Sunday, June 19, 2016

Peculiar That *Swan* Should Mean a *Sound*?

  • How is it far, if you think of it?
  • The continued rise of the populist Right: You may say you oppose fascism, but you are creating the conditions necessary for it. This is true of Cameron, Blair, Thatcher, both Clintons, both Bush’s, Reagan and every politician who supports or supported neo-liberal policies. You may say you oppose fascism, but you are creating the conditions necessary for it. This is true of Cameron, Blair, Thatcher, both Clintons, both Bush’s, Reagan and every politician who supports or supported neo-liberal policies. You are enablers for fascism. The post-war economy was created to make sure that something like fascism could not happen again, and you dismantled it..... There will be war.  There will be revolution.  There will fountains of blood in the streets.  There will be refugee crises that make the current one look like a piss in the wind compared to a hurricane.  All of this is because neoliberals ruled for 40 years and their policies are reaping exactly the results predicted by those who opposed them.
  • Britain (and US) as crazed loner
  • Peter Gabriel has a new song out, a tribute to Muhammed Ali. My first response: Fuck that, how motherfucking shameless. The song isn't very good - Gabriel ran out of ideas halfway through making So - but my kneejerk reaction (that the song was a cynical attempt to jumpstart a dead career) is typical of my daily failures to be Kind despite my daily resolutions to be Kind. When I say be Kind, motherfuckers, I'm talking to me.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • Do ▲ yo.
  • Hit Music.
  • Swans, this version of Swans, last tour, last album, bought the album last night, bought tickets for July 28, 930, DC (Planet and Air joining me - at Planet's request, not mine!). Join us.
  • This is true: nothing brings me peace more than Swans at full volume. 


Robert Creeley

inside my head

Inside my head a common room,   
a common place, a common tune,
a common wealth, a common doom

inside my head. I close my eyes.   
The horses run. Vast are the skies,
and blue my passing thoughts’ surprise

inside my head. What is this space   
here found to be, what is this place
if only me? Inside my head, whose face?

the tools

First there, it proves to be still here.   
Distant as seen, it comes then to be near.   
I found it here and there unclear.

What if my hand had only been   
extension of an outside reaching in
to work with common means to change me then?

All things are matter, yet these seem   
caught in the impatience of a dream,   
locked in the awkwardness they mean.

the swan

Peculiar that swan should mean a sound?
I’d thought of gods and power, and wounds.
But here in the curious quiet this one has settled down.

All day the barking dogs were kept at bay.   
Better than dogs, a single swan, they say,   
will keep all such malignant force away

and so preserve a calm, make pond a swelling lake—
sound through the silent grove a shattering spate   
of resonances, jarring the mind awake.

the rose

Into one’s self come in again,
here as if ever now to once again begin
with beauty’s old, old problem never-ending—

Go, lovely rose ... So was that story told
in some extraordinary place then, once upon a time so old   
it seems an echo now as it again unfolds.

I point to me to look out at the world.
I see the white, white petals of this rose unfold.   
I know such beauty in the world grows cold.

the skull

“Come closer. Now there is nothing left   
either inside or out to gainsay death,”   
the skull that keeps its secrets saith.

The ways one went, the forms that were   
empty as wind and yet they stirred
the heart to its passion, all is passed over.

Lighten the load. Close the eyes.   
Let the mind loosen, the body die,   
the bird fly off to the opening sky.

the star

Such space it comes again to be,   
a room of such vast possibility,   
a depth so great, a way so free.

Life and its person, thinking to find
a company wherewith to keep the time   
a peaceful passage, a constant rhyme,

stumble perforce, must lose their way,   
know that they go too far to stay   
stars in the sky, children at play.


  1. The sound of one Swan, honking.

    Last night, to the local Sundance theatre. Siting in a very comfortable seat, in a clean darkened theatre at an almost perfect temperature, eating very good local ice cream while watching 'Finding Dory' -- an amazing CG spectacle.

    Twenty minutes in, for no reason I can fathom, some of the images of Life In Syria from Tom Clark's blog popped into my head, and much of the rest of the film was taken up with an internal wrestling match between "I am insufficiently grateful for the life I have," and "Please STFU and let me watch the movie".

  2. Um, please assume this was all accompanied by feelings of compassion for the magnitude of what the Syrians are suffering. And the Palestinians. And the Afghans. And the Iraqis. And the Somalis. And the Pak8stanis. And the Venezuelans. And anyone else who should be on this list.