May 2010

“On the Downs” – John Masefield (published Sept., 1918)

Up on the downs the red-eyed kestrels hover,

Eyeing the grass.

The field-mouse flits like a shadow into cover

As their shadows pass.

Men are burning gorse on the down’s shoulder,

A drift of smoke

Glitters and hangs and the skies smoulder

And the lungs choke.

Once the tribe did thus on the downs, burning

Men in the frame,

Crying to the gods of the downs ’til their brains were burning

And the gods came.

And today on the downs, in the wind, the hawkes of the grasses

In blood and air,

Something passes me and cries as it passes,

On the chalk downland bare.


Not sure how long this has been up, but hey – I just found out about it via the official unofficial site for Sinclair, that patron saint of the Old Weird Albion. An excellent interview with Iain Sinclair, written by the late Kathy Acker, at the time of Lights Out for the Territory.

Who but the irreconcilable irrepressible Acker could turn what might’ve been a run-of-the-mill conversation about lit-mysticism and beatnik neo-paganism into a beautiful dissection (nee exhibition) of the linguistic balance of Sinclair’s visionary novels and their arc into “non”-fiction? Coming soon: A roundup revisitation of some of the excellent recent webwise material from the ubiquitous Mr. Sinclair…

The 2010 crop-circle season opened last week with a military-badge-like piece near Old Sarum, and a piece just this past weekend about as close to Stonehenge as the makers might get. Obviously, that has sent many’s a heart a flitter, and the talk of ley-line connections between the two, etc., has already begun in earnest.

Below, I’ve tried to write a piece offering the Old Weird Albion point of view on the phenomena. The OWA stance is that man-made circles are far more interesting than any alien-made phenomena; that contemporary art criticism and ethnological folklore studies give us the appropriate tools to not only view crop circle’s through a more fascinating prism, but to appreciate the aesthetic and conceptual beauty of what must be the art world’s most radical practice.

This piece is, however, a  work-in-progress – comments and suggestions are beyond welcome!