dinsdag, februari 28, 2006

Vive Victor!

"Let us have compassion for those under
chastisement. Alas, who are we ourselves?
Who am I & who are you? Whence do we
come & is it quite certain that we did
nothing before we were born? This earth is
not without some resemblance to a jail. Who
knows but that man is a victim of divine
justice? Look closely at life. It is so
constituted that one senses punishment everywhere."

- Victor Hugo


Meanwhile, back in Gotham City...

"The Killer Whiskey Returns.

A single drop of the old drink of "usquebaugh-baul" was described by the travel writer Martin Martin in 1695 as powerful enough to affect "all members of the body".
He added: "Two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life."

donderdag, februari 23, 2006

Saramago, Pessoa

Saramago's _The Year of the Death of Ricardo
Reis_, etc.

so, three "moments" so far.

1. Which is it? Over the great nakedness of truth, the diaphonous
cloak of imagination or Over the great nakedness of imagination, the
diaphonous cloak of truth?

2. When he "meets" dead Pessoa, he's told about death: "the usual period
(of death) is nine months, the same length of time we spend in our
mother's womb...Before we are born no one can see us yet they think
about us every day, after we are dead they cannot see us any longer and
every day they go on forgetting us a little more...

3. "You wrote yourself that a poet is someone who pretends. We utter
such intuitions without knowing how we arrive at them...is it the poet
who pretends to be a man or a man who pretends to be a poet."....?

(that's only within the first 100 pages...)

maandag, februari 20, 2006

Capitalism Is Savagery (exerpts of a speech given by Hugo Chávez at Gigantinho Stadium during the 2005 World Social Forum.)

This is not the same Latin America of even five years ago. I cannot, out of respect for you, comment on the internal situation of any other country. There in Venezuela, particularly the first two years, many of my partisans criticized me, asking me to go faster, that we had to be more radical. I did not consider it to be the right moment, because processes have stages. Compañeros, there are stages in the processes, there are rhythms that have to do with more than just the internal situation in every country, they have to do with the International situation. And even if some of you make noise, I will say it: I like Lula, I appreciate him, he is a good man, with a big heart, a brother, a compañero, and I'm sure that Lula and the people of Brazil, with Nestor Kirchner and the Argentine people, with Tabarez Vazquez and the Uruguayan people, we will open the path towards the dream of a United Latin America, different, possible..."

noted - Chavez refers to Uruguayan poet/writer, Mario Benedetti, who wrote, amoung other gems, Te Quiero which has one of my favourite lines in Spanish this side of Alfonsina y El Mar...

"si te quiero es porque sos
mi amor mi cómplice y todo
y en la calle codo a codo
somos mucho más que dos"


It's not spring yet but time for spring cleaning, albeit only within the bloggers section of the links, getting rid of dead sites, sites which are no longer relevant, sites which well, just don't stimulate any more. And all, not bourne out of some altruistic sense of duty to readers, merely sleepless at 3 am and knowing it was long overdue. Even added a few new ones.

One thing I rediscovered in the course of this action was Chez Lubacov -- which contains music I've been streaming all night/morning from Radio Lubacov whose contents one quickly runs out of superlatives to describe.


He interrupted himself frequently, circular, a vulture waiting for the carcass of misplaced thoughts to ease out its last breath. He had a need to talk, perhaps for the reassurance that he was there, perhaps because he was too bored with the conversations of others and didn’t trust them to steer towards the right topics, driving through pylons instead of around them...


Shout out to Rein Bier, auld mate with a new website.


Lastly, the ale festival at The Bartons Arms was a stumbling smash - what vague pieces can be recollected of it anyway...

zaterdag, februari 18, 2006

Bruce Cockburn: Pacing The Cage

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it's pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you live too long
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage

I've proven who I am so many times
The magnetic strip's worn thin
And each time I was someone else
And every one was taken in
Powers chatter in high places
Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
Set me to pacing the cage

I never knew what you all wanted
So I gave you everything
All that I could pillage
All the spells that I could sing
It's as if the thing were written
In the constitution of the age
Sooner or later you'll wind up
Pacing the cage

Sometimes the best map will not guide you
You can't see what's round the bend
Sometimes the road leads through dark places
Sometimes the darkness is your friend
Today these eyes scan bleached-out land
For the coming of the outbound stage
Pacing the cage
Pacing the cage

donderdag, februari 09, 2006

Do you feel as though you’ve been especially summoned, that there is a
special calling for you as an artist? Are you particularly aliented
with a pronounced sense of being misunderstood by conventional wisdoms,
bourgeois moralities? He was asking me these questions, he the
unemployed poet, the aspiring artist, the man who couldn’t simply
allowing himself to drown in his drink and keep quiet about it.

What’s the point anyway, I ask pointedly. Isn’t this all some crutch
you use to get through your daily misgivings your dissatisfaction with
yourself in comparison to the accomplishments of the others? What
purpose does your art serve other than a selfish mechanism of petty,
egotistical indulgences?

What purpose does my art serve? He spat with incredulity. What purpose
do YOU serve, if we are speaking about purposes. What is YOUR utility?
Is there some very special yet hidden trait woven into your genomes that
will come to fruition and blossom in the latter years of the
righteousness of your purpose?

Calm down, Didier, I caution as other patrons are looking at us out of
the corners of their eyes like dogs at strange noises. What I mean to
ask is what purpose do you propose your creativity to be used for other
than yourself?

Why should my creativity serve any purpose other than for myself, he
asked, clearing his throat of Gitanes phlegm like a plumber snakes a
clogged toilet. I suffer enough from my choices, they make sure I do
suffer indeed for not being one of their productive members of society…I
could never calculate the psychological damage brought down upon me by
seeing the contempt in their eyes. And why then do you think I drink?
Who wouldn’t under these circumstances? What are you saying, simply
because I cannot subordinate my art into acceptable consumerist values
like writing commercial jingles about disposable diapers or creating new
superlatives for the unique comfort and absorption of a particular brand
name sanitary napkin, I should crawl into my preternatural cave to
wallow in my own isolation, fed on disgust, shat into neat little
pellets that can be easily swept up and disposed of as if I never

He was easily excitable this evening, either in a particularly foul mood
or unreceptive bowels jingling in his subconscious. In any case, the
monologue was spat forth with great intensity, with barely a breath
drawn. And just why are we suffocated with this doomed sense of having
to justify ourselves and our utility to others? Do you think the pimply
teenage bagging groceries in the Carrefour hypermarché is pissing
himself over his lack of purpose? A paper-shuffler, lost in a
bureaucratic labyrinth of spread sheets and interoffice memos is
scratching his head wondering why he hasn’t yet soared to the heights of
his corporate manager, fluent in corporate technospeak, the gibberish
dialect of managerial monkies?

This silly question of yours, questioning the purpose of my forsaking
the chain gang of subordinates, pacified by television soma, beaten into
submission by the overwhelming nature of keeping up, this is nothing to
me. I laugh at it. I am proud of being a poet, a craftsman. Proud of
not being nothing, beautiful for it, in fact. Look, Gautier once wrote
that only things that are altogether useless can truly be beautiful;
anything that is useful is ugly because it is the expression of some
need and the needs of man are base and disgusting as his nature is weak
and poor. - so I tell you, I am proud to be nothing. There is nothing
else to be.