Saturday, April 03, 2004

Book Combining.
Incident at Matauri.

On Hearing Franklin's Harmonica.

Voice of the Revolution.

Public Haiku. (via Never Mind the Beasts)

'If man so readily forgets he is accursed, it is because he has always been so.' --E M Cioran

"The price of opium is relatively the same today as it was in the year 900 B.C." --Hunter S Thompson, Generation of Swine (1988)

"Bush [Sr] will seek out filth wherever it lives--going without sleep for days at a time, if necessary--and when he finds a new heap he will fall down and wallow crazily in it, making snorting sounds out of his nose and rolling over on his back and kicking his legs up in the air like a wild hog coming to water." --ibid

"I'll be a happy idiot
& struggle for the legal tender

where the arrows take aim
& lay their claim
to the heart & the soul of the sender"

--Jackson Browne

'the flowers withered,
Their colors faded away.
While meaninglessly
I spent my days in brooding
And the long rains were falling.'

--Ono no Komachi (tr Donald Keene)

'And I am here to burn for you like a black candle,
Burn like a black candle and not dare to pray.'

--Osip Mandelshtam (tr James Greene)

"Krieg und Sternenflug hocken beieinander." --Nelly Sachs ('War and starflight crouch next to each other')

"Though who knows? Perhaps it was the migraine brought on the poem." --Thomas Disch, Camp Concentration (1972)

Friday, April 02, 2004

Students of heteronymity should consider the case of Kilgore Trout, who is also a band & a clothing store. (At one time i wanted to write a KT story, but at that point in my writing the last thing i was able to finish was a genre novel.)

I'll Be Blogging Around The Clock.

The Language of the Vampires.

Exploding Dog draws pictures from titles submitted to him/her. (via Solipsistic)

"Do not fear rust or the illness of time. The design has taken them into account." (via Wood_s Lot) More.

Billionaires for Bush. (via the Buffalo List)

Melanie emailed me this:

Ronald Reagan - divorced the mother of two of his children to marry
Nancy Reagan who bore him a daughter 7 months after the marriage.

Bob Dole - divorced the mother of his child, who had nursed him
through the long recovery from his war wounds.

Newt Gingrich - divorced his wife who was dying of cancer.

Dick Armey - House Majority Leader - divorced.

Senator Phil Gramm of Texas - divorced.

Governor John Engler of Michigan - divorced.

Governor Pete Wilson of California - divorced.

George Will - divorced.

Senator Lauch Faircloth - divorced.

Rush Limbaugh - and his current wife, Marta, have six marriages
four divorces between them.

Senator Bob Barr of Georgia - not yet 50 years old, has been
married three times. He had the audacity to author and push the
"Defense of
Marriage Act." The current joke making the rounds on Capitol Hill
is "Bob Barr - WHICH marriage are you defending?!?)

Senator Alfonse D'Amato of New York - divorced.

Senator John Warner of Virginia - once married to Liz Taylor.

Governor George Allen of Virginia - divorced.

Representative Helen Chenoweth of Idaho - divorced.

Senator John McCain of Arizona - divorced.

Representative John Kasich of Ohio - divorced.

Representative Susan Molinari of New York (Republican National
Convention Keynote Speaker) -- divorced.

Fourth round of "American Laureate". We have seen our candidates perform in the Confessional, Slam, & Cowboy Poetry genres; each time an aspirant has been eliminated. Now it's time to do some Language Poetry. Jasper Mothman is first. Wild applause. After a commercial break, the judging. Simon scowls: "It's not enough to not make sense!"

04 02 04

Online edition of Bernstein's Veil.
"The reason we need to have our certainties shaken is so that we may see the possibility of better orders than we have." --Wendell Berry

"a genre now, verse about consciousness of war as a kind of weather..."
--Gerald Burns

It makes me very happy to talk about poetry (in these workshops) [1985], not because it is something i like, but because i never get to talk about anything that's real. And it seems, for every subject, you can only discuss its reality with those who are obsessed with it--everyone else being satisfied with vague opinions and careless attitudes (the air in the half-filled cereal box)--but not the reality of any other subject. This is an almost ideal state of ignorance...

What right is so precious as the right not to have to think?

In the twentieth century, the "right not to have to think" is tantamount to the right not to exist anymore as a species. Which is not something for an individual to decide. However, the moment approaches when enough individuals have tacitly agreed to this, and the mandate for collective suicide, as at Jonestown, will be enforced on majority and dissenters alike. Thus ends the earth's first experiment in nongenetic decision-making... Perhaps the moral to be drawn from it all, is that what is not code must needs be noise, in action. That, no lesser degree of order is sense.

Willed ignorance equals stupidity. But unearned sophistication also is a kind of willed innocence. Wanting to be, at the end instead of at the beginning, beyond learning.

"My soul, what's lighter than a feather? Wind.
Than wind? The fire. And what than fire? The mind.
What's lighter than a mind? A thought. Than thought?
This bubble world. What than this bubble? Nought."

--Francis Quarles

Thursday, April 01, 2004

'What is Man?...a phantom in the mirror of time...' --Secundus the Philosopher

'Truly, truly, I say to thee, no prophet went to the light.'
--Pistis Sophia (iii.135)

"From one point of view, magical progress actually consists in deciphering one's own record." --Magick in Theory and Practice


Knowing the weariness of dreams, and days, and nights,
The great and grievous vanity of joy and pain;
Frail loves that pass, where languors infinite remain,
Fervours and long despairs and desperate, brief delights;
Knowing how in the witless brains of them that were,
The drowsy, wiving worm hath prospered and hath died;
Knowing that, evermore, by moon and sun abide
The standing glooms made stagnant in the sepulchre;
Knowing the vacillant leaves that tremble, flame, and fall,
The sweetly-wasting rose, the dawns and stars that wane--
Knowing these things, the desolate heart and soul are fain
Of the one perfect sleep which filleth, foldeth all."

--Clark Ashton Smith

I read my journals; i am like a snail who looks back on the trail he has left and says, "Goodness, I must be melting! Why can't I keep all the traces of my passage--I'd be so much bigger then..." --by wishing not to forget my insights. The premature ones, rather.

"...let's face it, with the money it took to build a single provincial Art Fortress & Boutique like the Dallas Museum of Art you could have subsidized every artist in Renaissance Italy into his dotage with enough left over to bring out the Divine Comedy in paperback." --Dave Hickey

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

'Then when he brought the lying untrue word into his mind, Khvarenah was seen to depart from him in the shape of a bird.' --Yasht 19

In every deep relationship there comes a point when suddenly i seem to hear the familiar songs on a warped record--as if my acuity were suddenly increased past a certain threshold, beyond the manufacturers' standards of flatness, till any seems far too imperfect to tolerate--and why is this? Because i had been able, at last, to imagine what their personality would be like without the self-destructiveness (an imagining, of course, i can never perform on myself). And from that moment, there seems to be a cruel complicity between the unavoidable deformations of their childhood, and their conscious attempts to maintain the intactness of an embattled, flawed self. The mistake is mine, in thinking of creative beings as if they were merely artist's material. If i do not understand form genesis in my own creative process, why do i tend to extrapolate someone else's?

"People don't want to be healed. They want a nice juicy wound that will show well when they put neon lights around it." --The Journal of Albion Moonlight

The way we want to base our cultural renewal on places (nightclubs, healthfood stores, radio stations)--it's drawing magic circles on the ground for protection against nonsymbolic dangers--but my every experience proves to me that we are not yet such persons as know what to do with a place--we are not yet persons. Those winged reptiles who came before the archaeopteryx, did they spend their whole lives jumping up and falling down again, refusing any longer to go by feet? And how did they ever evolve into birds at that rate? Perhaps only the ones who were ashamed of their wings did.
  --for wings, substitute: personhood.

" 1949, the year Nineteen Eighty-Four was published, the United States Department of War suddenly became the Department of Defense." --Richard Lederer

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"In ancient Ireland the ollave, or master-poet, sat next to the king at table and was privileged, as none else but the queen was, to wear six different colours in his clothes." --The White Goddess

Trying to cope with the disability of not being very important.

Trust, not faith. Faith is a hedge against fear, based ultimately on wishing. Trust is based on knowing.

It is experience which cross-indexes the senses; there are no necessary correspondences beyond gross regularities of earth and mind. Symbolism is a property of art-objects only.

Having fever is the next best thing to a brainstorm. It makes you realize that laziness & the laziness of not-thinking in particular, is a luxury you can't anymore afford; nor, being hurried. You take your time and do what has to be done. It's almost like having clarity and being energetic (except you feel weak). The only danger is thinking you're not sick at all.
   --Fever as a metaphor for our situation today as agents in a stream of hurry.

When religions are new, they give.
When religions are old, they take.
They go from salvation to human sacrifice without changing images, metaphors, or ideology. What changes is the character of their worship services. When communion fades, something must replace it, as the need of the people is an irresistable force; most often, he sacramental wine is replaced by blood. The Crusades...

"The moon follows the sun like a French translation of a Russian novel." --Wallace Stevens

Monday, March 29, 2004

#7 Sign of the Apocalypse: Bob Dylan doing a Victoria's Secret commercial. (thanx Melanie!)
I guess ya gotta serve somebody.

Pink Lady.

New elements. (via Metafilter)

Anti-Blogger Hate Crime. (via Orcinus)

A Match for Lautreamont. (via bOING bOING)

Face Vase. (via The Mesopotamian)

Badger Badger Badger.

What's that joker Kac been up to lately?

Mr Fred's 11M squib. Sigh.

'Leonardo, "omo sanza lettere" (an unlettered man), as he described himself, had a difficult relationship with the written word. His knowledge was without equal in all the world, but his ignorance of Latin and grammar prevented him from communicating in writing with the learned men of his time.' --Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium tr Patrick Creagh (1988)

I suppose i can get used to artist as a despised, dispossessed and endangered role. What i can't forgive this society is having believed (Santa Claus) i would be treated differently. The shadow of those expectations still darkens my plain gray daylight. I am painfully conscious of how late i begin to learn survival...

It may be useful to keep the word "evil"--to distinguish active destructiveness from passive neglect. Similarly "folly"/"stupidity". What will astound future historians as much as any of the 20c's evils & follies, is the fact that we have no language left in which to describe the major difficulties we can hardly avoid facing everyday. Do we not perceive the ugliness of the city? we believe "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"...our minds don't register anything beyond the functional implications of the image. Leaving judgment to the Judges. "Politics" even moreso. Everyone has opinions. Nobody ever thinks about the subject.

Poets should be the sworn enemies of priests. Instead, they want to emulate them.

I think "Maya" originally did not mean that the world is an illusion, but instead was used to designate philosophies of pleasure as opposed to philosophies of freedom. Similarly the language of transcendentalism (Higher Worlds) must refer to the latter. Without this long dialogue either set of terms remains puzzlingly irrelevant to real life; e.g. it seems to be quite useless to state that "what you sense is not real" or "the true reality is somewhere else". Those are not even interesting lies...

If we are in a time before dwelling in a place is possible, we must needs be nomads. Which is a hard sentence, because we utterly lack nomadic instincts (austerity, ingenuity, stamina, decisiveness). We would be ready to walk right into Utopia (we think)--if it were merely across the street from us. But we cannot become reconciled to it being 1000 miles (or years) away. So we go on living extravagantly amid illusions of safe, easy, pleasant and rewarding futures, forever just about to rescue us from these "troubles".