Tuesday, December 31, 2002

finishing fragments

Overlaid patches of the past
filtered through the white slats of a venetian blind
stop the light enter the tunnel
a young girl, Anna picks nettles in the Vienna woods
without gloves her hands soon redden and swell
hundreds of tiny bites
tatoo marks from the sting of the furies
protect yourself
Is the will just a movement repeated, an addiction?

In time present
the snow drifts
a truck spins out of control
crashes towards the ditch
piles of white explode
a motionless avalanche
faces of shock disappear
two children can't forget the horror
yet the thrill becomes a survival legend
it is that way with the edge of near death
or playing in the ditch.


Tunnels. Corridors breathing with no writing on the walls
sometimes all the people pass by into unseen realms
the crowds around me blankly stare into the beyond
"How was your holiday?" the faithful ask.


Further on the light glistens. I can't cry
a scarab - egyptian symbol for - I've forgotten
needle pricks the belly skin circling the navel and this is I...
the historian, will she like
such a deeds of the belly?

Later the warmth of a body came to me seeking respite from the hurting eyes and the cold feet

Still later
in the sheets:

carved classical folds

Then outside the river freezes over
Galileo, the majestic science king, howls in persecuted pain
the silent scream

The phantom moons of Jupiter devise tactics to which
love and surrender revolve around nothing like the sun
or moon, or I
What did I ask and who will answer?


Don't, don't blame. But don't , don't surrender.

Monday, December 30, 2002

turning the calendar

During the attacks I feel a coward before the pain and suffering . . . and it may be this vey cowardice which, whereas I had no desire to get better before, makes me eat like two now, work hard, limit my relations with the other patients for fear of a relapse - I am now trying to recover like a man who meant to commit sucide and, finding the water too cold, tries to regain the bank.
. . . I reproach myself with my cowardice, I should have defended my studio, even if I had had to fight with the police and the neighbours. Others in my place would have used a revolver, and certainly if as an artist one had killed such rollers, one would have been acquitted. - St. Remy , July 1889

Sunday, December 29, 2002

End of Violence Glare

The historian stumbles out puking and crying
storms into the raging night & sinisterly growls
"You," stabbing the air with a pointed finger -
"You get our of here."
Then moves cautiously back to her drink
breathing deliberately
Better than honesty.



Is the will just a movement repeated, an addiction?

Here, in the black box
no audience but a silent witness
an angel in white and gold
the cloud of unknowing hanging
a see through cocoon to crawl into
Dare to touch or kiss the gossamer cloth
Yeats speaks: "I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."


I've now

named the historian Rhiannon



Don't, don't blame.

But don't , don't surrender.


Each moment quivers as I shake with desire and then pause.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

St. Stephen's Day Reflection

In the fourth and fifth centuries the three days following Christmas Day were established as festivals of martyrs: December 26, St. Stephen, martyr both in will and in deed, December 27, St. John, martyr in will but not in deed, December 28, The Holy Innocents, martyrs in deed but not in will.
(via Dan's Page)
"Happy Boxing Day but, more to the point, St Stephen's Day :

"St. Stephen was a Christian martyr who was stoned to death for his belief in Jesus. He is the patron of stoneworkers and also is associated with horses. This day 'drew in' other more ancient traditions. In Ireland, boys go from door to door gathering money for a 'dead wren' they carry, supposedly stoned to death, but really a remnant of ancient Druidic wren sacrifices for the winter solstice. In Poland, people throw oats at the priests and walnuts at each other - things supposedly symbolic of the stoning, but in reality these things were done long before as fertility rituals."
"Give a toast to those who try to do good despite the odds, and a toast to those who struggle to do better despite tough circumstances." "(via FMH )

Friday, December 27, 2002

Stupor (2)

Downstairs in the temple kitchen the water is turned off.
A pipe burst.
Little other than a cold storage now.
An unknown attempted a break-in, twice
gave up as the iron bars held fast.
The lonely roomer left unwelcomed over a year ago
a row of tea candles mark his departure.
The rotary dial phone became a theater prop.
No calls to record
the comings and goings.
The sleeping historian
shuts the door.
Take down the decorations.
Give them away
a pile of gold

You journey to the east
sitting among old women
watching them sleep or gossip
waiting time out
till breath to us depart
everlasting life amen.

Mounds of crushed powder
ground by teeth pressed tight
till jaws shatter.
Forgive not the pain.
Forget not the wound.
The historian declares the voices of the unspoken rise up in
the early morn.
Take to the streets -
smart mobs texturing,
urinating on the face of


Define will: a sort of violence.

Look to the gravestone: uncut


An inner tension and emotional restlessness
a subtle inflammation of the nervous system
could not be healed
No surgery knife
exacting precision could unlocate
complications and contempt run roughshod
the deed was done


Thursday, December 26, 2002


All around the earth opens to endless tunnels
a man digs
collapsed on the kitchen table
a drunk, arms reddening
she's a weary historian from afar
barks commands into an empty room

the round table an altar
you leave out scraps of food
for the hungry ghosts & drink.

She is the will.


A vase of dried flowers
point to the deep, dark paneled ceiling
a varathened shelter
the birch chairs passed on from generations
older than the historian
(measured in lunar years)
I must go to sleep leaving you unconscious.

Look up through the floor.
A white horse crashes through the ice flailing
swims underneath
blue ice, is it a death?

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

O B E Y (2)

Second sound
A cough/choke shatters the skull pitch black
night sky no moon
A child at church
runs away from his guardian.
I wish I were him.

hide and seek, peek-a-boo, tag
illusion of liberation by night
The games not yet imagined.

The running away patterned
so sleep in the bedroom of your youth
the white walls, crosses and icon borders
not even a hint of the past turmoil
shut the door underneath the stairway
shut out the breathing above into no visible light
wounded escape to nowhere, dripping blood.


Loves lost in darkness.


It over
I mean, empty
It had to
the universe leaving
traces exist

There is nothing to request at the time of parting lighter than unknown
wrongs carrying weight.

Fall from grace
on the land of black snow
shivering death chatters to echo life
that thou must accept me, exactly.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002


moved out for no reason. didn't change any place

It's no better.
& the dreams
uprooted the ancient tree rotten
no strength required
What you must accept, fully
A man with the black wool high up the neck for protecting the throat.



I had left the temple waterless and frozen fatigued and peeling.

On the edge of no return
at least that's the case
this winter solstice thousand two.
how many years later?


It's cold outside


Golden light shadows the face

On wall (through blinds, glass window, everywhere)

"Schwarze Milch
der Frühe"

crisis doesn't lie
lost daylight (anger doesn't see the many deaths)
uprising into her burial zone

No . . . ten footsteps . . . to the left
future nights collapse (I had created more loss)
Beautiful weightless snow falls down.

The first utterance must be "Gone".

Monday, December 23, 2002

Where Gods Set Bronze in Motion

"The dancing Shivas, lent by museums in Dallas and Amsterdam and an unnamed private collector, lead off a succession of works, many of which are well known and widely reproduced, that are rarely, if ever, seen in one another's company. A collaboration between the Sackler and the American Federation of Arts, this exhibition has been organized by Vidya Dehejia, a professor of art history at Columbia University and formerly the chief curator and deputy director of the Sackler. It is the first in the United States to concentrate solely on the bronze temple sculptures created during the nearly four-century reign of the devout, munificent and innovative Chola emperors."
nytimes:arts/Displaying Hindu Ritual With Reverence and Graciousness


'a poem or song of mourning or lamentation.'
The wind, one brilliant day

The wind, one brilliant day, called
to my soul with an odor of jasmine.

"In return for the odor of my jasmine,
I'd like all the odor of your roses."

"I have no roses; all the flowers
in my garden are dead."

"Well then, I'll take the withered petals
and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain."

The wind left. And I wept. And I said
"What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you ?"

Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly
Elenor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney)

Ah, look at all the lonely people Ah, look at all the lonely people
Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been Lives in a dream Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door Who is it for?

All the lonely people Where do they all come from ? All the lonely people Where do they all belong ?

Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear No one comes near. Look at him working. Darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there What does he care?

All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong?

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name Nobody came Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave No one was saved

All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong?

Sunday, December 22, 2002

The Christmas Story

With triumphal agitation, sensing that he had found the necessary, one-and-only key, that he would write something exquisite, depict as no one had before the collision of two classes, of two worlds, he commenced writing. He wrote about the opulent tree in the shamelessly illuminated window and about the hungry worker, victim of a lockout, peering at that tree with a severe and somber gaze.
"The insolent Christmas tree," wrote Novodvortsev, "was afire with every hue of the rainbow.

[The New York Review of Books]

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Eric Drooker

Eric Drooker Graphics "The genesis of a graphic novel is strikingly similar in conception and construction to any conventional novel. Even a novel told solely in pictures must feature characters who live, breathe, and evolve as they are touched by their environment"

Graphic Novels Speak Louder Than Words. The graphic novel is so young no one is sure what it really can do. Six new books show some possibilities. By Nick Hornby. [New York Times: Books]

Friday, December 20, 2002


. . . a long time ago now . . . it was in a mild winter much like this year . . . remember driving home as a passenger . . . dad driving & me staring out the window into the twilight sky . . . the saskatchewan skies live so close they beg to be touched . . . when we hooked up we would drive home together . . . he in his early years as a university administrator . . . i a first year arts student . . . we barely talked . . . what was there to talk about? . . . he turned down a wide, quiet road and spoke . . . spoke in a way which said: 'what i'm about to say is important' . . . "Don't ever compromise yourself" . . . What? . . . "Don't ever compromise yourself!"
. . . didn't know what to say . . . so said nothing . . .

. . . thirty years later can still hear him making that statement . . . at the time wondered if he believed he had compromised himself at some point . . . maybe even just recently in his decision to be bumped out of research into the academic office world . . . didn't ask & never did but never forgot

. . . on my way to visit mom . . . she's alone and has been for more than a couple of years . . . drive down that road . . . never compromise yourself . . . sometimes when facing students i stand passionately espousing some stance . . . in mid gesture stop . . . what does this studying mean . . .

. . . today the question posed itself . . . if we stopped saying a word, say the word 'love' was banned and 'we' never spoke the word . . . would the feeling of love cease to be . . .

. . . is that why mom surrounds herself with pictures of dad . . . why can't i forget . . . don't ever compromise yourself . . .

Thursday, December 19, 2002


"The Atlantic nominee among this year's finalists, Colleen Wolstenholme, is from Hantsport, N.S., and the runner-up, David Hoffos, lives in Lethbridge, Alta."

Wednesday, December 18, 2002


. . . a while back, among the community of bloggers i visit, was an emotional discussion which occupied a lot of screen & transformed into an on-going thought thread in my mindspace . . . i don't participate in most of these hot discussions . . . simply read and check my responses . . . came across Sue Ellen Cases's Towards a New Poetic which further stimulated but shed no new light . . . there was a call:
"The feminist in theatre can create the laboratory in which the single most effective mode of repression - gender - can be exposed, dismantled and removed; the same laboratory may produce the representation of a subject who is liberated from the repressions of the past and capable of signalling a new age for both men and women."
. . . what i discovered was that a simple gender switch, that is switching male characters into female & vice versa, wonderfully exposed the bias of western theater & allowed for new signs . . . it was such a simple action and its effectiveness was startling . . . am determined to discover more simple active agents . . .

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Tips for the Top: How to be a philosopher

" Wouldn't You Like To Be A Philosopher Too? Not so difficult. Here are 12 easy tips to get you started ... Anyone who feels chest pain, constriction in the throat, reddening of the face, or clenching of the fists upon reading these techniques should be treated immediately for anautoscopsis (an inability to laugh at oneself), a potentially lethal condition."

Zebrafish Mend Broken Hearts

Teaching Timidity to Kids

"Just as parents are hard-wired to protect, children are driven to take risks and many will find a way to do so, as either rebels or adventurers or both."
... more

Monday, December 16, 2002


"But I was taken by the assertion that the Japanese have a multiplicity of words for fire, so I checked my dictionaries. Sure enough, there were a hundred or more. (The Chinese character for fire is pronounced ka, hi, ho, bi or bo, depending on the context.) Some fire-related words:
kachū in the fire hisaki direction in which the flames are spreading hosaki flame tips kataku house on fire kasai conflagration kaji mimai sympathy visit after a fire kajidoro thief at a fire kajiba scene of a fire hiyo(ke) protection against fire hibashira pillar of flames hidaruma mass of flames hiashi spreading of a fire hiusturi catching fire kasei force of the flames kaen fire and smoke kanan'yoke charm against fire shōka, boya small fire yamakaji forest fire . . ."

. . . more

:: comment :: . . . though never blinked before have read Jonathon Delacour regularly & it is an honour to finally have the opportunity to thank him for his fine discourses . . .

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Into the Woods, Children, for Dark Mysteries, Not Simple Lessons

"Inhuman acts are also human in their origin. In the first Grimm version of "Hansel" the witch is simply a "woman as old as the hills - an extreme example of the human, a withered image of who we already are. That story's creepiest element is not the witch's magic but the more mundane spell the father casts in the woods when abandoning his children: attaching a branch to a dead tree so the hollow sound made when it is swung by the wind fools the children into thinking he is still nearby."
[nytimes: arts]

Saturday, December 14, 2002

language death

"We should care because languages are interesting in themselves. As Adult Education and Universities of the Third Age are increasing in constituency, there has been a considerable demand for language courses. I have been fascinated by words and languages all my life and have lately undertaken the study of Coptic through the University of the Third Age in Canberra. I have also been engaged in teaching languages and linguistics over several decades and am constantly surprised by the number of people who share my own fascination for language studies.
Ultimately we should care, because language is the most valuable single possession of the human race. (p.66)

Why do languages die?

In most cases, languages die as people die, especially people in a small community. Languages can also be murdered as the result of a deliberate political stratagem. David Crystal quotes part of a play, Mountain Language, by Harold Pinter which very clearly illustrates the dictatorial process:

'Your language is forbidden. It is dead. No one is allowed to speak your language. Your language no longer exists.' (p.86)"

:: comment :: . . . am working on Mountain Language with students . . . a plunge into the language of silence . . . the silences shape the dominant ideological power . . . questions haunt with so many unspeakable, yet knowable answers . . . too terrifying . . . utterances beneath the breath . . . please stop it . . . why is it so easy to speak this playlet and so hard to continue the performance research . . .

Friday, December 13, 2002

Celebrating Beckett, Against His Will

"But the audience became hushed and sat very still as Ms. Seldes read "Rockaby," Beckett's play about a woman rocking herself to death.
"Close of a long day," Ms. Seldes read, sitting onstage in a rocker, her face almost gaunt, and wrapped in a mauve shawl, "went down/ down the steep stair/ let down the blind and down/ right down."

Finally, "stop her eyes/ rock her off/ rock her off," she read. And then her head dropped. "


Thursday, December 12, 2002

Edward Byrne (educating the imagination)

". . . Negative Blue: Selected Later Poems , where Wright has determined:
The unexamined life's no different from
the examined life -
Unanswerable questions, small talk,
Unprovable theorems, long abandoned arguments -
You've got to write it all down.
Landscape or waterscape, light-length on evergreen, dark
Of evening,
you've got to write it down.

["Black Zodiac"] "

. . . more

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Audio Vault

Audio Vault
"Antonin Artaud, From Texte d'ouverture An excerpt from Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu (To Have Done with the Judgment of God) Written and performed by Antonin Artaud. From the 1947 radiodiffusion franÁaise recording, available through sub rosa records. Used by permission."
"Italo Calvino, First Excerpt From Invisible Cities (4:36) William Weaver reads from his English translation of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. "Cities, Memory, 1" and "Cities of the Dead, 2"."

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Double Agent: Catherine Yass at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology - the lab

"This much we know: the photograph is not a true representation of its subject. Yass's art is not a literal representation of James's science and this article is not a true representation of her work. Each of our endeavours become phrases in a cultural dialogue. The artist considers the scientists who in turn observe the artist and you in turn witness the products of their collaboration. The story grows, passed from person to person by word of mouth, on printed page, in mounted photographs. We all become storytellers and each time the story is told it becomes something new yet transient, rich in questions and partial answers, coloured with decepxion and encrypxed with elusive truths."

Monday, December 09, 2002

The TV Generation

Aspen no. 4, item 3:
"Kiva! Shiva/shakti! Bucky Fuller! Brook Farm! USCO! McLuhan! Back-to-the-tribe!
Dig those terms? If so, you've a grasp on Solux, slated to be the newest pueblo in the Southwest, and certainly the hoppingest since the heyday of the Hopi.

The construction of Solux, a "spiritual retreat away from the intense psychic vibrations of large energy centers," is planned by USCO, a tribe of McLuhan-oriented poets, artists, engineers and filmmakers, whose current headquarters is an old church building at Garnerville, N.Y. USCO earns its bread by way of "media mixes" "

Sunday, December 08, 2002


tripped over a bowl of roses in the dark of the night
knowledge of the bowl which was placed in the middle of the room to bring solace & comfort to a turbulent time did not prevent the tripping

haste caused the fall

the water dried the leaves left a silent pattern marking the moment staining the heart

soon forgotten remains forever

open lesson

. . . the open lesson . . . acting students open their 'work' to an interested public . . . the question "what is the lesson?" hung in the air as the students bravely, though for the most part, presented ill-prepared material around the theme Hospitals . . . what is the actor's research? . . . the actor's processes? . . . what is theater? . . . questions which circulated as the action began . . . two hours later very little remained but shallow wallowing in pools of dissipated energy . . .
. . . most of the material hinted at the compellingly humane which unfortunately resolved into the hopelessly mundane . . . there was movement but no developed study of the movement . . . no attempt to test limits or boundaries of space&time whether physical, imaginary or theatrically . . .

. . . the students exercised a presentational stance - posturing and playing for an audience who might catch much of their 'in-joke' humour and pathos . . . the overlong improvisation could be excused if at the core was an act of self-penetration . . . too often the humour was cheap, gag-like and self serving . . . at the expense of rather than serving the material . . . lines were lost and sloppily delivered . . . bold actions dissolved . . . the collective voices were weak and unsupported . . .

. . . occasionally a deep and rich moment would surface in both the traditional and more experimental . . . two moving monologues from classic world theatre touched the power of the word incarnate . . . a powerful étude between a man and a woman mesmerized with a precise and engaging, meditative, ritualized rhythm of understated life-or-death urgency in a landscape that was beautiful but chill and depersonalized - the actors had skin, bone and a sinew of their own, a subtle spin . . .

. . . the lesson learnt seemed that without careful, sustained, and vigilant work students will lapse into bad habitual practices, will lose the point of concentration, may miss the focus on the eternal act of creation, betray their craft and stray from the way of the actor . . . the lesson learnt was that the educated imagination demands a rigorous self-sacrifice and deep study . . . again & again . . .

Saturday, December 07, 2002

From Cabs and Darkrooms

"Mr. Weideman's approach was a reaction to necessity. Arriving in New York in 1980 with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, he confronted the young artist's perennial problem: how to pay the rent and still have time and energy to make art. Mr. Weideman took care of the money question by becoming a cabdriver, a job he holds to this day. For the art-making problem, he came up with an ingeniously economical solution: he turned the cab itself into a studio and took for his subject matter the unending flow of human cargo that he transported."
Ryan Weideman's portrait of himself with Allen Ginsberg as passenger.


Friday, December 06, 2002

How Masks Can Amplify as Well as Conceal

"The mask alters the revelation in a fascinating way, both buffering and intensifying its dreadfulness, creating the conflicting desire to hang on every word while also pulling back to decipher the visual power and artifice of the scene. The mask is delicately tactful, yet deadening. It respects the speaker's need for privacy, yet it executes a weird, surreal transformation, turning the speaker into a kind of freak."

"HALIFAX - Vancouver artist Brian Jungen is the first recipient of the $50,000 Sobey Art Award, one of the richest awards in the Canadian art world."

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Ivan Illich

"December 4, 2002, 11:12 AM EST
BERLIN -- Ivan Illich, a renowned sociologist who protested against the institutionalization of learning and religion, has died, a former university colleague said Wednesday. He was 76. "

Wednesday, December 04, 2002


"For the Swedish Academy, which will present Mr. Kertesz with the Nobel Prize in Stockholm on Dec. 10, this view is also what distinguishes his writing from that of some other Holocaust survivors. "For him, Auschwitz is not an exceptional occurrence that, like an alien body, subsists outside the normal history of Western Europe," it said in its citation. "It is the ultimate truth about human degradation in modern existence.""
more . . .

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Enemy of the People

. . Enemy of the People . . . overheard an audience member leaving the theater . . . "What an important work. Every student of history, in fact, all of us should be here watching!" . . . the ideas came at us with breath-taking speed . . . each scene moved relentlessly as the actors shaped the characters around the face of political intrigue . . .
. . . the student actor created a Mayor revealing a depth of understanding the multifaceted aspects of the deceptive, deceitful & misguided leader in a performance well beyond her years . . . Dr. Stockman transformed from a determined visionary full of hope and conviction to a beaten victim wrestling with his own futile belief in truth & ended somewhat bravely though certainly not a heroic figure . . .

. . . the supporting cast delighted with clear, articulate portrayals . . . varying the shades of response to the 'truth' as the 'truth'/whose truth shifted beneath them like the sands of time . . .

. . . the stark and paradoxically colourful set provided a stimulating environment which burst to life at the exquisitely choreographed and wonderfully executed newspaper scene . . . the music haunted as the lighting seamlessly shifted from moment to moment . . . what was particularly remarkable, especially for those familiar with the Ibsen script of 1882, was not only how Charles Marowitz's adaption strengthened the core ideological questions with a montage of flashbacks but how the cast deconstructed the characters, switching gender and dividing voices generating fresh, new insights . . .

. . . so much was attempted in this production that the only failing was that it deserved to be seen more than once to be fully appreciated and/or fully grasped . . . the grandmother, the great matriarch, lurked sinisterly around the action never quite allowing herself to be pinned down . . . did she support the Doctor or was she just another of the selfish . . . representing only the past . . . the past desperately desiring to preserve a legacy . . . the weak weasel of moderation played impeccably by the chairman was balanced perfectly by his strident and aggressive cohort . . . she delivered her lines with passion and sincerity . . . Stockman's family was a tight unit that clearly displayed family values . . . the press played the duplicity of objectivity with skill and precision . . .

. . . all in all a fabulous evening . . . thank you students for sharing a classic . . . no, much more, thank you students for breathing life into a classic of world theater . . .

Monday, December 02, 2002


"Look deep,deep into nature and then you will understand everything." - Albert Einstein [via Voice of the Shuttle -> Culture Kiosque]

Sunday, December 01, 2002

The Moral and Practical Challenges of Globalization

"Close your eyes and picture your community. Whom do you see? Your family, surely. Work colleagues? Everyone who shares your area code? Your religion? All Americans? Folks in Afghanistan? Unless we start answering yes to all of the above, we're in for big trouble.
That's the message of Peter Singer's timely and thoughtful book, ''One World: The Ethics of Globalization.'' A professor of bioethics at Princeton University and one of the most provocative philosophers of our time, Singer writes, ''How well we come through the era of globalization (perhaps whether we come through it at all) will depend on how we respond ethically to the idea that we live in one world.''"

international children's digital library

Led by the University of Maryland and the Internet Archive, a partnership of government, non-profit, industry and academic organizations launched the world's largest international digital library for children.... more in *context weblog* [context weblog]

buy nothing

... if you missed the day choose any day & buy nothing with complete consciousness/awareness ...