Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Einstein Intersection

I must remember my own origins. Once I was as ignorant as you; I swear, though, I can’t remember when.


“The Little Tree”

It’s raining hard today.
The day is more like night,
the spring is more like fall,
and in the yard a driving wind lays waste
to the little tree that, seeming not to, stands
steady and firm; it seems among the plants
like a too-green adolescent grown too tall.
You watch it. It may be
your pity stirs for all of those white flowers
the north wind strips from it; and they are fruit,
sweet preserves we set
aside for winter, those fallen flowers spread
across the grass. And your vast maternity
aches for them, all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

bell hooks
Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

The process begins with the individual woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist, classist, and sexist, in varying degrees, and that labeling ourselves feminists does not change the fact that we must consciously work to rid ourselves of the legacy of negative socialization.

"Dancing Queen"

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

“To one who has been long in city pent“

To one who has been long in city pent,
’Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with hearts content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet’s bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E’en like the passage of an angel’s tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.

"Take On Me"

Monday, April 27, 2020


2 A.M. moonlight. The train has stopped
out in a field. Far off sparks of light from a town,
flickering coldly on the horizon
As when a man goes so deep into his dream
he will never remember he was there
when he returns again to his view
Or when a person goes so deep into a sickness
that his days all become some flickering sparks, a swarm
feeble and cold on the horizon
The train is entirely motionless
2 o’clock: strong moonlight, few stars

Sunday, April 26, 2020

My first thought upone seeing this:
Well, of course it is.

Seoond thought:
He's lost some weight, probably on account of the COVID.

Then, thought three:
Why aren't they using Rita's blood? What did Rita ever do to anyone?

Attitudes toward beauty are entwined with our deepest conflicts surrounding flesh and spirit. We view the body as a temple, a prison, a dwelling for the immortal soul, a tormentor, a garden of earthly delights, a biological envelope, a machine, a home. We cannot talk about our response to our body’s beauty without understanding all that we project onto our flesh. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Importance of Being Earnest

I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can’t go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we still had a few fools left.

Friday, April 24, 2020

e. e. cummings
[death(having lost)put on his universe]

death(having lost)put on his universe
and yawned:it looks like rain
(they’ve played for timelessness
with chips of when)
that’s yours;i guess
you’ll have to loan me pain
to take the hearse,
see you again.

Loving(having found)wound up such pretty toys
as themselves could not know:
the earth tinily whirls;
while daisies grow
(and boys and girls
have whispered thus and so)
and girls with boys
to bed will go,

Thursday, April 23, 2020

“The Water’s Chant”

Seven years ago I went into
the High Sierras stunned by the desire
to die. For hours I stared into a clear
mountain stream that fell down
over speckled rocks, and then I
closed my eyes and prayed that when
I opened them I would be gone
and somewhere a purple and golden
thistle would overflow with light.
I had not prayed since I was a child
and at first I felt foolish saying
the name of God, and then it became
another word. All the while
I could hear the water’s chant
below my voice. At last I opened
my eyes to the same place, my hands
cupped and I drank long from
the stream, and then turned for home
not even stopping to find the thistle
that blazed by my path.
Since then
I have gone home to the city
of my birth and found it gone,
a gray and treeless one now in its place.
The one house I loved the most
simply missing in a row of houses,
the park where I napped on summer days
fenced and locked, the great shop
where we forged, a plane of rubble,
the old hurt faces turned away.
My brother was with me, thickened
by the years, but still my brother,
and when we embraced I felt the rough
cheek and his hand upon my back tapping
as though to tell me, I know! I know!
brother, I know!
Here in California
a new day begins. Full dull clouds ride
in from the sea, and this dry valley
calls out for rain. My brother has
risen hours ago and hobbled to the shower
and gone out into the city of death
to trade his life for nothing because
this is the world. I could pray now,
but not to die, for that will come one
day or another. I could pray for
his bad leg or my son John whose luck
is rotten, or for four new teeth, but
instead I watch my eucalyptus,
the giant in my front yard, bucking
and swaying in the wind and hear its
tidal roar. In the strange new light
the leaves overflow purple and gold,
and a fiery dust showers into the day.

"The Real Slim Shady"

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

We read, I think, to repair our solitude, though pragmatically the better we read, the more solitary we become.
The Ash Yggdrasil

It hasn't all gone to hell.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020


In the branches the light
                                            so that the limbs
                                                                  go out
on the moss
                                    my cares
o nature—ah! less alone
                                                the earth
should clothe me
                        with my shadow
                                  nothing at all deceives me
it takes just everything
                                  we have
                                                to conceive this

Monday, April 20, 2020


A new generation forgets the spectres that may have tormented the old. And yet, always, to all eternity, it is the same spectre assailing the same man century after century.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

“Entry in an Unknown Hand”

And still nothing happens. I am not arrested.
By some inexplicable oversight

nobody jeers when I walk down the street.

I have been allowed to go on living in this
room. I am not asked to explain my presence

What posthypnotic suggestions were made; and
are any left unexecuted?

Why am I so distressed at the thought of taking
certain jobs?

They are absolutely shameless at the bank—
you’d think my name meant nothing to them. Non-
chalantly they hand me the sum I’ve requested,

but I know them. It’s like this everywhere—

they think they are going to surprise me: I,
who do nothing but wait.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Ends and Means

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance; we don’t know because we don’t want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence.

"This Little Light of Mine"


We miss seeing you dance along with us at shows, so let's do something fun together.
Let’s make an all-fan video for "In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company!" 
It's all gone to hell!
But we're in good company!
How about you? 
We miss seeing you dance along with us at shows, so let's do something fun together. Let’s make an all-fan video for CC! 
Just put on the song, fire up your camera (your smartphone or computer will work, too), and with the help of the ‘good company’ around you, shoot your own tribute version of the original video from the, um…‘comfort' of your own home or wherever you are isolating. 
Get creative! We love costumes, set pieces and props. Don’t have a fountain? Use the bathtub 
Bring the kids and pets! But guys, keep your social distance and please do this safely and legally. 
We’ll cut it all together into something amazing. And then we’ll share it with the world! 
——— ——— ——— ——— ——— 
  • Use your smartphone, laptop or any video camera. Does not have to be professional or high-resolution.
  • Shoot in horizontal frame (holding your phone sideways). Don’t hold the phone vertically.
  • Don't wear clothes with trademarks and brands, please. Make sure you get everyone in your frame. Don’t cut off your family’s heads.
  • Dance (and lip sync) to the whole song from start to finish, if you can! We will pick out the best bits.
  • Don’t edit your video – we will do that. Please leave in any unplanned mistakes or bloopers, those are the best! 

Friday, April 17, 2020


Christoph Behl
Argentina, 2013
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”

The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.

Thursday, April 16, 2020


George Marshall
USA, 1939

Because the flowers blooming
In our original home
Are everlasting,
Though springtimes may come and go
Their colors do not fade.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


I have no body apart
From parts which form it.
I know no parts
Apart from a “body.”

A body with no parts
Would be unformed,
A part of my body apart from my body
Would be absurd.

Were the body here or not,
It would need no parts.
Partless bodies are pointless.
Do not get stuck in the “body.”

I cannot say,
“My body is like its parts.”
I cannot say,
“It’s something else.”

Feelings, perceptions,
Drives, minds, things
Are like this body
In every way.

Conflict with emptiness
Is no conflict;
Objections to emptiness,
No objections.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


D'Urville Martin
USA, 1974

A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly. Grey. Far. 

No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead sea: no fish, weedless, sunk deep in the earth. No wind could lift those waves, grey metal, poisonous foggy waters. Brimstone they called it raining down: the cities of the plain: Sodom, Gomorrah, Edom. All dead names. A dead sea in a dead land, grey and old. Old now. It bore the oldest, the first race. A bent hag crossed from Cassidy’s, clutching a naggin bottle by the neck. The oldest people. Wandered far away over all the earth, captivity to captivity, multiplying, dying, being born everywhere. It lay there now. Now it could bear no more. Dead: an old woman’s: the grey sunken cunt of the world.


Monday, April 13, 2020

"Town of the Dragon Vein"

If you wake up too early listen for it.
A sort of inverted whistling the sound of sound.
Being withdrawn after all where?
Does all the sound in the world.
Come from day after day?
From mountains but.
They have to give it back.
At night just.
As your nightly dreams.
Are taps.
Open reversely.

Sunday, April 12, 2020


Understand me. I’m not like an ordinary world. 

I have my madness, I live in another dimension, and I do not have time for things that have no soul.
For God so loved the world ...

Saturday, April 11, 2020


Though frosts come down
night after night,
what does it matter?
they melt in the morning sun.
Though the snow falls
each passing year,
what does it matter?
with spring days it thaws.
Yet once let them settle
on a man’s head,
fall and pile up,
go on piling up –
then the new year
may come and go,
but never you’ll see them fade away

Friday, April 10, 2020


Remember with me today—the word and counter-word of witness: the tactile dawn, emerging from my clenched hand: sun’s ciliary grasp: the stretch of darkness I wrote on the table of sleep. Now is the time to come. All you have come to take from me, take away from me now. Do not forget to forget. Fill your pockets with earth, and seal up the mouth of my cave. It was there…

Thursday, April 9, 2020


Jack Hill
USA, 1967/1969

If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, all of us. Proof of that is that there are about three candidates for the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. But what is important is Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, not who wrote them, but that somebody did.

The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn’t have needed anyone since.

"Clint Eastwood"
The Unnamable

And things, what is the correct attitude to adopt towards things? And, to begin with, are they necessary?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

“The Wakeful”

The restless pass the night hours in company
  at half past three admit to being lonely.

The wakeful perceive the small hour as merely a
  digit on the clock’s dial, familiar
  as supper time.   This is not insomnia:

(a state of disturbance marked by anxiety,
  tears, veronal, prayers to the Deity,
  guilt, and a plenitude of self pity).

The wakeful are simply awake and quiet
  at any hour—little concerned about it;
  warm in the lamp’s glow, the soft bed jacket,

with cigarettes and fruit ready to hand;
  a waltz whispered over the radio and
  sleep hovering at the night’s end.
  forever about in the town; though many
[We grow accustomed to the Dark -]

We grow accustomed to the Dark -
When Light is put away -
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye -

A Moment - We Uncertain step
For newness of the night -
Then - fit our Vision to the Dark -
And meet the Road - erect -

And so of larger - Darknesses -
Those Evenings of the Brain -
When not a Moon disclose a sign -
Or Star - come out - within -

The Bravest - grope a little -
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead -
But as they learn to see -

Either the Darkness alters -
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight -
And Life steps almost straight.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Opening Intro from Nighthawks at the Diner

Well, an inebriated good evening to you all. Welcome to Rafael's Silver Cloud Lounge. 

Slip me a little crimson, Jimson. Give me the low down, bro. What's the scoop, Betty Boob? I'm on my way into town. 

Christ, I'd rather ... I'm so goddamn horny, the crack of dawn better be careful around me. 

Oh well, I wanna pull on your coat about something here tonight. Yeah. Little news I like to throw in your direction. See I, I used to know a girl, yeah, and it was a hubba-hubba ding dang ding. I said, "Baby you've got everything." A week later it was a hubba-hubba and ding dang dong. "Baby, this sure didn't last too long."

I know it. Things are tough all over, ain't getting any better. I was moved, to kind of swivel a little bit of a kind of an emotional weather forecast for you this evening. What I'm talking about is ... 

Well you know I've been playing nightclubs, staying out all night long, coming home late. Gone for three months, come back and everything in your refrigerator turns into a science project. 

So you get designs on a waitress, you know. She's got three or four kids. She's sorting out her checks and she's counting out the change and you say, "Hey, Baby, heat me up a bear claw on the radar range." 
Love in the Time of Cholera

To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.

Monday, April 6, 2020


Jonathan Kaplan
USA, 1974
From a letter to Arland Ussher (6 November 1962)

My unique relation with my work—and it is a tenuous one—is the making relation. I am with it a little in the dark and fumbling of making, as long as that lasts, then no more. I have no light to throw on it myself and it seems a stranger in the light that others throw.
No Man’s Land

Experience is a paltry thing. Everyone has it and will tell his tale of it. I leave experience to psychological interpreters, the wetdream world. I myself can do any graph of experience you wish, to suit your taste or mine. Child’s play. The present will not be distorted. I am a poet. I am interested in where I am eternally present and active.

Sunday, April 5, 2020


Bill Gunn
USA, 1973
Torch Song Trilogy

I think my biggest problem is being young and beautiful. Oh, I've been young. God knows I've been beautiful. But never the twains have met.
Mr. Palomar

If all material were transparent—the ground that supports us, the envelope that sheathes our body—everything would be seen not as a fluttering of impalpable wings but as an inferno of grinding and ingesting. Perhaps at this moment a god of the nether world situated in the center of the earth with his eye that can pierce granite is watching us from below, following the cycle of living and dying, the lacerated victims dissolving in the bellies of their devourers, until they, in their turn, are swallowed by another belly.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


Jack Hill
USA, 1974

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out. 

Friday, April 3, 2020


Gordon Parks
USA, 1971
"The Diabetic Dreams of Cake"

“Wall Street says that cake sales are low”
Or to put it bluntly
“Cake is fizz”
So why is a diabetic dreaming of cake
Asked to leave a temple
Because he didn’t know that rice cakes
Were sacrament?
(He managed to jam some into his pockets)
He dreamed that Mount Diablo was a Devil’s food cake
He began to munch it down until his path was
Interrupted by his Pancreas
The Pancreas had sticklike arms and legs
It was frowning
It put up a hand and beckoned him to halt
He pushed aside the Pancreas and finished his

Next, he was attending the Asparagus Festival
In Freiburg
It was held in a great medieval hall and before
Each person there was a plate of asparagus
He started banging on his plate
Asparagus Nicht, Kuchen Ja

Next he was running across Central
Park, juggling a wedding cake without
Losing a single flake
Safely in some Brooklyn room
The news said that he had stolen
The cake from a tony East Side wedding
He didn’t take it all in

He was too busy eating the cake
And watching Julia Child bake
A cake

He was on a plantation doing
What looked like a goose step
He was twirling a cane
He was wearing a monocle
A black top hat
And shiny black boots
The master said, That takes the cake
Some of the slaves applauded
Others grumbled and called him a dandy
You can sleep with my wife and daughter tonight,
The master said
He started running because they were as ugly
Or shall we say beauty challenged as well
As booty challenged

Under an old Southern pine tree
He ate the cake

He was chillin’ with his witch
Not the one with a wart on her nose
And wearing a black cone-shaped hat
But a centerfold witch
You’ve seen her
She was honored at the AVN Awards
In Vegas
She was riding his broomstick
While feeding him gingerbread

The walls were caked with
Gingerbread, the doors, the

Floor, and the windows were

Finicky about neatness
She kept sweeping his feet from
The table
But something outside of the window
Got her attention
Holding hands, two blond children were coming down the road
And here he thought that the bones in the fireplace
Were animal bones

She pushed him through the back door
But he persuaded her to give him a piece
For the road

Next he was sitting in on a congressional
Hearing on whether to classify pancakes
As cake. A conservative senator warned of
A slippery slope. What next? he said,
Icing on biscuits?

His mother learned to make chocolate
Cake when working for
A German family
Charlayne, whose mother was German, said
That the Germans used real cocoa
And so he found himself as tiny as a baby fly
Inside of his mother’s favorite cake bowl
He was climbing
The ladle to reach the icing around the
Rim of the bowl
He and Sigmund Freud

He kept falling backward every time
He was about to reach the top
Now they tell him that he has no free will
That bacteria inside his gut have goals
That don’t jibe with his
Or as the scientist says,
“Microbial manipulations might fill in
Some of the puzzling holes
In our understandings about food cravings”
In other words,
For his microbiome he is just a delivery system that
Brings them sugar

For them his body is a bakery
Is there no end to subservience?
He would find the conversation that his cells have
About him hair-raising
They crave cake even though
Cake spikes his sugar
And so as one grows older
While the external adversaries with whom
One had been feuding either die or
Break bread with you 
The internal adversaries multiply

They couldn’t give a Twinkie about
Whether you live or die

The Paris Review - Issue 218 (Fall 2016)

Little Birds

We don't see people as they are. We see people as we are.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


Jack Hill
USA, 1973
“Deer Fence”

No one is seen in deserted hills,
only the echoes of speech are heard.
Sunlight cast back comes deep in the woods
and shines once again upon the green moss.

    The monotone of the rain is beautiful,
And the sudden rise and slow relapse
Of the long multitudinous rain.

    The sun on the hills is beautiful,
Or a captured sunset sea-flung,
Bannered with fire and gold.

    A face I know is beautiful—
With fire and gold of sky and sea,
And the peace of long warm rain.

Dawn in New York has
four columns of mire
and a hurricane of black pigeons
splashing in the putrid waters.

Dawn in New York groans
on enormous fire escapes
searching between the angles
for spikenards of drafted anguish.

Dawn arrives and no one receives it in his mouth
because morning and hope are impossible there.
And sometimes the furious swarming coins
penetrate like drills and devour abandoned children.

Those who got out early know in their bones
there will be no paradise or loves that bloom and die;
they know they will be mired in numbers and laws,
in mindless games, in fruitless labors.

The light is buried beneath chains and noises,
an important warning to rootless science.
And crowds stagger sleeplessly through the boroughs
as if they had just escaped a shipwreck of blood.

Translated by Greg Simon and Steven White

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Melvin Van Peeples
USA, 1971

Today the sun was shining
so my neighbor washed her nightdresses in the river—
she comes home with everything folded in a basket,
beaming, as though her life had just been
lengthened a decade. Cleanliness makes her happy—
it says you can begin again,
the old mistakes needn’t hold you back.

A good neighbor—we leave each other
to our privacies. Just now
she’s singing to herself, pinning the damp wash to the line.

Little by little, days like this
will seem normal. But winter was hard:
the nights coming early, the dawns dark
with a gray, persistent rain—months of that,
and then the snow, like silence coming from the sky,
obliterating the trees and gardens.

Today, all that’s past us.
The birds are back, chattering over seeds.
All the snow’s melted; the fruit trees are covered with downy new growth.
A few couples even walk in the meadow, promising whatever they promise.

We stand in the sun and the sun heals us.
It doesn’t rush away. It hangs above us, unmoving,
like an actor pleased with his welcome.

My neighbor’s quiet a moment,
staring at the mountain, listening to the birds.

So many garments, where did they come from?
And my neighbor’s still out there,
fixing them to the line, as though the basket would never be empty—

It’s still full, nothing is finished,
though the sun’s beginning to move lower in the sky;
remember, it isn’t summer yet, only the beginning of spring;
warmth hasn’t taken hold yet, and the cold’s returning—

She feels it, as though the last bit of linen had frozen in her hands.
She looks at her hands—how old they are. It’s not the beginning, it’s the end.
And the adults, they’re all dead now.
Only the children are left, alone, growing old.
"Famous Blue Raincoat"

t's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening

I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert
You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record

Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear
Did you ever go clear?

Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
You'd been to the station to meet every train, and
You came home without Lili Marlene

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody's wife

Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well, I see Jane's awake
She sends her regards

And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way

If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Well, your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free

Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried

And Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear

Sincerely, L Cohen