Friday, August 11, 2006

and then we went to Costco. oh yes. we just decided, okay, there's bulk things we can buy and save, save, save. why not? we got out membership, which is a weird concept for me, but let's play the game. the woman who took my picture said it looked just like my license. same grim discomfort in front of the camera. passed down from my mother. with an oversized shopping cart we zigged and zagged down all the food aisles. a surprising number of items found at Whole Foods can be found at Costco as well. so we don't have to change our diet to disodium whatsis or red dye number 666. my Judy Collins approved granola at WF, however, is cheaper than anything similar at Costco. the cart filled with cleaning and paper products, woohoo. to the point of being hard to steer. yay! we didn't buy potato chips but it is nice to think that you could place yourself in the wonderful position of never having to buy chips again in your lifetime. or Lucky Charms, now fortified with extra green marshmallows. someone once came into the wine store I worked at with the goal of never having to buy port again, port being a wine that can age and improve for decades. we're talking some 50 cases (he had two winecellars!!!). anyway, Beth and I won't wake up tomorrow realizing that 35 pounds of butter is somewhat more than we need near term. a surprising aspect of Costco, really surprising to me, was the atmosphere there. it struck me that the employees were happy, at least not miserable. you don't get that feeling at Wal-Mart, K-Mart or Target. I understand Costco pays decently. what a concept. that was our day's adventure.
Beth and I paid a visit to Jack Kimball today. that isn't necessarily news you need, but the visit extended to his reading aloud, and we reading from the monitor, a goodly portion of his manuscript Post Twyla. which I guess will be coming out fairly soon. Jack read from the work at his Demolicious reading last spring, we got an even larger dose today. it was nice to meet the work again. Post Twyla is some 280 pages, and not quite that many separate works, altho Jack said he regarded the whole thing as a poem, so I guess by works I mean sections. most of these sections are short, three lines or so, with a smattering of longer pieces. they all can stand alone tho they weave together well. Post Twyla offers a wonderful spectrum of tone. wickedness, tenderness, wisdom, ennui variously instigate the work. the view can be bizarre, oblique, hilarious and sometimes painfully straightforward. regard this post as fair warning. save up your lunch money for when Post Twyla becomes fully commodified.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

oh ah hi  Posted by Picasa
some fascinating discussion of procedure by Jeff Harrison at Antic View, our interview blog (more soon to come). note how he devises an elegant way of minimizing author's desperation to control writing. I think by author here I mean id, but the point is to put that stern debater into the backseat. such procedures are just one way. one can do it other ways, meditative concentration, say, or utter distraction. people flinch at the seeming mechanical nature of using procedural methods to create texts but really, such people are just resisting. resistance is a natural reaction, but one should acknowledge one's resistance, try to understand the blockade. people have hung on terms like LANGUAGE and flarf, seemingly as a way to avoid reading or understanding the work itself. those terms are subfolders to the poetry folder, possible paths to take. I like working flarfistically. it exercises different muscles. my regular type-forth method goes linearly. my flarfish method moves more slowly, accretes and carves. yesterday I took a People magazine article on the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills Texas Divorce Match and worked it into a poem that retains almost nothing of that article. here is the poem (you can guess how the article goes, can't you?).

The Mills of Heather Rented the Same Agents

every time I make a report you do this to me
the enemy is everywhere across the street

in that window up that alley
life has been anything but an ipod.

I've always been in awe of the sky
I'm some B-boy cat that's over with

worry about my feet later Let's open up to Romans
Social class can influence who lives and who dies

Walking down the street I would bump into people
because I could only see from one side

My wife actually found out we were expecting
when I was in the hospital after my first episode

We've been first with other transitions too
Aw man We're not astronauts We're just asses

I just hope and pray that the Germans
we can wake up enough people

I'm probably the only person in America
who doesn't think I've had overwhelming lawsuits

* * * * *

I sent it thru Babelfish with the idea that I'd translate back into English myself. a quick cogitation told me that that would involve work, so I abandoned that idea. I then searched on the phrase 'said Paul'. what proved interestng got squeezed in here and there. then I shaped it into lines, then I deleted everything except the 'said Paul' stuff. shades of O'Hara and Oranges! the title, perhaps obviously, is a line from the People article translated from French back to English. the title is the only part of the piece retained from the original article, everything else got obliterated. somehow, it still contains an essence of Paul, Heather and People mag. even tho all words in it are found things, I made many decisions in creating this text. what I love about flarf, and what perhaps makes some people uneasy, is the pure voices that come thru. tho their contexts have changed, you hear the voices of Others, in all their oddity, difference, collision and helplessness. those voices can be so beautiful and unnerving. the writer of flarf, and the reader, Walt Whitmanly comprise those voices. what is poetry but a touching tenderness compelled towards the world? I use flarf here as an illustration. however one attains that touching tenderness is how poetry is made. difference is okay, and in fact, what worries you is what's most interesting.

Sunday, August 06, 2006