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Archive for August, 2013

Digging

Between my finger and my thumb   

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

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Where a review is held up to the light for translucence, opacity, or transparency..

The death of Elmore Leonard had the Times Literary Supplement combing their archives for any evidence of his existence.  They came up with a slight compendium of allusive articles to Mr. Leonard.

Here is the listing with compulsory hyperlinks:

 http://timescolumns.typepad.com/stothard/2013/08/since-the-death-aged-eighty-seven-of-elmore-leonard-was-announced-yesterday-the-internet-has-come-to-life-with-articles-on.html

 

Here is the review proper:

http://www.thetls.co.uk/tls/multimedia/archive/00364/Michael_Wood_s_Elmo_364552a.pdf

Besides a gush of worship for Raymond Chandler in the first half of the review, the critic sort of skims over the catalogue of works the TLS had ignored for the prior x years of his career. The reviewer makes it clear that Chandler was in Candyland and that Leonard resides in the slums of Atlantic City-esque holes. Apart from that I was never really impelled toward a Leonard work and this mishmash of a review doesn’t compel one to the task either.

*Translucence*

 

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we use the magazine to pump the book and vice versa

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/08/he-told-the-truth-about-his-time-john-ohara-butterfield-8.html?mbid=gnep&google_editors_picks=true

In the newest New Yorker we have rediscovered the ‘tack’ of John O’Hara, who happens to have the highest short story output for the magazine, in order to hype the re-release of his Depression-era novel from Penguin Classics. A grand waste of time? Yes, but only if you’re familiar with the author. This placement, it cannot be a ‘new thing’, is so J’en sais pas I have indeed vomited in my mouth once again. Though forgive me for ennui does certain things to a 32-year old man. In conclusion, simply, blah.

 

Evan Kerry

Aug. 2013

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http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/aug/13/books-weve-lost/

Charles Simic clearly cannot stand America, so my reaction is that he should go and try Arabia.

In the above connected article Charles wrings the almost dry hatred-towel of its’ Anti-Americana dew and places it on the NYRB blog for us to gawk at. The article is nominally about the loss of secondhand book stores and his apparent mourning sums to a base elegy which only cloaks an un-seething hatred for America the Brave. Triteness abounds in this fillet of shite. I’d have been better off reading a flier for a charity handed to me in the street than this blogged scroll of putrescence. For Charles is not aiming his spears with a Luddite aim, he is apparently better than that and presumably smarter than most, hence the NYRB association, he is just a blither blathering snob cloaked in the ruminative garb of the ‘smart set.’ A set which has let the petrol run out, stopped the car and is clearly suffocating on the fumes and plumes of an older mentality and enjoying every damn minute of their demise. 

But Chollie, I must agree, ’tis a shame to see the dearth of physical, real property secondhand bookshops in this country and others.  The smell of must alone is worth the trip, it is the sort of smell I imagine when i read your ‘words-you-mean-to-string together-in-place-of-thought.’

Adooby dooby doo…

Evan Kerry

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