Ephemeris by Norm Sibum

Morning. Nikas. Alexandra the waitress greets me not unfriendly-like with news of an earthquake off the B.C. coast. It has generated a tsunami. Did I know the news? No, I do not know the news. Sometimes perhaps, as per Mr Broch’s The Death of Virgil, there is un-news, just as there is un-space; just as there is un-time—Oh dear. Here it is I am sliding head-first into a parody of a modern classic, and we have not yet sluffed off sleep? What gives? But to this day, London Lunar, for instance, insists that Herr Broch did not understand Virgil; could not understand Virgil; would never understand Virgil. Which begs a question: who can? Who ever could? Who ever will? Let alone comprehend the American un-decideds when it comes to presidential campaigns? And we are talking a poet un-dead these past two thousand years; and we are talking an un-election winding down. I had words recently with a woman who put it to me: is there a superpower other than the U.S. of A. brand of superpower that I would prefer to see keeping the world ticketypoo? Come on, man, get real. And how about that Charbonneau Commission, eh? But back to corruption on a grander scale, Literary Thug #1 predicts a victory for Mr R in that electoral game to the south of here. A little manipulation of this and that. A modicum of dirty little tricks.And, what’s this: Florida 2000 all over again? Another little nail in the coffin of the republic? How many nails does that make? Is Literary Thug #1 just indulging himself with a hit of conspiracy theory? At any rate, what next? George Sands in Forever Amber (1947) drolly depicting the hedonistic King Charles II? Come, children. And the royal beagles, or some breed of dog, rise and placidly follow their master out of the mistress’s bedchamber. Well, I am bordering on cuteness with this, am I not, wizened mug and all? The Moesian brought over beef stroganoff that he cooked up, and he and I passed the last presidential debate eating it. It was observed for some reason or other: money is the state. The state is wherever the money is. But sometimes a government imagines it is a government. Or have I already remarked on this in a previous post? Why did we think we were watching something important? In the meantime, London Lunar was den-mothering a couple of geriatric bards each of whom, in their persons, are the last living testimony to the office of memory, or that which is being shot down in flames anywhere over western civilization. Then I had Juniper and Golden Girl on my hands. They fight a rearguard action against the destruction of said memory, perhaps because they own an independent bookstore and let people buy their books; perhaps because they are (and, no doubt, they wake up some mornings wondering how they got stuck with the chore) truly serious about literature in some un-stuffy manner. Well, anything is possible. And if statistics were everything, Canada would be the most poetic country on this earth. Come to think of it, London Lunar managed to fly himself over to these parts, and there was a reading in the private bar at LeBurritoville, can you imagine? The young Jesse Eckerlin and Robyn Sarah were a part of the general melee. (The Moesian, with a wary deference to another man’s posterity, read a pair of Richard Outram poems and introduced the living to an audience that really seemed to have come to listen to them—) And then at Grumpy’s afterwards, there was an impromptu reading out on the terrasse, London Lunar doing the honours by way of having been dragooned into it, as the rain fell and we huddled beneath various brollies; as the whisky flowed; this after we had a recitation from memory by young EG (Edward Gibbons still in search of his Rome moonlight epiphany) of some stanzas by Geoffrey Hill and other luminaries. And when the rain at last got the best of us, and we had retired inside; and because there were some idiots in Halloween masks at the open mic; and because the patter was unconscionable drivel, the young EG and London Lunar accosted the ‘stage’, commandeered the mic, and EG went to work: The Emperor of Ice Cream was then delivered with all the aplomb of a gunfighter to a bar-room full of people now getting themselves acquainted with the word incredulous. MH points me in the direction of a New Yorker article in which it is said that the super rich feel themselves to be victimized, and Current President is to blame. Oh that un-man! And say, if you’ve got money to un-launder, there’s un-Latvia. There’s un-class un-warfare for you. Alright, alright, I’ll stop—