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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Moving House


.

Automobile landscape, Mill Valley, California: photo by Dave Glass (Dizzy Atmosphere), 1978, posted 1 April 2014


We were always moving out
ahead of the next wave yet not 
riding the last wave to the crest

history refracts the burden
and it all breaks back and down
and returns yet not the same, tipping

ill fitting puzzle bits of myth
captured and released
in transition to dust from real life

as time flows on away beneath
the ground
all the endless summer night long





House Movers, San Francisco. Victorian house being moved to Ellis Street just below Divisadero, Western Addition: photo by Dave Glass (Dizzy Atmosphere), 1977, posted 24 April 2012

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Point and Shoot


.


Houston, Texas: photo by gumanow, October 2013, posted 8 April 2014



A wee bit
of intelligent
direction --
 

all reality
that hopelessly
awkward

and ungainly
proposal
forever spilling

over
into uncertainty
seemed
 
to need.





Austin, Texas: photo by gumanow, September 2009, posted 26 January 2010

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Los Angeles: Double Face


.



Mis-Match (Hollywood, California): photo by michaelj1998, 21 April 2014

 
Whatever else may be wrong in a political way -- like the inadequacy of the Great Depression techniques applied to a scene that has long outgrown them; like old-fashioned grafter's glee among the city fathers over the vast amounts of poverty-war bread that Uncle is now making available to them -- lying much closer to the heart of L.A.'s racial sickness is the co-existence of two very different cultures: one white and one black.

While the white culture is concerned with various forms of systematized folly -- the economy of the area in fact depending on it -- the black culture is stuck pretty much with basic realities like disease, like failure, violence and death, which the whites have mostly chosen -- and can afford -- to ignore. The two cultures do not understand each other, though white values are displayed without let-up on black people's TV screens, and though the panoramic sense of black impoverishment is hard to miss from atop the Harbor Freeway, which so many whites must drive at least twice every working day. Somehow it occurs to very few of them to leave at the Imperial Highway exit for a change, go east instead of west only a few blocks, and take a look at Watts. A quick look. The simplest kind of beginning. But Watts is country which lies, psychologically, uncounted miles further than most whites seem at present willing to travel.
.

As for violence, in a pocket of reality such as Watts, violence is never far from you: because you are a man, because you have been put down, because for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Somehow, sometime. Yet to these innocent, optimistic child-bureaucrats, violence is an evil and an illness, possibly because it threatens property and status they cannot help cherishing.

They remember last August's riot as an outburst, a seizure. Yet what, from the realistic viewpoint of Watts, was so abnormal? "Man's got his foot on your neck," said one guy who was there, "sooner or later you going to stop asking him to take it off." The violence it took to get that foot to ease up even the little it did was no surprise. Many had predicted it. Once it got going, its basic objective -- to beat the Black and White police -- seemed a reasonable one, and was gained the minute The Man had to send troops in. Everybody seems to have known it. There is hardly a person in Watts now who finds it painful to talk about, or who regrets that it happened -- unless he lost somebody.

But in the white culture outside, in that creepy world full of pre-cardiac Mustang drivers who scream insults at one another only when the windows are up; of large corporations where Niceguymanship is the standing order regardless of whose executive back one may be endeavoring to stab; of an enormous priest caste of shrinks who counsel moderation and compromise as the answer to all forms of hassle; among so much well-behaved unreality, it is next to impossible to understand how Watts may truly feel about violence. In terms of strict reality, violence may be a means to getting money, for example, no more dishonest than collecting exorbitant carrying charges from a customer on relief, as white merchants here still do. Far from a sickness, violence may be an attempt to communicate, or to be who you really are.

 

Thomas Pynchon: from A Journey into the Mind of Watts, in New York Times Magazine, 12 June 1966



File:Wattsriots-burningbuildings-loc.jpg

Burning buildings during Watts riots: photo by Ed Palumbo for New York World-Telegram, August 1965; image by Nesnad, 11 August 2008

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Chidiock Tichborne: The End


.

Blood on the Moon (1948): photo by hytam2, 1 April 2014


My prime of youth is but a froste of cares:
My feaste of joy, is but a dishe of payne:
My cropp of corne, is but a field of tares:
And all my good is but vaine hope of gaine:
The daye is gone, and yet I sawe no sonn:
And nowe I live, and nowe my life is donn.

The springe is paste, and yet it hath not sprong,
The fruite is deade, and yet the leaves are greene
My youth is gone, and yet I am but yonge
I sawe the woorld, and yet I was not seene
My threed is cutt, and yet it is not sponn
And nowe I lyve, and nowe my life is donn.

I saught my death, and founde it in my womb,
I lookt for life, and sawe it was a shade.
I trode the earth, and knewe it was my Tombe
And nowe I die, and nowe I am but made
The glasse is full, and nowe the glass is rune
And nowe I live, and nowe my life is donn

Chidiock Tichborne (c. 1558-20 September 1586): Tychbornes Elegie, written with his owne hand in the Tower before his Execution (1586)




Véronique et son Cancre (1958): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 8 February 2014
 

Le Amiche (1955): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 4 February 2014
 

Mahanagar (1963): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 10 September 2013
 

Mercy (1970): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 22 October 2013
 

Un Nommé La Rocca (1961): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 23 November 2013
 

Gideon of Scotland Yard (1958): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 20 April 2014



The Horror of It All (1964): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 13 April 2014
 

Chikaketsu renzoko reipu (1985): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 21 October 2013
 

Warning Shot (1966): photo by Leo Garcia (LenhillAdvanced), 10 January 2014



El Pico (1983): photo by Aka Vetala (omoplata 1), 1 February 2014
 

The Sandpiper (1965): photo by Leo Garcia (LenhillAdvanced), 28 January 2014
 

Dentist on the Job (1961): photo by hytam2, 13 March 2014

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Beginning


.


Sierra dust storm. Taken from Owens Lake, looking west: photo by Jody Miller, 31 March 2014


Every morning bright and early
Came the man with the channels
Then one day he did not come
That was the day the dust storms began
Don't blame it on the cable guy


 

Vertical cloud over the eastern Sierra: photo by Jody Miller, 31 March 2014
 


RCA Victor. "We got to move these color TVs..." Keeler, California: photo by Jody Miller, 31 March 2014

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Understanding Landscape


.

Willamette River, Oregon City, Oregon: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), November 2012



The cultural landscape is fashioned from a natural landscape by a cultural group. Culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium, the cultural landscape is the result. Under the influence of a given culture, itself changing through time, the landscape undergoes development, passing through phases, and probably reaching ultimately the end of its cycle of development. With the introduction of a different -- that is an alien -- culture, a rejuvenation of the cultural landscape sets in, or a new landscape is superimposed on remnants of an older one... Within each landscape there are phenomena that are not simply there but are either associated or independent of each other... the task of geography is conceived as the establishment of a critical system which embraces the phenomenology of landscape, in order to grasp in all of its meaning and colour the varied terrestrial scene.
   
Carl O. Sauer (1869-1975): from The Morphology of Landscape, 1925





Willamette River, Oregon City, Oregon: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), November 2012


Willamette River, Oregon City, Oregon: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), November 2012


Portland-Milwaukie Max Bridge, Willamette River, Portland, Oregon: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), April 2012


Yaquina River, Toledo, Oregon: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), February 2013
 

Yaquina River, Toledo, Oregon: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), February 2013
 

Yaquina River, Toledo, Oregon: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), February 2013
 

Camas, Washington: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), September 2013
 

Camas, Washington: photo by Jorge Guadalupe Lizárraga (el zopilote), September 2013

Monday, 21 April 2014

So Now You Know


.

Stillman (South of Market, San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 9 March 2014


It's been uphill all the way
you can't blow your own sail
but you can still blow your own horn
so long as no one's around to hear it

you can blow your lid
you can blow your wig
you can blow your top
you can blow your brains out

you can blow your cover
you can blow your cork
you can blow your lines
you can blow your one big shot

you can blow your nose
you can blow your whistle 

you can blow your fuse
you can blow your cool
or maybe not
so now you know





...? (South of Market, San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 9 March 2014


Z (South of Market, San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 4 March 2014
 


3X (+2) (San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 4 March 2014
 


Clayton (Eureka Valley, San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 4 March 2014
 


Overpass (San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 9 March 2014
 

Walls (San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider,  March 2014, posted 17 April 2014
 


Crescent (San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 6 March 2014
 

Now You Know (Glen Park, San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 4 March 2014
 

Pedestal (San Francisco). Ashbury Park, once considered the geographic heart of San Francisco: photo by Robert Schneider, March 2014
 

Terminal 2 (San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, 3 March 2014
 


Uphill (Diamond Heights, San Francisco): photo by Robert Schneider, March 2014

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Joseph Ceravolo: Red-tailed Hawk


.


A Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) harasses a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Sussex County Landfill, Lafayette, New Jersey: photo by Tom Smith, 4 March 2009

January 17, 1987

I saw a red-tailed hawk
flying inland today. My son
pointed him out flying around the tree tops
in our town over the highway
resting in the branches
of the highest trees, then disappearing.

O hawk of our inner brain and vision
powerful as a microbe invading life,
beautiful as a comet in the night
subtle as the weak force
curving the universe left,

painful as the spark that gives us life.

Joseph Ceravolo (1934-1988): January 17, 1987 from Collected Poems, 2012


 
A mature Red-tailed Hawk landing on a windbreak tree in farm country, Alpha, New Jersey: photo by Dah Professor, 22 December 2009

Saturday, 19 April 2014

William Carlos Williams: By the road to the contagious hospital


.

Untitled (Newark): photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 14 April 2014


By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast -- a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines --

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches --

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind --

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf
One by one objects are defined --
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance -- Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted, they
grip down and begin to awaken



William Carlos Williams (b. Rutherford, New Jersey, 17 September 1883, d. Rutherford, New Jersey, 4 March 1963): By the road to the contagious hospital, from Spring & All, 1923




Untitled (Newark): photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 7 April 2014

Friday, 18 April 2014

Woman in the Window


.

  Madonna of the Broken Glass (Lowell, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan, 10 November 2010


The ghostly Madonna in the thriftshop window looked down at us
in compassion and with sorrow through shattered glass
without seeing us

from which wrecked perspective ships had been launched
while Joseph was off in the shed puttering
with those damned tools of his again




  Tax Shelter (Stoneham, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan, 8 December 2010
 

  Face (Wakefield, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan, 17 June 2010
 

  Nativity (Stoneham, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan, 26 February 2011
 

  Window dressing (Gloucester, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan, 16 May 2012


  Tarot (South Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan, 27 January 2011
 

  Liberty #2 (Stoneham, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan, 31 December 2012
 


Bananas (New York City). Ok. So it's corn. But I'm going bananas here today. :): photo by Jim Rohan, 19 April 2013