Thursday, March 4, 2010

IN THE BEGINNING :The Genesis & Evolution of A Blog/Blogger 2005-2010

From Gord's Poetry Factory to CAFÉ Gordon to website GORD'S CAFÉ And Beyond...

In the beginning (2005) I began blogging in part as a showcase for my own poetry and thoughts on poetry.

Second stage I began to include poetry and short bios of other poets those I enjoyed or learned something from or who inspired me from Robert Burns & William Blake to Emily Dickenson & Walt Whitman to William Carlos Williams & Robert Lowell & Elizabeth Bishop to Alan Ginsberg & Kerouac to Charles Bukowski.

Later I decided to add images that went with a particular topic or poet or poem. This soon morphed into doing posts about art history; artistic movements and individual artists especially from the Post Impressionist period to the present including the German Expressionists Edward Much etc. to the Fauves to DADA & Surrealism to folk art & super-Realism & Pop Art -from Bruegel & Bosch to Goya , James Whistler,Gustav Klimt to Van Gogh , Gaugin, Rousseau, Diego Rivera & Frida Khalo Max Ernst, George Grosz to Picasso & Chagall and beyond to super-realism and photo-realism.
This then led me to DADA & Surrealism etc. which led to art as revolutionary and as propaganda. So I began working on the relationship of art to politics, social reforms , revolutions, rebellions , and other upheavels .

Thequestion arises again and again about the role of art in society should art merely reflect the mindset of the Elite or of the petty bourgeoisie . Is the role of art mainly used to maintain the status quo or should it question the status quo in order to change the status quo or just to raise questions and doubts about the status quo ?



In the beginning was the word-logos.

I will be posting my poetry on this site.

I intend to add more of my poems as frequently as possible. And I would appreciate any constructive criticism.

I will also try to share the process of writing as I have experienced it.

To follow the creation of a poem from the first glimpse of an image or feeling to adding & subtracting details & the generation of images & flights of the imagination as the core & heart of the particular poem is revealed over a period of time.

The experience of writing is at times like entering into a trance like state to a state in which for a moment everything crystilizes & a breakthrough is made & there is a feeling of nakedness & rawness sometimes euphoric sometimes seeing an image stripped of all its encumbrances though sometimes just simply enjoying the act of playing in the fields of poetry manipulating images & words for the sheer hell of it.

I have been writing poetry for over twenty years. I have been influenced by a number of writers of various styles from Robert Burns William Blake to Whitman & W.B. Yeats Emily Dickenson to Baudelaire Apollinaire Rilke Robert Lowell to Dorothy Livesay & Allan Ginsberg Charles Bukowski to Jack Kerouac Elizabeth Bishop to song writers like Kurt Weil Jacques Brel Bob Dylan to Leonard Cohen to Nick Cave to a hundred others that I have encountered & then moved on including a number of good friends who have been struggling in this strange bloodied field of poetry & art. To these friends I owe a great deal though we have gone our separate ways.

Poetry for me is like a photo of a particular experience of the outer world or of the interior world of a mental state mood or feeling. It is a form of psychological realism. It is not always purely rational. It is a way to express the inexpressable & the inexplicable. My poems take the form of confessional poetry with a sometimes heavy dose of surrealism. Though surrealism these days may seem a bit pedestrian since we are awash in surrelistic images on tv especially tv commercials & the news or in movies from the films of Luis Bunuel & Cockteau to Brazil & The Life of Brian to Clockwork Orange & Dr. Strangelove to Catch 22 & the Matrix to Big Fish & Moulon Rouge to Chicago to Kill Bill 2 or The Butterfly Effect Or Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind & to movies like Shrek 1 & 2 to the bizzare like John Carpenter's The Thing to Basket Case to the House of A Thousand Corpses a few dozen others.

I will also be sharing my views on my other enthusiasms from poetry to music movies art & politics & religion. My interest in these subjects varies from day to day. One day I might be obsessing over the war in Iraq & George Bush's extreme right-wing agenda & then I could be exited by listening to the latest recordings of Nick Cave.
( I would recommend highly Nick Cave's newest cd The Lyre of Orpheus & Abattoir blues it contains some of his best songs yet. )

There is nothing about Bush on the other hand that I could recommend. But I am told I should be careful what I say in this post 9/11 world who knows who's listening in. He is in my opion ushering in a new age of mccarthyism & a dark age of US against THEM - we always seem to be in need of an enemy a great threat against our society.Many people it seems are like Bush & see everything in nice clean black & white terms . To insist that some issues are more complicated than this is seen as a form of moral cowardice.

I shall instead proceed as if we still lived in a free society where there is a free exchange of ideas. And further to add that the opions of others matter & not just those of the varying degrees of conservative thinking on social ,economic & foreign policy .
In part it is through art in all its myriad forms & through the study of history that we can try to get a better perspective on what is happening at the moment.

Anyway that's all for now ,hope to hear from you soon.




And someone asks:

Why Factory ? & Who is the Ancient Sage ? 1/16 05



So why refer to this site as a factory ? Because there is a need that qoutas on a weekly or daily basis be filled. Otherwise I feel as if I were merely dabbling & not taking the role which I have invented for myself seriously enough .
So who is the Ancient Sage ? The Ancient Sage is to some extent a composite of various people I have known combined with some quasi-fantasy elements & an archetype of the Wise One & the visionary artist.

Here is my poem about the Ancient Sage:

the ancient sage wandering the streets

Years ago the ancient sage with literary aspirations wandering the streets
through the darkening shadows of the towering towers of steel & glass
always in a state of crisis
dreams of fame
having no shame
lays his heart bare
in the tradition of Baudelaire
sleeps in a coffin
while candles flame and flicker
in the eyes of four skulls
placed upon the mantle-piece
in his heavily curtained room
borrows money from his friends & exlovers
& poor seminary students
to pay for rent & food
for packs of cigarettes & a few beer
steals from young seminary students
is proud to beg in the streets
waiting to be put in debtors' prison
under lock & key & waits for
the telephone line to be severed
for never paying his bills -

reading from midnight to dawn
a book or two each night
obssessed possessed by the Nine Muses
writing a dozen or so verses a day
he writes & reads too much
some say it will lead to brain fever
& an early death
declaring his own body as his enemy
an agent provocateur
an agent of the underground
his body is in anarchy
out to destroy him
to undermine his feeble efforts
as he is barely able to get out of bed
at any moment death will knock
upon his door
some say it's those morbid books he reads
obsessed with Nazi Death Camps
& he's not even a Jew
listening to classical music
so sad & somber& that oh so mournful jazz
of the nineteen -fifties & sixties
and poets singing songs of the naked streets
& his room is plastered with those
glossy copies of paintings
of swirling stars & men & women
sitting alone late in the night
at a café or bar
of a boulder in the sky
with a castle on top
of riders on blue horses
riding over a battle field
of corpsess ripped apart
Of fiddlers on roof-tops
of melting clocks
always someone gives their opinion
like some over the hill hippie
brain half-starved living off soy
new age health food a hundred natural vitamin pills
bland music & uplifting movies
no need to be sad & somber just smile
put your faith in Jesus or the Mother Goddess
wondering out loud why can't they paint
pretty pictures & sweet sentimental poems
of the sea & trees green not purple
of freckled little boys going fishing -

See you later,


Posted by Hello




Oh yeah this site is in part about poetry so here we go...

Here is a poem by the American poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) about the sense of alienation, fear, fantasy & desire experienced by the individual in modern society.

The Man-moth

Here, above,
cracks in the buildings are filled with battered moonlight.
The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.
It lies at his feet like a circle for a doll to stand on,
and he makes an inverted pin, the point magnetized to the moon.
He does not see the moon; he observes only her vast properties,
feeling the queer light on his hands, neither warm nor cold,
of a temperature impossible to records in thermometers.

But when the Man-Moth
pays his rare, although occasional, visits to the surface,
the moon looks rather different to him. He emerges
from an opening under the edge of one of the sidewalks
and nervously begins to scale the faces of the buildings.
He thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky,
proving the sky quite useless for protection.
He trembles, but must investigate as high as he can climb.

Up the façades,
his shadow dragging like a photographer's cloth behind him
he climbs fearfully, thinking that this time he will manage
to push his small head through that round clean opening
and be forced through, as from a tube, in black scrolls on the light.
(Man, standing below him, has no such illusions.)
But what the Man-Moth fears most he must do, although
he fails, of course, and falls back scared but quite unhurt.

Then he returns
to the pale subways of cement he calls his home. He flits,
he flutters, and cannot get aboard the silent trains
fast enough to suit him. The doors close swiftly.
The Man-Moth always seats himself facing the wrong way
and the train starts at once at its full, terrible speed,
without a shift in gears or a gradation of any sort.
He cannot tell the rate at which he travels backwards.

Each night he must
be carried through artificial tunnels and dream recurrent dreams.
Just as the ties recur beneath his train, these underlie
his rushing brain. He does not dare look out the window,
for the third rail, the unbroken draught of poison,
runs there beside him. He regards it as a disease
he has inherited the susceptibility to. He has to keep
his hands in his pockets, as others must wear mufflers.

If you catch him,
hold up a flashlight to his eye. It's all dark pupil,
an entire night itself, whose haired horizon tightens
as he stares back, and closes up the eye. Then from the lids
one tear, his only possession, like the bee's sting, slips.
Slyly he palms it, and if you're not paying attention
he'll swallow it. However, if you watch, he'll hand it over,
cool as from underground springs and pure enough to drink.

See website

“ Elizabeth Bishop was born in 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. When she was very young her father died, her mother was committed to a mental asylum, and she was sent to live with her grandparents in Nova Scotia. She earned a bachelor's degree from Vassar College in 1934. She was independently wealthy, and from 1935 to 1937 she spent time traveling to France, Spain, North Africa, Ireland, and Italy and then settled in Key West, Florida, for four years. Her poetry is filled with descriptions of her travels and the scenery which surrounded her, as with the Florida poems in her first book of verse, North and South, published in 1946.

She was influenced by the poet Marianne Moore, who was a close friend, mentor, and stabilizing force in her life. Unlike her contemporary and good friend Robert Lowell, who wrote in the "confessional" style, Bishop's poetry avoids explicit accounts of her personal life, and focuses instead with great subtlety on her impressions of the physical world. Her images are precise and true to life, and they reflect her own sharp wit and moral sense. She lived for many years in Brazil, communicating with friends and colleagues in America only by letter. She wrote slowly and published sparingly (her Collected Poems number barely a hundred), but the technical brilliance and formal variety of her work is astonishing. Considered for years a "poet's poet," her last book, Geography III, was published in 1976 and finally established her as a major force in contemporary literature.”


And about her poetry:

“ Elizabeth Bishop's poems were always admired for the purity and precision of her descriptions, and now readers have come to see how, even in her early poems, the attention to external detail reveals an internal emotional realm. Bishop's early works use surrealism and imagism to create a new reality in which she minimizes the reference to self in poetry, but her later poems become more autobiographical and more concerned with a quest for personal identity.”

also has audio of the poet reading “ONE ART”

( )

“ Bishop often spent many years writing a single poem, working toward an effect of offfhandedness and spontaneity. Committed to a "passion for accuracy," she re-created her worlds of Canada, America, Europe, and Brazil. Shunning self-pity, the poems thinly conceal her estrangements as a woman, a lesbian, an orphan, a geographically rootless traveler, a frequently hospitalized asthmatic, and a sufferer of depression and alcoholism. "I'm not interested in big-scale work as such," she once told(ROBERT) Lowell. "Something needn't be large to be good." ”

Here is her strangely funny & sad poem:


The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Anyhow so long for now,


One of my favourite Nick Cave songs-

Nick Cave - Into My Arms Lyrics

I don't believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

And I don't believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that's true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

And I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candlew burning
And make her journey bright and pure
That she will keep returning
Always and evermore

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

Next is a video of Mexican artist Diego Rivera in America :

Take care,


......... KEEP GOING.......



m c jarrias said...

Hello Gordon Combes
I've stumble on some of those blogs of yours and links. Let get in touch. With care
Marie-Claude Jarrias

Anonymous said...

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don't quit and also keep writing for the simple reason that it simply worth to read it.
impatient to read more and more of your well written articles, enjoy your day :)

Anonymous said...

Как говорилось на Девы. Спешу поделиться опытом, пусть и не очень большим , но все-таки за 3 месяца уже кое – что накопилось!
Начну свою историю абсолютно недавним посещением кабинета УЗИ В 25 роддоме.
Случайно попала в этот медицинское учреждение . Мой профессионал в это время был в отпуске и меня направили в 25й. Запись была на 2е сентября в 7 кабинет.
Приехав на час раньше ,пришлось уехать на час позже моей записи.
Девушка профессионал(узист) каждый день бегала , при всем при этом не закрывая дверь в кабинет УЗИ , в котором в это время уже кто-нибудь находился. Дама попалась не диалогчивая , по ее недовольному виду , незамедлительно можно было взять в толк , что диалога не выйдет , и малыша собственного навряд ли я увижу. А так называемы фото узи мне может показаться на первый взгляд вообще их аппарат не способен производить в силу собственной древности . А самое главное что меня поразило , это отсутствие презервативов или же даже напальничков , вместо всего этого была ПЕРЧАКТА , даже не обыкновенная медицинская перчатка , а такая полиэтиле́новая , похожие я видела на АЗС Лукойл может показаться на первый взгляд , чтобы ручки не марать об автомобиль и пр. И одноразовых пеленок судя по всему в этом учреждение никогда не было.
Знаете , порой складывается впечатление , что ты приходишь не в поликлинику, а в магазин за колбасой ,такие же недовольные рожи в белоснежных халатах.
Чуть позже напишу фамилию УЗИста , пусть держава знает своих героев!
А вообще, рыба гниет с головы!

Anonymous said...

Растаможка Киев, Одесса
Консультации ВЭД
Дима Литейный
+38 093 318 1567