|October 12, 2012|
Stone Garden, Kazuyuki Ohtsu
by Yahia Lababidi
Poetic Ideal: a language scrubbed clean by silences.
If we listen, the air is heavy with poems, ripe for plucking.
Branches are roots, too, in the sky.
Perhaps it is not poetry that purifies the language of the tribe, but Silence.
The true poet, or mystic, is not too proud to admit that, in matters great and small, they cannot proceed until they receive further instructions.
One never becomes a poet, except when they are writing a poem.
Awoke, with an unseen
reel of dream film
I’d found wandering
And, now wondering
where does one develop
such unreal pictures?
Love in the digital age: I hang on your every tweet.
There’s nothing virtual about connection.
Virtual world, real emotions in real time.
Social media: the art of living out loud.
Most of us lead double lives, nowadays, online.
Social media might make us feel less lonely, but it also makes it more difficult to be alone.
A watched tweet is never retweeted.
Perhaps, we are negotiating
not just with one, but always two
-who share the same soil, it is true-
one who lives, another who is dying
A shift in balance begins to take place
once a love of silence is confessed
its roots run deep, its shade a world
and her fruits impossible to forget
From the first, we surrender something
and, gradually, consent to be emptied
transfixed by so much soundless music
drunk and sated through lipless mouths
What use to name this silent master
preparing us for dying or the Divine
(I’m not sure there is a difference)
but know in embracing it, we let go.
How modulated the voice of the hours – from dawn’s tremulous hope to dusk’s winsome ache…
The great whale hunt of the spirit life is also pursued in dreams.
The play of ideas is eternal. We merely shuffle onstage, and off, to introduce them to one another.
Fear of ridicule keeps us mediocre.
We can easily become prisoners of certain memories; remember, there’s freedom in forgetting.
How the present and future are always shuffling the cards called past.
This is the symbolic life, the previous and the next are the real.
Cover photograph by Baz Masters
About the Author:
Yahia Lababidi is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and the author of three books: Signposts to Elsewhere (aphorisms) Trial by Ink (essays) and Fever Dreams (poetry). Most recently, Lababidi collaborated on a collection of literary dialogues, titled: The Artist as Mystic. For more information, please visit his website
Inherent Vice’s Two Directions
The jokes certainly strike one as sophomoric and the latter one as clichéd, further below Pynchon’s intelligence than one would like to think he would stoop, at least in print. Discounting them and moving on, or throwing the book across the room as Parker half implies we should do, however, would be to lose sight of “that high magic to low puns”.
Auden, Larkin and Love
I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb” contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”
Plato, Our Comrade?
Not surprisingly, there have already been critics of Badiou’s translation. The first is that his translation breaks the formal rules of translation to such a degree that the original meaning of the text has lost its significance. But this critique is inadequate at face value because Badiou’s hyper-translation is forthright in its intention of taking Plato’s concepts and modifying them into his own lexicon.
You may also like :
Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen - To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery (who killed himself in 1978), I've always found this image very appropriate. It describes with precision and grace a terrible gesture; it highlights the movement, inscribes it in time. It emphasizes, in particular, its slowness: the hand must be raised – it is consciously raised – and then it falls and hits.
Always attach yourself to the best master and, following him everywhere, it would be unnatural for you not to take on his manner and his style’ writes Cennino Cennini in his ‘Libro dell’arte’ at the end of the fourteenth century. What is this style? Perhaps no more than the artists’ hallmark that can be acquired by others.
Herb and Harry were the names of our two steers, the one a Hereford, the other a Holstein. They did not do much but stand, bovine and stoic, from one day to the next. They sculpted strange rolling shapes into the salt lick with their fat blue tongues, and delighted, with minimal expression, in the delivery of fresh hay. My father liked to joke that they were 'out standing in their field', and they were. They excelled in matters of bovinity, one could not dream of surpassing them.