April 23, 2014

“You cannot work too hard at poetry. People are bad at it not because they have tin ears, but because they simply don’t have the faintest idea how much work goes into it. It’s not as if you’re ordering a pizza or doing something that requires direct communication in a very banal way. But it seems these days the only people who spend time over things are retired people and prisoners. We bolt things, untasted.

It’s so easy to say, ‘That’ll do.’ Everyone’s in a hurry. People are intellectually lazy, morally lazy, ethically lazy…All the time. When people get angry with a traffic warden they don’t stop and think what it would be like to be a traffic warden or how annoying it would be if people could park wherever they liked. People talk lazily about how hypocritical politicians are. But everyone is. On the one hand we hate that petrol is expensive and on the other we go on about global warming. We abrogate the responsibility for thought and moral decisions onto others and then have the luxury of saying it’s not good enough.

At its best poetry engages with the realities of existence. That’s why it’s so grown up. It’s the absolute opposite of this Disney idea that if you dream hard enough you can get anything - that’s so manifestly not true. Good art has a skull showing. We just need to knuckle down and produce it.

I don’t like this idea that mankind is meant to feel wicked for existing. And that’s what religious people often make one feel. They think we should spend our time either apologising to God for being what we are, or praising him for making us what we are. I mean, what kind of God would need to be praised all the time? If we meet a human being like that we rapidly find them an appalling bore. And if we have to apologise to the creator of the universe, too, that’s mad. Atheists also feel the need to apologise to nature: ‘Oh, I’m so sorry that I behave like a man. And that’s so unfair on poor squirrels and mice and things.’ Bollocks, you know. Tree frogs don’t get up in the morning and say, ‘Oh dear, I should have been a better tree frog.’ One has to be reasonable about it. And to recognise that we’ve done many good and remarkable things. We may have created a lot of landfill sites, but we’ve also produced King Lear and Don Giovanni and the Parthenon. Wonderful things, beautiful.”


— Stephen Fry (via ringtales)

(via 1000reasonsnottostartmakingart)

April 23, 2014
"You’re a poet. Welcome to hell."

— James Wright to his son Franz, after his son wrote his first poem and sent it to him.  (via seearrem)

(via 1000reasonsnottostartmakingart)

April 23, 2014
Artist Interview - Tom Backer

April 21, 2014

Influential Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner's pioneering 1959 model of how creativity works and how we can foster its six essential conditions


Influential Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner's pioneering 1959 model of how creativity works and how we can foster its six essential conditions

April 20, 2014
"I have buried you in every place I’ve been. You keep ending up in my shaking hands."

Bon Iver, from A Song For A Lover Of Long Ago (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)

Can’t shake you.

(via theashmc)

(Source: requiemforthepast, via youreyesblazeout)

April 19, 2014

vincent van gogh

vincent van gogh

(Source: cactuslands, via blo)

April 18, 2014
"We must learn to know ourselves better through art. We must rely more on the unconscious, inspirational side of man. We must not enslave ourselves to dogma. We must believe in the attainability of food. We must believe, without fear, in people."

Leonard Bernstein (via thegreatearth)

April 17, 2014
"To commit to love is fundamentally to commit to a life beyond dualism. That’s why love is so sacred in a culture of domination, because it simply begins to erode your dualisms: dualisms of black and white, male and female, right and wrong."

bell hooks, “Agent of Change

(via tricycle-tumbles)

April 17, 2014


John Cage - 4’33”

On August 29, 1952, David Tudor walked onto the stage of the Maverick Concert Hall, near Woodstock, New York, sat down at the piano, and, for four and a half minutes, made no sound.

He was performing 4’33”, a conceptual work by John Cage. It has been called the “silent piece,” but its purpose is to make people listen.

“There’s no such thing as silence,” Cage said, recalling the première. “You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began pattering the roof, and during the third people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out.”

Indeed, some listeners didn’t care for the experiment, although they saved their loudest protests for the question-and-answer session afterward. Someone reportedly hollered, “Good people of Woodstock, let’s drive these people out of town!” 

Composer and scholar Kyle Gann defines 4’33” as “an act of framing, of enclosing environmental and unintended sounds in a moment of attention in order to open the mind to the fact that all sounds are music.”

That last thought ruled Cage’s life: he wanted to discard inherited structures, open doors to the exterior world, “let sounds be just sounds.” Gann writes, “It begged for a new approach to listening, perhaps even a new understanding of music itself, a blurring of the conventional boundaries between art and life.”

—Alex Ross, Searching for Silence

Read Ross’s article on Cage’s 4’33” in its entirety here.

April 16, 2014

I have emotions

that are like newspapers that

read themselves.

I go for days at a time

trapped in the want ads.

I feel as if I am an ad

for the sale of a haunted house:

18 rooms


I’m yours

ghosts and all.


— Richard Brautigan, Revenge of the Lawn (via stxxz)

(via stxxz)