Sunday, January 31, 2010

TC: Pam Brown: In the Blue Mountains


File:Forest in the bluemountains.jpg

hoping for a place

deep in the shade

verandahs all around,

to contemplate

what brought us here

File:Forest in b-mountains.jpg

excerpt from "Worldly goods": True Thoughts, Pam Brown, Salt Publishing, 2008
Forest in the Blue Mountains: photos by Adam J.W.C., 2008

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TC: Click


One may age ten years in ten minutes.
It's too quiet. I can hear the crickets,
It's like a music of the spheres in reverse,
A whack recursiveness of thinking,
Or is it just the night-clicking computer god
And what kind of iterative god is that?

Pascal had his pit, which went with him
Where'er he went, like a faithful dog,
Nor was he out of it. Infinity I can see
From here. It looks empty, unrelenting,
Cold. There is no respite from Being
And Number, a poet once told us that

When it was getting late for him
And night panic passed through his hair
Making it stand on end, the little he still
Had of it. I'll go to the wall, stand with it,
Let it be my friend, just to have something
That won't fall down. I feel giddy, said the clown.

I believe in a world. Is God or death more great?
This world is my world and will vanish with me
But while I click it goes on existing
In eternity -- to 2046 or
2666, or whene'er the chips melt down.
I've lost Memory writing this.

I've aged ridiculously in ten minutes,
Maybe ten years. Distance is closing in,
It's too quiet. I can hear the crickets
Singing God and death out of existence.
More power to them. Click.
The intricate circuits of a summer night.

Click: from The New World, Libellum Books, 2009
Under the Elms: Fairfield Porter, 1971-72 (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)

TC: Brecht: Die Opiumräucherin


File:Shelf cloud over Moscow (5 June 2006 06.00 MSK).jpg

You know a girl who loses herself nightly in the black smoke
Before long finds herself a zombie's nihil bride.
She can't be lowered later nor can she be uplifted.
Two out of three mornings she won't even seem alive.

Why try keeping her chin up, there's no longer the incentive.
Her nerve is gone, her hair and looks are shot.
Passing a shopwindow, she sees a stranger reflected.
Who's that person? Must be someone she's not.

The smoke inveigles itself into her blood, fogs her head.
She sleeps alone now to be closer to the soil
That's reeling her in on an invisible thread.

That she exists at all escapes her notice.
In the end she'd prefer invisibility, reserving
All her attentions for a girl's best friend.


Die Opiumräucherin: Bertolt Brecht, c. 1926; English version: TC, from Trans/Versions, Libellum Books, 2009

Shelf cloud over Moscow: photo by Chesnok, 2006
Rolling thunderstorm shelf cloud (Cumulonimbus arcus), Enschede, the Netherlands: photo by John Kerstholt, 2004

Thursday, January 7, 2010

TC: A Une Jeune Fille


You might fill empty futures with your raging

Power. Everything is possible.

The story has not yet begun yet promises

Much. Having glimpsed the magic ring

On the captive's finger, the bright-eyed heroine

Might turn out to be you, making your way

Up mountains of difficulty to shining

Temples in which is kept alive that flame

Of truth which burns at the heart of the ark

Of the covenant of being you.

You might, in the forest, hear that falling tree.

You're young, you want to be free, but aren't yet.

You might walk the cow, ride the rocket ship.

You might book the flight, then jump out of the plane.

You might meet a boy named X. He might say

You don't know me, nor do I know you.

Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman: Albrecht Dürer, 1505 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

Heinrike Dannecker: Christian Gottlieb Shick, 1802 (Nationalgalerie, Berlin)