Monday, 31 December 2012

Photos

Khatia Shiukashvili,  August, 2010, Georgia.
  

Khatia Shiukashvili, 2010 , August, Georgia. 

The Road Not Taken

  Robert Frost 
The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

Charles Bukowski on Censorship

 Dear Hans van den Broek,
Thank you for your letter telling me of the removal of one of my books from the Nijmegen library. And that it is accused of discrimination against black people, homosexuals and women. And that it is sadism because of the sadism.

The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth.

If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many "bads"--bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even "bad" white males. Only when you write about "bad" white males they don't complain about it. And need I say that there are "good" blacks, "good" homosexuals and "good" women?

In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of "sadism" it is because it exists, I didn't invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds. In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. Also, it is curious that the people who rail against my work seem to overlook the sections of it which entail joy and love and hope, and there are such sections. My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the "light" and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar.

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.

 I am not dismayed that one of my books has been hunted down and dislodged from the shelves of a local library. In a sense, I am honored that I have written something that has awakened these from their non-ponderous depths. But I am hurt, yes, when somebody else's book is censored, for that book, usually is a great book and there are few of those, and throughout the ages that type of book has often generated into a classic, and what was once thought shocking and immoral is now required reading at many of our universities.

I am not saying that my book is one of those, but I am saying that in our time, at this moment when any moment may be the last for many of us, it's damned galling and impossibly sad that we still have among us the small, bitter people, the witch-hunters and the declaimers against reality. Yet, these too belong with us, they are part of the whole, and if I haven't written about them, I should, maybe have here, and that's enough.
may we all get better together..

Charles Bukowski
  1985
So You Want to Be a Writer? by Charles Bukowski

Sunday, 30 December 2012

If You Forget Me, by Pablo Neruda


 If You Forget Me
 by Pablo Neruda
 If You Forget Me
I want you to know one thing.
You know how this is: if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
If suddenly you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
But if each day, each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

O TASTE AND SEE

O TASTE AND SEE
Because of a kiss on the forehead
in the long Night's infirmary,
through the red wine let light shine deep.
Because of the thirty six just men
that so stealthily roam this earth
raise high the glass and do not weep.
Who says the world is not a wedding?
Couples, in their oases, lullabye.
Let glass be full before they sleep.
Toast all that which seems to vanish
like a rainbow stared at, those bright
truant things that will not keep;
and ignorance of the last night
of our lives, its famished breathing.
Then, in the red wine, taste the light.
Dannie Abse

Death, Be Not Proud

Death, Be Not Proud
Death, be not proud, though some have call├Ęd thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
                 by John Donne

Piss Factory, by Patti Smith

Piss Factory
Sixteen and time to pay off
I got this job in a piss factory inspecting pipe
Forty hours thirty-six dollars a week
But it's a paycheck, Jack.
It's so hot in here, hot like Sahara
You could faint in the heat
But these bitches are just too lame to understand
Too goddamned grateful to get this job
To know they're getting screwed up the ass
All these women they got no teeth or gum or cranium
And the way they suck hot sausage
But me well I wasn't sayin' too much neither
I was moral school girl hard-working asshole
I figured I was speedo motorcycle
I had to earn my dough, had to earn my dough

But no you gotta, you gotta [relate, babe,]
You gotta find the rhythm within
Floor boss slides up to me and he says
"Hey sister, you just movin' too fast,
You screwin' up the quota,
You doin' your piece work too fast,
Now you get off your mustang sally
You ain't goin' nowhere, you ain't goin' nowhere."
I lay back. I get my nerve up. I take a swig of Romilar
And walk up to hot shit Dot Hook and I say
"Hey, hey sister it don't matter whether I do labor fast or slow,
There's always more labor after."
She's real Catholic, see. She fingers her cross and she says
"There's one reason. There's one reason.
You do it my way or I push your face in.
We knee you in the john if you don't get off your get off your mustang Sally,
If you don't shake it up baby." Shake it up, baby. Twist & shout"
Oh that I could will a radio here. James Brown singing
"I Lost Someone" or the Jesters and the Paragons
And Georgie Woods the guy with the goods and Guided Missiles ...
But no, I got nothin', no diversion, no window,
Nothing here but a porthole in the plaster, in the plaster,
Where I look down, look at sweet Theresa's convent
All those nurses, all those nuns scattin' 'round
With their bloom hoods like cats in mourning.
Oh to me they, you know, to me they look pretty damn free down there
Down there not having crystal smooth
Not having to smooth those hands against hot steel
Not having to worry about the [inspeed] the dogma the [inspeed] of labor
They look pretty damn free down there,
And the way they smell, the way they smell
And here I gotta be up here smellin' Dot Hook's midwife sweat
I would rather smell the way boys smell--
Oh those schoolboys the way their legs flap under the desks in study hall
That odor rising roses and ammonia
And way their dicks droop like lilacs
Or the way they smell that forbidden acrid smell
But no I got, I got pink clammy lady in my nostril
Her against the wheel me against the wheel
Oh slow motion inspection is drivin' me insane
In steel next to Dot Hook -- oh we may look the same--
Shoulder to shoulder sweatin' 110 degrees
But I will never faint, I will never faint
They laugh and they expect me to faint but I will never faint
I refuse to lose, I refuse to fall down
Because you see it's the monotony that's got to me
Every afternoon like the last one
Every afternoon like a rerun next to Dot Hook
And yeah we look the same
Both pumpin' steel, both sweatin'
But you know she got nothin' to hide
And I got something to hide here called desire
I got something to hide here called desire
And I will get out of here--
You know the fiery potion is just about to come
In my nose is the taste of sugar
And I got nothin' to hide here save desire
And I'm gonna go, I'm gonna get out of here
I'm gonna get out of here, I'm gonna get on that train,
I'm gonna go on that train and go to New York City
I'm gonna be somebody, I'm gonna get on that train, go to New York City,
I'm gonna be so bad I'm gonna be a big star and I will never return,
Never return, no, never return, to burn out in this piss factory
And I will travel light.
Oh, watch me now..
( Photo;  Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith)

Edgar Allan Poe's Alone


A l o n e
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.

Lenore
Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore!
See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!-
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young-
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.
"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died!
How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung
By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue
That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?"
Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside,
Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy
bride.
For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes
The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.
"Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven-
From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven-
From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of
Heaven!
Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth!
And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise,
But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!"

BINGO! THERE GOES YOUR TENURE

Frank Zappa
On April 5, 1984 at the Fawcett Center For Tomorrow, Frank Zappa delivered the keynote address at the 1984 convention of the American Society of University Composers (ASUC).
(Los Angeles, 1968)
  BINGO! THERE GOES Y OUR TENURE! 
I'm occasionally asked to attend forums and symposia on musical matters. I am usually 'booked in as a novelty act', or 'token eccentric' to liven things up for 'the serious people'.
This event is no exception. I do not belong to your organization. I know nothing about it. I am not even interested in it, and yet, a request has been made for me to give what purports to be 'THE KEYNOTE SPEECH'.
Before I go on, let me warn you that I talk dirty, and that I will say things you will neither enjoy or agree with. I am sure you won't feel threatened, since I am a mere buffoon, and you are all SERIOUS AMERICAN COMPOSERS.
For those of you who don't know, I am also a composer. I write old-fashioned music which does not require an explanation. I taught myself how to do it by going to the library and listening to records. I started when I was fourteen. I have been doing it now for thirty years. I don't like schools. I don't like teachers. I don't like most of the things you believe in.

As if that weren't bad enough, I play the electric guitar. I have made rock & roll albums for the last twenty years. Thirty five of them. I own all the rights to my master tapes and publish my own music. I earn my living from making music. I am an anachronism in dinosaur's clothing.
I am not 'one of you', and, fortunately, for the safety of our planet, you are not 'one of me'. For convenience, without wishing to offend your membership, I will use the word 'WE' when discussing matters pertaining to composers. Some of the 'WE' references will apply generally; others will not. You can sort them out for yourselves. Now, the speech:
IS NEW MUSIC RELEVANT IN AN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY?
The most baffling aspect of the 'Industrial American Relevance Question', is why do people continue to compose music (and even pretend to teach others how to do it) when they already know the answer: nobody gives a fuck.
Is it really worth the trouble to write a new piece of music for an audience that doesn't care?
There must be at least a half dozen people in this room who are totally convinced that writing music is a wonderful thing to do, but, if Democracy is the system under which we attempt to exist, then the desires of the majority must receive some consideration. The general consensus seems to be that music by living composers is not only irrelevant, but genuinely obnoxious to a society which concerns itself primarily with the consumption of disposable goods.
Surely we must be punished for wasting everyone's time with an art form so 'unrequired' and 'trivial' in the general 'scheme of THINGS'.
Ask your banker...he'll tell you. We are scum. We are the SCUM OF THE EARTH. We are bad people. We are useless bums. No matter how much tenure we manage to weasel out of the universities where we manufacture our baffling, insipid packages of inconsequential poot, we know --- deep-down --- that WE ARE WORTHLESS.
Some of us smoke a pipe. Some of us have tweed sport coats with leather patches on the elbows. Some of us have mad-scientist eyebrows. Some of us engage in the shameless display of long, incredibly dramatic mufflers, dangling in the vicinity of a turtle-neck sweater, (with optional beret).
These are only a few of the OTHER REASONS why we must be punished for this blasphemous 'thing' we do. My God! How have we managed to get away with it this long! Why, if it weren't for the foundation grants handed out by ignorant committees for tax purposes, we would have been EXPOSED long ago!
Lucky for us those 'little corporate presents' exist. They make it possible for us to whiff the aroma of simulated 'prestige', as we epoxy our bloated concepts of self-worth into a fixed position.
With our attitudes firmly in place, we play the games of incest, sabotage and 'buddy-bonus' every year at Pulitzer time. We have been doing it forever. We are AMERICANS. We do it better than everyone else. No one will catch us. We are THE TRUE SPIRIT OF AMERICAN MUSIC: tiny, mean, vindictive, empty, dishonest. So what? We have tenure.
We will teach the future composers to be just like us. The guys over in the Law School are doing the same thing, so it must be okay.
We will pretend not to notice that our present crop of lawyers (who will eventually become judges, politicians, presidents and other types of white collar criminals) were churned out in the image of their professors, producing a generation of parasites which can exist only by complicating everything in daily life to the point where it is impossible to function without their services.

The reason a graduate lawyer makes more money than a graduate composer is that he has been able to trick people into believing that there is a need for him to 'exist'.
There is really no way a composer will ever convince a REAL AMERICAN PERSON that there is a need for his services. The older ones know this, but continue to teach their ancient nonsense anyway. Not because it is a historical necessity, not because they believe in the 'ancient nonsense' as an aesthetic ideal, not because they are 'DRIVEN' . . . simply because it CAN be sort of an OKAY JOB (if you don't mind 'wearing the brown lipstick' after those meetings with the board regents).
We are in the same business as a large number of 'important dead people'; therefore we ought to consider the historical implications of our present situation. Ever heard this one before?
"Back in the old days, when all the REALLY GOOD MUSIC was being written, composers were TRULY INSPIRED, had a DEEP MEANING in their works and SUFFERED INTENSE EMOTIONAL DISCOMFORT as these GREAT WORKS were 'BORN'."
Yes, people still believe in this kind of stuff. In truth, the situation was pretty much the same as now, (with a few slight variations).
THEN: The composer had to write for the specific tastes (no matter how bad) of, THE KING, THE POLITICAL DICTATOR, or THE CHURCH. Failure to do so resulted in unemployment, torture or death. The public was not consulted. They simply were not equipped to make assessments of relative merit from gavotte to gavotte. If the KING couldn't gavotte to it, then it had no right to exist.
ALL OF THE SWILL PRODUCED UNDER THESE CONSTRAINTS IS WHAT WE NOW ADMIRE AS 'REAL CLASSICAL MUSIC'. Forget what it sounds like . . . forget whether or not you happen to enjoy it . . . that's how it got made . . . and when music is taught in schools, it is the 'taste norms' of those KINGS, DICTATORS, and CLERICS which are perpetuated in the harmony and counterpoint classes.
After those are doled out, and the student gets to the 'advanced stuff', he is introduced to the splendors of 12-tone rigmarole, serialized dynamics, and computer programming of 'automated indeterminate composition'.
Those 'tools' enable the budding genius to do what everybody else does in 'modern life': hide behind preposterous regulations (preferably as a member of a 'committee'), in order to absolve himself of blame or responsibility for 'individual action' --- in this case, the heinous act of 'musical creation'. By conforming to these idiocies, the young composer receives praise, certification of splendidness, and GRANT MONEY. Everything his teachers would murder for.
Anyone not choosing to follow this approved method of enlightenment is regarded as a fool or a pervert.
Today, the composer has to write for the specific tastes (no matter how bad) of 'THE KING' (now disguised as a Movie or TV producer, The Head of the Opera Company, The Lady With The Frightening Hair on the Special Committee, or her niece, DEBBIE).
Some of you don't know about DEBBIE since you don't have to deal with radio stations or record companies in the way that people from the 'other world' do, but you ought to find out about her, just in case you decide to 'switch over' later.
DEBBIE is thirteen years old. Her parents like to think of themselves as 'average, God-fearing American White People'. Her dad belongs to a corrupt Union of some sort and is, as we might suspect, a lazy incompetent, over-paid, ignorant sonofabitch. Her mom is a sexually maladjusted mercenary shrew who lives only to spend her husband's paycheck on ridiculous clothes designed to make her look 'younger'.
DEBBIE is incredibly stupid. She has been raised to respect the values and attitudes which her parents hold sacred. Sometimes she dreams about being kissed by a lifeguard.
When the people in THE SECRET OFFICE WHERE THEY RUN EVERYTHING FROM found out about DEBBIE, they were thrilled. She was perfect. She was hopeless. She was THEIR KIND OF GIRL. She was immediately chosen for the critical role of 'ARCH-TYPICAL IMAGINARY POP MUSIC CONSUMERAND ULTIMATE ARBITER OF MUSICAL TASTE FOR THE ENTIRE NATION'. From that moment on, everything musical in this country would have to be modified to conform to what they computed to be HER NEEDS & DESIRES.
DEBBIE'S 'taste' determined the size, shape and color of all musical information in the United States during the latter part of the twentieth century. Eventually she grew up to be just like her mother and married a guy just like her father. She has somehow managed to reproduce herself. The people in THE SECRET OFFICE have their eye on her daughter at this very moment. 
As a SERIOUS AMERICAN COMPOSER, should DEBBIE really concern you? Because DEBBIE prefers only short songs with lyrics about boy-girl situations sung by persons of indeterminate sex, wearing S & M clothing, and because there is LARGE MONEY INVOLVED, the major record companies, which, a few years ago, occasionally risked investment in recording of new works, have all but shut down their 'classical divisions' and seldom record 'new music'. The small labels that do release it have wretched distribution. Some have wretched accounting procedures. They might release your recording, but you won't get paid.
The problem with living composers is: THEY HAVE TO EAT. Mostly what they eat is brown and lumpy. There is no question that this diet has had an effect on their work.
Just as composers in the earlier age had to accommodate the whims of KINGS, DICTATORS, and CHURCHES, composers today must write for the amusement and edification of their sinister descendants: The Guy who Figures Out What Kind of Tax Break you get from ARTS DONATIONS, The OIL, TOBACCO, or CHEMICAL COMPANY That Needs To 'Lose' a Few Million Bucks By The End of The Fiscal Year, The Five guys Who Program All the Radio Stations in The U.S., The Fanatic Fundamentalists Who Demand Bland Lyric Content and Total avoidance of Biological Reality, and The M.B.A.s Who Advise Everyone On How TO Make More Money By Praising Ignorance and Docility While Suppressing Anything Intelligent or Inventive.
This perennial condition is a natural outgrowth of, and a just reward for, our strict adherence to the rules and regulations adopted by the aforementioned 'famous dead people'.
As long as composers continue to 'bend over' for the new KINGS, DICTATORS, CHURCHES (and MUSICIANS), this condition will persist, eventually resulting in the destruction of what I regard as the most 'physically inspiring' of all the arts.
PHYSICALLY INSPIRING? Will the dancers and painters and sculptors all twitch around in disagreement? The pay is lousy, guys 'n gals, so don't be jealous because we get to have 'intimate dealings' with nature's most inexorable force. We are talking about TIME here, folks. A composer's job essentially involves the decoration of fragments of TIME.
Without TIME, nothing can 'happen'. Without music to decorate it, TIME is just a bunch of boring production deadlines, or a collection of dates by which bills must be paid.
In spite of the fact that we work with a mysterious substance, not yet approved by the FDA, in an unsafe industrial environment, we are barely recognized by the union which pretends to look after the interests of the savage unfortunates who must play the things we write. In 'union terms' we exist only to provide work for the 'copyists'.
Why are we treated this way by the Musician's Union? Well . . . we aren't 'musicians' . . . we are merely 'composers'. All the good composers are dead (ask any string player). If we are not DEAD we are not GOOD. If we ARE dead we do not require LABOR REPRESENTATION. If we are alive we are of NO CONSEQUENCE to a string player.

String players and their special needs and preferences play an important role in determining union policy. If they had their way, stringed instruments would be used only for the performance of music by DEAD PEOPLE. If I had my way, the instruments themselves would be played by dead people, and only dead people would be allowed to listen to the results.
Musicians may claim that this is unfair, since they make less money than their counterparts in the stage-hands union.
Did you know that the entire crew of stage-hands at Carnegie Hall (who might do nothing more than set up four chairs for a string quartet) is guaranteed a ridiculous weekly salary (plus ridiculous bonuses if a recording or filming is taking place), and are entitled to residual payments from the video-tape or film of that performance if it is sold to European TV, for each showing, in each country?

Composers are entitled to some royalty payment for the use of their music. Dead guys don't collect --- THE REAL REASON their music is chosen for performance. Sometimes, by accident, the work of a living composer creeps in. Have you ever tried to collect one of those 'royalty' payments?

There is another reason for the popularity of 'dead person music'. Conductors prefer it. Why? Because they need, more than anything else, to LOOK GOOD. By performing pieces that the orchestra members have hacked their way through since conservatory, the rehearsal requirements are minimized, the players go into 'juke-box mode' and spool it off with ease, and the conductor, unencumbered by a score with 'problems' in it, gets to thrash around in mock-ecstasy for the benefit of the committee ladies who wish he didn't have any pants on.

Occasionally, people discuss the 'aesthetic gulf' between the world of 'popular music' and the world of 'serious music'. Invariably arguments are put forth to show how wretched 'popular music' is, and how wonderful 'serious music' is. Nobody ever argues the other side of the issue because people who like 'popular music' don't even know anything else exists, and, furthermore, if they did, wouldn't give a shit about it.
The problem with this sort of discussion is that it presupposes one set of boring norms to be somehow more enthralling than another set of boring norms.
In order for a piece of music to be considered 'classical', it must be constructed according to specific 'architectural guidelines' . . . so many bars of this, so many bars of that, modulate to the relative minor here, resolve over there. All-important factors, discussable in absolute terms during intermission with a plastic cup of cheap white wine in your hand.
In order for the lowliest piece of musical trash to get played on the radio, it too must adhere to an iron-clad set of structural and stylistic regulations, in their way EVEN MORE RIGOROUS AND CONFINING THAN THE ONES CELEBRATED IN YOUR UNIVERSITIES ON A DAILY BASIS . . . and they have to tell their miserable little stories in three minutes or less. Sad and fake as they are, the GRAMMY AWARDS seem as perfectly suited to be the celebration of this sort of 'craftsmanship' as the sad, fake Fromms and Pulitzers craved by many of the denizens of this convention.
Hey! Buddy! When was the last time you THWARTED A NORM? Can't risk it, eh? Too much at stake over at the old Alma Mater? Unqualified for 'janitorical deployment'? Look out! Here they come again! It's that same old bunch of guys that live in the old joke. It's you, and two billion of your closest friends, standing in shit up to your chins, chanting, "Don't make a wave!", living in terror of a 'bad review' from one of those tone-deaf egomaniac elitists who use the premiere performance of every new work as an excuse to sharpen their 'word-skills', settling for rotten performances by musicians and conductors who prefer the sound of death warmed-over to ANYTHING scribbled in recent memory (making them assistant music critics, but somehow more glamorous), 'fudging' on their serial pedigrees, secure in the knowledge that 'no one checks anymore'.
Beat them to the punch, ladies and gentlemen! The Day of Atonement draws near! Punish YOURSELVES before THEY do it for you! If you do it AS A GROUP, the TV rights might be worth something.
Start planning now, so everything will be ready in time for the next convention. OF COURSE YOU CAN DO IT! Change the name of your organization from 'A.S.U.C.' to 'WE SUCK', steal some cyanide from the chemistry department, put it in the punch bowl at the reception with some of that 'white wine' artistic people really go for, and BITE THE BIG ONE.
If the current level of ignorance and illiteracy persists, within two or three hundred years a merchandising nostalgia for THIS ERA will occur, and guess what music they'll be 
playing! They'll still play it wrong, of course, and you won't get any money for having written it, but, what the hey? At least you didn't die of syphilis in a whore-house opium stupor with a white curly wig on.
At one point, some of you may recall, the government considered closing the U.S. patent office because they were convinced that everything 'new' had already been invented. Almost by accident, this closure was postponed.
The 'modern composer's patent office' has been closed for quite some time now, and will never open again. It's all over, folks. Get smart and take out a real estate license.
The least you can do is tell your students: "DON'T DO IT! STOP THIS MADNESS! DON'T WRITE MUSIC!" If you don't . . . the little sonofabitch might grow up with the ability to kiss more ass than you, have a longer, more dramatic neck-scarf, write music more baffling and insipid than your own, and BINGO! There goes your tenure.

The Love Song, by T.S. Eliot

The Love Song

***
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question

Oh, do not ask, What is it?
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,

And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes,

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.


Dark Globe & Wish You Were Here, by Syd Barrett



Dark Globe



* * *
Oh where are you now 
pussy willow that smiled on this leaf? 
When I was alone you promised the stone from your heart 
my head kissed the ground 
I was half the way down, treading the sand
please, please, lift a hand
I'm only a person whose armbands beat
on his hands, hang tall
won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all?

The poppy birds way
swing twigs coffee brands around
brandish her wand with a feathery tongue
my head kissed the ground
I was half the way down, treading the sand
please, please, please lift the hand
I'm only a person with Eskimo chain
I tattooed my brain all the way...
Won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all?...  







Wish You Were Here




So, so you think you can tell 
Heaven from Hell, 
Blue skys from pain. 
Can you tell a green field 
From a cold steel rail? 
A smile from a veil? 
Do you think you can tell? 

And did they get you to trade 
Your heros for ghosts? 
Hot ashes for trees? 
Hot air for a cool breeze? 
Cold comfort for change? 
And did you exchange 
A walk on part in the war 
For a lead role in a cage? 

How I wish, how I wish you were here. 
We're just two lost souls 
Swimming in a fish bowl, 
Year after year, 
Running over the same old ground. 
What have we found? 
The same old fears. 
Wish you were here.    

  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEr6w7P44Nk
and finally   James Joyce's poem, by  Syd Barrett
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9NQg9Lhygo

Friday, 28 December 2012

John Cooper Clarke's BEASLEY STREET

BEASLEY STREET

FAR FROM CRAZY PAVEMENTS
...THE TASTE OF SILVER SPOONS
A CLINICAL ARRANGEMENT
...ON A DIRTY AFTERNOON
WHERE THE FECAL GERMS OF MR. FREUD
...ARE RENDERED OBSOLETE
THE LEGAL TERM IS NULL AND VOID
IN THE CASE OF... BEASLEY STREET
IN THE CHEAP SEATS WHERE MURDER BREEDS
SOMEBODY IS OUT OF BREATH
SLEEP IS A LUXURY THEY DON'T NEED
...A SNEAK PREVIEW OF DEATH
BELLADONNA IS YOUR FLOWER
MANSLAUGHTER YOUR MEAT
SPEND A YEAR IN A COUPLE OF HOURS
ON THE EDGE OF BEASLEY STREET
WHERE THE ACTION ISN'T
THAT'S WHERE IT IS
STATE YOUR POSITION
VACANCIES EXIST
IN AN X-CERTIFICATE EXERCISE
EX-SERVICEMEN EXCRETE
KEITH JOSEPH SMILES AND A BABY DIES
IN A BOX ON BEASLEY STREET
FROM THE BOARDING HOUSES AND THE BEDSITS FULL OF
...ACCIDENTS AND FLEAS
SOMEBODY GETS IT
WHERE THE MISSING PERSONS FREEZE
WEARING DEAD MEN'S OVERCOATS
YOU CAN'T SEE THEIR FEET
A RIFF JOINT SHUTS - OPENS UP
RIGHT DOWN ON BEASLEY STREET
CARS COLLIDE, COLOURS CLASH
DISASTER MOVIE STUFF
FOR A MAN WITH THE FU MANCHU MOUSTACHE
REVENGE IS NOT ENOUGH
THERE'S A DEAD CANARY ON A SWIVEL SEAT
THERE'S A RAINBOW IN THE ROAD
MEANWHILE ON BEASLEY STREET
SILENCE IS THE CODE
HOT BENEATH THE COLLAR
...AN INSPECTOR CALLS
WHERE THE PERISHING STINK OF SQUALOR
...IMPREGNATES THE WALLS
THE RATS HAVE ALL GOT RICKETS
THEY SPIT THROUGH BROKEN TEETH
THE NAME OF THE GAME IS NOT CRICKET
CAUGHT OUT ON ...BEASLEY STREET
THE HIPSTER AND HIS HIRED HAT
DRIVE A BORROWED CAR
YELLOW SOCKS AND A PINK CREVAT
NOTHING LA-DI-DAH
O-A-P
MOTHER-TO-BE
WATCH THE THREE-PIECE SUITE
WHEN SHITSTOPPER DRAINS
AND CROCODILE SKIS
ARE SEEN ON ...BEASLEY STREET
THE KINGDOM OF THE BLIND
...A ONE-EYED MAN IS KING
BEAUTY PROBLEMS ARE REDEFINED
...THE DOORBELLS DO NOT RING
A LIGHT BULB BURST LIKE A BLISTER
THE ONLY FORM OF HEAT
WHERE A FELLOW SELLS HIS SISTER
...DOWN THE RIVER ON BEASLEY STREET
THE BOYS ARE ON THE WAGON
THE GIRLS ARE ON THE SHELF
THEIR COMMON PROBLEM IS
...THAT THEY'RE NOT SOMEONE ELSE
THE DIRT BLOWS OUT
THE DUST BLOWS IN
YOU CAN'T KEEP IT NEAT
IT'S A FULLY FURNISHED DUSTBIN
...SIXTEEN BEASLEY STREET
VINCE THE AGEING SAVAGE
BETRAYS NO KIND OF LIFE
...BUT THE SMELL OF YESTERDAY'S CABBAGE
AND THE GHOST OF LAST YEAR'S WIFE
THROUGH A CONSTANT HAZE
OF DEODORANT SPRAYS
HE SAYS ...RETREAT
ALSATIANS DOG THE DIRTY DAYS
DOWN THE MIDDLE OF BEASLEY STREET
PEOPLE TURN TO POISON
QUICK AS LAGER TURNS TO PISS
SWEETHEARTS ARE PHYSICALLY SICK
EVERY TIME THEY KISS
IT'S A SOCIOLOGIST'S PARADISE
EACH DAY REPEATS
UNEASY, CHEASY, GREASY, QUEASY
...BEASTLY, BEASLEY STREET
EYES DEAD AS VICIOUS FISH
LOOK AROUND FOR LAUGHS
IF I COULD HAVE JUST ONE WISH
I WOULD BE A PHOTOGRAPH
ON A PERMANENT MONDAY MORNING
GET LOST OR FALL ASLEEP
WHEN THE YELLOW CATS ARE YAWNING
AROUND THE BACK OF BEASLEY STREET
by JOHN COOPER CLARKE. 
                                NICO & JCC




JCC & Khatia

Sylvia Plat's Daddy


   Daddy
  Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time---
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
says,
there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ,ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine,
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
I have always been sacred of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your 
****  
gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You----

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
 ***
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.

he black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two---
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through. 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Albert Einstein on Pacifism

Albert Einstein on Pacifism
'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.'
 I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the peoples themselves refuse to go to war."
Albert Einstein 
Every great cause is first championed by an aggressive minority. Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes, such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe, such as war? Every war merely enlarges the chain of vicious circles which impedes the progress of mankind. A handful of conscientious objectors can dramatize the protest against war.
The masses are never militaristic until their minds are poisoned by propaganda. I agree with you that we must teach them to resist propaganda. We must begin to inoculate our children against militarism by educating them in the spirit of pacifism. The trouble with Europe is that her people have been educated on a wrong psychology. Our schoolbooks glorify war and conceal its horrors then indoctrinate children with hatred. I would teach peace rather than war, love rather than hate.
 The textbooks should be rewritten. Instead of perpetuating ancient rancors and prejudices, we should infuse a new spirit into our educational system. Education should begin in the cradle. Mothers throughout the world have the responsibility of sowing the seeds of peace into the souls of their children.
It may not be possible in one generation to eradicate the combative instinct. It is not even desirable to eradicate it entirely. Men should continue to fight, but they should fight for things worthwhile, not for imaginary geographical lines, racial prejudices, and private greed draped in the colors of patriotism. Their arms should be weapons of the spirit, not shrapnel and tanks.
Think of what a world we could build if the power unleashed in war were applied to constructive tasks! One tenth of the energy that the various belligerent spent in the World War, a fraction of the money they exploded in hand grenades and poison gas, would suffice to raise the standard of living in every country and avert the economic catastrophe of worldwide unemployment.
 We must be prepared to make the same heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.
Nothing that I can do or say will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes-goodwill among men and peace on earth.
When those who are bound together by pacifist ideals hold a meeting they are usually consorting only with their own kind. They are like sheep huddled together while wolves wait outside. I believe that pacifist speakers face this difficulty: they ordinarily reach only their own group, people who are pacifists any how and hardly need to be convinced. The sheep's voice does not reach beyond this circle and is, therefore ineffectual. That is the real weakness of the pacifist movement.
Genuine pacifists, those whose heads are not in the clouds but who think in realistic terms, must fearlessly endeavor to act in a manner which is of practical value to the cause rather than remain content merely to espouse the ideals of pacifism. Deeds, not words, are needed; mere words get pacifists nowhere. They must initiate action and begin with what can be achieved now.
As to what our next step should be, I should like you to realize that under the present military system every man is compelled to commit the crime of killing for his country. The aim of all pacifists must be to convince others of the immorality of war and rid the world of the shameful slavery of military service. I wish to suggest two ways to achieve that aim.
The first has already been put into practice: uncompromising war resistance and refusal to do military service under any circumstances. In countries where conscription exists, the true pacifist must refuse military duty. Already, a considerable number of pacifists in many countries have refused and are refusing, at great personal sacrifice, to serve a military term in peacetime. By doing so, it becomes manifest that they will not fight in the event of war.

In countries where compulsory service does not exist, true pacifists must publicly declare in time of peace that they will not take up arms under any circumstances. This, too, is an effective method of war resistance. I earnestly urge you to try to convince people all over the world of the justice of this position. The timid may say, "What is the use? We shall be sent to prison." To them I would reply: Even if only two percent of those assigned to perform military service should announce their refusal to fight, as well as urge means other than war of settling international disputes, governments would be powerless, they would not dare send such a large number of people to jail.

A second line of action for war resisters, which I suggest, is a policy which would not involve personal involvement with the law. That is, to try to establish through international legislation the right to refuse military service in peacetime. Those who are unwilling to accept such a position might prefer to advocate legislation which would permit them, in place of military service, to do some strenuous or even dangerous work, in the interest of their own country or of mankind as a whole. They would thereby prove that their war resistance is unselfish and merely a logical consequence of the belief that international differences can be sealed in ways other than fighting; it would further prove that their opposition to war could not be attributed to cowardice or the desire for personal comfort or unwillingness to accept work of a dangerous nature; we shall have advanced far on the road to a more peaceful world.

I further suggest that pacifists of all countries start raising funds to support those who would want to refuse military service but who cannot actually do so for lack of financial means. I, therefore, advocate the establishment of an international organization and an international pacifist fund to support the active war resisters of our day.

In conclusion, may I say that the serious pacifists who want to accomplish peace must have the courage to initiate and to carry on these aims; only then will the world be obliged to take notice. Pacifists will then be heard by people who are not already pacifists; and once they are listened to, their message is bound to be effective. If they are too restrained, their voices will continue to reach only those in their own circle. They will remain sheep, pacifist sheep.
 I am very glad that you have given me this opportunity to make a few remarks about the problem of pacifism. The developments of the last few years have once more indicated that we are hardly justified in assuming that the struggle against armaments and the spirit of militarism can be safely left in the hands of governments. Even the creation of pacifist originations with large memberships will not bring us much closer to our goal.
I am convinced that the only way to be effective is through the revolutionary method of refusing military service. We need organizations in different countries to give material and moral support to ail those who have the courage to resist war. This is the only way to make pacifism a vital issue and to inaugurate a vigorous campaign that will attract men of strong character. It is a fight not sanctioned by law, but one which must be fought if people are to have the right to resist the demands of governments that they perform criminal actions.
Albert Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey, 1938. University of New Hampshire, USA