Saturday, May 03, 2008

a friend's milestone birthday tomorrow, coinciding with Erin's mere 19th. we've already done something for Erin, the opposite of belatedly (be-earliedly). but there is a party for our friend. so we made a mall excursion for a present, namely a beach cover up, our friend being quite the swimmer/surfer. 1st off: it was as crowded as at Christmas time. everyone spending their economy boosters? mebbe so. speaking of Christmas, the mall's central area is decorated for Christmas, and has been so for the past 6-8 weeks. a movie is being filmed there. we were there a while back when filming was in process, with security preventing access to portions of the mall and extras being ushered into the scene, just like reg'lar folks. anyway, in search of beach wrap. Sears and its Lands End franchise: nothing suitably colourful. we targeted Chicos as a likely source, but Beth chose to stop in numerous shops along the way. one place was clearly for the young but looked like it might yield some swimwear options. $10 and $15 dresses, which Beth assured me wouldn't last a single washing. and many eager teenage girls. a few years back, if I may travel a tangent, I sorta got interested in an earring. inquired at a jewelry store where I might get my ear pierced. the guy there, suitably crisp and mature, pointed across the way to Claire's. and I'm like whoa!. a buzzing place full of jewelry-like gimcrack made for the teenaged female consumer. with actual teenage females not only consuming the gimcrack, but selling it. I felt out of place but, heigh ho, I was on a mission. a teenaged female doctor of ear-piercing performed the surgery, and now everyone can see that I'm rad. end of tangent. we actually entered Abercrombie and Fitch, the ambiance of which strikes me as grimly soulless. we actually exited A&F, before some young hipster gave us the boot. we tumbled into a place called Ruehl, which was quite an experience. its store design is much like A&F: a thumping beat to pull you in, dark doorway, dark rooms with moody lighting. it was a strange maze of discrete rooms that perhaps would be a wonder if the merchandise attracted me. the place looked like where you meet your cocaine source, or Liza Minelli and Andy Warhol, or some damn grunt. wait, just for a moment, imagine Louis Zukofsky at Studio 57, a big A on his forehead... well, transcendence exists: a large b&w photo of a male model with finger in mouth seemed to make a good representation of the store's, um, thrust. from there we went to Nordstrom. which is brand new to the mall and, for all I know, new to the area. Beth knows Nordstrom from Seattle. it was a wonderland. a vast expanse of store space, with exquisite lighting, shiningly polished floors, and a lovely palate of colours (the clothing displayed). it was the only store where the help helped, a charming business model. I couldn't quite hold my attention to the task at hand but luckily there was a large tv screen feeding videos to any eyes that have strayed from the merchandise. I imagine all videos are made by film school auteurs, who have studied 3 minute narrative larded with phony ass performance histrionics, and got better than B in their film project. hi, this is the state of poetry, by the way. ie, what is the opposite of essence, and how do you make a gang of it sell? Beth found a possible right answer but we reconned other sources, just to be sure. a few indistinct options and such, then we tramped to Chicos. Chicos aims for a more mature clientele. the colours are quite pleasing there, painterly, even. I was a bit outraged because there were 2 chairs there. in one sat a man, patiently bored. in the other, a young--teenaged, maybe--woman. chairs in stores like Chicos are for men to anchor themselves while the shopping experience reshapes time. this young woman was eating a sandwich and talking on the phone. she was using my chair. this is disorder. will the murder of Hillary by Obama or vice versa solve this??? winds blow, spring breaks upon us, and Beth found a just right item. oh, we stopped in J Crew, where slim is the password but at least the primary colours are happy. like I said, Nordstrom was the only place where staff made any connection with 'customer'. do you ever wonder if poetry is a living function, or just the crust of some past condition? do you ever think about packaging, as you read those poems, so many poems?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Antic View resumes after all my fault hiatus, episode 135, don't miss it if you can. 4 years ago I wrote out of the blue to Jeff Harrison, denizen of Wryting-L list. I guess I determined some simpatico (reference to Mr Kite), and queried the possibility of collaboration. which ensued for over the years, a poem (we agree) called (we agree) Monster, with again all my fault hiatuses. and then, a sucker for endlessness, I approached Jeff, who I have triangulated as 2000 miles away, miles we have yet to shrink, concerning this interview that I bethought me. it continues to ride. I could, in my Ethan Frome way, advert my own star qualities in poetry universe, but I will leave that chatter to another time. I think Jeff is a distinct wonder, and there are enough bolts of evidence online (Antic View offers links to same). Ron Silliman follows in the steps of Robert Duncan, in awarding Aram Saroyan... I am not about to fight the equation, just want to note that the equation exists. well and good, but a writer of consummate, like Jeff, remains in this still not very. listen, the cheese is in the trap. just to haul up a memory: I remember Robert Grenier showing me a book by Saroyan, The Beatles. Each of its 4 pages with a different Beatles' name. I liked the idea of that, but the thought of owning such a book seemed extraneous. I could here refer to Ed Sander's wonderful Love and Fame in New York, with its myriad art concepts on display. and Saroyan's book was topped by some NY poet, in an anthology (where I saw it), a poem called "The Rolling Stones", which consisted of 5 lines, 3 Rolling Stones, and 2 players (pitchers I think) for the Philadelphia Phillies. so, bottom line, Jeff Harrison is a wonderful poet, I am honoured to work with him, he should be honoured to work with me, and you Dear Reader, if you are up to the charge...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I have all 6 of these, the 6 recent chapbook releases from Faux Press. reading them would be the next step. I will keep you updated.
quick mench of seeing Midsummers Night Dream yestreen, traditional day of Shakespeare's death. by way of the homeschool co-op that Erin no longer attends. he initially signed up for the play but he is taking courses at the community college and could not accommodate the play schedule. I have not seen many amateur play productions but it seems like these Shakespeare productions, of which I have seen all five, boast pretty high standards. costumes and scenery are particularly well done. a prologue was included, strictly to satisfy a need for swordplay among the participants. it represented the battle between Theseus and the Amazons. a bit of a gallimaufry but fun to watch. one fellow, after being smited, did a cartwheel. the particular stand outs in the play were the girl--ALMOST 13, as she states in the notes--who played Puck, and the boy, 15, who played Bottom. she enunciated very well, did these great sidelong glances (which were accentuated by makeup) and otherwise fulfilled the role nicely. Bottom, is the troupe founder/director's son. he capably played Romeo last year but Bottom is totally in his wheelhouse. he's a big loud bumptious kid, completely happy to ham it up. all the rude mechanicals were up to the task. the 9 year old girl who played the wall was at least a foot and a half shorter than Bottom/Paramus, which made for good visual humour. a backdrop tumbled toward the audience but the prompter caught it. later, during the performance of Thisby and Paramus, another chunk of the set fell, but the mechanicals caught it, and Bottom said, 'we're not trying to destroy your house'. Bottom's brother, 10, played Thisby, and used a ridiculously effective falsetto. I do not know if the mechanicals could be made any funnier. I think the director wanted Erin to play Thisby, which would have been another effective sight gag. we've never seen the alternate production, but it would be interesting. stars in one production get minor roles in the other. interesting to compare. the young son of friends of ours, with the sterling name of Kempton, played the Indian boy. someone held his hand thru out, elsewise, no doubt, he'd wander off, or something. he and his family were at the halloween party we attended last year, at the home of the play's director. this little fellow spent the evening wandering around. he wore a pirate outfit and carried a sword and a flashlight, indoors and out. at one point, people had gathered around the tv, because the Red Sox were playing the Rockies in maybe the last game of the World Series. Kempton sat all piratey on a hassock up close to the tv, fully rapt. wonderful picture.