Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on Kickstarter!

Fragments

Opening verse and chorus of pop song sung by young woman who likens her unignorable presence to that of an unskippable ad prior to a YouTube video:

You didn’t come here looking for me
But it doesn’t matter what you came to see
You can try any trick boy that you care to play
But once I get started, you can’t look away

[slow build to chorus]

Try to keep me down but I pop up pop up pop up pop up

[chorus]

Cuz I’m unskippable
Right swipable
So clickable
So likable
Unskippable
Thumbs up put a heart on it

First part of chorus to raucous country song:

Hey bartender
I’m on a twelve-bar bender
Goin’ til I can’t remember
What I started it for

UPDATED TO INCLUDE TEQUILA REFERENCE AND TO FINISH OUT CHORUS:

Got to forget how my love
Didn’t work out how it should’ve
Set me up another shot of
That there El Jimador

Chorus to country song sung by wife who is frustrated by her husband’s constant complaints about how she’s changed and doesn’t seem to want him the same way any more:

You’re asking what about me? Well tell me what about you?
Tell me what the hell happened to the man I knew?
The one who rocked my world and stole my heart away?
I gotta fight just to get you to mow the yard
And you got soft where you used to be hard
There’s a lot of things that’ve changed ’round here, that’s true
I’ll take a look at me, tell me what about you?

The Pump on the Rock

pump-rock-1_edited-1
For Barney

Since you built it, you know that there is more rock there
Than water and more air than
Rock—there where fire has no place. The familiar

Old thing, its audacity is mere and thin
As its shaft, stabbing into this Pliocene crop
Of driftless children. Dear nearly dead dynamic thing,

It hardly begins to know itself before it spits and slops
And vomits air. Then, with a cough
And a rush of sucking sounds, it slips up the crude iron pipe

That responds with shivering thunder down between the elven earth
And cousin rock, always
To engender water forth — forth — and forth.

But also, like ghosts behind a clock, crusted gray as
A vole’s pelt and crimson-jawed, the years of rust creep
Upward in more silent ease

Along its sloughing shaft, and fold
Their slender gelid claws around the man-squared handle,
Worn to a green shine with use. Its rucked crank grows grumpy and old

With weather—the same by which the gaskets, cracked as candle
Wax, have lost their Vulcan grip.
So within the icy tangle

Of four winds, a million suns pique, hone and strop
This Sisyphean siphon
Into a steady ceaseless drip,

A metronome of drops to set its count of winters in Wisconsin
As it slides and plunges air
Through its piston

For a deep transmission of elements, where ages of rock are
Greater than time. And more timeless
Than rock¬, there is water here, more — more — and more —

All of it thirsty as
Fire’s industry to slake
The spongy spring-formed surface

Of the cold-cased earth. The pump takes
A breath, drawn from subterranean catastrophes,
And exhales. Submerge your hands within its stream of cold—they will ache

Like the grief of memories —
Baptize your tongue in its running column of blue, it will be struck
Dumb as tomorrow’s yesterdays.

Jerusalem

slaughter-of-the-innocence

Happy they who…having rested in peace, stretch out their hands to Him, who must lift them up, and make them stand upright and firm in the porches of the holy Jerusalem! There pride can no longer assail them nor cast them down; and yet they weep, not to see all those perishable things swept away by the torrents, but at the remembrance of their loved country, the heavenly Jerusalem, which they remember without ceasing during their prolonged exile. – Pascal, Pensees 458

We too were Jews, we here in Bethlehem
When Herod’s men with steel and daggered eyes
Believed in everything they saw. Each hem

And tunic sleeve, red as winter sunrise,
Repeated endlessly upon the flat
And edge of sword’s empirical emprise—

Potential trickles like driblets of fat
And greasy flame reshapes dispatching arms
That thread entwined through meat and sticky guts,

And turn the muscle’s issue into worms.
We too, subjects of a place-keeping pawn,
Were chosen for this cradled land. No storms

Could lull our cries, no Babylon could croon
Our lullabies so well…. Oh, Jerusalem,
Why could no angel stop your hand again?

Not living, you survived our Bethlehem—
Our braziers warmed your hypotheticals:
We come as one and yet alone, Shalom!

We come, shalom! assuming you—who else?—
Would tell us why the star that’s out of place
Now leads us to this place where power dwells….

Our mothers—bleeding milk and motherless—
Behold the shattered flesh. These bodies, curled
As severed tongues upon the ground, confess

Such tiny holocausts, such piercing cold.

Cowboy Catholicism

JUL 5 1977, 7/10/1977 The cowboy leaning forward in his saddle is Darrell Winfield, the original Marlboro Man. Most of his year is spent trading horses he breeds on his small spread in central Wyoming, but five or six times a year he spends about two weeks being photographed for their cigaret ads. He is married and has five daughters and a son. Credit: UPI archiveblog

A poem delivered in honor of Wyoming Catholic College President Dr. Glenn Arbery’s visit to the La Mesa home of Ernie Grimm.
Fools say truth is like a woman
Who can hope to understand her?
And pundits seek to cart her off by force
But there’s a certain sort of searcher
Who sallies forth to Lander
And tracks her ‘cross Wyoming on a horse
Bards say beauty is a woman
Whose appeal is quite subjective
Her hotness quantified by likes and clicks
But a lover of proportion
Will require no elective
And besides, there ain’t no wi-fi in the sticks
Wags say goodness is a woman
Whose favor ever changes
Inconstant as the wind, or as the tide
But the students at Wyoming
Find their good in mountain ranges
And upon a certain petrus, they abide

The Ordeal of Hannah Horvath?

untitledLena Dunham on line one, Mr. Pinfold…

IRL she’s a generation’s gutsy, ambitious voice, author, showrunner, and star of the HBO hit Girls. But on TV and the web she becomes “a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance,” a girl whose delusions have brought her here, to the shadowy realm of Decreased Stigma

Mammon 1, God 0

I feel a little like General Jack D. Ripper ranting about flouridation. “Ice cream, Mandrake. Children’s ice cream.”

It’s folly, of course, to ask, in instances such as this one, “Is nothing sacred?” Of course something is sacred. Something is always sacred.

Lionel Shriver on Fiction and Identity Politics

An excerpt from Lionel Shriver’s recent address to the Brisbane Writer’s Festival:

What stories are “implicitly ours to tell,” and what boundaries around our own lives are we mandated to remain within? I would argue that any story you can make yours is yours to tell, and trying to push the boundaries of the author’s personal experience is part of a fiction writer’s job.

I’m hoping that crime writers, for example, don’t all have personal experience of committing murder. Me, I’ve depicted a high school killing spree, and I hate to break it to you: I’ve never shot fatal arrows through seven kids, a teacher, and a cafeteria worker, either. We make things up, we chance our arms, sometimes we do a little research, but in the end it’s still about what we can get away with – what we can put over on our readers.

Because the ultimate endpoint of keeping out mitts off experience that doesn’t belong to us is that there is no fiction. Someone like me only permits herself to write from the perspective of a straight white female born in North Carolina, closing on sixty, able-bodied but with bad knees, skint for years but finally able to buy the odd new shirt. All that’s left is memoir.

And here’s the bugbear, here’s where we really can’t win. At the same time that we’re to write about only the few toys that landed in our playpen, we’re also upbraided for failing to portray in our fiction a population that is sufficiently various.

Pärtapalooza

By the way, I am listening to an Arvo Pärtapalooza on WQXR right now (it’s his birthday), appropriately sober given that other event fifteen years ago, Hattin 2.0.

Might be good while you’re grilling up some brisket, or even with the sound of the game turned down.

Tetralogy, people. Tetralogy!

From this story at the Dark Horizons website, it looks like we’re finally going to get that run of Tetris movies everybody’s been clamoring for.

But a trilogy?

For TETRIS?!? Am I the only one who see how big an aesthetic blunder this is?!?!?!

And of course such a whopping aesthetic blunder means many, many missed marketing opportunities.

We obviously need FOUR of these movies.

Tetralogy, people. Tetralogy.

Yeesh.

I ask again: why am I not running a major studio?

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Two pounds of grapes eaten daily causes organ failure in dogs, study shows.

(Posted by Jack)