August 2011

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Car l'optimisme est la philosophie du passé. Les événements qui ont eu lieu étant, entre tous ceux qui étaient possibles, les seuls que nous connaissions, le mal qu'ils nous ont causé nous semble inévitable, et le peu de bien qu'ils n'ont pas pu ne pas amener avec eux, c'est à eux que nous en faisons honneur, et nous nous imaginons que sans eux il ne se fût pas produit.
-Marcel Proust

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Chaque être est détruit quand nous cessons de le voir; puis son apparition suivante est une création nouvelle, différente de celle qui l'a immédiatement précédée, sinon de toutes.
-Marcel Proust

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Come gli occhi della nottola sono abbagliati dalla luce del sole che non riescono a vedere, ma vedono bene le cose poco illuminate, così si comporta l'intelletto umano di fronte ai primi principi, che sono tra tutte le cose, per natura, le più manifeste.
-Tommaso d'Aquino

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Scott Wannberg left shore from Florence, Oregon in the middle of the night without waking anyone, but not before hiding an unknown number of treasure maps that may help us get through the coming winter. We'll find them by and by, but for now we rise on tip-toes to watch his contrails fade above the sunrise swells. We wave him on with hands holding his recent poems up to the early light, then let the wind take the pages and scatter them like gulls skimming and corkscrewing over the Pacific. Here's wishing him safe travels, good luck -- and promising we won't forget to write.
-Viggo Mortensen

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Earful of Sun
How you get up in the early hours
tells me a lot about your dancing ability.
They claim the highway has no best friend.
Someone bailed it out of jail, though, last night.
We sat and drank beer and watched the meteors fall.
I got an earful of sun and had to wash my ears out afterward.
Maybe the resurrection will show up as promised and give us
something to sing about.
Maybe it won't.
I intend to sing anyway.
When you finish reciting all the pain,
when the dog finally digs up his last bone,
come on over and put the bulletproof vest down.
Everybody says they want to be loved.
They say it over and over and over.
As soon as they finish hitting me over the head,
I will get up and love them.
-Scott Wannberg

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One Day Summer Rented a Room
Hard laughter in a can, a bright can, aisle 56,
endurable can, endurable bright hard laughing can.
Can I, would I, should we, hard hard hard laughter in the land,
cool front moving in on,
cool front moving,
sad coffee hallelujah.

Man stumbles up alongside me.
Man says can I sing him some everlasting everloving?
Says me, yeah I can, and commence to let it all fly.

Cool cool front hanging in the back,
easy sorrow in a can, a bright can, aisle 58,
endurable can, endurable bright easy sorrow can.
One day summer rented a room.
I fit into it.

Woman stumbles up alongside me.
Woman says can I dance her some altogether alltime?
Yes says me, yeah I can, and still commence to let it all fly.
Don't matter how brokedown or busted, how forgot or lost,
the flight ability starts here.
One day summer rented all its rooms.
We all fit in.
-Scott Wannberg

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Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.
-Sigmund Freud

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A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.
-Sigmund Freud

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When they are preparing for war, those who rule by force speak most copiously about peace until they have completed the mobilization process.
-Stefan Zweig

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The Dancer Steps Forward
The dancer stays home
digging in his earth,
looking for the bone that will
sing to him.

His friends have run off to Europe.
They groan, pull their hair, wail,
America is a paltry place for the imagination.
They hit the walls, deny their past.
They become good Europeans.

The dancer shrugs in his New Jersey afternoon,
begins to dance
around the circumference of his native ground.
I've got to learn the language, he says.
I've got to follow through on the syntax.
There is a music here. Don't be so quick to deny it.

He steps out onto the American earth.
People come to him, ask,
do you know what they are doing across the sea?
They are writing epics!
They are tearing up the linear fabric.

Let me do my digging, he says
and the music that is alive there
begins to attach itself to his skin
in that hard working New Jersey afternoon.
His patients come, his patients go.
The good doctor knows there is a music
here.

One of his good friends,
an old schoolboy pal
who will later do time for mixing aesthetics and politics,
keeps haranguing him to come to Europe.
I'm too busy digging, he says,
there is a music here, I tell you,
and my job is to find it,
learn it,
sing it.

You can have your poets of Provence,
you can have Confucius.
I'm hunting a different game altogether.
The sun grows hot.
He begins to sweat there in the yard,
digging.

He takes a drink of water.
We leave him at his work
as night quietly shows up.
Later he steps onto the front porch.
He will begin naming the new rhythm,
the kind of rhythm that you recognize
on the street, maybe.

Not some secret arcane language,
not some language you need a dictionary to understand,
the kind of rhythm
you can maybe
figure out all by yourself
as you roll it around in your mouth,
as you begin to say it and it begins to sing you.

There is a music in the American idiom,
he says
and wipes his face for the last time,
and begins to think about going up to bed.
Tomorrow is another song.
Tomorrow will be other patients and
words to discover and stories behind such words
that illuminate.

The game, after all
is one of discovery.
The day you stop finding out things
is the day
you might as well
turn yourself in for good.
He slowly makes his way upstairs to
his beloved Flossie.
There is a music here.
All you have to do is believe,
and the rest
is just
some history of
song
and love.
-Scott Wannberg

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Last edited: 27 February 2012 13:17:19