Weird Elephants/Neuilly/Concept Album

Track 1—Lula Carry me home in an oxcart Crying mad “Is there more, is there more?” Tolling the bells resolutely Waiting for people who won’t come anymore— Track 2—Boy from Pittsburgh I was on the same Greyhound with you and Your hipster wife except I slept the whole trip No time at 30 for the landscape, baby, Don’t blame me—and the cars have ruined the … Continue reading Weird Elephants/Neuilly/Concept Album

Ai Weiwei and other visions of New York (Op. 1055)

1. What use have I for these Cocacolabottles———7 yrs, the beard has grown unmanageable 2. Flee chugoku wit’ a jaropearls is this good enough for your mother 3. Mastah, not even egypt was old enough for you what shall we do now what shall we ever do? 4. Nothing the world has yet to be carved from this urn the mounens from this heap of … Continue reading Ai Weiwei and other visions of New York (Op. 1055)

This is the stuff of nightmares (1)

Leafing through my notebooks from three or four years back, I feel a certain vertigo in recognising in their pages the self I once was, and which however hard I may try, I cannot reconcile with the self I conceive myself to be today. All history is lost to us; our personal histories in a grander, more tragic scale. Sometimes it feels as if I … Continue reading This is the stuff of nightmares (1)

Biografía de Carlos Gómez Álava

La muerte de Carlos Gómez Álava en 1988 le ganó un breve obituario en la Revista catalana de literatura extranjera, catalogando las bagatelas que constan su vida (por ejemplo su nombre y la fecha de su nacimiento) en vez de una biografía. Este ensayo lo ofrezco ahora en penitencia por aquella falta. No hay ninguna indicación que la noticia de su muerte aun llegó a … Continue reading Biografía de Carlos Gómez Álava

No te vayas de Zamboanga: thoughts and translations

I came across the wonderful little song “No te vayas de Zamboanga” (Don’t Leave Zamboanga) on Youtube and was intrigued. The description says it is in Chabacano1, the Spanish creole spoken in Zamboanga (and in some parts of Cavite and Davao), except it isn’t: the song is written in Spanish—español, castellano, whichever you prefer—much like the more familiar ballad “Zamboanga hermosa” (Beautiful Zamboanga), with some … Continue reading No te vayas de Zamboanga: thoughts and translations

Who shall know the name of the wind

On the steps of the Temple Hall a half-naked mongol1 was proclaiming the end of the world. Three centuries earlier, William, earl of Orford, who had gone mad the previous summer2, had stood on the same spot, raving in the same madness, before the king’s men arrested him for disturbing the peace; he was hanged the next day. My education forces me to come up … Continue reading Who shall know the name of the wind

Down the Wine Cellar

Tolkien’s Elvish languages were mainly influenced by two languages: Welsh and Finnish. The two shared no similarity besides the fact that they are both spoken in Europe (though only Welsh is Indo-European) and that they pleased Tolkien’s ears. Finnish is the model for Quenya, and although both Sindarin and Quenya were designed to be euphonic, Quenya has a distinct melancholy feel that would invoke the … Continue reading Down the Wine Cellar