Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dots Dots Dots.


To Ailsa Rock

Hearken, thou craggy ocean pyramid!
Give answer from thy voice, the sea-fowls' screams!
When were thy shoulders mantled in huge streams?
When from the sun was thy broad forehead hid?
How long is't since the mighty Power bid
Thee heave to airy sleep from fathom dreams?
Sleep in the lap of thunder or sunbeams,
Or when grey clouds are thy cold coverlid?
Thou answer'st not, for thou art dead asleep;
Thy life is but two dead eternities -
The last in air, the former in the deep;
First with the whales, last with the eagle-skies -
Drown'd wast thou till an earthquake made thee steep,
Another cannot wake thy giant size.

                                           - John Keats

Monday, October 10, 2011


That humans are a special creation, above the animals.

That the mind can exist separate from the body. (Why then would it need a body?)

That apes in outer space will find a fulfilment there.

That dreams are oracles.

That there is progress in art.

That the evil in human nature is caused by private property.

That abstracted shapes and colours make an efficient language.

That there have been works of art produced in Hollywood.

That despite their evolving with separate functions, the sexes have in all things equally matched abilities.

That the vanguard party exists in the interests of the working class.

That the Church is required as an intercessor between God and man.

That physical reality, which is always interacting, accruing minute differences, and collapsing into new forms, must be the work of a Creator.

That there is an ultimate simplicity.

That ‘if God does not exist, everything is permitted’.

That there must be a God to sanction what we value as morality and beauty.

That it is not actual things we perceive, in their uniqueness and subtlety, and with such surprise, but representations of them only. (As if this distinction could mean something.)

That economics can be a science (rather than its being merely the vagaries of public morale).

That if we create enlightened laws, a bureaucracy will see justice is done.

That the greatest possible happiness and fulfilment for the species lies ahead of us. (It may lie far behind, or just behind).

That rationality is other than a rationalization of feelings.

That in a perfectly benign society, there will no longer be discontent, dissidence, and revolt.

That there is a truth apart from the pragmatic method of science.

That having denied the artist’s conscious meanings and intentions, we can then appreciate the work of art (all of whose formal decisions were based on those intentions).

That this world is other than it shows itself to be.

That because ‘they once laughed at the Impressionists’, now everything in art that flaunts an innovatory mannerism must be good.

That post-structuralist theory is significant. (All it offers is an attitude of bad faith, and a demonstration that anything can be undermined and destroyed.)

That one should choose between the selfishness and complacency of the political right and the sentimentality and self-righteousness of the left.

That art is for art’s sake. (In its sensuousness and its care, art is what Nietzsche says, ‘the great stimulus to life’.)

That ‘Hamlet and Lear are gay.’

That a rote iconoclasm is the way to truth. (Only that which is held above us can lift us up.)

That art requires theory. (Bad art justifies itself with theory; good art is justified by its immediate sensory appeal.)

That the microscopic is fundamental (as though it exists without the macroscopic).

That ‘beauty is only in the eye of the beholder’. (Is vividness, or harmony, or gracefulness?)

That things are one, or that things are many.

That morality is spiritual. (Morality is physiology: the nervous system.)

That love is the reward for friendship. (Friendship is the reward for love.)

That the need to ‘make it new’ means we must overturn entirely. (Culture is continuity.)

That within the towers of the metropolis, the physical limits of our nature (which are its spiritual limits), as those evolved on the savannah, will no longer apply.

                                                                                          - Robert Gray


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why are you here?

I see, 
Take a seat.
Not even
'It won't be long'.

Coming Up for Air.

The fluoro lighting
Only an office has, 
Stretches the floor
To the unmown nature strips
Of an outside
That could now be gone.

How long have I been sitting here?

An 'Oi Russell...'
'Oi Russell come sit here.'

They know each other's names
In this family of sorts.

I wonder if my name is obvious
As I sit there
And shy back into my book.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wish Me Luck

a fresh spiderweb
like a spinnaker
across the open window
and here he is
the little master
sailing by
on a thread of milk
wish me luck
I haven't finished anything
in a long time.

            - Leonard Cohen