Saturday, July 31, 2010

News Flash: Comments Out at Silliman Blog

I stopped looking long ago: I knew the dickheads lay in wait, like ant lions. And we weren’t even getting the juicy stuff because Ron was scuttling what he found most offensive.

My guiding stance is that comment boxes should be open and unedited, but the dickheads have gamed it too well. You have to put a fence up,just to keep the bots from taking over with their automated commercial pressure. And the nuclear spats I have seen even here are just depressing enough for me to consider them the call of Fire! in a crowded theatre.

Beyond that is the big what’s the point anyway. Ron Silliman has a brand name reputation. This reputation attracts the various actors and dancers to his stage. Their own venues lack interest.

Okay, I got them psychologically sussed, but the larger point remains that the mechanics of the comments box sucks for colloquy, sucks for dialectic, and sure as hell sucks for essays. They work for informal blips of thought and nothing more. Well no, they work for bullying. Let them write big brave letters directly to Ron: kindly sir, would you please sir publish my comment on your blog sir. If these associated dickheads can’t edit themselves then someone must do it for them. So I have commented on commenting, my work is done.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Might be the 4th movie we saw this year. Judging by the trailers, I for one will not be seeing anything soon. Basically nothing exploded, it looks like it is all temperate melodrama. A new Ben Affleck movie (oxymoron alert) looked like solid old hat. Set in Bawston, and I am sure the plot has been done 3 times before, at least. Maybe some further hunting of Good Will will resuscitate his career. Everything else looked like drippy shit.

I should mench that Steve Carrell now looks like someone to avoid. Dorks making faces is not a enough for a comedic turn

Inception, then. Leonardo diCaprio does nothing for me. He’s probably pretty good as an actor, and he doesn’t irritate me like Tom Cruise, but I do not feel compelled. It is not worth arguing about.

DiCaprio wakes with his face in sand, is found by some guard sort of person, then brought before this very old guy. Wretched make up if you ask me. I invite you to ask me. Well, stuff happens.

I will say it right out that I found this movie muddled. Beth did not, but she tracks better than I do. The score loomed large. Not in a musical way, such as James Horner or John Williams do. Instead, it was hugely atmospheric. The music tended to rumble over the dialogue.

I am not sure I can relay the movie’s concept properly. Leo found a way (a scientific one: he has yet to reach the remake of Freddy Krueger stage of his career) to influence people by entering their dreams. This means that he and his partners traipse about in these wild action scenes within dreams. The thrust is high stakes business espionage. The effect is like James Bond but without the hokum.

This movie owes a tuppence to The Matrix, having a similar heightened visual style, and the whole dream thing chimes closely. That aspect was originally lifted from an early Arthur C Clarke story, I have discovered. When I say The Matrix, I mean only the 1st movie. The 2nd was a lame piece of sequelitus, up there with Pirates of the Caribbean. The idea of watching the 3rd, which supposedly is okay, was beyond me. Inception is more philosophical than Matrix, and more humanly relevant. Dark Knight was so good because there were human moments in there with all the comic book malarkey.

The movie gets confusing with dreams within dreams, but is certainly worthy of a 2nd viewing. I feel like I should know a couple of the actors but the names ring no bells. Maybe the young actress in the pointless Microsoft commercial is a somebody beyond that but that’s the only glimmer in her cv that I know. The always satisfying Michael Caine was on the screen the bare minimum.

After a rather prolonged talky part, an extended storyline builds to the culmination. This part hearkens to Mission Impossible in the rococo filigree of plot turns and action necessity. Obviously I mean the tv show since the movies star Tom Cruise. Several levels of action took place simultaneously. The culminating action takes place within the time a van crashes slo-mo over a bridge and drops patiently to a river. This was a strange and effective way to tie things together.

Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight director, wrote, directed and produced. According to Wikipedia, he turns 40 today.He can wish me hb on Sunday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ten Years After

Not the band, just a mark on the calendar. Beth and I attended the Boston Poetry Marathon in the summer of 2000. It was an important event for me, and a new one is this weekend. Tempus fugit.

Beth and I were not married yet as of that poetry gathering. It was an exciting meet and greet for me, who had only just got connected to the wider world of poetry via the Internet. Beth and I met thru the backchannel of  the Poetics listserv. We decided to go to this grand event.

Another person who I met thru backchannel was Stephen Ellis. He asked if we could put him up the Saturday night of the readings.

Memory is fuzzy. We attended Friday night, paying $40 a head. Wow, paid attendance! The locus was the Art Institute of Boston, near Fenway. I cannot recall that night, but I know that it occurred.

Saturday we were to meet Peter Ganick at an Indian restaurant in Central Square, Cambridge. Beth met him online. I had for years bought books from Potes & Poets Press but never met Peter. Peter brought Sheila Murphy, whose work I knew from its online appearances. We went to the reading together. Peter skipped out early, I think, but Sheila remained. She read at one point, and was one of the better readers. My favourite reader was Michael Gizzi. His delivery was dry, measured, and skilled.

Before that, not to mess chronology too much, someone entered and I knew it was Stephen, tho I had no clue what he might look like. I recall sitting next to Sheila thru much of the reading. We both busily scribbled. I filled 25 notebook pages writing and doodling. I don’t know if I ever looked at what I wrote and I presume it is now in the Ohio State Rare Books archive, which houses my papers.

Jack Kimball, perhaps freshly back from Japan, was pointed out to me. We would meet the next year. Sheila started to introduce me to Nada Gordon but someone interrupted with a greeting to Nada and that literary moment flew away.

This meeting with Nada was reminiscent of my meeting with Robert Creeley at Franconia, old story that must be told again. Robert Grenier tried to introduce me to Creeley three times at a post reading party for RC. Each time, something distracted the probably drunk or stoned Creeley. Fear not, however. At one point, I was by the record player and Creeley sat down nearby. He started clapping to the music, so I joined him. Not just clapping but stomping to make the needle skip. So I have that memory of staring eyes to eye while we syncopated. No words were exchanged.

Anyhoo, lots of poets and poetry. Creeley himself read Saturday, star attraction. I’ve seen him twice, many years apart. Not a great reader, tho of course an important and engaging intelligence.

Patrick Herron flew up from North Carolina for the reading, someone else I had met online. I think Stephen, Beth, Patrick and I had breakfast together Sunday. Sheila, Stephen, Beth and I had dinner the night before. It was an exhilarating time for me, being amidst this scene.

The upcoming one this weekend seems just perfunctory. A handful of people interest me, a huge number are unknown to me, and what the heck, I should be reading.

Of the organizers, I have met them all. Jim Behrle, before going all New York, arranged a reading of me and Henry Gould, two unamalgamated locals. I think Jim ran out of readers. Michael Carr and John Mulrooney both run local series. I never made effort to get in their readings. I am not so sure if I need to attend this marathon (the 8 minute per rush format does not attract me), but here is the batting lineup.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Antic View

Just a reminder that Antic View, the mental and poetic tussle between Jeff Harrison and myself, has been updated, #148. Visitez maintenant.