Wednesday, November 28, 2012


"After the bones — those flowers — this was found in the urn:
The lost river, ashes from the ghat, even the rain.
What was I to prophesy if not the end of the world?
A salt pillar for the lonely lot, even the rain."
— Agha Shahid Ali, from “Even the Rain” in Call Me Ishmael Tonight: A Book of Ghazals

ars poetica

Easter Parade - Charles Walters
"To sing the beloved is one thing, another, oh,
that hidden guilty river-god of the blood."
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

ars poetica

Breathing in, I breathe the skin of trees,  
the husk of rocky kernels cracking,  
slagging off the shroud of centuries.
Into my lungs, a stream of atoms comes:
bits of Rome, bung-hole fillers—that
mighty Alexander, the scarce-bearded Caesar!
I am all that I am not, and I am not
what I shall become—who knows?
Not I, and the less I know
the further I fly, thistle-downed,
through golden-light unleafing, the grassy
blade, plucked up to make a crowing caw.
Breathing out, I breathe these latest words,
the cells of heart and lung in every vowel,
flittering pulse of inner ear,
trail of dust and ink.
~Key of Dust by Joyce Sutphen b. 1949

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



…En avant la musique (Segundo de Chomón, 1907)…
"Something unpronounceable followed by a long silence points out my life is becoming a landscape."
— Mary Ruefle, The Adamant

words and lyrics

I stood accused and guilty of many crimes
I went and burned my offerings a thousand times

I know the place the landscape been here before
I will not walk the bad mile anymore

Cause I have seen the sun that I shine
Comes down like pouring waters
And two wrongs will never make a right

Many times what we´re believing
Is bound to change just like the season
We´re blind eyed of short side
Mistake the darkest night for the light of day

So if tonight I´m leaving and finally let go
Maybe you´ll find a freedom you´ve never known

You´re pushed into the twilight against your will
And for a timeless second you´re heart stands still

But cutting through the veil of despair
A gentle wind is blowing

breathing life on weary bones in chains

Many times what we´re believing
Is bound to change just like the season
We´re blind eyed of short side
We know not wrong from what´s right
And as we sink into the mistery of what we are
And what we should be

We let go of our shadows

and in the end we know
Our true face of pure grace

a spirit fair and always
We will dance we will fly
Everyone is so afraid to try

What if we would finally let go
Of all our babel towers
Only to find we´re all we need to be.

~Sarah Brendel- Bable Towers

Sunday, November 25, 2012

quoth the madman

Maybe I'ma little bit nervous ...
"I feel all shadows of the universe multiplied deep inside my skin."
— Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 5 November 1931


"And similarly, beyond the sea, behind a line of woods, another sea began, roseate with the light of the setting sun, which was in fact the sky."
~ Marcel Proust, À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs

ars poetica

Listen with the night falling we are saying thank you we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings we are running out of the glass rooms with our mouths full of food to look at the sky and say thank you we are standing by the water thanking it smiling by the windows looking out in our directions back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging after funerals we are saying thank you after the news of the dead whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you over telephones we are saying thank you in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators remembering wars and the police at the door and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you in the banks we are saying thank you in the faces of the officials and the rich and of all who will never change we go on saying thank you thank you with the animals dying around us our lost feelings we are saying thank you with the forests falling faster than the minutes of our lives we are saying thank you with the words going out like cells of a brain with the cities growing over us we are saying thank you faster and faster with nobody listening we are saying thank you we are saying thank you and waving dark though it is.

~W. S. Merwin - Thanks

Saturday, November 24, 2012

quoth the madman

“All the mortal world is a lethal enemy during those hours between dawn and dusk.”
― Anne Rice


“What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.”
― William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood


Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?
36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
~Job 38


Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.
~T. S. Eliot (excerpt, East Coker V, Four Quartets)

the play's the thing

"...To beguile the time,
Look like the time.
Bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue.
Look like th' innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it.
He that’s coming
Must be provided for; and you shall put
This night’s great business into my dispatch,
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom."
~Lady Macbeth- Macbeth Act 1, Scene 5
William Shakespeare

quoth the madman

…Verily they reek of the crassest lies.

Nay! Just one minute! You are saying nothing about the masterpieces of these virtuosos of black magic, who can produce whiteness, milk, and innocence out of any black you like: have you not noticed what a pitch of refinement is attached by their chef d’oeuvre, their most audacious, subtle, ingenious, and lying artist-trick? Take care! These cellar-beasts, full of revenge and hate- what do they make, forsooth, out of their revenge and hate? Do you hear these words? Would you suspect, if you trusted only their words, that you are among men of resentment and nothing else?


Sunday, November 11, 2012


“Le Roi du maquillage” - Georges Méliès (1904)
"We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them."
— T. S. Eliot, from “Little Gidding” in The Four Quartets

quoth the madman

 A fish cannot drown in water,
A bird does not fall in the air.
In the fire of creation,
Gold does not vanish:
The fire brightens.
Each creature God made
Must live in it’s true nature;
How could I resist my nature,
That lives for oneness with God?

~Mechthild of Magdeburg (1210-1297)

here is truth

"قمة العظمه…..أن تبتسم وفي عينيك الف دمعه…
The pinnacle of excellence is to smile when your eyes have one thousand tears"
~Arabic Proverb

ars poetica


Edith Bouvier Beale
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

~Dylan Thomas, “Fern Hill”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

quoth the madman

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
~Thomas Jefferson

quoth the madman

If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say,
break the law.
~Henry David Thoreau

quoth the madman

"Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter."
~Swami Vivekananda

ars poetica

"Never allow yourself to run after the world because there is no end to it."

~Mufti Ismail Menk

Monday, November 5, 2012

quoth the madman

"Play — As the ideal of him who is overfull of strength.
Childlike. The childlikeness of God. A child playing."
~Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Sunday, November 4, 2012

quoth the madman

Insidious (2010)

"I want a history of looking. For the Photograph is the advent of myself as other:
a cunning dissociation of consciousness from identity."
 Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida


"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)

ars poetica

"Brutal to give
the prisoner a window—
a blue sky glimpse—
as if an afterlife
for you to parade
in a body
in the same
room where I dream you."
~  Andrea Cohen, “Brutal

quoth the madman

"A chaque minute nous sommes écrasés par l’idée et la sensation du temps. Et il n’y a que deux moyens pour échapper à ce cauchemar: le plaisir et le travail. Le plaisir nous use. Le travail nous fortifie. Choisissons."
~  Charles Baudelaire


"What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the Sun."
~Ecclesiastes 1:9

quoth the madman

"For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity."
~William Penn

Friday, November 2, 2012

ars poetica

La leçon d’anatomie du docteur Willem Van der Meer
there was some other order of things
never spoken
but in dreams of darkest creation.

 Then there was black earth,
lake, the face of light on water.

Then the thick forest all around
that light,
and then the human clay
whose blood we still carry
rose up in us
who remember caves with red bison
painted in their own blood,
after their kind.

 A wildness
swam inside our mothers,
desire through closed eyes,
a new child
wearing the red, wet mask of birth,
delivered into this land
already wounded,
stolen and burned
beyond reckoning.

 Red is this yielding land
turned inside out
by a country of hunters
with iron, flint and fire.

Red is the fear
that turns a knife back
against men, holds it at their throats,
and they cannot see the claw on the handle,
the animal hand
that haunts them
from some place inside their blood.

 So that is hunting, birth,
and one kind of death.

Then there was medicine, the healing of wounds.

Red was the infinite fruit
of stolen bodies.

The doctors wanted to know
what invented disease
how wounds healed
from inside themselves
how life stands up in skin,
if not by magic.

 They divined the red shadows of leeches
that swam in white bowls of water:
they believed stars
in the cup of sky.

They cut the wall of skin
to let
what was bad escape
but they were reading the story of fire
gone out
and that was a science.

 As for the animal hand on death’s knife,
knives have as many sides
as the red father of war
who signs his name
in the blood of other men.

 And red was the soldier
who crawled
through a ditch
of human blood in order to live.

It was the canal of his deliverance.

It is his son who lives near me.

Red is the thunder in our ears
when we meet.

Love, like creation,
is some other order of things.

 Red is the share of fire

I have stolen

from root, hoof, fallen fruit.

And this was hunger.

 Red is the human house
I come back to at night
swimming inside the cave of skin
that remembers bison.

In that round nation
of blood
we are all burning,
red, inseparable fires
the living have crawled
and climbed through
in order to live
so nothing will be left
for death at the end.

This life in the fire, I love it.
I want it,
this life.

~Linda Hogan - The History of Red


H-G Clouzot - Light and make-up test for L’enfer
"A sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth pervades my memory. That robust reality makes a ghost of the present. The mirror brims with brightness; a bumblebee has entered the room and bumps against the ceiling.
Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die."
~Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory

dia de los muertos

All Souls.
I saw Marigolds at the market.
They are still as orange and pungent as I remember... making so many garlands.
I miss sitting up with the dead, to sit with my back pressed to the cool marble to pass stories through the night.
To eat and drink with those who have passed on- those passed over the waters.
Watching the other people laugh as they told stories as well.
The smell of white washed tombs.
A sea of candles.
All gone now.
Save a few young and hip who crave novelty.
Just another day, another countdown to another election, another Valium, another promise of a new world filled with opportunity and dreams coming true.
I dream of the Marigolds.