Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
this is a wonderful picture. welcome to your world, and yet it has sweetness too. the Whole Earth Catalogue, or its magazine venture, once showed a single panel from a Donald Duck comic. Unca Donald and his 3 nephews in that convertible jalopie that the old duck drove, staring at a highway with was multi-layered overpasses, underpasses and futuristic overcrowding. and the 4 of them in chorus exclaim "WOW!!!". sorta reminded of that.
I like the loping, o'er rocks and puddles, or thru, or circumnavigation of a slightly big gtree, all in the course of writing, as in: John Latta's blog, which takes its routes, loves tangents to pity, gets chunky on you like Dahlberg or Riding, almost stalls, rumbles, grumbles, pops a freebie, turns around: and there you are. I don't mean this is the only definition of what, but one that certainly is localized for me, who am not succinct myself, tho I can honour that pledge too. anyway, just a reminder of the good road test of Hotel Point.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
fighting off a poison ivy rash, which reminds me of a few years ago. I'd gotten a super dose on my arms and was having trouble not scratching. I rolled over in bed one night--just changing my position, not scratching--and without leaving the land of Morpheus, Beth said "don't scratch; I love you; what's for dinner?".
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Stephen Vincent says it well regarding influence, or he says concordance, of poets with the past. I hate to bring up Harold Bloom, who is such a dustily shaped portion of the academic wall, but his notion of the anxiety engendered by influence is a good one. Stephen relates Spicer to Matthew Arnold, of course Spicer was much confronted by the literature he knew. new isn't so new. I've always liked how Jeff Harrison spongily invites the sounds of his reading. I mean I have inferred his reading field from his writing and he has confirmed my guess. it is not an anachronistic usage, just as Spicer's is not. I would hate to pretend that the avant sweeps clean the slate, a foolishly parochial view if ever.
Monday, July 25, 2005
still tolling up my books, I should say our books. found 5, probably have more, by Joseph C. Lincoln. you probably have not heard of him. he was a popular novelist in the early part of the 20th century (which sounds so historical, like I wasn't alive for almost half of it). my father read everything by Lincoln. they were set in Cape Cod adn were, I gather, roman à clefs, albeit kindly ones. piquant sense of locale, which is why my father liked them. when my mother's eyesight eached the point where she couldn't read, I began reading to her. at 1st just mysteries but we branched out. reading Huckleberry Finn to her opened my eyes, because I didn't really like it the 1st time I read the book, but it bloomed this 2nd reading. part of that was that I better heard, and enjoyed, the dialects. I read a bunch of the Lincolns to my mother and was struck by their goodhearted adventure. some of that adventure was of the sea and rescue operations (one of the books was made into a movie), and some of the adventure more like parlour romance, but with a humour and human plainness that, perhaps it is corny of me, I admire. my mother also gave me a similar gift, reading a favourite author of hers: Angela Thirkell. Thirkell wrote of village life in mid-20th century England. I think a bit of Jane Austen with Thirkell, tho without the desperate, draconian class structure of 18th century England (V. S. Pritchett referred to the romantic entanglements in Austen's novels as naval manuevres). at our sale, it seemed like folks were there to buy books to enjoy, not resell (having scored off our stupidity). which gets into matters of taste, so that I weary of frozen distinctions of what is and what isn't. I mean I have my distinctions, I just don't need to be proud of them. I came closer to both of my parents by way of the books that they enjoyed.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
I forgot to mench that the younger book dealer bought this silly ass book on wrestling that I had. from the 80s, with all the rich cornpone prior to the sophisticated travesty of Vince McMahon's Kingdom. I knew he was buying that sucker for himself. this afternoon, I heard a car horn out front, and discovered that sickly elderly woman in her car beckoning me. she found a photo in one of the books she bought. not a treasured picture, I must've used it for a bookmark. considerate of her to come over. we had put what books that the library couldn't/wouldn't take out for trash pick up (sorry, everyone, but we had no choice), and she was inspired to work her way out of her car and peer amongst the offerings. she picked out several gardening books and a fruit basket for her friend, a few items for herself. she talked about the EB White book that she bought, and about Cape Cod. she seemed like someone who wanted to be happy. and yet. she mentioned the death of the longtime accordion player for Lawrence Welk (the Happy Norwegian Myron Floren). yesterday she told me how her car door somehow slammed into her, loosening teeth, breaking her cheek and knocking her hip out of joint. as she picked amongst the boxes I feared she'd topple over. she only had a cane, should have a walker. we've been wicked busy packing and cleaning but I couldn't not accomodate her.
a new blog by Jeff Harrison and myself, called Antic View. Jeff and I interview each other. this is an ongoing project, to be twirled out as far as seems fit. it took me (the tech guy, hahaha, in this ménage) a while to get to setting up the blog, so the initial chunk is rather large. the turnaround on our questions has been pretty quick. simpático meets considerably different methods.
Ron Silliman hits 400,000 hits. which is just bobbled numbers in one sense, since it is not that big a deal that people agree with me, that Ron is worth reading. a lot of his numbered points don't apply to aught but he. amongst bloggers, I don't think many see unrequested books coming in the mail much (I don't know why Gary Sullivan sent me his comic Elsewhere, my one blog-related freebie, tho I am pleased that he did), or getting publication solicitations greater than can be met, or major spikes in reading invitations or much of anything that might harbour under the aegis of 'career'. not that I begrudge this of Ron. I have been reading, at times struggling with, often learning from, Ron Silliman's work for 25+ years, he is an important writer to me. certainly I appreciate this free and plentiful access to 'him'. I am not competing with him, tho, and not because my numbers don't add up. I am satisfied that my blog does what it can, what I can. I do agree with his sense, tho I don't get a lot of input, that this public presentation (writing on a blog), focuses my thinking and asserts an intrinsic muscle for me as a writer. and I would say that this is the case of many others who write on blogs as well. I recognize my own spikiness, which is to say, I'll always be at the edge of the social sphere of blogs. but I see my writing grow as it goes out there. I also see that blogs aren't for every writer, as computers aren't, as we all have our different ways and paths. commenters to Ron's blog sometimes sound like saps because their awe shows (or their anti-awe, same diff). I mean, there's this popular brand called Ron Silliman, to which all must react. a significant diletante (did I misspell that word again?) percentage amongst Ron's 400,000 hamburgers can be readily discounted. which only means that I don't need the numbers to factor Ron Silliman's worth to me. by the numbers, my blog is insignificant to the max. but it aint. my blog is seriously what it is, just as is Ron Silliman's, and down the list. I think that it is crucial that I say this, that every po-blogger say this. and you yahoos in the collective readership should say it too.