B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘poetry’ tag

Breaking Bad’s Walt Whitman fixation

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Poetry of the night
Poetry of the night

Fun and informative discussion on Breaking Bad and Walt Whitman in the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Magazine:

Had Walt Whitman, an occasional proponent of Prohibition, lived today, he might have been horrified to discover that he in any way inspired a TV series about a murderous drug lord named Walter White. And stunned (though perhaps pleased) to find his magnum opus employed as the smoking gun leading to the man’s undoing. But after a smattering of Whitman references throughout its four and a half seasons, AMC’s Breaking Bad—which is wrapping up its final chapter beginning August 11—has done just that, drawing an unlikely parallel between the two men who share a monogram (W.W.) and, for all intents and purposes, a name.

So how does Walter White compare to Walt Whitman? And what cynical commentary on our times, on humanity, does series creator Vince Gilligan make with this subversive pairing?

(click here to continue reading Leaves of Glass by Kera Bolonik.)

And for reference…

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Written by Seth Anderson

August 7th, 2013 at 7:27 am

She Wandered Alone

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She Wandered Alone
She Wandered Alone, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

West Fulton


she arrived
after the end
of the world


only with
demons and

Written by swanksalot

May 11th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Liam Clancy, RIP

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“Liam Clancy” (Liam Clancy)

Such a clear, strong voice. If you’ve listened to The Pogues, Sinead O’Connor, or even U2, you’ve heard his influence.

Liam Clancy, an Irish troubadour and the last surviving member of the singing Clancy Brothers, who found fame in the United States and helped spread the popularity of Irish folk music around the world, died on Thursday in Cork, Ireland. He was 74.

His death was announced by his family and reported on the Web site www.liamclancy.com. He had been treated for pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease

Liam Clancy lived in Greenwich Village, where he befriended another young folk singer, Bob Dylan. They dated a pair of sisters, Mr. Clancy told interviewers. Recalling that time in an interview on Irish television two years ago, Mr. Clancy said that he, a Roman Catholic from rural Ireland, and Mr. Dylan, a Jew from a small Minnesota town, shared an important quality.

“People who were trying to escape repressed backgrounds, like mine and Bob Dylan’s, were congregating in Greenwich Village,” he said. “It was a place you could be yourself, where you could get away from the directives of the people who went before you, people who you loved but who you knew had blinkers on.”

Mr. Dylan told an interviewer in 1984: “I never heard a singer as good as Liam ever. He was just the best ballad singer I’d ever heard in my life. Still is, probably.”

[Click to continue reading Liam Clancy, Last of Singing Brothers, Dies at 74 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com]

“The Makem & Clancy Concert” (Tommy Makem w, Liam Clancy)

There’s a documentary called The Yellow Bittern – The Life and Times of Liam Clancy, but it does not look to be available in the US, at least yet.

Special Edition Double DVD Box Set

Featuring exclusive footage, interviews and additional performances from the man Bob Dylan called “the best ballad singer I ever heard in my whole life. Still is, probably”

Free delivery within Ireland. Orders will be delivered to Irish addresses from October 30th and to UK addresses from Nov 9th.

This is a Region 2 DVD and may not be viewable outside Europe.
Please be advised that we can only ship to addresses in Ireland and the UK. We can not process orders outside of these territories.

Feature Run Time: 110’
Extras: Film Trailer | Interviews | Additional Performances including “Those Were The Days” from the White Horse Tavern, New York and “Brennan On The Moor” | Liam at home with friends

[Click to continue reading The Yellow Bittern – The Life And Times Of Liam Clancy]

I wonder if Mr. Clancy’s death will speed the release of this film in the Americas? Sounds quite intriguing.


Here’s a YouTube clip from it:

In the interview he talks about The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Maken and their huge success worldwide, where they outsold the Beatles and played for JFK. The new documentary released in cinemas in 2009 is directed by Alan Gilsenan.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 5th, 2009 at 9:48 am

Posted in Music

Tagged with , , , , ,

Reading Around on November 26th through December 1st

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A few interesting links collected November 26th through December 1st:

  • Movie Review – Gomorrah – Lesser-Known Mobsters, as Brutal as the Old Ones – NYTimes.com – A snapshot of hell, the film takes its biblically inflected punning title from the Camorra, or Neapolitan Mafia, the largest of Italy’s crime gangs, with 100 barely organized, incessantly warring clans and some 7,000 members. Based in and around Naples, the Camorra (it means gang) smuggles cigarettes, drugs, guns and people, polluting the province with fear and worse. Unlike the better-known Sicilian Mafia, which took root in America in the late 19th century and in Hollywood thereafter, the Camorra has never had a significant presence in this country, pop cultural or otherwise. Until now, its reign of terror has been largely in reality and not on the screen, which explains why the world in this film can feel so alien: the movies haven’t yet imagined it.
  • Gomorrah :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews – The film is a curative for the romanticism of “The Godfather” and “Scarface.” The characters are the foot soldiers of the Camorra, the crime syndicate based in Naples that is larger than the Mafia but less known. Its revenues in one year are said to be as much as $250 billion — five times as much as Bernard Madoff took years to steal. The final shot suggests that the Camorra is invested in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. The film is based on fact, not fiction.
  • This Progression of What – I’ve been writing
    These poems every day
    For many months now.
    Even though I haven’t been paid
    A single cent, I’d rather be remembered
    For this, these words,
    Over being recalled
    As an efficient
    Account executive
    Any day.

  • “Trouble in Paradise – Criterion Collection” (Criterion)

  • Trouble in Paradise :: rogerebert.com :: Great Movies – The sexual undertones are surprisingly frank in this pre-Code 1932 film, and we understand that none of the three characters is in any danger of mistaking sex for love. Both Lily and Mariette know what they want, and Gaston knows that he has it. His own feelings for them are masked beneath an impenetrable veneer of sophisticated banter.

    Herbert Marshall takes ordinary scenes and fills them with tension because of the way he seems to withhold himself from the obvious emotional scripting. He was 42 when he made the film, handsome in a subdued rather than an absurd way, every dark hair slicked close to his scalp, with a slight stoop to his shoulders that makes him seem to be leaning slightly toward his women, or bowing. His walk is deliberate and noticeably smooth; he lost a leg in World War I, had a wooden one fitted, and practiced so well at concealing his limp that he seems to float through a room.

Written by swanksalot

December 1st, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Reading Around on November 1st through November 2nd

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A few interesting links collected November 1st through November 2nd:

  • Redeeming iPhone App Promo Codes in iTunes – You can redeem a code at the iTunes Store by following these instructions: Open iTunes. Click iTunes Store in the pane on the left-hand side of the window. Click the Redeem link in the QUICK LINKS box on the right-hand side of page. Enter your code. Click the Redeem button.
  • Two Bare Hands – Staring at your two bare hands For hours.Just like a young,
    Sexually frustrated male
    On a Friday night
    With nothing better
    To do.

Written by swanksalot

November 2nd, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Links

Tagged with ,

Reading Around on October 6th through October 13th

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A few interesting links collected October 6th through October 13th:

  • Army of Shadows :: rogerebert.com :: Great Movies – “The members of this group move between safe houses, often in the countryside. When they determine they have a traitor among them, they take him to a rented house, only to learn that new neighbors have moved in. They would hear a gunshot. A knife? There is no knife. “There is a towel in the kitchen,” Gerbier says. We see the man strangled, and rarely has an onscreen death seemed more straightforward, and final.”
  • 1000 Constellations » Blog Archive » Together In Transit – I realized yesterday While riding on a train Crammed full of people That we never really get Second chances. What we truly get Are first chances Over and over Again.
  • The Footnotes of Mad Men. Betty’s Euro Look was based on Brigette Bardot – RESOLVED: Betty’s Euro look was based on Brigette Bardot: the 26 year old ‘sex siren’ of France. Here’s my favorite work from the Bardot cannon. The movie — by Godard, set in Italy, released in 1963 — is not only super slick but it also spawned, I believe, the greatest trailer of all time. I’ve been aching to link to this.

Written by swanksalot

October 13th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Film,Links

Tagged with , , , ,

Reading Around on September 15th through September 18th

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A few interesting links collected September 15th through September 18th:

  • Author of Time ‘s Beck profile digs a deeper hole | Media Matters for America – Pretty embarrassing admission for a so-called journalist: “David Von Drehle doesn’t watch Olbermann or Maddow, you see, because he already knows their opinions are “based on nothing.” The hypocrisy is jaw-dropping”

  • t.tex’s hexes: Creative Thievery – “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.” – Jim Jarmusch
  • RealityStudio » Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, and the Computer – On Christmas Day, 1990, Charles Bukowski received a Macintosh IIsi computer and a laser printer from his wife, Linda. The computer utilized the 6.0.7 operating system and was installed with the MacWrite II word processing program. By January 18 of the next year, the computer was up and running and so, after a brief period of fumbling and stumbling, was Bukowski. His output of poems doubled in 1991.

Written by swanksalot

September 18th, 2009 at 9:45 am

Posted in Apple,Arts,Links

Tagged with , , ,

Reading Around on August 4th through August 7th

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A few interesting links collected August 4th through August 7th:

  • Whiskey – "I still hate myself,
    I still don’t believe in God,
    And that hole inside me has grown even bigger
    But I know better than to drink
    So much fucking whiskey
    For no good reason."
  • Backbeats – " The poem project is going fairly well; so far I have about a month’s worth of poems up, one per day. I’m trying to write at least a few per day so I have a backlog of poems ready in case I want to take a break, or go on a vacation, something, anything. I didn’t think I’d ever be writing poems again, but you know, it’s better than nothing. I’m just glad to have an outlet. What I do need, however, is exposure. It’d be nice to have a few inbound links from other people — if you’ve got any websites or leverage, that’d be pretty good. Or even better yet, encouragement, or pinging anybody you do know who’s into this kind of stuff."
  • A Glorious Gallery of Rot: Compost as Art (Pictures) | Lighter Footstep – " Nationally, food waste and spoilage amounts to losses in excess if $75 billion. In some sectors of agricultural production, waste can be as high as 40 percent. These autumnal fruits and vegetables — photographed being readied for compost by Flickr user swanksalot —  will get another shot at the table next season."
  • Obama Foodorama: President Obama Gives Birthday Love–and Cupcakes–To Legendary White House Correspondent Helen Thomas – "Helen Thomas is the oldest correspondent in the White House Press Corps, and today she turns 89, right alongside President Obama, who turns 48. During today's press briefing, the President personally delivered birthday cupcakes to Ms. Thomas in the White House briefing room, a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" was sung, and he gave her a birthday kiss"

Written by swanksalot

August 7th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Posted in Links

Tagged with , , , ,

Wild Apples and Thin Boards

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Wild Apples and Thin Boards
Wild Apples and Thin Boards, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

sunset over the West Loop, Chicago

love how golden the light becomes.

Nicked the title from a William B. Yeats poem, apparently, which I half-remembered. I suggest reading it aloud…

via Google Books:

Awaken wanderings of light air
To stir their coverlet and their hair.
And poets found, old writers say;
A yew tree where his body lay;
But a wild apple hid the grass
With its sweet blossom where hers was;
And being in good heart, because
A better time had come again
After the deaths of many men,
And that long fighting at the ford,
They wrote on tablets of thin board,
Made of the apple and the yew,
All the love stories that they knew.

Let rush and bird cry out their fill
Of the harper’s daughter if they will,


Written by swanksalot

July 9th, 2009 at 7:05 am

Posted in Photography

Tagged with ,

Reading Around on July 4th through July 5th

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A few interesting links collected July 4th through July 5th:

  • Can I Get a Witness? | TPM – yet more evidence that the Washington Post is in a death spiral”But it is bizarre to say that Palin is uncomfortable in the role of the victim. In fact I’m not sure I’ve ever found a better use for this much over-used word. As Noam Scheiber explained in one of the earliest and perhaps most insightful profiles of Palin, victimhood and resentment are Palin’s twin touchstones. They define who she is.”
  • Cat M.D.s prevent heart attack fatalities | The Daily Blank – Image by swanksalot via Flickr “Owning a cat could mean the difference between life and death. The University of Minnesota recently released a study that the risk of dying from a heart attack is 40% higher among people who have never owned a cat, compared to people who have.”
  • Confirmed: God is slightly gay – “Behold, the ongoing, increasingly startling research: homosexual and bisexual behavior, it turns out, is rampant in the animal kingdom. And by rampant, I mean proving to be damn near universal, commonplace across all species everywhere, existing for myriad reasons ranging from pure survival and procreative influence, right on over to pure pleasure, co-parenting, giddy screeching multiple monkey orgasm, even love, and a few dozen other potential explanations science hasn’t quite figured out yet. Imagine.

    Are you thinking, why sure, everyone knows about those sex-crazed dolphins and those superslut bonobo monkeys and the few other godless creatures like them, the sea turtles and the weird sheep and such, creatures who obviously haven’t read Leviticus. But that’s about it, right? Most animals are devoutly hetero and straight and damn happy about it, right?


  • Daily Kos: State of the Nation – Palins Poetry – Awesome.
    “The following is the complete text, directly transcribed, of the portion of Sarah Palin’s resignation speech available on video. The text is accurate and unaltered; a portion of the speech is missing from the beginning because the video does not start until then.The lines have been transcribed, however, in the form of vers libre poetry, which seemed appropriate under the circumstances.”
  • War: Retreat of the 20,000 — Printout — TIME – “Retreat, hell!” snapped Major General Oliver Prince Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division, with which he had fought on Guadalcanal, New Britain, Peleliu, Okinawa (TIME, Sept. 25). “We’re not retreating, we’re just advancing in a different direction”

    Wait, you mean Sarah Barracuda Palin flubbed a quotation, again? She needs to stop letting Trig vet her speeches

Written by swanksalot

July 5th, 2009 at 11:02 pm