Monday, September 22, 2008

For My Husband, Who Is Brave And Good

Monday, September 15, 2008

For David Foster Wallace

The Victor Dog by James Merrill

Bix to Buxtehude to Boulez,
The little white dog on the Victor label
Listens long and hard as he is able.
It's all in a day's work, whatever plays.

From judgment, it would seem, he has refrained.
He even listens earnestly to Bloch,
Then builds a church upon our acid rock.
He's man's--no--he's the Leiermann's best friend,

Or would be if hearing and listening were the same.
Does he hear? I fancy he rather smells
Those lemon-gold arpeggios in Ravel's
"Les jets d'eau du palais de ceux qui s'aiment."

He ponders the Schumann Concerto's tall willow hit
By lightning, and stays put.When he surmises
Through one of Bach's eternal boxwood mazes
The oboe pungent as a bitch in heat,

Or when the calypso decants its raw bay rum
Or the moon in Wozzeck reddens ripe for murder,
He doesn't sneeze or howl; just listens harder.
Adamant needles bear down on him from

Whirling of outer space, too black, too near
--But he was taught as a puppy not to flinch,
Much less to imitate his bête noire Blanche
Who barked, fat foolish creature, at King Lear.

Still others fought in the road's filth over Jezebel,
Slavered on hearths of horned and pelted barons.
His forebears lacked, to say the least, forebearance.
Can nature change in him? Nothing's impossible.

The last chord fades.The night is cold and fine.
His master's voice rasps through the grooves' bare groves.
Obediently, in silence like the grave's
He sleeps there on the still-warm gramophone

Only to dream he is at the première of a Handel
Opera long thought lost--Il Cane Minore.
Its allegorical subject is his story!
A little dog revolving round a spindle

Gives rise to harmonies beyond belief,
A cast of stars . . . . Is there in Victor's heart
No honey for the vanquished? Art is art.
The life it asks of us is a dog's life.

I will miss you very, very much.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Cold Hand Seizing My Heart

This is the tempeh marinara I made a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling small and blue about something. Now I can't remember what I was sad about, but I remember that the marinara was fucking awesome. The green peppers are from the CSA and they
were delicious, sweet and clean and flavorful and, well, like ACTUAL peppers, which I never had tasted before. I thought I didn't like green peppers very much.
The secret of this marinara is that you simmer the tempeh in a mixture of wine and soy sauce while you prepare the rest of the sauce in the big skillet. Sautee garlic, red pepper flakes and red onion in olive oil, add a tablespoon of tomato paste and two crushed massive heirloom tomatoes, add the diced green pepper, let everything reduce and combine, throw in some fresh parsley and oregano, and when that is all delicious throw in the tenderized tempeh and its broth.
I feel like I may need to make this marinara again soon, as this election is now making me sick to my fucking stomach. It was the sick and scared and horrified feeling of walking to the subway and seeing the headlines proclaiming that my country was fucking stupid enough to CHOOSE a second Bush term that occasioned this blog. Everything has gotten so much worse since then, and I honestly think it is possible that we may have a McCain/ Palin presidency. People. Are. That. Fucking. Stupid.
I didn't drink the Obama Kool-aid: before, I'd be happy if he won, but was pretty sure that I would vote for McKinney or Nader, as I disagree with about half of Obama's policies and I'm sick of centrist crap, and sick of voting for people who take my vote for granted. Obama is not a progressive candidate. His pandering to AIPAC is retarded. His stance on FISA is embarrassing. I call bullshit on a black man denying marriage to gay people. We have no fucking business being in Iraq or Afghanistan. His health care plan is unimpressive.
But Sarah Palin? She's soooo perfect for America. So perfect. She's the fucking embodiment of this nation, a perfect storm of hypocritical entitlement and self-righteousness. Just as the U.S.A. is the only nation to massacre civilians with nuclear bombs and yet predicates its foreign policy on murdering more people to PREVENT those nations from acquiring nuclear weapons, Sarah Palin is the kind of woman who claims for herself the rewards of feminism and yet seeks to deny all other women the right to their own bodies. Everyone else gets to be a second-class citizen, a rape-able Handmaid. She's like one of the Aunts at the Rachel and Leah center, walking around with her cattle prod. Can't afford to raise a baby, teen mom? "Let 'em eat moose!"
We watched Black Book this weekend (it's stellar) and this triggered my new wave of fear and nausea. We already are living in a police state, in St. Paul people are getting dragged out of their cars at gunpoint and searched for no reason at all [Laurie Arbeiter is a friend of a friend of mine -- third person in the article] while people stare and do nothing on their suburban porches. Cops shot a dog in my neighborhood for no reason, a pitbull named Brownie who barked and wagged his tail at one of them. Seven shots. I walk our Sir Specialness every morning and am sickened that anything bad could ever happen to him, could ever happen to Trey, to anyone, we are all the same. This is what sickens and angers me about this Republican gnostic dominionist misogynist crapfest, is that their rhetoric is predicated on completely denying that sameness and in denying REALITY. That's why these people are global warming denialists and forced-birthers and intelligent-design advocates. Wrong place at the wrong time? Fuck you. Lost your job? Fuck you! You're not white? Fuck you! You're a pig? Fuck you, you're delicious! You got raped? Fuck you, you liked it, you whore! You live in Bangladesh and you are drowning because of my Hummer? Well fuck you, and I don't even know where that is!!
So now I'm considering seriously for Obama, which will at least make my sister very happy, and I love her so it's worth it. I'll be happy to listen to a President who at least can speak in complete sentences, after all these years. But otherwise it's making me incredibly, incredibly sad. How happy can one be about a decision made at gunpoint?