Saturday, September 13, 2003

'If, of all desires, duration were not the hardest
to achieve, it would be difficult to understand
what constitutes the attraction of the crowd of
the blessed.' --Elias Canetti, Crowds and

" 'Ah, mulligrubs! Golgotha!...' " --Dr Awkward
& Olson in Oslo
, Lawrence Levine (1986)

"Terror of Darkness, O thou King of Flames,
That with thy music-footed horse dost strike
The clear light out of crystal, on dark earth;
And hurl'st instructive fire about the world;
Wake, wake the drowsy and enchanted night,
That sleeps with dead eyes in this heavy riddle."
--George Chapman, Bussy d'Ambois

The Three Unholy Muses: Insomnia, Suicide &

"To recognize the mood-evocative power of
perfume in the relations of man and woman,
while ignoring its possibilities in the romance
of man and God, is surely a mistake."
--Herbert Weiner, 9 1/2 Mystics (1969)

The most interesting thing about the pseudo-
sciences is that they are able to exist at
. This world we suppose so empirically-
bright, is it not rather darkened by
the presence of minds...?

'...At times on the blood's
last spit of land
the foghorn resounds
and the drowned sailor sings...' --Nelly Sachs

Ego + ignorance = folly. So egolessness in the
pursuit of knowledge brings wisdom?

'...a distinction must be made again betwixt
the death of Metals, and their rest or quietness.'
--Basil Valentine

"...let a vague pity blur the formal roses."
--Judith Wright

Friday, September 12, 2003

Listening to: Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
"Britney Spears, a pop star, declared
her faith in President Bush: "Honestly,"
she said, "I think we should just trust
our president in every decision that he
makes and we should just support that."
A large silo filled with human excrement
exploded in the Bronx."

--Roger D. Hodge

"Some of the Chief's readers have come through with how to contact those in charge.


Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Paul Wolfowitz
Deputy Secretary of Defense
1010 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1010

(Big thanks to Alan E. Brain)

Next, a way to send comments via the web:

(Big thanks to Virgil)"

via Chief Wiggles

"i was listening to an ex-marine turned
army staff sergeant...and an ex-abrahms
tanker turned signal puke...they described
the scene as a long stretch of road
running through the middle of a small
foreign holes and machine gun
nests littering the road way...snipers
plugged up in windows...the enemy dug in assault by ground forces would
prove catastrophic...there were very few
options that would lead to victory over
these circumstances...

the good guys brought in the tanks...lined
them up side by side facing down the
fortified roadway...simultaneously the
tanks fired two rounds down range...the
rounds created enough of a vacuum that the
enemy soldiers were sucked from their
fortifications and into the middle of the
street...where they were gunned down from
a top the turret...or rolled over by tank

they laughed at this story...they made sound
effects...squashing and womping...and they
thought it was great...i found no humor in
this tale..."

(via Turning Tables)
One of my favorite Johnny Cash songs:

(Written by W. Kemp)

Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
The first year they had me puttin' wheels on cadil- lacs
Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

One day I devised myself a plan
That should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.


I'd get it one piece at a time
And it wouldn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive ever'body wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is a-round.

So the very next day when I punched in
With my big lunchbox and with help from my friends
I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
Now I never considered myself a thief
But GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years.

The first day I got me a fuel pump
And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
Then I got me a transmission and all of the chrome
The little things I could get in my big lunchbox
Like nuts, an' bolts, and all four shocks
But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.

Now up to now my plan went allright
'Til we tried to put it all together one night
And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.
The transmission was a '53
And the motor turned out to be a '73
And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone.

So we drilled it out so that it would fit
And with a little bit of help with an A-daptor kit
We had that engine runnin' just like a song
Now the headlight' was another sight
We had two on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of 'em come on.

The back end looked kinda funny too
But we put it together and when we got thru
Well, that's when we noticed that we only had one tail-fin
About that time my wife walked out
And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed her right on down main drag
I could hear ever'body laughin' for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.

I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive ever'body wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.

(Spoken) Ugh! Yow, RED RYDER This is the COTTON MOUTH
Huh, This is the COTTON MOUTH
And negatory on the cost of this mow-chine there RED RYDER

You might say I went right up to the factory
And picked it up, it's cheaper that way
Ugh!, what model is it

Well, It's a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56
'57, '58' 59' Automo-bile
(Fade) It's a '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67
'68, '69, '70 Automo-bile."

[A traditional American value is Anarchy.]

Molly Ivins is mad. (Sept 9)

Oh well, i can dream, can't i?

"Though ticks must have some language
that they communicate amongst themselves,
they surely have no word for fate." --Jack
Stephens, Triangulation

Imagine if artists never finished their
own works; if everything had to be done
by collaboration...

"Rilke, when he realized what his work was
telling him, interrupted his writing of
poetry, and spent months watching animals
in the zoo, and blind men on the streets,
and years alone. He began to ask less of
life, not more." --Robert Bly, A Little
Book on the Human Shadow

My sense of play & of the sacred, largely
coincide. This is due to the nature of my
(ESFP). Perhaps fo that reason i
cannot enter into someone else's sense of
the sacred; & my external view falsifies
theirs as much as they would, mine.

"At the turn of the century there may have
been only two dozen men who deserved the
Grandmaster title, so we remember them as
titans. Today there are about 300 GMs, so
all but the very best tend to be obscured
by the pack." --Andy Soltis in Chess

Where Wittgenstein failed to destroy
Metaphysics, Shirley MacLaine succeeded.

"Women are half of the world's adult
population; they comprise one-third of the
paid labor force, and they actually perform
two-thirds of the world's working hours. For
this, they earn one-tenth of the world's
income, but they own only 1 percent of the
world's property." --from Leavenworth
Jackson's rubberstamp catalog

When Noriega was photographed holding his
jail booking placard, over 12,000 Miamians
bet that number in the next state lottery.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Listening to: "Gem Tones" by Kadri Gopalnath.
--South Indian saxophone!

"The smouldering sweetness of a dead red rose" --Riley

Another library booksale. Nothing excites me like
the prospect of getting good books for next to nothing
--yet i still feel as if i've been, also, assisting at the
sack of Rome.

'We avenge death with the sacrifice of ourselves' --Adonis

If Art only has meaning in relation to a tribe, what
do deracinated artists create for? Tribe-simulations:
such as, all the artists that came before--or their imaginary
audience to be.

"I am not worried that poems reach relatively few
people. As it is, they go surprisingly far--among strangers,
around the world, even. Farther than the words of a
classroom teacher or the prescriptions of a doctor; if they
are very lucky, farther than a lifetime." --Sylvia Plath

Somebody's written a book to rehabilitate Caligula.
[Later note: Vlad the Impaler, also!]

"They pay no attention at all but wander
freely in and out of danger like sanderlings
feeding on the edge of the ocean as the tide
changes, chasing after each wave as it recedes,
racing before as the wave rushes back." --Marge Piercy

Ideas have no power; indeed, people's receptivity
to ideas depends much on their power-relations. But
ideas are used as the coin of prestige (--not
the only one), & thus a whole mythology has grown
around ideas associated with prestigious names.
--Which is an unintellectual attitude toward the things
of the mind.

Short stories are to novels what watercolor is to oil
painting--by far the more difficult medium.

'I would say that the State consists in the codification
of a whole number of power relations which render
its functioning possible, and that Revolution is a
different type of codification of the same relations.
This implies that there are many different kinds of
revolution...' --Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge

Surely it was a lover that invented Ghosts.

A bone fragment yields
In the lab, the ghost of a name.

The days temper their heat.
I continue to meet detours.

A soldier a day dies;
Victorious, all.

The skies darken predictably.
Someone defaces my bumper sticker.

Halliburton cashes in.
The days temper their heat.

I continue to meet detours,
And the new road still is not done.

09 08/11 03

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Sketch for a story. The vertical Wall that is the artificial
world everyone lives on, is gradually falling over. Only
a few can actually feel it move; these are said to suffer
from a mental illness called World-Vertigo. When some-
thing slides off, seemingly of its own accord, because
the infinitesimal shifting of the Wall has nudged it into
instability, that catastrophe is attributed to Demons,
& no connection is ever made with the purely subjective
malady of vertigo... [Note: K W Jeter wrote of a
"vertical world" in Farewell Horizontal.]

"Berryman had no further dealings with Time
until 1968, when he was commissioned to write a poem
about the Apollo spacecraft. At that time, Berryman
sat in front of his television and wrote an 18-line poem,
'Apollo 8', in Dream Song style. Although Time
paid him several hundred dollars, the poem was not
printed." --The Life of John Berryman (by Harrenden)

Movies in which the necessity of work does not exist.
Movies in which poverty does not exist. Movies without
the consequences of inertia. Movies without books.
Movies without people who are familiar with what tends
to happen in movies.
   If movies were poetry every movie
would have a screenwriter as protagonist & the whole
action would take place in one room.

A song by Mark Chesnutt: "My heart's too broke to pay

"Sed uos littoribus primis ne insistite: dudum
Vltra fata uocant." ("But don't stop at the first shores you
reach; for some time destiny has been calling you further
on.') --Girolamo Fracastoro, Syphilis (1530)

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

"Triumph of the Will" is a hypnotic, ultimately
wearying montage of parades & flags, flags
& parades, made about as abstractly
beautiful as any such spectacle could be.
Even though nothing is vouchsafed of the
purpose of this vast antlike machine,
it is impossible for anyone schooled in
artistic individualism not to feel the crushing
weight of its threat; the best that can be
said for the movie's maker, is that records
of rare natural cataclysms of a similar
order, would come to be seen as invaluable
information. As a cautionary tale it is
incomplete: no hint of the final Götter-
dämmerung, either, could be inferred from
these purely triumphal images. I count it
an artistic lapse that Riefenstahl could not
or would not show us the rest of the
picture--though there are snapshots
aplenty of piles of corpses, all too
familiar today, to supply the deficit
--if you look for them.
  Unfortunately, there are
still a lot of people who seem not to
need to look for them. And
worse than presenting a half-truth
as the whole truth, they do not
scruple to make it as difficult as
possible for some braver camera
person to finish the job. I count
that a graver portion of guilt, than
what is due to Leni Riefenstahl.
At A--- S---'s opening we got to talking about her
former nextdoor neighbor, a young man who'd
"snorted $20,000 worth of coke in one summer",
went mad & had to be locked up (after an indecent
delay). The house is now torn down, but she said
they sneaked in after he was gone & found one whole
room full of dead squirrels laid out in neat rows...

"My hunger is given to me to understand with, not
to understand." --Robert Kelly, Transparent Tree

I was thrilled to discover a simple progression of
fractions converging on the square root of 2, & can now
add to the sum of my knowledge the curious & rare
intelligence that (114243 divided by 80782) squared
on my calculator (9 decimal places) comes out to just
2. Ah, numbers... "a world where there doesn't have
to be justice."

To make my hobby try to be also, my therapy, my
justification, & my livelihood--is asking too much--how
much more generous would artists be toward each
other, if they could just let go of that mocked garland.
Art is the cultural sanction we seek for what we'd be
doing anyway.

Source. Our nonverbal awareness is essentially
animal-like. Therefore it is worth considering that our
"Unconscious" is unique to us as "Language"; somehow
they're the same process; the connecting link is Ego.
As-if Me. As-if Not-Me. But it is nonverbal awareness,
not the unconscious, that is our true source. Religions
based on Trance, religions based on "Stance" (attitude,
dogma, form)...we need a religion based on Dance.

Salam Pax has a book out!
Promo page.

Monday, September 08, 2003

'I guide without a scripture; I point the way by unseen
means unto my friends and such as observe the precepts
of my teaching, which is not grievous, and is adapted
to the time and conditions.' --from Kitab el-Jilwa
(The Book of Divine Effulgence of the Yezidis) tr Anis

A tattoo is a talisman.

"The monster is the root-stock of specification." --Ketjak

To answer my dream, i danced.

Each poetics, like the rules of chess: beyond justification or
argument. And the chaos after playing a game, when for
a moment the rules suspend, & you change sides & set
the pieces up reversed, this is something a poem should
contain as well!

When i say Love, i mean--a perception which changes your
life...feelings are tidal, they come & go; but Love is a Rubicon,
a typhoon which erases every trace of the former shoreline,
so you couldn't figure out where to replace everything if
you wanted to.

"But it is always something we look on as evil in ourselves
that forces us toward wholeness." --Robert A Johnson, We

Strange diverted channels of pride...Refusing to use handholds
while standing on the bus. All through high school i never
used a bookmark; i simply fixed in my mind the number of the
page where i'd left off reading.
I'm beginning to think Brian Stefans's "Coda: The
Nineties Tried Your Game, There's Nothing In It"
must be the first great poem of the 21c. (or
second, if you count Eminem's duet with Dido).
It's not of the first water, but something i can
return to again & again with pleasure.

A small article on The Anathemata, with
a link to an Auden essay. (via Language Hat)
   "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

Roland was a warrior
from the Land of the Midnight Sun
With a Thompson gun for hire,
fighting to be done
The deal was made in Denmark
on a dark and stormy day
So he set out for Biafra
to join the bloody fray

Through sixty-six and seven
they fought the Congo war
Fingers on their triggers,
knee-deep in gore
For days and nights they battled
the Bantu to their knees
They killed to earn their living
and to help out the Congolese

Roland the Thompson gunner...

His comrades fought beside him -
Van Owen and the rest
But of all the Thompson gunners
Roland was the best
So the CIA decided
they wanted Roland dead
That son-of-a-bitch Van Owen
blew off Roland's head

Roland the headless Thompson gunner (Time, time, time
For another peaceful war
Norway's bravest son
But time stands still for Roland
'Til he evens up the score)

They can still see his headless body
stalking through the night
In the muzzle flash of Roland's Thompson gun
In the muzzle flash of Roland's Thompson gun

Roland searched the continent
for the man who'd done him in
He found him in Mombassa
in a barroom drinking gin
Roland aimed his Thompson gun -
he didn't say a word
But he blew Van Owen's body
from there to Johannesburg

Roland the headless Thompson gunner...

The eternal Thompson gunner,
still wandering through the night
Now it's ten years later
but he still keeps up the fight

In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
Patty Hearst
heard the burst
of Roland's Thompson gun
And bought it"

--Warren Zevon

Listening to: Ancient Voices of Children

Sunday, September 07, 2003

   "Hills of Home

Name me no name for my disease,
With uninforming breath;
I tell you I am none of these,
But homesick unto death--

Homesick for hills that I had known,
For brooks that I had crossed,
Before I met this flesh and bone
And followed and was lost...

And though they break my heart at last,
Yet name no name of ills.
Say only, 'Here is where he passed,
Seeking again those hills.' "

--Witter Bynner, Oxford Book of American