Archive - 2006

The Poetry of Hafiz

I'm reading a book of (mostly) love poems, called The Gift, by the great Sufi mystic Hafiz, from the 14th century. His poetry is really beautiful and the translation I'm reading makes it very easy and modern, which I have no problem with. A lot of the poems are these amazing odes to the spiritual nature of Love, and are just very pleasureable to read. Often he easily moves from that sort of serious and profound depiction of the divine to a really light, humorous, and witty line. Or sometimes an entire poem is really whimisical, like this one:

Everything is clapping today,

All movement.

A rabbit I pass pulls a cymbal
From a hidden pocket
Then winks.

This causes a few planets and I
To go nuts
And start grabbing each other.

Someone sees this,
Calls a

Tries to get me
Being too

Listen: this world is the lunatic's sphere,
Don't always agree it's real,

Even with my feet upon it
And the postman knowing my door

My address is somewhere else.

Here's a fragment from one that's more on the serious/beautiful side:

We are like two cups of water
That God poured in a vase.
I am one with you beyond

Of course I should mention that that kind of love is pretty rare. It hasn't happened to me in many years. I just realized that it happened at all, reading my old journals last week. Reading those I understood, that more recent interactions were almost meaningless in comparison.

Stranded at 3 am At Tucson Airport

I am such a fucking idiot. I flew back to Tucson tonight, and of course they lost my luggage, and of course I left my keys in one of my checked bags. My flight got in on time at 2:30 am, so I didn't ask anyone to pick me up, was just planning to take a cab. It's way too early to bother my landlord to let me in my place, though. So, I guess i'm just going to camp here in the airport for a few hours. Lesson learned.

Indymedia 1991

I'm still reading old journals, and it continues to blow my mind. I've found the entry from the very beginning of the first Iraq War or Persian Gulf War or whatever it was called. Remember, Bush Senior gave the Iraqis a deadline of January 15, 1991, to get out of Kuwait? That night I was, in a way, doing Indymedia - I was a DJ at WCBN, the U of Michigan college station, and here's what I wrote that night:

Well, the deadline is up. I just got back from my radio show, from 11 to 2. I was on the air when the deadline went down. People were marching in the streets, and Charlie called and told me it was happening, and I announced it on the air, exhorting people to join in. Then Dave called and said the march had ended at the Art Museum, with people singing "Give Peace A Chance." I played nothing but war songs, and I got dozens of requests - one after another, people calling in, suggesting more war songs. It was incredible...

Wow. I had forgotten all about that.

Incidentally, later in the same entry I wrote, "I've got personal things I've been thinking about, too. I don't even want to write it, because it legitimizes it. Basically I have to decide if I should allow a certain emotion to enter my life again." I'm pretty sure I was referring to the very first beginnings of my feelings for the woman that I would end up being with for the next 11 years. 4 days later we were on a bus together to DC for a massive rally against that war.

Wow, reading this stuff is just so amazing. It's like travelling back in time. I'm so glad I wrote these journals and kept them safe.

Recycled Culture Xmas Album Art

Well, Merry Christmas.
Yeah, I'm up early, blogging. can't sleep. can't wait to open presents! hah. yeah. right. no actually i'm always up this early. Actually i gave up trying to sleep a couple hours ago and have been working on a rehaul of an old website, making it all CMS-driven with podcast feeds and shit. it's going to be cool. a small rebirth. it's funny how taking a few days off from web work-work and being cooped up inside thinking about travelling and making more field recordings of exotic cultures can get you inspired to rehaul a website about field recordings. more news on that later.

Anyway, your moment of xmas zen:
from Something Aweful
(via the Daily Dos)
Yes, a whole bunch of xmas-hacked (at least somewhat-) famous album covers. Like with most recycled culture, your mileage may vary depending on how recognizable each one is to you. Most of the gangsta rap ones I was like, huh? Jus' not my thang.... Read more>>>

Solstice: On The Way Up and Out...

Of this bardo I've been in. I can feel it. Last night was the longest night of the year, but things will now only get better. I am confident of that fact.

Man I've never thought of this, to be honest, but it really sucks that my birthday (tommorrow) is so close to the winter solstice. I've never felt this way before. I've always thought it sucks that it's so close to Christmas, but what really matters now is the darkness, for me. And sitting here in eastern Iowa I have not seen the sun in 3 or 4 days. Argh. I need more photons.

Tucson is an improvement on this problem over anywhere else i've lived, but I think I'd really like to live somewhere near the equator. Sometimes people say oh but then you wouldn't get the really long days in the summer, but it's just not really worth it to me. I'd rather just have 12/12 year round day/night. To hell with the extremes.

I Give Good Interview

Hey, this worked out pretty well, an interview I did with Andrew McKibbin of The Red Alert about my film about the Juarez femicide, On The Edge. I especially like the snappy concluding remark I managed to make. oh and this was an actual phone interview, not one of those wimpy email interviews.

ghosts from the past

Being back in my place of origin during the dark days of the winter holidays for very long is like being in somewhere haunted. i inevitably at least think of ghosts, or go looking for them, and looking for ghosts sometimes actually turns up a few. more news as it happens...

A Touch of Hip

If you're ever in the Quad Cities, USA (so-called because it consists of 2 cities on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River and 2 on the Iowa side) and you need a little bit of big city culture, in the form of a comfortable coffeeshop with internet and good espresso drinks, I highly recommend where I'm sitting right now, Dewey's Cafe in the Bettendorf Public Library.

For a place like Bettendorf this place is pretty cool. There's even a young goth guy barista who was really excited about being able to make a mocha that was "for here" and not to go. I was beginning to lose hope, after first going to a pizza place that also advertised itself as an "internet cafe", but had a really weak wireless signal and didn't serve espresso, although they had arty drawings of mochas and lattes (labelled) on the wals. Huh?

This all seems really snobby, perhaps, and I recognize that. However, this is the first time I've jonesed for this kind of thing in the last 2 weeks of being back here in Iowa. And, well, sometimes it's the simple pleasures of cosmopolitan life that can do a lot for my mood. I need ever little mood-booster I can get these days, actually.


So, here I am getting personal again. I can't help it. Things are extremely tough for me right now. But I recently found this really great site that's very helpful to me at this time. If you want to hear more about it, click the read more link below.... Read more>>>

Tucson Activists and La Otra

Here's a video I made recently that I just uploaded about the appearance of the Zapatista La Otra Campaña caravan coming to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, about one hour south of the Arizona border.

You can also download it from my server (33 MB).