The Hag

September 22, 2016

haxan-1922-silent-film-by-benjamin-christensen

The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together:
Through thick, and through thin,
Now out, and then in,
Though ne’r so foule be the weather.

A Thorn or a Burr
She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble she rides now,
Through Brakes and through Bryars,
O’re Ditches, and Mires,
She followes the Spirit that guides now.

No Beast, for his food,
Dares now range the wood;
But husht in his laire he lies lurking:
While mischiefs, by these,
On Land and on Seas,
At noone of Night are working,

The storme will arise,
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the Tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Cal’d out by the clap of the Thunder.

Robert Herrick

A Last Word

September 22, 2016

trees-and-light

Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.

Ernest Dowson

problem-solvers

A young music…

September 22, 2016

otto-dix-pragerstrasse

Jazz seeps into words—spelled out words. Nelson Algren is influenced by jazz. Ralph Ellison is, too. Sartre, too. Jacques Prévert. Most of the best writers today are. Look at the end of the Ballad of the Sad Cafe. Me as the public, my dot in the middle—it was fifty years ago, the first time I heard the Blues on Independence Avenue in Kansas City. Then State Street in Chicago. Then Harlem in the twenties with J. P. and J. C. Johnson and Fats and Willie the Lion and Nappy playing piano—with the Blues running all up and down the keyboard through the ragtime and the jazz. House rent party cards. I wrote The Weary Blues:

Downing a drowsy syncopated tune . . . . . . etc. . . . .

Shuffle Along was running then – the Sissle and Blake tunes. A little later Runnin’ Wild and the Charleston and Fletcher and Duke and Cab. Jimmie Lunceford, Chick Webb, and Ella. Tiny Parham in Chicago. And at the end of the Depression times, what I heard at Minton’s. A young music—coming out of young people. Billy—the male and female of them—both the Eckstein and the Holiday—and Dizzy and Tad and the Monk. Some of it came out in poems of mine in Montage of a Dream Deferred later. Jazz again putting itself into words.

Langston Hughes
Jazz as Communication

madness

There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.

Antonin Artaud
Van Gogh le suicidé de la société
(Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society)

the clock in the hallway…

September 22, 2016

a-death-clock

When the house grows too small and the shadows too real and the clock in the hallway talks death to itself. When the oven is merely hot and the sheets merely stiff and the clock in the hallway talks death to itself. When the floorboards creak and the furnace pops and the eaves sigh and the windows are too blind… and the clock in the hallway talks death to itself.
Winter… and rain.

Charles L. Grant
Prologue: Nightmare Seasons