We all know that a good person can be a bad artist.
But no one will ever be a genuine artist
unless a great human being and thus also a good one.

Marc Chagall

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.
Imagination embraces the entire world,
and everything there will be to know and understand.
Imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.

Albert Einstein

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.

I ♥! Dr. Seuss

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt


A (Nearly) Free Kindle Workflow

Kindle_Paperwhite_35438287_35437744_35438313_35438312_02_620x4331

While the Kindle Paperwhite is a great lightweight device with near-infinite battery life for reading anywhere (even walking or at the gym), you can also pick up a Kindle app for free…there’s no need to buy a dedicated Kindle tablet (although they are discounted during the “National Reading Month” of March and radically expand your reading opportunities):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 6.36.32 PMBy using a kindle workflow it is easy to read, store, and annotate digital text anywhere on any device, forever, from your own personal archive, including such free books as this miracle from Amazon: translations of Petrarch’s sonnets by many different poets through the centuries…available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Sonnets-Triumphs-Other-Poems-Petrarch-ebook/dp/B0084C6GEA/ 

91H8huPR5rL._SL1500_With the free ‘Send to Kindle’ app you can archive all of your eBooks and PDF scripts in the cloud (available for free from sources such as Lee Thompson’s Script Archive and Scridx.com):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 6.37.26 PMFinally there is also a ‘Send to Kindle’ browser-plugin for Chrome to permanently archive html (from sources such as Luminarium, Renascence Editions, and Elizabethan Authors):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/chrome

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 7.36.19 PM

Echoes of Shakespeare

Gilbert_WShakespeares_Plays

For those interested in experiencing Shakespeare by way of his predecessors
these resources may be a start…

ovid
1597 translation of Ovid’s Metamorphosis by Arthur Golding
https://archive.org/details/shakespearesovid00oviduoftadelcastagno_petrarca800

Petrarch’s Lyric Poems
http://www.amazon.com/Petrarchs-Lyric-Poems-Sparse-Lyrics/dp/0674663489/thomas-wyatt

Tottel’s Miscellany
https://archive.org/details/cu31924095909093 sidneypenshurst

Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
https://archive.org/details/sirpshisastroph00sidngoog    Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 9.17.29 AM

“Chop Bard” Down to Earth Shakespeare…
http://chopbard.com/Screen-Shot-2014-01-16-at-6.30.57-PM

$2 Collected Works of Poets Formatted for eReaders
http://www.delphiclassics.com/Greek-Pottery1 Homer’s Iliad, translated by George Chapman in 1598
https://archive.org/details/iliadhome00homeuoftScreen-Shot-2014-01-16-at-6.30.57-PM

England’s Helicon
https://archive.org/details/englandsheliconc00bulliala
Publius_Vergilius_Maro

Virgil’s The Aeneid
http://www.audible.com/pd/Classics/The-Aeneid-Audiobook/B0030313BO
Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 3.55.56 PM Plutarch’s Lives (North translation)
http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php&title=1802
shakespeare-crowd-630x300 Shakespeare’s Sonnets…
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1041
Screen-Shot-2014-01-18-at-3.28.34-PM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_years_in_poetry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Poetry

Scriptnotes Episode 120: “Stop Getting High”

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 10.55.51 PM

Craig: I think twenty-somethings just get way higher than we ever did. They just –

John: That may be true.

Craig: They just get high all the time. Our generation obviously got high and still gets high. And drinks. And drank and still drinks. But weed in and of itself, when we were in our twenties you could get arrested, you know? [laughs] Like I had to hide it. You really can’t now. There’s not a — and I actually like that. I believe that marijuana should be legalized.

However, I also believe that if you want to be — and this is what I told this person — stop getting high. If you want to write a screenplay, stop it. You want to get high Friday night through Sunday afternoon? Go for it. But this is a job that to me at least requires an enormous amount of sobriety. Even the famous writers who were notoriously drunk –

There was an interesting article recently. A lot of them found that they were most productive when they were writing through hangovers. It was in the aftermath of the drinking and the abuse. But, it’s romantic to think that you can get high and write the best stuff of your life.

I don’t think it works at all.

John: Well, in a general sense let’s talk about writers and drugs, because I think it’s actually a fascinating topic. The writers who get high because getting high reduces their inhibitions and makes the words flow or whatever, that was never me, and it’s not the experience I’ve noticed from any of my writer colleagues who sort of of my cohort. So, it’s entirely possible that this next generation that’s rising up to replace us, they are tremendously successful at writing while high and I’m just completely missing it. That same way that like I kind of didn’t understand why anyone would have a manager, then Justin Marks explaining why writers have managers.

So, it’s entirely possible that I’m wrong. But I kind of don’t think I’m wrong. Because my experience of being around people who get high a lot is that either you can do two things. You can use it as a crutch. Basically like, well, I can’t write because I’m not high, and I’m always high when I write. That’s tremendously challenging when you’re in any situation where you can’t get high. Where you’re actually in a room working on something and that becomes your thing. It’s like having this weird thing where you can only write when the sun is streaming through the window one certain way and any other way it won’t work. That’s bad. That’s not going to be useful to you.

The other thing I would say is that most of the people I know who get high a lot, their ambition just sort of dissipates a bit. And without ambition, I don’t think you’re going to be able to generate the quantity and quality of work it’s going to take to really make a screenwriting career.

Craig: I agree. I think that it’s important for me to point out that my experience of my cohorts is exactly the same as yours. I don’t know one single successful writer who has maintained a career who continues to abuse drugs or alcohol. I know some that have, and gotten over it, but I don’t know any that continue to do it as a matter of practice and can still function through it. I also think that the problem with writing while you’re high is that you’re not writing. The whole point of getting high is to alter your consciousness, which is fun.

It’s totally fun. Drinking is fun. And getting high is fun. I get it. But it’s about expanding your consciousness, and letting go of who you are for awhile, and when you come back from it, perhaps you can come back with something that you’ve learned about yourself. But then you’re not writing. There’s a you and it’s the sober you. I don’t know how else to put it.

John: I would agree with you. Writing is really hard. And so I think some of the instinct behind using something like pot or people who are using Provigil or Ritalin or other sort of stimulant things, helps them sort of focus in on what they’re doing, it’s an attempt to make something that’s inherently hard feel easier. But in making it feel easier, it’s unlikely that you’re going to find great success in that solution.

If you’re on one of these, if you take Ritalin or whatever, you may pile through more pages. The odds that they’re going to be awesome pages are very, very small.

Craig: Yeah. Yeah.

John: And I would also say the same with pot. You may write a few good sentences, but it’s unlikely you’re going to get the work done that needs to get done.

Craig: No, screenwriting is rigorous. It requires enormous attention. To me, writing while altered is right up there with directing while altered. Or driving. And I’m taking away even the aspect of how dangerous that would be for other people, yourself physically. I mean to say your just not very good at it.

It’s something that requires focus, and attention, and intention, and thought. And the whole point of getting high is to make some of that stuff go away. You know, beyond caffeine and, you know, cigarette, you know, if you feel like hurting your lungs.

But, yeah, just no. Don’t. I think culturally speaking I was a little taken aback, not in a judgmental way, but more in a, huh, I think this is probably going on more than you and I realize.

John: I would agree.

Craig: So, advice here is stop. I don’t think it’s going to help you.

John: Yeah. And so I want to phrase it as this is not a moral judgment about sort of whatever substances you want to consume. Just in my experience looking at sort of historical record of people I know who have succeeded and got stuff done, none of the people I know who have succeeded and really gotten a lot of stuff done have been using stuff frequently to do it.

Craig: Totally.

John: Beyond the exact examples that you list, which are caffeine, which is getting you up and getting your focused through that next bit. And some people do smoke. But not that many people smoke now. Even Craig Mazin doesn’t smoke now.

Craig: Yeah, it’s an occasional, you know. The guy that needs to smoke a cigar every day while you’re writing. Great. Worked for Mark Twain. And really caffeine and nicotine or sort of two peas in a pod. But, you know, totally agree with you. This is not judgmental. I believe all drugs should be legal. I’m very libertarian about that. And I don’t care what you do when you you’re not writing. But, I do want you to be writing, not high or drunk you.

John: Yeah. That’s very important. And I will also say that I’m not discounting the fact that some people have special challenges and their brains are not working right, and so this is really talking about an otherwise healthy person who is trying to write a screenplay.

If you are a person who is sort of not overall healthy in life and needs some other antidepressant or whatever else, go do that and take care of yourself first. So, that’s not like a blanket statement against all drugs or any medication that could help a person.

But specifically taking something in order to get yourself to start writing is not my advice to you.

Craig: Agreed.

Full transcript available here: 
http://johnaugust.com/2013/scriptnotes-ep-120-lets-talk-about-coverage-transcript

Tip…listen to Scripnotes at 2x speed or faster with their iOS app:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scriptnotes/id739117984?mt=8

Imr El Kais: Ode (Translated by Lady Anne and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt)

msb-134397mod

                                                   Ode

Weep, ah weep love’s losing, love’s with its dwelling-place
set where the hills divide Dakhuli and Haumali.

Tudiha and Mikrat! There the hearths-stones of her
stand where the South and North winds cross-weave the
sand-furrows.

See the white-doe droppings strewn by the wind on them,
black on her floors forsaken, fine-grain of peppercorns.

Here it was I watched her, lading her load-camels,
stood by these thorn-trees weeping tears as of colocynth.

Here my twin-friends waited, called to me camel-borne:
Man ! not of grief thou diest. Take thy pain patiently.

Not though tears assuage thee, deem it beseemeth thee
thus for mute stones to wail thee, all thy foes witnesses.

What though fortune flout thee! Thus Om Howeyrith did,
thus did thy Om Rebabi, fooled thee in Masali.

O, where these two tented, sweet was the breath of them,
sweet as of musk their fragrance, sweet as garanfoli.

Mourned I for them long days, wept for the love of them,
tears on my bosom raining, tears on my sword-handle.

Yet, was I unvanquished. Had I not happiness,
I, at their hands in Daret, Daret of Juljuli?

O that day of all days! Slew I my milch-camel,
feasted the maidens gaily: well did they load for me!

Piled they high the meat-strings. All day they pelted me,
pelted themselves with fatness, fringes of camel-meat.

Climbed I to her howdah, sat with Oneyzata,
while at my raid she chided: Man ! Must I walk afoot?

Swayed the howdah wildly, she and I close in it:
There! my beast’s back is galled now. Slave of Grief,
down with thee.

Answered I: Nay, sweet heart, loosen the rein of him.
Think not to stay my kisses. Here will I harvest them.

Grieve not for thy camel. Grudge not my croup-riding.
Give me and thee to taste things sweeter than clove-
apples,

Kisses on thy white teeth, teeth, nay the pure petals,
even and clean and close-set, wreathing a camomile.

Wooed have I thy equals, maidens and wedded ones.
Her, the nursling’s mother, did I not win to her?

What though he wailed loudly, babe of the amulets,
turned she not half towards him, half of her clasped to me?

Woe is me, the hard heart! How did she mock at me,
high on the sand-hill sitting, vowing to leave and go!

Fatma, nay, my own love, though thou wouldst break with
me,
still be thou kind awhile now, leave me not utterly.

Clean art thou mistaken. Love is my malady.
Ask me the thing thou choosest. Straight will I execute.

If so be thou findest ought in thy lover wrong,
cast from thy back my garments, moult thee my finery.

Woe is me, the hard heart ! When did tears trouble thee,
save for my soul’s worse wounding, stricken and near to
die?

Fair too was that other, she the veil-hidden one,
howdahed how close, how guarded! Yet did she welcome
me.

Passed I twixt her tent-ropes : what though her near-of-kin
lay in the dark to slay me, blood-shedders all of them.

Came I at the mid-night, hour when the Pleiades
showed as the links of seed-pearls binding the sky’s
girdle.

Stealing in, I stood there. She had cast off from her
every robe but one robe, all but her night-garment.

Tenderly she scolded : What is this stratagem?
Speak, on thine oath, thou mad one. Stark is thy
lunacy.

Passed we out together, while she drew after us
on our twin track to hide it, wise, her embroideries,

Fled beyond the camp-lines. There in security
dark in the sand we lay down far from the prying eyes.

By her plaits I wooed her, drew her face near to me,
won to her waist how frail-lined, hers of the ankle-rings.

Fair-faced she no redness noble of countenance,
smooth as of glass her bosom, bare with its necklaces.

Thus are pearls yet virgin, seen through the dark water,
clear in the sea-depths gleaming, pure, inaccessible.

Coyly she withdraws her, shows us a cheek, a lip,
she a gazelle of Wujra: yearling the fawn with her.

Roe-like her throat slender, white as an ariel’s,
sleek to thy lips up-lifted : pearls are its ornament.

On her shoulders fallen thick lie the locks of her,
dark as the dark date – clusters hung from the palm –
branches.

See the side-plaits pendent, high on the brows of her,
tressed in a knot, the caught ones fast with the fallen
ones.

Slim her waist: a well-cord scarce has its slenderness.
Smooth are her legs as reed-stems stripped at a water-
head.

The morn through she sleepeth, musk-strewn in indolence,
hardly at noon hath risen, girded her day dresses.

Soft her touch: her fingers fluted as water- worms,
sleek as the snakes of Thobya, tooth-sticks of ‘Ishali.

Lighteneth she night’s darkness, ay, as an evening lamp
hung for a sign of guidance lone on a hermitage.

Who but shall desire her, seeing her standing thus,
half in her childhood’s short frock, half in her woman’s
robe !

Strip thee of youth’s fooling, thou in thy manhood’s
prime.
Yet to her love be faithful: hold it a robe to thee.

Many tongues have spoken, warned me of craft in love.
Yet have they failed an answer: all were thine enemies.

Dim the drear night broodeth: veil upon veil let down,
dark as a mad sea raging, tempting the heart of me.

Spake I to Night stoutly, while he, a slow camel,
dragged with his hind-feet halting: gone the forehand of
him.

Night! I cried, thou snail Night, when wilt thou turn to
day?
When? Though in sooth day’s dawning worse were than
thou to me.

Sluggard Night, what stays thee ? Chained hang the stars
of thee,
fast to the rocks with hempen ropes set un-movable.

Water-skins of some folk ay, with the thong of them
laid on my naga’s wither borne have I joyfully,

Crossed how lone the rain-ways, bare as an ass-belly:
near me the wolf, starved gamester, howled to his
progeny.

Cried I: Wolf, thou wailest. Surely these lives of ours,
thine and my own, go empty, robbed of prosperity.

All we won we leave here. Whoso shall follow us,
seed in our corn-track casting, reap shall he barrenness.

Rode I forth at day-dawn–birds in their nests asleep–
stout on my steed, the sleek coat, him the game-
vanquisher.

Lo, he chargeth, turneth–gone is he–all in one, like
to a rock stream-trundled, hurled from it’s eminence.

Red-bay he—his loin-cloth chafing the ribs of him.
Shifts as a rain-stream smoothing stones in a river-bed.

Hard is he–he snorteth loud in the pride of him, fierce
as a full pot boiling, bubbling beneath the lid.

Straineth he how stoutly, while, as spent fishes swim,
tied to his track the fleet ones plow his steps wearily.

See, in scorn he casteth youth from the back of him,
leaveth the horseman cloakless, naked the hard-ride.

As a sling-stone hand-whirled, so is the might of him,
loosed from the string that held it, hurled from the
spliced ribbon.

Lean his flanks, gazelle-like, legs as the ostrich’s; he like
a strong wolf troteth; lithe as a fox-cub he.

Stout his frame; behind him, look, you shall note of him
full-filled the hind-leg gap, tail with no twist in it.

Polished, hard his quarters, smooth as the pounding-
stone used for a bridegroom’s spices, grind-slab of
colocynth.

As the henna juice lies dyed on a beard grown hoar, so
on his neck the blood-stains mark the game down-
ridden.

Rushed we on the roe-herd. Sudden, as maids at play
circling in skirts low-training, forth leaped the does
of it.

Flashing fled they, jewels, shells set alternately on a
young gallant’s neck-string, his the high pedigreed.

Yet he gained their leaders, far while behind him lay
bunched in a knot the hindmost, ere they fled scatter-
wise.

‘Twixt the cow and bull herds held he in wrath his road;
made he of both his booty–sweatless the neck of
him.

All that day we roasted, seethed the sweet meat of them,
row upon row in cauldrons, firelighters all of us.

Nathless home at night-fall, he in the fore-front still.
Where is the eye shall bind him? How shall it follow
him?

The night through he watcheth, scorneth him down to
lay, close, while I sleep, still saddled, bridled by side
of me.

Friend, thou seest the lightning. Mark where it
wavereth, gleameth like fingers twisted, clasped in
the cloud-rivers.

Like a lamp new-lighted, so is the flash of it, trimmed
by a hermit nightly pouring oil-sesame.

Stood I long a watcher, twin-friends how dear with me,
till in Otheyb it faded, ended in Dariji.

By it’s path we judged it: rain over Kattan is; far in
Sitar it falleth, streameth in Yathoboli.

Gathereth gross the flood-head dammed in Kuteyfati.
Woe to the trees, the branched ones! Woe the kanah-
boli!

El Kanaan hath known it, quailed from the lash of it.
Down from their lairs it driveth hot foot the ibexes.

Known it too hath Teyma; standeth no palm of her
there, nor no house low-founded,–none but her rock-
buildings.

Stricken stood Thabira whelmed by the rush of it, like
an old chief robe-folded, bowed in his striped mantle.

nay, but he Mujeymir, tall-peaked at dawn of day,
showed like a spinster’s distaff tossed on the flood-
water.

Cloud-wrecked lay the valley piled with the load of it,
high as in sacks the Yemami heapeth his corn-
measures.

Seemed it then the song-birds, wine-drunk at sun-rising,
loud through the valley shouted, maddened with
spiceries,

While the wild beast corpses, grouped like great bulbs
up-torn, cumbered the hollow places, drowned in the
night-trouble.

Black Marigolds (versified translation by E. Powys Mathers of the 11th century Sanskrit poem “Caurapañcāśikā”, written by the Kasmiri poet Bilhana Kavi)

BlackWhiteMarigoldGraphic

 

 

Even now
My thought is all of this gold-tinted king’s daughter
With garlands tissue and golden buds,
Smoke tangles of her hair, and sleeping or waking
Feet trembling in love, full of pale languor;
My thought is clinging as to a lost learning
Slipped down out of the minds of men,
Labouring to bring her back into my soul.

Even now
If I see in my soul the citron-breasted fair one
Still gold-tinted, her face like our night stars,
Drawing unto her; her body beaten about with flame,
Wounded by the flaring spear of love,
My first of all by reason of her fresh years,
Then is my heart buried alive in snow.

Even now
If my girl with lotus eyes came to me again
Weary with the dear weight of young love,
Again I would give her to these starved twins of arms
And from her mouth drink down the heavy wine,
As a reeling pirate bee in fluttered ease
Steals up the honey from the nenuphar.

Even now
I bring her back, ah, wearied out with love
So that her slim feet could not bear her up;
Curved falls of her hair down on her white cheeks;
In the confusion of her coloured vests
Speaking that guarded giving up, and her scented arms
Lay like cool bindweed over against my neck.

Even now
I bring her back to me in her quick shame,
Hiding her bright face at the point of day;
Making her grave eyes move in watered stars,
For love’s great sleeplessness wandering all night,
Seeming to sail gently, as that pink bird,
Down the water of love in a harvest of lotus.

Even now
If I saw her lying all wide eyes
And with collyrium the indent of her cheek
Lengthened to the bright ear and her pale side
So suffering the fever of my distance,
Then would my love for her be ropes of flowers, and night
A black-haired lover on the breasts of day.

Even now
I see the heavy startled hair of this reed-flute player
Who curved her poppy lips to love dances,
Having a youth’s face madding like the moon
Lying at her full; limbs ever moving a little in love,
Too slight, too delicate, tired with the small burden
Of bearing love ever on white feet.

Even now
She is present to me on her beds,
Balmed with the exhalation of a flattering musk,
Rich with the curly essence of santal;
Girl with eyes dazing as the seeded-wine,
Showing as a pair of gentle nut-hatches
Kissing each other with their bills, each hidden
By turns within a little grasping mouth.

Even now
She swims back in the crowning hour of love
All red with wine her lips have given to drink,
Soft round the mouth with camphor and faint blue
Tinted upon the lips, her slight body,
Her great live eyes, the colourings of herself
A clear perfection; sighs of musk outstealing
And powdered wood spice heavy of Cashmir.

Even now
I see her; fair face blond like gold
Rich with small lights, and tinted shadows surprised
Over and over all of her; with glittering eyes
All bright for love but very love-weary,
As it were the conjuring disk of the moon when Rahu ceases
With his dark stumbling-block to hide her rays.

Even now
She is art-magically present to my soul
And that one word of strange heart’s ease, good-bye,
That in the night, in loth moving to go,
And bending over to a golden mouth,
I said softly to the turned away
Tenderly tired hair of this king’s daughter.

Even now
My eyes that hurry to see no more are painting, painting
Faces of my lost girl. O golden rings,
That tap against cheeks of small magnolia leaves,
O whitest so soft parchment where
My poor divorced lips have written excellent
Stanzas of kisses, and will write no more. 

Even now
Death sends me the flickering of powdery lids
Over wild eyes and the pity of her slim body
All broken up with the weariness of joy;
The little red flowers of her breasts to be my comfort
Moving above scarves, and for my sorrow
Wet crimson lips that once I marked as mine.

Even now
By a cool noise of waters in the spring
The asoka with young flowers that feign her fingers
And bud in red; and in the green vest pearls kissing
As it were rose leaves in the gardens of God; the shining at night
Of white cheeks in the dark; smiles from light thoughts within,
And her walking as of a swan; these trouble me.

Even now
The pleased intimacy of rough love
Upon the patient glory of her form
Racks me with memory; and her bright dress
As it were yellow flame, which the white hand
Shamefastly gathers in her rising haste,
The slender grace of her departing feet.

Even now
When all my heavy heart is broken up
I seem to see my prison walls breaking
And then a light, and in that light a girl
Her fingers busied about her hair, her cool white arms
Faint rosy at the elbows, raised in the sunlight,
And temperate eyes that wander far away.

Even now
I seem to see my prison walls come close,
Built up of darkness, and against that darkness
A girl no taller than my breast and very tired,
Leaning upon the bed and smiling, feeding
A little bird and lying slender as ash-trees,
Sleepily aware as I told of the green
Grapes and the small bright-coloured river flowers. 

Even now
I see her, as I used, in her white palace
Under black torches throwing cool red light,
Woven with many flowers and tearing the dark.
I see her rising, showing all her face
Defiant timidly, saying clearly;
Now I shall go to sleep, good-night, my ladies.

Even now
Though I am so far separate, a flight of birds
Swinging from side to side over the valley trees,
Passing my prison with their calling and crying,
Bring me to see my girl. For very bird-like
Is her song singing, and the state of a swan
In her light walking, like the shaken wings
Of a black eagle falls her nightly hair.

Even now
I know my princess was happy. I see her stand
Touching her breasts with all her flower-soft fingers,
Looking askance at me with smiling eyes.
There is a god that arms him with a flower
And she was stricken deep. Her, oh die here.
Kiss me and I shall be purer than quick rivers.

Even now
They chatter her weakness through the two bazaars
Who was so strong to love me. And small men
That buy and sell for silver being slaves
Crinkle the fat about their eyes; and yet
No Prince of the Cities of the Sea has taken her,
Leading to his grim bed. Little lonely one,
You clung to me as a garment clings, my girl.

Even now
Only one dawn shall rise for me. The stars
Revolve to-morrow’s night and I not heed.
One brief cold watch beside an empty heart
And that is all. This night she rests not well;
Oh, sleep; for there is heaviness for all the world
Except for the death-lighted heart of me.

Even now
My sole concern the slipping of her vests,
Her little breasts the life beyond this life.
One night of disarray in her green hems,
Her golden cloths, outweighs the order of the earth,
Making of none effect the tides of the sea.
I have seen her enter the temple meekly and there seem
The flag of flowers that veils the very god.

Even now
I mind the coming and talking of wise men from towers
Where they had thought away their youth. And I, listening,
Found not the salt of the whispers of my girl,
Murmur of confused colours, as we lay near sleep;
Little wise words and little witty words
Wanton as water, honeyed with eagerness.

Even now
I call to mind her weariness in the morning
Close lying in my arms, and tiredly smiling
At my disjointed prayer for her small sake.
Now in my morning the weariness of death
Sends me to sleep. Had I made coffins
I might have lived singing to three score. 

Even now
The woodcutter and fisherman turn home,
With on his axe the moon and in his dripping net
Caught yellow moonlight. The purple flame of fire
Calls them to love and sleep. From the hot town
The maker of scant songs for bread wanders
To lie under the clematis with his girl.
The moon shines on her breasts, and I must die. 

Even now
I have a need to make up prayers, to speak
My last consideration of the world
To the great thirteen gods, to make my balance
Ere the soul journeys on. I kneel and say:
Father of Light. Leave we it burning still
That I may look at you. Mother of the Stars,
Give me your feet to kiss; I love you, dear.

Even now
I seem to see the face of my lost girl
With frightened eyes, like a wood wanderer,
In travail with sorrowful waters, unwept tears
Labouring to be born and fall; when white face turned
And little ears caught at the far murmur,
The pleased snarling of the tumult of dogs
When I was buried away down the white road. 

Even now
When slow rose-yellow moons looked out at night
To guard the sheaves of harvest and mark down
The peach’s fall, how calm she was and love worthy.
Glass-coloured starlight falling as thin as dew
Was wont to find us at the spirit’s starving time
Slow straying in the orchard paths with love. 

Even now
Love is a god and Rati the dark his bride;
But once I found their child and she was fairer,
That could so shine. And we were each to each
Wonderful and a presence not yet felt
In any dream. I knew the sunset earth
But as a red gold ring to bear my emerald
Within the little summer of my youth.

Even now
I marvel at the bravery of love,
She, whose two feet might be held in one hand
And all her body on a shield of the guards,
Lashed like a gold panther taken in a pit
Tearfully valiant, when I too was taken’
Bearding her black-beard father in his wrath,
Striking the soldiers with white impotent hands.

Even now
I mind that I loved cypress and roses, dear,
The great blue mountains and the small grey hills,
The sounding of the sea. Upon a day
I saw strange eyes and hands like butterflies;
For me at morning larks flew from the thyme
And children came to bathe in little streams.

Even now
Sleep left me all these nights for your white bed
And I am sure you sistered lay with sleep
After much weeping. Piteous little love,
Death is in the garden, time runs down,
The year that simple and unexalted ran till now
Ferments in winy autumn, and I must die.

Even now
I mind our going, full of bewilderment
As who should walk from sleep into great light,
Along the running of the winter river,
A dying sun on the cool hurrying tide
No more by green rushes delayed in dalliance,
With a clear purpose in his flower-flecked length
Informed, to reach Nirvana and the sea.

Even now
I love long black eyes that caress like silk,
Ever and ever sad and laughing eyes,
Whose lids make such sweet shadow when they close
It seems another beautiful look of hers.
I love a fresh mouth, ah, a scented mouth,
And curving hair, subtle as a smoke,
And light fingers, and laughter of green gems.

Even now
I mind asking: Where love and how love Rati’s priestesses?
You can tell me of their washings at moon-down
And if that warm basin have silver borders.
Is it so that when they comb their hair
Their fingers, being purple-stained, show
Like coral branches in the black sea of their hair?

Even now
I remember that you made answer very softly,
We being one soul, your hand on my hair,
The burning memory rounding your near lips;
I have seen the priestesses of Rati make love at moon-fall
And then in a carpeted hall with a bright gold lamp
Lie down carelessly anywhere to sleep.

Even now
I have no surety that she is not Mahadevi
Rose red of Siva, or Kapagata
The wilful ripe Companion of the King,
Or Krishna’s own Lakshmi, the violet-haired.
I am not certain but that dark Brahma
In his high secret purposes
Has sent my soft girl down to make the three worlds mad
With capering about her scented feet.

Even now
Call not the master painters from all the world,
Their thin black boards, their rose and green and grey,
Their ashes of lapis ultramarine, Their earth of shadows the umber.
Laughing at art
Sunlight upon the body of my bride,
For painting not nor any eyes for ever.
Oh warm tears on the body of my bride.

Even now
I mind when the red crowds were passed and it was raining
How glad those two that shared the rain with me;
For they talked happily with rich young voices
And at the storm’s increase, closer and with content,
Each to the body of the other held
As there were no more severance for ever.

Even now
The stainless fair appearance of the moon
Rolls her gold beauty over an autumn sky
And the stiff anchorite forgets to pray;
How much the sooner I, if her wild mouth
Tasting of the taste of manna came to mine
And kept my soul at balance above a kiss. 

Even now
Her mouth careless scented as with lotus dust
Is water of love to the great heat of love,
A tirtha very holy, a lover’s lake
Utterly sacred. Might I go down to it
But one more time, then should I find a way
To hold my lake for ever and ever more
Sobbing out my life beside the waters.

Even now
I mind that the time of the falling of blossoms started my dream
Into a wild life, into my girl;
Then was the essence of her beauty spilled
Down on my days so that it fades not,
Fails not, subtle and fresh, in perfuming
That day, and the days, and this the latest day. 

Even now
She with young limbs as smooth as flower pollen,
Whose swaying body is laved in the cool
Waters of languor, this dear bright-coloured bird,
Walks not, changes not, advances not
Her weary station by the black lake
Of Gone Forever, in whose fountain vase
Balance the water-lilies of my thought.

Even now
Spread we our nets beyond the farthest rims
So surely that they take the feet of dawn
Before you wake and after you are sleeping
Catch up the visible and invisible stars
And web the ports the strongest dreamer dreamed,
Yet is it all one, Vidya, yet it is nothing.

Even now
The night is full of silver straws of rain,
And I will send my soul to see your body
This last poor time. I stand beside our bed;
Your shadowed head lies leaving a bright space
Upon the pillow empty, your sorrowful arm
Holds from your side and clasps not anything.
There is no covering upon you.

Even now
I think your feet seek mine to comfort them.
There is some dream about you even now
Which I’ll not hear at waking. Weep not at dawn,
Though day brings wearily your daily loss
And all the light is hateful. Now is it time
To bring my soul away. 

Even now
I mind that I went round with men and women,
And underneath their brows, deep in their eyes,
I saw their souls, which go slippng aside
In swarms before the pleasure of my mind;
The world was like a flight of birds, shadow or flame
Which I saw pass above the engraven hills.
Yet was there never one like to my woman.

Even now
Death I take up as consolation.
Nay, were I free as the condor with his wings
Or old kings throned on violet ivory,
Night would not come without beds of green floss
And never a bed without my bright darling.
 Most fit that you strike now, black guards,
And let the fountain out before the dawn.

Even now
I know that I have savoured the hot taste of life
Lifting green cups and gold at the great feast.
Just for a small and a forgotten time
I have had full in my eyes from off my girl
The whitest pouring of eternal light.
The heavy knife. As to a gala day.

 

___

“This is a versified translation of the Caurapañcāśikā. This love poem of fifty stanzas was written by the Kasmiri poet Bilhana Kavi in the 11th century. The story runs that the Brahman Bilhana had a clandestine love affair with Princess Yaminipurnatilaka, the daughter of King Madanabhirama. He was discovered and Bilhana wrote this poem in prison before he learned whether he would be executed or banished. The historic outcome is unknown, which adds to the readers’ suspense.

Initially this poem was transmitted orally, and by the time it was written down, there several variations: the South Indian versions tend to have a happy ending, and the Northern, Kashmiri, recension has an open ending.

The Caurapañcāśikā was ‘discovered’ by Europeans in the nineteenth century. The first French edition, published in The Journal Asiatique of 1848, was based on one of the South Indian versions with a happy ending. There were several 19th century translations in various languages; it was suitable material for Romantic poets, including Sir Edwin Arnold, who produced his own (very loose) translation. In 1919, the English poet Powys Mathers produced this free-verse translation, titled Black Marigolds. This was the translation which John Steinbeck quotes in Cannery Row. A modern version worth looking for isThe Secret Delights of Love, by Gertrude Clorius Schwebell, Peter Pauper Press, New York [1966].”

Eric Machmer: Advertising Subsidized ARKYD (unofficial mockup)

advertising-subsidized-ARKYD-mockup

High Res: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Advertising_Subsidized_ARKYD_(artist%27s_mockup).png

Above is a textured mockup of an ARKYD partially funded by sponsors with demonstrated interest in space exploration. The base model itself was rendered and provided by Planetary Resources (see references and files below). This concept is not officially sanctioned by Planetary Resources. Sponsors for the most part would not be visible in selfies or of course during flight – but, could profit from worldwide exposure through pre-launch publicity.

90dc266d6e2628d575e18b46fb0f7d67_large Arkyd-100 Arkyd-publically-accessable-space-telescope-3 planetary123.jpg planetary-resource-telescope-photograb o-CROWD-FUNDED-TELESCOPE-ARKYD-facebook video-249723-h264_high Arkyd_100_preview_featured ARKYD-Night ARKYD-Earth

arkydplanetary-resources-kickstarter-9 planetary-resources-kickstarterARKYD-View1 ARKYD-View2 planetaryresources-2120424-337781-120424-coslog-arkyd-130p.blocks_desktop_teaseimages-5

 

What does truth mean, in fiction?

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 9.41.14 PM

“The best teacher is a cheap, little Penguin Classic. Read read read.” “The saddest, saddest thing is a human being who has no stories. Because a human being who has no stories is someone who has not been loved, and who has not been able to love. As soon as you engage yourself in being human you start developing stories.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 9.47.23 PM

“Human truth. Not photographic, realistic, journalistic recorded truth – but the truth we recognize as human beings, how we interact with one another, what are our strengths and our weaknesses, how we interact – and, what is, what is the meaning of our lives.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 11.34.25 PM

“Stories are equipment for living. Human beings need storytelling in order to make sense out of life, in order to live as well and as civilized as a human being can. And so they will go to the storyteller for meaningful, emotional experiences they cannot get from life. […] People are desperate. Are they getting the stories – comic or tragic – that would help them live through this really ugly period in history? “

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 10.19.13 PM

Question: How do you write dialogue?
Richard Price: It’s pretty intuitive. I think dialogue is a knack; either you have it or you don’t. A lot of writers find other elements of writing a lot easier than I do. I have a terrible time writing the King’s English. I couldn’t punctuate a four-word sentence if my life depended on it. I hear people. When I’m writing, I hear people. I do improv. I’ll be out on the street and I’ll pick up the rhythm of it but it’s not like anthropology. It’s not like I’m trying to get the glossary right. It’s just about expressing how somebody’s brain works through what comes out of their mouth. I went to management meetings at Schiller’s and I rode around with cops a lot. I was kind of a fly on the wall but all I’m basically looking for is what’s plausible. Before I start lying, let me lie responsibly. What are the parameters of plausibility and given that, once I know that if I do this, that’s way over the line of possibility, I won’t do it. The other thing is I want to write in such a way as somebody who’s showing me the ropes will read the book or see the movie or whatever it is, and not close the book or walk out of the theater like a third of the way through saying “Well, that was a waste of time.” They’re sort of my audience in an obsessive way. I want them to say “Wow, he really nailed it.” It’s arbitrary. It’s literature. It can be anything you want. It’s not social realism, it’s not photojournalism but I do have that obsessive desire to nail things for what it’s worth.

Screen Shot 2013-09-14 at 1.39.34 AM

“So it is… it’s right dead, smack in the center of what it is to be human, the ability to tell a story.  There is another theory that has it that the narrative art is an evolved adaptation on which we got in the Pliestocine because those who had it had a much greater edge.  They had a much greater survival edge on those that did not have it.  If I can tell you that right over there in that river was where the crocodile ate Uncle George, you do not have to test that in your own life by going over there and getting eaten by the crocodile.  And I can tell you all sorts of other things that are very useful to you for survival in your world if I can tell you a story.  And we know that people learn and assimilate information much more through stories than they do through charts and graphs and statistics.  You might want to back up those things with the math.  But what really hits people is the story because it’s not an intellectual thing and it’s not just a scream.  It’s not pure emotion; it’s a melding of those two things, which is where we exist as human beings.  We’re not thought machines, we’re not screaming machines, we are thought/feeling machines, if we’re machines at all, let’s pretend we’re not.  We are thought/feeling entities.  In fact, some people who have done studies on it say that if you remove the emotion from the person through some accident, they have a lot of trouble making decisions because they try to reason everything out and you actually can’t.  It’s endless.”

Chris Anderson: “…a smarter, wiser, more beautiful place.”

“Reading and writing are actually relatively recent inventions. Face-to-face communication has been fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution. That’s what’s made it into this mysterious, powerful thing it is. Someone speaks, there’s resonance in all these receiving brains, the whole group acts together. I mean, this is the connective tissue of the human superorganism in action. It’s probably driven our culture for millennia. 500 years ago, it ran into a competitor with lethal advantage. It’s right here. Print scaled. The world’s ambitious innovators and influencers now could get their ideas to spread far and wide, and so the art of the spoken word pretty much withered on the vine. But now, in the blink of an eye, the game has changed again. It’s not too much to say that what Gutenberg did for writing, online video can now do for face-to-face communication. So, that primal medium, which your brain is exquisitely wired for…that just went global.”
 
“We may have to reinvent an ancient art form […] one person speaking can be seen by millions, shedding light on potent ideas, creating intense desire for learning and to respond – and an intense desire to laugh. For the first time in human history, talented students down’t have to have their potential and their dreams written out of history by lousy teachers. They can sit two feet in front of the world’s finest.”
 
“Now, TED is just a small part of this. I mean, the world’s universities are opening up their curricula. Thousands of individuals and organizations are sharing their knowledge and data online. Thousands of people are figuring out new ways to learn and, crucially, to respond, completing the cycle. You’re part of the crowd that may be about to launch the biggest learning cycle in human history, a cycle carrying all of us to a smarter, wiser, more beautiful place.”
 

“”I start with the notion of the ideograph. An ideograph is like a brush painting, a Japanese bursh painting. Three strokes, you get the whole bamboo forest.”