Saturday, June 30, 2012

"In his article, "On the Nature of Words" he mentions Bergson's search for links between things of the same kind that are separated only by time - in the same way, he thought, one can look for friends and allies across the barriers of both time and space. This would probably have been understood by Keats, who wanted to meet all his friends, living and dead, in a tavern." (Hope Against Hope, Nadezhda Mandelstam)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Much quoted, I dare say, but still worth the effort of typing up here:

“There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of senasation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading - that is a good life …”

(The Writing Life, Annie Dillard)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Laying up supplies ...

I must have at least heard of Annie Dillard but it took Maggie Nelson to make the name somehow urgent. Three of her works arrived this morning plus (surprise!) the Iain Sinclair talk on Blake.

One chapter in with The Writing Life and it's clear to me why it's a classic of its kind.

You write it all, discovering it at the end of the line of words. The line of words is a fiber optic, flexible as wire; it illumines the path just before its fragile tip. You probe with it, delicate as a worm.

Dillard's shifting metaphorics of line - pick-gouge-probe - resonates (Beckett, Bunting, Eliot ...

One of those texts everyone else seems to have read but you stumble upon later. But better later than never. No?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rain all day and then - around 6pm - a break in the clouds.

Still on the Maggie Nelson jag: The Art of Cruelty arrived on Friday and I've been working through it over the weekend. It is disturbing, fascinating and urgent by turns. Not at all what I expected (although I'm not so sure quite what I expected).

I worry about the amount of gruesome viewing such a project entails (an issue Nelson herself addresses early on). What's clear is that this is much more than simply an overview of some fairly extreme art. It's a covert manifesto and a vicious critique of American society, too.

Plenty here to plunder and ponder.

More soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On an impulse, I go into the Mediatheque to take out whatever I can find by Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons). Not quite sure why ... especially as I gave his next to recent album a listen some months ago and stopped at track two. Wrong time, wrong space.

This time however ...

... Helenes becoming wolves, Antonys becoming birds ... maybe that's it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reading Maggie Nelson's 'Bluets' again (and again). It's hard to say quite how much I love this book. During the week 'Something Bright, Then Holes' arrived which only served to confirm that this is someone worth exploring still further (her critical text on women and the New York School is already ordered).

Trawling the Internet for interviews I chanced upon this paragraph:

"Often I think about writing as similar to one method of improvisational dance: you sit at the edge of the space, watching the other dancers. You sit there and you wait to feel or see—sometimes with lightning-bolt clarity—what needs to happen in the space, or what could happen in that space, via the insertion of your body into it. Then, once you see it, you enter and try to make that gesture—that precise, singular movement—as quickly as possible, before the moment passes. Of course, as soon as you enter and start moving, people will react to you in ways that you couldn’t have foreseen. So suddenly you’re in a new dance, which is essentially an unpredictable conversation. At its best, writing poetry and putting it into the world feels like that to me. And though I’m phrasing it here as an analogy, it’s also possible I mean it quite literally."

Spot on.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Japan (III)


Even a mundane brown paper bag has something about it. That right corner placement. Nice.

Hippy vs Freak?

I've been listening to a triple CD of The Grateful Dead the past three mornings driving in. As I've noticed before with their albums - I like one track in say four. The music's baggy, friendly, little to really take issue with.

Whereas this morning I slot in a Zappa - Trance-Fusion - and realise what I've ben missing: the bite, the sneer, the snarl, the garlic 'n pepper - the sheer muscle and gleam.

Sun shining, window open, accelerating up and on to the Ring I think there are times when this music - and this music alone - can deliver such ... exhiliration. That shiver down the spine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Houston ... we have lift off!

Yes! The courgettes and runner beans have surfaced in a bid for life!

Assuming, that is, they're not weeds ...

& more amusement

Helene & wolves ...

Kate & hounds

Bjork & the swan

Sunday, June 03, 2012


A couple of days ago I looked up at the sky and saw this 'written' in the clouds. Battles have been won or lost for less ...

Saturday, June 02, 2012

more amusement

"Je me suis réveillée affamée. Pour n'avoir plus mangé depuis des lustres, j'avais faim de terre, de continents, d'orages, de tumultes. Un appétit dévorant de parfums me tenaillait le ventre - sel sur la peau, résine des grands sapins noirs, herbe en tendresse fauchée au printemps. J'avais envie de mordre la chair crue d'un poisson, de déployer mon ouïe dans la symphonie du monde, de regarder pour voir vraiment et m'éblouir de lumière, de plonger mes mains dans la terre chaude et la gueule humide des loups. Retourner au monde qui roule et qui mugit ... "


Bought this paperback in Fnac today along with her Bach recording. (I think that's probably enough, for the time being). My reading French being what it is, this will probably be a bit of a long haul but going no further than the opening lines makes me think that my Deleuzean theory about Grimaud is ever more valid.


The pinch pot was up for grabs a couple of days ago - I'm assuming glazing experiments by the Elementary ceramics class. I think it's lovely & sits perfectly in the hand.


Copies of the 'tomato' volume are now folded, stitched & ready for sending. Apologies for the delay - on this occasion fine weather stopped play.


& best wishes go out to our Frimley correspondent ...

Friday, June 01, 2012

Signs on the Wind (Lenore Tawney)

Finally ... the volume of Lenore Tawney collages arrives! & after yesterday's exhilaration it feels as though there really is something in the air.

Marvellous work.

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