Monday, October 30, 2006
You are correct, Tony! The line is "Sleep deep, good eel, in your perverse marine" from part one of "Two Versions of the Same Poem."
Two Versions of the Same Poem
That Which Cannot Be Fixed
Once more he turned to that which could not be
By the sea, insolid rock, stentor, and said:
Lascar, is there a body, turbulent
With time, in wavering water lies, swollen
With thought, through which it cannot see? Does it
Lie lengthwise like the cloud of sleep, not quite
Reposed? And does it have a puissant heart
To toll its pulses, vigors of its self?
Lascar, and water-carcass never-named,
These vigors make, thrice-triple-syllabled,
The difficult images of possible shapes,
That cannot now be fixed. Only there is
A beating and a beating in the centre of
The sea, a strength that tumbles everywhere,
Like more and more becoming less and less,
Like space dividing its blue and by division
Being changed from space to the sailor's metier,
Or say from that which was conceived to that
Which was realized, like reason's constant ruin.
Sleep deep, good eel, in your perverse marine.
The human ocean beats against this rock
Of earth, rises against it, tide by tide,
Continually. And old John Zeller stands
On his hill, watching the rising and falling, and
Of what are these the creatures, what element
Or--yes: what elements, unreconciled
Because there is no golden solvent here?
If they were creatures of the sea alone,
But singular, they would, like water, scale
The uptopping top and tip of things, borne up
By the cadaver of these caverns, half-asleep.
But if they are of sea, earth, sky--water
And fire and air and things not discomposed
From ignorance, not an undivided whole,
It is an ocean of watery images
And shapes of fire, and wind that bears them
Perhaps these forms are seeking to escape
Cadaverous ululations. Rest, old mould...
Ana Bozicevic-Bowling, who is my sister in haircuts, wrote in with the correct answer a very short while after Tony, so I am making her the runner-up and she will get a prize as well. I finally decided what the prizes will be: they are valuable beyond comprehension, I'll say that much, and I'll announce them tomorrow.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I had originally planned to post this picture as a regular entry, but when I finished it I saw it would make a fantastic contest entry, so I'm throwing caution to the wind and doing TWO contests this month. Your job is to whip out your collected Wallace Stevens and hunt wildly to discover which line of which poem is depicted in this extraordinarily professional-looking drawing. Hint: the poem in question was originally included in the book Transport to Summer. As usual, send your guesses to happybirthdaywallace at yahoo dot com, and the first person who guesses correctly will get a life-changing prize. Cuchulainn won the first contest handily, so the rest of you must rise up and piss artistically on the fire of his victory.
Friday, October 27, 2006
How to Live. What to Do
Last evening the moon rose above this rock
Impure upon a world unpurged.
The man and his companion stopped
To rest before the heroic height.
Coldly the wind fell upon them
In many majesties of sound:
They that had left the flame-freaked sun
To seek a sun of fuller fire.
Instead there was this tufted rock
Massively rising high and bare
Beyond all trees, the ridges thrown
Like giant arms among the clouds.
There was neither voice nor crested image,
No chorister, nor priest. There was
Only the great height of the rock
And the two of them standing still to rest.
There was the cold wind and the sound
It made, away from the muck of the land
That they had left, heroic sound
Joyous and jubilant and sure.
The sun is freaked because she is on fire! I decided to make her face like a pig's because pigs are the animals that most want to be set on fire-- all day, every day--because they know they smell so fucking fine when they are burning up like that.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Rebecca Loudon proves herself once again to be an indefatigable perpetrator of loveliness. From The Comedian as the Letter C:
Nota: man is the intelligence of his soil,
The sovereign ghost. As such, the Socrates
Of snails, musician of pears, principium
If anybody around these parts is a musician of pears, it is certainly Rebecca. For that matter, if anybody around these parts is a Socrates of snails, it is certainly me, in the sense that I like to touch my students with them.
P.S. Rebecca writes: "The blue music is the Bach partita III for unaccompanied violin. I had to play it for an audition. If you look closely you can see my fingerings and the date of the audition on top of the music. The reason it is blue is because I dropped the book in the bath tub 2 days before my audition and had to dry it with a hair dryer." She's telling the truth--go see for yourselves!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Loneliness in Jersey City
The deer and the dachshund are one.
Well, the gods grow out of the weather.
The people grow out of the weather;
The gods grow out of the people.
Encore, encore, encore les dieux...
The distance between the dark steeple
And cobble ten thousand and three
Is more than a seven-foot inchworm
Could measure by moonlight in June.
Kiss, cats: for the deer and the dachshund
Are one. My window is twenty-nine three
And plenty of window for me.
The steeples are empty and so are the people,
There's nothing whatever to see
Except Polacks that pass in their motors
And play concertinas all night.
They think that things are all right,
Since the deer and the dachshund are one.
First of all, what gave it away, Cuchu? Was it the cats sucking face in the bottom corner, or the hideous fused hell-harbinger in the upper right? Either way, congratulations--you are the total dominating winner! And second of all, is that true about Polacks? If so, I would like to meet a few of them.
The game is this: you cast your eyes on this masterful piece of art that I created earlier this afternoon; you guess which line from which poem the picture is depicting; you send your guesses to happybirthdaywallace at yahoo dot com. The first person who sends me an email containing the correct line from the correct poem will win a sexy prize. Got it? Here's a hint: the poem was originally included in Parts of a World, and later reprinted in The Collected Poems. That's all I'll say for now.
The full poem can be found on the internet, but you have to dig for it. More hints tomorrow if no one has guessed correctly by then. Good luck!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I'll post the picture sometime in the afternoon or early evening, so gird your loins. I'll give you a hint or two to make the whole guessing game a little less daunting, and I will send a spectacular prize of my own choosing to the person who first sends me a correct identification of the lines my drawing depicts to happybirthdaywallace at yahoo dot com. It is going to be very difficult; it is going to be very pervy; it will blow your minds.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Admiral Farragut weighs in with another brilliant submission, one that casts our hero Wallace Stevens as a discarnate speech bubble moving toward the ear of one Sir John Suckling. The text of the picture reads:
"This is Sir John Suckling, an English Poet who lived from 1609-1642. He was best known as the author of 'Ballad Upon a Wedding' and as the inventor of the game of cribbage. He is not costumed as a line of Wallace Stevens' verse as he was dead long before Wallace Stevens composed any verse. I believe, however, that Mr. Stevens would have been delighted to have Sir John attend his birthday party if only so that Mr. Stevens could come up behind Sir John as he stood at the bar, slap Sir John roundly on the back and declaim loudly so that all and sundry could hear, 'Having a nip, Suckling?' Okay, such humor was probably beneath Mr. Stevens, but I would have liked to have seen that, anyway."
As would I, Admiral. As would I, and any other right-thinking person currently walking the face of this earth.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
The father fetches his unherded herds,
Of barbarous tongue, slavered and panting halves
Of breath, obedient to his trumpet's touch.
This all makes a little more sense if you omit the comma from the first line, as I have recklessly done. The father of the poem is here pictured as Alan Thicke, between whose solid legs protrudes a sexual trumpet. Herds of barbarous tongue-animals gather round him. One of these tongue animals has inserted his pink self into the mouth of Alan’s trumpet and is exclaiming, “I love your blatty taste, Daddy!” as well you would if you had the chance to lick that instrument.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Ideas are men. The mass of meaning and
The mass of men are one. Chaos is not
The mass of meaning. It is three or four
Ideas or, say, five men or, possibly, six.
The fine idea that is making this man reads, “If I were a billionaire, I would have many golden statues made of myself as a soaring winged cow with a man-face and erect them everywhere, even in countries where milk and freedom are against the law, so suck on it, Russia!” As if to add insult to injury, a small winged cow hovers near his shoulder, licking her own udder and taunting, “Ooo, tastes so milky,
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I Want to See Somebody Smash a Little Cake into John Berryman's Face; So, Probably, Would Wallace Stevens: Day Eighteen
One's tootings at the weddings of the soul
Occur as they occur,
so it can’t be helped. I couldn’t decide how the woman’s soul should appear, so it’s a composite of an angel, a scary ghost and a Barbie – like Wallace Stevens himself. The bluish clouds from the next sentence snuck in. The chap in the passenger seat of my Noddy car is John Berryman. Aye."
Aye indeed, and thank you, Tony. You have a clear genius for collage--the curving OOOOGAH emanating from the Noddy car is a particularly nice touch.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
When I saw how nice Elegant Choice looked in his sand-sexing pictures, I decided I would like to take a few pictures of sand-sexing from a female perspective. You will notice that my poses are more complex; this is because the ladies require complicated foreplay.
If my mother ever saw these photos she would weep blood--not because they are so inappropriate, but because when I was a child she was convinced that I was extraordinarily photogenic. I think these prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am the least photogenic person currently living.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I'd Like to Have a Penis, Maybe, but I Would Want It on the Back of My Wrist, So I Could Backhand You and Fuck Your Ear at the Same Time: Day 16
"For who can care at the wigs despoiling the Satan ear?"
from "Banal Sojourn"
This is what the picture looked like after I drew a wig on myself, made my body a fantasy color, and gave myself Satan ears. You can tell they are Satan ears because the one is calling Jesus a fatso, and you can tell they are being despoiled because the one complains of the molestin' he is currently undergoing.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
The President ordains the bee to be
Immortal.The President ordains.But does
The body lift its heavy wing, take up,
Again, an inexhaustible being, rise
Over the loftiest antagonist
To drone the green phrases of its juvenal?
I drew the bee’s sting extra long because that’s how it feels going into my leg, and I chose William Howard Taft to wear this particular costume because I feel that his mustache invests him with a certain authority—also because it always delighted me that he had a special bathtub made for himself after he got stuck a few times in the regular one. Did you know he was the last president to have had facial hair? That’s what Wikipedia tells me, at least. Wikipedia also tells me that “There is some evidence that his mother started calling him my pudgy-wudgy boy before his fifth birthday," a fact which no one would have appreciated more than Wallace Stevens himself.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
The extravagantly talented Rebecca Loudon, whose poems I have admired for literal years and whose life has been a snorting stampede of poetic success lately, has arrived at Wallace Stevens's birthday party dressed as a red-eyed elder, though the elder part is hardly believable, since her overawing hotness is so apparent under the glow of her convincingly reddened eyes and I cannot but long to fly home to her bosom instead of Abraham's after my own mootable death. See, poetry can replace religion! I loved this poem so much when I was a kid, before I fully understood that it was about old men getting boners for nasty reasons. Needless to say, I love it even more now.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Today's tribute is pretty high-concept, so stay with me here:
"What not quite realized transit
Of ideas moves wrinkled in a motion like
The cry of an embryo?"
from "A Word With José Rodríguez-Feo"
As you can see, that embryo is having some ideas, which are traveling away from it in wrinkled motion like a cry. Having once been an embryo myself, I am all-too-painfully aware that the question of whether or not we are currently being dreamed by a bear is never far from their larval minds. Note: I added some sensuality to the embryo by way of full lips, come-hither lashes, and saucily cocked brows, because I feel that embryos are often given short shrift in the sexy department. Well, not on my watch, you fucking puritans. Not on my watch.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
from O Florida, Venereal Soil
A few things for themselves,
Convolvulus and coral,
Buzzards and live-moss,
Tiestas from the keys,
A few things for themselves,
Florida, venereal soil,
Disclose to the lover.
In case you couldn't tell, these are artistic black-and-white photographs of my husband having sex with a mound of sand. Because we live in Florida! And boning it is a good way to make soil venereal! Anyway, the idea was totally mine, but the poses--well, the poses were all his.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
*This might not be true.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
I just spent a good portion of my afternoon drawing these underwater titty pigs for you, so that Wallace Stevens's birthday party would not be interrupted for even a day. This one is totally going on a t-shirt, with the words "the swine-like rivers suckled themselves/ While they went seaward to the sea-mouths" immortalized below. Or perhaps I'll include the whole poem:
Frogs Eat Butterflies. Snakes Eat
Frogs. Hogs Eat Snakes.
Men Eat Hogs.
It is true that the rivers went nosing like swine,
Tugging at banks, until they seemed
Bland belly-sounds in somnolent troughs,
That the air was heavy with the breath of these swine.
The breath of turgid summer, and
Heavy with thunder's rattapallax,
That the man who erected this cabin, planted
This field, and tended it awhile,
Knew not the quirks of imagery,
That the hours of his indolent, arid days,
Grotesque with this nosing in banks,
This somnolence and rattapallax,
Seemed to suckle themselves on his arid being,
As the swine-like rivers suckled themselves
While they went seaward to the sea-mouths.
You're probably wondering why the river-pig has boobs on her back, to which I reply: they aren't on her back, they're on her stomach, but you can see them anyway because water is clear! You're probably also wondering why the pig has so many boobs, to which I reply: hey, this is my fantasy. That pig will have as many breasts as I goddamn want, and nineteen seemed like a good number.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
No submissions again today, so I decided to punish you guys with this picture of The big bird's bony appetite/ Is as insatiable as the sun's from "Esthetique du Mal." As you can see, this big bird is hungry for bony, and his open mouth awaits the half-digested "worms" of the Yip-Yip, who is here depicted as a sexual dancer sliding down a pole. The big bird's head is thrown back in an agony of anticipation; he desires deeply to enter the Yip-Yip like the huge hand of a puppeteer and let the sound of its dispassionate entreaties--yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-uh-huh-uh-huh--urge him at last to a cheer-led climax. As the man himself writes:
The sun, in clownish yellow, but not a clown,
Brings the day to perfection and then fails. He dwells
In a consummate prime, yet still desires
A further consummation. For the lunar month
He makes the tenderest research, intent
On a transmutation which, when seen, appears
To be askew. And space is filled with his
Rejected years. A big bird pecks at him
For food. The big bird's bony appetite
Is as insatiable as the sun's. The bird
Rose from an imperfection of its own
To feed on the yellow bloom of the yellow fruit
Dropped down from turquoise leaves. In the land-
The sun, its grossest appetite becomes less gross,
Yet, when corrected, has its curious lapses,
Its glitters, its divinations of serene
Indulgence out of all celestial sight.
I think I managed to stay pretty faithful to the spirit of his words, you know? More humans-wearing-costumes to come later this week, I promise.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I was in trouble today--I am sick with chubby tonsils and I had no pictures to post, so I had despairingly resigned myself to posting a picture of Elegant Choice splashing in the bathtub and calling it "the total man of glubbal glub." However, my friend Jack came to my rescue with this resplendent interpretation of a line from "Continual Conversation with a Silent Man." Look at his monstrous turquoise man-breasts, and his intricately paved abdomen! Observe the elegant crotch-shadowing! I will be imagining those pebbly hands dripping candle wax on my blindfolded face tonight; I suggest you do the same.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Cherished Not-a-Finger reader Admiral Farragut has contributed a picture of Wallace Stevens dressed as Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan from the poem "Bantams in Pine-Woods"; in other words, a picture of Wallace Stevens dressed as a line of his own poetry, which is kind of meta even for Wallace Stevens. I am especially delighted by those feathers he is wearing--so droopy! Fact: "Bantams in Pine-Woods" contains what is possibly my favorite line of poetry ever written, the peerless "Fat! Fat! Fat! Fat! I am the personal." It also contains an arousing reference to "Appalachian tangs."
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Elegant Choice weighs in with a remarkable contribution, in which he depicts a line from "Madame La Fleurie":
The black fugatos are strumming the blackness of black...
The thick strings stutter the finial gutturals.
He does not lie there remembering the blue-jay, say the jay.
His grief is that his mother should feed on him, himself and
what he saw,
In that distant chamber, a bearded queen, wicked in her dead
I especially enjoy the beard of blood he has skillfully painted on his mother, and the bulging realistic tear rolling down his own nose. I notice that realism has been a strong feature of all the costumes posted thus far; let's try to keep that going, shall we?
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Are you ready for this? My inscrutable friend Eglantine Riviera writes:
Here's my first contribution to your Wallace Stevens birthday party. It is, I believe, as powerful a blend of literal interpretion and conceptual fantasy as I am able to produce. I am the "cat forgotten in the moon" from the poem "A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts." See here for the full text, which you undoubtedly already have memorized.
Note my whiskers, which are so realistic that, just now, I forgot I'd drawn them with Microsoft Paint. Note the "meow," rendered in the Jokewood font--a clear homage to Meow Mix. Most of my family's cats ate Meow Mix. My mom sometimes used to grab my cats' paws and force them to dance while she sang the Meow Mix song. God, I want to die just thinking about it. Note the mysterious, wistful expression on my face. It reflects the fact that I am willing to die for those cats, who certainly couldn't have given a crap about any of this.
My only regret is that I was unable to include an image of a mystical, wizardly rabbit, beams of light shooting from its paw-tips, possibly riding on the back of a winged serpent. That I must leave to your indefatigable imagination.
Hoping for an early and favorable reply, I am,
Eglantine Lee Riviera
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
My good friend Claudia (who is updating her blog again!) sent me this magnificent picture of herself in a costume that really needs no explanation. Look at her tiny face inside the blackbird's brain!
Also, Andy Gricevich has suggested that we serve nougats at the party. "If possible," he writes, "they should be in great sheets, and served at a 'crisp cafe' setup, early in the course of the party." He is absolutely correct; "Forces, the Will & the Weather" is fuller of nougat than any poem I have ever read. The last strophe is particularly convincing:
It had to be right: nougats. It was a shift
Of realities, that, in which it could be wrong.
The weather was like a waiter with a tray.
One had come early to a crisp cafe.
Great work, you guys. More to come tomorrow!
Monday, October 02, 2006
If it is not immediately clear, I am dressed up as a horse eaten by wind. Notice the terrified horse face I am wearing! He is terrified because he is being eaten…eaten by the wind. Look at the many chomps that have been taken out of me! Notice also my windy clothes, and the pieces of wind devouring my shoulders, and the look of horsey indignation on my face. All in all, I think it's a pretty realistic depiction.
Long-tailed ponies go nosing the pine-lands,
Ponies of Parisians shooting on the hill.
The wind blows. In the wind, the voices
Have shapes that are not yet fully themselves,
Are sounds blown by a blower into shapes,
The blower squeezed to the thinnest mi of falsetto.
The hunters run to and fro. The heavy trees,
The grunting, shuffling branches, the robust,
The nocturnal, the antique, the blue-green pines
Deepen the feelings to inhuman depths.
These are the forest. This health is holy,
This halloo, halloo, halloo heard over the cries
Of those for whom a square room is a fire,
Of those whom the statues torture and keep down.
This health is holy, this descant of a self,
This barbarous chanting of what is strong, this blare.
But salvation here? What about the rattle of sticks
On tins and boxes? What about horses eaten by wind?
When spring comes and the skeletons of the hunters
Stretch themselves to rest in their first summer’s sun,
The spring will have a health of its own, with none
Of autumn’s halloo in its hair. So that closely, then,
Health follows after health. Salvation there:
There’s no such thing as life; or if there is,
It is faster than the weather, faster than
Any character. It is more than any scene:
Of the guillotine or of any glamorous hanging.
Piece the world together, boys, but not with your
Happy birthday, Vice President! We will party for you all month long.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Anyway, the necklaces are also wearing costumes for the occasion; the first one is going as "A Fish-Scale Sunrise", and the second is going as "Two Figures in Dense Violet Night." The first is carnelian, fire agate, labradorite, and phantom quartz; the second is amethyst, rhodolite garnet, labradorite, and snowflake obsidian. I have a couple more, actually--both inspired by "The Green Plant," because I got carried away--but I don't have photos of them at the moment, so I'll post them later. And when you next see me, I will be wearing my party costume, so get ready.