Thursday, March 31, 2011

Geof Huth launches his annual pwoermd challenge for April 2011.

I've agreed to take part (again) although I can't hope for the same level of inspiration as last year.

Nevertheless, I'll try to post one a day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I'm going to live on a tropical iceland"

(L. over dinner - crystal ball gazing of global warming?)
I'd like to track down a recording of Zadie Smith's defence of libraries on today's Today programme - rather than going by hearsay and reports. That she's provoked such fury from the proponents of the 'Big Society' (sic) must surely be a good thing. Wonderful irony hearing government lackies complaining of 'bias'.

"A notebook full of the finest
Creamy rich girl parchment pages
Slowly filled with all your passing days"

I'd heard about them before (imagining a 'him' and 'her' duo - maybe even a 'him' and 'his dog'?) but never knowingly listened to a song. This CD is a minor revelation and the perfect soundtrack for early Spring drives in to work and back.

Better still, the Wafflettes LOVE it - plenty of swaying around with hairbrushes lip-synching the lyrics. L. spots - immediately - the debt to the Beach Boys and The Monkees. That's my girl!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

So ... BBC World Service 648 mw has shut down.

The 'Big Society'? Yeah, right.

watched Pierrot le Fou


sat on the terrace & read Paul Vangelisti

(I'm not complaining)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

listening as I type this to the BBC radio programme on Bob Cobbing will get you there - but hurry as it's only available for a few more days

thanks to Alan for the tip off

Monday, March 21, 2011

"we write everything lowercase, in order to save time"

(Herbert Bayer)

(postcards from the bauhaus museum)

Berlin. Grey. - an effect of weather & time. Silt of years. The old haunts. A cobbled band running through the city which marks The Wall. It is / it isn't there. Is it?

The holocaust memorial - mute concrete. Coffins? Buildings? A city scape? Unlettered printer's leads? The absolute refusal to signify or be explicit. No names here. Simply volume, surface, and expanse. A place where the gravity of events is so heavy that the desire is simply to be. Or let be. Once and for all.

And here we are at a conference all about reading in a city you sense yearns to return to a blank page. Yet must remember.

Or to walk - simply walk - through the Brandenburg Gate. Which - not so long ago - would have been unthinkable. Triumph of Empire: The Dead Man's Zone.

Or a car park under which was the bunker (its concrete walls meters thick). Only a fragment of Hitler's jaw remains. And even this is uncertain. Rumour and conjecture live on. Was it really here?

The excruciating debates about meaning in this city. Should they use the protective chemical for the concrete blocks if the firm that supplied it was implicated in the crimes? Should there be a plaque to indicate the site of the dismantled bunker? When not to record suggests irresponsibility, callousness, an effort to repress. Yet to record runs the risk of commemorating, perpetuating - shrine building.

Is it possible to simply record without connotation or resonance? To dampen language down and exorcise the ghosts? To build anew without discovering a bomb below your feet? Grim anagram: denotation or detonation?

To live knowing I didn't do it yet remember & carry the shame.

(Berlin notebook, 17-20 March)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Anais T.

a nice tea

an ice tea

a nicety

a nice settee

a nice city

a nicer tea

an eye his tee

an 'i' is 't'

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The closing movements of Mozart's Missa Solemnis on the radio as I'm sitting in the car at 7:50 a.m waiting for the pool to open. Rain drops on the window. For a moment or two it feels like being in a Godard film. Cue dialogue. And Anna Karina.


On length 8 or so, I begin to think again about The King's Speech - having promised R. I will commit my thoughts to paper (I saw the film on Thursday). I'm turning over thoughts about Samuel Johnson's Preface to his Dictionary and attempts to govern 'the tongue'. What if it is the tongue belonging to a monarch? This, in turn, makes me think about Prynne's Kitchen Poems and "the voice". And then Beckett's Not I. It's rather fun simply allowing the film to develop in this way - the more ideas the further away I am from seeing the film.


A dream last night about having ordered a DVD player. And it hasn't arrived. I vent my fury in French. Proving, I suppose, that one can dream in another language.


Stacks of CDs. A sudden enthusiasm for ECM: Tomasz Stanko Quintet ... Eberhard Weber ... Miroslav Vitous ... Ralph Towner ... as if I'm searching for something - a melody, an atmosphere, a - well, what is it?


Make an impromptu curry for lunch: onion, cauliflower, tomatoes, chick peas, curry powder, spinach leaves, toasted sesame seeds (in approximately that order). It's surprisingly good.


Huysmans (A Rebours) and the chapter in which Des Esseintes arranges his library. The passage on Mallarme in particular. I'd quote it but the volume's downstairs.


According to an article in The Independent the Japanese earthquake moved the earth "ten inches off its axis" (a fact disputed by our resident scientist). How, in fact, do they make such a measurement?


That strange, unnerving feeling as one of your friends becomes a ... grandfather ... This Dad business still feels something of a novelty.

belgianwaffle is pleased to announce a rival Blog issuing from the premises:

lemon meringue

(follow this link:

Monday, March 07, 2011

copies of xi Hya went out today


currently reading Francis Ponge - a revelation (even allowing for my erratic (scl/erotic?) French)


L & E away until Saturday - unsettling (what did we do before?)


burning ball of a sun, 7:30 am, turning left onto Franklin Roosevelt


Mallarme Divagations via Ponge


set a half serious vocabulary test based on a Jersey Shore lexicon - now I know the meaning of "grenade" and " fist pump" ...


order Michelle Serres' The Five Senses on the strength of his article in today's Le Monde. More ammunition (or so I hope),

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