Ephemeris by Norm Sibum

Lunch hour. Nikas. Hot. It seems another world in which I last ‘posted’ or ‘blawgged’ or whichever horror of a word best describes the activity, but I have not got the room or the time or even the inclination to speak to what has changed (or has not changed in the slightest): Syria, Iraq, some funny business to do with the Ukraine, the Blue Jays. The literary sandbox? What has it got to do with class warfare? The Moesian figures it is all over but for the shouting. MH figures it is all over but for the interest rates. Ditto Golden Girl who just thinks it is all over, period, whatever the cause and effect two-step; and she just might retire into the sunset and raise horses. Ditto a slew of Argonauts with whom, in one venue or other – this or that bar, down by the levee, or atop McGravitas’s rooftop with metaphorical oar at the ready – I have continued to exchange notes on what boots it for the ‘situation’. I have also been doing the Zibaldone (which is another two-step of sorts, throw in a do-si-do and swing your partner for good measure) when I think I can spiritually afford it, picking pages to read at random that Giacomo Leopardi wrote, and even coming at it in a semi-organized fashion, there being some 2000 pages of text in the sucker along with editorial notes and bibliography and index and the like, to a grand total of 2502 pages. (Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi, 1798-1837, author of a handful of sublime poems in addition to the work in question here, as well as Operette morale.) One did not find in the aforementioned pages a depiction of Foulard’s latest hair styling à la Troy Donohoue, but one did find that the ancient poets not only did not think about the risk of error but (especially Homer) were hardly aware that it existed, and so they worked with supreme confidence—Or this: who cannot now see how ridiculous and affected Olympia’s lament, etc., is in Ariosto, and Erminia’s, etc., in Tasso? And yet these great poets fell into such errors in good faith because their art was young and inexperienced, while we, because we are old in the art with the experience and judgment of these (our) corrupt times, laugh at them and shun them. But this judgment and this experience is the death of poetry etc.,—In the meantime Mr P.M. Carpenter, Distinguished Political Commentator to the south of here, continues to write that the republic endures, though it is not clear if he refers to the original spirit of the thing or what remains of the shell of the intention. Is it possible that in death there is something living? I have long since soured on literariness even if I retain my old love of literature, and I am trying to determine in my own thoughts, just at what point does the separation of reason from nature or vice-versa prove most lethal, not only to life but to versification? Whoever examines the nature of things using pure reason, and without the help of the imagination or feeling, or without affording either of them any scope, which is the procedure adopted by many Germans in philosophy… – but enough. Enough Zibaldone for today (or the hodgepodgery that Leopardi, as stated, wrote back in the day—). Labrosse was in town and we sat out on the ‘bratwurst’ terrasse with a pint each and the company of Persians divided in their allegiances between Germany and Algeria. World Cup. Labrosse, to hear him tell it (he is as likely to defend the status quo as attack it, given his lifetime in the business world), is at a loss to explain current national media practice which seems to prefer, to reportage, the inventing of news, and we are not even talking the scoring of propaganda points. As for Currently Esteemed Prime Minister, Labrosse’s normally rosy cheeks as if frost-bitten turn black at mention of the hombre, and Francophone invectives swell the body cavities all the more that they are left unexpressed, due perhaps to misplaced Gallic chivalry. A new neighbour in the next building over suffers from an ailment which compels him to rapid-fire volleys of the f-word for protracted spells of time. He has become a bane to my existence and yet, he is hard to dislike because all he wants is for everyone to have a good time; just that he is incapable of understanding how he, in his person, impedes this fine prospect, what with his boom box tenor; and it reminds me of the once upon a time west coast poetry scene and the free love it wished on everyone, and failing that, steamed buns. I have been made acquainted with a recent publication of verse by one John McAuley, the Catullus renderings in it looking, at first blush, promising. The book is entitled All I Can Say For Sure, DC Books, and I can only hope that the sense of the title promises nothing it cannot support. And now I have Captain Kydde on my hands, he in town for no particularly compelling reason; just that it seems as good a time as any in which to remark that the scene outside the Cock ‘n’ Bull on Ste Catherine has not changed much. The same bevy of crazies, and all those Fagins. He also remarked that there is a certain class of person who ought not be let anywhere near poetry, but he did not specify which class, and I was feeling too politic to yank the specifics out of him. London Lunar observed the other day that there are all sorts of vicious people out there in the wilds of civilization, but that it is not generally known that directors of opera and set designers rank high on the list. I consider that London Lunar is either incorrect in his observation or is ill-informed, for no one is nastier than Irish Harpy when Eddie the cook is too cheap to turn on the restaurant’s AC. Effing Greek. On a more somber note, it astonishes how little ‘quality’ matters any longer, and though one expects little from the cheap Chinese goods that saturate the malls, one did not expect just how pathetically disposable literature could get to be, quality a relic, a superstition belonging to the deep past. What then makes for quality? I do not even know if it is any longer possible to retrieve the arguments that used to treat with the question one way or the other. Cleverness, jingoism, snotty bravado – your optimizers for genetically-modified crops—