Saturday, February 6, 2010

Coffee Break Poem: Magritte

I am a man in a black bowler hat, Magritte
showing my back to the world.
If I turn, an apple blocks my face.

My first glimpse of art was in a churchyard,
so close it is to death.
I listened to the silence of that place.

Sometimes, laid out, she elevates behind me
as I walk the towpath.
Stiff-necked, I do not look around.

My art has no laws of gravity,
but a woman’s chestnut hair falls to the ground
and bowler-hatted men are falling rain.

I have seen boulders floating in the sky,
and every day a cloud comes in my door.
Baguettes, instead of clouds, go drifting by.

In woods, between the horse’s head and rider,
a vista slips, slim as the trunk of a tree.
What’s visible hides what’s also visible.

The sea is one with what is not the sea.

by Ciaran O'Driscoll

from Surreal Man; Pighog Pres, Brighton, 2006

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

19 most complex and dangerous roads

Halsema Highway (Benguet, Philippines) is the 13th in the list. My friends and I also call this "Abortion Road".

For the full list of dangerous roads, click here.

Cocktail Images: The real deal

Goodbye innocence

Cartoon killers

Star Wars: The Pre-Teen Years
The real Calvin and Hobbes

Cereal Killers

Factory of Tears

And once again according to the annual report
the highest productivity results were achieved
by the Factory of Tears.

While the Department of Transportation was breaking heels
while the Department of Heart Affairs
was beating hysterically
the Factory of Tears was working night shifts
setting new records even on holidays.

While the Food Refinery Station
was trying to digest another catastrophe
the Factory of Tears adopted a new economically advantageous
technology of recycling the wastes of past –
memories mostly.

The pictures of the employees of the year
were placed on the Wall of Tears.

I’m a recipient of workers’ comp from the heroic Factory of Tears.
I have calluses on my eyes.
I have compound fractures on my cheeks.
I receive my wages with the product I manufacture.
And I’m happy with what I have.

by Valzhyna Mort

Mental Notes: J.D. Salinger

I know I'm a week late for this, but it just had to be done. RIP to the one who made Holden Caulfield, Franny and Zooey, a part of my life.

"Don't ever tell anybody anything," J.D. Salinger wrote in the closing lines of "The Catcher in the Rye." "If you do, you start missing everybody."

For more than two decades now, I've thought about that ending as a piece of code. Not that Salinger, who died Wednesday at age 91 in Cornish, N.H., was an oracle, despite what his most dedicated followers -- those who hung around his driveway, hoping for a glimpse of the reclusive author, or parsed his sentences on a million websites -- might believe.

But Salinger was a writer who refracted his perspective into language, producing work that was personal and profound. Between 1951 and 1965, he produced four uncommonly sensitive books of fiction -- "Catcher," "Nine Stories," "Franny and Zooey" and "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" -- before retreating to his home in Cornish and refusing to publish any more.

More from the LA Times article here.

Coffee Break Poem: Bad Timing (Destiempo)

Bad Timing

Our enthusiasm fostered these days that run
among the crowd of days all alike.
Our weakness placed on them
our last hope.
We used to think and time that should have been priceless
was passing us poorly
and these are, well, the coming years.

We were going to solve everything now.
Life was ahead of us.
It was best not to act rashly.

by Enrique Lihn
from The Dark Room and other poems;
New Directions Books, 1963


Nuestro entusiasmo alentaba a estos días que corren
entre la multitud de la igualdad de los días.
Nuestra debilidad cifraba en ellos
nuestra última esperanza.
Pensábamos y el tiempo que no tendría precio
se nos iba pasando pobremente
y estos son, pues, los años venideros.

Todo lo íbamos a resolver ahora.
Teníamos la vida por delante.
Lo mejor era no precipitarse.