Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thank God for Family

A poem by one of our sisters given to me by one of my mothers.

Enjoy it. :)

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice---
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.



But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do---
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Poem

Expectations
by Isa Harper


Through the glass door
of her office,
I saw her black face
marked by the sin
of American inauguration,
a revolution fought and old
so she could be bought
and sold for less than the least of these my brothers.

She seemed
to me to be
gesturing
and mumbling
to herself, chanting
some ancient ritual
from the
trees of a jungle
unknown to me as I
bungled for the door knob, then winced
and,
forgetting myself,
knocked before entering
like the cops never do
if they really do
want to get you.

Her right arm
was extended
above her
in some kinda
defensive posture
for a moment;
I saw
a knife in her hands! The creased black crows
of her eyes
popped
into relief like some
wide-eyed minstrel demon
and I felt
a drop of sweat
on my brow -
she was a killer after all! Just like
just like
just like all
the rest of
them;
TV
was right
about them all. They
all do this. They're
killers.
Left to their own
devices, they'd rape
us all and eat our daughters,
wiping fresh blood
from their grey lips
those white teeth popping
and snapping
like a tiger!

And then it happened.

That thing.

that thing. what was it?

what is that?

is that... a ... knife?

what's...

She smiled.

:)

and I thought . . .
...
...

and then I smiled

:)

She dropped her hand slightly and waved me in.

Good morning, she said. I'm afraid you caught me practicing my fly cast
without a pole...
... a little ...

embarrassing.

Mr. Harper, is it?

Yes, ma'am, I uttered, breathlessly... barely...

blushing... naked white skin blushing...

Have a seat, she said.

The trophy fish
stuffed along the wall. There
the photo of her with friends
along a stream in
was that Montana?

And I thought, but did not say,
because humor is fickle,
like sickle cell,
"If only I could see it, she's probably
blushing too."

And I smiled, and said,
What is that, a brook trout?

Poem

Extraordinary Rendition
or,
Give Hope a Chance:
Y uh hunert daze doan proof shit, bitches!
or,
Stop focusing on the past; today's the only day left
or,
this is not a rehearsal! this is the real fuckin' thing!

(Ladies and Gentleman:

the former President of the United States of America,

Theo L.D. Whiteman!)

.......

***

***

***

......


Uh... thank you....

thank you very much...

thank you....


you're very kind, really.


too kind

too kind


Thank you..


Thank you..

No, please, please sit. I....

Thank you....


please.

please.


Thank you.. Thank you so much

I'm being paid by the hour, so ....


thank you...

thank you....

you can just keep doing that all night.


Thank you...

wave to the camera.

Thank you...
okay...

Well, I thought I'd start

thank you

with a

no, please, please. you're too kind.

Thank you...

I thought I'd start with a joke.

What's 2+2?

No.

Just kidding..


heh heh


just kidding, that wasn't the joke.

Here it is:

What did one paper bag say to the other?

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:)

(that's much too long a pause.)

Oh.

Uh... okay...

uh...

Sorry... I'll uh...

try again.

ahem....

What did one paper bag... OW!

That was my ear, dude!

Seriously, what the fuck?!

ow.
....
...

Jesus!

Yeah, I'm talkin' to you, boy!

No not you, Faggot!

The other one!

No, not you neither, sycophant!

You, the one with the brown skin and the wooly hair like a sweet little lamb

mmmmmm.....

laaaaamb.....

...

Anyway...

Yeah, you!

Don't just look at me.

Your name is Jesus, right?

(mmumblemumblemumble)

Speak up, boy! You sound like you got marbles in your mouth!

You a fuckin' marble mouth? I didn't think so!

What's your name, Marble Mouth!

(It's Jesus, sir.)

...
...
...
...!...
:
:
:... :...

Oh! Haaaay-Seuss! My bad, dude! Sorry.
...

...

...


Anyway, hey-Sue's...

if that IS your real name...

heh heh uh heh

uh... heh.

Anyway, uh Xchay-soos...

was that right?

(close.)

okay. uh, sorry.

(no problem. what did you want?)

what?

.....


......

......

Oh, right.

Could you


sorry, got distracted for a minute.

sorry about that, Jesus.

I mean, HaysOOs!

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Could you uh
please
turn down
my
head set, Jesus?

(no problem)

Amen!

(sure thing)


Thank you!

Sweet Jesus! Thank you! I mean, haysoos.

Thank you, Lordy! Whew!

Them earphones was hurtin' me somethin' awful.

So, thank you!

I... uh... I mean, adios. Is that..

Is that right?

COE MOE SAY dee SAY "thank you."?

(no problem, man. let's just do this, okay?)

Sure, sure thing, man. Sure... uh, thanks.

uh, what are we doing?

(From the top.)

You want me to go again?

Okay. From the top? Alright. No problem

From the top.

(From the top.)

So... uh... what did uh

what did

one paper bag

say to the other?

...
.......

What?

(too short. way too short that time.)

Okay... okay... keep your shorts on, Jesus.

I mean... sorry! Sorry. Wouldn't want you to turn those
ear phones up again
and melt my brain
or nothin'

heh uh

heh heh

okay.... well, ... awright then....


..... :

:

I'll try again, I guess.

.....

ahem!

enh enh enh! enh ahem! Sorry. Excuse me.

....
.......
...
uh...
....

what uh... what....

sorry. excuse me.

I think I have a little gas, actually.

Yeah... oh, yeah

......

.......

.... there it goes.

That's better, actually.

...
whew!

Sorry about that one, Jesus.

....

little stinky.
yeah.
sorry about that...

uh... anyway... uh...

from the top:

What did one paper bag say to the other?

...

What?

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I'm so dumb I can't even think my way outta you.


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:)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Something to think about... or not, as the case may be :)

mindfulness

This post takes about 1 hour probably to do it justice. you can skip the intro with the smiling jolly guy but if you want to really read this post, you'll need an hour. It's not written in internet time. ;)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes you gotta throat fuck the devil to get what you want in this world."
- Jesus of Nazareth, Gospel of Bobo the Pimp 22:3

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Use the force, Luke.

a fun way to spend a few minutes. I got to a point where I could switch back and forth pretty quickly - within a few seconds or so. My default was clockwise. I actually, for what seemed like periods of less than a second, could get it to spin both ways at once, but it was unsustainable because I would immediately become way to giddy at the experience.

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22535838-5012895,00.html

Friday, April 10, 2009

An essay of sorts

I. Introduction:
a haiku

the thought is always
the same, an incomplete phrase
incapable of

II. In other words:
a deconstruction of my introductory haiku
or
What I meant when I said that was this:
a reiteration that may confound the matter but is necessary nonetheless
or
In case I wasn’t clear:
an attempt to speak to another who by now has stopped reading because doing so has become tedious
or
why it’s difficult to say what one means

Immediately I am confusing things. Raising questions in the mind of the reader. What thought? How is it the same? What is it incapable of? Is this a typo? I will take these questions one at a time and in an order that makes sense. Perhaps.

1. What thought?
Thought operates in this haiku as a reference without a referent, semantically speaking. Of course, how else can one speak but semantically?

In practice, the reader presumes from the phrasing that the object of the reference, that is the thought itself, will be illuminated by further authorial iterations. But we all know what happens when one presumes, don’t we?

Right. One makes a pres out of u and mes.

The habits of language are strong and urge us forward, taking leaps of faith with the author if we think s/he might be speaking to us or might speak to us in the future. The reader continues without difficulty under the assumption, mistaken as it may be, that the author will illuminate the meaning of the first phrase via phrases to follow, that words piled upon words will somehow mean something if we pile them high enough and keep climbing. But like Yertle’s kingdom, a pile of words is only as strong as the gastric usurpations of its most oppressed subject: the belchings of an unfree man.

“Yes, yes, man,” I hear myself say. “Move on, already. Iterate. ‘Tis but child’s play.”

To which I reply, “Waiting is.”

But I do have a point. This is becoming a bit tedious. It’s not a game of Clue, after all. Who is the killer? Is it definite article concrete noun prepositional phrase prepositional phrase? The suspense is killing me. All puns intended.

2. How is it the same?

More on this later. Maybe.

3. What is it incapable of?
It is the nature of the thought that phrasing is always incomplete. Note that the haiku does not speak of Thought. Nor The thought. Nor a thought.

Correction. The haiku does not speak at all; the author speaks. I am the author.

Continuing…

Note that I am not speaking of Thought. Nor The thought. Nor a thought. In this introductory haiku, I am speaking of a particular thought that I have encountered on many occasions, a thought that I have breathed in with the air. I am speaking of a thought that returns; a thought that repeats differently, to borrow a phrase from Deleuze.

The thought is of untraceable etymology. If I were to create a language with which to speak of the thought it would be my own language and would not contain the first-person singular. Nor would it contain the second-person plural. For in the language in which this thought is spoken there is no “them” and there is no “me,” only you and us. That, of course, is a hope that cannot be fulfilled; that is why the language does not exist. But we jump ahead, perhaps.

I should speak the thought, or write it as the case may be, and continue from there.

4. Is this a typo?
By now even I know the answer to this question, though the reason may still remain unclear.

The real question is why does the haiku end with a preposition?

The first reason is aesthetic and has already been discussed: it is incomplete.

The second reason is more abstruse or more concrete, depending on how one looks at it. The rules of haiku, at least the way we write them in English, require that the first line consist of 5 syllables, the second of 7 syllables, and the third of 5 syllables. I quite literally could not finish the poem without breaking the rules of its form. ;)

III. at long last, the thought

There is no discourse that exhausts all other discourse, including the discourse within which this phrase is iterated.

IV. an apology

I can see by the glazed look in my eyes that I have already lost you, dear reader. Whether out of disgust or boredom, I cannot know or do not care to discover.

It is an alienating language, this language of analytical philosophy or linguistics or whatever the hell it is I’m engaged in. There’s no blood in it. It puts one off. Or perhaps I should speak only for myself. I read the thought as presented in the previous aphorism and think, “Fuck you!”

Idiosyncratic? Perhaps. But the first reader that must be satisfied is I, even if the language of my thought requires my absence to be meaningfully spoken.

I say that and immediately begin to think again. A pity really, because I was just getting to the heart of something, a place where blood pumps and oxygen disseminates and the thought is not so abstruse, a word that reifies its very definition. Though to say so is an anthropomorphic fallacy.

V. a further apology

I did it again. I alienated my audience without meaning to.

VI. a poem

the goal


To speak
of oneself without ego
and walk out the door with pride.

To speak
of the presence in absence
and deny it an in- or outside.

To speak
of the damp dirty prisons
and the keyhole views that we hide.

To speak
without breaking my vision,
without keeping the best breath inside.

To speak
on the steps of the statehouse;
to speak
on the shores of the sea;
to speak
in the booths of the tavern;
to speak
of the land of the free.

To speak
through the throes of depression
and the spasms of unbridled joy.

To speak
without means of expression,
in the grammar I choose to employ.

To speak
of our bloody aggressions
and the means of war we deploy.

To speak
in the presence of absence
with the war of words we enjoy.

To speak
on the sands of the desert;
to speak
in the waves of the sea;
to speak
on the frailty of moonlight;
to speak
of we that are free.

To speak
of the thrashing of palm fronds
with hurricane winds at my back.

To speak
at the edge of a primordial pond
where the first step is one step back.

To speak
in the cover of darkness
with the harsh light of dawn on the rise.

To speak
to the serpentine caucus
with the sound of death in my eyes.

To speak
without fear of reprisal
yet prepared for the coming attack.

To crush,
in a manner of speaking,
the shells we’re beginning to crack.

VII. Conclusion:
a vote


Where were we? Shall I attempt an interpretation or move on? Let’s put it to a vote, shall we?

All those in favor of a discussion of poetics?

Aye

Opposed?

Nay

Wait. Now I’m confused. Did you say “nay” to being opposed or “nay” to a discussion of poetics?

… (silence) …

Let’s try again. Show of hands this time.

All those in favor of a discussion of poesis?

All those opposed?

The nays have it.

The Passion of the Peep


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Poem

“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Space,
the final frontier;
speech,
the first metaphor.

Denotation.
Connotation.
Meditation
by the sea;
Anonymous-
you and me.

I carve this space
to express myself
but one self
cannot be
expressed:
the safe self.
A private self
on a shelf
near a can expired
and marked
frijoles
,
I'll be
speaking
of containers
and boxes
and the way
things
mean.

Signs of life abound
even here,
among the dead,
where the worms writhe.
The mind
cannot be excised,
'twould be too taxing
on the body.

All puns intended.

Intentionality
separates us
from
the beasts,
our selves,
our others.

Why ours?

Because
all we have is ours
and nothing is free
but that which is
no thing.
What thing are you?

And me?

Dare we
associate?

Freely?

Intentionality
is all we have;
like love and memory,
ours or theirs,
it is the currency
of God.

Signification.
Connotation.
Shifting denotation.

Speech,
the final metaphor;
space,
the first frontier.

The speech of machines
means nothing to them;
of history
but without memory,
they flounder,
stuck on stupid.
Or, if you prefer
the finer things:
“full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing.”

Either way,
they speak of nothing.
For no thing can speak
but that which is
no thing.