Monday, May 18, 2009

अ पोएट्स Advice

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.
This may sound easy. It isn't.
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel--but that's thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling--not knowing or believing or thinking.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody but yourself.
To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight in the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn't a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time--and whenever we do it, we are not poets.
If, at the end of you first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you've written one line of one poem, you'll be very lucky indeed.
And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world--unless you're not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.
Does this sound dismal? It isn't.
It's the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel.

---e.e. cummings

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Kids on the Block is mainstream, the following is not

from the WRITER'S Almanac

The Oldest Living Thing in L.A.

by Larry Levis

At Wilshire & Santa Monica I saw an opossum
Trying to cross the street. It was late, the street
Was brightly lit, the opossum would take
A few steps forward, then back away from the breath
Of moving traffic. People coming out of the bars
Would approach, as if to help it somehow.
It would lift its black lips & show them
The reddened gums, the long rows of incisors,
Teeth that went all the way back beyond
The flames of Troy & Carthage, beyond sheep
Grazing rock-strewn hills, fragments of ruins
In the grass at San Vitale. It would back away
Delicately & smoothly, stepping carefully
As it always had. It could mangle someone's hand
In twenty seconds. Mangle it for good. It could
Sever it completely from the wrist in forty.
There was nothing to be done for it. Someone
Or other probably called the LAPD, who then
Called Animal Control, who woke a driver, who
Then dressed in mailed gloves, the kind of thing
Small knights once wore into battle, who gathered
Together his pole with a noose on the end,
A light steel net to snare it with, someone who hoped
The thing would have vanished by the time he got there.

"The Oldest Living Thing in L.A." by Larry Levis, from The Selected Levis. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

It's the birthday of songwriter Irving Berlin, born Israel Baline in Eastern Russia (1888). He wrote more than 1,500 songs, including the classics "Blue Skies," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "God Bless America," "White Christmas," and "There's No Business Like Show Business."

It's the birthday of surrealist painter Salvador Dali, born in Figueras, Spain (1904). He was influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud, and he made what he called "hand-painted dream photographs." He painted distorted human figures, limp pocket watches, and burning giraffes. He was a born performer who relished an audience, and he found that audience when he moved to America in 1940. He had a perfectly waxed, upturned mustache, and he wore a cape and carried a cane. He said: "In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob."

It's the anniversary of the printing of the first known book. In the year 868, Wang Chieh printed the Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist scripture, on a 16-foot scroll using wood blocks. It was discovered in 1907 in Turkestan, among 40,000 books and manuscripts walled up in one of the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas.

and we wonder why all the smart ones are revolutionaries

could Kafka have abided Fox News and The Hills, lucky for us he lived before that crap became the norm or he surely would have killed himself before writing anything.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I want to see this in the U.S.


willhelm reich Democratic Congressman Clement Vallandigham

willhelm reich Democratic Congressman Clement Vallandigham

the new american insurgent

Women like Nawal El Saadawi
and Children like those in Zentropa that bombed the train
with the hand picked mayor allied with the collaborationist
U.S. occupation forces
Front line
Log on
Tune in

the revolution may not be televised but it will sure as fuck be online

UNIX - graffiti

the freedom of speech includes a computer virus that could launch a missile?....

Stand and be counted, wounded, stationed


In the belly of the vulture watch your back
Theres no civilians
Women, Children
Front line listen
Consider this a distant early warning
The fires' imminent
Pollution gathering dust particles
Funneling through smokestacks, airways, bandwidth
This information tube fed
Check the labels
Delete the virus
Alert the masses.

Butterfly wing cross wings. send black hawks toward hurricane survivors.
Roses sprout from empty lots and sidewalk cracks.
Pacifist gorillas move undetected through concrete jungles.
New forms are beginning to take shape.
Once occupied minds are activating.
People are waking up
The insurgency is alive and well.

Rise of the flobots
Portrait of
The new American insurgent
Rattle and shake the foundations of the world order
Assembly line incent, resist, refuse
Inform, create
Direct loved one's to the trenches
Suit up forge rubble into fortress's
Plaster, cloth, aluminum
Broken porcelain
Rusted platinum
Burn blood stains from decompressed diamonds
Hammer the battle cry into braille studded armor.

[Speaking Part:]
We are building up a new world.
Do not sit idly by.
Do not remain neutral.
Do not rely on this broadcast alone.
We are only as strong as our signal.
There is a war going on for your mind.
If you are thinking, you are winning.
Resistance is victory.
Defeat is impossible.
Your weapons are already in hand.
Reach within you and find the means by which to gain your freedom.
Fight with tools.
Your fate, and that of everyone you know
Depends on it.

insurgency. insurgency. resistance. fight, resist, destroy, build, create, write

the American Banksy will target moving semi trailers to broadcast their insurgent message under the time crunch of just in time production the trucks cannot be stopped so the message will see the free way at least once before it is painted over multiply that times the hundreds of thousands of trucks and eyes that see them and...

Monday, April 13, 2009

जिजेक, चेस्तेर्तों, व् फॉर वेंदेत्ता, एंड चाइना

I was listening to Slavoj Zizek's lecture "Why only atheists can believe" today and his notion of belief and doubt as two necessary elements of a divine struggle really struck me as profound. His argument essentially is that Christianity is the only religion wherein doubt emanates from God instead of man. He is referring to the 'why have you forsaken me?' moment which Christians are familiar with. But those of us who have studied many religions may not have recognized the unique nature of this divine doubting in relation to other religions. I am curious to hear from those of you who are especially well versed in the Koran and other sacred texts becasue I imagine that these moments of doubt occur but as far as I know the New Testament is the only example of a text where the doubt actually originates in divinity.

Zizek also comments on 'V for Vendetta' and how similar it is to G.K. Chesterton's book 'The Man Who was Thursday". Apparently Zizek is dissappointed that the end of the movie did not contain a revelation that Sutler and V were actually the same person which, he argues, is how Chesterton would have told the story. I haven't read the graphic novel but I am interested to know if it differs from the movie in this respect.

Another great point in the lecture is about philosophical debate. Zizek responds to a question from an audience member regarding arguing with fundamentalists by pointing out that the only effective method of intellectual debate is to stay within the confines of your opponent's position and point out the internal contradictions. Talking to a fundamentalist about carbon dating usually doesn't get you anywhere but if you simply point out that the the pure free market economy and traditional family values, which are both common talking points of the fringe right, are at odds with each other, the debate will be a lot more interesting.

One of my classmates said something the other day in regard to the march in Cincinnati entitiled 'Way of the Cross, Way of Justice" that I have been thinking about ever since. In effect her comment was "Why march against poverty, who isn't against poverty?" But the first thing I said was 'if you need people to work for a dollar an hour so that you can sell your goods it is in your interest to have a destitute population from which to draw a work force." Thus there may not be open advocation of poverty but support for a pure free market is really a hidden argument for social Darwinistic ideas that poverty is a necessary element of economic growth.

It is hard to imagine a factory finding workers who will work for one dollar an hour in a place that isn't desperately poor. If China had a minimum wage similar to Europe there wouldn't be any issues about jobs being exported there, in fact if there was a world minimum wage everybody would just build in their home country. BMW has learned that so called "right-to-work" states in the southern U.S. are economically better for building the X5. Is this a positive development for the U.S. that countries with strong social safety nets and high wages are exporting their manufacturing work here? Maybe for European corporations the U.S. is like China when it comes to cheap labour and weak unions.

Another great point Zizek makes is that the suppression of religious minorities in China is nothing compared to what they are doing to those who resist economic oppression. He quotes statistics that there are 2000 labour disturbances (I didn't catch if that was daily, monthly, annually) that require intervention of the army because the local police cannot control them.