Past Prologue: October, 2010.

The end looms large, but it still a ways away and down the road a bit. But I kind of wanted to look back a little, month by month, at this blog. Maybe not every single month, but most, if I can. I guess I’m getting reacquainted with what I’m saying goodbye to? Or maybe in the back of my mind I’m always remembering that you have to put the chairs up before you turn the lights off and go home…

Previously: September, 2009 in parts one and two.

And…

01.

10/02/10: And Then…” by one Marco Sparks: Pictures and Borges and links to previous Counterforce posts… Sigh. The more things change, the more they don’t seem to matter, right?

02.

10/04/10:Tongues Of Flame by yours truly: Pictures of girls in some sort of relationship with the water, and the horizon, and the poetry of T. S. Eliot. Well… Who knows what I was thinking or where I was coming from back then. I mean, I could tell you, but who cares?

It seems like the hipsters are all shit talking Eliot now, but I don’t care. I still like him. Whenever I’m at my most lost, there’s usually a few lines from Eliot that can perfectly describe where I am, what I’m feeling, and sometimes that’s enough. Also, this poem was quoted in The Magus, which was a notoriously bad movie.

03.

10/04/10: The End Of The Story Is Unwritten by myself: I really like Harlan Ellison, though it is sometimes to do so. I think at this point, when I was writing this post, I had yet to see the documentary about him, Dreams With Sharp Teeth, which is a fine film.

I’ll always be a science fiction nut – maybe you’ve noticed? – but once or twice or thrice a year I really get back into it, and Ellison is one of those writers I go back to. To me, he’s the ur-Neil Gaiman, but less magical and twee. I respect that Ellison doesn’t suffer fools well, that he’s serious about his craft and those who practice it. In many ways, it would appear that he is not a human at all, but a new creature, one best described in works of his favorite genre: all sharp edges and protected, wounded heart and acid and witty talent.

04.

10/06/10: Powers And Responsibilities/Up, Up, And Away We Go by myself: Spider-Man and Superman! Perhaps some day I’ll write a book about super heroes, and how they’re trapped in our world and in desperate need of being given life beyond it, and just get it all out of my fucking system, you know?

Also, it’s not like I need a reason to do a post with copious amounts of Emma Stone pictures. Seriously. And: Jon Hamm really should be playing Superman/Clark Kent.

05.

10/06/10: Crucifixes by myself: I like Richard Pryor and I don’t like religion. In fact, if I remember correctly, I shit talk about it a little on the latest episode of our podcast. But that’s a whole other story, and one for another time.

If I were to get into the nuts and bolts, a post like this comes about like so many others that exist out there in the internet: I saw it somewhere and I liked it. Someone shared it with the world and I was one of those folks in the world who saw it and wanted to pass it along to the rest of my own little corner of the internetting world. I came, I saw, I reblogged.

06.

10/08/10: Animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others,” by myself: Pictures by Dave Eggers, quotes by George Orwell and Voltaire, links from the internet. What a bizarre mixture.

07.

10/09/10:Nobody told me there’d be days like these,” by myself: People who have problems with authority always gravitate towards John, don’t they? Lennon is the favorite Beatle of the perpetually disenfranchised and the smart, smug assholes. I look back at some of these posts and want to delve into a little of the making of them, but… I don’t know. Sometimes it’s all right there in the post, you know? I wanted to do a post about my favorite Beatle, and maybe I was itching for a little Instant Karma.

08.

10/09/10: Vendettas by myself: Tom Gauld!

09.

10/12/10: Running by myself: This is just another thing I saw online and thought was funny. Also, it’s October, the month of Halloween, the time for goblins and things that are a bit ghoulish and macabre, right?

10.

10/12/10: Who Is Natalie Portman Fucking These Days?” by myself: One of my favorite posts on this site, actually. If we talked about solely about celebs, then… Well, I imagine it’ll be something like that. Of course now this post is severely dated… Black Swan has come and gone and we all know who Natalie Portman is fucking these days, and thankfully it’s not John Mayer.

Thankfully.

11.

10/14/10: Video Killed The Internet Star,” by myself: Videos and links about movies and shit I found on the internet. You know… whatever. And a picture of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.

12.

10/14/10: Meditations by myself: “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” That sounds about right.

Some of the things you notice already about this month: Too many posts by me, which is boring. Lots of doubling up on days, with two posts a day for some reason. Lots of just little things from around the internet. The blog was the pin board for things I found interesting from around the web. Well, I guess in a lot of ways that’s what it always was.

13.

10/16/10: Chaos Reigns by myself: Ahhhh, YouTube comments. They are frequently a treat. I don’t even understand why people bother to engage in “intelligent” discourse there.

In fact… most conversation on the internet is flawed. Severely. Nobody wins an internet argument. Like the famous webcomic says, you can spend your whole life standing vigilant, the sentinel against the raping of the truth, strong against the fact that Someone On The Internet Is Wrong, but there are no winners. You’ll never best someone with your logic. Your insults and your put downs will never be properly scored. All people will see is that you were in an Internet Argument and everyone will be pronounced “Loser.” State your case, and move on. Also, fix your typos.

14.

10/16/10: The Patient Labyrinth,” by myself: Again, I was mesmerized by Borges and the ideas of puzzles and mazes of our own design during October of 2010. That was the theme running around somewhere in my head back then, I guess, and it was weakly explored, for sure.

(Also, you’ll notice another picture of a young woman who has a curious relationship or proximity to the ocean…)

Again, I apologize that all these posts are just me. The difference between myself and my co-authors, I believe, was that they wrote when they had something to say and the energy to say it. I always had something to say on this blog, and usually pursued that impulse even when I didn’t have the energy to do it right, or as coherently as it should’ve been. I think it’s fair to say that I deserve the lion’s share of credit for any failings of this blog. A lot of my favorite posts on Counterforce were those written by the others.

15.

10/18/10: Red Dawn by myself: Ahhh, Laura Leighton. Proto-Emma Stone, perhaps? Perhaps not.

16.

10/18/10: Bad Things by myself: True Blood! Looking at this, I’m just reminded of how weird the finale of the latest season of the show was.

17.

10/19/10: I Got You Babe by August Bravo and myself: This is us talking about Mad Men‘s fourth season finale, “Tomorrowland.” Just so weird to see us looking over the episode and being curious and confused and pondering where the show would go next.

And now, two years later, we’ve seen the season that followed it and saw where things went from there and we’re still left wondering, What’s Next?

18.

10/20/10: The Fate Of The Blogger by myself. I’ll be brief on this one: I like Eddie Campbell. Also, it’s two years later and I’m still pondering the fate of the blogger.

19.

10/21/10: What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from,” by myself: Ha ha. A mash up between Sylvia Plath and Saved By The Bell.

20.

10/22/10: I Walked With A Zombie,” by myself: Links and funny pictures, but there’s something else here too… Something that I sense and feel now, but perhaps didn’t notice at the time, a kind of darkness. Beyond the seasonal darkness, I mean. I guess that would make sense. The second half of The Year We Make Made Contact was especially hard on me.

21.

10/23/10: The Boob Tube by myself: This is me ranting about what’s wrong with popular TV and how it could be fixed/saved. And now Benjamin Light and I do a podcast about this. We’re on a mission to civilize! But, anyway, a lot of these notes still make sense and feel relevant, and desperately need to be read and followed by the people running some of these shows. Now more than ever, perhaps. The thoughts about The Office and Community, especially. But thankfully The Office is (finally) ending after this season, and Community is most likely ending this year (if they ever decide to air the new season at all). Why? Because NBC is dumb as shit and they’re not afraid to show it.

22.

10/23/10: The Year Of The Depend Adult Undergarment by myself: David Foster Wallace!

23.

10/24/10: Nintendo Power yours truly: The idea of the “friend zone” is total bullshit but I just thought this image was funny and wanted to share it. Thanks, Mario, but…

24.

10/25/10: All Things Truly Wicked by myself: Ernest Hemingway! Paper Hemingway was a mean, messed up old bastard, but I still like him, despite all his flaws. And I feel that every time I start to accumulate those flaws, just the obvious ones, and add them up… Well, then I’ll see one of his quotes out of the blue and it’ll just fit into something missing puzzle piece in my brain at that moment and I’m flashing back to what a great writer he was. Also, it’s funny, but we still get a decent number of hits to this particular post from an old BuzzFeed post from a year ago that’s nothing but pictures of Ernest Hemingway partying like a maniac.

25.

10/25/10: This Is Still True by myself: Again, more authors and pictures and quotes. This time, it’s Vonnegut. I hope the kids these days are still reading Vonnegut. His was such a delicate balance of moral righteousness and self loathing, but married together so charmingly.

26.

10/27/10: Which Came First by myself: I don’t know what to say about this post, though it’s weird to look at these almost a full two years later.

27.

10/27/10: Ma-Sheen Manby myself: From pictures of and quotes by famous authors to… this. I regret blogging about Charlie Sheen. About Charlie Sheen and so many other things.

28.

10/27/10: You were an island and I passed you by,” by yours truly: Not the greatest post, but one of my favorites by myself here on the site. Roger Ebert has a great quote in his recent Cloud Atlas review: “Any explanation of a work of art must be found in it, not taken to it.” I agree with that wholeheartedly, but I keep thinking about the questions and the digressions of thought that come out of the works of art. I keep thinking about the way works of art can act as explanations for ourselves, for our lives, for the way we live and exist and make our way through the complicated cosmic murals we’re all sloshing around in.

Anyway. If you know me or not, illustrated in this post about Lost is basically a diagram for how my own personal thought processes tend to work, bouncing from thing to thing, riding along the little connections, going from medium to medium and then essentially looking back at where I started from. As you’ve seen, it’s a convoluted process, and one that doesn’t always yield the most fruitful results, but hopefully it’s been fun at times for you. It certainly has for me.

29.

10/29/10: Vampire Sluts by myself: Kate Beaton! I really like Hark! A Vagrant. I like it a lot.

30.

10/29/10: The risk of going too farby myself: Pictures and links and words by T. S. Eliot. Too far is never far enough, right? Or something.

31.

10/31/10: Samhain by myself: I like how this post starts “Another year, another Halloween.” It’s said with such weariness, or, at least, that’s how I perceive it now. That’s how I feel now, anyway. Another year, another Halloween, and a little more of the magic is gone. The masks are getting heavy, folks. Also interesting that the second line is about how once Halloween arrives you have to accept the inevitable: the year is fading away. The same can be said for now, just as it was back in the year we made contact, only when this year fades away, so does this blog.

Edited to add: I meant to post this at the tail end of October and obviously that did not happen. Sorry. Real life shit got in the way.

32.

10/31/10: Las Ruinas Circulares by myself: This is one of my favorite stories by Borges. Fitting for the time of the year, perhaps. I’ve always felt that there’s a tenuous connection between dreams and the dreamer of those dreamers, something akin to the chicken and the egg. That may be a little too heavy.

from here.

33.

10/31/10: Season Of The Witch by myself: Ha ha. Christine O’Donnell. Ha ha.

The odyssey of the Republican party in the last ten years or so has only gotten more sad and tragic, and Christine O’Donnell is just another one of their sad war stories, I think. Ignoring her for the most part, or this Gawker story about some guy’s claims of having had a one night stand with her, what I really was interested in was the comments section on that post. Internet comments are, of course, terrible. Trolls begetting trolls, all hiding under their bridges and flinging out their shit and hate upon the world with no consequences. And I guess that’s what fascinated me: the way people weigh in on things when there’s no rules, no consequences.

34.

10/31/10: Paradise Circus by myself: I first heard this song in an episode of True Blood‘s third season and it just floored me. A few years ago, during a particularly hard time I was going through, this song was my summer jam, which kind of tells you what that summer was like for me, I think.

It was during that summer that I first started watching the cop show, Luther, a British show starring Idris Elba as the titular detective, and “Paradise Circus” was the theme song for the show, which instantly tells you that it’s going to be unlike any other kind of cop show that you can imagine. Luther is a fun show, a bit silly at times, but darkly interesting and all the actors on the show do very interesting work, Idris Elba especially. I’m glad that he backed out of playing Alex Cross to keep doing (other) movies and eventually a third series of Luther.

And Ruth Wilson, who is exceptional on the show as his sociopathic ally of sorts, is rumored to be in the next Avengers movie. I kind of doubt that will happen, but I’d really like to see it.

But anyway, that’s another thing for another time. Again, in a less interesting way, this post was similar to the one about Lost from a few days earlier… Just a glimpse into the way a thing will pop up into your life and spawn legs and connect to other things. And those things, be it songs or TV shows or whatever, will just find you. Claim you, when you think you’re claiming them. It couldn’t been tackled in a much more interesting or succinct way, definitely, but that stuff still fascinates me.

And that’s how the month of October, 2010 ends. Maybe we didn’t create the blog. Maybe it created us?

* * *

I enjoyed doing this, so I think I’m going to do a few more retrospectives of other months in the history of this blog before it becomes permanently just that: History. Again, I don’t think I have the time, space, nor total desire to do every single month, but at least a few more, if I can help, and quite a few more, if the universe is kind. Any suggestions for which month to look back on next?

All things truly wicked.

For some reason after DFW and Vonnegut, I wanted to start this post with a quote by Ernest Hemingway because, if for nothing else, I just wanted to. But I couldn’t decide between two that I’ve always adored, so maybe you’ll tell me which you like you better…

The first: “All things truly wicked start from an innocence.”

And the second: “Never confuse movement with action.”

I’ve always adored that one, as did Marlene Dietrich, who said of it, “In those five words he gave me a whole philosophy.”

In response to people like Juan Williams, here’s a fun new tumblr for you: Muslims Wearing Things.

I found the site via Boing Boing, and while I was there I read an interesting post about how you shouldn’t kill your grandfather while time traveling.

And before we call it a day, here’s three interesting pictures I found online today:

from here.

and

from here.

and

from here.

And then…

“Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.”

-Jorge Luis Borges, “The Threatened.”

from here.

Can you believe that it’s…

…already? This year is going by so fast. Or so slow, I guess, depending on how you perceive time.

Previously on Counterforce: September came and went and Peanut St. Cosmo remained chillwave as fuck. Mad Men remains easily the best show currently on TV. Movie script endings. Those three little words everyone longs to hear. Bitches ain’t shit LIVE in Nashville. They are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired. Is the omission of chocolate a racial thing? A selection from the new Criterion Classics: The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2. And it’s mirror universe opposite: New Moon. You must defend your blog from intruders. Does anybody remember August Bravo?

Also: Blog nerdy to me. Right now you should be loving yourself in this country of winners and gladiators. “There is no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of pure chance.” Diets of shame. Imagine Hemingway and Castro getting jiggy with it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt vs. Rob Gordon. Cosmic loneliness. R. Kelly is for real, no doubt. How to determine your philosophy of life. For a short time Peanut St. Cosmo was the interim finance minister of Japan, all until that unfortunate sex scandal.

from here.

And seriously not forgetting: Obama porn, bad poetry, and nonsensical costumes. ID-4… 2? Donald Barthelme, George Saunders, and a bunch of weird Japanese kids getting into hijinks. No hugging, no learning. Italian urologists and swans used as murder weapons. Explanations are for everyone but the explorers. Something something something Patti Smith. And: The Moon.

And where do we go from here?

Anywhere you like.

“A rather tawdry device.”

“A rather tawdry device” is how Orson Welles describes “Rosebud” in his Citizen Kane, saying that it’s the part of the film he’s least happy with, and then he refers to it as a “Freudian gag.” This is from Welles’ famous 1960 interview in Paris which was conducted with Bernard Braden, and which I believe just came out on DVD, and is an interesting peak into the filmmaker’s life at that particular moment in time, when he was passionate and still very much immersed in his own powers of making magic. It’s a treat both for completionists and passing film buffs equally. Below is just an excerpt, which I encourage you to check out (as well the interview in it’s entirety which you’ll find linked to above), especially since Welles has some fascinating insights about the films he’s worked on, still working on, the actors he admires, and how Rome, his home at the moment, is being urbanized to the point that it’s starting to feel like “Philadelphia with spaghetti.”

Axis Mundi.

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

-Neil Armstrong

I work in a job where my specialty is… information. And “helping” people, sadly, not hoarding the information as I should be doing. So people come in, they have questions and curiosities, and I try to help them out, and in turn, it helps me out. The desire for knowledge, to always know more, is the first step towards seeing the hidden map of the world, and as cliche as it is, even a moron’s stupid question can be enlightening about something.

The other day a man came in asking for help trying to find pictures of the Earth and the moon, all in relation to the rest of the solar system. He was really quite insistent about this, in fact. I warned him that it might not be the easiest thing to find, not impossible, but not easy, and I mentioned this because he kept telling me what a hurry he was in. But we gave it a look and…

Most pictures of the solar system of planets we reside in just don’t include our moon, or most other moons, matter of fact. Our moon is just too small to make it to that scale, for one reason, and for another, it’s a glimpse at planets, not their orbiting moons. I tried to explain this to him, but he was still hung up on my earlier attempt to explain to him that the planets themselves orbit and rotate around the sun (which, in turn, rotates around the center of our galaxy, which rotates will all the other galaxies, etc.), and finally he allowed me to ask an all too important question: “What exactly are you looking for and why?”

He mentioned that he had heard President Obama speaking earlier in the day about how we were going to Mars next and that Obama was going to fund it. Having seen parts of that particular speech, I tried to tell the guy that I think he had misheard what it was exactly that Obama had said, but he was convinced: Obama was going to direct NASA to go to Mars next. I then tried to explain that that was not going to be an easy mission. The trip alone would be a matter of years, in fact. And that’s one way. All this logic and reason didn’t impress this man though. His next question: “So how far away is the Moon?”

Off the top of my head, I guessed that it was about 250, 000 miles. I wasn’t terribly far off, but the guy distrusted the velocity of my answer. I said, “Trust me, I know a little something about the moon,” but he didn’t like that answer either. And, well, I guess I didn’t blame him.

But again, I pressed for him to continue with the why of all this and he told me that he was tired of being curious about the larger universe and not being able to add anything to the search to answer all those questions man had. So, he wanted to add his unique brain to this particular quest, the quest for Mars. “How so?” I asked. And he told me that he wanted to write a letter to NASA and suggest to them, since he couldn’t figure out how far the moon was from the Earth or where it was in relation to the Earth and Mars, that a manned mission to Mars shouldn’t launch from Earth towards the red planet, but instead, it should launch from the moon!

I thought about explaining about how that wouldn’t really make sense or cut down on time or fuel or… well, anything, really. And I didn’t add that it would add a mountain of costs on top of a continent of costs that would already lead to a mission towards Mars. I just smiled and nodded my head and said, “Sounds great.”

As Hemingway said, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” And there are something like 6 billion people on this planet, and though I don’t know the exact statistics of it, I’m willing to bet that at least something like 60% of those people are fucking morons. Just gloriously stupid people walking around, watching TV, and procreating like there is no tomorrow. But some of them are curious about things and want to help, even if they are years late to the party. I think I admire that. I should be talking about other things on Earth Day, like ecological preservation and shit like that, but I don’t know that Earth Day is really solving that problem. We’re either too stupid and oblivious of the problems our planet has, the problems we tend to be the cause of, but we’re curious and we want to help. Actions make speak louder than words, but this is the internet. Outside of LOLcats, stock quotes, music, videos of fat people getting hit in the nuts with footballs thrown by children, and pornography, all we have is our words.


How the first Earth Day came about.

Not buying Earth Day.

Golden apples, crimson stew.

Green up your sex life!

The world tree.

Also, “Sun-Earth Day” and “Fossil Fools Day.”

And don’t forget: Today is the day that Richard Nixon died.

“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. From it we have learned most of what we know. Recently, we have waded a little out to sea, enough to dampen our toes or, at most, wet our ankles. The water seems inviting. The ocean calls.”

-Carl Sagan

When worlds collide.

Completely unrelated to anything interesting or worthwhile, I was just watching the episode of Lost where Richard Alpert leaves the Island to go watch baby John Locke be born in the early 50s. This is, of course, because adult John Locke traveled back in time to visit Alpert a few years before that moment, told him when he was going to be born, and suggested that he drop by.

And then, coming into my online peripherals, was a promo image from the upcoming season (I’m busily making my way through the season 2 DVDs to get ready) of Mad Men, which is set in the 60s.

It occurs to me that somebody should really write atrociously bad fan fiction where Richard Alpert and Don Draper share words, a drink, and if you’re turning that fan fiction into slash fiction, perhaps an extramarital affair. But that’s up to you. (I don’t like that the only acting DNA that Lost and Mad Men share currently is that annoying guy Phil who thankfully got impaled in the season finale.) Personally, I’d totally watch a spinoff where Richard Alpert and Don Draper open up a bar in Key West and have to team up with pirates and Ernest Hemingway to seek out long lost ghost treasure. And they don’t bring Connor from Angel along with them.

Even dead writers get the blues.

“The first draft of everything is shit.”

-Ernest Hemingway.

“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”

-Dorothy Parker.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human experience.”

-E. E. Cummings.

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

-Mark Twain.

And I love that it’s a real book too.

“I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down.  That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty… you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.”

-J.D. Salinger.

“Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it – don’t cheat with it.”

-Ernest Hemingway.

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”

-George Bernard Shaw.

Krusty: “What’s your name again?”

Man: “John Updike.”

Krusty: “Whoa, whoa! I didn’t ask for your life story!”

Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike passed away yesterday at the age of 76 (which is just a bit selfish), and I wish I could say it had affected me more. But I’ve actually never read a single one of his novels. I may have read a short story or two of his a while back, but not the novels. Not the Rabbit novels, and not even the Eastwick books, though I have watched the film, and was curious to read the book, which I know is quite a bit different. There was a weird bit of synergy there when I discovered after watching the movie that the novel’s sequel, The Widows Of Eastwick was coming out about a month later. I have that, but also, have not read it.

A Relentless Updike Mapped America’s Mysteries” is an interesting appraisal of the author for Michiko Kakutani.

A&P” by John Updike.

Updike was also the subject of Nicholson Baker’s U And I: A True Story, which is basically an examination of the author and contains Baker’s hurt feelings that Updike chose Tim O’Brien as his golf partner and not Baker. I’ve wanted to read this book for some time now, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

And then there’s David Foster Wallace pondering if Updike is (or now was) the last of the great narcissists.

And then, of course, there’s always Vonnegut motivational posters.

The virile wind pursues her with his breathing and burning sword.

Last night I had a dream that I was in a poker game with Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso, seriously. Picasso looked like Anthony Hopkins though, which makes sense, because that image of him stands out in my head more than actual pictures of Picasso. But I won’t imagine that it’s so shocking to say that I woke up slightly confused (what else is new?), and curious what the connection is there… I mean, I’m pretty damn familiar with the works of Dali and Hemingway, and so so on Picasso, but why those three? And then I remembered that Lollipop had mentioned Lorca to me last night, telling me that he was her favorite poet (after Brautigan, I presume). Lorca was somebody I certainly knew the name of, but the image in my head of him came to me pretty much the same way that Hopkins as Picasso did…

But that was last night and this is today, and on this lazy Sunday afternoon in which the sun was out for a while and is now hidden again and the wind is getting furiously cold, I’ve decided that we’re all going to enjoy one of the finer works by Spanish poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca:

The Gypsy And The Wind

by Federico García Lorca

Playing her parchment moon
Precosia comes
along a watery path of laurels and crystal lights.
The starless silence, fleeing
from her rhythmic tambourine,
falls where the sea whips and sings,
his night filled with silvery swarms.
High atop the mountain peaks
the sentinels are weeping;
they guard the tall white towers
of the English consulate.
And gypsies of the water
for their pleasure erect
little castles of conch shells
and arbors of greening pine.

Spanish civil war memorials.

Playing her parchment moon
Precosia comes.
The wind sees her and rises,
the wind that never slumbers.
Naked Saint Christopher swells,
watching the girl as he plays
with tongues of celestial bells
on an invisible bagpipe.

Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot, 1968.

Gypsy, let me lift your skirt
and have a look at you.
Open in my ancient fingers
the blue rose of your womb.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso, 1937.

Precosia throws the tambourine
and runs away in terror.
But the virile wind pursues her
with his breathing  and burning sword.

Personally, I’d never give William S. Burroughs a sword. But that’s just me.

The sea darkens and roars,
while the olive trees turn pale.
The flutes of darkness sound,
and a muted gong of the snow.

Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot in his studio, 1958. Picasso refused to paint Bardot.

Precosia, run, Precosia!
Or the green wind will catch you!
Precosia, run, Precosia!
And look how fast he comes!
A satyr of low-born stars
with their long and glistening tongues.

Soft Construction With Boiled Beans (Premonitions Of Civil War) by Salvador Dali, 1936.

Precosia, filled with fear,
now makes her way to that house
beyond the tall green pines
where the English consul lives.

Spanish Leftists shoot at a statue of Jesus.

Alarmed by the anguished cries,
three riflemen come running,
their black capes tightly drawn,
and berets down over their brow.

The Englishman gives the gypsy
a glass of tepid milk
and a shot of Holland gin
which Precosia does not drink.

Federico Borrell and Loyalist comrades at Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936, as taken by Robert Capa.

And while she tells them, weeping,
of her strange adventure,
the wind furiously gnashes
against the slate roof tiles.

Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment Of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936, also by Capa, depicting the last moments of Federico Borrell.

Brand New “Guernica” (mp3)

The Modern Lovers “Pablo Picasso” (mp3)