Friday, May 29, 2015

peoms & peonies

From an escape up north (whence a wee one was still in utero), a poem from a friend, now available online. Apologies that said poet has strong ideas about formatting, so said poem is a pdf file.

configurations: pinhey’s point, | rob mclennan

Photos from the same journey.

The peonies are in bloom. Bliss all around.

Monday, May 25, 2015

from the archive 3

These are the recently unearthed working files from the calendar project, an artist's book that never made it past the research stage.

When a person begins to research the nature of time and different ways of time-keeping, there really is no end.

Especially once pulsars enter the picture.

Anyway, I think the notes pretty much speak for themselves, and, deep down, I keep alive a hope that I will one day return this project to the "active" pile -- with more doing and less thinking about doing. In the meantime, whenever an essay or podcast (99PI / ep. 159) about time comes across my desk, I drop everything and pay attention.

Do you know what this enigmatic note means? Do I know what this enigmatic note means? Only that a "syllable of time" is a wonderful phrase we should all be using. And I think maybe it was from this podcast.

Wait -- what? Each month should be a different language? Sometimes me worries myself.

So I have a crush on Teddy Roosevelt. So maybe I can't spell "Rooseveldt." So maybe I'm more than a little embarrassed about that egregious error. But no embarrassment about the crush.

Yes, this project was underway during the end of the world Maya mayhem. Spoiler: world's still here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

from the archive 2

Collected images found languishing in my desk drawer.

John Thomson. Stone Animals, Ming Tombs. c. 1871-72. National Library of Scotland.
 I've owned this postcard well over a decade, and mailed all my other copies out over the years. It joins a small and select group of cards that will probably never be mailed.

The caption is the image below.
This photograph I found in an antique store in the midwest, and used for a change of address card when relocating to New England. I've always wondered where it was taken, why Louise had a tiny white picket fence, and where they went. Sorry about the coffee stain. That's most likely my fault.

Monday, May 11, 2015

from the archive 1

It's May. The lilacs are blooming. So is my Christmas cactus. Things are a bit confused.


There is a certain irony that what follows is (a) ten years old; (b) from what passes for my archive (read: deep in a filing cabinet); and (c) was edited in the present moment as I sit next to my devoted cat (named after my grandfather), (d) on my grandmother's chair.

The piece was from a 1922 essay by André Breton:

Lâchez tout.
Lâchez Dada.
Lâchez votre femme, lâchez votre maîtresse.
Lâchez vos espérances et vos craintes.
Semez vos enfants au coin d’un bois.
Lâchez la proie pour l’ombre.
Lâchez au besoin une vie asiée, ce qu’on vous donne pour une situation d’avenir.
Partez sur les routes.

My rudimentary translation was paired with a 1921 poem by Anna Akmatova, and they were typed (on the 1923 Underwood) and bound in a very pink binding. The translation and the process are above, and the book appears below.

I suppose the moral is that I will probably never, ever master detachment. I will also never, ever master the French language.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

alternative typography

Seen about town, an ampersand doing double duty.

Also: "Fruitful"? Will they be opening a stand at the farmer's market, in addition to the church thrift store?

Monday, May 4, 2015

of flowering trees (and logistics)

The Man on the Dump
by Wallace Stevens

Day creeps down. The moon is creeping up.
The sun is a corbeil of flowers the moon Blanche 
Places there, a bouquet. Ho-ho ... The dump is full 
Of images. Days pass like papers from a press. 
The bouquets come here in the papers. So the sun, 
And so the moon, both come, and the janitor’s poems 
Of every day, the wrapper on the can of pears, 
The cat in the paper-bag, the corset, the box
From Esthonia: the tiger chest, for tea.
The freshness of night has been fresh a long time.
The freshness of morning, the blowing of day, one says 
That it puffs as Cornelius Nepos reads, it puffs 
More than, less than or it puffs like this or that. 
The green smacks in the eye, the dew in the green 
Smacks like fresh water in a can, like the sea
On a cocoanut—how many men have copied dew 
For buttons, how many women have covered themselves
With dew, dew dresses, stones and chains of dew, heads 
Of the floweriest flowers dewed with the dewiest dew. 
One grows to hate these things except on the dump.

Now, in the time of spring (azaleas, trilliums, 
Myrtle, viburnums, daffodils, blue phlox), 
Between that disgust and this, between the things 
That are on the dump (azaleas and so on) 
And those that will be (azaleas and so on), 
One feels the purifying change. One rejects 
The trash.

               That’s the moment when the moon creeps up 
To the bubbling of bassoons. That’s the time
One looks at the elephant-colorings of tires. 
Everything is shed; and the moon comes up as the moon 
(All its images are in the dump) and you see
As a man (not like an image of a man),
You see the moon rise in the empty sky.

One sits and beats an old tin can, lard pail.
One beats and beats for that which one believes. 
That’s what one wants to get near. Could it after all
Be merely oneself, as superior as the ear
To a crow’s voice? Did the nightingale torture the ear, 
Pack the heart and scratch the mind? And does the ear 
Solace itself in peevish birds? Is it peace,
Is it a philosopher’s honeymoon, one finds
On the dump? Is it to sit among mattresses of the dead, 
Bottles, pots, shoes and grass and murmur aptest eve: 
Is it to hear the blatter of grackles and say
Invisible priest; is it to eject, to pull
The day to pieces and cry stanza my stone?
Where was it one first heard of the truth? The the.