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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Rojo (Red Garland)


File:Red Fuji southern wind clear  morning.jpg

Red drops his hands on the keyboard

And they fall exactly into place
Abstract particulars

File:Box car DSSA 18052.jpg

Red boxcars carrying red freight


Oxides of chromium that sing

File:3 šveda.jpg

Red interpreting Bird's Constellation
You will hear a lot of notes racing
Through a charged or carved space
Block chords omitting the root
All constant with the sound laconic


The definition of articulate

Tempo arithmetic

Lights clinking in glass cubes to create
Quiet trick semaphores
As the red train of night rushes back
To fade

File:Pompejanischer Maler um 70 001.jpg

Like stains of pomegranate seeping into wood or paper


Into the great vacancy of the past


File:20100901-06a PR 207.JPG 

 Red Fuji (southern wind clear morning): Hokusai, from 36 Views of Mount Fuji, c. 1820: facsimile of wood block made c. 1930, image by Petrusbarbygere, 2005
Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway boxcar, Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin: photo by Sean Lamb, 2004
Chromium (VI) oxide: photo by BXXXD, 2005
Sveda (Uvijek švedi ali nešto bliže): photo by Stefano Grgic, 2008
Redredred: image by Stannered. 2007
Still life with glass bowl of fruit: Pompeii painter, ~70 AD (Museo Archeologicao Nazionale, Naples)
Red wall: photo by Moralist, 2007
C. I. Pigment Red 207, a mixed crystal phase of quinacridone and 4,11-Dichloroquinacridone: photo by Hardcoreraveman, 2010


TC said...

For those who'd like to hear him, a dash or two of Red:

A Portrait of Red


Lally said...


JforJames said...

Stevens' poem "Large Red Man Reading" is a favorite of mine.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Beautiful, Tom ... love Red, love the phrase
"Lights clinking in glass cubes"


leigh tuplin said...

Everything about this ,Tom, is just great - so essentially red.

The last picture sums up a rarely experienced sense of red for me. The 'Ultras' of any european city, though i am really referring to an experience of seeing Juve visit Inter.. both frightening and truly life affirming all at once - so beautiful in its own heightened blood red way.

TC said...


Many thanks.

TC said...

Thanks for pointing us thusward, James. Seem to recall a letter of Stevens' singling this one out as a favourite of his, too

Wallace Stevens: Large Red Man Reading

There were ghosts that returned to earth to hear his phrases,
As he sat there reading, aloud, the great blue tabulae.
They were those from the wilderness of stars that had expected more.

There were those that returned to hear him read from the poem of life,
Of the pans above the stove, the pots on the table, the tulips among them.
They were those that would have wept to step barefoot into reality,

That would have wept and been happy, have shivered in the frost
And cried out to feel it again, have run fingers over leaves
And against the most coiled thorn, have seized on what was ugly

And laughed, as he sat there reading, from out of the purple tabulae,
The outlines of being and its expressings, the syllables of its law:
Poesis, poesis, the literal characters, the vatic lines,

Which in those ears and in those thin, those spended hearts,
Took on color, took on shape and the size of things as they are
And spoke the feeling for them, which was what they had lacked.

With this marvelous poem I can't help identifying with the POV of the "would haves".

Alas for them, though, they are on the wrong side.

In the history of colour as figure and fate, red is associated with the haves, like the Large Red Man, who have life. In Hebrew tradition the name of Adam, the original man, means "red", also "alive". Even now in some Slavic tongues the denotative of "red" is "living" or "alive". The colour of blood, of life, of the Large Red Man and the poem of life.

TC said...


Thanks very much. I can still dig Red.

I understand there was a period in there with the Davis band after the album Workin', the time of 'Round About Midnight and Milestones, a phase for Red of falling out of favour with Miles, who was of course not exactly the kindest person on earth, and who was always looking for the New Thing... in that period, in Red's last sessions with the band he found his solos getting mysteriously dropped out and the solo spots going instead to the new favourite in the band, the bassist Paul Chambers.

Red still clinks in an ice cube. (Though I believe he died in '84 or so.)

History clunks along.

TC said...


This maybe brings us back to our previous conversation in the wake of "Tyson: Savage God".

Earlier in the evening before seeing your comment I had been reflecting along the same lines on the "Ultras". They are the blood, the life; where they go, there is the bloodshed, sometimes the death.

When I first saw the photo I thought it was the Atléti crowd in the Jose Calderon. A click when I saw the hoardings and recognised it as Paranaense. Something generic in these cultural displays. The meaning of "colours", in this context, amplifies the full sense of it.

(Thinking yesterday of the open letter from previous Liverpool owner to the Texan villains of the piece, requesting they unload the carcass while it still has a heartbeat, and saw in mind another sea of red there, the neveralonewalking colours in the Kop.)

Last weekend the great Diablos Rojos of Toluca won another Mexican championship, winning the vuelta of the gran final amid a raging sea of red, in their infernal Caldera in the montaña. It looked a bit like this.



Thanks for this, makes me think too of Barnett Newman's Vir Heroicus Sublimis in NY MOMA (photograph of Johnny standing in front of it is still in kitchen windowsill, another of me holding him next to Oona on the fridge, so I see it every day). . . . Not red but some orange here, about two hours ago ---


grey light coming into sky above blackness
of ridge, orange circle of moon by branch
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

appear more real than things,
experience of position

more or less, interval being
nothing, “lost formula”

sunlit white cloud against top of ridge,
blue whiteness of sky across from point

TC said...


Pondered the Newman at length o'ernight while doing this, alas it did not make "the cut".

(His ghost should not feel offended, neither did the official brand label swatch of the Labour Party UK.)

There are reds everywhere, thankfully.

I was going to put the attributions in a relieving blue, but "quailed" at the last minute. Thus grateful to have this glancing flash of blue from you. Along with the blood orange moon circle. (Well, I guess I brought the blood myself...)

BTW/ "lost formula" weirdly recalls the time Dan Rather was mugged in Central Park, and his assailants addressed to him this question:

"What is the frequency, Kenneth?"



Yes, that BN red almost too much -- I can appreciate why it "didn't make the cut." What was that "What is the frequency, Kenneth" question about, I wonder?

TC said...

Dan wondered, too, it seemed.


Yes, no doubt . . . .

TC said...

But the "upside" was, Dan got a recording contract out of it.

leigh tuplin said...

Tom, there is something so primal about that 'sea', and indeed it does relate to 'Tyson: Savage God'. Adrenaline as sweat, rare yet a palpable essence.