Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbononnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbononnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

Archive for November 2018

BARNUM AND OABAMA [FROM THE OBAMA YEARS]

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The future of America looks scary; the future of freedom, the future of our politics, the future of the presidency and elections for president.  Do I have faith that Obama is working for me?  No.  Do I like his speeches?  Perhaps.  Can I respect the power of his oratory, the strength of his rhetoric?  Yes.  But the ability to move people emotionally is demagoguery, and Obama is a master demagogue which is not to say he always says nothing. But no one does say nothing better than he does, if and when he does say nothing, which every president must at times do, but how many times is always the question. The question here though is, Do I trust any President of the United States implicitly? The answer is of course, No. There is something corrupting, corrupted and corrosive about power in general and the power of the office of the presidency in particular, as great as that office is. It is the nature of the Office of the Presidency that must be understood. The power of the office is Self-evident, the greatness of this power (and thus the enormous corruptibility of this office not just on any man but on every man who has occupied or does occupy or will occupy this seat of enormous power, enormous authority and enormous influence) is also self-evident.

Presidents represent power, money and other forms of elites; they only tenuously respect the public, only ever suspect the people.  Do we still have the audacity to hope Obama is working or could have been working or would have been working, even if he could have otherwise, for anyone other than the bankers, or helping the rich get richer through state funded work-fare. The investment bankers that nearly plummeted us into economic darkness did work for their bonuses, didn’t they?  I heard Obama saying something, but I didn’t see him doing anything. We fast came to realize the only thing Obama could do was talk.

Obama was not in politics long enough to have learned anything useful or necessary to be a politician. I do sympathize with him; he has been learning how to be a politician, learning how to “play the game” while occupying the office of the Presidency–he will probably learn all he needs to know to be a good President by the time he finishes his second term. I don’t envy him his position in facing the most polarized Congress perhaps since Andrew Jackson.

Now for a question in critique of our society, the arena of politics in Washington and our media image making and its role in our elections and the making of a president, if not what we imagine is or should be presidential. Is Obama the circus barker the bankers needed in the arena of American politics?  It would have fit our received ideas on race and politics to accept the stereotyped notion that because Obama was black candidate, he had a hotline to the little man, the downtrodden, which would have been a lie, much the way that affirmative action continues to help the black bourgeoisie and too few of the socio-economic underclass among African-Americans.  Was it designed ever to do other? Was Obama put in office to do other than help the banks? I mean, was George W President for any other reason but to help opposing elites that Obama helps.

Barnum was right, and in America for sure, among the people in response to the circus of politics, there is a sucker born every minute.  What, though, could be expected from any of the members of the current status quo who don’t or cannot see any relevance beyond their own contemporaneity?  The state and any institution of power or finance or bureaucratically administered state service will always see individuality as something divisible, but also without liberty for all and only lip service for any freedom for the many.

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Written by jvr

November 30, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Clutching at Cliche Constructed Straws; or, Re-Contextualization Complete

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X: Stop telling me I’m  fighting backwards because I critique the boobery of our

    contemporaneity . You are contempo-centric to a fault.

Y: But you do fight backwards. Every single day you lament the state of things as they are against what they were and should have become but have not, you fight backwards. Now, if you said that nothing less than 300,000 fucking heads–that would be progress.

–Anonymous

 

A: If a mop mops, why can’t a book book?

B: It can. You just think it can’t.

–Anonymous

 

There might not be any newspaper more full of itself and shit than the New York Times, a far, far lesser paper than it has ever been, a far, far more insipid place to which it has arrived, than any other place it has been in socially in our past.

A friend of  Thomas Sarebbononnato

 

From an Anonymous Editor’s Desk:

In our culture, where semi-literacy has paraded as literate enough for too many years, this degradation itself amounting to a few decades already extended, I question anyone’s claim that what she tweeted was intended as Satire, at least as soon as those tweets become refocussed in a broader more centrally positioned mainstream reception/ conception. I do allow for mistakes made in perception, conception, expected reception, the mis-alignment of targets, the mis-steps along any way toward attaining Truth or some truths, if that is what is still believed. There are those I know who have said that Ms. Jeong does not believe in Truth, or that attaining truth is possible, and that doubt, doubt and more doubt is the only sure thing in any epistemological pursuit.

Satire (and do I need to say good and effective Satire?) is an especially highly literate from of expression, and not too many in our contemporaneity are accustomed to reading it, let alone writing it. Satire will always require more than 40 characters–at least I maintain this for my writing. Twitter just does not allow for the nuances and the development of the necessary irony.

In the case of Sarah, if her tweets were intended as Satire, then she exhibited a lesser understanding of the form, or a level of literacy incapable of it–an inability that all readers of the New York Times should find disturbing, for the question will then remain, what was the NY Times thinking when it hired her at the position in which she was placed?

Yes, I repeat, What was it that the New York Times had seen in her writing? I’d like an anthology to read for myself.

However, moreover, nevertheless, is this really a surprise for the New York Times, this Jeong fiasco? This is not the first mis-step in their hiring, and I am sure it will not be the last. But when We the People allow Print Media, as large as the NY Times, to masquerade as a voice for Democracy, and not as an organ of Oligarchic control (that they accomplish by helping to keep Power and Money in the shadows; and the Paper itself and its ownership being members of the Monied Elite, if not solely the Media elite, another estate in the Oligarchy), then we have already taken giant steps on our way to creating Pravda in our print media.

The crucial point herein that everyone needs to note well is as follows: Jeong’s inability to engage in satire successfully on Twitter is a literacy issue and not one of race, ethnicity, gender, political affiliation or anything else anyone clutching at conservative straws might wish to help keep them from drowning in their own misguided politicking. Her mis-appraisal of the medium and her complete inability to pull off satirical repartee using Twitter leaves us with several possible conclusions:

  • 1) Ms. Jeong is not as Social Media savvy as the NY Times supposed, or,
  • 2) the NY Times might have hired Ms. Jeong for reasons other than what they pointed to as her tech and social media savviness, or
  • 3) Ms. J’s level of literacy is less than it should be, needs to be, and cannot be understood even by current appraisals of literacy, or
  • 4) Ms. J. is a lot more mean spirited than we are now supposed to believe because of how the NY Times has managed the spin of her fall, or,
  • 5) Ms. J. is easily baited by racist trolls, if we are not to think that perhaps the presented tweets indicating her victimhood were not orchestrated in a re-presentative Theater of Victimhood (and one would not need to be very cynical to think so, not when the NY Times is concerned [which is not to be understood as this author thinking the NY Times is what Trump would call fake–there is nothing more fake than Donald and his Tweets]), or,
  • 6) all of the above, if not more or other.

Sarah’s inability to convince anyone that her tweets were intended as Satire has everything to do with her level of literacy, if not simply her practice at the actual writing of it, perhaps something to do with an arrogance that she was good enough;  this, of course, a product of existing and writing in a culture that has already been systematically under-educating even its college students as part of a design or an in-effect of oligarchic control.

Maybe her tweets have something to do with her unconscious drive toward self-destruction that may have everything or something to do with herself believing she is not good enough or not qualified or not literate enough–we sometimes do manifest proof of our fears when our fears surmount and tumble down upon us.

Perhaps Sarah is a victim of Reality Social Media–the blurring of categories and boundaries of inclusion and exclusion that only lead to obfuscation, the result of which is one mis-step following another–tolerated by those in the Oligarchy because it keeps US floundering.

Written by jvr

November 29, 2018 at 12:46 pm

WINTER 2018, THE FALLING LEAF REVIEW

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Written by jvr

November 28, 2018 at 11:19 am

HUMANITY IS A MONSTROSITY

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Monster me, monster me, when is it that I am this monster me? Yes, when, not how. The how of my monster is easily determined. There is duality in my nature; it is easy for me to understand this dualism that is my humanity and my animality. As a Christian I am taught to accept the dual nature of Jesus Christ; a duality that is one hundred per cent human and one hundred per cent divine. You do not need to be Christian to understand this; however, Jesus for Christians is not like Apollo or Dionysus for ancient Greeks no matter how many reductions the traditions have been forced to fit.

Jesus had free-will to reject his divinity, I presume. I am not certain of the theology here, what the official word is on this in my Church. I wish I were more sure, that I knew more than I do on this. Nonetheless, it seems to me that his divinity would have had to have been an option for him. The significance of free-will in the three great monotheistic religions is impossible to overlook and demands inclusion in any assessment. The whole point of the Son of God who had been begotten not made before time and creation to incarnate in the person of Yehuda ben Miriam was so he could experience life as a man, live as a man, choose as a man, suffer as a man. This is integral to the entire schema of Christianity whether there is Truth or nothing true in the whole of it. Jesus had to choose to be engaged with the divinity of his nature; even Jesus at the start had only divine potential. The actuality was distinct. Christ contends with his humanity and his divinity, a duality, not a dichotomy. Likewise, I contend with my humanity and my animality. I am not human by simply having been born. Humanity is a choice. Humanity is not then an inherited nature except in potential. Remember, Jesus is one-hundred per cent human and one-hundred per cent divine, not fifty-fifty like Dionysus or Apollo, as alluded to above.

Likewise, I am animal; I am human. I am both, each one-hundred per cent worth. I am also neither human nor animal in that by being both simultaneously I become yet something else–someone else, all within one body. Another monster me to be? One flesh; many persons; many yet one; I am we. The actuality of humanity is a process, a nurture within the animal who chooses this option, an election. I am capable of Reason, this related to knowledge, thus the Sapiens of my species. This choice to be human, that is, humane, is by comparison, a monster me coexisting with the animal me. My animal nature would reject the humane; it despises the human potential in me; it resents the pull of humanity. A species of animal is a species of animal–here I separate animal from human; here I make a distinctions between what is human and what is simply animal.

Human nature coexists with the animal nature that precedes it, if you will. Thus, our humanity is exceptional; it is not a given.  The Homo sapiens is a species of animal with an animal’s nature, of course. We must not, though, confuse this animal nature for our human nature, no matter how many Venn Diagrams may show us how the human and the animal overlap. If being human in the way we mean when being human is to be humane–and this here is key–is what it means to have humanity as a quality and not a category to belong to, then having been born an infant homo-sapiens is not enough, although in potential, I can be human. If being this human is different from being the co-existing homo-sapiens as another species of animal, one among many in Nature, then it might qualify as a monstrosity, as Darwin defines monstrosity in Chapter II, right  early in his civilization changing On the Origin of Species. By monstrosity is meant “some considerable deviation of structure, generally injurious, or not useful to the species.” What we call humane is something other than what we call animal, when what we mean by animal is brutal, nasty and red in tooth and claw, if I might borrow from Darwin’s great contemporary, Tennyson, in the latter’s reference to Nature, the Naturalists nature, not the nature of the Romantics. Yes, humanity is a deviation in the structure of the homo-sapiens, when it is the sapiens part of the species that distinguishes it as a species among others. The fact that being humane is in itself, when it is itself, non-utilitarian, there is no part of our humanity, when we mean acting and being humane, that is useful to the homo-sapiens. For a Christian, the primary nature of Jesus is divine; he grows into his humanity and through choices, perhaps fostered by his conscious or preconscious or unconscious knowledge of his divinity, develops that humanity into the living human Jesus. 

Humanity, as an exception, is thereby a monstrosity in the development of the Homo sapiens; thus, to be human is to be a monster. When I am humane I am, in contrast to the homo-sapiens nature I am born with, the monster me. Yes, in contrast with the nature of the Homo-sapiens, human, as we mean when human is humane, is a monster, a monstrosity. This sense of monster is reserved for Victor Frankenstein’s monster, at one time called his being, that which in his “living’ context, is Victor’s creation–but it is this sense of monstrosity he bears into the world, a monstrousness framed by his otherness among other humans–for it is a human Victor Frankenstein tries to create–that the being succumbs to, is destroyed by. He forgets, though, that humans are not created but nurtured and chosen; Victor and his being both ignore the native monstrosity that is a human being. Victor’s being was desperate to have this human modifier placed in front of his reference as a being. He did not recognize that his overt and exteriorized monstrousness was native to all of humanity in each and every member, perhaps only interiorized, the alienation each of us suffers in our selves within the Self, the many selves Self suffering monstrous alienation from each other, in some, so severe as to crack the veneer of singularity and break out in a multiplicity of warring selves too the destruction  of any sane personality–what we also forget is our maskality. His creation is on the lines of the homo-sapiens, but is it really his disfigurement at the hands of his patchwork making? His true monstrosity arrives from Victor abdicating his responsibility to his creation. The being calls him on this by saying that he could have been Victor’s Adam. But the crime of hubris has already overcome Victor and he recoils, as I recoil from this monster me, a monstrosity of my nature, this human I choose.

To be me is to be many, to be one, to be someone never having been, to be who I have always been, to be someone I might have been once, someone I could yet be, someone I might be if. I am another self and another self and another . . . I am other too. What other I do not know yet; this other is chosen, embraced by necessity otherwise it becomes another monster set to destroy me. There are many monsters within me. To be many might seem confusing, but it is not. I am who I am whenever I am anyone I am, wherever I might be, with whomever I am.

Written by jvr

November 26, 2018 at 1:07 pm

GREED BREEDS GREED

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I avoid asserting what most ideological Capitalists like to assert, and that is that Capitalism is natural, more organic to humans and their interactive needs than any other socio-economic system. No economic system is more organic to humans than another. What is inevitable for humans in their social interactions is to develop an economic system, whether that is a complex one or simple one. Any economic system in particular is a product of culture; culture being whatever is done by a people in a time and in a place among themselves. Culture is anything produced including ideas and systems of interaction. So, any economic system is in itself a cultural product and thereby adaptive to the needs and the negotiations of the culture.

Capitalism is not more natural to humans than let us say Feudalism. Feudalism is not more organic than Communism or varieties of Socialism. Capitalism and Feudalism serve different social ends, if not because of this, different social needs for those whose ends are not directly or principally served. But a society develops the system it needs (necessity is also subject to social negotiations, but not always equally or with a balanced effect from all of its members); or a society allows a system to grow in a way that serves the needs of those who control power, who stand in authority or disseminate influence. In America, Capitalism, more specifically, finance capitalism, serves the need of the monied and power elite.

To perpetuate the kind of elitist control of society, where 1% if the population controls more than 50% of the wealth, yes, capitalism is more suited. Humans are always confusing their culture for nature, so economic systems being the product of cultures, it is inevitable that we will assume the socio-economics are facts of nature. In America, the socio-economic system that binds Americans financially is understood to be more natural for humans because what is more natural for Americans, Americans will assume is more natural for all people in the world. This is how the ideas behind or within discussions of human freedom and democracy are always bound up with the advance of corporate capitalism in its financial control of the world, at least from all who have sworn allegiance to Western Bourgeois Capitalism. It becomes the new colonialism in the world. The American Empire is now.

Written by jvr

November 23, 2018 at 12:45 pm

MANAGING PEDAGOGY [FICTION]

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Letting bureaucrats manage pedagogy is a lot like letting them and lawyers manage health care. But, diatribes herein restrained, I know a woman who is currently in a position teaching ESOL where the new mandates from the state, and the newer administration where she is employed, have the program she works for under fire from bureaucracy. There may only be normal shifts and turns happening in her workplace, as a new leadership makes itself felt; but there also seems to be a disregard, or so she claims, for matters she thinks management should respond to: like years of service, thus experience–everyone looks to his or her seniority as a part of her or his security; or like the rate of student retention, which points to the number of students who finish and perhaps indicates something positive about her teaching; or like higher post-test scores on her students’s exit exams, which the government and management would immediately point to as indicative if they were low and wanted to sack her. Fear through a sustained uncertainty and indirectness from management, or those who management defers to in the daily means of making administrative ends meet, has everyone, she says, walking on egg shells.

I always take what others say in their criticism cum grano salis. Yes, I know some of you think the Latin is pretentious; I do not. (You can always stop reading; I do only write for those who agree–I do only write to myself for myself thus always by myself). My taking a grain with everything anyone says about management does not leave me open to supporting management beyond good sense, or to the ways everyone has to dance the dance at the workplace dance.

I have little to no trust of management until it proves it has respect for service and quality–and even then, there is very little I would take to the mental bank. Management today, as it functions of the ledger, by the ledger, and for the ledger, has little use for anything it cannot translate into specific advancement for the mangers. I am not saying that this is precedent in our history, but does seem a shift in reverse from some of the workplace headway we had made in the 20th century, perhaps no too long ago–another side effect of being as ahistorical as we have become. I have also heard from this woman that the new manager of her department has made new appointments based on race and not qualifications or skills. If there were no repercussions to her managers advancement by getting rid of everyone and hiring new people for less salary, he would do it. If keeping her helps the manager look better, then she would be kept.

If student advancement becomes the marker of good or bad program advancement, then the teacher who gets his students to perform at a higher level will be kept. That was not, though, the way at CUNY, where my 70% pass rate on the CUNY WAT then ACT exams over ten years of teaching remedial composition courses was disregarded; in fact, it must have been a problem. My pass rate on the CUNY ACT exam was not quite, but close to double the CUNY-wide passing percentage for those exams. Clearly student advancement was not the prime concern for CUNY English departments. I guess there were too many students who did not need to repeat their remediation; but then, this is why cars are not made to last the way the used to be; not that our consumerism has not taken hegemony in the way we spend our money.

What is the equivalent of consumerism in pedagogy? Managed failure.

There isn’t a new and perhaps inexperienced manager, in my prejudices, who does not imagine that if he fired everybody and hired all new employees it might not be better for him. CUNY had clearly understood that their 37 % was good enough and that anyone with a significantly higher rate of passing was only making everyone else look bad. Since the state did not demand higher pass rates for their freshman comp students at the remedial level, I was expendable; in fact, necessarily so.

This is simply how things are, as counter-intuitive as they were and remain for me.

Written by jvr

November 19, 2018 at 10:09 am

HERA’S TIT [observations of a sub-sub urban flaneur]

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I stand at the shore in Montauk looking up at the swath of white in the night sky, looking dead center into the galactic plane, a squirt from Hera’s tit, my father had told me when I was a boy. In all of the North eastern United States, Montauk Point is one of the darkest at night, great star-gazing; surrounded by water and state parks. My to be or to become arises like a particle in the vacuum of space-time . . . all is created there as most of the heavier elements are created in super novae explosions, hydrogen fusing into helium, helium into carbon, carbon into argon and so on and so on . . . the fusion/fission dynamism of stars is like the being and becoming dynamism of humans . . .  a question crosses my mind from time to time, has crossed my mind, has crossed everyone’s mind . . . when I look to the stars as I had when I was a boy . . . as every time I look in the mirror with this question, a question of my being and my becoming, which, when how . . . I get many different answers. The I I am depends on coordinates of time and space drawn by another hand. Eternity lurks in me, I have assumed, like a trace of the background radiation on spectral analysis of the cosmos. To be or to become is present in my choice now, and we always choose to be or to become, we cannot avoid choosing. Choice is always for the taking; each choice a chance we encounter; every chance results in our fortune or misfortune . . . this present trip is another fortune sought.
Who I am trips me up. I’m not especially clumsy, but all this wondering about who I am what I have been when I will be what and where, or how or why . . . I never watch my feet as I walk down a flight of stairs. You know why the lisper lisps.  I determine who I am, or what I become, I assume; I am as much Everyman as I am unique in the entire history of the cosmos. I am not unique in this way. Everyone is Everyman. Yet, no one who has ever lived, who lives now, or will ever live is me. No one in any of these times or places–no one–occupies the coordinates of space and time as I do in this spot at this moment. All is ephemeral, though.  Who I am, when I am, where I am, with whom I am, how I am before I become what I am–yes, I am and I am not simultaneously. I will be, but I will not be as well.This question of identity; you know Identity spells ID Entity. The it within; monsters again arising from inside of me. I have said this before . . . I will say it again. I repeat myself often.
Round and round I go, the Italians say, gira, gira. . .  each pose I take posits somewhere outside of me something imposed inside of me. Imposing, posing, positing, depositing, a repository of a kind,  this Self of selves within. Some of us imagine other selves as we do suppositories. What do I gain by the poses I take? Each intake, each out-take, put as it might be. Again, who am I? is the question who are we? I am once again . . . wondering who I am within who we are, this who we are by who I am all about when I am or where I am, and when and where I am going; to come and go. I become when I be-go. I am a cosmogony that does not get repeated; yet I am also all of humanity at any moment. The fact that I am cosmogonic allows me to stand in for all human beings, a posture I take, and I do take postures as well as pose them, put them on as I put on everyone else–all the world’s a stage . . . I do become anyone I need to be.  I am many; thus I am we.  But what I need to be is often a mystery to me.  To philosophize is to learn how to die we know from Montaigne, but imagination is necessary to philosophize I learned from Doc Green as I called him, Doc. Imagination most people do not associate with philosophy, nor do they with eternity, as Blake reminds us time and again that imagination is the doorway to the eternal. Imagination was a faculty of mind most highly prized by the Romantics, suspicious of rationality as they were, or how the rational was used as a tool against humanity, the great human humane when human is only human when humane, as the French distinguish duality between the two in one word, humaine, and we Anglo saxon speakers create dichotomy with our tongue. But then I suspect this is why in a country so seemingly committed to democracy and freedom we can speak out of the mouths of our leaders with forked tongues. The Nazis and the Bolsheviks were both hyper-rational, not imaginative, unless it was in the expenditures on torture, oppression, and murder.  I am who I am that I am when I am how I am where I am even why I am, I say, I think, therefore I believe; belief displaces dialectic in me.What then do I say about all the interrogatives that can be extended from each relative pronominal relationship to my I. We live by suppositions.
Everyone thinks that who what when where and why are important, very important, but then I am who I am, as I am what am I, where I am,  and so on.  I have not answered these questions in any way that proves overarching to my becoming; to my being is another thing, another essay, perhaps. You probably haven’t asked yet these questions ontologically. What are our theories of being? Do we have them, or do we only have theories of becoming, perpetual, endless becoming.  You have decided you do not need to ask yourself the once pressing questions of being, whether existence precedes essence or vice-versa, and all the essences, the prefab essentials of our being precede the existence I have, and determine who I am, certainly what I am. You probably haven’t realized that you decided this, or why you might have, if that is in fact what has been done. The only determinism of your being, though, is the fact that you believe your life has been horribly determined, which coincides with a culture that gorges itself on victimhood and philosophies of victimization. These determinisms you believe you uncover, are in fact created by a system of belief you have firmly placed yourself inside of, and this self enclosure masquerades in your diction as inescapable determinism.Do you need an answer to each of these questions now that I am herein mentioning them as  not having the relevance you insist they have. Now that it has come to the fore that I have not before answered or even attempted to answer any of these questions you think are useful–unless what I have thus far said could be said to have some say in the matter of my who and my what, at least in the ways you prefer to frame discussions of being, because you do discuss being even when you argue that being is impossible, or improbable, and the only thing we have is perpetual becoming into becoming into becoming yet again, all of it without gain.  The where and the when are  here and now as all writing has immediacy, an unavoidable presentness about it, and what I say here is in words on a page, printed for easy reading because my handwriting is shit.  I am who I am even when I am not being the me I have been before, a me, an I, others I know might not recognize. I am me with every stranger I meet even if with that stranger I lie through my teeth and tell no truth in the factual sense of truth we sometimes hold too pedantically dear, close without feeling.Who am I? I do not ask this question because as I have said above, I am that I am when I am who and what I am wherever I am however it is that I am me. I am subject and object and subject complement and every other way of stating my being in words, which means language, which means in grammar, which exists independent of politics, if you will, before it, although rhetoric is not.  I am. This is simple enough because all lists of attributes are modes of subtraction, really. I am unable to be sum-totaled; I am macrocosm to all microcosms, the microcosm of history, the one of state, of government, of gender, of sexual orientation, of religion, of politics, of political affiliation, of job, of class, et cetera.

II

SAM_0959What can I say about any time of mine in Montauk, the times we’d spend at Land’s End, on the beach, on and in the sands, viewing the sky, entering the waves, watching the waves, closing my eyes and listening to the waves, hearing the muted rhythmic pounding of them against the shore as if enveloped in cotton when at night I awaken in the middle of the night, quiet, still, the door partly opened; feeling the salt spray, I recall, in the wind off the ocean . . . more, of course there is more, I could say more, tell you so much more than I have–what can I say? I have before said something about the horizon here at Land’s End, the one-hundred and eighty degrees of horizon–more I could say–yes, there are angles greater than 180 degrees; a line is in effect an angle. I love standing on the sands on the beach, sometimes with my feet in the surf, sucked down into the soft and quick wet sands of the surf, my feet moving as I stand looking out to the horizon south or east, sometimes west . . . the horizon of the ocean meeting the sky, a tilting line, one that wobbles with the rotation of the earth, as perhaps we do. I have tried to imagine being on the world or in the world the way a pendulum exists in the world, its in perpetuity a condition of being without the effects of gravity. But what is grave is not only a matter of gravity, not only a matter of the grave itself when the latter term is used in reference to our final fall, the tomb, as I have said, is our last tumble–no, grave matters are matters with the weight of gravity, a particular seriousness that cannot help but have great weight, density for sure if not with a corresponding great size. The grave is a fall; of course it is a fall; I recall the lowering coffin of my Great Aunt Anna into her grave in Pittsfield. Is this fall of ours, of hers, of mine to come–is any fall heroic and therefore tragic, or is it merely as it is–or as I have assumed it is–for all of us, absurd. A new meaning for reductio ad absurdum?

SAM_0958

But the east end beaches, the beaches of the South Fork, the extreme eastern end of Long Island–beautiful beaches, gorgeous–there is, as I had begun to say at this entry’s inception, no word, no single word that could possibly capture what I feel, what I experience when out at Land’s End. Word, no; words, perhaps, yes, this explication of an explanation of why I like it in Montauk. I have mostly avoided such expression before. There is more in revealing than in telling; show them, I remember, was a mantra taken from–where was it taken from? Nothing but the word in itself–no thing, no place, no feeling, expression, idea is ever the word in itself. I have begun to question the Imagists, but then I recognize what it was they were trying to do, and therefore, what they meant by saying what they repeated one and all, Nothing but the word in itself.

Dinosaurs live.

Dinosaurs live.

What I need to say, want to say, will say often–the three of them never meet one with the other and the other, round robin speaking, as we say when we write, ah! to write or not to write, this would have to be every writers question. What does the writer say? I have asked this before, answered this before, responded one way or another with words on the page, herein this review and elsewhere, in story or poem or essay. What does the writer tell you? There–to say or to tell; transitive and intransitive expression, actions that need an object and actions that do not. Be is not an action; be never takes an object. Be, though, is not intransitive. I read; I read poetry–some verbs are either intransitive or transitive, depending on their context, that is, syntax.cropped-sam_0545.jpg

I do not like Montauk or love it or adore it–I am it when I am there; yes, I am Montauk; Montuak is me–I. There is a misconception about this idea that we should say, It is I instead of It is me. The French do say C’est moi, which is not, C’est je. No one ever says,c’est je; they say, c’est moi. C’est moiis “It is me,” It’s me, what we say when someone asks, Who is it? Moiis the substantive pronoun,as is me, the latter also an object pronoun, both the indirect and the direct. Montauk is me; it is I, if you prefer, but I do not. This is all that I can say–should say, if we do have should for things like this . . . I to be Montuak or Montauk to be me; each one is valid, mutual and reciprocal. There is more in the spheres of human being than can be contained by the narrowness of our received ideas. The fires and the motions of my being; I am as I have been for many years, subsumed by an overriding, overarching Romantism . . . the holiness of the heart, the eternal that is the imagination, the imaginative . . . I do recall Flaubert’s outburst at the trial of Madame Bovary–yes, the great French author, novelist, said, Madame Bovary . . . c’est moi.

SAM_0934

III

Sun rise from the beach in Montauk. Getting up before dawn to wait for the sun. Waiting for the Sunwas an album by the Doors–my favorite group when I was . . . how old was I then the first time I listened to the Doors, still played by the crew at WNEW when I was . . . how old was I listening to Alison Steele, the Night Bird–I’d stay up to listen to her . . . They are now, the Doors, from then, what remains–the most enduring group from my youth? What does that mean? What could it mean? What does it mean–not just the truth of it, if it is in fact true–but to say it, to think that I need to say it, or that it might say something of me to say it?

Morrison died before I was fourteen or ever a fan of their music. Fan from fanatic–was I a Doors fan the way I am and was a New York Rangers’s fan? Probably not–maybe, though, I was. What means this–could mean anything remotely akin to having a favorite band, or how a band could express something about my being, my personality–yes, to say I liked the Doors did say something about me. We wore our fandom as badges of personality. We allowed their cult of personality to transfer onto us at a time in our lives when we could’t have been less sure who we were, what we were, when we were what, whom, the where was everywhere; the when was actually twofold. It was all the time and it was whenever . . .

The list of conditions we underwent to undergo personality selection is too long. I had no idea and yet I was sure I was the only one who could ever know what I was or what I was going to come to be . . . the sun up over the line of horizon, the squid ink sea growing lighter and lighter with each inching of the sun over the horizon. How many poems has this figured in? I could go back and count, having all my MSS at hand, along with many of the earlier drafts of the poetry manuscripts with their previous titles when different?

A page in caption. Every page I write is a caption for an image of me I have hold keep . . . words and pictures, every picture worth a thousand words, we used to say. I do not understand that. I think it is more accurate to say every right word is a thousand pictures, no. To write or not to write for me has ben my to be or not. There is no getting around that, escaping the import of this fact–facts are not knowledge, though. What knowledge is in this will determine what or how much wisdom can be extracted? Wisdom does not come by extraction, though. Wisdom is revealed; it is an epiphany moment. It is sudden as in Satori, no? What could I know of this, you might ask–I know some of you do, so maybe ye, maybe no, how much of my life has been lived in perhaps.

I recall a satoriin Montauk . . . there is a deafness at the beach enveloped in the sound of the surf as I am, yes, enveloped as I am by sight and sound and spray from the wind off the waves. I read Kerouac’s Big Sur on the beach in Montauk. I know he would have liked that.

I look to the horizon, I look to the waves, at them, looking in a way that watches closely what is happening, how the water breaks off from the surf, what shaols are there under the water that I cannot see, what formations of the shore I cannot see that cause the water coming in to break in white water waves . . . I look back to the horizon and imagine that I see it wobble . . .

Written by jvr

November 16, 2018 at 5:21 pm

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