Monday, June 25, 2007

Adios, Muchachos...

Ever being revised....


A great wind draws itself up, then herds its wild
colts from the Pacific Ocean, across San Francisco,
leaving faeries behind to hug at knees, lassoing
legs with spider-gauze. Brace your feet! The sky’s
motorcycle brats rush forward, brake on Potrero Hill.
Their tires shred in the chain-link canopy over

a walkway spanning Highway 101 where it races
toward Hospital Curve. With cloud and sun,
the canopy drops a shadow net that traces the scales
on the giant shadowfish that wriggles in its net.
We tread, skitterish on that moving ground, over
the roaring stream of cars below, on our way
to 24th Street. There the deli man has forgotten
his prices, spring confusing his hostility. Sleep easy,
anguish of April. Adios, muchachos, compañeros
de ma vida, barra querida… The young men
in hairnets and leather jackets school at 24th
and Hampshire. A day like this feels bountiful
as the Ace of Cups. Invisible pearls bead in our
nostrils. We drink from the secret springs in air.

- James Eilers, copyright 2007

The tune of “Adios, muchachos…” (Goodbye to my buddies ["the companions of my life"] at the local bar…) became known in the United States with the words “I Get Ideas.”

Friday, June 15, 2007

Center for the Art of Translation

My path was steered to an organization I had not heard of -- the Center for the Art of Translation that launched its latest collection of translations at an event on 14 June 2007. It is hard to believe someone so young and lively as Olivia E. Sears (below) is in charge of the Center:

It was wonderful to hear the music of so many different languages, followed by translations into English. Mette McCall read the Danish for Carsten Rene Nielsen's delightful poems about creatures -- "Spider," "Lizard," "Elephant," "Octopus," with the translations by David Keplinger read by Michael Carabetta of Chronicle Books.
Ms. McCall:

Daniel Alcaron read the Spanish and the English for a selection from Cuban writer Senez Paz, translated by Tom Christensen:

Carol Cosman read the French for "Luxor, Movie Palace" by Chantal Bizzini, and our former socialistic politician, Matt Gonzalez, now a civil rights lawyer, read the English translation by Brad Anderson:

Anita Sagastegui read the Spanish of Chilean writer Vicente Huidobro, translated by Dan Bellm:

Nature or Artifice?

While looking after Paul Harmon’s cat, Tu Fu, I found Paul's front window to be a painting by Henri Rousseau – nature as artifice – because of a strange tree across the way. (Anne Batmale says that it is a NorfolkPine.) The impression was enhanced when a bird landed on the taller of two poles at the top of the pine. Below the bird, the tree’s precise branches, inverted green umbrellas, were centered on and descending down the trunk, from smaller to larger umbrellas. In the side view, the branches look flat – broad green triangles – arrowheads pointing down and down. Then the bird sitting atop the geometric tree flew away, revealing itself to be a mockingbird: The white spots on its wings made moons cascading through the shutters of its moving wings. Triangle trees... birds that leave white circles in the air...this is a scene from a magical story, a vision in a myth.
Not capturing the mockingbird in flight, I borrowed from the Internet the one superimposed on the photograph above, but the tree is the very tree you see from Paul's window.

Henry Thoreau

Several years ago, I made a Henry Thoreau collage for Paul Harmon. I hope I don't need to explain that the figures around the portrait of Thoreau represent how things turn out with humans who would espouse Thoreau's ideas, and those who would reject them:

"What force has a multitude? They only can force me who obey a higher law than I."

'The State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength."


"I have read in a Hindoo book that 'there was a king's son, who, being expelled in infancy from his native city, imagined himself to belong to the barbarous race with which he lived. One of his father's ministers having discovered him revealed to him what he was, and the misconception of his character was removed, and he knew himself to be a prince. So soul,' continues the Hindoo philosopher, 'from the circumstances in which it is placed, mistakes its own character, until the truth is revealed to it and it knows itself to be BRAHME'."

"Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous."

"I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject."

If you clicked on the following, you could enlarge it to the point where you could read the words on the original collage, but I just made the words more clear above, for the blog -- But still lack knowledge about how to create various size types -- like th press-on letters of the original!

Hiking in Wildcat Canyon...

When Martha Hubert and Thom Burnham invited me to join their friend, Bruce Hillman, on 9 June 2007 for a hike in the East Bay, I did not realize it would be an eight-mile hike to the top of Wildcat Canyon and back down again, but my canvas shoes, and I, survived the hike, and I enjoyed these sights:

Leaf Mobile Against Screen Door

First Reflection About Turning 70 is that...

...I am in danger of thinking I know what I am talking about.