in the arsehole of diogenes

NEO-HERACLITUS_____________Qweir Notions in the arsehole of Diogenes: weBlog of a septuagenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Quote of the Day :

"Life is a cosmic infection... It's very hard to get rid of."
- Dr Seth Shostak, astronomer, on BBC Radio 4.

Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val

At my future grave
in the village where I used to live,
I dig a little hole
and put my foot in
to find out how I feel.
- Rather good.
Worse men pass by!

Films for me are daytime dreams

which, of course, like nighttime dreams, I rarely remember,
unless I see them twice or more often.
Yesterday evening I went to Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val to see a film
which was listed here as a comedy - yet, to me
was anything but that, more a thought-provoking, gentle,
possibly even profound and filmically beautiful and beautifully-crafted
discussion on levity.


Monday, 28 September 2015

In the service of poetry

I got up in the middle of the night to look at the eclipse of the moon.
The last full lunar eclipse I saw was when I was eight,
keen on astronomy, and liked to lie down in the grass
with my little tripod and mariner's telescope.

66 years later I wanted to write a poem about the blood-moon,
and a river of dark bloody moonlight streaming over the world -
or something in that rather unsubtle vein.
What I saw - this time through cheap binoculars -
was a moon the colour of an old earthenware pot,
not even coppery. But
I was out on the balcony as wisps of mist rose up from the lake,
an owl hooted back and forth over the forest, and bats flittered by.
I watched for an hour.  I should have put on a pullover
and not stood half-naked gazing with weak eyes up at the sky.

photo taken with cheap camera

A quatrain by al-Ma'arri*


When we laugh, our laughter is in vain:
we can't erase our existential pain,
who are shattered like thin glasses made for wine,
never, never to be made again.


* Abu 'L-ala Ahmad bin Abdallah al-Ma'arri of Aleppo (973-1057)

read more >>>


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Oh yes, they are right to say

that it is essentially death-awareness,
more even than language,
which separates us from the other animals.
They are also right to argue
that death-denial - even more than its imposition
- is one of the most powerful forces in human culture. 
Yet many human beings  - even very young ones -
have welcomed, now find, have found, will find
a floating freedom in their mortality.
And true philosophers think of themselves as dead already.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

In Memoriam

P.J. Kavanagh, a poet who declared himself Irish
but who was quintessentially, impenetrably
third-generation English,
and declared:
                        I declare my triumphant uselessness, and sing
of, for example:
...yesterday a mist
draped shrubbery in white, like frost
(new cobwebs, dewed, in layers).
 
I wrote of that, as though no wars,
diseases, prisons, others’ cares
affected me one jot.

And he concurred with the great and (of course) unrecognised English poet Peter Reading: 

Phoney-rustic bards,
Spare us your thoughts about birds.

Iris Murdoch wrote:

"We must live by the light of our own self-satisfaction."
(in The Sea, The Sea.)

Friday, 25 September 2015

It's strange how many men worry about baldness

when (it seems to me) it is a Northern adaptation
to acquire more Vitamin D from what sunlight is available.
So - bald men in Scotland or Southland -
don't wear a hat when the sun is shining.

Second-best

often turns out for the best.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

A Meditation Method.
























This is a photo of a man meditating
(it's always men) (for four hours)
with a broken pot of burning cow-dung on his head.
What more can be said ?

Living In The Moment

Getting older,
getting through the days
wondering where the moment is to live in.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A cripple in Caylus [http://cailutz.tumblr.com]

The cambered streets of villages in France are not a bother
when you have one foot a little shorter than the other.

Ungularly singular.

People used to judge each other
by the horny translucent plate at the end of their fingers..
Perhaps they still do.
Mine are almost always dirty - so I fail
the social acceptability test
because of the large gaps
which I have between finger and nail.

Culture has become :

1. Indoctrination into Debt.
2. An ephemeral and universal
    cult of ephemera.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Cryptolect -

a lovely word to describe a cant or semi-secret
and of course unwritten language
such as Shelta
and Po[r]lare/Polari/Parlare
a cant derived from performers' Italian
(Commedia del arte; Punch and Judy)
and Romani, as well as some Cockney rhyming-slang
and back-slang (like modern verlan* in French)
which leaked into ordinary English slang with words like
to scarper (to bugger - i.e. run - off) from Italian scappare, to escape or run away
and/or from rhyming slang Scapa Flow** = to go.
A double etymology is bonarissima,
nespa ?


* verlan is an embellished back-formation of envers = back to front, reversed, wrong way round.
** Scapa Flow is a stretch of deep, calm water in the Orkney islands of Northern Scotland, notorious for being a place where ships (British, German) were deliberately sunk (by Germans, British).

Monday, 21 September 2015

Evil in the service of banality :

Bambi
made in delicate and pure white porcelain
at Dachau.

[This white product also has exacted,
misery, slavery and pain.]

Suicide

is simply returning
the overdue library-book
of life.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

To children,

the world is a more or less continual
Punch-and-Judy show
in which they feel
more than they know.


Saturday, 19 September 2015

I am saved

from the sink and the sheen of celebrity
by being a recluse
and having little talent
and no vulgar muliebrity.

A message to the ridiculous Donald Trump.

Republican President Garfield,
reared on a poor Ohio farm by his widowed mother,
could write Latin with one hand while writing Greek with the other.
He was an advocate of civil rights for African-Americans,
reformed a corrupt Post Office administration -
but lasted only 200 days in office
(4th March – 19th September, 1881)
due to his unfortunate assassination.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The first and only page of a book.

"What were you doing before you opened the cover of this book
and turned the title  pages in order to read this sentence ?
What was I doing before I wrote that line ?
Let me tell you: I was writing a book of some kind or other.
Not a novel.
Almost anyone, it now seems, can write a novel.
Quite a few write excellent novels.
I am no-one, certainly not a nation.
I will have nothing to do with publishers.
I will have nothing to do.
I have nothing to do.
Soon I will have nothing.
Soon I will be nothing.
Soon."

A Sorry Anniversary.

Sixty years ago the Fish Finger was invented -
in order to use up over-fished Atlantic cod
(which of course does not have fingers)
after Iceland lost the last Cod War with Britain.
(Not many people remember it.)
I ate one (as a guest)
in 1969, and was not impressed.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Gratitude.

Half-naked on the balcony I halve wild pears for jam,
throwing the rotten and the damaged ones six metres below -
to make a little pear-copse long after I go ?

A Tragic Tale

Born in 1941, Anthony was raised by humans.
It was a quarter of a century before he was united with Dog.

1967


To visit

a horrible death on someone
is considered a crime
(except, of course, when glorified in war).
To visit a horrible life on someone
is quite unremarkable.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Amy Golden

is seriously disabled due to infantile meningitis :
she can move only her right arm,
and cannot speak.
To hear her amusing
observations and comments on her life
(splendidly spoken from Amy's script
by Rhiannon Neads)

click here >>>

Late summer in Caylus.

It's not quite a Perfumed Garden
but it is a little of what the designers of the Generalife
gardens of the Alhambra in Granada sought to achieve.
At both ends of the path down to the little lake and forest
are gorgeously-scented Clerodendrum bushes.
In between is a large pendulous Buddleja (also nicely-scented),
a fig tree and a quince tree both bearing fruit within my grasp.
Two plum trees have already shed their fruit.
But alas! there is no Pomegranate tree so treasured by the Moors -
because, according to the Qur'an, pomegranates grow in paradise
and (though having a more complex symbolism in ancient Greece)
are an ancient and present Persian symbol of fertility.
In the nearest town, however, they line two busy streets.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

On my 74th birthday.

Having no other,
I can only conclude
(indeed am convinced)
that Death is my father,
whom I forgive
as long as I live.

Birthday sequence of one-line haikai.

Mothering Sunday. No forget-me-nots.

*

I wake up from a noontime nap; only tired shadows.

*

The black storm swept - or smeared - the sky blue.

*

Shipwreck. Only a boat can raise a boat.

*
Behind the grave is better than before.

*
Just above the sea the swollen moon like a great golden stoma.

*

A fig cracks a big smile. Voluptuous true love.

*

My shadow is even less lonely than I am.

*

A pebble in my sock, I think of oysters.

*

My pipe has gone out. Loneliness rarely arrives.

*

The summer acupuncturist pricks my conscience.

*

Long and transparent like a bottle he was fond and died of it.

*

Some nights the snoring sea seems to dream.

*

Red leaves on the ground. My foot-warmer awaits.

*

The wind is coughing in the windswept night.

*

Falling leaves refresh the blue of the sky.

*

Boats cuddle frantically in the winter squall.

*

Park in autumn. Abandoned swings. Naked boughs swaying.

*

Just above the dope-dealers the moon not only loiters - it hangs about.

*

Alone, not lonely, the last leaf.

*

Eternally-fading laughter from the tabloid girl lining the wardrobe.

*

When I see a new moon I am slightly joyful in my cold skinniness.

*

Slightly deaf, slightly blind, slightly crippled : I am living quite slightly.


* * * * *
***
*

These also appear on my website.


Saturday, 12 September 2015

Swing low, sweet chariot.

is a moving 'spiritual' reflecting the desire for death
by dispossessed and persecuted people in the United States.

It is, obscenely, the 'anthem' of the English rugby team, a cohort
of continuing Competitive White Supremacy
enjoying a particularly nasty sport.

from Wikipedia:
                                     "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was written by Wallis Willis, a Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory in what is now Choctaw County, near the County seat of Hugo, Oklahoma sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah's being taken to heaven by a chariot (2 Kings 2:11). Some sources[1][2] claim that this song and "Steal Away"[3] (also composed by Willis) had lyrics that referred to the Underground Railroad, the freedom movement that helped blacks escape from Southern Slavery to the North and Canada.

Listen to the earliest recording.  

A more gospelly version by the wonderful Marion Williams here.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Haiku in memory of Hōsai Ozaki (died 1926)

Long and transparent like a bottle he was fond and died of it.

(Contrary to widespread Occidental belief
most Japanese haikai are one-line compositions.)

More of my versions of Hōsai can be read here >>>

Wisdom’s a puddle,

decease is catharsis -
  We 'civilised' are real only
as we wipe our arses.

(for Raúl in Paraguay)

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Remembering Thucydides.

Beyond "freedom"
Beyond "dignity"
there is neither freedom nor dignity -
just hubris, nemesis
and inevitable entropy.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Smug Dork

I have never seen Star Wars
nor the Perseid meteor shower.
I have never seen The Godfather
nor been to a night-club.
I have never owned a television set
nor played a video game.
I have never entered the totalitarian
"world of work", or a McDonald's,
KFC or Starbucks - though I once
ate at a Pizza Hut.
I have never seen Stonehenge
though I have a website on prehistoric megaliths.
I have never been in debt
(mortgage, credit-card, etc),
never eaten sushi or sheep's eyes.
I have never liked 'popular' music
(with perhaps a dozen exceptions)
nor been to a pop concert
nor a football match.
I have never wanted to visit the USA
nor Belarus - though I did visit
East Berlin (as was) just for a day.
I have never driven a tractor
nor a trolley-bus, even though my
driving licence allows me to.
I have never worried about contracting cancer
nor tolerated stress
(because of a low tolerance of adrenalin)
which is why I never was
a taxpayer or a ballet-dancer.

Monday, 7 September 2015

These are scratch-marks

(negative image)
























made on a wall of an Auschwitz gas-chamber
by survivors climbing on the dead to breathe.
They might also be the scratch-marks made on the side of a truck
lucratively transporting dead and dying Syrians, Somalis or Eritreans
into or across Europe.

Prepositional chaos

First we had met with
instead of met.
Then off of
instead of off.
Now we have
visited with
instead of visited,
infringe upon instead of infringe
and (contrarily) intersect
instead of intersect with!

But this is a trivial concern.
 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Re-thinking a short future.

What should I do when I am 74
(in a week's time)
living alone (in two different houses)
having no family, no friends,
just minor incapacities (one leg shorter
than the other, defective hearing,
defective eyesight, nocturnal itching,
benign nocturnal polyuria and tinnitus) ?

- Think of a nice 'clean slate'  to decorate in my 'twilight years' ?
- Become a Professor Demeritus of Mute Meta-cognition ?
- Let out my spare bedroom as a cheap B&B ?
- Or become a Life Coach ?

Saturday, 5 September 2015

My mother tried

a bottle of gin, 'falling' down the stairs
(and maybe worse)
and finally, suicide
by swimming out to sea,
when she found that she was pregnant with me -
her life's trial, her life's curse.
She was a strong swimmer.
She then failed to have me adopted,
which brought her many years of woe,
because her left-handed, probably-cissy little boy
needed toughening up, her doctor-brother said,
her GP and various other pea-brains said.  Her own mother
hated left-handedness.  So I was corrected, then
sent at considerable financial cost
to an athletic school with incompetent teachers,
became a problem child
and teenager who stayed at home and read
Zola, Kafka and Dostoyevsky,
then a drop-out adult, an unemployable
lover of stones.
I shall honour my put-upon but valiant mother by succeeding
only in a quiet suicide -
the only noble death
- and (of course) no mourners at my graveside.

Friday, 4 September 2015

from a blog by Ian Welsh

"Of course, optimism is wonderfully adaptive as long as optimists aren’t your leaders or analysts, and don’t run your nuclear power plants, or plan your economies, or make any decisions about anything which if it goes wrong can go catastrophically wrong.  Optimists are happier, they live longer, they’re healthier, they “get up and go”, blah, blah, blah.  Optimism is good for optimists and hey, they’re generally more pleasant to be around, too.  There are time periods when they’re even right a lot (say during the 50s).  But basically, they’re blind. 

One imagines conversations between cows. “Hey, they feed us every day, we get free health care, no real responsibility!  The dog makes sure the wolves don’t bother us.  This is great!  I do wonder what happened to Thelma and Fred, when they took them away in that truck?  But I’m sure it wasn’t anything bad, and if it was they must have deserved it, and anyway, that’d never happen to me, because I’m a good cow and this is the best herd in the whole world!”

www.ianwelsh.net

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Over the Millennia

the two principal activities of human beings
have been the degradation of the environment
and the rape of their females.
The situation would be the same
if goats ruled the planet.
But who am I to criticise Natural Selection
- which produced me ?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Another linguistic observation.

In recent years the word style
has become attached to the word life.
Soon, people won't so much be losing their lives
as losing their life-styles.

My linguistic curiosity

led me (who thought I was a wuss)
to wonder about the difference
between a dweeb and a dork.
I find that the latter Americanism
describes someone like me:
'who has odd interests, and is often silly at times'.
Also 'someone who can be themselves 
and not care what anyone thinks'.
A dweeb, on the other hand, is
'an unattractive, insignificant person
who is boring, nerdish and socially inept'. 
This I surely cannot be yclept.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Irish Weather

Three whole days without a drop of rain.
     I decide to mow the grass.
But - Bloody Hell! - it's coming down again.

Another Dogg

"Spain is a land of abandoned dogs,
and it's getting worse."

[read on >>>]