Friday, 24 June 2011

Learn by Heart this Poem of Mine - Gyorgy Faludy

Learn by heart this poem of mine;

books only last a little time

and this one will be borrowed, scarred,

burned by Hungarian border guards,

lost by the library, broken-backed,

its paper dried up, crisped and cracked,

worm-eaten, crumbling into dust,

or slowly brown and self-combust

when climbing Fahrenheit has got

to 451, for that's how hot

your town will be when it burns down.

Learn by heart this poem of mine.

Learn by heart this poem of mine.

Soon books will vanish and you'll find

there won't be any poets or verse

or gas for car or bus - or hearse -

no beer to cheer you till you're crocked,

the liquor stores torn down or locked,

cash only fit to throw away,

as you come closer to that day

when TV steadily transmits

death-rays instead of movie hits

and not a soul to lend a hand

and everything is at an end

but what you hold within your mind,

so find a space there for these lines

and learn by heart this poem of mine.

Learn by heart this poem of mine;

recite it when the putrid tides

that stink of lye break from their beds,

when industry's rank vomit spreads

and covers every patch of ground,

when they've killed every lake and pond,

Destruction humped upon its crutch,

black rotting leaves on every branch;

when gargling plague chokes Springtime's throat

and twilight's breeze is poison, put

your rubber gasmask on and line

by line declaim this poem of mine.

Learn by heart this poem of mine

so, dead, I still will share the time

when you cannot endure a house

deprived of water, light, or gas,

and, stumbling out to find a cave,

roots, berries, nuts to stay alive,

get you a cudgel, find a well,

a bit of land, and, if it's held,

kill the owner, eat the corpse.

I'll trudge beside your faltering steps

between the ruins' broken stones,

whispering "You are dead; you're done!

Where would you go? That soul you own

froze solid when you left your town."

Learn by heart this poem of mine.

Maybe above you, on the earth,

there's nothing left and you, beneath,

deep in your bunker, ask how soon

before the poisoned air leaks down

through layers of lead and concrete. Can

there have been any point to Man

if this is how the thing must end?

What words of comfort can I send?

Shall I admit you've filled my mind

for countless years, through the blind

oppressive dark, the bitter light,

and, though long dead and gone, my hurt

and ancient eyes observe you still?

What else is there for me to tell

to you, who, facing time's design,

will find no use for life or time?

You must forget this poem of mine.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Friedrich Strasse: John Stezaker

I was about to post something about my recent trip to the John Stezaker exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery but then realised my friend Friedrich Strasse has already done a far more thorough job of it than I would have managed.

Friedrich Strasse: John Stezaker: "As anyone who knows me personally will know, collage and photomontage are things for which I have quite a considerable penchant. People lik..."

I am a huge fan of Stezaker's work and this exhibition is inexplicably beautiful. If I was prone to gushing, which of course I am not, I would exclaim that in many ways, for me, these works constitute absolute perfection. I walked round 3 times and am going back next week.

The only part FS doesn't mention is the Third Person Archive... hundreds of tiny stamp-sized fragments of larger illustrations that isolate the minuscule figures that feature as "extras" in larger scenes, when the more prominent action is elsewhere. Completely captivating and sort of life-affirming. Alright I'm embarrassing myself now so here you go, if you have 30 quid go geddit.


I just spent an entire January sunk deep in the magic of Twin Peaks. It enlightened my life then left me exhausted and devastated. Took me a few days to fully recover... anyway. There's enough obsessive fan sites and blogs which will tell you why it must be seen. But for me, the best bits were often the distinctly unsettling dancing scenes... completely blew me away.... so here is a little compilation of those glorious characters getting their grooves on...

Of course, these are just "appropriated" from YouTube but I am considering doing something with this... something along the lines of Christian Marclays video collages...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

In desperate need of "Bookmen’s Bedlam: An Olio of Literary Oddities"


Anthropodermic bibliopegy: the art of book binding with human skin. What a wonderful thing!

Joan Lyons - The Gynaecologist

I like it. This is what Joan has to say....

"Fanciful historic gynecological representations of women are juxtaposed with a contemporary patient / doctor interview, which reveals the authority a traditionally male medical culture holds in describing and prescribing for an individual body; in this case female. Aspects of the text will be familiar to most women. This book was based on several years of research and was in danger of becoming a ponderous document before I edited it down to what I know best—an artist's book. It echos the structure of historical printed books, with its small text block and illuminated margins."

Richtung 2000 - Made in Germany, 1972

Es sieht herrlich, aber ich spreche kein Deutsch! Ist das die Zukunft?!