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Showing posts from October 18, 2020


  I don’t remember from what library I first checked out T.S. Eliot’s Collected Poems, 1909-1962. It could have been the Decatur Georgia library, which I absolutely loved to bike to. Or it could have been the Clarkston High School library, which was well stocked – I mean, it had Ulysses, a pretty bold item for a Georgia High School library in 1974. This was the result of the massive spending on schools in Dekalb County under superintendent Jim Cherry, of blessed memory. No doubt the funny flowed to white schools, but Clarkston was integrated when I was there. I was in the 9 th grade, and desperate for a larger life, a cosmopolitan life with cafes, which I was clearly not going to get in Clarkston Georgia, a bedroom suburb of Atlanta. Eliot, it turned out, was my good luck. We clicked immediately. Prufrock’s mermaids seemed much more relevant to my psychosexual life than, say, the hit of 1975 in my class, Aerosmith’s “walk this way”:   Singin' hey diddle diddle With your kit

Cancel culture and the uncancellable

 First published in the now defunct Willettsmag Cancel culture was born on October 18, 1924, when a pamphlet was thrust upon the world entitled: A Cadaver. The subject of the pamphlet was Anatole France, a Nobel prize winning author whose death, on October 12, 1924, was announced on the front page of the New York Times under the headline: Anatole France Great Author dies … Author of “Thais” and “Le Jongleur de Notre Dame” Classed as Leader of Modern Stylists”. The writers of The Cadaver (Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, Paul Eluard, etc.) were having none of this. The Cadaver was a surrealist action of the most violent and definitive kind. Breton classed Anatole France with the “cops”, and wrote: “With Anatole France, a little human servility goes out the door.” Eluard, under the heading, An old man Like the Others,   wrote mockingly to France: “The harmony, ah, the harmony, the knot of your tie, my dear corpse, your brain on the side, everything arranged beautifully in the coffin and the t

The Land of Nod by Karen Chamisso

  The Land of Nod Sleep is the main from which we drift each waking day, bubbling with principium individuationis. What was the dream about? Some rift we fell down. You were in the dark, groping to piss And found yourself suddenly lighted, watched By a viewing audience dim of feature? Even the physicist is patched And pickled in sleeptime’s thralling curvature. “The mode of dealing with the atoms to restore motivity is essentially a process of assortment” - all demons slip off their positivity and join as one oceanic neural deportment: in that bath of ESP I am you and you are me.