Saturday, August 21, 2004

my father in dementia or Alzheimer's losing mooring, where is where. asks: did you know Eleanor Bramhall (id est: my mother). confusion in the brain itself, language on the outside. where are we? and worse: what are you doing to me? this confusion. words as improper tools. "my language did this to me". he came back, and he knew he came back (what happened?) with Ravel's Bolero and even drumming together, bang the drum.
newspaper articles about my poet laureateness who is there
this is cool:

"In utopia forget who you are.

-Can I bring a small computer/books?
-Can I bring my own food?
-Can I leave for a few hours if I need to?
-I am expected to participate three times a day?
-Do I fill out forms and then you write back/call?"

--David Hess (his blog)

we're pretty eager out here aren't we?
Mode Z

Could we have those trees cleared out of the way?
And those houses, volcanoes, empires? The natural
panorama is false, the shadows it casts are so many
useless platitudes. Everything is suspect. Even
clouds of the same sky are the same. Close the door
is voluntary death. There is one color, not any.

Prove to me now that you have finally undermined
your heroes. In fits of distraction the walls cover
themselves with portraits. Types are not men. Admit
that your studies are over. Limit yourself to your
memoirs. Identity is only natural. Now become
the person in your life. Start writing autobiography

--Barrett Watten, 1-10 (This Press, 1980)

how L*A*N*G*U*A*G*E*y is that? I think it is lovely. "Types are not men".
Just Like A Real Italian Kid by Michael Gizzi (The Figures 1990). a thin chap full of. memoir but in a cursive yet direct prose. telescopic leaps and nugget finds. I really like this. I saw him read at the Boston Group Grope of 2000, and thought that was as good as reading gets. measured, quietly sly, very commanded. I don't think I got M Gizzi till I heard him. I heard several readers at the Boston Massacre (NEGordon, for one) who built up similarly impressive heads of steam, but were scattershot compared to Gizzi. virtuoso slinging is still slinging.
also reading Metropolis by Robert Fitterman (Sun&Moon 2000). reminds me of Ark, by Ronald Johnson for how it varies stylistically as needed. it also reminded me of Stacy Doris's work, in its energy. what I know of SD's work, it's a generous havoc, wild and comedic. Fitterman's work paces differently, more leisurely and with less eruption. both SD and RF are very New York not in the sense of That School and the myriad copiers, but in the presence of the city. we came up 95 from New Jersey lst june going wow, the Jersey marshes, wow Brooklyn Heights, wow the skyline, wow the George Washington Bridge. that New York. oh, I also thought of Hart Crane as I read RF. Nick Piombinio offers some links to further bits of Metropolis. I recommend that you apply yourself in that way.
reading Walking by Stephen Vincent (Junction Press, 1993), which includes precursors to his "Walking Theory" poems. I think the writing is attention. there are myriad ways to accomplish that. I see Blackburn or Wieners as immersion. I think SV observes more quietly. Both Wieners (I'm thinking I may be the only poet in the Boston area who never met JW)and Blackburn, as to the natures, get beat about, retaining keel enough to hold the writing up or upright. SV stands in moments (note to self: how does one write about poetry without soundign blurbish?), plucking petals to float. and I mean that. "African Cycle" begins with this list:

Kill the cow
Drink the milk
Climb the tree
Break the branch
Scale the mountain
Split the rock
Pick the fruit
Throw the apple
Mine the metal
Burn the copper
Open the bucket
Fling the paint
Pick the cotton
Eat the seeds
Steal the pants
Rip the seam
Burn the house
Use the flame
Call an ancestor
Bury his name

I esp like "Steal the pants". it's all process. by the bye, the titles to Irish dance tunes can often evoke neat images and feeling, "Rip the Calico", "Toss the Feathers". anyway, I'm just poking long, it's how I read nowadays.
"Homosexual Tearfully Admits To Being Governor Of New Jersey"--The Onion of 08/18/04. must put Onion into links. in the 70s the National Lampoon could sometimes rise above puerile and sophomoric. one memorable piece had a page of pictures of 'revolutionaries', Jane Fonda, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Jerry Rubin, with captions what they were up to lately. Fonda going fom war protest to thigh-trimming, etc. I think at the top there was a banner: When It Coems To Revolution. on the next page was a Chinese Revolutionary-style poster of the writers of the mag, with the banner: We're All You've Got Left. humour is a constant revolution. altho you think of all those comedians who seemed edgy or even funny, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldbeg, Billy Crystal, Michael Keaton, who signed on to the floor show, got serious, and are full of crap. selah and all that.

Friday, August 20, 2004

how come poetry is a simple map and we're all so lost? well, it's late august, on that map and elsewhere, and we're not above being low, or too small to think big, or other numbers added at random. I don't have an occasion for saying anything beyond saying anything. sometimes I think I've done something.
I was just reading O'Hara's Personism, but still I dunno if this by Mairead Byrne aint Personistic. something direct and person-able. I can't quantify what O'Hara does, and god help me, I think I can do it sometimes. this piece by Mairead touches that 'thing'.
turns out that Kent Johnson wrote MY book Simple Theory, from which I will probably read at Wordsworth (in Cambridge) next saturday around 5pm, (EDT), the selfsame book that is available from SPD, a great gift, by the way. I mean wow, that Kent Johnson sure is a trickster to fool even me!!!
check Jukka's post at nonlinear for yesterday (thursday 8/19). a pleasing curve in the southeast quadrant. 'fucking' kinda top centre. over to the west, 'samba'. I have nothing clever or illuminating to say here, just am taken by the texture and depth that treats the eye.

nifty visual from Lanny Quarles

for Victor Tausk

nifty graphic: big ass 2m version

260K version

121K version

Lanny and Jukka among many others work in visual and computer graphic ways that I haven't even attempted. what's my damage? why am I so lame? honest to god, I love to paint and collage, but I haven't found my way to the computer's visual potential. selah.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Kent Johnson is trying to get a play he just wrote, "Measure for Measure", produced. wish him luck! he's also translating the poems of Thomas Chatterton into English, which is an exciting event. oh, and he's just finishing a biography of Howard Hughes, which stems from a zillion interviews he had with the famous billionaire man of mystery.
I'm a few miles west of enfant and my terrible aint the interesting kind, so I point hypocrite Lecteur to le back-in-business, non-moribund Heathens in Heat de David Hess, a direct and lively critical voix.
I hear Kent Johnson will be translating some words by Gaelic poet Ossian. look forward to THAT!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"Someone could do a history poem (in Olson & WCW vein) based on investigations & juxtapositions of "democracy" as global phenomenon, as a project of states & multinational groupings - "democracy in Middle East/Asia/Africa/South America" etc. - juxtaposed, that is, with historical roots in New England local politics (sovereignty of the people out of village town meetings). What it all means to have a superpower on a democracy mission compared to the felt reality of actual civic life (what that used to mean, what it amounts to now).

(Been reading de Tocqueville lately.)" --Henry Gould

jeez, I'm into it. frankly, much of my interest in Olson concerns his indications in such directions. I've read a lot of the writers he bibliographized for Ed Dorn. I've had a couple public civcs lessons lately, one while poking around briefly in Salem (MA)last week (at the end of the 18th century Salem was the 6th largest city in the country and the richest per capita), and another from nat'l parks rangers on site at Hartwell Tavern in Lincoln. I wanted to jump into Locke and Federalist Papers and all that stuff. I am not a scholar by any means, whereas I surmise that Henry is, but this is in my mind, mayhap not exactly as Henry puts it. America the Poem (irony irony), and on.
John Latta refers to the 'Kent Johnson effect'. KJ leaves you questioning. OR you skip the questions. either way, it's a freeing thing. heck, it's merry making, what Kent is AT. I have a fondness for subversion of a certain sort, not being especially direct myself, and also finding polemics and action too often incompatible. I sure don't care much what's authentic. I'm probably more gullible than most, have fallen for a few of Kent's jokes. anyway, some of Whitman's really horse's ass stuff is pretty good. at least if you say okay, accept that he's taking that trip. I read the 1st Carlos Castenada book well before I'd heard any questions of his authenticity, and pretty well bought that farm. there's a lot of, you know, authentic crap out there that no one really needs to read. bad enough to be published in Poetry or APR. I mean sincerity out the wazoo and the like. Robert Lowell is all authentic, yet his poetry just seems so made up and canny. in The Dolphin and I forget the other book at the time, he quotes his ex-wife's letters. his writing looks perfectly crumbly, whereas Elizabeth Hardwick's letters are pungent and exalting in, dare I say, honesty. so I'm on Kent's team, if he'll have me. Latta references the New Poetry list, where some anti-Johnsonization has occurred. those college profs are a lot too lame. calling Forrest Gander Goosey one time, whee hah! sorry, but it's Leon 'Goose' Goslin, Washington Senators (etc) (you could look it up). I saw Forrest read once, and he was pretty good. rapped the lectern dramatically, which, surprisingly, worked.
Jacket, as Reader knows, has lots going for it. it enjoys the neatest design possible, especially if you, like me, aren't the biggest fan of reading off the screen. it is full of the modern and post-modern names that make poetry interesting. quite a stunning repository for Kent Johnsonish things, most lately a travelogue of a Bolivian tour with Forrest Gander, in the footsteps of Jaime Saenez. also a piece on Rakosi and Stevens, hey I have the collected poems of both those dudes. Kent Johnson will soon be appearing in a comments field near you. if he makes you nervous, perhaps you're up to something.

Monday, August 16, 2004

here's a picture of 'me' at Wordsworth the 28th and flight, span, bridge, potion, and what is available when dreaming or drowning. hello, etc...
quoting Jack Kimball blog here:

"Thanks for zilch. That's what men like my father, my father's age, were thinking, not saying it outright or not saying it much. Heads down, noses clean, hobos in bed a decade before the pill, a half a century before cialis. Bossing 24-seven, dreaming who're bossed, sexed out the top spot. You can phone him in but don't wimp. If you hang up, your throat's sliced. Your projects curtailed. A course of action by a player of zilch.

Folks were kind of less casual then. You know what I said? To the bank people. I don't want to pay for any of it."

tie politics closely to body of work and thinking, in time to mention of moment, here and now, a possible score and collaboration... are people numbered well now, patience, scoring, riducule, and the weird flow of time. etc, I love you.
poetry isn't music, but it has
sway and way
Henry likes C Milosz, Mayhew doesn't. it's the matter of translation. I feel like I miss too much when I read English writing itself. translation is a danger and tangle. I wonder how Dickinson or Whitman could be translated. or Olson. translation is invention, or, for the crappy translaters of Neruda, say, translation is a mixture of herbs, tinctures and omigawd. hello, here is your pelican.
some cool texts here. Sheila Murphy, Jeff Harrison, Ric Carfagna, Peter Ganick, Eileen Tabios: do we forget how wonderful it is to have access?
I believe I get one MORE hit on my blog per day than does Ron Silliman(r), but I'm a cool guy and am happy to share my hit points with others. I neglected to make a permanent link to JPK's Xstream, tho I did point to it some while ago. so now that's taken care of, to the right but also here. the auto issue is a particularly intersting aspect of Xstream.

shroom print Posted by Hello
the blog links on Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's Nonlinear blog have slipped into the visuals. at least with my browser, etc, but it looks neat. text invasion; where's the boundaries; marching words; nothing stays still: yelp!
Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's other blog. it's in Englishbut then you think, what the hell is English. both because English is a particularly fluid langauge with lots of imports, but also the boundaries of languages themselves are less defined and 'safe' than we would like to think. interesting stuff here.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Digital Cellular Phone now has part fifteen up for anxious and non-anxious eyes alike

the 1st shitload

titled: "Entitlement"

Don’t Close That Please

a referendum
slick tale
modes of English
while trying
other front
whose interest
the possible
a tree over
the house
secures something

Mountain Burgundy

red possibles almost
pile the matter
in shelving
of the topmost
branching dignity
couldn’t’ squirm
for lack of

Greens Sensible

it’s an oval
I mean it’s an
oval piece of
green amber
Celtic thingie

Cat Examines Door

already with
against on for

Smoke Fiddles

the famous
Appalachian devil
wants a piece of

Do You Dire My Hair?

beer in the
of taking
in an
of getting

Love Train

China too
on board
on thru

Lift Your Talk Off

final laughs
sled not at
all the time
lost dedicated
your school
out look
reeds loam
and advantage

Noting At A Lot

piles thru out
is mercy
to succumb
to a vocabulary
full of

Itch Terrifically

a moment
with a

Singular Theory

over here
the hands need
a local date
and secret
tales balancing
just enough

Not Interfering With A Dog

it looked good
couldn’t tell a
further difference
mumbles about
a little picture

Trust Conceives a Death

I went a rope
full of
I walk alone
closer mumble
the nature
“I have so much
to do
gum on
my shoe”

Cabal Delivery

read enough to
try again
thanks to evil

Explaining Sensible

why am I
Madame Blavatsky
they wondered
in great bundles
locked in truck

Wordsworth Customer Service

is a good
don’t you

Mere Assassination Books

long typing quarries
each success
perfects fantasy
of floppy thinking
on top of
proven pavement
since july 31, been writing short poems in a notebook,lickety split. I start with a title then scribble a few words. last week while watching GOLF for god's sake, I wrote a bunch. I wrote during the Masaacre and traveling hither and yon. I will focus on this thing. a different breath.
I finished (stopped) Digital Cellular Phone (honest I want you to go here) yesterday. I realize this isn't an announcement of the same weight as announcing that The Alphabet is done, but then, I didn't write The Alphabet. DGP is 384 pages in Word, and 4 more sections still need to be put on line. I see the thing as a poem. not, that is, a collection of pieces, tho it can be read that way, and that's likely how I would read. serial pieces, so one should keep that in mind as a fact of it, however one wants to take it. I will probably produce a pdf file for the thing, if it's not too awkward to work with something this size. I'm writing to myself here, aren't I? the poemn is for BETH, I dunno how it could be otherwise but I guess you don't have to worry about that. I also dedicate it to her father, who died last year in West Virginia. a kind of act of. both the for and to are personal made public, but I guess, without clearly knowing why, that it is more than that too. maybe you could trust me that far.