Saturday, August 09, 2003


fish-goat, cactopus

fistula grieving
divine fritinancy


08 07 03

   "This Cataract of Solitudes"

Sometimes i am permitted to forget about
the street-silt buildup glazing my pockmarked windshield
i focus beyond, reaching like a prayer
for the infinite horizon that is still
grinding of gears for some more perfect thrum...

sometimes i am permitted to recuperate
the length of a hummingbird's hiccup
what passes for ripe wisdom among the wise

08 07 03

"A cold, arcane, malign and watching spark" --Lin Carter

He's kind of like if a folk artist was into serial killer chic.

A picture of one of my paintings (but it's not credited to me).

A weird book that is far from incomprehensible, but i defy you
to make anything out of it.

Nagasaki today.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Chess is full of romantic stories. One of my favorites
is how Frank Marshall waited nine years to spring a
secret weapon (now known as the "Marshall Attack"
in the Ruy Lopez) on his arch-enemy Capablanca--
who proceeded to refute it over the board.
Pineapple curry.

The future's indigo.

Sometimes i think the Internet is like nothing so much as
the aboriginal "Songlines".

Musical instruments that play themselves. (via Momus)

One of my favorite groups is 3 Mustaphas 3; their take on
World Music is both Turkish & hip, & if the fez ever becomes
a fashion article, you can blame it on them.

Who is Joan Houlihan & why is she saying all these
terrible things about us?

When things like the unscheduled Texas redistricting, which
sent legislators fleeing out of state to avoid a quorum, & the
California gubernatorial recall, which basically is about undoing
the outcome of a legitimate election, take place, you know the
Red-assed Baboons are taking the Tanya Harding approach to
this game. Further evidence of the validity of my thesis regarding
the relevance of Lovecraft for the 21c.

The Ummo hoax*. One of these days i want to write a
scifi story about the real Wolf 424, & incorporate as much
of this as i can...

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning."

Nearly 20,000 haiku about Spam. (I contributed.)

I always thought Devo's mythology was at least as interesting
as their music.

*More on Ummo. "...'quadrupolar logic', or 4-poles logic, that could humanize math
and computing. Instead of reducing all situations to (True/False), they evaluate
the (True/False/True&False/not True nor False)."

'Since that time I have seen several generations
of humans in the morning raise their wings and eyes
toward space with the inexperienced joy of the
chrysalis hailing its last metamorphosis, and in the
evening, before sunset, die, heads drooping like
wilted flowers which the wind's plaintive whistling
sways.' --Maldoror (tr Lykiard, 1970)

My wife put Linda Ronstadt's "Heat Wave" on the answering
machine. It's pollution level "purple"* for the second day
--which is worse than red i guess--on the radio they say:
"Don't go out unless you have to." Now that's something
worth killing & dying for!!

I like horseshoe crabs. Five hundred million years unchanged--
they must be doing something right.

'...something like the weeping of children/
Is in your poems...'
--There's a street named after her in Berlin now.

*"In August 2002, the North Texas region suffered its
first-ever "level purple" air quality alert, where
the air was so bad that everyone was cautioned to stay
inside. After smog build-ups violated EPA ozone standards
22 times that summer, federal authorities warned that
highway funds could be withheld unless improvements are made."

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Cruelty lessons. (via Rubber Hose)

Print & post. (via Metafilter)

'At Marathon every night you can hear horses neighing
and men fighting. No one who has expressly set himself
to behold this vision has ever got any good from it,
but the spirits are not wroth with such as in ignorance
chance to be spectators.' --Pausanias (Loeb, 1918)

'Yea, be assured, those storied horrors set
In the black depths of Acheron are here,
Here in our very life.' --Lucretius III.978-9 (tr Charles

"Years ago I was present when a woman consulted
Madame Blavatsky for a friend who saw her newly-dead
husband nightly as a decaying corpse and smelt the
odor of the grave. 'When he was dying,' said Madame
Blavatsky, 'he thought the grave the end, and now
that he is dead cannot throw off that imagination.'"

Listening to: The Boredoms

Today Salam Pax comments on TurningTables's blog. Whoa.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Hiroshima Day.

The innocuous religion.

OuLiPo lives!

Listening to: Shakira.

Fossil subjunctives. Every time i've ever used a subjunctive in
my writing, some editor has taken exception so i think we can
say the subjunctive is safely dead--or embalmed on bumper stickers.

It's 104 degrees F. in Dallas. (--Okay, it's 125 in Baghdad.) Everyone should
close up & go home. You would for a blizzard!

Fabio & the goose.

What would Cthulhu do?

They don't make poets like this anymore.

The Church of Gary Numan.

Mystery cherihews.

Which Sidney Sheldon novel has an epigraph from Rimbaud?
Morning, Noon and Night.

You need to read The Dictionary of the Khazars.

Then there's the Cherokee-Esperanto hybrid called Poliespo.

Lojban Rock.

On the one hand, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade; on the other, Abraham
Lincoln Gillespie

R Crumb illustrates PKD's theophany.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

   "Abandoned Servitude"

Measured-in-breaths respite, this hall of mirrors
Glitteringly spins like a ball of mirrors.

Cross & recross the 38th Parallel,
Our lost patrol after the fall of mirrors.

There are those who refuse all chemical love,
And then surrender to the call of mirrors.

This blind astronomer carves the Milky Way
To be his targe against a squall of mirrors.

08 04 03
"I've no great cause to love that spot of earth,
Which holds what might have been the noblest nation;
But though I owe it little but my birth,
I feel a mix'd regret and veneration
For its decaying fame and former worth.
Seven years (the usual term of transportation)
Of absence lay one's old resentments level,
When a man's country's going to the devil.

Alas! could she but fully, truly, know
How her great name is now throughout abhorr'd;
How eager all the earth is for the blow
Which shall lay bare her bosom to the sword;
How all the nations deem her their worst foe,
That worst than worst of foes, the once adored
False friend, who held out freedom to mankind,
And now would chain them, to the very mind;--

Would she be proud, or boast herself the free
Who is but first of slaves? The nations are
In prison,--but the gaoler, what is he?
No less a victim to the bolt and bar.
Is the poor privilege to turn the key
Upon the captive, freedom? He's as far
From the enjoyment of the earth and air
Who watches o'er the chain, as they who wear."

--Byron, Don Juan 10th canto lxvi-lxviii

Monday, August 04, 2003

When's the last time you heard an anti-gun country song?

Brights don't pray--but if they did...

On Steal This Disc there's a track of David Bowie singing
in German. I wish i had all his records in German. He sounds
so much more serious.

Speaking of poetic novelists, let's not forget the other Elizabeth

"Forthwith, in full Gorgonian venom steeped,
Allecto seeks the realms and lofty halls..."
--Cranch's Vergil (1872)

The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed by Racter, was
supposed to be the first computer written book (1984).
Well, not quite... There is a lot of stuff about computer-generated writing on the net, but
none of it IMHO beats a simple word randomizer. The real art is selecting

"Web space is not so much disembodied as differently bodied." --Charles
(via Wood's Lot)

Some beautiful photos of a warehouse fire by J R Compton.

Finally, something on the elusive palindromically-named
language Malayalam. (thanx Aimee)

Gabriele D'Annunzio was a colorful character, a pretty good
writer, but what fascinates me about him is his house.

Some images from Niki de Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden.

   'Instead of a Foreword

During the terrible years of Yezhovshchina [the purges]
I spent seventeen months in the prison queues in
Leningrad. One day someone recognized me. Then a
woman with lips blue with cold who was standing behind
me, and of course had never heard of my name, came
out of the numbness which affected us all and
whispered in my ear--(we all spoke in whispers there):
"Can you describe this?"
   I said, "I can!"
   Then something resembling a smile
slipped over what had once been her face.'
--Anna Akhmatova (tr. Richard McKane)

Koko the sign-talking gorilla has a website. I think the children's
book about her & her pet kitten, Koko's Kitten, is a beautiful
& profound meditation on what it means to be...human.

"Olduvai Theory" states that the lifespan of industrial
civilization will be something like a hundred years: 1930-
2030. It's an argument that ignores politics entirely, &
simply looks at world energy production figures. Provocative,
even if you think you know better.

Listening to Bjork: Homogenic.

I love those minor urban myths of rock, like the one about
Klaatu really being the Beatles incognito.

A collection of Jabberwocky translations into various languages.

Still looking for Sabalon Glitz. Korla
, however, i found a record by before i read about him in
Incredibly Strange Music; i am glad to say, he lived long
enough to enjoy his revival. Tomita is one of my special synth heroes:
i think his version of Mussorgsky is better than the original.
And then there's Magma--which is kind of like art rock meets artificial

Sunday, August 03, 2003

(part 1)
I wrote this for a radio contest (the first & last sentences
were given):

   "Portrait in Cobwebs"

Dallas can be a funny place sometimes: the lights, the viaducts
at night with a solitary walker; from the air it can look quite
magical. The figure stops, bends over the rail. To throw
something off? I used to live in a church. High up on one
side under the roof, with not much of a view, but it was
cheap. After the debacle i'd put most of my stuff in storage.
The room i lived in now was more like a book-lined closet.
I folded up my futon in the morning so i could have floor
space, & the ceiling slanted wildly.
   I never seem to end up living in rectangular
rooms somehow, just these crazy shapes that have no
   But there was a stereo downstairs that i
could use. Often at night i would sit down there in the huge dark
drafty echoing hall with a handful of secondhand records & a
goblet of Rumanian wine in my white-gloved hand. I felt secure,
even though the outside door didn't lock & this wasn't the best
of neighborhoods. In fact, the people nearby were all filled with
superstitious dread of the place. They said it was run by witches,
or it was haunted.
(part 2)
   Which suited me fine, & the others there. We
felt a bit less mundane commuting from our day jobs at bookstores,
warehouses, & Deep Ellum boutiques, back to a haunted mansion to
sleep where wind sang in the cracks & crannies at all hours & a
hundred buckets barely sufficed to get it through a thunder
   I was a lot like that myself; my walls weren't
solid but rustled with subtle voices, & my emptiness loomed in
the neon night with only the barest of candle flickers visible to
people rushing past to gain the freeway. Something within me
also was rushing past, barely glancing at the startling lines of a
landscape of ghosts.
   They said it was haunted. But no one had ever died
here; & how can you have a haunted house without deaths? No, no
one had died here that we knew of, in a hundred years of being
first a church & then a hippie rooming house. No deaths, though
once a runaway they allowed to crash in the basement had tried to
kill herself by slitting her wrists. Supposedly the ceiling was still
stained by a spurt of blood, but i never looked for it. Not in the whole
time i stayed there.
   That was the summer of Mazzy Star. From every
half-open sliding door as i walked to my own snug garret on the
brokendown creaky balcony, the mournful soft strains of Mazzy
Star's second album would always be playing. It sounded beautiful
& debauched, the way we wanted to be.
   Instead, we were children. Children with candles.
Nothing, i think, will ever be more beautiful to me than the gold that
was flung across the staircase at sunset, which i watched every
chance i got: a mystic incandescence, poured upon the worn &
ageless oak-panelled wall.
   It created in me moods i couldn't express, couldn't
shake. And so i embarked on a project (we all had "Projects"): i would
paint invisible pictures. I don't know now what it was supposed to
mean, though i thought i knew at the time. I still have the pictures.
   You look at them through 3D glasses, the cardboard
kind with one lens red & one lens blue. This destroys your sense of
colors--you just see flashing & contradictory input. It doesn't hold
still. It kind of makes you queasy after awhile. But it's overwhelmingly
elsewhere. The sense of depth is nothing like real space; i wasn't,
even in that, a realistic painter. It's rather, an abstraction that
uses the elements of depth perception to give a sensation like
nothing else that has ever existed, & which cannot be described.
   But sometimes i hear Mazzy Star again &
i know. For a moment i know. Or maybe i just remember.
   Five years i lived in the church. And to think
it all began with that radio program.

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