Thursday, December 28, 2006


ceremonial, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

21st century

21st century, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

whirled view

whirled view, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

Jesse Crockett's Flickr

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

looks like I cannot switch to beta Blog, because this blog is too large. I imagine some Blogger (GOOGLE!!!) inspired disaster awaits. whatever. so anyway. we actually made a trip to the mall (not far) to look at the mall in its post Christmas mallness. Beth's idea, just to see how the economy is doing. didn't even leave the car. this is part of the fascinatingness of Christmas. Beth wanted to see if the parking lot was full. it was. not overfull, but you'd have to search for a parking space. just checking under the great big hood. I love doing this, watching the world on its energized mission. we've pared Christmas down to a big ass tree, a party, and some calmly procured presents. I mean the work part. the celebration radiates as its own. sometime in November, for instance, depending on mood, I start playing Christmas music. I can envelope most (but not all) of the secular stupid stuff (not "Santa Baby", not certain other crass vehicles the titles of which I have no energy to lift up for display). I feature older stuff, renaissance and medieval. plus "Drummer Boy". wandering thru the mall is a pleasure, only mildly avaricious (the Apple Store!!!). sunday, when we were at Barnes & Noble, I saw a book by Ed Viesturs, an Everest and high altitude veteran. he'd been on Daily Show recently. I looked longingly at it but chose not to succumb to the wanting urge. next morning, Erin's present turns out to be the very same. score! that's what I like about Christmas. not that whole Wii presposterousness. I write about these shopping adventures because I don't think poetry allows limits. I think poetry includes seeing. Olson (his birthday is tomorrow) brought to me, maybe not to you, an inclusion. that poetry isn't a restricted, bonded place, but welcomes questions and attribution and theory. that history, or science, or crackpot ideas are poetry too. seeing how Coach bags work their way towards young hands is interesting to the point of magic. what did Jung come up with, active imagination. well now, think of the manner of your dreams, the ridiculous conjunctions and strident oddity. the diurnal and the phenomenal, how do they differ? poetry is possibly exciting, potentially involved with the numinous, the extended, the daily, the morally brilliant. my friend Ezra closed off, and you can see the fearsome smallness in the picture I linked to earlier. not to say we all don't have batch files of stupid running rampant, the point is to recognize a few of them. Beth was at the garden center, where several small children stood in front of an inflated Rudolph performing Rudolph's song impromptu. at the point where Rudolph's exclusion from reindeer games was mentioned, one youngster added "because he didn't wear underwear". brilliant. the Poetics list currently murmurs with the MLA buzz, and I can see meeting up with names on books you've read or wish to, but the academic clog and freeze up would discourage me. the poetic probably doesn't want to isolate or barricade itself. leastwise, that's my working proposition. the limitations sort of kill us, do they not? well, that's my present rumination. I'm not trying to freeze things.
I just got comment box spammed, so I looked to check my settings. lo, I discovered a bunch of comments I hadn't read before. I apologize for setting it so that those comments never appeared. I appreciate pretty much whate'er anyone contributes, not counting those arriving via mindless machine influx. I also, in trying to make those comments reappear, apologize for apparently stupidizing those comments into some blogger netherworld. I swear I hit no delete button.

Monday, December 25, 2006

interesting photo of Ezra Pound (whose name comes up frequently in crossword puzzles). taken just after St Elizabeth swallowed him up, he looks sorely distressed and confused. it's not to whitewash the antisemitism, for which, I daresay, he paid more than most antisemites, but I find this a singularly compelling picture. you see a kind of earnest intention to pull everything together, to study and understand. you also see him overwhelmed by the effort. it's sad in the way any boundary such as race, gender or culture is sad in its determining (limiting) effect. I mean at heart I think there was a brilliant sincerity to Pound, but the weight of that um hubris just warped it all. it's not up to me to make karma evaluations of Pound but I will say there is much to admire in his work, amidst all the screwed up blah. in sooth, we have to be kind to all our heroes, for the human steps that they still take.
my loved ones sleep on Christmas morn so here am I. I don't wnt to hang out on the net today, but Christmas music is playing, tree is lit. we went to the mall yesterday, with some shopping aims but also to enjoy the spectacle. it's fun to wander around, look at things, take it all in. we got there around noon or before. plenty of parking available. Sears is a surprisingly quiet box. it feels like they don't want to be too busy there. as opposed to being outquicked by Target or whatever. I've noticed that the music has been uniformly low octane at Sears. Sinatra sang, if I recollect, "Silver Bells", giving it his most I don't give a shit inflection. his lack of sincerity was never a problem, part of his roguish charm, but musically it sounded like greengrab symphony. some few musicians make Christmas music like they mean it, but it is a genre of avid hackery. we muddled thru cds and dvds for Erin at FYE, big anime sale. these entertainment stores are up against it what with the internet, both legal and illegal. we entered KB Toys, a crass place that I would normally avoid. we had our reasons. I can understand, and yet. it is next door to EB Games, an electronic game paradise which oppresses me, all these stupid, violent, lubricious graphics on those stupid, violent, lubricious games. folks at KB Toys were in who gives a shit mode. the last time at the mall we visited Coach again. the music there wasn't nearly the echoing thump of Abercromie and the Other Name, but it certainly aimed towards young market. the product hasn't been aimed youthward, however, only the marketing has. which is wise: teach them to appreciate your wares rather than guess what their taste is. wisdom there. I didn't see much register action at the Coach store, tho all the store people were busy. at Macy's however the Coach bags were moving. now I can't remember the name of the designer but I liked the bags from this one more than Coach. Beth tells me that there's no question that Coach does things in a 1st class way, including lifetime warranty on the bags. teens were purchasing bags. we got some camera accessories at Ritz camera. a hatless Santa entered the food court and said hi everybody. I think it was the mall Santa, dressed in an elegant green coat (looked Victorian), but he was treated more like a weirdo. no Santa, I don't think you're a weirdo. passing thru Sears, by the way, it appeared they were dismantling Christmas displays. near Santa's picture taking factory a tired looking fellow sat talking on the phone. he said, the little rat is in line to see Santa. still doing a box office business there. across the road we entered he holy ealm of Barnes and Noble. which was jumping. a cop is outside drinking a Starbuck's brew. a year ago Beth and I went to the mall, I think the day before Christmas. it was packed to the degree that it took us an hour to make a circuit round the mall, without finding a parking space. space was a difference maker then, certainly, but there was tons of room yesterday. B&N was about normal. B&N did what Whole Foods does in times of crush: station someone at the head of the checkout line to facilitate a smooth flow. we did indeed stop at Whole Foods for a handful of things. tweren't so busy really. we have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I made a cake, inventing a n orange sort of frosting for it. Beth did a roast. while it cooked we watched our bit of swag from the day, Pirates of the Caribbean. the 1st one. it's a fun movie. not having any expectations the 1st time I saw it, it was a wonder. one doesn't expect the flaky performance that Depp gave. the 1st one at least managed to keep its confusing elements under control, unlike the sequel. the cat has now decided to sample such of the dog's breakfast as the dog has chosen to save till after walkies. light enters the sky. I shall now perform walkies. Merrie Christmas, however you take your pleasure.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

saw the 1st half of Breakfast Club, which I aint never seen before, amazingly. tho having lived thru the 80s (it came out in 1984, I infer) I absorbed a degree of it. beginning with that song by Simple Minds, which I admit to still kinda liking. I didn't realize or had forgotten that John Hughes directed. for a while there he made just about every movie in which an adolescent, pre-adolescent or post-adolescent appeared. I can recall some were okay in their way, and some just functioned on the strength of formula. speaking of which... the opening credits wheeled out the five central characters. let's see if I can memory it all up: Molly Ringwald was the pretty in crowd girl, Michal Something Hall was the dork, Emilio Estevez was the jock, Judd Nelson was the hood, and Ally Sheedy was the eccentric introvert. it is true that school divides into such factions, but perhaps with more blurring round the edges. the five must spend 8 hours doing nothing in the school building as pennnance for misdeeds. which strikes me as an unusual way of dealing with problems. a school official, after all, must come to school to oversee. that school official is a Captain Bligh-like asshole. his pugnaciousness is better suited for employment as prison guard but I'll leave his career choice at that. bad guy Judd is the main instigator, asking direct, offensive questions and stirring the pot. everyone gets their chance to orate about life as a teen, and Hughes makes sure everyone is juxtaposed with everyone else, for purposes of dramatic tension. zowee. I was taken by how acting class the whole movie was. Ally Sheedy with her hair covering her face, squeaking inexplicably, seems perfectly inarticulate in a seriously autistic way at one point but later is asking probing big life questions of Emilio. the kids are so knowing and so stupid at the same time. condensare. and don't forget the hijinx. Erin put the movie on, somehow with the idea it was a funny romp or such like. no, more like a hunk of phony tearjerk for the cheap seats. anyone seen any of the actors lately, or Hughes himself? it's like the 80s wouldn't let them go.

Friday, December 22, 2006

yesterday was our anniversary. we went to dinner in a restaurant in Concord, yes snooty old Concord that was in Thoreau's crosshairs. afterwards we drove around a little, because some people have taken to decorating their homes with lights and whatnot, which is rather fascinating to look upon. well, were we surprised to see luminarias (bags with lit candles inside) lead into the woods near the river. and further, a bonfire could be seen. actually, what 1st caught our attention was the number of cars parked by the river. also, the sound of drums. where were people going? natch we had to find out. Beth put it together, a druidy, pagany thing going on. well don't that beat all! it so happens I LUV witnessing sacrifices, they really make you stop and consider things. (just kidding). we walked to where the luminarias began. someone was there photographing a standard which showed sun and moon in a yin/yang sort of configuration. Brother Sun and Sister Moon. the guy told us that he'd heard of this gathering before but had never seen it. we followed the path in. coming widdershins was a couple with a baby carriage. the path was uneven with roots and rocks. I'm not sure there was a baby in the carriage but there was a large drum. in a clearing we found a group of maybe 20, men and women. all of whom were in their 50s: retired hippies!!! I mean, you bet. 6 were gathered with guitars singing a country blues. others were clustered talking. I don't know how pagan the festivities might've been, could as well have been a reunion of Deadheads. things were breaking up. the fire was beautifully set up, a campfire really but riproaring and lovely. the people ignored us. the photographer had made his way in and was taking pictures of the people and of the the sun standard set up nearby. I felt like an outsider because I'd dressed in a tie just to prove to Beth that I can still do it. I probably looked like The Man. that Beth and I were married on Winter Solstice was intentional, so this little celebration felt natural and right. neither Beth or I was brought up religiously. I attended a Unitarian church with my parents. nothing religious about that. you can't get too excited about being non-committal, and so the Unitarians floating along in mildly liberal satisfaction. when I learned about morris dances, the Golden Bough, etc, I got more interested in things pagan, tho I've never like joined and circles or whatchacallit. Easter, for instance, attracted me more when I could connect it to fertility rites. so anyway, our hippies friends apparently make it an evening every solstice. the juxtaposition with staid Concord aint lost on me. the area of the gathering was held sacred, so I've heard, by native Americans. the colonials, natch, determined the land was a good place to pasture cows. so anyway, a clear cool night, the river roaring by at whatever the very least speed a river can move and not be a pond. Beth and I finishing off 6 years together, a time that, honest to god deserves a book to be writ, if either of us are strong enough for that. and we're lucky as anything.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Beth and I shopped a bit yesterday. 1st, late lunch at Panera, where I had onion soup in a carved out boule of sourdough. the French have made it law that a croutons must be part of the onion soup experience. included with the soup: a nice hunk of bread. must have more bread, must have more bread... 1st stop was L. L. Bean, with a specific item in mind. when I went to Franconia College, in northern nowhere, New Hampshire, it was considered a big adventure to drive all night to Freeport, Maine and hang out at the Bean store. at the time it was the only Bean outlet, and it was a sumptuous all night store, to accommodate hunters and grass-inspired hippie types. I never made the trip but a fellow at school would frequently remind me of the time we drove to the store. I'd tell him that I had never made the journey and, with appropriate baffled pause, he'd reply, really, are you sure? whenever the store was brought up, my father would intone the store's slogan: L. L. Bean, the best I've ever seen. he knew the store when you could meet the famous L. L. hismelf. it seemed like a friendly, fresh store but we were there only long enough to learn that hand crank flashlights that can charge cellphones were out of stock (for a friend). so a trip to The Mall became necessary. at the front of the Discovery store, someone was stationed with the charge of greeting customers and playing with toys. previously, said toy was a flying saucer, a radio-controlled fan provided the aeronautical oomph. this time it was a radio-controlled dinosaur. it was a high energy, constantly moving toy that sharply resembled the perpetual motion terrier pup we came close to adopting, the Terrierist. the Apple store continued to look hip. psst, we got something for Erin. Brookstone, another store full of gizmos, actually had the cellphone charging handcrank flashlight. I got new earphones for my measly half gig last year's iPod Shuffle. sigh. at Circuit City, I gave them my computer so they could add memory. I was told the chips can easily be replaced. last week I opened this machine up and removed a chip, just to see what up. I thought I got it back in but when I restarted my computer it reached a point then went blue screen then out. that sort of thing discombobulates me, even tho I managed to poke at the thing to set it proper, so I was happy to follow the recommendation of letting a greenshirted tech guy perform the operation for a financial consideration that I considered worthwhile. I remained at the counter while Beth applied peeled eye to televisions and cameras. a tv was on behind the counter at which I waited. the show was oook I forget the name, a celebrity news round up that rounded up the tidiest tidbits of essential info, which were exploded via electronic magic into once key areas of my brain. a full nelson was applied to my brain 1st off in seeing Lara Spencer as one of the "reporters" on this show. I think she killed off the bouncily enthusiastic twins on Antiques Roads showmaking them get their own show. the point is that this Lara Spencer, seemingly cool and snooty, has PBS cred, and hadn't ought to, under any circ, be on a celeb news ooze, where haughtiness is reserved for, you know, Gary Burghoff of MASH fame, and not pandering celebrity news show hosts. I mean really. the big story was of Miss USA almost being dethroned by Donald the Trump for having partied somewhat underagedly. there was a press conference in which a heated Trump and a mortified Miss USA paid public pennence, altho perhaps they spelled it correctly. the Trumpmeister barked out that the miscreant must go into rehab, which he made sound like a punishment rather than an assistance. if she doesn't shape up, we'll be seeing a new Miss USa, and you know how rocky it can get when there's a change of Miss USAs midterm. I hope it doesn't come to that. there was a shocking story about Britney Spears getting onstage at some club and doing a strip tease. apparently she kept her clothes on, which I guess is the shocking part. unfortunately I cannot recall more news items but I know they were equally captivating if not more or less so.

Monday, December 18, 2006

ready for the jam bands

, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

I appreciate when poets write about their craft, the inklings of curiosity and the so forth that moves the writer, in this instance Shanna Compton. I could tell a different tale but no reasonable competitive basis exists. nor, I should add, am I or anyone going to save poetry, however much one might sneer, erupt or defy malfeasance in the poetry biz. neither shall poetry be killed. in saying this, I don't want to indicate that tales of Christmas trees falling down are not of the poetic. if I need to defend myself. which I don't.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

since you're not doing a whole lot (reading this blog), you probably could spare a moment to read the latest at Antic View, or assay my latest pix at Flickr. links are conveniently to the right, but use the left side of your brain for best results. I like how I flounder around with Jeff Harrison's percipient questions (Antic View), and I take total credit for the weird wonders that walk onto the viewing field of my camera. elsewise go see how Jimmy's dealing with the issues, that could be important too.
we had a party saturday night, our Christmas party. I didn't get to bed till after midnight. at 4:00, hello kitty advocated that I rise. a feeling of numbness made me refuse. at 5:00, however, I woke out of habit, and was awake enough that I just got up, tho tired. what did I see in the living room? why, the tree reclining on the floor. of course I had plenty of energy. I proceeded to remove all the ornaments and lights that weren't smithereened, a slow process. not to exaggerate, but it was a sort of Katrina moment, seeing things so messed up. in sooth, it wasn't quite so bad. our collection of ornaments includes some sentimental items from both Beth and me, plus our gaudy new haul. some of what I had are/were literally more than 100 years old, tho for the most part ratty looking items. we have since sawed the trunk again and set the tree up. decoration will occur anon. I did the dishes then went to bed for a short snooze around 10:30. the tree probably wasn't securely set in the stand the first time. the mystery is that the cat never showed up for breakfast, an amazing neglect of his inborn duty. his 1st and 2nd Christmases he took to climbing into the tree but he hasn't done that, being a husky fellow, the past couple. so we don't think he knocked the tree over. possibly the tree fell when he was in the room, thus scaring the bejesus out of him, but Beth thinks he was on the bed the whole night. Beth's niece is visiting us, but our cat, Mowgli, accepts her. he doesn't accept a bunch of strangers in his home as we had the night before. so maybe he's in a pout about the incursion of strangers raiding his abode, but that rarely causes him to miss a meal once the coast is clear. anyway, this afternoon we went to Orchard House in Concord, home of the Alcotts. instead of the usual tour, like we had of the Old Manse on the 4th of July, they had a presentation. each room of the place was hosted by an Alcott family member. that is, Bronson, Marmee, Louisa Mae, etc. it was a pleasant, different approach. Concord had a snootful of idealistic, iconoclastic thinkers back then. hard to imagine now. the town has always been well-heeled. as recently as 15-20 years ago, it still had a working class element to it, mostly due to its farms. today it just wants to go mcmansion, altho it remains a pretty little town. just snobby as shit. after our tour we had dinner then took in a couple of extreme Christmas homes. you know, with mucho lights. one of these displays is excessive, no question, but with a certain amount of taste. the other is kitsch to some power I have yet to compute. illuminated Santas up the wazoo, including Homer Simpson as Santa, the Grinch as Santa, Mickey Mouse as Santa. I took pictures tho I doubt they can give any sense of the wonders. if that 2nd house could be deconstructed, woo hoo, it'd have something to say. a couple years ago, the lights on the roof spelled out SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, for the particular benefit of planes leaving and arriving at the nearby airfield. so now i shall take a look at pictures and then reclaim the sleep I missed.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Jim Happened, Once

control is organized into bits of jim. this jim falters like any other. this jim goes like a trip over to a sodden green field where so much happens in springtime. now the field turns grey. the grey redeems by closing in. bits of jim spread to transform: honk honk, that aint happening.

but wait mood, wait for time. and the piercing cry of lately, steams windows freely and then you gone. stare at the jim till not so fierce or free.

makes a burning study, says our jim.

a jim is rectangular.

a jim for once, with all the ploys attended.

then further jims, as motion towards resolution (like we all) yet tossed about stutter.

control is the jim byword, which stays insane.

sane isn't such a big drop either, of course.
just returned from a dawn walk with the dog. the cat's sitting by the tree. a length of garland has been detached from the tree and stretched out a bit. the cat looks like pride in the undertaking. because no one asked him to provide this service, he offered it free. anyway, segue, listening to Christmas music on an internet radio station. currently it is the Waitresses. it is really amazing the amount of Christmas music that gets produced. and the attempts to make it "new". blues Christmas, jazz Christmas, heavy metal Christmas, hahaha. Martha and the (what are) Vandellas sang a classic, I forget which. you can hear highly professional studio musicians hacking thru a crisply dull arrangement. not to besmirch Martha, whose voice sounded nice. some years ago Neil Diamond had a Christmas special. Neil had to alert us that tho he is Jewish, he sill likes Christmas songs. it's okay, Neil. ook, now BB King and John Popper are bluesing out some nonsense. um, Popper's outmatched vocally. can't wait for those pointless triple speed harp runs. anyway, whatever Neil's strengths, and I'm not clear on those, he's really not exactly a dynamic performer. he sang "Little Drummer Boy". oh jeez, this is what I get for listening to the lyrics: "they call me backdoor Santa". Willie Dixon wrote that one too? reminds me of the world's ickiest Xmas song: "Santa Baby". which consists in invitations to Santa to come down my chimney, sung in a breathy Betty Boop voice. anyanyway, back to Neil. he was vocally challenged by "Drummer Boy", sought the easy way out with a near spoken phrasing. the pa-rum-pum-pums had him baffled however. he had a pained expression each time he intoned the syllables. why am I saying pa-rum-pum-pum-pum?. why indeed. at some point, Neil sang with a boy's chorus. some televisional genius thought that Neil should interact with the boys. no doubt Neil read off the teleprompter PUT HAND ON BOY. he did so in a mechanical, cold way that was kinda creepy. well, now I've got "Frosty the Snowman" sung by Fats Domino. what a stupid ass song. and yoiu know those 8' bubbles with Frosty and Santa, teamed up to outcute lesser decorative insights. a place down the road apparently only runs the pump at night, during the day their inflated display lays in a deflated heap in the ground. Santy!!!. yow, why am I listening to Billy Squier and his "Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You"? last night, to offer one more crack insight, a gaudily decorated house and yard did it all. HO HO HO in big letters on the side of the house, Santa and teammate Frosty waving to passersby, candy canes, reindeer, and a full manger scene. secular and religious blended in an assertion of silly seriousness. die for our sins, ho ho ho. anyway, Karen Carpenter is making my heart pump quickly singing abut a child who will bring us goodness and light. ho ho ho.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

thank goodness we went shopping yesterday, I was getting nervous about missing Christmas. didn't really Christmas shop. I needed an externl storage unit so that maybe I could backup my files. that sent us to Circuit City. there was an ad for either CC or BB (Best Buy) in which a man and woman enter the store and suddenly the man goes wild-eyed with all the glittering electronics and bounds off like a puppy. I feel a little like that. it all looks toothsome. Beth stared at a flat screen tv that looked like a good deal. I got 60 gigs of storage, which is pretty good as my hard drive is 40. hip hop music played over the sound system in the store. admittedly I haven't listened much to rap, which I don't merely offer as evidence of my fogeyness. I mostly know rap/hip hop from novie and tv background music. auditory signal of urban cred. which reminds me of a Budweiser commercial starring Jay-Z. I mean, that's one way I see of losing cred: hawking Bud. Erin meanwhilst ogled cameras, which was his aim. he's as much interested in video as stills, plus constrained by budget. there was a metallic red camera, small too, which I didn't even pick up but still felt envious of whoever might own it. my camera's rather small but it's blocky in its way, and it looks like a camera. I want a camera that looks like a rocketship, don't you? we walked out of CC without more damage than the storage unit, which legitmately features in the category necessity. CC is actually across from the mall. the mall itself seemed quiet. Erin and I went to Ritz camera while Beth got caught in Crate and Barrel's tractor beam. Erin quizzed the people there then we went into C&B. well, no, Erin went to parts unknown. sales staff a little testy at C&B, not unreasonably so. Beth got some eminiently needed garlands for the tree. then... we went to a music/video/whatever store to find Erin. along the way the cart people lunged at us. one time it was a young man and woman trying to attract us to something. the image of a moray eel darting from its rock niche comes to mind. another time it was 2 young women at maybe a cosmetics thingie. they both remained seated on their stool, which is a funny image when you think on it, like they didn't want to expend too much energy. the opposite of that manner of drawing in is Abercrombie and Fitch (and/or Finch). the loud insistent dance music and the dark store front simply pull people in. a black hole. there's a women's clothes place with a lime and apple green decor that is extremely pleasing to my eyes at least, I'd want to go there. as opposed to the toy store, which is just super garish and bright. oh, in the entrance of the Discovery Store, a store person was radio-controlling a flying saucer. it had a fan that pushed it off the ground. dazzling! perfect for driving the cat crazy. somehow we found Erin again, went back to Ritz to procure his camera. then home. Beth annoited the tree with garland (we got the lights on yesterday... when I say we I mean Beth did, Beth has patience that I can't conceive), Erin set up his camera and I set up my storage drive. then take out Indian food, then an evening of putting ornaments on a fir tree in our living room. I also took pictures. Erin regarded his duty solely as getting a photographic record of Xmas 06, and plus too playing with new camera. well, today, harrumph, I just put the kibosh on the cat getting his morning exercise with an ornament. he's cleaning his foot now.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

puppy of the apocalypse

puppy of the apocalypse, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

btw, anyone know if I should commit to beta Blogger? I tend to jump willy nilly, seeing a finer world in the upgrade, but in sooth that's not necessarily the case. has Blogger, or should I say GOOGLE, replaced old errors and screw ups for crisp new ones???
I stuck Ben Friedlander's Flickr account in my list of links. notice that I've segregated the picture sites, which is an effort of hopeful organization that can't bode well. Ben posts family shots, and ones from his youth, and a lot of personal stuff, but also much other types. including notes written to his wife (grocery lists, even!). what I labour to say is how interesting it is, the possibility of these pictures, and these gosh darn public publishing sites. I know I can't maintain a comprehensive listing of such like so what I will post can be considered intimations. Alli Warren, Brandon Brown, Stephanie Young all post personal photos, to the extent that you can envy the swell poetry times they have out there on the left side. I also like Jesse Crockett's photos, which I have to link to. but like I said, I'm not the one to maintain anything called comprehensive. I haven't even gotten around to producing my own flood, just the merest trickle.
we've been watching the Everest series on Discovery the last few weeks. I'm quite fascinated by Everest. strictly armchair interest. I once climbed Mt Lafayette in New Hampshire and reached a panic point when I got above treeline. it's only a 4000' peak, a hike, but I had a strange feeling of vulnerability. the sky seemed too close, and it felt like I could fall into it. no sheer drops or anything, it's not a scary mountain that way. tho at the summit a thunderstorm could be seen heading towards, necessitating a scramble down. I had to push thru that panic, but when I did, I felt okay afterwards. so I suppose I shall not be standing next to any 10000' foot drops anytime soon. a somewhat ragtag bunch heading up Everest. a super fit asthmatic, a climber who'd lost both legs to frostbite, and a biker who'd suffered 2 major crashes, thus carrying a lot of metal inside him. the leader of the expedition is an older man who leads from base camp, keeping abreast of weather and news via computer. doing so for the very good reason of being clearer minded at the lower altitude. the assaults on Everest that occurred 10 years ago, which Jon Krakauer wrote about in Into Thin Air, saw the leaders of 2 expeditions, world class climbers both, stuck near the summit during a bluizzard, which they did not survive. both made questionable decisions. even Sherpas suffer edema up there. the asthmathic wanted to climb sans oxygen but a one day delay at high altitude proved too much and he had to come down. there was an md along, who I understood as the expedition's doctor, but he pushed on to the summit, which made no sense to me till I got that he was just another paying client. waiting to learn if the biker and amputee make it. think of Mallory up there in his wool tweed, hauling huge oxygen tanks. whew. and you get to the top and bejesus if you have any sense you run right back down. all the descriptions of such climbing are ridiculous in so far as the cold and lack of oxygen so terribly take their toll. everyone loses appetite, coughs their brains out and so forth. it's a funny set up because Sherpas climbed to the summit to set ladders and ropes for the clients. which doesn't make the climb easy but certainly eases things a lot. anyway, the man for whom the mountain is now named, I mean the English name of course, pronounced his name with a long e.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

103rd section of Antic View is up, as is the 6th installment of Captain Element. not forgetting apocalyptic puppy pix at my friend Flickr.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Beth had to stop when she saw a neighbour walking a terrier. she had to meet and greet the dog and talk with the owner. it was a Welsh/Irish terrier blend (which doesn't mean mucho to me, dogs are dogs for me, I'm not real subtle beyond that). the dog just lept about as Beth talked with the man and petted the dog. the man offered that she was more than he could handle. he said he was 80, which was not evident. the gist of this was an offer by Beth to maybe take the dog, an idea that the man took seriously. a day or two later he left a note at our door saying he would be willing to let the dog go. talking with him on the phone Beth learned that he'd come by earlier with the note but couldn't bring himself to leave it. but then came back. we've got an elderly dog (husky/German shepherd compote), and a cat, so we don't need another, but Erin's been looking for a young dog and and and. but that and is opposed by some practicalities, and as we thunk on it, we realized we couldn't take the dog. Beth was totally smitten by the dog, which is an energy bomb of Everest magnitude. I see why the man felt overwhelmed because the dog is young and full of energy plus she needs a lot of attention. not the best dog for an older person on their own, though the man seems hale enough. we pondered how the 3 of us could work this dog and recognized that we couldn't work it. so we had to say nay. Beth and I went over this evening to tell the man. we were there an hour. he's a widower who recently moved here to be closer to his daughter. the dog was in constant motion for the entire time. I had my camera and took some 60 pictures, of which about 5 are in focus because she moved so much. not only that but lunging at the camera. we really would like to take the dog, and the man was amenable because he liked us and we're nearby. we offered to help him with walking he dog and in finding a home for her. he said a few years ago this dog might be feasible for him but now he needs one that requires less attention. pets can fill a lot of vital space. our own dynamics are such that the terrier would have been a stress. alas. I'll Flickr up some pix.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

working out the details but I'll be doing a showing of paintings next month in a small gallery. it's associated with my master's project. January 20. I'm much excited and will detail further as facts arise. I will show a great deal of work, as much as I can fit into the space. woohoo.

Monday, December 04, 2006

whenever I think of the Poetics list, I think what a waste of time. and what a super waste of resource. people used to post poetry on the list, even Kari Edwards, now mourned, and Jeff Harrison, and Alan Sondheim, of course. others too posted regularly. but this collaborative bushwah downgrade hit and hit hard. wah wah wah, posting stuff I don't want!!! nice of Geoffrey Gatza to make Edwards' Having Been Blue for Charity available for download at his Blaze Vox site. it looks like a good dose of her work, which I have not read much of.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

blimey, I gotta do something about my typos. I'm motivated by a need to get things done quickly, that seems to be burned into me concerning blogs. well that's no excuse. sit back and enjoy my new resolve.
we didn't manage to get to the Demolicious reading with Ulla Dydo, whose name I have previously misspelled, peccavi. I was very interested, because I am tantalized by Stein but honestly not well read in her work. it occurred to me, hey, Amazon could maybe perhaps possibly have some Stein available. and true enough, so I shall get Making of Americans, and I dunno what. Stein's funny because she's well known yet I don't think well read by people. the Autobiography and Three Lives seem to be popular, and Picasso, and Tender Buttons has an esoteric following. I think you have to hunt for the rest of her oeuvre. Dydo has done major scholarly snooping into the texts, so, too bad we missed her. Jack Kimball has been such a yeoman about attending readings locally that I can assume he'll have a write up, and if so, that it'll be thoughtful and useful.
I've been reading Down Spooky by Shanna Compton. urg, I don't have the book handy and can't remember the publisher but you can get it here. I'm not really prepared to say why you should, but you should. my brief encounter so far is positive. perhaps my vocabulary's doing something to me, because I note a technical effect for which I haven't worked out the articulation. I think I see this same effect in Stephanie Young's work. almost surreal but not weirdly so, the unexpected terms and word choices. both writers intone situations, emotional loci, that shine with a clarity without falling into simplicity or definitiveness. emotions are neither simple or definitive, they blur into each other. I like how the terms in Spooky surprise and perplex yet make sense. I was thinking there was an oppositional energy evident but I don't like how oppositional connotes. an understood other arises in these poems, but I don't mean so much against as just situated, as in: there. tell me if I'm making sense. partly it's a matter of address. as I've said afore, I guess in comments about S Young, even, I like 2nd person plural, its generosity, its fluidity, its slide. I've only just gotten the book, and have been scanning and skipping around. I note that the poems gather momentum as a whole, that their drive is united rather than discrete. they show a considerable calm polish. I've enjoyed what I've read and should underline that point (comme cela): these are poems to enjoy the way you enjoy, say, Frank O'Hara: deft, amiable, you know what I mean. I also, as a writer meself, want to figure out what she's doing, how her poems bloom as they do. so treat what I write here as hypothesis. the adventure follows. that's all I aim at in any of my "reviews".

Saturday, December 02, 2006

okay, so I'm like, here it is, another part of Captain Element

Friday, December 01, 2006

we saw Borat last night. lots of fun, bring the whole family. indeed it was pretty funny. the matter of taste and the appropriate does come up. I'm probably pretty fuzzy on that topic. I don't think good comes of touchiness, but I also believe in a moral or ethical rigour. when I saw Michael Richards pop his cork, I saw flop sweat. he desperately grasped the possibility of street edginess to save him, if that's how you want to quantify it, and it played unnaturally. Borat certainly locates right in the mess of things. Borat is comfortable in the midst of that risk. it is interesting to see when Borat goes over the edge for his victims. at the rodeo, it wasn't when he said Bush should drink the blood of every Iraqi, it was when he sang how Kazakhstan is the number one country, with the best potash in the world. and the party at Secession Drive doesn't get ugly until the black prostitute that Borat invited showed up. but others, like the sweet Jewish couple (from whom Borat and his producer cower in terror) or the auto school teacher, are pretty accepting. as a movie it gets normative a few times, like the tender moments with the prostitute and his boring dark night of the soul after his producer leaves. the scene in which he and his producer fight nude rides on an exceeded sense of slapstick. do I want to see Borat and his hairy and obese producer wrestle sloppily in the nude? can I look away? the movie goes awry because of lack of movie making vision. those normative moments, for one. and is it supposed to be cinema verite or not? supposedly he's being filmed but there are moments when apparently there is no person manning the camera. Comedy Central had a promo show a while ago for the movie, which I saw. not long movie, so it turns out I saw a goodly portion of the flick beforehand. I never saw Ali G, so I'll be letting Youtube fulfill that necessity. I've caught, so far, Ali G interview Dr Norman Chomsky, in which Chomsky doesn't have the footwork to keep up with the joke. Andy Kaufman should be getting some residuals from Sacha Baron Cohen.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I have some reviews at Galatea Resurrects. read reviews of Mainstream by Michael Magee and Musee Mechanique by Rodney Koenecke here.

read a review of Post~Twyla by Jack Kimball here. Jesse Crockett also reviews Twyla, here. I like the idea of multiple reviewers. my reviews aren't intended to be comprehensive, that's your job. I just want to say the water's fine, and indicate a few features of the various works.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I use Google's home page (personalized!!!), because I believe in giving the gang at Mountain View as much opportunity to glean personal info as possible (yes, I did visit Ron Silliman's blog). so naturally I have at the ready there. as in: one click for all that info I need. this naturally led me to a story about K-Fed (Federline, Kevin: amazing dancer, rapper, hubby and dad). (can you imagine your dad as a fantastic rapper who had sex with Britney? awesome!). and his entourage holing up at some club. did the italics create the right tone there? accent the last syllable to indicate the extreme awesome wonder of K-Fed and entourage as a semantic unit. they all sat at a VIP booth or throne or nave or whatever, as befits their status as K-Fed and entourage. K-Fed, goes the report by someone there, drank Jack Daniels and sent text messages to the galaxy in which K-Fed is the head star. he didn't pay much attention to his entourage. wow you gotta believe it was an interesting entourage, because figure: would K-Fed have an uninteresting one? high school grads, every one, no doubt. BUT WHO DID HE TEXT MESSAGE?? here's where Google could finally be of help. pull that info together guys and make it available!!!. K-Fed refused interviews but he told reporters: "I'm good." he's good! losing Britney, the love of his life, mom of his kids, that's gotta be painful, and yet, bravely, he can stand there in his pinstriped suit and say he's good. worry not, the healing process has begun. tho it must be tough with Brit having lesbo sex with Paris Hilton, or maybe it was at the Paris Hilton. the amazing thing is that the DJ at the fantastic club played a Britney song. I mean, his entourage stops dancing and they're like, what's with that, man??? and K-Fed waves his hand to indicate that things Britney are non-negotiably like totally anathema. yeah, it was a complicated wave. and the DJ stops the Britney fest and was like, okay, my bad, bring on the thumb screws. and he says, it's Kevin's night and all. which it sure was. I live on this information, how it shapes my world.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

yes, the Times has some great hints for book giftgiving. yo, check out this new guy Allen Ginsberg! okay, so here's a sentence from the blurb for Ishmael Reed: "Poetry of politics and diversity, suffused with humor." tell me that the word diversity isn't a giveaway. make that the pair of politics and diversity. I'm guessing it is those terms that make poetry comestible for Times thinking.
we saw Syriana last night. I liked it but have far from a complete picture of it. it has that Le Carre undercurrent of not quite clear motives, which is hard to keep straight. and I had a few wait a sec who's this guy moments. I needed a score card. neither George Clooney or Matt Damon outshined the movie, which is a good thing. I would posit that what the movie wanted to accomplish can't be done in the allotted time. it was engrossing, tho, and I'd watch it again. its conspiracy theory was much more reasonable than JFK, which went from wacky (which is okay) to just plain stupid. I really disliked how Stone jammed the camera up everyone's nose except Costner's. the twining of plots in Syriana worked pretty well, and appropriate to the twisted situation. the culminating gathering of George Clooney, Matt Damon and Dr Bashir from Deep Space 9, or whatever show that was, was almost deflating. not that there's any reason to expect hopefulness. I just hope our next president is tied to the oil business so that we won't have to endure any sort of ameliorating change.
once again a ramble thru the mall yesterday. what's this got to do with poetry, writing, what not? everything or nothing. we had some things we sought, but we also just wanted to 'do' the mall, plus Beth was making a surveying of stores re how's business. we checked out the Apple store once again. that place was jumping. I would never let colour or styling top price and working features for a computer or mp3 player yet I still feel the lure of the glitz in that store. I got a half gig Shuffler last year and really it fills my needs. yet I ogle. the new Shuffler doesn't actually satisfy any necessity by being half the size of my present one. the rapt excitement evident in the store is remarkable, as in, buy Apple stock. there was a low, circular table for children, and each station had an intent child checking out a computer. get 'em early. and just think, an iPhone is coming omigod omigod omigod. one store had live models in the window. I really couldn't look, it hit a weird note for me. they weren't static, at least. there was a sort of semi-pro quality to the models, as if they had a mild fear that their friends might see them. I just can't imagine the view from the window. it was a store aimed at young women. another store had three staff people waiting anxiously at the entrance with no one in the store. on the other hand, Abercrombie and Fitch. the pulsing dance music, the darkness... slats covered the store front so that you can't see in or out. it's your own little youth world. business was okay there. the excitement was more manufactured than at Apple, tho. Beth pulled me into Coach, home of the upper class handbag. Beth was given one from her aunt. they have a lifetime guarantee, and grow in value. I assumed the target audience was middle aged women but that's not what I saw. we were greeted by a Kirsten Dunstish woman and most of the staff was on the young side. plenty of staff too. and most of the women poking around were tweens. so Coach I guess adapted to the market. the style of the bags doesn't say youth market to me, nor does the price range of the goods, so the adaptation that Coach made was in the relateable youth of its staff. it's fascinating looking at the economy this way. I think there should be a warning sign near Yankee Candle, because those shops have such a powerful aroma. I won't say stench but... the aromatics they use can't be natural, kind of an industrial attack on the olfactory bulb. I somehow lost my camera's battery charger a while back. last time at the mall I got a new one. this time I got the right (I forgot what brand of camera I have, duh). also got the cable to send iPod thru a radio. more later.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

when I saw this poem by Tom Beckett I wondered who this Allen Bramhall is, I got good vibes from the name. well nemmind that, the poem speaks to my own idea of narrative. I appreciate Henny Youngman's jokes for their desperate succinctness. he removes the extraneous so that his jokes are almost entirely punchline (take my wife, please). I believe poems should propel themselves with the most eficient machinery. which isn't a call for short poems but dense, essential ones. the plots in novels most often are the fakest part. the logic of narrative shouldn't be so linear because that linear throb assumes too much by way of antecedents and motivation. thus the episodic jounce interests me more. momentary revelations. so the 14 parts of Tom's poem are expansion points. the narrative occurs within these points but also, more importantly within the realm defined by the title. where such questions as these occur: why is this called a sonnet? how are these 14 stories tied together? why do these stories seem to be answers to unasked questions? it's deftly done, because if these are boiled down from stories, what the reader gains is not a reconstitution of each story but a renewal of the terms of story. the starting point is revitalized with new possibiities. anyway, that's my riff.
Antic View is at its 101st installment and Captain Element is at its 3rd.
watched Warlock last night, a horror movie. I'd seen it before (as it turns out, not the beginning). I might've better warned Beth and Erin of its nature. I did recall some gory parts but what I'd enjoyed were the funny parts. it begins in Boston in 1691. a rather pleasant few minutes of evoking that place and time, then some Puritan yolks are seen marching to this stone tower. inside is a fellow in chains. he's the warlock, and he's to be executed. bursting in amidst this is a fellow wearing fur who I guess captured the warlock. came in to gloat. I didn't see any of this part on my previous viewing. well, as things would have it, the warlock manages to escape into a handy vortex, and the furry guy leaps after him. cut to present day (about 10 years ago). a young woman is roused in the night by a noise. this is Lori Singer, who I've seen somewhere or other but can't recall where. her brother played Beastmaster (I think), so, um, you know. anyway it's not Lori who rushes to investigate the noise, it's her character. her male roommate comes out from another room. he has his slippers and robe on. reminds me of 50s sitcoms when anything that happened in the night perforce causes people to get robe and slippers on before doing anything else. what's the point of escaping a burning building if you're not wearing your slippers? they see the warlock unconscious on the floor, he having crashed thru the window. they strike me as rather blase about his arrival. I think Lori, or Kassandra with a K, might've said something like welcome to California. still, it was more like, oh look. K wants to call the police but the roomie opts for compassion, so the warlock is bedded down. next morning K goes to work. roomie later gets up and makes breakfast. as he does so, warlock enters. played by Julian Sand, who I've seen elsewhere, with a similar exultation of creepy evil. he has a long blond ponytail, dressed in black and oozes sexy evil. the roomie chatters happily, perhaps a tiny bit interested in this streamlined piece of evil. warlock notices the roomie's ring. quite suddenly, warlock grabs a knife and chops off the ring finger. roomie cries but doesn't bleed. warlock calmly puts ring on. he then not so explicably kisses roomie roughly. by roughly I mean he bites roomie's tongue off and spits it into the hot frying pan. in case anyone hadn't caught the evil that was warlock. I don't, btw, recall a name attached to warlock. this roomie scene didn't quite please the others and it didn't zackly work the plot. anyway, later K discovers that her roommate has died. meanwhile, the warlock visits a fortune teller. he wants to talk with his father Zamiel. the fortuneteller fakes a visit, warlock says tut tut and then the fortuneteller, with visage altered horribly, channels, um, dad. who has a rough echoey voice, as evil incarnate often does. warlock must collect the three parts of the Grand Grimoir that are scattered about. the world, all worlds, will cease to exist if he does so. but he'll get to live on with dad. to him, this is a good thing. dad offers the expedient of cutting out his (but alas her) eyes out, and they will lead warlock to the pages. that's another scene that would've been best left unseen by the others. okay so Redfern, the other guy swept into the vortex, appears. he gives K some helpful plot points. then he's hauled in by the police, who K called when she was more distrustful of weirdos from the past. then warlock returns, smashes a piece of furniture in which is hidden, it turns out, 1/3 of the Grimoir. he puts a spell on K that ages her 20 years a day. so now we have our quests. 1st she bails out Redfern. they must find the bracelet that warlock took from K so that the aging process can be reversed. additionally there's that detail about the Grimoir, end of the world, and all. here the movie actually gets pretty perky. K's Valley Girlness and anachronistic Puritan Redfern combine for some humour. Redfern has a compass that, using a stray drop of warlock's blood, can locate the malefactor. so now we needn't wonder whether ever the twain. all make their way to Colorado, where they find a Mennonite family that happens to have part of the Grimoir. oh wait, the creepy scene in which warlock talks up a child. this is a cinematic trick that's almost too much. innocent unsuspecting child and this fellow who we know can will do anything. it turns out warlock needs an unbaptised boy's rendered fat so that he (warlock) can fly. we see nothing of the murder but it hangs in our heads. and given that the murder is only to facilitate the movement of a character, the horridness is magnified and not compelling. well Redfern and warlock tussle. at one point, Redfern has his whip wrapped around warlock's ankle and is being dragged by the flying evilness. it looked like, as Erin said, Macy's parade. speaking of which, Big Bird on thursday, because of wind, was kept low to the ground and face down. rather an indignity. a weird shot of a commentator with Bird Bird being led by had a ceremonial smack, as if Big Bird were to be sacrificed. I mean, such a deed would be evil enough for warlock. anyway, Redfern almost gets warlock but warlock buzzes the Mennonite grandpa in the eyes with his X-Ray Vision, and Redfern cuts off battle to save him. K, now aged, has a weapon, at least. driving a brass nail into warlock's footprints will stab warlock. warlock, who's holed up in a boxcar, craftily puts a piece of wood on the soles of his feet to protect himself. K craftily bangs a nail into the impression of warlock's butt on the ground. that puts warlock in extremis, and K closes in for the kill, but then the train starts to move. K with her granny legs can't keep up. but she finds her bracelet, and so is youthed back to normal. okay now I think they only guess that part 3 is in Boston, so they fly back. warlock hides in the bilge or whatever the word is that I can't remember. the good guys confront the priest of the church who clues them in that the Grimoir is probably at the burial ground, it being hallowed ground. the word is hold, hold. then warlock visits the priest too. he inveigles the truth from him by threatening the child in the womb of the priest's servant. oddly, it sorta came across as if the child was the priest's. anyway, the final battle. they find the Grimoir but K realizes that the burial ground has been moved and that the ground is no longer hallowed. which means the warlock is free to come. which he does. fight fight fight. Redfern's ass is kicked and K's been thrown into the bay. warlock intones the grim words of the world's cessation, clouds develop, yikes. but K climbs from the bay with her syringes. see, it has been meetly established that she is diabetic. she stabs warlock in the neck with the syringes crying, try salt water, fuckbrain. it also having been meetly established that salt is anathema to evil incarnate. so warlock melts, clouds disappear and all's back to a proper whimper not a bang. Redfern and Kassandra with a K enjoy a chaste loving moment then Redfern is whisked back to his time. Kassandra finishes the movie by burying the Grimoir in the Bonneville salt flat. the end.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I started another blog, namely Captain Element. I would like to keep at it, thematic, but whether that's in the cards, I dunno. I am interested in narrative, just not so interested in stories. stories being the overdetermined part of narrative. the blog, if I persist, will be my adventure if not yours. my point here is the sort of flarfy goings on in these 2 pieces. I use the term flarfy carefully and warily. 1: flarf is not mine, I'm borrowing what I like. 2: I no more want to enclose my work than any others (tho I do both often enough). Kasey Mohammad writes of his interest in and preference for the unpoetic, or apathy for the poetic." that unpoetics feeds flarf, and not just flarf. the pop heroes and characters that I confiscate are these heightened, goosed, platitudes. I think flarf hovers on such like. I like the collision of the hoky, the stupid, and the intense. in a way--a screwy way, for sure--the racism in the Fu Manchu books, and Tarzan, and Robert E Howard, is a good thing. it's the serious, if warped, side of the general goofiness. so I'm reading now Corn & Smoke by Blaster Al Ackerman (Shattered Wig Press 2006). I traded my own book, Simple Theory, to Ric Royer for it, I believe they work in the same bookstore. goofy, hilarious, short prose pieces. some are narratives. I've seen Blaster Al's work in John Bennett's Lost and Found Times. the mainstream and the avant garde (I know, what the hell do those terms mean) often sound ALIKE and unimpressive and heard it before. the good energy of flarf is its grasp on the pervasive nuttiness. the bad energy, as Kasey points out is "when flarf simply becomes another item on the craft-based academic menu (this actually seems to be happening in some places), it loses a large part of its reason for existing." I guess I'm in the surprise me school of readership, or learn me something. Blaster Al--and were I to meet him, I'd sure enough say Blaster Al--is a subversive. flarf is interesting to the degree it wields subversion. the arts continually need subversion, it's the breath of change and growth for that which possesses the countering impulse to solidify (hey, let's all write Frank O'Hara New York poems!!!). so anyway, I see in my own 'tactic' with Fu Manchu et alia a comprehension of the unpoetic. at any rate, the prose style comprises squalid Victorian virtues and the avant's foot disjunctively in the next metre forever. that's what I see, anyhoo. the real tactic is impatient, and could we change the channel puh-LEASE!!!
a couple nights ago we popped over to the mall, really just for the Indian food at the food court. it being closer and cheaper than any other Indian alternative, and decent besides. and the mall is alit with seasons greetingness. the mighty food court sits beneath a glass rotunda with strings of white lights hanging down and blinking at a tastefully slow rate. on the floor under the rotunda is a mandala design. children invariably gather there and invent games that make use of the sections of the design, or they race around its perimeter. the chasing game was in full swing when a younger child happened in. she was too young to quite get the social thing and so raced about wildly, screaming and excited. a number of children were dressed in sunday best, having performed that Santa picture thing for grandma. Erin had some errand and dashed off. Beth and I strolled the fairly quiet mall. we parted when I wanted a look in the Apple store and Beth was drawn like a magnet to Crate and Barrel. those Apple toys sure are tempting, I'm embarrassed to say. embarrassed because I know I'm beguiled by the slickness. the store offers a bunch of tables on which are displayed the goods. I couldn't tell who might be store employees, a lot of people seemed wired in several senses of the word. I also don't know if I show fogy by seeing little need for a video iPod. I mean maybe seeing Kramer have a nutty on that 2 inch screen, but do I want to see Caribbean Pirates of the Penzance part 19, chapter 47, redux 99, the prequel, on it? I dunno. the new shuffle is pretty small, but you still got the wires. next stop implants, and William Gibson can rest. so then I toddle (because the crowd was small I had room to toddle) to Crate and Barrel. where Beth and I ogled the Christmas ornaments. if you like colour and glitter... tasteful in an overstated way. the colours are like magic in my eyes. Erin being in wander mode we repaired to Pottery Barn, where Erin knows he can find us. ornaments there were much subtler and refined. and heavy. give me the brighter colours. Erin didn't appear so I did reconnaissance. while walking the mall I noticed a woman sprawled on a short couch. it seemed early in the season to be wasted by shopping but I thought nothing more of it. naturally when I returned to PB Erin was there with Beth. we went down the mall again. the woman on the couch had slumped to the floor. I didn't noticed till I'd passed. several people were with her. it became obvious, once I could see (because a crowd gathered), that the woman was really unwell. she didn't appear conscious. people were saying, what should I do? a woman helping said call security. Beth more wisely advised call 911. the woman threw up, which was scary because she wasn't conscious. in situations such as this I feel, seeing things in hand, to step away discreetly and not be part of he staring. we moved on to make a quick purchase for Erin then came back, by which time EMTs were strapping her onto a gurney. hardly apropos but I'm reminded of when my mother had broken her hip. she and my father were going in for her first check up by the orthopedist since she came home. she wasn't that good using the walker then. going up the slight incline to the hospital she fell backwards. immediately doctors came out and said don't move. the ambulance had to be called, coming from the fire department 5 miles away, to move 100 yards up to the emergency ward. I get why that is, but it still doesn't impress my intuitive sense. anyway, today, Thanksgiving morning. the dog and I passed the still smouldering remnants of a bonfire, I guess to inspire the football team to take no prisoners. I don't know where they find that many witches to burn. I guess the game is in enemy territory.

Monday, November 20, 2006

at the risk of sounding all buddhisty and all, I feel I ought to point again to Access to Insight. it provides n enormous amount of texts for Buddhist study, including a great deal of the Pali Canon in translation. texts, commentaries, even help with the Pali language itself, were you so scholarly minded. this is what the perfect world vision of the Internet would provide, back when we were dreaming about what the Internet could do. sensible navigation, visually clean and clear, it's simply a great repository of works. a companion site, Sutta Readings, provides readings. this is useful as much of this work originated orally, with reinforcing repetitions that you can find yourself skimming as you read. the frame of reference for both sites is Theravada Buddhism, but not exclusively.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I don't seem to put poems on this site much now. I burden the collaborative blog Taking the Brim with some of what I write. here's yet another Fu Manchu poem. I've let myself write many poems featuring the sinister doctor.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

another paint class at the adult daycare. the last time we did it, a woman produced 20 mostly monochromatic paintings (she's always very productive). someone had put them on the wall end to end. the person who did this did it logically, phasing from one colour to another. the thing is, that's how the woman painted them. I watched her go from black to blue to green in succeeding pictures. the result on the wall, a 20' long painting. and it has a sort of narrative to it. fascinating. today, this woman did vertical strips. lots of black but with other colours shadowing. and she's so happy and excited as she paints. I talked a lot with one woman. she really wants to paint but has that voice saying no. she's better educated than the others in the class but is very gracious and supportive. some of the people can be grumpy, or depressed, or just distracted. this woman asked me if it is more psychologically satisfying if you don't start with a plan. I said yes. she has the common problem of having all these models in mind that she feels she can't match. she was working the process of releasing that fears of inadequacy so she can do the painting she wants to do. one of the aides at the daycare started helping the woman by telling her what to paint, and even taking her hand and making the strokes. Beth took the aide aside and said don't help like that. yeah, we're not teaching technical skills. we're giving these people a chance to play. and it is necessary to go thru the process of breaking the resistance on your own. the woman who did the 20 footer was absolutely restricted when she 1st started doing our class.
Gary Sullivan points to this monster vid of rapper Ceza: zounds!!!. fast and faster, with, I assume, crisp enunciation (I give props to Bon Scott for being one of the few rock sceamers who enunciated). I find the speed ecstatic. there's a fair amount of music the excitement of which sits in the physical difficulty to produce it. certes, Ceza looks a bit knackered after his performance. but the performance is very musical as well as figuratively death-defying. the opposite end of the scale would be "Bells" by Albert Ayler (a link to which is to the right). I don't guess the technique of the trumpet or sax would overwhelm any half decent high school player, but the piece is 2 minutes of locked in joyful noise. I wrote recently of Silliman's lauding of Noah Eli Gordon's email-derived poem. Silliman kinda stops at concept, you ask me. if you want concept, read Love and Fame in New York by Ed Sanders. the book is full of wild, hilarious evocations of conceptual art. yet the idea is not the machine itself. I don't think that, as described, Gordon's poem is conceptual art. it is beyond concept, it is present. with Ceza's piece, well anyone can say, I'm gonna do it double (treble?) time. them tobacco auctioneers go lightning fast, and you might listen with amazement, but that isn't the same as the thing made by Ceza. or maybe it is. the point being it's not just idea but execution.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

all was well...then Computer Troubles. well of course, I have 2 papers due soonestly. a couple years ago I had a paper to write and not only did my computer go down but so did Beth's. and just to make sure I got the message about technical intractibility, and hwo the gods have lined up against me, my electric typewriter went caput too. which just let me show how honking motivated I can be when time's running out. this time at least the hard drive seemed mechanically sound. I consulted Swami Yellow Pages, and got numerous possibilties for computer aid. several calls reached businesses disinclined to answer (I waited till 9am to begin my supplications), I assume they triangulated my phone number and recognized I wasn't a worthy or lucrative challenge. one saviour only made house calls, and that call cost 50 bucks, to which is added the actual cost of fixing sad machine. I found a local, residential even, number and went with that. the guy sounded sensible, and only charged dollar a mile, less than 5 miles away, to show up. he had that doctorly calm you look for. oh yes, I can do that. no, you haven't lost everything. seems like he was good with his word, for here I is. so okay, I'm getting a memory stick or some other save solution, because I can't be so self-ultimate all the time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I have to wield the index finger for these compelling, strange photos. I mean particularly the ones under the rubric (it is a rubric, isn't it?) Detritus of War, oh and also Here's Mud in your Eye Mr Death. strange, unsettling, funny and exponential in their way. I love this sort of obsessive oddity, even the idea of making serious statements with GI Joe. I can't recall the guy's name--Herbert or Harold Gold, mebbe?--who was a part of the Golden Age of Pulp Sci Fi, in the 50s. he creatd a miniature town, photographed it and let writers use the town as backdrop for their stories. kinda cool. Donald's doing something like that, insinuating his action figures in his/our daily world.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

latest trip to Barnes and Noble. a buzzing place. I used to think hail to thee blithe little bookstores, but the romance of them has paled. I would just as soon see a mongo selection than a cat sleeping on the counter. liking cats tho I do. selection, price and coffee, woohoo. there were signs of Christmas, with giftie stuff in plain view. and a major rearrangement had occurred. I couldn't tell at 1st if the piped in music was faceless Christmas music or faceless regular music. I guess it was the latter. I went in with a vague hankering and didn't know where to look. if John Hodgman had a new book out, bingo! but I didn't see such a thing. I made my dutiful trip to the poetry section. came close to getting Creeley's collected from 75 on. the blurbs for it were mostly by dead people, Williams and Olson, for 2. really, it was just that it wasn't the vague thing I came in hankering for that kept me from that purchase. several editions of Howl. Ginsberg's mug showed up in a number of manifestations, on his own writing and as representative Beat in collections and histories. in my dotage I grow more fond of Ginsberg. certes, he's it for pizzazz in the poetry section. it really could be pumped, but I suppose that's a radicalism. it's just so faceless, all these poets who think they've made it because their strophes dedicated to chickadess (wee gaunt challengers of winter's froreness) or Saul Bellow were 1st published in Poetry. I think at the poetry section I encountered a guy on the phone. it was some serious conversation he engaged that I could happily have ignored, but he had no intention in denying me my public right to eavesdrop. I think he said the like of, I'm not the type of person to fuck people over. good on him! he moved on, only to be encountered in the psychology/self help area. which I immediately left. many editions of Walden, collect them all. I guess the big news is that Nicole Richey has a book. a copy was in the window and I saw it in the stacks. beneath the title are the words: a novel a novel a novel. I should do it marquee style: a novel a novel a novel a novel a novel. the point is, for the unwary, that the book is a novel. not a dissertation on eating disorders, nor a tell all about Lionel Richey's wardrobe nor even a discussion of Paris Hilton's contribution to shoe theory. nay, it is a fictionalistical story. of some sort. a ghastly glamour portrait of Nicole graces the cover. she appears to be made of shiny plastic. someday I will collect a few such oddities and um read them. I looked around for Fu Manchu books but found none. not sure where to look. what I took home from this experience is William Gaddis' last novel, a book on the Civil War by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (division leader of the Maine unit that held the flank at Little Round Top and even, sans ammunition, chased Johhny Reb down the hill in a moment of wartime esprit. also a package of little Moleskine notebooks, I like them Moleskines. the Gaddis is his last novel. I wonder if it aint a posthumously patched together item. it's very short. I really loved JR, still haven't read Frolic of their Own. he only wrote 4 novels, by gum. the regular price for this treasure is 25 smackers, which is ridiculous, tho hardcover at least. luckily it was cheaped to the max, thus my readiness to take a swing. I'm not big on posthumous discoveries. I read one by Hemingway, which someone likened to the work of Robert Benchley. negatory on that one. at the time, Benchley was pretty much ne plus ultra for me (sheen's a bit off now but he's still semi god). and Hemingway wasn't within a country mile of Benchley. good lord!!! so psyched enough to have the goods I got. I don't even know what Beth got. Erin I think scored something in the realm of D&D or Magic card. I go thru all this semi-literary stuff but jinkies, the past week Jack Kimball has perspicaciously written up at least 5 poetry readings that he attended. Boston is not entirely empty of sceneness, and I had ought to place my support more boldly. but a trip to B&N is a family thing, which beats rock, paper and scissors, hands down.
2:00 this morning we were awakened by Coyote! Coyote and his pards. they seemed to be right below our window, yapping something fierce. the cat took their presence seriously, wide-eyed with an implicit you sure that window's closed? expression. the dog was elsewhere, I don't know how he felt about the canine influx. I've heard Coyote distantly before but never in a surrounding the cabin sort of send out your kitty and we'll leave you alone way.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Silliman lauds a book by Noah Eli Gordon. I shan't commit a Silliman slicing. to read Ron's commentary usefully, any of it, you must hold in mind his need for taxonomy, hierarchy and relationship. critically speaking, there seems to be a < reddish herring < swimming hereabouts, tho. what activates Silliman in his post is Gordon's particular appropriation, to wit: he wrote the book by collecting together emails he had received. as a tactic, that doesn't sound edgy. appropriation is appropriation, which is currently the talk of the town, isn't it. Silliman cites Ed Friedman's collation of phone calls, so even he recognizes that the there there aint there regarding the newness of method. plenty of variants exist. which is not to say that Gordon's work can't be fresh. it does seem to depend on the reader knowing his tactic, however: Silliman quotes the explanation that Gordon gives for his method that introduces the work. does that info need to be in the foreground? and Silliman doesn't even quite agree with the method, he would like to see Gordon jumble his text. there's a point where methodology and poetry aren't the same thing. method is just a personal way to survive in the poetic.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Listenlight #4 seems to be alive. may still be in twiddle-mode, but it looks good and good to go. visual and textual poems. Jeff Harrison's 3 haiku are skewed koan-ish oddballs. in the good sense. not.....................................................................................

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I recently had an urge to read Robert E Howard. yes, I 1st read him in high school. the firstest book I got was Conan of Cimmeria. it had the usual Frank Frazetta cover. it showed Conan giving battle against 2 red headed Vikingesque giants, in a frore mountain scene. yo dudes, not the place to wear shorts. the arm of one giant lay on the ground, having been surgically removed by Dr Conan. nearby lay the patented Frazetta wet dream: a scantily clad babe in a bikini. all the human figures, even the giants (I believe they were Frost Giants) were dwarfed by the mountains. it was that, indeed, that caught my eye: the insignificance of those 4 beings amidst the glorious snow clad mountains. the stories are okay, definitely full of momentum. I admire writing that gets where it is going in that way. both Tolkien and Howard offer their share of cleft skulls (in football, that would be called having your bell rung) but Howard made them sound brutal whereas Tolkien made them sound like good innings at cricket. I remember my friend and I talking with someone who was a leedle more into Conan than either of us. my friend pointed out the racism of the stories and the guy was offended plus amazed at the very idea. but of course there is an underlying yuck to the stories, one should keep that in mind, as a handy reminder of the actual inner child. I just read some stories in Wolfhead, non-Conan stories. one story was perfect H P Lovecraft. the protagonist is an obsessed ghost hunter. well I mean, he is hip to all the arcane texts and has to go to Hungary or thereabouts to locate the scene of some horror. which he does. and sees ghostly figures reenact a terrible human sacrifice. Howard was only 18 when he wrote it, which is impressive. there's something puerile about such stories but it bounds along with admirable verve. the cover of that book shows a hunky bodybuilder with sword, entwined in the grip of an anaconda-sized serpent, in a dungeon locale, and a fair, fallen maiden in the background. what might be my only Howard tome currently in ownership, Conan the Usurper, now sits before me. it features an even larger, way much larger, snake. Conan's wrists are bound by chains. he sits astride the snake, which turns to face him. we see the mighty warrior's well-toned lats and dorsals, no one can say he hasn't been pushimg the metal. in the background are demonish creatures, some skeletons, and a pile of skulls. well how's the big Cimmerian gonna get out of that one? (beam me up, Scotty). my favourite Frazetta cover shows Conan on a warhorse, in battle. he looks like he should be riding with 3 other nasty ass horseman, he's pretty intensely into his game. when it comes to zooming action literature, I'll take Fu Manchu. Jeff Harrison informs me that Sax Rohmer was well into alchemy. well well well. I'm sure Dr Fu Manchu has expertise in that arena. Rohmer basically took Sherlock Holmes and added a fantastic aspect. that is to say, Sir Denis Nayland-Smith = Holmes, and Dr Petrie = Dr Watson. Nayland-Smith brings to mind James Bond, but without the imperative to actually save the world. it's enough if he spins his primly but earnestly English wheels. which he does. the mad Dr has all the advantages: brains, evil, arcane skills. thru bumbling and the help of the good English god, plus a certain stalwart respect harboured by Fu Manchu for the English race, things turn out okay for the forces of good. Fu Manchu has a prediliction to locate his hide outs in wet places, dockside, or under the Thames. not that Sir Denis or Petrie think to look there 1st. all these writers, they get the job done. the superfluities are largely banished. okay, the hairs at the nape of Conan's neck will rise up in alarum, and such like, but really, they don't get in the way of the writing. maybe the mostest of errors for poetry makers is the less than adventitious interference of the poet. hi, it's me talking. I don't even know what a poetry of the non-interference would be like. like O'Hara, mebbe, e'en tho first person singular appears often enough. it's not the 'I' but the weight behind it. wait wait wait: what is the source of poetry...???

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

hey, Google can do other things than supply text for post-modern poetic avant gardiness!!! which is to say I did due diligence (or I did do diligence) and looked up Ric Royer. this search brought me here, thence to The Performance Thanatology Research Group, here. worth poking around all the links. I like this line from the thanafesto for PTRS: "The Performance Thanatology Research Society is a group of scholars dedicated to the advancement of a higher histrionics brought on by imminent finalities". higher histrionics, ah hah! see, I'm wavery about performativity. but I'm antsy about the enclosure of just standing there reading as well. Royer's piece was more theatre than poetry in the sense that it depended on the story that he (partly, mysteriously) unraveled, and his tonal shifts and nearing and distancing factors (how he inhabits the character space, and how he steps back). so like well anyway, he presented himself something as a lecturer, but, let us say, sans rostrum (he did have a table to sit at, but it wasn't raised. he made eye contact at times (pretty intimate room). his tie (which had an exquisite line drawing on it) was conspicuously loose, the ends nowhere near matching. I wear ties rarely, but when I do, I get the ends to match in length, which means it takes me half an hour to get it right. but the point is, out of the frumpy ordinariness (and it must be a shock for anyone to receive the charge of frumpy, I realize I wield a powerful word), he draws underbrush aside and reveals a revel. the flarfistas are well-documented in their dramatic exploits, keyed up humour: the works want it. histrionics depends on the specific work. I would avoid grave intonations except used ironically (and I took KSM's test, and know I know nothing about irony--maybe it is just the quality of being like iron). drama is hyper, or often enough. I don't want to sell or buy the poem, but join it. one of the best reading's I ever saw was by Michael Gizzi, whose delivery was crisp and dry, just perfect to the work. me, I have a stubborn inbred taciturnity to deal with. interestingly, after the reading I mentioned to Ric a book I've been reading, Trickster Makes the World by Lewis Hyde, and he said oh yeah. nice coinkydink. the book relate the Trickster figure (Coyote, Loki, Hermes, etc) to the art world, Ginsberg and Duchamps his particular exemplars. that idea of art as transgressive, alternative, subversive is a rich one.

Monday, November 06, 2006

saw James Cook and Ric Royer read at Demolicious. for open mike, Joel Sloman read a non-translation of Baudelaire, and 2 others whose names I didn't retain read. then Cook read, a long work that centered on maps and mapping. it touched the local and history and let's say cosmology. these are Olson issues of course, but I wouldn't want to limit the poem or my own interest in such by leaning on that too much. Cook read with a wide-eyed nervous energy. indeed, he apologized for having a conflict such that he and his brood dashed out the door to elsewhere just about as he finished. Ric Royer followed. he's currently from Baltimore, having done penance in Buffalo, and I'm not sure where else. I knew this would be a multimedia performance but that's all I knew. he started by showing a slide. it was a comparison shot of 2 pairs of girls celebrating a high school basketball win. both pictures were near identical, same pose, same braid, and the girls looked the same. Royer purported that these pictures were of Bloomfield wins a couple years apart. he also said that no one knows where the pictures came from. he then went into a long story about the Museum of Doubles, which collects unusual twinships and doublings. I was probably the last one in the room to suspect that he might be making stuff up. he treated us to a long consideration of the relationship (love) between the proprietors of the museum. I can give but a bare jot of what the piece was like. the story took tangents and weaved about. I thought of Flann O'Brien and other fantastical fictions. a mysterious gothic romanticism overhung the story. his delivery was great, erudite yet um distracted. distracted by some gleam, that is. he sat at a table as he performed, had a laptop with the text in front of him, which he consulted but mostly he spoke seemingly ad lib to the audience. he showed occasional slides, and had a few objects, like a 2-headed nickel. that nickel, he admitted later, was from a magic shop, not the Treasury as he had earlier purported. (yes, there was a lot of purporting going on). the performance was funny, offbeat, philosophical, sly and engaging. a cd and book are due out soon. he said the idea is to read and listen simultaneously, as small differences exist between the 2. near the end he spoke a passage into a small tape recorder, then backed the tape up and did the same passage in tandem. Jack Kimball attended, so I hope he can give a better description of what Royer did. next month Stein scholar Ulla Dybo reads. I believe she will read something she prepared specifically for the event. I look forward to that.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I took the dog out around 6:30 this morn (en Francais, il est un chien!!!). echoing nearby was a siren. then an amplified voice. and I really thought for a moment, it was some SWAT action. as if. someone's alarm had gone off. maybe a quarter mile away as crow flies. 1st the police siren, then the voice would come in:

you are trespassing in an area
protected by a security system

with exhortations to absquatulate post haste. the voice was firm, yet with an underlying franticness. I can imagine this guy huddled in his safe room (or under his bed), speaking into the microphone: go away now or we, all ten, I mean fifteen, of us will deal with you before the police get here. right guys? um we're all black belts, too, by the way. we moseyed on for 15 or so minutes then saw two police cars leave the station area speeding towards the alarm. less than 5 minutes later, they drove back to their half eaten doughnuts, and the alarm continued warning. we wandered out of hearing but it must've been 1/2 an hour of that warning before it was curtailed. Lew Welch writes in a letter I think of being on a winery tour when the guide shouted a warning to someone who was close to falling into a vat. and Welch says he would like that same dire immediacy in his writing. when alarms go off, we get an adrenalin jolt. but as they persist, it's just noise. I get what Welch means, it's the imperative that he seeks. when the word quality, its issuance (can I use that word?), is undeniable. not the message, but the word so alive in its wordness. if a miscreant or culprit actually broke into the building, the first vocal warning would dismay. the repetitions only provide guidance that little time remains to do pronto whatever made b & e worth attempting.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Fox News has O'Reilly vs Andrews available on their website. the clip wouldn't work for me yesterday but today I got thru. can't really recommend that you perseverate in a similar quest: O'Reilly's just awful. well, unless you bear a special appreciation for phlegm wads. there's little difference between him and Colbert, except that Colbert's thinking all the time whereas O'Reilly merely gestures the mighty right. he's all fustian but I guess you already know that. his discussions aren't interchange, they're just interjection. schmuck bomb boolean duality, my way or the highway. I couldn't last the whole clip.

Friday, November 03, 2006

in Jacket 30, David J.Alworth apes his professors using Robert Fitterman's Metropolis XXX as victim. crikey, is the aim to make poetry seem no fun at all? did someone tell him to use the word rebarative in his essay (and the adverbial form, as well)? he appears to have read around, is familiar with the lay of the poetic land, but, apparently not having pleasure as a measure for his reading experience, he just agitates about how to read the book. try one word at a time, or perhaps groupings, till you reach the point of the primal language's life. treat the poem as a path or even an experience. is it okay for me to set up such a picture? as a poem, as any text, as a progression into substance? I know I laughed when Fitterman read from the book, and I laughed when I read by my lonesome, so why does Alworth consider the book difficult, and I think by that he means recondite? Alworth obsesses on the idea of close reading, which I think may be a flinch. close reading... is that meaningful? it sounds like a challenge for the work to fit in a box. he spent 2 sentences to box up flarf, inappropriate and googling: c'est ca. taxonomy and limitation. I hate--ooo strong word--this kind of foam rubber criticism, spongy and repelling.
James Cook and Rick Royer read for Demolicious Series, 2pm Sunday, Cambridge. I think we can schedule it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

just got Cousins by Alli Warren (Lame House Press 2006). as always with new books, I want to express the 1st excitement and discovery. just a shine on the surface. this, the I assume self-published Hounds, and the Faux/e-book Yoke, plus blog, are the sum of my Alli Warren reading experience. I recommend all highly. the poetry locates in some free-spinning yet thoughtful warmth. free-spinning as in a jumbly expression, as if the final step in the writing were to put the poem in the dryer and let the forces comfortably wrinkle it up. not to sound too whack or facetious. does the picture of graceful stumbling help? these are my impressions as I read. the book's colourful brick-and-windows cover directs a stunning presence to the eye. the poems subtly follow suit. both the 1st and last poem in this slim chap is titled "My Factless Autobiography". that's not detachment, I infer, but deviation from distraction. there's thinking in these poems, calmly. I take this book as a single work, and just as long as it had ought to be, but I look forward to longer works, greater collections. I have #58 out of 100. visit here for your number.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rodney Koeneke speaks en blog.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I found a book at the library called Spunk and Bite by Arthur Plotnik. it essentially answers Strunk and White. I like Strunk and White, and periodically reread it. it is concise. this concision comes by way of rules, which can be taken wrongly, but I appreciate having the goods laid out quickly. as Plotnik points out, White breaks the rules all the time. so do I. I like having a sense of firmness in my head concerning writing. that is, a measure, even if I ignore or play against this measure. I don't know if I can make an exact correlation of weak prose means weak poetry, that is, if a poet can't write decent prose, the poetry may lack something as well. by whatever means one writes poetry, one wants to see a tightness, because a poem is more than a collection of words, it's a machine or entity in which its component words are tightly attached together. monolithic maybe... anyway, I think it is okay to refresh my grammar occasionally. Plotnik's book nicely balances Strunk and Whites formidable decrees. thought you'd like to know. I mean, think of Barrett Watten's crit writing with some life in it...

Friday, October 27, 2006

cool photos by Peter Ciccariello, who also has a blog for his digital artwork here. I particularly like this one. I don't do a great deal of adjusting my pictures but if I thought in terms of the printed picture, I would do more. right now, I just hope there's some presence in the images. I have yet to print out a photo on good paper because I've yet to commit to photography to that extent. I will someday, when time and money.
as I walked the dog today I noticed a flock of starlings rushing thru the air. they headed directly towards a large oak, i. e. 'the scene', and settled in the treetop. the birds kept pouring in, until that first batch of birds, with a Malthusian inspiration, uproosted themselves away towards another tree/scene. the flow continued for a good 60 seconds with only brief breaks. I thought, whoa! that's a lot of contemporary poets! they were all, of course, voicing their starling opinions simultaneously. I don't speak starling but so much chatter must reach babelian levels just by sheer numbers. anyway, the contemporary starlings traveled on, then all was quiet, and peaceful.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kasey Mohammad posted this link to the Bay Poetics discussion blog. nt really a discussion, it is Tom Orange's collation of commentary on the anthology Bay Poetics (Faux Press 2006). I like the idea of a presentation of different views (even mine are included, scraped from this very receptacle that you read now). the anthology is a particularly good subject for such treatment, being, what, a palimpsest or multiplicity. it has its manyness for one to sift thru. the blog, by being there, suggests an alternative to bouncing off to the next book, i. e., sticking with it. it hasn't the poetics intent of New American Poetry, but it is a substantial something that had ought to have a large audience. which almost leads me to wonder what is this generation's Howl or Cantos (poem everyone reads). I said it almost leads me to wonder. my comments used the occasion to consider poetry scene, Boston having its difficulties in that arena, whereas the Bay area. and I should reiterate that Stephanie Young is a reckon withable force, having edited this anthology, and writ the lovely Telling the Future Off (Tougher Disguises 2005), 2 awesome recent additions to the world as we know it. if she can play the solo for Freebird, well, we've got a trifecta. rock on.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

sunday we drove around exurbanly. we came to a railroad crossing just as the gates lowered. a guy stood in the street with a camera. the train proved to be a freight rather than the more usual commuter. the guy was taking pictures. I realized I had a camera, so I took pictures of him. here's the link to my Flickr proof. he wasn't the only one who apparently knew the scheduled visit of this train, as several others also stood there waiting and watching. trains do kind of excite me. one regularly passes Walden Pond. rather than feel like an intrusion, it seems like another natural creature of the woods. and if it don't seem fit to have trains buzzing Walden, a train first came thru there a year before Thoreau went to Walden. file this under easily amused, I guess.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Erin got a chance to do lighting for a local play group. no experience needed. he liked doing it well enough to commit to doing more, even if it means missing one or two Halloween parties (at least he went to one last night, as a 6'5" ninja elf!!! (great costume, and he had the 6'5" part down pat)). we arrived to pick him up early, and watched the tail end of the production. Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. I don't know who this production group is, but it's professional to the degree that even Erin will get a little money. when we came in, standing in the doorway, actually, 2 characters were talking. then they started singing. which is standard for musicals but always seems so odd (I think of that character in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who wants to burst into song but his father always clamps down). I don't know why I assumed they would sing flat, but they didn't. a pianist played live backstage but it still seemed a hearty trick to sing in such circs, especially as the music isn't all that catchy. I barely get drama and definitely don't get musicals. I mean the one character is sitting disconsolately while the other sings advice. can't... wraop... around... that... I don't know the play but it is something of a collision between 4 fairy tales. the wife of the giant that Jack slew has come for revenge, and there's Cinderella, Rapunzel and what all. at one point, Prince Charming comes in from the back of the hall near where we eventually sat, singing grandly. it's all rather alarming for my delicate sensibilty. a nice camraderie amongst the troupe, and the director called out the lightning folks or a good job. Erin was in charge of a tracking spotlight. I don't know what sort of set, if any, the production will have. I once saw a bare bones production of The Magic Flute, with 3 musicians playing onstage, costumes but no set, and much of the action occurred thru out the audience. that worked well. I also saw Nutcracker long ago, and it is impressive, even to say magical, to see all that theatrical whizbang.