Saturday, April 12, 2008

a spring day in the full range of that possibility. Beth left before 8:00 to visit her mother in NJ. I had an html project to work on. it was pretty rainy when Beth left. it is Pole Capping Day in this burg, but with the rain that ceremonial event looked unlikely. around 9:30, tho, a clamour began to develop on the green across the street. sun was out, sky was clear. I roused Erin, who normally spends most saturdays in bed, zzzzzzz, but he was excited to see what up. it was a muster of Minuteman companies. which is to say, cosplay, American colonial style. a gallimaufry of fife&drums, and muskets, and the buzz of people. I could at this point explain that Polecapping is a re-enactment of a Sons of Liberty demonstration lo these 233 years agone. we met our friend from the Billerica (that's 3 syllables, s'il vous plait: drop the 'e') Minutemen. we were interrupted by a call to parade. this parade is all of 200 yards, to where the polecapping occurs. one of the few times the town rouses itself from its mundane torpour. the ceremony itself occurs in this traffic island at the edge of the centre. obnoxious speechifying, crap about freedom. a state rep, a town somebody, prattling about what they know not. we listened to this a couple of years ago, and left before the pole was capped. Erin and I waited it out this year, and won the spectacle of... okay, it's like this. back in the day, the Sons of Liberty placed a red cap in an oak tree, signifying defiance. that tree is gone, so the minutemen (women as well) erect a pole there. then a stalwart climbs up, aided by a rope. cap tops the pole. one of the silly myths that speakers tried to promulgate was a sense of unanimity. it is never like that, come on. I've read that the colonies were split roughly in 3rds: against the crown, for it, and neutral. but it was all treated like Thanksgiving rivalry, with no sense of the human complexity. bleah. Erin and I then got hamburgers and sat on the porch and ate. a while later we went on an errand: Erin needed a watch. we biked down to T J Maxx, where you get the max for the minimum. no go. it was spitting rain when we left. coming back, that spitting became torrential. and there was thunder. we pit-stopped at CVS, consumer value store, just to get under cover. I stood at the doorway watching a tremendous downpour. a man in a vehicle parked in the handicap space called me over. he sat in a wheelchair inside the vehicle and asked me to lift the ramp in. I did so but the door would not close. I was soaked before he asked my help, but the rain was even more intense than before, I felt like I was inside a blur. finally he decided that his door control had shorted out, so he had me lower the ramp. Erin had, by this time, come out to help. the man went in in search of screwdriver, where's my Swiss Army knife when needed? back in the store I noticed a selection of watches, and Erin was able to find one both inexpensive and duly high in gizmo rating. I think the man got batteries, and both the clerk and store manager were suitably concerned and helpful. we purchased the watch, then stood in the doorway again, watching a tremendous downpour. the man in the chair solved his problem and drive off. I don't mind the rain but it bothers me to subject my bike to it. but I was now quite cold and we were not far from home. so we cycled off. inches of water were in the road, once more a blur. we both dried and oiled our bikes and changed into dry clothes. by which time the rain had ceased and the sun was out. after dinner the boys settled in for a movie. the choice was between Beowulf and some dragon movie. dragon movie won. we lost. a very long, confused set up supposedly readied us for present day action. it did not. suffice to say that the stiff, male model lead meets with the blonde, bland starlet, and dragons and overlords screech about LA, or whatever city it was. plotwise, it was like taking a text thru various Babelfish excursions before arriving back to English. or what passes for. movies like this are coded, you use the shorthand to get over the need to explain. this movie thrust explanations at us at the beginning, then just unleashed the pyrotechnics. that I dozed off periodically (I am wickedly weary lately) should not suggest that I missed anything. basically, if there is anything basic at all here, Godzilla, and Nazghul, and Transformers, and Power Rangers, and Star Wars, and Lord of the Ring all conspired to inspire this movie. every time I woke up, the pair was elsewhere and more explosions and screeching beasties. I thought there would be deconstructable material in this flick, but there doesn't seem to be any material in it at all, just motion. which relates right back to that stupid ceremony, in which tar and feathering was actually presented in a positive light as part of the Sons of Liberty's actions. sounds like terrorism to me. as too, if you've ever read Nelson Mandela's autobio, his youthful exuberance. a friend brought up Creeley today, a writer I greatly respect and acknowledge debt to, but who I don't entirely enjoy. I think the strength and value of Creeley lies in his dogged attention to the veriest of mundane speech and act. neither the movie or the ceremony evinced any such thing. words and acts are shams, and shameful in that condition. Creeley could not see things that way. I have to return to the texts, Creeley's, because the bullshit is politically and morally not viable. at all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

two not so related things before work. 1st, Days Poem, the book, sits near the top of Ron Silliman's most recent Recently Received. the 1st book on the list is The Journey to Kailish by Mark Allen. hm. down the list a ways, Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore has 16 books, which total may (or may not) best Days Poem in page count. it's an odd satisfaction seeing my name listed (Ron, read my book first!!!!!), and I am suddenly reminded of WCW's poem El Hombre. except that that poem suggests more modestly than I am willing to claim. god knows if Ron will ever read Days Poem, or many of the books on the list without an Armantrout as author. which is not to doubt his willingness, if only to 'keep up'. but it still feels like being present, my book there in that list. the world is so crowded! knowing that Ron Silliman possesses a certain book, and may thus read it someday, mayhap will tempt you to get said book. duly note that he provides links, which is going the extra mile:

the other thing with which I mean to ramble concerns Facebook. some while ago, I unexpectantly received an invitation to be a Friend. which meant, for me, joining Facebook. and so I went all facebooky for a while. I haven't really given it much time lately, and it does seem to take a bit of time to proceed well with Facebook. so I have a short list of Friends. it's a neat list of people tho I cannot claim them all as homeys. I've met or even know a handful, the rest I have had at least some correspondence with. it is kind of like Silliman's recently Received, or his comments box (to which I do not (well, I think I have once or twice) contribute). I remember seeing a valuation of Facebook as being around 15 billion. which probably is inflated but still. I do not know how Facebook revenues itself, but sure enough people are interested in its service (it seems less overwhelming than Myspace, where florid web design reigns). I just think of the correspondences of which we have record, how that dynamically worked. can Facebook rattle up the same courage of writers. the letters of Olson and Corman (I have always been juiced by Letters To Origin) was never in display mode until the letters were long writ. so that differs from the Facebook practice of public encounter. Facebook distinguishes from listserv, where confrontation is the only distinction. and blogs remain personal territory in the main, with corrals where comments can sun themselves. Facebook may just be a game, but we all must acknowledge how tempting it is to see our names dance out there, all 6 degrees of connection, as if poetry were a power... please meet me on Parnassus top, and bring your Facebook Friends... salut a tous!