edge archiving.

“Good Intentions Paving Company” & Towards the Edge-Pilgrim
September 2, 2010, 7:51 pm
Filed under: lyrical edges

Unfortunately, no music video released for this — but certainly a narrative with prescience.  Newsom uproots the “on the road” motif, creating a space of free-play.  Her lyrics imagine a romantic landscape — or, a potentially romantic landscape — as the ruins of the “on the road” American imaginary.

Joanna Newsom’s lyrics:

Twenty miles left to the show
Hello my old country hello
Stars are just beginning to appear
And I have never in my life before been here

And it’s my heart, not me, who cannot drive
In which conclusion you arrive
Watching me sit here bolt upright and cry
For no good reason at the Eastern sky

And the tilt of this strange nation
And the will to remain for the duration
Waving the flag, feeling it drag

Like a bump on a bump on a log, baby
Like I’m in a fist fight with a fog, baby
Step-ball-change and a pirouette
And .. and I regret, I regret

How I said to you, honey, just open your heart
When I’ve got trouble even opening a honey jar
And that right there is where we are

And I been ‘fessing double fast
Addressing questions nobody asks
I’ll get this joy off of my chest at last
And I will love you ’til the noise has long since passed

And I did not mean to shout, just drive
Just get us out, dead or alive
A road too long to mention, Lord It’s something to see..
Laid down by the good intentions paving company

All the way to the thing we’ve been playing at, darlin’
I can see that you’re wearing your staying hat, darlin’
For the time being all is well
Won’t you love me a spell?

This is blindness beyond all conceiving
Well, behind us the road is leaving, and leaving
And falling back
Like a rope gone slack

And I saw straight away that the lay was steep
But I fell for you, honey, as easy as falling asleep
And that right there is the course I keep…

And no amount of talking
Is going to soften the fall
But, like after the rain, step out
Of the overhang, that’s all

It had a nice a ring to it
When the old opry house rang
so, with a solemn auld lan syne, sealed, delivered,
I sang.

And there is hesitation
And it always remains
Concerning you, me,
And the rest of the gang

And in our quiet hour
I feel I see everything

And am in love with the hook
Upon which everyone hangs

And I know you meant to show the extent
To which you gave a goddang
You ranged real hot and real cold,
But I’m sold.
I am home on the range

And I do hate to fold
Right here at the top of my game
When I’ve been trying with my whole heart and soul
To stay right here in the right lane

But it can make you feel over and old
Lord, you know it’s a shame
When I only want for you to pull over
and hold me, ‘Til I can’t remember my own name


“Don’t Push Me ‘Cause I’m Close to the Edge”
September 2, 2010, 7:25 pm
Filed under: lyrical edges

Touching the Edge: 24 & 87
August 28, 2010, 2:48 pm
Filed under: lyrical edges


McClure’s edges are defined by the idea of a “center.”  For McClure, however, the edge is not the edge of the “center” — the edge is not eccentric — but rather the edge is the constituent of the center.  In devotion #24, the absence of edges is an experience of emptiness.  There is no “edge of the void.”  Edges are rather “gradations” of nothingness.  In devotion #87, this center becomes a “delusion,” from which there is a site to “peer from this refuge.”  This site is precisely the edge which seeks exception to the edges of the center: it seeks cheerfulness and modesty, as sources of a potential edge-practice.  To “peer,” however, also connotes a certain ethics — an ethics which seems in part symptomatic of the postmodern resignations in this collection, “Touching the Edge.”

As a figure of “edges” post-counterculture, McClure’s “center” is absorbed into the imaginary of a postmodern “nexus” — a figure of contained edges, for which “eccentricity” is a negative dialectic.







but flickers

from moment-body

to mind-moment

in a solid froth

sitting upright

with hooded eyes.

A soft bar of blurred light

hangs left to right





resembling a painting

of great beauty

and deep meaning.

There are no edges,

only gradations

of subtlest colors interfering




returning as substance.










Enlightenment is the color and taste

of life.

The feel of blue denim,


of wool

and sound of the chain saw

are the tanka

of circumstance.




of freedom




half full of water


is a crutch





your blue eyes

and hands are





and modest

as I peer

from this refuge.

— Michael McClure


over the rainbow
August 22, 2010, 9:59 pm
Filed under: lyrical edges

from a 1943 performance by Judy Garland:

Robert Creeley’s “The Edge”
August 22, 2010, 6:12 pm
Filed under: lyrical edges

Long over whatever edge,

backward a false distance,

here and now, sentiment —

to begin again, forfeit

in whatever sense an end,

to give up thought of it —

hanging on to the weather’s edge,

hope, a sufficiency, thinking

of love’s accident, this

long way come with no purpose,

face again, changing,

these hands, feet, beyond me,

coming home, an intersection,

crossing of one and many,

having all, having nothing —

Feeling thought, heart, head

generalities, all abstract —

no place for me or mine —

I take the world and lose it,

miss it, misplace it,

put it back or try to, can’t

find it, fool it, even feel it.

The snow from a high sky,

grey, floats down to me softly.

This must be the edge

of being before the thought of it

blurs it, can only try to recall it.



This is a glimmer of the edge as a figure of spatio-temporal dialectics: at first, a figure of the past, the ‘edge’ takes on a “false distance” which makes visible the edges of “here and now” and the edge of “[beginning] again.”  The landscape of this poem is marked by “an intersection” and “crossing of one and many” — again, dialectically, yielding “all” and “nothing.”  The ‘edge’ is finally figured as precisely the here and now, which is “before the thought of [being] blurs” and one “can only try to recall it.”

Ginsberg edges
August 22, 2010, 4:33 pm
Filed under: lyrical edges

From “Done, Finished With The Biggest Cock”,


tranquil Stein

repeated one simple idea Making Americans on Space Age’s

edge whiten thought to transparent place.


Upon reading “The Sick Rose,” (from his journals, 1937-1952),

“I spent a week after this living on the edge of a cliff in eternity.  It wasn’t so easy after that.  I would get glimmerings, hints of possibility, secret amazements at myself, at the world, at the ‘nature of reality’…”

— this last ‘edge’ has a contrast to the sixties ‘edge’ which Kerouac encounters in Big Sur: the week living on the edge of a cliff is a week living in purgatory, the liminal space of “the postmodern turn”

Joy Division — “Interzone”
August 21, 2010, 8:29 pm
Filed under: lyrical edges

An edge between edges: “Trying to move away, had to move away and keep out.”

I walked through the city limits,
Someone talked me in to do it,
Attracted by some force within it,
Had to close my eyes to get close to it,
Around a corner where a prophet lay,
Saw the place where she’d had a room to stay,
A wire fence where the children played
Saw the bed where the body lay,
And I was looking for some friends of mine.
And I had no time to waste.
Yeah, looking for some friends of mine.

The cars screeched hear the sound on dust,
Heard a noise just a car outside,
Metallic blue turned red with rust,
Pulled in close by the building’s side,
In a group all forgotten youth,
Had to think, collect my senses now,
Are turned on to a knife edged view
Find some places where my friends don’t know,
And I was looking for a friend of mine,
And had no time to waste.
Yeah, looking for some friends of mine.

Down the dark streets, the houses looked the same,
Getting darker now, faces look the same,
And I walked round and round.
No stomach, torn apart,
Nail me to a train.
Had to think again,
trying to find a clue, trying to find a way to get out!
Trying to move away, had to move away and keep out.