Saturday, May 23, 2009

Reflections on an Aerial Photograph of a City on a River

Reflections on an Aerial Photograph of a City on a River

I've heard it said – and who hasn't – that this city is circles within circles. I've heard it said that a city within a circle is European, and that all these rings interconnect even as other rings rise from limestone, through the earth, breaking concrete, pushing great circles of steel and glass further still into the curve of the concave sky as if to challenge the primacy of the heavens and plant a root in the clouds themselves, stating simply that – yes - The Heavens too are fallen.

A circle is a garrote and an embrace. A circle is a mistake you never learn from and its the only direction home. And two broken circles straddle a river called Cumberland like a couple of big, dumb, broken lockets, mutely pouring away their secret whispers into the green water that will circle back toward western bluegrass and shine its treasures in the blue moonlight, appearing early and foretelling the future.

A biscuit, a salty slice of pork, a thin pancake crunching on the edges, orange juice in a small glass with tiny, green-tangled leaves dancing along the painted rim, and a round plate full of circles adds up to a square meal at the start of the day for a cowboy or a conman or a gentleman from Kurdistan with a wife and a black-haired baby and a half-dream-home that he left on the other side of a circular sphere we all agree to call the Earth just to round the whole thing off.

Circle back and pick me up. Pick up the tab. We can square up later.

A circle is just points on a plane, pointing toward their common center. But is the center the source, or simply a reference: merely a point itself? A circle doesn't exist without a center, but every point is part of countless circles tangled in a Euclidean underbrush just as every center is centered in every smalling circle radiating in from the edge of nowhere infinity into




Tycho crater is a round crater in the South of the roundly moon. At 108 million years it is a newborn among the rocks and came to life as a daughter of Mother Moon and her Father, Baptistina, of the family Baptistina, a cloud-like clan of asteroids that loved the blue moon and left a mark when it reached out to touch her face. Tycho's shape is perfect in the sharp shadows that rake her razor rim and she is named for an astronomer who lost half of his face beneath the heavy arc of a falling, silver broadsword.

His nose was replaced by one made of gold.

Tycho was the site of the excavation of the great monolith in 2001, five years before another Baptist monument Billy Grahamed from the middle of this circle here, completing a circle between a city of Athena and the solar reflection of Selene, kissing her country cousin in the midst of midheaven.

Will the circle

Be unbroken

By and by, Lord.

By and by...


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Joe Nolan

Friday, May 15, 2009

Undiscovered Country

God Bless us every one.

I have recently discovered a trove of treasure, a vein really, one full of heroines in the rain, firing arrows into the stars.

Moving images move at the speed of light. We sit hushed in darkened theaters while Scientists madly scratch their heads in search of Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

In Contempt, Godard builds a universe on a piece of ass and James Toback counts to 7 and back again using every one of his Fingers. Blake saw the Universe in a Grain of Sand when he woke from a vision of a movie camera's glass lens.

We reproduce the moving of our movements so that they may move again. Not to infantilize - to live forever in a repeating loop - but to prove the existence of parallel worlds. To show ourselves to ourselves the way some mystics see human beings as the eyes of God staring back at the blind, mad, demiurge. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, and we are the eyes of God, then surely we replicate HIS replication and the fall continues unabated.

Apples are complimented by both butter and popcorn.

Lets open the vein and see what - exactly - may pour out.

The Power of Words

- Edgar Allen Poe

OINOS. Pardon, Agathos, the weakness of a spirit new-fledged with immortality!

AGATHOS. You have spoken nothing, my Oinos, for which pardon is to be demanded. Not even here is knowledge thing of intuition. For wisdom, ask of the angels freely, that it may be given!

OINOS. But in this existence, I dreamed that I should be at once cognizant of all things, and thus at once be happy in being cognizant of all.

AGATHOS. Ah, not in knowledge is happiness, but in the acquisition of knowledge! In for ever knowing, we are for ever blessed; but to know all were the curse of a fiend.

OINOS. But does not The Most High know all?

AGATHOS. That (since he is The Most Happy) must be still the one thing unknown even to Him.

OINOS. But, since we grow hourly in knowledge, must not at last all things be known?

AGATHOS. Look down into the abysmal distances!–attempt to force the gaze down the multitudinous vistas of the stars, as we sweep slowly through them thus–and thus–and thus! Even the spiritual vision, is it not at all points arrested by the continuous golden walls of the universe?–the walls of the myriads of the shining bodies that mere number has appeared to blend into unity?

OINOS. I clearly perceive that the infinity of matter is no dream.

AGATHOS. There are no dreams in Aidenn–but it is here whispered that, of this infinity of matter, the sole purpose is to afford infinite springs, at which the soul may allay the thirst to know, which is for ever unquenchable within it–since to quench it, would be to extinguish the soul's self. Question me then, my Oinos, freely and without fear. Come! we will leave to the left the loud harmony of the Pleiades, and swoop outward from the throne into the starry meadows beyond Orion, where, for pansies and violets, and heart's- ease, are the beds of the triplicate and triple–tinted suns.

OINOS. And now, Agathos, as we proceed, instruct me!–speak to me in the earth's familiar tones. I understand not what you hinted to me, just now, of the modes or of the method of what, during mortality, we were accustomed to call Creation. Do you mean to say that the Creator is not God?

AGATHOS. I mean to say that the Deity does not create.

OINOS. Explain.

AGATHOS. In the beginning only, he created. The seeming creatures which are now, throughout the universe, so perpetually springing into being, can only be considered as the mediate or indirect, not as the direct or immediate results of the Divine creative power.

OINOS. Among men, my Agathos, this idea would be considered heretical in the extreme.

AGATHOS. Among angels, my Oinos, it is seen to be simply true.

OINOS. I can comprehend you thus far–that certain operations of what we term Nature, or the natural laws, will, under certain conditions, give rise to that which has all the appearance of creation. Shortly before the final overthrow of the earth, there were, I well remember, many very successful experiments in what some philosophers were weak enough to denominate the creation of animalculae.

AGATHOS. The cases of which you speak were, in fact, instances of the secondary creation–and of the only species of creation which has ever been, since the first word spoke into existence the first law.

OINOS. Are not the starry worlds that, from the abyss of nonentity, burst hourly forth into the heavens–are not these stars, Agathos, the immediate handiwork of the King?

AGATHOS. Let me endeavor, my Oinos, to lead you, step by step, to the conception I intend. You are well aware that, as no thought can perish, so no act is without infinite result. We moved our hands, for example, when we were dwellers on the earth, and, in so doing, gave vibration to the atmosphere which engirdled it. This vibration was indefinitely extended, till it gave impulse to every particle of the earth's air, which thenceforward, and for ever, was actuated by the one movement of the hand. This fact the mathematicians of our globe well knew. They made the special effects, indeed, wrought in the fluid by special impulses, the subject of exact calculation–so that it became easy to determine in what precise period an impulse of given extent would engirdle the orb, and impress (for ever) every atom of the atmosphere circumambient. Retrograding, they found no difficulty, from a given effect, under given conditions, in determining the value of the original impulse. Now the mathematicians who saw that the results of any given impulse were absolutely endless–and who saw that a portion of these results were accurately traceable through the agency of algebraic analysis–who saw, too, the facility of the retrogradation–these men saw, at the same time, that this species of analysis itself, had within itself a capacity for indefinite progress–that there were no bounds conceivable to its advancement and applicability, except within the intellect of him who advanced or applied it. But at this point our mathematicians paused.

OINOS. And why, Agathos, should they have proceeded?

AGATHOS. Because there were some considerations of deep interest beyond. It was deducible from what they knew, that to a being of infinite understanding–one to whom the perfection of the algebraic analysis lay unfolded–there could be no difficulty in tracing every impulse given the air–and the ether through the air–to the remotest consequences at any even infinitely remote epoch of time. It is indeed demonstrable that every such impulse given the air, must, in the end, impress every individual thing that exists within the universe;–and the being of infinite understanding–the being whom we have imagined–might trace the remote undulations of the impulse- trace them upward and onward in their influences upon all particles of an matter–upward and onward for ever in their modifications of old forms–or, in other words, in their creation of new–until he found them reflected–unimpressive at last–back from the throne of the Godhead. And not only could such a thing do this, but at any epoch, should a given result be afforded him–should one of these numberless comets, for example, be presented to his inspection–he could have no difficulty in determining, by the analytic retrogradation, to what original impulse it was due. This power of retrogradation in its absolute fulness and perfection–this faculty of referring at all epochs, all effects to all causes–is of course the prerogative of the Deity alone–but in every variety of degree, short of the absolute perfection, is the power itself exercised by the whole host of the Angelic intelligences.

OINOS. But you speak merely of impulses upon the air.

AGATHOS. In speaking of the air, I referred only to the earth; but the general proposition has reference to impulses upon the ether- which, since it pervades, and alone pervades all space, is thus the great medium of creation.

OINOS. Then all motion, of whatever nature, creates?

AGATHOS. It must: but a true philosophy has long taught that the source of all motion is thought–and the source of all thought is-


AGATHOS. I have spoken to you, Oinos, as to a child of the fair Earth which lately perished–of impulses upon the atmosphere of the Earth.

OINOS. You did.

AGATHOS. And while I thus spoke, did there not cross your mind some thought of the physical power of words? Is not every word an impulse on the air?

OINOS. But why, Agathos, do you weep–and why, oh why do your wings droop as we hover above this fair star–which is the greenest and yet most terrible of all we have encountered in our flight? Its brilliant flowers look like a fairy dream–but its fierce volcanoes like the passions of a turbulent heart.

AGATHOS. They are!–they are! This wild star–it is now three centuries since, with clasped hands, and with streaming eyes, at the feet of my beloved–I spoke it–with a few passionate sentences- into birth. Its brilliant flowers are the dearest of all unfulfilled dreams, and its raging volcanoes are the passions of the most turbulent and unhallowed of hearts.



Use this player to listen to my new CD. Purchase a song or two at your favorite digital outlet and help us stay awake here at Insomnia!

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Joe Nolan

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Love and Might

Love and Might

She walked through the kitchen on bare feet in the middle of the night searching for the knife in the dark. She touched the blade of the chef's knife and slid it back down into the block. She touched the blade of the bread knife and pulled it all the way out.

The open refrigerator illuminated the dark kitchen, its blue light bouncing off of the hard, shiny, concrete floor. In many parts of the world, the blinding blur of all of this electric would take on the glow of a metaphysical revelation: a miracle.

A sun inside of an ice cold box.

She pulled out the rest of the chocolate cake and cut a thin slice before bisecting that same slice into two pieces of sugary architecture that she could pick up with her fingers. She touched the side of the decanter and then poured the still-warm-enough coffee into the mug. The entire nation of Ethiopia rose and roared from the ceramic bowl. Hailie Sallassie prayed to his great, great grandfather - old Solomon himself - while the coffee wafted from the bowl in waves of wisdom and bitterness alike.

She slid back the door. The light, white curtains blew in, taking the shape of the night air. She tugged her short robe together at her chest and sat on the sleek white chair overlooking the avenue and the intersection at the boulevard down the block. The streets were quiet, the occasional car whispering to itself as it slid by seven floors down.

She broke the first, small piece of the moist, dark cake and dipped it into the coffee making sure to get as much of the bitter, black liquid into the cake before it became too full and broke of into the cup in soggy defeat. She held the cup near her mouth as she sucked the chocolate in.

Some scientists say that chocolate stimulates a woman's brain in a way that replicates the experience of falling in love. White people first had the privilege of tasting chocolate after the Spanish conquered the Aztecs. The Europeans in their desperation for love enslaved the Mesoamericans on cocoa plantations so that women a world away could pour the dark liquid into their powdered faces. The brown people in South America had been given the gift of the cocoa bean by Quetzalcoatl, the great, feathered deity who had been banished from heaven for sharing the Food of the Gods with mortal men. It seems the people themselves were also banished from Heaven within the boundaries of their own land, and that the Gods -everywhere- favor might over love.

She left the second piece of cake on the saucer, on the steel table next to the sleek chair and held the mug in her hands, warming her pink palms as the chocolate mellowed her expression into a somnambulant gaze focused on some distant desire. She rushed back into her own eyes when she heard the crash.

She could make out one of the cars - on the far side of the boulevard - and could see some kind of steam or smoke rising from the place where the sound came from. The white plume rose above the shop at the corner of the boulevard and then above date tree glowing green beneath the grey moon before she heard the first voices - desperate, scared and angry - disrupting her perfect love with noise and metal and the sound of an ambulance just now wailing in the distance.

At the very first, mushrooms had been served...They ate no more food; they only drank chocolate during the night. And they ate the mushrooms with honey. When the mushrooms took effect on them, then they danced, then they wept. But some, while still in command of their senses, entered and sat there by the house on their seats; they did no more, but only sat there nodding.


Use this player to listen to my new CD. Purchase a song or two at your favorite digital outlet and help us stay awake here at Insomnia!

Find the archives to my Sleepless Film Festival, and more at my You Tube channel: Imagicon

Listen to my earlier releases, and enjoy free downloads here!

Please consider supporting this site by making a PayPal donation and check out our friends using the links on the right.

Joe Nolan

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