Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Parting Wave

Brighton Beach 1953


One night you fled to high mountain passes
howling winds adrift with snow and ice
body broken betoken of empty fields 
In the valley below
The ‘lights went out one by one,
and darkness all around’
bad dreams phantoms screams.

Your powerlessness that night
set the flame to burn unchained,
your wounded angel-wings
    carried you
cold ashes
of a friendship finished 
that night
you embraced the divine spirit
in the full moon.

* * *

Highroad Blues
             (what price the passage?)

this road I’ve travelled with you
had many blind turns and twists
the beginnings long gone
          with the dead
beginning back as a young buck
sometimes it seems
           its all 
       just dreams.

fear was a coat I often wore
        (for protection ?)
as if I needed it or maybe I did
but that’s context dependent yeah
you know that better than anyone.

what can I say but only what I know
no oblique allusions of sensibility
even if I was so inclined
no boasts of refined affinities
no bullshitting of how much I care
when often all I want to do
              is get through the night  
and into another day
fighting nightly
for my life in dreams.   

Me Too
      for Dick Mendola, dec '13

desolation angels
holy ghost

bind my days up
I got them black snake

* * *

Blues for Shelton

you were like a beautiful flower
the colours faded a little
bringing out your delicacy

magenta of the Tibetan steppes
that was the garland for you
though of course you were Welsh.
there was a fragrance about you
that lifted the senses in company
awakened the lyrical soul  
seemingly effortlessly
like an eagle cruising
who knows
up there with my other bro
from down Lake Condah way

tonight we wont say too much
of the Dark Angels proximity.

* * *


been feeling good lately
but not without neurotic episodes
scanning bottomless subterranean streams
of mind
and phantom connections
hidden in nostalgia.

a breeze carries the night air
through open back balcony doors
sharing the silences
feeling solace in distant sounds
In the darkness the breeze
feels good against my legs

I’m doing ok I could say
hard times and joys along the way

my mind wanders lazily
down old trails of memory.

the radio plays
          ‘All You Need Is Love’
beyond the hills a jet plane is landing
stirring old familiar pain
the way old songs will play a movie
in your brain.

 * * *

Dec 8 2013

33 years ago
I was sitting alone drinking
in a bar in Carlton
There were three or four others in the bar
It was a Tuesday afternoon, a quiet day
I was only just starting on the day’s boozing.
Me and this other guy, a hippie tradesman type
we were watching the cricket on the television
Neither of us had spoken to the other
I got off the stool and went for a piss,
When I came back he said

             "Some turd just shot
             John Lennon dead!”

agh FUCK 

Karl Gallagher . . .

Friday, July 5, 2013

karl_gallagher art work etc ipso al

Ø÷ϕϗ. . .

~     ϗ ≠       §       





            ϗ ≠

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marilynne Robinson: God & Modern Life . . .

I read somewhere that Terry Gilmore mentioned how impressed by "Gillead"  by Marilyn Robinson he was; I went out and got her "Housekeeping" (then others) what a writer.   karlos

“ When Marilynne Robinson published her first novel, Housekeeping, in 1980, she was unknown in the literary world. But an early review in The New York Times ensured that the book would be noticed. “It’s as if, in writing it, she broke through the ordinary human condition with all its dissatisfactions, and achieved a kind of transfiguration,” wrote Anatole Broyard, with an enthusiasm and awe that was shared by many critics and readers. The book became a classic, and Robinson was hailed as one of the defining American writers of our time. Yet it would be more than twenty years before she wrote another novel.”  (Paris Review) 

Marilynne Robinson, God and Calvin

Andrew Brown: Some fruits of an interview with Marilynne Robinson

There are two remarkable things about Marilynne Robinson, who won the Orange Prize for fiction: she's a very good writer, and she's a very serious Christian. Her two most recent novels. Gilead and Home, have retold the story of the Prodigal Son from different viewpoints, set in a small town on the Iowa prairie in 1956. "Retelling" is not what you think when first you read them; then the overwhelming effect is of being told a story, and hearing a voice, for the very first time.

But both are, in fact, books about the workings of grace in human life, just as Brideshead was. But they are Calvinist, not Roman Catholic, and their pleasures are very much more humble; also, I think, more vivid. Towards the end of Gilead an old pastor talks about the world around him:

I love the prairie! So often I have seen the dawn come and the light flood over the land and everything turn radiant at once, that word "good" so profoundly affirmed in my soul that I am amazed I should be allowed to witness such a thing. There may have been a more wonderful first moment "when all the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy" but for all I know to the contrary, they still do sing and shout and they certainly might well. Here on the prairie there is nothing to distract attention from the evening and the morning, nothing on the horizon to abbreviate or delay. Mountains would seem an impertinence from that point of view.

The link between joy and beauty and the apprehension of God is one which is very vivid in Robinson. I interviewed her last week in Geneva, as part of a Radio 3 programme I am presenting on Calvin (Smashing the Idols goes out on August 30); and she gave an extraordinary justification of Calvinist Christianity as making possible the modern novel.

"One of the things that has really struck me, reading Calvin," she said then, "is what a strong sense he has that the aesthetic is the signature of the divine. If someone in some sense lives a life that we can perceive as beautiful in its own way, that is something that suggests grace, even if by a strict moral standard ... they might seem to fail."

Now this is just about the opposite of the kind of rule-bound and wholly unforgiving religion which most people associate with Calvinism, but in her mind it was linked with predestination, in a most unexpected way. Because predestination implies God's untramelled freedom, he can choose to save those whom the world and its rules – even the church with its rules – might condemn. The prodigal in these two books, Jack Boughton, has done some very terrible things, and all through the book goes on hurting everyone who loves him. Yet it is almost impossible not to suffer with him.

I wanted very much, when I wrote the character of Jack, [to create] a character whom it would be very painful for people to be able to dismiss, with the assumption being that if one could not dismiss him, there would be no reason to believe that God would want to dismiss him, either.

This kind of explicitly theological perspective is vanishingly rare in modern novels. But she shouldn't for a moment be confused with the kind of cheesy wish-fulfilment marketed in "christian" bookshops. Grace, hope, and love break into her novels, but the veil always returns and the world appears again in its accustomed hopelessness. Sometimes the sadness is almost unendurable. I have sat on a commuter train weeping in public as I reread the end of Home.

Perhaps a serious recognition of the misery of the world is at the heart of her aesthetic purpose. Just before talking about the prairie, John Ames, the old pastor I quoted earlier, says this:

There are two occasions when the sacred beauty of Creation becomes dazzlingly apparent, and they occur together. One is when we feel our mortal insufficiency to the world, and the other is when we feel the world's mortal insufficiency to us. Augustine says the Lord loves each of us as an only child, and that has to be true. "He will wipe the tears from all faces." It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required.

What does matter, though, in a religious context, is that she wouldn't distinguish between the aesthetic and the theological purpose:

Calvin made the inner life fantastically interesting, because he asserts that it is the clearest model we have of the nature of God … You know, he says, "to find God, descend into yourself." We can know God because we share qualities that Calvin attributes to God … It's the brilliance of the mind, the brilliance of the senses and so on that is the great demonstration of the divinity of man.

Calvin, she says, when he translated psalm eight, did not write that man was little lower than the angels, but that he was only a little lower than God. Part of that was his iconoclasm, and his eagerness to sweep away all the mediaeval accretions that humanised the faith of the desert fathers; but much of the impulse also was to sweep away everything that separated man from God, so that we could stand as close to him as a separate nature allows. The novel, then, bringing the glory and the sadness of the world into our eyes until they're full to overflowing also bring God there.

 = = =

Non Fiction
  • The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998)
  • Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (2010)
= = = 

See also :

Marilynne Robinson, The Art of Fiction No. 198  Interviewed by Sarah Fay

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Money Masters

This is one of the most interesting documentary movies you will ever see; how the modern financial system developed since 1600 Venice and the Medicis, and how the Global community are enslaved to a cabal at the very top of the heap. If you are afraid to have the scales fall away from your sight   . . . do not watch this movie.

The Money Masters is a 3 1/2 hour non-fiction, historical documentary that traces the origins of the political power structure. The modern political power structure has its roots in the hidden manipulation and accumulation of gold and other forms of money. The development of fractional reserve banking practices in the 17th century brought to a cunning sophistication the secret techniques initially used by goldsmiths fraudulently to accumulate wealth. With the formation of the privately-owned Bank of England in 1694, the yoke of economic slavery to a privately-owned central bank was first forced upon the backs of an entire nation, not removed but only made heavier with the passing of the three centuries to our day. Nation after nation has fallen prey to this cabal of international central bankers.
The Money Masters is a 1996 American documentary film, directed and narrated by William T. "Bill" Still and produced by attorney Patrick S. J. Carmack, which discusses the concepts of money, debt and taxes, and describes their development from biblical times onward. It covers the history of fractional-reserve banking, central banking, monetary policy, the bond market, and the Federal Reserve System in the United States. The film, which is widely available online, was followed by The Secret of Oz (2009).

The film makers posit that the practice of fractional reserve banking, allowing banks to loan out 10 times the money they have on deposit, the central banks' ability to contract and expand the money supply, and the will of the bankers, largely in Europe, to do so is the root of all economic distress in America and the world. It further argues that this situation should be remedied so that the buying power of money can be stabilized, benefiting the public good, as during four periods in the history of the United States, especially those periods when money was not tied to gold and the money supply was in U.S. public hands. Finally it presents a proposed piece of legislation, the Monetary Reform Act, to implement such a remedy. As support, the film provides many quotations from notable figures including economists, members of the financial system, kings of England and United States presidents.

The film criticizes fractional-reserve banking and the control aspects of both modern banking regulation and centralized banking systems such as the Federal Reserve System. It describes the history of money and banking, how central banks came to be and how they operate.

The film describes how the U.S. Congress gave the power of money creation to private banks through the Federal Reserve Act and how the banks accumulate large amounts of interest using this power. It asserts that wealth is slowly being drawn into the hands of a small banking elite at the expense of the general population. This can be seen through such events as the 1929 stock market crash when a broker's call was issued, triggering the crash which further solidified the power of the Federal Reserve.

The film argues that there is no publicly owned gold left in Fort Knox.

The film also asserts that the Federal Reserve System enables private banks to force recessions at will by refusing to offer new loans while simultaneously demanding payment on existing loans. It asserts that this power has been used a number of times since the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve.

The film asserts or implies that bankers have intentionally caused, exploited, or profited from the circumstances surrounding a number of significant events, including Abraham Lincoln's assassination, the War of 1812, the Battle of Waterloo, the American Civil War, the Russian Revolution, and the Great Depression.

The film asserts that by the end of World War I, private banks owned and controlled much of the United States' newspaper, news magazine, and film outlets and that they achieved this using consolidated wealth generated by fractional-reserve banking. It argues that these banks have influence over the mainstream media through their ownership and that this influence is used to prevent criticism of the financial monopoly from entering the general public's consciousness.

The film argues that placing our economy back on a gold standard will not solve the economic crisis. The scarcity of gold means it is one of the easiest commodities to manipulate. Attempts have been made to outlaw silver, such as the Coinage Act of 1873, which caused outrage and was termed the crime of 1873.


The Money Masters youtube link: the movie is 3.5 hours long, but you can stop it and restart later where you left off.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


“ . . . The peculiarly adolescent quality of the poet’s life and work, the desire to rebel against whatever milieu he happened to find himself in—the schoolboy against school, the wunderkind against his admiring hosts, the poet against poetry—undoubtedly accounts for his particular appeal to teen-agers. (One statistic that Rimbaldians like to cite is that one in five French lycéens today claims to identify with the long-dead poet.) A striking feature of many of the translations and biographies of Rimbaud is the seemingly inevitable prefatory remark, on the part of the translator or biographer, about the moment when he or she first discovered the poet. “When I was sixteen, in 1956, I discovered Rimbaud,” Edmund White recalls at the start of his nimble “Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel,” by far the best introduction to the poet’s life and work; Graham Robb observes early on that “for many readers (including this one), the revelation of Rimbaud’s poetry is one of the decisive events of adolescence.”

Ashbery, too, was sixteen at the moment of impact, as was Patti Smith, the author of what is, perhaps, the most moving testament to the effect that a reading of Rimbaud might have on a hungry young mind. “When I was sixteen, working in a non-union factory in a small South Jersey town,” she writes in an introduction to “The Anchor Anthology of French Poetry,” “my salvation and respite from my dismal surroundings was a battered copy of Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations, which I kept in my back pocket.” The anthology, she adds, “became the bible of my life.”

I suspect that the chances that Rimbaud will become the bible of your life are inversely proportional to the age at which you first discover him. I recently did an informal survey among some well-read acquaintances, and the e-mail I received from a ninety-year-old friend fairly sums up the consensus. “I loved Rimbaud poems when I read the Norman Cameron translations in 1942,” she wrote—Cameron’s translation, my favorite, too, is among the very few in English that try to reproduce Rimbaud’s rhymes—but she added, “I have quite lost what it was that so thrilled me.” In 1942, my friend was twenty-one. I was twice that age when I first started to read Rimbaud seriously, and, although I found much that dazzled and impressed me, I couldn’t get swept away—couldn’t feel those feelings again, the urgency, the orneriness, the rebellion. I don’t say this with pride. Time passes, people change; it’s just the way things are. On the day before his death, a delirious Rimbaud dictated a letter to the head of an imaginary shipping company, urgently requesting passage to Suez. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you miss the boat . . .” ♦
[see full article]


Enfant, certains ciels ont affiné mon optique, tous les caractères nuancèrent ma physionomie. Les phénomènes s'émurent. À présent l'inflexion éternelle des moments de l'infini des mathématiques me chassent par ce monde où je subis tous les succès civils, respecté de l'enfance étrange et des affections énormes. Je songe à une guerre, de droit ou de force, de logique bien imprévue.

C'est aussi simple qu'une phrase musicale.


child of rebellion and betrayal
pack raped at fifteen by soldiers
on the barricades
of the Paris Commune

legend of other’s hooligan dreams

later, you said  . . .
those silly words the carnival idiocies 
phrases you held so dear
Puke Songs &  Hell’s Reasons
oblique trills
floated as effluent for the dunking
in your petite bohemian visions

I wished to put away all that nonsense

yes - it’s true
I met that Desolation Angel
on those burning sands

as if freedom was ever a chance 
karl Gallagher