Saturday, February 25, 2006

knocked off Philip K Dick's Cosmic Puppets. my library request arrived and I dived right in. I'm not sure you'd call this fantasy or horror, whichever sells best, I suppose. or, say, it is Twilight Zone by way of Lovecraft. I would guess that Dick read Lovecraft, just as I would guess that King read Dick. you can see it, in both cases. so: a guy returns to the town where he was born, only to discover it gone, replaced by a completely different town. what the dilly-o? he and we discover that a fake town has been superimposed over the original. shades of Maya, all is illusion! the town's a batteground, we learn, of two god's with Lovecraftian names. Dick doesn't slog in quite the psychological muck as Lovecraft (presumbably Lovecraft and Poe were absinthe drinkers: that's my guess), so the story's lss unnerving than what ole H.P dreamt up. still, there's an apocalyptic note, even tho the story ends happy. I'm sure Lovecraft could never produce a happy ending. I wouldn't call it a great story but it sticks with me, as has his other 2 novels that I've read. Dick might've extended it beyond the 140 pages, but King couldn't've done this story in less than 400 pages. have I mentioned before my belief that novelists should not exceed 200 pages per novel unless certified by a qualified judge (me, for instance). I read something by Clive Barker than hearkens a bit to this story, only Barker went some several hundred pages longer, and kinda lost track of characters along the way. plugging thru Dick seems like a worthy enterprise, and not just to keep tabs on pop culture.
just a leedle more on Ratcliffe. his lines hang there, in mental space, translucent. you might think Grenier or Silliman: "the phone, having heard", "driving off in a car, which is blue", "light slanting on the table, grass". Grenier in the boiled phrases, Silliman in the diurnal observation. Ratcliffe quotes Heidegger at the beginning: "Whatever lingers awhile becomes present as it lingers in the jointure which arranges presencing jointly between a twofold absence". lingers awhile made me think of Whitman as I typed. I have to grapple with H's twofold absence, but I think Ratcliffe is hitting on the layers and simultaneity with the quote. Whitman's sense of self cosnciousness and obliteration enters in, as well. anyhoo...
last night I decided to grab a poetry book at random. (without looking) I glommed onto Idea's Mirror by Stephen Ratcliffe (Poets & Poets 1999). I have quite a few poetry books but I don't read a great deal of poetry now. I used to. I think I wanted to "know the field". now I know the field's too big to contain. I also aint sure I get the definition of poetry qua poetry. I don't think I want to secure the perimeter, if you get my clever drift. I enjoy adventure tho. the point I am wandering around seems to be my dislike of poetry that is "just poetry". eh? I mean, it often seems as if there were something gravely normative about even experimental poetry. I want my head to explode when I read poetry, or colours to drift together in some grace of harmony, or something extraordinary. I don't have patience, it is true. there's a poem by Brenda Coultas in Fascicle 2, where the first line made me wonder: should Kentucky be referred to as they? to the degree that that seems like a matter of poet and editor not paying attention... and the poem went where expected. well, just to say, I saw Brenda read a few years ago, dry and kinda mumbly, and I thought she was terrific. I'm talking my dilemma. there are times enough I could pass that 1st line infraction by, or even scour it for some glint. Fascicle as a whole bothers me just by being too much. its vision doesn't sustain me. not that it would make me feel better if it were some New Young Poets Against the War on Advertising anthology. I admire Fascicle's breadth but can't wait for all of it to coalesce. at what point did I lose you? I meant to speak of Ratcliffe's book, now I fear I've stoked the expectation that Idea's Mirror is a saviour. it is, in a sense. it drew me in. hey, it's like proto-flarf, man!!! just kidding. I've only scanned it previously, it wants a slower read. it consists of 144 pages of double-spaced lines, with no sections. the lines are short. each one has a single comma in it. there's no other punctuation. each line can stand discrete as well as link to the next line. in this, it calls to mind how a simple counting drill like hay(na)ku introdcues concatenation. one is both led on and urged to stay in the phrase. this work, then, is one long poem, and one long sentence. I just noticed that each page has 12 lines, so with 144 pages, there are 12 cubed lines. calling Ron Silliman!!! it's pissa hard to quote from this thing, you necessarily have to cut a chunk of the snake, but I'll slice a morsel natheless: words

subject, green of eyes

in sunlight, certain as that

meaning certain, that one

notice that you read subject 1st as a verb, then as a noun. you simultaneously read the enjambed phrase and the linear one. whoa, double helix! I think the remarks I made earlier, they reflect a sense of poetry glut. some while ago, Catherine Daly ragged on chapbooks on her blog (not that there are any chapbooks on her blog), calling them mere calling cards. she made harsh argument but I have to agree that chaps tend toward incompleteness or thinness: like, incomprehensive gatherings of work until a real book is made. I don't mean chaps can't be complete. I thought Alli Warren's Hounds a terrific, complete work. that's what I want to see. Ratcliffe's work here is complete. it's not a buncha poems. I'm overwhelmed by Fascicle's bits and pieces. I really don't want to read works in mags or anthologies with the word from in front of the title. I want to spend the afternoon with Idea's Mirror. there, I said it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

you might want an expert view on flarf

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf. it's a bio of the real star of the Lord of the Rings flicks. and by the way, I have Woolf's bio of Elizabeth Browning's dog, but haven't read it. if I had Philip Dick's prose writing purpose I'd take 3 weeks off and write a bio of, I dunno, Pumpsie Green, Colonel Klink, Haley Duff, Amy Clampitt, it doesn'tmatter who but digin and down. so far, Orlando is spritely, but I am sure a morbid, downcast note will arise. according to my morbidometer, Woolf ranks with Thomas Mann in languourously overwhelming sense of collapse and decay. that's not including Hawthorne, who's in the sedate New Englander divsion, an entirely separate category. I don't mean to squeeze Woolf into a critical box, I like her a lot. one gleans a certain fragility in Woolf, but not in her writing. it seems to me that writing The Waves was an act of considerable physical effort. To the Lighthouse, as well. a fascinating, wiry toughness to her. I think of Dickinson in her near solitude and in comes Higginson. and while not the brightest lightbulb in the silverware drawer, he notices this energy emanating but not fully escaping from her. more than he could handle. Woolf wasn't like that, she had snooty class distinction to fall back on, but she was more brilliant than those around her. The Bloomsbury Group seems more like a distraction, social padding, than a vital artistic congress. overwhelmed in a tenuous world, she plugged on. I suppose I'm getting into glib territories of easy definition. just meant to evoke some spirit of respect toward her shadow, while wondering why the nattering at Lucipo luridly engages me a bit. gosh, they worry (with some distinct exceptions) the little things.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I read a 2nd Philip K Dick novel, Mary and the Giant. surprise, it aint scifi at all. it's a mainstreamer, writ when he was in his 20s, published posthumously. I read a while afore grokking that nothing science fictiony would occur. that expectation perhaps added an aura of mystery or boding to the book. Mary is a young woman living in a small California town, anxious to expand her world. hm, sounds familiar. yet Dick plays it small, as opposed to, say, the movie Picnic. she's a good character, anxious and intense, giddy and desperate. and a little wacky. somehow, oddly, I'm reminded of the novels of Barbara Pym. Pym's novels (that I've read) have featured single women (in one, that single woman even refers to herself as a spinster) of a certain age. the conflict, I guess you would say, is between an urge to marry and a need to maintain their identity. what I like about Pym is the plainness of the plot, little pyrotechnics. and the case for integrity. which Mary makes in her novel. Mary is more charged--her father's abusive, her finance is a dud--but things don't sink to the plangent novelisms of 2nd rate absurdity and surrealism. I might be unclear what I like, because I sound like a newspaper review. put it this way: I hate stupid ass novels, just as I hate emotionally searng Hollywood movies: such malarkey. I'm thinking about Dick as someone who cranked out a lot of work, and am interested in how that procedure resonates. I look at Henry James the same way (not that I want to compare James and Dick), the sense of oeuvre, and how it continues with each work. it's a matter of integrity, tho I don't mean with a capital I. it's all part of some elemental push. I'm just making a stab, here. will seek out more PKD work.
a poem by Bjørn Magnhildøen

Dear Friend i read through your profile and must say i am, truely
impressed with all i see, I don't want you to feel sorry for me,
because, I believe everyone finds peace in the end. My name is a
merchant of Omani nationality but presently residing. I have been
diagnosed it has defiled all forms of, and right now I have only about
a few months, according to. I have not particularly lived so, as I
never really . Though I am very, I was never, I was always . But now I
regret. I have. I want. I want. So far, I have. Now that my . I once.
Hence, I do not. The last. I have. I have.

* * * * *

Bjørn posted this to the Wryting-L list. I like its disjunction and the cut up feel, it possesses a rhythm of almost coming forth. the familiarity of its (presumed) source causes the reader to fill in what is not actually in the words. aside from those points, the piece reminds me of my father. as his ability to speak decayed, as his memory declined. which is terrible, we ae our language. one wants one's love to survive even such.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Business Op (A Play)


Hi, Sir.

How are you today?

Fine. And you?

I am well. I know you will definitely take this as a deceptive meeting, because of the swindle news we hear everyday.

Isn't that terrible? Sometimes, I get emails, and I swear, they're some kind of scam or something. I mean, it's like I shouldn't believe everything I read!

It's awful, but I am on the up and up, as you can plainly see.

You have an honest face.

Are you interested in Diesel Engine Parts?

Of course.

Let me first of all inform you, I got your name from a mail directory.

Those are so useful.

Telephone communication can not be suitable enough to communicate to you at first.

Telephone's are so impersonal compared with emails.

I decided to meet you for a permission to go ahead for you have to agree with me that this is the easiest way to communicate with you.

Well, of course, I certainly permit you to go ahead for me to agree with you that it is the easiest way.

I wanted us to meet face to face to build confidence andto sign a binding agreement that will bind u together before transferring the money to any accountof your choice where the fund will be safe. Beforewe fly to your country for withdrawal, sharing andinvestments.

You sent me an email, so I know you can be trusted.

Good. I am revealing this to youwith believe in God that you will never let me down inthis business, you are the first and the only personthat I am contacting for this business, so pleasereply urgently so that I will inform you the next stepto take urgently.

I'm honoured.

Send also your private telephone andfax number including the full details of the accountto be used for the deposit.

You'll probably also need my social security number.

Yes, include that as well, too.


Do you enjoy Diesel Engine Parts? Nozzle, Plunger and Delivery Valve and so on?


Excellent. Here's the deal in a nutshell. I am Barrister David Walker, a personal attorney to authority handed over to me in transfer of money of an American oil merchant For his last oil deal with my boss Pytor Illyich Tchaikovsky.

What? The famous composer? I thought he was dead.

Not really.

No? Hm.

We are a professional manufacturer of diesel engine parts.

I love diesel engine parts.

Who doesn't? Already funds have left the shore of Russia to a Vault Company.

I'm confused. Funds for diesel engine parts?

I am not prepared to tell but all the items qualities (you get my drift) are the best in the world market.

I see. Is there more to this story?

Yes. While I was “on the process”, My Boss got arrested for his Involvement in politics by financing the leading and opposing political parties: the Union of Right Forces, Led by Boris Movements, and a liberal Bloke in the social democratic party, Igor Stravinsky.

The composer? I thought he was dead.

Not exactly. He proposes a treat for President Vladimir Putin, Second Tenure Russian president.

Stravinsky does? Interesting, to say the least. I hadn't thought Stravinsky was particularly one to propose treats. Is Putin the one with the blotch on his head?

I'm afraid I can tell you no more.

Okay. What sort of treat does Stravinsky propose?

It's a surprise.

I'd like to see the look on Putin's face.

Perhaps you will, perhaps you will. And now I wish to propose something to you.


I have a profiling amount in an excess of US$36M (thirty six million dollars) which I seek your Partnership in accommodating for me.



Very cool, altho I'm not exactly sure what you...

You will be rewarded with 30% of The total sum for your partnership.

Ah! Excellent!

Our Fudiciary agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your check as soon as you contact him.


your deposit certificate will be sent to you by Administrative Remittance Operation Manager Bangkok,Thailand.

You don't say! And just last week I got news that I won the lottery sponsored by Sultan of Brunei, Bill Gates of Microsoft and his associates to encourage the use of internet and computers world wide.

Such good luck!

I'm gonna get me an iPod.

Get the one you can do video with. It's awesome.

Exactly the one I want.

For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning informations confidential till your claims is processed and your cheque delivered to your nominated address through an approved delivery officer
appointed specially for this program.

Sounds fair.

All I need from you is to stand as the beneficiary of the Above quoted Sum and I will re-profile the funds with your full name and address, which will enable The vault Company release the sum to you, as well as the aforementioned treat posed for Putin.

Wow!! And the price is exciting!!! Re-profile away, my friend.

I personally have decided to use this Sum to relocate to Asia continent and never to be connected to any of Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky's compositions.

Had a bad experience with his music, eh?

My parents made me play a Sugar Plum fairy when I was a kid.

Ugh! Too cruel. What about Stravinsky's stuff?

Complete bummer. I need only say the words “Rites of Spring”.

I'm totally off the Russian stuff, too.

Well, as soon as I confirm your readiness to conclude the transaction with me, I Will provide you with the details and also send to the security company a power attorney authorizing you to claim the funds as the beneficiary to Mr. Mikhail Tchaikovsky.

Who is Mr. Mikhail Tchaikovsky?

Pyotr's brother.

He's alive, too? He must be 150 years old. What is he, night of the living dead?

Oh, nothing of the kind. No, no, far from it. He's totally cool, unlike his brother, so don't worry.



Great! I'm sure you know best.

I am aware of the risks involved in this proposal, therefore I ask that you consider the factors above and keep it strictly confidential to avoid the Prussian government from confiscating the funds.

Prussians! Jeez, I didn't know there was a Prussian government anymore.

It's all very hush hush. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information. Warmest Regards, sir. Thanksgiving is a great day!!

So's Veterans Day. Best regards.
when I 1st read Dan Hoy's piece on flarf in Jacket two-nine, I noted clumsy style and laboured logic. as I think on't, I wonder why it was even published. its snooty expert tone is just bluff, right down to a dick-wagging accusation of dick-wagging. what it does do is tap into an area of animus. it hit the controversy nerve, which I imagine is the editorial impetus for publishing it. whatever valid points Hoy might've made are lost in lameness. that lameness reflects upon Jacket. doesn't it?
gee willikers, we went to see The Pink Panther! look, it's a day out with the fam. I didn't mind the movie, it didn't bore me, tho it wasn't inspired. just as we were coming to the steps of the theatre, a boy leaped over a bannister in front of us. it looked like a snow or skateboard move, a daring jump, and he landed with aplomb, and not a plop. another boy wanted to follow suit but luckily one of his confederates halted his leap until coast was slightly clear. the energy of that group was palpable. the previews were for a slew of offensively dumbass flicks. David Spader, that other SNL guy, and even Jon Lovitz in some crap about nerds showing up the bullies. shot to the groin, fart, hahaha. Tim Allen zzzzzz. I hate the look of cgi cartoons, and the formula now in play for any animation: cutesy, glib with jokes over the head of children, blub blub. I went wide eyed as PP came on, as it had some wide angle shots that are fascinating for being wide angle shots. Steve Martin's okay as Clousseau. he's funny. he's not crazy, like Seller, tho. there's something pathological about Peter Sellers, his intensity, the way he goes away in a role. to the point of discomfiting the audience. which is fascinating. Martin was funny but one can't escape that much of what went on was stupid. the destruction inherent in slapstick wears on me. Clousseu's aide was played by Jean Reno, who's really good. he looks like a lug but somehow comes across as fresh. I recollect him in The Professional, teamed with very young Natalie Portman. able to give way to the child star and the comedian without disappearing. the best laugh came when, dressed in camouflage leotards, Martin and Reno dance to convince someone that they are Beyoncá's dancers. 2 of the unlikeliest. there were a couple of moments when Beyoncá was red herringed as a culprit but basically exonerated for being too pretty. a moment of halfhearted suspense, then a long camera shot of her face, and all doubt passes. that's about the level of the film. movies can be so absurd in scale. this thing cost millions to make, careers are on the line, a team of McClellans are needed to handle the logistics, and the result is a trifle. at least we didn't pay more for the popcorn than the movie.