Saturday, January 15, 2005

Friday, January 14, 2005

it took quite a while to diddle up the flarfy Lohan piece yesterday. I know it's not technique like metre is, but it is working within a sensibility if not a format. I was, obviously, using found phrases, phrases I more or less sought, that would fit my 'idea'. writing thus rather than a point A to point B ride. I would like to read deeply but weariness and distraction don't allow it. flarf makes use of the superficial, which is where I am at this time. some years ago I wrote a story about Jennifer Love Hewitt meeting Satan, back when she was dating that Carson guy on Empty V. it was important that I 'have my facts straight' re JLH. I did similar with Lindsay Lohan. so searches, searches. into the belly of the beast, really. with JLH, it ws either pix or promo, little bio. I found lots more gossip wih LL, and bio, along with the other crap. aside from a biography of Grover Cleveland Alexander (the pitcher) that I'll never do, I've always wanted to do a bio of some 2nd rate celeb. with the facts straight, however funny my approach might be.
of such a continuing tiredness that I am not getting much read, nor writing a lot. my reading is of this and that, unfocussed, wishing I could read in depth b ut n ot just now. Davenport's stories, Pisan Cantos, Kora in Hell and Spring & All, Stephen Vincent's Walking (the book), Geshe Somebody's reading of the Heart Sutra. I gave myself a pretty good reading foundation after I left school. now I'm kinda withdrawing from that foundation (various senses possible in that phrase), not making deposits. which sounds like Paulo Freire but anyway. Steve Tills lists in teeny font the books he's wrassling with lately. I hope to hear more about his reading. even if I myself aint worth a damn as a reader currently.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Almost everyone has, at some point in their life, read about when Lindsay Lohan at age 7 got to dress as garbage. well, a Poet is distinguished by the fact that she is a profound, well-written, wisdom-packed recording with the power to transform the way we think about things. I mean you have Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake hitting people now to indicate a certain degree of snobbishness. Lindsay is a lot like great teachers; the really great ones don't come along as often as we'd like since there is no apparent reason why authors should write anything else. the so-so ones make us work hard at their poems. The great ones lack coherence and are avant-garde for the sake of being avant-garde. Lindsay Lohan means well, mixing passages of easy verse with otherwise complex poetry. Lindsay has the advantage over great books that tend to be much, much shorter than she is. So short that, in many cases, they learn that our apartment complex has chef and maid services. It's just a matter of finding the "missing key". But Lindsay the first redheaded child ever signed by the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency is not a book or poem, nor even an electrical current. SHe juggles this horrible foot that was swelling with blood. She has a job, and a family, and they are broken largely according to conventional breath pauses. All of the elements of the poem are constructed of limited free time in which to read poetry. Because writing 'difficult' poems that 'just turn out that way' are, after all, much easier to write than poems which say something (perhaps something difficult), and say it well, with attention to the beauty of sound, and phrasing, and form. if you scream over and over again at the top of your lungs for a few minutes you end up writing easy poetry in long, sustained stretches. For this reason a small number of easy poems tend to fill Lindsay Lohan.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

good racial issue of Onion this week ("Racial Harmony Achieved By Casting Of Black Actor As Teen Computer Whiz") but I especially like this line: "I will prepare for you a romantic meal comprised of succulent lobster from the finest sea". I suppose it is flarfy. I like the arabesque of its intention.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

tell me about poetry's clarity

my father got lost yesterday, not for the 1st time. he didn't know where he was. he wants to return to his home in Cambridge, that he left so long ago. he recognized me as someone he knows but the concept of son escaped him. he rose several times in the night ready to get up. I rushed out of bed when I heard the front door open at 5:30 am. my father was looking out the door. he wanted to determine if it was time to get up, if it was morning. he suffers from a common disturbance among the elderly called sundowning. you can't tell him that it is night even with the darkness outside. I try to explain where he is but he just doesn't get it. he feels adrift and lost. then in the afternoon, he's back. he even felt as if he had been somewhere. and he was glad he was back. happy to see me and Beth and Erin, the cat and the dog.
clarity is a pretty excellent word. it says so much, and so clearly. it is like every effort brought into focus. it's the way words are so exact, and so are people. clarity is statement. the fewest words is no words. let's all try it at home!

Monday, January 10, 2005

my problem is that I didn't know Davenport's politics in reading him, so I kinda just stuck with the texts at hand. where did Silliman get the idea that Davenport was drawn to Pound's politics rather than Pound's poetics? I never got that impression from my reading of Davenport. I don't trust Silliman here. I don't feel Silliman has investigated his reactions towards Davenport deeply or honestly enough to lay his dislike for Davenport to Davenport's politics. it doesnt ring true. it doesn't ring true.
Tom Beckett returns with a new blog. Tom Does Interview. The Difficulties, which he edited, really helped me to come to grips with LANGUAGE poetry. I have issues dedicated to Bernstein, Susan Howe, Bromige and, for some reason, 2 copies of the Silliman issue. I remember being so excited by the Silliman issue that I got one for a friend. recommended blog, even with just one entry on it.

exhibit A Posted by Hello
Erin's fundraiser yesterday. it was Erin's idea, and him and his friend Orion did much of the prep for and running of it. certes I never did anything the like at the age, nor even conceived doing. don't ask the town to participate!. looking for a place to stage the thing. we didn't even ask about the space that our homeschool cooperative rents, as that organization is hardening into a school, and the word liability is a constant chorus. the place where Erin and his friends take karate was happy to provide the space. the head librarian was supportive, and an event probably can occur there, but she had to okay it with library trustees, so couldn't fit our rush schedule. Erin and his friends wanted to do one of these right away. they are already psyched about the next one. what it came down to is 16 kids (boys) gathering to play Magic cards. Erin paid for snacks and some small prizes. we didn't work hard scrounging for that sort of stuff. one time when I was working for the wine store a caller asked for freebies. Harvard Business School was doing a reunion dinner of some such. the caller wanted the store to supply the wine. he stated, as an attraction, that the participants represented a demographically exciting group. Harvard B School demographically exciting? demographically cheap, maybe. anyway (not anyhoo) $270 was collected for UNICEF, which Beth and Erin decided was the best place for the funds. I was pleased that the participants were interested in the sum collected, despite the distraction of Magic Card Fever. one of Erin's friends will set up a web site for the next event, and the scale will be much bigger. I took a lot of pictures. the karate studio has mirrors on three walls, so I couldn't resist taking shots with arty angles and reflections that would not be useful on the website or local newspaper article. hum dum de dum. I am not the least bit a gamer of any sort. these card games make my eyes cross. the rules are somewhat fluid, as new cards with new abilities constantly appear. the more you spend on cards the better player you can be, which is an American analogue, I should think. a feverish collector's interest rides with the gaming interest. these games seem to appeal exclusively to the Y chromosome. I don't infer that the game itself is especially for boys but the culture that attaches is kinda thick. anyway (not anyhoo) it's good to get some awareness going at this age. rather than build 20 year olds looking to kick Saddam's personal ass. a mental grip, that is, on a world that isn't a movie starring Rambo.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Seize Song 10: Hope You Ride.

blog version
sometimes I don't feel like a poet IN ANY GENERALLY ACCEPTED WAY, but then I notice that the word front can change things. radicalize.
"everybody wants prosthetic foreheads on their real heads"--They Might Be Giants.
Joan Houlihan, the name rings a bell. it's the sort of bell you hear in a clumpy sort of landscape. you walk along, say, and suddenly, amidst a reverie of trees, you hear this bell. could the bell be friendly? could any bell be friendly??? of course you realize that bells can't be friendly in any generally accepted way. bells are just bells. they can't be rung by names, either. so I guess, really, the name Joan Houlihan rings no bell. a shame, I suppose.