Distribution Automatique

Saturday, August 30


I've never yet read a book or a poem or seen a film or a play that truly captured what it feels like to live. If one of them did, few would read it or go. it would veer too often and too rapidly from being profound one moment and idiotic the next, mesmerizing one moment and anticlimactic the next, exhausting one moment and energizing the next, inspiring one moment and horrifying the next, etc.


Not everyone likes writers or artists who try to be different, but many do. It's the ones that succeed at it that nobody likes.

Friday, August 29

Hardy Hip-Hop

I found this poem by Thomas Hardy and couldn't help but copy it out and post it here and on the poetics listserv. Jerome Sala and others described it as rap-like, Maria Damon compared it to Iggy Pop.

Thoughts at Midnight

Mankind, you dismay me
When shadows waylay me!-
Not by your splendours
Do you affray me,
Nor as pretenders
To demonic keenness,
Nor by your meanness,
Nor by your ill-teachings
Nor your false preachings,
Nor your banalities
And immoralities,
Nor by your daring
Nor sinister bearing;
But by your madnesses
Capping cool badnesses,
Acting like puppets
Under Time's buffets;
In superstitions
And ambitions
Moved by no wisdom,
Far sight, or system,
Led by sheer senselessness
And presciencelessness
Into unreason
And hideous self-treason....
God, look he on you,
Have mercy upon you!

part written 25 May 1906

(published in Hardy's last book of poems "Winter Words in Various Moods")