Wednesday, 29 September 2010

' This Poem...' - Elma Mitchell.

This poem is dangerous: It should not be left
Within the reach of children, or even adults
Who might swallow it whole, with possibly
Undesirable side-effects. If you comr across
An unattended, unidentified poem
In a public place, do not attempt to tackle it
Yourself. Send it (preferbably, in a sealed container)
To the nearest centre of learning, where it will be rendered
Harmless, by experts. Even the simplest poem
May destroy your immunity to human emotions.
All poems must carry a Government warning. Words
Can seriously affect your heart.


FROM:- People Etcetra: Poems new and selected, Peterloo Poets, 1987.

Monday, 27 September 2010

BANNED BOOKS WEEK (25/10/10 -2/10/10).

It's banned books week in the U.S, an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the freedom to read, and draws attention to banned books and challenges the reaon why and highlights persecuted individuals. It has been goin since 1982, and I don't understand why it has not taken hold in other parts of the world.

Picture of John Milton.

John Milton, ' Areopagitica ' addressed to 'the Parliiament of England' (1644)

Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potencie of life in them to be as active as the soule was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a violl the purest efficacie and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigourously productive, as those fabulous Dragons teeth; and being sown uo and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet on the other hand unless warinesse be us'd, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good book, who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, Gods image; but hee who destroys a good Booke, kills reaon it selfe, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth, but a good Booke is the pretiois life-blood of a master spirit, imbam'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life... We should be wary therefore what persecution we raise against the living labours of publick men, how we spill the season'd life of man preserv'd and stor'd up in Books; since we see a kinde of homicide may thus be committed, sometimes a martyrdome, and if it extend to the whole impression, a kinde of massacre, whereof the execution ends not in the slaying of an elemental life, but strikes at the ethereall and fift essence, the breath of reason it selfe, slaies an immortality rather then a life.


CENSORSHIP AS MUTILATION. - D.H. Lawrence, 1930. ( a Propos of Lady Chatterrley's Lover)

I managed to get published the little cheap French edition, photographed down from the original, and offered at 60 francs. English publishers urge me to make an expurgated edition, promising large returns... and insisting that I should show the public that here is a fine novel, apart from all 'purple' and all ;words'. So I begin to be tempted and start in to expurgate. But impossible! I might as well try to clip my own nose into shape with scissors. The book bleeds.
And in spite of all antagonism I put forth the novel as an honest, healthy book necessary for us today. The words that shock so much at first don't shock at all after a while. Is this because the mind is depraved by habit? Not a bit. It is that the words merely shocked the mind at all. People without minds may go on being shocked, but they don't matter. People with minds realize that they aren't shocked, and never really were: and they experience a sense of relief.

CENSORSHIP IN ACTION

'What King Solomon was doing with all those women wouldn't be tolerated in San Franciscio. '

Police chief, prosecuting the publisher of Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl and Other Poems@ in 1957, when asked if his standards of obscenity wouldn't apply to the Bible.




SOME CENSORS AND BOOKBANNERS IN THE UNITED STATES:

Anti-Defamation League
Barnes and Noble
Central Intelligance Agency (CIA)
Christian Voters league
Columbus Metropolitan Library
McCarthy, Joseph R. - U.S Senator
Meese Commission
National Association of Christian Educators
National Federation of Decency
National Security Agency
New England Watch and Ward Society
Parade Magazine
Max Rafferty - CA superintendant of public instruction
U.S. Bureau of Customs
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
U.S.Immigration and Naturalization Service
U.S. Information Agency
U.S Justice department
U.S Postal Service
U.S Treasury Department





SOME CENSORS AND BOOKBANNERS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.

Ayatollah of Iran
Canadian customs
Canadian government
Franco of Spain
The Nazis
Certain communist systems
China
Burma
North Korea
Roman Catholic Church
The Church of Scientology
Signapore judiciary
Sol Littman, Simon Wiesethal Centre
Supreme Court of Austalia
Synod of Canterbury at St. Paul's, London



The above list is only a short one their are many many more
in the meantime have a good read, devour a banned book today.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Cynddyllan on a tractor- R.S. Thomas.

Ah, you should see Cynyddlan on a tractor.
Gone the old look that yoked him to the soil;
He's a new man now, part of the machine,
His nerves of metal and his blood oil.
The clutch curses, but the gears obey
His least bidding, and lo, he's away
Out of the farmyard, scattering hens.
Riding to work now as a great man should,
He is the knight at arms breaking the fields'
Mirror of silence, emptying the wood
Of foxes and squirrels and bright jays.
The sun comes over the tall trees
Kindling all the hedges, but not for him
Who runs his engine on a different fuel.
And all the birds are singing, bills wide in vain,
As Cynddylan passes proudly up the lane.





Ah the old days have gone never to return. What we have left  are old words like these ,let them  nourish us, let them glisten in our heads. Let old poems be like shadows , forever falling. More of the wily R.S. Thomas coming soon.


Monday, 20 September 2010

Ian Pyper ( Born 1955). - Outsider artist.



Have recently discovered the work of this brilliant artist, his work to me seems to owe a lot to aboriginal dot paintings and other primitive art. He was born in Liverpool of working class stock. What is more he was born without a thumb and two fingers on each hand, and is self taught as an artist, his detailed pictures often take months to create. Most great art does take great time.
Their is a spectacular vision at work here and what he produces and to me they really are quite mystical.I love 'em and theirs a link at the bottom if you want to view more.
His work has featured in the magazines 'Raw Vision' and 'Resurence'
He currently lives in Brighton.













Ian Pyper United Kingdom drawings/watercolor

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mary Webb (25/3/1881 -8/10/27)- THE WOOD WITCH and six more of her poems.



Dark on their slumbering steeps
The great woods rise;
Over their silent deeps loom the hot skies.
There, where the wood-dove sleeps,
Young Magic Lies.

Mist her raiment is -
Hyacinth-fair,
Dim, twining witcheries thread her dark hair.
Who tastes her wild, sweet kiss?
Ah, few men dare.

Through her long, secret smile
All the strange earth
Creeps; in her elfin wiles mad hell has birth;
Heaven's self she bequiles
Into her mirth.

The bright day darkens she,
Spreading her hair;
And at night, sheenily, makes her limbs bare.
Who would her lover be,
Let him beware.

TWO FAITHS

Above his low green lawn, in tented splendour,
A great tree spread its branches, manifold
With lucent leaves that qickened into gold
And quivered into whispers low and tender,
While silver-throated birds came all day long
And haunted it with ecstacies of song.

There dawned a day - the migrants birds were
calling-
When, gazing with a gladness ever new
To where it stood so stately on the blue,
Across the sky he saw it slowly falling.
He had forgotten, so it roofed him round,
That it was rooted in his neighbour's ground.

Forlorn the grass without its chequered shade;
Aloof and cold the spaces of the sky
Without its comfort; now all silently
The wind went flowing by - of old it stayed
And talked among the leaves; the birds took
wing,
They could not sit upon the ground and sing.

Along the dumb air wandered presently
A white-winged seed. With love and hope and
toil
He planted it in his own garden soil.
And though he will not see it bless the sky
With spreading arms, it is enough today
That two pale, tender leaves uncurl with May.

And even because it is so humbly low,
With fluttering flight the youngest thrush of spring
Can gain its top and sing there, triumphing,
Its earlestmusic - tentative and slow,
But so divine in pathos, so fresh-hearted
That he is glad the other birds departed.

BEAUTY AND TERROR

In the pear-tree I have seen
Strength stand up beside the stem.
Where young blossoms lit the green,
Beauty hovere over them.
I heard, when fragrant breeze played,
Life sing louder than the bee;
And felt within the stealthy shade
Terror crouch beneath the tree.

SUMMER REMEMBERED

Out on the wild and chill
Juniper-tangled hill,
By misty day and star-concealing night,
I hear your voice along the lonely height,
Making a haven for my heart that grieves,
Creating joy like birds among the leaves.

Far, far way the silver whimbrel spoke
In plaintive, startled cadence from the cloud,
As though she spied Love in his purle cloak,
As though she knew his lips so ripe-
Scarlet as cranberrie-
And dared not to call too loud
Lest she should hush the melody of his,
Lest he should fling away his oaten pipe.

There, where the sleek foals rest;
There, where the bracken burns towards the west;
Where springs are white and clear,
You brought me on a summer day, my dear,
Far, far way it seems and long ago;
Since then the winds have risen, since then has come the snow.

All colours mingled in transparent light,
Pierced by the hovering whimbrel's silver cry;
All things that once were dim
Thought upon Love's clear radiance and grew bright;
All flowers I once deemed scentless,dry,
Were filled with fragrance to the brim;
And from the blue, profound

Distance of summer, heaven gathered round,
Distilling as a dew, pressing so close,
We seemed all golden-dusted, like a bee
Drenched with the pollen of the wild white rose.
Then, in the hush of heaven, you spoke to me.

With heavy weights of snow the juniper
Breaks, and the wind howls in the frozen bough.
But I abide in a calm whereno winds stir;
Where no flower falls and never song is broken,
Hearing the golden words that once were spoken
And so are spoken now.

APPLE-BLOW

The apple-blow that was so sweet,
So pink and clear,
Has flung its petals at my feet,
My dear - my dear!

The petalled joys that made mycrown
When you were here,
Like heavy tears are fallen down,
My dear- my dear!

REFLECTIONS

No beauty is mine, and yet I saw to-day
A lovely face within my mirrored glassed;
For you had looked upon me as you passed,
And still there lingered, as you went away,
Reflections of your grace in mouth and eye -
Like those rare dawns that paint the eastern sky
And mirror forth
Their beauty even in the hueless north.

MAGIC

Out of ther shallow pools
The grouse whirr, jeering at us fools
That have not known how all things grow estranged
Except old Magic, who with gipsy fingers
Forever sews, unwearied and unchanged,
The splendid purple garments of the hills.
They sleep within the silence that she fills
With lullabies, singing beneath her breath
Of things so long before and so long after death
That he who listens fear her, yet he lingers.


Woods, West Wales.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Um, some topical cartoons.



Pedro Pietri ( 1944 -2004) - UPTOWN/TRAIN / TELEPHONE BOOTH NUMBER 905 and a half


Poet, playwright. Pedro Pietri lived most of his life in Harlem, Manhattan, New York. Pietri was a co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe at 505 East Sixth Street in New York City.
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on March 21, 1944. Three years later, his family moved to Harlem. He attended public schools in New York City and was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1968. A resident of New York City and prominent Nuyorican poet, Pedro Pietri died on March 3, 2004.

Pedro Pietri -UPTOWN TRAIN

I predict that at exactly 10 to 10 it will be 10 to 10 again
then at exactly 10 after 10 it will be 10 after 10 once again
until the hands of time change the subject at which time I will
make another accurate prediction for the science friction public
I predict that if you are caught in a sudden violent rainstorm
and you don't have an umbrella available you will get soaken wet
I predict that if you forget to brush your teeth for one week
your breath will smell worse than all the sewers of the universe
I predict that if you wake up late in the morning you won't get
to work on time and be deducted and instructed to be punctual or else
find yourself another fulltime job to pay for a decent funeral
I predict that the more you demonstrate the less you masturbate
your demands will be met after you forget what your demands are
I predict that after friday night it will be saturday morning
I predict that if you dont put gasoline into the engine of your
car you will have a difficult time getting out of your garage
I predict that if you blow your nose snots will come out of them
I predict that if you can't sing you can't sing if you can't act you can't act
if you can't dance you can't dance and if you can't lose weight you can't
lose weight and you must love or hate yourself
I predict that if you have nothing to say you have nothing to say
I predict that if you go away and don't return and leave behind no
forwarding address your mail; will be returned to the post office and
discarded to oblivion if not claimed by anyone within thirty days.

TELEPHONE BOOTH NUMBER 905 and a half

woke up this morning
feeling excellent
picked up the telephone
dialled the number of
my equal opportunity employer
to inform him I will not
be into work today
" Are you feeling sick? "
the boss asked me
"No sir" I replied:
I am feeling too good
to report to work today
if I feel sick tomorrow
I will come in early
of I feel



Friday, 17 September 2010

Fight the cuts.


Sorry to digress from my usual flavours but soon a wave of Tory cuts will be upon us, backed up by their partners in crime the lib democrats. Soon it will be like 1979 again, once again the conservatives are taking a chainsaw to essential sevices, and like last time it will be the poor, sick and most vulnerable who are hit the hardest. Their vision for Britain is one of emptiness and division, while sitting back in their armchairs of privelege, they demonise and lazily pepetuate an image of scroungers living of benefit as a lifestyle choice rather than people trapped by circumstances beyond their control.
Meanwhile their friends get away scot free with their own lifestyle choices such as tax avoidance which cost the treasury 120 billion pounds, plus their second homes.
While their is money to bail out banks, and still money for war and trident, their surely must be money for our public services.
Lets remember what caused the current recession in the first place, it was caused by the excesses of the bankers, and now it seems the conservatives want ordinary people to pay for it. Cuts being proposed are not driven by necessity but driven by a twisted right wing ideology.
The coalitions power is held by a thread and must be confronted at every opportunity, or we will return to the dark days of Thatchers Britain which still scars Britain to this day.
It is vital alliances are made to defend public services.Lets remember the majority of the electorate did not vote at all for any of these forthcoming draconian measures.We must not take this all lying down, we must show our continual opposition to the conservatives upcoming onslaught, join the resistance before it's to late. We must not give up, that is their probable aim, a country again full of division, rich verses poor. Normal services will at least return here soon. In the meantime fight the cuts.

Below - The Mekons song, Fight the cuts.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Charles Mingus - Mingus and His Psychiatrist.



'In other words I am three. One man stands forever in the middle, unconcerned, unmoved, watching, waiting to be allowed to express what he sees to the other two. The second man is like a frightened animal that attacks for fear of being attacked. Then there's an overloving gentle person who lets people into the uttermost sacred temple of his being and he'll take insults and be trusting and sign contracts without reading them and get talked down to working cheap or for nothing, and when he realizes what's been done to him he feels like killing and destroying everything around him including himself for being so stupid. But he can't - he goes back inside himself.'
'Which one is real?'
'They're all real.'
'The man who watches and waits, the man who attacks because he's afraid, and the man who wants to trust and love but retreats each time he finds himself betrayed. Mingus One, Two and Three.
Which is the image you want the world to see?'
'What do I care what the world sses, I'm only trying to find out how I should feel about myself. I can't change the fact that they're all against me - that they don't want me to be a success.'
'Who doesn't?'
'Agents and businessmen with big offices who tell me, a black man, that I'm abnormal for thinking we should have our share of the crpo we produce. Musicians are as Jim-Crowed as any black motherfucker on the street and the... the... well, they want to keep it that way.'

Picture below; Franz Kline - Black Reflections (1959).

'Charles, I know what you mean by they, and that's ironic. Because don't you remember saying you came to me not only because I'm a psychologist but also because I'm a Jew? And therefore could relate to your problems?'
'Haw haw! You're funny, doctor.'
'Ah, you're crying again. Here, dry your eyes, Mingus, and don't bullschitt me.'
'Haw! Now I got you cursing!'
'You've got no exclusive on cursing. Don't bullschitt me. You're a good man, Charles, but there's alot of fabrication and fantasy in what you say. For instance, no man could have as much intercourse in one night as you claim to have had.'
'The hell he couldn't! Maybe I did exaggerate some things like the weight-lifting and all that 'cause I really don't know how much those barbells weighed but only two other guys could pick 'em up and their feet sank into the ground!'
'You're changing the subject, my friend. I was asking about the Mexican girls. Why are you so obsessed with proving you're a man? Is it because you cry?'
'I am more of a man than any dirty white cocksucker! I did fuck twenty-three girls in one night, including the boss's wife! I didn't dig it - I did itbecause I wanted to die and I hoped it would kill me. But on the way back from Mexico I still felt unsatisfied so I stopped and....'
'Go on.... Are you ashamed?'
'Yes because it felt better when I did it to myself than with all those twenty-three dirty-ass whores. They don't love men, they love money.'
'How can you know what they love, Charles? Here. Dry your eyes.'
'Schitt. Fuck it. Even you just dig money!'
'Then don't pay me.'
'Oh, I dig your psychology! You know saying that makes me want to pay you double.'
'Nope, I don't want your money. You're a sick man. When the time comes that you feel I've helped you, buy me a tie or something. And I won't call you a prevaricator again. What matters is that youstop lying to yourself. Now, earlier you said you were a procurer. Tell me about it. How did you get into that?'
'Why don't you ever let me lie on the couch, doctor?'
'You always choose the chair.'
'I feel you don't want me on the couch 'cause I'm coloured and your white patients might be bugged.
'Oh, Charles Mingus! You can lie on it, kick it, jump on it, get on it, get under it, turn it over, break it - and pay for it.'
'Man, yo're crazy! I'm gonna save you.'
'Your not trained to save. I am.'
'I can save you. Do you believe in God?'
'Yes.'
'As a boogie man?'
'We'll get around to that later. Back to the subject, your one - time ill-famed profession.'
'Well, it's true I tried to be a pimp, doctor, but I wasn't really making it 'cause I didn't enjoy the money the girls got me. I remember the first one I knew - Cindy. She had all this bread under her mattress. Bobo laughed at me 'cause I didn't take it - he said I didn't know how to keep a whore.'
'If you didn't want the money, what was it you wanted?'
'Maybe just to see if I could do what the other pimps did'
'Why?'
'That's almost impossible to explain - how you feel when you're a kid and the king pimps come back to the neighbourhodd. They pose and twirl their watchchains and sport their new cadillacs and Rollses and expensive tailored clothes. It was like the closest thing to one of our kind becomming president of the USA. When a young up-and-coming man reaches out to prove himself boss pimp, it's making it. That's what it meant where I come from - proving you're a man'
'And when you proved it, what did you want?'
'Just play music, that's all.'
'I've been reading about you in a magazine. You didn't tell me you were such a famous musician.'
'That don't mean schtitt. That's a system those that own us use. They make us famous and give us names - the King of this, the Count of that, the Duke of what! We die broke anyhow - and sometimes I think I dig death more than I dig facing this white world.'
'We're making progress Charles, but perhaps we've done enough for today.'



' Mingus and his psychiatrist' an extract from 'Beneath the Underdog'
Published by Knopf, New York, 1971

Sunday, 12 September 2010

DREAM.



I see a future
that expects nothing...
as the sheep are grazing
new worlds are revealed
passion is renewed.
Draw breath,
draw fire,
draw revival,
keep ideas on the horizon.
Admire the echoes
remember what has been exchanged
as silent voices become a mighty roar.
We keep returning, along twisting paths,
between the ridge we walk
where winds are gentle.
Exchange values
stare for stare
take a strangers hand and hug
hold tight and take a chance.
These are dangerous times
turn on the flow of twisted ideology
let it run and take its course
to placid waters.
Make love
become a friend of reason
swim like a salmon
head far upstream
catch truth
follow freedom.
I see the future.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Sam Shepherd - RHYTHM



If everything could be sung to the standard rock and roll progression - C, A minor, F, G chords - then everything'd be simple. How many variations on a single theme. The greatest drum solo I ever heard was by a loose flap of a tarpaulin on top of my car hitting the wind at eighty. The second best is wind shield wipers in the rain, but more abstract, less animal. Like the rythyms of a rabbit scratching his chin. Vision rhythyms are neat like hawk swoops and swan dives. Slow motion space rythyms. Digging rhythyms like shovels and spades and hoes and rakes and snowplow rhythyms. Jack-hammer rhythyms make Ginger Baker and Keith Moon look like punk chumps. Oil can rhythyms, ratchet wrench rythyms. Playing cards in bicycle spokes. A string of rapid-fire, firecracker rhythyms. Propeller rythyms. Cricket rythyms. Dog claws clicking on hard wood floors. Clocks. Piston rhythyms. Dripping faucets. Tin hitting tin in the wind. Water slapping rocks. Flesh slapping flesh. Boxing rhythyms. Racing rhythyms. Rushing brooks. Radio static buzz in a car when the engine is the dictator. Directional turnsignal blinkers. Off and on neon lights. Blinking yellow arrows. Water pumps. Refrigerator hums. Thermostatic-controlled heating systems. Clicking elevators with the numbers lighting up for each floor. Snakes sliding through grass. In fact any animal through grass. At night. Buoy lights. Ship signals. Airplane warnings. Fire alarms. Rhythyms in a stuck car horn. Eating rythyms. Chewing rhythyms. The cud of a cow. The chomp of a horse. Knives being sharpened. Band saws. Skill saws. Hack saws. Buzz saws. Buck saws. Chain saws. Any saw rythym. Hammers and nails. Moneyclanking in a poker game. Cards shuffled. Bus meters. Taxi meters. Boiling water rhythyms. Clicking ballpoint pens. Clicking metal frogs. Roulette wheel spinning rhythyms. Tire rhythyms. Whittling. Stitching. Typing. Clicking knitting needles. Parrots sharpening their beaks on wood. Chickens scratching. Dogs digging for moles. Birds cleaning their feathers. Cocking guns. Spinning guns. Bolt actions. Lever actions. Snapping finger nails. Finger popping.Cracking knuckles. Snapping bones. Farting. Spitting. Shitting. Fucking rhythyms. Blinking eyes. Blowing nose. Coughing without control. Candle flicker rhythyms. Creakinghouses. Thawing ice.
And you call yourself a drummer?


FROM:

Hawkmoon, PAJ Publications, New York, 1981.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Harry Crosby ( American poet 1898 -1929) 2 Poems.



Firebrand

What is your feeling about the revolutionary spirit of your
age, as expressed, for instance, in such movements as
communism, surrealism, anarchism?
The revolutionary spirit of our age (as expressed by
communism, surrealism, anarchism, madness)is a hot
firebrand thrust into the dark lantern of the world.
In Nine Decades
a mad Queen shall be born.


Vision

I exchange eyes with the Mad Queen

the mirror crashes against my face and
bursts into a thousand suns
all over the city flags crackle and bang
fog horns scream in the harbor
the wind hurricanes through the window
and I begin to dance the dance of the
Kurd Shepherds

I stamp upon the floor
I whirl like dervishes

colors revolve dressing and undressing
I lash them with my fury
stark white with iron nlack
harsh red with blue
marble green with bright orange
and only gold remains naked

columns of steel riseand plunge
emerge and dissapear
pistoning in the river of my soul
thrusting upwards
thrusting downwards
thrusting inwards
thrusting outwards
penetrating

I roar with pain

black-footed ferrets dissapear into holes

the sun tattoed on my back
begins to spin
faster and faster
whirring whirling
throwing out a glory of sparks
sparks shoot off into space
sparks into shooting stars
shooting stars collide with comets

Explosions
Naked Colors Explode
into
Red Disaster

I crash out through the
window naked, widespread
upon a
Heliosauraus
I uproot an obelisk and plunge
it into the ink-pot of the
Black Sea
I write the word
SUN