Saturday, January 20, 2007

average cat

average cat, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

a pretty good riff on Ezra Pound by Lanny Quarles. there's a third path of engagement, besides outrage and ignorance, and it is one that doesn't simplify. I have to read more of Ben Friedlander's criticism because I like how he negotiates his way thru the clashing rocks.


flags, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

Friday, January 19, 2007

showing redux

showing redux, originally uploaded by allen_bramhall.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I wanted to ramble further about Collected Poems. I note in my previous yawp that my articulation wasn't too clear (je suis fatigue). when I wrote that anyone can find poems, I meant that anyone can produce a good one, emphasis on one. a poet is someone who makes such an endeavour of the practice. Keats' Ode to Indolence is, by my reck, a stinker, especially compared to Grecian Urn and Nightingale. its weakness is informative and useful, however. I think its weakness is worth knowing, because Keats was certainly committed to poetry and the process. you, as a poet, probably write frequently, maybe everyday. I think we all have a sense of hooking a big fish, throwing back the little. it seems like we should respect the investment made in those little fish. which is not an evasion of aesthetics, but a consultation with process. again, this is why I am showing this saturday a few works that don't please me a heckuva. sure, the show will predominate in works that I like and love, that I am proud of. I am not making decorations, I accept the demands of the process. Collecteds are charts of interest. what strategies can one take to stay focused? you might peek at Anne Boyer's strategies for publication, which, despite their whimsy, suggest the sort of focused approach an artist takes in getting and presenting The Work.
Erin still on the mend, he was really wicked sick, now Beth is confirmed with pneumonia. unsurprisingly. we've caught it earlier than with Erin, so it looks like she won't get quite so sick. I've got to be wary because I spent plenty of time in the coughosphere. Beth spent many nights at the hospital, orchestrating care and getting info, I only spent one. orchestrating care is a necessity, alas. hospitals run mechanically, perfunctorially, and everyone's rushing elsewhere. at one point, Erin's Tylenol was changed by a doctor to one with codeine, to which Erin is allergic, as Beth had informed the staff. so he gets hives to go with the rest. the chaos and confusion in hospitals is disconcerting. in wandering the halls, I found a bulletin board with some how tos for being a better hospital worker. like not using abbreviations when writing orders, because these are so often misread. I know it's a hard task, with all these interdependencies being derailed by emergencies and the occasional screw up. it mean you can't be complacent. anyway, let's say this is the last illness report for a while.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I want to chime in on Eileen Tabios' ruminations on Collected Poems. I collect collected editions when I can, for the possibility of finding the less well known. there is more, tho. certainly if you like a poem by someone, you would be curious to read more. I guess I don't mind the connection between the poem and the poet. tho I know that too much biography can get in the way. and I think the process is pretty damn important. anyone can find a poem, or a picture, I mean make a good one. it is, indeed, a notable aspect of art that there are some who bend their lives towards finding these treasures. it is not just fascinating to see the contortions Ginsberg, for instance, went thru to produce his oeuvre. my error with Ginsberg is not recognizing the value of these contortions. the value is in the learning process. in my showing I intentionally include works that I know are aesthetic losers. I want to acknowledge that part of the process. aesthetics is pretty tricky territory. to the degree that aesthetics propounds a conformity, it is shit. okay, I said it. the individual, hello, does not conform. admittedly, that sounds 60s to the max, and, yes, I lived thru both ends of that decade. what I infer as the devil of School of Quietude would be the way the work may conform, one to the other. but 2nd rate LANGUAGE, and NEW YORK, etc etc, likewise shuffles towards sameness. how an artist navigates those shoals... I consider myself an Olsonian, because Charles O provided me, or intimated for me, if not you, certain pathways. please, thank your teachers, even as you run away from them. there remains the matter of my saying no, Charles. no Bob, no Gertrude, no thou and thou and thou. collected poems are reports of the process of getting around to the point. ping.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

fascinating human/machine collaboration by D^vid D^visio. the only way to do this is to link to his profile, he has mucho blogs. he works with a Palm Pilot sort of whatsis (I guess, it is machinery I know next to nothing about). his thingie mistranslates his entries and there we have the fun. I'm all for re-visions.
my vision for my showing is in the way of an installation. I wanted to display a lot of work. aside from work on the wall, I wanted work scattered about, inviting people to pick them up. the gallery consists of two rooms, fairly intimate. the space feels good. I wrote a catalogue that offers reactions to 60 of the works. I took the risk of including works that I'm not thrilled by. this is a nod to the process. I would say those "failed" works began with good intentions. it could be that I didn't match my skill set with the impulse. it could be some urge to please set me off the path. probably the easiest way to screw up your artistic vision is to feel the weight of the great ones. we learn from these mentors, certes, but then we reach a point when their influence wobbles us. anyway, I'm a thrifty Yankee (and yet a Yankee hater as well!!!) when it comes to my failures. quite often I tear them up for use in collage. I think my best work is collage. I am fascinated by my visual work because it seems to come from a part of my brain I don't converse with. there are no ideas whatsoever there, just coalescing shapes, colours and images. not to go all Jungian. I find visual work explorative and playful without the fuss of seriousness. with poetry, with writing, I'm always fighting the urge to commandeer the impulse. the sense of agency that Blake and Spicer muster speaks of the need for the author to git out of the way. anyway, there's the deal with my showing. if anyone would like to read my catalogue, email me. I may put it on line but till then..