Sunday, February 28, 2010

Have English man. Will travel.

Ralph Fiennes

We are men of action. Lies do not become us.

Evgeny Kissin plays Nocturne op.27 no.2 in D-flat

On Difficulty

by Srikanth Reddy

Suffer yourself to know beautiful women.
Suffer yourself to learn many words
for one thing. Suffer yourself

to elope like a river, suffer yourself
to remain. Are there ways to kill time
without hurting eternity?

Me, I make seagulls from paper.
Once you've mastered the folds (valley crease
rabbit's ear), everything
tucks itself in. How crooked rooftops
enfold sleeping souls under stars
seems so simple. Pagodas
in traffic lights, birds within birds

without end. When she left, she left me
this note on the table.

I can't make anything of it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh Karl, you've done it again. And again.

Baptiste Giabiconi by
Karl Lagerfeld

(Do we think that's his real name? Do we care?)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Inside: the blur that poses as your heart.

I'm supposed to go in with a torch.


Blood & Honey

Bitter women,
there is milk under this poem.
What you sow in blood
shall be harvested in honey.

Blue or Green

by James Galvin

We don't belong to each other.
We belong together.
Some poems
belong together to prove the intentionality of subatomic particles.

Some poems eat with scissors.
Some poems are like kissing a
God, by the way, is disappointed in some of your recent
Some poems swoop.
When she said my eyes were
definitely blue, I said, How can you see that in the dark?
How can
you not? she said, and that was like some poems.
Some poems are
blinded three times.
Some poems go like death before dishonor.

Some poems go like the time she brought cherries to the movies;
later a heedless picnic in her bed.
Never revered I crumbs so
Some poems have perfect posture, as if hanging by
filaments from the sky.
Those poems walk like dancers,
All poems are love poems.
Some poems are better off
Right now I want something I don't believe in.

"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were." -John Keats

Sing for me.

This is what you do: you sing. Every part of you.
Your locks of hair sing, your eyes, your hands, your smile.
If I listen closely I can even hear your blood.
-Francesca Lia Block

Hello loverboy.

A room without books is like a body without a soul.

There is no other feeling that I can adequately replicate, that comes even close, to the feeling I have after I have been reading. Either at the end of a chapter, before I drag myself to bed, or the end of the book altogether. It is serene sweetness and an ultimate satisfaction.

I do love reading. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I think pearls melted over your bones.

"She is infused with all of them, with their beauty, with their power, with their wholeness. None of them broken the way she is. It is like in the stories, she feels, the myths of transformation.

She will not be a flower or an animal or a tree or a fountain like the woman who cried herself into one. She will rise up, wholly herself." -Francesca Lia Block

Erica Jong (read anything of hers you can get your hands on)

After the Earthquake

After the first astounding rush,
after the weeks at the lake,
the crystal, the clouds, the water lapping the rocks,
the snow breaking under our boots like skin,
& the long mornings in bed. . .

After the tangos in the kitchen,
& our eyes fixed on each other at dinner,
as if we would eat with our lids,
as if we would swallow each other. . .

I find you still
here beside me in bed,
(while my pen scratches the pad
& your skin glows as you read)
& my whole life so mellowed & changed

that at times I cannot remember
the crimp in my heart that brought me to you,
the pain of a marriage like an old ache,
a husband like an arthritic knuckle.

Here, living with you,
love is still the only subject that matters.
I open to you like a flowering wound,
or a trough in the sea filled with dreaming fish,
or a steaming chasm of earth
split by a major quake.

You changed the topography.
Where valleys were,
there are now mountains.
Where deserts were,
there now are seas.

We rub each other,
but we do not wear away.

Alas! when passion is both meek and wild!

"Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To case upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!"


"The only way to overcome sadness is to consume it." -Foer

Illiteracy in Pakistan

With a population of 170 million, Pakistan bears the burden of one of the most illiterate countries in Asia. About half of the male population is illiterate and nearly two thirds of the female population can't write their names. By comparison, in war ravaged Afghanistan 66 percent of boys attend primary schools, and in India 80 percent of its children go to primary schools. In Zimbabwe, after decades of Mugabe’s disastrous rule, about 80 percent of the children complete primary education. So, why is a country with nuclear arms and elaborate security keeping its citizens illiterate?

Pakistan spends 66 percent, nearly 2.6 billion Euros, of its annual budget on military expenditure and only 2.5 percent on education, roughly 600 Euros for each child of school-age. The wealthy send their children to private schools whilst the poor are forced to send their children to madrassas (koranic schools) or to cotton fields to earn a living.

Photos by Ziyah Gafic

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Max Richter - The Nature of Daylight

The Crucible

Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name! — Proctor

Arthur Miller

Monday, February 22, 2010

Garry Winogrand, Women Are Beautiful

This full collection was at the Cincinnati Art Museum last year. Nellie and I were able to go and enjoy it. Here are some of my favorites (that I could find online):


Ethan Frome

"He was too young, too strong, too full of the sap of living, to submit so easily to the destruction of his hopes."

"The early mist had vanished and the fields lay like a silver shield under the sun. It was one of the days when the glitter of winter shines through a pale haze of spring. Every yard of the road was alive with Mattie’s presence, and there was hardly a branch against the sky or a tangle of brambles on the bank in which some bright shred of memory was not caught. Once, in the stillness, the call of a bird in a mountain ash was so like her laughter that his heart tightened and then grew large; and all these things made him see that something must be done at once."

"I want to put my hand out and touch you. I want to do for you and care for you. I want to be there when you're sick and when you're lonesome."

"All the long misery of his baffled past, of his youth of failure, hardship and vain effort, rose up in his soul in bitterness and seemed to take shape before him in the woman who at every turn had barred his way. She had taken everything else from him; and now she meant to take the one thing that made up for all the others."

“I don’t see’s there’s much difference between the Fromes up at the farm and the Fromes down in the graveyard; ‘cept that down there they’re all quiet, and the women have got to hold their tongues.”

-Edith Wharton
(read this book)

"I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul."

"There was a deliberate voluptuousness that was both thrilling and repulsive. And as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal till I could see in the moonlight, the moisture...then lapped the white, sharp teeth. Lower and lower went her head. I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited. "
-Bram Stoker


"Yet nothing can to nothing fall,
Nor any place be empty quite;
Therefore I think my breast hath all
Those pieces still, though they be not unite;
And now, as broken glasses show
A hundred lesser faces, so
My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore,
But after one such love, can love no more."

It's a ninja life.

To a Madonna

(Not my favorite translation, but it will do.

I'd build, Madonna, love, for my belief,
An altar in the dim crypt of my grief,
And in the darkest comer of my heart,
From mortal lust and mockery far apart,
Scoop you a niche, with gold and azure glaze,
Where you would stand in wonderment and gaze,
With my pure verses trellised, and all round
In constellated rhymes of crystal bound:
And with a huge tiara richly crowned.
Out of the Jealousy which rules my passion,
Mortal Madonna, I a cloak would fashion,
Barbarous, stiff, and heavy with my doubt,
Whereon as in a fourm you would fill out
And mould your lair. Of tears, not pearls, would be
The sparkle of its rich embroidery:
Your robe would be my lust, with waving flow,
Poising on tips, in valleys lying low,
And clothing, in one kiss, coral and snow.
In my Respect you'll be shod
Which your white feet would humble to the clod,
While prisoning their flesh with tender hold
It kept their shape imprinted like a mould.
If for a footstool to support your shoon,
For all my art, I could not get the moon,
I'd throw the serpent, that devours my vitals
Under your trampling heels for his requitals,
Victorious queen, to spurn, bruise, and belittle
That monstrous worm blown-up with hate and spittle.
Round you my thoughts like candles should be seen
Around the flowered shrine of the virgins' Queen,
Reflected on a roof that's painted blue,
And aiming all their golden eyes at you.
Since nought is in me that you do not stir,
All will be incense, benjamin, and myrrh,
And up to you, white peak, in clouds will soar
My stormy soul, in rapture, to adore.

In fine, your role of Mary to perfect
And mingle barbarism with respect —
Of seven deadly sins, O black delight!
Remorseful torturer, to show my sleight,
I'll forge and sharpen seven deadly swords
And like a callous juggler on the boards,
Taking it for my target, I would dart
Them deep into your streaming, sobbing heart.

-Charles Baudelaire

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'd walk the whole wide world just to find you.

One of my favorite songs, in one of my favorite movie scenes.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Eagle: A Fragment

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,

Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls:
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Joan Baez sings for Bob Dylan

"Let love write on you for awhile."

"When the pages are in the typewriter, I can't see his face.
In that way I am choosing you over him.
I don't need to see him.
I don't need to know if he is looking up at me.
It's not even that I trust him not to leave.
I know this won't last.
I'd rather be me than him.
The words are coming so easily.
The pages are coming easily.
At the end of my dream, Eve put the apple back on the branch. The tree went back into the ground. It became a sapling, which became a seed.
God brought together the land and the water, the sky and the water, the water and the water, evening and morning, something and nothing.
He said, Let there be light.
And there was darkness.

Why are you leaving me?
He wrote, I do not know how to live.
I do not know either but I am trying.
I do not know how to try.
There were some things I wanted to tell him. But I knew they would hurt him. So i buried them and let them hurt me"
-J.S. Foer

Waging war

"Humans are the only animal that blushes, laughs, has religion, wages war, and kisses with lips. So in a way, the more you kiss with lips, the more human you are. And the more you wage war." -J.S. Foer

Spock and zombie Kirk

I think I've got the eyebrows down...

We did this super-imposing face business for about 2 hours last night....Clearly, it got out of hand.

Congolese Symphony Orchestra

In a country utterly destroyed by war and corruption, the mere existence of an orchestra seems unimaginable. But, founded in 1994, a handful of church musicians began practicing with a few violins, taught themselves how to play cello, added a church choir and gave their first concert ten months later.

Today, the “Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste” (OSK) consists of about 80 instrumentalists and a choir of about 60 members. None of them receive any money. Most have paid for their instruments (second hand from China) out of their own pockets, others rely on Albert Matubanza, one of the founding members, who is not only a gifted musician, but has also taught himself how to build string instruments using wood from the local market and cable wire to replace broken strings. Scores of Handel’s “Messiah”, Verdi’s “Nabucco” or Mozart’s “Requiem” are often copied by hand. The humming of generators (due to power outages) provides the background sound during rehearsals.

The Kimbanguist church is rooted in the teachings of Simon Kimbangu, a Baptist preacher, whose alleged miracle healings and visions of a black Messiah created enough fear among the Belgian colonialists to have him tortured and thrown in prison for life in 1921. His martyrdom created the mass movement the Belgians tried to prevent. It also created the third largest church in the Congo. Up to today, the Kimbanguists have been combining a sense of black power with the goal to command what most of their countrymen consider white culture - in this particular case: the music of dead white men. Armand Diangienda, the grandson of the prophet Simon Kimbangu, is the director and conductor of the OSK. This summer he and his musicians made a big step towards their goal: In June the OSK gave its first open-air concert in Kinshasa playing Orff’s “Carmina Burana”, parts of Händel’s “Messiah” and the fourth part of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. About 2000 people attended and, after the last note, gave a standing ovation.

Sonnet, by Srikanth Reddy

I was cold.
You wove me a mantle of smoke.
I was thirsty.
You sent me a cloud in a crate.Add Image
You sent me a note.
You sent me a crate in a crate with a note saying bury this.
So I struck off with my shovel & never came back.
When the digging was over, I buried my shovel.
I buried it deeper.
Tendered my prospects to dusk.
Some men will make a grave out of anything.
It depends on how lonely they get.
Times when a body could dig through the night.

Buy coffee. Help Kenya.

Click on the link "Right Hand Coffee"-- a portion of your purchases will go to support the medical clinic in Gatab, Kenya. 25% for coffee. 10% for tea.

My wonderful friend Nellie is responsible for making all this happen, and here is what she has to say:

"The Icarus Collective at Cedarville University has been working hard to raise money for Ben Huntley's work at Gatab's clinic in Kenya. Well, I'm happy to report that, due to your generosity, we've already sent 190.00 to Kenya, which will help provide much-needed medication to a community currently without adequate healthcare. Considering the drought in Kenya, too, I'm especially thankful for all your support in this. Ben emailed me yesterday and said that Sawaya, a friend of his from the village, was "overjoyed." Some German missionary friends of his from the village also expressed to him that the clinic has been in a bad way--even being forced to lay off some of their nurses. Considering they've been without a doctor on staff for a long time anyway, this is not good. So every little bit you gave helped tremendously!
I have even more good news: Taylor Minor has decided to let us become a permanent brand at Stoney Creek! It's our hope to continue to support Ben's work in staffing and stocking rural clinics.

Don't forget, too, that Taylor's entire store supports The Luke Commission, a medical mission in Swaziland, and the family buys all of their beans at a fair price, helping rural growers in the Third World support their families. What can I say? The Minor family is awesome--honest local business people. Especially the grandpa, Ernest. :-) He's my favorite.
Thanks again for buying so much coffee during December. Seriously. Thank you. You have no idea how far 190.00 goes in saving lives. :-) May God bless you and keep you and cause his face to shine upon you. :-) I mean it.
With much love,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Phantom. Christine. Enraptured.

Rape: Weapon of War.

Women of the Congo
photos by Lynsey Addario

Furaha, 72, sits in a Keyshero medical facility, after having been gang raped by four men, in Goma, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lwange, 51, sits with her child, Florida, 3, a rape victim, in their home in the village of Kayna, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Chibalonza, 26, sits in the hospital, after being kidnapped by six men in uniforms and brought into the forest for nine months, where she was raped repeatedly, in Walungu, South Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congolese women who are victims of sexual assault are cared for in the Keyshero and Gesome shelters and medical centers in Goma, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo.