the tactile hallucinations in my mouth slowly abate from ground meat to cooked broccoli to a pear to be thankful for the taste only of a triangular cut piece of pear with the skin on it. the book in my hands they can’t hold it my arm muscles decaying I can’t hold the book pages open but my sweater is heavy enough thankful for my sweater to be able to hold open the book, thankful for resting my arm to the side the hurt ceasing, thankful my other arm supports my head, thankful my neck only dully wants not to support. praying mantis arms thankful find resting places.
"the sack again other connexions I take it in my arms talk to it put my head in it rub my cheek on it lay my lips on it turn my back on it again clasp it to me say to it thou thou
say say part one no sound the syllables move my lips and all around all the lower that helps me understand
that’s the speech I’ve been given part one before Pim questions do I use it freely it’s not said or I don’t hear it’s one or the other all I hear is that a witness I’d need a witness
he lives bent over me that’s the life he has been given all my visible surface bathing in the light of his lamps when I go he follows me bent in two
my hand won’t come words won’t come no word not even soundless I’m in need of a word of my hand dire need I can’t they won’t that too”
Samuel Beckett, from How It Is
"false that old time part one of how it was before Pim vast stretch of time when I drag myself and drag myself astonished to be able the cord sawing my neck and the sack jolting at my side one hand flung forward toward the wall the ditch that never come something wrong there
and Pim part two what I did to him what he said to me”
Samuel Beckett, from How It Is
Martha Argerich playing Chopin’s polonaise no.6 “Heroique”
"So do I think a rock?
I do think it out.
What I saw, I suggested.
Please check the sentence.
I think there is a mistake in the subject.”
Glenn R. Frantz, from “I Think A Rock”
"Winter lasts and lasts
and there are bits of sun.
Someone made up the universe,
And yet we believe
in this crap
and that crap
and either way
the gods are tired,
wives and children,
from the high grey pillow
and the missing light,
and yes, they say, we turn
and turn, and look at last
we’re out of work.”
Bill Manhire, “After Montale”
"the future is terse
laws glitter their gilded tra la
peels its sequence of tongues from the question
penance is fetid
that smote thee pear and COeur
the future is terse
princes brag their crime
COo and cut trees from the zoo
as silt deepens
they simper in the photograph
a tempest appears
its hectic apertures an aria of rain
habits balance bone and plastic
the future is terse”
Dorothy Alexander, from “+4.4°”
"There are flood and drouth
Over the eyes and in the mouth,
Dead water and dead sand
Contending for the upper hand.
The parched eviscerate soil
Gapes at the vanity of toil,
Laughs without mirth.
This is the death of the earth.”
T.S. Eliot, from “Little Gidding”
" Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Desiccation of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways,
Of time past and time future.”
T.S. Eliot, from “Burnt Norton”
" Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush?
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.”
T.S. Eliot, from “Burnt Norton”
The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars - it hurts their ‘quality of life’
April 16, 2014
Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.
This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.
To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.
Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.
Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.
The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.
However, in places like Los Angeles, the shelters are pretty much always full. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of unsheltered homeless people increased by 67%. In Palo Alto last year, there were 12 shelter beds for 157 homeless individuals. Homeless people in these cities do have choices: they can choose to sleep in a doorway, on a sidewalk, in a park, under a bridge or overpass, or – if they are relatively lucky – in a car. But these cities have ordinances that make all of those choices a criminal offense. The car is the best of bad options, now common enough that local bureaucrats have devised a new, if oxymoronic, term – the “vehicularly housed”.
People sleeping in cars try to find legal, nighttime parking places, where they will be less apparent and arouse the least hostility. But cities like Palo Alto and Los Angeles often forbid parking between 2am and 5am in commercial areas, where police write expensive tickets and arrest and impound the vehicles of repeat offenders. That leaves residential areas, where overnight street parking cannot, as a practical matter, be prohibited.
One finds the “vehicularly housed” in virtually every neighborhood, including my own. But the animus that drives anti-homeless laws seems to be greatest in the wealthiest cities, like Palo Alto, which has probably spawned more per-capita fortunes than any city on Earth, and in the more recently gentrified areas like Los Angeles’ Venice. These places are ruled by majorities of “liberals” who decry, with increasing fervor, the rapid rise in economic inequality. Nationally, 90% of Democrats (and 45% of Republicans) believe the government should act to reduce the rich-poor gap.
It is easy to be opposed to inequality in the abstract. So why are Los Angeles and Palo Alto spending virtually none of their budgets on efforts to provide housing for the very poor and homeless? When the most obvious evidence of inequality parks on their street, it appears, even liberals would rather just call the police. The word from the car: if you’re not going to do anything to help, please don’t make things worse.
He hung up some heavy curtains that were discards from a friend’s family room. They had a pattern of tankards and horse brasses and Jinny thought them very ugly. But she knew now that there comes a time when ugly and beautiful serve pretty much the same purpose, when anything you look at is just a peg to hang the unruly sensations of your body on, and the bits and pieces of your mind.
-from Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories by Alice Munro
"my skin is in deliberate redress-
how discomfiting skin is-
how unflowing, how unlike
light through a glass table
in a class, through air, in January.
clearly, god is banging in the garden
on the door of the shed,
in the wind. thoughts are plashing,
thought against thought
friction of skin and the selfness.
what’s life done to you?
what’s better, sound or light or
what? you can’t hear light
passing through the table,
but hear it though. i suppose
light vibrates better than a smile.
reader pay attend and attending
and add, an ended ending, addending
gerunding plashing, proceeds
those proceeds nil, nilled, nilling
progress of the shed doornoise
through glass, through night.
nil night. that’s it. that’s it.”
John Regan, “Light Through a Glass Table”
The finger expresses the jaw; the blind wakens at the sill.
The road is subsequent to the noise, sound is a continuum of glass.
The room understands the child in aggregating penitence,
Nothing uncouples, unpriors. In abeyance the dissembling.
Now re-call a nimbus as upturned foam belly in shallow
Pink sky. Closeness all, no vista, all inching: how round was it?
The question vowel-ripe in the mouth, for something prior needs
It. Something prior is in every question, and the nimbus
Feeds that. All asking is a remove from the settled surface
Of the full minute. We can no more live in minutes than in
Sound: a shallow posterity.”
John Regan, from “Be Thou My Vision”