Saturday, May 21, 2005
just saw a production of Much Ado About Nothing, performed by the homeschool cooperative to which Erin belongs. he wasn't in it. they did Winter Tale last year, a decent production but a comparatively dull play. Much Ado is a better play. the leads were all excellent, not only having their lines but reading them with flair. they were all teenagers. the intermix of young kids with older is interesting. and more girls than boys so girls take lot of the male roles. I was most impressed with the boy who played Leonato. he's 8 years old and has trouble focusing. the play must have been good for him, for he really got into the role. he put lots of energy into his lines, even an accent. it was neat to see him perform with such confidence, because he has appeared at times such a worried youngster. I can just see him at home declaiming his lines.
Nada Gordon gets cut by Perloff, Gary Sullivan receives a Bruce Andrews slight. pretty tacky business. I was introduced to Bruce Andrews a few years ago and he gave me some attitude as well. the old gunslinger. I surely did not approach him that way. I don't know what to make of these modest contretemps. I suppose Perloff's academic position necessitates a regal bearing, maybe, and that the Diomedes of the LANGUAGE poets is surly makes some sense. but still. I met Ashbery years ago and he was gracious, much more so than I expected from his poetry.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
it's fun going thru my books, see the panoply. Ohio must be a hotbed what with Tom Beckett (The Difficulties, Interventions), John Byrum (Generator Press) and John Bennett (Lost and Found Time) all having produced quite a stream of mags, aside from their own work. kudos to the late Leland Hickman for the exceptional production values of the 10 issues of Temblor. I'm guessing I'll have 800 titles listen by the time I'm done
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
I dunno why I am listing my poetry books at Ex Poetical. I have a practical reason to have such a list: I keep misplacing books. George Butterick managed to create a list of Olson's reading, which is informative and interesting. I've seen the which of other writers. I dont think my list is so revelatory that way, especially as it is incomplete. books I was given, books bought sight unseen, etc, the list is not so dull as to reveal my taste exactly. up till mid-late 90s I bought and supported pretty well. but money ran low and I slid into other book directions so that I barely bought po books. I'm much more selective now. I still have a ton yet to list
just looked out the window to see a coyote skip thru. pretty sure it is not fox. coyotes, I believe, are more doggish than foxes, which are more cattish. long ago I was running thru the woods when I jammed my ankle. common occurence, but I yelped and fussed. then I looked up to see a fox. it just looked at me curiously for a moment, checking me out, then it started to slink away. I whistled at it, and it turned to look at me again. our little moment. the coyote looked kinda yellowish but, as I said, not foxlike. our cat's sibling is out there somewhere. several years ago we heard caterwauling. I looked out the window and saw a cat yowling at me. Beth at the door called me. there we saw both the cat and a kitten. the kitten immediately ran towards us and the cat ran away. here's your new cat. barely a handful in size. took him a while to accept us, he spent the night under the steps for a couple weeks, but happily ate whatever food we offered. eventually he adopted us. and has zero interest in going out which, in light of owls, coyote, hawks and rabbits with great nasty teeth, was our plan. a brother who looks like him roams hereabouts. whether or not he has permanent sleeping arrangements, he at least looks like he's eating well.
I was reading from Locale by Jessica Grim last night. I meant no disrespect to her when I snided about Ron Silliman's blurb. Gary Sullivan's point about blurbs, that they will be read by those who will read them, essentially, as in: they mean to meet a circuscribed audience: I think it is an apt point. Jessica Grim's work represents just one 21th century. you think of the 20th century and might posit Stein, Pound, Zukofsky, Olson, Ginsberg perhaps as definitive threads in the century's letters. which list betrays anglocentrism but that aside, it's something of a parlour game, one that seems unneeded. Grim's writing, then, reveals (slowly) a hermetic flakiness. her work is doggeddly to the point yet doesn't flourish in a way that is obvious. her effects are not like Niedecker or Zukofsky but she shows a similiar careful restraint in production. her poems have a chipped away sense to them, not expansive. I would locate her as somewhat affected by Williams. perhaps it is me, for sometimes I can be dense, but her lines don't always seem musically strong. she likes the possibility of enjambment, but her endlines also often offer a full stop feel (she uses little punctuation, almost randomly). the score is confusing, but as I said, maybe I'm dense. she might be, like Michael Gizzi, a poet whose work comes better to light once one has heard it read aloud. this book is absoltively all I've read by her. it made me think of Jeff Harrison's work, tho his is located in a weird pre-post 18th century literary landscape that adds an exotic sheen to his procedures. there's a lot of muscle in both writers' work.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
I almost wrote to Gary Sullivan (he invites it (not missives from me specifically) in the post I mention below), then realized that I got nothing weighty to say. still, I note the insularity of po world, which is just dumb ass. it's no rule that I know of, and I never signed the contract. Olson absorbed from a lot of disciplines, not just the poemic community. and furthermore he's writing letters to the newspapers urging locals to notice their local and its touch to the rest of the world. he wasn't exemplar of academic code world, however dense one might find his writings. you could list further examples (Allen Ginsberg and (then) Leroi Jones on the MERV GRIFFIN SHOW!!!). I'm a fine one to talk, with my dedication to introversion. but I haven't bit on the code hook. I write seriously about writing here, and am intentionally slangy and flippant in the process. that's the best I can do to offset the coding. I'm fighting my own insularity by doing this blog, rushing things into online exhibition, and such acts of 'publishing'. I never went thru the kind of education that Laura Carter often winces about which, for all its respectable rigours, often sounds like a mere restriction of the interesting part of the poet. blog space kinda invites an I'm okay/you're okay/they're outside the ball sensibility, for all the word community gets slung about. the boundaries set at least are leaky, which fact is worth celebrating. going back to my initial comments on Gary's comic, I liked the blurring of boundaries that I inferred in its pages. and the comic sellers I guess aren't too fussy on the boundaries either. I remember quite a while ago getting nervous about SPD's categories, as if they were thinking: we'll sell these books to gays, these to Asians, these to women. as if splintering the market would somehow increase sales. I think Ron Silliman's School of Q buggy just foments more of the mentality of restriction. he scourges the Qs for being coded, but his is a coded response. I mean: Jessica Grim begins the 21st century.
Monday, May 16, 2005
a great post by Gary Sullivan re SELLING POETRY BOOKS is here. very lucid. let's us all kindly posit possibilities other than books lanquishing or paying SPD's exorbitant fees or waiting for some college course to choose your book. he says he sold 100 copies of his comic Elsewhere over the weekend, as a commodity, not some poetic medicine. that is, he sold to people who saw the comic as economically viable rather than whatever fizzy water the blurbs might suggest. I mean those snotty noisome intellectual blurbs that make the book in question sound implausible rather than worth buying. like, why would Ron Silliman say Jessica Grim's book begins the 21st century??? I wish I had more eloquence at the moment, for this issue really bubbles.
I'm packing up my books in case the revenuers come calling. in that process I decided to make a list of the books. see how long that continues. I've done 2 boxes worth, and have placed the list on a blog. for what it is worth. the current list represents 1/4 to 1/3 of the poetry books we (Beth and I) have. probably pointless to list them with so many still to be added, but I wanted to see what it looked like. the unusual heft of the Peter Ganick group owes to his having given most of them to us. some of his titles were privately published. I know there are more titles of his still to list. Peter's work has been very useful and inspiring for me. you will note many titles by Henry Gould, again courtesy of the man, and I'm happy to have them. I used to by poetry books freely, supportively, but now the money story rules. sorry.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
I have enjoyed this Sapphic respite. funny how useful and powerful the use of this half a bracket (]) is. why is that? it represents closure, yet it doesn't close off. I feel so fizzy and unfocused lately, I envy short lines and care, such as one sees in Stephen's work. there's a mature acceptance in Stephen's work that is lovely and comforting.
well, this child is working towards being a digital camera bore. come join me!!! just started twiddling with the pix. it's fun, tweaking all the tweakable parametres. I'm not into photography, tho the pictures of NY that Berenice Abbott took in the 30s really make me jump. her pictures are great because she's oh my god adventurous and sees so much loveliness in the city. think of Ansel Adams, too, in whose work you see the exquisite effort of each image. then a schmo like me who just points and clicks, and 'developing' consists of a little more point and click. yet it's all just method and procedure. I guess it makes me nervous, how these techno advances shorten the distance between concept and realization. ways to access that moving idea. yet hey: I think Jukka must write distance shortening computer routines. does that make sense? when I take a picture, I hope it comes out interestingly. I sure as hell can't tell from the thumbnail image after I click. I have, however, a sense of procedure, not unlike what drives my writing. the terms of digital photography simply are different. take 27 thousand pictures, fuss with them till they work.