Carolyn Kizer, whose poetry UD has always found a little too “stated” —

… no, not too understated, and not too overstated… Just too stated, too much (like Robert Frost’s) assertively out there… Carolyn Kizer has died, and UD has as a result been reading through her poems with more attention than she’s ever before given them.

Here’s a good one, with a way sly rhyme scheme and a solid, not too stated, point of view. As always, UD will mess up the poem with her comments, so if you want to see it unmessed with, go here:


What the Bones Know 

[There are fundamental truths you know in your bones, not in your mind. There are truths of the body, not the soul; you learn these truths by having a body and enjoying it, as we'll see as we read the poem.]

Remembering the past
And gloating at it now,

[In particular, remembering the great sex she had. See in this connection - since Yeats is prominently mentioned in this poem - a poem like his A Last Confession, number nine of the poems listed here.]

I know the frozen brow
And shaking sides of lust
Will dog me at my death
To catch my ghostly breath.

[She knows her body; she knows that even as she's dying - especially as she's dying? - she will feel sexual desire, because her commitment to life is so intense that she will fight its cessation by drawing upon whatever she has left in her of lust. The vital passions within her will try, in a last desperate effort, to "catch" her becoming-a-ghost breath before death stills it.]

I think that Yeats was right,
That lust and love are one.
The body of this night
May beggar me to death,
But we are not undone
Who love with all our breath.

[Note how cleverly Kizer will deploy her death/breath rhyme throughout the poem. This pair's first appearance will be in tandem - one line after another. Their next appearance has them divided by one line - the line ending in undone.

Glance down to the two final stanzas. Death and breath are divided by two, and then three, lines. Breath gets the final word, and has therefore it seems gradually shooed death away, kept it at a greater and greater distance.

And note the argument here: Even if I die tonight, I'll have lived a life in which I fully loved, and so I'll enjoy a sort of immortality.]

I know that Proust was wrong,
His wheeze: love, to survive,
Needs jealousy, and death
And lust, to make it strong
Or goose it back alive.
Proust took away my breath.

[Boo Proust and all sex-in-the-head mentalists. Not only are they wrong that we're twisted enervated creatures who need all sorts of perverse inducements to get it up and keep it up; they mess with our simple natural ins and outs. The poet breathes; Proust can only wheeze.]

The later Yeats was right
To think of sex and death
And nothing else. Why wait
Till we are turning old?
My thoughts are hot and cold.
I do not waste my breath.

[The heart of the argument lies here: My thoughts are hot and cold. Hot and cold. Sex and death. Frozen brow and shaking sides. Yeats didn’t want us to think of sex and death like the Proustian mentalists; he wanted us to be mindful of both always, unafraid of the realm of both always, running our passions full blast hot and cold. Here’s Yeats:

[T]hough it loved in misery
Close and cling so tight,
There’s not a bird of day that dare
Extinguish that delight.

Snapshots from Home

La Kid, in Chicago, hung out last night
with one of the famous Lucas Brothers.


They’re identical twins.
I have no idea which one she’s with.


She just called. It’s Keith.

UD asked La Kid what they talked about at the crowded chic Chicago bar pictured.

“Law school,” she said. “He attended law school.”

Here’s what UD found out about that.

Both [brothers] attended top-ten law schools, Keith at Duke and Kenny NYU. It was the only substantial period of time that they’ve spent away from each other, but they didn’t grasp the difficulty of being apart until, after both dropped out, they reunited and began their standup careers in New York. Keith stays in touch with a few friends but Kenny none, citing the indisputable fact that, “law students are just miserable, boring people. And they stress out over shit they imposed on themselves.” Although their mother supported their decision to pursue the dream, their friends were dumbfounded. They were only a semester away from obtaining their J.D.s. “The dean actually called me and tried to talk me into finishing,” Keith recalls, “but we wanted to remove the safety net when we cut the cord.” It was a crazy move but also indisputably awesome and bold, creating a piece of trivia that will surely follow them around for the rest of their careers.

“[T]his is a sport that disproportionately attracts aggressive males, many or most of whom use steroids, human growth hormone, and other drugs that elevate testosterone levels, and therefore possibly aggravate their violent tendencies.”

Coming to a university near you.

This is in a defense of the sport, by the way.

The core of the defense?

If you don’t let us beat the shit out of each other on the field, we’ll get frustrated and come and kill all of you.

“After almost every crowd-pleasing hit, a player would stagger off the field, steady himself the best he could, sometimes vomit a little…”

Football: Just the thing for a university setting.

“The Florida State athletic department prioritizing the welfare of football-playing suspects over victims, many of whom are fellow FSU students, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has followed college athletics for the past few decades.”

That’s the part that always gets to UD. The University of Nebraska says to its student body Look who we got to play with you! Room with you! Study with you! Richie Incognito!

You’ve got all these American universities doing everything they possibly can to recruit legions of violent nutbags whom they immediately and without warning loose upon a clueless group of normal teenagers.

Clueless? Worse than that. These students are predisposed to worship the recruited players. Unless they grew up in Sayreville, they have no idea how twisted is the cult from which the recruited emerged. Like fools, they jostle each other to get near their heroes…

Victims, many of whom are fellow FSU students…


Vlad’s imaginary friend.

ULTIMATE Coacha Inconsolata.

It doesn’t get any better than this. (For background on coacha inconsolata, go here and scroll down.)

A somber coach “Boom” rested on the pulpit. [University of Florida football coach Will] Muschamp had a cross to bear that wasn’t his own but instead a player’s. The weight grew heavy.

“[S]orry to inconvenience you guys, but with the situation Monday and the seriousness of it, I felt like it was a little insensitive to have a football press conference. I think it is today, too,” Muschamp said from the crease of his mouth.

His head drooped, his voice lowered.

“But we’ve got to move forward.”

Putting Intellectual Life in America into Perspective

Scandal fatigue with the NCAA began setting in a long time ago. The long wait for penalties in the USC case started it; the Penn State penalties, misconduct in the Miami case, and lack of action on UNC’s academic scandal were other major milestones.

The NFL’s recent history has gotten more people asking even harder questions about what the important scandals are in the sports world. College football has not been immune either. Jameis Winston, Treon Harris, Treyvon Paulk, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Devonte Fields are all part of the same trend, with more scrutiny on how teams handle allegations of assaults, especially violence against women. And less on who might be trying to make a buck here and there.

Go ahead and get rich off of university athletics! That’s a trifle here.

Exciting News in Airline Codesharing!

Subject to government approval, EL AL plans to place its “LY” code on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York (JFK/Newark), expanding options throughout the United States for EL AL customers.

LY stands for Loathesome You, and refers to female El Al passengers, all of whom, on taking their seats, will be subject to the revulsion of the orthodox Jewish men on board, who will insist on being seated away from female loathesomeness.

Welcome to Jet Blue, ladies! Relax, take a seat, and then watch while the men on the plane treat you like a just-excreted piece of shit.


You know what to do. Boycott Jet Blue.



The Pride of USC

The University of Southern California couldn’t ask for a better trustee. John Martin just priced his desperately-needed hepatitis medication at $1,125-per-pill. Last year he gave himself $180 million in compensation. (Read what a columnist at Forbes, of all places, thinks of John’s take-home pay.)

Yes, when it comes to modeling ethical behavior for a university’s students, when it comes to bringing that certain something to the running of a university, Brown University’s famous Steven Cohen (now that the SEC has forced him to close the shop) can’t do better than USC’s very own John Martin.

“Before the scandal broke, Myles Hartsfield was headed for Penn State on a football scholarship.”

Perfect spot for him.

Why won’t the damn New York Times leave Florida State University alone?

Just after featuring the rape-positive, bonkers-for-BB-guns school in a long article in the Sunday Magazine, they’re at it again in a whole new article, gnawing at FSU like a dog with a bone… Why can’t they leave FSU alone to live in the way the school has chosen to live?

Does the New York Times fly down to Sicily once a week to try to upset the delicate balance among the mafia, the courts, and the police? No! The newspaper recognizes and respects the right of Sicilians to live in their traditional fashion, under the ethos of omertà, etc. If, in just the same way, the heart of the FSU community has always depended on a complex synergy among football players, coaches, police, lawyers, boosters, and the leadership of the university – a synergy that keeps players on the field and out of jail by ignoring their crimes, plus makes everyone rich off a winning team – what business is that of some newspaper?

Tattle-tale reporters just can’t resist sharing details of the FSU way:

At least 13 football players have been implicated in a string of wild public shootouts with CO2-powered BB and pellet guns, causing thousands of dollars in property damage, endangering bystanders and eliciting a police response. Yet until the most recent case — a previously unreported shootout in June that caused such a commotion that a sheriff’s helicopter was called in to search for suspects — none of the episodes led to charges, even though elsewhere in Florida suspects as young as 12 have been arrested for doing the same things.

It’s like they think they’re better than the folks in Tallahassee or something…

Money from the Boosters has helped pay the salaries of high-ranking athletic officials and the university president, whose performance goals included enhancing “the partnership” between the Boosters and the athletic department.

And… And? … You got a problem with that? Everybody benefits! It’s not like we’re not gonna cut the president in on the deal. He’s the chief fucking academic officer! He, like, keeps the place all intellectual and all. Without that we lose our tax breaks.


… in the French university.

Aggregation in American university sports journalism.

Because there are so many stories, you might as well aggregate them.

“Forbes ranks Texas State as 487th in the nation and 119th in the…

south,” and when your academic ranking is that secure, you can go ahead and cancel classes because of football games.

Editors at TSU’s newspaper are so excited that an upcoming

game will be aired on ESPN2. The only way for Texas State football to get this television exposure is to play on a Tuesday.

that they’re calling for the cancellation of all Wednesday classes. For the tv gods have spoken; they have decreed a Tuesday night game. The university must and will obey the gods.

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