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Archive for September, 2011

Chez Miti @Sea

Ink on Paper. Calabria, Italia. September 29, 2011.

Someday, somewhere — anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.

Pablo Neruda

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Ink on paper. September 2011

In Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Borges, we find the description of a hrönir.

In the most ancient regions of Tlön, the duplication of lost objects is not infrequent.

Two persons look for a pencil;the first finds it and says nothing; the second finds a second pencil, no less real, but closer to its expectations.

These secondary objects are called hrönir and are, though awkward in form, somewhat longer.

The methodical fabrication of hrönir (says the Eleventh Volume) has performed prodigious services for archaeologists.

It has made possible the interrogation and even the modification of the past, which is now no less plastic and docile than the future.

Curiously, the hrönir of second and third degree –the hrönir derived from another hrön — exaggerated the aberrations of the initial one;

those of fifth degree are almost uniform; those of ninth degree become confused with those of the second;

in those of the eleventh there is a purity of line not found in the original. The process is cyclical: the hrön of twelfth degree begins to fall off in quality.

Stranger and more pure than any hrön is, at times, the ur: the object produced through suggestion, educed by hope.

Things become duplicated in Tlön; they also tend to become effaced and lose their details when they are forgotten.

A classic example is the doorway which survived so long as it was visited by a beggar and disappeared at his death.

At times some birds, a horse, have saved the ruins of an amphitheater.

Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges

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The dream-like quality of leaving

The dream-like quality of almost-ness

You write poetry
By longhand
in waiting
For a tram
(Waiting is disappearing as an art form)

Or when the body is moving
Transported
The in-between times of a pedestrian
In quiet
Solitude
When it’s too late
train out of service
Wrong train

Sometimes one needs to leave
to write again or be almost leaving
Not to take things for granted

Sometimes one needs to get lost
To be able to listen to silence
The vast canyon of yourself
To run away from the familiar
Leave the road that takes you home
Slightly uneasy
While away the wander-hours

The last in a museum
The first to hear the bells ring
In the deserted streets
Before turning in
Or, once, the padded snow in
A winter night landscape.

The heart needs peace
To hear its own beat
It needs time not to count the wrongs

You write poetry when you stop
At the sight of the black girl playing the cello
In the middle of the ravelers’ din
Recognize her public act of poetry
Her offering
A sight so shattering and quenching as the buddhist monk practicing.
In a busy intersection.
(You remember the red violin
And that singular ache for Lakme’s flower duet,
or Bach’ prelude to Suite No.1)

Poetry happens
when you are supposed to do something else
When you take a day-pass instead of one-ride ticket.

Poetry seldom happens
In the fat of comfort
In the butter of safety

In forgetting yourself
Poetry comes.

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As I was grading students’ work today….butterflies came to greet me. These are my favorite flowers, the teacher’s apples.

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Ink on Miquelrius paper. September 20,2011.

Ink on Miquelrius paper. September 20,2011.

You can write anytime you like,

But you can never reach.

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For my birthday, my blogsister Ghadah dedicated a page to me

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It has been ten long days since my last post, ten days of travels, of letters written and not sent, of (re) search.

In the middle of it all, I experienced the ‘biggest blackout in the history of San Diego county’. Thursday, September 8th, 2011, power went off for millions of people in Southern California, Baja California and Arizona. No ATM’s , shuttered stores, nowhere to buy food or water in a world where, when the machines stop, the city stops. The blackout lasted for almost nine hours, from 3.30 Pm till just before Midnight, and it was all it took to plunge my two neighborhoods in an atmosphere that was at times apocalyptic, at others, surreal, magical, “european”. Beyond the novelty, even excitement, felt by some there were people trapped in high-rise elevators, in trolley cars over canyons, in mid-rise buildings without water. It was a time where everything stopped and a battery radio and candles (my only emergency preparedness) help whiled away the hours. It was a movie. And a dream.

Before I share what I have been working on in the past few days, here is my dispatch from the Blackout and some urban moments caught on camera.

PS: From http://www.nakedtranslations.com/en/2004/entre-chien-et-loup  nakedtranslations.com:

Entre chien et loup is a multi-layered expression. It is used to describe a specific time of day, just before night, when the light is so dim you can’t distinguish a dog from a wolf. However, it’s not all about levels of light. It also expresses that limit between the familiar, the comfortable versus the unknown and the dangerous (or between the domestic and the wild). It is an uncertain threshold between hope and fear.

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The night we saw the stars.

Full moon, venus, motherlight.

Flaws and flames

Not multiplied

It is so quiet

we can hear ourselves

If the end of the world comes

I want you to know

We are fine.

By Moon Light.

 

Read ”La Noche que Volvimos a Ser Gente”or “The Night We Became People Again” by José Luis González, a short story on the big blackout in New York City.

If you are left with a battery powered CD player when the world ends- and speak italian- you could do worse than listen to Caffe’ Letterario.

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