Showing posts from September, 2007

Chatty Sundays...

Sunday Chats, that's what I should call these 'splices-of-life' posts that seem to occur on Sundays and that I find unendurable on one level, yet seem apropos for the lifewriting of the blogosphere.

Perhaps an index is in order?

The Contents therein...

On the disc thing in thine neck...
On the Grind & Brew (a sad story), and the Saeco™ (a happier story)...
On the SuzyShier™, Malabar™, Block™ shopping expedition...
On the contents of my freezer (don't ask)...
On the slightly surreal trip down Duncan Street...
On the olde King streecar...

The back of my neck and shoulder still extremely sore, since Friday night, I think it's the stuff between the discs that's been stretched, or squashed, or bruised: let's say stressed. Sharp pain alleviated by pressing hard with my fingertips on the offending spots. Not too bad now that I'm up, but I may have to forgo my afternoon at the beach, sob! My dog pulls hard on the leash, and then there's stuff to carry since I bu…


A recording (2:49min):

Voicings:Hi-speed, cable

voices, buzzing paths on the expanse we walk through, the dark, hoverings in the distance like our hidden thoughts, climbing the insides of our minds, echo chambers, repetitions, stress points, gasps, retreats, revolving around and around, circling,

spinach and feta cheese and pink salmon, sanpellegrino limonata, juices, absorbing, digesting, flowing to all cells, hollow drums, rain sticks beating on the inside, slipped discs, swollen tissue, torn hearts healing,

voices, fragments of conversations, hearing pathways, following lines of letters, words randomly interspersed, little collections of refuse, humming things, what's being said and what's being thought at variance, then laughter,

a music, endless conversations in all minds in all buildings, streets, films, televisions, computers, books, magazines and newspapers, sitting absorbing lying, string-theories of words accompany the activities of the world, thought flyi…

Language That Carries Us

Language that carries us.

These words emerge like a refrain. Of what carries us in its stories. We shape ourselves through it. It's not like any natural processes, yet it is. More than a reference system. Living. An amorphous alphabet living through us. The grammar of our minds. Velocities and productions. Marks that remain, moving on. How can you use it to fathom what is? How can language describe itself?

Language that carries us.

At one time I wanted to collect theories and embody them. I never developed a mistrust of concepts. Yet the theories and approaches I once knew are like ocean foam, appearing and disappearing on the vast water. Traceries, all that's left. Without understanding how fully immersed we are. Can a watery mirror reveal itself to itself? Or only reflect?

Language that carries us.

It has no weight, language. It doesn't exist unless there are those who understand its signs and references and grammars, its codes and systems, the whole referential ocean of let…

Harvest Moon...

A beautiful Harvest Moon, which I did not see due to heavy clouds, a rainy evening. But I felt the lunar power! With headphones on, in the middle of a 5km walk, I danced in an empty park, between the trees and their shadows, on wet grass, to 1930s jazz - real original Boogie Woogie, aka Albert Ammons. Delightful! Oh how I've wanted to! I don't think any stray folks looked askance. Singers sing walking, don't they? It fits that Annex park where I've seen people doing yoga, practicing martial arts, playing baseball with the kids, and chatted with dog-owners at dog gatherings since it's an off-leash park, and seen readers and meditators and people eating, drinking and talking at picnic tables or on benches. So why not a woman dancing? ::Grins:: Okay, I was dressed in black, jeans, top, all but hidden in the night. And only for a few silly moments. But, oh, alas, only I could hear the music! Like following my own piano-thumping jazz musicians to a Goblin Market...

This …

The One-Legged

The one-legged who weren't born that way; it happens.

It wasn't until later, one leg solid enough for the earth, held by gravity; the other, swinging wildly or gangrenous or amputated.

It might not be noticeable, the one-legged dance. Balance is difficult. The stunted leg in ekapadasana pose: straight out in front, swinging it behind, holding steady. This strengthens the ankle, point of pivot.

It doesn't matter which leg is atrophied; they switch, changing strengths and weaknesses daily or hourly.

Tree pose is favoured. One strong leg straight; the other bent, with the foot tucked against the groin. Stand like a flamenco; balance as long as you can.

Hopping about on one foot is not easy and very tiresome. Artificial limbs don't replace what's missing, not in this realm of riddle and metaphor.

Is it possible to re-grow bones and tendons and muscle? To bring the spastic flap of limb back to life? Or it is all denial?

The hardest is padangustasana. Tree pose, but kneeling, a…

Sunday Afternoon at the Beach

The beach on the first day of Autumn, the Vernal Equinox, half-way between when the earth's tilt and the sun's position reach a zenith and shift. Reminds me of John Coltrane's quote this morning in The Writer's Almanac, "When asked to describe his style, he said, "I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once.""

To write like that! I watch light glossing the water, overflow of foam as the whitecaps spill near the shore and lick the sand, placid on my beach towel, caressed by clear sun, cool breeze, a seamless oneness. And we're shifting one way, to the indoors, in the months ahead. Though the yachts, white sails leaning into or away from the wind, merging and parting, lyrical white paint brushing to a tip on the blue, seem possibly like the movement in a sentence of both directions at once. But then I am looking for images in the scene to act at metaphors for the concept, aren't I? Though when you find an image, and the…

Post-It Notes

Kindness like an orchard that, with cultivation, bears sweet succulent fruit year after year, peaches with the sun in their hearts.

Quivering, gentle, strong, we are flames in the wind, precious, too easily extinguished.

Sensitivity, oh, complex, nuanced response to the world, and fragility, what I rest my being on. Moments of feeling vulnerable, and fragile, it's exquisite, open with gentle reverence for the self.

I am passionate about honesty, and believe the truth frees you.

Laughter, silliness, mutual respect, enjoying joy in each other.

Love cannot be an illusion.

Fire Drill

On the day of the fire drill. Not the end of all beginnings,
just a final moment.

Who could say in the jangling bells what could have been?

The business-suited stomping down stairwells in hoards.
How many of us are there? Clattering.

Only I stayed away, my late lunch tied to the fire drill;
I imagined it.

Nothing's severed yet, and perhaps never. The jangling
in the centre of the world like a prearranged
fire alarm, a practice session for when the planes fly
into the buildings or when the bombs ignite.

Oh not here, never here, where we are a peaceful country.

With the inability to schedule ourselves indefinitely, due to
the indecision of death looming; we will die, but who knows
when, living our private moments not listening to the

Outside I saw the change from the arboreal splendour of
earlier: leaves no longer gleamed, trees let them
go. Flaming, browning.

Our over-riding thoughts determine our way through.

Like steering winds in the trophosphere, that drive swirling
volcanic du…

The Sky

The sky, scrubbed this morning,
a dusting of bleach powder like clouds.

Is it possible to unravel
a counter-current of imagery?

The tightly-coiled poem,
bound and ready to spring.

Or perhaps excesses where
not everything matches?

It's harder to clean a busy sky
sunrises, sunsets, auroras, varying
storm clouds, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Poets do their best
what with the wild weather,
the scarf that wrapped their hair
lost and flying loose.

Then it clears.

One spectral colour,
polished around the shining sun,
still and fat as a blue porcelain basin.

Whistler's Nocturnes

Or Whistler'sNocturnes. I've been to The Tate, I studied art history, I'm familiar enough with American art, how did I miss these?

To say they are forerunners of abstract art is almost to do an injustice to them. As if they were just passports to. The grandiose Kantian sublime is gone in the Nocturnes; I do love Turner, but it's still there in his storms of light: the fabulous scene of such splendour or power you bow before it.

The Nocturnes, rather, are the stream of life; the Tao de Ching instead of a fire and brimstone Jehovah construction of the world. As viewers who encounter his art through these paintings, we are moved, not by our relation to the huge forces, but by the ordinary flow of events, the wash of simple paint across a canvas, the sound of a music of water that continually drifts past. It's not the dissolution of the self as the river sweeps into the ocean, but the current of everyday, swimming our way through.

Certainly Whistler had a fairly complex a…


"Carson is drawn to selves who desire immersion and disintegration into an absolute inhuman essence (in the case of Porete and Weil, the essence is God). What's intriguing about her portrayal of this sensibility is the utter absence of melancholy. She doesn't say whether loss of the self is something any of these women try to stem or evade; instead, she focuses on the paradox of someone seeking self-affirmation in an experience of dispossession and dissolution. " Decreation

I have Ann Carson's book, I'm reading it in the evenings. Hers is literary, the way she enters. Ariadne's thread, the scholar who is a poet. But ekstasis, Greek, 'going out of oneself,' 'standing beyond oneself,' it's affecting me. When I dispersed into stardust all about myself, I was losing my/self, it was fearful, this dissolution. It was like the universe pervaded my aura, the stardust in which stars are born, a sprinkling of lights throughout a faint purplish mi…

Oh, sigh, my visions...

It wasn't an unusual evening. Something to eat, orange juice, a 5km walk with my dog, a long talk by phone with my daughter, who's enjoying her new school, a little red wine, a bit of cheese before bed - had been up early doing yoga before work, so was tired. Woke in the night, not unusually. Awake for a few hours, again normal. But I was tired, mind racing hither and thither, so I sat against my Orbus-forme backrest, a fleece blanket over me, and meditated, over and over the same mantra, the one I've been silently intoning for at least 15 minutes a day since September 1994. The mantra and I know each other well and have been through a lot together. I've used it for many different purposes besides general receptivity to 'what is '- working out problems, kick-starting creativity for a project. It always works: whatever the intention, going through the medium of the mantra causes what I need to happen in my inner insights and motivations. I've used it to unde…

Mondrian's brush...

Or Mondrian's nearly Symbolist paintings, before the geometric Neoplasticism, their jazzy rectilinear primary colour grids for which he is famous, the ones with blue paint, that underlies the flesh in the portraits, or perhaps over it, a defining spirituality, I can't explain what it does to me, this blue of Mondrian's, let's call it a theosophical blue, and the red, perhaps hair, or dress,* or mill, or trees, strong contrasts, earthy, vital, yet the blue, its grayish tint, manifesting the moment of balance of coming into or dispersing from, assembling or disassembling, a vision of whatever we are, this world, incarnating its molecular structures, what coheres energy into form.

I see our loneliness in this blue. What is calling us away even as we maintain ourselves.

The blue is everywhere.

I'm breathing it in the air right now. My fingers are interlaced with it. I couldn't see myself before, but I can now. In an ocean of raw aquamarine, not resisting the waves. Un…

Come, walk with me...

Exquisite imagery, but what is the emotion beneath the surface? I am reading a poem that's like cloisone, as carefully crafted, meticulous, images inlaid and enameled, fine gold lines. Like the mechanical nightingale, a beautiful jewel, yet I can't feel a heart beating, no syntactical error, or slippage, where the pulse is.

Be flagrant. Let the emotion swell beneath the surface. Words that ride over the cross-currents. Imperfect. It's not that the words slip away or are unreliable; they are approximations. No inviolable carvings in stone.

If you listen to these promiscuous words. No, I don't know where that came from. And I don't think I've ever thought of words that way. But if you consider it...

On our walk on this late Summer's scented evening.

The flowers are bright suns in the darkness of the dark green hedge, yellow spikes radiating round. Did you notice them?

What other neighbourhood can you have a conversation with a man who owns a million dollar heritag…

Similes & Metaphors

When I use simile the 'as'/'like' is a gap the neurons fire over, so that one thing carries the energy of the other without either losing their distinctness. But the image is moving along the neuronal pathway of the poem, transferring and transforming as it goes. With simile what you started with isn't too different from what you end with, but it's been through a journey along a specific trajectory and is richer, heavier, wiser, more worldly, better able to explicate itself. Like life. I'm the same as I was half a century ago in many essential ways, though transformed in my knowledge and experience. I'm not a completely different being; I haven't become someone other than who I am.

Metaphor is a richer, complex process of leaping about, collapse into, cross-fertilization, creating a newness out of disparate parts. Metaphor doesn't work for me like the hand-holding of simile but in the relation of things to each other. The best metaphor creates st…

Pruning A Wild Creativity

Wild creativity where I continually have to prune the excesses, this seems apropos. Slicing, trimming, removing. Articles, connectives, pronouns, prepositional clauses, whatever slows down the immediacy. Sudden leaps from one image to another, something invisible hovering between that connects them, something other than a random placement on the page, that is. Honing while listening to an internal rhythm, the syncopations of an inner aesthetic, what's overdone and weedy, or too sparse, how to. Otherwise I'd overrun, a confusing conglomerate of overgrowth.

Meditate perhaps for the same reason. To hone wildly outbursting thoughts. Clarify an inner terrain. Make it livable within the self. A friend recently said that I had the busiest mind of anyone they knew and no wonder I had to meditate.

Editing oneself. Ah, so.

How about you?