"art is the lie that reveals the truth." pablo picasso.
One day, our children will wake up with every type of cell in their bodies a patented product.
One day patented genes will be inheritable. Business will claim rights over cells in offspring containing those genes.
If we don’t change the culture that allows business and law to run amok, biology will be the prison of every last human in future.
Poetry’s beauty is devastating. When I return an anthology, it feels like I’m losing a friend. Old friend, new friend, it doesn’t matter. He/she knew me, spoke a language that opened my soul.
Then, I begin to forget. One by one, those lovely lines that uncovered the bones of my happinesses and sadnesses, that laid my insides bare to the glorious exculpating forces of Mother Nature, fade away. One word goes, then another, and soon the bridges of verse crumble to soft nothingness.
Yet, it does not stop. The loss of beauty implies corporeal destiny. First, these intricate words, what next? Tomorrow, I forget my keys. The day after, I forget to water the herbs on the window sill.
Is this what an Alzheimer’s patient in mid-deterioration feels? A desperate longing to remember some poignancy, some kindness, something long past? He/she looks into the abyss of his/her memory and the abyss looks back, silently mouthing nothing more than an encroaching darkness.
One day, my eyes open unremembering.
Fashion Flaunting Season in Singapore again. I guess I’m biased. Doesn’t matter if that piece of cloth is pretty. Just rooting for whichever designer is nice. In spite of fashion’s insistence that beauty is expressed by a narrow range of styles, the sheer diversity of human opinion in matters of aesthetic means every bloody piece of crap is pretty as heck to somebody somewhere.
Saying otherwise smacks of racism.
Same with preferences for food, weather, writing, religion, etc. People have the right to tell you your taste sucks. Remember, you have the right to tell them to go fuck themselves.
Raymond Carver had married at 19 and had fathered two children by 20; his early married life was spent drifting in and out of poorly paid jobs. His first book of short stories took 12 years to write, compared to the three months it took him to complete Cathedral, largely because Carver had by then adopted “full-time drinking as a serious pursuit”. At 39 alcohol had shattered his career, his marriage, and his health; he was hospitalised for acute alcoholism four times between 1976 and 1977.
Carver finally gave up drinking in 1977: “I’ve had two lives. My second began on June 2nd 1977 when I quit drinking,” he said. Carver did not write for almost a year but felt too grateful for his new life to care much. He met the poet Tess Gallagher and thus began an intensely productive and happy relationship: Carver began to write poetry and Gallagher to write prose. In their ten years together the pair produced 25 books between them, and frequently collaborated on projects up until Carver’s early death from lung cancer in 1988.
Poem for the Day, Two. Foreword by Andrew Motion.
Vanda Maestro, to whom this poem is cryptically dedicated, was a university friend of Levi’s and a fellow Jew. They were arrested together and sent to Fussoli, a holding camp in Northern Italy; it was here that Primo Levi fell in love with her. On February 22nd 1944, the pair were amongst 650 Jews packed onto a train bound for Auschwitz. Observing a synagogue spire from the train window, Levi later noted: “That was the moment I said goodbye to my past for ever.” February 25th was the final day of their gruelling journey, when they crossed the border into Poland, and the last night he and Vanda spent together.
Poem for the Day, Two. Forward by Andrew Motion.