Thursday, June 1, 2023

The Houses Are Haunted by White Nightgowns


None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,

Hold onto your hats, and welcome to another muzzy edition of "Inside My Early Morning Noggin."  I had some ideas about what I would write today, but what you think at night is rarely what you think in the daylight.  

"Just sleep on it," they say.  "Things will look different in the morning."  

I'm more profound in the evening, I think, but that may just be the solitudinous boozing.  I mean, I'm fairly profound with an audience of one.  We all agree, I'm brilliant. 

This is a photo of where I sit at night while watching television.  That's a hard confession to put into print, but there it is.  You can see the indentation of my butt.  This is not the photo, however, that I intended to post.  This is the one I took with my phone because I knew I would be too lazy to take the card out of my Leica Monochrom, download the images, and cook them up to post.  I knew.  I didn't want to believe, but I knew.  So I picked up my phone and made the picture, too.  It's all I've got, as they used to say in my old 'hood.  

There is only one camera for true romance.  Get yourself a film Leica and a Sumicron 35mm lens.  There is nothing any cooler.  I turned my life upside down to get one when I was staying in Q's apartment on the Lower East Side one summer.  He was elsewhere and gave me the keys.  I think he was out being famous somewhere in the world, so for a week, I got to be a 'hoodie.  There was a little shop next to his place where I'd go for coffee every morning.  One day, a long haired, stylish fellow walked in with two models.  He was wearing torn jeans and had a Leica M7 with a little Leica flash attached hanging from his neck.  Fuck me, I thought. . . how cool would I be if I had that?  Now I have one, the whole shebang, and it is still true.  It is the most romantic camera you can carry.  

Sitting in my morning "reading and writing chair" last night, consuming more of "Rules of Civility," I glanced over at the light falling on the couch and decided to make one of those extraordinarily long handheld exposures with my Leica Monochrom, the first edition, which is also a dreamboat camera--exposures of 30 seconds, 15 seconds, and 2.  One day, I'll get around to downloading them.  Oy.  What I must go through to make my art!

Oh--the Times is reading the blog again.  After I posted my bit about being able to giggle with my Raquet Club Republicans, they posted this (link).  It all began when Foucault kicked the shit out of Chomsky in a public debate.  The left got coerced into a postmodern narrative that it didn't completely understand (if "understanding postmodern narrative" is a thing at all).  Later it was hijacked by the right who purposely misunderstood it and cherry picked for their own purposes.  To wit:  Trump is the most postmodern character we could have ever possibly imagined.  Painfully so (link).  

I'll regret that passage later.  

I'm supposed to go out with "the boys" tonight for a drink.  Early.  I like early.  Because. . . you know. . . "The Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock."  Bedtime.  Early to bed, early to rise.  But. . . I believe I am all parties in that poem, both the haunted and the dreamer.  That's right, it's my blog.  I'll privilege myself if I want to.  But it isn't really a privilege.  Stephens is passing equal judgement in the poem.  He is even more that way than Frost or Williams, though that was the zeitgeist running through modern poetry at the time.  They were all writing about themselves in one way or another in a constant conversation that tries to reconcile the opposing sides of their personalities, their hopes, dreams, and desires.  Stephens, I think, was hardest on himself.  He was less comfortable with his professional life than the others, being, as he was,  an executive for a national insurance firm.  Williams was a physician living and practicing in Patterson, New Jersey.  Stephens, a Harvard educated lawyer, lived behind the white picket fence in Hartford, Connecticut, but he longed for a bit of Bohemia.  Yea. . . he had the roughest time reconciling.

But oh. . . those poems.  

I am not haunted by ten o'clock, I believe, but I don't know if that is better or worse.  These boys will go on later than I do tonight, and they are not disillusioned.  They are "illusioned."  They think something is going to happen, and it almost will.  I am not a gambling man, but if I were. . . .  They will tell me what I almost missed later.  

"After you left, we went across the street to the Irish Pub.  Holy shit. . . you should have been there. . . . "

But you know, times being what they are. . .  

Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches tigers
In red weather.


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