tomentose

October 16, 2014

Before undertaking to pursue the subject further, it should be understood words do not always express an exact meaning. For example, “Pubescent” is described as, “covered with hairs, particularly if short and soft.” “Tomentose” means, “with dense wooly pubesence.” Now, this is all very well, but the exact difference is not clear, and what one man may believe is pubescent, another may call tomentose. And here’s the rub: a key based on the assumption that words alone can express an exact meaning, and therefore can be interpreted precisely as intended, may be misleading, unless the reader knows enough of the author’s work to be able to decide how a particular word should be interpreted. This may seem farfetched, but is probably the main stumbling block in following a botanical key. Therefore take heed of this, and much disappointment will be avoided.
George W.D. Symonds

Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind

October 6, 2014

EAGLE VALOR, CHICKEN MIND

Unhappy country, what wings you have! Even here,
Nothing important to protect, and ocean-far from the nearest enemy,
what a cloud
Of bombers amazes the coast mountain, what a hornet-swarm of fighters,
And day and night the guns practicing.
Unhappy, eagle wings and beak, chicken brain,
Weep (it is frequent in human affairs), weep for the terrible magnificence
of the means.
The ridiculous incompetence of the reasons, the bloody and shabby
Pathos of the result.

Robinson Jeffers 1945

Quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi

January 1, 2014

There is no word in the English language for a magician’s garden two hundred years after the magician is dead.

Susanna Clarke from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

The tree of my death was a cyprus. Involuntarily I repeated the famous line: Quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi.

I remembered that lenta in that context means flexible, but there was nothing flexible about the leaves of my tree. They were all alike, stiff and shiny and of a dead matter. On each one there was a monogram. I felt repulsion and relief: I realized that a great effort could save me. Save me and perhaps do him in, since, consumed as he was by hatred, he had not noticed either the clock or the monstrous branches. I let go of my talisman and pressed down on the grass with both hands. For the first and last time I saw the flash of a blade. I woke up. My left hand was groping at the wall of my room.

JL Borges from Los Conjurados
translated by Alan S. Trueblood

invited to the feast

November 19, 2013

Indians have a special recipe that we share among ourselves. It is a recipe for dog head stew. The recipe makes enough for fifty people.

Carefully prepare one medium-size dog head. Remove teeth from jaw and bone and set aside for further use. Remove the hair and save it too.

Into kettle add heaping handfuls of camos bulbs and cattail roots. The eggs from two medium-size salmon may be combined with water. Cover, place over fire, and bring to a slow boil for three hours.

It is customary to observe the rites of preparation in order to have all present appreciate the dish that will begin the feast. At the proper moment, using the ceremonial arrow, impale the dog head and bring it forth for all to observe the excellence of the dish.

Then allow fifteen minutes for all white people to excuse themselves and leave for home.

Bury stew in the backyard and bring forth the roasted turkey with all the trimmings. In this way, a fifteen pound turkey will do. The others have been invited to the feast. The fact that they didn’t stay is their own tough luck…

Big Eagle — Quarter Acre Of Heartache

put to true and false uses, a word is tied

October 23, 2013

Golden Poem
Gerard de Nerval

everything is alive
PYTHAGORAS

free of the dead,
what can be thought
seems to be yours in this world
where it all coheres
free to spend some powers,
but the universe is absent
from all your plans

take the ghost stirring
in an animal each
flower, a piece of light
scattering love’s mystery
asleep in metal alive
the coherence takes power
over you

in the blind wall, you fear
the blindness which sees you
even to matter, put to
true and false uses,
a word is tied

translation by Robin Blaser

Calamus 22

September 10, 2013
Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to
me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste,
matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours
only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you
take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone
or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Walt Whitman 1860

how to say what we must say when they we must say it to say conveyed reftel points

August 2, 2013

Softly something of that which we embrace say from st. francis’ flowers

Consequently he knew how to provide the best remedy for all by humbling the proud and exalting the humble and by blaming vices and praising virtues, as we read in the wonderful revelations which he had concerning that first family of his.

For once to record only one instance among many

Or do we spew our Paine and scream

As you have already made your exit from the moral world, and by numberless acts both of passionate and deliberate injustice engraved an “Here Lyeth” on your deceased Honor, it must be more affectation in you to pretend concern at the humors or opinions of mankind respecting you.  What remains of you may expire at any time. The sooner the better.

A conduct so basely mean in public character is without precedent or pretence, Every nation on earth, whether friends or enemies, will unite in despising you. “Tis an incendiary war upon society which nothing can excuse or palliate–An improvement upon beggarly villainy–and shews an inbred wretchedness of heart made up between the venomous malignity of a serpent and the spiteful imbecility of an inferior reptile.

and whats a reftel point and how conveyed

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

July 31, 2013

And their unjust powers?

WHAT DO YOU CONSENT TO?

 

from Bradley Manning

“If you had free reign over classified networks… and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC… what would you do?”

“God knows what happens now.  Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms… I want people to see the truth… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

 

from Bertolt Brecht

 

General, your tank is a powerful vehicle

It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.

But it has one defect:

It needs a driver.

 

General, your bomber is powerful.

It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant.

But it has one defect:

It needs a mechanic.

 

General, man is very useful.

He can fly and he can kill.

But he has one defect:

He can think.

 

Center For Consitutional Rights Statement on Bradley Manning Trial Verdict

July 30, 2013
While the “aiding the enemy” charges (on which Manning was rightly acquitted) received the most attention from the mainstream media, the Espionage Act itself is a discredited relic of the WWI era, created as a tool to suppress political dissent and antiwar activism, and it is outrageous that the government chose to invoke it in the first place against Manning. Government employees who blow the whistle on war crimes, other abuses and government incompetence should be protected under the First Amendment.
 
We now live in a country where someone who exposes war crimes can be sentenced to life even if not found guilty of aiding the enemy, while those responsible for the war crimes remain free. If the government equates being a whistleblower with espionage or aiding the enemy, what is the future of journalism in this country?  What is the future of the First Amendment?
 
Manning’s treatment, prosecution, and sentencing have one purpose: to silence potential whistleblowers and the media as well. One of the main targets has been our clients, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, for publishing the leaks. Given the U.S. government’s treatment of Manning, Assange should be granted asylum in his home country of Australia and given the protections all journalists and publishers deserve.
 
We stand in solidarity with Bradley Manning and call for the government to take heed and end its assault on the First Amendment.

americans are revolting

July 4, 2013

As revolutions have begun (and the probability is always greater against a thing beginning, than of proceeding after it has begun), it is natural to expect that other revolutions will follow. The amazing and still increasing expenses with which old governments are conducted, the numerous wars they engage in or provoke, the embarrassment they throw in the way of universal civilization and commerce, and the oppression and usurpation they practice at home, have wearied out the patience, and exhausted the property of the world.  In such a situation, and with the examples already existing, revolutions are to be looked for.  They are become subjects of universal conversation, and may be considered the order of the day.