Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Gutful of Art

Closing in on one hundred posts. So we shall move on. These are some of the events I have been to.

Went to two different events in the last few days. The first one on
Friday Evening (June 26 2009) was the normal poetry slam held at the
Front Cafe. Compared to last months infamous, woman's only, reading the joint was packed out, indeed I felt claustrophobic and had to step outside into the early winter evening to get some space.

The usual gang of poets descended like locusts devouring and
spewing out all manner of words. I hung about for about half of the
evening, chatting with assorted people, drinking a few beers, before
the discomfort of the large crowd in the small venue got the
better of me, and I left. Sad to say that the crowd was so large that it became difficult to hear some of the readers.

A friend from my work came along and we both enjoyed the
evening. As the rhymes and riddims spread across the room, special
attention was drawn to Anthony's declamation of the bus voucher.
Leading to (or following from), discussions of the Platonic ideal and the language of object oriented programming OOP, and the naming and ordering of found poetry.

Which for no obvious reason raises an interesting question. Compared to last month's relatively poor turnout, what gives? Knowing Julian fairly well, at least in his guise as a poetry Svengali, I can vouch for his commitment to being inclusive in who is allowed to read. Is this even a problem, an issue? Are we all to blame, are we blameless? Are we thrown and lost in the maelstrom? Do we lack the understanding to crawl ourselves unto the earthly paradise?

Paradise bower bird males gathering shiny Moriarty blue objects,
building preening dancing stages. Is this biology, simple chemistry and little else? Are poets only looking for the pleasure that matter brings? Of course (everyone says) there is more to the creation of art than Werther's sturm und sorrow drang. Confronting naked lunch at the end of the fork? If not now when?

One does not have to look very long or hard (pun intended??) to find many instances and discussions of the unifying of sexual and creative energy.

My love talks of the intimidating stance and speech of the men
poets, I can not fault her argument. As part of the problem...

On Monday I went to Smith's Books for a book launch of local poet, Fiona McIlory. The book was launched by Green Party member Ms Caroline
Le Couteur MLA
. Praise was given to small business as being members of the community, and how money spent at small business stayed in the community. This is all very true, but also is the fact that giant oaks grow from tiny acorns. There is an intelligence within the exploitive relationship which wishes to unfold itself.

Touching accessible poems of life and love and loss.

One tiny bit stuck a sore point with me. In a poem, which I did
not catch the title of, comment was made of using Vista to access the internet, facebook, GetUp et al. Surely in this day and age of solid, easy (relatively) to install GUN/Linux distributions, no right thinking progressive person or organinsation can justify using Micr$oft products.

  • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.

  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study and modify the program.

  • Freedom 2: The freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbor.

  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

And then some songs were sung by the poet. And then I had to dash off into the night. The bookends of my weekend. Friday and Monday night.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Et Tu

Starting with an unix command line invocation and tumbling through swinburne and various verses of non meaning, and ending in nothing more than vice. an experiment let out to hang and you can like it or not, myself i am ambivalent, but it does have some nice patches. and anything has to be better than the non stop wall of lies we get to read. (or the high level design documents i get to write day after soul destroying day)

find . -name "*txt" -exec grep -li nterfa {} \;

Reading Byron is like programming in C

While Swinburne is like programming with lisp

Standing on the headland, the waves breaking,
The howling wind lonely. Vast entire heavens
Above, a new world unseen in front.

Entrancing dream chanting moral
(All busyness) meaty walk wall
Brick younguns and dumb oldest
Bolshie timber and the boldest
Plumpy rump stake rare of regal length
Seedy sperming foam of sailors strength
Ding dong dangling off the sharp punt
Auf herr faeces. Drip dropping hunt

Wile sly spiral frosting attends
Both of her chesty corf pop ends
(The friction rises; indeed falls.
A snerring of cataphobic calls
And expulsions).
Flick! Flock! Fire!
Trunk grinding forth a series entyre.
Big bags of benders and scant fenders,
Grate damp triangulation senders,
Heartz mimic, heat radio waves,
Ipod, you pong. Now five dollars saves
The householster from starvation.

Pleasing piss around frustration.
Off weep sleep apnoea champers
Out, about grousing, high mugged pitchers.
Rugged jugs of milky white fright
Fair ran off to desert night fight.
Peeling sand off heat haze fliers
And he satayed burning fires.

They pair plumped the debts each notwake
Up and down the intersolar fake.
Fecal dragging bran strum malstorm
Storm broadcast each and every form
Mine and maul dub bub header listens
Up around storied building glistens
Raising bablewise to even stevens
Falling begin again white covens.

United techno choler raced.
Wild the river cistern braced.
Not unknown, for the sentries round
Her the radar, once was lost, found.
The missing aeroplane and crew.

This then here must assured true
Be stated that all wealth generation,
And not the fine dust substitution
With and obsession of death, to all
Who, of course, consume sub micron small
In seize seas size and deep into
His her lung fishing love of flashing loo,
Trimp shrimp and save trip dividing
And sub devising schemes rising
Fractional down a fraction of tubes
Tubal (like a hi ho spread danube)
Until terminate and stay resident

And hell took ill and ailment
She thrushed and slushed agreed fever
And her wife took ill and her child heir
And his her grund chill lil fill ill in turn
No pill about for to ill back death spurn
Well will into health - not the lamp
Of the smokeless fire that first clump
Nun clear never hospitality,
And duo beer crapped diamond stinky
Unto her bend lent out to knights
Tippelary 'twas her turn to clack
The rattle tattler of her back
Two pound day of groat sweet turtle
Tut tutting a groin of fysics battle
In great con fluemence - What is It?
What is it?
What can it be?
Why? How? When?

And the injurt tugged up your bed
He croaked covering own owning head.
Bleed Blood
Drips Dropping
Cords Snapping
Chips Chapping
Flips Flapping

Aryans okie doking to grown
Gown mushy zimmer
Farasi - Nononono sososo bad banned rejerct
Floor ever the brown boomer
Winstonian newtowns arrow panes
Buts and strife the fluxing pillagers
Look at them skitter scatter he boomps art
His lacateous treat mick in the booming
Kow tow boarded boy wanna be as bing
As all outdoorious vice.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What Does Fascism Mean to Me?

I wrote this a long time, over ten years ago at least - sad to say it is still relevant. The quote is from Georgi Dimitrov, the full article can be found here

But whatever the masks that fascism adopts, whatever the forms in
which it presents itself, whatever the ways by which it comes to power

  • Fascism is a most ferocious attack by capital on the mass of the working people;
  • Fascism is unbridled chauvinism and predatory war;
  • Fascism is rabid reaction and counter-revolution;
  • Fascism is the most vicious enemy of the working class and of all working people.

At times I ask myself
Where did Hitler's storm troppers
Come from? At other times I look
Around, and it's all too clear.

(It. fascismo: bundle, group)

The shattered dreams
Of a young girl
Her neck broken.

A flat dusty road.
A halo of crimson.

No saints.
No violets.
Just the Other.
And the smell of rust

An old man killed
Along the road.

Whole countries burn,
While at home,
The papers scream
A shortage of soap.

And to all those who think
It can not happen again
Look around
And think
If they said
Let's go and kill 'em
How many would join up?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy (Late) Bloomsday

June 16.

It was a Tuesday night. A cool evening here in Canberra, down to 2 degrees centigrade over night. What is late spring in Ireland, is late autumn here in Australia (working on the assumption the winter/summer begins about june 20th).

I went into Manuka, to the Paper Chain bookstore, there was to be a Bloomsday event. How could I have done otherwise?

Being a bookstore first and a venue second, it was uncomfortable, forcing the majority of listeners to stand. But of course lovers of Joyce will not but put off by having to stand, especially as there so were so many wonderful books around! Remembering the discomfort and poverty that Jim and Nora, as well as their children overcame, puts things into perspective. :-)

I arrived late, as I had made a configuration error in our monitoring application at work. I had no choice but to tidy up my error before I left work. This made me late. When I arrived an older man was reading from Ulysses, maybe it was from the Hades section. Bloom noticed the potato talisman in his pocket. Maybe I am confused.

Graeme Adler on violin and Margaret O'Connor on guitar and vocals sang some songs that were primarily settings of poetry, much of it by WB Yeats. Including this one.


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Is it just me, or there a hint of an aristocratic fascism in this poem? (Although, as I have just finished the Cantos of Ezra Pound I should probably just shut up.)

A toast to the memory of Sylvia Beach, and to independent book stores in general, yoked under the angelic patronage of Thomas Aquinas.

And then a chap name Robert, I think, read a section from Circe.

STEPHEN: (BRINGS THE MATCH NEAR HIS EYE) Lynx eye. Must get glasses.
Broke them yesterday. Sixteen years ago. Distance. The eye sees all flat.
(HE DRAWS THE MATCH AWAY. IT GOES OUT.) Brain thinks. Near: far.
Ineluctable modality of the visible. (HE FROWNS MYSTERIOUSLY) Hm. Sphinx.
The beast that has twobacks at midnight. Married.

A final reading from Ulysses, the last pages of the Sirens section. An amusing finish to the evening. With the sentence "Bloom alone." showing the power of Joyce's economic emotions.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap

--Very, Mr Dedalus said, staring hard at a headless sardine.

Under the sandwichbell lay on a bier of bread one last, one lonely, last
sardine of summer. Bloom alone.

All in all a pleasant evening. personally I would have preferred more readings from Ulysses, but fun has had. A glass or tow of wine, some Music, some Poetry, what more can one desire.

Three cheers to all involved!

Why I love UNIX.

I was able to navigate to the directory to find the text version of Ulysses i downloaded from here. Then I thought of some unique word or phrase from readings. For example, I remeber Poldy being full of gas in the last reading. So I ran the command

$ cat -n ulysses.txt | grep -i gassy

cat prints the file to the screen (stdout) and the "-n"switch appends a line number to each line. And the the grep command (global regular expression print) searchs the text stream for a particualr 'expression' in this case 'gassy.' This gave the output:

14060 Gassy thing that cider: binding too. Wait. Postoffice near Reuben J's

This allowed me to then issue the command emacs +14060 ulysses.txt - taking me to line desired.

The moral being that UNIX is way cool :-)


Friday, June 12, 2009

For those who see only lack of meaning

Of the three poems submitted this was the one i thought the best. My affection could be because the poem has some mock lisp (a programming language) in it, so what is there not to like.

The Argument
What we cannot speak of we must pass over in silence.
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

Breathless grunts and bedspringed groans of desire.
Infant babble drool crafting the alien.
Technically sweet perversions of precision.
Alive ghetto nuance of generations.
Tangled reused active spaghetti goto.
Mad man made jumbles of mad made up playstations.
Vast creole sprawling pidgin archipelago.
Tearshaped confusion of demented fire.

Argot languages cant jargon misery,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Mocking bitch of a god spelled backwards is Dog.

(defun Envoi
(if (> love hate)
(Non dulce et non decorum est)
(GENESIS 11:6))

Thursday, June 11, 2009


This is the second of rejected poems about the process of writing poems (rather recursive one may say). it is about how poems/art seem to fall from the heavens (aura) - but in fact well up from some place deep and dark inside.

The straunge sent
Misty rain frail
On the bitumen.

Stills aura thought
Wards the peniscil
Lead interfacing pauper.

Sent memories.
Unspoken recall.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One Hundred Lies One Should Hear Before They Die.

Three poems submitted and not one accepted. With each closing door comes an open window. The 'theme' was CUSTOM/MADE and the contest was to write about the writing process, near as I can tell. I think I hit the mark pretty close.

One hundred times the artist bounces
The red rubber ball.

One hundred times the child dances
Round the cherry tree.

One hundred times old man speeches bring
Forth endless slaughter.

100 odes, 100 lyrics,
100 tales, 100 novels.
All is bent, pulled, twisted into the
Pliers of societies fires...

The whole world hurtles a future
Of unimaginable violence
And seriousness is spat out
The hard tasteless shell.
Enthusiasm is slapped down
An old diseased whore.

Praise be to the processed.
All Honour to the bland.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

An Animal in Human Functions

The quote is from the "Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844". And, as it seems to describe our situation, I wrote a poem.

I work amid the cluster of offices in the Belconnen town centre district, hence the street names.

The result we arrive at then is that man (the worker) only feels
himself freely active in his animal functions of eating, drinking and procreating, at most in his dwelling and dress, and feels himself an animal in his human functions.

Bunches across Chan Street to Swanson Court.
Wide Cameron Avenue afternoon
Above the Westfield Shopping Town.
Let out from meetings, lifts and offices.
We meld, one massy tome of animals
Now free and active for rare hour rush.
Drawn the shitting tone false free clippington,
And so to lunch. And so sixty minutes.

And I wander walking slow my way
Too bright light echo clattering courtyard.
Dear healthless farm yard corpse piled cash.
Hard false white wooden advertisement
Laminated tables and moulded chairs.
A constant chatter spites Tina Turner
Breezing whistling public address system.
Groups peel off pointless stores to purchase
Alone piled wide gifts, petty symbols
Of time spent and lost and traded away.
A handful of beans swapped the crossroads.
Not free, rather a subtle relentless
Compulsion drummed from infant to aged.

Toothless roughened mouths drop globs of matter.
Wilted lettuce, embracing cheese, dry bland
Rolls of loafs of bread. Pram seated babies
Draw cooing bottles, chemical leaching,
Petroleum, into belching cola.
Piled remains on vacated tables.
Homeless, ghostwise, cruise pale witless crumbs,
Limp chips sweaty of paper tearing grease,
Gnawed and rejected buns, clotted gristle,
Swine flu flesh, spat out hugs of lowing fat.
Shiny sugar grit and smears of flavour.

Wolfing rows of workers eating tasteless
Remorseless, phone ringing, clock watching.
Time is the horizon of our being,
Measured out in taylored curds and clods precise.
This workshop line up sandwich counter,
Knifes of sleek as fat butter, olive marg,
Slapped slices thin of yeasty salted flesh,
Pale radiations of salad pieces,
Stripped and grated carrots sugar beet.
Drone back drawn candle flame waste compulsion.

Monday, June 1, 2009

An Injury to One is an Injury to All

  • The majority of people worldwide who live in absolute poverty (that is, living on less than one dollar a day) are women.
  • Women do 75% of the world’s work, including unpaid, yet own only 10% of the world wealth.
  • Out of over 180 countries, only 11 are currently led by women.
  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives.