Saturday, January 22, 2005

a couple more bits to Seize Song, either at my world renowned site or try the blog link to the right. please enjoy, but for god's sake, dont' all rush there at once!
Jeff Harrison alerted me that Wood's Lot has Strindberg links (permanent link didna work). I still confuse Strindberg with Ibsen, but I have read some Strindberg, and enjoyed him. I should put Wood's Lot on my mighty links list, as it is full of resources. why I haven't: I'm not able to make good use of internet resources, being as I don't read off the screen well. but this is a superiour blog and I should just work harder at the screen reading thing.
so anyway, I got accepted to the masters program at Lesley University. long strange trip? out of high school I went to an experimental and/or hippie institution: Franconia College. I was motivated as a writer and I didn't go to pot, so to speak, so the situation was good for me. I stayed 2 years. 30 years later the idea arises to finish off the degree. Lesley accepted both me and my credits, tho, since Francionia is like totally defunct, I had to get confirmation from the then Dean at Franconia, Leon Botstein, now dean at Bard College, that my pass/fail passes were C or better. then swirled around in the adult learner's process, whoop whoop. writing formal papers was the challenge, as I hadn't written anything formal since 11th grade. I didn't study literature, I've been doing that for 30 plus years. so now a masters, eh? I'm doing an independent study. it's only later in life that I've come to looking at my artistic process. before, such a consideration would've stricken me, made me self-conscious. I can handle it now, and usefully.
8 below when I got up this morn but 10 degrees warmer just now taking the dog out. the Bramhall Bunker is located in the basement, which gets a little chilly, especially as I'm not cranking the BTUs as I sit here. but I'm a gamer, tho dull weary in the head. as evidenced by this post.

Friday, January 21, 2005

this is a good exchange, and I could add huffy Henry's scattershot to the brew of opinion, and that midwest Hessian from the other side. I found I kinda hate listserv exchanges because there's such a definition involved. sides taken. aesthetic choice is not truth in the sense of a wide ranging answer. I don't know by what means one can circle Keats and Stein together as poets, or Dickinson and Olson, or name your dyad, but one can, I know I have. and that's interesting and affirming. I have to remind myself that X isn't BAD poetry but that to which I cannot connect (not to deny that crap exists). I came to poetry as a real foreigner, so that Keats and Olson were equally and simultaneously strange and new to me, as I made my study of poetry. I like to hear from 'the other side', for that might be, after all, my side.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ron Silliman will be selfishly hors de blogosphere for the coming week, leaving Curtis Faville nowhere to park. if anyone out there can 'do' Silliman, please get in touch with Curtis so that he can have a place to comment in. as an act of, you know, kindness.


How To Recognize If A Poetry Reading Is Imminent
1. there is a sharp rise or fall in sea level
2. all birds vacate the area
3. the ocean turns a very dark brown

How To Protect Your Home From A Poetry Reading
1. turn off hot water heater
2. unplug all appliances and open the stove
3. tape toilet seat shut
4. dampen floors with garden hose

How To Survive A Poetry Reading
1. seek shelter when the day is half over
2. rub bat guano on your skin to protect it from bites
3. drink alcohol for warmth
4. remain still to conserve heat until the reading subsides
5. if you are not in danger, simply surrender your belongings
6. scream loudly and perform animated, martial arts style kicks in the air
7. wet your pants, or, if you can't do that, drool saliva down your chin
8. avoid wearing shiny jewelry
9. stay near groups of other poets

How To Minimize Discomfort From Poetry Reading
1. suck on a pebble
2. breathe thru your mouth
3. flex your tongue

How To Win A Poetry Slam
1. make steady, quick blows up and down and left and right with the text.
2. raise the text behind your head and lunge at your opponent
3. slowly and confidently stab at your opponent with up and down movements

How To Help After A Poetry Reading
1. do not extinguish any fires
2. do not begin to clean up before the area has been surveyed
3. turn off the water main
4. wearing long pants and boots, begin to clean up dangerous spills
5. assist any injured people

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

John Latta mentioned Otis Spann today. I went to see Muddy Waters in I'm guessing 68 at Club 47 in Harvard Sq. Muddy was indisposd that evening, so Otis took over the singing. I understood Otis to be Muddy's cousin, but maybe that was an honourary designation. there was a glamour to the setting, and seeing these old guys kick it up. Club 47 held about 140 legally, and did its best to exceed legality. I remember the pungent smoke hanging heavily. I wish I'd seen Muddy. Howlin' Wolf used to play there too. I saw Buddy Guy there. Hendrix was in the air at the time. Buddy looked conservative but he was playing the guitar behind his back and with his tie and one handed, whooping and wow. holy shit! my brothers talk of seeing the Butterfield Band in that club, sonic thunder in such a small room. I never saw the folkies that came thru, like Dylan et al. nor interested, then or now. that is, not interested much in Dylan. tho he has written some good songs, I've never been pulled in. Silliman has a couple of posts on Dylan and Dylan's autobiography. I don't perceive excitement on Ron's part for Dylan, more like a nod to Dylan's cultural impact. John Lennon once remarked about Dylan, that Dylan never got any better on the harmonica. that seems like a funny criticism, but don't you wonder why he never went beyond in-and-out huffing?

Antic Menagerie

1) a poetry of ordinary elephant. as big an ear as larger than other things. the trunk is the knowing, and can squirt too! the feet are like things that are often similar, hoofs of big enough. wrinkly grey skin, good for being an elephant. look in the elephant eyes and see elephant eyes, just like that! the elephant weighs more than your average, but you knew that. the movie was excellent!!!

2) spotted neck portion is as tall as most giraffes. really bears down to tall. chews food, definitely eats things. horn things there for whatever. when you bring home a giraffe, you've brought home something. when you bring home two, you've outdone yourself!

3) oak tree as tall as Robert Bly thought. look at the fact that the green leaves are like greener than other things less green. and this is breathing! he might use a pen, might use a typewriter, might try a computer, just to get on down the words in situation. roams he the places where he can go, to throw light on what he lately got to think. remember: he got to translate Spanish! he is friends with other people, almost all the time, or so I hear.

4) a dog has ears and loves to run the way they do. if they ran another way, it would be other than dog. it's true that some dogs are a little like the rocks that aren't that big. it is also true that some rocks are as big as large dogs. furthermore, dogs pee where they consider the most efficacious, altho long words bother dogs. still, my dog is excellent in regards when I feed him, there he is. he chases the cat sometimes, but it's okay.

5) poetry of cat? might try. mine likes catfood, standing well to reason. with stripes and catlike grace, walks like fog into Chicago, you would think. or you would after a time spent reading about how you can do anything. my cat will be as silly as yours,of course, and we're all together on this front. he likes to look out the window particular.

5) squirrels were deadly maybe in the other days, but today they are grey, or brown, or black, or so. they flip from trees, eat a lot of when they can, and you think how like rats are rodents. do you have a squirrel in a tree? never! a squirrel is a thing when you look out there sometimes, altho but you never have one. they're just too fast if that's a fact.

6) Robert Lowell got over it in time to die pretty much. we didn't have to agree with him, but it happens that poetry can be anytime. some of it is like how you think of language on the top of books,then open the book, and see the deeper part. Robert Lowell was like that, tho you have to be ready for it.

6) take a kangaroo as a blurry instant. blurry because of hind legs that consider each step a leap in spots of easy diagrams. a sentence could work its way out, hopping to and fro like you have a season. the kangaroo is a basic wallop, likely unshared but possibly there's a point in time. a phrase that Darwin posed upon the beaches or the rocky cleft, desperate only inside a minute quantity before examining the next step. it's a great, muscular leap, that's what it is. great kangaroo moment that will do a good in school. choose a marsupial exam paper as a test of poetry's heap. then, with only your hind legs poised, go over, over, over.

7) ants eat things too, eat them a lot! were ever you considerable with your fancy mandible the size of the words it takes to say so? ants were and are, every day and then some. the ant is mightier by diagram and by assumption of polity where size means a map has to excuse the smaller places. which leg of yours really compares with six like an ant? and the language touching antennae, just so radiant in the beginning of looking at them right to the end. when a poem counts as an ant, you have a machine at work! and work can be your machine, your poem out of poetry's hole, to the bottom of any ant.

8) your average bird, say robin, like a bull controlled by wings. altho a robin doesn't plan to chase Farmer Brown to the commission of détente, but it could be a pleasure to grasp a branch with your talon-like words or word-like talons, even if winter winds blow frore thru your vocabulary. loosen the transition between here and there among your words. flight is a line of thinking, as bold robins make sure that more robins fill the spaces. poetry sometimes leaves a poem, which is practically a given for the force of using what we know. if we knew all bird things, like a robin might, our language would push thru just so. the cat sits in the window because the robins flap about outside.
the piece below, Poet At, came out of my 'understanding' of this by Tim Peterson. for me a matter of tone, which I guess is attack, not so much method as attitude. I wrote another piece thusly inspired, that I will post here as well, I'm feeling lavish with my genius!!! but really, just experimenting. I like being told what to do, altho I've never enjoyed my experiments with metre. which proved too concerned with puzzling the the form rather than, you know, writing. I admire those who can work within metric boundaries, and take seriously the promulgations (if that lug nut is the right word) of Mike Snider and Henry Gould concerning such. note that I've messed with flarf, and the comp exercises that Jack Kimball bespeaks. just throwing spaghetti on the wall, seeing if anyone will salute.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Poet At (sum useful advice)

1. poetry's effective as a way to write poems. there's no set way to write poems but poetry is a good start. you have language, more than likely, and all fired up a lot of times, but not always. you practice the idea that each word goes next. when you've gotten that down to a science, tho it's an art, you can take on longer pieces that will cover your career at it. each poem is home work of the best kind. you put together all your experience then say it like you can. or if you can't, that's fair game too and you should try, try, try! some poems aren't as much poetry as they could be something. like, you don't always hit the nail squarely, with poetry. often, you read something and it is somewhere else. try using a different title, and dedicate it to a friend. natural poetry comes in many trees, or flowers too, and so forth, so be alert. love is in the air. it's all really ripe for rendering as a poem that will be from the poetry of the world. if you can do this, you are a poet. welcome Poet to the world!!!


3. poems become poetry at the drop of a hat, but not just any hat. the favour of a hat will be your cue. steep inside the very word choice along the lines of the poetry you know exists. the poets of poetry release a special gas and forth, like when you suddenly expect the expected in your time. but then it allocates a better way, right before your eye. you've been there in a trice, worked a skill that isn't there, and bent the beam of light. I'll never forget the first poem, and the last. and so should you. it isn't even about poems all the time, but the poetry that fits the scale. you last for minutes in a moment, each petal of the flower turning brown in your eyes,and that's a nifty sentiment besides. so really, keep the plan extended, for poetry's on the way!

4. how does the metre of arrangement make the poem? add poetry by the gob. you see, it all frames inside the tactic of relative sound or look about the thing itself. a poem wants a work habit, like all of us. and such is hence, when we get down to biz. it's like you sound not completely. you're on and off, after all, and merriment isn't full of us particularly. so let the practice ask a question hereabouts, that metre of your mind that sits upon the reading. did you say John Donne in the quiet of an afternoon, three blocks down from a noisy television? then you might relent to the feathery pulse or not. had you scheduled a football game retreat at such and such, without the bass for rhythm, maybe this is free verse in the very day we have. it doesn't have to be a rule of thumb, for which thumb is better than what not as we look about the room? but not a continual drag on the economy either. metre is the making of a time of poems. your simplicity matches the gas that you use in the chariot that you drive or wish you had a handle on the moment here and now. is that what you mean? why not let it in?

5. I realize I have a lot to give as a writer and poet. I've been trench and distance for lots of time,and sometimes that time has not been marked. so I can offer abutment by which you can slap a few frenzies in place. when you get sleepy, you can murmur something unexpected from the hall. I think a match of articles works, and a sentence such as what they claim is all right. but then I can be honest enough to say whatever pond has fish, that's the one to try.

6. season of mist and mellow fruitfulness is pretty useless if you have a cold, but otherwise is as good as giving it a try.

7. in about the time it takes a poem, it does after all.

8. your town probably doesn't have poetry embarkation, few towns do. even cities are specious in the arrival of such a thinking thru and thru. each dose of ready made alert of language for the nonce continues a sagging marketplace but honestly not a spot. the escutcheon doesn't dream the theory but scoops out classes of membership benefits. tropical storms fit season to a glove, but you needn't scan the weather reports for your only rapt attention. take a vocabulary trip to something else! please! that business about wheelbarrows could be misplaced at this time. face it: your town, most likely, as striven on another raid. use a different voice instead, lifting words from where they were. the present is a situation, so much as words can know.

9. downhill from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, perhaps a sweaty mark of prop. a special hat or at the brink or once there was a kinship or a bunch of things that aren't so rivaled. maybe making a train of candid stuff to pull, last lyric sheet before the tunneled lowdown. you can say gosh, or even more, if that's the way you're in! you have control of all baubles, and the implication of the language inside them!

10. Brad Pitt as naked as you will ever see him! perhaps that's not poetry, or the likelihood of poem, but you can try anything once. freshets make poems, we've all heard. why couldn't Brad Pitt, with or without Jennifer Anniston--erstwhile wife and person of a realm--as well? so the beginning allays the end, somewhat. each word leads something, if language wants lines of something for us. if not, there's always the picture left behind.

11. take a poem from the front door and settle it with as much as you have left.

12. delinquency among poets doesn't work. you've got to sing across the street to the mailbox, and, in returning with regret, you've still got to carry the tune. each effort culls a word from the flock of outside management. a big book by Emily Dickinson, her editor, and the trustees of Harvard, maintains a strict comportment for you and the fleet. those boats will bang among the waves, driven to a journey or jug, and become written right in. you may not have so much as that carriage, but in minority and microcosm you could assert a suit. a special sense of frond particularly becomes you. and you it.

13. remember that hints and suggestions are the where to go. say you know someone who can offer same. it's possible, like ability. listen to these cracks in the guard, or read them if that applies. get the point across or be reached by the point. trails offer places, and place makes the start. sentences always need beginnings, never lack the need. and periods end them with satisfaction, like an idea has a limit for home. listen to someone, even if they are anyone. then, without superfluity or the like, try your own trading method. you can't hamper a poem. it is too busy hampering you.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Stephen Vincent's poetry settles in diurnal rhythm. picturesque, I think, is the right word. of course the point is not to write about someone else, it's to write about ME. still, Stephen has a walking rhythm, most evident in the two series: Walking Theory and Crossing the Millennium, which are both growing on his blog. aside from specific daily walk about poems, his book, Walking, has a lot of poems, 'set' in Africa, that have a notational approach that I equate with a daily sort of noticing, albeit exotic in its provencance. my writing is less calm than SV's, for it is often written, or ridden, quickly. I see SV pondering as he walks, maybe even making lines in his head. reminded of Nathan Whiting (I think his name is). Ron Silliman mentioned him recently. NW is a poet I've read in Michael Lally's None Of The Above anthology (and nowhere else). Whiting's poetry situated in the running he did. in my high mileage days I wrote quite a bit in such way. reliving the run. for distance running creates a slow projector for a running movie: you thru the streets and pathways. inside such running you are aware of the event before you, the unwinding movie. that sensibility stayed with me even if the poetry writ that way wasn't so special. SV has found a way to incorporate his walking with his writing. finding a meditative place. for time and event rush, dont they? currently I am weary, not writing well. I had to tell my father today that his sister was dead these 10 years. he'd forgotten, and was greatly saddened by the news. in witnessing my father's memory loss, I'm thinking of the streaming event which nonetheless throws up chunks of memory, the things that stay. anything can be important, or perhaps, everything is. SV, then, placing his gaze generally, and generously. I see this as well, differently, in Silliman's work, the strangely effervescent detail. my own work goes at a speed that, maybe I am kidding myself, maybe I am missing things. I depend a lot on the serial motive, how my vocabulary, by the reiteration of its 'use', and of my interests, clapping on to the exciting factor, how in working within these I see develope a Poetry. is this lazy of me? overconfident? naive? I suppose those questions don't matter, I'm just winging it. that's okay aint it? I'm trying to meditate daily, trying to see better. it is good example for me to see a meditative element in other writers. I mean sure, let the aliens or the Eternal Authours write the words, but consider what they gave and how it might mean in me. that's the work cut out for me.