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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Le dimanche de Pâques


Der Häuserbogen oder Inselstadt (The House-Bend, or Island City): Egon Schiele, 1915 (Sammlung Leopold, Wien)

Someone has frozen the many-storeyed houses

Under this planetarium
A brilliant silence like a foghorn

A perfect frieze before the complications
Arrive with dialogue and
The olives of daily life

This brown Barcelona paper
Thrown onto the blue stone of the day
Makes everyone stop leaving

Through the light in a glass of wine you see them
Under the hot sky of the glacier
Placing their bets then boarding the funeral train

Fenster (Windows)
: Egon Schiele, 1914 (Österreichische Galerie, Wien)

TC: Le dimanche de Pâques (Easter Sunday), Paris, April 1966, from The Sand Burg, 1966


ACravan said...

Waking up to this (actually, the dogs woke me up; they arrived at the side of the bed, nudging my hand and asking to be walked) was wonderful. I think it will be easy to regard each future silent morning as a perfect frieze before the complications arrive. The blue and brown Schiele not only complements the poem and its mood perfectly, but also resembles the view out our window into woods, although I’m happy to say that finally some green seems to be asserting itself also. It’s still silent here, although I think I hear some stirring. I’ve accomplished my first task (making brown coffee in our blue and slate-colored kitchen), but I’m completely unsure what the rest of Easter will bring. I hope it’s a lot less unsettling than last night’s dreams, the news stories about what has apparently become an annual Easter Eve violence ritual in Times Square (I can’t figure that out at all) and, weirdest of all, the Easter morning celebration of the power and agility of the Predator Drone aircraft I just saw on MSNBC before I switched off television for the day. (The words and pictures I saw were enough to last for at least a day and reminded me about what they say about how difficult it is to visually distinguish the pro-Qadaffi forces from their opponents; it’s becoming equally confusing to tell “right” from “left” on these shores.) Happy Easter to everyone here. Live Journal seems to be down again so I'm writing from my blog. I guess someone's launched an Easter DDOS attack. Curtis

TC said...

Curtis, good about the green.

Rain weeping down steadily through the pre-dawn hours here (so what else is new, it's been raining in the pre-dawn hours here since just before the beginning of time).

No Easter egg hunt on the sopping mould-green, alas.

No olives, many complications, daily life beginning, movements of the human and animal worlds going on around me.

This poem was written on the Passage Rauch, 11th arrondisement, chez Ron and Pat Padgett, one day, indeed it must have been Easter (for why else would I have given it this title?), when they were off to the races, Longchamps perhaps... or perhaps not... I am increasingly finding the details of memory odious, even as the larger picture looks more and more grand... and fuzzy.

The present moment however appears clear and sharp, your outline bright and distinct.

No tv here today, either. In fact our tv has been off since the new federal regulations which divided the cable households from the non cable households, though wait, I must confess we do still pick up MHZ Worldview, a smorgasbord of various international newscasts that like the rain weeps on steadily all through the livelong night... actually the Night of the Great Upheaval in Japan, surely one of the more terrifying nights in world history, was brought to us in a live nonstop NHK feed via that source. Gripping, momentous, horrifying, and as palpably real as last night's long slow bus ride home from downtown in the rain.

Anyway, good morning to your dogs and cats, birds, and parties of all other species not forgetting Jane and Caroline and of course yourself.

Julia said...

Happy Easter, Tom (from an Aregntinian in Uruguay right now)
I hope you have a nice day.

Ed Baker said...

I wasn't aware of what was going on in The City... so

I googgled it...

looks like we have birthed our own ...revolution...
time to bring in the Drones ?

went up to get eggs yesterday and found that the Jumbos' price jumped from $1.99 per dozen to $2.49 a dozen... must have something to do with Easter and egg dyeing/rolling

all of this is not-exactly an "haiku moment"


p.s. what ever became of that NYC annual Easter Parade with the fancy bonnets ?

TC said...

Corrections dept. (perhaps appropriately, in context ), first of all: RP informs me the race track was Auteuil.

Speedy are the tracks of yesteryear (said the old tired mudder).

Ed, charming bit of cultural anthropology, that. "A very strange... unusual.. evening," quoth the barmaid, much as if she were describing the experience of being on the ground during the firebombing of Dresden.

The gangsters on the city bus here last night were evidently not being initiated, for all their grand regalia of sashes, capes and flags. I got in an interesting three-way discussion with one of them and the busdriver on the subject of wisdom, experience and information.

This morning's paper tells us the fifth gun of the season has just been confiscated at the local high school. One must assume there are thousands not found for every one discovered. Who knows what is necessary to defend oneself, any more.

The nights are saturated with cops, guns and green mould.

Hey, it's America.

Julia, I would like to join you in Uruguay immediately.



"A perfect frieze before the complications/ Arrive" -- still going on after all (these years) . . . .

And but also as you note, "the present moment however appears clear and sharp. . . ."


light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, unknown bird calling from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

is not past, when from what
can be as such place

because it can, hear things
if they are, remains

grey-white clouds reflected in channel,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

TC said...

Steve, one fears the complications will not uncomplicate themselves until the present moment is past; but will not the next moment, however sharp and clear, then present a further complication, for every one present save that

unknown bird calling from branch -- ?

caaya said...

Pour l'anedocte, ce passage Rauch du 11e arrondissement,juste à 2 pas de chez moi, est ensoleillé acomme jamais : strangely, summer has already started here since the end of March, et le gris Paris est tout bleu aujourd'hui!
And today as always, a true pleasure to discover poems, paintings, photographies on your blog!!! Joyeuses Pâques!



Indeed, one moment's complications leading for a such time as we have into the next one's. . . .

bird = robin? (unseen)

Barry Taylor said...

'...each present reasserts the presence of the whole past which it supplants, and anticipates that of all that is to come ... by definition the present is not shut up within itself, but transcends itself towards a future and a past.' Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (1962)

Supplant: 'from Latin supplantare, to overthrow by tripping up, from SUB- + planta, sole of the foot' The present helping the past to its feet while sending it flying - good samaritan and mugger both at once.

Thanks for a poignant, and, where I am, timely post.

TC said...

Caaya, merci beaucoup. Et une agréable journée à vous. J'ai regardé un peu de football du nord de l'Angleterre, où, étonnamment, tout était baigné de soleil. (Pauvre Arsenal, perdu en les ombres.) Ici nous continuons de recevoir le cortège long des nuages ​​de pluie de fuite tout le chemin de la mer du Japon. Très étrange. Le monde est à l'envers, ou hors de son orbite, ou ce que vous voulez.

Steve, unseen birds are often the sweetest. It's the pleasure in not knowing.

It's that supplanting bit that sticks in the craw, or sinks one into the ground, Barry. I've been tripping up a lot, too -- broken leg in December & c. One foot in the grave, one on the ground, inexorably yet in fact only temporarily dragging the accumulated weight of the past forward into the present. The kicking and screaming part of that passage happily mostly inaudible, though when alone, one is appalled to find oneself talking to oneself. Only presents accepted must be the gifts of the gods, though when these benefactors retreat the hoof prints appear to be cloven. Must have been the deer wading in the spongey mould pond.

Barry Taylor said...

I didn't know about your accident, Tom - forgive me if my comment stirred uncomfortable reflections. As a stranger and johnny-come-lately, I suppose all I do know is the blog, the poems, the pictures, all speaking of sure- and fleet-footedness. Those are accumulating presents - rich gifts - too, and keenly appreciated here.


I second what Barry says, as someone who has only the words here to go on, I am sorry to hear about your accident and I am thankful for the compounding presents (pun intended) from you here on a daily basis. Fitting Easter evening, your voice rolls away the stone

TC said...

Barry, there are no strangers here; either that, or everyone is a stranger; in any case to me you are already a familiar; which is excellent indeed.

I probably shouldn't go on so about personal travails. Why embarrass everyone else with my own private embarrassments? How embarrassing!!

Vincent, you sly fox, it seems you have always been reading my mind.

I mean, about rolling away the stone, and all that.

Barry Taylor said...

Tom -
Today, woke up to find last week's - indeed yesterday's -Spring - has been recalled to the workshop. This is how time works in the English Midlands. As the cold bites again, I'm re-reading The Winter's Tale ready for teaching, and finding it again the last and first word on all these temporal, seasonal, generational things that have been getting under our skins in recent posts and comments:

When daffodils begin to peer,
With hey, the doxy over the dale,
Why then comes in the sweet o'the year,
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.

The wisdom of Autolycus, of course: conman, vagrant, pickpocket, trickster. And you can keep time contentedly at bay just feeling your way around the manifold brilliance of that final line.

TC said...


Indeed. And what would perhaps help keep Time contentedly at bay (or at least keep it from narrowing its sights too pointedly upon us) would be to disappear, holding hands with the doxy, over the dale. For Old Time's perpetually a-setting, as we were long ago usefully reminded by Herrick; and thus, given the amplitude of Its gravity, probably wouldn't be able to squeeze through that pastoral stile and pursue us into those blissful fields of perfect forgetting. Maybe, anyway, or at least not quite yet.

Ed Baker said...

perhaps ... our kin-dread spirit has travelled this road a-fore us?

(& this by way of the link to it on DW's site: Issa's Untidy Hut

another Issa piece another "must read" (event)

Issa's 'Chichi no Shuen Nikki' (which is en-toto, in English in

Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 39, No. 1. (Spring, 1984), pp. 25-54 (via J STOR

and Tom, I too had a stroke (July 15, 2003)
and a HA 1984 or 85

both events 'changed' my ...attitude some
what more-so

as huge as that first time with "what's her name" in the back seat of my 1955 Buick Special

"what does not change is the will to change"

TC said...


It's that will to change that keeps us going, I think. Funny thing, though, sometimes I get the sense there are people who find it easier to refuse to believe change is possible, so that they thus become able to refuse to see that something or someone is changing even if it's doing so about six inches in front of their face. The more I go along the more I think things are always going to be changing, some things changing so slowly it's difficult to notice, others so swiftly we can't keep up. Even the old death & taxes formula will have to change when the great epoch of The Donald begins; there will be no taxes at all on the rich, and anybody else who's still standing won't have a penny left to pay. That will leave only Death as unchanging. Without change, no one would ever have been born, and so no one would ever die, which must finally mean that the only thing that doesn't change is change itself. Is that like the only thing we have to fear is fear itself?

That too has changed lately. Now the only thing we have to fear is Everything. Which in a way makes every terrifying thing just a bit less terrifying, as it's no less frightening than the next thing, and so on.

I have dwelt these past few years quite a bit upon the fine art of spare-changing, by the way. I think there is so much change going on at any given moment in the universe, anyone who claims not to have some to spare for a fellow breather would have to be to fibbing.

The only thing to really fear is the fib itself.

By the way, I marvel sincerely at your demonstrable energy and strength, given that history you mention. You must be indeed blest, and this can only be a matter of earned spiritual reward. For me the deterioration of the circulatory system has been a one way street paved with heart slowing meds that slow down everything else as well, so that the whole universe seems to have its boots stuck in a permanent quagmire. But still things keep inexorably changing,

Ed Baker said...

that line I quoted was almost correct ..

as it was written:

"What does not change / is the will to change"it is the opening line of the second piece in

In Cold Hell, In Thicket
that "little" book wrapped in grey with little greenish leaves on it.....

and of ALL of CO's work which I inhaled entirely once-upon-a-dingle starrried
the only line of his that I know by he/art

and the last "line" (breath of THAT poem (The Kingfishers)


I pose you your question:

shall you uncover honey / where maggots are?

I hunt among stones "


first thing they did after my heart attack 1984 or five was to throw two different medications at it blood thinners Ace Inhibitor and Beta Blocker to keep

the first time that I nicked my finger I fucking bled for three days!

haven't taken a pill since ... and won't

after the stroke (2003) after I went home from the hospital with THREE "must have" prescriptions I never filled them:


TC said...

You see what I mean, Ed? Blest.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

One of Schiele's "cityscapes" has long hung in my complicated, untidy garret - I am mesmerized by his work. The frozen frieze, indeed.

Wonderful poem, Tom.

And the thread of the discussion to this post gives one hope where none seemingly is ... thank you for this beautiful little community of spirited souls.


PS Fittingly, the word verification for this comment is "undope" - I like to dream that these are not computer generated.

TC said...


Do you suppose history might disappear, if we get together and try to undream it?

I almost hate to dare to hope for anything, any more... but then again, at the same time, I refuse to unhope for the possible future of this, or really any actual, community... call it superstition if you will.

And ah, Schiele, speaking of spirited souls. Inexhaustible.

Always swell to hear you're there, by which I guess I mean here, in this real virtual city we are always making up as we tumble forward into it.

(I speculate Pittsburgh might be the sort of city to fit Schiele's vision, with those elbow-bends of the confluent rivers, unimpossibly real as they are.)

Ed Baker said...

difficult to find the 1999 Prestel Verlag (Pegasus Library) 's:

Egon Schiele Eros and Passion

one section titled: "Pain, theGreat Muse"

and a Schiele quote on the back cover:

"The erotic work
of art is sacred, too."

another section titled : "The Beauty of Ugliness"

I keep my copy of this book next to (my copy of)
Claude Roy's BALTHUS (Bulfinch, 1996)

Ed Baker said...

HEY via the computer E.S."s COMPLETE WORKS!

not as good as a real book but .. &.for those who "dig it"


anybody who has relatives via Nazi Germany knows the power/truth of this art

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Your memory of Pittsburgh is very much to the point, the point of what they like to call the confluence of the 3 rivers - Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio. And, yes, the winding twists and turns which squeeze themselves into a most unAmerican city, into a point, more European really in feel - Mencken likened it to Venice because of all of its bridges and waterways - really does give it a ramshackle feel.

In my own personal memory, this blends in quite well with the little clamming town of Highlands in NJ where I lived for 12 plus years and whose summer homes converted to year round residences, rather poorly, built one on top of the other (a la Pittsburgh) also always calls to mind Schiele's work.

Schiele's uncompromising (or perhaps unapologetic is a better word) portraits also haunt the mind. The hands always seem to leap out and I have a difficult time looking at the rest of the work.

I'm not sure we can undream history but the world now sometimes seems like Penelope to be weaving and unraveling the present, with our memories and our hopes and, yes, even our dreams. To begin weaving and unraveling again the next morn.

It's nice to be among folks to share the undream.


PS. Today's comment check word was "nests," which is again very appropriate. I seem to be treating this little electronic password check as an I Ching toss of the stalks. And it (or me or both) seem(s) to be responding.

TC said...

Don, I love ramshackle, it reminds me of reality, and indeed ramshackle is the very real reality in which we too live, here in our dilapidated and collapsing mould-bound edwardgoreyish medieval mansion under the redwood by the freeway feeder, aka Grey Gardens West.

My first and last visit to your town came in 1949 but I still remember it vividly. I confess that the site which most infatuated me was old Forbes Field; but then, upon my first visit to Detroit in that same era, the same went for old Briggs Stadium, so there you have my cultural Baedeker index in a nutshell.

I was secretly devastated to hear that The Deerhunter had actually been made in Cleveland, because in that period (c. 1978) I was still under the spell of one of my silly imaginary romances with places where I wasn't. During the We Are Family epoch I did a great many careful paintings of scenes from Three Rivers, portraits of the Great One, Roberto Clemente, Wilver Stargell (who actually came from here), Al Oliver (defrocked in the toot scandals, yet a batsman supreme, to rank with Big and Little Poison, the Waner Brothers, of another era), Manny Sanguillen, Don Blass (who mysteriously stopped being able to throw a strike, as if darkly enchanted), et al.

Indeed there came at one point a phantom "feeler" from the Pirates PR man, suggesting that my art work might be used in the Pirates yearbook, and I toiled hard under that delusion for long enough to do about, oh, twenty to twenty-five paintings.

Some were vast, some not. Some of the not-vast ones, if I recall this correctly, appeared in a book I did with the Figures c. 1970 called Baseball. This is a difficult era of memory for me because, in order to finance the colour-separations (there were about a dozen), I insanely allowed myself to be suckered into selling a Renaissance bride's dowry box painted lid which was about the only thing of value in Angelica's family to have survived the exodus from the Nazis. The "thing" in fact was probably worth millions, I flinch to even consider it, but much like the Indians who accepted two satchels of Jimmy-Junk (Carter-era souvenir stuff which you could pick up a dime a piece in Dulles in that period) for the Brooklyn Bridge....

PS About I-Chinging the wv's, I go in and out with that. For a while I thought the wv's were "meant", or "sent", and regarded them as oracular signs. But that was always on other people's blogs. There was no wv requirement here until maybe a year or so ago, when the spam flak became just too much to bear.

But to get straight to the point (which is what you always and I never seem to do!), your latest two wv's do definitely seem to me like important messages.

I guess I've gone past the river of no return - speaking of three rivers -- when it comes to being embarrassed about being a Blogger. Enough purple hearts will almost make a patriot out of one.