Archive for the ‘Tom Turner’ Tag

My Introduction To Wallace Stevens   4 comments

Tom Turner (08/29/09) — Image by kenne

With so much of my knowledge of literature I was taught by my brother, Tom. In an April 26, 2003 note from him, he wrote:

“Hey . . . you
Metaphysical degenerates . . . 
Bantered alone by impulse . . . 
Here I am attempting to essay a few
coherent thoughts . . . God it’s risky!
‘God and the imagination are one.’

I am in the midst of trying to 
memorize a poem . . . ‘Final Soliloquy 
of The Interior Paramour’
by

Wallace Stevens . . . never mind why.”

Tom goes on to write about a piece by George Steiner
on memorization amid the technological revolution
where media is ubiquitous:

“The danger is that the text or music will lose
what physics calls its ‘critical mass,’ its implosive
powers within the echo chambers of the self.”

He continued — “I can really be in awe of
Shakespearean stage people in recitation
of exact lines!! Read closely . . .”

Our wills and fates do so contrary run
that our devices still are overthrown:
our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
(The Player King’s Crucial Speech in the Play
Within the Play — Act 3, Scene 2, 183-209-Hamlet)

I probably don’t need to tell you that Tom
never memorized the Wallace poem.

Final Soliloquy Of The Interior Paramour

Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one…
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

— Wallace Stevens

A Tucson Sunset   2 comments

A Tucson Sunset — Image by kenne

In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls 
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon,
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village, in the electric heat
Hypnotised.

— from Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot

Tom’s Signature

Eliot’s Four Quartets rests on my desk not only because I love his poetic masterpiece
but because my first copy was given to me by my brother, Tom, who wrote
“. . . I’ve become obsessed with it . . . with time . . . with memory . . . with language,
all of which are concentrated in this work. It has become such a part of me.”

Tom went on to write — “To use a few of Eliot’s words; ‘As we grow older the world
becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated . . . ‘ Complications, ambiguities, non sequitur
I keep searching for clarity . . . lucidity, and I know each time I seek that, I’ll
become more entangled. No. I’m not bored—just Scarred. I’m moving toward a sort-of silence . . .
I know what you’re thinking: ‘Bull-shit!’ Since the significant things, I want to say
have the wrong inflections, intonations for most arenas of conversation;
I ramble on into oblivion. A series of non sequitur.” (7/27/84)

I miss Tom.

— kenne

Maintaining Sanity   3 comments

Tom Turner 2-Edit-1-72Tom Turner, a Rainy Day on the Seattle Waterfront (June, 2000) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

(These quotes were among Tom’s handwritten notes.)

“A person becomes a writer because they’re deficient. They have problems. They’re crazy. They have unhappy families. They’re eccentric. And not because they’ve read a lot of books necessarily, but on the contrary — maybe they haven’t read enough books. There’s a strong irrationality about the writing life. Often a writer writes just to maintain their sanity. The way an addict needs to perform a certain ritual of mainlining, a writer kind of has to do it in order to keep his or her head on straight.”

— Paul Theroux

“The whole content of my being shrieks in contradiction against itself.”

— Kierkegaard 

New Orleans Gallery Window   Leave a comment

New Orleans Gallery Window-art-72New Orleans Gallery Window — Photo-Artistry by kenne

“The whole content of my being shrieks in contradiction against itself,”

a Kierkegaard line I found in brother Tom’s notes, dated 6/29/93

— kenne

The Blast of The Self   1 comment

Aspen Draw Fall Colors 2013-8364 blog IIAn Aspen Fall — Photo-Artistry by kenne

In a letter dated 4/26/03, by brother Tom wrote:

“I am in the midst of ‘trying’ to memorize a poem . . .
‘Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour’ by Wallace Stevens . . .
never mind why . . .
although the exercise was triggered by a piece by
George Steiner in which he wrote:

‘The danger is that the text or music will lose what physics
calls its ‘critical mass,’ its implosive powers within
the echo chambers of the self.'”

Tom was aware that what is committed to memory
and susceptible to recall constitutes  “The Blast of  The Self,”
an intensity of outward attention — interest, curiosity,
a healthy obsession was a motivation stronger
even than love or hatred or fear.

— kenne

Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour

Light the first light of evening, as in a room 

In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one…
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

— Wallace Stevens

24 to Harwood and Cropsy: No Road Back Home #2   1 comment

Lummi & MCLACThomas R. Turner (May 23, 1942–November 13, 2014) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

This posting is the second of several I will be sharing from a long poem written by Tom
sometime around 1980 after his wife left him. Today is the fifth anniversary of his death.

24 to Harwood and Cropsy: No Road Back Home
(Taken from a Brooklyn Bus Route and the Title of a Blues Album.)

After my return from the war
I stepped into a world of Kafkaesque embraces; yearning . . .
Paled with particular sensations
I was momentarily blinded.

Biting hues of romanticism blinded me with quixotic hopes I
Stumbled into a Brooklyn routine and parody  of intent.
The bare facticity of Brooklyn lives got to you.
Spasms of coughing spontaneous tears
Saw us through Saturday matinee's Saul's Deli and a quart of beer.
Always we were together.

Halluncinatory flashes of a deluge on an
Ocen-Avenue-Saturday running laughing
Around an inundated block.

All those Saturdays in the world waited for two riders on a
Slick tandum
Carrening toward a Coney-Island of anticipations
Fiercely believing in the notion of possibilities.
Not sure I understand it now,but I "understood" then.

Walking to Walbaums one twilight
the first spring

                        (or the second they were all alike for awhile)

I could taste the t.s. eliot peach that I dared to eat.
Looking at you the way you love the first person
Who ever touched you
And never quite that way again
I savored my idea of you but missed the obvious.

Through the compactness of subway-sundays
We cherished dreams of escape with
Transcripts and belief that college would do it for us.
Ave. J. and jewish-chritmases allowed a diet of
Imcompleteness and knapsacks of disillusioning bohemianism.
We never looked back,
U-Haul got us out with reassurance of
Family.

Posted November 13, 2019 by kenneturner in Information, Photo-Artistry, Poetry

Tagged with , , ,

Remembering Turner On His 76th   6 comments

(Click on any of the tiled images for larger in a slide format.)

Thomas Robert Turner, May 23, 1942 – November 13, 2014
I love you, Bobby!

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

— Dylan Thomas

Click On Tom’s Celebration pdf

Richard Burton Reading, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

A Series of Nonsequiturs   Leave a comment

Tom Turner (1 of 1) art blog.jpgTom Turner — Image by kenne

Tom once wrote:

“Complications,
ambiguities,
nonsequiturs.
I keep 
searching
for clarity . . . lucidity;
knowing each time I seek that
I’ll become more entangled.

No. I’m not bored.
Just scared.
I’m 
moving toward
a sort-of silence . . .

I know what you’re thinking —
Bull-shit!
Bull shit!
Bull Shit!

Since the
significant things

I want to say
have the wrong

inflections;
intonations

for most arenas
of conversation:

I ramble on
into oblivion.

A series of nonsequiturs.” 

— Tom Turner
        (7/27/84)

Two Hairy Faced Men, Twits Not   2 comments

lummi-island-vancover_tom-kenne_0333-b-w-blogiiTom and Kenne Turner (October 2009)– Image by Joy

We are hairy men
who may be thought of a “Twit,”
but I dare say, are not.
Why you might ask?
If you  look closely, you will not see
tasty morsels in our beards,
while Twits upon close review
will have tiny little specks
of dried-up scrambled eggs.

So says Roald Dahl,
and he should know
of all the disgusting things
found in the beard of a twit,
but, no need to hold your noses.

So, what is it these hairy men
are trying to hide?
Is it an ugly face, you ask?
No, not really,
for we are two guys
possessing good thoughts,
which shone out of our faces
like sunbeams,
so we will always look lovely.

Again, Roald Dahl, should know:
‘If a person has ugly thoughts,
it begins to show on the face.
And when that person
has ugly thoughts every day,
every week, every year,
the face gets uglier and uglier
until it gets so ugly
you can hardly bear to look at it.’

Even so, on this sand grain day
in the bent bay’s grave
I celebrate and spurn
my driftwood seventy-sixth
wind turned age.

Yet, I remain steadfast
in Shakespeare’s fifth stage
in The Seven Stages of Man,
still acquiring wisdom,
enjoying the finer things in life
and remain very attentive of my appearance,
trying to live life to its fullest,
preparing for the final stages of life.
Shall seventy-six bells sing struck.

kenne

The above illustration is by Quentin Blake in Roald Dahl’s book, The Twits. Part of this posting contains copy from The Twits and  Dylan Thomas’ Poem On His Birthday.

I can’t let this pass without again sharing Dylan Thomas’ Poem On His Birthday.

I Am The Only One That Is Invisible   4 comments

Lummi & MCLACTom Turner — Image by kenne

The poem “Invisible Man,” by Pablo Neruda gets inside me, stirring my very being, mixing the past, present and images of the future. The poem has short lines making it seem longer than it is. Even so, I’m sharing some of Neruda’s powerful lines, which I have read, reread contemplating thoughts of my brother, Tom and existential invisibility.  

“they fire against the people,
which is to say,
against poetry,
but my brother
the poet
was in love,
or was suffering
because all his emotion
is for the sea,
he loves remote ports
for their names,
and he writes about oceans
he doesn’t know,
when life is as full
as an ear of corn with grain
he passes by, never knowing
how to harvest it,
he rides the waves
without ever touching land,
and, occasionally,
he is profoundly moved
and melancholy,
he is too big
to fit inside his skin,
he gets tangled and untangles himself,
he declares he is maudit,
with great difficulty he carries the cross
of darkness,
he believes that he is different from
anyone else in the world,
he eats bread every day
but he’s never seen a
baker
or gone to a meeting
of a baker’s union,
and so my poor brother
is deliberately dark,
he twists and writhes
and finds himself
interesting,
interesting,
that’s the word,
I am no better
than my brother,
but I smile,
because when I walk through the streets
—the only one who does not exist—
life flows around me
like rivers,
I am the only one
who is invisible,
no mysterious shadows,
no gloom and darkness,
everyone speaks to me,
everyone wants to tell me things,
to talk about their relatives,
their misery and
their joy,
everyone passes by, and everyone
tells me something,
look at all the things they do!”

— from Invisible Man by  Pablo Neruda
(Click here to read the complete poem.)

“Where do you go when you’ve already gone?”

— from Tom Turner’s notes

The Gifts That Keep On Giving   2 comments

Vessel of Life — Computer Art by kenne

Note: This posting first appeared in December of 2009

The things that happen to us in life do so because we act. The more we act, the more opportunities we have upon which to act, the more we connect, creating a vessel filled with learning moments. If we don’t act on the moments, each will become an opportunity lost.  Even so, it’s important to not think about what may have been left behind.

My vessel of life is an alchemy of acts from which new opportunities are poured – acts attract acts. Paulo Coelho wrote in his bestseller, The Alchemist, “There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered.

“It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

It was ten years ago that I first read Coelho’s enchanting fable. It was in preparation for leading a group of four young professionals to the state of Sáo Paulo in Brazil that I learned of Paulo Coelho and his 1988 novel. The book fits well into my own philosophy and sets the tone for the trip, and remains instrumental to my life.

Again, one act leads to another when at this past Sunday’s Society of the 5th Cave reading club meeting, The Alchemist was selected for the March reading. Once again, the concept of alchemy is front-stage, this time from a different perspective, which will create many new learning moments.

I’m pleased to be reading this inspiring book ten years out. The Alchemist is the gift that keeps on giving.  Just today, I received an email from my brother Tom, reminding me of someone I have also not read in recent years, American poet Conrad Aiken, which my poem “Solstice Night,” reminded him of the first lines from Aiken’s long poem, “The House of Dust.”

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

In turn, his reminding me of Conrad Aiken and the return of The Alchemist, that reminded me of the following from Aiken’s poem, “A Letter from Li Po.”

what’s true in these, or false? which is the ‘I’
of ‘I’s’? Is it the master of the cadence, who
transforms all things to a hoop of flame, where through
tigers of meaning leap? And are these true,
the language never old and never new,
such as the world wears on its wedding day,
the something borrowed with something chicory blue?
In every part we play, we play ourselves;
even the secret doubt to which we come
beneath the changing shapes of self and thing,
yes, even this, at last, if we should call
and dare to name it, we would find
the only voice that answers is our own.
We are once more defrauded by the mind.

Defrauded? No. It is the alchemy by which we grow.
It is the self becoming word, the word
becoming world. And with each part we play,
we add to cosmic Sum and cosmic sum.
Who knows, but one day we shall find,
hidden in the prism at the rainbow’s foot,
the square root of the eccentric absolute,
and the concentric absolute to come.

So many gifts that keep on giving.

— kenne

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Sunset Over The San Juan Islands — Live Everything   1 comment

Lummi Island Sunset (1 of 1)_art blogSunset Over the San Juan Islands — Image by kenne

Forming an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States, the San Juan Islands are between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and are part of the U.S. state of Washington.

— kenne

“Be patient toward all that

is unsolved in your heart

and try to love the questions themselves,

like locked rooms and like books that

are now written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not now seek the answers,

which cannot be given you because

you would not be able to live them.

And the point is,

to live everything.

Live the questions now.

Perhaps you will then gradually,

without noticing it,

live along some distant day

into the answer.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke
(from Tom Turner’s book of quotes and notes)

Life Is Not To Be Passed By In A Rush.   Leave a comment

Sabino Canyon Scape (1 of 1) art II_edit blogSabino Canyon Scene — Computer Painting by kenne

Life is not to be passed by in a rush.

— Tom Turner

*****

Progress is measured
by richness and intensity of experience –
by a wider and deeper apprehension
of the significance and scope of human existence.

*****

Art is an indecent exposure of the consciousness.

— Herbert Read

 

Ah You Foes That In Conflict Have Overcome Me   4 comments

Tom Turner 2_edit B-W blogTom Turner (Seattle, June 12, 2000) — Image by kenne

         Poverties, Wincings, and Sulky Retreats

Ah poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats,
Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me,
(For what is my life or any man’s life but a conflict with foes,
    the old, the incessant war?)
You degredations, you tussle with passions and appetites,
You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds the
    sharpest of all!)
You toil of painful and choked articulations, you meannesses,
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of
    any;)
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother’d
    ennuis!
Ah think not you finally triumph, my real self has yet to come
    forth,
It shall yet march forth o’ermastering, till all lies beneath me,
It shall yet stand up the soldier of ultimate victory.

— Walt Whitman

Tom sent this Whitman poem to me the day before my 65th birthday — “I knew you would like it.”
He was correct!

A Brother Lost   10 comments

Brother at Sunrise (1 of 1) blog framedBrother at Sunrise — Image by kenne

A Brother Lost

Now that it’s daylight at five,
I am awaken by the
Soft sounds of morning doves,


Delaying for a moment
My feet hitting the floor —
Just long enough

To think about my brother
Who no longer writes, 
Calls, or returns mine. 

There’s no reason.
He has never needed
A reason to not call — 

For him,
calls need a reason, 
even made up ones —

Sharing a quote,
Name now forgotten,
Need to reach out.

Now lost in the northwest,
Imprisoned by his mind,
Lacking courage to create.

Now each day I live with
Words no longer spoken,
Words no longer written.

— kenne 

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