Saturday, July 31, 2021

IRIS MURDOCH
____________________

The most essential and fundamental aspect of culture is the study of literature, since this is an education in how to picture and understand human situations.

Friday, July 30, 2021

MY WINNIPEG

Guy Maddin (Canada, 2007)

KNUT HAMSUN
Hunger
____________________

I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

ELIAS CANETTI
____________________

I would love to study the faces in heaven. Otherwise I’d know of no reason to want to show up there. The faces in hell I already know well, as I wear them all at various times myself.

THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD

Guy Maddin (Canada, 2004)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

DORIS LESSING
Prisons We Choose to Live Inside
____________________

Often the mass emotions are those which seem the noblest, best and most beautiful. And yet, inside a year, five years, a decade, five decades, people will be asking, "How could you have believed that?" because events will have taken place that will have banished the said mass emotions to the dustbin of history.

TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL

Guy Maddin (Canada, 1988)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

IZUMI SHIKIBU
____________________

Watching the moon
at midnight
solitary, mid-sky,
I knew myself completely,
no part left out.

[Photographer/Artist unknown to me.]
 

STUMP THE GUESSER

Galen Johnson, Evan Johnson, Guy Maddin (Canada, 2020)

Monday, July 26, 2021

W. B. YEATS
"The Hour Before Dawn"
____________________

A cursing rogue with a merry face,
A bundle of rags upon a crutch,
Stumbled upon that windy place
Called Cruachan, and it was as much
As the one sturdy leg could do
To keep him upright while he cursed.
He had counted, where long years ago
Queen Maeve's nine Maines had been nursed,
A pair of lapwings, one old sheep,
And not a house to the plain's edge,
When close to his right hand a heap
Of grey stones and a rocky ledge
Reminded him that he could make.
If he but shifted a few stones,
A shelter till the daylight broke.

But while he fumbled with the stones
They toppled over; 'Were it not
I have a lucky wooden shin
I had been hurt'; and toppling brought
Before his eyes, where stones had been,
A dark deep hollow in the rock.
He gave a gasp and thought to have fled,
Being certain it was no right rock
Because an ancient history said
Hell Mouth lay open near that place,
And yet stood still, because inside
A great lad with a beery face
Had tucked himself away beside
A ladle and a tub of beer,
And snored, no phantom by his look.
So with a laugh at his own fear
He crawled into that pleasant nook.

'Night grows uneasy near the dawn
Till even I sleep light; but who
Has tired of his own company?
What one of Maeve's nine brawling sons
Sick of his grave has wakened me?
But let him keep his grave for once
That I may find the sleep I have lost.'

What care I if you sleep or wake?
But I'Il have no man call me ghost.'

Say what you please, but from daybreak
I'll sleep another century.'

And I will talk before I sleep
And drink before I talk.'
And he
Had dipped the wooden ladle deep
Into the sleeper's tub of beer
Had not the sleeper started up.

Before you have dipped it in the beer
I dragged from Goban's mountain-top
I'll have assurance that you are able
To value beer; no half-legged fool
Shall dip his nose into my ladle
Merely for stumbling on this hole
In the bad hour before the dawn.'

'Why beer is only beer.'
'But say
'I'll sleep until the winter's gone,
Or maybe to Midsummer Day,'
And drink and you will sleep that length.'

'I'd like to sleep till winter's gone
Or till the sun is in his strength.
This blast has chilled me to the bone.'

'I had no better plan at first.
I thought to wait for that or this;
Maybe the weather was accursed
Or I had no woman there to kiss;
So slept for half a year or so;
But year by year I found that less
Gave me such pleasure I'd forgo
Even a half-hour's nothingness,
And when at one year's end I found
I had not waked a single minute,
I chose this burrow underground.
I'll sleep away all time within it:
My sleep were now nine centuries
But for those mornings when I find
The lapwing at their foolish dies
And the sheep bleating at the wind
As when I also played the fool.'

The beggar in a rage began
Upon his hunkers in the hole,
'It's plain that you are no right man
To mock at everything I love
As if it were not worth, the doing.
I'd have a merry life enough
If a good Easter wind were blowing,
And though the winter wind is bad
I should not be too down in the mouth
For anything you did or said
If but this wind were in the south.'

'You cry aloud, O would 'twere spring
Or that the wind would shift a point,
And do not know that you would bring,
If time were suppler in the joint,
Neither the spring nor the south wind
But the hour when you shall pass away
And leave no smoking wick behind,
For all life longs for the Last Day
And there's no man but cocks his ear
To know when Michael's trumpet cries
'That flesh and bone may disappear,
And souls as if they were but sighs,
And there be nothing but God left;
But, I aone being blessed keep
Like some old rabbit to my cleft
And wait Him in a drunken sleep.'
He dipped his ladle in the tub
And drank and yawned and stretched him out,
The other shouted, 'You would rob
My life of every pleasant thought
And every comfortable thing,
And so take that and that.' Thereon
He gave him a great pummelling,
But might have pummelled at a stone
For all the sleeper knew or cared;
And after heaped up stone on stone,
And then, grown weary, prayed and cursed
And heaped up stone on stone again,
And prayed and cursed and cursed and bed
From Maeve and all that juggling plain,
Nor gave God thanks till overhead
The clouds were brightening with the dawn.

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN

Guy Maddin (Canada, 2006)

Sunday, July 25, 2021

STEPHEN KING
It
____________________

Smells of dirt and wet and long-gone vegetables would merge into one unmistakable ineluctable smell, the smell of the monster, the apotheosis of all monsters. It was the smell of something for which he had no name: the smell of It, crouched and lurking and ready to spring. A creature which would eat anything but which was especially hungry for boymeat.

THE GREEN FOG

Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, and Galen Johnson (Canada, 2017)

Saturday, July 24, 2021

GUO GU
The Essence of Chan: A Guide to Life and Practice According to the Teachings of Bodhidharma
____________________

If we want to know our past, we need only look at the present. If we want to know our future, we also look at the present. Why is it that siblings in the same family sometimes have very different lives, one as a victim and the other as a victimizer? Why is it that, from the same parents, one child follows a spiritual path, while the other wallows in desire, hatred, and ignorance? Why do people live in constant insecurity, victimizing themselves at every opportunity? It is because each of us carries different karmic baggage. We’ve been throwing all the karma that we have ever created into this bag. What we experience in our life is the ripening of seeds in our karmic bag.

Friday, July 23, 2021

PABLO NERUDA
"Death Alone"
____________________

There are lone cemeteries,
tombs full of soundless bones,
the heart threading a tunnel,
a dark, dark tunnel :
like a wreck we die to the very core,
as if drowning at the heart
or collapsing inwards from skin to soul.

There are corpses,
clammy slabs for feet,
there is death in the bones,
like a pure sound,
a bark without its dog,
out of certain bells, certain tombs
swelling in this humidity like lament or rain.

I see, when alone at times,
coffins under sail
setting out with the pale dead, women in their dead braids,
bakers as white as angels,
thoughtful girls married to notaries,
coffins ascending the vertical river of the dead,
the wine-dark river to its source,
with their sails swollen with the sound of death,
filled with the silent noise of death.

Death is drawn to sound
like a slipper without a foot, a suit without its wearer,
comes to knock with a ring, stoneless and fingerless,
comes to shout without a mouth, a tongue, without a throat.
Nevertheless its footsteps sound
and its clothes echo, hushed like a tree.

I do not know, I am ignorant, I hardly see
but it seems to me that its song has the colour of wet violets,
violets well used to the earth,
since the face of death is green,
and the gaze of death green
with the etched moisture of a violet's leaf
and its grave colour of exasperated winter.

But death goes about the earth also, riding a broom
lapping the ground in search of the dead -
death is in the broom,
it is the tongue of death looking for the dead,
the needle of death looking for the thread.

Death lies in our beds :
in the lazy mattresses, the black blankets,
lives a full stretch and then suddenly blows,
blows sound unknown filling out the sheets
and there are beds sailing into a harbour
where death is waiting, dressed as an admiral.

DRACULA - PAGES FROM A VIRGIN'S DIARY

Guy Maddin (Canada, 2002)

Thursday, July 22, 2021

HAROLD PINTER
The Hothouse
____________________

The moon was behind you, in front of you, all over you, suffusing you, consuming you, you were transparent, translucent, a beacon.

COWARDS BEND THE KNEE

Guy Maddin (Canada, 2003)

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

WOLE SOYINKA
"I think it rains"
____________________

I think it rains
That tongues may loosen from the parch
Uncleave roof-tops of
the mouth, hang
Heavy with knowledge

I saw it raise
The sudden cloud, from ashes.
Settling
They joined in a ring of
grey; within,
The circling spirit.

O it must rain
These closures on the mind, blinding us
In strange despairs, teaching
Purity of sadness.

And how it beats
Skeined transparencies on wings
Of our desires, searing dark longings
In cruel baptisms.

Rain-reeds, practised in
The grace of yielding, yet unbending
From afar, this, your conjugation with my earth
Bares crouching rocks.

Andy Grant
"New York Cruising with Scotty Metts No. 3
"

 

CAREFUL

Guy Maddin (Canada, 1992)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

DŌGEN
____________________

The true person is
Not anyone in particular;
But, like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,
It is everyone, everywhere in the world.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Andy Marlette
July 2021
DJUNA BARNES
Nightwood
____________________

The words that fell from her mouth seemed to have been lent to her; had she been forced to invent a vocabulary for herself, it would have been a vocabulary of two words, ‘ah’ and ‘oh.’

Sunday, July 18, 2021

DENISE LEVERTOV
"Talking to Grief"
____________________

Ah, Grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.

I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.

You think I don't know you've been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider
my house your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.

PHANTOM LOVE

Nina Menkes

Saturday, July 17, 2021

DISSOLUTION


Nina Menkes

USA/Israel, 2010

SEAMUS HEANEY
“Valediction”
____________________

Lady with the frilled blouse
And simple tartan skirt,
Since you have left the house
Its emptiness has hurt
All thought. In your presence
Time rode easy, anchored
On a smile; but absence
Rocked love’s balance, unmoored
The days. They buck and bound
Across the calendar
Pitched from the quiet sound
Of your flower-tender
Voice. Need breaks on my strand;
You’ve gone, I am at sea.
Until you resume command
Self is in mutiny.

Friday, July 16, 2021

bell hooks
Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies
____________________

I want there to be a place in the world where people can engage in one another’s differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility. Not this “In order to love you, I must make you something else." That’s what domination is all about, that in order to be close to you, I must possess you, remake, and recast you.
ELIAS CANETTI
____________________

Only within his scattered and contradictory sentences is it possible for a person to keep himself together, to entirely become something without losing the most important thing, to replicate himself, to breathe, to experience his own gestures, to form his own accent, to practice wearing different masks, to fear his own truths, to puff up his lies into truths, to piss off death, and once rejuvenated, to disappear. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

TADEUSZ DĄBROWSKI
"Bunny Slope"
____________________

When I’m writing a poem,
there’s less and less of it.

As I approach the mountains,
they vanish behind a gentle hill,
behind the bunny slope.

And once I’m standing with them
face to face,
they take away my speech.

The very best poem 
finishes half way

 

Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

OSCAR WILDE
"In the Forest"
____________________

Out of the mid-wood's twilight
Into the meadow's dawn,
Ivory limbed and brown-eyed,
Flashes my Faun!
He skips through the copses singing,
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should follow,
Shadow or song!
O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

ELIZABETH M. NOLAN
"My Aldebaran of the Skies"
____________________

You called me your dawn from yonder that breaks your darkest hour,
And here l sit in a sanguine state,
Awaiting my Aldebaran of the Skies,
Addictive discourse of allegiance,
And intentional allurement,
That threatens the very circle of my life.

Yet, my mind pursues the words to share forbidden
Dreams with my gallant knight,
Whose scintillating self,
So full of verse and song and virtue,
Captivates my once blithe heart,
for a handsome flower he,
Who possesses no thorns upon the rose,

Ah, but should l search within my heart and be the
Castigator of my own words and dreams?
Shall my promise of Fields of Gold and the smell of
Sweet Clematis be just a collage in our minds?

My compelling mind entices the languid questions,
To which the answers pierce my very soul
And are leaden with a legalistic commitment to the circle of
My life.

Shall l drink from the river of Lethe?
A penitent to reave you from my heart and mind
I cannot.
For you brighten my sky at night, and l, your muse,
Always waiting to be your dawn.
Forgive me Sir Gawain, my hero, my poet, my confidant,
For l still miss you so.

Monday, July 12, 2021

WOLE SOYINKA
"Telephone Conversation"
____________________

The price seemed reasonable, location
Indifferent. The landlady swore she lived
Off premises. Nothing remained
But self-confession. "Madam" , I warned,
"I hate a wasted journey - I am African."
Silence. Silenced transmission of pressurized good-breeding. Voice, when it came,
Lipstick coated, long gold-rolled
Cigarette-holder pipped. Caught I was, foully.
"HOW DARK?"...I had not misheard...."ARE YOU LIGHT OR VERY DARK?" Button B. Button A. Stench
Of rancid breath of public hide-and-speak.
Red booth. Red pillar-box. Red double-tiered
Omnibus squelching tar.
It was real! Shamed
By ill-mannered silence, surrender
Pushed dumbfoundment to beg simplification.
Considerate she was, varying the emphasis-
"ARE YOU DARK? OR VERY LIGHT" Revelation came
"You mean- like plain or milk chocolate?"
Her accent was clinical, crushing in its light
Impersonality. Rapidly, wave-length adjusted
I chose. "West African sepia"_ and as afterthought.
"Down in my passport." Silence for spectroscopic
Flight of fancy, till truthfulness changed her accent
Hard on the mouthpiece "WHAT'S THAT?" conceding "DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS." "Like brunette."
"THAT'S DARK, ISN'T IT?"
"Not altogether.
Facially, I am brunette, but madam you should see the rest of me. Palm of my hand, soles of my feet.
Are a peroxide blonde. Friction, caused-
Foolishly madam- by sitting down, has turned
My bottom raven black- One moment madam! - sensing
Her receiver rearing on the thunderclap
About my ears- "Madam," I pleaded, "wouldn't you rather
See for yourself?"

Sunday, July 11, 2021

MARILYN MONROE
____________________

People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

PABLO NERUDA
"Come With Me, I Said, And No One Knew"
__________________

Come with me, I said, and no one knew
where, or how my pain throbbed,
no carnations or barcaroles for me,
only a wound that love had opened.
I said it again: Come with me, as if I were dying,
and no one saw the moon that bled in my mouth
or the blood that rose into the silence.
O Love, now we can forget the star that has such thorns!
That is why when I heard your voice repeat
Come with me, it was as if you had let loose
the grief, the love, the fury of a cork-trapped wine
the geysers flooding from deep in its vault:
in my mouth I felt the taste of fire again,
of blood and carnations, of rock and scald.

Gordon Denman 

Friday, July 9, 2021

DZIGAR KONGTRÜL
Light Comes Through - Buddhist Teachings on Awakening to Our Natural Intelligence
____________________

“Not knowing” can be an open, inquisitive, and humble state of mind, full of possibilities—there’s a lot to explore. With inquisitiveness, we engage our intelligence, educate ourselves, and move forward in our lives in a way that satisfies our deeper needs. This is the knowledge that comes through hearing the truth. To do this, we first have to feel the pain of our situation—the antidote is right there, just beneath the surface. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

TED HUGHES
"Crow Hill"
____________________

The farms are stinking craters in
Sheer sides under the sodden moors;
When it is not wind it is rain,
Neither of which will stop at doors:
One will damp beds and the other shake
Dreams beneath sleep it cannot break.

Between the weather and the rock
Farmers make a little heat;
Cows that sway a bony back,
Pigs upon delicate feet
Hold off the sky, trample the strength
That shall level these hills at length.

Buttoned from the blowing mist
Walk the ridges of ruined stone;
What humbles these hills has raised
The arrogance of blood and bone,
And thrown the hawk upon the wind,
And lit the fox in the dripping ground.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

W. B. YEATS
"The Fascination of What's Difficult"
____________________

The fascination of what's difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent
Spontaneous joy and natural content
Out of my heart. There's something ails our colt
That must, as if it had not holy blood
Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road-metal. My curse on plays
That have to be set up in fifty ways,
On the day's war with every knave and dolt,
Theatre business, management of men.
I swear before the dawn comes round again
I'll find the stable and pull out the bolt.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

XI CHUAN
"Mourning Problems" 
____________________

an ant dies, and no one mourns
a bird dies, and no one mourns if it isn’t a crested ibis
a monkey dies, and monkeys mourn
a monkey dies, and people pry open its skull
a shark dies, and another shark keeps swimming
a tiger dies, and some people mourning are mourning themselves
a person dies, and some people mourn and some people don’t
a person dies, and some people mourn and some even applaud
a generation dies, and the next generation doesn’t really mourn
a country dies, most of the time just leaving apocrypha
a country that doesn’t leave apocrypha wasn’t a real country
if it wasn’t a real country, when it dies no one mourns
no one mourns, and the wind blows in vain
rivers flow in vain, washing over rocks in vain
glistening in vain, making vain ripples
the river dies, and it’s not for man to mourn
the wind dies, and it’s not for man to mourn
the river and wind make their way to the sea, the sea as vast as in Zhuangzi
the vast sea dies, and you will have to die
the dragon king dies, and you will have to die
the moon doesn’t mourn, there’s no one on the moon
the stars don’t mourn, the stars aren’t flesh and blood

—Translated by Lucas Klein

Monday, July 5, 2021

DORIS LESSING
The Golden Notebook
____________________

Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

THE SUN

____________________

Issue 547
July 2021

 

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
The Tempest
____________________

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. 


 

MARGARET ATWOOD
Surfacing
____________________

Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.
BOBBY SEALE
____________________

I think the American Dream should be about a greater progressive legislation that allows for what I call a necessary future world of co-operational humanism.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR
“Letter From Birmingham Jail”
____________________

I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”
BOBBY SEALE
____________________

A people who have suffered so much for so long at the hands of a racist society must draw the line somewhere.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

ELIAS CANETTI
____________________

Perhaps what a critic wrote is true, namely that I have found my calling in composing brief “notes.” If that’s true, then I am not a writer and can hang myself.

Rafa Canoba
 

Friday, July 2, 2021

KNUT HAMSUN
Hunger
____________________

The intelligent poor individual was a much finer observer than the intelligent rich one. The poor individual looks around him at every step, listens suspiciously to every word he hears from the people he meets; thus, every step he takes presents a problem, a task, for his thoughts and feelings. He is alert and sensitive, he is experienced, his soul has been burned.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

IRIS MURDOCH
____________________

Perhaps when distant people on other planets pick up some wavelength of ours all they hear is a continuous scream.
ANAÏS NIN
The Early Diaries, Vol 2 (1920-1923)

I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals.