Thursday, July 8, 2010

Noted (almost) without comment

The picture comes from “Hyperbole and a Half,” which I bookmarked half a minute after seeing this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fraught anniversary

(reposted from the original blog half a decade back)
On this date many years ago, a Saturday, it was, I flickered into consciousness from sleep as—ah, Nabokov described it in a similar context in Ada—“the tiger of happiness fairly leaped into being.” I woke up, entwined and ungarbed, with a young woman whom I’d been stalking (as she would likely put it today) for over a quarter of my young life. I don’t think that the morning assembly of reality has ever rocketed up such a vertical gradient of joy, and I’m astonished looking back that my nose didn’t bleed. It all ended badly about a dozen years later, and while I don’t hold any truck with astrology (we Leos aren’t that credulous), I have to scratch my head at the thought that this radiant morning was also G.W. Bush’s twenty-eighth birthday. Clearly doom and grief were in the air, all unnoticed then...
I long ago understood that not all of my fellows maintained the equivalent of my conscientious internal calendar. I'd get amused responses in high school upon innocently observing “You know, it’s just two years ago today that...” I'm going to guess that the young woman in my account, for all the intense history we shared for a dozen years after that morning, has not summoned forth the event on this distant anniversary.

Friday, July 2, 2010

It could be verse

Sorting through my old papers I came across the above bit of doggerel. In the 1970s, in another life, Richard McCloud and I, and our then-wives, socialized rather frequently. Alas, I haven't seen any of the other three this century. McCloud was a sailor by profession and by avocation, and in 1979 purchased Tyche (named for the minor Greek deity of luck), on whom the four of us and sundry others passed many a splendid afternoon on San Francisco Bay. On the occasion of that purchase I penned the above lines, mimicking in my typographical treatment (to the extent this was possible given the technological resources of the day, which is to say, not much) the conventions of those Georgian poets who, when they made a classical allusion, wanted to make damn sure that their audience didn't imagine that they, the poets, were products of, you know, the XVIII Century equivalent of a red-brick university.

This comes from a brief period during which the Muse of Light Verse settled on my shoulder. I remain rather proud of it.