Saturday, July 17, 2004

a lot of times, I don't get shit, and those are marvelous. thinking as I read Anne Sexton, it is depression and culture and attention, and I can't drive myself into interest. becasue it vies with intention, and tries to explain. I don't have the patience to have things told to me clearly.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Shoeless Joe Jackson was borne today
temperature today will be in the lower Hades
I don't want to right today

Thursday, July 15, 2004

now 14 parts of Digital available. deliver me more hit points! bring your life to my web site! become engrossed in all I am important!!!
been reading Paterson again, long time no see. of the various long poems P is perhaps the easiest to read thru. it plunges forward, whereas Maximus, A, Cantos have a more vertical rather than horizontal movement. which might relate to WCW's job, and the sort of writing stretches he could muster. WCW's experimental work is always self-conscious and pretentious. I don't mean phony, just hopeful of its meaning. he was at odds with himself in that way, for it is when his eye isn't on the artistic prize that he writes his best work. the Blaser quote below works for me, my sensibilty, for its sense of narrative and lack thereof. I think P reveals WCW too concerned with the narrative push, that's the poem's flaw. it is natheless wonderful to read thru the mess, as it often is with Whitman, as well. and the local that WCW understands and cherishes bursts forth despite his artistic pretension. I'm interested in how to carry on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

"I'm interested in a particular kind of narrative--what Jack Spicer and I agreed to call in our own work the serial poem--this is a narrative which refuses to adopt an imposed story line, and completes itself only in the sequence of poems, if, in fact, a reader insists upon a definition of completion which is separate from the activity of the poems themselves. The poems tend to act as a sequence of energies which run out when so much of a tale is told."-- Blaser, quoted by Creeley in intro to The Holy Forest
preceding from a collaboration, which is getting kinda long. it's 'my' bit, because I wrote it yesterday and still remember. looking over the older work, I sometimes find that I have to judge by superficial means such as punctuation usage to determine who wrote what. partly because after I've written something, it pretty well leaves my brain. and partly that my collaborator and I listen to each other and, not necessarily consciously, adjust to each other. collaboration is an eye opener for challenge and shaking your standard way.
"I've got 6 of one, but they never gave me half a dozen of the other," said
Ophelia, bravely, for the ears of these people are stopped with waxy build
up, the temerity of realizing how governmental even the simplest sentence
can be, mirrored in plights and detail, asking questions that need no
answers (which, basically, calls into question what the question really is),
time now to say time now? philosophy piling one thing unto another, to
dizzying completion, and all Ophelia can say is "water seems like my demise"

this Dead song "Estimated Prophet"... I guess it's a classic Deed song, but I wasn't listening to the Dead when it appeared... I have a live mp3... the odd takeover of the group by Bob Weir... who really took singing seriously but alas... Pigpen was the strongest singer, in straight ahead r&b style... Jerry's voice was warm but he lost it totally real quick... Weir's voice is uninteresting, and even when he belts it out, it sounds weak or thin... and he's styling, ick... but 3 minutes in, Jerry solos, and it has to be one of the sweetest solos he ever... built measuredly on a simple riff, it just bubbles.. but then Weir sings again... then Jerry takes an extended solo which is, ugh, 'jazzy'... in the sense of drifty, looking around... fade out...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

check out the nifty stuff by Philip Guston at Ubuweb: Poor Richard. Richard Nixon's life. the drawings remind me of R Crumb and Picasso's gross and engrossing series of cartoons lampooning Franco.
you know, if you lose bookmarks for my sites, just Google the phrase "writes like a god" and there I'll be

Monday, July 12, 2004


a way Blaser can be declarative, thoughtful, reasoning and not just be opinionated. build on an attention to language. it is easy enough to step forth into propaganda, manipulation of the reader. I see procedural poetry, and langpo's utter questioning, to be ways to subvert that manipulation. the capital 'I' doesn't necessarily mean the poetry is bad, you can look at O'Hara, or Bernadette Mayer, or John Wieners, or or or, to find ways in which poetry can exist without subletting 'your' piece of the language. but take a look at the Good Walt Whitman, or Allen Ginsberg, and the Bad versions of each (let alone the many perfectly BAD poets, as published, say, by Poetry Chi-town) and see the reasons for attempting to subvert that 'I'.powerful poem by Blaser called "Even on Sunday". it's so thoughtful, allusive, pragmatic even, yet lovely withal.

"the manipulated incompetences of public thought" (just heard on the news how the gov't ('ours') has rethought its recommendation for good cholesterol levels, promoting much greater use of the various cholesterol-lowering drugs, which seems so ventriloquistic: gov't speaking for drug companies, Peter Jennings speaking for gov't)

"the language behind language that no one has ever spoken"

"'Listen you assholes, a metaphysical washout means you've lost yoiur topsoil'"

The Holy Forest, Coach House Press, 1993.

the intro, by the bye, is by Robert Creeley, yet is fairly lucid nonetheless. his intros and blurbs too often sound like pretentious hack work
Daniel Bouchard's diminutive Revolutions is 'okay', but I'm struck how ordinary it is. or mainstream, even. the observant, somewhat suffering 'I', in a forest of 'these things going on'. if he were clumsier, phonier, etc, the poems could meet their fate in Poetry mag. ooo, that's rough talk, Allen. I mean the sensibility isn't so far from that. he certainly has a much better ear than Poetry's crowd displays. poetry isn't opinion, which is where I think I lose it with Bouchard. it's not that I disagree with him politically, it's that his opinions just hang there in unexamined rhetorical device. what I like about Kevin Magee is his penetration of that rhetorical device. and why Silliman's warmth towards Bouchard's poetics seems so misplaced is that Silliman's work too bases itself in a consideration of he very rhetoric and language performance in which opinions arise. I squawked about the poem Bouchard posted to Poetics, for it was so determined. tho Hilton Obenzinger did worse with a terrible, sentimental piece posted to Poetics (check Poetics archives as of 7/9). my copy of the book came from a used bookstore in Somerville. it was a review copy. so that's where all the review copies go. re that, I found an inscribed copy of a book by Richard Hugo in a used bookstore. I would not've bought it except for the inscription. Hugo wrote something like, here's to a fellow poet. you can imagine a student or faculty member meeting the famous visiting poet, and that poet generous enough to show respect to one less published. worth a buck or two, eh? well, you get used to seeing books inscribed with love and best wishes from lovers and parents, latterly sold for cheap.
Capillano Review reviewed Robin Blaser's collected essays (by Meredith Quartermain). I'd like to read Blaser's book. at least in the US Blaser seems a little under regarded. tho when he dies the eulogies will ring on Poetics, as they did with Gil Ott and Cid Corman. like Duncan, Blaser twines ongoing projects threaded together, presenting them chronologically. a nod to process. I still love the idea of big long works. not so much in the sense of my BLW, but life projects like Cantos, Maximus, A, The Alphabet. tho my long works, like Digital and Days Poem (unpublished), at least show a persistence in theme or interest. what I'm trying to note in Blaser and the others is a sense of sitting down and writing your Collected Poems. so that the result is not just a raked pile of leaves (of grass, arf arf) but a dedication. tho I think Whitman goes awry with his rewriting and re-inventing. (ahem, Wordsorth did the same). so that when you say Leaves of Grass, you have to specify which one. I think the commanding energy there is outside, Whitman trying to manipulate the image. but the idea of him writing just the one book of poems(or one poem), ever evolving, is exciting. I'm going to spend more time with Blaser's work (Holy Forest sits by my bedside).

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Ron Silliman announces having finished The Alphabet. I've read a great deal of it but haven't a sense of its wholeness. I was always curious how he might present the finished work. would he publish it all together? could he publish it all together, as in: are there publishers who could afford to do it? he may like it as is, published all over. an event to anticipate.
Bramhall has always been popular but the opening of the by-pass and the proximity of the new superstores has just added to Bramhall’s attraction. Bramhall's backup band on the CD are Wendy and Lisa (both ex-members of Prince's band), but even they can't save this turkey. Bramhall has been painting on Martha's Vineyard for more than thirty years. It starts off bad and goes downhill from there. A life long resident of Delaware, Bramhall is acutely aware of the enormous economic value of residing in and doing business in the State long referred to as "The Corporate State" and more recently as "The Banking State". Avoid this CD at all costs. Bramhall also knows that the wonderful diversity of culture, economies, and lifestyles in Delaware, as well as low property taxes and no sales tax, have created a wonderful place to live and work. Bramhall’s artistic intention is aptly stated in the quote: "Bramhall makes paintings because Bramhall finds nature endlessly beautiful and mysterious, and Bramhall wants to record those moments when it makes Bramhall catch Bramhall’s breath. Bramhall has always been popular but the opening of the by-pass and the proximity of the new superstores has just added to Bramhall’s attraction. Bramhall was one fourth of Arc Angels, a band Bramhall formed with Charlie Sexton and half of Stevie's Ray Vaughan's band, Double Trouble. This year Bramhall is much more price sensitive with the biggest demand for nice four-bedroom detached or period houses. August is traditionally quiet with everyone decamping to Abersoch or Spain but this year Bramhall has seen steady sales. Bramhall graduated from Princeton University in 1955 with a degree in Art History, and has been painting ever since. Unfortunately, this is the lamest CD in a long time. Last year Bramhall broke all records and Bramhall’s sales were awesome. Bramhall’s subject matter derives from nature as Bramhall observes it in Bramhall’s other lives as fisherman and naturalist. Bramhall has had several one-man shows in New York and Boston, and in recent years Bramhall’s work has been handled exclusively by the Craven Gallery where Bramhall will have an exhibition of Bramhall’s new series of "Cloud Paintings" opening on August 8th.. Bramhall has always been popular but the opening of the by-pass and the proximity of the new superstores has just added to Bramhall’s attraction.