Saturday, February 28, 2004

Gray Tuesday.

Motor Sports for the Blind. Now that's real 2004...

On Useless Buttons.

Blogs: Dallas 171; Fort Worth 98; Plano 111.

At this point i don't know if i should be more worried about Dominionism or Umbrism... the latter seems to be growing at an exponential rate, whilst the former (ahem) should be crawling back under its rock within a matter of months. Qui sais-je?

Then there was this exchange of letters between Pliny & Trajan, at about the same time Tacitus was writing.

Iraqi Poetry today.

"...Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God."
--Harold Pinter

A painting by Hashim Hanoon i like.

"we have Arabic [Big Brother] now. The plot to make the whole world eat and watch the same things is going pretty well, don't you think?" --Salam Pax

Hobo Alphabet (poem). (via Shanna Compton)

"When in 1983 I moved to Syracuse, New York, the snowiest major city in the state, all my poems became about snow." --Geof Huth (dbqp)
To our way of thinking, a purchase is acting, choosing, doing something. But also: every act we consider as a purchase, that we must accomplish, have gained by doing it. Otherwise we feel like we've been cheated--we've paid without satisfaction.
   This feeling is often the only sign we have that a relationship is over. Meaning: no more reciprocity of feedback. And afterwards you think of bankruptcy. A great debt has disappeared.
   Immediately there is the giddiness of infinite choice which comes from having money but not yet any particular direction for it.
   And an apprehensiveness: once it's spent the feeling of freedom will be gone. (The miser of choices.) So i want to know, what kind of freedom is not just the illusion of infinite choice, does not use up in commitment, and asks for nothing else besides, no proof or deed?
   Is it the effortlessness of true creativity, the instantaneity of direct insight; the simplicity of unimpeded perception in the absence of "ego"? Which ego, nostalgically, reflects upon how and where it has been--and calls, in retrospect, Freedom...? That is, without the particular chiaroscuro of one's unique personality, does the "objective necessity" of what-happens have an infinite value in the shadowless radiance of "the Unconscious"?
   Don't ask me.

"To invoke posterity is to weep on your own grave." --Graves

A! fredome is a noble thing!
but I would rather be horizontal.
      --Barbour & Plath

"...Grizzling/ In the wart-kinked,/ Gyring, pustulent light." --Patchen

'On the Topic, "The Three Dogmas Are Not One Dogma, Nor Are They Three Dogmas" '

   Better to hear
The rain outside my window
   Tapping as it drops,
I turn my midnight lamp around,
Dimming its light against the wall.'
--Emperor Fushimi (1263-1317), tr Earl Miner

Friday, February 27, 2004

Tacitus 15.44 & translation. Jesus enters recorded history--three generations after the event.

"Born in Christian Reconstructionism, which was founded by the late R. J. Rushdoony, the framers of the new cult [Dominionism] included Rushdoony, his son-in-law Gary North, Pat Robertson, Herb Titus, the former Dean of Robertson’s Regent University School of Public Policy (formerly CBN University), Charles Colson, Robertson’s political strategist, Tim LaHaye, Gary Bauer, the late Francis Schaeffer, and Paul Crouch, the founder of TBN, the world’s largest television network, plus a virtual army of likeminded television and radio evangelists and news talk show hosts." --Katherine Yurica and Laurie Hall, "The Despoiling of America" (via Wood_s Lot)
"How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute but to the voice of Anguish?"--Thomas Gray

Plush Nyarlathotep, too!


  and atrocities
don't happen all that often
and only a few took part
and are nothing compared to what the other side does
and after all have always been part of war,
and we deplore war
and always have
and always will"

--Eve Merriam, The Nixon Poems (1970)

Umbrist Poets. (via Dagzine)

J K Rowling is officially a billionaire. (via The Elegant Variation)

   "My Big Fat Texas Execution"

body swallowed up I
dare invent a
relief it
should pay some other tribe. Wolfe, The late and
someone, agitated, beset by michael
at Elsewhere.
A few hardknocks
in Gnurr Kett, part of view with the weight of
had no
appeal was something like
Hendrix doing his previous decade, going
to do not give the
nose that Robbins has to need
19 04Say it
that it may
be available for 17 years &
behind us If the RING [
2001] and what the
the writing at table. ...But
of Billy
Crystal'in an escort, wounded, a
man I'Sob Trumpets. , this

03 04 04

   "Lyon haiku"

  cry, bird, that chase to
go. i know why. know i go
  to chase that bird-cry.

01 23 86

"Hay, be seedy! He-effigy, hate-shy jaky yellowman, oh peek, you are rusty, you've edible, you ex-wise he!" --Harry Mathews

"I often wondered when I cursed.
Often feared where I would be--
Wondered where she'd yield her love,
When I yield, so will she.
I would her will be pitied!
Cursed be love! She pitied me..."

--Lewis Carroll

All the sounds in English: "Hum, thou whirring fusion; yes, Joy, pay each show; vie, thaw two wool dock bags." (from Word Ways?)

"Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis;
  Quomodo? Fit semper tempore peior homo."
--John Owen
Church of Virus. "The Virian religion holds that there are three virtues to strive to uphold, these being: Reason, Empathy and Vision; along with three "senseless sins" to avoid, Dogmatism, Apathy and Hypocrisy." --Wikipedia entry [Oh. I thought CoV meant that a computer virus was God.]

Some other virtual religions. (Warning: i think Partenia is for real.)

Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story.

Maybe Mr Gibson should've done a movie of the Pistis Sophia... Like, kool.

"Look across the globe and when have you ever seen such a dismaying crew in occupation of every seat of power, a certifiable nutcase here, a tinpot dictator there, a feckless blood spattered plutocrat in this office, an unindicted war criminal in that office, miscreants, meshuginahs, maniacs, and every one of them has the means of doing the most appalling damage. You aren't fundamentalists, you have had a superb education and you have learned how to read, you have learned that all reading is interpretation, you are smart readers but we've failed miserably to educate the world and so there are many poor readers out there, many fundamentalists, and every one of them has the means of doing the most appalling damage, every one who wants to can do quite a lot towards bringing the world to an end." --Tony Kushner commencement address (via Vicki Rosenzweig)

From Vicki i also learned of the existence of the Basque Wikipedia.

"We are heroes in error." --Ahmad Chalabi (via Antiwar)

Listening to- Dizzy Gillespie.

Lucy in the Sky. (via Rebecca Blood)

Write Your Own Mel Gibson Movie. (via John Gorenfeld)

"Down to the trackless wood, full pale and overcast." --Dobson

  Sky-spanning contrails
First thing i see going out
  Then the cold hits me
Where else is there so much blue
To a February day?

02 27 04

   "Good Friday"

What do you expect frightened stupid people to do? We can't all be genius heroes of detachment. When i watch the huddled masses noisily milling in the theater lobby, i think: this is their Woodstock. It affirms their frail identities, even as it blows them away with melodramatic ultraviolence. It makes their anger feel righteous.

02 27 04

   "My Rap Song"

My rap song goes like this: i have to drive almost an hour each way to work, in a car that sometimes breaks down & leaves me stranded & i have to call triple-A which my mother pays for so she won't have to go out & rescue me in her slightly more reliable junker.

02 27 04

   "The Smoke of Satan into the Church"

I started writing this at Shiloh & Northwest Highway; Elvis is singing. This is a light industrial area with mostly good traffic flow but often a chemical reek in the air. The sun pouring in through my windshield is starting to make me uncomfortably warm. I see a shopping cart tilting half off the curb.

02 27 04
'We cannot know if there would have been a Romanesque science. If there had been, no doubt it would have been to our own what Gregorian chant is to Wagner.' --Simone Weil

A pessimist: someone who mistakes the press of his ego for the weight of the world.
An optimist: someone who mistakes the lilt of the wind for his own power and freedom.

Cyril Connolly writes that a lemur has only so many postures and after it runs through them all, like a cheap kaleidoscope, it's back where it started. Apply this to human identity--and you will understand the place of creativity in human lives.

"Goethe is the greatest genius that has lived for a century, and the greatest ass that has lived for three." --Carlyle, while translating Wilhelm Meister in 1823

"True! My filling came out inside my date's pussy" --SMU graffiti

"I knew then, on the arm of that giant figure, the ambition to conquer time, an ambition beside which the desire of the distant suns is only the lust of some petty, feathered chieftain to subjugate some other tribe." --Gene Wolfe, The Sword of the Lictor (1981)

Thursday, February 26, 2004

"Solutionism is just another dead end." --Heathens in Heat

I'm Egypt. (via Fishblog)

Get your official "Passion" tie-in nail pendants here. (via Insert Witty Title Here)
I had been wondering when the last painting of relevance occurred--Ernst Fuchs in the 60's? Sue Coe in the 80's?--but Jack Mims has given us a suite of great paintings that entirely answer to the events of the past three years.

"Hymen Hymenaeus..." (double dactyls)

"And to all you gay Republicans: how does it feel now to know how the Jews felt who thought if they just behaved like good everyday Germans, they'd be welcome with open arms in the mid-1930s, when they heard the trains pulling the cattle cars rev up their engines?"--Yuri

Even the Dallas City Council doesn't like the Patriot Act--! (But, Laura Miller, you just lost my faith & my vote.)

"Determinism and choice are much closer than they appear."
--Raymond Smullyan

"Delft has its charms -- is there any midsized town in western Europe without charms? -- but not many." --Jane Dark

Listening to: Muslimgauze- New Soul Reverberations
'Shall all wights in the world
   Wander from home--'
--Voluspa (Hollander tr)

Sometimes it seems to me that the world is divided into those who makes their lives a story and those who don't. That is, whether you believe in order or randomness as the fundamental reality. The habit of explaining precedes particular explanations. Or maybe it's: accepting somebody else's story vs. making up your own. But--'everyone reads their own meaning into the old tales anyway'. Well, then: thinking types come up with explanations. Sensation types orient by habits. Feeling types set up families. Intuitive types tell stories. Of course, even if i soften this point of view with all of Jung's concessions, there still remains defining Story. Certainly metaphors are used for different purposes. (Thus it's not so much that everyone lies, as that we are confusing several ways of using metaphors, and all call ours Telling the Truth.) Just consider the stories people read in the same time and place (i thought of this, waiting to check out). I don't consider 90% (99%) of this big library Literature. (Even, bad Literature...)
   Those who know they're telling themselves a story and the rest. (Then a poet making poetry is temporarily normal?)
   (Of course i have heard fundamentalists say that everyone worships some god. Clearly it is possible to turn your own metaphors into a classification system, if one is so inclined.)
   But i hope my journals are, at least in part, my trying to deconstruct the stories i have told myself--.

'...I failed to realize that everything is mysterious, that we live only in mystery, that if chance existed, chance would be yet more mysterious than Providence.' --J K Huysmans, 1903 preface to A Rebours, 1884

"Everybody knows that Aristotelian two-value logic is fucked." --Philip K Dick, Valis (1981)

"Ectothermy is a kind of Zen state." --Robert T Bakker, in 12/83 OMNI

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Movies in which the Earth is destroyed by a nuclear bomb at the end: Dr Strangelove; Hammerhead; Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

Freezing Shakespeare.

'I told her
Jesus was a man--
my little sister's
hurtful eyes
pity me'

--Ishikawa Takuboku, Poems to Eat (tr Carl Sesar)
Gene Wolfe- The Citadel of the Autarch:
   "The people of Ascia were reduced to speaking only with their masters' voice; but they had made of it a new tongue, and I had no doubt, after hearing the Ascian, that by it he could express whatever thought he wished." --part of a very beautiful allegorical miniature about a nation that speaks only in quotations (e.g. Chairman Mao [though if you read translated Chinese poetry from the mid-20c you will just think it rendered them mute about anything deep])--but what I thought of was something different than the human drive to communicate.

   For were there not whole centuries devoid of creative writing, or rather when it took the form of collages of quotations from the classics? (even if not--it's the idea). Perhaps in dismissing the form we miss the subtleties they conveyed (i think of my cut-up book [MFFW])--Pound's third kind of poetry logopoeia, which he looked in the wrong times for (seeking Golden Ancestors) and before him was a lost concept... I read that Walter Benjamin wanted to make a book entirely of quotations, interlocking in some arcane design [& hasn't Markson carried it out, of late??]...and this points to a preponderance of what we call Irony, over what we call Meaning. (Irony extorts meaning from banalities--by twisting them.) I think this is also a characteristic of our lives. --Byzantium!
   And the second part [of my thought] is, i remembered what the earliest epics, oral phrases strung together, were like (i think!). Then, too, a kind of quasi-Irony guided the disorderly images. Maybe, then, it is only in some middle, settled, period, that words acquire the illusion of transparency, and maybe also, human lives. That is, the complexity becomes harmonized to the point of plainness? Or is this just nostalgia?
"Irony abounds." --Arthur Bremer's diary

'The certain prospect of death could sweeten every life with a precious and fragrant drop of levity--and now you strange apothecary souls have turned it into an ill-tasting drop of poison that makes the whole of life repulsive.' --Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow, 322

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Siding with the poor is the noblesse oblige of the intelligentsia. We exchange this for internecine squabbling at our credibility's peril. Every writer should pay some dues as an editor; even moreso, every writer should know what it's like to be homeless.

   "Twilight of the Content Providers"

Nowadays looking at newspapers gives me some hope but damn, the house is half burnt down & they're just beginning to smell smoke? I wonder every day how a journalist can look himself in the face in the morning. But i know. They're just junkies--addicted to a process which nilpertains the truth.

02 20 04

Monday, February 23, 2004

   Okay, here's mine:

Crescent City, plunged beneath the waves,
Never again to lure that tourist dollar;
Descendents of the masters & the slaves
Are gone, their mingled beauty, myth, & squalor
Remain as gumbo, muffaletta, tales
Of ghosts & vampires, whispered after dark;
As music of strange urgency. What fails
To parse for us today is how it all
Must once have felt, together, not these stark
Shattered reminders. Deeper denizens crawl
Upon the kudzu-wreathed verandas, dart
Between the cemetery statues now.
They glow in silence, as we too must bow
Before a myst'ry void of bound or start.

02 23 04
Baroque Povera. (via Click Opera)

The Secret is Out.

Lojban hosts the Klingons.

   'The Truth About the Incident

Darkness and the boiler...
The darkness was the sole cause for the failure to fathom the shapes of things
I laid the body that had hardened among human beings
On the sloping side of the boiler
And I indulged in a dialogue with the constellations

The rising wails of the high-voltage currents
penetrated the spine like the night's phosphorescence
the crumbling lives and the snowy dawns of the last days
The hazy tints of ammonia
rising at the climar (sic) of pleasure-seeking
The sea and the sky with swollen lungs and the approaching 25th hour

Rays of light: "Closely watch the ends of all destinies."
The cries of the chief engineer echoed by fellow technicians
And loud explosions

In the brilliance of arc-lamps
the poet experiences the premonitions with naked eyes
The boiler had numberless glands of despair
resembling capillary vessels

Death and the corpses, and the Poet has fallen
with burnt hair and severed limbs
the sun's music and the sea's radiance
O, the new sea's rays and the sun's music start to flow
"Nothing has ever happened." '

--Kyu-dong Kim, op cit

"The Indian [Hindu] seeks salvation from life ever-lasting, while the Christian desires life ever lasting." Religions in Four Dimensions (1976)

"una est nobilitas argumentumque coloris
  ingenui timidas non habuisse manus."
--Petronius ('There is only one excellence and evidence of grace/ inborn--not to have cowardly hands.')

"Prose books are the show dogs I breed and sell to support my cat." --Robert Graves

You use your iron lung for blowing soap bubbles, you better be serious about aesthetics.

"The surrealists have managed to put on a pretty good vaudeville act for the middle-class; but there isn't a religious man among them." --Kenneth Patchen, The Journal of Albion Moonlight (1941)

   "No Oil in Haiti"

For those who still want more of me
When all the product's gone
The sunrise is as i once told
And drew my pictures on
Commuters still are cutting off
The neighbor in their lane
And radio still descants that mix
That was my love & bane
When you refill your little tank
And watch the numbers roll
Remember one who crouched as you
His back against the wall

02 18 04