Ein Gedicht, aus Worten gemacht.
Wo kommen die Worte her?
Aus den Fugen wie Asseln,
Aus dem Maistrauch wie Blüten,
Aus dem Feuer wie Pfiffe,
Was mir zufällt, nehm ich,
Es zu kämmen gegen den Strich,
Es zu paaren widernatürlich,
Es nackt zu scheren,
In Lauge zu waschen
Meine Taube, mein Fremdling,
Von den Lippen zerissen,
Vom Atem gestoßen,
In den Flugsand geschrieben
Zeile für Zeile,
Meine eigene Wüste
Zeile für Zeile
—Marie Luise Kaschnitz (1901–1974)
If I did personal connections by associations, I would say 1974 (death, birth), Königsberg (Kant, leads to dissertation), Marburg (semester of study), Frankfurt (many trips in and out of the airport and train station), Berlin (place of residence).
My connection with the recently deceased D. Cockrum was the shared place of birth.
Sex, in a broad sense, for the whole family.
- Theologians Battle Female Circumcision
- 4-year-old Accused of Improperly Touching Teacher
- Condoms ‘too big’ for Indian men
“Our women have been circumcised for thousands of years, and they have never complained,” said an agitated elderly man in the audience. The conference, he said, was a Western conspiracy, and showing pictures of circumcisions was a crime.
- Hamming it up
- Ham on a Roll
- Pre-Order—Bone-In Jamon Iberico ‘BELLOTA’ (free range & acorn fed)—delivery Winter 2008
As a special food bonus, I present “The Great Tuna Taste-Off.”
End of the week in review.
After an emotionally draining previous end-of-the-week and weekend (supplemented, at least, by two cinema visits for Bo&Bo films), this week was marked by non-teaching teaching (presentations) and multiple visits with colleagues, including Tuesday burritos (at which D&F asked whether LS would be joining us, but I only said, “no.”).
Thursday D&F and I planned for one of those “Wisconsin Young Alumni” happy hours (though we're no longer particularly young); they send us crap because we got our MAs here, so they treat us as alumni. Fuckers. We're still poor, PhD students, and in no mood to donate, etc., at this point, if ever. We skipped the alumni bash and got our own table at the same establishment. I bussed out to Hilldale, which has undergone extensive renovation and new construction since my last shopping trip out there half a decade ago.
This city changes.
I found the bargain book section in the basement of the University Bookstore branch ... oh-so-tempting, but I held back, left, and met up with D&F at the recently opened Great Dane extension, which cannot serve Great Dane beer due to an obscure and antiquated state law forbidding a beer brewer from selling its own product at more than two outlets. One pretzel, reuben, salad, beer, coffee, and serving of apple crisp later I departed with my colleagues.
It was time for the department's Holiday Party Friday afternoon. EG built a large gingerbread house. A number of students have never visited the 19th floor, which is accessible only by way of a special, separate elevator. Lacking a key, we were unable to go to the top, but I showed the way. I am treated by the younger students (and even by some of the older ones) as a repository of departmental history, campus knowledge, etc. The respect, if that's what it is, is nice, but I feel instrumentalized.
Afterward I went out with LW and two of the other lit students C&J—who, it turns out, have backgrounds in art and music respectively, which was a nice counterpoint to my consternation at having so few creativity-consumed colleagues—first to the Weary Traveler (a beer, plus some food, though we'd had plenty of sweets up in 1418) and across the street to Jolly Bobs, which LW had never visited. Many rum drinks, several hours, and $100 later near bar time we left. It was still quite cold (in the 30s again today at least), so LW and I walked our direction, capped and gloved, and C&J got a taxi.
Saturday involved baking cookies and going over to K&D's place with J&C (not to be confused with C&J). My ATM/Debit card was curiously and annoyingly rejected at the hardware store and at the co-op (and the Tyme machine at the co-op was down), so I had to use my credit card. I was, naturally I think, worried ... why should me card be rejected? I came home, logged on, and checked my account through the credit union site, and I have plenty of money in both checking and savings ... so I have no idea what's wrong.
Since I have money and there has been no unusual activity with the account, it's no longer worrying. But still.
I thought the holiday gathering with K&D would be a small affair, but it turned out to include in-laws and breeder-work-colleagues; a half-dozen rug-rats abused poor Kipling the beagle. I must admit, the kidlets were adorable enough for the most part. K&D are expecting again in a few months, and #1 is nearly 2.
I got my first eggnog of the season.
As this is Wisconsin there was plenty of brandy.
The cookies that I did not bake Saturday.
Nut Crescents (also known by many other names):
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups walnuts (finely ground): one flour-like, one a bit chunkier
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt to flour
- Cream butter 1.5 min. w/ sugar
- Add vanilla
- Sift flour, nuts, salt
- Add flour mixture to butter-sugar; do not over mix
- Dish out about 1 Tbsp. per cookie: make balls, crescents, circles, and cigars.
- Bake about 17 minutes at 325F
Cool on a rack, then cover in powdered sugar.
So easy even a caveman could do it ...
A poem made of words.
Where do the words come from?
From the cracks in the wall like wood lice,
From the shrubs of May like blossoms,
From the fire like whistling,
Whatever chances upon me, I take it,
So as to comb it against the grain,
So as to pair it perversely,
So as to shear it clear,
To soak it in lye
My dove, my stranger,
Torn apart by my lips,
Pushed around by my breath,
Writ in windblown sand
Along with its likes
Along with its unlikes
Line after line,
My own desert
Line after line
—Translated by Reinhold Grimm
Most of my students went for “May bushes” or “May schrubs” instead of “shrubs of May.” A few had difficulty and parsed it as Mais-trauch (corn-something ... which provides no meaningful translation), or thought it was a typo on my part—that it should have been Maistrauss (May bouquet, which would sound nice in English).
Whatever chances upon me is accurate enough; “was mir zufällt” uses the dative in an indirect object construction similar to expressions for I'm sorry, I'm hot, and that hurts—it does sorrow to me, it's hot to/for me, and it does me pain. It's one of many pseudo-passive formations in the language, but it could also be translated as “Whatever comes to mind.”
So as is unnecessary semantically, but it does alter the rhythm and does set up “To soak it in lye” rather nicely.
Von den Lippen zerissen can be to be torn from or to be torn by the lips; Grimm goes for the latter, which is more active and violent, and appropriate, though I like the multiplicity in the original.
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