Dezerty

Westward, the greyhound hums on,
The sun is here, though its not,

I saw her again, last night, in soft luminance
More angular, incredulous in pearls
and, ribbons, waist,

and wild flowers sniffed, by enamoured Slavs
Uncreased white, but this nat to do,
with purity, or even tunnel-vision,

My Mittleuropa Jew, more than a point of view,
A face, a puzzle, slotted by soft kiss
a faux-confessionalism, a kind of faux-therapy,
That, raised eyebrow not so,
insolubly wedded to all my mea culpas, thick layers,
of, excuses piling up, but,
But, fades into a squinting paroxysms
The cheeks, that produce,
Celestial bodies,

A face that you might die in the mud over,
even though, it were no,
Supernova,
but,
But no, I won’t hurt her,
Thought me the basherter, indivisible,
the bashertee, but of course,
latent, opportune for ‘bashed and hurty’,
Yours, dezerty.

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Concussed thoughts on Little Miss Sunshine

Concussed thoughts on Little Miss Sunshine

 

 

After a significant fall over the weekend, I have lillypaded between some migraine-strained thoughts  and an impetus to document more given how much memory presupposes certain skills and virtues, particularly academically. In addition, I wanted to see if any third-party adjudication would confirm the suspicious effects of concussion. It seems good so far, yet I could have lost thousands of brain cells. Anyway, given all the free time I’ve had after quietly falling out with the University of Law (another time, another place it’ll invariably arise somewhere else) I’ve taken to re-watching a rare gem of ‘Indywood’ cinema, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’. This was perhaps, my 30th visitation to the film. I wouldn’t mind writing a dissertation on it.

 

 

 

1. The armslength presence of two dead 19th-century Europeans, Nietzsche and Proust (through Dwayne and Frank respectively), in the film might suggest certain critical outlooks to screenwriter Michael Arendt’s ethos or authorial message. This concerns primarily a world, an American world specifically (this is important, I feel) predicated on the uncompromising binary of success or failure; and of appreciation in one’s own time, and the value of one’s remunerative potential given the brevity we all face.

Both Nietzsche and Proust were critically and commercially lacklustre during their lifetimes, both largely confined to their beds and their bedrooms but can, we draw any inferences about the present-day failures of the Hoover family from their inclusion? It seems unlikely that Frank’s scholarship on Proust will be read in a hundred years although not impossible, yet this seems to be a marginal point to an otherwise larger question: both Nietzsche and Proust were, to place it modestly, suffered the indignities of health problems, that resulted in their early passing. Yet, their texts, while not easily distilled and prone to contradiction express a commonality in soaring to new prescriptive lifestyles that would overcome the personal limits of their bodies. Perhaps the only reason America doesn’t have more Nietzshchean and Proustian types owes to the fact most of them are in working in Hollywood or parochial academic environments. Maybe there’s a profounder point that will reveal itself on closer reading of Proust (just purchased a rather lovely edition of Swann’s Way).

 

 

2. Although at the dinner table scene and a host of others, there is an evident animosity between the step-paternity of Richard (Greg Kineear) and Dwayne (Paul Dano) yet both in their personal ‘philosophies’ strive to some greater emancipation. Dwanye, with his affinity to a certain strain of Nietzschean overcoming (whether misunderstood or otherwise, given that Nietzsche’s highest expression of the will to power does not prescribe a daily work-out in pursuance of the vocation of fighter pilot) that he holds will lead to wish fulfilment. So too, Richard’s ‘Nine step refuse to lose programme’ an almost totalizing pseudo-philosophy (perhaps not as any more juvenile, ill-thought and prone to fallacy than Nietzsche anyway) that will be all-too common to  those that have attended any large hotel-hosted corporate expo or the more exotic shores of LinkedIn, expresses a desire to live a life without deteriorating Volkswagon vans and so on.

 

 

 

3. What conclusions can we draw about success from the film’s final scenes? Despite the spectre of bankruptcy, suicide, the adverse effects of colourblindness, death, academic demise and above all the realisation of a childhood, we are left with an open-ended narrative that leaves the door open to a predictable, if warm and fuzzy, ‘third way’ free of haranguing and sermonizing. If it is not as if these ills do not exist, merely that the film’s creators suggest that they dissolve under certain conditions. ‘Grief support groups and success, both academic and economic may play their part but the key thing that matters in excelling is suffering’? To what does this pertain? The film doesn’t romanticise itself to suffering, merely resign itself to the fact it is an impersonal force that must be accepted: “Sir! You are not the only person who has had someone die here today okay?!” the Janus-like Linda hectors after a consolatory entrance. Frank may hold a dissimilar outlook in the Redondo Beach scene: “You don’t get better suffering years than that!” Suffering is just a given, like American military intervention or inequality. Is that unfair? These ideas need further embellishing.

 

 

4. I am conflicted to ascertain whether the film’s outlook tilts towards conservatism or a certain kind of progressivism. There is a certain kind of strained optimism of the family unit that emerges, but it is certainly not the kind of family unit that would win endorsement of ‘Secretary Rumsfield and I [George Bush Jr]’, as seen in the motel scene. With statistics this next narrative point is blind, yet we can say, that with average wages for the median American family in relative stagnation since the seventies, the economic prospects of the Hoover family could serve as a metonym for what the average American looks like in a time of corporate ascendancy, albeit one with more fuzzier, risqué edges. The film might be, in the amplest sense, populist, appealing to the broad possible human themes. The Volkswagon van, almost inseparable from the iconography of a carefree counter-culture, may not be a coincidence. In addition, during the “police search” scene as the trunk is opened, a faded bumper sticker reads “Honor Student”. Is this a paean to past, yet unfruitful, success or just a ‘happy accident’ on the part of the production/props department? No philosophy, nor time and hard-work can bear fruit. After all, Olive works tirelessly for a wildly incongruous routine that proves inappropriate for a pageant that is both pornographic and prudish.

 

It is not as if problems are up for a happy-clappy dissection and slap on the back. Indeed, Richard attempts to supress details of Frank’s suicide; Richard and Cheryl, Richard and Stan Grossman all argue away from the eyes and, what they expect, ears of others, just like any adult person would.

The World that was Ours

The World that was Ours

There was a ghastly silence. I see… Bovines raising their heads to the unsubtle treading of a Topshop tribe, armed with B&Q value rakes and machetes. I see famine, drought and our 80 year old Jungian trickster R. Brand clenching the title of Leviathan over the embattled Thames Archipelago. I see Mandarin as a lingua franca, where Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is seldom uttered, much less understood, disintegrating in a heap beneath the broth of tonight’s supper.

The shrieking phantom trail of cigarette smoke rolled and recoiled in graceful defiance of gravity, and of a ‘Strictly No Smoking’ sticker. He thought more about the train tracks and the commuting that had come to dominate so much of his day. How the train tracks belonged to no one fixed geographic point. They were just passing through, as the designer of the obvious authorial serving might have us believe. What good was it fret about stagnating, about neglecting the arts, about mots jutes and suos cultores scientia coronat when Syrian children shivered? He, like so many, others didn’t much care. Although, when the time would come, they would all need more than Unicef blankets doled out by celebrities with insignia-breasted t-shirts.

What good was it suggest, to implement, to contribute, when the vast and cumbrous machinery of industrial progress, debt, GDP and every fiscal instrument would march on its own restless inertia, sealing its own finitude in the name of utility? “Oh, well everything has a expiry date” they would say, “We can innovate”, they would say, “The worst case scenario isn’t so bad” they would said. To de-industrialise whether we liked it or not.

What good was it to self-pity when his Philosophy grades were mediocre at best? What good was it to agonise that he couldn’t hold a conversation about the examined life when survival, the brutally systematic raison d’etre of applying oneself to a law degree, to fund the mortgage on a flood-plained, precariously bubbled hovel was key? To anxiously fret about the next tactical posting of a selfie? To pass unceremoniously, resented is not what he wanted but the food riots, the cholera, the precariousness of it were evident. They had been for some time but not to perceptions of eternal philistines or ignorami like him. ‘We could’ve had the stars’ as the epoch of the age could have been summarised. Yet, “Everything left to the extraordinary”, would pass through a few lips, but only a few. And they would leave the world behind with the promise of starting anew from scratch, with only their mutual suspicions of one another to rely on, on the other side of the sky.

And the words ‘Sisyphean struggle’ or ‘Pyrrhic victory’ would never be spoken again, not least in a food bank or a Tesco.

Either/Or

By this point, I’ve abandoned writing. Can a law undergraduate at a not so emphatically-academic (The University of Law produces no research) university and a past of English Lit and Philosophy be reconciled? I don’t know.

 

Either/Or

 

Torn
Mournful repose, without poetry
Unexamined, yet perhaps,
fulfilled

Minerva’s owl mocketh
What, a damn crocketh
Of shit,
This lit, this biblio,
No magnifico

Slum-child,

Millennial, ubermenschen

Louise Mensch flames you, in a a mention

‘Get a job!’ with your creed
And so you did,
to straddle the strata
Seldom read, sometime barter

Rid of pretensions and rid of hid
Rimmed like Oreo for surplus value
Something akin to ‘these skills will expand you’
How sublime, without meter or rhyme
Into the shipping container, with limes

 

Dionysus in Brazil

I’m not certain about what I was going for here. I’ve recently begun a Law degree to purge any remaining elements of arts-love from my psyche. It won’t be long until I’m suiting up and shaking hands, sending emails and despairing at repaying £50,000+ debt.

Dionysus in Brazil

 

‘Is this bleak enough for you?’
Hardly aware of her departed lover

Gatting like Gadfly
Gladly, Gats change everything
a new start
off world.

A Citing,
of something perfect
Sunday night, Monday morning
Elusive art, like the tumblr, ought to be served
on the rocks

Consider the roof garden
alone and lighting up an amber dot,
rolled by dead sea scholars

O-wry-uhn
sloshing with soft focus, beaten down by a 1000 celestial kingdoms

none so didactic
as the one that speaks

the daily humiliation
of favelas, and the darkness over the valley

 

Sometimes I don’t know how to act on my own

Remember how hard you tried to impress the Asian property magnate
with auto-pilotisms, instead of thinking

A gloss over the canopy and the tribes

To be living within a century
with billboards of the present dispensation,

blanked in a torrent
the totality
unreal

Haiti, Hong Kong, Hard luck

 

The fact that love and the universe exist
would be enough
with or
without tabula gaza

How long is ‘sustainable’ sustainable?
A car alarm, a mouth opens in dream

You stand beneath the light of your childhood flat
watching Eurasian telenovellas

You knew when Mother was down
when Hoover was roaring and the warbless singing began

Paces about her room again, alone
Try not to be your mother

try not to have a lingering effect
like depleted uranium
or soil degradation

or birth defects

or imperialism

or didacticism

or communist intellectuals

 

try not to be… 

Images of love and solidarity

Structured via a two-week stay in Kentucky. I don’t feel compelled to explain why I haven’t written anything in 150 days since no body reads this. This blog has just become a repository.

Images of love and solidarity

Five am air, like pre-industrial revolution
Alcohol and neon to swallow the IT whole
Let me live in my insular, self-pitying world
living the world designed the computer

 

Entering the image
I forget the referent
Let me live in a world of hugs
Inseperable from the biometric scans and Cartier outfits

Eyesight of a badger, bag search, insignia and daggers

 

Amazon and swallows,
shoppings list and speculation
Let me live in a gumbo
The eternal hyper-real highway
an eternal Southern sunshine, a mythologised suspension oozing asphalt 
and furred with sentiment

I sniff the scent to remember the image
Still carrying its illegal atoms of something veridical
For the crying like clockwork
Everything but posturing, for the embrace

 

When the Universe came to Tea

  • I’ll explain my absence in a post or two, although it appears there’s no readership here.
  • Sourly missed writing, but the creative muscle, if you will, is irredeemably flabby. In the meantime here’s a poem. I’ll leave introductions here.collapsed

When the Universe came to Tea

The Universe goes East,
to the landfill surfers
It was a mistake to appropriate a ‘He’
or a human.
Between sheets,
a naked cadence sweeping with the veridian edge
of scapes paved with gilt

From a waterbed hearse,
A council estate nebula eels in and out
of possibility 
Lie berries throng with tea huddles to five pound note thin screens

It sounds like ‘he’ has a lot of poetry in him
‘Continuum, um, um’
We asked why our homes, our jobs, our livelihoods would be destroyed
The answer confounded the philosopher and the politician
and it rained-
all night in the Cosmonaut’s in-TV visor

‘Where’s the eschatological oversight?’ The patriarch mumbled

Nobody has seen the matte answer
Dulux swirls and colorchart cornucopias

Nor sparse, nor siren at the door
Herr Dok, mister Zarathustra
Wave a Wagnerian wand like a remote through the highlights of history
makes us forget
thunderclap: call and respond

The panopitcon zoetrope 
spins off its hinges
so that ‘this moveable feast won’t be leftovers’

reblogs mimicked

A midnight puddle, ripples the stars
an oddessy, a yearning
Toying with infinity, reproduction
All I have is my candour
Conduit not creator