March 31, 2013

Easter 2003 Revisited

This is an updated and expanded version of a post I put up recently on my tumblr.

"Easter 2003", is not a good poem, but it was an important one to me.  It was written in the desert outside Tucson that year, during our annual Easter trip out west to the Yaqui Holy Week ceremonies.

As I moved away from my Christian upbringing, the last few vestiges of spectacle that maintained any psychic hold on me resided entirely in the Easter season, from Ash Wednesday ("The Existentialist's Holiday"; also the last church service I attended completely of my own volition) to the Holy Week.  Matt, another lapsed Catholic, had encountered stories of the Yaqui Easter ceremonies out in the west; and, with Tony along for the ride, started making annual Easter pilgrimages out to Tucson.  I started tagging along occasionally not too long after.  It became a more or less annual trip for the posse.

Ten years ago, on a Tuesday, I piled into a rented Impala with Matt and Tony to drive straight through from Louisville out to Tucson with the ostensible purpose of hanging out at those Yaqui ceremonies.  After driving through the afternoon and night and ending up in Roswell, New Mexico, by the light of the rising sun, I picked up a paper to find that the US had invaded Iraq.  We had, of course, seen this coming, but things are very different when there are "boots on the ground" . . . i.e., you think that it's not real until it really happens.

At the same time, I had chosen not to attend the funeral of my cousin Theresa, which was going on the same day.  She was from southern Indiana, down by the White River, and she may as well have been from the hills of Kentucky, Tennessee, or West Virginia . . . the popular media image is the same.  Theresa had a rough life, and she was a victim of what many of us from more monied and/or educated backgrounds tend to dismiss as simple ignorance instead of the collateral damage of capitalism that it really is.  Anyway, Theresa had gotten pregnant at a very young age, but she was blessed with loving parents who not only refused to turn their backs on her, but agreed to raise Theresa's son as their own.  For her part, Theresa, after several rough years, had started to get her life together and become a "stable" person for the first time.  

The job she finally got, the job that she was able to hold onto and to some degree defined her, was as a prison guard.  She liked the job, and she held on to it for several years.  Unfortunately, old demons reared their heads: at some point, she met an inmate that she fell for.  She had reservations about this man; after all, he was in for abusing his girlfriend (actually hurting her quite seriously), and had a long history of assault and abuse, quite a bit of it against women.  But she was charmed; and he, for his part, apparently fell for her quite hard.

When he got out, they connected, but Theresa began to have reservations.  She was trying to turn around her life and live for her son, and she knew that this guy was bad news, intellectually if not emotionally.  So she tried to break it off, and what happened next was all too predictable.

They found her body in her Pontiac Sunbird, which had been lit on fire on a deserted county road in Monroe County.  It was completely torched, and her body was burned to the point that dental records were needed to identify her.  One of the complications early in the investigation was that they couldn't charge anyone with murder because they couldn't determine the cause of death.  Eventually, the man confessed, and by all accounts showed real remorse, since he deeply "loved" Theresa.

About seven years later, I was back around Bedford for the funeral of her son.  He was angry, he was always angry . . . he had been in and out of jail, and he never really got over the death of his mother, in spite of the love of his grandparents.  He died of an overdose.  The most memorable thing about the funeral was that one of my cousins had to grab me and one of my brothers to clear out the parking lot when some kids decided to act up.  It's taking everything in me not to call them rednecks or white trash . . . but they were refuse.  Capitalism's refuse.  Just like my cousin and her son.

*          *          *          *          *

After hitting Roswell at sun up, we took a detour to the Anasazi ruins in New Mexico.  Tony and Matt, who had been sleeping while I had been driving, walked the ruins and occasionally let out strains of melody on home made flutes they were carrying.  I, who had been driving for almost 20 straight hours and was of a somewhat less spiritual bent, found a nice warm rock in the morning sun and stole a short nap.  After an hour at the ruins, we grabbed some coffee and were back on the road.

The whole way, it was paranoia and weirdness, all apocalypse culture and giddy aggression.  It is important to remember just how little opposition there was to the war when it started (or, for that matter, how shamefully little opposition there was up until almost the final withdrawal).  Every car had flags, every truck had a "My Country, Right or Wrong" sticker, every traveler in every rest stop and gas station all giddy over war.  It was a J.G. Ballard landscape come to life.

Friday was at the Yaqui compound in Tucson.  It was always an intense ceremony (the one at the Yaqui camp on the outskirts of town Saturday was pastoral by comparison), and often the ceremonies had a palpable urban edge provided by sirens and police helicopters sweeping spotlights over the neighborhood.  Sometimes the ceremonies were short and explosive, sometimes they ground on forever like a boot heel digging into bruised muscle and flesh.  This one was a long one.  The Chapayekas slogged on, all harmelodic flutes, polyrhythmic castanets, and chattering shells; many fell to be quickly surrounded and protected by a Chapayeka guard.

Everything felt like raw doom then.  It doesn't now.  The thing that sucks almost as much as death and war is getting used to death and war.

Easter 2003


7 am Tucson the 
sun turns the 
tent to an oven the
sun bright over another deathtrip

in another desert 
on a gravel road in a Pontiac he

  doused her in gasoline & lit her & ran 


Chillin’ in a tent in the desert
the sun barely up
biding time with Edward Albee
cowboy stories surrounded 
by flags, flags, flags
everyday is flag day everywhere these days

cross our 
star spangled land
on a patriotic, god-fearing bender
& the stars -n- stripes 
is the geometry of war

somewhere, out there,
some George Washington crosses a Delaware
he doesn't know, and
the mother of all bombs
won't douse hate
attracted to the Tikrit triangle
like metal shavings over a magnet

the desperation of the already dead
on a gravel lane somewhere outside Bloomington

and, this is it: Theresa’s dead.
She's blood
whistling past the graveyard . . .

the distant rumble in the background
the thunderhead on the horizon
always on the horizon
it's death, man,
among the flying flags
and burning cars.


  the highway intersects
a Wednesday morning funeral
 deep in the heart of New Mexico
Tony & Matt fluting the ruins

and going back . . .  

become the darkness in Little Rock
shed your skin in the dawn of Roswell
Arkansas, Oklahoma, & Texas a howling tunnel of other

shades & delineations of nothing
Oklahoma City, Erick, Amarillo
Tikrit, Bagdad
Elletsville, Bedford, Bloomington

& how do we explain to the dead
that there was nothing there
how do we explain to the living 
that there is never anything there
and that drinking tequila in the desert won't kill it
and that drinking whiskey in Louisville Kentucky won't kill it
and that drinking Bud Light in Bedford Indiana won't kill it
and that bowing to the east won't kill it
the horror creeping like a virus
exploding into  murder  fire  jihad
& poets digging into the closets
of horrible darkness won't kill it


she was probably dead when he set her on fire
’cause you don’t just douse people in gasoline 
& set them on fire
& burn them up in their cars –
he's charged with arson
’cause he burned her up
but not with murder
’cause she may have been dead already


we all die a little more every
hellbent day of this backward millennium . . .

guns in Baghdad
somewhere east of
the center of chaos

Southern Indiana deathtrip
swooping like a crow


the dead lay where they are
the living lay where they are
the flutes & drums of the Yaqui try to raise them
sacred ash and mariachi trills try to raise them
Easter Saturday on the rez by the casino

choking dust, burning masks,
purification by fire

a Pontiac burning on a Monroe County road
chapayeka drag burning under the Easter cross
a car bomb just outside the green zone,
another minister assassinated
another body for the dust

and, the choking dust of New Pascua
celebrates the resurrection
while the dead lie where they lay
in Iraq
in Bloomington 
the funeral
goes on
without me


. . . and there are flags, flags, everywhere flags
yellow ribbons, red bumperstickers
the highway awash with patriotism
every SUV with a petrol-drunk V-8
every broke-down Ford with Tennessee plates

a crazy fool with delusions grand
again deals the penultimate hand
death reigns in another foreign land

and, in the cactus-scarred slopes of Arizona
and, in the inbred back roads of Indiana

another flag waves
another innocent dies

and, I’m here, another shot of whiskey,



7 am Tucson the
sun turns the
tent to an oven the
sun bright over another deathtrip

March 25, 2013

TDOE's NCAA Power Rankings, Sweet 16 Edition

AKA the Ben Howland/Tubby Smith memorial edition:

  1. Louisville  The tournament is looking more and more like theirs to lose.  Colorado State had the feel of the kind of team that would give the Cards trouble, but they didn't.  Not one bit.
  2. Michigan State  This high because Tom Izzo, duh, but also because they have the look of Spartan champions of the past.
  3. Duke  This high because Mike Krzyzewski, duh, but . . . well, do you really need another reason?
  4. Ohio State  Aaron Craft defends the point, Deshaun Thomas scores at will.  If those two get help, any help at all, the Buckeyes win 99 times out of 100.
  5. Miami  Took a solid shot from a decent Illinois team and is still standing.  They do a lot right, and little wrong.
  6. Indiana   On the other hand, Indiana seems to do a whole lot wrong, and still get away with it by and large.  After spending the early part of March screaming "POUND THE BALL IN TO ZELLER!" incessantly at my television, the Hoosiers did just that against Temple with mixed results.  Tom Crean chose to see the glass half full and celebrate his team's grind-it-out victory against a good Temple team, but there are times when the ennui of this ridiculously talented group is palpable.
  7. Florida  How good are they, really?  Better than Gonzaga, worse than Louisville, as hard to pin down as the exact location of an electron . . .
  8. Kansas  Very good at times, especially defensively; but the question still seems when, not if, the Jayhawks will implode again.
  9. Michigan  If it's a shoot out, Michigan wins, period.  This is why some have inflated the Wolverines' worth a bit after two impressive victories.  The problem is that the blueprint to stopping them is too well known: force Trey Burke to give up the ball early.  There are at least four teams left who can do just that.  Their offensive firepower may carry them past one or two of those teams, but it's not enough to win it all.
  10. Oregon  Can we all go back to disrespecting the Pac-12 again?
  11. Syracuse  Very good at times, very bad at times, much like every team from the Big East.  Unlike Louisville, however, the Orange's highs aren't quite high enough to compensate for the lows.  Don't be surprised if they still make a little noise, especially if Indiana doesn't eat its Wheaties on game day.
  12. Arizona  Seriously, the Pac-12?
  13. Marquette  If you beat Marquette, you know you've won a game, because they're always the best prepared team around, and because they never, ever beat themselves.
  14. Florida Gulf Coast  Ah, the darlings of the tournament!  There is a small chance that their magic ways can continue against a Florida team that is still a bit of a mystery; but if they do, don't expect them to survive a Kansas team that can go up and contest all those pretty alley-oops, or a Michigan team that will win any scoring contest that comes its way.
  15. Wichita State  Have to play almost perfect ball to keep advancing.  Have done just that, so far.
  16. La Salle  I will go on record as saying that the Wichita State/La Salle game will be must-see TV for the basketball freaks among us.  Both of these teams are good . . . better than FGCU under normal circumstances . . . and have earned the right to be just where they are. 
Well, there you have it.  Leave all your unrestrained bile in the comments below.  Go Hoosiers!

Hey Jim!  Look up at the scoreboard!  Is that the
number of timeouts you have left, or the number
of players you are graduating?  "Double bonus"?
That's what a Syracuse letter of intent gets you,

March 18, 2013

Why I Want The Cards to Lose

I've seen a handful of excellent ball games this year.  The Big Ten has been historically good, and Indiana has not only been good, they've been great to watch.  There is ridiculous parity in the game; and while that usually means a lot of mediocre teams, that's not the case right now.  There are a whole lot of good teams, and there have been a lot of good games.  In particular, I think of the Indiana/Wisconsin/Michigan/Michigan State/Ohio State series was phenomenal, and those games rank up with all the classics I grew up on.  But, the one game that really sticks out for me was the first Louisville/Notre Dame game.  It was the most dramatic game I have seen in years, even if it wasn't close to being the best.

For those of you who were tuned in to the game, you were probably reaching for the remote at just about the same time Louisville started to slack off their legendary attack.  They were walking the ball down the court, they were looking up at the clock, they were careful not to foul.  Fans in the arena were digging out their car keys, putting on their coats, looking down the aisle to see if they had to step over people or if everyone else was leaving too.  Those of us who follow such things (I follow both Louisville and Notre Dame) had more or less taken the outcome for granted when Jack "Luke Harangody Jr." Cooley got tagged for foul number five on a horrible call with about seven minutes left.  All in all, it was a customary denouement for a hard-fought game that was all but over.

When the ridiculously improbable comeback started, no one noticed.  With 45 seconds left and Notre Dame down eight, Jerian Grant hurried down the court, hoisted an uncontested three, and canned it for his first field goal of the night.  No big deal, right?  Too little, too late.  Happens all the time in these situations: team way down, hoisting threes, you're going to see a couple go in.  Then after some laxity on the Card's behalf, Grant flies down the court again, cans another three . . . this one contested, but just barely.  A few seconds later, again he's flying down the court; but after two treys in a row, Louisville has started to pay attention.  He's wrapped up (by Siva? I can't remember), runs off an impromptu pick (less a pick and more an obstacle provided by a teammate who wasn't moving at the same speed as Grant), and deposits a third three.

Now, it was a game.

On the next trip up the floor, down three, the Irish put Louisville's Gorgui Deng on the line.  He missed both foul shots, and ND had the ball back with 16 seconds left.

Everyone knew that Jerian Grant was taking the last shot.  Everyone knew it had to be a three.  All Louisville had to do was guard the three-point line, and make sure Russ Smith was all over Grant with one of the bigs running at him when he came off the inevitable pick.  No way anyone drops FOUR STRAIGHT threes in less than a minute, right?

What happened next were two of the most inexplicable mental mistakes I have seen in a long time out of two top-20 college teams: first, down THREE POINTS with almost no time left, Grant knifes down the right side of the lane for a TWO POINT field goal.  Second, instead of employing the "matador defense" and allowing Grant to get the two unscathed, Louisville chose to closely defend him on the drive, and ended up fouling him!  And not a good hard foul, which would have negated the shot and put him on the line for two free throws (thereby still leaving ND one point short with time for only one very brief possession left on the clock), but a contact-in-the-process-of-defending foul, allowing Grant to get up (AND HIT!) the shot, as well as putting him on the line to attempt THE GAME TYING FREE THROW!  Which, of course, he hit.  After that, there was the inevitable Russ Smith brain fart, and the game went into overtime.

From there, the hilarity continued.  At the start of each overtime, Louisville opened a little breathing space, only to be reeled back in by Notre Dame.  Louisville was able to shift back into Full Chaos Mode, but full chaos mode means the maximization of the random, and the random means some breaks go your way, some breaks go the other way . . . and the breaks were going Notre Dame's way.  In the ridiculous scrums that pass for rebounding in U of L games, the ball started to get batted back toward the ND goal.  Louisville would execute their hellish defense for the majority of the shot clock, only to see a desperation lob get tossed across court to an ND player with a wide open shot (wide open mainly because he got totally lost in the chaos, stood still, and watched the defense run away from him).  And, on Louisville's offensive end, there was Russ Smith.

To understand Louisville, all you need to do is watch Russ Smith.  He's fast, he's chaotic, he has a motor like no one else you will ever see.  He is the ultimate disrupter.  On the defensive end, he's always up in your face, on you so hard you can't shake him.  He's fast enough to play the lanes and knock down passes when he's off the ball, and still recover right up in your face when the ball swings back over.  Offensively, he flies around just as much, hurtling at the basket with or without the ball, without a plan, just always flying around.  His outside shots are like Tourette's, more inexplicable mental tic than rational offensive strategy.  He is a Tasmanian Devil, a perpetual motion machine: and usually, at the end of a game, his psychosis has left his opponent on the floor in a heap, with the scoreboard announcing a triumph precipitated by the sheer havoc he has wreaked.

Rick Pitino loves Russ Smith.  He has a whole team comprised mostly of Russ Smith variations: the same hyper-athletic quickness, the same perpetual motion, the same indomitable motor.  The same dedication to Full Chaos.

A descendant of Nolan Richardson's "40 Minutes of Hell", Full Chaos has little to do with the fundamentals: Full Chaos means Louisville's rebounding proficiency has less to do with blocking out, and more to do with everyone charging the basket every time a shot goes up.  Louisville's defensive proficiency has less to do with rotation and position and more to do with overwhelming pressure (Louisville never runs a full court press just to make the guards work harder; they always press to steal the ball).  Louisville's offense has nothing to do with spacing, position, or shooting: it's simply about the sheer number of times they heave the ball at the basket because they are moving so much faster than the other team, and therefore get more opportunities.  Ultimately, like 40 Minutes of Hell, the Full Chaos mode is about making the other team play your way.

And therein lies my problem with the University of Louisville Cardinals, as currently constituted: "playing their way" means totally disrupting the game of basketball as I love it.  Pitino and The Cardinals are successful to the degree that they can turn the game into shit.

I don't blame The Rick for this approach.  His job is to WIN GAMES, period.  Well, that and graduate the minimum number of players necessary to keep the NCAA off his ass.  And keep his players out of jail . . . all of which he has managed to do.  On top of that, he generally has guys that are committed to him and to each other, and try their best to be reasonable representatives of the University.  Anyway, the true beauty of the Full Chaos approach is that he doesn't really need to have top-notch basketball players, he just has to have top notch athletes, which are much more common these days.  He doesn't have to worry about developing his two's mid-range game, he just needs to get him in better shape than the players he will be facing.  He doesn't have to worry about his five's back-to-the-basket game, he just has to make sure he can be more of a dervish than any other five in the nation.  He doesn't really have to teach them too much of anything: most of the core work for the current iteration of The Cards is done by running stairs.  Of course he always has to stockpile a shooter or two to give his offense a little bit of a wrinkle, and having a decent point guard makes his life a whole lot easier.  But, make no mistake: given the choice between a top-notch point that can't play at his speed (say, Trey Burke) over a warp speed point good for one seriously knuckleheaded play every five times down the court (say, Peyton Siva), warp speed wins ten times out of ten.  Again, I don't blame Pitino for taking this approach . . . I mean, look at the guy's record.  It speaks for itself.

I don't root against The Cards because they are lazy or undeserving; on the contrary, they're one of the hardest working teams in the nation.  I don't root against them because of some sort of negative social code that they subliminally radiate: again, all the guys on the team seem like decent enough folk (although The Rick himself is a bit of a skeez), and rewarding hard work is something that we can all get behind.  I don't even root against all Rick Pitino/U of L teams: the 2005 Cards with Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean was one of my favorites.  No, it's just this current style of Louisville team: I root against them because they destroy all that is beautiful about the game.

And it's not that I don't like defense: I am a Big Ten/Big East fan, after all.  I was raised on Bobby Knight and Gene Keady.  One of my favorite teams to watch is Wisconsin: Bo Ryan's defensive schemes have a brutal efficiency and logic, and are often as beautiful as they are brutal.  I tend to like free flowing games better, but "free flowing" doesn't mean the same as "no defense".

It just so happens that I love the game of basketball.  I love its motion, I love its flow, I love its strategy.  It is a cliche at this point to compare basketball to jazz, but there you have it: there's improvisation, there's discipline, there's melody, harmony, counterpoint, rhythm, syncopation.  Like jazz, there's a lot of ways to do it, and a lot of ways to do it wrong.  As cavalier as I may be in my attitudes toward music, I am a basketball purist: show me complexity, show me motion, show me shapes and designs that I can get inside and marvel at.  But whatever you do, don't turn my game to shit.

Chris Paul is a beautiful player: he moves into zones, sees the shapes of the court before they even materialize, and gets the ball just where it needs to go.  Steve Nash does the same, with an even more eccentric language than Paul.  Larry Bird and Magic Johnson moved in dimensions that others didn't even see.  But Derrick Rose, good as he may be, is nothing more than a human missile as far as I'm concerned.  Alan Iverson was a cannonball.  Kevin Durant?  Breathtaking.  LeBron James?  A dull bully.  I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I don't care whether my team wins or loses, but I will tell you that one of the five best college basketball games I have ever seen is a game that my team lost.

It is entirely likely that Pitino will someday stumble on just the right point guard, a guy that can play at Full Chaos tempo but actually make plays instead of chaos (I think Indiana's Yogi Ferrell could have been that point guard).  If he does, he'll pick up a few other parts, and maybe build a team that is as beautiful as it is fast.  When that day comes, I'll don the red and black and cheer my lungs out.  Until then, I will smile and raise a glass to toast the Cards victories, but I certainly won't get excited about that team.

*          *          *          *          *

Louisville, of course, ended up losing the epic 5 OT war against Notre Dame.  There were several opportunities to win it, but Louisville never put the Irish away.  Or, rather, Russ Smith never put the Irish away.  I have never seen more appalling guard play by a good team in a crucial situation.  Smith was mind-bogglingly bad at the worst time.  Time freezes when the game is on the line, and that's precisely when just running around doesn't work.  You have to make a play.

Louisville has not lost since that game.  For good measure, they beat Notre Dame twice, both by double digits.  They stormed back against a flawed Syracuse team to win the final Big East tournament, and rolled into the NCAAs as the number one overall seed, a ranking that they deserved as much as two of the other three no. 1's, Kansas and Indiana.  They are the most popular pick to win it all, and it's hard to argue that: at this point, it really looks like they could turn any game they play into a steaming pile of shit.  Just don't expect me to like it.

March 4, 2013

from The Ethics: the Original Edition

This is the original text from my latest poetry project, The Ethics.  This poem is handwritten over a text of Spinoza's Ethics.  This original is meant to be approached as an object, like a picture or a drawing, and owes a major debt to Tony Woollard's work.  The poem itself is something separate, though inextricably linked to the process that created the object.  The final poem may differ somewhat from what is written in the object, though I don't know for sure.  It is only fair to expect it to take on a life of its own separate of the original text.  As it currently stands, you can see that the poem actually follows the text from the object quite closely.

from The Ethics

The Ethics[1]

I can no longer be concerned with god.
If there is a point, it has long since faded
into the nothing of an[3] infinite violation
of boundary logic.  So I, unlike Spinoza,
conjure an ethics sans god. [4]  [5]  [6]

This ethics is a world of vapor,
a world of smoke, of arcane legerdemain
half hidden under a veil,
this ethics is a punch[7] [8] [9] in the head to dark purpose,
a deck of pornographic trading cards,
a blue hope,[10] [11]
that thing you forgot, remembered, forgot
again, then forgot you forgot.[12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

I scratch out an ethics in fine point against type,
a frail bulwark against onrushing words
like waves, words drifting[17] [18] [19] like ashy snow
that never melts, the snow falling
on the living and the dead, burying[20] ciphers
[empty] like[21] acorns forgotten by squirrels,
words torn loose and herded by green capital
into holding pens on vast[22] ranches deep in Texas,
words that accumulate to words
like capital accumulates to capital,[23]
with no regard to anything
beyond accumulation and attraction,[24] [25] [26] [27] [28]
with emptiness at the very core.[29] [30] [31]

It is the mission of this ethics to
  1. have no fear of emptiness at the core of words.[32]

It is the mission of this ethics
to kick words into forbidden trajectories
to split them like atoms
to create blinding white light.

It is the mission of this ethics
to liberate words from meaning,
but not meanings.
It is the mission of this ethics
to liberate meaning from capital,
from ranches of privilege and tradition.[33]

I am inadequate for the task,
but I am what is left.[34]

[1] for Tony Woollard
[2] CONCERNING GOD – or not
[3] infinite
[4] effect
[5] knowledge
[6] nothing
[7] ignorant
[8] true causes
[9] confusion - think
[10] only truth
[11] external to the intellect
[12] If anyone now ask, by what sign shall he be able to distinguish different substances, let him
[13] show that
[14] the universe
[15] infinite
[16] would be sought in vain
[17] no cause or reason can be given
[18] which destroys
[19] existence
[20] absurd
[21] nature of
[22] God
[23] nothing which is in itself
[24] this is exactly
[25] the weapon
[26] aimed at us
[27] reality recoiled
[28] conclusion that extended substance must be finite, they will in good sooth be acting like a man who asserts that circles have the properties of squares, and, thereby finding himself landed in absurdities, proceeds to deny that circles have any center, from which all lines drawn to circumference are equal
[29] substance could be so divided that its parts
[30] admit of being destroyed
[31] as to leave no vacuum?
[32] God is free cause
[33] Conceive, if possible
[34] idea of God does not naturally follow

March 3, 2013

from The Vision and Second Coming: William Butler Yeats Mashup by Jerome Rothenberg

At the birth of Christ religious life becomes primary, secular life antithetical - man gives to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.  A primary dispensation looking beyond itself towards transcendent power is dogmatic, leveling, unifying, feminine, humane, peace its means and end; an antithetical dispensation obeys immanent power, is expressive, hierarchical, multiple, masculine, harsh, surgical.  The approaching antithetical influx and that particular antithetical dispensation for which the intellectual preparation has begun will reach its complete systematisation at the moment when, as I have already shown, the Great Year comes to its intellectual climax.  Something of what I have said it must be, the myth declares, for it must reverse our era and resume past eras in itself; what else it must be no man can say, for always at the critical moment the Thirteenth Cone, the sphere, the unique intervenes.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. 
 Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

*          *          *           *          *
Commentary to follow.

March 2, 2013

Greetings From a Schnitzelburg Basement

Hello friends.  February passed without a post, though I just deleted (an almost alarming!) four drafts from my posts queue that I have no intention of finishing.

Most of my short form blogging is done at notes for everything, and I haven't had the attention span for long form blogging lately.  Various factors involved (tl;dr), but suffice to say there has been a flux in production here at the homestead.

Before the end of March I should have a completely spiffy post for y'all.  At this point I am guessing it will either be a postmodernist-tinted look at the novels of Patricia Highsmith, or another goddamn basketball post.  Actually, I can pretty much guarantee you basketball posts over the next few months, but I would really like to finish that Patricia Highsmith one as well.

In the meantime, if you are somewhat new to this here writing ranch, please click on the "Thoreau" tag.  Right now, I'm favoring this over most of what I've done on this blog.

While you're at it, if you are a fan of acoustic Americana noir, I have a project that you may enjoy.  I listened tonight to some Hoosier Pete recordings for the first time in a long time, and I really liked them to a degree that is a bit unusual for me.  You may like them too: you can find them at the Hoosier Pete site at Indiana Musical Family Tree.

And for the noise mavens among you, there's always Black Kaspar.  Fair warning: a new cassette (wherein I connect with my inner Jimmy Page) is coming soon.

That is all for now.  I think I'll post my favorite W. B. Yeats poem here just for the hell of it.