One Hundred Three And One Half

It was in April, but for a second or two as he was coming awake in the strange room and the racket of big and little cousins’ feet down the stairs, he thought of winter, because so often he’d been wakened like this, at this hour of sleep, by Pop, or Hogan, bundled outside still blinking through an overlay of dream into the cold to watch the Northern Lights.

They scared the shit out of him.

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Downtown Waxahachie, Texas

Such Recognitions Are Not Reversible

 At last, one proper Sherlock Holmes London evening, the unmistakable smell of gas came to Pirate from a dark street lamp, and out of the fog ahead materialized a giant, organlike form. Carefully, black-shod step by step, Pirate approached the thing. It began to slide forward to meet him, over the cobblestones slow as a snail, leaving behind some slime brightness of street-wake that could not have been from fog. In the space between them was a crossover point, which Pirate, being a bit faster, reached first. He reeled back, in horror, back past the point – but such recognitions are not reversible. It was a giant Adenoid. At least as big as St. Paul’s, and growing hour by hour. London, perhaps all England, was in mortal peril!

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Bank of America Plaza, Dallas, Texas

I moved across the cold, wet, foggy city after work. Tired, yet glad the workday was done and I had someplace to go, even if it was only a weekly bookstore discussion of the giant, confusing tome, Gravity’s Rainbow. As I walked from train to streetcar at the midpoint of my journey I looked up at the fog-shrouded tower and thanked the moment of beauty.

The Shark, Babe, Has Such Teeth

 

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe
And he keeps it, ah, out of sight
Ya know when that shark bites with his teeth, babe
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves, oh, wears old MacHeath, babe
So there’s never, never a trace of red

—-Mac the Knife

Mural, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

A First Crack Reaching

Once he sat all day staring at a single white dodo’s egg in a grass hummock. The place was too remote for any foraging pig to’ve found. He waited for scratching, a first crack reaching to net the chalk surface: an emergence. Hemp gripped in the teeth of the steel snake, ready to be lit, ready to descend, sun to black-powder sea, and destroy the infant, egg of light into egg of darkness, within its first minute of amazed vision, of wet down stirred cool by these southeast trades…. Each hour he sighted down the barrel. It was then, if ever, he might have seen how the weapon made an axis potent as Earth’s own between himself and this victim, still one, inside the egg, with the ancestral chain, not to be broken out for more than its blink of world’s light. There they were, the silent egg and the crazy Dutchman, and the hookgun that linked them forever, framed, brilliantly motionless as any Vermeer. Only the sun moved: from zenith down at last behind the snaggleteeth of mountains to Indian ocean, to tarry night.

The egg, without a quiver, still unhatched.

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

 

 

 

Sculpture, Energy Square, Dallas, Texas

Sculpture, Energy Square, Dallas, Texas

 

Sculpture, Energy Square, Dallas, Texas

One of my favorite sculptures in Dallas is in the Energy Square development, right next to the Lover’s Lane DART station. I took some photos of it years ago, but was in the area this weekend with a different camera and thought I’d grab a shot or two. The area is under (re)development and the sculpture is looking a bit more ragged than it did six years ago. I hope somebody cares enough to fix things up.

I have not been able to find any information about this sculpture – though I’ve misplaced my reference book on Dallas sculptures – it might be in there. I’ll update the post if I find anything out.

Burnished Sword At the Ready

Oh yes once you know, he did believe in a Minotaur waiting for him:
used to dream himself rushing into the last room, burnished sword at the
ready, screaming like a Commando, letting it all out at last – some true
marvelous peaking of life inside him for the first and last time, as the face
turned his way, ancient, weary, seeing none of Pointsman’s humanity,
ready only to assume him in another long-routinized nudge of horn, flip
of hoof (but this time there would be struggle, Minotaur blood the
fucking beast, cries from far inside himself whose manliness and violence
surprise him)…. This was the dream.

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Dallas Museum of Art

A Smell Of Ozone Blows Up

A smell of ozone blows up from the Dodgem cars out of the gray steel girderwork along the promenade, along with smells of shellfish on the barrows, and of salt sea. The pebbled beach is crowded with families: shoeless fathers in lounge suits and high white collars, mothers in blouses and skirts startled out of war-long camphor sleep, kids running all over in sunsuits, nappies, rompers, short pants, knee socks, Eton hats. There are ice cream, sweets, Cokes, cockles, oysters and shrimps with salt and sauce. The pinball machines writhe under the handling of fanatical servicemen and their girls, throwing body-english, cursing, groaning as the bright balls drum down the wood obstacle courses through ka-chungs, flashing lights, thudding flippers. The donkeys hee-haw and shit, the children walk in it and their parents scream. Men sag in striped canvas chairs talking business, sports, sex, but most usually politics.

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Crystal Beach, Texas

Your Equation Only For Angels

“Why is your equation only for angels, Roger? Why can’t we do
something, down here? Couldn’t there be an equation for us too,
something to help us find a safer place?”

“Why am I surrounded,” his usual understanding self today, “by
statistical illiterates? There’s no way, love, not as long as the mean
density of strikes is constant.”

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Angel, Fort Worth, Texas