Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I love water towers. And silos. On my trip to SA last month I took a few photos of them... And some when I was in Tassie earlier in the year. I'm inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, who for more than forty years they have been recording the heritage of an industrial past. Their systematic photography of functionalist architecture, often organising their pictures in grids, brought them recognition as conceptual artists as well as photographers. As the founders of what has come to be known as the ‘Becher school’ they have brought their influence in a unique way to bear on generations of documentary photographers and artists.
Check out their work here.
But seriously. Watertowers. Heaps of Canadian watertowers. And more, in Finland. Wonderful.


teach said...

so happy to see you back...and i like your watertowers better.

Bonnie Conquest said...

You. Are. So. Biased.
But thanks. Mwaah!

In other new - tell me about Aladdin. And! How about the Bakhtiyari scoop today?!

Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

Was that SA as in South Australia, or SA as in South Africa?

If it was South Australia, did you visit the place that I believe all tourists to Australia should visit as it represents what Australia has become?

I am talking of Baxter Detention centre; it more than anthing else represents just how seriously fucked Australia has become.

I like the way the Minister for Torture, Amanda Vanstone, recently announced that theyr were going to open up Baxter a bit, so that detainees can get a better view of the outside world. When I visited Batxer earlier this year (okay, I took part in the Easter protest outside Baxter) there wasn't a lot for detainees to see outside the detention centre; desert, rocks and hald dead bushes. I'm sure the detainees are going to LOVE that. You are such a humanitarian Amanda, you evil bitch.

What next? When you forcibly sedate people to deport them to their deaths overseas Amanda, are you going to give them a choice of whch sedative will be administered to them?

Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

Oops, I should have scrolled down further. You did go to Baxter AND Port Augusta, where not only do they hate those "fucking illegals" but the "lazy fucking Abos" as well. Such a fine, cultured place.

As for your post from a couple of days ago about poets who have passed away, the saddest for me was the passing away of the Polish/Lithuanian Poet Czeslaw Milosz last year, even though he was 93, not only becuase he was a great poet, but becuase he was a humanitarian, a non-Marxist Socialist. One of my favourite poems of his is:


You whom I could not save
Listen to me.
Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another
I swear, there is no wizadry of words.
I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree

What strengthened me, for you was lethal.
You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one,
Inspiration of hatred with lyrical beauty,
Blind force with accomplished shape.

Here is the valley of shallow Polish rivers. And an immense bridge
Going into white fog. Here is a broken city,
And the wind throws scream of gulls on your grave
When I am talking with you.

What is poetry which does not save
Nations or people?
A connivance with official lies,
A song of drunkards whose throats will be cut in a moment,
Readings for sophomore girls.
That I wanted good poetry without knowing it,
That I discovered, late, its salutary aim,
In this and only this I find salvation.

They used to poor on graves millet or poppy seeds
To feed the dead who would come disguised as birds.
I put this book here for you, who once lived
So that you should visit us no more.

By Czeslaw Milosz

Steve Chatelier said...

would love to hear more about you SA trip - have to talk some time soon...was good to see the photos of Lach and Tom!

teach said...

darling bonnie, sorry to use your page for chatting, but aleks - anarcho-syndicalist, are you commenting on 'news from nowhere' too?

Bonnie Conquest said...

Aleks -

Aciu aciu aciu for your comments. I had no idea that Czeslaw Milosz had died - why wasn't I told?! I read his work when I was in Lithuania, having never heard of him before. Truly great. And a good innings, really. Herewith a beautiful poem of his, 'Meaning'.

When I die, I Will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add Up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,
And calls out, protests, screams.

Luis said...

Hi Jessie, love your blog

This is my favourite Milosz poem. I used a line from it as an opening quote in one of the Salt-licks, a few months before he died.

When are you going to come and hang out with us poets again?

I sleep a lot

I sleep a lot and read St. Thomas Aquinas
Or The Death of God (that's a Protestant book).
To the right the bay as if molten tin,
Beyond the bay, city, beyond the city, ocean,
Beyond the ocean, ocean, till Japan.
To the left dry hills with white grass,
Beyond the hills an irrigated valley where rice is grown,
Beyond the valley, mountains and Ponderosa pines,
Beyond the mountains, desert and sheep.

When I couldn't do without alcohol, I drove myself on alcohol,
When I couldn't do without cigarettes and coffee, I drove myself
On cigarettes and coffee.
I was courageous. Industrious. Nearly a model of virtue.
But that is good for nothing.

I feel a pain.
not here. Even I don't know.
many islands and continents,
words, bazaars, wooden flutes,
Or too much drinking to the mirror, without beauty,
Though one was to be a kind of archangel
Or a Saint George, over there, on St. George Street.
Please, Doctor,
Not here. No,
Maybe it's too

Please, Medicine Man, I feel a pain.
I always believed in spells and incantations.
Sure, women have only one, Catholic, soul,
But we have two. When you start to dance
You visit remote pueblos in your sleep
And even lands you have never seen.
Put on, I beg you, charms made of feathers,
Now it's time to help one of your own.
I have read many books but I don't believe them.
When it hurts we return to the banks of certain rivers.

I remember those crosses with chiseled suns and moons
And wizards, how they worked during an outbreak of typhus.
Send your second soul beyond the mountains, beyond time.
Tell me what you saw, I will wait.

Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

Bonnie and Luis, I loved the Milosz poems. His passing away was a great loss for the world.

Teach, sorry is "news from nowhere" another blog? If it is, I may have, it's hard to remember some of the blogs I comment on. What's the address?

Below is my favourite poem, not by Czeslaw Milosz, but by Polish Poet Adam Zagajewski. I have it up at work as a reminder about what is important in life.


The perfect skin of things is stretched across them
as snugly as a circus tent,
Evening nears,
Welcome, darkness.
Farewell, daylight.
We're like eyelids, assert things,
we tough eyes, hair, darkness,
light, India, Europe.

Suddenly I find myself asking: "Things
do you know suffering?
Have you cried? Do you know fear,
shame? Have you learned jealousy, envy,
small sins, not of commission,
but not cured by absolution either?
Have you loved, and dies,
at night, wind opening the windows, absorbing the cool heart? Have you tasted
age, time, bereavement?"
On the wall, the needle of a barometer dances.

Adam Zagajewski

Bonnie Conquest said...

Luis -

Thanks for stopping by! I nearly posted 'I sleep alot' as well. Reminds me of many people places things. So evocative.

When and where you next reading, huh?