Wednesday, April 29, 2009

101 Roto Monkeys

Marcel Duchamp was a very cool artist. He created these fun "rotoreliefs" [click on the spinning wheel to see all twelve]. As they spin, the eye sees the images in 3-d.

There's something hundred monkey about the whole thing because Duchamp discovered this effect through art at the same time that scientists were discovering it using scientific method.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Penguin Sci-Fi

If you love speculative fiction as much as I do, check out Penguin Books' page on the history of their science fiction publications. The site opens with a wonderful collection of old covers. Click on one for more information about the book. Once inside, you can click on "Contents" to get to the beginning of the narrative.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

At The Tea Shell

Kim was there with the old mermaids
sipping from a cup at the tea shell

From the Church of the Old Mermaids.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I’ve stumbled across the word “landscape” three times in the last 24 hours. Being a synchronicity expert, I immediately noticed the red flag this trifold occurrence had planted in my awareness.

1) In this review of The Secret Life of Words by Henry Hitchings, Ben Yagoda mentions in passing that the word “landscape” was one of a number of words borrowed in the 17th century from the Dutch by English admirers of artists such as Brueghel and Rembrandt. (One can also reasonably infer that “etch-a-sketch” is ultimately traceable to this very same period.)

2) I ran across an online copy of Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese and found that it had not been overplayed. It made me cry again. One of the lines that caught my eye this time was:

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes

The use of the plural made me think that a landscape is really the conjunction of a natural (or not) place and a viewer. Any place (and for some reason when I get to this point in Wild Geese I always imagine the badlands of South Dakota ) can hold within itself an infinity of landscapes. And because a landscape includes a particular vantage point, it necessarily separates us. We each see a slightly different landscape even though we are standing right next to each other. Landscapes exist because we are separate and sharing a world at the same time.

3) And finally, I found the word (landscape) in a John Ashbery poem, The Bungalows, in the provocative line:

the presumed landscape and the dream of home

Since I’ve only just read this Ashbery poem (and his poems require several readings for you to fully realize how much you don’t know what they mean) I’ll only point to the imagery of architecture in the landscape and the repeated juxtaposition of past and future, young and old, and the meaninglessness of staying still. The movement necessary for meaning also makes meaning impossible. To view a landscape, one must remain still, freeze the point of view in a frame. When you move (live) you become part of the landscape viewed by someone else (g*d?).

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Edward Heron-Allen

Edward Heron-Allen

Interests include: Violins, Palmistry, Persian Texts, Selsey, Esoteric Fiction, Asparagus, Barnacles