Showing posts with label ARK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARK. Show all posts

Another Way of Looking at the Universe


(from ARK by Ronald Johnson)


(click image to read document)


(from A Child's Garden and the Serious Sea by Stan Brakhage)



What daily life without these two would be I care not to know...



(From The Mammals of Victoria by Stan Brakhage & ARK: Beam 29 by Ronald Johnson)

Possessed by Sight

 BEAM 14:

Eden, glossolalia of light
Mountain the gods stept from, spoke to fork
Some sparkling logos
as O hoher Baum im Orh!
quadricornutus serpens, caduceus phantastikon, or
la ou nos la voions plus espesse
vas, at the same time orb and eggshaped
Matrix of Harmonies
orders, opening back, beyond, and within, Laoco├Ân of cacoon
splint crystal, glaux, grey matter spun
Out of thy head I sprung
thread not a dream by a single Being, but one of omni-
silk-seed of waves hummed back
vast cortex
tensile, unstill

He who “would chain fire,
And have the wind move in regiments
of cubed air”

 (As Bohm posited: at zeropoint
of energy
a cubic centimeter of space = 10,000,000,000 tons

uranium) underneathunder

unuterrable number

an intricate quiet


He who
obsessed by light,
possessed by sight:

cellophane in cellophane of salamander slid within a flame

(to pin to the shimmer a name)

Beauty is easy.
It is the Beast that is the secret.
“it escapes from its sphere
as from a hole”
-- its symmetries like trees with long shadows

A mirror held
to the horror

“we can imagine a butterfly
to pass back into the chrysalis”
like a cat’s eye in

at the end of its tether
the inter-


((Text from Ronald Johnson's ARK, one of the four or five works of literature constantly by my side))

((Images from the 1993 film Stellar by Stan Brakhage))


On a side note, for all those who haven't visited it yet, Jonas Mekas' new website is up and running... 

Sounds of Light

Louis Zukofsky, like Ronald Johnson (for whom Zukofsky was a vital influence), is a poet of unparalleled musicality, who was and still remains criminally under appreciated (at the very least relatively speaking).  One of his great achievements (of which are numerous, his Bottom: On Shakespeare is a stunning and confounding work of criticism unlike any I have or am likely to encounter), "A", is comprised of twenty-four movements and encompasses almost a half-century of his life.  It is a shame that "A" (again like Johnson’s ARK) is currently out of print.  The following is the eleventh movement ("A"-11), which is visually quoted in Brakhage’s own haunting song of grief, 23rd Psalm Branch.

River that must turn full after I stop dying
Song, my song, raise grief to music
Light as my loves' though, the few sick
So sick of wrangling: thus weeping,
Sounds of light, stay in her keeping
And my son's face - this much for honor.

Freed by their praises who make honor dearer
Whose losses show them rich and you no poorer
Take care, song, that what stars' imprint you mirror
Grazed their tears; draw speech from their nature or
Love in you - faced with your outer stars - purer
Gold than tongues make without feeling
Art new, hurt old: revealing
The slackened bow as the stinging
Animal dies, thread gold stringing
The fingerboard pressed in my honor.

Honor, song, sang the blest is delight knowing
We overcome ills by love.  Hurt, song, nourish
Eyes, think most of whom you hurt.  For the flowing
River'   s poison where what rod blossoms. Flourish
By love's sweet lights and sing in them I flourish.
No, song, not any one power
May recall or forget, our
Love to see your love flows into

[page break]

Us.  If Venus lights, your words spin, to
Live our desires lead us to honor.

Graced, your heart in nothing less than in death, go -
I, dust - raise the great hem of the extended
World that nothing can leave; having had breath go
Face my son, say: 'If your father offended
You with mute wisdom, my words have not ended
His second paradise where
His love was in her eyes where
They turn, quick for you two - sick
Or gone cannot make music
You set less than all.  Honor

His voice in me, the river's turn that finds the
Grace in you, four notes first too full for talk, leaf
Lightning stem, stems bound to the branch that binds
Tree, and then as from the same root we talk, leaf
After leaf of your mind's music, page, walk leaf
Over leaf of his thought, sounding
His happiness: song sounding
The grace that comes from knowing
Things, her lover our own showing
Her love in all her honor.'

("A" by Louis Zukofsky, Joun Hopkins University Press)


23rd Psalm Branch Pt. 2 (1966/78, Stan Brakhage)


Late in the Mourning

It doesn't get much better than this....

ARK 34, Spire on the Death of L.Z.:

is this happening,
a quick as a squirrel's tail
spright of deer
but burnished as a
evenly distributed as nesting sights
or silvery layers of film
over rotifers
of paraphrase
in a sphere clumped
pool all a mareshiver
of light
executed in pure
half Mozart
fits and starts, half stars
holywork of oracular oak
thought through
scherzo scarecrow
tactics an acorn might
knuckle under
and pairs of eyes
all believing

[page break]

an edifice
of matched snailshell
faced to watch
in cherubim cliffed hayseed, rayed
cloud in plaster
or near it
as consonance gets without
to unraveled blizzard
huzzah cooperating with treble instances
such as orioles
between tulip trees
seizing the summerier dissonances
of worm
bees purring a
in utter emerald cornfield
till the cows come
purple home
this is paradise
this is
on the surface of a bubble
time and again
fire sculpt of notwithstanding
the whole parted word
in choir

[page break]

when the wind's bright horses
hooves break earth in thunder
that is paradise
Lord Hades, whom we all will meet
crackling up
like a wall of prairie fire
in a somersault silver
to climb blank air
around us
to say then head wedded nail and hammer to the
work of vision
of the word
at hand
that is paradise
this is called spine of white cypress
roughly cylindrical
on the principle
of the intervals between cuckoos
and molecules, and molecules
these are the carpets of
protoplast, this
the hall of crystcycling waltz
down carbon atom
this, red clay
where the cloud steeds clatter out wide stars
this is


ARK by Ronald Johnson
Living Batch Press