Friday, November 17, 2006

I don't seem to put poems on this site much now. I burden the collaborative blog Taking the Brim with some of what I write. here's yet another Fu Manchu poem. I've let myself write many poems featuring the sinister doctor.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

another paint class at the adult daycare. the last time we did it, a woman produced 20 mostly monochromatic paintings (she's always very productive). someone had put them on the wall end to end. the person who did this did it logically, phasing from one colour to another. the thing is, that's how the woman painted them. I watched her go from black to blue to green in succeeding pictures. the result on the wall, a 20' long painting. and it has a sort of narrative to it. fascinating. today, this woman did vertical strips. lots of black but with other colours shadowing. and she's so happy and excited as she paints. I talked a lot with one woman. she really wants to paint but has that voice saying no. she's better educated than the others in the class but is very gracious and supportive. some of the people can be grumpy, or depressed, or just distracted. this woman asked me if it is more psychologically satisfying if you don't start with a plan. I said yes. she has the common problem of having all these models in mind that she feels she can't match. she was working the process of releasing that fears of inadequacy so she can do the painting she wants to do. one of the aides at the daycare started helping the woman by telling her what to paint, and even taking her hand and making the strokes. Beth took the aide aside and said don't help like that. yeah, we're not teaching technical skills. we're giving these people a chance to play. and it is necessary to go thru the process of breaking the resistance on your own. the woman who did the 20 footer was absolutely restricted when she 1st started doing our class.
Gary Sullivan points to this monster vid of rapper Ceza: zounds!!!. fast and faster, with, I assume, crisp enunciation (I give props to Bon Scott for being one of the few rock sceamers who enunciated). I find the speed ecstatic. there's a fair amount of music the excitement of which sits in the physical difficulty to produce it. certes, Ceza looks a bit knackered after his performance. but the performance is very musical as well as figuratively death-defying. the opposite end of the scale would be "Bells" by Albert Ayler (a link to which is to the right). I don't guess the technique of the trumpet or sax would overwhelm any half decent high school player, but the piece is 2 minutes of locked in joyful noise. I wrote recently of Silliman's lauding of Noah Eli Gordon's email-derived poem. Silliman kinda stops at concept, you ask me. if you want concept, read Love and Fame in New York by Ed Sanders. the book is full of wild, hilarious evocations of conceptual art. yet the idea is not the machine itself. I don't think that, as described, Gordon's poem is conceptual art. it is beyond concept, it is present. with Ceza's piece, well anyone can say, I'm gonna do it double (treble?) time. them tobacco auctioneers go lightning fast, and you might listen with amazement, but that isn't the same as the thing made by Ceza. or maybe it is. the point being it's not just idea but execution.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

all was well...then Computer Troubles. well of course, I have 2 papers due soonestly. a couple years ago I had a paper to write and not only did my computer go down but so did Beth's. and just to make sure I got the message about technical intractibility, and hwo the gods have lined up against me, my electric typewriter went caput too. which just let me show how honking motivated I can be when time's running out. this time at least the hard drive seemed mechanically sound. I consulted Swami Yellow Pages, and got numerous possibilties for computer aid. several calls reached businesses disinclined to answer (I waited till 9am to begin my supplications), I assume they triangulated my phone number and recognized I wasn't a worthy or lucrative challenge. one saviour only made house calls, and that call cost 50 bucks, to which is added the actual cost of fixing sad machine. I found a local, residential even, number and went with that. the guy sounded sensible, and only charged dollar a mile, less than 5 miles away, to show up. he had that doctorly calm you look for. oh yes, I can do that. no, you haven't lost everything. seems like he was good with his word, for here I is. so okay, I'm getting a memory stick or some other save solution, because I can't be so self-ultimate all the time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I have to wield the index finger for these compelling, strange photos. I mean particularly the ones under the rubric (it is a rubric, isn't it?) Detritus of War, oh and also Here's Mud in your Eye Mr Death. strange, unsettling, funny and exponential in their way. I love this sort of obsessive oddity, even the idea of making serious statements with GI Joe. I can't recall the guy's name--Herbert or Harold Gold, mebbe?--who was a part of the Golden Age of Pulp Sci Fi, in the 50s. he creatd a miniature town, photographed it and let writers use the town as backdrop for their stories. kinda cool. Donald's doing something like that, insinuating his action figures in his/our daily world.