Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Most dark, but only for now. Faith, folks!


Rivers bring down. The sea
Brings away;
Voids, sucks back, its pearls and auguries.
Eagles or vultures churn the fresh-made skies.

Over the statues, unchanging features
Of commerce and quaint love, soot lies.
Earth steams. The bull and the great mute swan
Strain into life with their notorious cries."

--Geoffrey Hill, "Of Commerce and Society, III." (1959)

Monday, December 20, 2004

"...Charles Mingus wrote about afternoons spent in his youth, watching Sam Rodia as he went about his patient, complex work of building, transforming, tearing down then rebuilding the bizarre spirals known today as the Watts Towers. ...Years later...it struck him () that Rodia’s Towers was much like the impulsive but meticulously structured music he had just been playing--that is, was a resourceful and vital work, an invention for freedom and transcendence." --Mikal Gilmore, in: The Watts Towers of Los Angeles, Leon Whiteson, 1989

'Mussolini spoke like a peasant from Romagna; he uttered the words: problem, Mediterranean Sea, Suez, Ethiopia--as if he were uttering the words: card game, Lambrusco wine, riot, Forli. Lord Perth had the accent of an Oxford undergraduate who is distantly related to someone in Scotland--the accent of Magdalen College of the Mitre Hotel, of the Mesopotamia Island and of Perthshire. He uttered the words: problem, Mediterranean Sea, Suez, Ethiopia--as if he were uttering the words: cricket, Serpentine, whisky, Edinburgh.' --Kaputt

Sunday, December 19, 2004

'I would have liked to say to her: We shall talk about Italy. And besides who knew whether Italy really existed? Perhaps Italy was a fairy tale, a dream; who knew whether Italy still existed; who knew? Nothing existed any longer except gloomy, cruel, proud, despairing Germany. Nothing existed any longer. Italy, indeed!'

"Shiny Windlass"

Follow a pillbug
through blurry dim Carcosa.

Choir of moons wassailing Ragnarok
with toom word,

spiralling argonauts who fall without joust.
Mournful in this frost

cars plumb our schloss osco sky
swart opal

as if railgun of Odun bound faith
solitary mound and storp and dying sky