Saturday, December 11, 2010
still more Oddities 7: A comic strip from the pen of Rasmus Dromstrom, who may have been seeing his own future.
I have been absorbing Howard Phillips Lovecraft's The Mound (one of his collaborations, with some minimal inspiration provided by Zealia Bishop), for the first time in many moons. One noteworthy item is the way in which HPL powerfully describes a state he had never been to -- Oklahoma, the feeling of dread mounting as the narrator crosses the plains. In fact, HPL excelled at vicarious travel descriptions, as seen in At the Mountains of Madness(Antarctica), The Shadow out of Time(Australia), Under the Pyramids(Egypt), and many of his other writings. The pitfalls of second- hand descriptions became known to me when I wrote something referring to Oslo years ago, before I had been there. I visualized a sort of sempiternally icebound city -- having been there twice in June now, I realize that is not the case.
Posted by Jonathan at 5:43 PM
Saturday, December 4, 2010
The Secret of Pombo: page 14, Oddities 7. I appreciate this page in particular; the unusual Nordic preoccupations and dreamscapes, and the collaborative works.
I have been absorbing a blank verse translation of The Aeneid, by VERGIL; Stunned by the compact adventures, the descents into the earth and prophecies. Also been re-reading an out-of-print classic: Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, by the mystic and philosopher P.D. Ouspensky. Tremendously restrained and elegant take on living one's life over again, with foreknowledge. Putting the glasses on the bust of Caesar.
Posted by Jonathan at 2:27 PM
Saturday, November 6, 2010
H.P. Lovecraft in Shinjiku
Fresh haircut, valise, split shoes, knees turning by truck of sweet potato vendor. Glass cages climb neon spray of strutted streets, night crashes against red lanterns in elbow-turn alleys.
Drunken students kick each other, waters curl in Avalonian bays, a sound truck blasts epistolarian apartment, Lovecraft with beer and Mild Sevens, sunset opening up steel riches and realms from a pedestrian bridge as dusk breathes over Ueno Park.
Chinhae City, South Korea
Posted by Jonathan at 12:42 PM
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Back in the previous century I had a class entitled "Glasnost and Perestroika in East European and Soviet Cinema;" during the Gorbachev era, of course. The class was held at UO in the lofty days of summer, and was piloted by the late Professor Albert Leong, a calm gentleman who favored a sort of Mao-looking tan jacket. Moscow does not believe in Tears was one of the movies...
October 2 I attended one full day of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland. Unfortunately, this is going to be Andrew Migliore's final festival production, apparently. The best presentation was Scott Connors' panel on Clark Ashton Smith.
Posted by Jonathan at 12:33 PM
Friday, September 10, 2010
Photo of my paternal great-grandparents Ludwig and Margaret Falk, and two of their children, my grandfather and great aunt. Ludwig had a fascinating life, beginning in Silesia in the nineteenth century, including a classic Germanic boarding school education, and a period spent studying law in Breslau. Later he immigrated to the United States, landing in New York, and enlisting in the U.S. Army (where he served eight years, attaining the rank of Sergeant). While in the army, he was sent to the Arizona Territory during the Apache Campaign of 1884-85. Apparently he wasn't blazing it out with Geronimo and his band of warriors, but the Wild West must have been an incredible period to have been in. He ultimately found himself in the Pacific Northwest, living in Vancouver, Washington (the result of a post to Fort Vancouver), Portland, Milwaukie, and Roseburg, Oregon. His wife was from Scotland, although the women of those days sometimes get shortchanged, not always leaving as much of a paper trail. I have a facsimile of a letter he wrote, regarding some matter concerning his military pension, in which he mentions a time of disrupted plans due to troops requisitioning trains during the Franco-Prussian war. At the same time, as with many of the dead, there is a deep mystery and silence remaining.
And Breslau/Wroclaw, and other parts of Silesia, Pomerania, and Central Europe -- what a place... Breslau is a palimpsest redolent of any number of contrary political systems which have ruled the place -- medieval monarchy, Piasts, Mongols (briefly)!, the Austrian Empire, parliamentary governments, the Third Reich, Communism, the current Polish Republic/EU member...
I had an incorrect understanding of the Hitler Bunker area in Berlin in my entry last year -- Vossstrase is indeed one of the boundaries of the site, with some vague concrete slabs showing in vacant lots. Most of the area is covered by apartment houses, with a convenient Starbucks or two close by.
Posted by Jonathan at 11:35 AM
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Recently Gary Coleman, Peter Orlovsky, Kazuo Ohno (a famous Butoh performer), and Dennis Hopper died closely together. I still fall on the romantic side of the scale, seeing a teleology here -- perhaps Dennis Hopper is directing the others in a film somewhere.
Currently reading Slaughterhouse-Five. So it goes.
Cover of Oddities 7 with an Argus-like being -- and inside cover . I had only a coverless version to work with on the previous scans -- had completely forgotten about the existence of the cover.
Posted by Jonathan at 1:48 PM
Friday, July 23, 2010
Recently I read Solzhenitsyn's Prussian Nights, his long poem rendering the brutal Russian advance through Northern Prussia in 1945... The book is in a bilingual edition, of which I read the English part.
steve sneyd quoting from "Cannon" -- that's going back a few years.
Posted by Jonathan at 8:14 AM
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
May 18 2010 I attended a talk by Ursula K. Le Guin, Gary Snyder, and Jerry Franklin, presenting their thoughts on (and some poems about) the Mt. St. Helens blast in 1980. First time I've seen Le Guin speak, third time for Snyder, second for Franklin. The woman who introduced the speakers (I didn't catch her name or position) seemed to irritate the California poet by associating him with Plato. Gary fired back by referring to Plato as the guy who would have excluded poets from his Republic (although I would qualify this aspect of The Republic with the redeeming parts such as the Cave Parable, the reincarnation panorama at the end, and so on).
Photo of the trio being awarded blankets, over the top of some guy's head.
There's a line in Cocteau's Orpheus, something like, "There's a riot at the poet's cafe," which would almost apply.
Posted by Jonathan at 2:13 PM
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Next pages -- the first two pages of a comic strip from Clark Dissmeyer. Twenty-four years after this work was done, he is still prolifically working. Plug "Poopsheet Foundation" into your search box and you can readily be led to some more recent material.
The typescript at the start of Tracks of the Beast makes it look EC- comics like.
Now reading Ibsen's Ghosts, and slowly going through Kershaw's enormous biography of Adolf Hitler, which may take a while.
Posted by Jonathan at 10:46 AM
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Ah yes.. found the copy of Oddities 7 I misplaced and will continue posting it, delayed and out of sequence. Unique work by Todd Mecklem, Billy Wolfenbarger, Denise Dumars, and others. I wonder what happened to Billy Wolfenbarger? Surrealist small press poet who was published quite a lot, in the 1980s and 70s as well, I believe. I met him once around 1988 in Eugene, Ore. -- he came to my little apartment, hand-rolled and smoked some cigarettes, conversed about Arthur Machen and H.P. Lovecraft; kind of a hippie aura about him. Never saw him again -- actually, I don't know if he's still alive, for that matter. I suppose he was in his 40s then. He and another poet from that era (whom Wolfenbarger mentioned), G. Sutton Breiding, seem to have given up writing and publishing, at the least.
An image of Joe E. Brown is on this sample of Oddities, Earthworm Tractors, forgotten, encrypted comic actors.
Been reading The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett -- really enjoy it for the most part, his attenuated, sly descriptions.
Posted by Jonathan at 3:56 PM
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
the him who was so Buddha nature rain white on Moon locking pond, a rabbit, a hunchback, furious unmet foxfire Appalachian not even close to Svidrigailov, or Dante from La Vita Nuova:
"Nine times now, since my birth, the heaven of light had turned almost to the same point in its own gyration, when the glorious Lady of my mind, who was called Beatrice by many who knew not what to call her, first appeared before my eyes. She had already been in this life so long that in its course the starry heaven had moved toward the region of the East one of the twelve parts of a degree; so that at about the beginning of her ninth year she appeared to me, and I near the end of my ninth year saw her. She appeared to me clothed in a most noble color, a modest and becoming crimson, and she was girt and adorned in such wise as befitted her very youthful age. At that instant, I say truly that the spirit of life, which dwells in the most secret chamber of the heart, began to tremble with such violence that it appeared fearfully in the least pulses, and, trembling, said these words: Ecce deus fortior me, qui veniens dominabitur mihi [Behold a god stronger than I, who coming shall rule over me]."
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Some years back I read Troublemaker and other Saints, by New York author Christina Chiu -- one can purchase the book online. I recall the prose as unique and thoughtful, dealing with such topics as alienation, fetishism, the return of Hong Kong to China, and so on. I got one email from Ms. Chiu after I sent her an email, one of those "glad you liked the book" sort.
Some time after the book was published to some notice, in 2001, Christina Chiu seemed to disappear, with no more writing published (as far as I know, anyway). Her website sat unchanged for years, then seemed to be usurped by some other entity.
That's always the choice one faces with creativity -- you can just walk away from it, as Samuel Morse did with painting. Still better to write one good book than none at all, though.
Where is Christina Chiu now? How about Anna May Wong?
More thoughts on the Silesian parsonage (the photo of which I posted 11/16/2008): My great-grandfather was actually probably raised (and the building probably stood) more in the Legnica/Liegnitz/Waldau area, and the photo I posted was probably taken in the 1860s or early 1870s, a bit earlier than I thought. This information is based on research two relatives of mine produced. Believe I shot straight through Legnica without stopping last year, only the dimmest association flickering in my mind at the passing of the railway sign.
Posted by Jonathan at 10:52 PM