Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some I-can't-do-withouts

Imagining lovers. What qualities/behaviors could I not do without? A preliminary brainstorm.

  • (appreciation of) absurdist humor
  • (stated) desire to cultivate compassion for all beings
  • identification as any (not necessarily all) of th following: feminist, anarchist, social change artist, strong agnostic, metaclown
  • love of affection, including (but not merely) sexual affection
  • sensitive nipples
  • stated preference for variety & spontaneity
  • rejection of (traditional language around) sin, gender norms, capitalism, money, faith, pop culture, sacredness
  • ok w/ (some) biting
  • ok w/ (some) oral sex
  • (comfort being) orgasmic
  • at least vegetarian, & preferably vegan
  • interest in metaconversation & legitimate questions
  • hairiness & general comfort w/ "being a mammal"

Not an exhaustive list, but good to see & share. Given this specificity, it's no wonder I don't have a lover in my life. But, fuck, I deserve someone this good.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

3+1 Poems for Togetheringspring

A few weeks ago, I participated in a marvelous helloing to th Springtime in Evanston, hosted by Aaron & Lorna Johnson & attended by all manners of living, wine-guzzling wonderfuls. My co-conspirator Jacob Barton & I performed a newly-composed piece for microtonal piano exploring th birth cycle of a centaur. All parties danced & made merry. On this occasion, I happened to recite 3+1 poems, & having been recently asked about th poems, I will share them here.

A special thing happened that night. In candlelight, a roomful of dreamers somehow forgot about th sometimes-cruel sometimes-seemingly-artless outside & simply enjoyed each other & th togethering universe. I felt very grateful.

To prepare yrself for these short poems, I invite you to design yr own meditation for peace & rebirth. Pour yrself a glass of wine, play some music in dim lighting, feel yr body breathing, & recite these aloud.

Three by Wallace Stevens:


The light is like a spider.
It crawls over the water.
It crawls over the edges of the snow.
It crawls under your eyelids
And spreads its webs there--
Its two webs.

The webs of your eyes
Are fastened
To the flesh and bones of you
As to rafters or grass.

There are filaments of your eyes
On the surface of the water
And in the edges of the snow.

Life is Motion

In Oklahoma
Bonnie and Josie,
Dressed in calico,
Danced around a stump.
They cried,
Ohoo" . . .
Celebrating the marriage
Of flesh and air.

On the Surface of Things


In my room, the world is beyond my understanding;
But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud.


From my balcony, I survey the yellow air,
Reading where I have written,
"The spring is like a belle undressing."


The gold tree is blue.
The singer has pulled his cloak over his head.
The moon is in the folds of the cloak.

One by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks:

Where Everything is Music

Don't worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn't matter.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world's harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

The singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we can't see.

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

it & I

In English, we capitalize pronouns when they refer to divinity. We call Jesus & th Buddha He & Him, & when they speak, they say Me & My. We don't capitalize pronouns otherwise, except for when they appear at th beginning of a sentence, & whenever we write th tiny word I. Does this mean that we recognize ourselves as divine, but no other beings, not th its, th yous, th shes in our lives? We don't even capitalize 'me', implying, perhaps, that we recognize our own divinity only when we speak of ourselves as agents of a sentence, & not when we objectify ourselves. What a special word, this I.

So what happens if I write about It & Her, You, We & Us?

Interestingly, we have just started in recent years to call ourselves lowercase 'i'. What does this say about how we feel about ourselves & our relationship to th divine?

^ Bad linguistics, I know, but maybe a worthwhile writing experiment....

Monday, April 13, 2009

(Cybernetic) Imperatives

Cybernetician Larry Richards has recently written a paper called The Anticommunication Imperative. In general, I recommend it, & in particular, I'd like to copy for you his list of 'imperatives', collected from a few sources & augmented by his newest one, which I happen to like quite a bit: If you seek the new, compose asynchronicity.


Heinz von Foerster initiated a tradition, or what could become a tradition, when he articulated in the context of cybernetics a set of imperatives:

The Ethical Imperative: Act always so as to increase the number of choices.

The Aesthetical Imperative: If you desire to see, learn how to act.

The Therapeutic Imperative: If you want to be yourself, change!

Klaus Krippendorf later formulated the following set:

The Aesthetic Imperative: Construct your own reality to see.

The Empirical Imperative: Invent as many alternative constructions as you can and enact them to experience the constraints on their viability.

The Self-Referential Imperative: Include yourself as a constituent of your own constructions.

The Ethical Imperative: Grant others that occur in your constructions at least the same capabilities that you employ in constructing them.

The Social Imperative: When communicating, preserve or open new possibilities for others.

In this tradition, I [Larry Richards] would like to add:

The Anticommunication Imperative: If you seek the new, compose asynchronicity.

This tradition of Imperative-writing has some overlap w/ a project of Jacob's & mine -- see: repertoire cards. (Perhaps especially th repertoire card entitled 'imperatives' which contains th text, "Speak only in imperatives.") Our project also plays w/ constructions & so points at Krippendorf's set of imperatives.

As always, I invite yr response.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

beerdig improvlab doodleydoo

La Casa hosted a beer dig yesterday - bribing our friends w/ alcohol to get them to dig a pond for us! Rather than re-post about it here, I'll direct you here, to th beer dig entry of th notorious La Casa Urbana blog. Mudluscious!

I zipped over to th University of Illinois this afternoon to participate in an "Improv Lab". Folks got together to play improvised music & dance improvised dances. I had hoped for something weirder & more well-attended, but I enjoyed what I got. I did a bit of mandolinning as well as dancing. I haven't spent so much time examining my toes since th age of 6 or so.

Jacob & I had a 17-tone woodshed fest this evening, no doubt annoying our housemates w/ microtonal singing, tromboning & cümbüşing exercises. More 17-tone tunes to come. Our band (band?) may have a name soon (soon?).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

(beautiful) sounds of Africa

A sharing: a short video featuring music from th Baka tribe in Africa: