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All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.


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Sunday, October 19th, 2014

🦋 Dark Star/ Howl

It is difficult for me to express what a great idea this mash-up is. I can almost picture the notional Ginsburg out on stage with the Dead. Which indeed I think he did interact with them some times. Absolutely riveting. I must congratulate and thank Brendon Banks.

This is the kind of pairing that makes you see each component in a new light. The poem, below the fold.

posted morning of October 19th, 2014: 3 responses
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Saturday, March first, 2014

posted morning of March first, 2014: Respond

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

🦋 Rubáiyát

Nuestro tesoro es el vino y nuestro palacio la taberna.
La sed y la embriaguez son nuestras fieles compañeras.

Todos saben que jamás murmuré una oración.
Todos saben también que jamás traté de disimular mis defectos.
Ignoro si existen una Justicia y una Misericordia.
Si las hay, estoy en paz, porque siempre fui sincero.

¿Qué vale más? ¿examinar nuestra conciencia sentados en una taberna
o posternarnos en una mezquita con el alma ausente?
No me preocupa saber si tenemos un Dios ni el destino que nos reserva.

Sé compasivo con los bebedores. No olvides que tú tienes otros defectos.
Si quieres alcanzar la paz y la serenidad,
piensa en los desheredados de la vida y en los pobres que viven en el infortunio.
Entonces te sentirás feliz.

Procede en forma tal que tu prójimo no se sienta humillado con tu sabiduría.
Domínate, domínate. Jamás te abandones a la ira.
Si quieres conquistar la paz definitiva,
sonríe al Destino que se ensaña contigo y nunca te ensañes con nadie.

Rubáiyát pdf

posted afternoon of February 9th, 2014: 2 responses

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

🦋 Impersonating Lot's nameless wife

My translation (current draft -- there are still a couple of constructions that I'm not 100% sure about to call this "final") of Karen Finneyfrock's astonishing What Lot's Wife Would Have Said (If She Wasn’t A Pillar of Salt):

Qué diciera la esposa de Lot no siendo columna de sal.
(still not totally sure how to pronounce the name 'Lot' in Spanish.)

posted morning of January 25th, 2014: Respond
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Thursday, October third, 2013

🦋 Who can write a history of leaves?

Alice Oswald has won the 2013 Warwick Prize for Writing for her astonishing Memorial. Here is the final scene of her vision of the Trojan War, the death of Hector:

posted evening of October third, 2013: Respond
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Saturday, September 7th, 2013

🦋 ejercicio en la forma pronominal

por Jeremy Osner

Dream is not a revelation. If a dream affords the dreamer some light on himself, it is not the person with closed eyes who makes the discovery but the person with open eyes lucid enough to fit thoughts together. Dream — a scintillating mirage surrounded by shadows — is essentially poetry.
El sueño no es revelación. Si al soñador un sueño lo permitería ahorrar algún luz sobre si mismo, no realice ese descubrimiento la persona de ojos cerrados sino la de ojos abiertos y lúcidos suficientamente para los pensamientos juntos a unirse. El sueño —entre las sombras chispea el miraje— en su esencia es poesía.

Michel Leiris

Se debe escribir en una lengua que no sea materna.

You must write in a language not your own.

Vicente Huidobro

posted morning of September 7th, 2013: Respond
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Saturday, December 29th, 2012

🦋 Let's listen to

Woody Allen reading his new story, "Not a Creature Was Stirring":

You're welcome.

posted evening of December 29th, 2012: Respond

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

🦋 Dream is poetry

If a dream affords the dreamer some lucidity,
some poetry, some regal slumber
why forget it then, why discard
the glittering shards of irreality
that pierce your consciousnessless repose
that hold your dreaming brane
like pushpins on the void

(from a prompt by Michael Leiris.)

posted morning of December 19th, 2012: Respond
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Sunday, November 18th, 2012

🦋 Opportunistically Present

Opportunistically lying in wait and grinning, giggling lamely
at the ashy glow of the painted wall in the streetlamp and suddenly
hear a dead man walking round the corner and the dying fall

You're making up your mind and nervous, humming inanely
snatches of the anthem of your good old school out west;
forgotten the words and meanings
subtle meaninglessness,
your time has not yet come so you play the fool

And suddenly crumpling and falling, lifeless,
playing a wrinkled fool, to an audience of jaded friends

You're running now frantic feel the rhythmic pace
and all the scenery's the same just one repeated shot flickers past
and you could swear you've been out here before
Mr. Hitchcock; and this stupid mistake will not be your last
not the last of such creatures entrusted and painted and lined
with precious gems, heirloom for a generation
of bureaucrats --
you switch back now and look him full in the face
and suddenly you find you cannot recognize this familiar caricature,
this crudely sketched archetype of disquiet, or you do not want to
(and so you fail to), unfamiliar expression you know so well,
could trace it out in the dark you reckon soft ivory fingers
on imaginary skin
and so you stare into his absent eyes and identify yourself
with his absent character and longing

And you so long to be there, to be present.

posted afternoon of November 18th, 2012: Respond
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Saturday, October 13th, 2012

🦋 A filthy bird is a happy bird

A mix tape (is mix tape the right term here? Something like a playlist but including readings and videos as well as music...) (and whew! there is something unfamiliar about blogging in English!): The ordering of the playlist is my own chain of memory (with proddings from others) starting from chapter 7, "More than love", of The ground beneath her feet.

  1. Ormus speaks. I have been liking this novel while being rubbed a little the wrong way by the narrator's voice -- Rai seems a little off to me, a little cynical and annoyingly, smugly verbose. I found quite striking the short piece in the middle of this chapter that shifts into Ormus' voice, and into him quoting his father's voice. His mention of vultures and of Attar, and of Prometheus, got me into a "classical birds" frame of mind. Ormus speaks, read by The Modesto Kid
  2. Martha McCollough's splendid video, One eats the sweet fruit, the other watches.
  3. Attar's poem in Fitzgerald's stellar translation, The Bird Parliament. (This would be an amazing poem for reading out loud -- I tried that earlier and got about a ¼ of the way into it... I may have to upload a recording of this to SoundCloud.)
  4. Dave Holland's Conference of the Birds. (thanks for the link, John!)
  5. I'm also put in mind a little of Borges' mysticism, in a way I have not been by this novel so far -- the bits of magic in Rai's narration have been undone by his glibness. Specifically The Theologians I guess, though I don't recall there being birds in that.
More in comments.

posted morning of October 13th, 2012: 4 responses
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