Thursday, November 30, 2006

What Do You Think

Hey bloggers, I do have this question I like to put out to see what others beside me think. I got this attachment. I seldom open attachments. Only when I know for sure who's sending it and so know it's save to open them. I opened one from such a source. It's a petition. It's about children in Africa. Young girls that get violated by men with aids who believe that they will heal when they mate with a virgin, the younger the better. It is a very deploring, emotional situation. It is heart breaking. Without further discription, the thing going around, (the source is in Holland), is a list to collect names to petition against cutting down funds that have been created to help bring awarenss to the situation and act bring about change so lives can be saved.

Now it easy to put one's name on a list. But what I am thinking is to what effect? It is just a list of names. First and last name. No other identification. The way I see it, I could put a whole lot of imaginary names on that list to make it grow. What good is that? Which government institution is going to believe that? Even if the city or county was added. What good would that do? I could add my all my relatives names who do not even live anymore or just make up names.

It seems to me a waste of time and energy. A non effective way to deal with emotional issues. Am I missing something?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Webster's Daily

Hey! In the course of wading thru all my "found" bookmarks, I happened to see a reference to this other Blogspot site. Webster's Daily. Check it out. The poetry of Dictionary.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gertrude Stein

Larry has been dipping his toes into the vast mannish ocean of Gertrude again. She's a deep one, she is. Hard to read. No light sandy beach material here. Brown mahogany studies and gas lamps. Famous paintings crowding the walls. Pince-nez or perhaps a monocle. Something to make you concentrate because Gertrude is nothing if not concentrated.

Distilled. What is the process of distilling? You keep running the same ingredients through the pipes, boiling and condensing, purer and purer, until what's left is the essence that intoxicates you.

That's what Gertrude did.

Not always. Her most famous work, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, is a straightforward, fact-filled, gossipy kind of recounting of the early days of the Parisian artistic explosion at the turn of the 20th century. In other words, the kind of life that Alice and Gertrude and her brother Leo were certainly living. Like reading one of those British books about the royal family written by a former valet.

Other works are dense. Dense with repetition. But not exactly repetition. This is why you must concentrate because she repeats but not exactly. There may be a word missing. And when Gertrude removes a word, there must be a reason for it.

Gertrude is famous for writing, "Rose is a rose is a rose" which Larry has no idea what that means, even though his altered ego wrote about it once too. But there is the distilled essence of her endless repetition, and her injunction, repeated repeatedly in The Making of Americans to "begin again." Larry thinks it was also Gertrude who said about that town in California, "There's no there there." Exactly.

No distilled essence to tell you what it is. Which is what Gertrude repeatedly seeks.

You must be careful when reading Gertrude because she explores multiple meanings of words. This is part of her repetition as well. Take, for example, her portrait of Picasso. (After all, Picasso painted her portrait...with much difficulty, it is told. He never could get her face right. He worked for months. For months he worked. He worked and worked but the face would not work. Until he finally blotted out the whole thing and painted the mask as you see it above. And that became Gertrude's face, no other. She grew into that you see it below.)

Larry wants to quote the first two paragraphs of Gertrude's portrait of Picasso because they admirably set up the rhythm of repetition and lay the foundation of a completely accurate depiction of who that old Picasso was and what he was about. They also demonstrate Gertrude's masterful play with multiple meanings:

One whom some were certainly following was one who was completely charming.One whom some were certainly following was one who was charming. One whom some were following was one who was completely charming. One whom some were following was one who was certainly completely charming.

Some were certainly following and were certain that the one they were then following was one working and was one bringing out of himself then something. Some were certainly following and were certain that the one they were then following was one bringing out of himself then something that was coming to be a heavy thing, a solid thing and a complete thing.

Crucial words here: following, working, charming.

Picasso was certainly charming. Women loved that short little fu...oops, did Larry write that out loud? Fact is, he was a little youknow. But women loved him anyway. Even the mannish ones like Gertrude.

Following. He certainly had one. In more than one sense. Picasso always had his followers. His entourage. Hangers-on. He was rarely alone. Even when painting. People came to watch him paint. Sometimes he put on displays for them. But other kinds of following too. He and Braque started a whole genre of painting. Cubism. Gertrude is sometimes called the "first Cubist writer." And Picasso's followers were all the Cubist artists who followed him. Certainly. Certain that there was a solidity to this cubic expression.

Working. Not many artists can match Picasso's output. In painting, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, lithographs. You name it. He probably did it. Worked it. Gertrude emphasizes throughout the short portrait (just over 2 pages, thirteen paragraphs, maybe 1000 words) that Picasso worked. Picasso's work defined him. Without quoting the entire portrait, Larry can tell you that Gertrude ultimately raises the suggestion that Picasso was a workaholic. Without his work he was nothing. Even when he had nothing much to say, he must be working. Completely working, as she says.

But work and working has another meaning: as in "This is not working." And Gertrude exploits that and gradually turns it around so that the final sentence of her portrait is, "He was not ever completely working."

And he wasn't. Many things in his life were messed up, particularly his long-term relationships. Just ask Dora Maar, the Weeping Woman. Just ask Fran├žoise Gilot to whom, when she finally decided to leave him for good, all he could say was "Merde." So, in spite of working, he was not ever completely working. Not only that, as Gertrude implies, much of the time he was actually playing.

Gertrude. She was not playing with words. She was working them. Over and over. Until she got it right. Larry wonders what she would have done with a computer's cut and paste function.

(Which leads inevitably to William Burroughs...)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


SAMHAINNorthern Hemisphere: October 31st Southern Hemisphere: April 30th Pronounced "SOW' win" (rhymes with "cow")
Meaning of the Sabbat:"....And to the living is revealed the Mystery: that every ending is but a New Beginning.....""This festival is often called the "Feast of the Dead", as it is the time of year when the veil between the material and spirit worlds is thinnest. The spirits of our ancestors and loved ones who have recently passed to "The Summerlands" are able to return to us for a short while and join in the revelry. In ancient times, cattle were slaughted and the meat butchered and salted for the Dark Times ahead."At Samhain the Stag Lord rides with the Wild Hunt from the hollow hills and the Lady goes to the Dark Realms for the long sleep of Winter. On this night, the Old Year ends and a New Year begins for Pagans".

SAMHAIN RITUALNOTE: Each covener brings into the Circle a piece of paper upon which they have written negative qualities about themselves that they would like to be rid of. (Like smoking, procrastination, being judgemental etc.) Cauldron to burn papers. Candle or fire.2 Black altar candlesMusic for "Dance Macabre"Candy corn in a plastic pumpkin for talking stickSmudge stick and featherRITUALHP & HPS smudge the Coveners before they enter the Circle.HPS Casts the Circle.HP & HPS light Quarters Candles.CHARGE ELEMENTS.CLEANS CIRCLECall the Quarters.HP Invokes Hades, the Lord of the Underworld (NOTE: This is NOT "Satan"!) HPS invokes Hecate, Crone Goddess of the Dark Moon, ruler of the Underworld, Crossroads & magick.HPS: "We are between the Worlds, beyond the bounds of time, where day and night, birth & death, joy and sorrow meet as one.(HP reads the Statement of Intent:)This festival is often called the Feast of the Dead, as it is the time of the year when the veil between the Material and Spirit worlds is the thinnest. The spirits of our ancestors and loved ones who have recently passed to the Summerlands are able to return to us for a short time and join the revelry."In ancient times, cattle were slaughtered, and the meat butchered and salted for the Dark Times ahead."At Samhain, the Stag Lord rides the Wild Hunt from the hollow hills, and the Lady goes into the Dark Realms for the long sleep of Winter. On this night, the Old Year ends and a New Year begins."We are at the crack of time, for this day belongs to neither the Old Year nor to the New. And, as there are no distinctions between the years, so there is no distinction between the worlds. Those we have known and loved in ages past are free to return to us here in this meeting place. "And, to the living is revealed the Mystery: that every Ending is but a New Beginning."We meet in this time out of time, everywhere and nowhere, to greet the Lord of Death, who is the Lord of Life, and the Triple Goddess, who is the Circle of Rebirth.(HPS picks up the pumpkin with the candy in it, and remembers someone or animal friend (either known to you or someone from history that you admire). She takes a pice of candy and says, "I taste the Sweetness of your Memory", and passes the pumpkin (Talking Stick) to the next Covener to her left. Continue around the Circle until all have had a turn).(The "Danse Macabre" or "The Dance of the Dead" is done Widdershins (counter-clockwise). Start walking very slowly, and increase the speed until you are skipping and twirling. Invite the spirits to join you. If you do this outdoors, you can attact ectoplasm if you raise enough energy. Look for it swirling through the sky or landing in the trees. Dance until you are tired, then stop.Someone lights the Cauldron that stands in the North. Start with the HP. Each Covener in turn walks Widdershins, and puts their "negativity paper" into the fire to release it from you.SYMBOLIC GREAT RITE.(CAKES & ALE). (During this time, tell stories and customs of Hallowe'en).
~ End of Rite. ~

Needed: A Last Excuse

Blogging? Why not? Word doesn’t approve of the word blogging. Treats it with red wiggely lines. Wordless disapproval.

The sunflower in the yard, bent over, seedless head, just received a covering of snow. Snow on the sun. Sounds like a contradiction.

Like my life. My life is rather contradictory lately. Why?

Well, my friend moved out, with most of his stuff, but not all of his stuff. His place, in the country is filling up and speaks new and exciting. My place on the other hand is emptying, but not quite, and in a sort of desolate state. Life changing. Missing the count- on presence of the other.

Nothing bad. Friendship unharmed. Just transformation. Spending time here and there. Having to bring some sort of harmony back into my place. The trick is to create a new atmosphere. Not quite as it was when I lived alone before. I am not that person anymore. Not so that I oust the other. Still need a place accommodating him and young children frequently. It’s a different story. Needs a different setting.

The dilemma required more thinking than doing for a while. Crying made thinking difficult. Emotions attack logical brains. Cripple them severely.

Yesterday some more common sense crept in. Ha, my living room looks great now. Accommodates all needs. Magic.

New problem. The rest of the house is still in shambles. So I find every excuse in the book to be in my living room and relax. Phone someone. Read a bit. Have a hot chocolate. A treat. Linger over it as long as possible. Walk the dog.

I did all that. It is noon by now. Running out of excuses to be brave and deal with other rooms. More change. Not only the move out. Also the season change. Warm to cold. Rain. Wind. Snow, a little. Frost, a little. Not in any specific order. Why would I not feel unsettled unless I am in my living room?

Well, there you go. I wrote a blog and will post it. My last excuse. Wish me luck. Maybe by tonight I did a good amount of unchaosing. Are you surprised that Word doesn’t like that word either? Word has no understanding of poets. Not set up for poetic licenses.

Wild Thing