Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Don't Buy Gas Sept. 1 !

Thursday, September 1, has been declared "Boycott Gas Day", by the will of the American people. Help to end the out of control spiraling of gas pricing in this country by refusing to purchase gas on Thursday. We can show the corporate interests and the commodity speculators that we the people, will no longer permit the unscrupulous price gouging that is taking place by a small, elite profiteering class that controls and rules over the vast majority of American society. Let's begin a movement to take back our country by demonstrating the organized power of the American consumer. Buy your gas on Wednesday, so that you can particpate in the boycott and increase its effectiveness. Let's begin tomorrow to return the country to the everyday people who "make it all work" each day, and take it back from the profiteers who have hijacked our democracy by taking our nation into an illegal and immoral war for oil. Let's show them who this country really belongs to!

Democracy now, and forever!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hobbies, Anyone?

Along with thinking about the upcoming hurricane that is focusing in upon New Orleans, where my aunt lives (Katrina is expected to hit the city in a very major way about 2pm Eastern on Monday, barring any shift in weather patterns, and the city has been ordered to be evacuated. This may be the "big one" for the Big Easy, the storm which has always been feared. New Orleans basically sits in a bowl, geographically, and a huge storm will almost certainly flood and devastate the city), I had also been reminded by this weather event about something I have thought of perhaps looking into and trying out; something that sounded quite interesting to me. This thing is a hobby called "storm chasing". I learned about this while watching some documentaries on TV awhile back. What storm chasers do, is basically chase after storms of all sorts. The documentaries I viewed were done in Colorado and also Kansas, I believe (which seems to be a flat, excellent place to chase storms, tornados, etc., as Kansas seems to have a lot of them). Regular, every day people, hobbyists, you might say, in trucks, vans, or other types of vehicles, would at first monitor an upcoming storm, and then eventually follow it down a road, or even at times go into one. They would also monitor and measure the rain storm, tornado, etc., with a variety of meteorological measuring equipment in some cases, or just just visually observe the storm and/or tornado and its effects at other times; relaying info back to a homebase via ham or CB radio. I think that at least some of these storm chasers arrange to provide valuable data to the National Weather Service and other govt. agencies, in some instances.

For some strange reason, this sounded like great fun to me; to chase a storm out on a flat, lonely highway or rural road, and to go right on up to the very edge of it in order to monitor and experience it. To travel to the very periphery of a powerful storm and to then meet it head on, while hopefully also getting through it and living to tell about the experience. Of course, good storm chasers always calculate the probabilities of extreme danger before going out, and they don't go out if the risks seems excessive.

I'm not sure exactly what this says about me, but I know that it sounded exciting, at least from my current armchair level. I think I'd like to try this out someday; perhaps going out at first with a more experienced storm chaser, in order to see what it would be like in actuality. Would anyone care to join?

I have an extra raincoat.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Tonight I Can Blog

Some of you might remember a posting from a while back, "Tonight I Can Write", a beautiful poem by Pablo Neruda. While I'll never have the talent and abilities of a Neruda, what I can do is wear a shirt; a T-shirt from Blogger, as I blog about this or that, or the other. I ordered this T-shirt from Blogger today, and I will wear it from time to time as I blog (I'm starting to feel like "Diddy" now, announcing to the world every minor, mundane step of my life that I take). Will the quality of my blog stories and reports now improve? It could very well be; it remains to be seen.

I also ordered off of Ebay on Saturday a laptop that is supposed to have a wireless card installed in it. It's an older, refurbished corporate laptop. I paid a total of $188 for this baby! My ancient desktop PC at home has been crashed for quite a while now, so I blog where I can, at work, at the library, or just on the run. $188! Will I be happy with the product once I receive it? Or will I be the unhappy victim of a tremendous con. If this thing ends up sucking, I suppose I can always cry into my new Blogger T-shirt!

I also won about $120 at the slot machines at our local casinos on Sunday, so I look at my laptop purchase as being either a really great deal, or, possibly, a well-built paperweight, bought for essentially a cost of $68.

Please don't be a paperweight!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Are You Serious?

Diddy Drops the P.
Tue Aug 16, 7:46 PM ET

"It's the era of Diddy."

So proclaimed the hip-hop impresario formerly known as Sean Combs, Puffy, Puff Daddy and now P. Diddy on Tuesday's Today Show, as he explained that he was changing his name once again.
The rap mogul last switched it up--from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy--in 2001, while seeking a "fresh start" after being acquitted on gun charges.
As for what brought about the latest change in moniker, the entertainer admitted that his previous name change left his fans uncertain of how to address him.

"I felt like the 'P' was getting between me and my fans and now we're closer," Diddy said.
"During concerts, half the crowd is saying 'P. Diddy'--half the crowd is chanting 'Diddy'--now everybody can just chant 'Diddy.'"

He confessed that his unwieldy name was even starting to befuddle him.
"I even started to get confused myself--and when I'd called someone on the telephone it took me a long time to explain who I was. Too long," Diddy told the New York Post.

"One word. Five letters. Period," he added. ....

And we wonder why rap and the corporate hip-hop scene has become so lame, repetitious, boring and stale. Keep keepin' it real, P-Daddy, Puff Diddy, or whoever you are.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tokyo Story

Last night I watched a DVD from the library entitled Tokyo Story. The film was directed by Yasujiro Ozu, was done in black and white, and was set in the post-WW II Japan of about 1953. What I love about Japanese cinema of this time period is how black and white film was used in the portrayal of scenes and settings; an expansive sky filled with very small but numerous clouds, the light of the sun behind them, hands holding Buddhist prayer beads, the glowing face of a beautiful woman, almost as if a sort of halo were around her, and many other subtle effects. What I also like about post-war Japanese film is how the recently ended war many times seemed to loom in the backround of the film, yet would be only vaguely referred to; even if the piece might be set in the medieval period of Japan. There is the sense of recent tragedy that this effect brings, which surfaces subtly in many of these post-war produced films. Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon is an excellent example of this effect; the opening scene of a destroyed temple set perhaps sometime in the 19th century, with its torrential rainstorm hailing down upon it, is used as an example of a destroyed and decimated Japan, both in her structure as well as in her spirit, following the ending of the war.

Tokyo Story is a film from this period, that is essentially a tale concerning the relationships between aging parents, and their children and families. It demonstrates how children move on to their own lives, and how also sometimes some children can treat parents as being burdens to endure, rather than trying to enjoy them for who they are as well as for their knowledge and experience. The children of the parents in the film, all have their own busy lives, and when the parents come to the big city of Tokyo from the small town of Onomichi, they are at first regarded with the respect due to elder parents, but over a fairly short time in their visit, they begin to be treated by the grown children as somewhat of a problem, of course done in a very Japanese, very subtle, yet universally recognizable way. Only Noriko, a daughter-in-law, treats the parents with a kindliness which is genuine and true. Noriko was married to Shoji, who perished durng the war eight years before, and she dutifully still takes care of his memory (another example of the tragedy of the war, and a sense of emptiness or loss, subtly and perhaps to some extent, sub-consciously, placed into a Japanese post-war film).

One of the parents, the mother, dies soon upon returning to Onomichi, and after the funeral ceremony, at dinner, a daughter, Shige, crassly asks for some clothing items of this parent for her own, as "memorial" items. The children all make excuses for their quick returns to Tokyo, all except for the faithful Noriko, who stays an extra day or so. The father tells her, as the mother had already done, that although she was not even a blood relation, that she was better to them than any of their "real" children. Noriko, ever humble, claims that she too is selfish (though she really is not) and flawed. The father tells her, as again had the mother, that her mourning for their son Shoji should come to an end; that it had always pained them to see her unable to move forward and onward from the tragedy of his death. He gives her his sincere blessing to move on with life, along with an old timepiece of the mother's (a symbol that time moves in only one direction). The next scene is the glowing Noriko on the train, with tears in her eyes, holding in her hands the precious timepiece.

This film made me want to reassess my relationship with my own parents, to try to be a more dutiful son, and to try to be more aware of their wishes and how I treat them at times.

I would also really recommend Rashomon, if one is interested in post-war Japanese cinema. It's the story of a crime which takes place in 19th century Japan, as retold by several witnesses, each with a unique perspective which at times conflicts with the others, raising for us the question of, what is the truth?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

All Of My Relations

Today I went to a small, local neighborhood festival after working a few hours in the morning. They had the usual items you'd find at a festival or carnival, rides for the kids, tents with little knick-knack items for sale, and of course, food. Before I headed for the food, I first wandered about through the various tent booths, and eventually came upon one representing the state Division of Wildlife. They had a number of skins; foxes, moutain lion, bear, skunk, and so on, on their table, along with literature on regional wildlife (these animals had been killed by cars). I talked with a gentleman at the booth about my own experiences with the local urban foxes in the area, and he told me that several other people had come up to him, and had mentioned the sighting of our neighborhood foxes, either at early morning, or at dusk. In our conversation about our local, urban foxes, I relayed to him the following story, taken from my own experience.

About a year after I had moved to the place where I now live, I had discovered in early spring that a group of foxes were living under a garage/storage building on the property. What I now know is that they had at some point dug under this building a natal, or birthing den, where a pregant female would come each spring to give birth. I don't know for how many years this situation had previously existed when I stumbled upon it, but in doing some research, I learned that fox natal dens have been know to be in continual use for as long as 200 years, a long span of time in the cycle of birth and regeneration. They have come again each spring, at least for the last four years now, to give birth to a new generation of foxes, staying for a few months before moving on, and in this time I have come to make friends with many of them. I have come to truly care for these animals, although many of my neighbors do not feel the same on the issue at all! This had led to some uncomfortable, and at times very tense moments in terms of neighborly relations, but that is an unsavory story in itself for another day. I have done my best, and all that I could, to allow them to live their lives as unencumbered as possible upon our property, and have been able to have close connections with a few of them as a result, at various times.

During the first spring I had encountered the foxes, I would toss small bits of food from the side of my porch when they would be out of their den, in the early mornings, or later towards evening. Over time, they came to recognize me ( as the food man), so that eventually many nights when I'd come home about 8pm from work, they'd just be coming out of their den, and the mother would let her little ones come up to me and smell at my feet and ankles, and then look at my hands to see what I had brought for them that day ( and I always had a little something for them). All of this was occurring about one block from a fairly busy street intersection, but this property, on the corner of the street, is also up on a little bit of a raised hill; set up and away to some extent from the bustling street. A perfect, tree-lined oasis within the city for urban foxes, and other animals.

One morning soon after I had encountered this family of foxes, which turned out to be 7 in number (two adults, and five little ones), I happened to be out on the opposite side of the house from the fox den, when, as I turned the corner, the female was coming at me with two or three little ones from her brood. We ran into each other by accident, and startled each other. I ran back into the house to go and get something for them to eat, and soon came back out again with a few hot dogs. As I turned the corner once more, I tossed over to the little brood a few cut up pieces of the hot dogs. The mother was just beginning to trot away with her little kits, when she stopped, taking careful note of where the pieces had fallen, and then she looked back over her shoulder, directly at me, for quite a long time (it seemed). There was a sense of something there, a sort of silent communication that went on for some unknowable period of time. She and the kits then went on along their way, and I turned back toward the house.

The next morning, it may have been a Monday, I was heading out to work, when as I entered out the door, and upon the front outdoor porch, I noticed something laying there which at first greatly startled me. After I focused a little more clearly, I could see that it was a wing, no actually two wings, of a magpie (the black and white birds), lain very neatly upon the porch at the top of the step, with the two wings perfectly folded together, as if they were two hands folded together in prayer. A breastbone connected the two wings as they lay one upon the other, and no other part of the bird was attached, solely the two perfect wings. Now foxes, and other wild animals, typically have no problem mangling their prey as they take from it what they need, and in this case they also took from it what they needed, yet these wings, as I have said, were as perfect as if they had just been plucked directly from the poor magpie itself. Right away, I knew who had left these perfect wings upon my porch, a little mother to whom I had provided a bit of food for some of her progeny. I do have to say, that this was perhaps one of the most spiritual experiences of my life, and something also that I will almost surely never forget.

In the past, I had at times imagined and fantasized about having a close experience with a wild animal, or animals; I'm not sure why, perhaps it is because of my Native American heritage (my grandfather was Apache, so the family lore goes), a connnecting experience with my wild brothers and sisters, but I had never really and seriously thought that it would ever come to pass. Some people perhaps, will not be able to believe this fantastical and transcendent tale. I however, know it to be true. And now, the fox has become my brother, and my sister, and I watch out for him and for her, and for all of their fellow relations, and I believe that they too, and their fellow relations, also watch out for and over me.

Mitakuye Oyasin! ("We Are All Related" - Lakota Sioux)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Meteor 'Outburst' Expected Friday Morning

Meteor 'Outburst' Expected Friday Morning
Peter JenniskensPrincipal Investigator, SETI Institute
Thu Aug 11,10:00 AM ET

For as long as records exist, the Perseid meteor showers have always been strong. This summer's Perseid shower will be exceptional. The moon is mostly out of the way later in the night, and higher-than-normal activity rates are expected over the United States.

...For now, a nice outburst is projected for Aug. 12, 2005, at 08:18h UT (= 04:18 EDT and 01:18 PDT), when Earth will encounter the dust ejected in the return of 1479. Rates can go up four fold to about 240 per hour on top of the 80 per hour annual activity, for a brief period of time (approximately 1.2 hours).

In addition, rates may increase again around 13h UT, when Earth is slated to encounter the Filament component, rising to less than 86 per hour on top of normal, annual activity. That Filament is older dust presumably in mean-motion resonance with Jupiter. ...

Settle down, meteors!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

No He Didn't !

Cox News' Ken Herman questions White House Media Rep. Scott McClellan about this photo, taken from a video clip from Jay Leno on July 28th, 2005:
KEN HERMAN: Scott, last night on the Tonight Show, Jay Leno, who apparently is subbing for Johnnie, displayed a video of the President at the Capitol yesterday. In that video, the President walking away from the press lifts his hand and raises a finger. Mr. Leno interpreted it as, shall we say, a finger of hostility. Each of our fingers has a special purpose and meaning in life. (Laughter.) Can you tell us what finger it was he held up?

MR. McCLELLAN: Ken, I'm not even going to dignify that with much of a response. But if someone is misportraying something, that's unfortunate.

KEN HERMAN: Well, it was not a finger of hostility?

MR. McCLELLAN: Ken, I was there with him, and I'm just not going to -- I'm not going to dignify that with a response. I mean, I haven't seen the video that you're talking about, but I know the way the President acts. And if someone is misportraying it, that's unfortunate.

Notice that the answer to the question is not a direct one, and that McClellan also states that he has not actually seen the video. We'll probably never know absolutely for certain, although there are other existing photos out there on the 'Net of Bush flipping off the cameras. This photo is being relayed primarily through the blogosphere, as the regular media seems to be not so interested. I wonder if this is the Christian Conservative version of "Hello"? I don't remember if Jesus ever flipped off his constituents in the Gospels; I'll have to check a little further on that.

Remember, that when Bush flips off the press corps, he is also flipping off those whom the press corps represents, namely the American people. I guess all that common interest in democracy, in what's going on, and so forth, can be bothersome at times.

But, as Bush himself has said in the past, "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier - just so long as I'm the dictator." (December 18, 2000 CNN Transcript)

Why No Tea and Sympathy?

...and now it's time to be a little serious again...
Op-Ed Columnist
Why No Tea and Sympathy?

By MAUREEN DOWD - New York Times
Published: August 10, 2005

W. can't get no satisfaction on Iraq.
There's an angry mother of a dead soldier camping outside his Crawford ranch, demanding to see a president who prefers his sympathy to be carefully choreographed.

A new CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans now think that going to war was a mistake and that the war has made the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorism. So fighting them there means it's more likely we'll have to fight them here?
Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged yesterday that sophisticated bombs were streaming over the border from Iran to Iraq.
And the Rolling Stones have taken a rare break from sex odes to record an antiwar song called "Sweet Neo Con," chiding Condi Rice and Mr. Bush. "You call yourself a Christian; I call you a hypocrite," Mick Jagger sings.

The N.F.L. put out a press release on Monday announcing that it's teaming up with the Stones and ABC to promote "Monday Night Football." The flag-waving N.F.L. could still back out if there's pressure, but the mood seems to have shifted since Madonna chickened out of showing an antiwar music video in 2003. The White House used to be able to tamp down criticism by saying it hurt our troops, but more people are asking the White House to explain how it plans to stop our troops from getting hurt.

Cindy Sheehan, a 48-year-old Californian with a knack for P.R., says she will camp out in the dusty heat near the ranch until she gets to tell Mr. Bush face to face that he must pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Her son, Casey, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed in a Sadr City ambush last year.

The president met with her family two months after Casey's death. Capturing W.'s awkwardness in traversing the line between somber and joking, and his love of generic labels, Ms. Sheehan said that W. had referred to her as "Mom" throughout the meeting, and given her the sense that he did not know who her son was.

The Bush team tried to discredit "Mom" by pointing reporters to an old article in which she sounded kinder to W. If only her husband were an undercover C.I.A. operative, the Bushies could out him. But even if they send out a squad of Swift Boat Moms for Truth, there will be a countering Falluja Moms for Truth.

It's amazing that the White House does not have the elementary shrewdness to have Mr. Bush simply walk down the driveway and hear the woman out, or invite her in for a cup of tea. But W., who has spent nearly 20 percent of his presidency at his ranch, is burrowed into his five-week vacation and two-hour daily workouts. He may be in great shape, but Iraq sure isn't.

It's hard to think of another president who lived in such meta-insulation. His rigidly controlled environment allows no chance encounters with anyone who disagrees. He never has to defend himself to anyone, and that is cognitively injurious. He's a populist who never meets people - an ordinary guy who clears brush, and brush is the only thing he talks to. Mr. Bush hails Texas as a place where he can return to his roots. But is he mixing it up there with anyone besides Vulcans, Pioneers and Rangers?

W.'s idea of consolation was to dispatch Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, to talk to Ms. Sheehan, underscoring the inhumane humanitarianism of his foreign policy. Mr. Hadley is just a suit, one of the hard-line Unsweet Neo Cons who helped hype America into this war.

It's getting harder for the president to hide from the human consequences of his actions and to control human sentiment about the war by pulling a curtain over the 1,835 troops killed in Iraq; the more than 13,000 wounded, many shorn of limbs; and the number of slain Iraqi civilians - perhaps 25,000, or perhaps double or triple that. More people with impeccable credentials are coming forward to serve as a countervailing moral authority to challenge Mr. Bush.

Paul Hackett, a Marine major who served in Iraq and criticized the president on his conduct of the war, narrowly lost last week when he ran for Congress as a Democrat in a Republican stronghold in Cincinnati. Newt Gingrich warned that the race should "serve as a wake-up call to Republicans" about 2006.

Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.

But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

U.S. Appears Headed for a Peanut Surplus

U.S. Appears Headed for a Peanut Surplus
By ELLIOTT MINOR, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 9, 5:35 AM ET

ALBANY, Ga. - Peanuts in storage plus peanuts in the field. Right now, the United States has too many peanuts and that, experts say, could be bad news for the peanut commodity program unless something is done to whittle down the piles.

"We're afraid if we cost the government a lot of money, we'll get less in the next farm bill," said Tyron Spearman, executive director of the National Peanut Buying Points Association.
Some 215,000 tons of peanuts are still unsold from the 2004 crop and agricultural officials predict growers will produce another 2.3 million tons this year, Spearman said.

Despite recent growth in peanut consumption, Americans use only about 1.6 million tons a year and another 300,000 to 400,000 tons are exported.
That leaves a surplus of about 485,000 tons...

We here at Fiat Lux will continue to bring you these breaking stories as they occur. We are committed to exellence in blog news reporting. We report, you decide!

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Night Rider

From Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, lines 43-48:
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore

-Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven,

I like to ride my bike late at night in the summer. Last night I rode for almost 2 hours, from 10:30 to 12:30 am, which was a little longer than usual. I love to ride late at night, when it's cooler, everything has slowed down, and there is mystery in the air. It is a different world at night, a world that many of us have been told is a time that is fearful or perhaps even dangerous. Although these things can be true, it is also a time of adventure, of discovery, and of fascination. Last night the crescent moon stood next to Venus, just as with the Islamic symbol of the star and the crescent. I could see why those of old would have been enraptured by such a beautiful combination.

My nickname when I ride at night is the Raven. I like this name. The way I got it is that, several years ago, while riding through a fairly deserted grocery store parking lot one night, I happened upon a used pickup truck parked in the lot with a For Sale sign on it. I was interested, so I silently swooped in for a closer look. I read all of the info, silently swooped away from the truck, and then resumed on my way again. I later described this event for a friend of mine, with all of the relevant details: the cool night, the swooping in and then away, and so forth. My friend then said to me, "Do you know who you are? You are the Raven!". I though about that, and then said back to him, "You know what, I am the Raven.". I have been the Raven ever since, when I ride my bike late at night.

I remember a time when working in an office downdown, and the subject of bikes came up. A girl in the office heard me talking about this, and she said, "You ride a bike?", to which I responded with something like "Oh, Yeah!" or, "You better believe it!", "Born to Ride", or something smart like that. She was pretty impressed; apparently she was into the whole biker thing, and as the conversation went on, she eventually inquired as to whether I rode a Harley, Honda, or what type of motorbike. I had to let her down gently by saying that I rode more like a Schwinn, or Magna, or Trek. Her interest deflated almost immediately, like a punctured balloon. I could have let the air out even more rapidly, by saying that I also liked the little bell on my bike, as well as the little flower basket in the front, but I did not (and I don't - have those things on my bike!).

Last night as I made my way back home from my night ride, I took a shortcut through the local park, with its large lake shimmering in the blackness, reflecting in it the city's lights and its tall illuminated buildings. In the park I ran into one of my old pals - a little fox, whom I'm sure was one of the pack which had been living on our property earlier in the spring. I have had interactions with foxes over the last several years, as they have dug a birthing den under a building where I live, and they now return each spring to giver birth to a new set of kits. I have pictures and all (film pictures) of my little friends, and will sometime post more on my experiences with them at my home (which is in urban metro Denver, making this all the more surprising). This little fox now probably has a new den in the park, or elsewhere in the neighborhood, and he was out last night trolling about for things to eat, finding a lot of trash, but seemingly nothing really that good or edible. Two of his little buddies soon showed up , and so the three (and me) roamed about together for a while, as I watched them looking for things to eat. His two buddies soon ran into a black & white cat on a sidewalk, and kind of sniffed at the cat a little bit, then they just kept moving along their way (although the younger one did lower his head and check out the cat somewhat hesitantly). The cat never moved, he just sat there, looking at them, as if saying, "What's Up?". I 've noticed over time that cats and foxes have a surprisingly friendly relationship, while that is not the case at all between dogs and foxes (both canines); dogs always want to get a hold of any 'ol fox, anytime, anywhere, but those guys always seem to turn out to be way too smart for 'em! After a while of hanging around and searching about, my little pals decided to go on about their own way, and so too then did I.

So if then, on some late night, on a dark lamplit street under a rising moon, a dark swooshing sound seems to pass you by, it might very well be the Raven, riding through the Night's dark and lovely pathways; you can just never know!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Belief & Technique for Modern Prose

Belief & Technique for Modern Prose
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You're a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

1958 -Jack Kerouac

A Coney Island of the Mind (#8)

from the preface...
"The title of this book is taken from Henry Miller's INTO THE NIGHT LIFE. It is used out of context but expresses the way I felt about these poems when I wrote them - as if they were, taken together, a kind of Coney Island of the mind, a kind of circus of the soul. - L. F.
From 'Pictures of the Gone World' - Number 8
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

It was a face which darkness could kill
in an instant

a face as easily hurt
by laughter or light

'We think differently at night'
she told me once

lying back languidly

And she would quote Cocteau

'I feel there is an angel in me' she'd say
'whom I am constantly shocking'

Then she would smile and look away
light a cigarette for me
sigh and rise

and stretch
her sweet anatomy
let fall a stocking

Friday, August 05, 2005

A Coney Island of the Mind (#20)

Here's one I found from the Net-
I think I have this book at home. I'll look through it for more...
From 'A Coney Island of the Mind' - Number 20
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The pennycandystore beyond the El
is where I first
fell in love
with unreality

Jellybeans glowed in the semi-gloom
of that september afternoon
A cat upon the counter moved among

the licorice sticks
and tootsie rolls
and Oh Boy Gum

Outside the leaves were falling as they died

A wind had blown away the sun

A girl ran in
Her hair was rainy
Her breasts were breathless in the little room

Outside the leaves were falling
and they cried
Too soon! too soon!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

He Wishes For The Clothes Of Heaven

I'll say no more, because these say it all...

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

-William Butler Yeats

Tonight I Can Write

by Pablo Neruda, translated by W.S. Merwin

Tonight I can write the saddest lines

Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings

Tonight I can write the saddest lines
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too
How could one not have loved her great still eyes

Tonight I can write the saddest lines
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture

What does it matter that my love could not keep her
The night is starry and she is not with me

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me

The same night whitening the same trees
We, of that time, are no longer the same

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her
Love is so short, forgetting is so long

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Books In My Life

You know what, this work thing sometimes really gets in the way of my ability to blog!
But, I was thinking today (I sometimes do that, although that can be dangerous in the workplace)about Henry Miller and his The Books In My Life, a listing and description of many of the books that had an impact or influence upon him, and so I decided to do the same. In mentioning Miller, I guess I'll start with Tropic of Cancer, a work banned in the U.S. until the early sixties, concerning Miller's experiences as a starving artist in Paris in the 30's; a fascinating as well as racy depiction (hence the thirty some year ban)of a young struggling writer's existence. Almost anything by Henry Miller is interesting; he seems like a '60's guy in many ways, though living in the 1930's and '40's.

Thomas Pynchon must be my favorite, though. I had always tried to find someone who could write about how things really are or about how life really is, the true realities of existence, and for me, I think I finally found that in Pynchon a few years back, when I discovered him (for myself, he was already known, albeit in smaller circles). If one word could sum up the Pynchonian view, that word would be ambiguity. This is because Pynchon holds the view that human existence is forever plagued by a notion of ambiguity in that we can never be certain about so many things; God, what lies over the hill, whether this is all really a big plot, a big conspiracy, and so forth, and so we must therefore reconcile ourselves to this in someway, we must find a way to exist and to be at peace. In his works, it's those who don't that become what he calls paranoid , unsure of what lies around the bend, and therefore wanting to crush whatever that might be,instead of perhaps maybe trying to understand it. He provides many examples of this paranoia from our history, and I know that he is having a field day with the situation in Iraq, the war on terror, and so forth. I can't wait for the book. If you'd like to understand his world view in brief form, The Crying of Lot 49 is an excellent depiction of these ideas. Gravity's Rainbow holds much of the same perceptions, although in much larger (700+ pgs.) form.

Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things won Britain's Booker Prize in 1997, the highest literary prize of that nation (because India, the primary setting, was once part of the Empire, I guess). Quite an accomplishment for a first-time novelist. A story of childhood,of growing up, and most centrally of hidden love,it is a very powerful and moving story, made somewhat complex at first by the large list of characters with Indian names, but well worth the effort of making it through all of the characters in the beginning. This would make a great movie, and plays like a cinema in the mind, but I hear that Roy has balked at ever turning her beautiful novel into a screenplay.

Some others include The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Doestoevsky, The Death of Ivan Ilytch by Leo Tolstoy, Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev and short story collections by Anton Chekov. (Needless to say, I love the Russian writers, they express very well the human condition). I could go on and on, and on, but my shift is ending, my computer at home is broken, and the staff wants to go home. I hope I've included all my big favorites!