Nov 28, 2011

Nov 24, 2011

"We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it’s a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it."

Andrei Tarkovsky

Nov 18, 2011


by Linda Gregg

I would like to decorate this silence,
but my house grows only cleaner
and more plain. The glass chimes I hung
over the register ring a little
when the heat goes on.
I waited too long to drink my tea.
It was not hot. It was only warm.


by Alice Bolin

Our morning is the movement of a wound,
the trace of heartbeat I stranded under your shirt.

Afternoon, the pages of a novel sticking.
Its chapters speak step by step of attrition,

a guidebook for a bleak beatitude.
Anaphora for an afternoon:

when we rode to the country,
when we sucked rocks at the riverbed,

when a familiar gloom
creeped in under our happiness.

The dire sun curled against my limbs
and dead aspens rose like ribcages

in the mountains. Face it —
you leak dissipation on every book you pray over.

The bus stop guards the carcass
of an elementary school,

its walls and wiring gutted out.
We wait in the white dark of morning.

Nov 13, 2011

In February 2010, Franzen (along with writers including Richard Ford, Zadie Smith and Anne Enright) was asked by The Guardian to contribute what he believed were ten serious rules to abide by for aspiring writers. Franzen's rules ran as follows:

1. The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
2. Fiction that isn't an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn't worth writing for anything but money.
3. Never use the word "then" as a ­conjunction – we have "and" for this purpose. Substituting "then" is the lazy or tone-deaf writer's non-solution to the problem of too many "ands" on the page.
4. Write in the third person unless a ­really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly.
5. When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it.
6. The most purely autobiographical ­fiction requires pure invention. Nobody ever wrote a more auto­biographical story than "The Metamorphosis".
7. You see more sitting still than chasing after.
8. It's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction [the TIME magazine cover story detailed how Franzen physically disables the Net portal on his writing laptop].
9. Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.
10. You have to love before you can be relentless.

Nov 12, 2011

Needle Plater, Glenview, Illinois

This is an incredible story from World War II. Here's the original caption on this photo: "Formerly a sculptress and designer of tiles, Dorothy Cole converted her basement into a workshop to tin plate needles for valves for blood transfusion bottles prepared by Baxter Laboratories, Glenview, Ill. She turns in her profits to war bonds to provide a college education for her young nephew."

from Twenty Plays of the Nō Theatre

In the town of Kowata,
There were horses to hire,
But I loved you so much
I walked barefoot all the way.

Nov 10, 2011

Nov 9, 2011

look what i found


Dickau, R. M. "The Hénon Attractor."

Gleick, J. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin Books, pp. 144-153, 1988.

Grassberger, P. and Procaccia, I. "Measuring the Strangeness of Strange Attractors." Physica D 9, 189-208, 1983.

Hénon, M. "Numerical Study of Quadratic Area-Preserving Mappings." Quart. Appl. Math. 27, 291-312, 1969.

Hénon, M. "A Two-Dimensional Mapping with a Strange Attractor." Comm. Math. Phys. 50, 69-77, 1976.

Hitzl, D. H. and Zele, F. "An Exploration of the Hénon Quadratic Map." Physica D 14, 305-326, 1985.

Lauwerier, H. Fractals: Endlessly Repeated Geometric Figures. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 128-133, 1991.

Michelitsch, M. and Rössler, O. E. "A New Feature in Hénon's Map." Comput. & Graphics 13, 263-275, 1989. Reprinted in Chaos and Fractals, A Computer Graphical Journey: Ten Year Compilation of Advanced Research (Ed. C. A. Pickover). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, pp. 69-71, 1998.

Morosawa, S.; Nishimura, Y.; Taniguchi, M.; and Ueda, T. "Dynamics of Generalized Hénon Maps." Ch. 7 in Holomorphic Dynamics. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, pp. 225-262, 2000.

Peitgen, H.-O. and Richter, D. H. The Beauty of Fractals: Images of Complex Dynamical Systems. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986.

Peitgen, H.-O. and Saupe, D. (Eds.). "A Chaotic Set in the Plane." §3.2.2 in The Science of Fractal Images. New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 146-148, 1988.

Russell, D. A.; Hanson, J. D.; and Ott, E. "Dimension of Strange Attractors." Phys. Rev. Let. 45, 1175-1178, 1980.

Wells, D. The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Geometry. London: Penguin, pp. 95-97, 1991.


Weisstein, Eric W. "Hénon Map." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

to nights like these wrapped up in bed with a bowl listening to lykke li's version of 'unchained melody' while looking at poincaré maps

i'm at such a loss otherwise about what to do this winter in terms of 'an education.' i think i might do something dumb like either an astronomy class or one on chaos/complexity theory, a class on 'mockumentary' plus one other to balance out the other two

oh, and this is a real good track

i appreciate rhyming couplets in other languages

what does microfiche feel like when it is held?
what does it feel like to hold microfiche?
what does microfiche hold when it is felt?

Nov 8, 2011

the anchor is not unwavering

, but I must get to it!
in hopes of my one day

Nov 7, 2011


by Gennady Aygi, trans. by Sarah Valentine

and you begin to sing — and I am disappearing
slowly into the snow (like before: a figure
darkening in the dusk
somewhere far away) and the broken board appears
there — among the ruins
in the abandoned shack (they sang whispered
cried long ago — it seems
from great joy) and in the distance the forest
as if
in a dream
opens — and you are singing
(though — you needn’t
for it’s already over)
you go on
(though even without us eternity
is already ripening
like gold)
you go on
though you’re becoming too muffled
to sing

Nov 2, 2011

Día de los muertos

(from top to bottom) Casabermeja, Spain: A woman cleans the grave of a relative in the cemetery; Salcajá, Guatemala: A woman fills a jug with water for the flowers she is using to decorate the graves; Sumpango Sacatepequez, Guatemala: A woman pours milk on a grave; Zunil, Guatemala: A woman walks through the local cemetery carrying a bundle of flowers for decorating the graves of relatives