Friday, October 19, 2007

am off to the Roy Arden opening at the VAG tonight, see you there!

Between Two Worlds

Falling asleep's been a bad 40's play
a gâteaux of allegory
which means no war prophecy

(pending the pact) no Yalta
no mittens knitted for Winter War kittens
just Julie Garfield leering in quotes

a Popular Front cloud in trousers
(authoritarian impulse bitten tersely,
victimhood projected retrospectively)

smoking shorthands the era for tv
but the herbal version won't light
or won't stay lit, non-smokers indicate too much

(under unbunched alders pressed & tendrilled,
a clearing of caterpillars pavilioned
by calicos cotillioned)

Big Syd intervenes like the Coquitlam Queen
between the ball-bearing gaze & its object serene,
a half stop down his priestly collar glows

doublewide thus not washed out
by the ivory suit, while Eleanor walks backward
up black marble understandably but everyone's

moving toward that big Broadway tableaux
with feathered edges floating in a cloud
'twixt anschluss & Pearl Harbor

with a belated apologia for non-intervention
with every view expressed at length
until unlit papers smudge & slap the pavement.

"The Myth of the Counterculture" & "White Album No. 2972886"-- from Jamie Tolagson

Thursday, October 18, 2007

review of Beechcombings by Richard Mabey

"Rather in the manner of a risk-taking actor, the beech can command a great presence, but may at any moment fall flat on its face."

farewell Deborah Kerr

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

thanks V for these trees

"Myoung Ho Lee separates subjects from their original circumstances to derange the difference between subject and image. His work reveals nature by twists and turns, a little fabrication and optical illusion."
The Genocidal Imagination of Christopher Hitchens

"In "Letters to a Young Contrarian", Hitchens urges his young reader to live 'at a slight angle to society,' which means to be idiosyncratic rather than tendentious. This contrarianism is a fetish, and it is one that encases in amber the burning polemical zeal of a former radical, a soixante-huitard. In the wake of a detumescent revolutionary fervor, and with the associated political vision largely gone, we are left with an opportunistic polemicising in which no matter how much one's opinion alters, it remains permanently in opposition, permanently contrarian. And this delivers the hammering Hitchensian irony in which the most consummately bourgeois opinion acquires the mould and fashion of resistance.."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

catching up with the top American poet--The 77 Best Lil' Wayne Songs of 2007

new Common-Place (already!) has a great defense of Undisciplined Reading--

"Is it hard to imagine John Cotton at one of the monthly meetings of the OULIPO, reporting to Italo Calvino or Harry Matthews a constraint for literary production? Well, yes. Yet Puritan sermon dictates certainly sound Oulipian: "Take a fragment from a source work. Dramatize or contextualize it in five ways. Then develop three philosophical propositions from it. Then create three rules of behavior based on it. Do this every week for the rest of your life..."

trees from Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840–1860

JOHN FAHEY "Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV Of Spain"--16 minutes at the height of his powers...

live from Portland Oregon in 1976--John Fahey--"Fare Forward Voyagers"

"When the train starts, and the passengers are settled
To fruit, periodicals and business letters
(And those who saw them off have left the platform)
Their faces relax from grief into relief,
To the sleepy rhythm of a hundred hours.
Fare forward, travellers! not escaping from the past
Into different lives, or into any future;
You are not the same people who left that station
Or who will arrive at any terminus,
While the narrowing rails slide together behind you;
And on the deck of the drumming liner
Watching the furrow that widens behind you,
You shall not think 'the past is finished'
Or 'the future is before us'.
At nightfall, in the rigging and the aerial,
Is a voice descanting (though not to the ear,
The murmuring shell of time, and not in any language)
'Fare forward, you who think that you are voyaging;
You are not those who saw the harbour
Receding, or those who will disembark.
Here between the hither and the farther shore
While time is withdrawn, consider the future
And the past with an equal mind.
At the moment which is not of action or inaction
You can receive this: "on whatever sphere of being
The mind of a man may be intent
At the time of death"—that is the one action
(And the time of death is every moment)
Which shall fructify in the lives of others:
And do not think of the fruit of action.
Fare forward.
O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies
Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
Or whatever event, this is your real destination.'
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
On the field of battle.
Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers..."

(from TS Eliot "The Dry Salvages")