Saturday, September 18, 2004

nice interview project at here comes everybody. blogs are free webspace. nice to see a different usage of the potential.

the wayback machine

listening to Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. which was a revolution for mewhen released. over the years I've become more sensitive to Paul's smarminess, John's artiness, and the trend toward over production. there's a wonderful aural field of investigation here, to be sure, but it's also kinda sterile. it's still a pretty outrageous piece of work. pop music becomes self conscious.
not attending the Zukofsky festival, and seemingly a good portion would fly over my head, but here's a succinct bio. I quibble with the sense of influence on view here, slighting Lorine Niedecker and otherwise oversimplifying a still mysterious process by which we take and give. we all get wound up in heroes, it's tough not to.

Friday, September 17, 2004

reading V.IMP by Nada Gordon (Faux Press 2002). she used to post rarely on Subpoetics, but always something that made me jump. there's a potent density to her work. real concentrated, yet also breezy in an affordable housing New York poetry way. her series of poems tangling with 9/11 distracted me, as I got to thinking how I reacted then. I wrote quite a bit in those days, but tho I seemed to be around 'the subject' (and knew it was a subject), I found that I had to remain oblique. direct communique would for me have been a usage that I could not warrant. Nada managed a direct hit, and so did, for another instance, Ivan Argüelles, but I had to be careful. when my mother was dying (9 days in ICU) I told myself NOT to write a poem of her death. mere hours after her death, I was writing that poem. but it was the only one, and it had to happen. I wish I had better words with me, for I like Nada's strength in the bubbly blur, which is political, poetical, philosophical and radical in a fun yet straining way. strain on me, that is. I think more people should be writing about her work. I invite the eloquent ones out there to do so.
HD is especially interesting in the obsession (ie focus) that keeps her at it. I think that engine is what keeps me interested in poetry in general. crafting column filler for the New Yorker or crunchy pastries for Poetry (Chicago) (okay I'm being snide) aint the business I want to be in. the presence of Greece in HD's work is instructive, just as Concord flora and fauna (including human) is with Thoreau. and of course Olson's Gloucester. and Zukofky. and Henry Gould disporting in Providence. it's the relationship of the work to the life. I guess the instruction of the individual poem pales compared to the work of the life involved. make sense? I guess it's not the made thing I'm taken by, but the making thing.
just did a quick read of Tribute to Freud by HD. I have to read it more carefully, but am enthralled by it. she's so persistent, a qquality I think I equate with Duncan. persistent in the artistic vision. both see connective puns everywhere. by which I don't simply mean plays on words, but echoes, connections. seeing Freud from this view is instructive. it doesn't diminish the work that he did to witness his self sense, that he it is who discovers (strikes oil). and HD of course is utterly courageous, as well as wise. I also got Trilogy by her. this book came via inter-library exchange from the Acton (Ma) library. it was donated in 2001 by Robert Creeley. where Creeley lived in his youth. Creeley read at that library this past summer. I was either away or just couldn't swing it. HD's book look's brand new, alas. many many years ago I saw Margaret Atwood read at Lexington's library. I believe I'd heard of her at the time, but this was long before she had success as a novelist. she's standing there thinking, if I want success as a poet, this is it. hence the turn to novels. whew, I've led a life full of wonder, haven't I?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

once again Beth and I did an art class at a senior centre. same one as before, that is. two were with us before, and three others. 2 of the new ones had no confidence in what they were doing. that wall of inadequacy: "I don't know what I'm doing", "I can't paint" etc. with many, a little time could get them slapping the paint on. even as they harped on their lack of ability, you could see them drawn to it. and they listened to Beth and me as we told them just to play with the brushes, the colour, even if they couldn't quite do this. and they all were so supportive of each other, really gleeful to see what others could do. fuck this 'hope I die before I get old' shit. opportunity remains. one, a woman we met before, was adventurous and businesslike. tho she urged others on, she was very focussed on her own painting. one was a careful painting, from memory, of a vase of lavender, one was a spree of colour (mainly purple), and one was a charming, childlike rendering of a house, tree and sun. Beth realized that the other veteran was further complicted by Alzheimer's than we suspected. repeating herself and looping. her husband had, after our 1st visit, got her a sketch pad and a paint set. he realized the therapeutic advantages of this activity. she hadn't used either but she happily carried then with her. and she was so happy to see us. she was so bubbly, loved my joking around (my attempt to knock down the imposition of sullen seriousness), was tremendously supportive of others. yet didn't paint. she did sketch a vase of fake tulips in the room. she declared she preferred drawing to painting. she also problem solved about a flower study she was doing with a woman who couldn't get going herself. another woman had had a stroke. she chatted away, but her voice was low and a little difficult to hear, came out a like a mutter. but she was saying encouraging things, as well as sharp observaions. the one man was an ex-cop who listened so seriously to what Beth and I said. we were cheered to learn that people began painting on their own since we came in. as I fetched water from another room, I found a man painting a design on an apron. the centre actually had quite a horde of art supplies that had been going unused. now, I'm not about to crow how art can save people, of we could have cheered the joint as well with the promise of down and dirty cribbage fests, but it was art making people feel better.
I'm sure a bright guy like Henry Gould understands that praise from this quarter would certainly deserve a vote or two, were there any Blog of the Year sorts of votings anywhere around at this time.........
I guess it is time to admit the truth. Allen Bramhall and his blogs are really a joke worked out by my friend Kent Johnson and me, Ron Silliman. we both came up with the idea but I don't want Kent to suffer more hassle about author function and the like, so blame for the actual writing of these blogs lies entirely with me. on an unrelated note, I am pleased to see the rerelease of my long poem Tjanting reviewed by Jack Kimball here.

Ron Silliman (not some author function)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I actually am enjoying Stubborn Grew, but feel guilty about how scattershot my reading is currently. what Henry's doing touches an Olsonian nerve in me, not that Henry's approach is anything like Olson's. but SB, the whole project, is a poem written with history in mind. I still envy what Olson did, delving local history. I mean, he researched. that's where Henry connects with the Big O. and I am minded of John Clare with Henry's unflummoxed descriptive sense. he's pretty serious about the words he uses, he's accurate (like Clare), even while staying within the strictures of rhyme. which has certainly sent many a poem writer into laughable logical twists and syntactical vacations. SB's 1st line: "Time flowers on the lips of whispered clay". isn't that both strange and accurate? and I propose to bring Ron Silliman into this discussion, for his is an ear of subtle accuracy. the poem "Skies", for instance, is built on unornamented descriptions, and is lovely therefore. anyway, I'm getting the idea that I should drink a little bit whilst reading SB, if I take Henry's meaning aright. done and done. which reminds me of a decadent realization long ago. home from work (at a wine store), done with dinner. I had a glass of fine sherry, a piece of Stilton, and I was reading War and Peace. bring on the wood paneled home library, and the string quartet in the parlour!
Anny Ballardini's blog. I particularly like this odd image. one more for my links.
I fear author function will abandon me when I need it most

mushroom forest dog Posted by Hello
Kent Spicer informs me that he never said that narrative won't work anymore. hey, whose story is this? I suppose I'm guilty of a flarfism, tho I don't really know what flarf is (all the better, I can define it as I want). narrative is a way to write letters into words, someday meaning a sentence has your kids. but it's okay. really.
my reading, my reading. I'm so scattered. was reading of the Pali canon (Buddha's supposedly fairly direct words) yesterday. Access to Insight supplies you with a mass of the Pali canon online, if that is of your interest. I've been reading Dream Songs. which is a master work of sorts. the equivocation centres on how creepy Berryman is, and how suicidally depressive. yet the heroic note isn't faked up, as confessioned poetry often is. I mean, beyond his human shittiness there's a person trying to maintain integrity. unfortunate, I suppose, that biography precedes the poetry, in my reading, at least. as with Sexton, knowing the denouement of the poet's life tints the poetry in ways that probably do it injustice. reading (yes Henry) sporadically at Stubborn Grew by Handsome Henry Gould (Spuyten Duyvil 2000). I believe he has spoken of the influence of both Dream Songs and The Bridge, and I see it. Crane both excites and disappoints me. experiment and formality collide with Crane, not always with successful results. his formality seems like a safeness that he runs to. I've been meaning to put my nose into The Bridge lately. good luck on that vow. anyway, with SG, Henry works within a formal structure. he writes in quatrains. I see a chain of poems, rather than sections. I think the poems stand on their own. which, in fact, were anyone to look at my long works (like Digital Cellular Phone, a couple clicks away), would find that I proceed similarly. altho there may be room in Henry's procedure to interleave poems out of chronbology, whereas it would be unlikely (not impossible) for me to do that. I haven't read much of the book and haven't the energy to offer more than superficial 'insights' (honestly I haven't any insights, sorry folks). despite the apparent and actual formality of his method, Henry has lots of room to muck about. I wish I had more time to read him well. I used to manage hours of reading a day often enough but now such simply doesn't fit my day. thus I jump from one thing to another. also been reading The Anti-Federalist Papers. I suppose that's the publishers title, to go as compantion with The Federalist Papers, which I read a year ago. I still have books by HD coming from the library, plus WEB DuBois.
once saw the law in Apache land. saw the latest in the ground and thru. grew the able in the warland of upper town, lower town, and the in between, when we’re on the path. that path reads of times spent reading back. into the document as an engaged citoyen. as of a place packed with meaning, until we’re not disappearing anymore. Apache land of once ago, even Algonquin land of long ago, even peyote land and dharma land of fly agaric, long ago. the mountain moment of mushroom taking ground and pulling up in a strange task and deliver spore a strange task and even out a strange task and born again. saw this land as upper and lower. argued even the front and back of where I stood, where we stand. and how we could live in the same text, everyday. Pequot land and land of my mistake. Seminole land and dish broken even. even to say the end of the next sentence. even the next sentence then. even land from Carib, from on and onward, from West African in heart, from out of and into same. plump magistrates of quantum physics see dead cat and alive in the same bully box. imagine your surprise when you have your dead life lived ahead of you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

more buddhist resources online. and let me reiterate how exhaustive Access to Insight is. I am just applying this to your interest.
you really MUST go to the Albert Ayler site and check out the music. it is wonderful, so full of delight. "Bells" is a favourite, featuring fugue-like repetition. there's a drone on the horns that reminds me of Highland pipes. melodies are simple with Ayler, childlike and happy. and I love the drums. drums often provide a firmness, but here the drummer sounds childlike, trying whatever comes to mind in an utter playfulness that delights me. I hear children's songs and spirituals. such bright music. there's an interview with AA, with his slow thoughtful voice and a quick French translator as overlay. I can see this music played on street corners.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Blog of the YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

already widely understood by me as the best blog out there, Tributary deserves your vote in the contention at Jim-Side Blog. how do you love me? let me count the ways:

you like reportage on the poetry scene? I'll keep you up to date on the events I attend. if I don't attend any events, I will certainly tell you that I wish I had!!!

like humour? I'm more than happy to make fun of other people. in fact, I quite enjoy it.

theory? I got loads of ideas, most of them legal.

poetry? gosh, I write all the poetry you'll ever need!!!

I am the only logical choice. vote often.

note: this message has been approved by me

Sunday, September 12, 2004

it's not a story anymore

in another theatre of the war, Joan Houlihan raises a banner. random access to delight? baloney!!! the Oulipo truncheon looks like a useful tool sometimes, or desperate at the end of all, such all as equates with boundary. but we need a few limits, and limits as well to what we call limits. except, really, there should be a definite within the cursory scan of indefinite pronouns working out their direction. in this theatre of war, too much depends on how so much depends on. red wheelbarrow indeed! Jack Spicer takes this moment to float past. very fine gesture. Emily Dickinson does the same. Houlihan obviously has defense in mind, in the patience of this theatre of war. Eliot Weinberger eats his telephone, eats it larger than life. Gertrude Stein can take a moment to play inspection. now Helen Vendler nods. her nods weigh more than several tons of better anthology greetings, tho tomorrow is another day. note the teeth of gleaming. are you getting all this, dear Friends and Favours??? but stalwart, look, Marjorie Perloff in textual non-compliance. this is the goods, the serum has arrived! Kent Johnsoncharters the only plane that will ever leave Illinois, had to change his name to do it. Ron Silliman and Jimmy Behrle reach the scene bloody but unbowed. sign autographs later, boys, there's work to do! Henry Gould sniffs out something. he puts a blank email before himself, ready to dilate the expanse in which poetry flows. poetry? now how did that come up? never mind. Harvard College has an engine in this. so too that club in Buffalo. the air is thick with whatever would be metaphorically appropriate at this juncture in our tale. Hannah Weiner can now walk thru a wall. Ludwig Wittgenstein is that wall, but only temporarily. a text appears on the battlefield, as if always there. but that's impossible, or at least impassable. Republicans wait 'out front' to discuss plans defining Poetry in terms we can all understand. "narrative's not gonna work" says Kent by way of entering the action. it's a long story but. where were you the night this day began?