Friday, March 31, 2017

Clerihew of a Worthy Brick


E. H. Gombrich,
With aplomb which
Sets him apart,
Told The Story of Art.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Les Miserables, Fantine, Book First -- A Just Man, by Victor Hugo, translated by Isobel Florence Hapgood


"'Yes, the brutalities of progress are called revolutions.  When they are over, this fact is recognized, -- that the human race has been treated harshly, but that it has progressed.'"

From Chapter IX

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #108

A Caricature

Clerihew of the Credulous


Reza Aslan
Always has on
His open face to all religion
One simple word, that being "pigeon."

Daily Dose

From The Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann, translated by John E. Woods


"His opponent's contempt for the love of literary form, he cried, only too plainly revealed a taste for the frenzied barbarism of certain epochs, but without such a love no true humanity was possible. or even conceivable, not now, not ever."

From A Good Soldier

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew of Theatrical Hubris


Peter Brook
Took a look
At the box-office data
And decided to mount The Mahabharata.

Daily Dose

From I Am Not Your Negro, by James Baldwin


"I have always been struck, in America, by an emotional poverty so bottomless, and a terror of human life, of human touch, so deep, that virtually no American appears able to achieve any viable, organic connection between his public stance and his private life."

From page 56

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From The Collected Stories, by Lydia Davis


"I sometimes try to find an equivalent in English before I really understand the French.  Then I realize that I don't understand the French, even after trying several times, and I cast my eye rather listlessly here and there within the paragraph hoping the meaning of it will fall into place by itself, which it sometimes does.  But today it does not, and then my mind wanders."

From Thyroid Diary

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Wizard of the Crow, by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o


"In the folds of the skin on the Ruler's forehead and the light in his squinty eyes, the Wizard of the Crow detected intense anger."

From Book Three, Section Three, 13

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls: Essays, Etc., by David Sedaris


"Everyone swore that the food in Beijing and Chengdu would be different from what I'd had in the United States.  'It's more real,' they said, meaning, it turned out, that I could dislike it more authentically."

From #2 to Go

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Seven Men, by Max Beerbohm


"He was utterly forgotten before any one, so far as I am aware, noticed he was no longer hanging around."

From Enoch Soames

Friday, March 24, 2017

Clerihew for the Inscrutable Argentine


Julio Cortazar,
Couldn't be more bizarre,
Nor could his work be less accessible
(My own opinion's... inexpressible.)

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From How It all Began, by Penelope Lively


"She felt that she was being sucked into things.  The implication was that it was after all partly her fault.  For heaven's sake!"

From Chapter Four

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Caricature

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #107

Daily Dose

From Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf


“One feels even in the midst of the traffic, or waking at night, Clarissa was positive, a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribable pause; a suspense before Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air. Such fools we are, she thought, crossing Victoria Street. For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh; but the veriest frumps, the most dejected of miseries sitting on doorsteps (drink their downfall) do the same; can't be dealt with, she felt positive, by Acts of Parliament for that very reason: they love life. In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment in June.”

From Part One

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From A Ghost at Noon, by Alberto Moravia, translated by Angus Davidson


"Love has great capacity not only for illusion but also for forgetfulness."

From page 29

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Clerihew of a Thorough Shit


Dr. Louis-Ferdinand Auguste Destouches, a.k.a., "Céline",
Was often vicious and never clean,
Anti-Semite and a collaborator,
A brilliant writer, but a better hater.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Journey to the End of the Night, by Celine, translated by Ralph Manheim


"All of a sudden you've become disgustingly old."

From page 194 this edition

Monday, March 20, 2017

Clerihew of Remembered Pleasure


Saw a boy with a book open on his knees.
Read the title: The Baron in the Trees.
Oh, to taste again what comes between, oh,
Italo Calvino!

Maturity - a caricature

Daily Dose

From If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver


"If you think about it, reading is a necessarily individual act, far more than writing."

From Chapter Eight

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Caricature of Youth

Daily Dose

From Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver


"I had started along a narrow channel beyond which events were piling up with multiplied density; I had only to seize them by the handful and throw them in the face of my competitor, who had never guessed their existence."

From How Much Shall We Bet?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Clerihew for the Discarded Girdle


Grace Metalious
Would often bewail the fuss
Made by prudes over Peyton Place,
Suggesting they get screwed, cut up, unlace.

A Caricature

Daily Dose

From Unbuttoning America: A Biography of Peyton Place, by Ardis Cameron


"Like Humpty Dumpty, we might argue, the author of Peyton Place did not fall; she was pushed."

From Epilogue, Memento Mori

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew of an Irish Champ


Anne Enright's
Not shy of fights,
Though she prefers brave words to fists,
As would most short novelists.

Daily Dose

From Collected Writings, by Jane Bowles


"I haven't written anything in so long, that I'm afraid that I will forget how to use the typewriter, if this keeps up."

From Letters, #81

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick #106

A Caricature

Clerihew of a Perfect Marriage


Jane Bowles
Played many roles:
Writer, wife, bisexual lover,
It seems in all, Paul thought well of her.

Daily Dose

From Stories, Plays & Other Writings, by Carson McCullers

"Children have a Greek classicist's indifference to pity in fiction, and an enormous respect for fate."

From Books I Remember

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew of Class Aspirations


Supreme bourgeois,
Was Evelyn Waugh;
Really more "moyenne" than "haute",
Though you'd never know it from what he wrote.

Daily Dose

From The Moon and Sixpence, by William Somerset Maugham


"The emotions common to most of us simply did not exist in him, and it was as absurd to blame him for not feeling them as for blaming the tiger because he is fierce and cruel."

From Chapter 30

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Caricature

Clerihew for a Bigamist


Asked Jehovah,
"Shall I have eternal life?"
God responded, "Ask the wife."

Daily Dose

From An Angry Letter in January and Other Poems, by Ama Ata Aidoo

For Bessie Head
To begin with
there’s the small problem of address:
calling you
by the only name some of us
knew you by,
hailing you by titles
you could not possibly
have cared for,
referring you to
strange and clouded
origins that eat into
our past our pain
like prize-winning cassava tubers in
abandoned harvest fields…
Some of us never ever met you.
And who would believe
that but those who know
the tragedies of our land
visions unopening and other such
abortions are
every day reality?
To continue a
confession of sorts,
‘Miss Head’ will just not do
‘Bessie’ too familiar
Bessie Head,
your face swims into focus
through soft clouds of
cigarette smoke and from behind the
much much harder barriers erected by some
quite unbelievable
20th. century philosophy,
saying more of
your strength
than all the tales
would have us think.
For the moment,
we fear and
dare not accept that
given how things
poetry almost becomes
dirges and
not much more.
we hold on to knowing
ourselves as daughters of
darklight women
who are so used to Life
– giving it
feeding it –
was always
quite unwelcome;
– taking them by surprise –
an evil peevish brat
to be flattered,
over-dressed and perfumed…
We fear to remember:
fatigued as we are by so much
death and dying and
the need to bury and
to mourn.
Bessie Head:
such a fresh ancestress!
If you chance
on a rainy night
to visit,
if you chance
on a sunny day
to pass by,
look in to see
– how well we do
– how hard we fight
– how loud we scream
against the plots
– to kill our souls our bodies too
– to take our land, and
– feed us shit.
Dear Fresh Spirit,
that rejoining
The Others,
you can tell them
now more than ever,
do we need
the support
the energy
to create
recreate and
nothing more
nothing less.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Clerihew of a Thwarted Swiss


Robert Walser
Got an ulcer
Trying to do literary work
While earning his living as a little clerk.

A Caricature

Dailey Dose

From Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens


"Rich folks may ride on camels, but it an't so easy for 'em to see out of a needle's eye. That is my comfort, and I hope I knows it."

From Chapter 25