Saturday, October 30, 2004

"If you are accustomed to being supported and kept going by social, psychological and other pressures in the everyday world, there is a sense in which you do not really exist at all."--Idries Shah. I think by this measure quite a few poets do not exist.
there are a few writers, Guy Davenport and Flann O'Brien come to mind, who write like angels (as Johnson said of Goldsmith, I believe). who make good sentences. I envy that, but I think I have some craft that way, too. I have studied prose, thought about it, practiced it. more maybe than I have poetry, or at least in some sense I have. two different things, tho. poetry is a category of meaning, or implication of meaning, while prose is what, a structure or technique. poetry is largely a definition of what we're trying to do, kind of personal and not the stuff to make rules about. prose is a guided journey and conduit. or that's how I approach. Silliman speaking of sentences excites me, because I trust my knowledge and/or ability to write in sentences. I grok the import of what he says. I feel equal to the discussion. I reiterate that I don't feel I attain the suppleness and richness of the prose of the aforementioned, but I'm not a supple or rich (er) person. Pound assailed poorly writ poetry, and could continue to do so today. the expert grease monkeys of the poetry world should take their parse-o-metres to Henry Gould's poetry, for he has an excellent ear for sentence, as well as metre and rhyme. I've read a little of James Merrill's ouija poem, found it way too precious, but I credit his command of versification. (whereas our pomo freinds, Creeley, Olson, and many others, Ginsberg too, totally embarass themselves flailing within rhyme/metre structure). what got me is how that versification really just got in Merrill's way, and all his ouija thrills would have been MUCH better recounted in prose. but the dullards said, hey it's poetry-like, and that was that. just as Henry's poetry is mainstream-like, and somebody else's is Language-like. like a poet is so by virtue of what school one attended or bar one hangs at. it pleases me that Silliman writes of technical matters, for that's the real stuff. theory becomes latter day baloney wielded in crass battles for audience share. I mean, when the theory gets the headline. fuck Derrida and Wittgenstein if you can't write a decent sentence. they could. Silliman's talking my language when he ranges in with how he sees sentences working for him. I don't care about post-modern. post-modern never bought me a beer or invited me to dinner. I care about sentences. I think I speak them, and generally write them. I like to get out of the way of the magic stuff, when theory waves its wand.
I could've written much that Ron Silliman writes here regarding method. that 1st paragraph particularly. the space between period and next word indeed is pregnant. sentences kinda write themselves. I mean, subject/object/verb, and such colouring agents as adjectives and adverbs. often I surprise myself with the words I use, re-contexted selections, say, but the sentence structure takes away some of the disjunction, soothing with auto-pilot acceptance of syntax, almost. but after the period, something else happens. I have written papers, formal school thingies, and laboir some from sentence to sentence. with my poetry, I just close my eyes and go fast over the bump. I haven't any great theories about this. it has simply been my practice to get out of the way as much as I can. train the ear, train the risk taking inside me, to go with the first choice, and figure, on the run, where next to leap. my idea of surprise. I know Silliman uses some structural devices along the way, counting words and such. that would distract me, tho I can see that distraction working for you. I guess disjunction is a tool. Tim Peterson back some months wrote about that (concerning ME), that wsa useful insight.
I'll shut up soon, but not yet. I troped over to Kasey Mohammad's blog, to find this. I went goo in the eyes trying to read from the 6th word on. and gave up. okay, I'd rather write than read. I guess I have a sense of post-language, or post-modern. I've hit a few books inmy time. there just aint much need for those terms on my ranch. I wonder what the use of talking about them is. I mean as a writer. I was more intersted in Tim Peterson's response in the comments field (what we might as well call the Faville Field and have done). I saw the play in what Tim was doing, whereas KSM semed to be building a straight line. KSM is as lively a writer as is around--you can bet he wouldn't use a phrase such as 'as is around', by gum--but I couldnt/can't upload his matter here. I really don't get the point of studying this in college. what, to inculcate the minds of the next generation? let them inculcate their own minds! I may be refuting here what I said in the Hessian post. I mean about -ology, any -ology in a storm. true for tv viewing, not the real world, maybe. I find poetry largely dull and stultifying, so I welcome a visit from excitement and magic. I mean, okay, I better work on my own writing re those terms. 86,000 couplets about the Red Sox might just fill the bill...
but I should complain. David Hess mentioned me! and quoted my shitty blog, of all the. well, I can say why I had a Chomsky blog link for a while. the idea of something patently serious on a daily basis. I used to wait on the Catholic cable station for discussions, in the hope that television could actually have such. not that I am Catholic or Christian, or that theology flies my boat. I was born into the Unitarian-Universalist church, which absolves me from any religious consideration whatsoever. but late night looking for something, I'd wish that tv could supply thought processes in action. hahaha, I know, I know. but the idea that something could be out there, something of an intellectual nature, fueled me, as it did with Chomsky's blog. but anyway, if David read more perspicaciously, he'd see that the phrase 'indescribable flake' refered to Lisablog, and what I was doing was sugegsting the range of blog possibilities. as it seemeth me that David's looking for a manner for his blog. David tempers a goodly scholarly base with a full throttle directive, which is usefully energetic and pungent to read. just one more person smarter than me. have you noticed that Jonathan Mayhew is providing hsi reading list? it grows and grows, wheras I dabble and finish little. he's reading in at least 2 languages. I feel so inadequate
Henry Gould is not holding back, and there's no reason that he should. neglect is hard to measure however. Alan Sondheim and his oceans of posts quite often sounds a similar note, yet defenders come out of the walls when the knucklehead faction decry Sondheim's prolific redoubt. no, Sondheim isn't convincing in that way. tho sooth to say, I actually started blocking his emails, not out of spite but just feeling oppressed by his many posts (which I get doubled for my sharing 2 lists with him (has been as many as 4!!!)). Henry has a much stronger basis for his complaint, but I am sure there are writers out there (not on the internet, say) who could consider Henry a brand name in comparison. Henry's experiments go quite widdershins to the provoking national average and surely has been dismissed to whatever extent just on that major failing. I have no intention of talking Henry down from his limb. he is committed more fully than a lot of poets, and yes I realize the other meaning that committed can supply. Henry's larger point centres on how we read. how much cultural signs work for us. how many chummy discurive poets exist as working icons because Readership sees their work and says ah NY School. or chunky non-narrative stuff that is LANGUAGE poetry. Henry's not doing either of those things. Readership probably prefers the well worn path. I should quote some lines from the ballad Thomas the Rhymer. well, I can't quote offhand, but the Queen of Elfland says to Thomas something like, see that wide straight path? that's the road to hell, tho some call it heaven. and see that windy path all thick with thorns? that's the path to heaven. oh then there's the 3rd choice, consisting of bonnie hills and fernie braes, the path to fair Elfland. I think Readership chooses that easy path most often, and the thorny one 2nd (cursèd academic reading), but perhaps it's the Xanadu-like 3rd path that is the poet's one. I won't make any claims about Henry's writing in a big sense, and have a fairly deaf ear to any writers self claims, but will say he's doing something rare. I think Readership sees his stuff and thinks he should publish in Poetry magazine, which is just letting superficials ruin the reading. I do not think Henry is going away. how we negotiate the choosy little audience is the question for us all. I largely chose to neglect the audience, for years and years I did so, being put off by the industry involved. it all finally works out, I guess, and we get the market share we get. but market share does not equal quality of the work. and so on, blah blah Allen, time for breakfast.

Friday, October 29, 2004

you very well ought to check out this strange piece of modern Chaucer by AnnMarie Eldon. would love to hear her read it. I would recommend that she (and thee, Gentle Reader) read Ivan Argüelles, certainly Madonna Septet and Tri Loka, for similarly keen rich sound. also, both poets contrive an updating, a way of being both classical and contemporary.
good to see David Hess back 'at it'. it's not like validity comes only by blog, certes but that aint true, but he's got a good non-infantilized voice, worth hearing. one is reminded, by the bye, that life goes on even when blog posts don't. re his recent reappearance, he's looking for something to 'do' now. that's the tough job of blog, deciding what adventures to have. pro quality essays à la Ron Silliman, undefinable flake like Lisa Jarnot or what not. took me quite a while to decide this is what it is for me. I liked this comment, undercutting the tendency to leave unevaluated the 'point' at which we, and so on.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

hey Twinklebell! if you've made it, ring your bell!!!
I wonder what it would be like to be a real great writer. an edgy writer. a rockin' writer. anyone with a clue on this essential issue, please contact the proprietor of this blog. anyone with solid ideas how one could become same, please contact the proprietor of this blog twice!!! I write this on a need to know basis.
look at these as a series, they are really quite effective. implied actions, static animation.
being mainstream is not my hope. the larger point here, of why Ashbery is so popular, is of interest.
we're coming back from Somerville visit around midnight when Erin calls. just as he starts to speak, a couple of cars pass widdershins honking their horns. Beth and I guess Erin's message, that the Red Sox won. we say wow. I shriek into the phone. it's a strange and wonderful thing, and I use those words carefully. once again, pitching wins, not gaudy sluggers who disappear. I forget when Beth started saying that they were going to do it, long before I would concede the point, tho certainly I was pretty sure they Sox would win last night. I've lived here all my life. I think it wasn't until I was 15, in 1967, that the Sox recorded a winning record in my lifetime. and then the litany of grievances after that season. I never suffered it tho, never committed that desperately. 1967 was a hell of a thing, Summer of Love and Impossible Dream. the excitement of the Sox winning then covered the area, as does last night's win now. however, I don't want to go all Behrle about this. aren't athletes pampered fucks? isn't the sports industry about crap, and more crap? nice to keep that perspective. still, there's a strange release with this. we get home and goggle at the still eclipsed moon. the evening was fun and it's a lovely night. my father, who was 7 when the Red Sox last won, is in bed. the importance of this hardly reaches him. I showed him the Globe headline this morning and he nodded approvingly, but without much connection to the excitement. I guess the same goes for me. Poetics list has been rehearsing the topic of smoking bans in bars. the person who started it trumpeted the idea of tolerance, tolerance being strictly what you expect/demand from others. the world is too much with us. I'm feeling like the choice is either fake joys or fake issues. Jim Behrle can die happy because his Red Sox won the Series. good for him. I'm as middle class as they come but still, I don't want to be that bourgeois. same goes for the tolerance crank. I feel too many distracting winds blow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

mail bag

From:James Odili.
10 Martins street,Lagos Island,
Lagos state.Nigeria.


I want you cramps location. Patiently read this confidential barkeep mist after will be mutual both of us. I am James Odili solecism. I am Personal atrophy ingrate Winston Leon Fibel, a Foreigner. I used to be work with shell development Nigeria. On the 21st of my client, his wife and their three children were involved in air. Ossifying in darkness crash a local traveling in Nigeria. All passengers bored their lives.

Since then I have made several clients extended relatives. This has proved you. I contacted you claiming money left behind declared
unserviceable. The bank were this huge. Deposits lodged where my late client issued me. A notice provide the next kin money within the next twenty officials. Working days since I have unsuccessful relatives for over two years, I decided to consent to present you. As next kin of proceeds, you and me can share money.

55% to me and 35% to you, while 10% should be for documents that can be used to back up. Any need from you is your honest co-operation to enable us. See this transaction guarantee this will execute under legitimate breach of the law. If this humble you, please get me through my email, enable us further.

Note: This business is personal scope, it should be treated sane.

Best regards,
James Odili.

I don't know what New Brutalism means. Federation starcraft haven't homed in yet. Ron Silliman at the docking bay. wait a sec, what's that darkness enveloping the certain front of our discussion? oh, it's you. do you copy?
I also wonder about the surety artists have about their own work and what it is 'doing'. as if intent (even as far as one can know one's own intent) translated directly to practice.
sorry, but I hate manifestos. what's meant to sound empassioned always sounds corny. it's what Yankee fans or Red Sox fans would say. tough guy talk.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

yes yes, of course old chap, but where do you stand regarding the Red Sox, thrill of victory, agony of the curse? and I forthrightly reply, that I haven't given up on the Red Sox in simply days. I hope I can get back to my old fiery ways. poetry is such baggage in the real world.
nice to see Henry Gould's cuddly side. I have my own equivocal sense about certain targets, as in, sometimes I just want to sass, and sometimes I recognize that sass is something desperate in me. or not desperate, what the hell, but at least a strong sensation of how I am or am not somewhere. do you (meaning that happenstance of reader, also writer, here reading these 'my' words (invented clauses in sample sentences)) think that you are somewhere all the time? or even anywhere? if you were successful as a writer or poet, what would that entail, and who would you be? that's a juicy question we'd all best leave alone. Dickinson and Rimbaud said screw it, finally, the fund drives of their 'careers'. which I don't hold up as a route more efficacious than other selections, only noting an option. I'm just trying to get along, and sometimes that means snipping, sometimes it means asking huhn? sometimes it means a gleeful pointing. there are things I haven't done and won't do for my 'career', one of which is using the word 'career' without applying quotes. I sleep okay, but of course the world is too much with us all.
according to Site Metre, somebody visited R/ckets & S/ntries after searching on the phrase "incest cartoon planet". my post did indeed have all those words, but not together. I wonder what the right answer was.

Monday, October 25, 2004

I probably shouldn't out him as a reader of this blog, but Stephen Vincent sent me this attractively written url that leads to an interview he did, concerning an Africa that isn't just can you help me get the 25millions. it's also a perspective on American writing scene. and so on. thought you might....

another opportunity


REQUEST (naked on a bed) CONFIDENTIAL (between you and me, incorporated) BUSINESS (sex or party favours) RELATIONSHIP (tightly wound spring)

FIRST, I MUST SOLICIT (plans to own world) YOUR CONFIDENCE (stupid figures in) IN THIS TRANSACTION (track stars runaway). I AM A HIGH (I have a theory) PLACED OFFICIAL (someone told me) WORKING WITH THE MINISTRY (pudgy fathers) OF FINANCE (the crater in the way), HERE IN BANJUL, GAMBIA, (next stop) WEST AFRICA (end of story). MY DEPARTMENT (thud)(THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT (thud thuds)) RUNS INTO SEVERAL THOUSAND MILLIONS (sexual healing) OF DOLLARS (details) MONTHLY (trust). MYSELF (all stories implied) AND THREE OTHER COLLEAGUES (some time dead) IN THIS DEPARTMENT ARE (moment of history) CURRENTLY (trapdoor) IN NEED (motor response) OF A SILENT (death don’t have no) FOREIGN PARTNER (perfect feeder) WHOSE BANK (collision course) ACCOUNT WE CAN USE (vise grip) TO TRANSFER (impede) THE SUM (minus consideration) OF EIGHTEEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND U.S. DOLLARS (numbered talk sequence weighing). THIS FUND (trait of going) ACCRUED (lost) LEGITIMATELY (lost) BUT DISCRETELY (lost) TO US (as an imaging system) AS COMMISSION (correction unit mining) FROM FOREIGN CONTRACTS (general guidelines), THROUGH OUR PRIVATE (noise function) CONNECTIONS (renegade). THE FUND (pool of bring) IS PRESENTLY (honest remonstrance) WAITING (time pierce) TO BE REMITTED (war event) BY OUR (my) OFFSHORE (in swimming) FUNDS MANAGERS (plastic division) TO ANY FOREIGN (poor) BENEFICIARY (lost world) SUBMITTED BY US (step dance) TO THEM (under) AS THE RECEIVER (referent) OF THE FUND (means).

HOWEVER (or else), BY VIRTUE (travesty incline) OF OUR POSITIONS (naming names) AS CIVIL (slightly) SERVANTS (pressed rat) IN OUR COUNTRY (hole account), WE CANNOT ACQUIRE (deserve) THIS MONEY (moon) IN OUR NAMES (breakers). BECAUSE (sand pit) AS HIGH PLACED (meaning) CIVIL SERVANTS (crusty givens), WE ARE NOT (are) ALLOWED (will) BY THE CIVIL SERVICE (moonbeams) CODE (referring web sites) OF CONDUCT (clucking sounds) TO OWN (vanquish) OR OPERATE (vanquish) BANK (vanquish) ACCOUNTS (no no no) OUTSIDE (inert) OF OUR (owned) SHORES (possible). ON THE OTHER (distance instant) HAND (plying region), IT IS NOT (owning) SAFE (render) FOR US (turns of being careful) TO KEEP (plate tectonics) THE MONEY (heroism) HERE (ours) DUE TO OUR (here) UNSTABLE (useful) POLITICAL (useful) ENVIRONMENT (useful). I (the world larger) HAVE BEEN DELEGATED (trusted pinch of nerve) AS A MATTER OF TRUST (pinching sound) BY MY COLLEAGUES (miss me when I’m gone), TO LOOK (sort) FOR AN OVERSEAS (beginninglessness) SILENT (death don’t have no) PARTNER (mercy) IN WHOSE ACCOUNT (moaning night) WE (moaning) WOULD TRANSFER (read this here) THE US$18,500,000.00 (choppy thought) FOR MUTUAL (save the time) BENEFIT (loss world), HENCE (loath├Ęd melancholy) THE REASON (brush with breath) FOR THIS EMAIL (direly).

WHAT I AM REQUESTING (stellar rebuttal) FROM YOU (down the tube) IS (will be): (1) TO BE OUR SILENT (death like) PARTNER (crutch) AND RECEIVE (lose) THE FUNDS (draining sound) IN YOUR (loss) ACCOUNT (loss) IN TRUST (loss). (2) PROVIDE (lose) A BANK (lose) ACCOUNT (lose) UNDER (lose) YOUR (lose) CONTROL (lose) TO WHICH THE FUNDS (losing) WILL BE REMITTED (Lost). (3)RECEIVE (damage) THE FUNDS (damage) IN YOUR (damage) ACCOUNT (damage), TAKE OUT YOUR COMMISSION (dissatisfying erectile performance) AND KEEP THE REST (deeded debt) OF THE MONEY (erected semaphore) UNTIL I (endless) ARRIVE THERE TO MEET YOU (ending here) AFTER (losing streak) THE TRANSFER IS COMPLETED (fine). OUR PROPOSAL (retch) IS THAT AFTER YOU RECEIVE (lose) THE FUNDS (drive), IT WOULD BE SHARED (lost) AS FOLLOWS: (1) 20% TO YOU (me) AS COMMISSION (loss), WHILE THE REMAINING 80% BELONGS TO MYSELF (time share) AND THE TWO COLLEAGUES (convict) HERE (gone). YOU WILL BE FREE (ended) TO TAKE OUT (lose) YOUR (my) COMMISSION (hole) IMMEDIATELY (garishly) AFTER THE FUNDS HIT (debt mark) YOUR ACCOUNT (looser). SINCE OUR OBJECTIVE (dialing in) IS TO INVEST (bite) THE MONEY (qwerty) IN A FOREIGN (control) COUNTRY (waxiness), IT WOULD BE APPRECIATED (biting fever) IF YOU CAN ALSO HELP (provoke the term limits) US TO INVEST (smearing) OUR OWN MONEY (caulking) INTO PROFITABLE (endless life) VENTURES (squeeze) IN YOUR COUNTRY (helplessness).

HOWEVER, THIS IS OPTIONAL (ending name), AND SHOULD IT NOT BE CONVENIENT (slice of life) FOR YOU TO FURTHER (catch) ASSIST US (bend) WITH INVESTING THE MONEY (sacramental doggy style), WE CAN END OUR COOPERATION (fluff) AFTER YOU HAND (cease and desist) OVER TO US OUR (world view) PERCENTAGE OF THE MONEY (dating process).

THE TRANSACTION, ALTHOUGH DISCRETE (isolated incident), IS LEGITIMATE (parsing fame) AND THE MONEY (goo) WILL BE TRANSFERRED (shadow government) TO YOUR ACCOUNT (flicking) WITH ALL NECESSARY (here’s my card) BACK-UP (flush) DOCUMENTS (pound sign) SHOWING LEGITIMATE (delicate) SOURCE/ORIGIN (swamp noise) OF FUND. THE TRANSFER WILL BE EFFECTED TO YOUR ACCOUNT (sinking island) WITHIN SEVEN (battling) WORKING (loss) DAY AS SOON AS WE REACH (knife sound) AN AGREEMENT (purchase) AND YOU FURNISH ME (fence) WITH A SUITABLE (posture) BANK ACCOUNT (septic tank) FOR RECEIVING THE MONEY. I PLEAD (kill) WITH YOU (killed) ON ONE ISSUE (death), WHETHER (life) YOU ARE INTERESTED (alive) OR NOT (dead), KINDLY (forcefully) DO NOT EXPOSE THIS INFORMATION (deadbeat dad) TO ANY ONE (mothering) ELSE (end). I CONFIRM (upon the meeting of rivers) THAT THE TRANSACTION (tribal rite) IS LEGITIMATE (colouring haze) AND WITHOUT ANY RISKS (screw) EITHER TO OURSELVES (equal, that is, to the thing itself) OR YOURSELF (patient). PLEASE, GIVE ME (fondle) YOUR RESPONSE (endgame) IMMEDIATELY (term) BY RETURN (death smile) MAIL WHILE KEEPING (losing) EVERYTHING CONFIDENTIAL (smirking poise).



Sunday, October 24, 2004

I'm afraid Jack Kimball is right again. the blog of Maggie Zurawski is nifty: thus. LANGUAGE poets as nature poets is a neat observation.

mail call

Dear Coney,

I make this contract
with good fathom
my name Mr Abdul
Usman I me
personal accounting
office toward
Mr. Frank
Corey nation
of your
country who used
work with
Hell development
company Nigeria He
rein after shall
refer my

21 April
client wifes three
involved a
car accident
along sagbama
express All occupants of
unfortunately lost lives Since
I have several

embassy clients
extended unsuccessful

After several unsuccessful
trace his surname
any member his
family hence I
contact you I
you to assist

in departing money
property left behind
by my unserviceable
bank where this huge

deposits were lodged

Particular Bank
deceased an account
valued at about
12.5 million
dollars as issued
notice as accounting

officer to provide
next of account

within the next
working days

Since I have
unsuccessful relatives
for over 2

now I seek
your present
as the next kin of

since you have
surname that
proceeds of this

account valued at
paid you then

and me can share















I have all necessary legal documents that we may make. I require your honest deal through. I guarantee this will be executed. a legitimate arrangement will protect you from any beach. Please touch me by email or my alternate.

Best regards,

Mr. Abdul usman
just to note that John Latta's prose has a little of the sound of Edward Dahlberg's.
I have, if you haven't grokked, been messing with spam. those letters mostly from Africa, one nation or another, simultaneously pleas for help and sly temptations. the presistence of that bit amazes me. I suppose some are legitimate scam, some are copycat fun, and for all I know, some might be for real. there's an intimacy to the letters that strikes me. I guess what I do, I take their structure and try to work other meanings or intentions in. it's a good exercise for me. I don't brag of the cleverness of the missives I produce. like any module for writing, the bit can wear out. the exercise makes me look at structure and tone. I aim to be faithful, in some sense, to the original, yet free to make my own choices. if anyone reads one of mine and decides to send me 25 million bucks, all the better.
I agree with Hammerin' Hank Gould about Keats: "Keats was the one who found a balance - an equilibrium - between tradition & origination; Keats was the one who bested Milton, not through Vision (Blake) & not through Wisdom (Wordsworth) but through sheer Lyric (music)". all the Romantics seem to be on stage, but Keats had an earnest awareness of his poetic persona, plus a perfect trust in his mythic vision. sure, he failed as much as anyone, clumsy juvenalia, but he was always securely in a poetic tradition. he wasn't making it up.