johnny9fingers: (Default)
there's this dude on elljay who writes
verse sometimes its rhythms work and the sense and the euphony
and line lengths all coalesce into almost beautiful cadence
and then you catch his whiny neurotic meaning
and think: ye gods, why do you bother?

why do you bother when your referents
are so closed, so self-referring, and so damn paranoid?

learn to live your life without this pettiness: any bubble
in which you live, even if totally
transparent from the outside
can only be made bearable
without false appeal to the outside.

true, others are
worse than you:
but to make that fact
a source of pride
is the act of a six-year-old.

either grow
or fail of your potential,
and fail in your estimation of yourself.

I've got to stop penning these things to myself. Or indeed anyone else.
I suppose everyone will think it's about them. In these situations I normally cite the American chantuese Carly Simon, who wrote quite a memorable song about William_Donaldson, though there are those who believe it was about Warren Beatty. Yeah, right.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Something on [ profile] essius's page reminded me of an unfinished verse lurking somewhere in the debris of my life.

AWOL or Draft Dodger.

Noble houses rise, great empires fall
And still my name shall not be on the roll.
When some, through luck or skill stand tall
My upright stretch a crouch compared;
Remaining an unnoticed soul
Awaiting some non-existent call.

But should my name be called aloud
Would I heed it, should I say:
I'm known as something different now.
"Return to sender, gone away."


Slightly unsatisfying and too glib by half. Needs work.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
I turned around; and look what happened; after taking the test for this meme this appalling thing came up.

You are The Sun

Happiness, Content, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

johnny9fingers: (Default)
Another piece of idiocy posted to cheer up [profile] e_compass_rosa. It's rude, so don't read it if you're offended by stuff like sex, and or drug taking and or being young and stupid. It is an excerpt from a poem of some 2600 lines - there had to be a couple of goodun's in there, just statistically speaking. I haven't topped and tailed it so it works as a stand alone, but I think it does anyway.

johnny9fingers: (Default)
And as antidote to that piece of cynicism a rather better goodbye. The spelling is pretty authentic with only one anachronism.

The Metaphysical Farewell


johnny9fingers: (Default)
A nasty piece of poetry for Madame [profile] e_compass_rosa. Probably helps if you know something of UK automobiles in the late 20th Century, but hopefully Madame will get the idea, no matter how poorly executed.

With apologies to e e cummings & Robert Johnson.


johnny9fingers: (Default)
I may have mentioned a small obsession I have with 'Little Gidding' in these posts.
Over the years I've parodied it, used it as a template, rewritten it, tried to get it by heart, and loved it. It is one of the constants in my firmament.
To show its influence I copy an old poem from my archives (1993).


If Walt Whitman had written Little Gidding

When waterfalls of light

The debris of the past,

And blue skies


Across my line of sight

Leaving winter

Imprisoned behind the glass


The subject trembles

Object falls

And light blinds, reflected from opposing walls;

And the acquiescence to a

Secular passion

Quiets the soul, but does not fulfil,

Until we approach the light once more:

As if it had been unknown before.

And light is love;

Love, light:

Remade for the first time.


johnny9fingers: (Default)

Midwinter spring is its own season...

I always read 'Little Gidding' in January. I'd advise folk that, although 'difficult', it repays work. And when finished for the third time it gives a sensation like few others. However, my friend Strephon is of another opinion, and thinks the sensation as he experienced it, is to be avoided at all costs.
When all the mechanical problems of the universe are solved there will still remain the problems which deal with morals.
When these are all dealt with there will still be the question of taste: What colour should it be?
The 'philosophical problem' of taste is not something I've considered for many years.
The more mundane and everyday question of taste is not one I've thought about for a few years either, assuming, quite naturally, that my taste was excellent. (Sometimes we delude ourselves thus, alas.)
My taste may be excellent for my particular world, but when my world intersects with others, it may still be found wanting. Which is, I suppose, the purpose of manners and courtesy. It is a good thing that we have the ability to give redress, and repair mistakes and error before the disaster of high words exchanged, blows given and recieved, and honour only satisfied by the exchange of fire or steel at dawn in some shady woodland supported by seconds and with a doctor on hand to staunch the flow of blood.
Nevertheless, just as there is something formal about the genesis of a disagreement, there is also something almost formal about the disengagement from debate.

As I started with Little Gidding, I'll end with it's closing passage, which may be all you need to know, actually.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

johnny9fingers: (Default)

I hope everyone's got their Christmas/Festive holiday thing sorted.
Being nominally Christian, I grew up with a fairly traditional Christmas. This year, like the last couple, I've done little, and plan to do no more.
Mother's going oop North to Mike & Alexis.
So I shall be by myself. Luxury. Luxury. My cup brimmeth over, as the good book says.
There are times when only indulging in one's misanthropy will do, which is what I intend. I fear the savage side of my wit shall be forever private: but I shall write insult and injury privately and not here, as is proper. 'Twould not do to hurt the defenseless, and most of the folk contributing to my mood are indeed idiotically defenseless: and those I would pillory in petto, if that's the phrase I'm stretching for.
Also I'm bloody angry with myself for not copy-editing my own comments before posting. Just fucking bang away at the keyboard (I almost wrote typewriter) and post. Arsehole Ninefingers screwed a famous Yeats quote and deserves a metaphorical kicking.
Truning and turning - ouch. (Never mind the displacement of i & e earlier in the text.)
I'm meant to be better than that...oh what the fuck, who am I kidding.

But to redeem myself I give it to you in full.

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of
Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards
Bethlehem to be born?

and then shall follow it with

Dilbert Dec 22, 2006

I bet the Squirrel gets a good book deal.

johnny9fingers: (window)
Constant stream of visitors. Will not allow them to stay by him talking for more than 5 minutes or so, as will exhaust him.
Fielding 'phone calls all day. Mike leaves leaves for his home late tonight. Pretty much everthing sorted out now apart from the brave face during the waiting.
Tried to get in touch with Glamorous Ex but both times I've called no-one's answered - ergo, she has things to complete before she flies out on Tuesday.
Might not get a chance to say toodle-pip, but that's the way the cookie crumbles, as the cliche has it.
Cancelled Birthday party as supremely inappropriate in circumstances. Steve K (an old, old chum) suggests rescheduling when things are better. Sweet lad he is - must remember books for P & J - Oxford companion to Classical Literature (Harvey).
With luck J will follow P to Christ's Hospital, but J still taking entrance exams to St Paul's and Westminster, etc. Will help the girls build their libraries by donating books as and when they need 'em, as long as S keeps me informed of requirements.
Same with Hazel's youngest, mind you E has Hazel's library to run through, which is not insignificant nor deficient in any major respect - and let's face it, neither of us owns a first folio, and only one person I know has a first of Ulysses (Shakespeare and Co, Paris, 1922).
Speaking of which, 'Posh' Stephen (not Steve K) has been an absolute brick of the solid foundational sort. Don't know what I'd've done without his good sense and good nature. Keep meaning to drive down to Sussex and buy him a pint or two, but somehow or other, I never seem to get the time. Pray his Mother is comfortable as well: 82, emphysema, which is why, I suppose, he understands better than most.
At an age now when chums' parents are going through it - difficult times for one and all, if not yet, then soon.
Am determined when my time comes I shall do like Petronius, and open veins in bathtub whilst drinking Margeaux or Latour, and conversing wittily with surviving chums. Blushful hippocrene indeed. Don't think I'm prepared to emulate any of the Satyrica, though.
Does anyone else out there think that Fagles' translations have been somewhat influenced by Logue? or is it just me? or is it merely the way late C20th Homer had to be, contextually speaking? Should read Harold Bloom on Homer, but haven't got around to it yet. Q. liked 'Genius' however, though his 'Shakespeare' I had some arguments with, as I see elements of the modern human in both Chaucer and especially Thom Wyatt, never mind various Greeks longer dead, or characters in Upanishads/Vedas. But Bloom is a greater man than me by orders of magnitude, so carping seems the yapping of a dog at the heels of a lion, or it could be I'm not a modern man, and am guilty of a category mistake.

Probably. But in all that what truth
will there be? He’ll know nothing. He’ll tell me about the
blows he received and I’ll give him a carrot.
Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the
hole, lingeringly, the grave-digger puts on the forceps.
We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries.
But habit is a great deadener. At me too someone is looking,
of me too someone is saying, he is sleeping, he knows
nothing, let him sleep on.
johnny9fingers: (Sri Yantra)
Bleeding glamorous ex telephoned. Will not be able to make birthday party in studio. Apologises. Plane back to Senegal departs on 14th. Has offered me her 12 string to look after (one of the few things in this world that I actually covet - some peace offering, perhaps she knows me too well).
I suppose she has a good heart. So shall accept and try not to be at all sniffy. I am sure, however, that I have at least equalled her in kindness and good manners, and ergo am strangely comforted. No doubt I shall have to ask if she needs driving to Heathrow with all her goods and chattels, and will be in jolly mood even if strained to point of hernia. However, when I return home will no doubt spend two hours swearing at TV, or re-reading Catullus. Odi et amo indeed.
Reminds me of a poem 'what I wrote' about affair with inappropriate woman some years previous, filthy and not entirely appropriate, but sums up mood: however Glamorous recent ex's sins are somewhat different (as I suppose are mine at present). If you are under 18 and/or not familiar with Catullus's oeuvre, I'd advise you not to read on (because either it's very dirty indeed, or you're so incredibly jaded it smacks of old school solipsism).

If Lesbia were Clodia, I would be Gaius Valerius Catullus.

Even your spit is more poisonous
Than strychnine, and as addictive
As heroin. I wouldn’t trust your word
To hang a man; provide an alibi;
Or determine who’s the father of your children.
But then, Clodia, who listens to a word you say:
I look and salivate instead,
And dream of you, wanton, on my bed:
Piss-flaps spread, arsehole pouting,
Your spittle bathing my prick,
As you beg for a routing
Or some other magical trick.

Fat chance,
I think this someone else’s dance.


The stuff we do for moral advantage (and to save face).


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