Friday, December 15, 2017

the miraculous comes so close


Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
Death’s great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?

By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.

And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined, dirty houses –
something not known to anyone at all,

but wild in our breast for centuries. 

image: here

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Sound Of Silence

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
– Bertolt Brecht, motto to Svendborg Poems, 1939

Monday, November 6, 2017

Reimagining Monuments

Krzysztof Wodiczko. “Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection” (2012) a project in Union Square, New York, NY sponsored by More Art (image courtesy of the artist)

Sunday, October 29, 2017


One thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until the year 2114. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the one hundred year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future. 

The Future Library has nature, the environment at its core — and involves ecology, the interconnectedness of things, those living now and still to come. It questions the present tendency to think in short bursts of time, making decisions only for us living now. The timescale is one hundred years, not vast in cosmic terms. However, in many ways the human timescale of one hundred years is more confronting. It is beyond many of our current lifespans, but close enough to come face to face with it, to comprehend and relativise.

The Future Library

Monday, September 25, 2017

measured response to a clear threat

 Autocracies work by plunging citizens into a state of low-level dread. Most of the powers commandeered by the autocrat are ceded without a fight, and the power of imagination, the claim to a past and a future are the first to go. A person in a state of dread lives in a miserable forever present. A person in a state of dread is imminently controllable. The choice to protest, on the other hand, is the choice to take control of one’s body, one’s time, and one’s words, and in doing so to reclaim the ability to see a future.


‘Potential Futures / Black Receipts’

"...a photo of the best thing I saw on the internet today." 

Azikiwe Mohammed

see also: Portfolio by Azikiwe Mohammed

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The weapon

Cannupa Hanska, “The Weapon is Sharing (This Machine Kills Fascists)” (2017)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spell To Be Said Against Hatred

Until each breath refuses “they,” “those,” “them.”
Until the Dramatis Personae of the book’s first page says “Each one is you.”
Until hope bows to its hopelessness only as one self bows to another.
Until cruelty bends to its work and sees suddenly “I.”
Until anger and insult know themselves burnable legs of a useless chair.
Until the unsurprised unbidden knees find themselves nonetheless bending.
Until fear bows to its object as a bird’s shadow bows to its bird.
Until the ache of the solitude inside the hands, the ribs, the ankles.
Until the sound the mouse makes inside the mouth of the cat.
Until the inaudible acids bathing the coral.
Until what feels no one’s weighing is no longer weightless.
Until what feels no one’s earning is no longer taken.
Until grief, pity, confusion, laughter, longing see themselves mirrors.
Until by “we” we mean I, them, you, the muskrat, the tiger, the hunger.
Until by “I” we mean as a dog barks, sounding and vanishing and sounding and
              vanishing completely.
Until by “until” we mean I, we, you, them, the muskrat, the tiger, the hunger,
               the lonely barking of the dog before it is answered.

Letter to America, Jane Hirshfield

Friday, July 21, 2017

For my brother, John. July 5, 2017

Do you think you will keep your life, or anything else you love? But no.— Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek 

What the Living Do

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through
the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,
I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,
I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless:
I am living. I remember you.

Marie Howe

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

a Form of Refusal

“…even in his catatonic or anorexic state, Bartleby is not the patient, but the doctor of a sick America.”
—Gilles Deleuze, “Bartleby; or, the Formula”

Proposing Painting as a Form of Refusal

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Night gathers, and now my watch begins

"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. […] I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come." Game of Thrones

MORE: Resistance 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kara Walker reimagines

"Not wanting to listen to the news on inauguration day, artist Kara Walker painted. The result is a Trumpian take on Emanuel Leutze’s famous work “Washington Crossing the Delaware”, a copy of which is on display at the Met Museum." here 

Monday, February 13, 2017


"I believe it is never too soon to issue a warning about the dangers ahead."*




MORE: Do one. Do them all. But do something.

"99 Ways to Fight Trump"

How We Can Fight Trump | The Nation

Nine Ways to Oppose Donald Trump - The New Yorker


just saying...

A few months ago I thought the slaughter of the Civil War, and the agitation of the violent Abolitionists who helped bring it on, were evil. But possibly they had to be violent, because easy-going citizens like me couldn’t be stirred up otherwise. If our grandfathers had the alertness and courage to see the evils of slavery and a government conducted by gentlemen for gentlemen only, there wouldn’t have been any need of agitation and war and blood.

It becomes clear that the installation of a fascist government will not be a revolution or coup d'état; rather, the groundwork for fascism has already been constructed in the ideological worldviews of the majority of Americans.  The riposte to the claim that “It Can’t Happen Here” is “It already has.”
It Can’t Happen HereSinclair Lewis 
After all, Germany was a state where the law rested on a firm foundation, where a majority in parliament was opposed to Hitler, and where every citizen believed that “his liberty and equal rights were secured by the solemnly affirmed constitution.”