Saturday, April 17, 2004

Listening to: Insha-Allah. (My first guess, on seeing the CD cover, was "This looks like the 'Guns 'N' Roses' of Pakistan". Actually, they're a bit better than that.)

A Mystery, Solved.

"We want to live in a country even a crazy man can head and not have it be dangerous for us or the world." --Llewellyn H Rockwell, Jr (via Antiwar)

Falluja Roundup. (sigh...)

Perspective. Listening to "Ohio", i said, "One day Nixon will be nothing but a footnote to that song."

Opponents of gay marriage betray themselves, not of being unable to make a simple analogy, but of being trapped in the definitions of externals--for they have never been in love.

"an alien pox in the polished dark" --Shaughnessy

He spent many studious years making sure that nothing could be done. When he was satisfied, it was already too late to start a new subject. So he began to broadcast his findings. Against his intentions he became a pundit & a celebrity. Everyone wanted to hear that there was absolutely nothing to be done.

04 12 04

"According to the Will of God"

The warning on his desk unheeded,
Bush went fishing. Plans succeeded
Both to break a tyrant's crown,
And to bring an empire down.

04 13 04

Friday, April 16, 2004

A review which segues into an essay on gender/politics which is truly brilliant.

Slow Life.

Two paintings which some knowledge of the painter's life changes utterly.

   "Three Months More in Hell"

The voice of Bush is the voice of God
Blind, drooling, idiot
In traffic to ignore
Road & weather conditions;
In medicine to prescribe
Leeches for everything;
In poetry to write
When your muse has nothing to say.

04 15 04
I guess we were due for a Minstrel-Show Revival.

Howard Waldrop Blogs! (via Boing Boing)

How To Own The Internet In Your Spare Time. (via Beyond the Beyond)
   "SUV Recall"

The Easter Bunny in Fallujah
Tears children to pieces.
It has something to do with God
But none of them has lived
To tell us.
It's a mystery.
Like the mystery of why
We can watch on TV
An ape making grunts
And think it's a man speaking reasons.

04 15 04
You Are Trapped In That Bright Moment When You Learned Your Doom.

'That there might be too much snow in the notion of fire' --Cesar Vallejo, The Complete Posthumous Poetry, tr Clayton Eshleman (1979)

From Edward Bear- The Seven Deadly Needs: To Know, To Be Right, To Get Even, To Look Good, To Judge, To Keep Score, and To Control.

A Snowblogger. (via Metafilter)

"Somebody was clearly trying to get the attention of a simpleton, and failing."
--Tom Tomorrow

Moribundia. (via Mosses from an Old Manse) As globalization homogenizes everything within its reach, people long for vestiges of the authentic--old cafes with bad food.

   "Execution of a Retarded Man"

The day the clown cried
Was a day of gunfire
Like the day before
And the day before that.
The clown cried seeing
All the hearts of men
All the ruins of those hearts
And the ruins that those hearts made;
He cried to know
What could not be done.
He cried for a day
Then he started to move.
The tears were still wet
On the cheeks of the clown
But at last he was moving,
For the clown had cried.

04 15 04
Yesterday, on NPR, a bit about the Kirghiz, & their epic poem (banned under the Soviets) which everyone quotes & many know by heart: their culture & their history... There's a place to be a poet in... [1992]

" gain essentially the same powers, the Renaissance mage strove for moral purity (,) but the modern magician embraces the non-rational." --T M Luhrman, Persuasions of the Witch's Craft (1989)

Thought of writing a novel as more like a symphony. Instead of plot, there are themes on which you embroider. This is most apparent when you read several books by one author. The ostensibly different subjects tend to vanish, in recollection. Leaving--motifs.

I am such a creature of words. While prowling around the back room upstairs i came upon a receipt from a Tibetan importer (for B--'s store) & one of the items listed was a "phurba". A magical dagger! It was a real thrill to see the word there, albeit somewhat tarnished by the price (only $22?) he had paid for it.

"I found the software in Assembler, Fortran, and Cobol*, the most ancient of computer languages. Might as well have been classical Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit." --The Cuckoo's Egg
[*3 of the 5 i know.]

Today, free day at the [Seattle] art museum, i watched an hour long video on Francis Bacon. I was appalled to hear how he uses the unprimed side of the canvas--technically unsound--but it suits his brooding sense of mortality (as does his gambling). I still admire his work tremendously. Almost alone it seems to capture our late twencen reality (rather than its myths about itself): & afterwards, as i stood before the one painting of his they have, i reflected that my own paintings would be no real loss to the world, since one of his contains everything i've tried to say in all of mine. occurred to me that Bacon's point of view (if something so visceral & nonintellectual can be so designated) is Jacobean, without the moralistic tone. Whereas most contemporary painters begin frivolously, from theory & career considerations, or from ego's frolics. Bacon identifies with his subjects so completely that it becomes impersonal...--but not in our usual hackneyed sense of "objectivity"; rather, feeling suffering & decay & degradation as the essence of life itself, or what (i would say) life has become for us, in the absence of myth & creative meaning. And the only transcendence, apart from sex, is the fact of the painting itself... My one criticism of Bacon, then, is that he depicts a world in which his paintings are impossible. Or (as he does show them!) a world without art's power. --a mistake all too common since humanism has lost its moral authority-- But after all, that's the world most people do live in! night here they had on TV some show that was like real life cop stories--straight documentary footage--for the entertainment value of its morbid disorder. I can easily imagine, in front of every TV set, a whole tribe of Bacon grotesques, fixated like lampreys on their own imminent ruin.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

From the blurb for Surprised By Sin by Stanley Fish: "...[Milton's] poem's lesson is proven on a reader's impulse every time he or she finds a devilish action attractive or a godly action dismaying." --How Yasusada of him.
Cher Doll and Her Celebrity Friends. Wow, for a second i thought this was a put-on, like Why Cats Paint... And seventy five years from now, won't they be perplexed as to what we took seriously, & what we didn't?!

Harry Crews--the Band.
Jesus Vs. Satan in a Cage Match.

Listening to: The Starsound Orchestra Plays the Hits Made Famous by Madonna.

150 poetry books were published in April. (via Poetry Hut)
"The lights go out, the fan stops and in the sudden quiet someone holds up the flame of a cigarette lighter for the doctor to carry on operating by." --Eyewitness Report from Falluja

"Thinking is like a thin king. There is also a knight." --Lime Tree

Redoubled Flowering. (via Fishblog)
"It's said that Heinrich Himmler turned white as a sheet upon witnessing the business end of a gas chamber during one of his rare inspection tours of the camps, and had a difficult time eating his lunch afterwards." --Billmon (via Wood_s Lot)
"To be occasionally quoted is the only fame I care for."
--Alexander Smith

   "Latte Infix"

Beggar conjure, reindeer dogtrot door
To radium call
Pummel leave shriek (up) blackened

Day unkind

Easter disperse latte crossfire gray newbie
And rogue bonobo.
Pouncy ceasefire latte bleed practice
For the world of light Pitcairn

Gray Easter

Conjure reindeer Fallujah corpses grope star
Shattered eyes it?; shortened field
Chartreuse sifts down; flying dogtrot beg
Jade bomb hush.
Gray of evil loom

04 11 04

"The novel used to feed our search for meaning... It was the great secular transcendence. The Latin mass of language, character, occasional new truth. But our desperation has led us toward something larger and darker. So we turn to the news, which provides an unremitting mood of catastrophe. This is where we find emotional experience not available elsewhere. We don't need the novel... We don't even need catastrophes, necessarily. We only need the reports and predictions and warnings." --Don DeLillo, Mao II (1991)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The Day The Clown Cried.

An Equal Number?

The Sackner Archive. (via dbqp)
"When the Rolling Stones went to Chess Records in Chicago they found Muddy Waters painting the studio wall to earn some money between recording sessions." --Nina Simone, I Put a Spell on You (1991) [her autobiography]
You would not think, from our novels, poems, or music, that we are all of us continually getting sick all the time. But isn't that part of the crisis--health care (even if only the middle class's--alas) meant for something rare, & the need becoming common? And isn't it part of the unemployment crisis (the nonpolitical, non-outsourcing part--), the unwillingness to take on full-time workers with benefits?

"You can't have a revolution without a cosmology."
--Z Budapest

"I don't think I have to break a guitar to get a violent sound out of it." --Neil Young in Guitar Player [a propos of self-destructive artists]

Blind Painting has taken the art world by storm. Having tired of idiots & elephants, copyists & corpse defilers, it seemed both refreshingly authentic & encouragingly critic proof. Nevertheless a school of Blind Painting critics has arisen. Or rather, two schools. One considers only the intentions of the one who paints.The other measures yardage.

04 09 04

"To bones, fat is only fog." --Brenda Shaughnessy

   Jupiter, high
Through the late night haze
   Powerful still

A pain in my throat
As in past winters

04 12 04

Line made for the blind
   To handle

What could be so dear
As those dark hours?

04 12 04

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

"Had langpo presented itself as, say, third-generation projectivism, nobody would have complained." --Ron Silliman

"Baghdad is calm and relatively quiet if you don't count the frequent explosions." --Baghdad Burning
"It seems proper that those who create art in a civilization of quasi-barbarism which has made so many homeless, which has torn up tongues and peoples by the root, should themselves be poets unhoused and wanderers across language." --George Steiner, Extraterritorial (1971)

"For Neoplatonism, evil has no metaphysical reality, but Gnosticism engaged evil as the reality of this world, which presumably is why Gnosticism now lives, under a variety of disguises, while Neoplatonism is the province of scholars." --Harold Bloom, Kabbalah and Criticism

'There chaunced the like errour to the Greekes, and to the Latines, in the woord Phos, the which signifieth a Man [phi omega sigma], and the Lighte [phi omega-with-a-tilde sigma = phi alpha omicron sigma]: wherupon the Priestes of the Saturnalia in times paste being deceived in the ambiguite of the woorde, offered everie yeere a man to Saturnus, when they mighte aswell have appeased him with burninge of lightes.' --Of the Vanitie and Vncertaintie of Artes and Sciences (1569 translation; reprinted 1974)

"Spelling is defunct..." --Liber AL Vel Legis

Monday, April 12, 2004

Beatallica. (via Fishblog) [A glimflash.]

Naked Came the Stranger. (via Bookslut)

Po' Biz.


filled twelve stars
with my deaths forever left away
laughs darkness through you
underworld together
strangers of shading shine

one dream is and
was again

flowing blindfold

04 05 04

Into the Valley of Death.