Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Robert Burns Birthday, here's the Address To A Haggis to test your Rrrr's on at the supper the night...

"The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

from the Anatomia Collection

"This collection features approximately 4500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy selected from the Jason A. Hannah and Academy of Medicine collections in the history of medicine at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. Each illustration has been fully indexed using medical subject headings (MeSH), and techniques of illustration, artists, and engravers have been identified whenever possible. There are ninety-five individual titles represented, ranging in date from 1522 to 1867."

Nanaimo Area Trees

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

8. Punishment Parkway

I suppose the scenic route
is out of the question--
too much time

by lay-bys earlier
running our fingers
along the bunched steel

of braille mountains
worn through at the ocean
& where the /2/ passed through

amenable space you stand
at the edge of
the whole thing a ribbon

of iron control extending
even to the lichen's fluffy edge
so that to stray

is to fall into
the literal orchestra pit
after a Big Drop--

the vast
arbutus forest preserved
on either side of it

certainly terra incognita
before they put the highway through--
but Northfield was a labyrinth

out of Floyd Crosby's Poe
anyway so excuse me
if I never found it but

the immaculate moss meadows
argue that no one much
else did either--

there's a lot
of places dirt bikers
it turns out won't go--

but this future civil terrarium--
roamed by giant tapirs once,
by badgers as big as bears,

undisturbed by pneumatics, steam
or the shrieking factory whistle--
must now endure

the lapidary condescension
of highway patronage, the cement lobby's
largesse, the planner's passion,

the grim and anxious trucks
from which the lolling tongues of mammmals
taste the pre-Cambrian air.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Soviet Roadside Bus Stops

"The roadside bus stop serves a simple purpose – to show where the bus will stop and to provide some comfort and shelter for waiting passengers. One would think that the Soviets would have come up with one universal design for this community structure – simple, functional and cheap to mass produce. However, in many instances this was not the case, much time, effort and imagination went into many roadside bus stops. The sky was the limit with different shapes and design– blocks, domes, columns, towers, A-frames and archways, even ones shaped like birds, yurts and hats. If the bus stop was less bold and daring with its architectural design then the creators would often attract attention with decorating the structure with murals or mosaics. The themes that these decorated bus stops took usually varied depending on the region, often reflecting the local culture, history, or industries.

Sadly, with the breakup of the Soviet Union many of the bus stops are quickly deteriorating from their original glory. That being said some local communities have recognized the local treasures as worthy of preserving and have maintained and repainted them. They will appear in the most unlikely places – sometimes in the middle of the desert, steppe or countryside, sometimes with no homes in sight. They will make you wonder why and they will make you smile. The following collection of images was taken during 2002 and 2006, starting with a cycling trip through the Baltic countries to St. Petersburg and followed by several road trips around Central Asia..."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

beautiful (glost) by Nathan Austin, not new but my first encounter, is available here as hard copy or PDF...

"Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828): a protracted definition of an emerging nation-state; the narrative of its author's conversion; an attempt to restore a language to roots that precede the Tower of Babel. As such, it can be read as a map of a wilderness; but it is also a wilderness unto itself, haunted by countless ghosts, within which the reader becomes lost. These poems record of a series of encoutners with those ghosts."

7. Crazy Rhythm

To speed up
or slow down at will
like that
like Anita no matter
the lyric's "arcs"
or who you're playing with
or in what vehicle careering
depends on the services
over decades
of a drummer--
Roy Haynes & Sassy
would be another
example--capable of lowering
six whirring brushes
onto a linseed-darkened
dream sideboard
while defending a perogy
supper from a platoon
of gibbons--imagine
having such a pedal to press!
messing with the band
would just be the start--
to feel the tin-pan-alley world
snapping like a green twig,
but how tough after
negotiating now that speech
is king again the cabless dawn.

Harewood Trees