Saturday, September 16, 2017

Collectors are Silent Gardeners: Making Selected Hearing and Sounds Public

“I think of a  collector as a gardener, rather than someone who just buys books. Like gardeners, they do a lot of murdering. They cull books.”

Poet John Ashbery died last weekend and the descriptions of him and his work are as varied as poetry itself. Reading through these diverse adjectives, I’m left thinking how beautiful it is to not be defined and yet to be so profoundly revered. For Ashbery, poetry is not about definitions or pronouns or intentions or genres. It’s not about telling a story that has a proper conclusion. It’s about what it is to experience – experience anything. His work says you don’t need to decipher the words, just experience them. Is there anything more valuable than that? No beginnings. No end. Just this:

"Im sitting here dialing my cellphone
with one hand, digging at some obscure pebbles with my shovel
with the other.
And then something like braids will stand out,
on horsehair cushions. That armchair is really too lugubrious.
Weve got to change all the furniture, fumigate the house,
talk our relationship back to its beginnings. Say, you know
thats probably whats wrong – the beginnings concept, I mean.
I aver there are no beginnings, though there were perhaps some

Trusting in God...

SO THIS GUY WAS warned about being in the path of a hurricane. HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." The winds and the rain started coming and a rescue worker came by, "Time to leave sir." HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." The water started rising and he had to go to the second floor of his house. His cell phone rang. "Get out of there," his mother said. HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." The water kept rising, and he had to climb out on his roof. A boat came by "LAST chance sir, please leave." HE SAID "That's okay God will save me." He died, went to heaven and asked GOD "Why didn't you save me?" GOD SAID "I sent a rescue worker, your mother and a boat. What else did you think I was going to do?"

… one crucial thing The Prisoner” reminds us of is that the only chance we might have, collectively, is going to be based on how strong we are individually. It’s that idea that is, in a certain sense, the Village’s undoing, even as it comes close to breaking Number Six. Think of how many people you know who talk the same way, use the same exact phrases (“at the end of the day”), like the same TV shows, cite their fondness for Netflix, virtue signal their existences away in public forms, but screw you over privately, and on and on.