Saturday, 13 July 2013

Bus note 62

Alcohol vapours
from wrung out bodies.
        Everybody shines
        and sweats non-charm.
Heatbruised to stupidity
and gracelessness
        so bitterly
        the skinny pen thinks here.
How to be kind
and to feel it?
        Ball point
        eases out
        black ink
        on feint squared grid



  1. Very glad the question only comes up occasionally. Maybe the heat was making splits inside.

  2. Those endless feigning grids in which all appears inextricably locked, even as it's clear they are mere geometrical inventions -- and as such, in relation to organic life, must be specious....

    feint (n.)
    1670s, "a false show, a pretended blow," from French feinte "a feint, sham," abstract noun from Old French feint (13c.) "false, deceitful," originally fem. past participle of feindre (see feign).

    Borrowed late 13c. as adjective, but now obsolete in that sense. Also as a noun in Middle English with sense "false-heartedness" (early 14c.), also "bodily weakness" (c.1400).

    feint (v.)
    c.1300, feinten, "to deceive, pretend," also "become feeble or exhausted; to lack spirit or courage," from feint (adj.); see feint (n.). Cf. Old French feintir "be slow, delay." Sense of "to make a sham attack" is first attested 1833.

  3. Your etymology truly opens the poem out, Tom. Feint is one of those words whose shifts in history should be allowed to bleed through.

    I always choose squared paper for the notebooks. My father taught maths and for years had sheets of the stuff hanging around. I take a childish comfort in writing on it. It's as close to his faith in that seeming sure and pristine order as I can get.

    I'm never quite:

    Done with the compass,
    Done with the chart!

  4. Your skinny pen caught that sweaty non-charm with its usual perceptiveness. I can sense summer has taken control of the bus stop, or control over those bodies at the bus stop, or over those minds at the bus stop. Kindness is hard to come by any time of year, and imbibed heat, yes, how does that help :-) Well, every season will come with its own custom made excuse for numb kindness or unkindness.
    I like sqared too. Keep up the good chart!

  5. Townes Van Zandt: Pancho and Lefty ("private concert", Houston 1988):"...only let him hang around / out of kindness I suppose...")

    Talking of kindness, and how to read / not read it -- well not to speak of trying to make out what's writ however finely or broadly in that forever closed book, a private conscience -- but on a virtual-world human face, as symbolically represented by an internet meme (emoticon, is that the word?) -- am I the only one who confuses those objectively unintelligible though allegedly universally-understood adorable little pseudo-infantile post-literate modular meme-thingies with a (dare one say it) form of software?

    E.g.. ever wonder how to pronounce one of them?

    How to pronounce “( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)”

    Recent "studies have shown" (by the way) that prolonged exposure to those emoti-memetic-thingies can cause curling and sizzling of the wee sensitive-most neuronal tails.

    Trial of the ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) meme upon human subject (in vivo experiment, for the good of the human race)

  6. Thank you, Marie.

    Public transport in this heat, rush hour, is not conducive to kindness. Those of us taking the bus are coming from the checkout lines and care homes and the cleaning jobs: sweat and monotony make up the better part of the labour. It's an effort of will to keep yourself conscious let alone be kind.

    I watched a little too much of that last link, Tom. Something has burrowed into my mind. My mouth is now the wrong end of a set of parentheses and there's semicolon eyes for that nervous tick.

    I'm pretty sure that the range of feeling is being reduced to a bare repertoire of given signs. The same conversations turning the same narrow circle can be heard most anywhere.

    They only let him go so wrong
    out of kindness I suppose.

    There's a great theologian in Van Zandt. A wonderful song. First time I'd heard it.