My mood in others’ Art

I’m too tired, or tense, or tested or…  to write or translate any poetry tonight. So i’m expressing myself by way of collecting. Here are three images that resonate and express my mood by Harland Miller, Rothko and Lautrec.

by Harland Miller

I found some huge originals of these hanging in a Hotel Lobby in Beirut earlier in the year. I thought they were wonderful, sad and very beautiful. This one seems appropriate to me right now, with so many strange silences lingering in the air of my life.

I wish I had a print.

by Mark Rothko

I first fell for this guy when I skimmed through Simon Schama’s History of Art (which was terrible when compared to his History of England) … the only episode that seemed honest and self reflective was the one on the old New York Jewish Impressionist. I’ve collected pictures of him ever since. This one captures my mood tonight. Warm and nostalgic, a little tense.

 by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

I love how mutable this image is. The sparkle in her smiling eyes, bright against the overhuge overheavy dress– And how there are two smiles, one with a hidden evil, or an allusion to death. This image speaks to me.

La Infinita

Ves estas manos? Han medido
la tierra, han separado
los minerales y los cereales,
han hecho la paz y la guerra,
han derribado las distancias
de todos los mares y ríos,
y sin embargo
cuando te recorren
a ti, pequeña,
grano de trigo, alondra,
no alcanzan a abarcarte,
se cansan alcanzando
las palomas gemelas
que reposan o vuelan en tu pecho,
recorren las distancias de tus piernas,
se enrollan en la luz de tu cintura.
Para mí eres tesoro más cargado
de inmensidad que el mar y sus racimos
y eres blanca y azul y extensa como
la tierra en la vendimia.
En ese territorio,
de tus pies a tu frente,
andando, andando, andando,
me pasaré la vida.

Pablo Neruda

c.f. this 

Suckerpunch Bliss

for one Haley Trotter
a poem from march 2008

Between the suckerpunch of the hangover
and the dizzy bliss of the bottle’s kiss…

What did I feel?
What should I feel, now?
I squint and think.
careful and a little distant.
like i imagine you.
as I imagine you.

Did we just… imagine?
All these recallable feelings, words and … lips
We just … dreamed?
all verbs and air and deep breath
when you were there under my lips
and my hips

How much pillowtalk was in your eyes
slightly frightened,
but hungry
big and deep and staring
your eyes
that next day
in your kitchen
while you cleaned

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The Biblical ‘Vindicta’ Ezek 22:7,29 25:15,17

Иезекилль (Russian Orthodox c/- Tash Agafonoff)
Ezekiel könyve (Hungarian Catholic copied from ann old black bible)
Prophetia Ezechielis (Latin – Latina Vulgata)
Ezéchiel (French Catholic, New Jerusalem … something or other version
Ezekiel (Anglican, King James Version 1611)
Ezekiel (Catholic Public Domain Version)
יחזקאל (Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex)


У тебя отца и мать злословят, пришельцу делают обиду среди тебя, сироту и вдову притесняют у тебя.
Megvetik benned az apát és az anyát, erõszakot követnek el az idegennel, elnyomják az özvegyet és az árvát.
patrem et matrem contumeliis adfecerunt in te advenam calumniati sunt in medio tui pupillum et viduam contristaverunt apud te
au dedans de toi, l`on méprise père et mère, on maltraite l`étranger, on opprime l`orphelin et la veuve.
In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.
They have abused father and mother within you. The new arrival has been oppressed in your midst. They have grieved the orphan and the widow among you.
אָ֤ב וָאֵם֙ הֵקַ֣לּוּ בָ֔ךְ לַגֵּ֛ר עָשׂ֥וּ בַעֹ֖שֶׁק בְּתֹוכֵ֑ךְ יָתֹ֥ום וְאַלְמָנָ֖ה הֹ֥ונוּ בָֽךְ׃


А в народе угнетают друг друга, грабят и притесняют бедного и нищего, и пришельца угнетают несправедливо.
Az ország népe megsokszorozta az erõszakot és a rablást, elnyomta a szegényt és a szûkölködõt, jogtalanul erõszakoskodott az idegennel.
populi terræ calumniabantur calumniam et rapiebant violenter egenum et pauperem adfligebant et advenam opprimebant calumnia absque judicio
Le peuple du pays se livre à la violence, commet des rapines, opprime le malheureux et l`indigent, foule l`étranger contre toute justice.
The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.
The people of the land have oppressed with slander and have seized with violence. They have afflicted the needy and the poor, and they have oppressed the new arrival by accusations without judgment.
עַ֤ם הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ עָ֣שְׁקוּ עֹ֔שֶׁק וְגָזְל֖וּ גָּזֵ֑ל וְעָנִ֤י וְאֶבְיֹון֙ הֹונ֔וּ וְאֶת־הַגֵּ֥ר עָשְׁק֖וּ בְּלֹ֥א מִשְׁפָּֽט׃


Так говорит Господь Бог: за то, что Филистимляне поступили мстительно и мстили с презрением в душе, на погибель, по вечной неприязни,
Ezt mondja az Úr, az Isten: Mivel a filiszteusok bosszúra törekedtek, bosszúállók voltak, lelkük tele volt gyûlölettel, s folyvást azon voltak, hogy pusztítsanak,
hæc dicit Dominus Deus pro eo quod fecerunt Palestini in vindictam et ulti se sunt toto animo interficientes et implentes inimicitias veteres
Ainsi parle le Seigneur, l`Éternel: Parce que les Philistins se sont livrés à la vengeance, Parce qu`ils se sont vengés dédaigneusement et du fond de l`âme, Voulant tout détruire, dans leur haine éternelle,
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred;
Thus says the Lord God: Because the Philistines have taken vengeance, and have revenged themselves with all their soul, destroying, and fulfilling ancient hostilities,
כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה יַ֛עַן עֲשֹׂ֥ות פְּלִשְׁתִּ֖ים בִּנְקָמָ֑ה וַיִּנָּקְמ֤וּ נָקָם֙ בִּשְׁאָ֣ט בְּנֶ֔פֶשׁ לְמַשְׁחִ֖ית אֵיבַ֥ת


и совершу над ними великое мщение наказаниями яростными; и узнают, что Я Господь, когда совершу над ними Мое мщение.
Kegyetlen bosszút állok rajtuk ádáz haragomban, és ha kitöltöm rajtuk bosszúmat, akkor majd megtudják, hogy én vagyok az Úr.
faciamque in eis ultiones magnas arguens in furore et scient quia ego Dominus cum dedero vindictam meam super eos
J`exercerai sur eux de grandes vengeances, En les châtiant avec fureur. Et ils sauront que je suis l`Éternel, Quand j`exercerai sur eux ma vengeance.
And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.
And I will execute great vengeance against them, reproving them in fury. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I will send my vengeance upon them.”
וְעָשִׂ֤יתִי בָם֙ נְקָמֹ֣ות גְּדֹלֹ֔ות בְּתֹוכְחֹ֖ות חֵמָ֑ה וְיָֽדְעוּ֙ כִּֽי־אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה בְּתִתִּ֥י אֶת־נִקְמָתִ֖י בָּֽם׃ ס

Vindication for Jupiter, best and greatest

(word by word) to Jupiter, the best and greatest, vindication

that permitted to Jupiter, is not permitted to the ox

– Latin Proverbs

I get bombarded with “love and light” messages and posts, particularly on the theme of “forgiving and letting go” of negative experiences, interactions and emotions as the path to happiness. Superficially, that seems like a lovely idea – but does it really work in a practical sense?

– ‘Negative’ emotions and how to use them, Kate Douchkov, Inspire Achive

Too often our laid-back country we are held hostage to the idea that ‘She’ll Be Right’, or a downright English notion that we should just wear a stiff upper lip in the face of our troubles. Inevitably life, or fate, or God, or the great absence of God… Life, laughs at such cliché. For all of us there comes a day when we are called to face the true depths of our humanity. To question our faith, if we even had any to begin with.

In these times, the platitudes offered by common-sense, pop-psychology or a pseudo-Christian subservience fail us. They hurt us. And when they do, they do it a lot.

I approve wholeheartedly of the sentiment in the above-quoted article in this regard.

Deep feelings can’t be dealt with so shallowly, they must be met with depth.

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Mixtape µRadio


We want to make Radio as intimate as a gift, as social as facebook, as mobile as a phone and, as local as a corner store.

We do this by merging the mixtape, mobile and radio in a very low cost, series of very local projects that we call Mixtape µRadio.


We care about our music, and we care about the declining quality of our musical culture, not just in Australia but around the world. We care that our culture and our communities have been slowly rent apart by identity politics, and the commercial forces that foment and profit from these divisions.

We believe it all starts with a song, but can end with a mixtape.


The nature of the mixtape is that it is a gift. More than this, it is perhaps the most accessible art form to non-artists that doesn’t involve finger-paint. Everyone has been involved in mixtaping at some point. A Mixtape is this: A CD given to a grandmother by a granddaughter: a brother collecting some songs on a memory stick for his sister; A lover composing an iTunes play-list for an ex with the dreams of winning their object back. A tape you found underneath the seat of a car you havn’t cleaned in years.

The gift of music.

This is our content.

The stuff of real lives.

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I think it’s the combination
of the sentiments contained within
A Place to Stay and Patience Darling
that make me wonder…when…

When you’ll decide I’m not on your boat
Or wearing the right uniform
That I’m not one of the good ones
Because once I was there, then wasn’t.

I’m hoping that that doesn’t happen
But there really are no guarantees
You might invent any number of reasons
To fulfill your beliefs as you please

So all I can do is my best
Which really doesn’t feel much
But I’ll love you the only way I know
And hope that it’s always enough.


– Natasha Agafonoff

Wind and Window Flower

Lovers, forget your love, 
And listen to the love of these, 
She a window flower, 
And he a winter breeze.

When the frosty window veil
Was melted down at noon,
And the caged yellow bird
Hung over her in tune,
He marked her through the pane,
He could not help but mark,
And only passed her by
To come again at dark.

He was a winter wind,
Concerned with ice and snow,
Dead weeds and unmated birds,
And little of love could know.

But he sighed upon the sill,
He gave the sash a shake,
As witness all within
Who lay that night awake.
Per chance he half prevailed
To win her for the flight
From the firelit looking-glass
And warm stove-window light.

But the flower leaned aside
And thought of naught to say,
And morning found the breeze
A hundred miles away.

– Robert Frost

Carmena XLIII

For Jasmine Moir

Hello, Miss More,
.                                   neither with the smallest nose,
nor with the prettiest feet nor with black little eyes
nor with long fingers nor with dry lips
or said so clearly with a your refined tongue
or with your eyes.
Miss of the spendswift from Βύρων,
Does not all the world report that you are beautiful?
Who dares, our Νίκε, even compare with thee?
O! What crude and tasteless times… and what a fool I was to move so fast.

G.V.Catullus 84-54 B.C.E.

 (c) Benjamin George Griffin, Tuesday November 29th 11:13:18pm
 (cc) BY-NC-SA v3  Id est share and Share Alike for non-commercial purposes if you say that I was involved in the translation. My own thanks to Rudy Negenborn and  Greg Drudy.

Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,

I’m all out of energy now, so I’m only going to change one word in this translation. It helps that this one is rather good.

 Carmen 8 (in English by Kelly Syler)
Miserable Catullus, you must stop being silly,
and count as lost what you see is lost.
Once the sun shone bright for you,
when you would go whither your sweetheart led,
she who was loved by me as none will ever be loved.
Then there took place those many jolly scenes
which you desired nor did your sweetheart not desire.
Truly the sun shone bright for you.
Now she desires no more: do you too, weakling, not desire;
and do not chase her who flees, nor live in unhappiness,
but harden your heart, endure and stand fast.
Goodbye, sweetheart. Catullus now stands fast:
he will not look for you or court you against your will.
But you will be sorry when you are not courted at all.
Wretch, pity on you! What life lies in store for you!
Who will come to you now? Who will think you pretty?
Whom will you love now? Who will people say you are?
Whom will you kiss? Whose lips will you bite?
But you, Catullus, be resolute and stand fast.

Νίκης μου … ipsa possem, et tristis animi levare curas!

Sparrow, delicate toy of my girl
who plays. and is caressed...
Teasing you, she offers her first finger
drawing you to to short. sharp. bites.
My hearts desire shines for
knowing not what play would please her
but by bites bring solace to her suffering.
Gravely, I think on her ardour, and it’s rest:
Oh! That I could play as you do, and with such ease
lift from her troubled mind, these cares with caress!

pro Νίκης μου ad Carmina IIa,  primus ad stylo Gaius Valerius Catullus scribat

(c) Benjamin George Griffin, Tuesday 29th November 2011

A Place to Stay

(Prose! Who thought i’d sully this with that. It’s almost a journal entry ffs!)

They keep moving. Always moving. All these places to stay. And I, with them.

Nicci and Nicky think I’m a wanderer, and had a song, and some vino, and a bed that we all shared– though not all at the same time. It wasn’t like that. Nicole thinks something else entirely.

They’re wanderers, all three of these three Νίκης. They are. Maybe in the Tolkienesque way, that ‘not all who wander are lost’. They’re searching for something.

I’m not.

I’m different. I don’t wander. Or wonder. I wait. I’ve been known to drift. Waiting for the wind to come. I know where I’m going. I have my compass and the stars. It’s just a matter of time, and who will be on the boat with me, and what clothes or whose uniform I’ll be wearing when I get there…. After all these uncountable and unaccountable roadblocks. Or the wind.

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Complicated Women

‘When I am good I am very very good
but when I am bad I am better.

Mae West

Just read a wonderful little book review that I was led to by this quote I found on Anne Sutherland‘s wall.

Complicated Women:
Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood

 a review by Steven C. Scheer

“… the female stars who dominated the years between 1929 and 1934, the year the censors struck. “The best era for women’s pictures,” he tells us, “was the pre-Code
era. . . . Before the Code, women on the screen took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, held down professional positions without apologizing for their self-sufficiency, and in general acted the way many of us think women only acted after 1968″”

The review gets better after this. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the book. Read the review if you like the top quote, the book title, the above review quote … love complicated women … or are one.