Sunday, February 24

self-referentially incomplete busted-love-poem

signal-to-noise
and the scale of the problem
lines on the page,
letters and the shapes
of faces

there's a poem in this
if i could find the words
the way i could never
find the tune

you always knew
just where to look
more than i could
ever easily do

i'll admit to failure
but defeat is harder
i've lost as many battles
as i've ever fought
but the war it seems to me
is eternal

and anyway i've lost track
of whether we were enemies
or comrades in arms

either i suppose is better
than the indifference which
hovers nearby
and claims us soon enough.

Friday, February 22

writing one-liners stoned

I wanted a quick visual of changetimes for a bunch of files.

ls -l | cut -c27-33 | sort -M | uniq -c | perl -pe 's/^\s+(\d+) (.*)$/$2 . "*" x $1/e'

...well, it works in Bash with GNU utilities, anyway. In a particular directory.

Nov 16 ***********************************
Nov 17 *********
Nov 18 ****
Nov 19 *******
Nov 20 ***************
Nov 21 ******
Nov 22 **********
Nov 23 ********
Nov 24 ***********************
Nov 25 ******
Nov 26 ***************
Nov 27 ******************************
...

In a more coherent moment, it occurred to me that all the date info I'm looking for already lives in a database. But you can't tell me that SQL which starts off like this is any less ugly:

SELECT date_added FROM products

Can you?

Dammit.

monday, february 18

reading montaigne on the bus

four hundred and some years on,
a 50 year old translation,
and what has really changed?

i guess men are generally less concerned these days
with the conduct of siege warfare

and though death is still a basic problem
composure in the face of torture
and bloody exit scenes built on edged weapons
don't have so much immediacy on the american domestic front

(we've got people hard at work on this one, and let's
be fair — they've made great strides
in the realm of foreign policy)

sunday, february 17

why is only what
mapped across many frames
whether this knowledge
is liberation or paralysis,
at a high enough resolution
the only reason is the thing itself

they gave us bad maps and
said we have shown you the territory
lying even to themselves

we've known this, most of us
yet i think the weak still choose
to see meaning rather than fact
in the pain they give and take
because they know that the strong
believe in possibility

and it's a sense of possibility that really kills.

saturday, february 16

i think we frequently value artists
for our perception of what they are
more than it matters to us what they have done

some few accumulations of the creative act
seem to stand on their own even while
knowledge of their authors becomes the cartoon
backscatter of history
most work of any power
vanishes or becomes incomprehensible

examples multiply
only to fall away in series
ars longa is seldom true
even on the scale of a single life
and it approaches certainty that you will
never know the work, let alone the name
of the greatest artist who ever lived

modern celebrity and its discontents,
the cheap excess of criticism and theory
all the failures of humanity expressed on
the cover of a rolling stone
these are the pathological index of
purely human motivation, need, & hope

actor, singer, poet, politician —
if we love or desire in the realm of art
if we feel kinship or identity
even in the dead electric dreaming of this age
it's often the unborn moment
the trajectory
the possible act
that move and shake us
not the shape of a single artefact
but the movement of persons

and perhaps the idea, however illusory
of ourselves as motion and making,

shapers and seers of a world where
we're neither numb nor entirely bound
to the order that is given.

saturday, february 9

the cellular telephone is a powerful innovation
you can sit by one while it doesn't ring
just about anywhere you feel like
from here i can see all the way to the
front of this half-empty display case
for boilerplate boulder eccentricity

headlights slide behind plateglass reflection
crosstalk conversation stutters
and clatters over me
here's the unity and identity
of all things laid bare
everything is hollow;
eggshells and empty beer cans

i can hear tires crunching
through the crusted snow outside
some house in nebraska
in an hour the keg will arrive
the county cops a little later

i hear the doppler drone of cicadas in the kansas summer,
broadcast football and lipsynch pop tearing at
shattered speakers, the slide of denim on skin
in some unexpected quiet instant,
the grind and shuffle of sheep eating corn
off the surface of a wooden trough
with eyes deader than disco used to be

dead as lottery tickets under glass counters,
the smell of gasoline near twilight
gravel road dust scuff under my shoes
county fairs, hospital floors
busted chairs and broken skin
cold coffee cupholder crumbs
fluorescent lighting
liquid crystal displays
dirty carpet
concrete

and this fucking poem.

sunday, february 3

i picked up a hitchhiker the other morning
his name was peter and he said he was on a walk of
faith.

before i dropped him at the sacred heart of mary
catholic church and he hit me up for change, he
prayed for a bit. send brennen dreams and visions
in the coming days he said.

i gave him five bucks. what the hell.