Friday, January 25, 2013

Casida: The Reclining Woman

Viewing your nakedness is to remember the Earth,
the smooth Earth, unmarked by horses.
The Earth without a single reed, a pure form
shut off from the future: a zone of silver. 

Viewing your nakedness is to understand the longing 
of the rain as it seeks out soft shapes,
or the fever on the ocean's enormous brow 
and not the glow in its cheeks.

Blood will resound through bedchambers
and come with flashing swords,
but where the toad's heart or the violet 
hide themselves will be unknown to you. 

Your womb is a struggle of roots,
your lips a dawn without demarcation.
Beneath the warm roses of the bed 
dead men groan as they await their turn.

- Federico Garcia Lorca

Translated by Paul Archer

Monday, December 31, 2012

Lucky New Year

"They always ate twelve raisins, one for each chime, to bring luck during the next year, a popular custom widely observed abroad. You're talking about rich countries, but do you really believe such a custom will bring you good fortune. I do not know, but perhaps my year would have been even worse had I not eaten those raisins. It was with such arguments that the man who has no God seeks gods, while he who was abandoned his gods invents God. One day we shall rid ourselves of both God and gods."

- Saramago, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (72)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring and All

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

-- William Carlos Williams

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In places we would never to find (and perhaps did not wish to find)

"...It seemed to me that while we would never find answers to these fundamental questions, it was good for us to ask them anyway, that true happiness and meaning resided in places we would never find and perhaps did not wish to find but--whether we were pursuing the answers or merely pleasure and emotional depth--the pursuit mattered no less than the attainment, the asking as important as the views we saw through the windows of the car, the house, the ferry. With time, life--like music, art, and stories--would rise and fall, eventually to end, but even years later those lives are with us still, in the city views that flow before our eyes, like memories plucked from dreams."
- Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul 315-316

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Musings from September

Mostly boredom populates the brief and fleeting moments between endless worthless toil, the steam powering another man's train of dreams.


I don't care about peace. or war. I prefer tranquility, in little things, in my life around me
I wish for people to be free, happy and fat but I am not concerned with making the world my own personal fiefdom following my rules and existing in accordance with my principles again,
I'd prefer it but i am not preoccupied with bringing the world into line
this is not my place
this is a waste of energy

I am not concerned with wine unless it sparkles white like thunder or the waves in moonlight
I lust for beer at times, though not often
I drink no coffee. I want only chocolate
I have disdain for people and addictions though without doubt, I have my own
they may not be in nature as nefarious or insidious as cocaine or nicotine, drink, or gambling but in that they are addictions, they are equally disgusting, I feel.

One must lose the addiction to being right or rather parading one's rightness around for all to see at all times
one must let go of delusions
lose all illusion
one must know what one is and know that it's pointless to try to understand the world around him
the world around him and its chaos are a great source of his discomfort
lose that, and the sought after tranquility comes some distance closer
paradoxically, that which is sought after is disturbed and obscured by the very acting of seeking it

I don't know what's going on and I refuse to pretend that I do

your inhibitions are an atrocity
I need to be reminded of my sanity
put me back in touch with my rational mind
twitter is the death of mystery...perception...insight




is there no solace is there no reprieve
you must acquiesce
surrender all claims to dignity and self-respect
all appeals to reason and logic

god gave you a wicked heart
I wonder if maybe that were true
it's as plausible an explanation as any
I vacillate between complete admiration and total disgust with regard to women
I look at her and marvel at how such a creature so beautiful could ever have been created in this flawed and evil world and then I'm made to realize exactly how this can be so
for in her dwells a wickedness or something that will insist that I cannot know her love, which is just as good as wickedness



“There is a woman stuck between my eyelids. I would tell her to get out if I could. But there is a woman stuck in my throat.”

every performance a birth, every curtain a death.


the words that sing to my soul as if they had leapt to the page from my own pen

There is no tomorrow. Girls in LA get tattoos of Chinese symbols and don't know what they mean. Girls in NYC get tattoos of TS Eliot quotations on their backs.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Again And Again, However We Know The Landscape Of Love

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.

--Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the self isn't enough to justify anything

the self isn't enough to justify anything other than inertia
love must be attached to freedom
obligations smother the freedom that lets love blossom

why have I climbed over generic space to build you castles out of everything I can be?
everything I have?
you say: that's a nice castle. I'll sleep a night on the futon, but I think tomorrow I'll be leaving; I shan't be returning.

I demolish my castle and contemplate the sleeping stones
shedding a tear for all whose purpose has abandoned them

when things burn they cannot come back
when rain comes it cannot be turned back

i act only out of reflex

we act only out of mimicry
nothing is authentic and that's okay
everything is a symbol for something else which is yet another symbol down the infinite regress where a little light that burns as the heart of all things is nothing more than an illusion

all of this is pretend
we play at life
to embrace the pretense and make this your artform is a superior mode of being
(and leave life to the actors, the ones who don't believe in their own fraudulence)
they think they wrote their own lines and that their lives are their own

we know better

every word of poetry was made for you

any sweet word of poetry would be happy to know you and
even the cold words, the words of vomit giggle at the thought of you