Saturday, April 17, 2004

this by Joel Weishaus is pretty interesting: Sasquatch. I am too tired to give good about it, but it's a nice piece of work.
twiddling with the copier/scanner, incorporating texts and found stuff to some quickie collages I've done. Beth and I do an art class for the homeschool cooperative to which we belong. we just use construction paper and gluesticks, mainly. I started using the packaging for the paper because it was brighter in colour and shiny and one of the children, a 4 year old (the other children are mostly older) decided to do the same. she pasted three strips on white paper, something like I did. then she drew over that in black ink a head shot of a horse. it's a bemused looking animal. the colourful strips make the image less simply childish. I should post these images, if/when I get my site straightened out.
Beth visited a poet staying at an artist's colony in New Hampshire. you could beguile me with that concept. it's not that I have no time, but that the time is bordered so, and interruptions happen. c'est la vie and I function within that structure, but it would be nice to try that. a different sort of something would be a meditation retreat. my practice isn't up to that sort of concentration yet, and lack of books and notebooks would be a strain. still, something to consider. the retreat centre of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is somewhere in West Virginia. not exactly near where we're going in June (nothing is near anything in WV, but I say that affectionately), but within a whoop and a holler.

Friday, April 16, 2004

loose flocks disagree
in the pinnacle adverting
the close door
okay, I realize I didn't convey my excitement at discovering Moby Grape. it has to do with the music, sure, and the times from which, and a Proustian sense. but anyway.
read a bitty bit of Philosophical Grammar by Wittgenstein. I just read a little at a time. I know he's going to lose me, but he hasn't yet. wait for me, Ludwig. I can imagine his lectures, whatever style he had, his students scribbling away then stopped short trying to get a bead on that last statement. like, tho in a different way, Charles Olson. tho Wittgenstein's system is more structured, or the structure easier to grasp.

more grape

I got into such an enthusiasm for Moby Grape a year or two ago, not having attended back in the day. they were hyped to the max and the rebound killed the group. but they had energy. their best song, written by Skip Spence, is Omaha. the speed of punk but hippie happy in a perfectly goofy true way. Spence wrote neat songs, each one different. a further appeal is a time machine thing. I lived thru the 60s and find that the hectic expansion and dispute that went on hasn't been resolved. still fighting Vietnam, in a really broad sense. peace and love and crass Woodstock. I'm listening to radio news, Rumsfeld sounds like Nixon era blindness. well, we will just have to send more troops in, clean up this mess, etc. 60s had plenty of hokum, the spirtual paths and peace love for a while, idealism before the fall. a couple of days ago the local high school was locked down because grafitti in the bathroom gave Columbine fears. a social sundering that seems more extreme now, but I don't pretend to know the score. I'm not focussing here. nowadays the whole market of selling yourself to MTV and Rolling Stone. MG were just goofing, but the machine was serious. god help us, Bono talking to the Pope.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Skip Spence and Moby Grape

for starters, check out these links.

Skip Spence portrait
Skip bio
Moby Grape
well really, the comments field is dangerous. what if no one comments? how super sad. I look askance at the idea that this is community building. it's a network of claimants. which is okay, this is one way to work. but it's more like a gated community than singing "Let's Get Together" together. I had fun trying to figure out how to get the comments going. it's the little victories. I will announce this blog and R&S on poetics, just to make myself serious. I maintained pretty intensively a journal that I wrote with the idea that it could be read by others. I was comfortable with the level of revelation, it was writerly rather than outpouring. I riffed on whatever, books, music, movies, tv shows. at that time, it comprise the greater part of my writing. I wrote much less poetry then. now I'm watching little television and movies, and my reading is skittery tho busy. this blog will wander on its course. it occurs to me that I will have to spin on Skip Spence here, I still have that buzz.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

battling dark forces all the way, I think I successfully got comments onto this thing. farting around with this stuff, grappling with html (the piddling needed here), has been a good exercise.

toodle oodle
my scattered reading yesterday included Jung on Mandalas, a book by Carl Rogers, who was the mentor of an expressive therapies teacher I had, a book of poems by John Perlman (Legion Their Numbers), and a book on meditation by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, Mindfulness with Breathing. Jung fascinates me, poking around here and there, useful curiosity. Rogers' brings up a political sense to therapy, which accords with the theories of Paulo Freire. and as the focus is on the patient (the correct term is client, but I find that a bit icky). that is, the therapist is not a giver of cures, instead is a tool to help the patient. which is what buddhism does. until a couple years ago I really avoided psychology, for the language just threw me. its terms didn't convey. I grasp it better now, in a poetic way. Perlman brings to mind Christopher Dewdney's Ontario trilogy, with keen sense of nature, but also an edgy precise language. as far as meditation, I need practical advice and how to. buddhism is practical. a great deal of the literature speaks specifically on how to deal with things. Buddhadasa's book, like Larry Rosenberg's fine book (Breath by Breath or something like) is a reading from Anapanasati Sutta, which itself is specific advice from the Buddha. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a practical guide to dealing with death. Beth and I read from it on that West Virginia hillside when we buried her father last fall. it was comforting to read it, and it felt right to do so, tho he wasn't buddhist.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

this here program, Cute Printer, creates pdf files in the comfort of your home. no fuss! no muss! no unsightly hairs in the sink!!! Printer, Cute
okay, also wanted to mention Ivan Argüelles. his Madonna Septet and Tri Loka are intense great pools into which. profound and profane, really lovely. I admire these long, dense, deep books. I've been (merely) poking thru Making of Americans, feeling thrilled. formidable poetry, rather than pleasant, interesting nuggets. all of these are prose writers. I think novels (of a sort) have been influential to my own work. such as the work of Melville, Woolf, Stein, Proust, James, O'Brien (he's great!), Faulkner (okay, not trustworthy but I still catch something), Joyce. I like adventurous novels. think of Woolf, who seemingly set herself a problem of form with every novel. and then nerved herself thru the process of writing the thing. Peter Ganick often sets himself a formal problem as he begins. likewise many of the LANGUAGE poets, particularly Silliman and Bernstein. there's adventure in that, in a muscular, crucial way. Moby Dick and Proust and James all represent immersions deep into their subject. all of which rings poetic to me. Argüelles is lyrical and intense and all along processual in a way that I love and respect.


I had as well mench one more online appearance of my writing, August Highland's enormous Muse Apprentice Guild. spelunk as you please the vast collection of texts, zoom. my work is around there somewhere. I appreciated that August not just asked for work, but he said how about everything recently, or something like. that's a sort of anti-editing, but I liked the energy of just throwing a slew of writings up onto the wall.

the following sent to Wryting-L by John M. Bennett. I've read some of The Homages, and it is lovely. Taylor's visual work is wonderful too. one way to support poetry is to buy the stuff (radical, but it just might work).

"The Homages was written between 1974 and 1976 one page at a time, on a daily basis. It is written almost entirely in unrhymed couplets on the theme of the quest for the beloved (“she whom we seek”) and is published only now in two volumes, running to a total of 900 pages, with illustrations. He has operated his anabasis Press since 1976, beginning with the publication of “Pisces, or the awakened feminine” under the pseudonym Tom Eagle through to “White Light, the lost vision of Montana.” (2001). He has published a wide range of experimental writers and visual poets, recently in association with Jim Leftwich’s xtant Books (Charlottesville VA). His writing is language driven and of a spiritual-cosmic nature which seeks to create a ‘passing beyond’ of experience which transcends the level of language inside the writing itself. He is widely published and appreciated within the small circle known as experimental writing and visual poetry and has also maintained a career as a fine art photographer, focusing in recent years on double exposed or multiple imagery. His papers are collected in the Avant Collection at the University of Ohio (Columbus) library under the control of Dr. John M. Bennett. He is retired and lives on the Long Beach Peninsula in southwestern Washington state in the village of Oysterville. The Homages is available from anabasis.xtant books, 1512 Mountainside Court, Charlottesville VA 22903, $100 for both volumes, postpaid.
Jim Leftwich and Peter Ganick turned me in a different direction a couple years ago. Leftwich's Doubt, 1st of all. a 500 page book of prose. Doubt is a labour, a muscular chewing of language. the sentence are well formed if complex, but the vocabulary is stern and meaty, also resistant. one reads with a stiff music in one's ear and a hunger to see thru langauge to some point of light. when I saw the book, I was taken simply by its length, that a writer had gone to the trouble. had the same feeling when I saw Making of Americans. I wanted to write that long. does a writer need any further aim in mind, when beginning? I didn't. I began something that ended up with the title Days Poem. close to 800 pages in Word. tiny bits of it were published online by Jack Kimball at The East Village: voici. Peter Ganick is almost relentless with long and very long works. I think I am taken with the novelist's method of daily writing, serial production. Leftwich and Ganick sent me trying expanse. partly, I got tired of trim morsels of poems. I wanted a larger context. a reason I haven't pursued magazine publicaion: just showing off a few of my latest nifties hasn't much meaning for me. one writing adventure I had was writing two things at once. my vision, but I've never attempted to create the manuscript, was to haven't one of these works on the odd numbered pages, adn the other on the even. I wrote them as simultaneously as I could, always went from one to the other. and I tried to keep the length of each similar, so that their facing page format remained. it occurs to me that I could prepare a pdf of this. really I don't know a simple way to make the manuscript. by the way, I found a small free program cfalled Cute Printer that can create pdf fiiles. you print to file, and get something that Acrobat can read. I've made a few booklets out of texts that I've found online, it's pretty cool.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Gertrude Stein
for the
mission in
this moment
I want to dig in Jung now. need that outlook, looking for something. wish (however) that the term anti-Semitic didn't crop up vis-à-vis. likewise with Heidegger. you know, ignore this part, etc. it is the challenge, of course. we know Ezra Pound was a knucklehead in one way, while being so true beautiful in another. hello, I have my failings too. with Jung you can at least imagine him saying at some point, ach do I have issues. does that help? I don't know. and Heidegger (I have the feeling I am consistently misspelling his name), what's up with that. okay, I don't need heroes. Olson is as close to one, but I know he was a marred man. I've been taken aback that the generational thing has Olson, that Olson has been put in that place where all previous generations go.
here's a site that I started at this, like, place. it consists of the first 10% of an ongoing work. I have been unable to get back onto the site, error messages, so it is sloppy and will remain so till I get the prob fixed. and I am just now having a breakthru with html, so bummer. anyway, I like what I have written.
should I mention my book, Simple Theory from potes & poets press? about 20 copies have been sold thru SPD. I've given about the same away, very few of the copies to people particularly interested in poetry. I am proud of the work, in fact, but haven't much hustle in me. selah. but WAIT!!! I can perform hustle procedures now. by sending the reader here, Jack Kimball's Faux Press e-books. many other e-books, and he also publishes the old fashion kind of book in which you can underline cogent passages.
so Homer Simpson said yestreen: I'm not a Mormon. I'm from Earth.
hi I am\Alannis Morissette\once more
Rain Taxi had a review of a new edition of Cavafy's poems. put my nose into my copy of the old translations. the translations read well. obviously much gets lost or twisted but the poems read like poems. even with notes I know I miss allusions. the image of an older poet starkly enamoured of young bodies is somewhat disturbing. nympholept. it's a sort of brutal wistfulness that is certainly humanly familiar but nonetheless obsessive. no relief in it. but he's so keen and unflinching. and he doesn't drip with florid langauge really, his language is firm and edgy. which saves C from tiresomeness. I remember the bookstore at Franconia was tiny but well-stocked. I remember seeing Cavafy's book there. Durrell's Alexandrian Quartet and I am trying to think what else. all new to me, that is, and strange with possibility. in fact I didn't get a lot of those books then, but they tickled a fascination. I went to Franconia without having read much poetry at all, and I didn't even knw which way to turn. the Alexandrian Quartet has its moments but it also flops. the characters comprise a wearisome coterie. the milieu makes me think of opium dream. a gnostic art world full of mystery. Robert Duncan's work gives me that sensation sometimes. Duncan wrote of 'this' world, that is, the Vietnam War (for instance) was present, but there's a theosophical place in his work that seems like cloud and smoke. Rain Taxi reviews the Duncan/Levertov corresepondence, by the way (so did buddhist mag Shambhala), and I would love to read it. I had a tendency towards that sort of poetry but somehow no longer inhabit that place, or so I believe. I don't mean to question the merit of such a sense of poetry, but my work has gone elsewise. just as I willfully turned aside from a Whitman/Ginsberg path of het up drama of me. again, I don't mean to knock those poets with this, I just mean that such manner is bad for me. I fall too much into it. studying Language poetry helpe me lessen the presence of I. too often I, and others, write whether reports when we resort to 1st person.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

I want to smoke a wolf!