Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To His Coy Luco

Today I am reading homework responses for the poem "To His Coy Mistress," by Andrew Marvell. The poem was published in 1681, which I find hard to believe, much less conceive of. 1681? It seems perhaps a different dimension.

What would I do in 1681? Mouse, I suppose, or dart desperately from booted feet. There would have been, of course, no outlet for my lamentations, my creativity, my grasping at shadows.

How did creatures do it? Existent avant l'Internet?

You might have noted the wine, the glass which reads Paris (an obsession, I will admit - the cemeteries, churches, nightlife, ennui, le metro - Paris, je t'adore).

And perhaps I have had too much of it, but really, Marvell? He writes (a strange aspect of MLA, is it not? The use of the present tense so that the written word, no matter its age, is constant, alive. We are always of and in the moment): "My vegetable love should grow / vaster than empires, and more slow" (11-12) as he attempts to convince his maîtresse effarouché to, you know, "like amorous birds of prey, / rather at once our time devour" (37-18).

He is so, pray pardon the expression, lame. I would love you forever, blah blah blah, but we are going to die one day, so love me now in a carnal way (ah, see? I am a poet approaching Fremlin's caliber now).

I do love "vegetable love," however. It makes me swoon a bit. Perhaps I would have been convinced by his syllogism. 

But what must the maîtresse effarouché be thinking? Does she feel special, or does she see that  Marvell is manipulating her, that whispers of "though we cannot make our sun / stand still, yet we will make him run" (45-46) are meant to win her complicity and (although maybe I am simply a lonely cynic) nothing else?

Does she believe their love blurs time, speeds life, perhaps even feeds existence itself?

Is it really only one or the other for her - tenderness or manipulation - could it be both? And, you know, I do not believe I can read another of these responses - I am too perturbed at Marvell to take him seriously at the moment.

Perhaps I shall take this wine more seriously instead.

Please. I need just a moment to gather myself.

Marvell, you crazy carpe diem lover, you are right, let us "roll all our strength and all / our sweetness up into one ball, / and tear our pleasures with rough strife / through the iron gates of life" (41-44).

"Rough strife?" "Iron gates?" Is Marvell hinting some kind of BDSM thing here?

No, I jest!

The wine is not helping my homework-headache, it is not easing my solitude, it is not gentling my tiger's heart; if anything it is singeing my "every pore with instant fires" (36). Alack! A rare kind of fire this, and intense. I certainly feel less serious than I would want - a lesson: take wine too seriously and it will seriously vous fera bête.

I should get back to grading, back to reading. Give me some Daphne Gottlieb or even Sylvia Plath (maybe my favorite line in all of poetry: "Love set you going like a fat gold watch" from the poem "Morning Song"), but I shall instead finish this glass.

Why not? Even though Marvall was consumed by natural lust, and I may lust thusly no longer since my "fixing," still I might make my sun run. Yet I might abandon myself to this moment, and none need convincing save my own gullet.

Carpe vinum.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Cousin Jaime, Jeeze!!


Is it me you're looking for?

I think so, yes, probably. I've been looking at my face sometimes in mirrors and I can't help but know the love you can see there in my shining eyes.

And now I have Tumblr. It's here:

But Luco said I could come on here and tell you about my things like my Tumblr and my other stuff. That site is run by Ash Otocki you can find her here:

That's enough links from me right now so many links are making me sad. So I have to think about things that make me happier. Things like the taste of grass and of grass recently vomited. Is that too gross?

I don't mean to offend. What are you supposed to do when you know a thing you love might seem weird to another of the people or of the animals you're talking to and discussing things with?

My name is Slippy and I have an idea about how to deal with that if you don't mind letting me say my ideas here right now is that okay with you Jaime is that okay with you Cousin Jaime is that okay with you Mr. Studmuffin Jaime of the Flowers I love you I love you I love you?

Yes, Mr. Pawsley, Slippy, yes, that's fine. Go ahead before I have to go soon and all my patience vanishes like sometimes smoke does into the air.

If you have a thing you want to say or that you love or that is something you think is great but everyone else thinks it's not so great then you have to realize that everyone else is probably just unaware or untouched by whatever it is that you love it doesn't move them in the same way everyone has their own perspective which means a way of seeing which I think is important to think about.

The cliche is everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I don't think that's really true sometimes opinions are wrong and it's just we have opinions until we can get enough information to help us  change our minds and information can be reading or observing or listening to someone else basically any time you realize a new thing about an old thing you thought before.

For example before I thought that pizza was the most delicious of the foods and then I had chana masala and realized that was also the most delicious of the foods and so was tuna fish and so was plain cheese and basically all foods are superlative if you ask me Mr. Pawsley for my opinion!

I said good day sir!

From his jumble I pan for meaning.

Maybe he makes a point though if you think about the points he says. There have been things I thought and then thought about differently when I got more ideas about them.

Things I thought that changed when I got more ideas about them:

1) Jaime (that's me Jaime, Jaime of the Flowers for sure) is the most beautiful dog of all time - when I went to get licensed as a therapy dog I saw more dogs than ever before and it made me realize that I'm the most beautiful dog of all time, place, space, abstractions, and anything a creature could think of. I'm the pinnacle. Not that I'm trying to be arrogant, but jeeze, look at my face!

2) When the going gets tough, the tough gets going - it turns out this isn't always the case. Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough hides beneath the bed, especially when the going is thunder and the tough is Jaime the Stud.

3) TV rots your brain - sure, yes, okay, but not always. There are some things on the Brain Rotter that are worth watching like Game of Thrones (which if he wasn't so gross I'd want to be Jamie Lannister, but ew ew ew ew ew - not an incest dog!), Breaking Bad, and Desperate Housewives. Also, it's possible that rotted brains can be unrotted by reading and being surrounded by beautiful things like music and the trails at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

4) Getting a hair cut is cool - okay, so I haven't mentioned this yet, but do you notice my adorable shirt? Well, I'm wearing that because it's adorable and I'm adorable and because all of my hairs got cut off into a lion cut and I am cold a lot of the time people sometimes say I look like an arctic animal now which might be true! Do I look like a polar bear to you?

But I'm Cousin Jaime and my heart is so warm!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Luco Too Shall Pass

The dog says he is in love. Fremlin says she might be. What has happened to these animals? Do they not know "this too shall pass?"

I would not usually quote a proverb. I think it rather too cliche. I prefer the more tangled wording of something like all of life is in constant flux and it is foolish to otherwise believe. The awkward grammar in that statement is dearer to my heart, but "this too shall pass" is a tolerable approximation.

Ah, yes, so as I was saying. These animals. Are they so naive as to believe their wonder and their joy, their twin hearts, their effervescence, unique, unchanging?

Not that they have said as much. I have yet to hear the dog bark out forever or Fremlin whine eternity

However, if they did, why should I care? Am I so cynical, so sadistic as to need to press into their animal eyes, their animal hearts my disdain? Am I truly disdainful, or am I jealous.

I must be honest with myself. I have a vow made this year, and I will be strict; there will be no turning from the truth. Perhaps it is a bit of a "this too shall pass" for some of my deeper antagonism, but what do I know? Another beloved old saw is that no one changes, so how are we to know upon which cliche to rest our anxious heads?

Kate Light writes in a poem titled "There Comes the Strangest Moment:"

Your heart's in retrograde. You simply have no choice.
Things people told you turn out to be true.
You have to hold that body, hear that voice.
You'd have sworn no one knew more than you.

How many people thought you'd never change?
But here you have. It's beautiful. It's strange.

I love this poem. I know not why as it is certainly not my usual fare.

Or, well, yes, yes both you and I know I know why I love this poem. You see? The truth? It is a difficult affair to commit oneself to honesty, but I will persevere.

Why do thoughts of love, thoughts of Slippy and Fremlin, bring this poem into my mind? It is because I am, reluctantly, willing to concede this: perhaps there is something to their delirium.

See? I have changed. I am not sure if "It's beautiful. It's strange," but it is there, a moth's wing brushing against my heart.

All is flux, but the all is itself static in its movement; all is flux, but there is an all that is always; this too shall pass, but there will be a this until we cannot conceive of it; there is constancy in inconstancy, eternity in the fragmentary, momentary, in the fleeting, in the beating of dusted moth wings, in the calculated logic that turns and turns my thoughts - this too shall pass and pass again and again and again like the golden mean, a rectangle divided into a square and a rectangle, which can be divided into a square and a rectangle, which can be divided into a square and a rectangle...

Where a + b is to a as a is to b. Golden numbers. Irrational numbers. Repeating and repeating and repeating and all together the one thing made up of every swirling filament.

"How many people thought you'd never change?"

To be alive is to change, but no one changes so much that there is no evidence of the past. We are story tellers, Mnemosyne's progeny - you must forgive this romanticism - and we persist in attempting to define that which defines us, but we cannot see those slight threads clearly. Often it is simply that we hear repeated in our thoughts asinine platitudes - this too shall pass - as we grapple with difficulty.

Yes, and we will die as love dies (but I do not truly believe it does, see here), but let us hope at least. I need to let the other animals have that.

I need to let them clutch and cling and lullaby each other. Let them see what blossoms wild in their embrace.

I did not think I would change, and I have, and it has been a strange experience reconciling the old Luco with the new.

However, I do not think my two selves bipolar, paradoxical; rather, they complement each other. Before, despairing, I lost myself for days sleeping beneath a couch, dry eyed and full of woe; now, despairing, I find myself searching the animals' eyes, bent toward contact like a satellite circling, circling. I am no longer trapped on some distant planet.

I have become the planet itself.