Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Quiet Force of Progress

Barack replaces Bush, and the force of progress succeeds the progress of force. Hallelujah.

And here's one irreverent comment on the inauguration festivities--irreverent but irrefutable: if that pudgy guy on "Little Britain" did himself up in blackface, he'd be a dead ringer for Aretha Franklin.

Friday, January 16, 2009

We sincerely hope we will never have to use the cables strung to the scenery, but it's nice to know they're there. --Ben Lerner

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Post the First

I have been warned, J warned me, that this blog name's a lot to live up to, and it's true. So to sneak round my menacing sense of intimidation I'm going to start off by just typing a long passage, one of the many introductory sections, from the namesake. Except I should confess, now that I've typed it, that I'm still only struggling to get my feet off the ground and let my talking voice run on and escape the confines of punctuation and other pesky rules. I'm still stammering, my thoughts are still seizing up, I'm not answering my inner smug-pug as confidently as Stevie Smith did. You'd work that out soon enough for yourself, the same way you'll work out you can substitute "blog" for "book" or "novel" below, but now that I've said it I can also say you all now have been warned.

But first, Reader, I will give you a word of warning. This is a foot-off-the-ground novel that came by the left hand. And the thoughts come and go and sometimes they do not quite come and I do not pursue them to embarrass them with formality to pursue them into a harsh captivity. And if you are a foot-off-the-ground person I make no bones to say that is how you will write and only how you will write. And if you are a foot-on-the-ground person, this book will be for you a desert of weariness and exasperation. So put it down. Leave it alone. It was a mistake you made to get this book. You should not know.

And it is not to be proud I say: I am a foot-off-the-ground person; or to be superior that I say: Foot-on-the-ground person--Keep out. It is to save you an exasperation and weariness that have now already hardly brought you to this early page.

But if you do not know whether you are a foot-off-the-ground person or a foot-on-the-ground person, then I say, Come on. Come on with me, and find out.

And for my part I will try to punctuate this book to make it easy for you to read, and to break it up, with spaces for a pause, as the publisher has asked me to do. But this I find very extremely difficult.

For this book is the talking voice that runs on, and the thoughts come, the way I said, and the people come too, and come and go to illustrate the thoughts, to point the moral, to adorn the tale.

Oh talking voice that is so sweet, how hold you alive in captivity, how point you with commas, semi-colons, dashes, pauses and paragraphs?

Foot-on-the-ground person will have his grave grave doubts, and if he is also a smug-pug he will not keep his doubts to himself; he will say: It is not, and it cannot come to good. And I shall say, Yes it is and shall. And he will say: So you think you can do this, so you do, do you?

Yes I do, I do.

That is my final word to smug-pug. You all now have been warned.