Friday, February 10, 2006

via Kasey Mohammad, I came to this interview with David Larsen. note that the interviewee begins the interview.
the Albert Ayler site that I've had in my links changed address. hie thee here. it's a terrific resource, with biography, discography and even some mp3 downloads. I highly recommend the charming piece called "Bells", with its childlike joy and magic simplicity.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

reading a small collection of essays by Jonathan Lethem. I read one of his novels, the name escapes. it was a merger of scifi and noir detective, futuristic Raymond Chandler. alas I remember nothing more than that, tho I think I liked it. in my (and Lethem's) defense, that was a time when I was chain reading fiction, and the impressions kinda blur. Lethem's essays obsess about such as Jack Kirby, Philip K Dick and John Wayne's movie The Searchers. it's fun to follow his literate goofiness along those trails. which indeed is what charmed me about Stephanie Young's recent post, not that goofy is the right descriptor in her case. I did follow Kirby a bit, back in the day, but I never rose to brandish the Comix banner. so called underground comix is another thing, I really liked R Crumb, S Clay Wilson and a few others of those ilk, but the cosmic soap operas of Marvel/DC were too commerically bred for me. Lethem's great with The Searchers, a movie that takes a certain obsessiveness to appreciate. John Ford's films all seem to bobble between a sort of authentic look at historic times and the most ham-fisted of Hollywood crap. you can't just say a movie of his is one thing, for the other will intrude upon your assumption. which I suppose is just another example of what happens to pure American products. in this sense, The Searchers could be Wayne/Ford's ultimate film. as to Dick, I don't know if I've ever read his work, and I don't know why. I like these crank it out types, less so the Stephen King types who (speaking specifically of King) are also a little to mercantile for my taste. one summer I read, shit, 13 King novels. almost all of them were too long ('Salem's Lot being an exception). his works are plausibly not too long, if your escapist impetus is strong. I was reading King I won't say thoughtfully but at least aware technically, and I was kinda in a rush, readingwise (hence my vagueness about Lethem's novel), so I languished when King tread water, which he consistently did. he knows his book should be 500 pages long, so that's what he supplies. King's a professional not just in getting the words onto paper, but in marketing (I mean, credit to the whole SK machine), whereas Dick was a sweatin' hack. but in hackitude he flourished. an idea arises, he writes a story, he mails it out. piston pump. I'm assuming all this. Lethem is careful to reiterate that Dick's writing isn't always of the best. it's the energy, don't you see. the obsession, which Lethem possesses too. I had ought to read another Lethem novel, see what he can do for me. there's a point in way too many contemporary novels when a sitch evolves and must run its course. ick. then the novelist starts reading the rulebook. then what I liked about the book, say the character simply in life, disappears in the hype of finishing the novel's course. or I guess to say, I like aimless novels. the way James wanders around in thick reflection and dependent clauses until he looks at his watch and finishes in a 3 page rush. those 3 pages are a nod to completion, it is the previous meander that is the thing we want to hold. so that's that, I guess.
I don't want to go all hornet's nest on Dan Hoy, it's an ultimately (that is, finally) minor fuss. but I enjoyed Stephanie Young's take, which is only partly about Hoy. whose career has been supersized, I guess, if the balloon don't break, if the vandals don't steal the handle. I point to this post not as back up of my opinion, or that sort of thing, just in following her, even unto the parentheses she dodges into when the thought occurs. she manages to posit a number of points that one could run with, and does so in a chemically reactive way, rather than the usual superball bounce (Kent Johnson being axample of that phenomenon).

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Erin belongs to the Mock Trial team that our homeschool cooperative put together. Mock Trial is a national competition of high school age competitors who formally try cases. the cases, I believe, are actual ones. there've been 2 trials so far. actual attorneys (scoring pro bono points) coach the teams. each team supplies lawyers to try the case, and whatever witnesses for their side. there's real lawyering being done, as well as acting. Erin, so far, is just an understudy. only half the team gets to participate in a trial. the 1st trial was in a small local law school. it was fascinating. the 4 (2 boys, 2 girls) lawyers for our team dressed the part, in suits. the girls on the other team all dressed neatly but not in suits. the one boy on that team of attoprneys wore a suit but took the jacket off. that's a points off offense, which the judge noted. the case was a civil suit, someone wanted to collected damages because they got into a traffic accident while using a gps. our side defended. probably the highlight of the trial was when the plaintiff's attorney cross-examined one of the defense's witnesses. the girl who played the witness was very relaxed in her role (a girl on the other side had gotten the giggles and could barely finish), and quite hosile. she wasn't about to give up any incriminating information. which in fact is exactly how the expert witness in the OUI trial we saw recently acted. the attorney was tenacious and it was exciting to watch. I thought the attorney got knocked back on her heels a bit but the judge afterwards commended her performance. one of our attorneys was keen to object, even pointing out to the judge some Mock Trial rules that the judge didn't know, and he had the boy on the ohter side totally flustered. the judge was kindly about that. he didn't score the boy well, but he empathized aferwards. it seemed tense as we watched but in fact our team won by a large margin (each performer is rated on a 1-10 scale). the 2nd trial wasn't even close. the other side at least dressed lawyerly, but they weren't well-practiced. the one who did the closing argument got completely lost. I grant nerves, and wouldn't want to be overly critical, but she'd already done at least one trial before with the same closing, AND she was reading it. the other team didn't object once. something that I noticed, and maybe this is the point of this post, is how the homescholers seemed more mature than the high schoolers. or maybe maturity isn't the right word. I think I perceived a social ceiling over the head of the highschoolers: the school hierarchy. the molding and manipulation that goes on. the implicit weight of judments: what does my teacher think of me, my coach, the popular kids, what, even, do the dorks think. it's all lumped on the backs on every student. everyone is judged, but the homeschoolers inhabit a much less rigid structural system of judgment. the first team that we faced was pretty sharp but a sense of their own freedom was lacking. it seemed telling that one of the team in the 2nd trial was on her cellphone as soon as the trial (not the competition) ended. the Pavlov bell rings and it is time to move on. it is worth at least considering the alternative to public school, admitting the obvious failings thereof. not to proselytize nor to assume homescholing is for everyone. Erin has Asperger's, a high function sort of autism. how does the gristmill deal with that sort of child? fill in he blank.
Ron Silliman sometime back mentioned the Lucipo listserv and presented Ken Rumble's thoughtful history of the list. the level of discourse is not universally high there (where is it high, btw?), tho I leave you to ascertain for yourself. there seem to be some advocates for the Boring School of Poetry there. you'd think that would be a hard sell. anyway, it's a lively list, and if you send me an email, I'll send you a coded message telling you who I like and who I don't.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Sunday, of which I witnessed nary a lick. Beth and I went in to Boston, however. 1st stop: yet another furniture store, where both hard candies and Hershey Kisses(tm) were available. I'm easily amused. I had my camera so took pictures of the house on Fresh Pond Parkway my father grew up in as we passed. a kinda perfunctory act, but he mentioned life there so often that it is sort of a shrine. seemed like a perfect spring day, sunny, perhaps 50. scads of runners in shorts running along the Charles. we crossed on Mass Ave, over the bridge. Beth wanted to see Newbery St, one of the places in Boston where i imagine it's possible you'll hear the word chichi spoken. we didn't, tho. parked near the Ritz, strolled down the street. lacking furniture stores, we opted for art galleries. the 1st we came to wasn't open. me, I'd figure sunday was a good day to be open. maybe sunday they keep the hoi polloi out so that they can serve chardonnay and pigs-in-a-blanket to the high rollers. je ne sais pas. next door was open. I flinched on entering, expexting a snotty welcome (or none at all) but surprisingly we were welcomed in every gallery. this 1st one had drawings by Matisse and Dali and I guess lithographs by Rembrandt. we got several of each, they'll look great in the bathroom. by the nature of the place, I'd guess their expected clientele would be on the stuffy side but the offered sculptures were, each one, lulus. florid, hokey, over the top. I couldn't even bring myself to look at them carefully, they were just too busy. I don't know if they were all by the same person. they were marbles of human figures, females mostly, with leaves and birds and whatnot. top heavy creations balanced on one hand or whatever. hightoned equivalents to velvet portraits of Elvis. I can see some oil money lunkhead sticking one of these things in the foyer as a warning of what money can buy. and no doubt the piece's price would be mentioned in any discussion of its artistic merits. I really do believe in to each his/her own but as I said, the things were simply too busy for me even to look at, let alone grok. that gallery may've been the one that had a Pissaro oil, and one in pastel. I loved looking at the brush strokes, a feature I miss in books, where the translation of the image naturally loses something. I read a fascinating description of a Monet by a writer named Ball (David?). a very detailed and close up (microscopic) discussion of Monet's brush strokes. I like seeing that level of a painting. the next gallery was better still. a lovely Chagall in pastel, a bunch of Picasso ink drawings and other this and that. a series of prints with highly charged colours that reminded me of psychedelic album covers. another artist only does paintings of no more than 2"x3". art that fits pocket or purse. Beth asked a question of someone there, and he readily engaged. I worked in a wine store for a long time, and I didn't care if you bought Mouton-Rothschild or Soave, but customers often apologized if they weren't prepared to pay a lot. I felt like that, but the guy wasn't putting that over on me. he guy spent a lot of time talking with Beth (I roamed, and pocketed the offered hard candies). the next gallery had some weirdly glum pastels. they seemed to depict a world of pollution, which is not a subject you think pastels are made for. Beth was particularly taken by the work of a French artist. his paintings are both intense and distressed. several portaits of women that really bear down. the best perhaps was a scene in an ancient city (Pompeii, Beth wondered). some of the figure wear togas, some pants. one figure is on the ground. all very enigmatic but quite compelling. again Beth asked questions. the woman who answered was much more sales-oriented tho not obnoxiously. she said, take the ancient scene home and try it out. man, I'd hate to do that. err, the cat somehow.... the cat could, too. or I'd stumble as I carried it. or a meteorite thru the window. I think that ws he last gallery. Beth skipped into a curtain store which was too crowded and way too sensory-overloaded for me, I stayed outside. it was a day of indecently unseasonable warmth for Henry Aaron's Birthday. and the SuperBowl? I just didn't cae enough. certainly I could miss the hype in my face.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

home of hey now the language beast

One city after another discards language for the more vital infidelities, those that can't lightly be named. Thus poetry, hounded by the principles of mayhem--which are resident in ticklish parlours of pleasantries (try to decide why)--invites disaster by writing essays concerned with dragon lore and cellphone history, thoughtless of priceless readership.

Cellphones, august with the sulfurous approval of righteous dragons, seems pent up for destruction. All words go thru this channel, to wire up a concern and prove, again, that dragons need dough to live, even big bucks, just like your excellency. So how, prithee, do we break this mode of thought in the dull morning exactly?

Often we are drafted into humdrum wartime exercises, finding couth in all manner of tricking those religious beings who push us forward. There is no nicer dragon than the one oh my god it has ruby eyes of fire and makes dreams seem like wasted youth! Yet can you calm down? No. Religion amasses fairly, sold with proper consideration, and kept by the door for moments of real need. If we were really taken by poetry, we wouldn't be so afraid of the dragon's swooping presence.

Our fears, see, grow up in archetypal normalcy, having to do particularly with doesn't that creaking sound on the stairs make you think of other features of fear? And so language trumps our every super hand, as if the cellphone weren't a vital vortex into which the pure language, like aces up the sleeve, flows. Enter the field now, await the dragon's next batch of carnal proclivities that will once again send us to windows screeching for medicine, the more unguent the better.

Slowly, the essential characteristics appear soluble, like trams of which we've heard. As we ride in charming rattle, our cellphone rings. Conversation will touch modes of inheritance, until we reach our stop. Some teens are louder than the very moment you said hello, but that energy isn't shared. You are appealed to: can you justify a dragon? You look to your cellphone's palette of potent functions, even text messaging and music downloads. It fits in pocket or purse with slim efficiency, ringing you up alert at movie theatre or elsewhere with the pressure of news, joyful emphasis of someone who knows you. Does poetry so survive its inadequacy that it can share such bountiful imbroglio? Dragons march on the town, securing ramparts and otherwise making the most of movie history. Language next will fall. It will be your fault, pilgrim, you and your ranking behaviour behind these frail fortress walls.

evenings are for theorists

When vital endeavour squeezes off the town, voted tough by ignorance, and what the hell smells of everything known to come along, then does the dragon lurch from lair of darker than you want to know, to become a poetry such as when you call home, home is a vague tilled field.

Late histories assert of dragons as taller than guesses, skipping gravity as if it were a complaint and being very full of language, tho it seems like fire.

This sort of cellphone, clamped onto the ear while disaster accepts our pleas, shortchanges announcements and maybe poetry is the key.

Eminent charges for expressing self-doubt become a way to eke out or even thru (if possible) with bold upright or perhaps a musical squeak, telling folks of your admirable degree and easy pace.

Awesome post upon which notorious examples are spiffy, unvanquished, laughing at turgid or praising it, and still leaving news for the forward minded, this post has been excavated from the primal brain, which went every which way but loose.

Not letting self-doubt be more than the full complete impetus for pulling the poetry in from the cellphone heaven whereat it resides, then does the dragon become a kind of an act of. Sleep trips many verses that were ignored primarily for their toasted repose, now shows up as best friends and nations of the dammed.

A pile of money awaits the winner of succulent contests, and in the ear of the many a new language starts to perk. This becomes throb and throb is a rhyme.

Deliberate evenings, marked by relentless following of sunsets, predate nights and the scuffy attitude of mornings. All these are times when the dragon full of words starts the sky's fires and exacts just enough spittle as to emphasize a ripe whistle, which then, across decades of mileage, succumbs to the glamour of the newest cellphone.

And we theorize bothersome ideas that conclude with ringing bells and whistles, shuddering with moody mayhem concerning the reputed worth of dying to say more, yet honestly inveigling sight unseen the choosy hump day workaholic tribunal set up in collegiate sport for the safety of even wild cellphones, that are dragons in disguise.

We must loosen our grip on a society without poetry, reeks the cellphone in promenade across the mighty dragon's back. The dragon returns from bleating about how language strictly speaking composes itself in our lives, almost.

And even a writer, a poet, tooled to the latest cellphone, brightly assays a dragon past quenching those rumbling fires of eek we're doomed and the hero, arrived at logically defined and thru patient rendering of factual matter into all sorts of gimcrack, dates the newest cellphone to tricks of the trade, including doomy speeches towards, about and so much praising for the dragon.

Beyond that, history's just a lot of work.

self hone dragon poetry lower

The cellphone, which is poetry, flies into the fullest empyrean, reeking of dragon that rips off archetypal.
That cellphone hits on something really flame from the mouth, wily eyes, ravage landscape sort of prime dizzying effect.
That phone of something certainly has made its depth charge as much as flying thru the air scary.
We need id and ego on the boat, says captain in charge of what's that ahead it looks strange and possibly dangerous call in the troops.
The people want poetry near the ledge, almost owing to something that they read about archetypally,
hence the dragon.
Dragon lore fits prime eddy of literary sequence threshed from the straw base stubblefield of which the dragon knows so much.
Dragon makes a struggle of poetry into the air above the village where those who till and reap and run around in circles cite other examples of similar scary times, well-based in times of lore.
What's up with this cellphone that needs to be poetry all the time, even leaving the church school or movie theatre and tell your friends just that?
The poetry, which is ardent cellphone in the need of passing quick text messages to the one over there, giggly, is something thru the space of time.
The cellphone, prominent and you can tell that the camera will be a boost to sales, absolutely any moment could be photographed sent and saved.
What's better than to prove poetry as a vehicle for the survival of cellphones, personally together as we get around to studying some theory in between poems and dragon attacks?
Finally a document named poetry comes into the forest of cellphones where dragons lurk mighty and prevailing wind, but the poetry public, they are not quite so loose.