“The Autodidact doesn’t seem to want to talk. What a curious look he is giving me: it isn’t a look to see with, but rather one for a communion of souls. The Autodidact’s soul has risen to the surface of his magnificent blind man’s eyes. If mine does the same, if it comes and presses its nose against the window panes, the two of them can exchange greetings.
I don’t want a communion of souls, I haven’t fallen so low. I draw back.”—Sartre (Nausea)
"Pi Magazine, struggling to fill space in the music section with anything approaching meaningful content, requested I make a playlist of UCL alumni. So here it is - a mishmash of songs I don’t particularly like, alongside people who went to UCL for about a week collected in one tiny playlist for your listening pleasure.
Suede - We are the Pigs
Basement Jaxx - Where’s Your Head At
Floating Points - Vacuum Boggie
The Horrors - Pimary Colours
Keane - Everybody’s Changing
Coldplay - Yellow”
this made me cackle for the entire distance between surray quays and canada water. brilliant
The man emerged from sleep one day as if from a viscous desert, looked at the vain light of afternoon, which at first he confused with that of dawn, and understood that he had not really dreamt. All that night and all day, the intolerable lucidity of insomnia weighted upon him. He tried to explore the jungle, to exhaust himself’ amidst the hemlocks, he was scarcely able to manage a few snatches of feeble sleep, fleetingly mottled with some rudimentary visions which were useless. He tried to convoke the college and had scarcely uttered a few brief words of exhortation, when it became deformed and was extinguished. In his almost perpetual sleeplessness, his old eyes burned with tears of anger.
He comprehended that the effort to mold the incoherent and vertiginous matter dreams are made of was the most arduous task a man could undertake, though he might penetrate all the enigmas of the upper and lower orders: much more arduous than weaving a rope of sand or coining the faceless wind. He comprehended that an initial failure was inevitable. He swore he would forget the enormous hallucination which had misled him at first, and he sought another method.
I was the only passanger traveling down the escalator, to the northern line platform. as i was half way down a group of people arrived and began queuing for the other escalator. one man broke off from the group and began resolutely climbing the down escalator. i passed him close to the bottom and stared at his face, but could not dicern any kind of knowing glimer in his eye.
“Unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing. It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe—and I am dead serious when I say this—do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.”—
Philip K Dick
(went to an exhibition on architecture at the barbican today which had this quote as the opening bumpf. just read the entire essay, first half very interesting second half insane ramblings about christ and expressing sympathy for nixon. golly http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm)
I dreamed I wrote a poem beginning “Hi!” and ending “See You Later!”
the middle part was amazing
that’s the part I don’t remember
I was sitting on a platform high above the jungle
this all feels really familiar
probably from something I’ve seen on tv
I was dressed up as a witchdoctor
and used this stick of judgement
taking back the names of creatures
restoring them to myth I was doing wisely with it
in my dream the poem didn’t have
this assonance that’s creeping in
after I’d taken back everything
I kept hold of my stick using it
to designate the categories that really matter
while adding bones and wings to my hat
sitting up here out of danger
I hate this/I like that
hi i should like to have the answers
to shall we say certain questions
and to wake up certain of directions
and a levelness of breathing and
of not being in a neo-noir movie
instead the mildness of the evening
and the possibility of ice-cream
waiting ahead in girlfriend heaven
when i return with gifts one chocolate
one strawberry i’ll think of a question
any question the way you might prop
a stick below a window letting in
night air then pick that stick up from
its slant using it to gesture wisely
while elaborating on whatever
making all the time shall we say finer
distinctions splitting pairs of pairs
together like couples who both see
suddenly that this won’t be for ever
it takes till now for the window to fall
and there can be no bitterness
or anger so what i’m saying is thank
you thank you and see you later
When he met her it was as if he could see his poems moving around below her skin like fish in an aquarium. To attract them he tapped the glass of the tank – some were pretty big fish. They loomed close, shadowing her face like a birthmark. He saw their luminous scales, the frills of their fins, their mouths, fat and defenceless, without natural predators, begging to be caught, mounted and nailed to the wall.
Milo and Tock wandered up and down the aisles looking at the wonderful assortment of words for sale. There were short ones and easy ones for everyday use, and long and very important ones for special occasions, and even some marvelously fancy ones packed in individual gift boxes for use in royal decrees and pronouncements.
"Step right up, step right up - fancy, best-quality words right here," announced one man in a booming voice. "Step right up - ah, what can I do for you, little boy? How about a nice bagful of pronouns - or maybe you’d like our special assortment of names?"
Milo had never thought much about words before, but these looked so good that he longed to have some.
"Look, Tock," he cried, "aren’t they wonderful?"
"They’re fine, if you have something to say," replied Tock in a tired voice, for he was much more interested in finding a bone than in shopping for new words.
"Maybe if I buy some I can learn how to use them," said Milo eagerly as he began to pick through the words in the stall. Finally he chose three which looked particularly good to him - "quagmire," "flabbergast," and "upholstery." He had no idea what they meant, but they looked very grand and elegant.
"How much are these?" he inquired, and when the man whispered the answer he quickly put them back on the shelf and started to walk away.
this was one of my favorite books as a child, good fun rereading it.