“Eyes I dare not meet in dreams…”

“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”

-T. S. Eliot

More poetry, since, after all, this is the very end of “the cruelest month,” isn’t it?

Oh, and Thomas Stearns Eliot… I had planned to do one more post of a collection of a few of his verses or another poem or two, and then I got an email from a friend of mine, Lia, mentioning that she thought that Eliot was… and how shall I put this… interesting, to say the least. Actually, I believe the word she used was actually “bonkers,” but I think I get where she’s coming from.

To me, Eliot, is the epitome of what I want in a poet. Simple, but complex. Vague but truthful. High minded but communicating to us from the lowest depths. Sad and melancholy but happiest when translating that into words that transcend.

from here.

From Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” I give you a favorite verse:

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

But, I should add, that when it comes to poetry, I’m only a casual investor. My bag has always been prose,  proper stories of fiction or non-fiction. Or poetry more lyrical, set to music, reverberating with sound. I’m just not the snobbiest when it comes to poetry, nor am I the most discerning or knowledgeable, I’m afraid. In fact, to me, there’s really only three kinds of poetry out there…

1. Simple stuff. Rhymes that are cutesy and intriguing, delighting the imagination and pleasing the easiest of senses. Perhaps grotesque or macabre, but in a way that sets the intellect aflame. This could be anything, really, but typically stuff you learn in school, from grade school to junior high to high school. We’re talking anything from Where The Sidewalk Ends to Edgar Allan Poe.

2. Stepping it up a bit. More adult. Rhymes, sometimes, but like I said before, deeper with truth. You hear the words with your ears and then they echo within, touching on something all too familiar. Can be a tad cute-sy, but also rewarding for a generation like ours with our hypertext annotations, the kind you’d read “Prufrock” or “The Waste Land” or “The Hollow Men” with at some point in your life. Obviously, this could include Eliot, but also poets as fanciful Federico García Lorca or Pablo Neruda, or as simple as Richard Brautigan. Hell, it can be as simple as Shakespeare or Shelley, even.

3. Everything else, but ascending. Some of it’s so deep and smart and amazing that I just don’t have the brain power to comprehend it, or I’m just not there. I’m sure you can suggest something for this category. The only downside to that is, well, if you can, then you’re probably an asshole. But you worked hard for it and I salute you.

But I admire the idea of the poet, the romantic nature of such a “profession.” It’s like an emotionaut, diving into the psyche, and trying to describe to the guarded observers what is found there. Sometimes poetry can be too childlike or too grandiose or just too overblown and pretentious, because that’s who it’s writers are. And, more often than not, that’s who the readers are too. What you look for in that sea of words is most likely exactly what you’re going to find.

You can four more wonderful poems by Eliot here: “Mélange adultère de tout,” “The Naming Of Cats,” “Luna de Miel,” and “Whispers Of Immortality.”

from here.

And I shall leave you this month with one very last poem by T. S. Eliot, this one being “Conversation Galante,” which I hope you enjoy…

I observe: “Our sentimental friend the moon!
Or possibly (fantastic, I confess)
It may be Prester John’’s balloon
Or an old battered lantern hung aloft
To light poor travellers to their distress.”
She then: “How you digress!”

And I then: “Some one frames upon the keys
That exquisite nocturne, with which we explain
The night and moonshine; music which we seize
To body forth our own vacuity.”
She then: “Does this refer to me?”
“Oh no, it is I who am inane.”

“You, madam, are the eternal humorist
The eternal enemy of the absolute,
Giving our vagrant moods the slightest twist!
With your air indifferent and imperious
At a stroke our mad poetics to confute–“
And–“Are we then so serious?”


Strange cases.

Well, I’d hate to reblog io9 twice in the same week, but they were right about this one, the below video is one of the best openings to a TV show ever…

…that’s the five five minutes of Jekyll, Steven Moffat’s reimagining and modern update of Charles Dickens’s Jekyll and Hyde story, starring James Nesbitt, Gina Bellman,  Denis (“Wedge” from Star Wars) Lawson, Paterson Joseph, and the absolutely lovely Michelle Ryan, who you may remember from the brief Bionic Woman update that NBC attempted.

Also, I don’t really feel all that bad since I posted that same video on my tumblr back in December of 2008, but that doesn’t really matter. Though when I did, I mentioned Moffat’s then upcoming and long dreamed off taking over of Doctor Who and that he was sought out by Spielberg to write the first entry of his and Peter Jackson’s Rin Tin Tin series (which Moffat had to leave after the first film to do Doctor Who). Now that his run on Doctor Who is current, a wonderful reality, but he also has another show happening later this year, an update of the Sherlock Holmes mythos with Mark Gattis.

Obviously, the above scene starts the story in media res, but here’s what I said almost two years ago: Moffat is completely unafraid to start you right in the middle of the action. He has no problem not only demanding that you pay attention and be smart enough to follow his storytelling but has the confidence to know that it’ll find you, wherever you are, and hook you. That’s only gotten more true since.


dollar dollar bill y’all!

greetings peeps! i’m just sitting here on this chilly evening, pondering some interesting ponderings. do you even find yourself just drifting off into your own microcosm and think, “what if…?” yeah, me neither. but tonight was clearly a special night! and my little peanut brain went down all sorts of avenues……

yes. money. “cash rules everything around me” or c.r.e.a.m. as the wu-tang clan stamps on their cd. and it does. or at least, it seems to. but does it? does it really?

mmhmm

yes, evidence does seem to point to the fact that cash/currency is a commodity that people desire. it is a resource. it is why people go to college, try to get better jobs, lie, cheat, steal, kill even. but why? what does currency really mean anyway? does it mean you’ve achieved some sort of status?

i make it rain.

some people look at a LRG bank balance to mean that you’ve “made it.” others would look at food stamps and think  =( this is all relative. your pluses or minuses are a magical number given to you by an Automated Teller Machine or from your porn box that may from time to time deliver something with the name “red headed” your way. you fucking ginger lover!!!

it doesn’t seem to mean too much. not really. little (or largely) known fact, Ms St Cosmo is a college student. and being in a history class, Dr. Bro tells us we’ve been off this gold standard business for a looooong time. where does that leave money? a lot like it did back in the days of Alexander Hamilton and his federal plan. in short, (translation= could not find link to explain to you. i have no kung fu. frown.)  around 1790ish, hamilton was the secretary of state and the US was in a bad spot. the central government was weak, there was no national currency, there was no trade overseas as there was a massive debt due to the american revolution. in order to get the US back on the right track, hamilton began paying war bonds (and others stuffs) in a new federal currency. the currency would only hold value as long as the US government stayed strong. therefore, currency was faith based. this happens again later in history…..

paper? paper?? sorry, i said i wanted gold bricks!

according to internets research, the official term for our money system today is “fiat.” so what does that mean to you? to me? to the rest of our monetary hungry world?

doom. maybe?

yeah maybe. if faith in currency fails, it indicates faith in our central government will not be far behind. and if that happens, i’m thinking good old anarchy might show it’s head. would this be a good or a bad thing? hmmm….back to reality i guess….

Democracy in action.

What can I say…

Ukrainian Parliment!

The political process in action!

It sounds like a great name for a TV show. Maybe a sitcom. I just want to hear “Ukrainian Parliament” enter the lexicon. Maybe it could be used in the same way people try to use the term, “Thunderdome,” I don’t know. It definitely sounds like a lethal finishing move in the bedroom.

First Contact, New Worlds, and DOOMSDAY.

Hello! And happy Tuueessday. A bit late, but two things to bring to your attention…

First up: “The Man who lived through Doomsday!”

I’ll let other sites explain it best…

From io9:

On May 8, 1902, Mt. Pelee in Martinique erupted, destroying the city of St. Pierre and instantaneously killing more than 30,000 people. The city’s sole survivor was Ludger Sylbaris, a felonious drunk who was rotting in this cell.

On the night of May 7, Sylbaris was arrested for fighting and was thrown in the pokey. His cell was tiny, stone, partially underground, and contained only a tiny slit for air. Sylbaris had picked a prime night to act rowdy, as hell would come to St. Pierre the next morning.

And from Atlas Obscura:

Mt. Pelee exploded and a cloud of smoke darkened the sky for fifty miles around. A cloud of superheated volcanic gas and dust rolled out of the volcano at hundreds of miles per hour destroying everything in an eight mile radius. Within a single minute the 1,075 degree pressure wave had flattened every building in the city of St. Pierre and anyone unlucky enough to be in its way instantly caught fire and burned to death. Even those in shelter were suffocated as the wave of gas, hotter than fire, burned up the oxygen and replaced it was deadly gases. People lungs were burnt to a crisp form taking a single breath, and after the eruption the city burned for day. The explosion instantly killed the over 30,000 residents of the island.

Except that it didn’t, not quite. Ludger couldn’t have been more lucky. He was found four days after the eruption by a rescue team who heard his calls. Despite being in the safest place on the island was horribly burned as the air in his room had flash heated to over 1000 degrees. Ludger described the experience of seeing the light coming through the slit grow dark, and then the superheated ash flying in. He peed on his clothes and stuffed them in the slit, but it didn’t stop the heat.

I would highly recommend that you read the rest of both articles because, well, they’re just absolutely fascinating. The io9 one is written by Cyriaque Lamar, who heavily references the Atlas Obscura one, where the pictures come from.

And secondly:

from here.

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”

-says Stephen Hawking in Into The Universe, his upcoming documentary series on the Discover channel.

He feels that attempts at alien contact, SETI and the like, are “a little too risky” and compares it thusly: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

from here.

Related topics:

The launch of secret US space ships and weapons.

The Thorne/Hawking/Preskill bet.

The Wow! signal.

Eruption Volcanique a la Martinique by Georges Méliès, 1902.

Monserrat’s city of ash.

Scientists eager to climb on and study Iceland’s volcano.

Is there life on Mars?

Why Won’t You Just Die Already? Radio edition

I’d like to start a new feature called “Why Won’t You Just Die Already?”

Don't tease us, asshole

Here at The Counterforce, we believe that good things happen to good people. Imagine my thrill when I read about 80s gutter trash bret michaels suffering a brain hemorrhage. It was like hearing that your favorite baseball pitcher was taking a no-hitter into the eighth. But alas, he has, as of yet, cheated death. And seriously, wouldn’t dying be his most sensible career move?

We can still hope. Cross your fingers, kight a candle, kill a chicken. Or, as Big Ben Roethlisberger would say, “All my bitches, take some shots!” If we all think good thoughts, maybe the world will reward us.

This guy's a rapist?? GTFO!

But I digress. Marco and I were talking recently about Radio. Used to be, if you wanted to hear the new shit, you tuned in to your favorite alt-station. Ok, so those old stations probably played tons of shit, but leave us our idealized youths. They played good stuff too, I swear! But today. Today. Fuck me. Have you even tried listening to a modern radio station? Jesus.

What fascinates me is that all those old shitty songs from the 90s still get a ton of play. I mean who the fuck actually wants to hear fucking ‘Give it Away’ again? And yet there is this eternal playlist of shitty modern rock songs that just will not die. This must be how our parents felt about Donovan and Otis Redding. So, today, we will focus on the music that just won’t go away. This short list will be no means be exhaustive, I would encourage you all to add your suggestions in the comments.

3 AM – Matchbox Twenty

He wants to push you around.

Have you ever met a single person ever who actually likes this band? Rob Thomas must suck the dicks of some very important people.

Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman

No! We refuse to give you even one reason. Go away!

This is what’s playing on repeat at the Starbucks in Hell.

Save Tonight – Eagle-eyed Cherry

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The musical equivalent of drinking one of those little pre-packaged sealed cups of dairy creamer.

Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

Ironically enough, Natalie’s Singles compilation is also a single.

This one makes no sense at all. She was a one-hit wonder from Convict Island, so it’s not like the stations have a payola contract with her to burn off.

Meet Virginia – Train

In case you didn’t hear, her father works on carburetors.

Possibly the most asinine song ever.

Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Seeing this picture will cause you to reach for the tuner on your stereo, just out of reflex.

Why do our favorite bands always tend to fade after a few albums, but these motherfuckers just stick around forever, still pumping out shit? Their new stuff is bad enough, but after all these years, Give It Away is still making everyone change the radio station, even if it’s to a commercial.

Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz

As my good friend Erotikus once said, ‘Rock is dead, and Lenny Kravitz is fucking the corpse.’

It’s not like this was a good song that got played too much, it was a steaming pile of shit even when it came out. And it STILL GETS FUCKING AIRPLAY! Who are these people who enjoy the stylings of Lenny Kravitz??? Please suicide yourselves.

I’m sure you can think of additional candidates.

Your fears, your dreams, and your imagination can run away from you… to the internet.

(Old) mad linkage:

A tale of two volcanoes.

Petraeus eyeing a presidential run in 2012?

The 50 best book people to follow on twitter.

Chloe Moretz and McLovin in a really weird music video.

Getting off on facebook.

Matt Fraction’s brilliant Casanova moving to Marvel’s Icon imprint, recolored and remixed.

This Stephen Baldwin/Martyr bullshit is real? Seriously?

Iceland volcano spews consonants and vowels.

Horosu” by Mayumi Haryoto.

Hulu to start charging for content as early as May.

Jon Stewart, South Park, Comedy Central, censorship, and fear of Muslim Extremists.

The final cast photo for Lost: “Final Flight.”

Embracing the digital book.

The search for J. Lo’s lost booty.

Fuck yeah, I have a crush on your girlfriend.

Can technology cool the planet?

Helen Mirren/Russell Brand in a remake of Arthur and Mickey Rourke is Genghis Khan.

The land of flying stones.

Accidental stars.

For your Saturday night, a poem:

“Hysteria”

by T. S. Eliot

As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden…” I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.

I’ve thought about posting more poems here in the month of April, but then it didn’t work out that way. But so far, posting a few by T. S. Eliot, one of my favorite poets, isn’t so bad. Especially since, in my internet reading travels, I keep seeming to happen across articles about Eliot’s sex life

“What if our dreams no longer needed us?”

Okay then! Having survived the return of those silly Daleks, it’s another week, and a brain new episode of Doctor Who, this being “The Time Of Angels,” part one of a two parter…

Continue reading

Cyberspace.

from here.

Play it in a never ending loop. It’s oddly hypnotic.