Friday, January 06, 2006

Erin and I watched several movies while Beth was gone. 1st one was his choice, and eventual regret: Stealth. it weren't so bad, just low on octane. 3 elite flyers, cracking wise to each other while saving the world. sparks were sparkling between Jessica Whatshername and Josh Nobody, which meant that Jamie Fox was dead meat. but not before a fourth jet was added to their formation. sans pilot, as this one was of exceptional tech, it flew itself. but I certainly wasn't expecting things somehow to go wrong in a very HAL sort of way!!! indications were that their commander Sam Shepperd might be a bad nickel. the drone plane wasn't taking orders properly. it went renegade and in an attempt to get the plane back, Fox buys it. at one point the drone needs to refuel. it, or he, his name is Eddie, tries to attach to a fuel plane, but is cut off. that crafty AI intelligence shoots the end of the hose off and inhales the fuel. I think by this time Jessica has had to punch out at 35,000 feet, something Sam Shepperd did in The Right Stuff .yeah, in their attempt to bring Eddie back. perhaps Shepperd gave her pointers in how to do the scene. the whole way down she's talking away, reporting her progress. maybe she was on her cellphone. she ends up in North Korea. meanwhile, Eddie and Josh joust a bit. Eddie, no doubt feeling the need for a special effect, ignites the fuel spilling from the fuel plane. a ring of fire ensues that Josh avoids meetly but Eddie gets wounded. here we come to the dramatic crux of this tale. surely you know there had to be one. Josh somehow (deus ex plot device) convinces Eddie to come back into the fold. Eddie's on fire but Josh says follow me, then flies low and drops a bomb into the ocean, which drenches Eddie and quenches the fire. well done! now Eddie's a good guy again! further meanwhile as Jessica tries to avoid capture in terrible North Korea. Josh goes to Alaska for some reason, loses his plane, beats up a few enemy, and teams up with Eddie. Sam Shepperd definitely is a bad guy. stay with me for the super denouement. Josh/Eddie hop over to North Korea, locate Jessica. Josh and Jess are desperately running from a Korean helicopter with guns a-blaze. but wait! Eddie rises up in the air. the helicopter turns towards Eddie. kaboom, they blow each other up. Eddie!!! well, everything turns out okay for Jessica and Josh.

numero due was Sahara, which is code for Indiana Jones on the cheap. a rather winsome Matthew McConnaghey and his wisecracking buddy. their quest is, curiously, a Civil War warship that somehow found its way to Africa. I didn't get that part. the movie's from a Clive Cussler book. McC plays Dirk something. they meet up with WHO physician Penelope Cruz. she's investigating a plague. also involved plotwise is a Mali warlord and a slick French industrialist. what we discover is that those 2 are doing something or other, little foggy there, and there's an enormous amount of industrial waste. which is leeching into the water table, causing the plague. bad enough? no, because the pollution is causing a deadly algae to run down the Niger lickety split, whence the Atlantic, and NYC in a matter of weeks. Dirk, you've got to hurry!!! actually, McC and his sidekick were pleasantly funny, and McC and Cruz were remarkably chaste and the thing kinda held together.

finally The Matrix. which I'd already seen but Erin likes it. it aint bad, certainly it's got visuals. I recognize elements from a very early Arthur C Clarke story. that mildly modulated monotone of Agent Smith is a classic. was he Elronbd too? the 2nd one just about injured me, it seemed so pointless. mostly it just repeated the 1st one, and I totally tired of the fights. Erin showed me some flash movie take offs of Matrix that he found on the net, which pretty well take care of the series. the worst of these, that would be stealth, is still preferable to a Woody Allen movie.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I got Ron Padgett's bio of Joe Brainard from the library. I'm afraid that I assume such goodies wouldn't be available in my library's network, so I neglect to check. but LO!!! a book of some heft, unlike Padgett's Ted, which is briefer, albeit a good read (better than Clark's workmanlike). I have several books in queue but this one jumps to the fore. I don't expect Padgett to prove me wrong, I've always had the warmest vibes re Brainard. wondering why, however, no mench has been made about the cover photo. tell me Joe don't look like Mr Rogers, not just the sneaks and sweater but facially too. I also got a couple of Glen Baxter books, which seems absolutely fitting. I don't know of a Koch bio, am awaiting. I suppose it's tacky to think of movies, but the milieu seems prime for excavation. Arnold Schwartzenegger as Ted, Brad Pitt as Frank, Angeline Jolie as Anne, umm... I was in NYC with the actual Jack Kimball once (not to out Jack as someone who consorts with a dickhead like me), passing by St Marks etc, Jack pointing out places where these legends (vraiment) lived, gasp, as if Keats might round the corner, or Dickinson. so close and so distant too. I have previously boringly noted a meeting with Ashbery, which now in memory kinda gains a historical ding dong at this late date. I earned no tattoo from the meeting, I'm not talking that direction, only in the weird collision of worlds and time. I knew Robert Grenier, as teacher, about the time he was saying I HATE SPEECH, which is up there with if they mean to have a war, let it begin here (my hometown). I've seen a 93 year old man die, so 60 somethings don't strike me as old. I'm not killing off Silliman or the other actual LANGUAGE-istas. time's more fucked up than such literal number play. unless you are a nervous eater, I guess. anyway, I am eager to read this memoir. Padgett (all of 63), the survivour.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

sensation of topic sentence

snotty face has argued that a sedimentary
sense glimpsed before Joan Houlihan cited
an a-hole's cries as a type

one thing preceding perhaps even causing
a six-month old infant shown behind a screen
is the exact moment when snotty face should agitate

when snotty face does not drive to connect
disparate images in a chronology
her brains become difficult to ignore

fuckin' greatness sifts and weighs all the way
through a collection of apparently disparate fun
to be lost when you believe Joan Houlihan

see a flat tire or a washed-out bridge resurface:
Where is snotty face now? does Joan Houlihan's
fuckin' greatness get where we’re going?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I've lauded Tom Beckett's interviews afore, and we have a yet again situation with him and Jean Vengua. presumably it was done via email, and it does seem written, but it is conversation natheless, lively and unpredictable. both sides listen. a poor interview is exactly when the plangent voice of interviewer holds the answer down, rather than watch it fly. and of course there are times when the interviewee just shovels. Jean's blog is here. mine's ici.
ensconced in today's comments at Silliman City is indeed a great line, Jim Behrle quoted by CA Conrad: "last night's a little fuzzy but I think I hit Frank O'Hara with a dune buggy".
I read Orpheus Emerged, a posthumously published novel by John Jack Kerouac. written when he was in his early 20s, and it shows. a self-conscious effort, albeit fairly supple nonetheless. being so short, the publisher plumps it up with a Creeley intro [actually, I don't know how tall the publisher is], which refers little to the novel, some journal entries that do, a note on the Beat movement, and so on till 176 pages are filled. at least the publisher didn't resort to 16 point type. Kerouac's journal encapsulates the characters:

Michael--the genius of imagination and art, 22
Paul--the genius of life and love, 22, etc

oh brother. what interests me about Kerouac is full steam ahead, the energy of writing. the sort of school-taught writing mode here is good only in stifling Kerouac. "Symbolized Idea--M. trying to transcend human emotions to those of God...". yikes! the novel kinda says that, unconvincingly. see, I'd rather read a Fu Manchu novel than be bothered with stuff like that. it aint ultimately sincere, really. the best novels and fiction are the ones in which the author gets really wound up. this occurs in different ways, a trusting of the invented world, say, or of the process. Woolf commits to her experiments and the intensity of her characters, Tolkien to his imagined world, and so forth. I didn't actually find On The Road such a breakthru, it is slacker and driftier than I expected. but I like the idea of Kerouac pounding away. here, tho, he's still just a student.

Monday, January 02, 2006

wowzer, I like this one, the colour, the perspective, Bruce Banner's not-okay child. then furthermore, for which I hope Jordan leaped from the car half-maniacally (I meant to type manically, but leave it thus), to capture that cone.

Joan Houlihan--The Movie

the lag time between farting and the culture’s ability to appreciate it has a long, well-documented history. It was during such time that Joan Houlihan's fuckin' greatness laughed when Pollock spattered his canvas, covered her ears up on hearing a force of nature like a frog’s croak , or tossed her first crumbcake onto the floor in frustration. Then Joan Houlihan's fuckin' greatness caught up to, marveled at, enjoyed these expansions of her aesthetic pleasures. A history of the creative arts, along with the development of her own taste and ability to enjoy them, teaches us that Joan Houlihan's fuckin' greatness is less likely to appreciate something new than Joan Houlihan's fuckin' greatness is to reject it, often to her subsequent embarrassment.Works of art are significant players in the evolution of culture since they contribute both to cultural continuity and, through innovations in prudence, prevail in the face of the new! After all, no one among us wants to be seen as the ass of Henry James. Decades later, that impenetrability was Edmund Wilson’s brain. Joan Houlihan's fuckin' greatness may even learn to welcome the new as a freshening process. Failing that, Joan Houlihan's fuckin' greatness can tell ourselves that “history will take care of it” in the same way a wronged believer is comforted by the idea that “Joan Houlihan will judge” when there seems to be no earthly justice. There’s no understanding now, but surely, someone, somewhere, at some future time will understand—and that’s enough. Isn’t it? Not really. Not when it comes to three decades, and counting, of Language, post-structuralism-influenced, neon-surrealist, post-avant sedimentary finds. Such sedimentary finds are not simply mutating from one type of impenetrability to another; they are multiplying fiercely. In fact, the 2004 Best American a-holea positively swarm with them. It’s time to create a swarm-free space where Joan Houlihan's fuckin' greatness can evaluate them, hold them to account, appreciate or discard them. But how does an interested mewing do that, except by trying to go Bolshevik on them? That’s where the trouble starts.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

exhibit A

I read Berrigan's longish poem "The Boke". one can use it with a preface of "this is what I mean" re Berrigan. it's a narrative of sorts, tho what is going on can't absolutley be gleaned from reading. the notes explain that Berrigan derived it from an article by James Dickey in The New Yorker. such provenance is interesting in a tech way, certainly I wondered where the hell did this come from? as I read. but worrying or wondering about such can be distracting. early on there's reference to lsd, which hangs over the piece. it's quite trippy in an engulfing way. it is so distinctly a Berrigan poem, despite its derivation from Dickey. the he in the poem is implacably Berrigan. that is, it is voice, and carrying, and this image, and all that. it's a sense that Personism could be functional even if you're not O'Hara, or even if you're not Berrigan, or Mayer, etc. you can bring it from that standpoint, and not be oppressive. Berrigan's artistry (yeah, I hate that word too) exists in what? Silliman says the demotic. hey, Chaucer reached into that, and Dante did. it's a heady confidence that Berrigan has. a Captain Tripps sort of confidence actually, or shaman psychopomp's. he just goes with it (god how prosaic I am). I'm not saying that the drugs wrote his poems, but the ability to function on the drug is the same as his existing in the poem's becoming. it's a crazy ass courage he runs with. his senses are alert, certainly eyes and ears. and the internal editor is sensitive enough just to step back. I'm making general Berrigan remarks but they apply to this poem. it's a breezy read depicting the acivities of this he who is involved in a poetry reading. fascinating, lovely. and this is a wonderful book.