Is it then “all … collaboration” in the way it’s “all … translation”? And in exactly that way where it both is and isn’t? Do we “don’t know whose blood's in us," or even think to ask? Or perhaps it’s the bloodiness of nearly everything that gets to me, so “If you are bound for the sun’s empty plum / there is no need to mock the wine tongue / but if you are going to a rage of pennies / over a stevedore’s wax ocean / then, remember: all long pajamas are frozen dust / unless an axe cuts my flaming grotto.” Everything was cute: cat macros, anthropomorphic comets, baby carrots. Everything was interesting: bioluminescent fungi, Sheila Heti, The Clock. Ngai’s final category was somewhat more elusive until a friend described one of Yayoi Kusama’s corybantically polka-dotted surfaces as zany. If it’s true that we launder our emotions (as money is laundered) through aesthetic judgments like these, then tonight I am either gonna study logic or go to cave club. Suppose we want to translate “Either David studies logic or he goes to cave club” into propositional logic and take the ‘or’ to be exclusive, using P for ‘David studies logic’ and Q for ‘David goes to cave club’, then ((P∨¬Q)∧(¬P∧Q)) will work as well as ((P∧Q)∨¬(P∨Q)). As the resulting final values for both whole wffs are the same, we call them truth-functionally equivalent. As I think this is enough logic for today, I am gonna go to cave club. The key phrase in “Night Words: The Ravishing” is the one that’s most repeated: “without proportion.” The phrase, which appears four times in the poem, tells much about an idea that I believe is of great importance in McClure’s poetry. In his 1982 “The Beat Surface” essay, McClure explains (italics added): Ernst Haeckel and Alfred North Whitehead believed that the universe is a single organism – that the whole thing is alive and that its existence is its sacredness and its breathing. If all is divine and alive – and if everything is the uncarved block of the Taoists – then all of it and any part of is beauteous (or possibly hideous) and of enormous value. It is beyond proportion. One cannot say that a virus is less special or less divine than a wolf or a butterfly or rose blossom. One cannot say that a star or cluster of galaxies is more important – has more proportion – than a chipmunk or floorboard. This recognition is always with us. Happy 80th, Mr McClure. Bah-zing. The sandstone blocks each weigh up to 1.5 tonnes and originate from quarries at Mount Kulen. It was thought they were taken 35 kilometres along a canal to Tonlé Sap Lake, rafted another 35 km along the lake, then taken up the Siem Reap River for 15 km, against the current.Oh yes, there were birds, but not like the birds you see today. Big as eagles and coloured like kingfishers. They roosted on the ledges of the towers, and under the ramps. Long curving ribbon ramps, with ... Obviously these were too heavy to fly, so they had to go on the roads. Very fast. Automated, of course. Maybe it was all really some kind of multidimensional gimmickry, or maybe this is a sign my eyes need a break from looking at mirrored reflections, abstract angles and gauzed acetate. But wait. Friday arrives yesterday trailing its anticipatory attendants Saturday and Sunday, the heart seeking its unplumbed bender, yea, to be “destraught by sodein chaunce.” In order to waylay the sodden youth within, regale it with mock fancy, inert and incautious rinses of everything protracted, perpetual, mired. (See Clark Coolidge — out of Alien Tatters (2000) — “A neoprene pry-ball was handed to me. And at a neoprene height, mister. If I could put these breaks together I would have to stop thinking.”) Nothing for it — whatever it is — beyond a plausibly aimless and untramelled assembling, random and incompleat.
[Note: Sources: Jen Hofer and Patrick Durgin, “from Tangelo”, at Woodland Pattern; Philip Lamantia, as quoted in Mitch Taylor, FB post, 20 Oct 012; Rebecca Ariel Porte, “Rebecca Ariel Porte on Our Aesthetic Categories. The Zany, the Cute, and the Interesting: On Ngai’s ‘Our Aesthetic Categories’”, at Los Angeles Review of Books, 14 Oct 012; David Winters, “Truth-Functional Equivalence”, at Dinu Lipatti’s Bones, 20 Oct 012; Steven Fama, and Michael McClure, as quoted in Fama’s “17 Reasons Why . . . . . I Love the Work of Michael McClure!”, at The Glad of Theoric Ornithic Hermetica, 1 Feb 010; JBR; female poker player, in Ruffles commercial, seen on ion tv 20 Oct 012, approx. 4:20 PM PDT; a New Scientist article, quoted in Matt Staggs, “Newly-Discovered Canals Were Used in Construction of Angkor Wat”, at Disinformation, 20 Oct 012; Clive Fencott, “28 Critical Reflections: random 1 t0 7”, at Clive Fencott; Derrick Tyson, FB post, 20 Oct 012; John Latta, “Catullus’s Carmen XLIII”, at Isola di Rifiuti, 19 Oct 012]