Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lunch with A. in a restaurant high up on the eighth floor with Brussels around and beneath us. In the sunshine it must be one the best views of this city. A bowl of fish soup and a beer. The waitress is calculatedly objectionable and gives the incorrect change at the end. No doubt she assumes we're tourists and won't notice.


No rain. And the weather is mild. An intuition of Spring.


Wander around. The usual haunts. Look at lavish monographs about Cy Twombly. Try to justify the expense. (Fail).


Walk home clutching a bag of tea and a new secondhand paperback.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Antonioni's film Beyond the Clouds still haunting me.
So this by way of exorcism.

More images over at the Sticky Pages Press site.

Friday, February 19, 2010

There was a period in the seventies (eighties?) when Zappa appended the slogan 'KILL UGLY RADIO' on his album covers. Meaning - I assume - play 'real' music by real musicians rather than synthed pap.

I'm thinking about this due to Michael Lally's post yesterday in which he says:

This is the kind of mail I (and I suspect a lot of poets and artists and other art makers) would anticipate finding in the mailbox everyday back before the internet. I still feel that sense of anticipation when I go to the mailbox these days, though it's usually mostly bills, but now and then an unexpected goody or more, like today's.

This led me to wonder what I get in the post in an average month:

1. latest issues of The Wire, the LRB, occasionally Fence or The Chicago Review
2. a CD or book from Amazon (more usually sent to my work address)
3. a phone bill, car tax/insurance, credit card and bank statements (my 'banking relationship' is the phrase, believe it or not)
4. junk mail from supermarkets, shops, magazines etc.

3 and 4 far outweigh 1 and 2. And there's never a letter (it's all e-mails nowadays), once in a while a postcard.

So perhaps it's time for a KILL UGLY POST campaign as well as a defiant stand against the erosion of postal services through underfunding and internet use.

The first question L. asks as we get back from school - "is there any post?" And I know what she means - anything interesting? And so often - sadly - there's not. I used to feel the same excitement and deflation (and still do).

Joseph Cornell understood this - I'm thinking of his sendings. Ray Johnson, too. And perhaps what I'm really arguing for is MailArt for everyone. The hope that everyday would bring something interesting in the post. A counter-blow to Commerce and Finance and Advertising. Why should the post only bring bad news?

Art for Art's sake - which, of course, means the transformation of daily life. After all, what else is there?

So if anyone's listening ...


Stuck on the back of a 4x4 yesterday a sticker claiming 'I Love (heart symbol) Polluting'. First interpretation: a truly offensive individual (and there are plenty around) who simply couldn't give a toss. Second interpretation (on noticing the sticker had been partially picked off and scribbled on): an act of street activism - people going round labelling such cars to shame the owners. I suspect that this is the more reliable interpretation.


On the radio this morning, a banker employs 'incent' as a verb - as in 'to incent workers'. 'Incentive', yes; 'to incentivize', yes; - but to 'incent'? Does this word go beyond the Square Mile? Typically weasely way of arguing in any case - how useful The Board is when you want to duck out of taking the responsibility for decisions yourself. Bonuses all round!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another experiment with an 'Orihon' (as I now know what to call them!).

More images on the Sticky Pages site.

More details on the Sticky Pages site ...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The February break looms & there is much to do.

i) another attempt to get over to the UK
ii) collect Morse Solids together
iii) develop a new series of constructed texts
iv) work more with drawings
v) send out books that I've been promising

fingers crossed ...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Doodling and listening to Schumann and this arrives ...

more images on the Sticky Pages site.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Tea Log Update

Yunnan Wu Shan Yin Hao - drank it after lunch - so good I made another pot. Dark orange colour. Rich full taste. Really satisfying. Once again that 'clean' feeling in the mouth (unlike what I get with coffee). The sides of the tongue sharpened, too. This is a lovely tea.

'Twas ever so in monitorology since Headmaster Adam became Eva Harte's toucher, in omnibus moribus et temporibus, with man's mischief in his mind whilst her pupils swimmed too heavenlies, let his be exaspirated, letters be blowed, I is a femaline person. O, of provocative gender. U unsingular case.


And each was wrought with his other.


no thing making newthing wealthshowever for a silly old Sol, healthytobedder and latewiser.


The mar of murmury mermers to the mind's ear, uncharted rock, evasive weed.


Why wilt thou erewaken him from his earth, O summonorother: he is weatherbitten from the dust of ages?


That little cloud, a nibulissa, still hangs isky.


who, in deesperation of deispiration at the diasporation of his diesparation, was found of the round of the sound of the lound of the Lukkedoerendunandurraskewdylooshoofermoyportertooryzooysphalnabortansporthaokansakroidverjkapakkapuk.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Tea Log

Assam Harmutty (NE India)
- this with breakfast - a kind of upmarket perfumed English Breakfast. I'm finding one spoon gives enough strength.
Assam Mahaluxmi ( " )
- just bought this one to compare with the one above
Earl Grey Red Baron (China)
- four o'clock in the afternoon. Both the scents and the taste - stunning. Beautiful flecks of red leaves.
Formosa Oolong Finest (Taiwan)
- the least knock-out of the first teas I got. Do I really like the woody/chestnut taste?
Ti Kuan Yi (China)
- another Oolong - but more of a green tea. Again, not yet convinced.
Bourgeons de Yunnan (China)
- not tasted
Yunnan Wu Shan Yin Hao (China)
- not tasted

Friday, February 05, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

You know you're well into middle age when you get a teapot and a dressing gown for your birthday ...

However, what a tea pot and what a dressing gown!

I haven't tried it yet - with one of the several teas I've been given (Yunnan Wu Shan Yin Hao, Bourgeons de Yunnan, and a Madagascar). However it comes highly recommended by the man at 'La Septieme Tasse'.

The dressing gown is just like one worn by the young Julian Schnabel in Basquiat.

So, I can sit of an evening in my dressing gown sipping tea. The life of an Aesthete beckons.


The more I think about it, and despite the obvious human tragedy, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a film about the alphabet and the urge to communicate. Letter by letter. And the erotics of language.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

So someone hands you a day on a plate (with a heating system down, a school can't run). Question is: how do you use it? Or, more accurately, half the day as the Wafflettes will be home for lunch.

Scoot round town? Go back to bed? Potter about? Crank out the next chapter of Hampton Armpit? Devise a cover for Morse Solids?

Instead, here are a few thoughts about Mullholland Drive which seems to be coming more into focus the further I get from the film. (I'm going on memory as the DVd went back yesterday).

The film works by dream logic - and writing this I feel much like I do first thing in the morning piecing together sequences of the night before, trying to establish 'meaning'.

The word in the title - Drive - is the key, perhaps. How Lynch draws upon the automobile in cinema. An object to be wrecked. An object that kills. Excites. That moves.

In this film, the opening sequence of the car driving up Mulholland Drive (repeated but with a 'short cut' - spatial and cinematic - at the end). The insulated space of celebrity anonymity - the limousine that glides through the city at night with Someone Famous concealed behind the smoked glass. Lynch seems fascinated by the peculiar logics of public visibility and private invisibility. There's the division of car space: driver and front passenger barely seen and the passenger in the back. Another peculiar logic: control and passivity. The chauffeur/taxi man (employee) vs. the passenger (client). And then it clicks - what is the car but a metaphoric space of cinema. *

You sit in comfort watching things unfold, dimly aware of the back of the heads of the people in the row in front. You - as the cinema audience - are being driven. The rich ambiguity of the 'drive' as verb and noun: to travel, to be motivated, to desire. Another peculiar logic of continuity/discontinuity: for the viewer the film unfolds seamlessly. The film as road viewed as if through a screen (rather than onto). Narrative logic is like a well-planned journey - each turning leads to another towards the destination. Yet film - of any medium - is based upon the cut, the interruption, the - key word for Lynch here - accident.

The other cars in the film ... Adam (the director) and his Porsche convertible (nicely presenting the 'open'/'closed' space dichotomy). On set, Adam sitting in the open top 'acting' the kiss scene - director and actor roles, simulated and real passion merge. The taxi driving the wannabe actress to her aunt's flat and later to the audition. A vehicle of desire. The taxi into which Aunt Ruth's trunk is being lifted (what else does it contain but a body?) at the start. Aunt Ruth herself is another cut/splice logic and dreamy thinking:


It's a film preoccupied with evil. I did a search for Lynch + Manicheanism and didn't find as much as I'd expected. The inverted crucifix suggested by the street lights seen from up on the hill intimates that things aren't well above (or here below, either).

Yet it is only suggestion - bending the film back upon the viewer-passenger. How in control are you of this drive? Lynch re-uses a travelling shot: the walk outside and around the corner of the Twinkie diner ... to see what horror? The walk through the flat and - later - the empty house - in the expectation of what? Nightmare, panic, the doppleganger? What you or I - each in our little movie house of horrors - supply. We're the guilty ones. We house the horrors. (Did I see the cowboy one more time? Yes, leaving the party ... so I "did good"? Or did I see him a second time - but just didn't notice - and so I "did bad"? Lynch fuses disobedience with viewer inattention and what punishment to come? What do we see? What are we responsible for?).

Lynch the Shakespearean? He adapts Macbeth's poor player to the Hollywood dream factory. Producers and financiers diabolically manipulating actors and directors. 'We' are cast for reasons that elude us. Decisions are made 'above'.

Lynch's debt to Francis Bacon? I found I was often reminded of Bacon's claustrophobic spaces. Rooms with screens, thick fabrics. Centres of clandestine control (the secret bunker) and cages (isolation chambers). Marooned objects - the telephone to hand, nothing else. Time and again, the simplest objects charged with menace and cruelty. (Even the bubbling coffee machine). And that little blue box with the triangular lock. A vaginal trap? A vanity case? Pandora's box? A black hole? The unconscious? And how we plunge down into it.

A film which - even as you watch it the first time - feels like a seeing again.


* Whereas, for Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), the operative metaphor is the eye. A character who has become EYE/I - his locked-in syndrome disabling everything but his one eyeball. Hamlet's world in a nutshell reimagined as this fragile jellied globe. And this, in turn, captures the scopophilia that cinema depends upon. The viewer de-limbed but becoming-eye. Blink for yes, blink-blink for no. The eyelids reterritorialized as lips. The ocular orb as tongue. Pupilage.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Catch on the radio one of those names you'd swear had been invented for a Python skit - Sir Jock Stirrup (our current head of the armed forces).


18 texts or so for this run of Morse Solids plus 5 from the last series. Enough to collect something together.


Watch the second half of Mulholland Drive. Little the wiser.


Psing a psalm of psexpeans, apocryphul of rhyme.


Winden wanden wild like wenchen wenden wanton.

It darkles, (tinct, tint) all this our funnaminal world.


Es voes, ez noes, nott voes, ges, noun.


For these are not on terms, they twain, bartrossers, since their baffle of Whatalose when Adam Leftus and the devil took our hindmost, gegifting her with his painapple ...


Prettimaid tints may try their taunts: apple, bacchante, custard, dove, eskimo, feldgrau, hematite, isingglass, jet, kipper, lucile, mimosa, nut, osterette, prune, quasimodo, royal, sago, tango, umber, vanilla, wisteria, xray, yesplease, zaza, philomel, theerose.


There lies her word, you reder. The height herup exalts it and the lowness her down abaseth it. It vibroverberates upon the tegmen and prosoplodes from pomaeria.


So see we so as seed we sow.


And so that's a January of Finnegans Wake (pp 219-250)

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