Saturday, July 31, 2004

so I got a small notebook today, and a couple of pens, what the heck. and some like what I have been doing with Coolidge's poems, I have written a title then produced a short poem to go with it. I wrote a bunch today, including at the reading. sorry if this is rude but it is the way to absorb, if you are me.
well, I saw a wee bit of Massacre Boston. I cannot freely get out, exigencies. I take care of my elderly father, etc. so. arrived frazzled, with Jordan Davis finishing. good crowd and I squeezed in standing next to a big dog flopped on the floor. I asked the guy sitting nearby, is he yours? he nodded. is it okay? I'm good with dogs, so he didn't need to worry. the dog wasn't concerned that I was there. I didn't, then, have eye line to Aaron Kunin reading from his novel. I'm not really at a reading to understand anything. I don't take in by the ear very well. which is not to say I get nothing. I remember Richard Grossinger reading at Franconia. I couldn't tell you what he read but his reading PROSE really excited me. poetry qua poetry: what the fuck. immediately after that reading I was trying to write PROSE. so I didn't absorb directly, re Kunin, but was glad to hear fictional prose rendered. and he spoke of his interest in umbrellas, that sort of thing is ALWAYS manageable. David Hess read this from my shitty blog:

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- posted by Allen @ 8:16 AM

a throwaway thingie. his poetry was thoughtfully funny and quite appealing in sound. he uses rhyme. it may be the modern anti-rhyme ear we tend to have that causes us to read rhyme negatively. in his voice it sounded right, not fabricated. I actually fight the tendency toward rhyme, from having read enough pre-20th century poetry, maybe I shouldn't. I find rhymes dumping themselves upon me, but I shove them away, yet read properly, not with a thumpa thumpsa rhythm, there's more music involved. Irish traditional music used to be accompanied by piano, for instance, pounding chords on the beat, because music then was still mainly for dance. that beat is nice for dance but wearisome to listen to. De Danann and Bothy Band, etc, got much more creative with the rhythm, and ear excitement grew. I think David is on to something. David wrote to say he would read the above thingie, and I boldly declared that I would try to attend. hence and thus. I wrote as I listened, or just wrote and I don't mean to be rude but I need to focus and my ear just doesn't catch words in the air well. so Jacqueline Water read then Tracy McTague. Tracy being the mistress of the big dog, including a poem for which. I think the crowd largely knew each other. I knew Jack Kimball to nod to. Jack is a fine poet and I would always listen to (and welcome) his critical thoughts. at the break I introduced myself to D Hess, which was bold for me. I become a 52 year old tomorrow and feel funny in elder statesman mode (statesman sans state), even tho I've been to Phish concerts. I feel like I became the writer that I am 5 years ago, tho I've written seriously for 35 years. there's nothing wrong with being older. Beth and I talked with David for a while. I remember when I was going to folk concerts, many of which were located at Harvard (Paine Hall or Sanders Theatre), where alcohol is negatory. the Harvard intellectuals were slow to GET DOWN. the 1st time I saw Irish music AND had access to alcohol was spunky, hey. merely the free idea, not that one HAS to drink. the room at Wordsworth is functional, but it would be nice to have that added conviviality. I mean, if there were just coffee, that would be cool too. this isn't a complaint, just a sense that poetry lives pretty well in NON austere environments. like, you could even read it aloud at HOME!!! how can we have poetry and be relaxed? Beth wasn't feeling good so we ended up leaving pronto after Alli Warren read. before that, Joseph Torra, who I think read mainly other people's stuff and generally referred to others. that's a muscular trick to accomplish. I wanted to stay for more but Beth is my love, more than 'that'. I may attend tomorrow, see how that works.
I know that I cringe when I run into people. think of poetry only in clich├ęs. those poetry contests blithely admonish that there should be no more than one poem to a page. poems must be “under thirty lines long.” I has written and edited 25 books to date, most recently a writer whose work is concerned with its presentation of the text. literally its poem-ness is going to do better sans context, whether the work looks at least superficially particular. the reader would – theoretically at least – be sans convention as well. My gut here is langpo without a prior context. Works rely outside of themselves. depend on our knowledge of other texts and conventions. I was a 2003 Literary National Endowment and was a 2002 Fellow of 1998. I lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two sons, and works as a market analyst in the computer industr

another great Creeley story

I've already regaled how my intro to Creeley didn't actually get noticed by RC. at the same party at Grenier's (après RC's big homecoming reading) (he lived in Littleton down the road a piece when he 1st started corresponding with Olson), Creeley began stomping his foot to make the record skip (might've been the Stones' "Sticky Fingers"), then he started clapping to the beat. well that's my sort of thing, so I joined him, and we syncopated and got into it, with him looking me in the eye (I know, I know...) but exchanging nary a word. well, that was my story. I've seen Creeley twice, 30 years apart and I can't say he's a good reader.
the Orono Conference of Writer Types sounds interesting in Kevin Killian's yearly report to Poetics. also a touch precious. Iknow, it's not meant as a general public thing, it's for the brother/sisterhood. it must be fun, a rare night out (into seriousness). maybe if you teach at Podunk U. you may be a little awed. it's a perk, all in all. the idea of watching someone read a paper sort of sounds skewed. I'm thinking the synposia and discussions are where the funky times are, but of course you got to watch for the gunslinging. the Boston big readings have had the positive energy of group grope, particular the 1st that we attended. meet and greet, press flesh, get excited.

Friday, July 30, 2004

I'm going to do some more interwriting in Nameways when I am thru here. I've done this a number of times, thoughtfully and thoughtlessly. thoughtlessly as in a sudden 'inspiration' causing me to scribble something in the pages. thoughtfully as in thinking of it as a project. long, long ago, I decorated a copy of Rexroth's translation of Chinese poems (good translations, so far as I can tell) with poems and doodles. it is a presumptuous act, of course, and it is the particular book that I would choose to do this to. I mean, not just any book but one that invites. I think of Napoleon inscribing Egyptian monument with his mother's name. I hope I'mn ot being that kind of shit. what I'm doing with CC is reacting to his work. one way collaboration. Silliman says somewhere that 2 people sent him answers to all the questions in his "Sunset Debris" (which I too answered, but didn't send).
I have to quote this Henry Gould post (7/30) entirely:

"I don't found literary movements, I don't rail against the publishing biz, I don't mock magazine editors, I don't work in the creative writing industry, I don't bond with fellow careerists, I don't even bond with poets I admire.

I don't look for admiration or prestige as a poet. (To hell with all that : go find another guru!) The process of making poems is too mysterious and contingent for me to even think of myself as a "poet", as if a poet were some sort of steady-state identity.

What I hope is that an occasional reader love my poems as I do. I love them in part for being (or seeming) somewhat autonomous, standing somewhat independent of me : little creations. I love them for being musical in feeling and thought.
"

a lot of this resonates with me, even the doth protest too much note that I (at least) hear. I mean, I take Henry at his word, but can guess that there still exists a side that does look for admiration, etc. it's the human inconsistency that we all imbibe. I admire Henry for being so stalwartly placed in opposition to those dark careerist motivations. I'll be 52 on sunday (I look 49), and the lack of pursuit I've made towards publication and readings would shock most of the participants at Massacre de Boston. it's not like pursuing publication and readings is wrong, so long as one's integrity remains intact. I am pleased that I have not let such worm their way into my motivation too much. I look forward to reading with Henry.

the entire poodle

Undernamed Ways



Preface

of course I
eventually took
pen in hand and
strode long apple groves
and day time lighter than
propped tea trays as I
worded the interest
and shared looser
ambulatory sky
I am fine
now fine



Kink

a temperature
preens with varied
efficiency while
instantaneous people
wander to
globes


Born in a Hole

the time that
the silent man
took
has been
added up (presenting
faith


The Delirium Tree Men

threnody
of time spent
arch remarks
and envy
floating, all
the bearable
at this
time, and
just to say
this


Any Limit?

close out
your importunate
destiny while
I fly up
your nose,
satin intention,
sir


The Adventures of Johnny Fistula, Medical Hero

Mike or Mick, Sandra or
Sondra, peopled in their
dream states, so that:
look here, importance, let
us have some time,
and a drink, lousy with
expedient, and who
was Henry James?


Customer

modulating
intellectuals
send their
dense minefields,
home


Ovaltine

a turgid sheer
hey is that you
while threadbare
conks look
out of date: the
jazz age
for old
farts


Sucker Tads

ships
specious
loopholes to
out of state
vagaries, and
while doing
so
the president
is still
dead


The Low Gaze at Spine Heights

scattered
several penchants
while laying
a line of
threats or
maven, it’s
in honour
of
house afire


Toggle

essentially the
church bought
a table while a
left footed inkling
struck a posse
outside a gallantry
or a complete latitude
such as is given
as a given


Disco Flyover

situation nervy
while the cowtowns
fly to abysmal
in playful under
cloud display


Ugly Maceo Makes the Torque Work

works
indecently
along a
colloquial
pop star
detesting
several rank
banshees in vetted
stop gap, all the
while waving
thank you


A Fresh No

brisk
dentist
breakfast
shakes the daytime
loser button, and
so much
more


Job Lot

I was writing
up a storm thinking
I was the only
pronoun available,
then the religion
of sentence occurred.


Area Get Out

the information
branded
an affiliation and the
stop gap roamed
the sequence bar
we all held
out


A Swirl in the Glare of Mister B, Artender

caustic or
captive refrain
vile as oleo
stevedore, a
bridge whippet
speed haze
while ageless gel closure
shills fossil plan,
our arrangement tells
a different story.
word are loosened
agents.


One Dick

sold average
on a daytime
basis while
that night
sprung hope
you are better,
well, it’s an
interest how and
our plot is planned
for 3:07 am
when my condition thrives
or will out. nature
will arrive after
that, friends and
deeds come after


Fear the Comet Will Fold

shirts
can outrage
to further
happenstance
the groove thing
backs working
while bodily hoping
for improved
rent control
oh my baby


Motel Adventures

mud thrown on
train populace skips
heater prognosis and
relates dizzy
hay seed. chance
endures as a
rascal. hover
ungulants need
sharp things.


Theory Headlines

it was twit
for instance yet hardly
grand rail, hover then idyll
strutting for a river as
a floor. the seeker
skims daytime for
a lord in haze
distributive. the chap
reclines.


Sinbad’s Paint box

was given
to gaga
by a boat
loan of
varied stop
while the hex
mark steeps
in chipper
offences
that's the 1st one. I guess I'll steal CC's titles. several potential misreadings, which is one reason I don't delve my notebooks much.

preface

of course I
eventually took
pen in hand and
strode long apple groves
and day time lighter than
propped tea trays as I
worded the interest
and shared looser
ambulatory sky
I am fine
now fine
last year I was reading On The Nameways by Cool Clarkidge (The Figures 2000: I have a lot of books from The Figures) and was compelled to write a poem after each that I read. I managed some 20 till, I would guess, I just thought I was repeating myself. Clarkio prefaced by saying he had no more to give. then these poems (Nameways, that is) appear, and all's right with the world. it's a good smoke to inhale, just to think: oh rats. I haven't read thru the poems I wrote, but think they may be okay, and I'll type them out and display them. because. I had a habit for quite a while to write in a notebook just before I went to sleep. I figure my defenses are down a little at that time. the downside is that I often haven't the energy to last long. still it piles up. I have a ridiculous ton of notebooks filled with such scribblings that I never look at, nary once. it's not like the world's missing something, tho world you could lament the potential loss if you'd like. I guess it's the training miles one puts in. and hey, that writing will be of interest 700 years from now when literary excavators will be looking for clues on ANYONE (my son's vision, by the way, is much simpler, as he believes such studies will be carried on by folk who simply step thru wormholes to the appropriate point in time, if the phrase 'point in time' can possibly have any meaning withal). anyhoo, just thought I'd give CC a mench. saw him read at Franconia, at which time his work was strangeville to me, but I appreciated the syncopated rhythm of his reading.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Beth and I did a painting class at an adult daycare centre today. it was a ball. the class consisted of 4 women. the activity director rather arbitrarily set that number, even tho others wanted to join in. space was at a premium but we could've taken more. the centre's concern is that everyone have an activity. the 4 women were all in their 60s or 70s at a guess. I gather all four were in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. only one, Ines, seemed so. the other three women were enthusiastic and there to have fun. Ines refused to paint. she didn't, as she said, feel up to it. she is attached to one of the others, Julia. Julia kept urging Ines to pick up a brush, but Ines never did. Ines showed interest, however. she could've wandered off when she left for the bathroom, but she returned to our room. she hung around afterward when we were picking up, too. she just couldn't bring herself to take that active step. alas. Julia was self-deprecating about her own painting, but heartily entered the activity. Judy really went to town. did 5 paintings in the hour, each one procedurally different. one was based on a wash, one on spatters. we used inexpensive (but of decent quality) semi-moist watercolours. I suggested using a stiff plastic card like a palette knife, which Judy did and they all gasped at the effects she produced. they tried each technique that we offered and were thrilled with the results. I forget the fourth woman's name but she made a quite impressive picture of 4 trees. the trees appeared first, then a grassy green below them, then a blue sky above. she then figured out how to colour in between the trees to give depth. the results were quite accomplished. we've done classes with children (ages 2-10), and I don't know if the enthusiasm was any less with these women. they bubbled with conversation, and it was almost all about art and painting. great focus! last year (having taken an arts therapy class (thus an expert in the field)), I tried to entertain my father with painting. he professed not to enjoy it at all. I wasn't trying to cure him, just offer him something to do. what he did was paint his initials and decorate them colourfully. the results were bright and pleasing to the eye. my father had been an engineer, and tho that part of him is gone, I think there remains in him still that which dislikes the imprecise and unbounded. the other women, particularly Julia, were very sweet in trying to encourage Ines to paint. the activity director was more goading in her approach. not bullying, but itresome natheless. it's that you can see (or think you can) that just doing it, painting, would be so good for Ines. it frustrates that she just can't/won't. I believe Ines will paint eventually, for she seemed awful close and her friends were so encouraging, and hope she does. I told her about my father and finished by saying, well you can't force a person and she said no you can't force a person. we plan to do more of this. they were all proud of their work, happy to sign their paintings and anxious to take the paintings home. I have to reiterate that this was as fun as teaching children. they understood the play of it. as fun as writing is, painting is moreso.
license plate on suv:
mypooh

scenario:
tell taxi driver to
follow mypooh
and step on it!!!
taking a cue from Lanny Quarles, I lift my index finger in the direction of Lewis Lacook's blog. it has been 5 hours since Lewis updated, leaving me with the chilling thought that Lewis might actually sleep a little bit. tho his work is prolific, to say the least, I don't find it glib in the way of X, Y, Z (you know who they are). a constantly surprised tension exists in his work. I believe he keeps himself honest by varying his procedures. hearty vivid stuff, however produced.
I suppose the report from a reporter who is also an active participant in the contretemps being reported might be considered biased to the extent that said report should be questioned for verity. what think you, rational Reader?
the context
is always
yours
electric phony
martyrdom
on a big public
stage
tribute to the nervous eaters out there, thanks for worrying the really really really awesomely little shit. keep up the good little work.
I have a very big blog.
I published successfully.
republish entire blog.

up to date

ask not what, like, whatever; ask, like, hey, you know what I'm saying?
admonished sympathy
for the guy
who has the ball

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

jeez i know I'm wrong a lot. take things seriously, whoop, too seriously, fall on face. critically start to think the work is unconnected with the person, which is only partly true, and it's that little connected part that we should forgive and respect, both. sorry everyone, when I forget that.
snappy stuff from Jack Kimball's Pantaloons... so to speak...:"Collaging is not all that rueful, as we know, and these days with super graphics editors and shouting heads to punch up rib-breaking pastiche, anyone can start a number-one news channel, as Roger ("fuck your brain") Ailes knows. The brownshirts in fact enjoy total command of the cool technologies, they just haven't managed to shut down every leftist as hip to power as RealAudio account execs and Xbox marketers, say. Snap on, leave on, play on."

more stuff at my site, a series to Maria Shriver: The Maria

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

added something called "Some Songs" onto my site (check it out). something I wrote five years ago, didn't finish. more is to come. think Rilke...
Patrick Herron recalls on Poetics the 2000 Boston Poetry whatsis. attending my first public reading since Franconia, and a large one. my entrance to a larger poetry world (where larger poetry...). Beth and I had lunch and hung out with Peter Ganick and Sheila Murphy. Sheila was in process of introducing me to Nada Gordon when someone greeted Nada and I was forgot. Robert Grenier tried to introduce me to Robert Creeley logn ago, threes times even, but under whatever influnce RC just wasn't noticing... but after therapy, I'm okay!!! met Stephen Ellis in person, after an email acquaintance, adn he stayed the night with us. met Patrick face to face, him up from NC. sat with Sheila writing during the readings, she was writing too. listening and writing. I was impressed by Michael Gizzi's reading, dry, crisp and witty. Sheila read well, not loud but very clear and dynamic. a lesson for others. we had a great sunday morning breakfast with Patrick, Stephen. about wore out by sunday afternoon so missed some interesting stuff. it was an event.

haven't been able to commit as well to the ensuing readings. last year missed it completely while travelling out west. mean to take in some this year, but easier said than done. a son to consider and an elderly father to take care of.

this year's reading once again bubbles with controversy. as in: who gets to read? to which can only be said, if you don't like the reading, start your own. the lineup for this year's reading has people I want to hear, people I would sooner avoid, and quite a few I don't know. no issues here to be desperate about.

Monday, July 26, 2004

excuse me rashly concerning my career

wow pageantry means a lot in our town, roof overhead, systems go. then the mysterious ranger walks in, dark, fields certainly accepted. no wait, it is a poem poised for something purpose, like meaning only not so hard. a nation, then, as iffy as a byproduct, in which younglings and oldsters can open party lines together, whetehr invited or not. only not so fast buster moments arise as humanly possible. a lot of fingers seem to point, if not even tellingly predicting a place in space, person who has an idea about 'it'. well, we all now that route, and the fight for right, and wish we could contain all the maximums we believe in. drumming up traffic for the next revolt, getting fannies in the seats and the word out. lovely stuff. which side of this circle are you on? prove a point.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

on the hover and

agree that there ant no revolut onon the Poet csl st. thatl st smorel kea cockta lparty atwh chpontlessf stcuffs prov dethe onlyexc tement. but what revolut ons there, now? def net. some poetry revolut onares that come tom ndfor me: Pound, Olson, StenD cknson, Wh tman. fa revolut onex sts now, what monolth sbe ngtaken on, and whon deed are the revolutonar es. geet's really a rather corny concept, more a generat onal ntake of breath than a battle. the namesc ted prov dedash ft, at least asseet, and've learned from them. lots ofwr tersnterest and excte mebut wouldn't tag them revolut onares. Proust, fornstances sosu geners, that wouldn't th nkanyone could chooseh mas a revolut onary leader. tho canth nkof 3 books that have been compared to Remembrance: by Anthony Powell, Robert Mus land Truman Capote. Powell's 12-ology sonly superf cally like Remembrance, a very long f ctonal zed memoir. haven't read Mus lyet. Capote salarf. I mean om gawd, he's just lostn that Hollywood artst crap (craph ghly recommend read ng, for laugh ng purposes). anyway, howabout arevolut onn wh ch poets get pad. or not. who cares, really.

what revolution is that?

I agree that there aint no revolution on the Poetics list. that list is more like a cocktail party at which pointless fisticuffs provide the only excitement. but what revolution is there, now? define it. some poetry revolutionaries that come to mind for me: Pound, Olson, Stein, Dickinson, Whitman. if a revolution exists now, what monolith is being taken on, and who indeed are the revolutionaries. gee, it's really a rather corny concept, more a generational intake of breath than a battle. the names I cited provided a shift, at least as I see it, and I've learned from them. lots of writers interest and excite me, but I wouldn't tag them revolutionaries. Proust, for instance, is so sui generis, that I wouldn't think anyone could choose him as a revolutionary leader. tho I can think of 3 books that have been compared to Remembrance: by Anthony Powell, Robert Musil and Truman Capote. Powell's 12-ology is only superficially like Remembrance, a very long fictionalized memoir. I haven't read Musil yet. Capote is a larf. I mean omigawd, he's just lost in that Hollywood artist crap (crap I highly recommend reading, for laughing purposes). anyway, how about a revolution in which poets get paid. or not. who cares, really.
"Wash the floors, Lorine!--
wash clothes! Weed!"
I seem to be ragging on folks. I sound more negative about both Jordan Davis and Kasey Mohammad than I mean to be. they are, shall we say, common names, and locked in. I would fear being locked in. there's a certain video intelligence that gets in the way. just read Geoff Huth on Niedecker, such a trim exhaust she suggests. Huth's words caused me to take down a Niedecker book (I remember Grenier speaking of and presenting her work). today is such a confusing blind, and the revolutiuon is just too wordy.