Thursday, December 28, 2006


ceremonial, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

21st century

21st century, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

whirled view

whirled view, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

Jesse Crockett's Flickr

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

looks like I cannot switch to beta Blog, because this blog is too large. I imagine some Blogger (GOOGLE!!!) inspired disaster awaits. whatever. so anyway. we actually made a trip to the mall (not far) to look at the mall in its post Christmas mallness. Beth's idea, just to see how the economy is doing. didn't even leave the car. this is part of the fascinatingness of Christmas. Beth wanted to see if the parking lot was full. it was. not overfull, but you'd have to search for a parking space. just checking under the great big hood. I love doing this, watching the world on its energized mission. we've pared Christmas down to a big ass tree, a party, and some calmly procured presents. I mean the work part. the celebration radiates as its own. sometime in November, for instance, depending on mood, I start playing Christmas music. I can envelope most (but not all) of the secular stupid stuff (not "Santa Baby", not certain other crass vehicles the titles of which I have no energy to lift up for display). I feature older stuff, renaissance and medieval. plus "Drummer Boy". wandering thru the mall is a pleasure, only mildly avaricious (the Apple Store!!!). sunday, when we were at Barnes & Noble, I saw a book by Ed Viesturs, an Everest and high altitude veteran. he'd been on Daily Show recently. I looked longingly at it but chose not to succumb to the wanting urge. next morning, Erin's present turns out to be the very same. score! that's what I like about Christmas. not that whole Wii presposterousness. I write about these shopping adventures because I don't think poetry allows limits. I think poetry includes seeing. Olson (his birthday is tomorrow) brought to me, maybe not to you, an inclusion. that poetry isn't a restricted, bonded place, but welcomes questions and attribution and theory. that history, or science, or crackpot ideas are poetry too. seeing how Coach bags work their way towards young hands is interesting to the point of magic. what did Jung come up with, active imagination. well now, think of the manner of your dreams, the ridiculous conjunctions and strident oddity. the diurnal and the phenomenal, how do they differ? poetry is possibly exciting, potentially involved with the numinous, the extended, the daily, the morally brilliant. my friend Ezra closed off, and you can see the fearsome smallness in the picture I linked to earlier. not to say we all don't have batch files of stupid running rampant, the point is to recognize a few of them. Beth was at the garden center, where several small children stood in front of an inflated Rudolph performing Rudolph's song impromptu. at the point where Rudolph's exclusion from reindeer games was mentioned, one youngster added "because he didn't wear underwear". brilliant. the Poetics list currently murmurs with the MLA buzz, and I can see meeting up with names on books you've read or wish to, but the academic clog and freeze up would discourage me. the poetic probably doesn't want to isolate or barricade itself. leastwise, that's my working proposition. the limitations sort of kill us, do they not? well, that's my present rumination. I'm not trying to freeze things.
I just got comment box spammed, so I looked to check my settings. lo, I discovered a bunch of comments I hadn't read before. I apologize for setting it so that those comments never appeared. I appreciate pretty much whate'er anyone contributes, not counting those arriving via mindless machine influx. I also, in trying to make those comments reappear, apologize for apparently stupidizing those comments into some blogger netherworld. I swear I hit no delete button.

Monday, December 25, 2006

interesting photo of Ezra Pound (whose name comes up frequently in crossword puzzles). taken just after St Elizabeth swallowed him up, he looks sorely distressed and confused. it's not to whitewash the antisemitism, for which, I daresay, he paid more than most antisemites, but I find this a singularly compelling picture. you see a kind of earnest intention to pull everything together, to study and understand. you also see him overwhelmed by the effort. it's sad in the way any boundary such as race, gender or culture is sad in its determining (limiting) effect. I mean at heart I think there was a brilliant sincerity to Pound, but the weight of that um hubris just warped it all. it's not up to me to make karma evaluations of Pound but I will say there is much to admire in his work, amidst all the screwed up blah. in sooth, we have to be kind to all our heroes, for the human steps that they still take.
my loved ones sleep on Christmas morn so here am I. I don't wnt to hang out on the net today, but Christmas music is playing, tree is lit. we went to the mall yesterday, with some shopping aims but also to enjoy the spectacle. it's fun to wander around, look at things, take it all in. we got there around noon or before. plenty of parking available. Sears is a surprisingly quiet box. it feels like they don't want to be too busy there. as opposed to being outquicked by Target or whatever. I've noticed that the music has been uniformly low octane at Sears. Sinatra sang, if I recollect, "Silver Bells", giving it his most I don't give a shit inflection. his lack of sincerity was never a problem, part of his roguish charm, but musically it sounded like greengrab symphony. some few musicians make Christmas music like they mean it, but it is a genre of avid hackery. we muddled thru cds and dvds for Erin at FYE, big anime sale. these entertainment stores are up against it what with the internet, both legal and illegal. we entered KB Toys, a crass place that I would normally avoid. we had our reasons. I can understand, and yet. it is next door to EB Games, an electronic game paradise which oppresses me, all these stupid, violent, lubricious graphics on those stupid, violent, lubricious games. folks at KB Toys were in who gives a shit mode. the last time at the mall we visited Coach again. the music there wasn't nearly the echoing thump of Abercromie and the Other Name, but it certainly aimed towards young market. the product hasn't been aimed youthward, however, only the marketing has. which is wise: teach them to appreciate your wares rather than guess what their taste is. wisdom there. I didn't see much register action at the Coach store, tho all the store people were busy. at Macy's however the Coach bags were moving. now I can't remember the name of the designer but I liked the bags from this one more than Coach. Beth tells me that there's no question that Coach does things in a 1st class way, including lifetime warranty on the bags. teens were purchasing bags. we got some camera accessories at Ritz camera. a hatless Santa entered the food court and said hi everybody. I think it was the mall Santa, dressed in an elegant green coat (looked Victorian), but he was treated more like a weirdo. no Santa, I don't think you're a weirdo. passing thru Sears, by the way, it appeared they were dismantling Christmas displays. near Santa's picture taking factory a tired looking fellow sat talking on the phone. he said, the little rat is in line to see Santa. still doing a box office business there. across the road we entered he holy ealm of Barnes and Noble. which was jumping. a cop is outside drinking a Starbuck's brew. a year ago Beth and I went to the mall, I think the day before Christmas. it was packed to the degree that it took us an hour to make a circuit round the mall, without finding a parking space. space was a difference maker then, certainly, but there was tons of room yesterday. B&N was about normal. B&N did what Whole Foods does in times of crush: station someone at the head of the checkout line to facilitate a smooth flow. we did indeed stop at Whole Foods for a handful of things. tweren't so busy really. we have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I made a cake, inventing a n orange sort of frosting for it. Beth did a roast. while it cooked we watched our bit of swag from the day, Pirates of the Caribbean. the 1st one. it's a fun movie. not having any expectations the 1st time I saw it, it was a wonder. one doesn't expect the flaky performance that Depp gave. the 1st one at least managed to keep its confusing elements under control, unlike the sequel. the cat has now decided to sample such of the dog's breakfast as the dog has chosen to save till after walkies. light enters the sky. I shall now perform walkies. Merrie Christmas, however you take your pleasure.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

saw the 1st half of Breakfast Club, which I aint never seen before, amazingly. tho having lived thru the 80s (it came out in 1984, I infer) I absorbed a degree of it. beginning with that song by Simple Minds, which I admit to still kinda liking. I didn't realize or had forgotten that John Hughes directed. for a while there he made just about every movie in which an adolescent, pre-adolescent or post-adolescent appeared. I can recall some were okay in their way, and some just functioned on the strength of formula. speaking of which... the opening credits wheeled out the five central characters. let's see if I can memory it all up: Molly Ringwald was the pretty in crowd girl, Michal Something Hall was the dork, Emilio Estevez was the jock, Judd Nelson was the hood, and Ally Sheedy was the eccentric introvert. it is true that school divides into such factions, but perhaps with more blurring round the edges. the five must spend 8 hours doing nothing in the school building as pennnance for misdeeds. which strikes me as an unusual way of dealing with problems. a school official, after all, must come to school to oversee. that school official is a Captain Bligh-like asshole. his pugnaciousness is better suited for employment as prison guard but I'll leave his career choice at that. bad guy Judd is the main instigator, asking direct, offensive questions and stirring the pot. everyone gets their chance to orate about life as a teen, and Hughes makes sure everyone is juxtaposed with everyone else, for purposes of dramatic tension. zowee. I was taken by how acting class the whole movie was. Ally Sheedy with her hair covering her face, squeaking inexplicably, seems perfectly inarticulate in a seriously autistic way at one point but later is asking probing big life questions of Emilio. the kids are so knowing and so stupid at the same time. condensare. and don't forget the hijinx. Erin put the movie on, somehow with the idea it was a funny romp or such like. no, more like a hunk of phony tearjerk for the cheap seats. anyone seen any of the actors lately, or Hughes himself? it's like the 80s wouldn't let them go.