Saturday, February 10, 2007
Google supplies me with People headlines on my start page, so I saw where Anna Nicole Smith died. I don't really want to write about it. the story, no longer life, seems simply sad, Shakespearian in the relentless tragic path. her child has what 3 claimants to fatherhood, wow. I don't want to go there. I'm interested in pop icons, hence letting Google pepper me with People headlines, but I can't invest. Katie Loves Calling Tom Hubby: ook, I thought that was Couric and Werner (Werner being part owner of the Red Sox), and I don't even know if that coupling still pertains. what about the breakup of Mischa and that nude rock star? never heard of him, and she's on some show I've never seen. a while back I saw 20 minutes of that Paris and Nicole Simple Life in which, oddly, the nasty closedminded heelbeelies managed to make our heroines sympathetic. 2 bit culture war. I hate the snotty ass regard towards rural folk that exists, as if we were all NY dicks, but this show somehow scripted the simple folk into subpar enclosure. so now Nicole has cool anorexia and Paris, well, she's a smooth machine. I have no idea how I'll feel if she wakes up dead sometime with a needle in her arm, or whatever likely scenario. I mean, I have used Paris in my writing in a thingie way but not ANS, ceptin' here. maybe Paris is too smart to get caught in the gulley when the flash flood occurs, which ANS definitely wasn't. tho I don't want to use the word smart, instinctive maybe is better. ANS never lost the trailer park. Hugh Hefner said something about how the whole Playboy family is saddened. Playboy? family? no doubt the fam will get over it. I found ANS fetchingly goofy and sincere. she fits right into the mold of out of scale victim with Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland (and I think we can invite Liza with a Z into the rarefied group. good lord, it seems like only yesterday...). and maybe Williams had it wrong, or his insight needs adjustment. because these pure products of America don't seem so crazy, it's the people around them. think of daddy #3 for ANS' daughter: Prince Asshole of Zsa Zsa Gaboria. wtf, as Erin would say. that's where I stop wanting to listen. I really meant not to write on this, but look how I got swallowed. and what of Tom Cruise? I dunno. his publicists have made it so life can't sour for him, I guess.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
hey, I like this one. with photography, it's often cool when you can't figure out what the image is or how produced. yet Photoshop possibility sorta thwarts that. it's a needless muddle to get into, but admittedly, there's a pleasure in that bit of puzzling that enters into a picture's how 'bout that. and it shouldn't take away from a Photoshopped image that trickery was afoot. there's a certain amount of bullshit in appreciation, I guess, I mean self bullshitting. reminded of James Thurber's piece on his own cartoons. he wrote something like: people ask me if I do my cartoons by moonlight or underwater, and when they hear that I don't they lose interest. anyway, bottom line, nice photo.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
as I bethought me of memoirs this morn, I realized how ready made the syllabus was, for those inclined. and these are writers that could be squeezed into terms of avant garditude, rather than those of a broader net. I used the word dogged with Silliman, meaning it in the bestest sense, as Proust was dogged, neurasthenia be damned. no factoid is too dull, obscure or meaningless, if that comes across right. what I've always liked in Ron's work, starting with Bart is the precise detail. an unjudgmental effort to include. that's a validity of memoir, that trust in the life in the littlest bit. it fascinates me that Whitman and Thoreau met. neither was armoured with glory at the time, they were not living reputations but a couple of writers meeting warily... not sure where I'm going here... in a way, memoir's a test: can you find a path thru?
I'm reading Under Albany by Ron Silliman. which I am enjoying. more normative than I expected, but that's okay. I also figured it should be 9000 pages, but maybe it is part 1 in a 17 million piece expansion on everything Silliman ever wrote, due out in January 2723. I mean, he's a dogged writer, for one thing, and isn't the idea of The Project part of the zeitgeist? not to be flippant. Tom Raworth's A Serial Biography came to mind, not so much for approach but for scatter of memories. of course Hejinian's My Life, Dahlen's A Reading. lengthy list, really, and for good reason. keying the artist in the work. I differentiate these works, which I'll call memoir, from autobiography. autobiography, as I define, is more linear and narrative in approach. which can be good but I think less valuable than the memoir approach. I cannot think offhand of a poet autobiography of any resonance, tho probably some will strike me later, or you could refresh my dotty memory. I see memoir as processual, or, the process part is what intrigues me. you think of Proust and his Wayback Machine and do you remember the dress you wore 25 years ago?. memoir is in all of us, writers or not. usefully in us. you have to get beyond the idea both of importance and unimportance. these skewed assertions of facts, dancing in palimpsest, have vital essence and smack. UA shows the same detailed advance as Silliman's blog. I could see taking all the personal notes on his blog, about himself, and the positioning within his world, and make of them a furtherance of this book. his blog is a curious blend of critical and personal, where his critical becomes perhaps too personally regulatory, while the personal is oddly free. I mean, I like that blend, but in a way, I could see the two urges separated as well. UA being an example of that separation. I think...
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
somewhere in the midst of Ron Silliman congratulating for good taste his conjectured one millionth visitant Ron makes a good point. (note: the preceding was de rigueur acerbic commentary). he writes, try writing 200 MLA papers in a year. meaning, it aint easy. and yet, as Ron notes, those MLA type papers need be no better than blogged insights. I am finishing my own MLA type paper. it is an endeavour of left brain logical work, carefully following lines. I think I write well, but it is a whole conscious effort. I've had to learn to accept the formalities and work within them, whereas I just naturally fell into the right brain creative jumps of poetry and blogging. with this thesis, I battle to follow a logical trail. at the same time, I must fight to keep the formalities at bay, not let them commandeer the writing. MLA papers present a method, one often useful. likewise the blog, in its inventive capriciousness. I'm much more naturally attuned to the blog manner, but I have learned, I believe, to manage in the MLA mode. I've found that the Poetics list is a large failure because those posting rarely understand the nature of the medium. the Poetics list is not a classroom discussion. to say it is for discussion is to use a metaphor, not a wholly accurate one. Ron speaks of that metaphor in his posting. listserv and blog are about sniping, and showboating, and speechifying. they are good for that. their mechanics do not serve discussion well. deal with it. blogs can be ideas in action. sloppy and bullshitty maybe, but the form is loose and forgiving. MLA theses are not. careful, footnoted arguments work with MLA theses. blogs will be read by more people than theses. the underworld of listserv and blog, should not be forgotten, that backchannel network. I'm sure the point of MLA convetions is less to do with presenting papers as to schmooz with colleagues. blogs and listservs have the schmooz more or less built in. I write properly skittery bloggishness here, stumbling and stuttering around some ideas. it is always meant as an invitation.
Monday, February 05, 2007
well, it is a chilly Super Monday. I largely spent the Day itself sleeping. congestion came on in my chest and I felt achey, so I took the opportunity just to lay low. I used to look forward to being sick because then I could just stay in bed and read. of course when I did get sick, I'd want to sleep. or my concentration wasn't up for much. somewhat like that yesterday. I read several non-Conan stories by Robert E Howard. there's a historical element in these stories that I like. he's really hung up on race, in the you know, Hitler had some interesting ideas school of philosophy. but if you want to read about cloven skulls, REH is your man. I also read Geography of America, by Stein, a Tony Hillermann mystery, a buddhist text, Berrigan, and I wrote and doodled. I read, napped, switched books, napped. I also watched the better portion of 13th Warrior. it's a movie based on a Michael Crichton book, and sort of recounts Beowulf. I saw nary a noodle of THE SUPER BOWL. it held no glamourie for me. I assumed the Bears would win, tho would not have bet, because defense means a lot. but I was never going to say Manning could not win the big one. sometimes the crap of Superbowl is intriguing but I didn't have the energy for it yesterday. and I don't care who plays Halftime, they diminish.