Monday Piano

Today I read this article on Joseph Beuys in the Guardian. The author writes:

But, to my mind, Homogeneous Infiltration for Piano (((from 1966))) is his best piece, a truly great work of art; one that I revisit whenever I have the chance. Like Mark Rothko’s giant black canvases, it draws you in and calms you down. And in doing so achieves one of Beuys’s aims – to change the status quo. I love it all the more for introducing me to the weird and wonderful world of Joseph Beuys. A world of myth, ideas, obsessions and hope. A world where facts and fiction are indistinguishable. Jeremy Paxman can have University Challenge; Beuysworld is my kind of place, where questions don’t have answers, but just offer up more questions.

Where questions don’t have answers, but just offer up more questions. Maybe, if a question does not birth another question, we have misundertood it or we not looking deep enough. A good question is like one of those Russian Dolls – it’s Turtles all the way down.

Where questions don’t have answers, but just offer up more questions.
Or, where a question is a hand beckoning, a door half-opened… our moon nature by ochazuke:

A haiku is not a poem,
it is not literature;
it is a hand beckoning,
a door half-opened,
a mirror wiped clean.

– R.H. Blythe

The mirror wiped clean… The character of a shiny surface is to show grime and dirt. You wipe, it gets dirty, you wipe, it gets dirty. It’s wiped clean for seconds, minutes, hours, before it appears dirty again. Delusion is as inherent as enlightenment, and clinging to either is futile.

Where questions don’t have answers, but just offer up more questions.

I do like Homogeneous Infiltration for Piano very much. Now, what would that piano sound like…


Simply Haiku: An E-Journal – Interview with David Barnhill
RW: Haikai, Hokku, and Haiku. These terms can be confusing. Please explain. Is there a difference between the terms?

DB: Haikai means something like “comic” or “vulgar,” something that does not fit the strict confines of courtly culture. Renga (linked verse) had been a courtly verse, but some wanted to break the mold and expand the range of renga, and so haikai no renga was developed. Basho’s genius was his combination of that free-spiritedness with aesthetic and religious depth. Sometimes he used the term haikai as a broader term for literary art, even art in general, if it had this more complex haikai spirit. So we can think of him as a haikai (not haiku) poet. Hokku, on the other hand, is the opening stanza of a renga sequence. It was so important that it eventually began to take on a life of its own, with poets writing just the hokku without the linked sequence. Basho wrote hokku (not haiku) poems. The great modern poet Shiki wanted to sever hokku from its function in a linked verse, and he emphasized the aesthetic of a “sketch” of a moment of nature. To indicate this change, he used a new term, haiku, for what had been called hokku. So haiku is a modern term Basho did not use. But the term haiku is ingrained in our culture, even when thinking of Basho. The result is indeed confusion. If we want to be historically correct, we should speak of Basho’s hokku. But haiku is the only single term we could use for what Basho wrote and what contemporary poets in Japan and around the world write. I use hokku when I’m in an academic context, haiku when I’m not. We certainly don’t want to get too hung up on terminology.

Basho’s Trail
Basho’s World
Friday in Phoenix
Monday, January 21st
To Translate is to Betray