Friday, February 27, 2015

Kindness Not Random, Beauty Not Senseless

I saw a bumper sticker and I disagreed.

The bumper sticker told passers by to "Spread random acts of kindness and senseless beauty."  I don't like the sentiment or the message of this cheerful and peace loving phrase.

Kindness should not be random.  When you know nothing about who you are kind to, you do not care if they deserve it or not.  Find out about them and it becomes hard not to weigh their 'goodness' against your 'goodness'.  Staying random keeps things easy because you don't have to care at all.  All focus goes off the person onto the giving.  Kindness becomes something arbitrary instead of something unconditional.

Beauty is everything but senseless.  Beauty, in the eye of the beholder, springs from a reckoning of aesthetic to intent.  this holds especially when there is no intent - weather, natural landscapes and postmodernism all have beauty when our senses are - even when they are nonsense - engaging with the art and pronouncing it beautiful.  We connect with something and call it beautiful because we care about it.  Senseless beauty would have no one to pronounce it beautiful, because no one would care.

The bumper sticker is well intended but it emphasises the personal actions of the individual as being most important for beauty and kindness, rather than the relationships and interactions with the wider environment.

Stick that on the back of your car.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Block #5 following a shape

                                              It is very comfortable slipping into the blankets and letting yourself get
    p
u
l
 del
gnidlof dna gnippils ssensuoicsnoc .ekal a ni trihs a gniknis ekil rednu
                                             r                     i   n   g.  You feel on the surface but su
                                  o                        n                                                                    ddenly it
                         l                         w                                                                                          was just a
    l                         o                                             .kcab gniog on s’ereht dna dniw eht fo evaw
           I                         r   
        n                       d

        g bubbles and

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Block no. 4 Tis the Season

The thrumming Partridge cloud descends, the pears
are shaken by a dozen sets of wings
Eleven men with wives unkempt, in flight
then dove to earth; for 'tis the seasoning 

Come ten, come ten, come ten the hens for death
Where were the turtle doves when I was aching?
Three dozen now are calling, dust to dust
Three wise men celebrate the gift of baking.

Forty Golden rings
Who understands these things?

But Mary, what if forty two geese lay;
The swans afloat like strawberry meringues;
The maids who rose for milking in the morn’
Bewildered; starlight glimmers on their bangs:

They’ll all be dancing soon! In just three days
Our weeping will be laughing soon, in just -
You’re late and I am tired.  We are full.
Please move; your donkey’s kicking in the dust.

But if you will not go away

Come and bed down in the hay.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Block Three: Erasure Poetry #1

This is a form I had a lot of fun with, and intend to do more of.
"Erasure is a form of found poetry or found art created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem. " - Wikipedia

Now, I don't know where this form came from, but it reminds me strongly of Rauschenberg's erased Willem de Kooning,  minus the scandal.  We commonly print thousands of genuine copies of books, and only one genuine copy of paintings, but the act of losing content does tug faintly on the heartstrings even if you're only defacing an old book of vapid children's poems.  The price of progress.
Also related is The DaDa Vinci Code, where someone is making erasure poetry out of the pages of the Dan Brown novel, and doing a very good job of it.





Friday, October 17, 2014

Block Two: Found Poetry

"Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The resulting poem can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original." - from Wikipedia


Taken from Introduction to Electrostatics.

A simple electrostatic configuration
Consisting of four conductors
with charges,
so the plusses are near the minuses. 
It all looks very comfortable.

Now, what happens if we join them in pairs, by tiny wires?
You might well guess that nothing will happen
Well, that sounds reasonable,
but it’s wrong. 

The configuration is impossible,
for there are now effectively two conductors
and the total charge on each
is zero. 

One possible way to distribute zero charge
is to have no accumulation of charge
anywhere,
and hence zero field everywhere. 

This must be the solution.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Twelve Blocks of Concrete: Block One.

Twelve Blocks Of Concrete:  
It's exam time.  This means I am clambering for distractions.  This also means I am going to post every three days or so a "Block of concrete"  This will be one or several poems in an unusual form.
The inspiration comes from "Concrete Poetry".  
  • Concrete or shape poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on.It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has evolved to have distinct meaning of its own, but which shares the distinction of being poetry in which the visual elements are as important as the text. - (Wikipedia).
These will be experimental.   I have neither the experience nor the fame to justify the worth of these poems on the back of my name alone.  You may not like them, and that is okay.  You may like them for some silly reason, or for reasons you can't quite place.  That is okay.  Concrete poetry is something I like for silly and difficult to explain reasons, but I like it a lot and want to see what I can do with it.


My first block: This is an idea I thought up: twenty-five letter long poems, arranged into five by five blocks of letters.  The appeal comes in the visual appearance of repeating letters, like tiling, and in the gradual revealing of words as your mind dissects and interprets the squares.


#1
S A C C H 
A R I N S 
W E E T N 
E S S L I 
N G E R S

#2
W I N D O
W O U T O
F O U R L
O V E R S

L I V E S

#3
I F O R G 
E T B O T 
H : D R E 
A M S & W 
I S D O M