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Showing posts from June 28, 2015

poetic opportunity

I define poetic opportunity as the moment in which the regular course of the world, that mechanism of objects and words, grinds to a sudden halt before an abyss of meaning, which it jumps over so quickly that you might not even think the ground had opened at your feet and you had almost drowned on dry land. This brief, symbolic crack in the order of things is, normally, normalized, shaken off, forgotten or explained. The idea that the world is working behind our back – a figure of speech that doesn’t quite logically work, as the world includes our back, brain and breath, but I will let it go for now – can lead to ecstasy, paranoia or breakdown, but mostly it just leads to irritation and a passing moodiness. Sometimes it even leads to poetry. But not very often. For instance – I’ve been mulling over some material presented to me by Adam. We’ve made it a habit, Adam and I, to walk up the street here in Montpellier, past the roadwork and, after a brief stop at the boulanger to buy a

burning Greece

One would need the heart of an economist not to find the ECB’s dealings with Greece cruel and irrational beyond measure. And one would need the eye of an anthropologist to see how this outburst of elite irrationality connects up with other such outbursts that run in a series through Europe’s history. The troika reminds me, in its infinite causuistry, its moral outrage, and the endless punishments that it metes out, of the various commissions to investigate witchcraft that darken the pages of the history of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. One of the most famous was lead by Pierre de Lancre, Montaigne’s relative – he married the granddaughter of Montaigne’s uncle and the president of the parliament of Bordeaux, who in 1608 ventured with other grave worthies into the land of Satan which, according to credible report, had been conquering the women of Labourd in Southern France. The expedition was accompanied, it was once thought, by a holocaust of thousands of burnings. Historians