Inner State

innerlife

Where is the ghost in this great misfiring,
the malevolent spirit fouling the lines,
tying hard knots here, loosing poison there,
everywhere constricting and silting up the flow?

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Morning by the Creek, 1857

app3

The apparition was glimpsed on the far side of the creek. It shimmered in a cloud of strange light, yet cast no reflection on the water. My camera, already set up to capture the quiet morning scene, instead impressed this wondrous spectacle upon its plates. Sometimes it appeared to be a single figure, at other times there looked to be a second by its side. Some human aspect it seemed to have, but with an otherworldliness so strong and frenzied it left one almost deranged. Yet I held steady, the camera on its stand held steady – and so too the apparition, at least long enough for the image to form. Then, as suddenly and soundlessly as it came, it dissolved into the morning air, and the world, which had seemed frozen or spellbound, set at some far remove, was suddenly released back into its normal flow.

 

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Posted up by CounterPunch:

“Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men,
we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents.
Without a prison, there can be no delinquents.
We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves.
When someone was so poor that he couldn’t afford a horse, a tent or a blanket,
he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift.
We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property.
We didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being
was not determined by his wealth.
We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians,
therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another.
We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don’t know
how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things
that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.”

– John (Fire) Lame Deer, Sioux Lakota – 1903-1976

 

 

“Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men,we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had…

Posted by CounterPunch (official) on Monday, March 28, 2016

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“Blackstar”

blacksdtstar

Not a thought to think
Not a thought left to think
Everyone’s voices stop speaking through me
Every knife turned inward turns outward
and falls
Not a thought to think
Not a rag left to pick
Now my eyes are everyone’s eyes
And no one’s eyes    I see
I see you there you’re shining
Not a thought left to think
Everyone’s voices leave the room
And I hear my eyes at last
How can you be there shining
How can it be that you don’t speak
Thought I was through with all the questions
Not a thought left now to think
Where every knife turns outward
Where they go under    where they fall
Not a rag left on my body
Not a thought left now to think

Drawing and words © 2016 by Chris Floyd
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Darker Tenders

Look at me with darker tenders in your eyes,
and muddy heart will be dark wine:
Autumn and auburn, holly and shade.
O death, you will yet be jarred,
you will not shut the tasty way.

Now I must study how this invisible fraud
can chime true.

© 2015 by Chris Floyd

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She Stands at the Door

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In Praise of Boris Pasternak

A couple of items in praise of Boris Pasternak, who was born 125 years ago today. First, my translation of his poem from Doctor Zhivago, “Hamlet”:

A Version of Pasternak’s “Hamlet”

The hour is at hand: it calls the actor.
The crowd grows still as I step through the arch.
There’s the cue: an echo from the future.
I must come forth and give the fated speech.

A thousand eyes, in darkness, throng about me;
Like Roman swords, they’ll pierce me till I bleed.
O if it be Thy will, Abba, Father,
Then take the proffered cup away from me.

For I adore your rigorous conception,
And am content to play my given role.
But these new lines will scorch the throat that speaks them;
This once, I pray, remove me from the bill.

No: I see the acts have all been plotted;
The journey’s end already has been willed.
I’m alone, while the world drowns in falsehood.
Cross this stage, and you cross a killing field.

***
Next, a musical tribute, a song written a few years ago, recorded here as a rehearsal tape to give to a talented musician, Jim Driscoll, before we did a few songs at a local venue last year:

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