Tuesday, June 30, 2009

and more pieces (like a puzzle)

"The way I write is who I am, or have become, yet this is a case in which I wish I had instead of words and their rhythms a cutting room, equipped with an Avid, a digital editing system on which I could touch a key and collapse the sequence of time, show you simultaneously all the frames of memory that come to me now, let you pick the takes, the marginally different expressions, the variant readings of the same lines. This is a case in which I need more than words to find the meaning."
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking


We are happy in our way of life.
It doesn’t make much sense to others. We sit about,
Read, and are restless. Occasionally it becomes time
To lower the dark shade over it all.
Our entity pivots on a self-induced trance
Like sleep. Noiseless our living stops
And one strays as in a dream
Into those respectable purlieus where life is motionless and alive
To utter the few words one knows

We need the tether
Of entering each other’s lives, eyes wide apart, crying.

- "Parergon" by John Ashbery


"When we apprehend the auditor’s mediating role, we have to reconnect the speaker’s main point (ergon) with what is beside the point (parergon), but the poem itself never confirms that our framing is accurate."
- Joseph A. Dupras on Browning's "My Last Duchess"


Collapsing, tethering, framing.
Beside the point.
(In both ways)


Sarah linked to this CGI ad on her tumblr and I wondered if someday kids will like CGI caterpillars better than real ones. Different kinds of astonishment, I guess.

Also wondering about "The Last Question," one of Timo's favorite short stories. I suppose you might not want to read this before you read the story. One wondering thing: would we ever actually want to leave our bodies behind, even for the ease of connecting minds directly? What about art and music and braids and texture? What about dancing? What about high-fives? But also, what about violence? What about waste? It is hard to know what is disposable. Another wondering thing: does the Last Question become the first? Or do we think of it continually? I don't know that that works--there would be no last. Maybe outside of time?

At first I didn't care for the story much because of the build-up to a revelation (I dislike that about many short stories; it feels formulaic) but I suppose that sort of revelation also brings about a decent amount of contemplation and reflection so perhaps it's useful. In any case I liked "The Last Question," I think.

Monday, June 29, 2009


the scene where alma puts her hands over fenix's eagle tattoo, making flight, is something i think about when i wish i felt light. less burdened.
i can carry that with me but i can't find a photo or the clip.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

oh no

crushing realization of today: i am no longer eligible for the college edition of wheel of fortune. i have not been eligible for teen editions for a rather long time. now i've just got regular best friends, mother-daughter (my dad would be an acceptable silent prop i guess), or i can hope to miraculously end up with dolly parton as my partner for country week. i need to start watching sports; they love pairing up tall athletes and weird fans.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


[ radiospike's flickr ]

Books and lamps and glasses (both kinds).
Nightstands get the best friends.

[ tnatsni's flickr ]

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

writing, art

"Writing is considered a profession, and I don't think it is a profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else. Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don't think an artist can ever be happy."

A Vocation of Unhappiness, Georges Simenon (1903-1985)

I like the idea of an imperative to write and create. I think that need is true, because I think that need is a need to express
and make connections. But why the unhappiness? Art is always a bit imperfect, a bit short in communicating what the artist wants to convey. But that drives the art, right? Always moving towards ideals (and failing)? With art maybe that ideal is something like significant form (I disagree with him and the Bloomsberries a lot but holla atcha Clive Bell, significant form is kind of cool) but I don't see why we don't live our whole lives trying for impossible things, knowing they are impossible. If I can live my life knowing that it will always be imperfect but that I am working towards figuring things out (and never will), doing good things (and also lousing things up a lot), then that still feels very happy to me. If attempts to connect are even slightly successful, that is a big deal. I think that feels very happy to me.