Saturday, July 17, 2004

The fighting poets. (via Antiwar)
Antonyms et al in Arabic. (via Dumbfoundry

Every time i see a blog-discussion on prosody, i’m amazed all over again how this musty old topic can still generate confusion, & heat. The basics. But then i remember we’re basically dealing with a situation similar to that in which Classical Latin was revived in the early Renaissance by people who didn’t speak it. (Except that those people bothered to get it right.) It’s not like the versifiers of today even started with the bad poems one can hear on the radio ten times an hour. They start with textbooks, & listening to people read who don’t even stop at the end of their lines (sigh). But i really would like to see one confusion reversed: between ICTUS (beat) & STRESS (which is a relative thing of adjacencies). And poetry in English was always a thing of beats; still is, if you care to listen. The most expert prosodists did things that still can’t be explained by the old GraecoRoman style of analyzing “feet”: i am thinking specifically of W S Gilbert, & his song in The Mikado that goes:

“...awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock/ 
from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block”.
Now, you probably have no trouble hearing the change in velocity of each line toward the end. In fact, he goes straight from duple feet (“aWAITing the senSAtion”) to syncopation (“SHORT SHARP SHOCK”) without so much as pausing for a real iamb in between. --These lines can be put into musical notation better than they correspond to the binary analysis of “stressed” & “unstressed”. I think it can be safely said that when the great poets like Shakespeare & Milton & Tennyson had reached the point of being able to speak freely in perfectly regular verse, they did not rest in this mastery, but began to explore polyrhythms & the effects of countering hearers’ expectations. Too bad the teachers of prosody couldn’t follow it!

Friday, July 16, 2004

      "Banned Words Poem"

Exquisitely Emily chrome magnolia
Dickinson Viking melancholy crowded
Solitude where a subterranean wind
Battles the firmament grid for brig airspace

Iridescent sallies still more passionate
Than the iridescent pflungg ideogram

Meet you in Emily Dickinson attire
Where burning utterance names the wind Tokay

No angel jowls on Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson hones the chrome unnamed

Belly for this, muses a strange appendage
Structure mien in the belly of angel graves

         07 15 04

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ozone level Orange. Thank the rain; by now it should be Red.

Amusingly, the Judy Dench "M" character in recent Bond flicks seems to be based on a real person: we have her memoirs, Open Secret by Stella Rimington.

"The North Texas area is home to:

* 1 million Mexicans, including 300,000 people from the state of Guanajuato
* 40,000 Chinese-Americans and slightly more Pakistanis
* about 25,000 Iranians and an equal number of Arabs
* 80,000 people of Vietnamese descent
* nearly 100,000 people from India" --from the DFW International site

Listening to: Sahara Lounge

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Dog Ate My Homework.
"...if we don't have sequestration then I see very little hope for the world."
Markov Page. (via Wood_s Lot)

The Trail of the Comet.

Transit of Venus March. (via Riddell)

Hail Junior.

Hubble Bubble. (Not this one.)

Text Message Novel. (Written in 70-word chapters; cf zacco.)


Reading: Drowning Towers.

Science fiction of the near future that doesn't consider this, is as absurd & unrealistic as that of the Golden Age where other planets always had breathable atmospheres & everyone spoke English.

Dhimmitude. And a critique. Some background.

Momus on Slowness.

A new Lynx.

Monday, July 12, 2004

As ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, my hair growing out figures a history of the 60's.

"But while Rochberg rejected serialism, he did not reject the atonal composition out of which serialism had grown and which characterized its harmonic syntax. Instead, Rochberg began to construct his music out of both tonal and atonal languages. In so doing, he dramatically reinterpreted the notion of stylistic uniformity that had been a hallmark of the Western aesthetic since antiquity. He refused to abandon "past" musical styles, insisting that they continue to live—transformed by his individual artistry but recognizable nonetheless—in his new art. By including these diverse musics, Rochberg believed that he had expanded the emotional range that modern music was able to express. He had found a contemporary language that could both bear the weight of despair and point to transcendence."
--from the Rochberg page

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Aldebaran you cipher
so as not to sleep
& you give yourself to that despair or this
myth tentacular, monarchist glass

locusts light
on your hands a funest thing
take day left rim receive bleed to will
sea to indigo

ungainly visitors flood & swarm your sleep
witness steal
terminal moraine where glass
in the haunted burgundy cipher

the last thing
sleepwalker to this
& the tremulous shadows of indigo
vend their own sick astonishing light

so where will you go now destitute of will?

   07 09 04

title for all: "Presence of Mind". i think i will call this form tawang, which
is Pashto for 'basket'.

The End Announced Yet Again of Literacy. I think the people who have time to read are probably reading more than ever before. And the people who aren't interested in reading are still just as uninterested. But the people whose free time is at a premium are feeling the squeeze--& reading
is only one of the many personal pleasures that are becoming scarcer, in times of troubles.

New Mieville.

Paul Riddell has a blog!

Japanese Name Generator. (via Zen Asparagus)