Saturday, August 20, 2005
in the interest of saying 'in the interest of saying', I should note, as book received, one other by Eileen Tabios: Ménage à Trois with the 21st Century (2004), from Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's xPress(ed). you can find a section of it, along with many other ebooks, here. I'm really psyched to have these 3 books by Eileen, picking my way thru.
it is nice to see mention of Kevin Magee at The Ingredient, or anywhere else. 3 cryptic poems, and a lengthy, highly specific memoir. Magee's writing is politically grounded. it is embued with the literature of politics. which is to say, he knows whereof he speaks (id est, if he says Engel or Marx, he's not talking the Classics Comics versions). and his politics is embued with a moral stance, I hope I can say that without egregious projections terminating my intent. any sort of politics refers to how we stand together, agreed? but one can, and most of us do, toss the bouquets around in a careless, superficial way. Magee's politics is such a processual part of his writing that the matter of false notes, of using his politics for literary gain, just don't come up. the 3 keenly cut poems seem counter to the expansive memory trip that follows. yet Magee pulls that memory into the field of his politics. I periodically 'champion' (yay me) Magee's work as it comes before me for it represents such a hard won, serious effort. he used to post to Poetics somewhat regularly at various times. it amazed me how little reaction could be bestirred on that clunky list to what to me is highly potent, clarifying drill. I realize the Poetics list is drydock, but really, Magee's work is so apt and agitating that more recognition should be made. okay, I'm heroizing myself for noticing, but just ignore that part please.
Friday, August 19, 2005
I just received the latest book by Eileen Tabios, I Take Thee, English, for My Beloved, from Marsh Hawk. of course I've yet to do more than scan it, which is always a great pleasure with new books. new recordings likewise. the book's big, a a sturdy handful reminiscent of the tomes you lugged to civics class. it makes quite a statement, not just because of its size, a full 500 pages, but of the many works it includes. Eileen has chosen inclusivity as a ruling idea here. at least 5 separate possible books nestle within these pages, different series of works. how they go together, I've yet to discover, but I am confident that the whirlwind that Tabios is will make it all cohere. the image of a whirlwind works well in this context, for one sees a tornadic gathering and focus to her spin, as opposed to centripetal fling. excuse the metaphoric motionings on my part. Eileen includes in this work an interview conducted by Nick Carbo, a lengthy epistle addressed to Pablo Javier, an entry from Ron Silliman's blog concerning a work of hers, as well as "The Official History of the Hay(na)ku", the poetic form she created and which has become quite popular. plus poems, memoirs, lots of stuff from what I can see. Robert Duncan's later work comes to mind, as he let the various projects he was working on intertwine. like Duncan, Eileen's work is markedly various. once again, I give only the most preliminary of comments, but I must notice my excitement at the prospect here. Eileen, as is obvious, is a writer of great energy and dedication. to feel those 2 elements so definitively to the fore champions one's own writing. do you see? it goes with Jordan Davis projecting a million poems written, or Alan Sondheim bubbling over, or just me piling up a lot of work. it's the willingness to remain largely undistracted. OR to utilize those distractions. Eileen Tabios is a force with which it is a pleasure to contend.
Woods Lot is a blog I do not read daily: it is just too much. how does he collect so many links? check out the Ed Sanders stuff down near the bottom, especially the transcript of Sanders' testimony at the Chircgo 7 trial. that transcript is preposterous, let's leave it at that. Sanders mentions yodelling, and counsel wants a follow up. whoosh. Sanders' novel Love and Fame in New York is a classic, an art world parody riff. a link from one Sanders interview went to The Holy Modal Rounders, a 'folk-rock' group of the same era as The Fugs. I saw HMR at Franconia College in 1972. as I understand, the school paid the band $150, plus room and board, to get the 6-man group to come up to NH. David Bromberg a folkie who had at the time played with Dylan, was paid $750 for just his own self. and that kinda presents what HMR were like. they looked like a burnt out collective but they played a super concert in a small room. ah memories. anyway, the strange and hilarious Ed Sanders deserves notice.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Drew Gardner writes about Gary Sullivan's Elsewhere, the comic. I thought this line was pretty sharp: There is an indirectness of relation between the text and art which is not at all a disconnection.. I think (infer, guess, totally make up) that Drew reads the comic as I did (not to incriminate Drew), as not a full-committed, card-carrying comix guy, but as someone willing to trust where Gary goes. reading as a poetry found thing, not as a comic. at any rate, a good critical inhalation.
Beth and I were looking at the pictures we took while on the whale watch after we got home. I don't know why I had such trouble with the movies, tho gettng a clear shot was a prob. one movie tracks a nearby humpback but just as it started to flip fluke and dive, the shot loses the beastie, scans the sky, reviews some of the passengers and ends up pointed toward the deck. we both just yelled NO!!! in a pleading tone towards the computer screen, to no avail. I think it was a situation in which I had to hold the camera over my head, people being in front of me at the rail. luckily, I caught one perfect fluke wave and dive. always been interested in whales. the whale watchers identified the humpbacks by name, but not the finback or minke.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Rodney Koeneke has quickly proven that he has blogger chops as he keeps the home fires aflame at Casa Mohammad. and it is a legit question to ask whether he had ought to get his own blog. beyond time squander, what other reasons might say don't? well sometimes the goals of it all seem too nebulous and unproductive. blogging can be a waste of gas. obviously it depends. for me, it's a really useful exercise, I don't care what you think. but then I do care what you think. I am aware that this blog gets read a bit, and that's better than nothing. but nothing aint that bad. and so on. how much a blog finalizes one's position in the poetry world remains to be seen. I mean the way a manner of branding occurs to readers as they read and consider blogs. a public voice occurs that may interfere with the poetry one writes. if I wiseacre or flip here at Tributary, will that impinge on readership's reading of the poem? if it does with mine, I guess I don't care. I just like writing. and I'd say pip pip if RK decided to start his own blog
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
another road trip, a whale watch out of Gloucester. a homeschool group to which we belong helped get group rates. that's a nifty aspect of homeschooling, the cooperative learning opportunity, at 1/3 the price. I survived public schools but totally advocate homeschooling. all the hierarchies and structures of public schools just interfere. this is not to say we were banging on Erin's head to learn something while out on the cruise, in fact he was hanging with his friends most of the time. but when the whales jump out of the water, something catches. we have seen this before. watching the fluke flower and sink is an immediate ping with something down in the wordless place. moments like that. geese in flight always garnish (I think I can use that word here) my attention. I want to talk about poetry now, but I don't want to ham it up. the generative resource in what's here before us is an imperative. we put names on it, like history, or nature. I saw some high-soaring birds at the dock before we anchor a-weighed. I consulted a brother/sister dyad who were talking birds at one of the homeschool volleyball gatherings (at one of which, I famously tore my quad)(just last month), figuring I had expertise before me, and the girl said those are turkey buzzards. my eyesight said black soaring things. she explained what to look for. homeschool know how, it is called interest. ah, the poetry of interest! Olson took interest into certain realms, didn't he? can you imagine this outsized college boy on a fishing boat, peering into sunfields for fish? I think that's lovely and goofy, both. he wasn't the interpolation, he was the plain awkward fact. and I like taking this in with Beth and Erin. you join the party, you bring a camera, you add it up. what the hell is poetry and why does it make me think? re actual picture taking, err... when I take the camera out of its case, it often slips its mode into movie, so I managed several ridiculous 'movies' of anything and everything but whales. you know there are info pictures--here's a whale breaching--and there are arty pictures--here's a weird light pattern on the deck. and there are pictures of folks, us and our friends, you probably won't see much of them. and I have to navigate myself thru these different intentions. not sure I'm equal to that quality. I'm a homebrewed solar misgiving, slightly boggled, slightly too inward. survival depends on the outward, too. in and out, a Wes Montgomery tune.
All openings proclaimed the new coffee. Simple story: new coffee had beat to the fragrance. Not a palm oil confusion could be found in the basic bliss. A crux coaxed the ball rolling. New dumps were seen in tracing growth thru effort and the catalogue. Old coffee was taken down, brewing on the side of trade. We won't trade any more, proclaimed the days of faster all of you. New coffee like a chain in space, a turnpike called west, a lovely expectation tilling field. New coffee sends shock, jets land on fog timber, the president wills for lasting: all this adheres to humps of future list our names. A drink of new coffee, collective bargaining agreement, a press toward natural, all the basics raveling in a guide of tourneys on the sly. Friends in this time reach over the fence, changing as change, kneeling quickly to result. With diffidence, fog happens to the trace, sonic in bud and back while reclaiming the destitute tromp. Mirror hovers over patience like a docket filled with tools. Gesturing rings of sample toes as foot beams need a looming. Friends clump new coffee for the fettle whilst of choose. Chatter bug rambling farm reaps meme taste klatsch for all. Federation meantime matches nebulous parity toward the door. New coffee then plumply lights the hay as we gussy up the flow.
Monday, August 15, 2005
a terrific post about Geof Huth's visit to John M Bennett. I especially like the few words about John's calligraphy, which is sui generis to say the least. just a slight note of "The Aspern Papers" in this meeting, as the younger poet visits the older. not that John is that old, it's just that he seems to've been around forever, and his output can be computed in tonnage. I am sure both poets goof off, maybe even talk baseball or what not, but the sense of vocation in both comes across strongly. I've never gone a-visiting like this. several people have advised me to go visit Vincent Ferrini, less than an hour away. it seems like a presumption to ask for a visit, but he's part of a certain history, as well as being a poet of substance. at a Boston Po-Marathon, 2001 maybe, Stephen Ellis offered to introduce me to Jordan Davis, but I shied, partly being extra weary at that point (Jordan's appearance was much much delayed, and I was a-wanting dinner), and I also have a basic self-regard prob such as made me think he wouldn't care. and did I ever tell you about my meeting Nada Gordon? I was with Sheila Murphy at the 1st BoPo that I attended. Nada came to greet Sheila, Sheila was about to introduce me to Nada, but someone interupted to say hi to Nada, and so flew the moment. instead of meeting Nada, I met nada, hahaha. well one more drab story: wine importer Kermit Lynch came to the store where I worked, having just published a book about his travels in the wine country. I enjoyed the book and told him so, and he just looked at me. I tried again, not laying it on, sincere in what I enjoyed, and he gave no reaction. that's why I am fixing to have an absolute no autographs policy when I become famous. sorry everyone.
briefly to lament the passing of Hotel Point. I realize that the style employed there can be parodied and satirized, but you'd have to do the same with Dahlberg and Riding. it is writing trained in the weight of its express. the writing involves a conscious imperative to form a landscape, say, in which words are particular and extravagant. all 3 writers have moments of intense focus. think of Melville, Keats, Dickinson so embued with the Bible or Shakespeare, rocked by that. Latta writes with a strange luminosity that is a matter of study and effort, not mere come hithers to the Muse. if O'Hara were just come-hithering, we'd've seen far fewer poems of interest from him. O'Hara wasn't just charismatic, or Personistic, he specifically trained himself as to what an O'Hara poem is. he was also able to let that go, in the sense of not sanctifying his productions with career intent but stuffing them in a drawer. Jack Kerouac's self-ultimate, perhaps, but I am not an expert on O'Hara. I never studied him, really, fearing I'd slide into imitation, I read him to enjoy, uncritically. and my point is simply a notation about the intention and effort of writing. Shanna Compton's note below about how she wrote the poem I praised is just the sort of poem talk I want to hear. John Latta's blog writing involved his process. I understand the desire to pull away from the messy public productions of the blogosphere, I'm wary of my own need to be seen thus, but I'll miss his contributions. but remember I love you all!!!