Book of the World Courant CLXIII





‘most traceless


And what is the relation

Between blowback

And projection?


“Cloud-based human capital management…”

This phrase slips effortlessly from the lips of an NPR announcer thanking the corporate sponsors of “Marketplace.”

Really, seriously:


The dwarfs people the buildings is not the obverse of the buildings dwarf the people


Tiepolo’s paintings, many of them at any rate, could be described as cloud-based. But curiously, few seem to involve human capital management. At least not in an obvious way…


The revolution will not be cloud-based.

But the zombie apotheosis, well, possibly…

Who’d have thought a trio of Indian Summer days? Washington Square pear leaves going gold and orange amidst the dominant still-green, the harshness of the fall sun angle mitigated by the unforced warmth. And still the spray. Fountain, azimuth on.

From the little rise where you practice ba gua, this hour is the hour of the rainbow.

And yes, now, with ass firmly on the bench and feet flat to the hex tiles, you can feel the turning.


If g*d gives you gyres, get out your gyroscope

If g*d gives you gyros, pour on the tzatziki

My kind of gyre


Rafting Medusa

Rafting Medusa

You’ll come a-rafting

Medusa, with me…


Single point distortion


Faces and Masks


Putting the cara back on the mask

Putting the vag back in Caravaggio

Putting the sword back in the sheath


Christopher Robin and the Hundred Acre Stare


Attempts to impose uniformity evoke evermore reckless and unpredictable diversifications


Two Tales of a City


Globalization, mon amour


Imagine, a whole culture swept along on tides of aggression


The grand convergence: fear, contempt, shame. Who would deny them their apotheosis? After we’ve worked so hard to cultivate them all these centuries!


Show me the border between self and other

Show me where exhalation ends and inhalation begins

Show me the state where the sacrifice-demanding gods have been dethroned

Show me what is so deep inside that it can only appear out there


McKim, Mead, Black, White and Living Color


Nomad’s Land


What do you import?

What do you export?

What is the import of your deportment?


I’m Minerva’s wreck




I was a Vitruvian Man for the FBI




Whence comes the sunset of Vitruvian Mensch, that mythical creature


“Pull over to the right! Pull over to the right.” That’s what the cops always yell over their bullhorn when they come up from behind to bust a driver. And somehow it translated into a merciless, unstoppable political tendency.


We dreamed an impossible freedom

That granted us nothing but rage, the ultimate slavery


The wind blew off the figleaves and we thought, ah, now we’ll see what’s True.

But before we could focus our gaze, the statu(t)es crumbled.


Clinton and Trump, battle of the brands


The fastest growing demographic out there, drawing members from the most improbably diverse backgrounds, and requiring no apps or downloads: Furious Victims of Modernity. United in a common enmity. Entirely self-selected.


Sous les pavés, la plage!


And the missing word in the campaign slogan, I’m With Her, could not be said. But for all that, it was more keenly felt: Stuck.


Lede on MacFudd!

Or, when we can no longer think, our language, even unto our play of symbols, will think – and speak – for us: “In 130 of Worst Shootings, Vision of Porous Gun Laws.” [NYT, 10/22/16, A1:5]


“And the threats [to the internet] will continue long after Election Day for a nation that increasingly keeps its data in the cloud and has oftimes kept its head in the sand.” [“When Crib Monitors Double as Web Weaponry,” NYT, 10/23/16, A1:1]


“Trump’s Threat to Reject Election Outcome Alarms Scholars.” [ibid. A22:1]

Though if one is a scholar and wishes to be alarmed, there are so many possible excursions, such as “Trained to Shoot,” a front page Daily News story on the NYPD’s killing of civilians:

“Former NYPD cop turned John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Eugene O’Donnel said cops are trained to see baseball bats as deadly weapons.

“’You have to tell cops that are immersed in worrying about guns that you are just as dead and just as comatose if you are hit in the head with a baseball bat,” said O’Donnell. ‘It’s almost malpractice for a cop to go into a room and not say to themselves, “What can be used as a weapon here?’”

“The question of how to handle people with baseball bats is often brought up at the academy, another source said.

“’It’s often on tests, especially use of force tests,’ the source said. ‘You are always allowed to use a force higher than the one being used against you. If someone is using their fists, you can use your mace or a baton. If someone is using a knife or a bat, you can use your gun.”




And then, a few pages on in the same paper, the “entertainment” section opens with a full page shot of a very furious-looking man wielding a barbed-wire-covered baseball bat as three kneeling people cower before him. This, apparently, is the cliff-hanging moment from last season’s final episode of The Walking Dead, which left viewers wondering “who will survive the bloody premiere?”

Speculation abounds, “and New York Comic Con… just released a clip of Rick threatening Negan… for bashing the beloved mystery character’s brains out.”


Its head in the cloud, and its brains, oftimes, in the sand…


Poissant: a Viennoiserie genetically modified to taste like fish, or like carp in the case of a Viennchinoiserie.


Hey sailor, what ship?

What Port?

What Authority?


I’m so drunk I don’t know whether I’m from the Bremerhaven out of Rotterdam or the Rotterdam out of Bremerhaven…


“Father of firefighter killed in 2007 Deutsche Bank building fire pens blistering indictment of negligent politicians, corrupt contractors.” [Downtown Express, Vol. 29, No. 21, Oct. 20 – Nov. 2, 2016, p. 3]

Really, only “blistering”? One would have thought, given the nature of their crimes they’d be subject to an indictment more searing than the second degree.


Summer journeys to Niag’ra

And to other places aggra-

vate all our cares.

We’ll save our fares;

            I’ve a cozy little flat in

What is known as old Manhattan,

We’ll settle down

Right here in town.

            We’ll have Manhattan,

The Bronx and Staten

Island too.

It’s lovely going through the Zoo.

            It’s very fancy

On old Delancey

Street you know.

The subway charms us so,

When balmy breezes blow

To and fro.

            And tell me what street

Compares with Mott Street

In July?

Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by.

            The great big city’s a wondrous toy

Just made for a girl and boy –

We’ll turn Manhattan

Into an isle of joy.

            We’ll go to Greenwich,

Where modern men itch

To be free,

And Bowling Green you’ll see with me.

            We’ll bathe at Brighton,

The fish you’ll frighten

When you’re in,

Your bathing suit so thin

Will make the shellfish grin,

Fin to fin.

            I’d like to take a

Sail on Jamaica

Bay with you,

And fair Canarsie’s Lakes we’ll view.

            The city’s bustle cannot destroy

The dreams of a girl and boy –

We’ll turn Manhattan

Into an isle of joy.

            We’ll go to Yonkers,

Where true love conquers

In the wilds

And starve together, dear, in Childs’.

            We’ll go to Coney

And eat bologny

On a roll,

In Central Park we’ll stroll

Where our first kiss we stole,

Soul to soul.

            And South Pacific

Is a terrific

Show they say,

We both may see it close some day.

            The city’s clamour can never spoil

The dreams of a boy and goil –

We’ll turn Manhattan

Into an isle of joy.

            We’ll have Manhattan,

The Bronx and Staten

Island too,

We’ll try to cross Fifth Avenue.

            As black as onyx

We’ll find the Bronix

Park Express,

Our Flatbush flat, I guess,

Will be a great success,

More or less.

            A short vacation

On Inspiration

Point we’ll spend,

And in the station house we’ll end.


But Civic Virtue cannot destroy

The dreams of a girl and boy –

We’ll turn Manhattan

Into an isle of joy!

[Originally written in 1925 by Lorenz Hart, this the updated Ella Fitzgerald version ca. mid-‘50s]