Friday, 27 June 2008

first of the all night races

the plan - go to work, come home tomorrow morning, not be excited and get at least four hours sleep, get in the van, drive for another four hours, pitch the tent, register, warm up and race all night. oh yes and it'll be raining!

at least it'll keep the midgies down. even then, i'm sure it won't be pretty....

moniza alvi

I would like to be a dot in a painting by Miro

I would like to be a dot in a painting by Miro.

Barely distinguishable from other dots,
it's true, but quite uniquely placed.
And from my dark centre

I'd survey the beauty of the linescape
and wonder - would it be worthwhile
to roll myself towards the lemon stripe,

Centrally poised, and push my curves
against its edge, to give myself
a little attention?

But it's fine where I am.
I'll never make out what's going on
around me, and that's the joy of it.

The fact that I'm not a perfect circle
makes me more interesting in this world.
People will stare forever -

Even the most unemotional get excited.
So here I am, on the edge of animation,
a dream, a dance,a fantastic construction,

A child's adventure.
And nothing in this tawny sky
can get too close, or move too far away

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

dylan thomas

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

anne sexton

Wanting to die

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don't always die,
but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue!--
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death's a sad Bone; bruised, you'd say,

and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

and things i dislike this week....

avid brakes

which are fitted as standard on both my last bikes and which i've had problems with in each case. in the former it was all about avid's foolish pad replacement finnickiness - was the stupid pad clip the best they could do? The easiest way to replace these, unless you have the fingers of an elf, is to remove the caliper. now call me cynical but i'm not about to be doing this any time soon in the middle of an endurance race. or at night.

as to the latter bike. well there the rear brake just hasn't worked since i got. my bike shop guy can't/won't/isn't going to fix it and i'll be making yet another trip to him tomorrow to suggest it may be disc alignment that's causing the awful noise and juddering braking so characteristic of the bike since buying. race friendly? i think not. was i happy this week when, after taking the bike out for the first time after it being 'fixed' i was almost instantly back to using front brake only, a rule of diminishing returns for me on the steep bits and the reason all of my left elbow is currently a fetching shade of green. at least it wasn't broken which at first i feared. modesty forbids me putting up a picture of my shoulder, revealed to be full of gouges once i;d pulled my jersey out of it. ow, that's got to hurt, said t. she wasn't wrong. was i happy? i was not.

suffice to say i will be avoiding any bike sporting avid brakes in the future.

talking of things disappointing and unreliable on to the euros and the entire french team. i threw what can only be described as a strop when italy, for god's sake, put them out of their misery. i shan't repeat any of it. no i really shan't. then it was an early bath for sweden and further grumpiness. tonight i endured the only game i've actually been able to watch, a two hour borefest until the last two minutes until croatia actually scored then the turks who, unlike their european counterparts really do play to the final whistle, scored in the dying seconds on injury time in extra time. what drama! and then croatia blow it on the penalties. germany are the only winners after this performance. other than france and sweden my third team choice, poland, because of the immigrants obviously, had to be my third team and a good choice for a proxy scotland they were. three games and off home. it was as if they were wearing blue....

Friday, 20 June 2008

ana blandiana

Perhaps Someone is Dreaming Me

Perhaps someone is dreaming me -
That's why my gestures
Are so soft
And unfinished,
With their aim forgotten
That's why my outlines get blurred
Second by second
And my deeds melt...
And perhaps the one who's dreaming me
From time to time is plucked
From sleep,
Carried by force into
His true life,
That's why I darken
Suspended sometimes
As from a thread that melts with snow,
Without knowing
If he will fall asleep again
So that something might happen to me

trans Peter jay and Anca Cristofovici