Saturday, September 04, 2004

this guy Noam Chomsky probably needs a few readers, so onto my gold-plated links list for him. you might notice that he did oops duplicate-posting, just like us mortals. I wonder what his favourite song is.
reading Stephen Vincent's transliteration of A-22 aloud. it's really good! the sound is terrific, really a pleasure. the repetitions and the no/not sounds provide a backbeat you can't lose. but don't roll over, Zufofsky: this is both an homage and an extension. I think Z is a poet of the syllable, his concision very precise that way. Stephen invokes that pre/consision. as probably he could not avoid, given what he's doing here. but from what I've read by Stephen elsewhere, it is naturally his music as well. plug on! I note that Chris Murray points to this piece on her writing class blog (I dunno the url or how I got there). it's a really good exercise, what Stephen is doing, for it places you write in Z's writing. but it is not just an exercise
oh lordie. I found "Ghosts" by Albert Ayler online. I love this piece. it's a live version. I knew the studio one, which I haven't heard in years. it is hesitant and exuberent, both. Ayler and company stumble onto a melody, exult in it, then exult in reshaping and I'll even say murdering it. there's a sense of the musicians being in separate rooms, hearing rumours of music elsewhere and sending out their giddy contributions. it's a short piece, 2:08. reminds me of Moby Grape's fabulous "Omaha" in that both pieces cram a lot of music and feeling into a short span.
this is the 1st section of something I started thursday. I saw a couple of blimps and got excited..........................................................................

the blimp and its prefix, in the blue air that we sky. simple delicate reserve above the eminence of United States and statement. fits the plus of sky, the use of sky, the bullet in the wind of sky. that’s an advertisement as big as it needs, getting somewhere or nowhere: what exactly is the diff? blue reward of sky for the blimp above.

firmament shuttle crust, steep upward in bump. across the highway to look exactly, strictly engaged.

high as seven united kites, in one blue sky with huffy practicality of clouds that will rain, bobbing to please motion itself or just send gulps of water and light together. then several units of pleasure expand into date and time. America has a poem to make!
reading "Creditors" by August Strindberg. it's kinda funny in a way that AS may not have intended, and yet. Strindberg bubbles with wound up misogynism, unpleasant yet somehow instructive. he plays these awful things upon himself. I haven't read Céline but infer that a similar thing occurs with him. maybe you could say the same of Bukowski. the play reminds me of Wilde's plays. the dialogue is too self-conscious to resemble 'real life', yet AS pokes at some real living energies. I also think of Baudelaire's dramatic view. for all of Strindberg's blitz there's some real nakedness here. there's always a goofy side to drama, one is always reminded of how the actors are faking up a storm, even as they may be hitting some dynamite chords.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Gary Sullivan mentions in an introduction to some works by Daniel Davidson (some of which is available online, but I can't now tell you where) how Daniel once sat by a highway ramp with a sign that read will vote Republican for food. a wonderful line and gesture, that comes to me just now.

Peterson/Bramhall collaboration

Tim Peterson and I did a collaboration together, which can be read at his blog.

hoka hey!

the final section (18) of Digital Cellular Phone now resides on my site, right here. remember, I only want poetry experts reading my work. please perform an honest self-evalution before attempting to use the link. poetry is serious business.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

just make sure you check out Geof Huth's great visual poetry. very thoughtful critic as well. Lanny Quarles and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen have been producing neat visuals on their blogs as well.

plugola (and yet sincere...

note the books to be bought with good American money, as offered by MAG Press. I particularly point to Jeff Harrison's offering, which I have yet to read, but I am sure I've read many of the poems already (we're collaborating on an endless thingie, a nifty read for the year 3000). he's a great, varied, challenging writer and if this is his 1st book, something's gang a-gley in the lit world. Brent Bechtel has been posting fine stuff to Wrytings and Poetics, and I am sure his book wants to be your friend. of the others I cannot speak, but when is it wrong to take a flyer?
whatever you do, vote for me. vote my brown hair. vote those shoes, oh those shoes. vote no audience except traces. vote sides blending slightly and I haven't a difficult cough. vote the everyday and slide. vote welcome and vote island. vote on and on, crushingly, and you know your heroes. vote in pieces before the whole. vote of often times and the electric clutch. and tell me when you're done.
"You belong to lighter climates, not this
vermillion elocution that scrapes
words out of tepid fragrances"

I'd like Lewis Lacook more if he didn't make it look so easy. I mean, there's a lot of lovely lyric out there with his name attached. and he does so much else as well.
this is interesting: Stephen Vincent messin' with Zukofsky. well this just serves to remind me that I should take more time with Z. but I'm trying to work thru Beverly Dahlen!. it's quite an exercise that Stephen performs. I've mentioned earlier how I was riffing on the poems in Coolidge's On The Nameways ici. Stephen is working more closely, efforting it, whereas my little attempts were just spree. maybe it is not work for Stephen as it would be for me, we all have our methods. I have made translations of Hammurabi's Code and Martin Luther 99 Treatises, tho alas both are caught on a computer that cannot be accessed (along with a royal shitload of my writing, as it happens). I'm not gonna be an innovator but I think it's good exercise to try experiments. what SV does in this work is not exactly what Louis and Celia did with Catullus, but it represents a way of taking hold of the thing.
His poems appear regularly in textbooks and anthologies currently in use in secondary schools and college classrooms across the country. He also writes fiction and literary criticism and contributes regular books reviews to Georgia Review. He should really fit in as the regular Poet Laureate.
sad to hear that Ted Kooser killed Donald Allen.

I Just

hit the blog this link on Carl Annarummo's blog. what the hell have I done? k, I just done it to this one, too. whoopee. what firces shall be unleashed? dunno. well this is my chance to say go see Carl Annarummo read (at Wordsworth of the famous Aardvark Square, 7 of the clock upon the thirdest day of September). I've never done so and will not be able to, but his concise ponderings of a wobbly world seem like a fun bet. Mairead Byrne reads just now, and I'm missing that too. selah.
Jack Kimball scoots a mention of Ronald Firbank in the post that I point to below. bad me, there's one I haven't read. I know I've wanted to. John Latta has been reading and talking about, woof, I was about to write BS Skinner (haven't read him either) but I mean BS Johnson. plus Proust go look!. when the novel is written with what I'll call a poetic sense of form, it's an exciting thing. Woolf, Stein, Beckett, Flann O'Brien, and that other Irish guy. who'm I missing? Melville of course. even James. I think poets are fucked if they don't watch such folks. so Firbank's on my list. who's on your list?
k. penultimate Digital section up here. be the 18th person to check it out!!!
Beverly Dahlen makes me think of Gertrude Stein (also, for obvious reason, Babe Dahlen (baseball reference, you could look it up)). in the way that facts are presented, unornamented I think I want to say. (oh sorry, as I think on it, that's Babe Dahlgren but I guess you can still get what chimes for me). there's a way that both don't commit to their statements. your average dairy-fed Republican commits to a worldview that is completed with every statement. I'm afraid your liberal stir-fried Democrat does the same thing. taking a position of position. who needs these fucking conventions, frankly. both BD and GS seem to allow an unsettlement to occur. with BD, it's memory within which she writes, at least in A Reading. and it is 'her' memory, but it isn't just that. it's a familiarity, even if I cannot say why I connect. it's an agreeable indeterminate power, which is inclusive and generous. not in a soppy way, but resepctful. I know my writing is not like that of either Dahlen or Stein, it's just Bramhall, but if I aim at all, it is towards that inclusion.
another one of Jack Kimball's great launchings, and even at some length too. great stuff.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I often draws from my native Great Plains to depict the sweeping spaces and small-town life of rural America. then too, I writes a lot of nonsense.

look at my consequence!

Tim Peterson alerted me that he writ a review of my (and Henry's) reading. it's a 'good' review, but it's not the good part that interests me so much, it is the view Tim's piece affords. one writes within some energy, is carried thereby, and altho there is collusion between reader and writer, there are also separate events involved as we 'get together'. or I am thinking of tributaries (HAH!!!) in their distant configuration then meeting in the greater river. I don't think too much about the engine parts of my writing. I mean, it is probably better if I leave my brain out of this so far as I can. Tim is obviously (look at Tim's consideration of Ashbery and O'Hara earlier on his blog) thoughtful about poetrty, in a way, actually, that I am not. I can lament as does Henry that we haven't had a lot of consideration of our work. Henry's work deserves consideration for it is serious, real work, and it is out and about. I've been rather hesitant, up till recently, to push my work into the public gleam. I beam a bit to think someone got 'something' from my writing, that's a natural, unavoidable reaction. but it is illuminating to see the how of that. I'm not self-advertising here so much as reveling in the process, the larger process that I haven't much participated in.
I liked this piece by Daniel Carter that appeared on Poetics today. it's a long breath and going. I know Daniel plays sax but I've never heard him play. a few tiems I've tried to riff on pieces by him, I think at TrAce online whatsis. it's a different line for me to follow.
well, Steve Tills adverts Ann Marie Eldon and I do also. "The arrogance of spilt toenail clippings".
see, I'm trying to explain the why of each link I provide. Christopher Rizzo is an energetic poetry guy. energetic in that he's doing stuff for poetry besides writing it. his writing is extremely energetic too. back in the day I supported poetry by buying it. it was the little I could do. I even gave money to presses. I haven't the money now to do that, and time constraints make going to readings difficult, so I must honour those who do the work.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

this one cracked me up, a vision
risky business. I quite agree, altho that would be taking one cherished block of buzzing sound from the vocabulary of blurbers and reviewers. there's a photograph called "The Leap", I think. it shows Yves Klein making a headlong leap out a window, say 12 feet above the street. Superman without the buffer against gravity. now that artist takes a specific physical risk in his art. the commonest risk taken is the last named by Jonathan.
"Can't have paradise on Earth, when it's in heaven. Need a war we'll never win." -- David Hess
speaking of which: wrapped around enthusiasm is the proposal full of fall or spring, and settled to hedge in the green grass appetite. motivations are complex, reeking of jury duty and aubade, clusters from lint, translation, and random occurence in bedlam. a favouable calm withal, and a reefer truck to carry chilly things hither yon. what purpose is smarter than going over the road again, backwards, eyes closed, and full of surprises?

Monday, August 30, 2004

once again, the fellow playing that Chinese stringed instrument. in front of the Coop, Hahvud Squayah. well first I rushed by a guy asking for spare change, anxious to get to the reading. I didn't think what little I had in my wallet constituted spare at the time. then I recollected the quarters in my pocket, and those could be spare, since the parking metre had been fed. so I went back. the guy wasn't going to let me off easy. 'oh so you did have some money, my brother'. then the other guy playing away. staring into some distance that wasn't for me to know. okay, we were in a rush. coming back, slower, we listened a bit. I suppose he was still doing traditional Chinese music, but it sounded Celtic in my ear. Beth gave him some money and he smiled with such surprising animation. I just didn't think he had that in him anymore. he said 'thank you' and Beth said 'thank you'. Beth said she thought he was broken. the music's a rope to which he holds.
I think Nada Gordon's doctor has looked at her tongue long enough. but that's just to say I appreciate her blog and her writing. at one time, days of loggerhead, of constraint, perturbation of the path, my journal writing was pretty much my entire effort. that journal was basically a daily riff. I was writing some poetry then but not with fire. the journal began as a place to ponder my reading, but almost immediately I went a-field. music, movies, crappy tv shows. divagations on New Yorker ads and considerations on catalogues and what not. step one was to scribble in notebooks. step two was type it up. in typing I would ruthlessly cut what clanged disharmoniously or seemed uninteresting. a range of attention manifested. I had maybe 600 pages typed with lots more still to. then that whole project stopped, as I returned, somehow, all love, to poetry. still have the notebooks 'somewhere', and diskettes of the typing, maybe even print outs. well, now Tributary seems to fill that urge bit. I try to stay 'on message', id est, this will largely be about poetry as per AHB. my other blog, R/ckets&S/ntries is just plain writin'. I think of it as thematic, and as even one 'poem'. it is not a collection. it is written on the (blog)spot. I've yet to go to the trouble of saving it to my hard drive. I dunno why I've made such a tangent except to recognize the way a project like a blog can come and go. missing Nada's reports lately, you see, and Gary Sullivan's, and Kasey Mohammad is much less heard than ought, etc. it's not that I'm such a computer injection guy, but people have lulled me into expectation. and currently, I don't want a big project saying come on, as did Digital Cellular Phone...

"I want to be kind, like a shack in the forest, a river passes by, each bird pulls a position into play, the favour of a glint of summer on river surface or the ice that happens, time to help and heal and listen while the birds, again, the air is rich, a chord sounds perfectly, for time exists in dollops, then the still, the reaching, the elegant and playful, going on as going can be complete, I want this in a light of loving, come to passion, elect and give, this is a mantra for a day, when I am strong, and verses tell a story, and story leaves a place for moments in the glare, tell you there."

received and reading

Black Spring, Winter 2004

7 supportive bucks

theenk Books
P.O. Box 184
Shortsville, NY 14548-0184

Brent Bechtel
Catherine Daly
kari edwards
Stephen Ellis
Jim McCrary
Chris Murray
Layne Russell
Steve Tills

familiar names, I hope. I wish to advert particularly Stephen Ellis. he is hard to quote because he creates such Buckminster Fuller knots of interdependent energies that make extraction difficult, but which afford such wonderful rides. hah, poetry!

May Toad

as a general rules, all poetry confuses me. my earliest writing model would be Robert Benchley. his pieces had some frail subject and anchor, but the interest was in just where/how he went. that's all I saw for the writing I would do, get somewhere in an interesting way. I didn't like poetry, thanks. but I wasn't interested in writing the next Lord of the Rings, and it was beyond my ken to think I could write non-fiction. so I looked at Benchley's pieces and thought if I wrote something like that, it would be poetry. at any rate, I had a teacher who got us to question what a poem was. I learned from that that a poem wasn't just [fill in the blank]. that was freedom in my face, but it took a long time to learn to use that freedom. and the bottom line is that freedom aint. so a breakthru a few years ago, in a rupturing time for me. I just let myself write sentences, in boring prose blocks. sans by your leave from Olson, not trying to extract Stein, didn't ask Ashbery for hints. much befuddled thru the years by LANGUAGE writing but also much intrigued. so all this bubbling around until I just let something go. and hung on to what was left. so I meant méthode above in particular as with writing with Jeff Harrison. with whom I share a sense, I think, of narrative. of a forward energy, not to deny other directions. my metre is simple: the sentence. if written with care to sound and an eye to the balances and intrigues that go on. not to say that syntax can't be messed with, and telescopings. dissonance is a comparative term, right? Jeff and I tend to repeat and return to what interests us. he often, perhaps you've noticed, mentions Virginia. which can be a place, a person, a state of mind, or maybe other things. West Virginia has impressed itself upon me in maybe similar way, tho I did not consciously try to emulate Jeff. Beth's father lived in West Virginia, died there, by his own hand. Olson and Thoreau give me local. in WV, the world is particular. an abundant land stripped of resource. and that's why all these West Virginians are slogging it in military service, leftovers from the grand gathering and affluence society. Beth's father, to whom I dedicate, was highly intelligent and socially concerned. he saw the world, not just what he wanted from it. such a terrible misuse exists. fuck the Republicans, and the Democratic slump too. the land that is WV is an intensity that just about shocks me, those swooping hills and twisting river hollows. b>bejesus!!!. and four square Appalachian poverty, a mean hard life. I know I wander here, but think I have a point somewhere in my excursion. Jeff's in one place, a couple thousand miles from 'my' place, if we want to be literal to matter (and if we understand physics in a flatland way). there are different sounds, but the agreement comes in somehow. Jeff has absorbed his share of English lit, maybe so have I. Keats really believed in that land of Poetry and Myths and the land of his poem. so did Dickinson, and Olson right to the death. I don't know if Jeff is at all as equivocal as I am. despite my equivocation about poetry, that it can be effete fancy schmancy code play and who cares, I believe in poetry in the way I think JH does. method is just another word for integrity, or trying to keep it there. yeah, a little recognition would be nice (holy shit, David Hess links to everything I have online: I am modest before that), but I've lived without it and it aint so bad. it's a step here and there. it's never a fulfillment to follow all the rules.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

here's a link to some work by Jeff Harrison. I like his work quite a bit. there is a lot available online, certainly his pretty daily contribuitions to Poetics and Wrytings, and elsewhere. he and I have been doing a collaboration for the past 18 months. it's getting long, it doesnt seem to stop. I've been remiss in not putting up a link to his work.

H Gould pome

"If You Could See That Porch"

If there is something blue
between acloud and a painting
the full sense of a silent moment
appears suddenly like rain.
It goes over the land
it sings a tune you learned too
standing on the wet porch.
Little clowns in yellow raincoats
the laugh of a hidden yard
a girl in blue goes by
the big world raining
in those yellow raincoats,
the thing you always forget
because morning is full of birds.

--from Stone, by Henry Gould

I like this for the Proustian memory. the poem is succinct without slight and is tuned directly. personally I miss the few commas that could've been supplied. I generally feel use all appropriate punctuation or don't use any. (once, on the strength of Apollinaire's example ("Zone" specifically), I rewrote a poem without punctuation, as proper punctuation seemed to be confusing things). the poem works natheless. the deal is, got some books from Henry, and he got mine. I hadn't read him really, as I don't read off computer well. sometimes the academy gets in the way, and what I mean is, there's always a list of right answers, yeah, you've got to read them. but we've all got our tastes as well as our scholarship. and some writers are off the path. aren't there enough writers who sound like NY school or LANGUAge or what the heck. it's okay to enjoy what you enjoy. which is one of the simplest things that I learned last. I'm thinking of the stern Silliman visage that Jim Behrle has coupled with the word OBEY. I have no doubt that Ron Silliman loves poetry, and in fact a wide range of styles, but gosh he souns like a rules-committee-of-one has just met.
I have in my possession a picture of the young Henry Gould, and it's a cracker. it is the back cover photo of his book Stone (Copper Beech Press, 1979). he sits on a bed in a spare room. the bed appears to be a mattress on crates. he has a chunky old Royal typewriter, which sets upon another crate. pensive artist reads his latest limnings. which kinda brings to mind the great word picture of O'Hara on the backcover of Lunch Poems. I'll bet things are more cluttered now, and the Royal a memory...
latest xstream has some work of mine withal. but it really isn't about singular voices but the effect of all together. a simulation of the Wryting-L experience, or just the way bits make a whole.
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read at Wordsworth

so if Kent Johnson gave a reading, who actually would read? hahaha, ok ok, never mind. I (moi-même) gave a reading yestreen at not with Wordsworth. this was my 1st public venture. and I wasn't too nervous for, well, I guess I accept my competency as a writer. that acceptance aint easily come by. I think I just outlasted my equivocation. plus I simply got better over the years. so I felt I had good material. and I was up there not to show my heart or such, but just present this work. so okay, I had no rhythm in the 1st poem I read, an untitled thing that introduces my site More Guff. if you notice a predominance of 'w's and 'r's in the piece, so did I, Elmer Fudd style. it's a wittle twicky, but appropriate as 1st poem. I read the Barrett Watten poem "Mode Z" that I posted here earlier. it's a lovely political poem that cannot be skewered on any LANGUAGE petard. I think I'm guilty of some Franco-American malfeasance with that last sentence but you get my drift. mostly read from Simple Theory, my book and all. I thought of reading one of my Duino Elegy translations but chickened out because of their length and they're a little tricky. I didn't know if nerves would be a prob. they weren't. I also thought of reading Frank O'Hara's poem about his encounter with the sun on Fire Island but didn't get around to typing it out. I didn't want to shuffle with books and stuff, so I had what I would read typed out. I chose not to overstay my welcome so I kept my reading short. Jim and Lucie, my former employers in the wine business, attended. that's not from where you expect support, but they have, indeed, been quite supportive of me over the years. of course Beth was there. so I had me a claque. and I met Tim Peterson, with whom I have emailed a little bit. inestimable Henry Gould read after me. it was nice to meet him and hear him. Henry forges an unusual path. he writes in a comfortable formality. by comfortable I mean capable. when you read the crap in Poetry, it's not that these writers often write in rhyme and metre, it's that they don't do it well that sinks the damn ship. and the allusions and references all seem by the numbers. Henry's thinking all the way, and just weird enough. his taste is eclectic and it comes thru in his work. the rush for modernity cannot erase what earlier writers have done. it would be foolish to ignore Keats, or Clare or whoever. Bach still flies even après Coltrane blest this earth. and so on. there are plenty enough writers of Beat poetry or O'Haraesque musings, let's make our own adventures. after the reading Beth and I went out for drinks with Henry, Tim Peterson and Tim's parents. Henry, Beth and I plugged on after the Petersons left. I guess I'm making a little reading sound important, but it was important. neither Henry or I have done many readings. this was my first, as I said. Beth has been part of poetry scenes out west, but I never have. it's a charge to get out in the world this way. to see writers in three dimensions. Christopher Rizzo introduced himself. I read some of his work that he offered on his blog. I didn't hear him at Bossacre but the streaming energy of his work probably rings vividly when read aloud. I thought the long piece that Noah Gordon read at Bossacre was a piece by Christopher. in fact it was Noah's, but the muscular reading that Noah gave would surely work with Christopher's work. I guess I just made transit to tangent. I dunno if hearing a poet read is de rigeuer (how the hell do you spell that? nothing looks right) but it does help give entrance. I've mentioned how illuminating it was to hear Michael Gizzi read his own work. anyway, thanks to Jim Behrle for finding me and Henry. plenty of noteworthy readings ahead, Mairead Byrne for one, and Carl Annarummo. maybe someday Sillimandias himself. getting to these things is always a logistical matter but honest I would like to.