Saturday, December 29, 2007

Peter Hujar

David Wojnarowicz

Mark Morrisroe

Mark Rothko

"without monsters and gods, art cannot enact a drama . . . when they were abandoned as untenable superstitions, art sank into melancholy."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Seamus Heaney


I shouldered a kind of manhood

stepping in to lift the coffins

of dead relations.

They had been laid out

in tainted rooms,

their eyelids glistening,

their dough-white hands

shackled in rosary beads.

Their puffed knuckles

had unwrinkled, the nails

were darkened, the wrists

obediently sloped.

The dulse-brown shroud,

the quilted satin cribs:

I knelt courteously

admiring it all

as wax melted down

and veined the candles,

the flames hovering

to the women hovering

behind me.

And always, in a corner,

the coffin lid,

its nail-heads dressed

with little gleaming crosses.

Dear soapstone masks,

kissing their igloo brows

had to suffice

before the nails were sunk

and the black glacier

of each funeral

pushed away.



Now as news comes in

of each neighbourly murder

we pine for ceremony,

customary rhythms:

the temperate footsteps

of a cortege, winding past

each blinded home.

I would restore

the great chambers of Boyne,

prepare a sepulcher

under the cupmarked stones.

Out of side-streets and bye-roads

purring family cars

nose into line,

the whole country tunes

to the muffled drumming

of ten thousand engines.

Somnambulant women,

left behind, move

through emptied kitchens

imagining our slow triumph

towards the mounds.

Quiet as a serpent

in its grassy boulevard

the procession drags its tail

out of the Gap of the North

as its head already enters

the megalithic doorway.


Before they put the stone back

in its mouth,

let us pray

that the necropolis will prove

sufficient to our appetite

for memory, that cuds behindbacks

and incubates spilled blood;

and place these remnants

in the care of Gunnar.

He lay beautiful

inside his mound,

though dead by violence

and unavenged:

it seemed that he was chanting

verses about honour,

and four lights burned

in corners of the chamber.

Which opened then, as he turned

with a joyful face

and looked at the moon.

Haruki Murakami

The Delgados

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tim Hawkinson

mark eitzel

If you wanna see something patriotic, there's a stripper
He don't look that good, but he's got an all-American smile
that fills his underwear with all the lonely dollars
from all the lonely men who no one suffers
who wait around this bar and spend all their lonely hours
they're already gone - no one's running for cover
the farther you run away, the more you have to hide in the dark
white as the worm that crawls in the patriot's heart

It is so red, white and blue the way he works the bar
selling his embraces like Mr. President or a fallen star
he don't care babe if you're worldly or wise
he's just looking for men with sins in their eyes
and he always says the same thing, he says,
"So, how you doin', baby? I'm your rod and your staff
and for a tip, you can touch me.
And after a few tequilas, I become something holy.
And this crappy little bar with its sweating mirrors
and its mildewed ceiling are more full of love,
yeah, then even natural selection. And dollar for dollar, babe,
it's a better bargain. The more you pay,
the more I can break you all apart."
And dollars pour like ashes from the patriot's heart. Now he knows that your good time will kill him,
but the thought of getting old, no it does not thrill him
He says, "Give me all your money and don't tell me what you're thinking.
I'm the past you wasted, I'm the future you're obliterating."
Oh, come on grandpa! Remind me what we're celebrating -
that your heart finally dried up or that it finally stopped working?
And how you make a dead man cum?
You learned the undertaker's art and make 'em shine
like the alcohol that preserves the patriot's heart.

We all want a patriot's heart
Give me your patriot's heart

You can see him fade with the dawn in a pile of Washingtons
His head is in a spin, he's happy to pass out again
He would rather fade into the static than hear the violins
that whine like old lovers who whine that they loved him
He would rather laugh alone in the dark with the soft hands of heaven
because they leave him alone with his entertainment system
He does it for the money but he gives more than he's given
He does it for the money but he gives more than he's given
and it's only when he's naked that he feels his heart
in the whorehouse desert of the patriot's heart.

We all want a patriot's heart
We all want a patriot's heart

marc swanson

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Throbbing Gristle

Andre Gide

André Paul Guillaume Gide (November 22, 1869February 19, 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career spanned from the symbolist movement to the advent of anticolonialism in between the two World Wars.

Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide exposes to public view the conflict and eventual reconciliation between the two sides of his personality, split apart by a strait-laced education and a narrow social moralism. Gide's work can be seen as an investigation of freedom and empowerment in the face of moralistic and puritan constraints, and gravitates around his continuous effort to achieve intellectual honesty. His self-exploratory texts reflect his search of how to be fully oneself, even to the point of owning one's sexual nature, without at the same time betraying one's values. His political activity is informed by the same ethos, as suggested by his repudiation of communism after his 1936 voyage to the USSR.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Todd Solondz

Roman Polanski's Macbeth

I am not a Roman Polanski fan. I don't find his movies creepy or psychologically interesting in any way. I am, however, a big, big fan of his Macbeth. This is a visually stunning movie. It is provocative and alluring. It is brutal and merciless. It is FANTASTIC!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hiroshi Sugimoto

George Jones

Robert Ryman

michel houellebecq

Truman Capote

Truman Capote (30 September 192425 August 1984) was an American writer whose stories, novels, plays, and non-fiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), which he labeled a "non-fiction novel." At least 20 films and TV dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

My favorite line in Breakfast at Tiffany's;

"They've had the old clap-yo'-hands so many times it amounts to applause."

Comme des Garcons

The label was started in Tokyo by Rei Kawakubo in 1969 and established as a company in Japan in 1973. Comme des Garçons became successful in Japan throughout the 1970s and a men's line was added in 1978. 1981 saw Comme des Garçons's debut show in Paris which created a storm of controversy for its predominate use of black and distressed fabrics. Throughout the 1980s, Comme des Garçons's clothes were often monochromatic, asymmetrical and draped over the body. Tears, holes and frayed edges were also a feature. Comme des Garçons (along with Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake ) attacked established notions that clothing had to be sexy, colourful and beautiful. Throughout the remainder of the 1980s Comme Des Garçons collections incorporated more colour and fabrics.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Associates

wallace stevens

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Karen Dalton

Karen Dalton (19381993) was an American folk singer and banjo player associated with the early 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, particularly with Fred Neil and the Holy Modal Rounders as well as Bob Dylan.

Her bluesy, world-weary voice is often compared to that of iconic jazz singer Billie Holiday. She sang blues, folk, country, pop, Motown -- making over each song in her own inimitable style. She played the twelve string Gibson guitar and a long neck banjo. Her second album, In My Own Time (1971), was recorded at Bearsville studios, produced by Bob Dylan's former bass player Harvey Brooks, with liner notes by Fred Neil, originally released on Michael Lang's (Woodstock promoter) label, Just Sunshine. The cover photos were taken by Elliot Landy, and The Band's current piano player, Richard Bell, guested on the album. Less common is her first album for Capitol, It's Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best (1969), re-released by Koch Records in 1996. Known as "the folksinger's answer to Billie Holiday" and "Sweet Mother K.D.", it is said that the song Katie's Been Gone by The Band from the Basement Tapes was written about her. She struggled with drugs and alcohol for many years and died in 1993.


Chris Offutt (born August 24, 1958) is an American author of fiction and memoirs.

Offutt was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and is the son of author Andrew J. Offutt. He grew up in Haldeman, Kentucky, a former clay mining and brick manufacturing community of 200 people in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Offutt quit high school to join the army, but failed the physical. He then attended Morehead State University and graduated with a degree in theater and a minor in art. He later attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 1992, he published his debut short story collection, Kentucky Straight. His second book was the 1993 memoir The Same River Twice, and in 1997 he published his first novel, The Good Brother. In 1999, he published his second book of stories, Out of the Woods, followed in 2002 by No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home, about a visit he made back to Haldeman.

Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick (born Marie Dionne Warrick on December 12, 1940), is an acclaimed five-time Grammy Award-winning African American singer, actress, activist, United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, former United States Ambassador of Health, and humanitarian. She is best known for her partnership with songwriters and producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David. According to Billboard Magazine, Dionne Warwick is second only to Aretha Franklin as the female vocalist with the most Billboard Hot 100 chart hits during the rock era (1955-1999). Warwick charted a total of 56 hits in the Billboard Hot 100. Dionne scored crossover hits on the Rhythm & Blues charts and the Adult Contemporary charts. Joel Whitburn's tome on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts entitled "Top Pop Singles 1955-1999" ranked Dionne Warwick as the #20 most popular of the top 200 artists of the rock era based upon the Billboard Pop Singles Charts.

T. S. Eliot

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate,
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!")
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!")
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute win reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in
upon a platter,
I am no prophet-and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along
the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Townes Van Zandt

Well, a diamond fades quickly when matched to the face of Maria
All the harps they sound empty when she lifts her lips to the sky
the brown of her skin makes her hair seem a soft golden rainfall
that spills from the mountains to the bottomless depths of her eyes

Well, she stands all around me her hands slowly sifting the sunshine
all the laughter that linger down deep 'neath her smilin' is free
Well, it spins and it twirls like a hummingbird lost in the morning
and caresses the south wind and silently sails to the sea

Ah, the sculptor stands stricken and the artist he throws away his brushes
when her image comes dancin' the sun she turns sullen with shame
And the birds they go silent the wind stops his sad mournful singing
when the trees of the forest start gently to whispering her name

So as softly she wanders I'll desperately follow her footsteps
and I'll chase after shadows that offer a trace of her sight
Ah, they promise eternally that she lays hidden within them
but I find they've deceived me and sadly I bid them goodbye

So the serpent slides softly away with these moments of laughter
and the the old washer woman has finished her cleaning' and gone
but the bamboo hangs heavy in the bondage of quicksilver daydreams
and a lonely child longingly looks for a place to belong

Saturday, December 15, 2007