Sunday, December 31, 2006

Two Double-O Six becomes dust in the murk.

"In the numb, numberless days
There were disasters in the distance.
Strange upheavals. No one understood them.
At night the sky was scored with light,
for the planes of the planet buckled and burned.
In the dawns were intervals of darkness
On the scorched sky, clusters of clouds and eclipse,
And cinders descending.
Nearer in the noons
The air lay low and ominous and inert.
And eventually at evening, or morning, or midday,
At the sheer wall of the wood,
Were shapes in the shadows approaching,
Always, and always alien and alike.
And in the foreground the fields were fixed in fire,
And the flames flowered in our flesh."

The Burning, by N. Scott Momaday (1975)

There is an apocalyptic mood much like McCarthy's THE ROAD. Numb nothingness. Ashes and cinders in the air. Dark figures watching for a chance to attack from the shadows.

Disasters in the distance: Vietnam. Iraq. The flowering of flames in human flesh. From napalm to "improvised explosive devices."

There are some rough beasts out there slouching around.

Wonder where they're headed next?

Probably the year Two Double-Zero Seven.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Birthday, Patti!

Knitting by the fire side
on the couch
under the stars
this past summer
on Lopez Island
at the Fisher compound.

(Our thanks to Karen & David
for putting us up.)
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Thursday, December 28, 2006

A remarkable book:

This book landed in my hands by accident. But once I started reading it I couldn't stop.

It's full of names and awe and humble recollections delivered in a friendly voice given to quick vivid
descriptions of the everyday world.

He writes of Noel Stookey (of Peter, Paul, and Mary): "Noel was a comedian and a singer and a guitar player. He worked in a camera store during the day. At night he was dressed in a neat three-piece suit, was immaculately groomed, a little goatee, tall and lanky, Roman nose. Some people might have described him as aloof. Stookey looked like someone torn out of a page of some ancient magazine. He could imitate just about anything--clogged pipes and toilets flushing, steamships and sawmills, traffic, violins and trombones. He could imitate singers imitating other singers. He was very funny. One of his more outrageous imitations was Dean Martin imitating Little Richard."

I would truly love to hear that routine.

Imagine Cher imitating Blondie. Or Perry Como imitating David Bowie. The possibilities are infinite.

Frank Sinatra imitating Bob Dylan.
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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Die Kreutzen

Circa 1987 I went to a concert in Madison, Wisconsin. DIE KREUTZEN opened for the BUTTHOLE SURFERS.

I hated DIE K. at the time. I thought they were the worst band I had ever seen, except for one thing: The lead singer started out at the top of his best possible scream and did not relent through the rest of the set. It was all one top high pitched wavering scream that went over the bass/drum/noise rock "songs."

You had to respect that. It's an admirable aesthetic: Start from your best then see what else you've got.

John Zorn does it.

Ornette Coleman. Sun Ra. Eugene Chadbourne.


Die Kreutzen. It was just about the most irritating noise I'd ever heard. It pinned me back up against the last row of the theatre, my hands against my ears.


Then the SURFERS concert ensued. Dada spectacle upsidedown film smoke pandemonium.

A great show.


Kids staggering up the aisles from the mosh pit holding their bloodied skulls.


But the audience had been warned: "If you have a single brain cell left leave now because the show is about to start."


Eventually I understood why DIE KREUTZEN were chosen as the opening act. I'd actually read an astute music journalist's question to Gibby Hayes asking: Why DIE KREUTZEN to open, and his response was pure genius: Because they're a hard act to follow.


If the group before you totally destroys the idea of music song and form: Hey! We can do what ever we want!

All art is strategy.

Monday, December 25, 2006

"God be forever praised . . .

who has granted us eyes to see through the poisonful heart of the basilisk, and see the day of restitution of all whatever Adam lost." (Jacob Boehme, "Signatura Rerum")

Whatever, indeed.

I like Jake because he is polite: "Courteous reader, observe the meaning right: we understand not by this description a beginning of the Deity, but we show you the manifestation of the Deity through nature; for God is without beginning, and has an eternal beginning, and an eternal end, which he is himself, and the nature of the inward world is in the like essence from eternity."

"The Signature of All Things." A good title for a book.

It's a Grande' order.

It takes lots of coffee to read philosophy.


Aphorisms are shots of philespresso.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Only a Firm Belief in Atheism can Restore Our Faith

Music is about making the listeners put their hands to their ears

Poetry attempts to remain unreadable

Visual art tries to arrest the casual viewer

Politics is the power to kill


Innocence is in the blindness of the bystander

Friday, December 22, 2006


Steve Coll writes in the Dec. 25 issue of The New Yorker: "The opportunities for decisive action in Iraq drained away some time ago. Managing catastrophic failure so as to minimize its harmful effects is not glamorous or emotionally rewarding work, but that is all Bush and his advisers have available in Iraq."

And: "Much of this work is defensive in character, such as managing Kurdish autonomy to prevent a wider regional war, stopping the formation of an Al Qaeda mini-state in Anbar province, and challenging Iran's clandestine warfare."


Although, it occurs to me, an Al Qaeda mini-state is really exactly what we need. It could be like setting up a gigantic mouse-trap. Al Qaeda agents welcome!

This metaphor is probably no more ridiculous than the mind-numbing metaphors that brought about the Iraq "policy" catastrophe in the first place.

It is supposed to be an ideological war–about "freedom" and "democracy."

But it is just as much about technology, pollution, and "Hubris." Social and economic feedback loops we have no control over. Or, as Gregory Bateson puts it, it is about " . . . conventional (but wrong) ideas about the nature of man and his relation to the environment."

We have acted upon a remarkable number of wrong ideas. The outcome has been disaster. Huh. Shows what we know.


"Character is fate," as Davenport translates Heraclitus. In other words, personalities are like the weather.

Onward into the murk.

Lindy Miller broods in his studio.

About a week ago Lindy and I had a few glasses
of fine scotch in the afternoon.

I've had a little trouble uploading stuff lately, but
now it seems to be straightened out.

Miller is a ceramicist and sculptor.

His website is
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Thursday, December 21, 2006



Thursday, December 14, 2006

OOIOO: You Must Listen to OOIOO.

Download the new album TAIGA now.

This is the sound of music in our time.

Composer/multi-instrumentalist Yoshimi

is the Mike Patton of the orient

Joanna Newsom
Keren Ann
Bebel Gilberto
Emily Haines
Regina Spektor

these girls make me think of Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, Mary Butts, Olive Moore


Virginia Woolf changed the concept of the novel as much as Joyce and Beckett.


Bjork is the Miles Davis of Iceland.


Taiga Now

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Birthday!

It's Dale Livezey's birthday and I'm on my way over there now for dinner.

Check out his website at Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


So much was happening 90 years ago. Especially in the mind and art of Kazimir Malevich.

"It is from zero, in zero, that the true movement of being begins."

Malevich attempted to make marks from outside of time: yet, his work is so much of his time.


Carl Andre: "Art is what we do. Culture is what is done to us."


Malevich implies that the world is a grid into which the individual fits. Mondrian suggests that the individual is the spirit of the world grid.


Friday, December 01, 2006

3 grids from the Chicago trip.

Blue glass


(Both from The Two Urns bed and breakfast where we stayed.)

Doll heads (detail) from The Empty Bottle.

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