Monday, February 28, 2011

infestinal


(after four miserable days of some virulent gastric bug)

Sunday, February 20, 2011




A couple of days on the coast in North France. Rain mostly, sea mist and cloud. The view across the bay could be a cover of a new series for ECM.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This morning 11 a.m..




So there I am in Le Pain Quotidien on the Sablon with Charlie & the girls when I realise John Parish is sitting at the next table talking to what I assume must be a critic or promoter. Or is it him? I've only seen Parish with a hat on and the chap I'm looking at is bare-headed. It really does look like him though. I start eavesdropping (a difficult process against the general buzz of the cafe and the girls' raucous laughter & chatter). Odd phrases: "P.J." ... "when I'm on stage" ... "next album" ... well, it just has to be. I make the move and ask whether he is in fact and how much I've enjoyed 'A Woman a Man Walked By' ... and he shakes my hand and is very gracious and much more gentle in manner than certain tracks on the album might suggest. Maybe he's even a little surprised anyone recognizes him. Turns out he's playing tomorrow night at Cirque Royal tomorrow night. I'd like to have gone.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This morning:

'Die A Millionaire' then more Olson (prose & interviews).

This afternoon:

Essays on Prynne. Dig out old copies I bought when living in England. Also the Parataxis Chinese Poetry issue.

Ed Dorn starts showing up on the radar.

Thus the attempt at FOCUS risks DIFFUSION.

& how much can one read in a day ... week ... month ... ?

"The whole thing it is, the difficult / matter ... "

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day one of the mid-term break & a reminder of how little one can accomplish in the day (allowing for dropping off/ collecting kids; visit to the Post Office; supermarket; etc., etc. ...

Typing in texts from some time back. Then a good two hours reading & annotating Prynne. After lunch it's Olson (again) and 'Call Me Ishmael' and 'Human Universe'. Gobbling, inevitably - what else can one do?

- what the mind
bites on is yours

(Prynne)

On this day ...

... to amuse the Muse a Valentine ...






Sunday, February 13, 2011

asprynne for headaches

"42. I add also this postscript, because your responsibilities to whatever long-term benefits you derive from reading with insight and enhanced understanding some of the world's finest books do not end as you depart from Caius. When you read and sing to your young children at bed-time, and buy them picture-books for their early birthdays, remember how susceptible are those of tender years and how much your example will mean to them. If you read aloud to them with humour and truth, and prefer reading matter (choose it yourself) which is not slick child-fodder even when simple and direct and pitched right for young minds; and do not allow them to be drawn into a fear or scorn of poetry, and take them all to Christmas pantos which offer sparks of witty imagination, and give good book-presents to nieces and family because you shew that you care about them (both the recipients and the books); then part of the longer-term inwardness of your literary education, a far cry from writing essays and splitting critical hairs, approaches thus a fulfilment which will start to transmit deep values across the generations. That's called being human. Then later you can lure them into kids' libraries and bookshops, buy them writing-notebooks in which they can compose stories to read back to you, and songs to sing and little playlets for family festivals, and so make all this a natural part of their young lives; and of yours also."


A week spent reading early J.H. Prynne (off & on) with new-found enthusiasm, enjoyment and (even) comprehension. I also happened upon his site at Caius containing several superb texts aimed primarily at undergraduates but containing much that deserves a far wider readership. The above quotation is appended to his 'Tips on Reading' and confirms why Prynne should not be the preserve of his Cambridge acolytes. Their kind of in-grown theory-driven exegesis risks obscuring precisely what's "called being human" in his work.


Go to: http://babylon.acad.cai.cam.ac.uk/students/study/english/tips/readlist.pdf

Monday, February 07, 2011


... not a great watcher of television I did chance upon twenty minutes of an interview with Steve Wright on 'Information TV' (or something like that) just before going to collect the girls this afternoon.

If I had to nominate a favourite comedian, Steve Wright would be up in the top ... three ... two ... one (?) making a mockery of those people who say Brits don't 'get' American humour. Reason: it depends whether it's funny or not. Wright hits the funny bone time after time.

Example a) Hitchhiking he sees a hearse drive by. Then thinks he's not going that far ...

Example b) During a power cut he uses his camera's flash. It takes 60 shots of the kitchen to make a sandwich.

Example c) What if birds find feathers ticklish?

As with all great comedians, it's not just what he says but how he says it - a kind of bemused monotone delivery suggesting he's not so much telling jokes as reporting on what he finds.

Pure poetry.

*

Copies of sighlens and the much delayed onception went out today.








Saturday, February 05, 2011

I think we've lost our perception -
I think we've lost sight of the goals we should 
be working for
I think we've lost our reason

We stumble blindly and that vision must be restored!

I wish that there was something
I could do about it
I wish that there was some way
I could try to fight it

Scream and shout it

But something you said
set the house ablaze!

It is called indoctrination
And it happens on all levels
But it has nothing to do with equality
It has nothing to do with democracy
And though it professes to
It has nothing to do with humanity
It is cold, hard and mechanical.

(Paul Weller, Set The House Ablaze)


These mornings, listening to this.

Apt.






- for the first time in a while a sense of space in the day and the mind frees and (appropriately) this ...

& thanks for all the birthday wishes

perhaps February can be a more productive month than January proved to be

Friday, February 04, 2011

Six point eight billion people inhabiting the planet (at a conservative estimate). Having a birthday makes you reconsider such abstract statistics. And something someone said this morning about being on earth. For which many thanks.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

RENT EVERYTHING YOU CAN DREAM OF

slogan on a removal van I park behind this morning

Just watching the footage on Belgian television of a helicopter circling overhead, troops deployed in the streets, festoons of barbed wire, ...