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Archive for January, 2013

Poem: This Week’s Snow

This Week’s Snow

It buried all beneath a
blanket of little white lies,
each flake guilty of
momentarily erasing
all our broken truths – a
cracked road, a crumbled
wall, the spill of yesterday’s
life from an up-turned bin –
and in communion with
the great pretence of
all things clean and new.


And even as we danced like
mad and, with joy, like children,
made our own untruths – to
stay away and steal a day –
we knew our feet would scuff
and press and churn to ruin,
that brightest white would
turn to grey and, once more,
with sudden chill, we recalled
the lies we tell, how snow is
never liquid paper for the soul.

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There’s something amusingly patronising about the way this cat handles its owner, determined to make the point that it rather wishes to be left alone. You can just imagine what’s going through its mind. Jim Davis’s Garfield probably captures it…

images

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Poem: A Drunk Lover Of Words

The Drunk Lover Of Words

 

I should write, in this fug of

alcohol and dreams and snow,

with words like ripe cherries

waiting to be plucked and eaten,

sweet and sour and stony-hearted.

 

This should be my Ulysses, my Emma,

my Don Quixote, my Scoop, my

Lolita, my Lucky Jim, my Austerlitz,

my Clarissa, my Catch-22, my Nausea, my

Jane Eyre, my Heart of Darkness.

 

I should write, in this haze of

bravura and need and dust,

with words like rare jewels

yearning to be shaped and polished,

bright and hard and beautiful.

 

This should be my Entirely, my Howl,

my Dover Beach, my V, my

Still I Rise, my Life Is Fine, my Brown Penny,

my America, my Dream Deferred, my Romance, my

Always, my Deaths and Entrances.

 

I will write, in this riot

of caffeine and lust and night,

with words like cut arrows

aching to be nocked and loosed,

straight and true and hitting home.

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Street artists have a unique eye for taking things that most of us walk past, or regard as ugly or broken, and making them into something very different. Funny, surreal, thought-provoking and sometimes just beautiful, there is a tremendous variety of street art out there around the world.

It can provoke passionate discussion, with some dismissing it as merely an excuse for graffiti. Somehow, though, I think it is more than that, saying something about the urban areas in which we live, and giving value back to things that have lost their value and (sometimes purpose) through decay, damage and vandalism.

One of my favourites is OakoAk, described on his own website as a “French artist who likes to play with urban elements”. His work is simpler than some, often eschewing perspective illusions and instead going for the comic,  occasionally tugging a heart-string.

Here’s a selection of some of his most recent, courtesy of Bored Panda:

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“Electronic junk narrows our life space…”

Maxim Kamanin

Sometimes it feels like Hollywood is running to catch up with real life. And sometimes, real life seems even less believable than Hollywood’s penchant for technological exaggeration.

From the middle of nowhere comes an invention that might just revolutionise the way we interact with technology – in pretty much every way. Maxim Kamanin, a youngster from a remote village in southern Russia, is the inventor of a new form of display that may eliminate the need for computer screens entirely, freeing us up to work far more creatively with technology.

Displair literally puts digital images into the air, creating fully penetrable 3D images which can be viewed and manipulated. It is completely astonishing – like something out of Star Trek. It uses a cloud-inspired technology (and not cloud as it is usually thought of in computer tech terms) which somehow remains remarkably stable across varying temperatures. The Displair wiki entry goes into more detail.

From artists, architects and designers, to teachers, surgeons and inventors, the creative ways in which it could be used are immense.

The web-film site Focus Forward Films has a video of this astonishing invention in operation:

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A Commute Diverted

We shoved and shuffled

in this brighter morning,

blue skies and sun

belying warmth,

cloudy breath and

huddled shiver an

overture to our opera

of epithets and sighs:

a tragi-comic Tannhäuser,

on West Ham’s platform stage.

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Old Pictures Prompted By A Morning’s Frost

A sepia dawn reveals

a two-tone world,

surrendering colour to

frost’s brush,

reminding us of

long ago, of men in

hats with scythes

and Threshing Bees.


A cruel cold heralds

a quiet kill,

testifying intent with

frost’s knife,

reminding us of

long ago, of men in

helms with guns

and Yellow Legs.

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