At the Corner of Imagined and Real

'Time Traveler (Chuck),' by user PINKÉ on Flickr

[Image: “Time Traveler,” by user PINKÉ on (Used here under a Creative Commons license (thank you).) The photographer’s caption: “Chuck used his time machine to travel back in time. He was shocked to discover there wasn’t any air conditioning. He was glad to get back. July 2013.” Chuck seems to have had many adventures in geography, although as far as I can tell this has been his only one in time.]

From whiskey river (italicized lines):

On Velvet Turf

I dash outdoors so I will know
a little more about the day—
I stride forth filled with the whiff.
What’s to know is always a little to the left,
deep in the vine-covered hole of a hedgehog down
by the mossy stump. If something is impaled down there
I want to know. I don’t mind throwing myself
into the cistern of the Middle Ages.
Who knows, here once the embattled farmers stood,
their gallant foreheads broadly glistening.
I’ve read whole books standing up naked.
I’ve bragged all my life of the glories
I had in common with the rest of the world,
glories that fled through the windfields
and raked rivers, through the sere leaves
of the trees—
now that the broken gravy boat will sail no more
and the electric fence electrify no one,
now that the crepitating rain has come
and the winter lilt departed, it is time
to come out of my hole—
though the stars take me back
more than I am willing to admit.

(Mary Ruefle [source])


Art alone makes life possible—this is how radically I should like to formulate it. I would say that without art man is inconceivable in physiological terms. There is a certain materialist doctrine which claims that we can dispense with mind and with art because man is just a more or less highly developed mechanism governed by chemical processes. I would say man does not consist only of chemical processes, but also of metaphysical occurrences. The provocateur of the chemical processes is located outside the world. Man is only truly alive when he realizes he is a creative, artistic being.

(Joseph Beuys [source])

[Read more…]

Send to Kindle

Surprise, Surprise

[Video: high-speed footage (1000fps) of an “eagle owl” in flight. This film has apparently been around for a while, but I don’t think I’ve seen it before this week. Chief virtue, for me: shows me something I couldn’t have imagined on my own!]

From whiskey river:

I cannot help you understand. In the realm of the ultimate, each person must figure out things for themselves. Remember that. Teachers who offer you the ultimate answers do not possess the ultimate answers, for if they did, they would know that the ultimate answers cannot be given, they can only be received.

(Tom Robbins [source])


The Poems of Our Climate

Clear water in a brilliant bowl,
pink and white carnations. The light
in the room more like a snowy air,
reflecting snow. A newly-fallen snow
at the end of winter when afternoons return.
Pink and white carnations — one desires
so much more than that. The day itself
is simplified: a bowl of white,
cold, a cold porcelain, low and round,
with nothing more than the carnations there.

Say even that this complete simplicity
stripped one of all one’s torments, concealed
the evilly compounded, vital I
and made it fresh in a world of white,
a world of clear water, brilliant-edged,
still one would want more, one would need more,
more than a world of white and snowy scents.

There would still remain the never-resting mind,
so that one would want to escape, come back
to what had been so long composed.
The imperfect is our paradise.
Note that, in this bitterness, delight,
since the imperfect is so hot in us,
lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.

(Wallace Stevens [source])

[Read more…]

Send to Kindle