Saturday, August 13, 2005

proof that I'm not much of an internet type: I neglect to follow all the links. case in point #1 being that I should link to all of 3rd Factory, Steve Evans' site, it's a pissa resource. I'll get to that soon. #2 being Shanna Compton's links. her DIY site got some stuff about making books and such like, which is an interest here at the Bramhall Bunker. that Alli Warren made Hounds bumps the interest of her effort, excellent book, further. poets: DIY!!! furthermore some Compton poems. index finger points to Mouth Made Out of Trees, as one exemplar. I don't know if it is me and having read this much 17th-19th century English poetry, but I can't read this without hearing an emphasized iambic trudge. I mean that nicely. was Shanna counting the syllables? I'm too tired right now to discover. it's a forceful, definite rhythm, probably built on the repetitions and limited vocabulary. it's nice the way it works, the words shape well to the mouth. to be read aloud, no doubt. the poem seems to be written within confines similar to what Dickinson employed (enjoyed?). the plodding music that was her (ED's) driveshaft commandeered and tweaked. I'm curious to know if Shanna set the form thus (thinking of Aaron Kunin's Mauberly poems) or if this is the music of that moment. the manner allows that music is important, and that meaning, if it exists, proceeds in and after that. am I reading wrongly? this poem is definitive in statement, yet the statements are curious, inward to pictures that are given, and, finally, outward. it teases with images that tease into saturations (from the repetitions), and red shifts of examination. (god keep me from blurbism). words in the wrong place sound just right: that's poetry!

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Bunker Hill monument Posted by Picasa

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thanks to David Hess. I mentioned his appearing, via forwarded mail, on the subsubpoetics list back in aught aught. I believe his mission was to rattle the cage. he succeeded. I can't recollect the terms of the dialectic, but the manner, especially from David's side, was challenging. and the boys got into it, as boys will do. archives have been vapourized so you'll have to take my word. you miss little if you don't get the verbatim. I doubt that I joined into that part of the fray. me and dialectic aren't from the same neighbourhood. I did write something snide to or about David. my impetus being that here was a foreigner coming in to make trouble then off he goes. so yeah, I was a dickhead altho I could see even then that his charge into the Sub P ranks was an injection. he straightforwardly backchannelled me, which removed the public display factor, and he and I had some civil correspondence. this all occurred a week or 2 after the Boston Poetry Marathon. which was the 1st poetry reading I'd ever attended, and also my public coming out party as poet. insofar as I met a lot of poets, saw what many more looked and sounded like, and otherwise copped a glimmer of the social world of poetry. it was like freshman orientation for me. and Beth and I had just decided to get married then, so that gave a new and fresh to all. and now I'm not sure why this pass down memory lane, except maybe to note that there's a lot about poetry that isn't poetry. should I just leave it there? I would sooner trail after the words than push or drag them, if David wants my secret. in poetry that's a more intense and daring act, and so subject to greater failures. in this sort of journalated process, one wants to stay with the charms, whatever they might be. with the KJ/JB conclave, I note a lot of pushing and dragging. that poets, blogging or not, want some attention should pose no surprise. kinda goes with the calling. that anger arises is more perplexing and I'll say complicitous. anger being a 2ndary emotion, it asks for honest observation of the self kind. as I said, I had my dickhead moment re David Hess, and I'll have more dickhead moments with the world as time goes on. I'm from another planet so I really don't care what goes on here, except that sometimes things just get too lurid to ignore. that's my fault. the impetus to push or drag can be of a sullen power. I know there are other moments than ones of such perpetrated sweat.

Friday, August 12, 2005

how's my typing?

appearances to the contrary, I do go back and read my posts, to see, and often correct, my typos and mislocutions. oh, got to leave a few in, to give that lived in look to the writing, just as expert knitters throw a loop to show that no machine produced the item. which brings me to a point where I could use the acronym LOL, but I sure as hell aint going there. anyway. just now in the Ellis post I removed a 'u' that had attached itself to plainly, and changed them to then. I see that I wrote 'said my debt', when I must've meant 'paid my debt'. how fluid! my typing really has worsened since typewriter days. I'm no faster but much sloppier. invariably now I mistype the by dropping the 't', rather than the more normal, and spellcheckable, teh or hte. I don't always correct my mistakes, sometimes because of serendiptous delight at finding, sometimes because I can't fathom what I intended. or I just don't notice. the unavoidable mechanical aspect of writing. and my handwriting offers even greater challenges to the later reading, especially when the Muse is really jammin'. these concerns are present fairly often when I write, not as backburner as you might think. the sensation of the distance from where the writing comes from and where it goes to. which hazards into an area of Buddhist concern, but I won't play that chord.

guy on the left Posted by Picasa
so it wasn't all a weird dream!.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I received today, from my friend Stephen Ellis, Oasia Broadside #105, which being a short work called "Athlete" by Stephen himself. I say friend in sentence 1, but I haven't heard much from him. periodically, Beth rouses me to call him (I don't do phones much, which is no excuse). he's been living in the part of Ohio where, I gather, no one lives. near West Virginia, where I have witnessed serious scantness of population. now he lives in Vermont, where, I believe, he was born. and so I go on, too late to make this story short. I just want to take this opportunity to point to Stephen's work. I really like it. back in the olden days, which is to say the year 2000 or so, Jordan Davis had an email list called Subsubpoetics. being a place to go if you weren't still infatuated with the Poetics list. for a while it was lively and generating. I recollect Jordan, Stephen, Henry (as in Gould), Nada (as in Gordon), Kent (as in wow, that guy), Gabe (as in Gudding), a bumptious visit by David Hess, I'm missing names of course, and even myself posting variously, and some good (I mean all of the posters). Stephen could be counted on, a very certainty, when and if. never frivolous, Stephen, always pointed, and also, you know, there's a poetry. alas the list hit crit mass, as does everything, and all that (sound familiar?), but I fondly remember. after some correspondence back in oh 1999, Stephen asked for some poems from me for his Broadside Series. well jinkies, the last time I'd been published was in 1972, in This 3. so much for career moves, but it don't matter no how. and I've plainly said my debt. Stephen is a terrific poet, would you take the time to find out? I would ask, in the interest of interest, and poetry, and whatever noble people do, to write to Stephen at:

71 Elmwood Avenue, apt 15
Burlington VT 05401

and request copies of his broadside, and ask about his backlist. backlist is crammed with names that you know. and it is an effort from the hinterlands, allowing that hinterlands exist. no, really. I am not against poetry scenes, but there are poetry not seens as well. hello, is this microphone working? and the point here is to point to the lucidities possible in a swerving language. here, then, is the 1st poem of the collected 12:


My poems anymore aren't about anything
which is to say only they have become inevitable

falls into time. It just happens that way. The art
is stepping aside for the meaningless refrain

to complete itself. With interference
from the outside bleeding in. An internal

set-up for zones of heaven in leafy shade
made that much miore un-natural for the beauty of

their artifice. Things are what they are
supposed to be. Novel, if nothing else.

* * * * *

notice thinking, distributing, aligning, balancing, measure. I'm not a critical writer, sorry. I'm not scrivening with poise. I am amidst excitement. I think this is a writer of attention and collection. I am totally interested, but still ask that you look.
yeah so this is kinda funny. we're at this historical mansion in Salem, formerly owned by the head money man in Salem's mercantile Golden Age (go forth, sailing man, and sell this stuff, and be sure to come back with plenty of mon). on the wall are some old prints. one print is of Jonathan Mayhew, Dr of Divinity, circa Cotton Mathery wig or a little later. it was dark in the house so I managed to take pix of the wrong print. imagine my chagrin when I discovered this! you can almost pick out the name of interest in one pic, but, well, let's just say I fumbled that one and be done. I've given up writing poetry, by the way. I'm taking up plumbing and bicycle repair, but purely as a hobby. it's all for the better.

have you read Hawthorne lately? Posted by Picasa

transfix (picture by Erin) Posted by Picasa

welcome to the Bunghole Posted by Picasa

Salem, MA Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

shuck wave

rage with tumour popular.
And goad forest like temperature into gales of laughter, at least I think so.
And sleep past the internal heck convincingly.
And choose well ahead of form.
dogged natural patterns haven't a given name worth repeating.
Tired reservoirs move ideas past trenches into implied signature.
Dummy up is dated by the time we see.
freaks out the mavens.
They've been apt to control networks instantly, yet pry windows with sullen glee.
They've stopped at turnpikes for a glass of cider, which is really a plea for instant dock.
They've tumbled from the roof more than is sane, that's the thumping sound you hear.
love to emulate balloons, scatter action doles, pronounce carp friction, donate opulent scar, resist oodle machine, point with wavery list, scald as newborn drape, lambaste like equivocal dun, sport a fractured ringing, dust the absolute top.

It spaces out in duplex, our filing distance, the train of incipient blur while reading thru those cordoned denizen trails. The worst thing clicks on exactly with pleasure, plus a flame. Tying all together gains a moment for the run.

Our Town

Successful town buys collaboration. Foxes repair retreat theories, as rocks slide. Edible plants fail number. Read on! Flight of optic nerve seen as disturbing. Friends in neighbourhood begin hefting extreme notions. Byways look uncertain. Wild collisions promulgate an allure, experts note. Field needs a daydream. A child wandered across the dust, returned slightly. Barn door remains near tree. Effort tangled the high school, and all were allowed to go quietly. Some chairs were turned toward the last ray of sun. People called deliberation a freeing possible sound. Wet birds let evidence change. Gardeners were placed on boards, scooted over recent past statement, and watched yet again the weeds. Crickets were heavy with leg temperature. Lips are instant feeding, says expert. Study concludes. A leaf didn't fall right. Autumn would present a local idea. Someone had to explore the region near the brook. Finally, a wild look at squirrels! Trust becomes a momentary blister, a few pressed people argued. In range of a skunk, tables were turned. When the rain maximized, a lot of other things went different. Possible endings were found. The discussion finished with some real pieces of glass. A dog got away, but over the space of a few lopes, nothing more needed saying. Trusted coyote were as much as the books could stand. Informational systems became business as usual. Locks met their match. We started to ignore the resistance, lured by retreat, but left it all in place. This is the place, said one and all.
I mentioned address re Eileen Tabios. that is a specific of importance to me. Eileen addresses the reader, herself, loves, and these mentor lights (to use a nice fluffy term I just made up) in her writing. to instill, I believe, an active exchange. there is a YOU out there, inescapable. I use 2nd person a bit, and 1st person plural alot, in my writing, as witness to the directive in the writing act. also, I know, just to get the wallowing I out of the way, even just briefly. language, hah, what a concept! there's a way around the rocks in the path, or at least so it seems. wand'ring lonely as a cloud may not be as off the mark as could be. I've been thru the isolation, a good 15 years of writing outside any social writerly nexus. that's tough row-hoeing, and I do not recommend it, yet it forced me toward. toward what? well, that is the question, isn't it?
I mentioned discourse down a page or 2, and that's the wrong word: sucked in again. it's not discourse in a listserv, or blog badminton, or comments box. it looks like discourse, and sometimes participants think it is discourse, but discourse it aint. I don't need it in a serious way, only in the way grease fires sure burn fascinatingly bright (James Baldwin had the line, somewhere: the lurid brightness of a burning witch). it is some token of life, of seriousness, of whether or not. I mean oh my gawd, Blackwood's or whatever totally killed poor Johnny Keats!!! and Higginson made Dickinson totally renounce that part. attempts at convincing remind us of the other world.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

totally obvious?

Geese are crammed, drams are occurred, loops sing dreadful meat, mung beans resist dynasty, apes hate finks, chums load clumps, bears endure silhouettes, bumps are for Martians, laughing endows mood rings with elated rings pangs of sputum, metropolis files past the policy, ladder days sit on tubs, chunks of dingbats need immersing, hot sauce sends the last string to the Mersey, junkies hate crocks, glassful has been almost honest, June bugs resist deeds, Jerry Garcia died for your reaction, monkeys have Cambridge, lucky names strum the goat's guitar, oodles fit schmucks, Doppler effect is for candy fanciers, Google has chains in its lump franchise, dopes need spray chance, junkies lure umpire fez diction, dum dum lurcher blog slices attribute centre till muumuu wow, your own clanging supersedes the trawl across Atlantic love seat, stumps refer to jackets, words are pulverized enough, Jesus was a vacuum cleaner born of different plopping sounds, church winks survive Ferris wheels: did you expect the wrench in training camp fad while you could only roar over resistor goo? moss begs the tree of north for flood of over light bundling, your coonskin trading. Thank the many merchants for the throng of pulling out.
sadly he goes on. laughing would be cruel
I've been reading Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole by Eileen Tabios. a good sign with any poetry book for me, that the reading makes me want to write. not a competitive thing; rather, the reading opens up something for me. this book has made me want to join that energy to mine. the book also makes me want to write about it, e'en tho I've not read a great deal of it. I like rushing my reflections, like smearing the first layer of dirt off a dusty window. I see a lot of address in Eileen's work, and that includes in her blog, which I think I can say everybody has noticed, about her blog, that is (community as working structure of acceptance rather than the name of the angry dilettante (famous examples supplied on request)). she enters, endures, and gives forth. I find the writing adventuresome. this book is pretty chunky, to the tune of 120 something: well and good! her latest book, I Take Thee, English, For My Beloved is 500+ pages. for me, that is a hell of a selling point. I love big books!!! I recently wrote of Tom Beckett's minimilist proclivity, which I admire tho so foreign to my own floodgate pleasure of writing it all out. and my teacher, closest to a living mentor that I ever came to, Robert Grenier, tended toward smaller and smaller. even Eileen herself, with her hay(na)ku, shows willingness to pare to minimum. but I have a taste for expanse, not that it's a matter of choosing sides. and Eileen cranks it. I think maybe-ish of Bernadette Mayer, who spurs her writing energy forward in a particular trust of experiment. for that matter, Virginia Woolf's novels, each one a clearly defined what if I?. I don't know where I stand in the Official Standing of Experimenters, but I am at least conscious that something ought to keep moving. I mean you know, there's enough writers who think, what if I do this again and again, world without end?. I picture Eileen running to different wells, the attention of discovering furthermore. so here's just the mere alert of having read some of her book.
"Either take up your axe and strike
like Ali at the gates of Khaybar,
or join these thorns with a rose:
bring your fire to God's light in order that
your fire will disappear in His light,
and all your thorns become roses."

--Mathnawi II:1244-1246
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"

Monday, August 08, 2005

I didn't mench earlier, but Gary Sullivan's project sounds neat. sometimes the social forms in poetry world are a matter of who's got whose back, which is lame temporal committee meeting. here I think Gary's onto the more positive role of the social as collaborative potential. the Flarf list had a lot of cooperation going on it, for instance (tho myself felt a trifle out of touch, maybe it's just me), and Nick Piombino's blog, and Eileen Tabios', are examples of similar generosity. well, I said generosity, and meant it, but particularly in the sense of acceptance: commonals and song. which now brings up a question: Jordan Davis with his cryptic accuity (which sounds oxymoronic but to me it is scintillant) mentions bullying, but I can't discern here who he cites as the bully? whoever, the level of discourse scrapes pretty low.
thank you Drew Gardner, this is really neat. and the sidewalk is faintly coloured, you don't think of it as colour but a place. and the weight of walking behind, until you speak something, even the pieces that gather the career: this presses you to pause. in which moment, particularly, are you in? you work a few things into where you are, or think you are, feeling definite about 1/2 the time. the plan wants to survive, always. you just might get a litle tired, after all the crap in the in between.

whats the motivation in this scene?

I was sort of interested in John Latta's post today, in which Kent Johnson defends himself against Jim Behrle's bad review, except that I am not a lot interested in people defending themselves, and it gets worse as Jim Behrle defends himself, so that means cartoons and fizzle for a while, 2 agent provocateurs, I mean, I am sorry about local poetry, how small it wants to be, just best friends or doubt (which man is a man anyway? the one who worries more) but I'd mainly like to read John Latta's work on a large scale, the curious trip of getting here to there, not forgetting that orbs have no sides, but squares do.
and it was, like, 200 pictures taken yesterday. as I've said before, I feel intrusive taking pictures of people, I'll have to work on that. I think the greater part of the pictures that I take, I do so without reference to the viewfinder. I like relinguishing some of my directive, which is a good poetic lesson, I fancy. I don't think I will ever consider myself a photographer, no matter how many pictures I take. I'll stay in the realm of interested gathering, just as I've found myself collecting beach pebbles, paper clips, matchbooks, things on the ground. again, poetic lesson, leastwise for me.
Beth's niece visiting so we took her to Sturbridge Village in central Mass. it is a living replica of a 19th, or 18th, century village, like Williamsburg. friends of ours, the whole family, participated in an encampment, which being a gathering of various groups of reenactors. colonial militia groups (to which our friends belong), Redcoats, Civil War, camped all over the place. I think it is utterly useful to see life put into what we read about. the weight of it doesn't seem anachronistic, tho I suppose that's one carrying thrill for participants. there was a reenactment of a Civil War battle. I don't know if it was based on an actual one, or if it were a generic one. the reenactment gives you some scale to work with, like how close combatants were to each other. there were such touches as boots being covetously removed from a corpse, a deserter shot. a child asked, why are the Confederates running? to which an adult replied, because the good guys are winning. which is the simplistic sort of thinking you can get for free in public schools. one guy was bellowing, Johnny Reb wouldn't run like that, Stonewall Jackson's troops would never run. yeah, let's not forget that the Southern team had some good players too. look now at the mindless Support Our Troops sloganizing. the world is a little larger than this home team view. I believe in compassion, in case you're wondering. the machine needs no sympathy, however, nor do those who don't question that machine. after the battle, we watched a demonstration of a Revolutionary Era cannon. it's a loud noise. which is a lot of what we boil war efforts down to. if you've ever seen airshows, in which fighter jets show off their power, it is hard not to be enthralled. these vortices of speed and noise can suck you right in. hence video games, I suppose, except I guess I am too generationalized to get into video games. I'm from I remember when we usedta. yet zowie, what if you controlled all that? a swordfighting demonstration was interesting. the combatants had parrying knives as well as swords. the pace of their battles was about 1/4 of Flynn versus Rathbone, and mostly were over within seconds. I was also pleased to look at examples of colonial glassware, hear that our friends cooked up bubble and squeak, watch a fellow carve the handle for a bow saw. well, it was neat stuff going on. we plan to return when Massachusetts enjoys beautiful autumn. I think I'm trying to say here that there's a real world inside of what we think. I believe there are a lot of unconsidered words. kick out the jams.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sturbridge Village Posted by Picasa

rock hole Posted by Picasa

picture Posted by Picasa
he's right, you know. I was struck by the confidence of the work in "Hounds". confidence in the language in which she writes. I don't mean confidence in the sense of bluff push outward--for all I know, Alli Warren is as tentative as I am as regards her work in the world--but the intricacies, telescopings, primed logic, stunned honesty (stop me before I write a blurb), all these essences of her writing seem awake and aware in their life in the poem. I hope that doesn't sound farcical or gushy. I'm really impressed. I'm particularly taken by the concentration of her writing. a tough persistence there. ride on!