Friday, November 20, 2009

A Little Help here, Ron

Ron Silliman's collection of check it out is a valuable resource, but the vague and enigmatic titles for his links throw stones in the passway. A clearer indication of the rewards at the end of the click would be welcome. Just a suggestion from Dear Reader. I appreciate his effort natheless.

A Couple of Things Around

  1. Jack Kimball’s Pantaloons. This has been a worthy read for years. Jack’s criticism and his reportage have always been strong. For a while now, his focus has been on the political mush surrounding and overwhelming us. The result of that focus is not simply commentary but a political implementation of language. This is keen stuff. In some sense, language is politics. Jack has been deploying language like bolts of disordered reason. It is a sort of healthy overunsimplification that twists the way the lowdown villains twist, then twists again.
  2. Ben Friedlander regularly serves American Poetry in the Age of Whitman and Dickinson to us. Ben is a scholar, has that rigour, but is also a poet. This blog represents notes of his interest. I particularly liked the intimations (he’s adverting a full study) of Dickinson’s war poetry, and a brief on Theodore Parker, who was much more Emersonian (if you will accept that shorthand), than I knew. Not just an abolitionist, that is: he was friends of the Brownings!

Leonid Shower ‘09

We planned to visitate the Leonid Meteor Shower this week but had the day wrong. Beth had to work that night and Erin conscientiously thunk about his early class next day, so we canned it. But I woke at 2:00 got up and wandered locally for 90 minutes. I saw little in terms of meteor thigns, tho conditions were decent.

The next night, things were green, and we were hopeful that bits of star stuff would continue to zip excitedly thru our atmosphere. Finding a darksome locale for viewing in our populous region required some thinks, but we chose some conservation land amongst the 4000 citizens of Carlisle, MA, hoping the coppers don’t prove a bringdown, man.

So there we were, on a blanket on the ground. Temperature was around freezing, sky was clear. Time: 23 hundred hours.

I am inexplicably cheered by the sight of Orion, mon ami. It is one of the few celestial bodies that I can identify. I read that the meteors would emanate from the region of Mars, another body that I can identify. Not for us! The few meteorites that we saw (witnessed would be an appropriate verb, so fleeting is their appearance) were off to the left.

But it did not matter that we saw so few. It was lovely being out there together, with the expressed intention of looking at the sky. Even aircraft, mostly from this planet, are of interest. We could hear owls hooting, the occasional rustle in the woods of maybe deer, and then…

And then a nearby auditory gallimaufry—or do I mean salmagundi?—of coyotes on the hunt. They were down that way, towards the river (the mighty Concord of legend was about a 1/4 mile away). We took their excitement as cue to leave. Yes, we got spooked, but aggressive coyote packs have been documented recently. A couple of years ago Beth and I watched a lone coyote in broad daylight stalk carelessly within our apartment complex near the center of town, here kitty kitty kitty. What I am saying, it was a concern, tho really, we were done by then, and ready for easeful sleep.

It was fun and more to share this with my family, that is what I am finally saying.