The Final Tiger

March 24, 2018

This particular expiration
was the end of the show.

He did not think of extinction.

He did not look around as if to acknowledge
similar tigers yet free, others breathing in his moment.

His memories, if he had memories,
were not of the long sentence
of his kind, now resolved.
His worrisome, glass-edged memories
would have been of the need to start
with a burst of low, leathery, unbottled

speed – acceleration and not endurance –
an angle to cut off the most
laggard of the herd. Only the most laggard.
Never the best: the best could go on,
breed, build an ever stronger species, a species
that would last past the sacrifice
of its slowest, the sacrifice of the ones
at the uncelebrated back of the pack.

His loss was foretold to us by those of us
lingering unchallenged at the back of our pack.

They are looking over their shoulders still.

Ken Poyner

Your writing routine –

March 24, 2018


If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.


Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.


See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

Henry Miller
On Writing

machines using men

March 24, 2018

our future selves

There’s no use pretending that a standardised, time-table machine-culture has any point in common…with a culture involving human freedom, individualism and personality. So…all one can do…is to fight the future as best he can. Anybody who thinks that men live by reason, or that they are able to consciously mould the effect & influences of the devices they create, is behind the time psychologically. Men can use machines for a while, but after a while the psychology of machine-habituation & machine-dependence becomes such that machines will be using the men – modelling them to their essentially efficient & absolutely valueless precision of action and thought…perfect functioning, without reason or reward for functioning at all.

H.P. Lovecraft
Letter to James F. Morton, November 19, 1929

A madman or a master

March 24, 2018

Most poets are young simply because they have not been caught up. Show me an old poet and I’ll show you, more often than not, either a madman or a master . . . it’s when you begin to lie to yourself in a poem in order simply to make a poem, that you fail. That is why I do not rework poems.

Charles Bukowski
On Writing

Today’s reading

March 24, 2018

becomes a burlesque

March 24, 2018

There are two ways the spirit of a culture may be shrivelled. In the first one – the Orwellian – becomes a prison. In the second – the Huxleyan – culture becomes a burlesque.

Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death

Food for Thought

March 23, 2018

Dickens, often publishing a novel in monthly parts, found it necessary to devote some hundreds of words, and if necessary repeat those words a month later, to a single character.

In 1920 Sherwood Anderson remarked simply that ‘she was a tall silent woman with a long nose and troubled grey eyes’; in 1930 Mr. Ernest Hemingway in a moment, for him, of unusual expansion, said, ‘He wore a derby hat and a black overcoat buttoned Across his chest. His face was small and white and he had tight lips. He wore a silk muffler and gloves.’ In I940 Mr.V. S. Pritchett writes, ‘He had a cape on, soaked with, rain, and the rain was in beads in his hair. It was fair hair. It stood up on end.’

Anderson took up fourteen words, Mr. Hemingway thirty-one, Mr. Pritchett twenty-six. Between Dickens and Mr. Pritchett, then, something has happened. Is it only the evolution of the short story ? May it not also be, perhaps, the parallel evolution of the reader ? Education, travel, wider social contact, the increased uniformity of life, dress, and manners have made us all familiar with things that were once remote enough to need to be described. To-day all of us have seen Sherwood Anderson’s woman, the tragic, anonymous representative of a whole inarticulate class ; we have seen Mr. Hemingway’s tough with the black overcoat and bowler hat ; we know Mr. Pritchett’s type with its fair hair that stands up on end. The widening of social contact, among other things, has relived these three writers, and their generation, of an oppressive obligation. It is no longer necessary to describe ; it is enough to suggest. The full-length portrait, in full dress, with scenic back-ground, has become superfluous ; now it is enough that we should know a woman by the shape of her hands.

H E Bates
The Modern Short Story

Sweet Kali

March 22, 2018

sweet Kali stands before us
an offering she holds
while all the skulls around her neck
sleep in a child’s repose

there are many souls in limbo
they wander through our sight
seekers for salvation
seeking for the light

a universe lies waiting
a red planet full of stars
just beneath the lingham
that rests in Kali’s arms

the dogs lie waiting patiently
while Ganesh begins to writhe
turning to a serpent
that writhes before our eyes

here’s the minotaur from Jambu Dweep
wrapped in a golden fleece
telling stories in my head
the tales of ancient Greece

then Kali holds a severed head
cradled gently in her hand
while beneath the Shiva Lingham
someone lies upon the sand…..

Jose Large

have a few drinks

March 22, 2018

I never type in the morning. I don’t get up in the morning. I drink at night. I try to stay in bed until twelve o’clock, that’s noon. Usually, if I have to get up earlier, I don’t feel good all day. I look, if it says twelve, then I get up and my day begins. I eat something, and then I usually run right up to the race track after I wake up. I bet the horses, then I come back and Linda cooks something and we talk awhile, we eat, and we have a few drinks, and then I go upstairs with a couple of bottles and I type — starting around nine-thirty and going until one-thirty, to, two-thirty at night. And that’s it.

Charles Bukowski
Sunlight here I am: interviews and encounters 1963 – 1993