Saturday, September 20, 2003

Sign #2 of the Apocalypse: a Porsche SUV.

"Like scraps of memory, sheets of newsprint
used to bowl through the magicians' colony
in the silent midnight wind." --Salman Rushdie,
Midnight's Children

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother
took me to see him in a department store and he
asked me for my autograph." --Shirley Temple

"...the divine mystery is the only arch-principle..."
--The Sworn Book of Honourius (ca. 14c), ed.
Daniel Driscoll, 1977

I keep struggling against the false belief that to be
something not yet defined is to be useless.

Modern poets are in love with intellectualized
sensuality because it seems to give them a method
that cannot err...

"If there is veneration, even a dog's tooth emits
light." --Tibetan saying, quoted in A. David-Neel's
Magic and Mystery in Tibet (1929)

The great romance of my life has been with the
idea of freedom.

"All men desire the good"--is a statement about
the structure of belief, not about desire.

Statement to read at the next Discussion Group
meeting: "The way to get the most out of discourse
is not to challenge each other's assertions
reflexively & indiscriminately, but to take time
to imagine what the world would be like if they
were true."

Friday, September 19, 2003

Pirate-gangsta glossary. (via Boing Boing)

"...I am learning Lojban. I think the language has
great mind-expanding potential. It takes me to a
psychescape somewhere betwixt the Greek Isles and
Guangdong...Esperanto takes me to a psychescape
somewhere betwixt Transylvania and Cuba."
--Viktoro 9

An obsolete syllabic alphabet for Tagalog. (via
Viktoro 9)

I thought i'd lost them, but here they are: Herman
Miller's pages
--where conlangs, microtonal music,
&, er...small furred
What happened to irony was simple. Kitsch
became the signifier of authenticity.
position which has no opposite, because it
is itself nonsensical.

Summer's finally over. I was starting to
think of Pollution Level Orange as good--.

Misreading. I saw a title "How to Sleep At
Will" as: "How to Sleep At WWIII".

   "Pulling Down the Statue of Dubya"

   No one anymore
Will admit they once clamored
   For the bombs to fall
For our rights to be rolled back
   For the poisons anew
To seep into our water
   And air they all now
Are saying they were afraid
   Of their fierce neighbors
Slavering to turn them in
   And the radio
Talk show hosts they were afraid
   Of the name traitor
Which today they hasten to
Claim as their fairest secret.

09 19 03

In almost every age, it is best to hide a new truth in
some form which the professionals will ignore.

Luciferian pride. Poetry is a canyon through which once
flowed all the news, knowledge, dreams & prophecies
of humanity; now there's only a lyric trickle at the
bottom--& nothing you write is going to change it

I image a brawl in which ten million poets fight to the
death for access to the last reader of poetry. (Who then
peruses the tattered page & asks: "But what does it

The equivocal relation between poets & musicians--
as if apples were worth a million dollars, & oranges
considered not even worth picking up off the ground.

Intuition is direct perception of context. Theory
& Practice, Intuition & Experience: dialectical opposites.
Theory & Intuition are Contraries.

Cats may not laugh, but i think they possess a sense
of irony. The cat who, from the doorway of an open
garage, watches the rain come down--is surely savoring
the contrast with her own dry state.

from Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructive-

"The term 'necrophilous', to denote a character trait rather than
a perverse act in the traditional sense, was used by the Spanish
philosopher Miguel de Unamuno in 1936 on the occasion of a
speech by the nationalist general Millan Astray at the University
of Salamanca, where Unamuno was rector at the beginning of
the Spanish Civil War. The general's favorite motto was 'Viva
la muerte!' (Long live Death) and one of his followers shouted
it from the back of the hall. When the general had finished his
speech, Unamuno rose and said: 'Just now I heard a necrophilous
and senseless cry: "Long live Death!" And I, who have spent my
life shaping paradoxes which have aroused the uncomprehending
anger of others, I must tell you, as an expert authority, that this
outlandish paradox is repellant to me. General Millan Astray is
a cripple. Let it be said without any slighting undertone. He is a
war invalid. So was Cervantes. Unfortunately there are many
cripples in Spain just now. And soon there will be even more of
them if God does not come to our aid. It pains me to think that
General Millan Astray should dictate the pattern of mass psychology.
A cripple who lacks the spiritual greatness of Cervantes is wont
to seek ominous relief in causing mutilation around him.' At this
Millan Astray was unable to restrain himself any longer. 'Abajo la
inteligencia!' (Down with intelligence) he shouted. 'Long live Death!"
There was a clamor of support for this remark from the Falangists.
But Unamuno went on: 'This is the temple of the intellect. And I
am its high priest. It is you who profane its sacred precincts. You
will win, because you have more than enough brute force. But
you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade.
And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason
and Right in the struggle. I consider it futile to exhort you to
think of Spain. I have done.' (Unamuno remained under house
arrest until his death a few months later.)"
[Nowadays, of course, such embarassments are no longer
possible--those who disagree are not even allowed within
of the Potus.]

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Listening to: Hossein Omoumi- Persian Classical Music

Lest one of my previous comments be misconstrued,
i am not at all in favor of Forced Sterilization. But i
think it would be a dandy idea to have gumball
machines full of RU-486 on every street corner
in the world.

"In the world few people act from principle; present
feelings, and early habits, are the grand springs: but
how would the former be deadened, and the latter
rendered iron corroding fetters, if the world were shown
to young people just as it is; when no knowledge of
mankind or their own hearts, slowly obtained by experience,
rendered them forbearing?" --Mary Wollstonecraft, A
Vindication of the Rights of Women
(1792) first ever Esperanto palindrome: Oj! ululu lune,
sori el amo. Dido, male, iros en ulululujo
. Which
means: 'Oh! howl moonly, to soar out of love. Dodo, on
the contrary, will go into howlpersonreceptacle.'

The reason our criticism is generally more interesting
& better written than our poetry (admit it, in any
journal you read the reviews first!), is simple. Criticism
has to be about real books & personalities, & their
puzzling or clashing contexts. But the poetry is mostly
about other poems: usually one's own, that the hapless
reader has never seen!

"We are black within and sealed from light." -Michael
McClure, "For Artaud"

Watching TV for story-hunger is like getting a tapeworm
for companionship.

'...a time comes when you stop reading the articles...just the
ads...they tell the whole story...' --CĂ©line, North (1960)

"Political science" will not exist until it is understood that
Government is something that just doesn't work above a
certain size. I am reminded of an article once written by
Asimov, on the subject of those giant versions of familiar
animals, so beloved of hack science fiction. He starts with
a mouse & makes it weigh a ton, then analyzes each of the
systems of that mouse's body & shows how in order not
to die at once it must be modified; & before he's done the
result is not a one-ton mouse, but something much like an
elephant... Yeah, & we go on using mouse scale
words for elephant scale realities. A tiny example:
the personalization of the war, as if it were against one
super-villain, a Saddam the size of a mountain, instead of
against millions of human beings just like ourselves...

Ah, but listening is on the way out. In the future there
will only be "sending a message" (i.e. pulling the trigger)
& "receiving a message" (catching the bullet).

A corporation is not so much a machine for making money,
as a device for diffusing responsibility.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

'Schubert heard Beethoven's Fifth Symphony perhaps
four times in his entire life. Which of us today has not heard
it at least twenty?' Jerome Deschusses, The Eighth Night
of Creation
(1978) [Well, in France, anyway--.]

Worms eat the page before they eat the page's poet.

'...the future, which--even more than the oceans--serves
us as a universal garbage dump.' --ibid

Edison, Tesla. Like it's any use to be more than 5 years
"ahead of your time"...!

Some rights which could be usefully abridged: the Right to Pollute,
the Right to Have Children You Can't Take Care Of, the Right to
Make Things Nobody Needs. And of course--the Right to Take
More Than Your Share.
   --It'll never happen. We'd push the button first.

When one is joyless, justice becomes much harder to perceive,
even as a direction.

Scurrying through my library of poets, like a rat in a
warehouse full of small appliances.

The moral solitude of believing that compulsory schooling
is as great an evil as slavery--a hundred years before anyone
else does...

M P Shiel (in "The Bride") gives his definition of Love:
"It was a lunacy, its name was Legion, it was possession
by the furies; it was a spasm in the throat, and a sickness of
the limbs, and a yearning of the eye-whites, and a fire in the
marrow; it was catalepsy, trance, apocalypse; it was high as
the galaxy, it was addicted to the gutter; it was Vesuvius, borealis,
the sunset; it was the rainbow in the cesspool, St John plus
Heliogabalus, Beatrice plus Messalina; it was a transfiguration,
and a leprosy, and a metempsychosis, and a neurosis; it was
the dance of the maenads, and the bite of the tarantula, and
baptism in a sun..."
from In Place of Chairs:
Got Game?

Make a poem with the following Word List, brought to you by The Lost Lunar Baedeker, by Mina Loy. Then send the poem to Christopher. He will post it. All will happiness be linear. Line ear be merrily, primates. Into the terrific Nirvana, Mina. Ze list:

Declivity, nucleus, extensity, malefic, gesticulated, kohl, scholiums, delectable, crickly, enervating, scuttle, wheedle, aphrodisiac, prismatic, jostling, jibber, cryptonyms, pantomime, sanctity, ferocious, furrowed."

"The Spectral Jihadi"
(to the tune of: Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner)

Osama was the scion
Of a rich Saudi clan
When the jets & tanks of Brezhnev
Furrowed Afghanistan
His enervating leisure
His crickly scholiums
He hastened then to scuttle
For aphrodisiac guns

The volunteers came jostling
Their sanctity to suss
From ev'ry Muslim country
A fighting nucleus
Bin Laden shone among them
Ferocious & well-heeled
When Reagan's trainers got there
They quickly swept the field

Osa-ma the plush jihadi

Delectable their triumph
Over the Soviet line
Declivity & hillock
Saw abandoned soldiers dying
But their loyalty prismatic
Soon cut the wheedle cold
Osama gesticulated
And American targets told

Osa-ma the rogue jihadi
His own agenda's dark
As kohl, & countless cryptonyms
Convey his malefic spark

He's our misbegotten Frankenstein
Of vast extensity
For our acts increase Osama's terror band
Our acts increase Osama's terror band

Bin Laden sent a message
To jibber at us all
In pantomime over & over
We still must watch them fall
The Towers of our innocence
And it didn't help one bit
To drop upon Afghanistan
Lots & lots of shit

Osa-ma the missing jihadi

That ghostly terror mogul
Still flits from place to place
Even two years later
We haven't found a trace
In Syria, in Pakistan, North Korea too
He smiles at us
And then his smile dissolves

09 15 03

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Violence from yang-excess in humans, & the destruction
that occurs in Nature, are disadvantageously lumped
together in every theory of Cosmic Evil. Perhaps that
is why it remains a philosophical "problem" to this
day. But by dividing it into two problems, one for
physics & one for psychology, i think a provisional
answer can be reached. ...It is necessary, however, to
distinguish yang-excess, "egotism", from being used
as a label for every manifestation of the social identity,
or "ego". The latter has different forms according to
one's type
. The former is a pattern that results from
being cut-off from access to the unconscious...

'Think about those who haven't long to live, who know
that everything is over and done with, except the time
in which the thought of their end unrolls. Write for
gladiators...' --E M Cioran, The Trouble
With Being Born

Rabbits are voiceless & odorless. Such is the provenance
of the Meek. Cats are noisy & smelly. Such are carnivores.
As the super-carnivore, Mankind's only concept of
civilization seems to be to make the ultimatte racket & an
inescapable reek.

'The soul is the effect and instrument of a political
anatomy; the soul is the prison of the body.' --The
Foucault Reader

The Sunday New York Times uses up 75,000 trees each time.

'There is no more steely barb than that of the infinite.'
--Baudelaire, Little Poems in Prose

Japan had a patriarchal, yin, culture.

'For questioning is the piety of thought.' --Heidegger,
"The Question Concerning Technology"

A vanishing privilege: to build for oneself.

'There are two gods, who are Ignorance and Forget-
fulness.' --Ruben Dario

Ego is a vessel on the gray sea of Time.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Blogger ate my thought.
It was a good one, here
Bearing significance,
From far pavilions come--
Then Blogger scarfed it up.

Something clogged the nozzle
And pop! went the dying bulb:
Blogger stole the zephyr
And left me sheer delusion;
Yes, Blogger ate that great thought.

09 14 03

'Hear me softly:
And learn from me harshly.' --"Thunder, Perfect Intellect"
in: Bently Layton's The Gnostic Scriptures (1987)

Heidegger doesn't answer his questions so much as he
squeezes them till they pop.

"What the music said was that there is a right way for things
to be ordered so that life might not always be just tangle and
drift but have a shape, an aim. It was a powerful argument
against the notion that things just happen." --Charles Frazier,
Cold Mountain (1997)

The first step to Clarity is inner silence (Clarity of Perception).
The second step to Clarity is calling things by their right names
(Clarity of Thought).
The third step is striving for reciprocity, or interpersonal
justice (Clarity of Feeling).
The fourth step is doing what must be done (Clarity of Purpose).

"The science of the music of words has fallen away since men
invoked Mithra by a sequence of pure vowel sounds." --Ezra

   "The Dangerous Gift

Were I to cut my hand
   On that sharp knife you gave me
   (That dangerous knife, your beauty),
I should know what to do:
   Bandage the wound myself
And hide the blood from you.

A murderous knife it is,
   As often you have warned me:
   For if I looked for pity
Or tried a wheedling note
   Either I must restore it
Or turn it on my throat."

--Robert Graves

Prophets. The first prequisite of a prophet is love of

"A recent U.S.Dept of Defense report estimated that most
food in the US travels 1300 miles before it is eaten." --Utne
Reader, c. 1989

Not only do i realize i'm just a minor character in a
Dostoevsky novel, i even know what sort. I'm the one who
goes mad so he can spend 2 chapters arguing theology
with the hero.

Happy days are here again. (via Wood_s Lot)

Sunday, September 14, 2003

"Not, Father, further do prolong
   Our necessary defeat;
Spare us the numbing zero-hour,
   The desert-long retreat.

Against your direct light, displayed,
   Regardant, absolute,
In person stubborn and oblique
   Our maddened set we foot.

These nissen huts if hiding could
   Your eye inseeing from
Firm fenders were, but look! to us
   Your loosened angers come.

Against your accusations
   Though ready wit devise,
Nor magic countersigns prevail
   Nor airy sacrifice.

Weaker we are, and strict within
   Your organized blockade,
And from our desperate shore the last
   Few pallid youngsters fade.

Be not another than our hope;
   Expect we routed shall
Upon your peace; with ray disarm,
   Illumine, and not kill."


--Awhile back i proposed a book written with mismatched halves.
It appears that such has already been written! "Michael Korda...
was working as an editor at Simon & Schuster, and a few years
ago he wrote a memoir of those days, entitled Another Life.
...Harold Robbins...started writing one book to get the advance,
wrote half of it, and put it aside. When he needed the money,
he finished it, but he'd forgotten much of the first part, and so
the second part had an inconsistent plot with mostly different
characters. Asked what to do about it, he said, 'Leave it.' (Korda
is too professional to say which, but I believe it was The Pirate.)"
--Arthur Hlavaty in Derogatory Reference (now Nice Distinctions 3)

Jargons seem to give you a handle on the world--but it's a
handle that's not connected to anything.

"No matter how cynical I get, it's never enough to keep up." --Lily
Tomlin [something i have quoted many times]

I first loved you
second to
your gentleness

like the blind who
divide their lives into
dark and dark I
have you and your gentleness

as a detail in a painting frames that painting
in the often
memory, your face
is surrounded by your eyes
of the grays of gentleness

but better than your gentleness
I love your harshness

the harshness
when you talk about that prison capitalism
when you vow never to stop fighting


until each woman and man is free
until each woman and man is in the custody

of their gentleness"

--Bill Knott