Category Archives: Books

1984 and mass media

is amazing. utterly amazing.  it is moving and beautiful and multiplicitous. it make you want to live life on the edge, to embrace science and art and love and sex and sensuality and reject all the hatred and mindless conformity. it of course takes a fascist, “big brother” (aaah, where the silly show comes from) vision to the utmost extreme but its chilling sometimes how you can see our world dissolving into that. i don’t actually think it will, but it brings up many important ideas of freedom (at least in my mind). does our increasing technology make us more or less free? will privacy one day be a thing of the past because of the internet? does the internet itself make us more or less free? we are free to speak, free to browse (generally), free to become different people- but as our lives are increasingly transferred to the virtual world, are we losing the freedom of privacy? are we becoming, in a round about way, a collectist society, a communal one, where everything is shared? are we becoming more or less stratified as a society because of our technological advances (are they by nature egalitarian? it is certainly arguable they allow a greater distribution or knowledge, and allow a more diverse number of voices to be heard, yet the digital divide is undeniable: only about a 5th of the world’s population have access to the internet).

we recently had a lecture in understanding communication about the media. it was really fascinating! it was actually titled “cultural industries and media in society” and focused on the concept of mass media: its development, its nature, and its imminent destruction (perhaps). mass media is characterised by it’s one-way, top-down nature, as well as the idea that it is mediated and censored by the “gate keepers” of knowledge. the name is somewhat of a misnomer: it is only ‘mass’ in the sense that it reaches a mass audience; by the later 20th Century, 5 corporations were dominating publishing and broadcasting knowledge worldwide (Bardikian, 2004). because it is institutionalised, and because it is specifically created to appease audiences (existing within a competitive capitalist market) it often has a certain ideological or economic slant which it imposes (as there is no interactivity) on the viewer. mass media tends to reinforce dominant ideologies and discourses and rarely challenges them.

but is the age of mass media coming to an end? or more appropriately, is the name taking on a new dimension? we are living in the age of user created content; particularly via the internet. we are living in an interactie age; we are no longer a largely passive and inert audience, we are a critical and creative one. the internet allows an outlet for ‘indy’ media, alternative viewpoints; it allows me to write this spiel! mass media now is about connectivity, collectivity, collaboration, communication, community, content and conversation. before , we were forced into a mass, passive consciousness because of limited channels of information. now our sources of potential information are a lot more diverse, so we have more a fragmented audience. this is the potential of the end of mass media: or at least a demonstration that old-style mass media doesn’t have to be the norm. we can be both consumers and producers.

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and just a non-sequiter line from 1984, p. 843 (its a book of all of orwell’s novels):

“But if the object was not to stay alive but to stay human, what difference did it ultimately make? They could not alter your feelings: for that matter you could not alter them yourself, even if you wanted to. They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything you have done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.”

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27th dec 2008

For Homer

Gregory Corso

There’s rust on the old truths

-Ironclad clichés erode

New lies don’t smell as nice

as new shoes

I’ve years of poems to type up

40 years of smoking to stop

I’ve no steady income

No home

And because my hands are autochthonic

I can never wash them enough

I feel dumb

I feel like an old mangy bull

crashing through the red rag

of an alcoholic day

Yet it’s all so beautiful

isn’t it?

How perfect the entire system of things

The human body

all in proportion to its form

Nothing useless

Truly as though a god had indeed warranted it so

And the sun for day the moon for night

And the grass the cow the milk

That we all in time die.

You’d think there would be chaos

the futility of it all.

But children are born

oft times spitting images of us

And the inequities

millions doled one

nilch for another

both in the same leaky lifeboat

I’ve no religion

and I’d as soon worship Hermes

And there is no tomorrow

there’s only right here and now

you and whomever you’re with

alive as always

and ever ignorant of that death you’ll never know

And all’s well that is done

A Hellene happiness pervades the peace

and the gift keeps on coming…

a work begun splendidly done

To see people aware & kind

at ease and contain’d of wonder

like the dreams of the blind

The heavens speak through our lips

All’s caught what could not be found

All’s brought what was left behind

have spent afternoon reading beat poetry, and finished ‘when i was five i killed myself’. it was so sweet and sad and just a bit strange, since its told by an 8-year-old, and you’re wondering the whole time… highly recommended.

gregory corso is my new love. and allen ginsberg, AMAZING. HOWL! most stunning piece of poetry.

   HOWL

                    For Carl Solomon 

                           I 

       I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
              madness, starving hysterical naked, 
       dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
              looking for an angry fix,
       angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
              connection to the starry dynamo in the machin-
              ery of night, 
       who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
              up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
              cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
              contemplating jazz,
       who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and
              saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene-
              ment roofs illuminated,
       who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
              hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
              among the scholars of war,
       who were expelled from the academies for crazy &
              publishing obscene odes on the windows of the
              skull, 
       who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burn-
              ing their money in wastebaskets and listening
              to the Terror through the wall,
       who got busted in their pubic beards returning through
              Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
       who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in
              Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their
              torsos night after night
       with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, al-
              cohol and cock and endless balls, 
       incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and
              lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of
              Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the mo-
              tionless world of Time between,
       Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery
              dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops,
              storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon
              blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree
              vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brook-
              lyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
       who chained themselves to subways for the endless
              ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine
              until the noise of wheels and children brought
              them down shuddering mouth-wracked and
              battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance
              in the drear light of Zoo,
       who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's
              floated out and sat through the stale beer after
              noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack
              of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
       who talked continuously seventy hours from park to
              pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brook-
              lyn Bridge,
       lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping
              down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills
              off Empire State out of the moon,
       yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts
              and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks
              and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
       whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days
              and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the
              Synagogue cast on the pavement,
       who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a
              trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic
              City Hall,
       suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind-
              ings and migraines of China under junk-with-
              drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,
       who wandered around and around at midnight in the
              railroad yard wondering where to go, and went,
              leaving no broken hearts, 
       who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing
              through snow toward lonesome farms in grand-
              father night,
       who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telep-
              athy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos in-
              stinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
       who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking vis-
              ionary indian angels who were visionary indian
              angels,
       who thought they were only mad when Baltimore
              gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
       who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Okla-
              homa on the impulse of winter midnight street
              light smalltown rain,
       who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston
              seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the
              brilliant Spaniard to converse about America
              and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship
              to Africa,
       who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving
              behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees
              and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire
              place Chicago,
       who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the
              F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist
              eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incom-
              prehensible leaflets,
       who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting
              the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
       who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union
              Square weeping and undressing while the sirens
              of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed
              down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also
              wailed,
       who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked
              and trembling before the machinery of other
              skeletons,
       who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight
              in policecars for committing no crime but their
              own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
       who howled on their knees in the subway and were
              dragged off the roof waving genitals and manu-
              scripts,
       who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly
              motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
       who blew and were blown by those human seraphim,
              the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean
              love,
       who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose
              gardens and the grass of public parks and
              cemeteries scattering their semen freely to
              whomever come who may,
       who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up
              with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath
              when the blond & naked angel came to pierce
              them with a sword,
       who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate
              the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar
              the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb
              and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but
              sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
              threads of the craftsman's loom,
       who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of
              beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a can-
              dle and fell off the bed, and continued along
              the floor and down the hall and ended fainting
              on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and
              come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
       who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling
              in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning
              but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sun
              rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked
              in the lake,
       who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad
              stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these
              poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver-joy
              to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls
              in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses'
              rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with
              gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely pet-
              ticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station
              solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
       who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in
              dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and
              picked themselves up out of basements hung
              over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third
              Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemploy-
              ment offices,
       who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on
              the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the
              East River to open to a room full of steamheat
              and opium,
       who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment
              cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime
              blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall
              be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
       who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested
              the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of
              Bowery,
       who wept at the romance of the streets with their
              pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
       who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the
              bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in
              their lofts,
       who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned
              with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded
              by orange crates of theology,
       who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty
              incantations which in the yellow morning were
              stanzas of gibberish,
       who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht
              & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable
              kingdom,
       who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for
              an egg,
       who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot
              for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks
              fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
       who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccess-
              fully, gave up and were forced to open antique
              stores where they thought they were growing
              old and cried,
       who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits
              on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse
              & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments
              of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the
              fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinis-
              ter intelligent editors, or were run down by the
              drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
       who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually hap-
              pened and walked away unknown and forgotten
              into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley
              ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
       who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of
              the subway window, jumped in the filthy Pas-
              saic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street,
              danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed
              phonograph records of nostalgic European
              1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and
              threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans
              in their ears and the blast of colossal steam
              whistles,
       who barreled down the highways of the past journeying
              to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude
              watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
       who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out
              if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had
              a vision to find out Eternity,
       who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who
              came back to Denver & waited in vain, who
              watched over Denver & brooded & loned in
              Denver and finally went away to find out the
              Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
       who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying
              for each other's salvation and light and breasts,
              until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
       who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for
              impossible criminals with golden heads and the
              charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet
              blues to Alcatraz,
       who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky
              Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys
              or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or
              Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the
              daisychain or grave,
       who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp
              notism & were left with their insanity & their
              hands & a hung jury,
       who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism
              and subsequently presented themselves on the
              granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads
              and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding in-
              stantaneous lobotomy,
       and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin
              Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psycho-
              therapy occupational therapy pingpong &
              amnesia,
       who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic
              pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,
       returning years later truly bald except for a wig of
              blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible mad
              man doom of the wards of the madtowns of the
              East,
       Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid
              halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rock-
              ing and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench
              dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a night-
              mare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the
              moon,
       with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book
              flung out of the tenement window, and the last
              door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone
              slammed at the wall in reply and the last fur-
              nished room emptied down to the last piece of
              mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted
              on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that
              imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of
              hallucination 
       ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and
              now you're really in the total animal soup of
              time
       and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed
              with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use
              of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrat-
              ing plane,
       who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space
              through images juxtaposed, and trapped the
              archangel of the soul between 2 visual images
              and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun
              and dash of consciousness together jumping
              with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna
              Deus
       to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human
              prose and stand before you speechless and intel-
              ligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet con-
              fessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm
              of thought in his naked and endless head,
       the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown,
              yet putting down here what might be left to say
              in time come after death,
       and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in
              the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the
              suffering of America's naked mind for love into
              an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone
              cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
       with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered
              out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand
              years. 

                           II 

       What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open
              their skulls and ate up their brains and imagi-
              nation?
       Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unob
              tainable dollars! Children screaming under the
              stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men
              weeping in the parks!
       Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the
              loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy
              judger of men!
       Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the
              crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of
              sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment!
              Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stun-
              ned governments!
       Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose
              blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers
              are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a canni-
              bal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking
              tomb!
       Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
              Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long
              streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose fac-
              tories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose
              smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
       Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch
              whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch
              whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch
              whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!
              Moloch whose name is the Mind!
       Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream
              Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in
              Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
       Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom
              I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch
              who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
              Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch!
              Light streaming out of the sky!
       Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs!
              skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic
              industries! spectral nations! invincible mad
              houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs! 
       They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pave-
              ments, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to
              Heaven which exists and is everywhere about
              us!
       Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies!
              gone down the American river!
       Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole
              boatload of sensitive bullshit!
       Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions!
              gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! De-
              spairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides!
              Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on
              the rocks of Time!
       Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the
              wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell!
              They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving!
              carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the
              street! 

                           III

       Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland
              where you're madder than I am
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you must feel very strange
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you imitate the shade of my mother
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you've murdered your twelve secretaries
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you laugh at this invisible humor
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where we are great writers on the same dreadful
              typewriter 
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where your condition has become serious and
              is reported on the radio
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where the faculties of the skull no longer admit
              the worms of the senses
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you drink the tea of the breasts of the
              spinsters of Utica
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the
              harpies of the Bronx
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you scream in a straightjacket that you're
              losing the game of the actual pingpong of the
              abyss
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul
              is innocent and immortal it should never die
              ungodly in an armed madhouse
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where fifty more shocks will never return your
              soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a
              cross in the void
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you accuse your doctors of insanity and
              plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the
              fascist national Golgotha
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where you will split the heavens of Long Island
              and resurrect your living human Jesus from the
              superhuman tomb
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com-
              rades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where we hug and kiss the United States under
              our bedsheets the United States that coughs all
              night and won't let us sleep
       I'm with you in Rockland
              where we wake up electrified out of the coma
              by our own souls' airplanes roaring over the
              roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the
              hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls col-
              lapse O skinny legions run outside O starry
              spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is
              here O victory forget your underwear we're
              free 
       I'm with you in Rockland
              in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-
              journey on the highway across America in tears
              to the door of my cottage in the Western night

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Filed under Books, Ramblings

14th dec 2008

fotsun was… mixed. i’m covered in bruises and cuts and everything aches. seriously, my fucking arms hurt from (barely) carrying that esky. i am pathetic. i’m pretty sure i got a cut on my foot that is going to become infected. i got a cut from when i was trying to figure out how to do the thingy to close the toilet, and i jammed my finger in it. i fell over face first in mud!

friday: one word: shit. it was pouring all day and night. we were going to camp but all slowly fell one by one, leaving alanah and loz, which i felt heaps shit about. but seriously, by 10:30, i was ready to die. i do not even know the last time i was so miserable. i was soaked to the bone, freezing cold, lying in my wet (and full of mushed up food, it was so fucked) tent crying as alanah and i had started to talk about our hsc results and oooh, it was NOT good. lots of crying and attempts at reassurance and more crying and alanah dragging me from my tent to the toilet to hippies tent to my tent to the toilet etc etc etc so i missed lior. i don’t have any photos because it was raining. i wish i had some just to communicate how miserable it was. it was kind of a combination of laughing incredulously at the ironic festival of the sun and crying over being so fucking wet and cold. dancing to operator please was pretty good though. alanah and i went to the very front and got ‘pegged’ by max, which made me laugh, he’s a cutie. i love heaps happy and funny drunk people. oh yeah and this was also the night i fell over, while crying, it was so sad. never has a shower felt sooooo good.

saturday: went back and packed everything up and got an alright alanah and an unhappy loz, as well as a lot of wasted food. food shopped and chilled at home with the best friends, it was good. loz ended up leaving, like actually LEAVING, and it only set in later. i miss her already. but we shall both be in sydney soon! i love that girl, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful people i’ve met, i don’t know how anyone could say differently.  at 2:30 we went back to sundowners to see the vasco era, and carried the eskies what seemed an epic hike… . also alanah is actually weaker than me… it really isn’t a consolation. the vasco era were great, i love their style and energy. that 1 guy was pretty good too, kind of nine inch nails-ish (i totally expected ‘closer’ to start. that would have been pretty amazing. “i wanna fuck you like an animal, i wanna feel you from the inside” with all the poor little kiddies about). true live, despite the horribly daggy name, were excellent. kate miller-heidke was fabulous, most amazing voice! she is also absolutely gorgeous. the panics were much hyped and late, we were very bitter, but they were excellent. and cuties.

nothing quite compares to gotye last year though, fuck, still one of the highlights of my existence… ‘hearts a mess’ was just profound. all in all it was an experience, and i do love experiences.

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my mind is so everywhere right now. i keep skipping between things. like i just suddenly started thinking about poetry then. this poem is amazing… nobody could possibly disagree. i think its what turned me in year 9-ish from poetry hater to adorer. lately i’ve been thinking about poetry a lot, but somehow, i don’t have the heart to write any.

Wilfred Owen: Dulce Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!–An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

i’m afraid to. i love poetry so much but have no faith in my own ability to write it. nothing i do (in anything, really) ever meets my standards… so i’m afraid to try.

+

“It’s worth millions!” I cried. “Do you know what this is!?”
“Collected spiders, Gila monsters, trips to the Moon without gossamer wings, iguanas, toads out of bad sisters’ mouths, diamonds out of good fairies ears, crippled shadow dancers from Bali, cut-string puppets from Geppetto’s attic, little-boy statues that pee white wine, sexual trapeze performers’ alley-oop, obscene finger-pantomimes, evil clown faces, gargoyles that talk when it rains and whisper when the wind rises, basement bin full of poisoned honey, dragonflies that sew every fourteen-year-old’s orifices to keep them neat until they rip the sutures, aged eighteen. Towers with mad witches, garrets with mummies for lumber-“
He ran out of steam.
“You get the general drift.”
“Nuts,” I said. “You’re bored. I could get you a five-million-dollar deal with Amalgamated Fruit-cakes Inc. And the Sigmund F. Dreamboats, split three ways!”
“You don’t understand,” said Von Seyfertitz. “I am keeping myself busy, busy, so I won’t remember all the people I torpedoed, sank, drowned mid-Atlantic in 1944. I am not in the Amalgamated Fruitcake Cinema business. I only wish to keep myself occupied by paring fingernails, cleaning earwax, and erasing inkblots from odd bean-bags like you. If I stop, I will fly apart. That periscope contains all and everything I have seen and known in the past forty years of observing pecans, cashews, and almonds. By staring at them I lose my own terrible life lost in the tides. If you won my periscope in some shoddy fly-by-night Hollywood strip poker, I would sink three times in my waterbed, never to be seen again. Have I shown you my waterbed? Three times as large as any pool. I do eighty laps asleep each night. Some-times forty when I catnap noons. To answer your million fold offer, no.”

i’m laying this out there: i hate Fahrenheit 451. i found it boring and predictable. i think i kept comparing it to brave new world, which is one of my favourite books. it is just so much more interesting and profound. but ray bradbury is an AMAZING writer. i wish i’d written ‘unterdersea boat doktor’, it is just so unbelievably insane and beautiful- my two favourite things.

+

ooh, i was looking through stuff i’d done for my english major work last year, i’d done 7 poems about freedom. one was about abortion.

did you know most poems on the internet are anti-abortion? really, really, really bad anti-abortion poetry? it is actually quite sad.

this is one of the few that weren’t, i quite enjoy it.

Marge Piercy: right to life
a woman is not a pear tree
thrusting her fruit into mindless fecundity
into the world. Even pear trees bear
heavily one year and rest and grow the next.
An orchard gone wild drops few warm rotting
fruit in the grass but the trees stretch
high and wiry gifting the birds forty
feet up among inch long thorns.
Broken atavistically from the smooth wood.
A woman is not a basket you place
your buns in to keep them warm. Not a brood
hen you can slip duck eggs under.
Not the purse holding the coins of
your descendants till you spend them in wars.
Not a bank where your genes collect interest
and interesting mutations in the tainted
rain, anymore than you are.
You plant your corn and harvest
it to eat or sell. You put the lamb
in the pasture to fatten and haul it in
to butcher for chops. You slice
the mountain in two for a road and gouge
the high plains for coal and the waters
run muddy for miles and years.
Fish die but you do not call them yours
unless you wished to eat them.
Now you legislate mineral rights in a woman.
You lay claim to her pastures for grazing,
fields for growing babies likes iceberg
lettuce. You value children so dearly
that none ever go hungry, none weep
with no one to tend them when mothers
work, none lack fresh fruit,
none chew lead or cough to death and your
orphanages are empty. Every noon the best
restaurants serve poor children steaks.
At this moment at nine o’clock a partera
is performing a table top abortion on an
unwed mother in texas who can’t get medicaid
any longer. In five days she will die
of tetanus and her little daughter will cry
and be taken away. Next door a husband
and wife are sticking pins in the son
they did not want. They will explain
for hours how wicked he is,
how he wants discipline.
We are all born of woman, in the rose
of the womb we suckled our mother’s blood
and every baby born has a right to love
like a seedling to the sun. Every baby born
unloved, unwanted, is a bill that will come
due in twenty years with interest, an anger
that must find a target, a pain that will
beget pain. A decade downstream a child
screams, a woman falls, a synagogue is torched,
a firing squad summoned, a button
is pushed and the world burns.
I will choose what enters me, what becomes,
flesh of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield,
not your uranium mine, not your calf
for fattening, not your cow for milking.
You may not use me as your factory.
Priests and legislators do not hold
shares in my womb or my mind.
This is my body. If I give it to you
i want it back. My life
is a non-negotiable demand.

maybe i could be a pro-choice activist; promoting a woman’s right to have an abortion my higher calling. i’m pretty passionate about it.

aaaaand this is the poem i wrote.

Uncoiled
Anaesthetic Freud and Dali bubble dreams;
Antiseptic whitewashed, but still soiled and spoiled,
In my bones, in my cells, I hear the silent screams.
I shed my skin, and inside, I am uncoiled,
Breathing: in, out, breath that is grave-cold, grave-dead;
All I have left, stripped of the fruits that I toiled.
I am not pasture, or wood-dead, or red.
I am not your pistil, your pistol, your home,
your castle, your apple orchard, or your bed.
Keep your rosaries and the Church of Rome-
I have fire, brimstone, absinthe, butterflies;
but I am alone with my unwritten tome.

why did i use form? i hate form, i really do, i can’t do it… i just don’t have rhythm! i don’t know if i like this or not. the forced form makes it seem so artificial. i never really like anything i do though. i don’t think i’m very good. it must seem to my friends when i say stuff like that that i’m fishing for compliments… i’m not. i take any compliments with a thank you and whatever, unless i really disagree. i think i’m pretty honest about myself, about the way i feel about myself and others. if i trust you, anyway. i see myself as one of those people who are pretty good at quite a few things (cooking, drawing, painting, writing, making jewellery) but not REALLY good at any one. i just wish i had one particular thing i was just amazing at. i used to think that was writing. but i feel like thats gone, gone before i even turned 18… i hope i find it again, the passion. i hope i can start believing in myself.

+

i wish i was an amazing artist. i’m ok, certainly not amazing, and i have no patience and resolve. and again, extremely high standards so i’m always disappointed. lately i’ve been looking at all this amazing, whimsical art on deviantart- why can’t i do that? everything i do is boring. i want more imagination. one night i’m going to get trashed and just draw and see what i do. because seriously, every fucking thing i do bores the shit out of me. boringboringboringboring, i’m fucking boring.

i want to do stuff like all this: http://purplepoppies.deviantart.com/favourites/

why am i afraid to go for it? i didnt even go for it for my english or art major works, and i’m miss school! i did boring boring boring.

+

maybe its because my life is really quite boring. i spent my day organising recipes. tomorrow i’m going to listen to patrick wolf really really really loudly and organise the pantry. oh well, can’t complain, bigger and better things in the future, could be much much worse. i’ll just draw and draw and draw and drawwwww. maybe i’ll take a walk and take some photos. i miss my graphics tablet so badly.

+

Hey ladies craving Hollywood slim,
Living out of the beauty chic jar,
Get off the fashion treadmill,
You’re beautiful as you are.

this makes me smile so much. it also makes me wish words like this were universally believed, that i believed them. my secret-ish dream will always to be to do something to help girls with eating disorders… the fuck if i know what i could do though, since i have no interest in/ hope of getting into medicine or psychology. well actually i’m pretty interested in psychology but i don’t think i’ll ever be good or passionate enough to get really into it. ooooh i’m going to go read my big big big psychology book. the psychology of eating disorders is one of the most simultaneously fascinating and heartbreaking things. i’ve read so much on them, and my own experiences give me this deep empathy for girls suffering through an eating disorder. i’ve read so much on these girls horrifically deluded and stuck in this cycle of self-abuse and desperation. the pro-ana and -mia culture is seriously fucked… but yet i can appreciate it on some level, i think a lot of the girls really help each other, but there’s so much really bad triggering and perpetuating problems; tips for hiding your starving and purging. but theres also a lot of harm prevention, which is extremely important, especially for bulimics. every part of me wants to somehow be able to help girls in that situation… but i’m seriously so clueless. its actually something i feel this deep, like to the fucking bone, passion for.

maybe i can do it by writing. i don’t know.

+

i’ll be a chef and i’ll help girls with eating disorders… such a good match.

+

i never get why people are against harm prevention for things like drugs and drinking, its asinine, people will do illicit and stupid things; why wouldn’t one seek to minimise the risk? denial. maybe i can crusade for harm minimisation.

+

seriously, i’m just sitting here thinking about all the things i want to and possibly could do… so many possibilities. its more depressing than anything though knowing most of them i’ll never, ever get to. i guess part of the reason i want to be a writer is because, in a way, you get to be so many different things, imagining the world, making up characters, and just throwing yourself into their world and their lives and their heads.

+

i still haven’t read ulysses. i haven’t read anything. like 30 pages of on the road. i’m going to finish naked lunch tomorrow, i swear. i don’t even know why i stopped, it is mind-blowingly amazingly incredibly insanely the best thing in the world.

“naked mr. america, burning frantic with self bone love, screams out: “my asshole confounds the louvre! i fart ambrosia and shit pure gold turds! my cock spurts soft diamonds in the morning sunlight!””

AMAZING.

ha, my taste in literature is so the opposite to the person i (ostensibly) appear… its all drugs, serial killers and sex.

+

i miss italy chronically.

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10th dec 2008

got back from newcastle yesterday… i love that place. best atmosphere.

found a  great second hand book store on hunter street; didnt want to leave. FINALLY got my seven pillars of wisdom, $10, i was so excited.

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also got this book called “feminist graffiti” its…. wait for it… a book of found graffiti of feminist sayings. it is amazing.

“whats an orgasm mummy?”

“i don’t know dear, ask your father.”

of course adam came first. men always come first.

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this makes me smile, growing up, my dad used to always get angry if i used the word ‘chick’, as its demaning to women according to him. he also, when i was like 10, gave me this book called  like women who run with wolves… it was like a ‘you are the beautiful womyn species, the best, moon goddess, blah blah blah blah’.

so if/ when i go through a feminist stage (if i’m not already a bit), blame my father.

i also got this book on salvadore dali, and found this in it

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i assume it was deliberate… it was a nice little find, it made me smile.

oooooh, i got a patrick wolf cd, wind in the wires.  i havent actually listened to it yet, just pored over the leaflet and drooled over the cover. gosh i love that man.

fotsun “officially” started today but the weather has been so bad, seriously. its lying around and snuggling up weather, not camping weather. oh the irony, festival of the sun, and it’ll probably be miserable tomorrow.

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at the moment i feel like i am in limbo. i don’t know how i feel, how others feel, what i’m doing, where i’m going. i feel like i should be happy; i’m not particularly, but nor am i sad.

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i’m just kinda… floating, drifting. i feel so aimless. i miss having a purpose, i.e. school.

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i feel like i should be heading towards some grand venture and i suppose i am, university, sydney, but somehow that doesnt feel enough? i don’t know anymore.

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limbo.

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i’ve started packing for syndey. its so surreal, even as i buy all the things i need, as i sort my jewellery, pack up the books i’m going to take.

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i get these moments where it scares the shit out of me, leaving the comfort, the security, the certainty. most of all i’m leaving some people i love so fucking much, and i don’t know about life without them. but its exciting, it is. i’m going to get to meet people like me, with similar interests, and we’ll have debates about the death of the counter culture movement, the validity of postmodernism; history, art.

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i guess my current apathy is largely derived from this feeling that i’m going to be waiting perpetually, forever, for everything to happen. for something to happen.

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fuck i love this poem. i always get the last line in my head. like just now.

kumrads die because they’re told)
kumrads die before they’re old
(kumrads aren’t afraid to die
kumrads don’t
and kumrads won’t
believe in life)and death knows whie
(all good kumrads you can tell
by their altruistic smell
moscow pipes good kumrads dance)
kumrads enjoy
s.freud knows whoy
the hope that you may mess your pance
every kumrad is a bit
of quite unmitigated hate
(travelling in a futile groove
god knows why)
and so do i
(because they are afraid to love

e.e. cummings, i love you. “because they are afraid to love”. perfect.

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