DISCOURSE as quilting

Welcome to the intersection of P. L. Thomas writing about his writing and other writers' writing to explore discourse as quilting.

Archive for January 2014

remnant 51: “Earth is a perfectly liberal world”

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“You damned liberals.” [Arkady said.]

“I don’t know what that means.” [Nadia said.]

“It means you’re too soft-hearted to ever actually do anything.”

But they were now within sight of the low mound of Underhill, looking like a fresh squarish crater, its ejecta scattered around it. Nadia pointed at it. “I did that. You damned radicals—” she jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow, hard—”you hate liberalism because it works.”

He snorted.

“It does! It works in increments over time, after hard labor, without fireworks or easy dramatics or people getting hurt. Without your sexy revolutions and all the pain and hatred they bring. It only works.”

“Ah, Nadia.” He put his arm over her shoulders, and they started walking again to the base. “Earth is a perfectly liberal world. But half of it is starving, and always has been, and always will be. Very liberally.” (pp. 174-175)

Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson


Written by plthomasedd

January 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Posted in remnant 51

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remnant 50: “I would prefer not to”

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When asked by Mario Batali in The Batali Inquisition “Who is your favorite literary character?” Michael Stipe replied: Bartleby, the Scrivener:

In this very attitude did I sit when I called to him, rapidly stating what it was I wanted him to do–namely, to examine a small paper with me. Imagine my surprise, nay, my consternation, when without moving from his privacy, Bartleby in a singularly mild, firm voice, replied, “I would prefer not to.”

I sat awhile in perfect silence, rallying my stunned faculties. Immediately it occurred to me that my ears had deceived me, or Bartleby had entirely misunderstood my meaning. I repeated my request in the clearest tone I could assume. But in quite as clear a one came the previous reply, “I would prefer not to.”

“Prefer not to,” echoed I, rising in high excitement, and crossing the room with a stride. “What do you mean? Are you moon-struck? I want you to help me compare this sheet here–take it,” and I thrust it towards him.

“I would prefer not to,” said he….

Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity! (Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street, Herman Melville)

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street, Herman Melville

Written by plthomasedd

January 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm

remnant 49: “I cannot put my finger on it now/The child is grown the dream is gone”

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“Comfortably Numb,” Pink Floyd, The Wall

Pink Floyd, The Wall

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown the dream is gone

I have become comfortably numb

anyone lived in a pretty how town

e. e. cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Written by plthomasedd

January 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm

remnant 48: “I am from the poor people”

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“When Martin Luther King started doing what he did, he changed the whole system of the American style. He put the people, the ghetto people, the people who didn’t have nothing to say in those days, they started saying what they would have liked to say for many years that nobody listened to. Now with this man, these people come down to the place where they were supposed to be but people didn’t want them, and sit down there as if they were white and call attention to the whole world. Now that wasn’t only the black people but the minority people. The people who didn’t have anything, and they had nothing to say in those days because they didn’t have any power, they started saying things and they started picketing, and that’s the reason I say he changed the whole world…” …

“They say, ‘Roberto, you better keep your mouth shut because they will ship you back.’ [But] this is something from the first day I said to myself: I am in the minority group. I am from the poor people. I represent the poor people. I represent the common people of America. So I am going to be treated like a human being. I don’t want to be treated like a Puerto Rican, or a black, or nothing like that. I want to be treated like any person.”

Quoted in Common bond for uncommon men by David Zirin from Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero by David Maraniss

Whether on the field or off, Roberto Clemente was a forceful figure. Walter Ioss Jr./SI

Written by plthomasedd

January 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm

remnant 47: “I’m not sure all these people understand”

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“I’m okay,” [Abra] said. “Really. I’m just glad not to be alone with this inside my head.” (p. 236)

Doctor Sleep, Stephen King

Doctor Sleep, Stephen King

Doctor Sleep, Stephen King



Automatic For The People

Automatic for the People, R.E.M.

Automatic for the People, R.E.M.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
turned around backwards so the windshield shows.
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse.
Still, it’s so much clearer.
I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge.
The moon is low tonight.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
I’m not sure all these people understand.
It’s not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
of recklessness and water.
They cannot see me naked.
These things, they go away,
replaced by everyday.

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
September’s coming soon.
I’m pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
this one laughing quietly underneath my breath.

The photograph reflects,
every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

Applicable copyright is implicit (Copyright © R.E.M./Athens Ltd. for all R.E.M. originals).

Written by plthomasedd

January 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Posted in R.E.M., remnant 47

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