Saturday, January 24, 2004

McKendree Robbins Long. (via Solipsis)

This is the first thing of Gould's i can hear. I don't completely understand it, but i like the sounds...

Elliott Carter at 95.

Advice for Dean.
(Sorta fills in the void left in my life since Cintra Wilson quit writing for Salon.)

The Hieroglyphic Monad.

I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that the most powerful force in American politics today is something we don't even have a word for. So i will just invent one: thristnidinghent- the ability to ignore the needs of others. This goes all the way from the clerk who studiously ignores you at the checkout counter, to people who will step over a body on the sidewalk without breaking stride (not to mention higher crimes of our unbenevolent masters). Thus we can cease with historically-inaccurate sobriquets of "Nazi" & "fascist" & simply state: "This debate is over whether thristnidinghent is a good thing or a bad thing." And: "These purthristnidinghensive policies must be changed."

   "Neanderthal Poem aka State of the Union Speech, 2004

me bushman in white cave!
me strong, me big!
me want more more more!
four more!

me want me clan big go, big go iraq!
bad bad iraqi have big big stones!
me want no big stones in not me clan!
me stone-man, me club-man!
not me not have stones, not clubs!
they bad!

big go iraq rock throw on bad bad iraqi!
club hit bad bad iraqi in Baghdad!

bad iraqi not bow me clan!
not bow not pray in me sacred cave!
hide in bad-man cave!
me no find long time!

me want big go iraqi too!
me big go eat bird on bird day with me clan!
me do me want, me all do me want!
me big!

me find bad man iraqi clan big man!
me clan clean big bad man bad hair!
eat bad man lice get bad man spirit!

me want all not me like me!
not me do like me do!
all do me do!

all pray in me cave me spirit!
me spirit most big spirit!
one spirit three spirit!
spirit died help me win!
spirit died on tree-flesh me!
me pray to tree-flesh!
tree-flesh totem!

all bad bad iraqi pray to voodoo totem!
pray five!
five bad!
pray bad day!
me pray first day bad bad iraqis pray seven day!

they shaman bad mans!
but bad man help me clan good!
good bad man hit brothers sisters me club me stone!
kill brothers sisters mothers fathers!
they good bad mans!

me clan big man four more!
me want win me win!
me more sacred bones!
bad mans me clan lose!
they no bones!
they no big father!
they not many bow bow pray!
me bow bow pray more!
me good!"

--Millie Niss on the Buffalo Poetics List

Friday, January 23, 2004

Elephants Don't Play Chess*.
Elephants Don't Play Backgammon Either.
Why Elephants Don't Play Hopscotch.
...Elephants Don't Play the Saxphone...(sic)
Of course, elephants don't play Polo.
Elephants don't play chicken with motorbike taxis.
...elephants don't play snooker...

*I dunno. Maybe the first chess set they tried the elephants on was made of ivory?

I need a name for webpage-generated poems: "xenon missives".
Here's a couple based on the Red-Assed Baboon-in-Chief's latest gibberish:

   "The Pile Made Higher"

President Thank you to do
For younger workers pass
a lot
to each other, issues: in all
who can accumulate, and acts of the
terrorists have a great goals larger
than 200,000
new creed: roll.
Applause. And violence. No people from
Europe to Congress. to encourage the side
of the United
States military.

President Delivers State sponsors
the materials, technology, build
infrastructure, and resolve
As nations are proving
their own
citizens A sound tax
relief so long ago, on
the man who can vanish in awe of thousands
of two key issues, trade
and I will
be partners in the future, make Social
Security will
Applause. broader
home My budget includes coverage Applause.
Our cause
and resolve. of opportunity
and modern Medicare Iraq continues
to school. with
Russia and the
of the day and responded
by outlaw regimes, that
we have to train and continents,
on government seized terrorists who have executed an
flight attendant spotted a

[This, of course, is what Xenon Mercurists do.]

Ethiopian Genocide. (via Dr Menlo)

I figured out what the "Mars Initiative" is all about. When Guantanamo Bay fills up, they'll need some place to send dissidents...

The Case for Cannibalism.

Speaking Truth to Power.

"Captain Kangaroo" is dead.

New Local Poetry Venue:
POET: Da Boogie Man
BAND: Smooth Choppy
DJ: Whiz T

WHEN: Thursday, January 29, 2004
The University of Texas at Dallas
2601 North Floyd Road
Richardson, Texas

With FREE: Food, Door Prizes, and Fountain Drinks
Also ½ price Starbucks Coffees

Contact: GNO at nommomobius at yahoo dot com

Information Feudalism. (via Wood_s Lot)

City of poets, writers and scientists. (It was the first state to recognize the USA as an independent nation.) (Also, the English word "argosy" comes from its other name, Ragusa.)

I've been writing today's date 012304 &'s all consecutive numbers!

Listening to: Classic Mountain Songs.
[This should have been the soundtrack for Cold Mountain...Yeah, & they should have cast Kate Winslett as "Ada", too (Melanie says Scarlett Johansson).]

A Catalogue of Warlords. (via Bruce Sterling)

The Quest for the Golden Hare. (This is much more interesting than the same sort of story when written by the likes of Dan Brown & Perez-Reverte)

Vacation in Yakutia.

"In every way Baroque music is like a teen-ager."
Melanie reviews:
   "With Oscar nominations just days away, I've decided to send out mini reviews of a couple of movies in case anyone out there wants to catch up on their moviegoing this weekend. First and foremost, I wll recommend Monster, starring Charlize Theron as (fairly) recently executed serial killer Aileen Wuornos. In a lifetime of moviegoing, few films have ever elicted from me such an emotional response. Monster makes me weep for humanity. Aileen Wuornos was damaged goods almost from the time she was born. My post-viewing research has led me to believe that this woman, even as a young girl, suffered from sort of emotional or mental imbalance and probably what she needed most was someone to love her and take proper care of her; instead, she was thrown out on the streets when she was still in her teens (14-15, as I recall), and everything that was wrong with her was allowed to go untreated and just sort of snowballed; falling prey to prostitution certainly didn't help. If anything, I'm sure it only served to worsen her already anti-social behavior. The truth is this: nobody is born a monster...they (monsters, that is) are shaped by the circumstances that are thrown their way, and in Wuornos's case, very little of it was pretty, but, again, I think there is every reason to believe she suffered from sort of genuine disorder that went untreated. I'd like to think that if she'd gotten the help she so clearly needed, she would not have ever resorted to killing the way she did; so not only was her life damaged, but so were others--her victims and their families, and if this isn't enough for all of us to weep for humanity, I don't know what is. Monster stars beautiful South African reared actress Charlize Theron, who, until now, has made a career of being a decorative presence in movies (to be fair, some of the blame must be blamed on unimaginative Hollywood suits who just don't know what to do with a goddessy type like Theron). At any rate, Theron, who co-produced Monster (written and directed by Patty Jenkins) has not only effected a startlingly physical transformation as Wuornos, she's also reached into the innermost depths of her very being to bring out every possible emotion, every possible nuance, of this character's unsettling psychological makeup. The scene in which she professes herself a good person won't easily be forgotten (and that's just one of numerous highly charged moments). If there is any justice at all, Theron will win this year's Best Actress Oscar, and yet that (an Oscar) would almost serve to trivialize a harrowing real-life tragedy, not to mention doing the same (trivializing) what is truly a singular work of art, and make no mistake, that is exactly what this movie is: art of a most accomplished sort; one that could not have come easily for any of its participants. Still, if we are going to have Oscars, then, yes, Theron must be honored, for no other actress in 2003 has put as much on the line as she has in Monster. To clarify, this is not a movie that in any way excuses Wuornos for her actions; rather, the goal is to get as far inside her head as possible, to humanize her and show us that no one person on this earth is all one thing or another. Wuornos is a case study in extremes, but she was still human--and we must learn from that.

I also want to, on a lighter note, recommend Girl With a Pearl Earring, a meditation on 17th century Dutch painter Vermeer's famous painting (of the same name). The movie is based on a popular work of fiction (a hypothetical account of the painter's model, or alleged model, by Tracy Chevalier), and it doesn't offer much in the way of nail biting excitement--nor is it to be taken as the last word on Vermeer (about whom very little is known, anyway). This movie's most significant accomplishment is the way it apes Vermeer's style in image after image; in that regard it is dazzling, and deserves to be seen by anyone who is fan of Vermeer, or the art of cinematography itself. Remember, movies began as a visual medium, and every now and then we're lucky enough to get a film which celebrates that in a poetic--dare I say, painterly--and compelling way. In this instance, a round of applause to the great cinematographer Eduardo Serra (who, let's cross our fingers, will be nominated by his peers); he was previously nominated for 1997's luxe The Wings of the Dove. Girl With a Pearl Earring stars the always watchable Colin Firth and luscious newcomer Scarlett Johansson (of Lost in Translation and Ghost World), and is directed by Peter Webber. The screenplay is by Olivia Hetreed, with costumes by Dien Van Straalen. The Art Director is Christina Schaffer, and the Production Designer is Ben van Os. (Myself, I've never understood the distinction between those two job titles.) The score is by Alexandre Desplat. The movie was shot primarily in Luxembourg, but also Belgium and the Netherlands.

Both Monster and Girl With a Pearl Earring are must-sees."

Listening to: Miles Davis- Aura (1989). [He can still surprise me.]

   "I Dreamed My Genesis

I dreamed my genesis in sweat of sleep, breaking
Through the rotating shell, strong
As motor muscle on the drill, driving
Through vision and the girdered nerve.

From limbs that had the measure of the worm, shuffled
Off from the creasing flesh, filed
Through all the irons in the grass, metal
Of suns in the man-melting night.

Heir to the scalding veins that hold love's drop, costly
A creature in my bones I
Rounded my globe of heritage, journey
In bottom gear through night-geared man.

I dreamed my genesis and died again, shrapnel
Rammed in the marching heart, hole
In the stitched wound and clotted wind, muzzled
Death on the mouth that ate the gas.

Sharp in my second death I marked the hills, harvest
Of hemlock and the blades, rust
My blood upon the tempered dead, forcing
My second struggling from the grass.

And power was contagious in my birth, second
Rise of the skeleton and
Rerobing of the naked ghost. Manhood
Spat up from the resuffered pain.

I dreamed my genesis in sweat of death, fallen
Twice in the feeding sea, grown
Stale of Adam's brine until, vision
Of new man strength, I seek the sun."

--Dylan Thomas

Thursday, January 22, 2004

"So how do the rightwingers get elected if they have nothing to say about the most important issues facing the American people? That is the central question of modern American politics. And the answer is that they work day and night to divide the American people against each other so that they end up voting against their own best interests. That is what the Republican Party is all about." --Bernie Sanders in Common Dreams [See Lakoff's Second Law.]

According to Aaron Hamburger, however, the creator of the statue of Stalin that briefly dominated the Prague skyline, Otakar Svec (1892-1955), killed himself the day before the sculpture's unveiling.
   "Death Patterns

On the strings of the harp

A tracery of cobwebs glimmers

Upon the crown of the harp

A soft veil of grey dust lies."

--Angela Manalang Gloria

Che Ape.

Three Laws Safe. (Good name for a band?)
John Keel is still around.

Apparently Pynchon's appearance in "The Simpsons" is this Sunday...

"To applaud the U.S. army's capture of Saddam Hussein and therefore, in retrospect, justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq is like deifying Jack the Ripper for disembowelling the Boston Strangler." --Arundhati Roy (via Under the Fire Star)

The seas rose; dinosaur grease gave out. For a while wars continued, smoulderingly, till it became plain they only interfered wih the present necessity, which was survival; & the world settled into a long, grim decline. There was much cursing of the time before, that had seemed such a golden age, then: the Great Wasting.

01 18 04

Listening to: B'Samim.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The Hat Dictionary. (via Language Hat)

Not only is Saddam Hussein a novelist, so is Richard Perle. (via Moorish Girl)

   "ODE: Minions"

  I live now on a private,
Profound crystal & painful
Shatter we shall & meet fire
Coldly and I forgot the
Bells ring over the lagoon
Where sable swans on rivers yet unfound
Mirrors have been muttered, flitting the neon
Or cluster bombs or
Would renew the time he had
Crushed, is always
Blurred shadow of wires
Perfect morning, go across the mud
Of a new and pitiless faith
That shuns the jostle-avid throng.
I assert my original glory in the dark eclipse
Till peace suddenly comes:
This is strange and its consummation that wants to

  Heart, heart, of thousands of going
Had, six writs this would renew
The shadowy rain
Winds through the colorless chill
One torturing it worthy of saving it looked forward
The eyes of
Look, my Anopheles,
From a book on a strange shelf!

  Dance in forests of azure
And frozen velleity
Stone smooth to the touch
My complicated wish
Never. Dark
Turk cats vain tents it
Make you become earth/ // is destined for
Black twisted debris
Sensibly lying--I mean, the utility was there
You could
Make into ice a try
They carried no echo
With rusty invidious beaks
Ask after her like the secret
The case that such
Art is found myself wanting
Suicide Academy nominations
Shadows which are being lands

  One has pacified the inflexible habitations
Neighbor with information. The
Garuda of anomie
Silence of
The far away, in front
A diagram sways.
Horse drawn vintage Corvette
In the umbelliferous dark
Ink exists so it can dance for you.
Old gaming limb
Of our serious frolic
About with crumbling marvels
The ghosts, and
The devastated citadel: My galactic
Pen can dig
And the noise absorbs its own.

  Ash grows on a cigarette
Thinking of the secret police
With painable sparkage slag
I will come back as a mountain
Strange and round jade have to
Muck tab. Mad
Merely to lull the leisure
Our lordly despairUnder
An entelechy of clouds and trumpets,
Under pink & blue lights
Cloned soldiers erose in Decaf Land
Only after days of
A dark unknown of time, and joined to Rigel
Along the wind-curved sandhills.
The last astronaut was not a happy man,
Verulam dosser
Ghostly even to other ghosts
He vends
The promise of a new architecture;
A dense cloud of sacrifice

01 18 04

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

"Secular Muslim is my favorite way in describing me. When me and myself sit to discuss the issues of religion and culture, we never fight.
Islam is that huge heritage of architecture -- my grandfather's court yard house, music -- um kalthum and fayrooz, food -- doolma and yabsah, colors -- green palm trees and brown bricks, language -- my love letters and quraan, poems -- Sayyab and motanabbi, books Jaaberi and kanafani, smell and taste-- bakhoor and hareesa, chai -- abo el heel and noomi al basra, quraan -- mosques and harmony, and .. me :--)
Maybe that's why we can't drop that heritage or hand it over easily to other people with long beards just because they are religious and me and my self are anti-religious. I mean, where is the point? I don't believe in the Islamic religion, but I am a part of the Islamic culture and society.... the point that I am a secular person, I belong to the big seculars family, and all this crap about religions doesn't move a hair on my body (it's an Arabic expression)." --Raed
[A distinction often lost on the American media. I myself am fond of many things in Islamic culture (food, music, architecture) but i have no use for this or any other monotheism...]

I found out from a "Dallas Pravda" article today that someone in Garland is still building sound equipment using vacuum tubes.

Ready for Mars? Get your Barsoom Glossary here. (He's figured out the maps, too.)

Name for a band- "Echinacea Complex".

'Goethe was the contemporary of his country's ruin.' --de Gourmont

'What happened to literature was like what happens to a decimated army: you bury the dead and make heroes of the survivors.' --ibid

Am i afraid to paint a "beautiful" painting? tell an "engrossing" story? Or to do so for the wrong reason (and what reason would i claim, that couldn't be bent into a wrong one, later?) and somehow cancel out my high, my only-meaningful ideal? ...An objective observer might well wonder in what possible danger i am, of all impossible artists the most willfully impossible, of being smoothly assi milated into the machinery of any art-process. Worry, rather, lest i succumb to an eccentric's dogged-dogma & bitter intransigence to change.

It must be that all culture is made by exiles, from somewhere else that lacked it, that didn't want it.

Don't you just love walking into a strange town with the thought to stay?

'And if only we arrange our life according to the principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the most difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful.' --Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties, ed/tr J J L Mood

   "Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed

Lie still, sleep becalmed, sufferer with the wound
In the throat, burning and turning. All night afloat
On the silent sea we have heard the sound
That came from the wound wrapped in the salt sheet.

Under the mile off moon we trembled listening
To the sea sound flowing like blood from the loud wound
And when the salt sheet broke in a storm of singing
The voices of all the drowned swam on the wind.

Open a pathway through the slow sad sail,
Throw wide to the wind the gates of the wandering boat
For my voyage to begin to the end of my wound,
We heard the sea sound sing, we saw the salt sheet tell.
Lie still, sleep becalmed, hide the mouth in the throat,
Or we shall obey, and ride with you through the drowned."

--Dylan Thomas

Monday, January 19, 2004

Metafilter thread on Deep Spring College, a place i actually considered, but rejected because of the all-male thing...

"Likewise, here's the Pacheco poem (I think translated by Alastair Reid):


I do not love my country. Its abstract splendor
is beyond my grasp.
But (although it sounds bad) I would give my life
for ten places in it, for certain people,
seaports, pinewoods, fortresses,
a run-down city, gray, grotesque,
various figures from its history,
(and three or four rivers).

My "parody," quite arbitrary:

I do not love poetry. Its abstract splendor
is beyond my grasp.
But (although it sounds bad) I would give my life
for ten sonnets, certain lines,
tankas, epigrams, prose poems,
a language poem, strange, grotesque,
various poets from its history,
(and three or four tanagas)."

--Haring Makata

A Collection of Tammuzi Poetry in translation (including Adonis). (via Parking Lot)

"I can even very occasionally afford to visit where rich people go. And, you know, they don't seem to be getting seven thousand times more pleasure than me. At best, three or four times as much." --Bellona Times

Footnote to Kent Johnson.

>From: Scott Gibbons
>Subject: fyi: The art of Cultural Interference
>Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 09:20:47 -0600
>Version>04 is looking for submissions; please pass this along to anyone who
>might be interested:
>5. The art of Cultural Interference
>What is the art of rebellion? How do we interfere with monoculture and
>communicate in public space? Stickers, posters, stencils, murals, graffitti
>cut-outs, and other graphic havoc will be presented and created during the
>convergence. We are seeking work by those making creative responses and
>strategies for "Living and Rebelling in Wartime America", articulating
>"Solidarity within the Struggle for Reproductive Rights", building
>"Temporary Autonomous Zones", creating "Camouflage" and invoking "Regime
>Change at Home". Please send as many copies of your poster, sticker,
>pamphlet, stencil or other street propaganda pieces.
>DEADLINE for submissions March 31, 2004.
>send work to:
>960 w 31st st. chicago il 60608
>contact: ed at lumpen dot com
[thanx, George]

   "Never Bet the Devil Your Head"

Shayet-13 limn glib dogma rods
Of froglegs

Wages quests down ikon grow.
Toreadorable mild balm up going
Streak, nog, t'ward gry loup
Garuda gardyloo Ligotti rue
Night of six writs full

Spectrum dominance bogusmongers tools train
Treks man's iron scion; evil
Slaughter in the ashes axe
Turk cats vain tents it
Molds relic els, gimbaling mold do cruel he:
Muck tab. Mad
Goblin glim grip briar eat; suns cant rot
Dark id bun. Size had. Bag doll

Miming shill Marzipanopticon puree

01 18 04 (for Sister Scorpion)