Al Purdy Was Here, So Have Another Beer

“I am a sensitive man. Would you believe I write poems?” After seeing his documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival, whenever I drink a beer or talk about poetry I sound like Al Purdy…

At The Quinte Hotel

Al Purdy – On Being Human

Al Purdy – Necropsy of Love

AL PURDY WAS HERE Trailer | Festival 2015



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My Valentine for Ms. Modigliani

Velázquez. "Venus at her Mirror" 1649-51.

Elegy To His Mistress Going To Bed
by John Donne

Come, madam, come, all rest my powers defy ;
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe ofttimes, having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing, though he never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven’s zone glittering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breast-plate, which you wear,
That th’ eyes of busy fools may be stopp’d there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed-time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th’ hill’s shadow steals.
Off with your wiry coronet, and show
The hairy diadems which on you do grow.
Off with your hose and shoes ; then softly tread
In this love’s hallow’d temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes heaven’s angels used to be
Revealed to men ; thou, angel, bring’st with thee
A heaven-like Mahomet’s paradise ; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite ;
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my Newfoundland,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann’d,
My mine of precious stones, my empery ;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee !
To enter in these bonds, is to be free ;
Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.
Full nakedness !  All joys are due to thee ;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys.   Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta’s ball cast in men’s views ;
That, when a fool’s eye lighteth on a gem,
His earthly soul might court that, not them.
Like pictures, or like books’ gay coverings made
For laymen, are all women thus array’d.
Themselves are only mystic books, which we
—Whom their imputed grace will dignify—
Must see reveal’d.   Then, since that I may know,
As liberally as to thy midwife show
Thyself ; cast all, yea, this white linen hence ;
There is no penance due to innocence :
To teach thee, I am naked first ; why then,
What needst thou have more covering than a man?

Listen to the poem as read by Jasper Britton:

About the image: Velázquez. “Venus at her Mirror” 1649-51[Source: Web Gallery of Art]

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Café Mouffe: Zoë Keating

I heard an interview with cellist Zoë Keating on Studio 360, a frank discussion of her dispute with YouTube about the availability of her music on that platform. Read her blog post for a deeper explanation of the online music business viewed from a composer’s perspective. There you can also listen to a stream of her last album, Into the Trees, which is available for purchase on Bandcamp. You can sample her music here at Café Mouffe, but you better be quick about it. If she can’t negotiate a compromise, YouTube will pull the plug on her channel.

Lost | Optimist

Encore: Zoë Keating performs and discusses her creative processes on Chase Jarvis Live (uploaded 050712). She discusses the loop software she uses at 33:10 in the video.
Who is Chase Jarvis? See his blog.

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Georgina Kleege on Beauty and The Gaze

My friend Georgina Kleege was interviewed today on The Takeaway with John Hockenberry:

We’re talking this week about beauty: How we define it, how we perceive it, and what it means historically and socially—and to you, our listeners.

Today, we approach the topic beauty with someone who has a unique perspective: UC Berkeley English Professor Georgina Kleege.

Kleege is blind, and has written about how she sees the world in several books, including “Sight Unseen,” and the essay “Beauty and the Blind.”

And as Kleege explains, you don’t have to see beauty to understand its value. In her words: “I live in a visual culture, so I know what people say.”


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Humza Deas Scales New Heights For “F8 and Be There”

Move over, Margaret Bourke-White. There’s room on that girder for a new generation of daredevil photographers with smart phones who will take any risk to get the shot. Humza Deas started climbing bridges and skyscrapers in New York City for the adrenalin rush and street creds, documenting his feats with selfies of his shoes. Think of him as a kind of vertical flaneur, soaring rather than strolling, with a rarefied perspective on the street. Instead of LIFE Magazine, Instagram is his platform.  Now he’s beginning to parlay social media fame into a paying gig.

Humza Deas perches vertiginously above Time Square in New York, documenting the “be there” moment with a selfie of his shoes. His laconic comment on the shot: “power trip” [Source: WNYC Sideshow/Instagram]

Deas perched vertiginously above Time Square at night for this “be there” moment. His laconic comment on the shot: “power trip” [Source: WNYC Sideshow/Instagram].

Who is Humza Deas? from Humza Deas on Vimeo.


  • Humza Deas (@humzadeas) • Instagram photos and videos
    As of 013015, @humzadeas has more than 105K followers on Instagram.
  • Who is Humza Deas? on Vimeo
    Humza Deas is a New York based photographer. This video is the start to a web series that showcases who Humza is & what he does. | Film & edit by Sean Colello. | Song: Nina Simone – Feeling Good | Instagram: @Humzadeas & @Sgtcolello | Tumblr: &
  • Sideshow Podcast: At 17, Humza Deas Puts Shame in Your Instagram Game – Studio 360 012715
    Humza Deas isn’t impressed by his nearly 100,000 Instagram followers, though he should be. He earned every one surfing subways, climbing bridges, and scaling New York City’s skyscrapers for the perfect photo. The ambitious 17-year-old taught himself everything he knows about trespassing and now, on the cusp of adulthood, he’s teaching himself how to be an even better photographer. | It’s not exactly surprising that a high school student in 2015 started taking photos on a smart phone. “I never owned my first camera until four or five months ago,” Deas says. At the age of 16, he bought a second-hand iPhone and began posting lifestyle photos to Instagram—skateboarding, streetscapes, and heavily filtered portraits of friends. | Soon enough, Deas wanted to up his game. After seeing a video of daredevils free-climbing a Beijing skyscraper on YouTube, he figured out a way. “This is what I can do—this is how I can be original,” he thought to himself. Though he had little to no experience climbing much of anything, he was confident that skateboarding and “being fascinated with edges of buildings to do tricks on” had prepared him plenty.

For the record, here is an historic shot of Margaret Bourke-White, age 27, perched on the scaffolding enclosing the Chrysler Building under construction in New York in 1931.  [Source: ‘Great Lady With a Camera’: Margaret Bourke-White, American Original |]

Margaret Bourke-White, age 27, perches on the scaffolding enclosing the Chrysler Building under construction in New York in 1931. [Source: ‘Great Lady With a Camera': Margaret Bourke-White, American Original |]


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