Saturday, October 11, 2003

"Twin Peaks", if i'm not mistaken, brings
something new to network television: the
acceptance of dreams, visions, psychic &
religious experiences as an integral part
of ordinary life.

Real religions typically survive almost any
amount of persecution. Whereas these new ones
would be snuffed out by the smallest tax,

The trouble is, money isn't real to me; & i don't
understand, when it warps human relationship, why.

The coercion of Technology is NOT the Rule of
Reason. (That's just its protective coloration
when attacked.)

Bad art is made by beliefs about art; good art
occurs in a state of incredulity.

...the style of parenting that seeks to perpetuate
its own lifestyle (materially) is simply self-
betrayal: a kind of significance-suicide (if it
has to be done over, the first time didn't
). What should be perpetuated is dynamic
& custodianship.

Even cultures require an Art of Dying. --[&]...our
previous selves!

Chalk-drawing on the sidewalk is what we are. One
good rain & we're gone.
I'm starting to get used to new book
dust jackets that are printed to look
like a worn leather binding from a
hundred years ago, but i just saw one
that closely resembles a tattered
book jacket from mid-century. Woodgrain
Contact Paper Award
, i say! Lemme
guess--the next thing after CD's will
be solid state; & they'll be
shaped like eight-tracks.

"The phrase was still in vogue that 'only
3 people understood Relativity' at a
time when Eddington was complaining that
the trouble about Relativity as an examina-
tion subject in 'Part III' [the hardest,
last test for the Mathematical Tripos]
was that it was such a soft option."
--Littlewood's Miscellany



Beckon some cragsman's paradise from the sky,
Heart-beat slows down, lungs halt their heave,
So to descry, conceive
How it was with me when that sport began:
Muscle and nerve wrought for me by the strain.
Fain as of old I feign that yet I can.

Pass by some image of the world's desire,
Eye beam narrows, glance sharpens to discern,
So to attire, adorn
Some visitant from when that hunt began
Whose hardihood now tells me what is vain.
Fain as of old why feign that yet I can?

Butterfly thought, sail gaily through the void,
Seeking your mate, belike--gale-borne astray,
To be destroyed, betray,
Ice-caught, the thoughts from which your life began:
Torn downy wings that will not sail again.
Fain as of old, I feign that yet I can."

--I A Richards

#4 Sign of the Apocalypse: the Governator.

#5 Sign of the Apocalypse: The Olson Twins on the
cover of Rolling Stone

Listening to: Electronic Concept Orchestra- Moog

   "Poem Plame"

Wedge of windshield droplets pungent the
Wipers miss
Land without humanism
Spark-like 'mid unearthed
Slope-side figtree-roots, sprockets Mabuhay harl

Sly fen of smog Dracula
Repose of spears. Bubba the Love Sponge
Big freaky cereal die boxes of death
Siliconpimp Hertz

Rain fen of gym loss,
Tenuous night spatula,
Nixie taunt

10 09 03

Friday, October 10, 2003

One of the most haunting modern star-myths is
what has come to be known as "The Epsilon Bootis
". In the late 20s, Dutch experimenters
at Eindhoven recorded a curious effect of time-
delayed radar echoes (LDE) apparently originating
from near the Moon, & more specifically, at one of
the (Lagrange) points in space where an object
could repose indefinitely in a stable orbit. Some
44 years later the young Scottish writer Duncan
plotted these echoes & seemed to discover
a star map--of the constellation Bootis--which
singled out the star epsilon Bootis. Or at least,
a star map from 13,000 years ago (having shifted
in the interim)! --I first read about this in the
January 1974 issue of Analog, & his
almost Lovellian speculations, of an intelligent
race from a planet of the dimmer, yellow star
being slowly destroyed as the brighter, red giant
star expanded, so that finally they would send
a probe to communicate the nature of their disaster
(which arrived here a little early for our
scientists--)...inspired one of my own scifi
stories. (Odd, that when another writer treated
this star, he totally disregarded Lunan's thesis!)
  Later determinations of the star's
distance & hence luminosity (shortening its lifetime
to such an extent that a life-bearing planet around
it become unrealistic) caused Lunan to retract, but
it is still a beautiful idea.
"After all, the 'Rheginosian Dragonic
Stronghold' could not stand inviolate

"The Dead Will Cuckold You."

'A Throw of Dice Will Not Abolish Chance.'
"Witches ride brooms...because Nature abhors
a vacuum."



Music about Pynchon.

"Speculative poetry's only recognized grandmaster..." (More.)
"If gravity were like weather,
fickle, girdling the planet
in waves and pockets, there would
be days on which we could not move.
We would lie helpless, strapped
to the slowly turning earth.
For hours at a time we would consider
the nature of such an existence,
its underpinnings, its weights."
--Bruce Boston

Lojban palindromes.

Klingon Klezmer. (via Bartcop)

"The vision of the R'lyeh Lodge is the
formation of a Setian civilization in the
San Francisco Bay Area."

Hello Cthulhu Lunchbox.

   "Wahhabi Sunrise"

Silvery ughten, drivemist
Pinkgold Governator shapes.
Rubble of elves. Black coolth snack
Out of this wandering slag
My foehn sprockets. The Cryptic
Crosses to bleak Gibraltar,
Its music swirls as windshield
Smears map the oncoming gulf

10 08 03

"In the book [Nightwood], [Djuna] Barnes's
real-life friend Daniel Mahoney, a self-hating
homosexual doctor infamous on Paris's Left Bank,
becomes character Dr. Matthew O'Connor, a Tiresias-
like prophet figure. Barnes lifted material from her
conversations with Mahoney for O'Connor's witty but
sad exegeses on human suffering. Barnes certainly
suffered for that artistic license. Mahoney showed up
one night at her apartment about a year after the
book's publication. There he held her hostage from
1 to 5 a.m., screaming at her, demeaning her writing
and knocking her down twice when she tried to
escape. Barnes wrote to Eliot, 'Little did I know what
a book could do to one.' " --Carol Casey

Listening to: Beck- Odelay.

What if your cat dies & you can't bear to get rid
of it

'Translation is very much like copying paintings.'

Bright colors now mean Toys & Snack Food.

"This wild fastidious hope is quick to languish;
Its smooth diaphanous escape is swifter
Than the pack of truth; no mortal can distinguish
Its trace upon the durable hereafter." --Elinor Wylie

'Yet though all night I reel under the feet of the gods,
dawn ever returns me to the mystic, white sea.'
--Callimachus, The Lock of Berenike (tr Lombardo
& Raynor, 1988)

'The dead are tired of poppies.' --Marina Tsvetaeva

"Story is the anathema of the true philosopher."
--John Hawkes, Whitejacket (1988)

"Chopin's music gradually becomes tubercular." --Gilbert

S[ensing]: I see it, I want it. / [I]N[tuitive]: I imagine it,
I want it.

"Democracy as pap, sir, is on a trial basis." --Dr Awkward

'...Night, night,
once you were the bride of mysteries
adorned with lilies of shadow--
In your dark glass sparkled
the mirage of all who yearn
and love had set its morning rose
to blossom before you--
You were once the oracular mouth
of dream painting and mirrored the beyond.

Night, night,
now you are the graveyard
from the terrible shipwreck of a star--
time sinks speechless in you
with its sign:
the falling stone
and the flag of smoke.' --Nelly Sachs

"Like bagpipes rotting through the walls." --Edith

"There is a stone, a cubic mile in size, a million
times harder than diamond. Every million years a
very holy man visits it to give it the lightest possible
touch. The stone is in the end worn away. This works
out at something like 10 to-the-35th years..."
--Littlewood's Miscellany

"A too-persistent research student drove his supervisor
to say 'Go away and work out the construction for a
regular polygon of 65537 sides'. The student returned
20 years later with a construction (deposited in the Archives
at Gottingen)." --ibid

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Can't stop laughing. (via Boing Boing) More (via Metafilter)

Born-again Yakuza. (via Rob Pongi)

A collection of ambigrams--including the first stanza
of "Jabberwocky".

Gary Coleman got 12.000 votes. (via Buzz Machine)
Chinese Braille. (via Language Hat) --what a
cool idea. Should be the name of a band.

"Some hermit of Hilarion's school austere" --Southey

Alien of the Day. (via Pickover)

Listening to: Frank Zappa- The Yellow Shark. (in
which Z. makes like Arnold Schoenberg...)

A 19c. Texas sculptress.

Music is only sweet against silence. Without it, it's
only another kind of noise. Space, too, is only per-
ceptible in relative silence. Thus is named "the desert"
--by what we discover there, by leaving (some of)
our noise behind. But silence is not a product to be
exploited or carried home. --Perhaps one can only
obtain a loosening of the noise-compulsion, if

Philosophy is the building of a road. Out here, you
wander, you are grateful for one when you come
to it, but you can have no illusions about roads
belonging in this place or emanating from it
somehow. Exile, tsimtsum. For, of course, we came
from a forest or savannah or anyway a place with
trees, shade, & water. (=Talk) There is something
uniquely terrible about a dense throng of cacti.
The Old Ones.

A poem is a butterfly. A butterfly, that can live for
a thousand years.

  This wall visible from the moon, who will know
  i made my part of it any better than the rest?

  Late afternoons sometimes i suspect its purpose
  isn't even to be visible from the moon.

11 26 90

Translated "Raps Clack Calcspar" for the International
Palindromists' Club: "Los golpes chasquean la piedra

'And the sun goes down in waves of ether
in such a way that I can't tell
if the day is ending, or the world,
or if the secret of secrets is within me again.' --Akhmatova
(tr. Jane Kenyon)

Being forced to listen to sagittarians [ES-P] is like
watching paint dry. It's not possible for me to do more
than sample their words now & then to see if they're
still fumbling around on the same subject--& yes, they
are. If they were carpenters like they are thinkers, they'd
hit their thumbs more than the nail. It makes me want to
snatch it away from them... (Books written for this reason.)

...suffering is a koan i must answer with my life (joy),
but i keep wanting intellectual solutions. Nixon financed
his first political campaign with poker money he won
in the war.

'...human speech is like a cracked tin kettle, on which
we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we
long to move the stars.' --Madame Bovary, xii

'Metaphorical language is the result of the disproportion
between man's short life and the immense and long-term
tasks he sets himself. Because of this, he needs to look at
things as sharply as an eagle and to convey his vision in
flashes which can be immediately apprehended. This is
just what poetry is.' --I Remember, Boris Pasternak

Lawrence Durrell died; i burn a stick of frankincense &
myrrh in his honor. Later i fix some onion soup in the
kitchen only to discover, in the living room where the
two smells blend, a typically Durrellian irony.

A language with only a future tense. (via Enigmatic Mermaid)
Or not.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

"...a Fladerdale drawbridge, both before and after its recent reconstruction. Booze, drugs, recklessness, or senility played a role in all these unfortunate incidents. I've seen that bridge. It has an awesome system of claxons, lights, and barriers. But with so many lost or damaged souls about, tragedies are inevitable. Perhaps the local authorities should add one more sign to the set: Caution. Darwin at Work." --Alan Sullivan

Results of a large blog survey.

The changing pear-shape of the Earth.

"I met a Californian today with a guitar, from
which he was reeling off a merry Strain, and
asked him how it was possible he could be so
light-hearted while the flag of his Country was
passing to the hands of the stranger. Oh, said
the Californian. give us the guitar and a
fandango, and the devil take the flag." (via
Bellona Times)

AIDS update. (via Dr Menlo)

Spook the spooks. (via post-atomic)

Found poetry from Japan. (via ptarmigan)

"RB: It strikes me that so much of what I see in Japanese print media seems very retro.

DC: They were doing retro 20 years ago, you see. We didn’t start doing retro until five years ago. They are still ahead." --Douglas Coupland (via Caterina)

"It felt a bit ridiculous- four grown people all
out shopping for Barbie notebooks and strawberry-
scented erasers… but I knew it was necessary."
--Baghdad Burning

A flaw in Mesklin.

"Tony Roberts has painted the distant world of
Mesklin (from a novel by Hal Clements, Mission of
) as if it were one of Albert Bierstadt's scenes
of the western United States..." --James Elkins

...Sitting Bull's remark about white people: "The love
of possessions is a disease with them."

In a limited universe of signifiers, things say them-
selves, & truth is self-evident. In an unlimited,
difficulties arise at every stage...questions of point
of view & veracity; ambiguity & the right to opine.
--Thus it seems revolutionary to open up a universe
of signifiers, however slightly. But i rather believe
the conditions for revolution precede its articulation...
The trouble is, writers of history identify the whole
with the final conflagration. Thus writers
appear to foretell catastrophic events, over & over.
But they don't!

"Larvenschlupf, Sternschlupf, mit allen/ Kielen/ such
ich dich,/ Ungrund." ('hatching of grubs, hatching of
stars, with every/ keel/ I search for you,/ Fathomless.')

"Etna da luz azul a Dante." --Juan Jose Arreola

[In Baja:] The Virgin Mary, painted in a satellite dish.

The ocean is too yang: bitter, violent, cold. Three
ways yang. As "three pieces equals mate" (a saying
in chess), three ways yang equals death.

Very low humidity makes you aware of being a bag
of water--a leaky bag. Rain here must be like the speech
of god. Sleep, in such a place, like smuggled ice. You
get out of your vehicle, immediately you recognize
there is "nothing to do". --Could one persist in that
realization, it would lead to enlightenment. But that
would be like prolonging astonishment beyond the
instant of realization. A secure beginning might be:
reluctance to describe.

...i found a dead vulture, crucified on a cactus--it
must have died a terrible death--i wrench a tail
feather loose for my hat; & wear it the rest of the trip
though it gets raggeder & raggeder in the cramped
confines of the bus.

Wind + Sun explain everything here. Boulders
spraypainted with names & years. I guess humans have
been doing something like this ever since they first
ventured into a desert. The immensity seems to demand
some defiant response. Ego vs non-ego in the starkest
opposition. (Interplanetary exploration will be no
different!) The alternative--is to identify with it all.
(And the alternative to that?)

The desire for meaning creates the Void. People ask
the meaning of life, the meaning of the world...they don't
ask the meaning of a pile of rocks.

Using spook words in poetry is like that sculptor
who exclusively uses cast-off radioactive debris
in his art.

   "Hillbilly Heroin"

  Altair, rhostgitten oblong,
Foins through the rooky owl-light.

  Fanboys wax much piqued at
Groovy jackal zoo.

  All cold over there
As the color red leaps out,
As windy dreams bloom.
10 07 03

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

   "Nation Building"

Bling- bling- bling- plunk. Blood flag. Iron
Grom sweeping the lungfish will
Down go the dire did-- grammar
Prismatic, squib bullion; snow
ARPA, snow SUKLO, neon
Scully & rain up then foehn

10 07 03
   "Felons of Gyms"

Fasting lipogram to rail
Gun Rumsfeld in KISS makeup
Great hatred little room kiln

Mackerel democracy
  It filters through wry puree
OxyContin did. Detox
  Twice, Marduk Emerald the

Cryptic: Secert Service name
Cat bell take?

10 04 03
Consumerism & science: a popular religion & a
priestly one. Technology is where they intersect,
& increasingly that which justifies them both; art
exists only on the sufferance of its consumerist

Fable. Everyone has a cough. The old wizard listens
as they all shuffle past. He pronounces the fate of
each according to the quality of the sound.

"In diesem Amethyst
sind die Zeitalter der Nacht gelagert" --Nelly Sachs
('The ages of night/ are embedded in this amethyst')

"...suffering is the tension between what is and what is
not." --The Jungian Senoi dreamwork Manual

"Intellectus noster non tangit terminum eius." --Albertus

The Insomnia of Reason is what produces Monsters.

"It seems as if heaven had sent its insane angels into our
world as to an asylum, and here they will break out in
their native music and utter at intervals the words they
have heard in heaven; then the mad fit returns and they mope
and wallow like dogs." --Emerson

A joke told by Mikhail Gorbachev: "They say that Mitterrand
has 100 lovers. One of them has AIDS, but he doesn't know
which one. Bush has 100 bodyguards. One is a terrorist, but
he doesn't know which one. Gorbachev has 100 economic
advisors. One is smart, but he doesn't know which one.
(quoted in 12.10.90 Time magazine)

"Sakyamuni, Confucius, and Laotse once stood before a
jar of vinegar--the emblem of life--and each dipped in his
fingers to taste the brew. The matter-of-fact Confucius
found it sour, the Buddha called it bitter, and Laotse
pronounced it sweet." --The Book of Tea

The selling of paintings is still as mysterious to me
as if there should exist a traffic in fairy toadstools.

Rewriting a poem is like patching a meteorite with
concrete. (Sometimes, however, years or months later,
another chunk from the same swarm falls into its
ordained place!)

"Snake slander is everywhere." --Bly

Toward midnight i heard about ten gunshots (more than
one kind) & called the police. An hour later some sort
of siren came around... The next night i slept soundly.

Monday, October 06, 2003

    "My aporia achieved
the glamorous anticipation of an answer" --Lyn Hejinian

"Quick cats'-paws on the generous stray-away" --Keats

To denounce Egotism with the ego is a little like the
War to End All Wars which is always being fought--
& for other reasons...

"Under the flowery oleanders pale" --Matthew Arnold
(quoted in Powys, Visions and Revisions)

Modern warfare is so destructive it ought to be called
something else....In the long-range cultural context [1991],
rather, it signifies that the United States has reached a
point in its decline where neither its productivity nor
the prestige of its ideals can anymore convince the world
of its preeminence. Only sheer tonnage of bombs is left.
So we can expect to see lots of "little wars", as the real
leaders of the new order emerge as precisely those nations
[who refuse] to squander their resources on senseless
militarization... [And pyrrhic indeed shall those victories
be:] The Superbowl can be won; wars, like a forest fire,
just end. The important thing [for you & me] is not to
feel powerless. What has ended, what has been taken
away, here, are a few illusions about where things were
headed--& that's good. As for the rest...terrible though it
is to live through, even vicariously, i think that the hollow-
ness of its justifications are far more obvious to the Allies
today (though its leaders are obliged not to snigger); &
it's whole feel is so anachronistic, that it must not be many
generations to come before the world's population will
know this only as one of the many luxuries the Twentieth
Century boasted, & which they can no longer afford.

"In the eighth century of our era the dilettante of the
Japanese court established the tea cult and the play of
'listening to incense'. ...the game was not merely to know
which was which, but to give each of them a beautiful
and allusive name, to recall by the title some strange
event of history or some passage of romance or legend."

The horror, the horror.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

'No age is in such need of poetry as that which
thinks it can do without it.' --Jean Paul Richter

Is despair like a faith in the impossibility of all

Everyone does Madonnas, never any Crucifixions...

Maybe that's the part of language (or at least,
textbooks as presently written) i care least for:
naming all the furniture. When a picture is a much
better description. Suppose there were a language
only for describing the invisible?

"Anthologies are to poets what zoos are to animals."
--David Antin

The absence of a common intellectual framework is
to the mind's cathedrals as the absence of mason guilds
is to real cathedrals that want to be built. All that can
happen today is the Watts Towers.

"You may be sure that a question which requires
music for an answer can't be put into words." --A Voyage
to Arcturus

I ought to just regard Art as a game i'm allowed to
play by myself but not with others...(My imaginary
playmates: the dead.) To be accepted, to be noticed, to
be cherished--this our birthright has been stolen; & we
are forced to fight amongst ourselves for scraps.

"Let no one consider the original noise." --Barrett Watten