Category Archives: Sureness

Choir! Choir! Choir!

Choir! Choir! Choir!… David Byrne… David Bowie… New York City… the Public Theater… So much goodness one place my heart aches.

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Filed under Images, Love, Sureness

Alberto Ríos

Faithful Forest (2016)
by Alberto Ríos

1.

I will wait, said wood, and it did.
Ten years, a hundred, a thousand, a million—

It did not matter. Time was not its measure,
Not its keeper, nor its master.

Wood was trees in those first days.
And when wood sang, it was leaves,

Which took flight and became birds.

2.

It is still forest here, the forest of used-to-be.
Its trees are the trees of memory.

Their branches—so many tongues, so many hands—
They still speak a story to those who will listen.

By only looking without listening, you will not hear the trees.
You will see only hard stone and flattened landscape,

But if you’re quiet, you will hear it.

3.

The leaves liked the wind, and went with it.
The trees grew more leaves, but wind took them all.

And then the bare trees were branches, which in their frenzy
Made people think of so many ideas—

Branches were lines on the paper of sky,
Drawing shapes on the shifting clouds

Until everyone agreed that they saw horses.

4.

Wood was also the keeper of fires.
So many people lived from what wood gave them.

The cousins of wood went so many places
Until almost nobody was left—that is the way

Of so many families. But wood was steadfast
Even though it was hard from loneliness. Still,

I will wait, said wood, and it did.

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Filed under Poems, Sureness, Uncategorized

Pindar

γένοι᾿, οἷος ἐσσὶ μαθών.
Become such as you are, having learned what that is.
(Pythian Odes 2, line 72)

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Filed under Quotes, Subjectivity, Sureness

The Who

I’m not all that inclined to share music videos here, but these two merit an exception. Rock ‘n roll in its purest form.  

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Filed under Bagatelle, Images, Sureness

Linda Pastan

To a Daughter Leaving Home
by Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

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Filed under Expectancy, Love, Poems, Sureness

David Ignatow

For My Daughter
by David Ignatow

When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand
in your hand.

When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence
together.

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Filed under Expectancy, Love, Poems, Sureness

Linda Pastan

I Am Learning To Abandon the World
by Linda Pastan

I am learning to abandon the world
before it can abandon me.
Already I have given up the moon
and snow, closing my shades
against the claims of white.
And the world has taken
my father, my friends.
I have given up melodic lines of hills,
moving to a flat, tuneless landscape.
And every night I give my body up
limb by limb, working upwards
across bone, towards the heart.
But morning comes with small
reprieves of coffee and birdsong.
A tree outside the window
which was simply shadow moments ago
takes back its branches twig
by leafy twig.
And as I take my body back
the sun lays its warm muzzle on my lap
as if to make amends.

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Filed under Expectancy, Poems, Praxis, Sureness

Corn Dog

More dancing, more joy. Something about the hand gesture at :05 seconds is transcendental…

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Filed under Images, Sureness

Urban Dance Camp

May I recommend Urban Dance Camp on YouTube. Endless talent, endless joy. Start with Keone & Mariel Madrid and then try Quick Style Crew. Two of my favorites here.

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Philip Larkin

This Be The Verse (2001)
by Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
++They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
++And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
++By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
++And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
++It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
++And don’t have any kids yourself.

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Konnakol

Who knew this was a thing? Whoa.

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Yoann Bourgeois

Celui qui tombe
by Yoann Bourgeois

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Worry about yourself!

One of my favorites of all time.

UPDATE (1/10/2017): It’s obviously a genre:

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Walt Whitman

Preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass.

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

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Filed under Love, Quotes, Sureness

Ella Fitzgerald

Editorial: There is so much beauty and power here that it makes my heart ache. Why is that? [Ella Fitzgerald, Mack the Knife]

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François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire

Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer.

Editorial: If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. Voltaire wrote this famous (and largely misunderstood) aphorism in 1768 in an epistle denouncing a group of atheists. Taken out of context it seems weirdly pragmatic and even cynical, and at odds with Voltaire’s faith in the sublime (in his words, the bridle to the wicked) and in a shared order in society (created by a heavenly architect). For those of us with less confidence than Voltaire, the question is not whether you might believe God actually exists, but rather whether the act of believing in a god is a right and good thing.

Addendum: A little anthropology will help with any confusion lurking out there.  Anthropology maintains that religious beliefs and the gods they create are extensions of old magic.  Therefore the human product of religion necessarily flows from economics, politics, relationships of power, and other such human idiosyncrasies.  As such you  might even say that God is dead.

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Filed under Editorial, Quotes, Sureness

Yekaterina Samutsevich

Editorial: Yekaterina Samutsevich is the defendant in a criminal case against the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot. Her closing statement is well worth reading especially if you study the formation and maintenance of state power apparati:
http://chtodelat.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/yekaterina-samutsevich-closing-statement/

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Filed under Praxis, Quotes, Sureness

Chad Gifford.

Don’t worry if you like it.  Decide whether it is good.

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Filed under Expectancy, Subjectivity, Sureness

Marian Wright Edelman

I’m not a big reblogger, but since she says it best…  here it is.

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Filed under Subjectivity, Sureness

T. S. Eliot

Four Quartets (selection)
Quartet IV, ‘Little Gidding’, Part I
by T. S. Eliot

Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
Zero summer?

If you came this way,
Taking the route you would be likely to take
From the place you would be likely to come from,
If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges
White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.
It would be the same at the end of the journey,
If you came at night like a broken king,
If you came by day not knowing what you came for,
It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade
And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for
Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled
If at all. Either you had no purpose
Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured
And is altered in fulfilment. There are other places
Which also are the world’s end, some at the sea jaws,
Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city—
But this is the nearest, in place and time,
Now and in England.

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.

Editorial: This is Part I of ‘Little Gidding’, the fourth quarter of T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’. The whole work has layers of meaning which can be explored and enjoyed. This selection speaks about this time of year (winter, the liturgical season of Advent, heading into Christmas), when movement and busyness are on the rise—we with our dumb spirits coming and going, seeking, wanting, hoping. It reminds us what to do and what profound things can follow. It is mesmerizing and mystical.  (Thanks to RTM for sharing).

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