Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Baldwin



"...I have more faith in Southerners than I will ever have in Northerners: the mighty and pious North could never, after all, have acquired its wealth without utilizing, brutally, and consciously, those 'folk' ways, and locking the South within them. And when this country's absolutely inescapable disaster levels it, it is in the South and not in the North that the rebirth will begin."

                                     ---James Baldwin, No Name in the Street.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Cercamon(12th Cent Provencal Poet from Gascony)

Quant l’aura doussa s’amarzis


When the sweet air turns bitter,

And leaves fall from the branch,
And birds their singing alter
Still I, of him, sigh and chant,
Amor, who keeps me closely bound,
He that I never had in my power.

Alas! I gained nothing from Amor
But only had pain and torment,
For nothing is as hard to conquer
As that on which my desire is bent!
No greater longing have I found,
Than for that which I’ll lack ever.

In a jewel I rejoice, in her
So fine, no other’s felt my intent!
When I’m with her I dumbly stutter,
Cannot utter my words well meant,
And when we part I seem drowned,
Loss of all sense and reason suffer.

All the ladies a man saw ever
Compared to her aren’t worth a franc!
When on earth the shadows gather,
Where she rests, all is brilliant.
Pray God I’ll soon with her be wound,
Or watch her as she mounts the stair.

I startle and I shake and shiver
Awake, asleep, on Love intent,
So afraid that I might wrong her,
I don’t dare ask for what I meant,
But two or three years’ service downed,
Then she’ll know the truth I offer.

I live nor die, nor am made better
Nor feel my sickness though intense,
Since with her Love I want no other,
Nor know if I’ll have it or when,
For in her mercy does all abound,
That can destroy me or deliver. 

It pleases me when she makes me madder,
Makes me muse, or in gaping rent!
It’s fine if she plays the scorner
Laughs in my face, or at fingers’ end,
For, after the bad, the good will sound,
And swiftly, should that be her pleasure.

If she wants me not, I’d rather
I’d died the day my service commenced!
Ah, alas! So sweet she did murder
Me, when she gave her Love’s assent,
And tied me with such knots around,
That I desire to see no other.

All anxiously I delight in her,
For whether I fear or court her then
Is up to her; or be false or truer,
Trick her, or prove all innocent,
Or courteous or vile be found,
Or in torment, or take my leisure.

But, who it may please or who astound,
She may, if she wants, retain me there.

Say I: scarce courteous is he crowned,
The man who shall of Love despair.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Hypnagogic Divagation



there are too many holes on the surface of bodies,

every one an avenue for invasion.

attack demons, bacilli, legions invisible to sight.

ultimately we lose.
without we'd never taste glory.
small triumphs decorate days with modest laurels,
memento mori rasps from every hole.