December 2007

From Blood Wedding, Act Three: Scene Two, Federico Garcia Lorca:


Neighbours: with a knife,
with a little knife,
on their appointed day, between two and three,
these two men killed each other for love.
With a knife,
a tiny knife
that barely fits the hand,
but that slides in clean
through the astonished flesh
and stops at the place
where trembles, enmeshed,
the darks roots of a scream.


And this is a knife,
a tiny knife
that barely fits the hand;
fish without scales, without river,
so that on their appointed day, between two and three,
with this knife,
two men are left stiff,
with their lips turning yellow.


And it barely fits the hand
but it slides in clean
through the astonished flesh
and stops there, at the place
where trembles enmeshed
the dark root of a scream.

[The NEIGHBOURS, kneeling on the floor, sob]



Watcching Brief; Julian BurnsideIn our final show of the year, we were joined by Julian Burnside in The Mess Room to discuss his latest book, Watching Brief: Reflections on Human Rights, Law and Justice (Scribe) wherein he has compiled personal essays, journalism of a time and place, and various cases that have a modern bearing on the way we interpret law and justice. Although edited back, some of the journalism suffers from labouring over the same territory — often these are the points on which Burnside is resolutely opposed — such as asylum seekers incorrectly referred to as “illegal immigrants” and held without charge in detention centres for an indefinite period of time. Here, here.

Listen here (16.4 mbs, 16 mins 55 secs)

Lally Katz said she starts singing, or starts with a song. Either way, I’ve been writing along to these two songs over the last week. In a growing emphasis on where and when I find/discover things Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games by Of Montreal is a bit of mystery. The song has been on the default headache-cure playlist for over a year now, or at least the non-sensical chorus has. Fiona Apple, well… (wait until 1 min 50 secs)


I can remember the store where I bought this book but not the time of year; the price I paid ($10) but not the meal I passed up. The book was on sale and the cover was intriguing. I dip into the short fictions (just like I shock myself with Christian Bok) to remind me what is possible, what is new — Wire and String is now 12 years old! — what possibility will always await words. Each section of the book (divided into Sleep, God, Food, The House, …) is tailed by a list of terms. Some are quite hokey in their humour, such as Western Worship Boxes, which after the briefest moment of contemplation you realise are coffins, and Nitzel’s Gamble  “The act or technique of filling the lungs with water. The chance was first taken by the Nitzel in Green River”. Or titles like Dog, Mode of Heat Transfer in Barking or Intercourse with Resuscitated Wife. Wire and String possesses (marvel at all those esses it possesses) a sense of humour that has no punch-line-in-waiting. It is a very serious humour, seriously, that kindles a smile only felt by the front teeth.


Our Mother, a Catholic stone-writer, carver of the form, published a book at Albany in the year of 1989 concerning the weather used underground. In it, we can find (taken from Ruth Connor, her mother) the true cure of many weathers, including the hail bed-ripplings, backward wind, yellowness, and nonvertical rain.

p. 41 -For if you shall enclose the warm wind of a storm in the shell and white of an egg, which is heated on the boneless coating of the belly, and this wind, being mixed with the hair of a storm witness, you give to a hungry boy, the weather departs from the sky into the boy.

– The Method She Employs Against That Which Cannot Be Seen from The Age of Wire and String, Ben Marcus