Tag Archives: victory

selections from The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels


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selections from Electra and other plays by Sophocles

And I am as you see me now. Continue reading

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the day i ran a 25-minute 5K




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according to Facebook, i’m married to a French girl named Victory.
according to Facebook, i’m a red-headed fox from Austin, Texas.
not according to Facebook, tonight i went out to see the San Francisco Opera perform The Makropulos Case, Czech composer Leoš Janáček’s penultimate opera, with a beautiful Austin girl i don’t even know the name of.

girl, if you ever see this post, anytime in the future, forgive me. i am the worst human being you will ever meet in the entire world (at remembering names) and i was too weak to ask you a fourth time in a week what your name was. please forgive me or punch me in the face, whichever works best. and then let’s move on. you’re awesome and words that we say to get each other’s attention don’t matter that much anyway.

love love love love. Continue reading

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pooretry [archive]

four point four earthquake at four oh four am and i’m happy.

i’m not writing my thesis right now.

Kenneth Rexroth is a poet.


i hate pre-ripped pants.

tell me if you think this analogy works. you’re in the kitchen with this beautifully buxom babe, she’s just all in a tizzy, grabbing parsley, grabbing cheese, swinging knives, dropping pasta into pots, etc etc etc. you notice none of this because she’s wearing this evil blouse that pushes her perfect tits, perfectly ballooning into your face. christ. oh yeah, she has a boyfriend. she’s jollily making him dinner and he’s waiting upstairs, probably cybering with his backup girl from back home. it’s like walking near a cliff that drops a hundred feet to jagged rock and water. the horizon goes forever, the wind pushes itself into your lungs, the grass dances under your feet, and the cliff is just a cliff. it sits and waits, seemingly innocent; but it’s actually drawing you to the edge. the closer you get to the edge, the more and more you think you could just jump. this isn’t just possibility, it’s all-out desire. you WANT to jump. you want to run and leap, dive, fall, plunge to your death. the jagged rocks pull you. someone needs to slice me at the wrists.

the other day i received this text message from Adam:

Anyways, tool fails at being what they try to be. They don’t find peace in the void. Unless the void is not silent. It is in my mind. Anyways. Happy trails.

i hope you don’t care about being quoted. maybe you were just spewing nonsense for fun or maybe this is your final thesis on Tool, but i’m guessing it’s somewhere in between. i, on the other hand, was certainly stoned when i saw the text, and i couldn’t even respond properly. all i said was “silly, silly.”

“They don’t find peace in the void.” what does that even mean? for me to find peace? for Danny and Maynard to find peace? for everyone in the world to find peace? if it’s just the second, there can be no doubt that the men succeed. listening to them play, you know they are not just enjoying themselves, but freeing themselves. there is no way you can chant or drum or strum for minutes and minutes at a time like that and not find yourself lulled into a peaceful trance. in a way, this is a stupid point to try to make because we will never know unless we ask them. but i’m happy assuming i hear their peace through their performance.

i’m pretty sure that’s not what you were referring to, though. maybe you meant they don’t find peace for everyone, for people in general. trivially true. my dad finds everything but peace when i blast Tool at home.

you probably meant that you don’t find peace in their music. that’s fine…. predictable even. sometimes i feel like i’m one of the few fools who never grow out their past taste. i’m listening to Pushit [Live] right now and wearing that shirt you gave me, it’s fading into a nicely soft detergent black-blue. but there’s still one thing that bothers me about your claim that they don’t find peace: you might not have always said that. peace is the moment and you are supposedly telling me that Tool’s music never once sucked you into that moment, pulled you there, held you down with a force of six million black holes, ripping your mind apart in every direction, and, despite the noise drilling through your ear canals, filled your skull with the most unimaginable silence, a void. try to remember?

maybe i just completely misinterpreted you and i need to be set straight. let me know. in the meantime, have some pooretry:

ridiculous. leopard print
people peep attack. at each
turn, their own, more, more,
more. exactly how
they like it.

it’s true–
chickens hatch from people
disc is spelled with a k
fall is sometimes a season
without returns the weather

rum, Rexroth, and Chatroulette
sugar cane flowers bloom
in my mouth, merry weather. whenever
i go outside
i think
of one of my favorite poems ever,
no friends, etc, etc. it doesn’t rhyme
much. such gambling grows
a thesis statement, long-haired
green wine-stained, and bearded
down my throat.

pour me some poor porridge poetry,

Victory, pronounced
(KNEE-key) loses bluish heads and
dimes incessantly. doing, doing, doing

assigned the name
when crossing the Atlantic
from Greece to Rome. post-it pantheist
creation, magic undulation, black
swirly while.

turkey turkey, my favorite
word is “chicken.” flying to you
disentangles myths:
marble chai minaret of my mind,
your mind eyes rings,

California even has the best natural disasters:
fog, gold, hollywood,
Web, bears, franciscans,
redwoods, deserts, oceans.

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Olympia / Delphi [archive]

i have never tripped so hard in march.

~~~~~ Day One ~~~~~

early thursday morning, after picking up a chocolate croissant (for sam) and a cheese pie and orange juice (for myself), the long bus trip began. we reached our first destination, the dimitsana open air water power museum, after a couple hours of traveling. yes, it has its own wiki. no, it doesn’t deserve it. the welcoming placard:

Welcome to the open-air Water Power Museum ! Forget the city for a while, turn your back on the TV and the rat race. Surrender to the serenity of nature, to the joy of discovery! Turn back a page in the history book! Above all, take your time!
The museum consists of three separate exhibitions and displays a wide range of the ways in which water provided power and was used in production. The tour will take quite a while.

sheesh. it sure didn’t take me quite a while to see that there was nothing at this museum. still, it really got me away from the rat race, even though they had tvs with demos in every goddamn withered shed. in my favorite little shed, a tv sensually spoke to the dusty air about how to tan. seriously, it was the sexiest Greek voice i’ve ever heard, describing how to rub an animal’s hide just right. James and gregor demonstrating:

leaving the tannery and the gunpowder workshop, James and i went on a quest downhill, following the flowing water, to find more sweet exhibits. instead, we found a sweet car:

following classic cya field trip lunch (chips, sandwich, pizza, chocolate, apple), we were offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take the 5-minute walk through the village of dimitsana. once safely on the other side, we decided that a spliff was in order. Elaina and i, but mostly Elaina, took care of that quick. i don’t remember if this was pre or post spliff:

sleepy stoned bus ride quickly passed and we found ourselves in sleepy Olympia, a town with double the population of Dimitsana (600) and half the excitement. seriously you could probably carry a conversation with somebody on the other side of the town. with half the day already done (meaning the site and museum already closed), we had the night to ourselves.

Elaina and i lazed around quite a bit, pretending to nap, before enough interruptions from nervous nick and awkward sam compelled us to give up on sleep and to instead give whiskey a shot. and a few shots we gave it. half a fifth and some indie rock later, we rolled in spongy bliss, not really caring about going anywhere or doing anything, except for the cries of our stomachs. so we went down to the lobby, walked the fifteen feet across the street, and walked into the taverna to sit with our friends who had been waiting. i love Greek food.

after dinner, the gang walked through downtown Olympia in about a minute, we walked back to the hotel with big delicious plant plans. Elaina wrapped up the plant in ten seconds flat and the whole room was flying in not much longer. so excellent. everyone left for their own hotels pretty quickly and Elaina and i went up to her room, where Olivia smoked a cigarette with us. laughing and high….

more holy than a monk, you
holy water monster, incense sex stain,
kill my brain
for what it’s worth, break down
my ideology with your brilliant emotion,
my smiley ideology, a cream puff underneath
the hammer of your frown, don’t cry
teeth tongue truck driving, dirt dumping dirt
thing risen on the 0th day from a swamp
to tell the world nothing/everything
to touch what our hands have touched
to fuck the pyramids i’ve struck, as if
my blue amulet
cursed your dress to glitteriness, as if
glitter waned.

stars wane.

~~~~~ Day Two ~~~~~

breakfast fucking SUCKED. the water tasted like cardboard, the juice tasted like piss, i heard the coffee blew, you can’t fuck up cereal but the milk seemed a year old, and by the time i got to my egg, i was just expecting shit. i basically just stuffed a roll with meat and cheese on it down my throat so that i wouldn’t pass out on ruins.

Olympia is epic.

okay, not really. it’s not visually stunning or immediately magically arresting like Delphi, but still. so much history here, so much tradition started here. i mean, the olympics! you have to be a little thinky to enjoy it, though. nothing there really caught the eye. for example, here’s the stadium, originally constructed in the 6th century bc:

after seeing the excessively epic Olympic stadiums of Athina and Roma, i felt pretty underwhelmed by this dusty oval. the same Greeks who built the sublime theatre at Epidaurus thought this was fit for a stadium? but the more i thought about it, the more i liked it. i decided that two of my favorite characteristics are “epic” and “simple,” which i swear aren’t contradictory. clearly one can see the simplicity in this track. you start at one end with whoever you’re competing, and race them to the end. that’s it. how is it epic? because somehow, just because two men were racing from point a to point b, “armies were forbidden from entering Olympia, wars were suspended, and legal disputes and the use of the death penalty were forbidden” (wiki).

oh my god, you want epic? read about pankration. easily my favorite sport event ever. basically it’s one-on-one, completely naked (nakedness was pretty standard for ancient olympic events) fighting, that ends when one side gives up. everything but eye gouging and biting is allowed. unless you’re in Sparta. Spartan pankration has no exceptions. apparently (and not unexpectedly) lots of people died in this event. if i had my own olympics, it would have two events: the foot race and the pankration.

the collapsed ruins of the temple of Zeus won me over pretty easily. even a monolith in utter ruin retains its monolithic nature. just look at the universe. as i learned while Elaina took the picture above, the dimensions of each column matched my height perfectly. interesting. possible conspiracy theories abound. on the opposite side of me, next to the temple, the ruined columns lined up perfectly with where they originally stood.

epic. i gave myself a hard time trying to climb over them and jumping from stone to stone while Elaina walked on the temple, waiting patiently for me to have my fun. winding to the temple to hera, we saw the same little puppy sleeping who had all day been visiting all the site’s visitors. i guess he got tired of switching between English and Italian. Elaina and i tried to figure out which god he was (hera? Zeus?), but she claims he responded to Dionysos. trickster god.

we slowly worked our way out of the site and with the hour or two break we had, looked for lunch. luckily, her and i out of everybody in our group stuck out around the ruins long enough to lose the crowd, so we only had ourselves to deal with while looking for a place to eat. we passed just two blocks outside of the periphery of the site and quickly found a completely empty taverna, where we ordered fanta lemonades and gyros. while we sat with our fantas and bread, in the middle of quiet Olympia, i sort of realized that i felt very high. neither of us had smoked that day, but she felt the same thing. we just laughed and smiled a lot and everything was good. our food came and we devoured it. then we just sat content and high. fucking everything. we walked back to the class meeting spot in front of the Olympia museum a little early, so Elaina took a seat on a bench and i laid down with my head next to her and took a picture of the beautiful everything laid before me that visually embodied how i felt that afternoon:

the museum stores many, many treasures. it’s as if Meryl was the only person bringing offerings to the sanctuary:

those winged guys would rest on opposite sides of these cauldrons…

….with those wild creatures all along the sides. how creepy. i didn’t pay attention, i guess, because i don’t remember their purpose. i’ll make a wild guess: offerings to the gods. this museum pretty much consisted of offerings that the travelers of the Mediterranean brought to the Olympic games. so if you were a warrior, you might bring a helmet:

what’s the site of the Olympic games without an image of Nike?

even in her nearly completely deconstructed state, she hovers off her pedestal, invisibly winged and free, eternal Victory. the walls painted blue might have helped the illusion. from Nike’s room we walked into a massive room with reconstructions of the two pediments of the temple of Zeus on opposite sides of the room. the east pediment (on the front of the temple), depicted the myth of the chariot race between Pelops and Oenomaus, with Zeus in the center, clearly demonstrating a favorite attribute of the Greeks: Order.

the opposite side of the room, with a reconstruction of the west pediment, depicted a myth involving a wild bunch of centaurs crashing a wedding party, with divine Apollo at the center trying to set things strange. here’s a detail:

before getting kicked out of the museum, we set our eyes on the gorgeously sculpted Hermes and the infant Dionysos:

look at that ass. it’s perfect. you see Hermes’ arm going up? supposedly he once dangled a vine of grapes in front of little Dionysos. precious, right? i love Greek religion (and that’s what part two of this trip was all about….. but that will come in a second).

Professor set us free after the museum, so we scrambled for the hotel and i napped. for almost four hours. i woke up with an urge. my iphone started playing Homework as loud as it could stand and i danced to it all alone in my room. so therapeutic. nothing can follow sleep and dancing. except food! Elaina and i met up, we met up with others, and we all made for the best taverna in the world (the one right across the street). delicious, delicious Greek food, i’ll never get sick of you. rounds of wine, i will never get sick of you. we paid and made our way two blocks down the street where you turned left and found yourself at the two only clubs in Olympia: kalypso and face. we chose face.

literally only five or so other people were already there. and they were cya. ridiculous and hilarious. knowing the dj didn’t have many people to account for, i immediately went over and yelled “daft punk!” and he nodded happily. about twenty minutes later, he played One More Time and everybody got up to dance. it ruled. i gave him a thank you!! gesture, but still couldn’t resist walking over, and saying “thank you!! if you have more, play it!!” about ten minutes later, he played Music Sounds Better With You. daft punk in Olympia. what bliss. another five minutes later, ’round midnight, club kalypso closed, so a massive party of high school Italians, mostly girls, invaded our private club, pretty much killing the night, though perhaps increasing its hilarity.

we capped the night pretty much exactly like the night before, a little more dangerously, a little more warmly.

~~~~~ Day Three ~~~~~

i tried to be a little more creative with my breakfast, but it still completely blew. right after we went to the other museum in Olympia, to see a few things real quick before driving towards Delphi.

i know it’s just a copy, but still: look at that fucking motion. beautiful.

back on the bus, Elaina, James, Molly, and i played pusoy, a card game based on poker hands but pretty different from any actual variations of poker. James pretty much owned for the 1+ hour we played, while Elaina and i pretty much blew. i still enjoyed it completely. Elaina, not so much. we eventually stopped in some city for lunch. went to a not-so-taverna on the shoreline, ordered a special omelette, and got a special burger. fucking pissed. couldn’t wait to keep going to get away from shitty-omelettes-equal-burgers-city. i slept too much. i mostly missed the utterly gorgeous views passing by, but the few times i did open my eyes i saw the highway 1 in all its foggy windy mountainous seafoam glory blanketing out before me. i was thrilled. and so we came to Delphi.

our hotel room smelled like shit. or man. gave it his all but missed the last touchdown and pissed about it man. goddamn. sitting in there long enough with the balcony doors swung open, cold means nothing when your room smells like shit, sam and i watched good old American tv (cnn on one channel and Godzilla on the other). it made me delirious. thankfully, after just a little over an hour, we went on a little walk through town, towards this:

that was literally a five minute walk from our hotel. in the words of Richard Caceres, “jesus christ.” i prefer “Athena Parthenos” and “Zeus Almighty” but you might like “om” and “shanti shanti shanti” or “Allah mine,” but whatever stupid sounds you string out of your little mouth, they are only divine whispers in the face of the sublime abyss that is this most beautiful site they call Delphi.

if you read up on it, you’ll get lost in the myths of how this place came to be dedicated to Apollo, god of light, truth, music, poetry, art, and, of course, prophecy. but none of that really is too important. i would travel half the globe, even if i were ignorant of the myths, just to see the chasm here. who could possibly still be blind to truth, to the future, to everything, in the presence of the infinite nothing spinning wildly across the mountains here?

we listened patiently to a couple lectures on the sublimity surrounding us. later, Elaina and i dug patiently into the sublimity of Johnnie Walker and Frank Zappa. even though we brilliantly decided to save money by stuffing our faces with delicious gyros instead of the quaint taverna experience, our persistent green friend tricked me into spending the money i saved on dessert. in the lobby of the hotel, i ordered an amazing chocolate gelato before sharing a chocolate cake with sam. i love decadence.

Elaina and i both wanted to get the hell away from everybody, as usual, so i proposed and she accepted a whimsical wander through the tourist town. i call it that, but it sure beat the hell out of Olympia. it actually seemed like something more than a giant postcard shop. when we wandered to the edge that gave us the epic view before, we saw nothing but darkness stretched out before us. i could hardly stand. my eyes slowly adjusted, meaning deep black mountains took shape against the blackish blue of the night sky. in the distance, little towns blinked like space stations on the edge of nothingness. we literally stood on the abyss. i could never imagine this place 2500 years ago.

~~~~~ Day Four ~~~~~

i just realized that exactly half the pictures i uploaded to facebook are from Olympia and the other half are Delphi. that’s cool. anyway, after a slightly improved breakfast, we made another morning museum trip.

offerings, offerings, offerings. the offerings here dwarfed the offerings at Olympia, because the people who came here we’re serious. giant silver bulls, gold jewelry, statues, images, anything to appease the gods, especially Apollo, and the chance of a fair prophecy from the pythia.

“i got your oracle right here….” said as you draw an invisible joint to your mouth, squinted eyes. that was my joke with myself for the day. after the museum, granted a twenty minute break, Elaina, James, and i took the perfect opportunity to induce the prophetic visions naturally. we walked a little down the highway, where we could see the epic view and smoke all by ourselves. i’m ready for Delphi!

walking up, up, a treasury (literally a building for holding all the treasures brought by pilgrims):

the temple to Apollo:

probably the most epic theatre in the whole fucking world:

views from the theatre:

hopefully all that gives you some idea of what the site looked like. you’d start at the bottom and zig-zag all the way up. up, sharp turn, up, treasury, sharp turn, up, up, up, temple, sharp turn, up, theatre, up, up, up. now what the hell was this place? read that wiki on Delphi and on the Pythia for something in-depth, but this is what i remember. nowhere in the world did you have a human being so connected to a deity. the Pythia, a girl selected from the nearby village, was literally the mouthpiece of Apollo. she would only prophesy once a month, nine months out of the year. the other three months Apollo went on vacation to northern Europe, during which Dionysos would watch over things. but when Apollo was home, he would make those nine days of prophecy spread throughout the year a big deal. early in the morning, the Pythia would wake and take a bath in the sacred castalian spring based at the bottom of the site (our professor joked that if he had to get in the water there, in the morning, with the weather that cliff gets, that he would be put in a prophetic state as well). she would then make the long march up the cliff to the temple of Apollo, chewing on laurels (supposedly would give you bad diarrhea for a week) all the way. once in the temple, she would sit in her tripod (like in the picture i posted above) and spend the day dealing out oracular statements. i received just one and it was very simple: a great religion will fall. thank you, Pythia.

we left the archaeological site, driving to a cliffside town just ten minutes away. it had been snowing very, very lightly when we landed, but by the time i took this picture (after a delicious lunch with Elaina), everything was photo-perfect. nothing was left but the long bus ride back and the last one at that. <3 cya.

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Marathon [archive]

oh my god these trips need to stop. just kidding. i can’t get enough of them. today, before going to actual Marathon, we stopped for a few well spent hours at beautiful Ramnous, the site of an Athenian garrison and sanctuary. the first was taken from in front of the temple and then i turned 180 to take the second, of the temple’s ruins:

the Athenians dedicated the sanctuary to Nemesis after the battle of Marathon. apparently the Persians came to this northern part of Attica, assuming they would quickly take Athens, with a block of marble intended to make a memorial for their impending victory. well once they defeated the cocky suckers, the Athenians had the block sculpted into the image of Nemesis (whose name comes from a word meaning “to give what is due”) and placed her in the temple, condemning the Persians for their hubris and warning the rest of us.

walking down from the sanctuary, we walked to a large warehouse dedicated to the long, tedious project of trying to reconstruct the temple from its many ruins.

they even had this fancy framework set up to arrange the structure as it was then:

here’s a little platform being reconstructed with a few blocks left from the original image of Nemesis:

i kinda missed the story on the next couple shots, but they impress regardless.

from the temple reconstruction warehouse, the group made its way even further down the hill to the site of the fortress/acropolis complex.

more piles of rocks, more beautiful views, etc, etc. the site has this circular little tower that i used to take the next picture. if we keep stacking our shit high enough, will we block up the sky? i hope not.

walking back up the tall hill to get back to the bus, we passed a couple walls for fortification. Diamant emphasized how well this one was reconstructed; check out that CORNER:

from Ramnous, we made our short way back to Marathon, where we first visited the Archeological Museum of Marathon. i don’t really know why i linked you to that wiki since the only substance it contains is “Archeological Museum of Marathon is a museum in Marathon, Attica, Greece.” i could have told you that. maybe i’m dreaming of expanding the article or something, maybe someday. i wonder if i can upload pictures to the article even though we weren’t allowed to be photographing (all hail camera phones). i just had to had to take the next picture though. we were in this room filled with sculptures of Egyptian gods that the Greeks sort of adopted. the Egyptians, for some inexplicable reason, instantly fill me with wonder and terror:

i also got a head on a stick photographed. i don’t know, some rich Roman woman?

my moral standing is lying down

we left and finally made it to the juicy part of the trip. we drove to this strangely small, giant, short, bump of a grassy hill, supposedly the grave of the Athenian soldiers who died, and had a seat in the grass.

as huge black ants crawled under my legs carrying little bits of grass, a very enthusiastic professor (not Diamant) described to us the battle of Marathon. and let me tell you. it was epic. if battles, war, any of that type of thing fascinates you, please read up on this battle. it’s definitely one worth knowing about. basically the proud Persians sailed to Attica in hundreds of triremes and docked at Marathon (a nice day’s march to Athens), unloading their 35,000-600,000 troops (depending on who you ask). the Athenians numbered about 10,000 definitely, so no matter who you do ask, they were certainly outnumbered. after a few days of strategic moving, the Athenians decided on a strategy that would thin out their numbers across a wider section, but would successfully hold their phalanx formation, a pivotal port of their military strategy:

they marched almost the whole mile that separated them from the Persians, but when they reached the range of the enemy’s arrow fire (about 300 yards away), they started charging like hell. the Greeks, equipped with bronze armor, massive bronze shields, and six-foot spears, crashed into the monolith of Persians, wearing nothing but pretty silk and holding little shields and spears. the fuckers got hacked to pieces. after seeing enough carnage, the Persians suffered from a little thing called panic, bolting for the safety of their ships. the Athenians were having none of it and pursued them, killing as many as possible. supposedly in this pandemonium is where Athens sustained most of its casualties, which came to a grand total of about 200. the Persians, unfamiliar with their surroundings ran helter skelter, some for the nearby swamps, choosing drowning over Athenian spear. most apparently made it to their ships, which quickly set their sad course for home. finally, as legend has it, the messenger Pheidippides runs the 25 miles or so back to Athens, makes it, declares, “we were victorious!!!” and immediately collapses in death. thus, marathon, “a long-distance foot race with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles 385 yards),” the distance from Marathon to Athens. how cool is that?

with nothing but spears whizzing around my head, i explored the massive natural tomb with Elaina. from above:

on it:

from below:

leaving the site (and with spears stuck all over my skull), we drove to the shore to eat at a local taverna. right outside our bus, we found some creepy voodoo:

weird. here are people very feathered post-tavernion:

right now billy and my parents are flying the friendly skies to come here. how weird is that? hopefully it doesn’t fuck up my blogging skillz. Continue reading

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