Saturday, August 25, 2012

words and music

Moon, high and deep in the sky
Your light sees far,
You travel around the wide world,
and see into people's homes.
Moon, stand still a while
and tell me where is my dear.
Tell him, silvery moon,
that I am embracing him.
For at least momentarily
let him recall of dreaming of me.
Illuminate him far away,
and tell him, tell him who is waiting for him!
If the his human soul is in fact dreaming of me,
may the memory awaken him!
Moonlight, don't disappear, disappear....

quoth the madman

Post mortem photograph of an unknown child 1880's

"Beauty consists of an eternal, invariable element, whose quantity is excessively difficult to determine, and of a relative, circumstantial element, which will be, if you like, by turns or all together, the era, its fashion, its morals, its passions."

~Charles Baudelaire


"The sadness which reigned everywhere was but an excuse for unfailing kindness."

~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

quoth the madman

"We have come so far and gone nowhere.
We have lived so long and hardly at all."

~Charles Bukowski

quoth the madman

"Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy.

All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing."

~Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ars poetica

The Fades

When I remember, friend, whom lost I call,
Because a man beloved is taken hence,
The tender humour and the fire of sense
In your good eyes; how full of heart for all,
And chiefly for the weaker by the wall,
You bore that lamp of sane benevolence;
Then see I round you Death his shadows dense
Divide, and at your feet his emblems fall.
For surely are you one with the white host,
Spirits, whose memory is our vital air,
Through the great love of Earth they had: lo, these,
Like beams that throw the path on tossing seas,
Can bid us feel we keep them in the ghost,
Partakers of a strife they joyed to share.
George Meredith ~To A Friend Lost (Tom Taylor)


Did you hear something ?

"It isn’t possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal."

~E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

ars poetica

Electricity. Rabbits. Starlight. Starlings.
Clockwork. Respiration. Pop music. Time
travel, especially when it’s not theoretical
Pharmacology. The way light bends when
it falls across water. The trajectory of fire.
Dream sequences. Architecture. Dark matter.
Calligraphy. Holograms, and any other surface
that glitters. Remembrance. Centripetal force.
The inverse relationship between duration
and speed. Agriculture. Aeronautics. Any
known taxonomy. Perfume. Small batch gin.
Windmills. Industrial dams. Field recordings.
Sex with a stranger, however significant, is not

It cannot change history.

It won’t rebuild
your broken heart.

This is not my fault.

~Gillian Devereux, Things That Are Not Magic

ars poetica


Leucon, no one’s allowed to know his fate,
Not you, not me: don’t ask, don’t hunt for answers
In tea leaves or palms. Be patient with whatever comes.
This could be our last winter, it could be many
More, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks:
Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines
And forget about hope. Time goes running, even
As we talk. Take the present, the future’s no one’s affair.
~Ode I. 11 By Horace

Monday, August 20, 2012


"Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern. Just the slow erosion of the self, as insidious as any cancer. And, like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience. A room in hell with only your name on the door."

Martha Manning, Undercurrents: A Life Under the Surface


"If I were to be totally sincere, I would say that I do not know why I live and why I do not stop living. The answer probably lies in the irrational character of life which maintains itself without reason."
~Emil Cioran, On the Heights of Despair

Saturday, August 18, 2012

quoth the madman


"It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.
So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered."
~Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ars poetica

Lonely, save for a few faint stars, the sky
Dreams; and lonely, below, the little street
Into its gloom retires, secluded and shy.
Scarcely the dumb roar enters this soft retreat;
And all is dark, save where come flooding rays
From a tavern--window; there, to the brisk measure
Of an organ that down in an alley merrily plays,
Two children, all alone and no one by,
Holding their tattered frocks, thro' an airy maze
Of motion lightly threaded with nimble feet
Dance sedately; face to face they gaze,
Their eyes shining, grave with a perfect pleasure. 

~Robert Laurence Binyon - The Little Dancers

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

quoth the madman


The Haunted House (1921)
"Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people:
but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself."
~ E.E. Cummings

ars poetica

La prisonnière - H.G. Clouzot
"I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death’s note wants to climb over—
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful."
~  Rainer Maria Rilke

ars poetica

This soul sickness is sodomizing my senses.
Too many days,
I have been blind,
I have been foolish,
I have been me.

I swallow my own joy,
in gagging gulps,
it is bitter,
but it is mine.
I have regurgitated my hate
to no avail,
Blind, foolish, me.

~Paul Gurrieri  from "Soul Sickness"

ars poetica

We are looking for your laugh.
Trying to find the path back to it
between drooping trees.
Listening for your rustle
under bamboo,
brush of fig leaves,
feeling your step
on the porch,
natty lantana blossom
poked into your buttonhole.
We see your raised face
at both sides of a day.
How was it, you lived around
the edge of everything we did,
seasons of ailing & growing,
mountains of laundry & mail?
I am looking for you first & last
in the dark places,
when I turn my face away
from headlines at dawn,
dropping the rolled news to the floor.
Your rumble of calm
poured into me.
There was the saving grace
of care, from day one, the watching
and being watched
from every corner of the yard.

~Naomi Shihab Nye - Haunted


 Let’s Boogie !
"How sweet the past is, no matter how wrong, or how sad.
How sweet is yesterday’s noise."
~  Charles Wright, from “The Southern Cross”

ars poetica

The dark is thrown
Back from the brightness, like hair
Cast over a shoulder.
I am alone,
Four years older;
Like the chairs and the walls
Which I once watched brighten
With you beside me. I was to waken
Never like this, whatever came or was taken.
The stalk grows, the year beats on the wind.
Apples come, and the month for their fall.
The bark spreads, the roots tighten.
Though today be the last
Or tomorrow all,
You will not mind.
That I may not remember
Does not matter.
I shall not be with you again.
What we knew, even now
Must scatter
And be ruined, and blow
Like dust in the rain.
You have been dead a long season
And have less than desire
Who were lover with lover;
And I have life—that old reason
To wait for what comes,
To leave what is over.
~To a Dead Lover By Louise Bogan 1897–1970 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

ars poetica

War Horse - Steven Spielberg
When the lamp is shattered,
The light in the dust lies dead;
When the cloud is scattered,
The rainbow's glory is shed;
When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remembered not;
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.

As music and splendor
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
The heart's echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute:--
No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman's knell.

When hearts have once mingled,
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possessed.
O Love! who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?

Its passions will rock thee,
As the storms rock the ravens on high;
Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.

~Percy Bysshe Shelley

ars poetica

Летят журавли (The Cranes Are Flying) - Mikhail Kalatozov

The happiest day- the happiest hour
My sear'd and blighted heart hath known,
The highest hope of pride and power,
I feel hath flown.

Of power! said I? yes! such I ween;
But they have vanish'd long, alas!
The visions of my youth have been-
But let them pass.

And, pride, what have I now with thee?
Another brow may even inherit
The venom thou hast pour'd on me
Be still, my spirit!

The happiest day- the happiest hour
Mine eyes shall see- have ever seen,
The brightest glance of pride and power,
I feel- have been:

But were that hope of pride and power
Now offer'd with the pain
Even then I felt- that brightest hour
I would not live again:

For on its wing was dark alloy,
And, as it flutter'd- fell
An essence- powerful to destroy
A soul that knew it well.

~Edgar Allan Poe

ars poetica

On a starred night Prince Lucifer uprose.
Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiend
Above the rolling ball in cloud part screened,
Where sinners hugged their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
And now upon his western wing he leaned,
Now his huge bulk o'er Afric's sands careened,
Now the black planet shadowed Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that pricked his scars
With memory of the old revolt from Awe,
He reached a middle height, and at the stars,
Which are the brain of heaven, he looked, and sank.
Around the ancient track marched, rank on rank,
The army of unalterable law.

George Meredith

quoth the madman

"Many couples, many people, are not living with real human beings, but with their ghosts.
Who has not followed for years the spell of a particular tone of voice, from voice to voice, as the fetishist follows a beautiful foot, scarcely seeing the woman herself?
A voice, a mouth, an eye, all stemming from the original fountain of our first desire, directing it, enslaving us, until we choose to unravel the fatal web and free ourselves."
~Anaïs Nin

Saturday, August 11, 2012

quoth the madman

"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."
~Henry David Thoreau

ars poetica

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.
And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,
as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—
And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

~For What Binds Us - Jane Hirshfield


Dirty Harry - Don Siegel

We come; we go; we can remember "The Dark"
No songs; no words; just whispers that wait for you to sleep
And when you dream, we'll come for you and breathe in your pain
We've seen such things and hide them from you and so keep you pure

We live, for you;
We keep you safe
We keep you unknown; We die, for you
Like rain we fall until you are born

We are the lost; Without you we are all that was wrong
We are the last; Without you we are the sigh in the wind

I've watched gods bleeding
I've watched worlds burn
I've watched stars falling
And I've watched the dead sun rising

~Gary Numan - Dead Sun Rising

ars poetica

Lighting Choregrapher
Him rival to the gods I place,
   Him loftier yet, if loftier be,
Who, Lesbia, sits before thy face,
   Who listens and who looks on thee;

Thee smiling soft. Yet this delight
   Doth all my sense consign to death;
For when thou dawnest on my sight,
   Ah, wretched! flits my labouring breath.

My tongue is palsied. Subtly hid
   Fire creeps me through from limb to limb:
My loud ears tingle all unbid:
   Twin clouds of night mine eyes bedim.

Ease is my plague: ease makes thee void,
   Catullus, with these vacant hours,
And wanton: ease that hath destroyed
   Great kings, and states with all their powers.

~ Gaius Valerius Catullus


Virgin Neon - Saigon, Vietnam
"La force du sadisme, l’attrait qu’il présente, gît tout entier dans la jouissance prohibée de transférer à Satan les hommages et les prières qu’on doit à Dieu.."
— J.-K. Huysmans, À Rebours (1884)

quoth the madman

"The photos, like memory, play the possible against the real, play at reviving as possibility what has been. And only revive grief."

~Rosmarie Waldrop, Lavish Absence

quoth the madman

"L’amour, c’est offrir à quelqu’un qui n’en veut pas quelque chose que l’on n’a pas."
~ Jacques Lacan

Friday, August 10, 2012

ars poetica

Blade Runner - Ridley Scott

The dreams of my heart and my mind pass,
Nothing stays with me long,
But I have had from a child
The deep solace of song;

If that should ever leave me,
Let me find death and stay
With things whose tunes are played out and forgotten
Like the rain of yesterday.

~Sarah Teasdale -The Dreams of My Heart

ars poetica

Blade Runner - Ridley Scott
O thou, who plum'd with strong desire
Wouldst float above the earth, beware!
A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire--
Night is coming!
Bright are the regions of the air,
And among the winds and beams
It were delight to wander there--
Night is coming!

The deathless stars are bright above;
If I would cross the shade of night,
Within my heart is the lamp of love,
And that is day!
And the moon will smile with gentle light
On my golden plumes where'er they move;
The meteors will linger round my flight,
And make night day.

But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken
Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain;
See, the bounds of the air are shaken--
Night is coming!
The red swift clouds of the hurricane
Yon declining sun have overtaken,
The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain--
Night is coming!

I see the light, and I hear the sound;
I'll sail on the flood of the tempest dark,
With the calm within and the light around
Which makes night day:
And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark,
Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,
My moon-like flight thou then mayst mark
On high, far away.----

Some say there is a precipice
Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin
O'er piles of snow and chasms of ice
Mid Alpine mountains;
And that the languid storm pursuing
That winged shape, for ever flies
Round those hoar branches, aye renewing
Its aëry fountains.

Some say when nights are dry and dear,
And the death-dews sleep on the morass,
Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller,
Which make night day:
And a silver shape like his early love doth pass
Upborne by her wild and glittering hair,
And when he awakes on the fragrant grass,
He finds night day.
Percy Bysshe Shelley - The Two Spirits: An Allegory

ars poetica

ALL the flowers of the spring
Meet to perfume our burying;
These have but their growing prime,
And man does flourish but his time:
Survey our progress from our birth;
We are set, we grow, we turn to earth.
      Courts adieu, and all delights,
      All bewitching appetites!
      Sweetest breath and clearest eye,
      Like perfumes, go out and die;
      And consequently this is done
      As shadows wait upon the sun.
Vain ambition of kings
Who seek by trophies and dead things
To leave a living name behind,
And weave but nets to catch the wind.


ars poetica

To the moon…

We are hard on each other
and call it honesty,
choosing our jagged truths
with care and aiming them across
the neutral table.

The things we say are
true; it is our crooked
aims, our choices
turn them criminal.

Of course your lies
are more amusing:
you make them new each time.

Your truths, painful and boring
repeat themselves over & over
perhaps because you own
so few of them

A truth should exist,
it should not be used
like this. If I love you
is that a fact or a weapon?"

~Margaret Atwood, “We Are Hard On Each Other”


"‘You reach a point,’ she wrote me once, ‘where you cannot cry anymore, and you look around you at people you know, at people your own age, and they’re not crying either. Something has been taken. And they are emptier. And they are grateful.’"
—Lorrie Moore, “What Is Seized”

ars poetica

Detour - Edgar George Ulmer

ظل الضوء
ليلة في النوم عندما لا تكون واعية
عندما طريقي غير مؤكد ،
وألا تغادره أبدا…
أنا لا يتخلى أبدا!
تحمل في مناطق أعلى
في واحدة من عهد السلام :
انها ‘من الوقت لمغادرة هذه الدوامة من الأرواح.
أنه لم يترك لي ، ،.
أنا لا يتخلى أبدا!
لماذا ، للأفراح ومحبة أعمق
أو أكثر اعتدالا الأشواق للقلب
ليست سوى ظلال الضوء ،
أتذكر ، وأنا سعيدة
بعيدا عن القوانين ؛
كما على عدم اضاعة الوقت ولقد غادر.
وألا تغادره أبدا…
أنا لا يتخلى أبدا!
لماذا ، والسلام التي سمعت في بعض الأديرة ،
فهم أو الاحتفال حيوية لجميع الحواس ،
ليست سوى ظلال الضوء ،

Rescue me from opposing forces,
night, asleep, when they are not conscious
when my path, it is uncertain
And never leave me
And never leave me on my own
Bring me in the highest areas
to one of your reign of peace:
It ‘s time to leave this cycle of lives.
And never leave me
And never leave me on my own
Why, the joys of the deepest affection
or lighter passages of the heart
are only a shadow of light,
Remember, as I am unhappy
Far from your laws;
how not to waste the time I left.
And never leave me
And never leave me on my own
Why, the peace that I felt in some monasteries,
or the vibrant understanding of all the senses in celebration,
are only a shadow of light.

~L’Ombra della Luce by Franco Battiato
live in Bagdad ( 04.12.1992 )

ars poetica

Say it with flowers

"Wisdom, you are the last to whom I turn. Not for your spear,
fashioned in that same fire as all bright jealous objects of desire.
But for your shield.
Protect the least of us. Or lift me from this battlefield,
and take me home."
— D. A. Powell, from To Last

ars poetica

 Harold Feinstein - The 50’s
"You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that?
And I said,
Where can I put it down?"
~  Anne Carson, from The Glass Essay

ars poetica

"The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time."
— Philip Larkin, from “The Mower

ars poetica

"It all happens in silence.
The way light happens in the eye.
Love unites bodies.
They go on filling each other with silence."

~Jaime Sabines, Pieces of Shadow

Sunday, August 5, 2012

quoth the madman

"Destroy my desires, eradicate my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you."
~Fyodor Dostoyevsky


"Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything."
~Martin Amis, House of Meetings


"You know how much Annie loved pearls. She owned some incomparable specimens…the most marvelous, I believe, that ever existed. You also remember the almost physical joy, the carnal ecstasy, with which she adorned herself with them. Well, when she was sick that passion became a mania with her…a fury, like love! All day long she loved to touch them, caress them and kiss them; she made cushions of them, necklaces, capes, cloaks. Then this extraordinary thing happened; the pearls died on her skin: first they tarnished, little by little…little by little they grew dim, and no light was reflected in their luster any more and, in a few days, tainted by the disease, they changed into tiny balls of ash. They were dead, dead like people, my darling. Did you know that pearls had souls? I think it’s fascinating and delicious. And since then, I think of it every day."
The Torture Garden, Octave Mirbeau

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

quoth the madman

"the ghost you chase, you never catch."
John Malkovich


"For years, I managed without memory—stalled, unnumbered, abridged—
No more alive than a dismembered saint enthroned in two hundred reliquaries.
Now, it is hard not to say I remember,
hard, in fact, not to remember."

~ Eric Pankey, from “Light by Which I Read”