Daily Archives: October 12, 2009

The Ballad of the Skeletons



Allen Ginsberg – Ballad of the Skeletons, 1996

Allen Ginsberg | Paul McCartney | Dir:  Gus Van Sant


Tagged , , ,

Christopher Columbus


“They willingly traded everything they owned…They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…They do not bear arms and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance…They have no iron…Their spears are made of cane…They would make fine servants…With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

~ Christopher Columbus writing in his diary upon landing in Hispaniola, from A People’s History of the United States

Fuck him.

via Curate

via Unburying the Lead

Though the first recorded celebration of Columbus occurred in New York City 1792, during a 300th anniversary celebration of his landing in the New World, Columbus Day did not become a federal holiday until 1971, courtesy of President Richard M. Nixon. …

Tagged , ,

George Giusti: Civilization…


George Giusti (Oct. 10, 1908 – 1990)

“Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men.”—Jane Addams, Speech, Honolulu, 1933.

From the series Great Ideas of Western Man, 1955 – India ink and gouache on paper (Smithsonian)

via Ordinary Finds

Tagged , ,

Monk ’66

Jazz piano great Thelonius Sphere Monk

Live in Copenhagen, 1966: Don’t Blame Me

Tagged , ,

Michael Mandiberg

Michael Mandiberg has just finished assembling a handsome installation of his work at Eyebeam.

Mandiberg’s one dozen separate pieces consist primarily of old, found books cut with a laser, handsomely shown individually or assembled in groups of two or more and placed on the artist’s own constructions.

Mandiberg goes where no laser cutter has ever gone before. Some of the work physically and dramatically distinguishes important newly-established contemporary technologies from their aging or defunct antecedents (many of which could once have been described as cutting edge themselves), The result is a visual dialogue charged with the passage of time and composed in the empty spaces we see “written” in and on various kinds of reference books.

One piece, a work in progress (surprisingly, lasers take their time), is titled “We have never had a year of peace”. When finished it will comprise the three volumes of the “Encyclopedia of the Third World”, lying on their spines next to each other, open at a random page in the middle where the artist has deeply burned the name and year of every war fought by this peace-loving republic since 1890.

Another body of work consists of a wall display of cast-off volumes describing how to make money. Mandiberg has “whittled” with a laser into their hard front covers to describe the logos of, according to the artist, “all of the failed banks of the Great Recession” ()

via James Wagner

Images:  Mandiberg | Wagner | LolaLulu

Video:  Graham Parker
Tagged , , , ,

Ambiguous poetry has a mystery that fascinates

Concrete Poetry by igor-nz

Poems without a definite meaning tend to engage a reader’s attention more than those that can be clearly understood and analyzed by the intellect. Ambiguous poetry has a mystery that fascinates.

Consequently, a poem about an impression, a mood or a feeling works better and is more profound if it is not immediately understandable on a rational level. In other words, there is a distinct inverse ratio between comprehension and enchantment. If a poem has a mystery or obscurity that defies any final understanding of its message and significance, then in my estimation it exerts a strong charm and is in its own way a highly satisfying artistic achievement.

Ambiguous poems need not always be a lyric or a ballad, which tend to focus on a single emotional state. Narrative poems, too, can possess some ambiguity about the events or circumstances, such as the case in Poe’s “The Raven.” I derive a greater pleasure from this type of narrative poem because I can go back to it again and again and read it with further speculation and new insights.

Layers of meaning
Poems without a clear-cut idea offer us multiple layers of meaning, and as we grow and mature in our wisdom and experience we can always discover deeper truths in them


Tagged , ,

The uses of erotic poetry


The erotic and the poetic make such good bedfellows as they both deal with transcendence, with moving beyond ourselves. Erotic poetry allows us to engage our imagination, to be titillated, turned on, and sometimes plain terrified. They help us better understand our impulses and in doing so an erotic poem becomes a place we can play out our irrational fears or indulge our deep-seated desires. ()

Poetry is an ideal form for expressing, and understanding, one of our deepest drives

Photo by Sinsong
Tagged ,

Nobuyoshi Araki


Famed Japanese erotic photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki, posing with a model in his studio
by Stuart Isett
Photographer, Seattle




Photo by Araki Nobuyoshi

by e-chan in an exhibition
“Self-Life-Death, ARAKI A LA VIE LA MORT” 
Expo-retrospective Nobuyoshi ARAKI
Musee de la Photographie de Charleroi (Belgique/Belgium)