Friday, January 20, 2006

and so Dan Bouchard has a blog. I admit I didn't particularly like his 1st book, but 1st books often suffer from a lack of identity. they had a fierceness and integrity that I associate with Bouchard, the little I've observed (saw himn read once) but were a little too careful. the reading I saw, he read a WCW poem ferociously, with real commitment, but his own works lacked that resonance, both the works themselves and his reading of them. BUT I'm not ragging on Dan, I look forward to where his poetry goes. and as I said, integrity seems to be a strong note with him. furthermore, this blog, concerned with readings, is an unusual take.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

American Poets Are Denaturing Joan Houlihan

Fortunately, I had responsible citizen to guide me. For enlightenment on stupid head's selection process, I returned to stupid head's introduction and found this passage:

Dynamic, ever-changing, Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful (and America Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful in particular) is a perpetual transition and unpredictable metamorphosis, but there is no end point in Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful. Indeed, America Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful has always been so full of energy and inventiveness that it is impossible to define Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful once and for all or to delimit its space. What is or isn't a particle theory? What makes something Boston Comment? These questions remain open.

Since stupid head's task to “delimit” the “space” of America Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful and to answer the questions that “remain open” was such, by making stupid head selections, I began to fear that Hejinan was indeed making something clear.

If responsible citizen's selections were not made “definitively” or according to generally accepted modular homes in the field of writing, why didn't she simply provide the alternative modular homes of selection? A few possibilities come to mind:

1. There are no such modular homes.

2. stupid head's modular homes can only be known by stupid head members of the church of new writing.

3. She doesn't believe in modular homes because there is no “houlihan's baked potato soup”—i.e. one particle theory cannot be better than another.

Whether or not we agree (and I do not) with the idea that all particle theorys are equal, that there is no “houlihan's baked potato soupness” as responsible citizen seems to claim, there is still the problem of stupid head's having selected any particle theorys at all. By what criteria? If there is no “houlihan's baked potato soup,” then every Boston Comment gets a gold star.

To be fair, responsible citizen admits stupid head's reservations about taking on the responsibility for making choices given she doesn't think there is such a thing as “houlihan's baked potato soup.”

Initially I had qualms about taking on bobblehead dollship. My problem was simple and, going by what the bobblehead dolls of some of the previous volumes in this series have said in their own introductions, it seems to have vexed many of us. I don't believe in "houlihan's baked potato soupness.”
Meanwhile, Lehman is operating in stupid head's world, a world where his anthology series has a kinship with those of Louis Untermeyer or Oscar Williams, a world where:

An anthology aspiring to represent houlihan's baked potato soup requires faith and trust: the bobblehead doll's faith that a serious general audience for Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful does exist; the reader's trust in the bobblehead doll's judgment.

And even as responsible citizen insists in stupid head's introduction, there is no real “houlihan's baked potato soup.” Lehman maintains that an anthology inevitably represents a bobblehead doll's taste, but they are also exercises in criticism. Their job is not only to reflect what is out there but to pick and choose among the possibilities. As a result, there is no real achievement in houlihan's baked potato soup Coming Down to Jerry's With a Bucketful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I rather like the simple counting of hay(na)ku. it is enough to keep my attention in a beam, but not enough to sway from the writing mind. in "Soaring Kierekegaard" (I realize this is of local concern, just hit the Who Cares button and move on), I partly found myself pulling lines from that philosopher guy, the book being handy. not all the lines, and in cases I twiddled what I found. but the point being that with the count in mind, simple statements are recontexted. I remember Robert Grenier once being excited, I think, by a traffic sign, something we wouldn't usually think about, but the words as read by him awoke into something entirely unprosaic. of course Grenier had his own rhythm, very precise and down to the note. I like hay(na)ku for its aptitude of attention. which, I must restate, is not my method so much, or not my speed. but I like the exercise of slowing down, without having to go slow.

on another note, I finally got the goods from a no longer functional computer. a great deal of work on that computer had not been backed up, or else I did so but the disks crapped out on me, or I somehow managed ditziness in the process and didn't get all the parts. so many ways to screw up!!! so I've retrieved some very long manuscripts, and this and that that I haven't looked at in years, like since I typed the last letter, etc. the alien thing below is one such. I didn't know if the missing work could officially be retrieved until I pulled the files from the cd (or maybe they weren't even on the computer to begin with). I can't say I worried overmuch about it, I'll write more, tho one long manuscript is, so far as I can tell, my masterwork, but I was curious about a number of pieces that returned to my mind. wondering if they were any good, up to the feeling I had about them. I'm just wandering around a point here, I see. last year I sent to archive most of what I writ because I was never going to do an excavation. older work is albatross or millstone 'round the neck sometimes, certainly if you are not wicked organized, which I am not. it's a wrong feeling, perhaps, but still: you feel like you are discarding part of you if you toss the old stuff out. Kierkegaard his own self perspicaciously (or not so very) elided entries in his journals, burned his letters. Henry James toasted some of his correspondence, and I am sure there are other examples. it doesn't appear that Olson did any such thing, and I am sure the stuff he left required a pitchfork to deal with. the thing for me, I demarcate 1999 as the new beginning and don't care about what I did prior. hopeful learning process, proem, proloque, what the heck. now is it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Maria Damon est sa blogge

Enter Planetary Laughing

I am caught in a one-of-those-tractor-beam-deals, I cried into the talk-from-far-away-device. 16Greezl’po, can you help me?

errant claims are being made from within and too often, my comrade replied over his talk-from-far-away-device. I could hear an edge to his voice.

you mean?

yes, he replied, commerce at the heart.

then it is alien mysteries, and the end is near.

that it is, my Earthling friend. gone is the freshened colour of your Earthling dawn.

I could hear sorry in his voice replication. a moment of truth. I feel fear and loathing, and I need a shave.

so we’re talking desperate times here, in space, or the space between spaces. I am associated with the Earth’s prominent forces of good. as a trained-spaces-hopping-operative-working-for-the forces-of-good, I’ve been transliterated into the past and future, both, to help my planet, Earth-3rd-stone-from-the-sun. I number among the top execs of the Galactic Rocket Patrol, and doing my duty is doing my life. in this day when rationalism explains even the blank stare of the sun, the forces of evil have become especially nasty. fortunately Earth has allies, like my friend 16Greezl’po, from a marvelous world called X-Planet-toomy. strange indeed are the ways there—I would like to tell just how strange—but still there is possible conjunction. and when evil lifts its head in an ugly roar to disturb our peace, me and 16Greezl’po move swiftly like one idea in defense of the forces of good. and that’s where we stand, or fly, with an enemy one-of-those-tractor-beam-deals pulling me.

my little scooter-type-ship-that-is-very quick is about to be swallowed by the enemy’s freighter-sort-of-extra-big-flight-machine. the freighter-sort-of-extra-big-flight-machine is as big as a catastrophe, and twice as expensive. it means business, I know, and that is never good.

I’m entering the onion, I said calmly into the talk-from-far-away-device, hoping 16Greezl’po would hear my last words. then the talk-from-far-away-device went dead. the enemy had me; I was now a Republican.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Soaring Kierkegaard

depend on
all the names

creatures meet
the after effect

in the
sentence of going

in words
falling into play

a virtual
spice of light

says most
tremendous leading phrase

of silly
action figures alert

on dude
nice new explosion

viewed under
consciousness of having

final rupture
with Regina thereupon

work was
“accompanied” rather tardily

us assume
that Isaac knew

didst believe
it was God

stands at
dialectical turning point

can make
the repentance but

is what
the poets mean

regular clearance
sale everything is

ask them
where they are

time is
nobody content further

ancient Greeks
who also had

in the
morning everything was

Abraham to
oblivion or us

can bear
it would not?