Word of the Day-2


v.i. To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.


A leaf was riven from a tree,
“I mean to fall to earth,” said he.

The west wind, rising, made him veer.
“Eastward,” said he, “I now shall steer.”

The east wind rose with greater force.
Said he: “’Twere wise to change my course.”

With equal power they contend.
He said: “My judgment I suspend.”

Down died the winds; the leaf, elate,
Cried: “I’ve decided to fall straight.”

“First thoughts are best?” That’s not the moral;
Just choose your own and we’ll not quarrel.

Howe’er your choice may chance to fall,
You’ll have no hand in it at all.


Maxime le Forestier

“Avec ce que j’ai fait pour toi”,
Disait le père,
“Je sais, tu me l’as dit déjà.”,
Disait l’enfant.
“J’en demandais pas tant.
Je suis là pour
Tourner autour
De cette terre
Tant que je suis vivant.”
“Vivant, qui t’a donné la vie ?”,
Disait le père.
“Si c’est pour la passer ici”,
Disait l’enfant,
“Tu as perdu ton temps.
Si les fumées,
Dans les rues fermées,
Te sont légères,
Moi j’ai besoin du vent.”

“Et si tu venais à mourir ?”,
Disait le père.
“On est tous là pour en finir”,
Disait l’enfant,
“Mais peu importe quand.
Je ne suis né
Que pour aller
Dessous la terre
Et l’oublier avant.”

“Nous, on vivait pour quelque chose.”,
Disait le père.
“Vous êtes morts pour pas grand chose.”,
Disait l’enfant.
“Je n’en ai pas le temps
Si, pour garder
Les mains liées,
Il faut la guerre.
Moi je m’en vais avant.”

“Ce monde, je l’ai fait pour toi.”,
Disait le père.
“Je sais, tu me l’as dit déjà.”,
Disait l’enfant.
“J’en demandais pas tant.
Il est foutu
Et je n’ai plus
Qu’à le refaire
Un peu plus souriant
Pour tes petits enfants.”

Word of the Day-1


adj. Afflicting us with greater or less frequency. That, however, is not the sense in which the word is used in the phrase “occasional verses,” which are verses written for an “occasion,” such as an anniversary, a celebration or other event. True, they afflict us a little worse than other sorts of verse, but their name has no reference to irregular recurrence.


Passive Vampire by Gherasim Luca

What secret was trying to pierce through this hallucinatory and hermetic language?” asks poet Ghérasim Luca in his long-lost classicThe Passive Vampire. The book, first published in French in 1945 by Les Éditions de l’Oubli in Bucharest, is chimerical and delirious yet remarkably concrete in its lewdness. Blending personal confession, prose poetry, meditation, verbal games, catalogues, and hymns to desire, this hybrid book is a Surrealist carnival that taps satanic and psychic rituals. Bawdy and bizarre, it also evokes the era’s dark history, including anti-Semitic pogroms. Writing of the earthquake that devastated Bucharest on November 10, 1940, Luca internalizes the catastrophe: “The supreme defense of one’s own being in the most terrifying moment of panic can only be followed by an erotic release in the form of auto-eroticism.”

Divided into two sections, The Passive Vampire begins with “The Objectively Offered Object,” an ironic how-to manual for creating Surrealist art objects, or OOOs. Pictured in eighteen illustrations that frustrate efforts to discern fine detail, the OOOs manifest the mystique that often surrounds Surrealist art objects. In a magic ritual intended to effect change in the artist’s relationship with others, Luca transforms found objects into vessels of erotic and psychic communication. Thus, he offers his friend Hélène Diurnal a Nocturnal Displacement, “a ball with nails hammered into it” (the ball “symbolizing testicles”), to which Hélène responds with an object of her own: a partially clenched hand grasping a lightbulb and laid on a piece of velvet (symbolizing “the castrating dish of Salomé”). The Letter L, an antique female doll Luca modified as an OOO for André Breton, is disturbingly misogynistic. Riddles are pasted onto the doll’s naked torso and leg. A second doll’s head is attached in place of her genitals, with razor blades stuck in her (sex) head and one slicing her eye (recalling Buñuel and Dalí’s 1929 cult film, Un Chien Andalou). Luca’s drive, as he explains in part 2 of the book, is “genital and pre-genital, erotic and criminal, black, ferocious, satanic.” Amid this carnality is a lyric burst of love: “Déline. I sit beside Déline, I stroke Déline, I kiss Déline, I leave with Déline, I make love to Déline.” This moment of tenderness is juxtaposed with the sudden, unexplained end of the relationship; by the concluding lines, Déline is but an “indecipherable ghost of love.”

Praised by Gilles Deleuze as “a great poet among the greatest,” Luca is well served here not only by Krzysztof Fijałkowski’s faithful translation but also by the elegant introduction, which provides fascinating biographical details and deftly situates the book “as a missing piece in the history of international surrealism.” As a member of the Romanian Surrealist Group (active 1940– 47), Luca coauthored the group’s principle text, Dialectics of the Dialectic (1945), before leaving Bucharest in 1952 for Paris, where he collaborated with Jean Arp, Max Ernst, and others. In 1994, at eighty, Luca took his own life by jumping into the Seine after being evicted from his apartment (having lived in Paris for forty-two years without papers). Curiously, this violent death was anticipated by a text he wrote in 1945, La Mort morte (Dead Death), which contains five fictional suicide accounts and notes. Luca’s death-haunted vision is disarmingly defiant (“the deepest moments of depression cannot conquer my life”), channeling the trauma of a generation into convulsions of surreal beauty that resonate with the anxieties and tragedies of our own troubled century.

Irene Gammel, http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/016_01/3558


Saudade: in the sense of a sorrow not for what is dead, but for what has disappeared. A mood of melancholic yearning widely regarded as typically Portuguese. Connected with the myth of the lost king Sebastian, whose return is still awaited.

Charlie – 1

Stage of Romantic Progress//What you need to be able to spell to reach this stage:

A quick kiss//Brevity
A long kiss//Protracted
A kiss on the sofa//Osculatory
Holding hands//Ambulatory
A weekend together//Impassioned
A week together//Inexhaustible
A lifetime together//Philoprogenitive; Recondite

Spellbound by James Essinger

Daido Moriyama

streetlight cables carousel shinjuku building girl eye moriyama2 a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q