Wednesday, June 30, 2010

literacki

“When I rise up
let me rise up joyful
like a bird.
.
When I fall
let me fall without regret
like a leaf. ”

— Wendell Berry - Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

epitaph

She has attained the permanence
She dreamed of, where old stones lie sunning.
Untended stalks blow over her
Even and swift, like young men running.

Always in the heart she loved
Others had lived,—she heard their laughter.
She lies where none has lain before,
Where certainly none will follow after.

- Epitaph for a Romantic Woman - Louise Bogan

apprentice

the gloaming

Monday, June 28, 2010

eaten

quoth the madman

"The Pyrenees are no more."
-Louis XIV

Sunday, June 27, 2010

quoth the madman

You gotta have swine to show you where the truffles are.
-Edward Albee

objets trouvés

found on Frenchmen Street

literacki

The south-wind strengthens to a gale,
Across the moon the clouds fly fast,
The house is smitten as with a flail,
The chimney shudders to the blast.
On such a night, when Air has loosed
Its guardian grasp on blood and brain,
Old terrors then of god or ghost
Creep from their caves to life again;
And Reason kens he herits in
A haunted house. Tenants unknown
Assert their squalid lease of sin
With earlier title than his own.
Unbodied presences, the pack’d
Pollution and remorse of Time,
Slipp’d from oblivion reënact
The horrors of unhouseld crime.
Some men would quell the thing with prayer
Whose sightless footsteps pad the floor,
Whose fearful trespass mounts the stair
Or burts the lock’d forbidden door.
Some have seen corpses long interr'd
Escape from hallowing control,
Pale charnel forms—nay ev’n have heard
The shrilling of a troubled soul,
That wanders till the dawn hath cross’d
The dolorous dark, or Earth hath wound
Closer her storm-spredd cloke, and thrust
The baleful phantoms underground.

- Low Barometer - Robert Bridges

Saturday, June 26, 2010

literacki

My bands of silk and miniver
Momently grew heavier;
The black gauze was beggarly thin;
The ermine muffled mouth and chin;
I could not suck the moonlight in.
Harlequin in lozenges
Of love and hate, I walked in these
Striped and ragged rigmaroles;
Along the pavement my footsoles
Trod warily on living coals.
Shouldering the thoughts I loathed,
In their corrupt disguises clothed,
Morality I could not tear
From my ribs, to leave them bare
Ivory in silver air.
There I walked, and there I raged;
The spiritual savage caged
Within my skeleton, raged afresh
To feel, behind a carnal mesh,
The clean bones crying in the flesh.

- Full Moon - Elinor Wylie

Friday, June 25, 2010

quoth the madman

“When you eventually see through the veils to how things really are, you will keep saying again and again, this is certainly not like we thought it was. ”

—Rumi

quoth the madman

“When ideas float in our mind without any reflection or regard of the understanding, it is that which the French call revery, our language has scarce a name for it. ”

—John Locke

literacki

The last time you came to see me
there were anchors in your eyes,
hardback books in your posture.
You were the five star general of sureness,
a crisp white tuxedo of a man.

I was fiddling with my worn coat pockets,
puffing false confidence ghosts in the cold January air.
My hands were shitty champagne flutes
brimming with cheap merlot.
I couldn’t touch you without ruining you,
so I didn’t touch you at all.

It’s when you’re on the brink of something
that you lose your balance.
You told me that once.
When I can’t bring myself to say what I need to,
my heart plays Russian Roulette with my throat.
I swear I fired that night, but, nothing.

Someday, I’ll show you the bullet I had for you,
after time has done the wash.
I’ll take it out of the jar of missed opportunities.
We’ll hold it up to the light.
You’ll roll it around your mouth like a fallen tooth.
You won’t forgive me exactly,
but we’ll laugh about how small it is.
We’ll wonder how such a little thing
could ever have meant so much.

~ All I Have To Say For Myself ~ M Nettifee
By the toe of my boot,
a pebble of quartz,
one drop of the earth’s milk,
dirty and cold.
I held it to the light
and could almost see through it
into the grand explanation.
Put it back, something told me,
put it back and keep walking.

~ On the Road ~ Ted Kooser

Thursday, June 24, 2010

quoth the madman

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this. ”
—Henry David Thoreau

quoth the madman

“You are free, and that is why you are lost.”
—Franz Kafka

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

saint louis

dune

"Paralysis" Part IV of IV

quoth the madman

"Is this what it's like to be a man? To spend my life forging and polishing a suit of armor to house the spectre of a forsaken child?"
- Le Petit-Guignol

literacki

They are not angels
though they have the hollow look
of beings bred on ether. There’s an air
of cool removal from your life, the hawk’s
indifference to the hare’s terror.
You see it in their palms, raised casually
against the fresco’s surface, as to glass
of submarine or spacecraft, and you see
it in their eyes, oracular, that let you pass
alone to unknown agony.
The song they sing is merely time.

- The Singers - Todd Hearon

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

literacki

Les canons membres génitaux,
Engrossent l’amoureuse terre.
Le temps est aux instincts brutaux.
Pareille à l’amour est la guerre.

-Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

literacki

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time——
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You——

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two——
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

- Daddy - Sylvia Plath

Saturday, June 19, 2010

ladies cultural awareness day

A Fairy Under Starry Skies - Luis Ricardo Falero 1851-1896

Friday, June 18, 2010

broken hearted vampire

today in history

Jun 18 1900: The Empress Dowager of China orders all foreigners killed. Among those meeting this fate are the foreign diplomats, their families, as well as hundreds of Christian missionaries and their Chinese converts.
Jun 18 1959: Based on his erratic behavior, the Governor of Louisiana, Earl K. Long, is committed to a state mental hospital. Long responds by arranging for the hospital's director to be fired, and the new director proclaims him perfectly sane. (It is no secret that the man was completely nuts.)
Jun 18 1967: Famed guitarist Jimi Hendrix burns his guitar on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival.

It is believed that all three incidents are not related.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

literacki

I have had enough.
I gasp for breath.

Every way ends, every road, every foot-path leads at last to the hill-crest— then you retrace your steps, or find the same slope on the other side, precipitate.

I have had enough—
border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies, herbs, sweet-cress.
O for some sharp swish of a branch— there is no scent of resin in this place, no taste of bark, of coarse weeds, aromatic, astringent— only border on border of scented pinks.

Have you seen fruit under cover that wanted light— pears wadded in cloth, protected from the frost, melons, almost ripe, smothered in straw?
Why not let the pears cling to the empty branch?
All your coaxing will only make a bitter fruit—
let them cling, ripen of themselves, test their own worth, nipped, shrivelled by the frost, to fall at last but fair with a russet coat.
Or the melon— let it bleach yellow in the winter light, even tart to the taste— it is better to taste of frost— the exquisite frost— than of wadding and of dead grass.

For this beauty, beauty without strength, chokes out life.
I want wind to break, scatter these pink-stalks, nap off their spiced heads, fling them about with dead leaves— spread the paths with twigs,
limbs broken off, trail great pine branches, hurled from some far wood right across the melon-patch, break pear and quince— leave half-trees, torn, twisted but showing the fight was valiant.

O to blot out this garden to forget, to find a new beauty in some terrible wind-tortured place.

- Sheltered Garden - 1916 - H. D.

usa boys

maximalist

literacki

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

-The Sick Rose - William Blake

literacki

Bees build around red liver,
Ants build around black bone.
It has begun: the tearing, the trampling on silks,
It has begun: the breaking of glass, wood, copper, nickel, silver, foam
Of gypsum, iron sheets, violin strings, trumpets, leaves, balls, crystals.
Poof! Phosphorescent fire from yellow walls
Engulfs animal and human hair.

Bees build around the honeycomb of lungs,
Ants build around white bone.
Torn is paper, rubber, linen, leather, flax,
Fiber, fabrics, cellulose, snakeskin, wire.
The roof and the wall collapse in flame and heat seizes the foundations.
Now there is only the earth, sandy, trodden down,
With one leafless tree.

Slowly, boring a tunnel, a guardian mole makes his way,
With a small red lamp fastened to his forehead.
He touches buried bodies, counts them, pushes on,
He distinguishes human ashes by their luminous vapor,
The ashes of each man by a different part of the spectrum.
Bees build around a red trace.
Ants build around the place left by my body.

I am afraid, so afraid of the guardian mole.
He has swollen eyelids, like a Patriarch
Who has sat much in the light of candles
Reading the great book of the species.

What will I tell him, I, a Jew of the New Testament,
Waiting two thousand years for the second coming of Jesus?
My broken body will deliver me to his sight
And he will count me among the helpers of death:
The uncircumcised.

- A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto - Czeslaw Milosz - Warsaw, 1943

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas


a lovely sort of death






quoth the madman

“For death begins with life's first breath
And life begins at touch of death”
- John Oxenham

quoth the madman

"The surest cure for vanity is loneliness”
- Thomas Wolfe

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

overheard on dauphine street

Bouncy blonde girl on cell: (who waves at an elderly lady sitting in a running car with the windows up blasting Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" that then waves at a passing Nun in full habit carrying an axe, who waves at a older black lady with a taxi cab yellow Lady Gaga wig, that waves to a young man walking in stilts, who waves at me picking up my dogs poop) "Yah, he's the guy that looks like Captian Hook but you know, way hotter and not a cartoon, that always says he is 'Pixilated' when he gets drunk... yeah... I wish I was made of pixels... But cells are sorta like pixels, right? So yay me! I am!"

literacki

"The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done —
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun."

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead —
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
If this were only cleared away,'
They said, it would be grand!'

If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
That they could get it clear?'
I doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

O Oysters, come and walk with us!'
The Walrus did beseech.
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head —
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat —
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more —
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

The time has come,' the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.'

But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!'
No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed —
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.'

But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!'
The night is fine,' the Walrus said.
Do you admire the view?

It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf —
I've had to ask you twice!'

It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,
To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
The butter's spread too thick!'

I weep for you,' the Walrus said:
I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter - Lewis Carroll

literacki

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

- Dirge Without Music (1928) - Edna St. Vincent Millay

quoth the madman

Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.
- Voltaire

literacki

With two white roses on her breasts,
White candles at head and feet,
Dark Madonna of the grave she rests;
Lord Death has found her sweet.

Her mother pawned her wedding ring
To lay her out in white;
She’d be so proud she’d dance and sing
To see herself tonight.

-A Brown Girl Dead (1911) - Countee Cullen

literacki

"...But Kuno, is it true ? Are there still men on the surface of the earth ? Is this - tunnel, this poisoned darkness - really not the end?"
He replied: "I have seen them, spoken to them, loved them. They are hiding in the midst and the ferns until our civilization stops. Today they are the Homeless - tomorrow ------ "
"Oh, tomorrow - some fool will start the Machine again, tomorrow."
"Never," said Kuno, "never. Humanity has learnt its lesson."
As he spoke, the whole city was broken like a honeycomb. An air-ship had sailed in through the vomitory into a ruined wharf. It crashed downwards, exploding as it went, rending gallery after gallery with its wings of steel. For a moment they saw the nations of the dead, and, before they joined them, scraps of the untainted sky.


- The Machine Stops, 1909 - E.M. Forster

literacki

I’ve wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but I still love life. That ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our most pernicious inclinations. What could be more stupid than to persist in carrying a burden that we constantly want to cast off, to hold our existence in horror, yet cling to it nonetheless, to fondle the serpent that devours us, until it has eaten our heart?
-Voltaire Candide

literacki

Leaving is not enough; you must stay gone.
Train your heart like a dog.
Change the locks even on the house he’s never visited.
You lucky, lucky girl. you have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. a heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid.
Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them.
You had to have him. and you did. and now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.
Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic.
Place it on whatever altar you fashion with a knife and five cranberries.
Don’t lose too much weight.
Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge.
And you are not stupid.
You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. heart like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas. heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street.

— Marty Mcconnell - To Frida Kahlo

literacki

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd,
And men were gather'd round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour
They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash—and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
And twin'd themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought—and that was death
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails—men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour'd,
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer'd not with a caress—he died.
The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they rak'd up,
And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek'd, and died—
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—
A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd
They slept on the abyss without a surge—
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before;
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them—She was the Universe.

- Darkness - Lord Byron (George Gordon)

Monday, June 14, 2010

today in history

On this date in 1961, 1980s pop music star Boy George is born in Kent, England. As he later comes to describe his childhood, "I had five brothers and I was brought up drinking the same water and being fed the same doctrine as my brothers, but somehow I turned out to be a fabulous homosexual."
A year to the day later on Jun 14 1962 Albert DeSalvo murders Anna Slesersby by strangling her with the belt from her robe. She is only the first victim of "The Boston Strangler."
The two incidents are not believed to be related.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

literacki

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the "Amen," ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—
Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

- To Sleep - John Keats

literacki

Lie still, sleep becalmed, sufferer with the wound
In the throat, burning and turning. All night afloat
On the silent sea we have heard the sound
That came from the wound wrapped in the salt sheet.

Under the mile off moon we trembled listening
To the sea sound flowing like blood from the loud wound
And when the salt sheet broke in a storm of singing
The voices of all the drowned swam on the wind.

Open a pathway through the slow sad sail,
Throw wide to the wind the gates of the wandering boat
For my voyage to begin to the end of my wound,
We heard the sea sound sing, we saw the salt sheet tell.
Lie still, sleep becalmed, hide the mouth in the throat,
Or we shall obey, and ride with you through the drowned.

- Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed - Dylan Thomas