Saturday, May 31, 2003

    ’Burried In This Earth

The smell of houses, still burning--

Broken bricks and scorched wooden boards are clumsily scattered,

Pushing aside the soil of dark earth
Where horrible bullets showered like pelting rains,
Every man was looking for something
That was left, not burned yet,
The thing that was left not burned yet.

The thing burried in this earth
Was expected to bloom once more,

It may well be a dream,
Or something
That was sowed in the name of hope.
The will anxious to dig out
Something burried in this earth.

That only, that only
Is the thing at last that is left among us.’

--Zông-on Bag, ibid

Just to lighten things up--the Thai Elephant Orchestra.

Friday, May 30, 2003

   'At the Moment When Passing a Rotary

In the burnt street,
Where passengers are almost scarce,
The north wind unknown mixed with snow-falls
Whizzled at intervals challenging,
The electric wires towards the square
Cry with ping.
   When I walk alone in such night-street of winter,
   I used to think subconsciously of the country lane
   of my childhood.

Under the glassy sky of the night
The cross is just vacant without passengers.
Some drunkers seemed to pass by
The building street so dimly laid,
Or as if picking a quarrel at once
Images are taking lonely their returning ways,
The night-streets of the world,
Thus becoming dark,
Casually they pass by all of a sudden.

The night is over, and the dawn breaks--
But while walking reluctantly,
Even at the moment when passing round a crowded rotary
There one may feel some expectation,
Perhaps, a small planet may linger
Around the wild gaze of a whore--'

Sang-ro Yi, in: A Pageant of Korean Poetry

   "Caravan to Timbuctoo"

Not terraces that snow embraces, jade;
Tarmac labyrinth in which we prosper
Or perish, with the car-flown flags that fade--
Modemtweet a cacophony of Hesper.
Why perish wisdoms more than modemtweet?
Shiloh i owe a depth of ullage to
Compels with blood & eke a furry whisper
But tarmac grips the very route-permute.
Now sometimes i have glimpse of another plea
Nestled in the solar setting-flash
That i might gladly lend obeisance-leash
If only there were other lord than jade

05 30 03
Ever since i saw the prologue to "The Exorcist-2: The Heretic" i've been
fascinated by Lalibela, Ethiopia. It was years
before i even knew what its name was. And civil war kept out tourism for
nearly a generation. Fortunately it's over now. I don't know if i'll ever go,
but it is indeed one of the wonders of the world--a holy city carved out of

"Gospedelic"--i saw this word in a music review. Isn't it perfect for that wordless
track of ululation, "Great Gig in the Sky", on Dark Side of the Moon?

A stanza i invented: the "snowflake". Has lines of 3, 5, 7, & 9 syllables--in any
order. (Or with an additional 11-syllable line, for a pentad.) Thus combines rigor
& irregularity...
'Every era believes that there is a literary genre that
has a kind of primacy. Today, for example, any writer who
has not written a novel is asked when he is going to write
one. (I myself am continually being asked.) In Shakespeare's
time, the literary work par excellence was the vast
epic poem, and that idea persisted into the eighteenth cen-
tury, when we have the example of Voltaire, the least epic
of men, who nevertheless writes an epic because without an epic
he would not have been a true man of letters for his contempo-
raries.' --Borges (1964), in: Selected Non-Fictions

'The long, long night of the Eleventh Month!
   I will cut its waist in two.
Putting the half confusedly
   Under the quilt of the spring wind,

So that, the night he comes back,
   I will unfold it for him.'

Zin-i Hwang, in: A Pageant of Korean Poetry

"the flight was long. we flew on a japanese plane that had strange wallpaper of drawings of little characters from all nations. the ones from italy were botticelli and michelangelo figures. strange to see a man's penis on the wallpaper of a commercial airplane though." --Beck

More on Salam Pax. (via Metafilter)

"DB: With the U.S. economy deteriorating and with more layoffs, how is the
Bush administration going to maintain what some are calling a garrison state
with permanent war and occupation of numerous countries? How are they going
to pull it off?

NC: They have to pull it off for about another six years. By that time they
hope they will have institutionalized highly reactionary programs within the
United States. They will have left the economy in a very serious state, with
huge deficits, pretty much the way they did in the 1980s. And then it will
be somebody else’s problem to patch it together." --interview with Noam Chomsky

There are some works i seldom listen to, yet represent for me a sort of ne plus ultra of musical
achievement; one of these being the "Threnody to the New Victims of Hiroshima" by Q.R. Ghazala, an
electronic musician who builds his own instruments, including the "vox insecta" which performs this.
His aim was to synthesize an insect voice that is the voice of all insects, & doubtless he has succeeded.
The monotonous, almost subliminally-varying buzz is just a little more disturbing than white noise, & one
can ask if an insect orchestra would really not invest more effort in dynamics, since bugs in general seem
not overfond of repose. But these are quibbles. It's a masterpiece.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

I saw "Bruce Almighty" the other day--it had some funny moments. But i think the filmmakers
really missed their chance with the schmaltzy ending. He should have kept meddling until he
destroyed the world a la "Dr Strangelove". Wouldn't that be a gas? But perhaps, as
people keep saying, "irony is dead". --Or rather, that is not a story that can be told from Dubya's

Can't get that place Tokelau out of my mind. One boat goes there a month from Samoa.

I remember getting the word "Availibilism"* from someone in the 80's; & i see in the end all my
philosophies converge there. Or, to be more respectable, "bricolage". Use what you have. Don't
pine for gold-nib pens & violet-indigo ink (which once i mixed up just so i could write in that color--),
don't wait for the Nobel committee to come knocking on your door. If you find yourself shipwrecked
on an island (preferably Tokelau) without modems, make art out of sticks & mud...

"Imagine giving the KKK billions of dollars to victimize African-Americans. This is essentially what's happening when you pay your taxes, you're paying for the harrassment, eviction, and murder of Palestinians Arabs. You're paying for the bullets to kill and cripple Palestinians pre-teens." --Kurt Nimmo at Dr Menlo dot com.

Horned Kangaroos--no, it's not genetic engineering (this time), it's Australian fossils.

Oh, alright, i gotta post it--if only for the parasite key ring.
*I find the word (though spelled "AVAILABISM") on the "Voluptuous Horror
of Karen Black" website--though i'd almost swear i saw it used somewhere
in Angry Women (Re/Search)--perhaps by Karen Finley...

Into moorawathimeering,
where atninga dare not tread,
leaving wurley for a wilban,
tallabilla, you have fled.

Wombalunga curses, waitjurk--
though we cannot break the ban,
and follow tchidna any further
after one-time karaman.

Far in moorawathimeering,
safe from wallan darenderong,
tallabilla waitjurk, wander
silently the whole day long.

Go with only lilliri
to walk along beside you there,
while douran-douran voices wail
and Karaworo beats the air.”

--Rex Ingamells in: The Jindyworobaks, ed. Brian Elliott 1979

moorawathimeering- the Land of the lost, a sanctuary for outcasts
atninga- a group sent to carry out tribal justice; vengeance party
wurley- dwelling; hut or shelter of boughs
wilban- cave
tallabilla- outlaw
wombalunga- carry
waitjurk- murderer
tchidna- footprint
karaman- leader
wallan- strong
darendarong- avenger
lilliri- shadow
douran douran- north wind
karaworo- eaglehawk

The Heavy Metal Umlaut.

More Euro news.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

‘ “Sleep, my dear Chevalley, sleep, that is what Sicilians want, and they will always hate anyone who tries to wake them, even in order to bring them the most wonderful of gifts; ...All Sicilian expression, even the most violent, is really wish-fulfillment: our sensuality is a hankering for oblivion, our shooting and knifing a hankering for death; our laziness, our spiced and drugged sherbets, a hankering for voluptuous immobility, that is, for death again; our meditative air is that of a void wanting to scrutinize the enigmas of nirvana. That is what gives power to certain people among us, to those who are half awake: that is the cause of the well-known time lag of a century in our artistic and intellectual life; novelties attract us only when they are dead, incapable of arousing vital currents... I said Sicilians, I should have added Sicily, the atmosphere, the climate, the landscape of Sicily. Those are the forces which have formed our minds. ...this landscape which knows no mean between sensuous slackness and hellish drought; which is never petty, nver ordinary, never relaxed, as a country made for rational beings to live in should be...this climate which inflicts us with six feverish months at a temperature of a hundred and four; count them, Chevalley, count them: May, June, July, August, September, October; six times thirty days of sun sheer down on our heads; this summer of ours which is as long and glum as a Russian winter and against which we struggle with less success...” ‘ --Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard (1958; tr Archibald Colquhoun, 1960) [one of the best things ever written about Texas & Texans--wasn’t.]

The new death camps. (via metafilter & others)

So the address i'd been playing chess at-- (now dot com)--is Tokelau! Where's that?

Atari emulators, like that car the Excalibur--modern underneath, retro on top--are a kind of glimflash.

Blogwise dot com has listed "Xvarenah" among its blogs on poetics. I wonder if meta-blogging is the next big thing...

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

“In 1921 a poetry magazine Zangmi-czon or the Rose-Village was published, where Zong-hwa Bag (pen name, Wôltan or Moon and Shallow) and Yônghûi Bag (pen name, Hoewôl or Thinking of the Moon) wrote decadentic poetry. In the following year a literary magazine Bêgzo or The White Tide produced three poets, Sa-yong Hong (pen name, Nozag or The Dew Sparrow), Sang-hwa Yi (pen name, Sang-hwa or Thinking of Fire), and Gi-zin Gim (pen name, Palbong or the Eight Peaks), and they were rather humanistic. In the same year a poetry magazine Gûmsông or The Venus was published by a group of nationalistic lyrists, Zu-dong Yang (pen name, Mue or The Endless), Zanghûi Yi (pen name, Gowôl or The Old Moon), and others.” --In-Sôb Zông, A Pageant of Korean Poetry (1963)

‘This game, which I myself had invented, was based on the proposition that just as nouns could be divided into masculine, feminine and neuter, so there was a distinction between tragic and comic nouns. For example, this system decreed that steamship and steam engine were both tragic nouns, while streetcar and bus were comic.’ --Dazai Osamu, No Longer Human (tr Donald Keene 1958) [--H'm. Poetry is tragic, while blog is comic...but poetics is comic & blogger is tragic...]

    ’This Body

This body
Is a blown leaf.
Till it is buried under the earth, wet by dew,
According to the blowing wind, in the evening sky,
I will be blown and willwhisper.

This body
Is a broken piece of a ship pushed in on the seashore.
Till it is frozen by the cold wind,
As the waves move among the reeds,
It will move and swing.

This body
is a sick and useless body.
Till the ants build their storehouses in this body,
It will recite and sing as it sees and hears,
And I shall pray in a remote place.’

Un Zo, in: A Pageant of Korean Poetry

Pollack recants on NPR. I guess that storm wasn't so threatening, after all...

Monday, May 26, 2003

SARS from Mars.

An interview with Coffin Joe.

The lunatics in charge...

Listening to: "Sepharad: Songs of the Spanish Jews in the Mediterranean and the Ottoman Empire" (DHM, 1996).

N.B. we are greatly mistaken in trying to force ourselves to concentrate more often than a few times a day, or longer than a few minutes at a time. Coffee only simulates the effects of concentration: it shuts out peripheries, but does not direct to one centerpoint. That takes interest. For concentration is the preparatory state for a precise act. When no such exactitude is needed, concentration wastes itself either in embellishments or excess pre-fitting (this accounts for how a lot of postmodern art looks, busy without being energetic; its "surrealism" is often all too premeditated). The normal state for humans, as other mammals, is relaxation (ditention, for maximum alertness to marginal sign-threshold phenomena). (Nowadays we have to learn how to relax without falling asleep or into a trance, and it's easier to fake it with alcohol & downers than condition the CNS to move quickly through several states.)

Prolonged concentration becomes stressful, generating the psychic equivalents of embellishments (complexes) & excess prefitting (neurosis). Boredom may be defined as a drive towards concentration in the absence of any interesting thing to focus on. It comes from habitual concentration on banal objects. A free person doesn't choose to force his attention; it happens automatically with learning. What makes something interesting is its potential for completing a larger gestalt (i have also described this as "relevant novelty"). Thus you have to have a worldview-context in order to be able to interest yourself in many things. Otherwuise they're just Noise, or else stimulation for an idle curiosity that won't bother to make sense of it, and learns nothing. (TV without real education is perceived very differently than TV with; that is, even its banality can be informative.)

Autumnal & eternal rose,
Where dreams divide & time lays siege,
The stuff of deliquescent throes,
A moment in the eyes of one mad liege.

Pale, I remember, ultramarine
Was then the sea. Now fathoms close
About that locket’s fall, while green
Remains to me the wither of the rose.

Her revenant rose & came to dwell
Here with a fragment from that dream
Who twice himself tried ring the knell…
What profits dry bones strewn where roses teem?

So two unfound ones fill the clothes
Of others born to such prestige
And fake it. Nonetheless, some rose
Wafture permeates the rusted cage.

11 17 00