November 27th, 2011


good spirits

so in one of these grace notes, when i browsed the shelves at argos book shop on black friday, i found myself a copy of james merrill's scripts for the pageant, which is the third and final book in his epic poem the changing light at sandover (for which a few of us began a discussion group, since abandoned).

i'd previously acquired the first two books (divine comedies and mirabell: books of number at used book stores, and hadn't stumbled across this third (i'm positive it wasn't at argos the last time i was there). like mirabell, the front and back cover is colored silver. the first blank page bears an interesting handwritten inscription: "Diane, Happy New Year 1988", this signed by john k. (his scrawled surname indecipherable). it seems unusual to me that someone would give a gift in observance of new year's day, and moreover that the inscription would appear within the book, rather than on an accompanying card, and since new year's day is my birthday (a day on which i'm accustomed to receiving gifts) i find it all the more remarkable.

the book's physical form (a softcover) is odd also: unlike any book i'm familiar with, the horizontal edges are not level, but rather inclined at a slight angle, creating a trapezoid, somewhat like this 1966 sculpture rather than a rectangle. it's quite bizarre and i can't imagine how or why it came to be produced this way.

the poem in its entirety is subdivided in sections titled after the symbols appearing on a ouija board and this book contains Yes, &, No. one of the lines that pops out at me while skimming is "NOTHING IS EVER EVER LOST". one of the speakers, the mirabell who appears in the second book, is represented, for whatever reason, by the designation '741', which mirrored (and there are plenty of mirrors throughout) is 147. a google image search on scripts for the pageant reveals a 2008 contemporary art installation named after the book which consists of a chandelier (and, apparently, a morse code unit, though i don't see it in the photo).

that i should find this unusual book waiting for me is just another one of those things; to quote page 213: "NO ACCIDENT".
joe sherlock

another orange cloud

while attempting to discover the history of the naming of milton and byron streets in my hometown of grand rapids, i stumbled upon a wiki devoted to the city. one of the features at this wiki is a project called plasticspace which is exploring the odd shapes created by the census block slices of the map of the city. in conjunction with this they have an opaque orange object representing the full shape of the city. i'm forever seeing things that no one else sees (because they're not there?) in random shapes (like clouds), so it looks to me like snoopy ice skating (this may have been inspired by the fact that i'm currently watching the first new peanuts animated tv special since whenever, entitled happiness is a warm blanket).


baby it's (not) cold outside

it's hard to disagree with global warming when for the second consecutive year the thanksgiving weekend is filled rain rather than snow. on black friday i went for a run in the park wearing shorts because it was 60 degrees out. it was in the mid 50s even during the overnight last night.
  • Current Music
    at least there will be plenty implied
blue legacy

20 question (i)

i still intend to reply to gras' query: "has life turned out as you thought it would when you were 20?", only i find that i would go on for far too long since the question ties into everything that's on my mind. and i couldn't forget because the universe keeps throwing reminders my way, like, while skimming scripts for the pageant i find a line commenting on students who are showing a film of maya's; he says: "Thank Heaven we're not twenty."

because it's interesting that that was the number chosen by gras, not eighteen, not twenty-one, but twenty. and that the question is about that age when one's supposed to have gained some insights about life and oneself, and that the question was for a fixed age and not just 'five years ago' or 'ten years ago'.
  • Current Music
    it literally feels like a lifetime ago