Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I am living in the Villa Beg, dad. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. We are all alone here and we are dead.

a poetic misdivision

So I find out my bar results tomorrow morning. While in Albany for a test I ran across an old friend who had been in Iraq and Afghanistan (among other places) for the last few years and had a good time chatting with him. On this eve of getting my results and maybe out of a karmic interest I thought I'd plug his riveting but long-un-updated blog and his profile at the New American Foundation - we all hope his book comes out soon...

ps: BBC sez UK used white phosphorous in fallujah


Outside View: The Small, Daily Abu Ghraibs
Nir Rosen - UPI - September 21, 2005

My career as a journalist began in Iraq. My big break was writing a piece for the New Yorker magazine about the Iraqi resistance in Fallujah, so I have remained attached to that city--and I am not the only one.

In July I was in Mogadishu, Somalia. Men there wear T-shirts emblazoned "Fallujah," shops bear the name, too.

In August I was in Pakistan, where magazines are sold dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of the town. In Saudi Arabia, the al-Qaida group that killed foreign workers in 2004 was named the Fallujah Squadron.

All that is in honor of Fallujah's resistance to the United States.

Fallujah of course was wiped off the map for its defiance of the U.S. occupation--but it is useful to remember that the reason the resistance in Fallujah started was not because the town was special but because shortly after the war ended American troops shot dozens of peaceful demonstrators in two separate incidents.

For every action, there is a reaction.

I spent about a year and a half in Iraq. It was obvious early on, and continues to be, that the main problem in Iraq, the main obstacle to progress, is the U.S. occupation.

When it ends, attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq will end as well.

It seems obvious, almost a tautology, but it is true worldwide as well. The American empire will cease to be a target when it ceases to directly or indirectly oppress weaker people.

Terrorism--inasmuch as the word has any meaning, but that's another argument--is not a phenomenon or an entity. It is a tool of politics by other means, just like war.

Terrorists act for specific reasons to achieve specific goals, like all political actors, they simply don't have the conventional methods that modern states have. We are focused on terrorism emanating from the Muslim world, but that is obviously not at all the only kind.

The motives for Muslim terrorism directed against America are not secret; they are clearly stated over and over again by the most reliable sources, the perpetrators themselves.

The reasons are Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Guantanamo, America's presence on holy Muslim land and its support for dictatorial and corrupt regimes. In their statements terrorist leaders and their foot soldiers attribute their war to these specific grievances.

Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, I have heard the same complaints from Muslims of every variety, secular and devout, over and over. They do not resent America for its freedom, its capitalism, its culture, its democracy or any other aspects of its identity.

They resent America for its perceived war against the Muslim world and its support for Israel's war against the Palestinians.

In Iraq, America is attacked because it is a brutal occupier, humiliating Iraqis, destroying villages, arresting, beating and killing countless innocent men, women and children.

This is the main cause of the resistance.

I have witnessed these things, they are not the ramblings of a leftwing polemicist.

If America was not occupying Iraq, there would be no resistance.

The vast majority of the resistance in Iraq is Iraqi--I will get to the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi movement in a moment, since it is the exception.

While the crimes of Abu Ghraib are well known, they distract attention from the smaller, daily, persistent Abu Ghraibs that make up military occupation.

Constantly having foreign occupiers point their machine guns and tank guns at you everywhere you go, you are always aware that they have power over your life.

They determine what road you can use and when; they can break into your home and destroy your property with impunity; arrest and physically abuse your men with impunity; they can kill you--accidentally or on purpose--with impunity; and you know people to whom all of this has happened.

They build immense concrete walls in your city, they surround it with barbed wire, they dictate your future political system to you.

In a word--they terrorize you. This is what fuels the Iraqi resistance.

In Israel a far more brutal occupation in defiance of international law and U.N. resolutions has persisted for decades thanks only to the blind dogmatic support from the United States, which has never been an honest broker in the Middle East.

The national aspirations of an entire people have been denied while their homes are destroyed, their people killed and oppressed and their very identity and existence in jeopardy.

America, the most powerful nation on earth, supports the Israelis and vilifies the Palestinians--and it is not just the U.S. government.

Last month, a few thousand Jewish fanatics who illegally settled on occupied land in Gaza and went on the occasional pogrom, attacking Palestinians upon whose land they had settled, were given more attention and sympathy by the American media in a week or two than it has given in five years to the Palestinians whose homes have been destroyed, who are not permitted to live as humans, and who inhabit a giant prison.

None of this is lost on the rest of the world, especially that part of it which for linguistic, cultural or religious reasons identifies with the Palestinians.

In Afghanistan, America has bombed or shot innocent civilians, arrested innocent Afghanis and tortured them, sometimes to death, all with the same impunity they enjoy in Iraq.

To us, these are accidents we regret and forget. To the Muslim world they are more proof that their lives do not matter, that they are not viewed as human.

In Karachi last month the director of a madrasa, or Islamic seminary, asked me why the world made such a big deal out of the death of a mere 50 people in London, but raised no hue and cry for the many innocent Muslim victims of bombs in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere.

Not all terrorists are victims of oppression, some, including most-famously Osama bin Laden, had a privileged life. But they identify with an oppressed and humiliated nation. It is a collective identity of shame and resentment.

It is their brothers and sisters killed in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Chechnya. It is their nation that is under attack.

Others, like the Zarqawi movement in Iraq, are more nihilistic.

They seek to destroy the hated Shi'ites, whom they view as subhuman as and worse than infidels. They seek not just to end the American occupation, but to kill Jews and Christians throughout the world.

Their ideologues speak of a Manichean clash between the Muslim world and the non Muslim world, but their foot soldiers are still motivated by specific grievances.

It is often asked, "Why do they hate us?"

The simple truth is that they do not hate us not for who we are, but for what we do.

An American withdrawal from Iraq and an Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied territories to the 1967 lines would do more to fight terrorism than any military action ever could.

But there is one other thing we can do, too: We could attempt to imagine what it feels like to be on the other side of the Iraq equation--living under military occupation and on the receiving end of American military violence--and how we would react were we on that other side.


Crossing the Valley
Fadhil al-Azzawi
From Iraqi Poetry Today

This desolate valley is crowded with thieves
but I'm crossing it alone.
I'm afraid of no one,
for I have neither gold nor silver in my saddle.

This desolate valley stretches before me
dotted with stones that shimmer like mirrors in the sun.
I drag my mules behind me and sing happily to myself.

Often rain pours down in this valley.
But there is no cave to shelter me
and I don't have a tent.
If the flood comes and water is everywhere
who will save me in an ark?
Yet, I go on without a miracle,
sheltering in my hand my heart's ember,
hoping to set fire to the world's dead wood
and to feed the ghosts that regularly dine at my table.

Alone I cross this valley
and the wind diligently follows me.

Bekes Jr (Sherko Faiq) - Kurdish poet laureate

Four children
a Turk, a Persian
an Arab and a Kurd
were colelctively drawing the picture of a man.
The first drew his head
The second drew his hands and upper limbs
The third drew his legs and torso
The fourth drew a gun on his shoulder

A Poet's Fate
Awad Nasir

My country does not belong to me
nor I to it.
For five millenia my country has been no more than imminent exile.

It is my destiny to steal away like a thief
and enter like a thief
I am the one who steals fire from the creator.

But it's my destiny,
that of an ear of wheat,
which when it grows tall
is threatened by the one who wields a sickle.

Paul Celan

Near are we, Lord,
near and graspable.

Grasped already, Lord,
clawed into each other, as if
each of our bodies were
your body, Lord.

Pray, Lord,
pray to us,
we are near.

Wind-skewed we went there,
went there to bend
over pit and crater.

Went to the water-trough, Lord.

It was blood, it was
what you shed, Lord.

It shined.

It cast your image into our eyes, Lord.
Eyes and mouth stand so open and void, Lord.
We have drunk, Lord.
The blood and the image that was in the blood, Lord.

Pray, Lord.
We are near.


For some more stories in yr spare time, cheque out these brilliant bits:
Anne Carson (she of the brilliant and ineffable fictional tangos )- The Economy of the Unlost (pdf)

Robert Kelly (Black Sparrow is still nice) - with an essay that rewrites Borges as a New Critic

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

v97: we are us and / thats / perfect

v97: my connection is stolen from someone i dont know...

I knew these two people / um...a boy and a girl /they were nice people/ and, um, they liked to hang together / ... / do you know what happened to them

"Untitled" - Fumio Nambata
Collection of Setagaya Art Museum

Team Spirit
Richard Grossman

At Gelco there is a team feeling
although there are many members of the same
team that don't like each other and others that

don't know each other there is a pool
of money the results of production
that go into a pot

the accountants sort it out
and everybody is rewarded a minimum of twice a month
on the basis of how well they carry the ball

and the whole world is playing
on the other side.

Business Tao
Richard Grossman

All revolution is an act
to change the standards that people judge by take

the impeccable business suit
worn by a man of the right race

it is a pass to anywhere where
business makes sense an artificial intelligence
would have a hard time

turning down a proposition from such a suit.
A solid appearance is one of those keys

when you know them all and use them
you can break covenants run
Gelco watch the wind

level honest men outside your one
way windows.


They huddle eyeball to eyeball
not sure of their reasons for associating
on boats or why their wives go together shopping
but confident that Control works.

It's quite pleasant to socialize effectively;
if you don't want to belong
you give notice

your friends will simply melt away.
They'll find themselves another plateau a nice place

where familiar people sell themselves
for familiar sums of money.

This one might explain certain pronoias...
The drug induced in me a state of great excitability; after a lapse of two hours there was lack of appetite, great and continuous thirst, increased beating of the heart, continual longing for sexual activity but without orgasm, combined with masochism or sadism. Mentally I felt a delightful feeling of superiority and importance, and a desire to talk a great deal. -- "Laura: A Case History"
(from Louis London and Frank Caprio's Sexual Deviations - see also
Time Magazine - AG's favorite obsession)


SUNDAY NIGHT (it's gonna be alright)

Enjoy some of new school heros in an oldtime genre, the interactive fiction competition

And figure out why the twentieth century, to quote the blog of america's elder genius raymond federman, was such "an ugly scar across our history", check out: Europeana - A Brief History of the Twentieth Century (a novel)

Federman story of the day [it's a pdf] is in the amazing black ice anthology (*for a*) - check it out where the digerati meet the literati (party like it's 95)

Monday, November 14, 2005

lust for life

Here comes johnny yen again / worth a million in prizes / With a torture film / Drive a gto / Wear a uniform / All on a government loan

Julia Vinogra

I met a man in a bar,
claimed he was a detective
had been hired to follow Lonely
but couldn't stay far enough behind.
People you meet in bars are like that.
I met a girl whose lipstick had eaten her mouth,
claimed she'd had an affair with Lonely,
yes, he was good-looking
if you liked the type.
She wouldn't say anymore.
I went to a party, it went on all night,
everyone said he wasn't there.
I think he owned the place.
I met an old lady in pink and white ruffles,
grey and white wrinkles,
she claimed she's taught her poodle
to bite Lonely's ankle.
She'd named her poodle after a relative
she wasn't speaking to anymore.
The city is full of pets people love instead;
Lonely knows all about it.
Lonely's never been arrested
but he's been in jail. He gets around.
Lonely owns a television and we're all on it.
Sometimes he turns off the sound
and sits for hours in the dark
just watching us open and close our mouths.


a queen

The boy was in the hallway drinking a glass of tea
From the other end of the hallway a rhythm was generating
Another boy was sliding up the hallway
He merged perfectly with the hallway,
He merged perfectly, the mirror in the hallway

The boy looked at Johnny, Johnny wanted to run,
but the movie kept moving as planned
The boy took Johnny, he pushed him against the locker,
He drove it in, he drove it home, he drove it deep in Johnny
The boy disappeared, Johnny fell on his knees,
started crashing his head against the locker,
started crashing his head against the locker,
started laughing hysterically

When suddenly Johnny gets the feeling he's being surrounded by
horses, horses, horses, horses
coming in in all directions
white shining silver studs with their nose in flames,
He saw horses, horses, horses, horses, horses, horses, horses, horses.
Do you know how to pony like bony maroney
Do you know how to twist, well it goes like this, it goes like this
Baby mash potato, do the alligator, do the alligator
And you twist the twister like your baby sister
I want your baby sister, give me your baby sister, dig your baby sister
Rise up on her knees, do the sweet pea, do the sweet pee pee,
Roll down on her back, got to lose control, got to lose control,
Got to lose control and then you take control,
Then you're rolled down on your back and you like it like that,
Like it like that, like it like that, like it like that,
Then you do the watusi, yeah do the watusi

Life is filled with holes, Johnny's laying there, his sperm coffin
Angel looks down at him and says, “Oh, pretty boy,
Can't you show me nothing but surrender ?”
Johnny gets up, takes off his leather jacket,
Taped to his chest there's the answer,
You got pen knives and jack knives and
Switchblades preferred, switchblades preferred
Then he cries, then he screams, saying
Life is full of pain, I'm cruisin' through my brain
And I fill my nose with snow and go Rimbaud,
Go Rimbaud, go Rimbaud,
And go Johnny go, and do the watusi, oh do the watusi

There's a little place, a place called space
It's a pretty little place, it's across the tracks,
Across the tracks and the name of the place is you like it like that,
You like it like that, you like it like that, you like it like that,
And the name of the band is the
Twistelettes, Twistelettes, Twistelettes, Twistelettes,
Twistelettes, Twistelettes, Twistelettes, Twistelettes

Baby calm down, better calm down,
In the night, in the eye of the forest
There's a mare black and shining with yellow hair,
I put my fingers through her silken hair and found a stair,
I didn't waste time, I just walked right up and saw that
up there -- there is a sea
up there -- there is a sea
up there -- there is a sea
the sea's the possibility
There is no land but the land
(up there is just a sea of possibilities)
There is no sea but the sea
(up there is a wall of possibilities)
There is no keeper but the key
(up there there are several walls of possibilities)
Except for one who seizes possibilities, one who seizes possibilities.
(up there)
I seize the first possibility, is the sea around me
I was standing there with my legs spread like a sailor
(in a sea of possibilities) I felt his hand on my knee
(on the screen)
And I looked at Johnny and handed him a branch of cold flame
(in the heart of man)
The waves were coming in like Arabian stallions
Gradually lapping into sea horses
He picked up the blade and he pressed it against his smooth throat
(the spoon)
And let it deep in
(the veins)
Dip in to the sea, to the sea of possibilities
It started hardening
Dip in to the sea, to the sea of possibilities
It started hardening in my hand
And I felt the arrows of desire

I put my hand inside his cranium, oh we had such a brainiac-amour
But no more, no more, I gotta move from my mind to the area
(go Rimbaud go Rimbaud go Rimbaud)
And go Johnny go and do the watusi,
Yeah do the watusi, do the watusi ...
Shined open coiled snakes white and shiny twirling and encircling
Our lives are now entwined, we will fall yes we're together twining
Your nerves, your mane of the black shining horse
And my fingers all entwined through the air,
I could feel it, it was the hair going through my fingers,
(I feel it I feel it I feel it I feel it)
The hairs were like wires going through my body
I I that's how I
that's how I
I died
(at that Tower of Babel they knew what they were after)
(they knew what they were after)
[Everything on the current] moved up
I tried to stop it, but it was too warm, too unbelievably smooth,
Like playing in the sea, in the sea of possibility, the possibility
Was a blade, a shiny blade, I hold the key to the sea of possibilities
There's no land but the land

looked at my hands, and there's a red stream
that went streaming through the sands like fingers,
like arteries, like fingers
(how much fits between the eyes of a horse?)
He lay, pressing it against his throat (your eyes)
He opened his throat (your eyes)
His vocal chords started shooting like (of a horse) mad pituitary glands
The scream he made (and my heart) was so high (my heart) pitched that nobody heard,
No one heard that cry,
No one heard (Johnny) the butterfly flapping in his throat,
(His fingers)
Nobody heard, he was on that bed, it was like a sea of jelly,
And so he seized the first
(his vocal chords shot up)
(like mad pituitary glands)
It was a black tube, he felt himself disintegrate
(there is nothing happening at all)
and go inside the black tube, so when he looked out into the steep
saw this sweet young thing (Fender one)
Humping on the parking meter, leaning on the parking meter

In the sheets
there was a man
dancing around
to the simple
Rock & roll

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Some things you shouldn't get too good at

like smiling, crying &

that night we layed the mole game for china and clover
rupert wondolowski

The clock hands greased
baby mole other room sleeping
She said "for a minute
or two I felt like a
little girl bouncing on a
dirty old man's knees"
(all my chest hair?)
she wonddered what else
we could be, I said
electric eels

In the morning I woke
from a Frank Sinatra dream -
he scraped a paring knife
across his spotted liver
gone flesh, bloated orange moon
and tried to jab me
as an equally sick
Bobby Kennedy looked on
rotting face map
She was getting her cigarettes
from beside the bed and I saw
three of her, she said
"We had such a good morning.
Al cocoked us breakfast
and we watched Bullwinkle."
She pressed against me
and we sank back into the ocean bed
my head a bobbing brown apple core

anne sexton: in memoriam
rupert wondolowski

an afternoon coccktail
has changed things
considerably, mashed
potatos still clinging
to waxed lips
to be a daddy
or a singer
in a jazz band
smooth as bourbon
and coke would
be a fine thing

Thursday, November 10, 2005

focus will robinson focus focus focus now now now buy sell buy sell stocks now

This is the story of a man, marked by an image from his childhood. The violent scene that upsets him, and whose meaning he was to grasp only years later, happened on the main jetty at CVG, the Cincinnati airport, sometime before the outbreak of World War III.

CVG, Sunday. Parents used to take their children there to watch the departing planes.

On this particular Sunday, the child whose story we are telling was bound to remember the frozen sun, the setting at the end of the jetty, and a woman's face.

Nothing sorts out memories from ordinary moments. Later on they do claim remembrance when they show their scars. That face he had seen was to be the only peacetime image to survive the war. Had he really seen it? Or had he invented that tender moment to prop up the madness to come?

The sudden roar, the woman's gesture, the crumpling body, and the cries of the crowd on the jetty blurred by fear.

Later, he knew he had seen a man die.

And sometime after came the destruction of Paris.

Many died. Some believed themselves to be victors. Others were taken prisoner. The survivors settled beneath Jersey, in an underground network of galleries.

Above ground, New York, as most of the world, was uninhabitable, riddled with radioactivity.

The victors stood guard over an empire of rats.

The prisoners were subjected to experiments, apparently of great concern to those who conducted them.

The outcome was a disappointment for some - death for others - and for others yet, madness.

One day they came to select a new guinea pig from among the prisoners.

He was the man whose story we are telling.

He was frightened. He had heard about the Head Experimenter. He was prepared to meet Dr. Frankenstein, or the Mad Scientist. Instead, he met a reasonable man who explained calmly that the human race was doomed. Space was off-limits. The only hope for survival lay in Time. A loophole in Time, and then maybe it would be possible to reach food, medicine, sources of energy.

This was the aim of the experiments: to send emissaries into Time, to summon the Past and Future to the aid of the Present.

But the human mind balked at the idea. To wake up in another age meant to be born again as an adult. The shock would be too great.

Having only sent lifeless or insentient bodies through different zones of Time, the inventors where now concentrating on men given to very strong mental images. If they were able to conceive or dream another time, perhaps they would be able to live in it.

The camp police spied even on dreams.

This man was selected from among a thousand for his obsession with an image from the past.

Nothing else, at first, put stripping out the present, and its racks.

They begin again.

The man doesn't die, nor does he go mad. He suffers.

They continue.

On the tenth day, images begin to ooze, like confessions.

A peacetime morning. A peacetime bedroom, a real bedroom. Real children. Real birds. Real cats. Real graves.

On the sixteenth day he is on the jetty at CVG. Empty.

Sometimes he recaptures a day of happiness, though different.

A face of happiness, though different.


A girl who could be the one he seeks. He passes her on the jetty. She smiles at him from an automobile. Other images appear, merge, in that museum, which is perhaps that of his memory.

On the thirtieth day, the meeting takes place. Now he is sure he recognizes her. In fact, it is the only thing he is sure of, in the middle of this dateless world that at first stuns him with its affluence. Around him, only fabulous materials: glass, plastic, terry cloth. When he recovers from his trance, the woman has gone.

The experimenters tighten their control. They send him back out on the trail. Time rolls back again, the moment returns.

This time he is close to her, he speaks to her. She welcomes him without surprise. They are without memories, without plans. Time builds itself painlessly around them. Their only landmarks are the flavor of the moment they are living and the markings on the walls.

Later on, they are in a garden. He remembers there were gardens.

She asks him about his necklace, the combat necklace he wore at the start of the war that is yet to come. He invents an explanation.

They walk. They look at the trunk of a redwood tree covered with historical dates. She pronounces an English name he doesn't understand. As in a dream, he shows her a point beyond the tree, hears himself say, "This is where I come from ..." - and falls back, exhausted. Then another wave of Time washes over him. The result of another injection perhaps.

Now she is asleep in the sun. He knows that in this world to which he has just returned for a while, only to be sent back to her, she is dead. She wakes up. He speaks again. Of a truth too fantastic to be believed he retains the essential: an unreachable country, a long way to go. She listens. She doesn't laugh.

Is it the same day? He doesn't know. They shall go on like this, on countless walks in which an unspoken trust, an unadulterated trust will grow between them, without memories or plans. Up to the moment where he feels - ahead of them - a barrier.

And this was the end of the first experiment.

It was the starting point for a whole series of tests, in which he would meet her at different times. Sometimes he finds her in front of their markings. She welcomes him in a simple way. She calls him her Ghost.

One day she seems frightened. One day she leans toward him. As for him, he never knows whether he moves toward her, whether he is driven, whether he has made it up, or whether he is only dreaming.

Around the fiftieth day, they meet in a museum filled with timeless animals. Now the aim is perfectly adjusted. Thrown at the right moment, he may stay there and move without effort.

She too seems tamed. She accepts as a natural phenomenon the ways of this visitor who comes and goes, who exists, talks, laughs with her, stops talking, listens to her, then disappears.

Once back in the experiment room, he knew something was different. The camp leader was there. From the conversation around him, he gathered that after the brilliant results of the tests in the Past, they now meant to ship him into the Future. His excitement made him forget for a moment that the meeting at the museum had been the last.

The Future was better protected than the Past. After more, painful tries, he eventually caught some waves of the world to come. He went through a brand new planet, NYC rebuilt, ten thousand incomprehensible avenues. Others were waiting for him. It was a brief encounter. Obviously, they rejected these scoriae of another time.

He recited his lesson: because humanity had survived, it could not refuse to its own past the means of its survival. This sophism was taken for Fate in disguise.

They gave him a power unit strong enough to put all human industry back into motion, and again the gates of the Future were closed.

Sometime after his return, he was transferred to another part of the camp. He knew that his jailers would not spare him. He had been a tool in their hands, his childhood image had been used as bait to condition him, he had lived up to their expectations, he had played his part. Now he only waited to be liquidated with, somewhere inside him, the memory of a twice-lived fragment of time.

And deep in this limbo, he received a message from the people of the world to come. They too travelled through Time, and more easily. Now they were there, ready to accept him as one of their own. But he had a different request: rather than this pacified future, he wanted to be returned to the world of his childhood, and to this woman who was perhaps waiting for him.

Once again the main jetty at CVG, in the middle of this warm pre-war Sunday afternoon where he could not stay, he though in a confused way that the child he had been was due to be there too, watching the planes.

But first of all he looked for the woman's face, at the end of the jetty. He ran toward her. And when he recognized the man who had trailed him since the underground camp, he understood there was no way to escape Time, and that this moment he had been granted to watch as a child, which had never ceased to obsess him, was the moment of his own death.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

you can quiet the beast with drugs but he will dream of blood & bone (yours)

"in the pavillion of the red clown"
robert williams

"sitting on a bench near TSQuare"
d.a. levy


through the branches of
the thin trees of tenth street
the blue sky waits
with me &
im waiting for god
(on a white horse)
to ride thru the
branches of
the lower east side
before returning to
& something
tells me
he isnt coming


im a levy of the levites
yet in cleveland
i have painted myself
& am feeling
something like an outlaw

the druids give me soup
& think im a lama

its been close to 7 years
ive been looking for god
& the trails wearing as
thin as the trees on tenth street

i am a levy of the levites
& last week
a fanatic jew in the heights
called me a halfbreed
because my mother was a christian

i am a levy of the levites
& last week a rabbi
thought i was kidding
when i told him
i was interested in judaism

god i think yr sense
of humor is sad
& perhaps you are also
feeling something
like an outlaw

god i am wondering
for how many years
have the jews
exiled you
while they busied themselves
with survival

Monday, November 07, 2005

“strong, not unpretty”

Luc Tuymans, The Secretary of State 2005
oil on canvas, 18 x 24-1/4 inches
Courtesy David Zwirner Gallery

here, bullet
brian turner

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta's opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you've started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel's cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue's explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.


i'm not earning wages i'm
waging a war not from
the air an uprising of love
love is a book (yes no
yes it is) somebodys torn
the last page out of


I want all the women
all the money
and all the fun

I want every rainbow
all the marbles
and a personalized introduction to God

I want a death list
transparent skin
and a cat with no fur

I want everything
I have nothing
I will negotiate

he looked out the window and said

-- see how blue the sky is?

When I'm not drinking,
that's the color
of my eyes.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Great Blue Heron on a Poplar Snag

the answer?

Great Blue Heron lands on a poplar snag
Making me wonder momentarily
How a pterodactyl got all the way here
From the late Cretaceous

Until I realize this beautiful bird
Got here the same way the rest of us did:
One egg at a time.

Charles Potts

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

bardot's busty bacchanale

the cinema substitutes a world that conforms to our ideas. cinema replaces our gaze with a world in harmony with our desires. le mepris is the story of that world.

It is no longer the presence of God, but the absence of God that is reassuring man

Monsieur Prokosch: "Whenever I hear the word `culture,' I reach for my checkbook."
Monsieur Lang aussi: "Les Hitlériens disaient: 'mon révolver'," which the subtitles render "The Italians used to say 'my revolver'"

Herr Thiemann: Wenn ich Kultur höre...entsichere ich meinen Browning!
Hanns Johst's Schlageter, Act I, Scene I, the character of Thiemann speaking in the first performance on April 20, 1933, for Hitler's birthday
(Every time someone mentions the word 'culture', I reach for my Browning)

Misson of Burma: That's when i reach for my revolver (*)

"You'll do it because you need the money,"
"How do you know," Monsieur Piccoli responds.
Prokosch: "I understand you have a very beautiful wife"...

one of godards more conventional films.
beautiful colors and bodies and score and theory.
intimations of art over america.
a luscious joy to watch,
sounds warm -
like ayler from that era.
image of specific cool.
primary colors adrift in ideological melodramas.
wrapped in shag carpets.
penelope out of love.
and all those damned fedoras.

great scene with palance watching the mermaids and his melding from self-deification through embarassed american teen to olympian discus thrower ending with bend over so i might write this check. and then, inevitably, this being godard, the cherry red alfa bids an oily adieu to traffic.
"Mind if your wife comes"