.what’s not to love.

Humanity hands by luuqas
Credit: Lucas Iacono   (click photo to visit site)

Humanity i love you
because you would rather black the boots of
success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both

parties and because you
unflinchingly applaud all
songs containing the words country home and
mother when sung at the old howard

Humanity i love you because
when you’re hard up you pawn your
intelligence to buy a drink and when
you’re flush pride keeps

you from the pawn shop and
because you are continually committing
nuisances but more
especially in your own house

Humanity i love you because you
are perpetually putting the secret of
life in your pants and forgetting
it’s there and sitting down

on it
and because you are
forever making poems in the lap
of death Humanity

i hate you

humanity i love you

-ee cummings


2_4_masakuni
Credit: bonsaiempire.com

I’m a pruner, constantly snipping, cutting, deleting the excess. I do this mostly with people. I’m a loner, for the most part, and don’t make friends easily. The friends I do have, the ones that I truly consider friends, have been so for 30 plus years. Other than that, the rest of the world is an acquaintance. My sense of loyalty and general distrust of most people makes it so. Being an only child, I’ve always been a watcher and highly protective of my feelings, highly skeptical of intent. I don’t warm up to you until I have observed you in the wild, so to speak. For those reasons, humanity has given me more to despise than love. Humanity’s resistance to change (mine, included), makes it to where I want to let in as minimal of an amount of it as I can at one time. The idiosyncrasies and quirks I exhibit are enough to contend with, let alone those of others, that I will have to learn and devise plans to maneuver around and through, with relation to my own. It’s simply too much work.

I really do love you, Humanity, but I hate you, and I mean that in the best possible way.

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.i want that.

Writing-Woman-Desk-Old
I want that. 

I want to be with you.
You, plugging away at a pile of words for your one of many books, 
and I want you to hear the keys jingle.
I want you to not look up because you know it’s me and you already have my smile committed to memory. I’ll come over and nudge your shoulder but not say a word because you’re in a zone that is not to be disturbed.
I will have ordered the largest cup of what you love when you write. I will get my own project and sit across from you until we, both defeated by our work, look into each other’s eyes. We’ll sit for a moment and simultaneously say we are hungry. We’ll go to the kitchen and make pesto or something else Italian. Your favorite.
hands
We’ll eat and talk and laugh. Swim in each other’s words. We’ll hold hands on our way to the back room, your palm under mine, then we’ll lie in bed because every day doesn’t have to be extraordinary but every day must be one we are together in.
I want that.

.a nice cup of tea.

A Nice Cup of Tea
By George Orwell
Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.

 

If you look up ‘tea’ in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:

Credit: Travis Smith (click link to visit site)
First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is

 not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.

Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware

teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.

Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.

Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.

Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.

Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.

Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.

Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.

Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.

Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.

Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tea leaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet. It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one’s ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.

(taken from The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Volume 3, 1943-45, Penguin ISBN, 0-14-00-3153-7)

.random thought 1.

IMG_8012
credit: Elizabeth Davison click image to visit site.

photography is about the keeping out of light, until that perfect moment when you let it in, just for a fraction of a second, versus the studying of light over a course of time and recording the sum of its duration as in what is drawn.  photography is the extraction of a denominator of time. the drawn, an aggregate of a sequence of time.

.poets, read poems.

Jens-Ferdinand-Willumsen _Sophus-Clausssen-reading-poems_1915_Aarhus
Credit: Jens Ferdinand Willumsen “Sophus Claussen Reading Poems”, 1915

Have you ever found yourself wondering what you’re really reading poetry for? It feels as if more of the reading is for finding out whether or not one measures up, if someone writing similar to you (or you similar to them) has said something that causes the “I wish I had written that!” moment. Or maybe the fear is of not having an original voice or thought. Reading online journals, poetry blogs, books in the vein of your writing, in order to see if your project can be let out of the vault and hopefully, be accepted. Maybe even guiltily swiping of a concept here and there to push your creativity along takes place.

Bernstein-Charles_Veil_1978_Sackner-Collection
Credit: Charles Bernstein, “Veil”, 1976

All in all, it’s no longer reading for pleasure. It becomes task.

While the reasons I mentioned have some level of rationale, we would all hate for these to be reasons why someone else would be reading our work, and they would be honest, something that we typically are not when greeted with something to read. The aspect of reading for pleasure takes a back seat to how we can either top what we read or be destroyed by its brilliance and incinerate any attempts at writing we have ever endeavored.

I say we fight that feeling and simply read for pleasure. We tend to be so severe and take ourselves and our own art far too seriously. The more serious the more comedic we become.victorian-1

The writing will come. Pleasure is better received by the body than toil. We should read to learn poets, which in turn help us learn ourselves, which in turn informs our process, expands our concepts, maybe adds on to another’s ideas.

 

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poets. just read poems…