We live in an age when you say casually to somebody ‘What’s the story on that?’ and they can run to the computer and tell you within five seconds. That’s fine, but sometimes I’d just as soon continue wondering. We have a deficit of wonder right now.
All these acquisitions, and any that aren’t here but on the way, are justified by the fact that…I wanted them.
If you listen to Louis Armstrong from 1929, you will never hear anything better than that…You will never hear anything more free than that.
For my running and rowing friends.
There was a moment in which he knew he could not go on. He had begun at the wrong pace, another and better man’s pace, had seen the man come almost at once to the top of his strength, hitting his stride without effort, unlimbering and lining out and away. And like a fool he had taken up the bait, whole and at once, had allowed himself to be run into the ground. In the next instant his lungs should burst, for now they were burning with pain and the pain had crowded out the last and least element of his breath, and he should stumble and fall. But the moment passed. The moment passed, and the next and the next, and he was running still, and still he could see the dark shape of the man running away in the swirling mist, like a motionless shadow. And he held on to the shadow and ran beyond his pain.—N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
Dypaloh. There was a house made of dawn. It was made of pollen and of rain, and the land was very old and everlasting. There were many colors on the hills, and the plain was bright with different-colored clays and sands. Red and blue and spotted horses grazed in the plain, and there was a dark wilderness on the mountains beyond. The land was still and strong. It was beautiful all around.—N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
One of the sexiest faces I’ve ever seen.
I imagine her attention falling to me, just for a moment, in this crowd, out on the street. I feel her size me up, a knowing critical gaze. Is she instantly writing my story behind those eyes?
She finds me…acceptable.
Currently re-reading Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, champion of Beat Generation writers passed away this week at 101 years of age.
Here’s the last line of “I Am Waiting” from A Coney Island of the Mind (1958.)
“…and I am awaiting perpetually and forever a renaissance of wonder.”
The Final Sentence contains some riches. It’s handy if you are looking for something you’ve already read. but beware of spoilers. Use the search feature instead of browsing. Or not.
“You spend too much time reading, Spenser. You know more stuff that don’t make you money than anybody I know.”
The Coneheads never left. They’ve been hiding out in SoCal for decades.
There is a kind of life that is peculiar to the land in summer—a wariness, a seasonal equation of well-being and alertness. Road runners take on the shape of motion itself, urgent and angular, or else they are like the gnarled, uncovered roots of ancient, stunted trees, some ordinary ruse of the land itself, immovable and forever there. And quail, at evening, just failing to suggest the waddle of too much weight, take cover with scarcely any talent for alarm, and spread their wings to the ground; and if then they are made to take flight, the imminence of no danger on earth can be more apparent; they explode away like a shot, and there is nothing but the dying whistle and streak of their going. Frequently in the sun there are pairs of white and russet hawks soaring to the hunt. And when one falls off and alights, there will be a death in the land, for it has come down to place itself like a destiny between its prey and the burrow from which its prey has come; and then the other, the killer hawk, turns around in the sky and breaks its glide and dives. It is said that hawks, when they have nothing to fear in the open land, dance upon the warm carnage of their kills. In the highest heat of the day, rattlesnakes lie outstretched upon the dunes, as if the sun had wound them out and lain upon them like a line of fire, or, knowing of some vibrant presence in the air, they writhe away in the agony of time. And of their own accord they go at sundown into the earth, hopelessly, as if to some unimaginable reckoning in the underworld. Coyotes have the gift of being seldom seen; they keep to the edge of vision and beyond, loping in and out of cover on the plains and highlands. And at night, when the whole world belongs to them, they parley at the river with the dogs, their higher, sharper voices full of authority and rebuke. They are an old council of clowns, and they are listened to.—N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
Congratulations on your successful campaign to become a U.S Senator/Congressperson.
As you know from your introductory information packet, before you will be allowed to propose any legislation, post to social media, or be interviewed by any journalists or … the rest “Benchmark”
Today’s Bandcamp purchase. One of my favorite tenor players and since I did not know about this album (released this month) a big fat fantastic surprise for me.
Isfahan is beautiful but definitely not Johnny Hodges’s interpretation. You can listen to it here for free before you purchase it.
“So mom. My boyfriend took all of my money, wrecked my car, and gave me three different kinds of STDs.”
M: “Oh dear! I’m so sorry!”
D: “… I can’t wait for you to meet him!”
Social networks give you the right to speak to legions of idiots who previously spoke only in the bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. They were then quickly silenced, but now have the same right to speak as to a Nobel Prize. It is an invasion of imbeciles.
From Prospero’s Books Kansas City, The Dusty Bookshelf Lawrence, KS, and my Library of America subscription. The James Corey is a gift from my daughter Marilyn because she knows The Expanse is my favorite TV show.
The best way I can think of to describe the current status of the GOP is “malevolent inanity.”
The elevation of nonsensical, yet still hateful, rhetoric whose sole intention is to rile up the aggrieved, while not new, is now the primary (only?) strategy of the GOP’s desperate attempt to maintain relevance and cling to power.
You can see a good example of the result by watching the New Yorker video of the invasion of the senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol. President Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, et al. managed to animate a cadre of pathetic golems taking the form of giant toddlers. Overgrown preschool escapees whose power resides in falling on the floor and shitting themselves.
Remember when your kids first discovered that pushing a plate of food off the high-chair tray resulted in all kinds of excitement and chaos? That’s these guys.
The bar for becoming a freedom fighter is now low enough to step over. You just have to be willing to zip-tie the constitution to a chair.
“I was stunned by Mary Karr’s memoir, The Liars’ Club. Not just by its ferocity, its beauty, and by her delightful grasp of the vernacular, but by its totality—she is a woman who remembers everything about her early years.”—Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
The collapse of our democracy begins with the loss of places where silly people can get together and lie to each other.