Friday, October 27, 2006

cool photos by Peter Ciccariello, who also has a blog for his digital artwork here. I particularly like this one. I don't do a great deal of adjusting my pictures but if I thought in terms of the printed picture, I would do more. right now, I just hope there's some presence in the images. I have yet to print out a photo on good paper because I've yet to commit to photography to that extent. I will someday, when time and money.
as I walked the dog today I noticed a flock of starlings rushing thru the air. they headed directly towards a large oak, i. e. 'the scene', and settled in the treetop. the birds kept pouring in, until that first batch of birds, with a Malthusian inspiration, uproosted themselves away towards another tree/scene. the flow continued for a good 60 seconds with only brief breaks. I thought, whoa! that's a lot of contemporary poets! they were all, of course, voicing their starling opinions simultaneously. I don't speak starling but so much chatter must reach babelian levels just by sheer numbers. anyway, the contemporary starlings traveled on, then all was quiet, and peaceful.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kasey Mohammad posted this link to the Bay Poetics discussion blog. nt really a discussion, it is Tom Orange's collation of commentary on the anthology Bay Poetics (Faux Press 2006). I like the idea of a presentation of different views (even mine are included, scraped from this very receptacle that you read now). the anthology is a particularly good subject for such treatment, being, what, a palimpsest or multiplicity. it has its manyness for one to sift thru. the blog, by being there, suggests an alternative to bouncing off to the next book, i. e., sticking with it. it hasn't the poetics intent of New American Poetry, but it is a substantial something that had ought to have a large audience. which almost leads me to wonder what is this generation's Howl or Cantos (poem everyone reads). I said it almost leads me to wonder. my comments used the occasion to consider poetry scene, Boston having its difficulties in that arena, whereas the Bay area. and I should reiterate that Stephanie Young is a reckon withable force, having edited this anthology, and writ the lovely Telling the Future Off (Tougher Disguises 2005), 2 awesome recent additions to the world as we know it. if she can play the solo for Freebird, well, we've got a trifecta. rock on.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

sunday we drove around exurbanly. we came to a railroad crossing just as the gates lowered. a guy stood in the street with a camera. the train proved to be a freight rather than the more usual commuter. the guy was taking pictures. I realized I had a camera, so I took pictures of him. here's the link to my Flickr proof. he wasn't the only one who apparently knew the scheduled visit of this train, as several others also stood there waiting and watching. trains do kind of excite me. one regularly passes Walden Pond. rather than feel like an intrusion, it seems like another natural creature of the woods. and if it don't seem fit to have trains buzzing Walden, a train first came thru there a year before Thoreau went to Walden. file this under easily amused, I guess.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Erin got a chance to do lighting for a local play group. no experience needed. he liked doing it well enough to commit to doing more, even if it means missing one or two Halloween parties (at least he went to one last night, as a 6'5" ninja elf!!! (great costume, and he had the 6'5" part down pat)). we arrived to pick him up early, and watched the tail end of the production. Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. I don't know who this production group is, but it's professional to the degree that even Erin will get a little money. when we came in, standing in the doorway, actually, 2 characters were talking. then they started singing. which is standard for musicals but always seems so odd (I think of that character in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who wants to burst into song but his father always clamps down). I don't know why I assumed they would sing flat, but they didn't. a pianist played live backstage but it still seemed a hearty trick to sing in such circs, especially as the music isn't all that catchy. I barely get drama and definitely don't get musicals. I mean the one character is sitting disconsolately while the other sings advice. can't... wraop... around... that... I don't know the play but it is something of a collision between 4 fairy tales. the wife of the giant that Jack slew has come for revenge, and there's Cinderella, Rapunzel and what all. at one point, Prince Charming comes in from the back of the hall near where we eventually sat, singing grandly. it's all rather alarming for my delicate sensibilty. a nice camraderie amongst the troupe, and the director called out the lightning folks or a good job. Erin was in charge of a tracking spotlight. I don't know what sort of set, if any, the production will have. I once saw a bare bones production of The Magic Flute, with 3 musicians playing onstage, costumes but no set, and much of the action occurred thru out the audience. that worked well. I also saw Nutcracker long ago, and it is impressive, even to say magical, to see all that theatrical whizbang.
I found Led Zep's Moby Dick (live version) on Limewire. came with the comment, best drum solo ever!!!. well, whatever. took me a while to appreciate Bonham. the contrast of his precision, and JP Jones's, with the looseness of Plant and Page (call it sloppiness for Jimmy), made it seem like Bonham was off the beat. he aint. he sometimes tries to put too much in fills, which can be impressive but also distracts, but his beat is rock hard. "Moby Dick" is like Cream's "Toad", with a ripping rock guitar intro then the band walks away as the drummer shows off. I can't imagine Elvin Jones making such a mess of things. jumping from one rhythmic bit to another, no cohesion. Bonham's impressive, I'll admit, but it's still largely boring. it's nice when he starts hitting the drums with his hands. I remember in high school, someone was crowing about the Zep concert the night before. he couldn't get over that Bonham used his hands. that was enough for him. reminds me of whatever beer commercial, which bespoke the virtue of the beer as being that it's cold. not cold brewed or something like that, just cold. as if that were an intrinsic of the beer. anyway, Bonham used a monster drum kit. which always seems like a bit of baloney. I remember seeing Gene Krupa on tv, soon before he died I think. he had 5 or 6 cymbals, including one maybe 5" across. imagine that. I think you need only so much precision when yo're basically making noise. you listen to his work with Benny Goodman (I used to listen to Live at Carnegie with my father), and his drive is apparent thru out. Bonham's solo lacks drive, he's too busy shifting gears. drum solos always seem like a bone for the cheap seats. my memory of Ginger Baker was of his drubbing 20 minute solos (I saw 2 in one night at a Cream concert, yawn), but listening to some Cream stuff lately and his drumming is quite tasteful. just don't solo, bub. I suppose my favourite drummers are Elvin Jones and Dave Mattacks (of Fairport Convention). Jones makes such definite statements with his drums, give them such presence in the music. I saw a thing on PBS about Coltrane, and there's Jones saying how incredible Trane was. Jones has a faraway look in his eyes as if he can't believe what Trane did. coming from Jones, I mean. Mattack also gives incredible presence. what he doesn't do, the air between the beat, comes alive. that's good drumming, when the silence reverberates. so in conclusion, folks, rock on.