusk from rotting bones in snow
That marks the melting margins of the sun.

Then conjure thoughts of breadth: from apse
And nave to chthonic crypt, from heaven’s womb
To Hades’ tomb. What fires your cold synapse?
What Aprils march to February’s doom?

Where ice has borrowed, spring is lent away:
A princess comes to live in exile’s realms,
Her pert magnificence at close of day –
Though holding fast – reveals and overwhelms.

The nothing left is less than chaff – a creed
Of stones. What’s gone is everything that lasts:
The bittersweet and many-seeded need
To see beyond the light that darkness casts.

Exchange (for FOK Paul)

[Neko Case's "Middle Cyclone" playing on car stereo.]

Eldest Daughter: You know, I think Neko Case is the Catwoman of music.

Me: So then who’s Batman?

Eldest Daughter: Duh! Tom Waits of course!

 

 

Located: Source of clown dearth

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Just in case anyone was wondering where all those pesky clowns went

The American Catholic Church, which emphasizes property rights and the integrity of neighborhoods, retained the Latin Mass and plays The Star-Spangled Banner at the elevation of the host.

In a tent! On a boat! In a field! On a haybale! On a suitcase! Liturgical dancers! Rainbow stoles! Superman vestments! Dogs! Magicians! Pig roasts! More Rainbow stoles! Sit-down/lay-down Mass! (Did we mention rainbow stoles?) Light Sabers! Puppets! Giant Puppets! Life-sized Puppets! Monster Puppets! Liturgically dancing puppets! Oh, and look, even Masons! Yes, all of it and more at …. Missa Whatshappeningnow!

Ah, yes, the times they are a changin’.

According to Wikipedia…

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…there are no songs with the numbers 103 and 104 in the title.

Korrektiv’s house band ought to get on that.

Instant Wiki-Karma!

‘Get me rewrite!’ ‘The Man Comes Around’ edition

When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter…
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh….

There’s a man looking ’round judging souls,
And he decides who gets toys and who gets coal.
Everybody can be seen from the North Pole.
You will hear the hooves of reindeer touching down
When the man comes around.

You’ll listen from your bed, as cold as ice,
To the tally of each virtue and of each vice.
Will your name be set down among the ‘Nice’,
Or will you shout or pout or cry or frown
When the man comes around?

CHORUS

Hear the jingle, hear the jangle;
One hundred silver bells a-ringing;
Girls and boys are rising as the twelve drummers drum:
Some are ivy and some are holly,
Some are jaded and some are jolly,
The hour of the Man in Red is come.

And the stockings hang by the chimney!
(The children are all trimming their tree.)
The stockings hang by the chimney!
(No sugar-plums will dance that night for thee.)

Until the daybreak, Pedro Negro, Peter Black,
Or the Krampus crams bad children in his sack,
And carries them away upon his back
To beat them, eat them, or to see them drowned
When the man comes around.

Whoever is naughty, let him be naughty still.
Whoever is joyous, let him be joyous still.
Whoever is toyless, let him be toyless still.
The twice-checked list at last shall be unwound
When the man comes around.

CHORUS

A trick on kids, or something more profound,
When the man comes around?

… And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night’….

Igniis Fatuus: Soliloquy of a Pompon

wyeth pumpkin pic

Before the angled anger of first frost
We were afraid. The pumpkin sun brittled
Its mouth – and we turned to ghosts of old men
On turtled terra firma: wrinkled up,
Our flesh, antic in imposition,
And, cap-a-pie, seeded, pulped, and thick-stemmed
As September’s Indian summer dance.
At the first heavy mention of snow
Old youthful Clotho’s faithful distaff sang….
What beauty finds thee in thy blowzy busts?
Why haunt the autumn’s ruined porticoes?
How kisses nostalgia in thy fired heads?

The wind is blue and stings October with
Solemn countenances, flickery votives.
What starry plows had plucked from the gloaming,
The sienna-studded fields reveal in shards.
No arms to sing, we could not try to reach
The next day or next week; only month’s end
Can dwell as song in vegetable souls.
We were solitary, anodyne, hollowed-out.
We drank away the sun, and brown and grey
Imbibed the deepening landscape’s early dusk.
We spoke in candles, we prayed in gold –
We loved in windows – these, the mirrors
Soon stenciled with an early winter’s ire.
Serene, enduring, hushed – we grin to bear
The foolish light that makes our faces burn.

From the YouTube Music Video Archives: La fille du régiment by Gaetano Donizetti

The most abstract idea conceivable is the sensuous in its elemental originality. But through which medium can it be presented? Only through music. Kierkegaard, Either/Or

Today’s diapsalmata comes to us by way of Seattle Opera’s latest production of Gaetano Donizetti’s La fille du régiment. I saw the dress rehearsal last week and thought it was just great.

It was a bit of a flop when it debuted at La Scala in 1840, possibly because it was a kind of operetta before it had really been named as a form. Berlioz panned it, writing,

What, two major scores for the Opéra, Les martyrs and Le duc d’Albe, two others at the Renaissance, Lucie de Lammermoor and L’ange de Nisida, two at the Opéra-Comique, La fille du régiment and another whose title is still unknown, and yet another for the Théâtre-Italien, will have been written or transcribed in one year by the same composer! Monsieur Donizetti seems to treat us like a conquered country; it is a veritable invasion. One can no longer speak of the opera houses of Paris, but only of the opera houses of Monsieur Donizetti.

The score may well be a bit fluffy for the composer of Les Trojans and the Symphony Fantastique, but perhaps Berlioz resented Donizetti use of français. Other than the poor reception for La fille, Donizetti was (obviously) enormously popular. And with good reason: there are a lot of great tunes, it’s funny, and it’s easy to follow.

The clips above and below are of the same production that has found its way to Seattle. Here with Patrizia Ciofi rather than Sarah Coburn in the Seattle version:

Lord Don’t Let That Cold Wind Blow

A song by Kevin Welch

The Mule

His modus operandi was to take the trolley
downtown from James, buds in his ears, shades,
a trench coat rain or shine, and sheet music
for songs by Porter, Gershwin, and Schubert.
When I once called him maestro, he protested
loudly, his arms waving up and down so vivace
his mack fluttered like a tailcoat at the podium.
On the last trip I saw him he was too decrepit
to use the stairs, and gestured for the lift
with a much more measured use of his hand, lento.
Months later I was told by another passenger
how he’d been busted for muling oxycodone
out of Harborview, in a disguise hiding
the means by which an old man lived for music.

Street photography, St. Joseph’s Abbey

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It ain’t HCB, but it was still really cool to encounter a Marian-Eucharistic procession while walking back from visiting Percy’s grave. Word was that the place is awash in young men who want to be monks – the numbers way up from years past.

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