Saturday, November 29, 2008

Looking into work by Eva Hesse again. Here's a drawing - not sure whether she did it 'from life' or not.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

The received wisdom - as I remember it during tutorials - was that Swinburne was 'unsound'. To put it another way: too much sound and too little thought. Which sounds to me as though what was meant by 'thought' in a poem might be worth rethinking?

'Poems and Ballads' arrived yesterday. It will interesting to see (& hear) what's actually going on in the poems. Zounds!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Watching the BBC4 interview with Quentin Blake just now, I discover that he met and drew Frank Zappa.

Two gods collide.
and here's another (the last one in the book):

The Complete Introductory Lectures on Poetry

To Ted Berrigan

It was when the words on the covers of books,
titles as true as false leaves led me to believe
in inviting the ultimate speculation of love –
that I could learn all of the subject –
that I first began to entertain what is sublime

Like a moth I thought by reading Jokes and
Their Relation to the Unconscious
or Beyond
the Pleasure Principle
or Eat the Weeds or
The Origin of the Species or even a book on
Coup d’Etats or The Problem of Anxiety I
could accomplish all the knowledge the titles implied

Science that there is often more
in the notes on the back of a discarded envelope,
grammar in the shadows slanted on the wall
of the too bright night to verify the city light

and then awakening, babies, to turn and make notes
on the dream’s public epigrams and one’s own
weaknesses, self that’s prone to epigrammatic ridicule

and to meditate on fears of all the animal dangers
plus memories of reptilian appellations for all
our stages of learning to swim at a past day camp

It is to think this or that might include all
or enough to entertain all those who already know
that in this century of private apartments
though knowledge might be coveted hardly anything
is shared except penurious poetry, she or he
who still tends to titles as if all of us
are reading a new book called The New Life.

(Bernadette Mayer)

another version of this poem prints a full stop after "implied". I prefer the slippage of sense allowed here by the absence of punctuation.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This arrived today - and I wasn't even aware that it had been published yet. A great start to the week.

This one caught my eye - as it would any pedantic English teacher:

I used to write "alot" until I learned
It was properly "a lot", do we care if it's
A lot or alot? I always thought a lot
Meant a lot & alot alot, apparently my mistake
I send you a lot of love, a lot of love!
I allot to you my allotment of love totally

My pet theory (sorry) used to be dog food. However, I don't think they sell it over here in Belgium and still I see A LOT of ALOTs in essays.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I've listened to this song over and over again today.

The kind of jolt Annabella Lwin and Bow Wow Wow delivered when I first heard them at Ben's house in Leeds. Like plugging into the mains. That kind of energy. It's great!

days like television, days like television ...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I can't remember when I last took out a CD from the Mediatheque (a double at that) and loved EVERY single track - 44 in all.

Highlights: LilPUT, Pigbag, Life Without Buildings, Flying Lizards, Liquid Liquid (yum yum!), Bush Tetras, James White, 23 Skidoo (oh yes!).

Sheer joy, bounce, edge, in yer face, happening ...

My ears were elsewhere late 70s & early 80s. More's the pity.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


eleven eleven


not sure about the title, though.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The mysterious A. C. Marias (aka Angela Conway) who sings on track 2 'Cruel When Complete' (Dome 1).


Rolling upon my day
With weakness in my vision
The separate event
The growing up to reason
Convinces me that
Something very special
Something rather fine
Something all together
Is totally divine
I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
I feel it in my breakfast
And even in my clothes
I feel it in my sofa
I feel it in my chair
I feel it in my toothbrush
And sometimes
Sometimes in my hair
Sometimes in my hair

I heard this first on a poor quality BASF C90 cassette one autumn evening in 1985. No track listing. Just a scrawled 'DOME' down the cassette card spine.

I bought this album - yes, vinyl - thinking it was the one:

It wasn't. 

But I quite liked it all the same. Certainly it impressed a few people at parties. "You've got this ... wow!" (Actually, I think it was the cover that I liked most).

So, getting the CD containing Dome 1 & 2 in the post today was a 'These You Have Loved' moment. And I still think 'Rolling Upon My Day' is damn good.

(this post's for Lawrence - if you're out there)


Other news: a malingering insidious cold which has sapped energy & the will to Blog. Frustrating.

. Driving into work the other morning with 'Village of the Sun' playing & humming & drumming along  & think...