Monday, February 23, 2009

Broke and Baroque

For years he had navigated the mazes of Borges' labyrinthine stories, looking for the meaning of the dream state.
In the dream, he had closed his eyes to imagine a white screen on what appeared to be proto-writing--as you might find in a scattering of old twigs upon the ground, or chicken tracks in an old yard. There would be Y's and A's and even X's. Is this how writing came about? Is this how his consciousness came about? First in the back of your brain, then objectified in natural detrius, and rendered, organized eventually onto stone wall, tile, paper.

Edgar Allan Poe, happy to accommodate any reader as to how he composed The Raven, goes into this process at great length and startling lucidity, Thought- to -object, object to thought. Symbol.

I contain within me the auras of at least nine lovers.
An aura came to me just last night, the first of a series of prototype symbols, the chicken scratch, the twigs, the drawings on a cave wall.
And then letters which spelled the name Patricia and I had the daylights scared out of me.
A final spiritualf goodbye?

Quoth the Raven.............

And you shiver when the wind blows cold.
--Appalachian song


Charles Gramlich said...

I really like the idea of writing found in chicken scratches or in fallen twigs. Lovely image. said...

Damn, Charles.

You're such a nice guy! said...

Damn, Charles.

You're such a nice guy!

benjibopper said...

Charles really is a nice guy, it's true. And I too liked that idea, made me want to get some chickens.

I also like the aura of 9 lovers inside. pretty. said...

Darn weasels and skunks go after the chickens if you're on a farm over here. And in the town, bylaws. Game wardens chasing errant Portuguese. And illlegal cockfights here in York region--the latest illegal thing.

But it's not he same mornings since I left the farm, or lived in a villa in San Miguel, Mexico. No clarion cry.

the walking man said...

Writing was around long before
I was presented to it
so I'll no ponder
nor ruminate on where
it fathoms from.

Just give me the first word
and I'll let the spindly legs
wield the pen once more
and then again.

Thanks Ivan I was looking for a new poem to have for a post today. said...


Brand new.

In the beginning, was the word!

Anonymous said...

the image of fighting with cocks in york region can be somewhat pendulous [ there are a lot of strange birds in york region...ever seen a ruffled winged taser?... ]...on the other hand,so to speak, the vision of nine former lovers,transparently veiled, drifting and dancing through the mists of time, while playing your soul as a wurlitzer,must present quite an assembly of past earthly delights...[ where did you stow the husbands? ]...perhaps a short story is in order... said...


Just a little too drunk right now to give an adeaquate response, but comes to bird watching, I do observe that the neighbour in the bacony just over appears to be a Hairy-Chested Nutscratcher.
Hope no seed spilled.

Anonymous said...

Dear Abby
> My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the
> beginning, and when I confront him, he denies everything. What’s worse,
> everyone knows he cheats on me , it's so humiliating.
> Also since he lost his job 6 years ago, he hasn't even looked for a new
> one. All he does all day is smoke cigars, cruise around and shoot the bull
> with his buddies, while I have to work and pay the bills
> .
> Since our daughter went away to college he doesn't even pretend to like
> me, and even hints I may be a lesbian.
> What should I do?
> Signed: Clueless
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dear clueless
> Grow up and dump him. good grief woman! You don't need him anymore!
> You're a senator from New York who has run for President of the United
> States and is now the Secretary of State.
> Act Like One! said...


Didn't see that one coming.

be said...

i love those scribbles too
done by auras in our heads
or by birds in front of our feet
the trick is to read them right
i guess that's how creativity is born

(since i found no way to add an image here i will send it separatly to your mail)

Donnetta Lee said...

I love to close my eyes and imagine the white screen. And there cast words and images. Symbol seek. D said...

Thanks, Donnetta.

I will try to reproduce Betty's images, as they were so in keeping with what I was trying to say.

I think Johanna, one of our "Quarks" might be interested too, as she just did a blog on patterns, as they applied to simiarities in some house designs. said...


I am not visually oriented like you, but darn! In the pictures you sent and I have just put up above, the mud, the chickens. I can see the letters in the mud!
Wow. Did you ever illuminate what I was trying to say!

ea monroe said...

Wow, Ivan. I thought I better head over here and see what mischief you've been into lately and pick up a little philosophy while I was at it.

You know, life is composed of patterns -- patterns are everywhere. Like fractals. said...

Like Bill Cosby said to the Lord,
"Build an ark?
'What's an ark, Lord?"

What's a fractal, Liz?

I should know, because Josie did a blog on it.

Oh yeah, ever diminishing fragment copies of the original...I think.
Jeez. You guys are making me stretch the old brain now.

Jo said...

Liz is right, patterns are everywhere, like fractals.

Seeing words in the chicken scratches is sort of like the monkeys in front of the typewriters -- not that you are like a monkey, Ivan...! Just that the concept seems to be the same.

Midnight said...

Stretch a dream
Incur the fire

Hapless wishes
Spur desire

When nothing left
But your bare soul

You may but wander
Or gain control. said...

Is that why every time I try to type on infinite typewriters, trying bo be Shakespeare, it comes out,
"To be or not to be.

"That is the glatz?

Midnight said...

Was ist das (der/die?) glatz?

Perhaps in the immortal words of Arnie:

"Nice to meet you ... how about a light?"

be said...

wow! thanx ivan, for the honour of letting me illustrate your words!

i am an image person more than one of words n it feels good to do a kind of cowork with someone who is so skilled with words

since i'm also a pattern maker i do agree with ea monroes comment about patterns, so right! patterns are everywhere!
it's a joy to walk among each n every one

(by the way, the white screen "my" soothens were walking on was cold n crispy snow)

Midnight said...


Regarding your thoughts :

I've often wondered, is there a comparative reciprocal, for writers, artists of words, in the way that bands complement each others unique talents, with, say, a lead vocalist, rhythm and lead guitarist, bass player and drummer?

I mean, have writers ever conspired to create something possibly larger than themselves (assuming that's possible), and put their egos aside, for some collective effort?

Just wonderin'.

Seriously, with your talent for imagery, and other brilliant input, found on these pages, can the whole ever have a chance to be greater than the sum of its parts?

Has such collaboration ever been attempted?

(Ok. Mary Shelley and Lord Byron were in love, presumably, but did they even try it?)


Midnight said...

I mean, has it been done?

Can it be done?

And if not, why not?

the walking man said...

Ivan...Careful of Be, she is easy to love and be loved by.

Midnight said...

Shisheido - The Art of Femininity.

The Perfect Compliment, to Bushido.

Midnight said...

Ahem. Should read : Shiseido.

Still fuckin' amazing, the webs they weave.

Anonymous said...

scratched earth policy...chickens all running for baroque bach montagne/Swedish really stirred up a hens' nest with this one,kid...

Midnight said...

Which came first

The chicken or the egg?

The Fox doesn't care. said...

Anonymous musician,

Here I thought I was just playing a demented-seventh. said...


Have you read Smilas's Sense of Snow by a Danish authoer named Hoeg?
He takes snow up to another dimension, even while writing a thriller.
You Scandinavians are onto something....Have been for some time.

Anonymous said...

"Tory" by-election on March 5th
As you may know, a by-election has been called for March the 5th specifically to allow John Tory to gain a seat in the Ontario Legislature.

The Family Coalition Party candidate in this by-election is Jake Pothaar. Please see his excellent profile on our web site or click here.

Selected households in the area will hear from Jake on the phone between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday Feb. 26).

Please circulate this information to people you may know in the Haliburton - Kawartha Lakes - Brock areas.

Thank you.

Giuseppe Gori
Leader, Family Coalition Party of Ontario


Go to TWITTER.COM and subscribe, then follow me, to keep in touch!


Please remember to confirm your attendance at the FCP Annual General Meeting on April 25, 2009 at the JPII Center in Mississauga. Please mark this date on your calendar.

For more information please visit our web site.



I am a great fan of underdog political parties.

What choice to we have: John Tory: Dweeb, working on some sort of third-rail government policy.

Dalton McGuinty: Super dweeb,Nanny State proselytizer, taking guns away from hunters who need them while Jamaican gangs shoot everybody on the subway with U.S.-purchased automatics... But for god's sake, don't light a cigarette! Verboten. Nein, nicht,never. Machs schnell: Rauchen is verboten, and in der auto too!
FRigginbuncha fascists and they don't know it. And John Tory too.

be said...

i think collaboration is the key to every good performance
even when not as obvious as a the one of a drummer, bassplayer n singer
how can we ever be creative on our own?
i once saw a juggler who wasn't interrested in his audience n behind the stage the other artists were upset saying that with his attitude n ego he could just as well have stayed at home n done his act in front of a mirror
the collaboration is sometimes subtle but always there, like marks daily poem born from n following ivans, like my images, already there waiting for the right words to hook on to , the parts are uncountable - the sum of that must be endless
collaboration.....sometimes called inspiration, sometimes stealing, always fun

ivan - i have read "Smilla's sense of snow" several times, it's one of my favourite thrillers (i didn't like the film though) nature has a special place in the scandinavian hearts, n the winter is long
was just telling my daughter how it's odd (but very smart) that kids today don't jump between ice floes as we did when i was a kid
i think they are losing the touch of snow

oh n thanx mark! ;) said...


I just hit your space on MySpace. Wow.
...But a virus warning flahed up and I had to pull back.
But your photos--You found patterns in eveday articles I have never dreamed of zeroing in on..
I would say, to use an old term, streak of genius.
Do you know of a Thirties painter named Franscek Kupka? He did a series of paintings just on circular patterns he saw everywhere, like the bottoms of paint can, manhole covers, glass coasters. He became famous.
Fact is, dear lady, you are many-eyed and seem to see everything and put it into artistic content.
Wow again.
Take off my hat.