Monday, May 19, 2003

An old poem of mine from the Eighties:

Hitler lost
but the concentration camp

"Solitude is the richness of self. Loneliness is the poverty of self." --May Sarton

'I still am able to find some enchantment
In trifles I meet quite by accident:
A book with title and the ending missing,
This rose I hold, withering, without scent.

It pleases me that drops of rain are trembling
Silver and pure upon its moiré velours,
That I found this rose on a dirty sidewalk,
That I'll toss it into the trash, for sure.'

--George Ivanov, in: Modern Russian Poetry

One of my Volapük poems: "Neif tü Reinüp" ('Knife at Raintime')

   Fidil pefalöl dese lusil,
   O lecütel, tobuls no dönu
   olükömons is lienetiks.
   Exilonok mekavamüster
   nesinifodio sembal, e
   mutob gegivön ad ol voli
   kölöfikum keli älärnob
   da logs ola, voli de fil kel
   päfanon fa ob de oliks muds
   tel, e voli dolas luplikün
   in ola lad keli ädünob.

(Ort fallen from the sorry sky, O great deceiver, Mad Octobers will not arrive here again. The artificial mystery has banished itself to some meaninglessness or other, & i must give you back the world more colorful i learned through your eyes, the world of fire that was caught by me from your mouths twain, & the world of most wolfish griefs in your heart which i served.)

Accent always on the last syllable.

"Maned with light, ember and anodyne" --Jamres Merrill, Divine Comedies

Read in Plimpton's Shadow Box about the meeting of Marianne Moore & Muhammed Ali. They wrote a poem together. Later she went to watch him box--wearing her tricorne hat.

...[In the closed stacks] i scanned Enver Hoxha's memoirs. The Albanian dictator was describing a meeting with Tito. Tito's dog kept farting. Then they went for a ride in a rowboat. The dog swam after them &, climbing aboard, almost capsized it (Hoxha couldn't swim). The dog shook himself dry all over Hoxha's suit, soaking him.

"...justifications for the prison's existence, six-foot letters in a language nobody could read." --Paul Park, Soldiers of Paradise (1987)

"A bureaucrat armed with a computer is the unacknowledged legislator of our age." --Neil Postman, Technopoly (1992)

The first qualification to be a poet nowadays is not to read poetry. There is no second qualification.

Do i not believe in my own freedom at all, even as i understand that so much of this & my earlier acknowledged errors, happened precisely because i knew better & refused to do the sensible thing, over & over? It's like the gambler who continues to lose money--you can't call it, after a certain point, hope. Only the shape of hope. Which is almost a calling, a cry for hope to come... I believe that, as long as i don't mistake this wrongness, my lucidity itself will protect me. With the same fearlessness, once i hitchhiked cross-country with nothing but a dime in my pocket; but the only proper use of this state, very likely, is the beginning of a very ambitious artwork (which all its other uses, are nothing but metaphors for--)... these knots i seem to be weaving, aren't they evidence of stories beginning to tell themselves, somewhere deeper than i have yet been able to look for them?

A new speech by the Indian novelist Arundhati Roy. There aren't many public figures i respect, but she is one of them. (via Robot Wisdom) Vonnegut's always worth listening to, too.

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