Nobody's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Campus is quiet today. Thoughtful. A new semester. Potential is active, actualizing; preparations underway, venues readied for learning. I love it here. Education matters. Ideas matter. Dialogue. Discourse. For a very long time I did not realize. I squandered privilege on trivia, hats, self.

Though numerous forces conspire daily to do so, we will not let them close these opportunities.

I love it here.

Even words have been turned into hats. (Especially words.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I would propose we need to return the word sciolist to discourse, but who am I kidding? It would only be appropriated and thus neutralized by those it might best describe. That is the fucking trick.

But at least we are still the center of the universe. 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Literacy. Literacies. Read. Read widely and deeply. Read closely, critically. Read. Re-read. Reflect. Imagine others in their times and places. How little I know, always, in my own times and places. Eschew certainty, single-mindedness. That I might come to read more effectively, to read more effectively my temporary selves situated within an always-emergent consciousness, to read more effectively the shifting landscapes of transitory human realities.

Read. Listen. Read. Listen.

That I might learn, and continue to learn.

That I might love you. That we might be loved.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I will never get over Septimus Warren Smith.

There is a face under the furniture. Under the couch.

In the night restless I thought the mind like a tree or a plant.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Ah, don't worry, swollen little Elvis: every station on the radio is playing your song.

Out of print, out of discourse.
Out of history, out of mind.

Manuel Scorza's Drums For Rancas (Redoble por Rancas, 1970). Find a used copy of this magnificent, soul-searing Peruvian novel and read, listen, read, listen. 20th century colonizing capitalist history would have the novel voided, just as it did the mortal human subjects at the center of events depicted. Special thanks to William Randolph Hearst and other exceptional monsters behind the Cerro de Pasco Corporation: "much of the land utilized for sheep grazing had been acquired cheaply by Cerro after its mining operations had polluted the soil so badly as to make agriculture impossible, and the company later consolidated its grazing land by expropriating the property of local communities. Cerro was therefore accused of having created a pool of unskilled labor for itself by forcing local people off their land."

Such exceptional tricks get pulled over and over and over and over and over again. Where can we read about them? Where can we talk about them? Where can we dialogue? Almost nowhere. Preeminent among reasons why is that such events continue to happen, and a handful of corporations profit greatly by them. On the other hand, as if by magic, we have industries of self-flattering monologue that we are so weirdly, defensively loathe to interrupt or corrupt, and a handful of corporations profit greatly by them.

From the 1977 Kirkus review of the English translation of Drums For Rancas: "Lit by flashes of Swiftian humor, this dark thundercloud of a novel hovers over a surrealist landscape, bloodstained and terrible. It is the Peruvian Andes, where the indigenous people, descendants of the Incas, are powerless before an international (read 'United States') company which is enclosing their grazing lands. A barbed wire fence moves among them like a serpent. 'Nine hills, fifty pastures, five ponds, fourteen waterholes, eleven caves, three rivers so deep they don't freeze even in winter, five villages, five graveyards--the Fence devoured them all in two weeks,' says the author, who explains earlier that he is 'not a novelist so much as a witness' (to real events occurring between 1950 and 1962). The Indians also have Peruvian oppressors to deal with, chief among them a sinister judge first met only as a black suit with six buttons. An unequal battle is joined when a folk hero in the Wild West tradition, Hawkeye, vows to kill the judge. Among the judge's friends is a big landowner who poisons fifteen of his laborers when they ask his permission to form a union, and then announces they died by a 'mass thrombosis.' On Hawkeye's side is a man who can read the future and another who talks with horses. But such folk magic is of no avail, and the novel ends with a moving description of the dispossessed Indians from the village of Rancas talking in their graves, a community even in death. This literately savage tale is only rarely confusing as it shifts between fantasy and reality, pity and scornful laughter. The words are like welts left by a whip on a naked back."