Saturday, July 28, 2007
The Spectral Attitudes
By André Breton
I attach no importance to life
I pin not the least of life's butterflies to importance
I do not matter to life
But the branches of salt the white branches
All the shadow bubbles
And the sea-anemones
Come down and breathe within my thoughts
They come from tears that are not mine
From steps I do not take that are steps twice
And of which the sand remembers the flood-tide
The bars are in the cage
And the birds come down from far above to sing before these bars
A subterranean passage unites all perfumes
A woman pledged herself there one day
This woman became so bright that I could no longer see her
With these eyes which have seen my own self burning
I was then already as old as I am now
And I watched over myself and my thoughts like a night watchman in an immense factory Keeping watch alone
The circus always enchants the same tramlines
The plaster figures have lost nothing of their expression
They who bit the smile's fig
I know of a drapery in a forgotten town
If it pleased me to appear to you wrapped in this drapery
You would think that your end was approaching
At last the fountains would understand that you must not say Fountain
The wolves are clothed in mirrors of snow
I have a boat detached from all climates
I am dragged along by an ice-pack with teeth of flame
I cut and cleave the wood of this tree that will always be green
A musician is caught up in the strings of his instrument
The skull and crossbones of the time of any childhood story
Goes on board a ship that is as yet its own ghost only
Perhaps there is a hilt to this sword
But already there is a duel in this hilt
During the duel the combatants are unarmed
Death is the least offence
The future never comes
The curtains that have never been raised
Float to the windows of houses that are to be built
The beds made of lilies
Slide beneath the lamps of dew
There will come an evening
The nuggets of light become still underneath the blue moss
The hands that tie and untie the knots of love and of air
Keep all their transparency for those who have eyes to see
They see the palms of hands
The crowns in eyes
But the brazier of crown and palms
Can scarcely be lit in the deepest part of the forest
There where the stags bend their heads to examine the years
Nothing more than a feeble beating is heard
From which sound a thousand louder or softer sounds proceed
And the beating goes on and on
There are dresses that vibrate
And their vibration is in unison with the beating
When I wish to see the faces of those that wear them
A great fog rises from the ground
At the bottom of the steeples behind the most elegant reservoirs of life and of wealth
In the gorges which hide themselves between two mountains
On the sea at the hour when the sun cools down
Those who make signs to me are separated by stars
And yet the carriage overturned at full speed
Carries as far as my last hesitation
That awaits me down there in the town where the statues of bronze
and of stone have changed places with statues of wax Banyans banyans.
The Manless Society
By Pierre Unik
Morning trickles over the bruised vegetables
like a drop of sweat over the lines of my hand
I crawl over the ground
with stem and wrinkled mouth
the sun swells into the canals of monstrous leaves
which recover cemeteries harbours houses
with the same sticky green zeal
then with disturbing intensity there passes through my mind
the absurdity of human groupings
in these lines of closely packed houseslike the pores of the skin
in the poignant void of terrestrial space
I hear the crying of birds of whom it used to be said
that they sang and implacable resembled stones
I see flocks of houses munching the pith of the air
factories which sing as birds once sang
roads which lose themselves in harvests of salt
pieces of sky which become dry on verdigris moss
a pulley's creaking tells us that a bucket rises in a well
it is full of limpid blood
which evaporates in the sun
nothing else will trouble this circuit on the ground
which trembles under the form of an immense pinned butterfly
at the entrance of a motionless station.
Oil on canvas Silence 1915 By Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes
By Georges Ribemont Dessaignes
I have a little windmill on my head
Which draws up water to my mouth and eyes
When I am hungry or moved to tears
I have a little horn full of the odour of absinth in my ears
And on my nose a green parakeet that flaps its wings
And cries 'Aux Armes'
When from the sky fall the seeds of the sun
The absence from the heart of steel
At the bottom of the boneless and stagnant realities
Is partial to crazy sea-fishI am the captain and the alsatian at the cinema
I have in my belly a little agricultural machine
That reaps and binds electric flex
The cocoanuts thrown by the melancholy monkey
Fall like spittle into the water
Where they blossom again as petunias
I have in my stomach an ocarina and I have virginal faith
I feed my poet on the feet of a pianist
Whose teeth are even and uneven
And sad Sunday evenings
I throw my morganatic dreams
To the loving turtle-doves who laugh like hell.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
There Is This Distance Between Me And What I See
By Philip Lamantia
There is this distance between me and what I see
everywhere immanence of the presence of God
no more ekstasis
a cool head
watch watch watch
I'm here He's over there ... It's an ocean ...
Sometimes I can't think of it, I fail, fall
This IS the book of love
there IS the Tower of David
there IS the throne of wisdom
there IS this silent but a lot
Constant flight and air of the Holy Ghost
I long for the luminous darkness of God
I long for the superessential light of this darkness
Another darkness I long for the end of longing
I long for the
it is nameless what I long for
a spoken word caught in its own meat saying nothing
This nothing ravishes beyond ravishing
There IS this book of love Thrown Silent look of Love
Link With Photo & Writings * Link To Obituary (London)
By Philip Lamantia
O beato solitudo! Where have I flown to?
stars overturn the wall of my music
as flight of birds, they go by, the spirits
opened below the lark of plenty
ovens of neant overflow the docks at Veracruz
This much is time
summer coils the soft suck of night
loan unseen Eagles crash thru mud
I am worn like an old sack by the celestial bum
I'm dropping my eyes were all the trees turn on fire!
I'm mad to go to you, Solitude - who will carry me there?
I wedged in this collision of planets/Tough!
I'm the trumpet of King David
The sinister elevator tore itself limb by limb
You cannot close
You cannot open
You break your head
You make bloody bread!
Love Sonnet XI
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
Translated by Nathaniel Tarn
Friday, July 20, 2007
And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesmal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure partof the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.
Translated by Nathaniel Tarn
Monday, July 16, 2007
Ode to the Book
By Pablo Neruda
When I close a book
I open life.
slide down sand-pits
Among the island
throbs with fish,
touches the feet, the thighs,
the chalk ribs
of my country.
The whole of night
clings to its shores, by dawn
it wakes up singing
as if it had excited a guitar.
The ocean's surge is calling.
calls meand Rodriguez calls,
and Jose Antonio--
I got a telegram
from the "Mine" Union
and the one I love
(whose name I won't let out)
expects me in Bucalemu.
No book has been able
to wrap me in paper,
to fill me up
with heavenly imprints
or was ever able
to bind my eyes,
I come out of books to people orchards
with the hoarse family of my song,
to work the burning metals
or to eat smoked beef
by mountain firesides.
I love adventurous
books of forest or snow,
depth or skybut hate
the spider book in which thought
has laid poisonous wires
to trap the juvenile
and circling fly.
Book, let me go.
I won't go clothed
I don't come out
of collected works,
have not eaten poems--
feed on rough weather,
and dig their food
out of earth and men.
I'm on my way
with dust in my shoes
free of mythology:
send books back to their shelves,
I'm going down into the streets.
I learned about life
from life itself,
love I learned in a single kiss
and could teach no one anything
except that I have lived
with something in common among men,
when fighting with them,
when saying all their say in my song.
Translated by Nathaniel Tarn
Sunday, July 15, 2007
By Edgar Allan Poe
'Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro' the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
'Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold-too cold for me-
There pass'd, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heartIs the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
A Dream Within A Dream
By Edgar Allan Poe
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow—
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand—
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Part Four: Time and Eternity
SAFE in their Alabaster Chambers –
Untouched by Morning –
And untouched by Noon –
Lie the meek members of the Resurrection –
Rafter of satin – and Roof of stone!
Grand go the Years – in the Crescent above them –
Worlds scoop their Arcs –
And Firmaments – row –
Diadems – drop – and Doges – surrender –
Soundless as dots – on a Disc of Snow –
By Emily Dickinson
Part Two: Nature
ARCTURUS is his other name --
I'd rather call him Star!
It's very mean of Science
To go and interfere!
I slew a worm the other day --
A Savant passing by
Murmured "Resurgam" -- Centipede!
Oh Lord -- how frail are we!
I pull a flower from the woods --
A monster with a glass
Computes the stamens in a breath --
And has her in a class!
Whereas I took the Butterfly
Aforetime in my hat --
He sits erect in Cabinets --
The Clover bells forgot.
What once was Heaven
Is Zenith now --
Where I proposed to go
When Time's brief masquerade was done
Is mapped and charted too.
What if the poles should frisk about
And stand upon their heads!
I hope I'm ready for the worst --
Whatever prank betides!
Perhaps the Kingdom of Heaven's changed --
I hope the Children there
Won't be new fashioned when I come --
And laugh at me -- and stare --
I hope the Father in the skies
Will lift his little girl --
Old fashioned -- naught -- everything --
Over the stile of Pearl!
By Emily Dickinson
.۩ Metaphors ۩
I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.
By Sylvia Plath