Thursday, December 14, 2017

Poem For the Reified Mind

hmm, well... (Stockhausen, 9/22/2001)
 in memory of Hannah Arendt

"My background -- in one sentence: Outlaw"
--Kenneth Goldsmith, in collaboration with sentence starter Campus der K√ľnste, 2015 

what happened here is -- arm out, pointing, slowly scanning

lips flapping under a pow of silence -- is a work of art that

once upon a time never existed, that administrators produce

daily without practice, efficiently, showing up the next day

to repeat themselves, a work of art that until LeWitt never

existed, it is imaginable what happened here, these workers

absorbed in their tasks, taking orders, giving them, numbers

tattooed onto wrists, entered into boxes, for over eleven years

six million people were driven into resurrection, but who could

do that, compared to that, we are nothing, as composers that is

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ganga and Uma "Joined" By Their Husband Siva

Sometimes it's the way things break that makes them what they are.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

1674 East 11th Avenue

I have a fondness for this house. Something about it. Last month I took a good long look, walking from one end of it to the other, taking in all its angles (without trespassing). Yes, I would repaint its wood (the turquoise was a popular Ted Harris colour favoured by cheapskate landlords in the 60s and 70s) and take down the gridded burgler-proofing in the living room and bedroom windows, but not much else. I would not remove the floral iron-work that supports the front porch awning, nor the rhododendron that blooms red in April, as these features, like the Dude's rug, "really tie[] the place together."

Monday, December 11, 2017

Pierrot le fou (1965)

All anybody talks about anymore is prescience. Not foresight, clairvoyance, but prescience. The difference? Foresight is too responsible, too parental, while clairvoyance sounds like gypsies and scares away the money. But prescience -- now there's a market term.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

McAuley Park

Inside the triangle bordered by Kingsway (southwest), Fraser Street (east) and 15th Avenue (north) is McAuley Park.

Inside the park are two huge tulip magnolia trees, a dozen flag poles, three park benches and, as of October 8, 2017, the "Monument of Vietnamese Boat People -- Refugees from Communism", which includes figures (the heterosexual family), but also public and private sponsorship plaques.

Hard to make out the flag that one of the figures (the father) is holding forth. Here is that same flag with the sun behind it:

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Spelling Msnformaton

Steel magnet Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) believed that English was destined to be the "world language of the future" and for that reason it should be simplified (?). To help this along he gave an organization called the Simplified Spelling Board $15, 000 a year for five years.

English readers are familiar with some of these simplifications; the best known include "nite" for "night" and "thru" for "through". Lesser known suggestions had "-ed" endings replaced with "t", as in the suitably ambiguous "mist" for "missed".

As one might expect, a conversation got in the way of the Board's recommendations and, as the "nays" outweighed the "ayes", the world moved on.

Now the Board is back, and the latest proposals are intriguing. For gerund forms that consist of the same vowel ("i") repeated twice and separated by paired consonants ("ss", "tt", "dd"), it is proposed that the first vowel be dropped. Thus, "pissing" would be spelled "pssing" and "shitting" would be spelled "shtting".

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tales of Wage Work

I am never sure if Tod Hackett moves to Los Angeles to paint The Burning of Los Angeles, or if it occurred to him after moving there. Either way, Hollywood set dec keeps him busy. And when not hating his job, he is, like Bartleby's employer, distracted by humanity.