Moments don't arrive.
For they've always been there,
inside the universe.
The tiniest percentage of them
are invisible arenas
available to our lives,
which pass in. And out.
All other moments lie beyond us.
There is nothing but time.
Mist has found its night-air.
From the buzz of the plane,
we know the plane flies
circularly in clouds. Have one!
A neighbor cries, followed by I need new strings. We are
on the roof but no closer to the sky,
buzzing toward a circular high.
I grew up fond of the post,
its letters and envelopes,
typed script and cursive,
stamps and addresses.
Its pace of weeks and days,
years and months.
Its slow magic. Now
it labors, a harried
beast with no charm
and many enemies.
I'm used to its
but once I loved the post.
I used to fall into cinema
as if it were a liquid dream,
a pool of better reality.
Now I see through it to
the cynicism, the
racism and capital,
bad writing, bad acting,
no acting, no point.
Hollywood's a sewage-
processing plant by another
name. I like some films
all right. But I used
to love the cinema.
It's another thing
to watch, is all,
dead, or dying,
drifting by like dirigibles.
They will photograph themselves holding guns.
They will incorporate the national flag
into their wardrobe.
They will proclaim their faith aggressively.
They will act in contradiction to their faith.
They will not read history.
They will not read literature.
They will not consult data.
They will reject conclusions from science.
They will demand to be considered special
and may link themselves to God.
They will not understand.
They will not try to understand.
They will be tyrants in their families.
They will perceive no contradictions.
They will recoil from wit and irony.
They will mimic gestures of status.
They will threaten.
They will be particularly susceptible
to fascist appeals.
They will transmit ignorance gleefully.
They will not know how to ask good questions.
They will remain enraged by complexity
They will not change.
I was watching a digitalized video
of a film in which immensely wealthy
celebrities with slight builds
(made more slight by Hollywood's
emaciation-demands) were pretending
on a sound stage to be tough cowboys
or gangsters or spies or cops. It wasn't
working for me. Their acting
couldn't overcome the built-in
farce of the system that made
the product--the insincere,
serious, transparently cynical,
ghastly moving-picture factory.
I turned off the machine.
I imagined the two men
having to work a shift
building a house. That scene
worked for me. I imagined
them quitting after ten
minutes and hobbling
toward the limousine.
After that scene stopped
in my head, I went outside
and dug a hole to plant
a green-gauge plum tree in.
I was entertained.
"For unless poetry can absorb the machine...then poetry has failed of its full contemporary function."
As I started typing this wad of words, sir,
I received a note from "my" machine: Your html cannot be accepted.
Afraid or not, I am
sure the machine has absorbed us.
Ever adaptable (I type this
as if I mean it), we write
from and about the technological
innards, but we be the absorbee.
Rather than building bridges,
the culture seems merely
to have outsmarted itself
in ways even a good advertising
man like yourself couldn't
have seen coming. It produces
catastrophe in a businesslike manner,
Atlantis is a casino
and a resort, Plato
was a fascist, and the Brooklyn Bridge is
quaint, and . . . .
. . .And everything, is the problem.
Anyway, from inside, unlyrically,
some craft reports like this
about the lovely contours of the machine,
the words floating like plastic trash
on the surface of "our" seminal html. May
a brother buy a vowel? Machine says no.