Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Hail ! natural desire ! Hail ! happiness ! divine happiness ! and pleasure of all sorts, flowers and wine, though one fades and the other intoxicates; and half-crown tickets out of London on Sundays, and singing in a dark chapel hymns about death, and anything, anything that interrupts and confounds the tapping of typewriters and the filing of letters and forging of links and chains, binding the Empire together. Hail even the crude, red bows on shop girls' lips (as if Cupid, very clumsily, dipped his thumb in red ink and scrawled a token in passing). Hail, happiness ! kingfisher flashing from bank to bank, and all fulfilment of natural desire, whether it is what the male novelist says it is; or prayer; or denial; hail ! in whatever form it comes, and may there be more forms, and stranger. For dark flows the stream--would it were true, as the rhyme hints "like a dream"--but duller and worser than that is our usual lot; without dreams, but alive, smug, fluent, habitual, under trees whose shade of an olive green drowns the blue of the wing of the vanishing bird when he darts of a sudden from bank to bank.

Hail, happiness, then, and after happiness, hail not those dreams which bloat the sharp image as spotted mirrors do the face in a country-inn parlor; dreams which splinter the whole and tear us asunder and would us and split us apart in the night when we would sleep; but sleep, sleep, so deep that all shapes are ground to dust of infinite softness, water of dimness inscrutable, and there, folded, shrouded, like a mummy, like a moth, prone let us lie on the sand at the bottom of sleep.

But wait ! but wait ! we are not going, this time, visiting the blind land. Blue, like a match struck right in the ball of the innermost eye, he flys, burns, bursts the seal of sleep; the kingfisher; so that now floods back refluent like a tide, the red, thick stream of life again; bubbling, dripping; and we rise, and our eyes (for how handy a rhyme is to pass us safe over the awkward transition from death to life) fall on--(here the barrel-organ stops playing abruptly).

"It's a very fine boy, M'Lady," said Mrs. Banting, the midwife. In other words Orlando was safely delivered of a son on Thursday, March the 20th, at three o'clock in the morning


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

From Sir Thomas Browne

"I that have examined the parts of man, and know upon what tender filaments that Fabrick hangs, doe wonder that we are not alwayes so; and considering the thousand dores that lead to death doe thanke my God that we can die but once."

Friday, November 9, 2012

the body in four parts.

excerpted from Janet Kauffman's the body in four parts.

It is the dream of the body -- to know a place bodily and to say so. To take words into and out of itself. To have words assume bodily shape, salamander or milk, it doesn't matter. To inhabit a shore, a fabulous body of water, debris, insects drilled in the sand.

Where in the world can the body say, I am in my element?

The body strips to its flesh, and flame, and dives. When air gives out, and blues and greens simplify into dark, lips open the way lips open for kisses.

But the body, more fully desirous, recalcitrant in the extreme, says, even there, No, this is not the world I dreamed of. This is not the world.

Friday, July 13, 2012


by Jorge Luis Borges

Como un ciego de manos precursoras
que apartan muros y vislumbran cielos,
lento de azoramiento voy palpando
por las noches hendidas
los versos venideros.
He de quemar la sombra abominable
en su límpida hoguera:
púrpura de palabras
sobre la espalda flagelada del tiempo.
He de encerrar el llanto de las tardes
en el duro diamante del poema.
Nada importa que el alma
ande sola y desnuda como el viento
si el universo de un glorioso beso
aún abarca mi vida
y en lo callado se embravece un grito.
Para ir sembrando versos
la noche es una tierra labrantía.


English translation by S.R. Girma

As one who is blind with heralding hands
that draw apart walls and catch glimpses of skies,
slowly with trepidation I feel forward,
into the cleaved nights,
the forthcoming verses.
I must burn the loathsome obscurity
at its transparent stake:
cardinal by words
flagellated against the back by time.
I must enclose the wails of the evenings
in the firm diamond of the poem.
It matters not that the spirit
walks alone and naked like the wind
if the universe with a blessed kiss
still takes my life in its arms
and in the quiet a howl is enraged.
To sow verses
the night is a fertile land.

the lickerish quartet.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Le travail ne me fait pas peur, je suis un peu décorateur un peu styliste Mais mon vrai métier c'est la nuit que je l'exerce en travesti, je suis artiste.

Friday, May 18, 2012

m.c. escher

puddle woodcut, 1952

relativity lithograph, 1953

hand with reflecting sphere or self-portrait in spherical mirror lithograph, 1935

street in scanno, abruzzi lithograph, 1930

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

it is just thus, just Suchness...

an excerpt from "The Goddess" chapter of The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti, translated by Robert Thurman:

Thereuopn, Manjusri, the crown prince, addressed the Licchavi Vimalakirti: "Good sir, how should a bodhisattva regard all living beings?"

Vimalakirti replied, "Manjusri, a bodhisattva should regard all living beings as a wise man regards the reflection of the moon in water or as magicians regard men created by magic. He should regard them as being like a face in a mirror; like the water of a mirage; like the sound of an echo; like a mass of clouds in the sky; like the previous moment of a ball of foam; like the appearance and disappearance of a bubble of water; like the core of a plantain tree; like a flash of lightning; like the fifth great element; like the seventh sense-medium; like the appearance of matter in an immaterial realm; like a sprout from a rotten seed; like a tortoise-hair coat; like the fun of games for one who wishes to die; like the egoistic views of a stream-winner; like a third rebirth of a once-returner; like the descent of a nonreturner into a womb; like the existence of desire, hatred, and folly in a saint; like the thoughts of avarice, immorality, wickedness, and hostility in a bodhisattva who has attained tolerance; like the instincts of passions in a Tathagata; like the perception of color in one blind from birth; like the inhalation and exhalation of an ascetic absorbed in the meditation of cessation; like the track of a bird in the sky; like the erection of a eunuch; like the pregnancy of a barren woman; like the unproduced passions of an emanated incarnation of the Tathagata; like dream-visions seen after waking; like the passions of one who is free of conceptualizations; like fire burning without fuel; like the reincarnation of one who has attained ultimate liberation."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

rithma - i wish i could be beautiful

...and here is an appropriate stanza:

((and i have known the eyes already, known them all --
the eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase))

-from eliot's "the love song of j. alfred prufrock"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

taped "shut"

related to the previous situationist image, an image from the fantastic korean film "spring, summer, fall, winter, & spring": he is taped "shut" as he lights the canoe on which he is sitting on fire:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ash wednesday - t.s. eliot


Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is
nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


the waking - t. roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

anniversary - gabriela mistral

And we go on and on,
Neither sleeping nor awake,
Towards the meeting, unaware
That we are already there.
That the silence is perfect,
And that the flesh is gone.
The call still is not heard
Nor does the Caller reveal his face.
But perhaps this might be
Oh, my love, the gift
Of the eternal Face without gestures
And of the kingdom without form!

i like my body - e.e. cummings


Carmelo Bene - L'Amore Di Dio