call me big papa
My own heart let me more have pity on'
My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst's all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
's not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather — as skies
Betweenpie mountains — lights a lovely mile.



Beast of Burden
It was the piebald horse in next door's garden
frightened me out of a dream
with her dawn whinny. I was back
in the boxroom of the house,
my brother's room now,
full of ties and sweaters and secrets.
Bottles chinked on the doorstep,
the first bus pulled up to the stop.
The rest of the house slept

except for my father. I heard
him rake the ash from the grate,
plug in the kettle, hum a snatch of a tune.
Then he unlocked the back door
and stepped out into the garden.
Autumn was nearly done, the first frost
whitened the slates of the estate.
He was older than I had reckoned,
his hair completely silver,
and for the first time I saw the stoop
of his shoulder, saw that
his leg was stiff. What's he at?
So early and still stars in the west?

They came then: birds
of every size, shape, colour; they came
from the hedges and shrubs,
from eaves and garden sheds,
from the industrial estate, outlying fields,
from Dubber Cross they came
and the ditches of the North Road.
The garden was a pandemonium
when my father threw up his hands
and tossed the crumbs to the air. The sun
cleared O'Reilly's chimney
and he was suddenly radiant,
a perfect vision of St Francis,
made whole, made young again,
in a Finglas garden.


thread death
I know Luka is a fan of David Jones - i recently re-read In Parenthesis, a long poem based upon his experiences in WW1 - long lines, stuffed with imagery, obscure references and straightforward soldier dialogue, very gripping and quite readable.
Now I am on to Anathemata - i struggled with this when i tried it years ago - i think because as people have said upthread i was desperately trying to work out the puzzle of it. This time i have thrown myself into it, reading it aloud where i can and i have got so much more out of it. It seems to pre-empt the psychgeographers by decades and you can see where Sinclair gets his mix of arcane and everyday, the loose lines and savage images. The footnotes are fantastic, containing loads of nuggets of knowledge and insight.
I came back to him after visiting the museum in Ditchling which has lots of his art - he was part of the school of artist/engravers who worked with Eric Gill and others.
link to online copy of the poem: http://www.johndobson.info/Anathemata/titlepage.html


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I think the main difficulty With that poem is the vocabulary. I don't think it's necessarily that hard thematically. But unless you are fluent in vernacular Latin and Welsh you're going to have to rely on google a great deal. Which is a pain. And not really practical when you're reading a book on the train or what have you. I was dipping into it again a fortnight ago. Droid might like it, or it might irritate him. Hard to say with droid. Complex character.


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A place in Cambridge with a lot of his art. Kettle yard? Is that what it's called?


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Mr Tea's wife is an academic and one of the worlds leading experts on Jones' poetry funnily enough.


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I was going to go deep on this subject but then Barty said he's coming round for a lager so I'll put it on hold


we murder to dissect
Rewind clap-backs, in diatribe with absent
parties maybe irrevocably vacated.
Scratching deepens the furrow, wearing down
to aggravated crackle, echoic clucking
too long after the fact. Keep cutting heads
for dwindling payoff; under no circumstances
change the record.

What I do in my sleep is less exotic;
miss people, mostly, or try rescuing
their shades from roiling Hades, hauling out
of burning Thames the wrong or some depleted
phantom no longer answerable for themselves,
the jawbone working tirelessly in vapid

The dead forget where they have left their secrets.
I find that I am losing track of mine,
confusing them with others’, or what everyone
has always known since book-keeping began.
At Revelation all accounts unlock,
decloak, unspool into the heat-dead void like
rolling credits.

I mean that the occluded shall be known,
or that I believe so as a needful
counterweight to leadenness of forgetting
and being forgotten, slowly or by fiat
of curtailment. Somewhere that eschaton
is self-preparing, seeking out kairotic
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we murder to dissect
If there is saving-power it is in transports
of respite, of temporary truce between
world and oneself, oneself and other selves:
eros and agon both at bay, the moment
standing open like the Wye's flood-plains'
flint-stillness glazing out across the hedgerows,

I picture us again walking together
to Brampton Abbotts, me expatiating
on time and cosmic love as one unfolding
forecast in Messiaen's Turangalîla
Symphony, by which I was much taken
and still am. I may very well have been on

Perhaps not sempiternal. Waters drain.
Things are in process, as would I have been
at sixteen, although obstinately patterned
after my own imago. It is hard
to learn not one thing from another's kindness -
a signal failure of the adolescent
of the species.

Here there are waters rising, not in stillness
but in excited spate, like Messaien
jamming the Grand Orgue with stacked harmonics.
Of time and cosmic love I am uncertain;
agon and eros both with me contend,
flashing tremendous teeth, vaulting the sundered
flood defences.


in je ogen waait de wind
is anyone familiar with adolf wölfli, i came across this and thought it was well wonderful then i read a bit about his life and wow it's fucked up. has some parallels with william blake maybe?

"In 1908, he set about creating a semi-autobiographical epic which eventually stretched to 45 volumes, containing a total of over 25,000 pages and 1,600 illustrations. This work was a mix of elements of his own life blended with fantastical stories of his adventures from which he transformed himself from a child to 'Knight Adolf' to 'Emperor Adolf' and finally to 'St Adolf II'. Text and illustrations formed the narrative, sometimes combining multiple elements on kaleidoscopic pages of music, words and colour." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Wölfli

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Who loves ya, baby?
I was talking to a bunch of people last night and started putting stuff we said through a load of different languages on Google Translate - English into Igbo into Yiddish into Japanese into Afrikaans, back into Igbo then into English again - and it produced some interesting results. I trimmed some of the crapper bits and the usernames and timestamps, but it's mostly all there...

Modern decadence
Modern decadence
Rotten! Ass modern style

Ribs trigger holes inside the scanner
They do

I hate inspectors
When I say I have kettle
Believe me
Yes, you can
Break it down

bed of vines
river of bolognese
my dad on the plane
head... toes...
space is drawing

to speak to our power
do we use mouths?

over my head The pain of his words
Isn't it?
the greatness of these people; ribs and ponds, the sun


we murder to dissect
Let’s do this: eschatology uplifts
scatology; kairotic tweaks erotic.
Things wildly merge, commit in rush to judgement.
Stick this under your tongue and wait for razzle-
dazzle, slow-kindling Heraclitean fire
not all-consuming, as it is the all, and

Envision the last court in disarray,
submerged in pettinesses; the upright
Recording Angel overwhelmed with parchment,
each tort a fractal of recrimination.
At far-end justice trickles from a spigot,
distilled and perfectly translucent liquor /
lethal moonshine.

Or render judgement binary decision,
flash of incineration which preserves
only what tends to rightfulness, all else
being reduced to scoria, that lump
of pumice there your hardened and habitual
fragility, your wilful ignorance all
blown to ashes.

Creation is recovering its senses,
in fields and rivers new intelligence
adrift or ambling in unsettled pattern.
Judgement steals into things, unseating habit,
upending tables. Safes are made for breaking
from within, by force of ineluctable


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i havent read it properly yet, i think i got sunstroke, but i like running my eyes over. it's all knotty and gnarly and half the words in it i've never seen before.


Beast of Burden
How do we feel about Robinson Jeffers?

Hope is not for the wise, fear is for fools;
Change and the world, we think, are racing to a fall,
Open-eyed and helpless, in every newscast that is the news:
The time's events would seem mere chaos but all
Drift the one deadly direction. But this is only
The August thunder of the age, not the November.
Wise men hope nothing, the wise are naturally lonely
And think November as good as April, the wise remember
That Caesar and even final Augustulus had heirs,
And men lived on; rich unplanned life on earth
After the foreign wars and the civil wars, the border wars
And the barbarians: music and religion, honor and mirth
Renewed life's lost enchantments. But if life even
Had perished utterly, Oh perfect loveliness of earth and heaven.