Plotinus Plinlimmon

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I, Plotinus of Plinlimmon, to You

From scraps recovered, a cento wove.

Sad day of rebirth. Listened to Patti Smith. "I have not sold myself to god." But: "In the midst of life we are in debt etcetera."

Some fellow visionaries sent me their communiques by pneumatic tube and courier pigeon. We are strategizing future utopias on the rusted bones of America.

Will the Amish really be around in a thousand years? Perhaps. I trust the hardihood of radical Protestants more than anything else I see around here.

I remember well the night my father told me "Islam was going to win". We don't live in the world we think we live in. A diet of lies our whole lives has an effect on our brains roughly equivalent to the longterm consequences of two packs a day.

What, after all, do we have to learn from the Moravians and Labadists? A lot, apparently. David Zeisberger and Jasper Danckaerts.

I learn after writing the above about smoking that the Labadist colony of Bohemia Manor supported itself by growing tobacco. Hmm. Is this part of a usable history?

Tobacco is not the blessing and travel boon it was a thousand years ago. How can we begin to rethink what history means on this continent; i.e. that it is not only the adventures and bloodbaths of europeans and their descendants?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Letters from an American Former

Paintings from Arnhem Land. This primitive people who never developed architecture, agriculture, writing, metallurgy... were on the right track!

It seems that anthropology developed so that we would be able to finally look with clear eyes at our own society, which has ceaselessly mystified itself, and never with as much desperate fervor as in the past few centuries.

Right now we are living in the thick of the lies. You get a headache just living in the middle of it, like sitting under bad lighting.

Erasmus compiled a huge book of proverbs, the Adages. Many are still in use today and have been since Roman times. I used to be obsessed with epigrams, maxims, apothegms, aphorisms. A faded passion. La Rouchefoucauld, Chamfort, Nietzsche, Cioran... I still remember the names.

I'm surrounded by books I've not read and may never have the chance to read. A strange fate. Which seeds will fall on the sterile soil?

Ignavis semper feriae sunt. (For the lazy it is always holiday.)

Our calendar required its level of sophistication so that Easter might be accurately calculated. By the same mechanism the Arab world achieved great advances in practical geography and astronomy so that the direction of Mecca could always be ascertained. It is a shorter step than it seems from prayers at Matins to the Taylorised world.

I have an early edition of Taylor's book on scientific management, from I guess 1912, whose cover is blind-stamped with a design depicting an axe around which have been gathered with a cord a mass of staves. This is the Roman fasces, from whence... you guessed it.

You may think that this is the end. Well it is.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Arkville is not too far from here. Michael Ayrton apparently built a labyrinth there. I wonder if his axe had two heads.

It's speculated that the explosion of Thera destroyed Minoan civilization. In Jaynes' book he speculates that this was the historical moment that provoked breakdown of the bicameral mind.

Are there angels on the almost full moon from whom we can learn Enochian? Or only rabbits?

Dee wrote the preface to the first English Euclid. What is the connection between geometry and speaking with angels?

I'm looking out for the Delectable Mountain. It might be in Tangiers.

Both Charles Olson and Lorine Niedecker had copies of Brooks Adams' "Law of Civilization and Decay" in their libraries. It's probably a Pound connection.

The music of Jajouka is suspected to be, not an imitation of the rituals of Saturnalia, but a collateral descendent of the same ancestor. I have observed these birching rites on the streets of Prague as well.

Birds, bees, cigarette trees. We do not look for the essence of tree, as tree, in any of the specific trees around us. Nor in four trees upon a solitary acre.

When was the siege of Acre? Where is the holy city? Who drew the line and what hex broke it?