Poetry & Music -
7th March 2017
Farewell performance from Jazzman John
Jude Montague launches Young Hitch with John Stiles
Gergely Bandi - classical guitar
Andres Miranda - classical guitar
RoMerlin and the Loving Company
- Leonard Cohen Project
Mike Parsons, David Amery, David Kessel, Alex Gath, Sally Smith, Chris and Gwyn Gwyntopher, Lizanne Davies and Roger Hoddle.
floor spots come early...
Powis Road (off Bruce Road) E3 3HJ see map
Bow Road or Bromley by Bow Tube/Bow Church DLR
3-Bees Cafe 4 - 8: bring a bottle/cans
Austerity Door Policy - give what you can afford
(with help from Tokio Megashie)
You are my pace setter, I shall not rush,
you let me stop for quiet intervals
provide images of stillness to restore my serenity.
You lead me in ways of efficiency through calmness of mind.
Your guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day.
I will not fret
for your presence is near
your timelessness, your all importance
will keep me in balance
you prepare refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
touching my mind with your soothing balm.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours
for I shall walk at your pace
and dwell in your house for ever.
Les Sources Secrets (1)
- On the train back from Hebden Bridge. 3.5.199
This is "The Real" (2) where there are no words
and this is not silence, though we are alone.
This is the "real" where there are no words
where for lack of daring
there is no present
and this is not silence even though we are alone.
The real has no words, only tears of hatred
and this is not silence, though we are alone.
Language belongs to men, to the rich, and has excluded women.
Though now we have Virago Press,
a Women's Section in the public library
Women's Studies in the university.
But isn't language still inescapably sexist?
born of fear
Alone with our diary entries,
our attempts to apprehend or ease this pain and grief.
alone with our holding back
with our maturity
with our mistrust.
in the gap
contained by the signifying chain of language
and I believe that language will give me what I need
and will in time forgive this necessary arrogance of youth
its search for somthing to believe in.
Because, right or wrong,
you have to believe in yourself
from forces that would shape your life.
Greed and profit
Things have all but fallen apart
but its much the same as it has always been
we are alone with our habits
our new beginnings
and the restriction that makes this a piece of writing
that makes this a piece of music.
In the pink of the soft blown cloudlets at sunrise,
I find my mothers smile
Mike Parsons 27.8.11
1. In "Le Chateau de Ma Mere" (London, Nelson 1984), Marcel Pagnol - Nous nous levons, nous tuons les bartavelles, describes the location of wells in the Provence area as a closely guarded secret, Lili's grandfather (p26) taking his knowledge to his death.
2. According to Lacan, a poem or work of art occupies the same space/role as the psychoanalyst, this he calls, "object petit a". His terrain of language consists of the "imaginary", the "symbolic" and the "real".
see The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis - JacQues Lacan trans. Alan Sheridan. Penguin 1977
The "imaginary" and the "symbolic" tell only of a male history that doesn't exist for women, Irigaray says, who have only the scraps of language they can salvage for themselves.
see "Luce Irigaray - Philosophy in the Feminine" by Margaret Whitford, Routledge 1991.
When? (for Steffi Graf) Sunday 30th June 1995
It's always “when?”
and never “if”
and I'm not quoting; these are new lines, new solutions.
These were new lines.
It was my mother who introduced me to the Kipling poem,
and to such wisdoms a “Touch pitch and be defiled”,
“All power corrupts”, “You have to bend with the breeze”
and “You can't trust anyone except Jesus”.
What matters now, except success?
My grandfather's generation rarely sent women to university,
so my mother had to make do with teacher training.
She studied the “Froebal method” at Roehampton
and until my parents thought that I had become too spoilt
I had a reasonable start in life.
My father studied at Strawberry Hill
and played with his band in the library on Friday nights
which was how he met my mum.
Watching your '93 Wimbledon Final against Jana Novotna
taught me something about not giving in,
about picking yourself up,
and turning the situation around.
I'd been sacked,
which I must admit had taken me by surprise.
Branch Secretaries from the two main Council Unions had both advised me that I didn't have to return to a position I'd been moved from a year previously.
Anyway, summary dismissal
On appeal, I could have claimed mitigaing circumstances,
but, with a Labour Councillor saying “I wrote the grievance procedure, I'll tell you what it means!”
I thought, I can't work for these people.
The Union full-timer gave me a fiver to buy myself a pint.
Lack of energy?
I tried to field the fear and hatred
find an object for my anger
with the “bad breast” that still denied.
Melanie Klein's “depressive position” (1)
from the paranoia,
from the fear, that according to Lacan, is such a crucial
feature in the construction of the ego.
We have to unlearn hatred.
Find a way out from the void
maybe from the “double void”
that Laclau and Mouffe discern
in the economism of Luxembourg and Labriola. (2).
Three hours on the bed with “West Side Story”,
Britten's Brandenburgs or the Bach Cello Suites,
Or any of my favourites; Bryan Adams, Kris Kristofferson,
Willie Nelson, Leonard Cohen, Whitney Houston, Madonna,
or Florian's tape, headphones on, the old bass players trick
or just silence
waiting for an idea,
What to do next?
or rather its after...
after the twenty minutes that makes this work
find whatever it is;
the swimming pool, the tennis racket, the translation,
even the money.
After we find what is needed,
after we find that which makes us who we are,
that which motivates.
Hobbes “Leviathan”, Rawls “Veil of Ignorance”,
Lacan's “mirror” (3).
It's after we transcend our unhappiness,
when we have reflected on being happy or unhappy
that our understanding can begin to become our wisdom
(“beyond the symbolic immediate” according to Hegel).
It is then,
after we find ourselves
that we are glad.
Then we can begin
to look for each other.
Melanie Klein, in “On the sense of Loneliness” 1963 p. 300 Envy and Gratitude Virago 1993
“For Sorel, then, the possibility of a dichotomous division of society is given not as a datum of the social structure, but as a construction at the level of the “moral factors” governing group conflict. Here we come face to face with the problem that we have found whenever a Marxist tendency has attempted to break with economism and to establish class unity at some other level. Why does this politically or mythically reconstituted subject have to be a “class subject”? But whereas the inadequacy of of Rosa Luxemburg's or Labriola's rupture with economism created the conditions for the invisibility of the double void that appeared in their discourses, in Sorel's case the very radicality of his anti-economism made the void clearly visible. So much so that some of his followers, having abandoned hope of a revolutionary recovery of the working class, gave themselves to a search for some other substitute myth capable of assuring the struggle against bourgeois decadence.”
Laclau & Mouffe, “Hegemony & Socialist Strategy”, London 1985 p.40
Jacques Lacan, “The mirror stage as formative of the function of the I” - “Ecrits” London Tavistock 1977
In Lacan's “mirror-stage”, before motor control is achieved, the child can recognise and enjoy its reflection in a mirror or other person. This “I” still has to gain motor control.
Life of my life
You are my everything, You are my only friend, You are my one desire.
You are my peace of mind, you are my life, my home, you are my pride and joy
You are my tower of strength, only say the word, I'm at your command.
My life is in your hands, You're the way ahead on a stormy night.
Wewe kila kitu, wewe rafiki yangu, wewe ndiye nataka
Wewe ni amani yangu, wewe mwangaza wangu, wewe ni nyumba yangu.
Wewe tumaini yangu, wewe ni njia yangu, wewe ndiye nataka,
Wewe ngazi nguru yangu, sema nemo tu, nakusikia
Naweka maisha yangu, mukononi mwako
wewe ninjia yangu, banabo majambu, usuko
Swahili translation by Lisa Mwihaki & Patrick Mwangangi
Brian Omari R.I.P.