Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Visitor(s)

Upon awakening this fine spring afternoon, here is the majestic sight that greeted me from our backyard.

In my book that constitutes what I would declare an auspicious day. And half way around the world, having an auspicious day of their very own . . .

Congratulations Amy & Dave!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

File Under: YAY YAY YAY REDUX!!!!

I just saw over on bitchfork that a new Stereolab album has finally been announced!!!

Talk about making my day.

now i have to wait until August whatever when it's scheduled to be released, BLERGH!?!

In truth, I'm sure in a few weeks it will get leaked and I'll be all Sophie's Choices about whether to listen to it or wait until I can actually buy it. I don't know? I'll probably just wait?

GAWD it's been so long since their last real album, I need a fix so bad! The last Monade album was really pretty good, I liked it much more than the other two, it was very Stereolabesque but nothing is like the real thing. I can not wait.

It's funny I noticed that my first 'File Under: YayYayYay' post which was written upon finding out about the new Robert Wyatt album and mentioned the possibility of new Stereolab material as well, was written almost exactly a year ago.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keep A Good Heart . . . The Worst Is Yet To Come*

I am the Great Sun

From a Normandy crucifix of 1632

I am the great sun, but you do not see me,
I am your husband, but you turn away.

I am the captive, but you do not free me,
I am the captain but you will not obey.

I am the truth, but you will not believe me,
I am the city where you will not stay.

I am your wife, your child, but you will leave me,
I am that God to whom you will not pray.

I am your counsel, but you will not hear me,
I am your lover whom you will betray.

I am the victor, but you do not cheer me,
I am the holy dove whom you will slay.

I am your life, but if you will not name me,
Seal up your soul with tears, and never blame me.

- Charles Causley

I've been listening to alot of Ghost Box material recently in particular the second Focus Group disc "Hey Let Loose Your Love". The second track of that disc, 'You Do Not See Me' has a loop of this disembodied voice repeating the phrase "I am the great sun but you do not see me". It's kind of eerie in it's blandness and that phrase always gets stuck in my head. Actually the looped phrase continues, " . . . I am your . . ." and the next word gets cut off and it always leaves me wondering what the next word is? Well w/ all of that business dancing around in my noodle the other day I remembered, "Oh Yeah, there's that internet now, I can look up pretty much anything I can think of . . . DUH. "

So I looked the phrase up and found it's from the poem "I Am The Great Sun" by the late Cornish poet Charles Causley. I rather enjoy that poem and from what little I've read about Causley he sounds pretty interesting, I'm looking forward to investigating him further.

The other bit of poetry related business that's been on my mind this week has been that PBS American Masters American Experience program on Walt Whitman. What I saw of it I thoroughly enjoyed (I still have to catch the end). Whitman has always been someone I had a vague interest in but I've never really known too much about him and it's been years since I tried reading "Leaves of Grass". What I kept thinking about while watching that program on Whitman though was how I wished Allen Ginsberg was still alive b/c they would've had him on that program talking about Whitman. Which reminded me of an addendum I was going to do on my 5th anniversary of the Iraq war post, about how the Dragon Lady, Madame Nhu is still alive and well living in Paris writing her autobiography (and I'm sure continuing to be a horrible human being) while poor Allen Ginsberg has to have merged w/ the infinite already, BLEH.

. . . And in other news of the unimportant —the GTR WRK-SHP is back home after it's year (or so) abroad, first on the Southside and then mouldering away in Forest Hills.

* That line is a piece of advice from Walt Whitman's father and it may become my new personal motto?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

In Praise of —

 . . . Just a little while ago in the short period of time b/n two blogs something fired off in my brain, and I wish I could remember what it was??? But I remembered that I had this dashboard widget called Characterpal that gives the secret keyboard combinations for writing special characters —so I could finally make '—'s instead of making ghetto '--'s in their place.   

Using two hyphens to replace em dashes (that's what '—'s are called b/c they're a hyphen the size of an 'M' ) had been bothering me for aesthetic reasons. Apparently William Carlos Williams loved his em dashes, he scatters them all over his poetry and having just transcribed a Williams poem in the post below that contains one it's been on my mind (well not really?).

I'm like a bowerbird for little bits of (somewhat) arcane knowledge, I love finally being the master of the —, I can still remember when I learned the secret of making accents (é á í ó ú) and tildes (ñãõ) and umlauts (üïëöä) back in the day  . . . wonder of wonders!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Howsa 'bout We Just Skip April This Year? . . . (or the whole history of May)

The Locust Tree In Flower
[First Version]

the leaves

of wrist-thick

and old
stiff broken

loosely strung—

come May
white blossom

to spill

their sweet

and quickly

The Locust Tree In Flower






A couple of days ago I had the first two words of the final version of this William Carlos Williams poem jump into my head. And they were there for a little while like when you get a song stuck in your head and you just enjoy it being there until you realize that it's a song, and that you have to figure out just what song it is or you won't be able continue living. So I was all "Among of", . . . Among of what? . . . "Among of" . . .

I quickly realized that it had to be from a Williams poem and I was pretty sure that those were the first two words of the poem so that I could easily look up that poem. Thankfully they were and from one that's a particular favorite not to mention timely as to the newish season. One of the things I particularly love about Williams is that since he lived all of his life in Rutherford New Jersey the flora and fauna that are in his poems is pretty much the same as what I see everyday (except for maybe the seagulls). It's the locust trees in his writing that always gets me though. Locust trees are a major part of my personal cosmology, I've been thoroughly enjoying them my entire life.

On a similar note, I had a whole post (that I never wrote) on the (to my ears) misreading of the word 'cinders' in the Williams poem "Between Walls" that I noticed in a discussion I listened to somewhere online this past winter. I could tell that the people talking about that poem weren't from the northeast by how they didn't realize that Williams' use of 'cinders' in the poem had nothing to do w/ fire but just referred to a common ground covering.

Between Walls

the back wings
of the

hospital where

will grow lie

in which shine
the broken

pieces of a green

. . . Anyway, I wanted to add Dr. Williams' commentary/explanation of the two versions of "The Locust Tree In flower" b/c I love it -

"It's the recurrence of the season—the whole history of May. . . . I cut out everything except the essential words to leave the thing as simple as possible and to make the reader concentrate as much as he can. Could anything be plainer?"