Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Friday, 24 September 2010



File:COS 09.JPG

nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror
which paralyzes
have a nice day
said the barker
at the carnival of souls

File:COS 01.JPG

Carnival of Souls:
directed by Herk Harvey, 1962: screen captures by Sugar Bear, 2005

nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror/which paralyzes: Franklin D. Roosevelt, from first inaugural address, March 4, 1933


manik sharma said...

i pointedly like 'nameless' and 'unjustified'.....never before have i read of justice and terror in the same sentence....let alone associated.....but now they seem infallible(together) ....once i look at these eyes.....

Anonymous said...

I didn't fully appreciate today's posts until all three were up, which makes perfect sense. (That's the way art functions.) Reading them (taking intervals between) in sequence, first to last, brought something remarkable, real, profound and unsettling into the blurry thing I call focus.

I was initially excited both by the Roosevelt address and the amazing images that accompanied it, which like so many of the FSA pictures will stay with me forever and have definitely changed and enlarged my point of view about everything.

The speech is brilliant, beautifully written and relatively economical for a political speech. It propelled me into research because I wanted to know who wrote it.

And it definitely (horrifyingly, frighteningly ) brought current events to mind. Still, ultimately, I felt I was being gamed, deceived and shivved by an insincere, pseudo Central Planner. (Query: Is an insincere, pseudo Central Planner better or worse than a sincere Central Planner?) Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss. That's a lesson that certainly applies and obtains today (and will always apply and obtain). Check the real estate listings; compare dacha sizes. Determine who bought what for whom.

The two poems, Recession and Miedo, and their images shined light and added new views and perspective to President Roosevelt’s remarks.

Having read them, I’m more apprehensive (never studied Spanish and can’t render miedo in the correct alternative form) and feel more secure. (That's the way art functions.)

TC said...


Miedo just means fear; which is what was once famously said to be the only thing we have to fear.

I too wondered about the authorship of the speech. I am told by an expert close at hand that politicians are merely actors who ventriloquize other people's lines. (Didn't Derrida say something about that, in his address in Schenectady?)

Sam Rosenman, I think, had a hand in the speeches of that campaign period. And then and thereafter, one supposes, those grey ghostly eminences, Hopkins, Moley, Tugwell, Berle & co. probably also lent their edits. Yet then again... there is a power that comes from a larger general voice in that moment. Whether Roosevelt was uplifted by it or manipulating it or a bit of each, who can say.

billymills said...