Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Locust Song

. . . the wise and wry observation which the young William Butler Yeats offered one evening in The Cheshire Cheese to his fellow young poets in the Rhymers Club:"None of us can say who will succeed, or even who has or has not talent. The only thing certain about us is that we are too many.
— Paul Carroll

The tyranny of poets: "Like." O we were like
the infinite regression of roe, in the sex crease
of a sturgeon. We were like — what? like, as numerous
as the stars, the grains of sand, the uses of "like" itself.
Too many of us. Too flakes of snow, too fish
in the deep, too waterbugs of Florida. In the thick air

of the evening Cheese, a muss-haired Willie Yeats stares out
across a bobbing sea of schnockered literary faces
and he sees, as if implied in these, the overmany faces
of the shantytowns, and the Chinese steppes,
and the grim Malthusian banks of the Ganges river
on a holy day . . . too many of us. Those birds

slouched on the wire have served as a bar of music now
in how many poems? as a squadhouse lineup
in how many poems? as heavy portents over
the words in the wire itself, how many times?
Too many many-of-us. That zero now, the "black hole"
of the astronomers . . . by now it's the rose

and the willow and the rainbow and the nightingale
of two generations of us; string theory is easily the sunrise
over the Mediterranean Sea of us. "I think of . . ." then
a historical reference, Mendel, Bruegel, Mata Hari,
how many times? The prize and the prize and the prize.
A swarm of prizes. I think of William Butler Yeats,

a sloshy evening spent in fellowship with his kind. Some
have a scribbled paper with them. Some, a published pamphlet.
All of them have dreams to share. "Inside of every fat man
there's a skinny man waiting to be let out." And inside every
too many of us is a me. Right now, a hundred me
are lifting up their pints and toasting Yeats's observation.

Albert Goldbarth
The Humor Issue
Volume CLXXXVI, Number 4
July/August 2005

I have not had the urge to blog and is more of a general malaise then an avoidance posting but this poem seemed also to capture a feeling about online journalists too. I have been reading a lot of late and wanted to share some of it. In short if you liked Freakanomics then The Tipping Point is also well worth reading about trends and impacts. I hope to get around to posting more soon. Sorry for the cobwebs.


scruffylooking said...

Are you saying that the feeling of general malaise is within you? Is there badness in your life or are things just kind of bleh?

Dexter said...

Mostly work related and a lack of motivation in general....

dolittle said...

And I was just about to give you grief over lack of of postings. I will abstain seeing as how you're in a "funk" - the technical term.

Chin up, grasshopper

Juche Child said...

You cannot stop posting. you have responsibilies as my last remaining connection to another place. a proxy for that which i long ago surrendered. or lost. or gave away in exchange for unequal gifts.

Juche Child said...

now buck up man and tell me where your profile blurb is from...don't make me google the damn thing.

Dexter said...

I will get some more up today. Almost missed your buried comments. Quote is from "Suttree" by Cormac McCarthy...my 2nd fave of his behind Blood Meridian...part of his more eastern settings of novels.