He was a wise man who invented beer. ~Plato.........
[Double Cream Stout; Bell's, Kalamazoo, MI]
After J. S. Bach / Cello Suite No. 6, BWV 1012
--J. Mae Barizo
Language, heart that you betrayed
one evening when the trains delayed
the rain the slandered snow in unkempt
mounds upon the drive, see in this belated
hour what a heart it was. The same pyre
which burns this day heats the undressed
trees that house the red tanagers
in winter garment, wing to wind.
Be your true self again, irrespective
of the duration of this music; Bach
in tenor clef upon the strings, your teal
eye, the courante shaking the room
with unclocked agitation. The words
you spoke were wild, flaunted
like a vain revolver, ruined
in one instant of unsaid
Let me begin by saying that I have often characterized my voice as, simply, an ongoing narration of my bewilderment as a citizen in the world. I find bewilderment to be a productive place from which to compose. It’s a word I like as it has both “be” and “wild” in it, and I also hear wilderness. Let’s be honest, life is strange and gets stranger; it’s strange to be here. So for me selfhood is also a biological phenomenon, enacted by the body I have to work with; it’s my instrument. In one of my poems in this book I say “the biology that composes I is shared with I.” Sometimes I think that my language has a kind of sonic blur, trying to transmit the impersonal frequency of pure neuro-hormonal energy. This might sound crazy, but in the act of locating a ground in this otherwise dark process, I came to an understanding that was, for me, revelatory: that the sensory data recorded in my poetry is, at the same time, a fiction of consciousness and the physical reality of my nervous system. Sometimes I think that I’m only an ethnographer of my nervous system; it’s certainly peopled. So what do I mean when I say that I want to be clear and to suggest something larger? One of the jobs for me as a poet is to listen to the exterior world in relation to some otherwise illegible interiority. I want to connect these two and give the resulting relationship a sound.
It isn’t alright to want just anything
all the time, be specific sky
I can read the narrow line above the hills
The day unbraids its pretty light
and I am here to see it
This must be all there is
right now in the world
There are things larger than understanding
things we know cannot
be held in the mind
If the sun throbs like a drum
every five minutes
what can we do with this
the 100,000 years it takes a photon
to reach the surface of the sun
eight minutes to hit our eyes
If every afternoon gravity and fire
it’s like that here
--from A Panic That Can Still Come Upon Me; ..........Peter Gizzi
past the end
game where things
though in past times
concrete as a slot machine.
But to be precise
you need to stop
which turns out to be
speed is of the essence.
“Of” can take care
and it’s fine
to say “essence”
now that it’s understood
to mean ether,
a kind of filler
the Planck length
Romanticism has never been fairly appraised; who would have? Critics!! The romantics, who so clearly prove that the song is infrequently the work of a singer, which is to say rarely is its thought both sung and understood by its singer.
For I is someone else. If the brass awakes as horn, it can't be to blame. This much is clear: I'm around for the hatching of thought: I watch it, I listen to it: I release a stroke from the bow: the symphony makes its rumblings in the depths, or leaps fully-formed onto stage.
If old fools hadn't completely misunderstood the nature of the Ego, we wouldn't be constantly sweeping up these millions of skeletons which, since time immemorial, have hoarded products of their monocular intellects, a blindness of which they claim authorship!
.........--Arthur Rimbaud (trans by Wyatt Mason)
Iñárritu: [Laughs] I turned 50 last year and I have learned a lot going through my personal process. I learned there are ways to approach life. You can never change the events, but you can change the way you approach them. The only thing that is important to me is to be honest to my circumstance and context. What this film talks about, I have been through. I have seen and experienced all of it; it’s what I have been living through the last years of my life. Instead of approaching it tragically, I wanted to try another mode. Not to reconcile past events, but actually to survive them. Doing this, I personally experienced a kind of reconciliation with life itself and faced things I don’t like about myself, things which used to make me bitter......
Deadlin: Birdman has a subtitle. What is the unexpected virtue of innocence?
Giacobone: It’s a good question. For me, I would say it’s that ego usually wins in that situation where you think you know what you’re doing. You create this mountain that you are climbing and you feel you are in control until you get to this point of desperation where you just realize that you have no control at all. Everything is bigger than you and you turn into this weak, ignorant thing. That moment of ignorance is beautiful.......
Iñárritu: That subtitle came later. What happens to this character is, he is an actor and to be most successful, he has to be not himself. That is the most incredible set of contradictions, the idea that you have to be not yourself in order to be good. In the moment that Riggin Thompson tries pretentiously and ignorantly to prove he is something that he is not, when he surrenders to that, when the critic says I will kill you, when his daughter rejects him and he realizes he has lost everything, in that moment right before that climactic act onstage, he is not acting. He is real and that is why the critic responded to his performance. He broke the rules of the game. And by surrendering to his reality, he gets to the unexpected virtue of ignorance. There was beauty in it.
Today started out with a morning, so nothing new. Some more fallen snow, still fresh off from the remnant shadows of night. That's where some speak of a sign, a door, a portal if you will. Either way, whether misread, unrevealed, locked or frozen, its the sliding accidents that will keep making up part of the reason for continued trust upon misguidance. Momentum, though, always first. Like desire placed for constant gravity and acceptance then, as it is. Personal corral of experience. Sights to endless sky.
I resolved it, I
found in my life a
center and secured it.
It is the house,
trees beyond, a term
of view encasing it.
reaches only as some
wind, a little
deadened sighing. And
if the life weren't?
when was something to
happen, had I secured
that-had I, had
There is nothing I am
nothing not. A place
between I am. I am
more than thought, less
than thought. A house
with winds, but a distance
-something loose in the wind,
feeling weather as that life
walks toward the lights he left.
--Bei Dao (trans by D Hinton/Yanbing Chen)
a child carrying flowers walks toward the new year
a conductor tattooing darkness
listens to the shortest pause
hurry a lion into the cage of music
hurry stone to masquerade as a recluse
moving in parallel nights
who's the visitor? when the days all
tip from nests and fly down roads
the book of failure grows boundless and deep
each and every moment's a shortcut
I follow it through the meaning of the East
returning home, closing death's door
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
...The flying cloud, the frosty light:
...The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
...Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
...The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
...For those that here we see no more;
...Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
...And ancient forms of party strife;
...Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
...The faithless coldness of the times;
...Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
...The civic slander and the spite;
...Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
...Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
...Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
...The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
...Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
When I read poetry, I want to feel myself suddenly larger … in touch with—or at least close to—what I deem magical, astonishing. I want to experience a kind of wonderment. And when you report back to your own daily world after experiencing the strangeness of a world sort of recombined and reordered in the depths of a poet’s soul, the world looks fresher somehow. Your daily world has been taken out of context. It has the voice of the poet written all over it, for one thing, but it also seems suddenly more alive …
The Good Life
You stand at the window.
There is a glass cloud in the shape of a heart.
There are the wind’s sighs that are like caves
.....in your speech.
You are the ghost in the tree outside.
The street is quiet.
The weather, like tomorrow, like your life,
is partially here, partially up in the air.
There is nothing that you can do.
The good life gives no warning.
It weathers the climates of despair
and appears, on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing,
and you are there.
Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz
“The most beautiful bodies are like transparent glass.”
They are bodies of the selfless or of those newly
dead. What appears transparent is really flame
burning so brightly it appears like glass. What
you’re looking through is the act of giving: One
thing in life needed desperately, given to another,
or perhaps life itself. The most beautiful bodies
are not transparent, but sometimes the color
of lead, like the elephant whom a child with some
peanuts lifts by the trunk in his hand in the swirling
dust, so that it appears he has lifted a monument
or a city with all its pain. The bodies that seem
transparent are made of an ice so pure it appears
to be glass sweating, where you, desiring another,
glimpse your own face that weighs nothing and is burning.
I asked the novelist Haruki Murakami, who once owned a jazz club, why Cool Struttin’ is so popular in Japan. He attributed it to the rise of the “jazz kissa” (jazz coffee shops) in the 1960s. “The popularity of Cool Struttin’ was not driven by professional critics or by sales,” wrote Murakami by e-mail, “but instead by youths who didn’t have enough money to buy vinyl records, so they went to coffee shops to hear jazz on the house record player. This was a phenomenon particular to Japan, or at last very different from America.” Clark’s buoyant blues fit the underground mood of Japan’s postwar youth. It didn’t hurt that his tragic life made him an unconventional, forlorn icon, too.
The symbols that frequently come up in Japanese writing to describe Clark’s music are 哀愁 , pronounced “aishu.” As often is the case with Japanese aesthetic terms, there isn’t a direct English translation of the phrase. The first symbol can be read as kana-shi-I (哀しい) or a-wa-re (哀れ). The former means moving, sad, and melancholy. The latter can mean compassion, compassion-inducing, sympathetic, and touching. The symbol is made up of 衣, which means clothing or an outside covering, and 口, which means mouth. These symbols together mean covering, suppressing, or muffling an expression of feelings. The second symbol is usually read as ure-eru (愁える) , which means to feel lonely, to lament. It’s made up of the symbols 秋, which means autumn, and 心, which means heart. In the fall, everything contracts, or tightens, such as trees and plants. Therefore, the symbol 愁 means the contracting or tightening of the heart and expresses a mysterious atmosphere of pathos and sorrow. Perhaps the Japanese cultural embrace of extremes gives that country an advantage in appreciating somebody like Clark, who blended extremes as beautifully as anybody ever has on piano.
in blue without when blues dream bears
the only living girls are gold
quickly the living boys will bring them stars
and stars will sing them bells
in bells without when bells dream blooms
the only living boys are brave
quickly the living girls will bring them dooms
and dooms will praise their love
........-- José García Villa