Saturday, July 25, 2015

Felix Holt

Why did I do it? The book’s posthumous reputation certainly did not provide me a reason to read Felix Holt: The Radical – George Eliot’s often lamented “social novel.” I guess it's just that I never expect a critical consensus about a book to be borne out (until, each time, it is). And besides, I’m still enough of a Philistine on some level to hope that a worthy subject matter, a set of interesting political or philosophical ideas, and a character with whom I can “identify” (a triplet of cardinal Nabokovian sins) can make up for literary shortcomings.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Susan Sontag thought it was but a comforting lie
That true artists are renowned only after they die
I cannot confute this judgment on the deceased
But one thing I know: it is at least

Plain some in their own time get
        Renowned over-much
The present instance being
One such

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trump L'Oeil

When you see that Oompa Loompa
Prating away up there
A Gerald L.K. Smith
With rather more orange hair
Your sides they shake with laughter
Your eyes and nose go runny
(But then—I hear they used to think
The goosesteppers looked funny)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Turkey Turned Two And We Didn't Celebrate (What Kind of Parent Am I?)

I know, I know-- and I can't even pretend that I forgot the poor bird's birthday. No, the two-year June anniversary of this blog's creation passed by with my full and guilty cognizance that I was letting it go unacknowledged. I offer the following as explanation, if it does not quite pass as an excuse: I felt I could only permit myself the distinctive pleasure of the anniversary post if I was in the mood for self-congratulation, and while such a requirement did not prove any barrier last year, when this blog and I still had a love that sprang eternal, this year the June anniversary arrived at the end of the bleakest period in this blog's young history, and I didn't feel I had it in me at that moment to celebrate its life. This post tells the story of how that came to be. It thus takes you behind the scenes of the weekly production of this not-so-well-known blog.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Brother will you accept Him?

Friend you can’t say He
Loves me
And 'ld smile upon my face
If only I
Opened up a bit
And received the divine grace

Converted Me, whoever
Such a man might be,
Might be plenty nice but he
Sure would not be me.
'God wants to love me saved he’ll
Have to love me damned –
Damned Me ain’t so great but he
Is what I am