Saturday, September 25, 2004

I'd hate to get stuck in Ron Silliman's comment box.
it is not merely my assumption that few people read this blog, Site Metre gives me the facts. as well as the odd info that so many people are doing web searches on the word 'tributary'. no, they aren't seeking my blog, but I don't know for what they seek. I thank Chris Murray (of Texfiles, which see) for noting this blog's existence. I sure as hell can keep going sans audience, but it's nice to think a person or two is reading. I believe it is particularly at this point that Henry Gould (in the wilds of Providence RI) and I (amidst the coyote, deer and owls of Bedford MA) meet.
I have been poking along in A. so much of which I have no reference. Olson is unusually lucky to have Butterick and others (former students) do the dirty work, help with references. we're talking a team effort here. I am sourly disappointed with the Poetics list, in that its conversation tends toward theory at the cost of specific enthusiasms. whenever a poet dies, there are eulogies on the list. but why so few mentions of these poets while still alive? and by enthusiasm, I don't mean yow, this writer is cool!. I mean whatever involving energy one might take from the writing. I get what people don't like about Olson. like, hey daddio, lighten up, man. that Maximus persona is pretty heavy, a big bully guy. still, I have an enthusiasm for his work and what he did as a writer. I can't point in my own work where Olson pulled me thru, I just have to assume, given how I read him, that he must've. it is awesome that folks convened to talk of LZ. I'm thinking last year may've been Lorine Niedecker's cententary (her turn, that is). was there an event for her? I'm percolating here, kinda uselesly. I'm real susceptible to enthusiasm. I know the people convening in NYC for LZ are into it, you sure get that from Josh Corey and Ron Silliman and Stephen Vincent. t'weren't just a gig. and I am psyched to lay into Z's work, just to taste that enthusiasm myself. I read Z when I was a teenage knucklehead in college. I was much challenged by his work, even bugged, but found myself picking out the shiny bits. I just want to hear about what others think are the shiny bits,with Z and with anyone else that pops their cork.
a reason Henry's work in progress interests, and why it should interest you, is that it is happening now. Olson died before I'd herd of him, but I did await the 3rd volume of Maximus with keen interest. I've seen Rachel Blau DuPlessis' Drafts build over time, tho its appearance coincided with my own drift from poetry in the 90s, so it is only recently that I've givern her work due attention. the other big works were largely done before I came along. well, I did witness Duncan's later work as it appeared. the point being the opportunity to see the work grow. Lanny Quarles asked of John M Bennett, on Wryting-L, if there were any in depth considerations of John's work. and of course, there's little beyond reviews. but it's a good question. instead of waiting for the next generation to confirm what we suspect, we should pile on, get in.
more from Josh Corey on Louis Zukofsky. good stuff.

Friday, September 24, 2004

just to get it right eventually, my lifelong goal: Gary Sullivan's book from Faux Press is titled How To Proceed in the Arts(2001). I said Succeed, which shakes the meaning some. now equipped with accurate information, you can now proceed to buy the book, see Faux Press link to the right.

Z-Fest Notes from All Over

yes, I've groused, but these are really useful and insightful.

Silliman 3
Silliman 2
Silliman 1 (and you might want to give Kirby Olson's comments a pass until he ties his thinking cap on tighter)
Corey 2
Corey 1
Lanny Quarles moved his blog. I've retained the old one in my links (likewise with Carl Annarummo) for historical purposes. I realize that it's an edgy move on my part to implement such changes but I'm a topnotch guy.
glad to see this post from Chris Murray. there are always people out there who can say it better. I'd've liked to've been to the Zukofsky event, yet even were I close by, I mightn't've made the bother of going, just for the expectation of disappointment. plus it's a gunslinger sitch, where's your cred. really, the greatest honour to LZ would be the reading of his work, in earnest of respect for the writing. not to say people's glimmers aren't interesting and useful. I find Stephen Vincent's "Walking Theory" to be a great (I won't put this in terms of comparison) tribute to LZ for the poems radiate lessons from LZ, while remaining fully SV's work. a practical example, that is. boxing up LZ and delivering him to a class structure kinda sends energy in the wrong direction. the 80 or whatever attendance is not, by my lights, a good turn out.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

okay here's my take of this. the background words are Greek chorus, fairly clear and organized. foreground is a jumble of letetrs building a thing amongst themselves, the characters of the Greek play. their muddle in comparison to the strict tempo chorus, that balance and consideration. and beyond that, nice to look at.
see, names come up, or I stumble on a book, and then I'm keen to read. thus reading a little of Drafts (1-38), Toll by Rachel Blau DuPlessis (Wesleyan 2001). I know I read the 1st poem in the series long ago in Temblor (which must be the handsomest mag ever (peace Leland Hickman)). the poem locates itself outside the Olson/Pound historical stance. its focus is more like the word or letter, in an inward mystery way. I would call it an exploration, a word I usually hate in this context but I think here is appropriate. her motivation perhaps similar to Zukofsky in ways, going smaller (in a quantum way) than sentence and, um, 'meaning', to syllable and letter. Grenier heads there. it'the work is a little intellectual in a dry way, like a professor's exercise. like maybe the work of professoring kinda slops over the boundaries into the writing, but that's really just a quibble. poets as professors do got to watch that, tho. the thingieness of writing gets objectified. I (non-professor) can do that too, of course, but professors got more opportunity. word to the wise, Rachel.
"It is time to experiment, time to leave the well-ordered but stuffy operating theater, time to restore a vulgar vitality to brain surgery and unleash the energy now trapped in the subculture. There is nothing to lose. Society has already told us that brain surgery is dead. Let's build a funeral pyre out of the desiccated conventions piled around us and watch the ancient, spangle-feathered, unkillable phoenix rise from the ashes!" --G Sullivan on brain surgery (see below).

is this flarfy? who cares. it's a terrific, serious-sounding call to arms about an... issue... great touch of tone, great meaning out of meaninglessness.
re below: I appreciate Gary for his humour, never enough of that around. he's also a very good critic. in his book from Faux Press, which my memory says is called How To Succeed in the Arts (I have the book, and have been reading it recently, but memory is overrated), he remembers his friend Ramez Qureshi in a touching tribute. the mentioning of whom, in his introduction, invoked a sort of integrity which he wished his book could claim. and I think that integrity is part of Gary's work. I really am disappointed in botching the chance to see him (and Brandon Downing) read in the Analogous Series. anyway, flowers in the road.
Gary Sullivan keenly dissecting brain surgery. finally, someone with the guts to speak out!!!!!
I guess our scholars gots to get together. Festival of Zukofsky, or Orano Hoedown. Josh Corey on his blog mentions NOT HAVING TICKETS TO THE RECEPTION (how egalitarian is that?), so... missing a piece in the puzzle. I am very glad to see his report. but hey, I'm tired of Icon Bob Creeley. I mean, I'm ready to deprecate what I like about him, just out of frustration or consternation. isn't there a furniture store opening he could appear at? have I said somethign bad? argh. the tiny economy and Masonic Gang Signs of POETRY LITTLE WORLD. Zukofsky is 'mine' too, even if I'm a dumb ass. also, I'm amidst suspecting that Charles Bernstein is James Tate. could it be? okay, I'll let the fizz abate, and write proper respect later. who's the best damn poet in the world?
the bad men work jerky with plenary districts still rushing to forget. why is it always men and the substance of their balloons? it’s about doctoring with cool testicle, while balloons are made into day stories. you’re on the beach of course or at least Fenway Park, trading examples of moroseness with your neighbour. the blimp itself plans to embark upon the second nature of intent. this is man pie, for once and endless. are you a man? like me, you have an answer. the spaces that tailor for doctrine resume an approach while scaling back the work hours of some little one here or there. remember slavery? it was a great stern boast on improvement. at least, it got things done. didn’t it, or does the news just seem shallow? like, what’s so special about microscopes, that you can’t just read the newspaper? the bad men envelope a few choice importances, and it seems rare even to hear their spatter. it, something, rains onto everything, it looks Spartan and tradeworthy. now we can infer what we will. the blimp might explode, but it will be for our good. the dust of example in the church of great air.

-- [from ongoing blimp writings}

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I wanted to write more about Nada Gordon's work, I'm so lame in my articulations. I spoke of her writing's density. I find a confluence of energies in her work. a surreal visual quality, if I know what surreal means. and I do, it means intense, odd collisions of elements (because I said so). there's also the sound of common language being hefted into view, with the odd light of considered thought included. that lumpy phrase refers to the ironic yet sincere public voice that we all inherit and get lost in. I read a few of her poems aloud ("Mom, Is This An Interesting Beach?", "Paeonies" ("dionysian useless category trouble again") and others. reading cold, it is hard to choose a tonal path for her poems. or maybe I'm just a slump. it took me several tries with "Mom" before I felt comfortable. not all her poems are such challenges. I get a little lost in her punctuation, but I'm kinda anal about punctuation. the struggle is just to get the ear for her writing's changeableness. and it isn't a struggle, it's a matter of practice. I haven't read enough of her work, nor heard her read. I need more NGbooks. V.IMP is too pretty to mark up (good paper, well bound) so I haven't got the lines marked that I liked. the reading experience includes sudden finds ("you and your ladylike insomnia"), that make you jump or laugh or just say whoa! as I said previously, her poems written around 9/11 distracted me, as I got thinking of the events of that day. when I moved from a hey something's going on hint from the radio to amazing visual on tv, the 1st thing I saw was a tape loop of the 2nd plane hitting WTC. with Peter Jennings chattering about something else, the picture simply seemed cinematic, even tho I grokked the sitch. I mean, shades of "Independence Day" spectacle. whereas those in NYC were dealing with something much more visceral and immediate. Nada's poems, written around the event, are courageous and personal, different from what I, safely nigh Boston, could possibly produce at that time. it is remarkable to think there is language left, that Nada could situate the writing at that time. "I didn't know it was a subject". I'm not reviewing her work here, but accomodating the energy felt and received. I'd like to see more commentary that rises above captioning the new stuff, but instead does a little muscular work. there's a task for Tributary, if I'm up to it. Gould and Gordon are on my list of poets to watch, in terms of oeuvre, not just the spankingnew pome arriving in the latest ish of WHATEVER.
I find Henry Gould's recent exploration into his own work intriguing and useful. a peek at process. and as he said, no one else is doing that job (someone other than Henry has to tell the world that it's okay to take his work seriously), so he might as well get crackin'. Olson particularly wrote and spoke of Maximus in progress, he had Butterick and others who got the concept or wanted to, and so did a lot of digging. Henry's work deserves to be considered in that group of writers he cites. why not? it comprises something large. the matter of whether the long serial poem is a male domain I don't feel competent to speak to, tho a mention of Drafts by Rachel Blau Duplessis should be made. everyone writes just one big ass poem, that there oeuvre, but there is something tempting about entering into an open ended process. I've put myself into long projects, but they work towards an end, even if that end isn't envisioned. I'm only scraping around in the garden Henry's making, so far, but I like what I see.

room fit Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

quick mention of Days by Hank Lazer (Lavender Ink 2002). it represents a year long project, daily ten-line poems. a note at the end explains his process, which is thoughtful and patient. there's method in his method. not strictly journal poems, nor does each day have a poem. the poem and the series is much edited, part of the process. the poems are fresh, flinty confections, but I mean there is a sweet pleasure to them, not to deny their depth. there are handwritten additions, crediting quotes and references or, like Dickinson, adding alternative readings. it's quite a lovely book. Bill Lavender is the publisher and credit should go to his typesetting, which is thoughtful and tasteful (and consistent with what I've seen of other examples of his typesetting). since I've just been reading Nada Gordon's work, I can see a vast difference in density, yet reaching toward a similar sense of made thing. like, Gordon writes in a language that's dense (not convoluted except as humanly possible) and wound up, whereas Lazer writes in one that's spare and unravelled. and the point is, they reach the same place, a poetry.

Monday, September 20, 2004

More Great News!!!

what a day! I've also been acquired by Yahoo! details are still sketchy, especially the part about being acquired by Google as well, but I'm assured that it is all good. looks like I'll have to step up production a tad, but I've been thinking about putting in more time with my blogs. feels great to be part of not just one but two great teams! looks like quite a ride ahead!!!

Big News!

I've been acquired by Google! the good folks at Google assure me that this acquistion should have no affect whatsoever on either the quality or quantity of my posts (for all my blogs). there's been talk of book deals, international readings, even some movie ideas have been bounced around, but that's getting ahead of things. could BRAMHALL t-shirts be in the offing? stay tuned!!!
some probs are just so big: welcome to a concern: Foetry. hold on to your hats, tho. poetry contests are rigged? they might be run by unscrupulous people??? doubtless a drowsey numbness pains your sense to hear it. well, the shock is finally wearing off here in the Bramhall Poetry Bunker® (walls 17' thick, lead lined to keep out distraction from my march to the poetical tiptop). success orientated? send flowers, candy and envelopes of unmarked Benjamins to Jorie Graham for starters.

few writers have shown so conistent a __________ as __________. S/he has brought a brutal _______ and at times incomprehensible ________ to _______. Her/his influence on contemporary poetry has been more ______ than any ______. ________ ranks with _______, ________, and even _______ as one of the few _____ to _______ such a grand ______!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I've changed the Navbar from black to tan to better express my many moods.
Barrett Watten announces a determination to post weekly, that's weekly, on poetics and LANGUAGE and all the vital issues here. that's a cool idea, bunker musings, foxhole considerations. it's on Silliman's blog, isn't it, in which Duncan says to upstart langpoistas, can't you just have fun? and Watten replies, this is our fun. I wonder at the tangibility of much of the discussion. the attempt to define boundaries in water. well, you can: with walls. BW betrays a historical sense that seems set in the future, circa right now. there's a right-sounding voice speaking here, busy cleaning up the present mess so that the future mess can have a home. I mean, there's something Bloomian (Harold) about this insistence on structuring. which I find mostly just corny. I seem to be ragging on Watten, but am interested in his project, and take what he says seriously if not agreeably. I don't pass over what he says. I just seem to be of a different world. and I guess that'll happen. when I look at my critical commentary, such as it is (and paltry, I know), I wonder how I can keep it all under one theory, aegis, whatever. I know what I have read, I know what has jittered my nerve, but to consume that into a basis looks like more project than AHB can manage. so seat of the pants rules pour moi, and scramble as I may.