Saturday, 26 April 2008

Friday, 18 April 2008


tutto, in natura, ha una essenza lirica, un destino tragico, una esistenza comica.

things that made me laugh

the pronouncements of mark e smith such as

Degrees have a way of warping people - it's not good for people to spend that amount of time at university, acting like rock stars on weekdays. They get so distanced from the real world that they haven't a fucking clue what's needed. It's a luxurious prison, almost. Once they get out, once they're released, they're good for nothing other than having weekly reunions with their old housemates, getting jobs with their old housemates, or staying on to receive more educational therapy or forming piss-poor bands. And they've all got foppy fringes.

dan le sac vs scroobius pip (mmoneypenny be warned - blasphemy lurks within this)

out on the trail

today we go further afield for a change and good that we did because the sun doesn't fail us despite the forecast. mr g's legs do unfortunately, mainly due to the battering i gave them yesterday and because his regular xc bike isn't working and he has to use one of mine instead. he doesn't mind though, he knows he has to be fitter for his race later in the year and mine is looming ever closer and i need to push the training a lot harder.

not that it's difficult what with the weather and me being on the new hardtail. i'm reading elsewhere about peoples' problems with self knowledge with regard to the Other. i think about this today as i'm firing round. i let mr g go ahead so it's just me, the trees, the greenery, the trail and each moment is an instant. there is no higher thought going on. i'm totally self aware, like hitting the drop on a good wave. there is no equivalency in philosophy

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

miroslav valek

Beating the Drum in Reverse

Shortly before my death I'm buying
a chrome plated
I ring my bell to let the whole world know you're
Shortly before my death, and yet only half-way there,
like a man who knows he won’t make it to the top of
the hill,
but doesn't give up and won't stop pedaling.
The last man in the race has long since passed from
his sight
and he has no connection,
he doesn't write home, gets no letters,
hasn't fallen in love with the brunette in the window
and hasn't drunk from others' wells.
Feeling himself behind him he makes a break
only to meet himself,
his other self
that he sense but vaguely,
as the apple-tree senses a bird.
And, maybe, that is the point of it all,
of that teeth gritting and obstinate ride...

We recognise ourselves in the rider with the tense
rounding the corner,
in our legs we can feel the ascent, as abrupt as a
the jangling of bells in our voice.
This is the journey that each must make
within himself
and all together, each along his own track.
That is that miraculous perpetuum mobile,
the exchange of energy, division of cells,
the infinity
of man, his blood, his glory.

trans by david short

(this poem should be centre justified but stupid blogger, or more likely the stupid blogger, can't manage that)

linda pastan

Stationary Bicycle

You pedal furiously
into a future you're trying
hard to prolong
by this exercise,
though the landscape
that rolls by here is time
passing, with its lists
of things undone
or not done properly,
all this effort,
the fierce monotony
of this ride feels
much like life itself -
going nowhere
redeemed in part
by the imagination, its trance
of rivers and trees,
its shady roads unwinding
just beyond your closed eyes,
or even on the tv screen
you sometimes watch
as you ride, mile
after mile of drama
unfolding while you pump
and pump, proceeding
from here to here
at twenty theoretical
miles per hour, your legs
beginning to throb as if
the body communicates
in a code of pain, saying
never mid the future,
you're here
right now, alive.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

brian patten

When into sudden beds

When through absence into sudden beds
You fall to ward
Off darkness and to share
For habit’s sake some human warmth

If who is now gone in dream returns
To ignite some loss and make
The hand that reaches seem
Blind, ignorant of your suffering,

Then, with a larger sympathy than you once owned,
Must you now turn, else all dark is yours
And beds, forever blind,
Will make within them wars.

Whatever’s touched, shoulder, thigh or breast,
With some uncommon pain will burn
When for love you’re asked to pay in kind,
And find you are not strong enough to turn.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

sorley maclean

Time, the deer, is in the Wood of Hallaig

The window is nailed and boarded
through which I saw the West
and my love is at the Burn of Hallaig,
a birch tree, and she has always been

between Inver and Milk Hollow,
here and there about Baile-chuirn:
she is a birch, a hazel,
a straight slender young rowan.

In Screapadal of my people,
where Norman and Big Hector were,
their daughters and their sons are a wood
going up beside the stream.

Proud tonight the pine cocks
crowing on the top of Cnoc an Ra,
straight their backs in the moonlight —
they are not the wood I love.

I will wait for the birch wood
until it comes up by the cairn,
until the whole ridge from Beinn na Lice
will be under its shade.

If it does not, I will go down to Hallaig,
to the Sabbath of the dead,
where the people are frequenting,
every single generation gone.

They are still in Hallaig,
MacLeans and MacLeods,
all who were there in the time of Mac Gille Chaluim:
the dead have been seen alive.

The men lying on the green
at the end of every house that was,
the girls a wood of birches,
straight their backs, bent their heads.

Between the Leac and Fearns
the road is under wild moss
and the girls in silent bands
go to Clachan as in the beginning,

and return from Clachan,
from Suisnish and the land of the living;
each one young and light-stepping,
without the heartbreak of the tale.

From the Burn of Fearns to the raised beach
that is clear in the mystery of the hills,
there is only the congregation of the girls
keeping up the endless walk,

coming back to Hallaig in the evening,
in the dumb living twilight,
fi lling the steep slopes,
their laughter in my ears a mist,

and their beauty a film on my heart
before the dimness comes on the kyles,
and when the sun goes down behind Dun Cana
a vehement bullet will come from the gun of Love;

and will strike the deer that goes dizzily,
sniffing at the grass-grown ruined homes;
his eye will freeze in the wood,
his blood will not be traced while I live.

You can listen to maclean reading Hallaig here

and there's lovely gaelic poetry here

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Ma Hsian-Ian


The floss of the reed flowers
Is like flying snow.
The Autumn river turns cold.
A jade inlaid horizontal flute
Sounds above the noise of men.
The wild geese return
On the first Autumn gales.
Here and there waterlilies are still blooming.

After the heavy dew, it is hard
For the beauty to get up.
Her perfumed rouge
Is reflected in the autumn water,
A slanting flowered branch in a mirror,
Beautiful as an evening cloud.

trans unknown

Friday, 4 April 2008

paul celan

Wie du dich ausstirbirst in mir:

noch in letzten
Knoten Atems
steckst du mit einem

How you die out in me:

down to the last
knot of breath
you’re there, with a
of life

trans michael hamburger

Thursday, 3 April 2008

gertrude stein

from Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Faded

I love my love with a v
Because it is like that
I love my love with a b
Because I am beside that
A king.
I love my love with an a
Because she is a queen
I love my love and a a is the best of them
Think well and be a king,
Think more and think again
I love my love with a dress and a hat
I love my love and not with this or with that
I love my love with a y because she is my bride
I love her with a d because she is my love beside
Thank you for being there
Nobody has to care
Thank you for being here
Because you are not there.

And with and without me which is and without she she can be late and then and how and all around we think and found that it is time to cry she and

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


aside from the cycling, my wobbly leg has made concentrating on reading difficult but not looking at pictures. outside of the usual flickr'ing i've been impressed with following this morning

walter schels and beatte lakotta's collection life before death

ari versluis and ellie uyttennbroek's exactitudes

ther's also been changes and blogbrowsing and residents of the swiss ivory tower bid a fond farewell to mmoneypenny's blog. she has moved on to things far more productive and although we shall miss our regular visits, especially the notebooks, we wish her well

remaining broken

two weeks on i finally manage to get back out for an hour of gentle cycling around the woods. how beautiful it was but how little sleep i got tonight as my leg swelled back up (not helped by falling on it again). pain, even the disco version i've got, it's just no fun. still, physio today and hopefully some sort of something to make me mobile again. eight weeks to racing so it'd better!

more to the point the next new bike arrives on wednesday and i want to be able to do more than look at it