Saturday, February 14, 2009



Such is the title of a book of poems I'm reading by Thomas Merton from 1967.
(This picture means nothing in relation to the book
but then
does anything mean in relation to anything else:)

Decoding the looks of opposites. Writing down their silences. Words replaced by moods. Actions punctuated by the hard fall of imperatives. More and more smoke. Since language has become a medium in which we are totally immersed, there is no longer any need to say anything. The saying says itself all around us. No one need attend. Listening is obsolete. So is silence. Each one travels alone in a small blue capsule of indignation. (Some of the better informed have declared war on language.)"

Thomas Merton: prophet of the internet? "Listening is obsolete."

The language of this "poetry" is totally contemporary:

The title poem begins:

"Edifying cables can be made musical if played and sung by full-armed societies doomed to an electric war. A heavy imperturbable beat. No indication where to stop. No messages to decode. Cables are never causes. Noises are never values. With the unending vroom vroom vroom of the guitars we will all learn a new kind of obstinacy, together with massive lessons of irony and refusal. We assist once again at the marriage of heaven and hell."

Well, perhaps not "totally" contemporary.

Who sends "cables" any more?

But then XX years from now we will ask, "What's an email?"

However, we will still be washing and drying our hands; or will we?
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Blogger jh said...

great post bill
what the pain red flapper tours and cod livers

i read it when i was a mere novice
had a copy that followd me around for awhile
maybe i am forever the novice

holy orders
fumbled liturgical duncing
toodle do do do

pull the folly saturated blumerbusses down with two hands

spring can't be too far off
no matter what the damn groundhawg says

what a goofball old thomas M was
we could use a few more like him

thanks loads for all this


8:40 PM  

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