The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap. - Novalis

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan

"Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan" is on display at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery through July 31 and will travel to the Meadows Museum from September 11, 2011-January 8, 2012 and the San Diego Museum of Art February 18-May 27, 2012.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Silencing Speech

"... given our current environment — of oppression, revolution, intervention, war, pseudo-war and ever-present human power relations — it is worthwhile bearing in mind the dangers of the manipulation of language. What may begin as a temporary method to circumvent reasoned discussion and debate for the sake of a prized political goal may very well end up permanently undermining the trust required for its existence." - Jason Stanley in the NY Times - The Ways of Silencing

Though the kinds of silencing involved are different, this reminds me of Uwe Porksen's book Plastic Words: The Tyranny of a Modular Language that Ivan Illich has talked and written much about.

Sea Birds

Eastern Egg Rock, Maine

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Under the Hammer: Iconoclasm in the Anglo-American Tradition
James Simpson

This is a truly remarkable book. I chanced upon it in the Colby College art library and couldn't put it down. Here is a decription of the book by the author on ROROTOKO. Read this review from Paul Rogers

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oldest American Art

A roughly 13,000-year-old mammoth bone inscribed with an image of a mammoth is the real deal.

Photograph courtesy Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institute
Christine Dell'Amore
National Geographic News
Published June 22, 2011

The Americas' earliest known artist was an Ice Age hunter in what is now Florida a new study confirms.

Alcheringa Archive

Alcheringa Archive: A Journal of Ethnopoetics, 1970-1980

from Jacket2:

"Reissues is excited to launch an online archive of Alcheringa, the trailblazing ethnopoetics journal edited by Dennis Tedlock and Jerome Rothenberg through Boston University from 1970 to 1980. Commisioned for Internet distribution by Dennis Tedlock and Jon Cotner in 2010, with site design and information architecture by Danny Snelson, the Alcheringa archive presents a robust network of resources including searchable PDFs, high-resolution images, rapid magazine browsing, and full information on each issue and disc insert of this essential journal operating at the crossroads of translation, ethnography, performance, and contemporary poetics. Download searchable PDFs and high-fidelity MP3s in the Reissues sidebar or navigate the archival interface at"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vivian Maier - Street Photography

Watch the video:

Then take a look at the new Website
which is so full of breath-taking images that it 
is almost literally unbelievable.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


From Al Jazeera:
It's Much Worse Than You Think - June 16, 2001.

And on CNN:

Of Nematology

This is Caenorhabditis elegans. And here is a fabulous diagram of (part of) this creature's nervous system. Don't miss the article:

In Tiny Worm, Unlocking Secrets of the Brain

They've come a long way since I last taught undergraduates about these things.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Symposium of the Whole

Rothenberg, Jerome, and Diane Rothenberg. Symposium of the Whole: A Range of Discourse Toward an Ethnopoetics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.

This is long out of print and I had thought completely unavailable, but I am delighted to see that there are now copies used on

This is a terrific book - maybe a great book. At least it seemed that way to me many years ago. The table of contents is itself a guide to the literature and a veritable history. It can be seen here on Google books 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Olson at Goddard


Foreword by Basil King. Edited with an Introduction by Kyle Schlesinger.
Paperback. 112 pages. Cuneiform Press, 2011. $16.95 USDOrder from Cuneiform via Dale Smith HERE.

"In the spring of 1962, poet Charles Olson descended upon an experimental college in rural Vermont to read from The Maximus Poems and The Distances, and to lecture on Herman Melville. His captivating performance sparked lively debates with the audience on the nature of myth, history, etymology, narrative, knowledge, and sexuality. CHARLES OLSON AT GODDARD COLLEGE is an enthralling and indispensable annotated transcript that celebrates the intersection of Olson's poetics and a hopeful moment in American education."

This volume is on its way to me. More when it arrives. Audio files of the lectures can be found at PennSound HERE. I found these among the most interesting of his recorded lectures - highly recommended.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Slow Food, Slow Poetry

From Big Bridge 14:

Slow Poetry: An Introduction
by Dale Smith

Pondering the meaning of the "movement" he started thinking about last summer, Dale Smith wrote of what a poem does, that

"It's like opening a sliding-glass door, stepping outside, for a moment, and rubbing one's eyes in the sunlight of what's real."

He comments: "Suddenly, in that final sentence, I felt as though I'd moved into a place proper to the goals of Slow Poetry. It's a place familiar to readers of Charles Olson, who said, "Whatever you have to say, leave the roots on, let them dangle, And the dirt, Just to make clear where they come from." Regardless of what we face individually or communally or collectively, my sense was—and still is—that by our affection and affinity for disclosure of what is so often barely perceptible—life raw and undefined—we might advance a little toward better understanding what's happening to us. And through this knowledge we may be able to help each other, with greater resilience, adapt and respond to the changes we may face." READ THE ENTIRE ESSAY (please!) 

Smith's remarkable poetic and political Introduction and the poems and essays that follow seem to me to open onto a world I've been sporadically visiting for many years. Every time I've left, I've wanted to go back. I want to live there permanently now. Everything I really care about is there. This collection has enough really fine and important pieces in it to keep one busy for a long time. Don't miss Karl Young's great essay Notation and the Art of Reading (and his introduction to it). I am particularly fond of Robert Bertholf's piece "The Vocabulary of Taste: Carlo Petrini and the Poetics of Slow Poetry" (it is the 2nd essay here)

Collage by Brooks Johnson

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Agribusiness and Slavery

Mark Bittman's column in the NYTimes today is a must-read for anyone still unaware of the social and political impacts of the industrial food system. Don't miss The True Cost of Tomatoes. And as a general rule: read his column regularly - he's excellent. It is wonderful to have such a high-profile voice for food sanity in the mainstream media. He mentions Estabrook's new book, which I have not read, yet, but will.

Tomatoland : How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
by Barry Estabrook

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Whole Earth

Reading Tom Friedman yesterday, The Earth is Full, I was reminded yet again of my long, slow and persistent astonishment that facts which I have taken for granted for my entire adult life are now slowly coming to the attention of enough people to (maybe) make a difference. My awareness of these things is due perhaps almost entirely to the FIRST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG that appeared in 1968 when I was 16 years old. It was in this and subsequent issues that I first read Gary Snyder, Ivan Illich and Wendell Berry, among many others. The Whole Earth people, including Stewart Brand, are still around and doing good work. Visit them here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eliot Weinberger on Omar Cáceres

This is surely one of the strangest, and strangely beautiful things I've read in a while. Not to be missed.
Eliot Weinberger on Omar Cáceres  - from Jacket3 April 1998.