josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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15 Oct '03 07:57:10 AM

You have no idea (well, probably a pretty good idea) how pleased I am that:

1. William Carlos Williams wrote a poem called 'To a Lovely Old Bitch'.

2. The poem is addressed to Sappho.

14 Oct '03 08:20:52 AM

Which show was the first thing to come to mind today when I wondered what shows have had major characters who were depressed. (I just watched the second season, which makes a pretty determined run at it up to the point where Angel sleeps with Darla, trailing off after.) My second and third guesses were Buffy (after she's brought back) and NYPD Blue (Sipowicz has to have been depressed at some point).

14 Oct '03 08:16:04 AM

What exactly is wrong with people that they come all incredulous like when I say I like to watch Angel?

14 Oct '03 08:13:01 AM

Which song I haven't heard in years and years as far as I know, by the way.

I love memory.

14 Oct '03 08:11:42 AM

The other day I heard something that I thought was the Bangles' cover of 'Hazy Shade of Winter', and even though it wasn't, it was enough to get whatever parts of the song I could remember stuck in my head. I don't actually know if that's the correct title, but I prefer not to look it up. As it continues to stick, I may eventually remember enough of the words, or remember them clearly enough, to feel confident about the title. This is probably something like the little joke in the Investigations in the 'private language' section ('section') about buying multiple copies of the newspaper in order to verify the news (the parallel being, verifying or justifying one's guess at a train departure time by consulting one's mental image of the time table). But I'm not shaken, Wittgenstein. Hearing a song in your head is kind of like singing it aloud - your memory of it can be different when doing it as opposed to just recalling it. Once you start singing, you can keep going. You can remember parts in the middle that you would otherwise be unable to. (I think it works the same way with the train departures too, but there the story is more complicated.)

14 Oct '03 07:48:54 AM

On Sunday I was happy to see that we have reached the time of year where fallen leaves cover so much that the sidewalks turn into almost solid blocks of color, extending away into the distance. I don't know why this sort of thing, taken whole - the entire scene, with the temperature, the texture of the air, me, the color of the sky - always seems so reassuring to me. I like it more than almost any similar sort of moment in some other season. It's hard for me to feel at home in spring, and certainly summer. Winter has its advantages.

14 Oct '03 07:40:21 AM

Played records today by: Ted Leo, Robert Johnson, A Tribe Called Quest, Sonic Youth. I did not repeat any but the Tribe, and that not much. This was actually, then, a relatively eventful day for records. I used to listen to so much more music.

14 Oct '03 07:30:39 AM

I've been especially interested (for someone with, apparently, such a poor affinity for poetry) in modernist etc. poetry lately, the big Americans, Williams, Zukofsky, lately a little Creeley, eyeing my copy of the Cantos with aplomb even. This is basically the only sort of stuff I've showed any interest in in the past, but it's starting to feel meaningful and more uniformly exciting to me. The prospect of putting in real work, or of just coming back to a passage again and again to get the feel of it in my throat, day to day, is appealing. So too the typical high modernist non-form, free-form, anti-form, organic-form, whatever it is, in whichever manifestation. But in feeling my way around I've noticed that I'm especially receptive to pauses, gaps, and wide open spaces. Williams has this strange, recurring thing with two periods, which I guess could sometimes be like an ellipsis, but spaced strangely like at the end of this sentence . . Other times it's just one period, still spaced like this . I don't know what to do with this and don't know how to find out, if there's even supposed to be something I should be doing with them in the first place. But when I come to one of these forlorn (well, not forlorn, but it sounds nice) dots I pause longer, sort of focus my attention intently on - not the dot but - something, 'out there' I suppose, in the same sense that I sometimes have when trying to remember something, looking up slightly with my eyes out of focus. I'm composing myself, or momentarily trying to be aware of something, maybe. Whatever it is, it often gives me a tinge of isolation. I'm imagining planes a lot, the flat kind, like in the desert, the ground. Or just big empty spaces, but not the kind made by the horizon framing the empty sky, which comfort me. I don't know if I like these feelings, but I do regard them kind of solemnly. None of this is intentional on my part.

14 Oct '03 07:14:36 AM

Listening today I could have sworn that I was hearing a song on The Low End Theory, near the end, for the first time ever. Yet I've certainly heard the couple few songs after it over and over again, and the songs before it too. This hole alarms me a little, but I am consoled a bit at having also noticed lots of small things about the other songs on the record, which I haven't played in quite a while.