Thursday, September 30, 2021

Art Porn

Anne Lomberg


"Symphony in Yellow"

An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.
Big barges full of yellow hay
Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
And, like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

"To Live in the Borderlands"

To live in the borderlands means you
are neither hispana india negra espanola
ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed
caught in the crossfire between camps
while carrying all five races on your back
not knowing which side to turn to, run from;

To live in the Borderlands means knowing that the india in you, betrayed for 500 years,
is no longer speaking to you,
the mexicanas call you rajetas, that denying the Anglo inside you
is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black;
Cuando vives en la frontera
people walk through you, the wind steals your voice,
you’re a burra, buey, scapegoat,
forerunner of a new race,
half and half-both woman and man, neither-a new gender;

To live in the Borderlands means to
put chile in the borscht,
eat whole wheat tortillas,
speak Tex-Mex with a Brooklyn accent;
be stopped by la migra at the border checkpoints;

Living in the Borderlands means you fight hard to
resist the gold elixir beckoning from the bottle,
the pull of the gun barrel,
the rope crushing the hollow of your throat;

In the Borderlands
you are the battleground
where enemies are kin to each other;
you are at home, a stranger,
the border disputes have been settled
the volley of shots have scattered the truce
you are wounded, lost in action
dead, fighting back;

To live in the Borderlands means
the mill with the razor white teeth wants to shred off
your olive-red skin, crush out the kernel, your heart
pound you pinch you roll you out
smelling like white bread but dead;

To survive the Borderlands
you must live sin fronteras
be a crossroads.

Hungarian anti-alcohol poster from 1912


Brian DePalma (USA, 1976)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Monday, September 27, 2021


Il Cho
Korean, 2020


"An Opera House"

Within the gold square of the proscenium arch,
A curtain of orange velvet hangs in stiff folds,
Its tassels jarring slightly when someone crosses the stage behind.
Gold carving edges the balconies,
Rims the boxes,
Runs up and down fluted pillars.
Little knife-stabs of gold
Shine out whenever a box door is opened.
Gold clusters
Flash in soft explosions
On the blue darkness,
Suck back to a point,
And disappear.
Hoops of gold
Circle necks, wrists, fingers,
Pierce ears,
Poise on heads
And fly up above them in coloured sparkles.
The opera house is a treasure-box of gold.
Gold in a broad smear across the orchestra pit:
Gold of horns, trumpets, tubas;
Gold -- spun-gold, twittering-gold, snapping-gold
Of harps.
The conductor raises his baton,
The brass blares out
Crass, crude,
Parvenu, fat, powerful,
Rich as the fat, clapping hands in the boxes.
Cymbals, gigantic, coin-shaped,
The orange curtain parts
And the prima-donna steps forward.
One note,
A drop: transparent, iridescent,
A gold bubble,
It floats . . . floats . . .
And bursts against the lips of a bank president
In the grand tier.

Sunday, September 26, 2021


Charlie Kaufman
USA, 2020

The other one he loved like a slave, like a madman and like a beggar. Why? Ask the dust on the road and the falling leaves, ask the mysterious God of life; for no one knows such things. She gave him nothing, no nothing did she give him and yet he thanked her. She said: Give me your peace and your reason! And he was only sorry she did not ask for his life.

Saturday, September 25, 2021


Takashi Shimizu
Japan, 2021


I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. 

Friday, September 24, 2021


It's the change of rhythm which I think is what keeps me alive. In Spain I hear so much noise from my window that can't stand it. In Switzerland it's the lack of noise that drives me crazy.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Blind Assassin

Women have curious ways of hurting someone else. They hurt themselves instead; or else they do it so the guy doesn't even know he's been hurt until much later. Then he finds out. Then his dick falls off.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


Jon Fosse

Translated by Damion Searls



He poured it in her ear, the idea

of him on top, slowing time down
to enter her, convincing her
that everything would stay between them,
with his back to the air
and her bottom on the mattress,
their motions surrounded by
the smell of love and fabric softener.

She wanted him behind her, a position
of trust, tossing aside suspicions
of what he might do behind her back
and how easily he could hide
who else he might be thinking of.

But he did not want to look over her shoulder,

he wanted to be in her eyes,
moving his hips in slow clock-

making the cold stone expression
on her face crumble.
She'd been wearing her countenance that way

since the first day they met,
after one lover refused to stay inside her
and another was so indecisive, she was forced
to mount the problem and dominate.

But no more.

And she cried because he did everything
he said he would do to her
but when he was finished, he did not leave.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Sea, The Sea

Then I felt too that I might take this opportunity to tie up a few loose ends, only of course loose ends can never be properly tied, one is always producing new ones. Time, like the sea, unties all knots. Judgements on people are never final, they emerge from summings up which at once suggest the need of a reconsideration. Human arrangements are nothing but loose ends and hazy reckoning, whatever art may otherwise pretend in order to console us.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Art Porn

Photographer unknown to me.
"All Things Can Tempt Me"

All things can tempt me from this craft of verse:
One time it was a woman's face, or worse -
The seeming needs of my fool-driven land;
Now nothing but comes readier to the hand
Than this accustomed toil. When I was young,
I had not given a penny for a song
Did not the poet Sing it with such airs
That one believed he had a sword upstairs;
Yet would be now, could I but have my wish,
Colder and dumber and deafer than a fish.

Sunday, September 19, 2021


We cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

"A Winter Evening"

Sable clouds by tempest driven,
Snowflakes whirling in the gales,
Hark—it sounds like grim wolves howling,
Hark—now like a child it wails!
Creeping through the rustling straw thatch,
Rattling on the mortared walls,
Like some weary wanderer knocking—
On the lowly pane it falls.

Fearsome darkness fills the kitchen,
Drear and lonely our retreat,
Speak a word and break the silence,
Dearest little Mother, sweet!
Has the moaning of the tempest
Closed thine eyelids wearily?
Has the spinning wheel’s soft whirring
Hummed a cradle song to thee?

Sweetheart of my youthful Springtime,
Thou true-souled companion dear—
Let us drink! Away with sadness!
Wine will fill our hearts with cheer.
Sing the song how free and careless
Birds live in a distant land—
Sing the song of maids at morning
Meeting by the brook’s clear strand!

Sable clouds by tempest driven,
Snowflakes whirling in the gales,
Hark—it sounds like grim wolves howling,
Hark—now like a child it wails!
Sweetheart of my youthful Springtime,
Thou true-souled companion dear,
Let us drink! Away with sadness!
Wine will fill our hearts with cheer!

Translated by Martha Dickinson Bianchi

Friday, September 17, 2021

"Beautiful Boy"


After the beautiful boy killed himself I killed myself
and lived in the trash vortex, the j’accuse of the US
with gear and the beclouded night kindness and a mind
like a mule deer in the poorest of zips. My affection
got only so close before I withdrew into self-protection,
my white tail an insolent so long. I lived by borrowing
the stillness and dominion and circumference and how dare I
be anything at all, mud under his boot sole, the roux
of the cookbooks he borrowed from the library,
and I returned and wanted stew and the simmering of him.


Where was the equipment for living? Where was the witness?
And where was the Very Rich Hours: the exchange of rings,
the gathering of flowers? Both beautiful and boy and April
gone the way of trumpeting May and ghost structures
of the Gothic, costly blue and gold depicting ...
Could you say beautiful and boy after the beautiful boy
killed himself? April felt like retrograde February,
impoverished color fields of angry, blowing on our hands
in the Middle Ages of Syracuse where we lived in a university
city, joining faith to magical thinking to tactics for fleeing.


After the beautiful boy killed himself was
became impossible to hold in one mind, my mind,
and I could not look directly at is, the wind
and the thinly branched sapling that is/was his height
and others wore shoes like his shoes, like
was legal and the swellings of April illegal
made up as it was [was] of gaps and lapses.
I depended on the vertical hell of other people
for story, for a narrative however broken,
a tolerance that could be that charmed or bitter,
could be what takes the place of nouns and verbs.


After the beautiful boy killed himself I was a mackle
of presence, a blurred capital letter that marked
a person’s breathing, while he was immaculately
gone except for all the damage to our throats
and to our umbilical selves. Touch was too much
or not enough. White space was obliterated by April’s
mute riot or was it organized into caravans stopped ...
Ah, what luxury to have his crossed letters on paper,
rationed wartime material we have now in abundance,
and map what we know in scratches and around that what?


Cuts, knots, rips, fissures, dots, the ink drips
from the person after the beautiful boy killed himself,
stopgap concept, the grief counselor kept it together
or at arm’s length so the ________ can’t find the ________.
I asked her for experience and I got a view from above—
grace, I’ll take it, the casserole, the pepper pot;
I’ll take the fix, the unopened bills for the services
rendered, the renderings billed. Any fix is myopic,
like a mother’s look at the child’s flaws as virtues,
as self-incrimination, the crime being the rich
attachments of subjects, objects, finishes.


Clouds blocked the sun all April
after the beautiful boy killed himself,
blocked by the body and the next steps, blocked
the pronouns, blocked and, blocked then,
although, before, so after the beautiful boy
we loved the jagged now for its promise and threat,
for its torn map of Detroit and its alternate plans
of duration and what was it yesterday I said
after the beautiful boy killed himself about stopping
me while I was weeping to say ghost = get = go on.


What energies and economies of the daily,
the obvious snows and obliteration and shoveling
disrupted when the beautiful boy killed himself?
He keeps moving down or is it up? Is there up
in the pedestrian advance to the drugstore for more
pain medication, buying a coffee to go and a doughnut?
Why not start from the start, from the hesitant
and make a progress that’s disrupted by the end,
disrupted by the currency? Are you paying for what
you break or the opposite? How do you intend to pay?


Come back, come back—we’re asking the highest power
of corporate capital to make you vertical once more
without metaphor—the corporeal you. We will assign the pronoun
by shareholders and trustees who will agree to your exceptional
growth potential, no, growth imperative, to the cult of you
and the evangelism of the ask. We burn, we spread like disease
but the brutal agglomeration of you we love, we pull you up
by your bootstraps, we trade in the sublime machine for you.
We will endure you as you did not endure the terrible world,
I thought after the beautiful boy killed himself.

Thursday, September 16, 2021


Jon Fosse

Translated by Damion Searls


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

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Ape and Essence

Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him.

“Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.”

And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity.

And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises our standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

"Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair"

In the painting by Guido Reni of Saint Sebastian
in the Palazzo Rosso, which reproduction makes available
to those who travel only on the page, the saint to be 
(he’s not yet assumed by artifice, encumbered

with perfections) endures continual martyrdom 
with a visual sigh, gazing almost directly upward 
as if to ask What now my love, or hum a chorus of
Is that all there is, the body always some song

or another. The eye tramping the simulacrum 
of a surface hands have touched can’t help but note
how lush the uncorrupted flesh appears: the curve, for one 
example, of the waist (narrowest circuit of the boy),

just beneath the instance of an arrow’s entrance, or
the shadow just above the tangled loincloth that is surely
pubic hair. One grasps that sainthood is an attribute of youth,
the wondrous fair, as in old ballads; they always end.

The boy in the Eagle Discount Supermarket, 
for another, an apparition in a backwards baseball cap 
appraising cuts of meat in artificial light, 
deciding what he can afford

to buy, how much each cut costs. I love the ground
on where be stands. His face? Unverifiable.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Invisible Cities

There is no language without deceit.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we learn and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. 

But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Season 2

Nabil Ben Yadir, Camille Delamarre
Belgium, 2021


Guy Davenport

What will become of all that has piled up within you, so much, so much, an enormous stock of memories and habits, deferred questions, frozen answers, thoughts, emotions, tender feelings, hardships, everything there, everything there, what will become of it all the moment life extinguishes within you? The disproportionate size of this pile—and all of it for nothing?

Friday, September 10, 2021

Season 2

Nabil Ben Yadir, Camille Delamarre
Belgium, 2021


Art Porn

Pavel Flegontov


Under the Net

I hate solitude, but I'm afraid of intimacy. The substance of my life is a private conversation with myself which to turn into a dialogue would be equivalent to self-destruction. The company which I need is the company which a pub or a cafe will provide. I have never wanted a communion of souls. It's already hard enough to tell the truth to oneself.

Thursday, September 9, 2021


David Lowery 

Ireland / Canada / USA / UK, 2021


We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realized they were inside us.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021


Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Spain, 2019
The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination

The exercise of imagination is dangerous to those who profit from the way things are because it has the power to show that the way things are is not permanent, not universal, not necessary. Having that real though limited power to put established institutions into question, imaginative literature has also the responsibility of power. The storyteller is the truth teller.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

"My Voice"

Within this restless, hurried, modern world
We took our hearts' full pleasure; You and I,
And now the white sails of our ship are furled,
And spent the lading of our argosy.
Wherefore my cheeks before their time are wan,
For very weeping is my gladness fled,
Sorrow has paled my young mouth's vermilion,
And Ruin draws the curtains of my bed.
But all this crowded life has been to thee
No more than lyre, or lute, or subtle spell
Of viols, or the music of the sea
That sleeps, a mimic echo, in the shell.

Monday, September 6, 2021


Pier Paolo Pasolini

Edited and Translated by Stephen Sartarelli


I suffered no pain, my hunger had taken the edge off; instead I felt pleasantly empty, untouched by everything around me and happy to be unseen by all. I put my legs up on the bench and leaned back, the best way to feel the true well-being of seclusion. There wasn't a cloud in my mind, nor did I feel any discomfort, and I hadn't a single unfulfilled desire or craving as far as my thought could reach. I lay with open eyes in a state of utter absence from myself and felt deliciously out of it.

Sunday, September 5, 2021


The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. 



Issue 549
September  2021


Saturday, September 4, 2021


Baltasar Kormákur. Börkur Sigþórsson, Thora Hilmarsdottir
Iceland, 2021


If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.
BEN BURGIS BIO [Excerpt, 2010]

Ben works as a Philosophy Professor at the University of Ulsan in South Korea, where he wears a necktie every day, tries to ignore the air raid siren drills, and is generally known as “that strange white man who plays his Flaming Lips and Of Montreal albums too loudly while he writes in his office.”

In Korean, you know, that’s all one word.

Friday, September 3, 2021


Baltasar Kormákur. Börkur Sigþórsson, Thora Hilmarsdottir
Iceland, 2021



Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of H.P. Lovecraft

We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value. 

If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. 

The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.

Thursday, September 2, 2021


I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.
The Sublime Object of Ideology

A well-known joke - a fool who thought he was a grain of corn. After some time in a mental hospital he was cured; now he knew that he was not a grain, but a man. So they let him out; but soon after he came running back saying, "I met a hen and I was afraid she would try to eat me." The doctors tried to calm him down. "What are you afraid of? You know you are not a grain, but a man." The fool answered: "Yes of course I know that, but does the hen know?"

Wednesday, September 1, 2021


I knew I could not separate myself from the world’s death, even though I was not one of those who brought it about. I had to make clear the relation of our individual dramas to the larger one, and our responsibility. I was never one with the world, yet I was to be destroyed with it. I always lived seeing beyond it. I was not in harmony with its explosions and collapse. I had, as an artist, another rhythm, another death, another renewal. 

That was it. I was not at one with the world, I was seeking to create one by other rules. And therefore how could I die in tune with it? I could only die in my own time, by my own evolutions. I did not belong to any epoch, for I had made my home in man’s most active cells, the cells of his dreams. Through love, compassion, desire, you get entangled and confused. But the artist is not there to be at one with the world, she is there to transform it. (S)he cannot belong to it, for then (s)he would not achieve his/her task, which is to change. The struggle against destruction which I lived out in my intimate relationships had to be transposed and become of use to the whole world.
The Dispossessed

For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.
The Plague

Calamity has come on you, my brethren, and, my brethren, you deserved it.