Monday, November 16, 2015
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Monday, September 21, 2015
From my lean experience, I thought of Dracut as the boil on Lowell's ass. Then, too, Lowell has seemed like a decrepit remake of colonized Boston. Both viewpoints are right enough, and wrong. People + Socio-economics = People. No left, right, or u-turns around that proposition. Memo to the collective running for office.
To reach Lowell by car—trains and buses also work—you can take Rt. 3 and then the quaintly-named Lowell Connector. The Lowell Connector is a spur directly into the cauldron of Lowell. Where we turn off onto Dutton, there's an embankment with a large Welcome to Lowell message in white pebbles. There's also a sign mentioning Lowell Pride. We'll just assume that both statements are sincere.
Thru out the city are banners sponsored by and for UMass Lowell. These banners indicate how ready you shall be for work and life with a UMass Lowell education. Pictures on these banners showing good, normal kids, no evident piercings or tats, fosters the dream.
Our route needn't've wended thru Lowell's central clutter but we had a minor emergency meet up with Erin at the school. Thence we rode along the busy thoroughfare parallel to the Merrimack River. It's really a lovely setting, with an esplanade, and perhaps a junkie or two. I don't know about the junkies, but as lovely and fascinating as Lowell is, seedy if not decayed never seems far away. Still, there's a grand house on this busy roadway with a wrought iron fence painted a beaming gold, or gilded for all I know. Like architecture? Come to Lowell.
Beth's first stop was at a condo complex, a small enclave of townhouses on a busy road. Thick vegetation surrounded the complex on three sides, with a marshy pond visible thru the trees on one side. So close to the urban miasma!
Further down the road we saw homes of better upkeep than the Lowell standard. The land itself started to sing with rolling hills. The second condo complex was nestled into the slope of what I am pretty sure is a dell. There's a working farm next door. The third comp felt warm and inviting. I mean the land still remembered that life grew from the earth, back in the day.
Heading back towards Lowell we saw a church with large and ornate stained glass windows. Alas the dirt. I think one showed some chick holding a baby. The largest one featured this guy and a large boat with animals. I wonder if it was a scene from The Epic of Gilgamesh.
Just to keep things in perspective, across the street from the church was a corner packie. And next to it: a graveyard the size of a vacant lot. Old one too, but the chain link fence was probably newer.
The school is in growth spurt all over the place. The school is a pretense of fulfilling success given the closeby destitution of actual people in a rainbow of languages. And I think again of William Blake and songs specifically of Innocence:
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Back in the good old days, Natick was, according to peerless Wikipedia, an early praying Indian settlement. As in, Our munificent God says Stay here, don't make waves. Colonialism = bulldozer, but gee, opiates are great!
We engaged Rt 3 to I-95 South, thence to Rt 20, aka Boston Post Rd. In elder days, the artery to the city, now the busy pass thru to all the yonders we learn to imagine. We slid thru Weston first. It is the moneyest town in the state and Boston bedroom community supreme. It is green and populated by houses of this and that extent. We were just passing thru.
Wayland next. More of the same, perhaps with rolling-er landscape. I mean the crust is lovely almost as the dirt. You can see the bones of farms, but farming is such an antique idea. Lawns = imagination, since I am so math-oriented. No McMansions, tho.
Thence to Natick. My aunt and uncle lived there, until they winterized and expanded the Cape Cod cottage and shifted there. Lake Cochituate was within walking distance of their Natick house, and Carling had a brewery nearby (assuming memory works). File under auld lang syne.
So much of New England is green, a fact I often forget. Big deciduous trees are our neighbours and friends. Beth grew up in the desert spareness of Nevada.
Natick centre is a fine bustle this side of gentrification. It has some lovely brick factories now housing emporia for the rising crest. I saw what must have been a retired brick school or municipal building now yceplt Cochituate Village. An apartment building. O marketing, you make the people weep. Village is now an embracing term for all that we no longer have. Developers of condos and developments love such comforting words as village or farm. “Come out from the grove my love & care,” wrote Childe William.
But anyway. At one house, the owner noted the suspicious car. Beth explained the wherefore and whereof of her enterprise. He was not nonplussed, and Beth says she has yet to encounter anyone fussed by her picture taking.
The final comp was on Pumpkin Pine Rd. Let that sink in: it makes no sense. Perhaps as a new craft beer. We live in dreams.
Sunday, September 06, 2015
Monday, June 08, 2015
I have started a new blog, Mandala Web. a patch of thought about mindfulness and creativity. I hope this one will be a more grown up one than my various Blogger accounts, i.e.: neatness counts! With the link that follows, I give more attention to Against Misanthropy by Eileen Tabios than I gave in my last post here. Still some sloppiness apparent, but please go here.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
I Forgot Light Burns (Moria Books)
Against Misanthropy (BlazeVOX[books]
Two new books by Eileen Tabios. One is a collection of poetry, the other a collection of interviews with and statements by Eileen. I think Eileen makes little distinction between the genres, and first name basis seems the only basis with her.
I Forgot Light Burns is the poetry collection. Eileen used a poetry generator to create this work. The generator randomly selects material from a database of 1146 lines. Each block of text begins with the words I forgot. Pages consist of one to many such blocks. Each block could be considered a sentence, simple or complex. In the first section the blocks end sans period, elsewhere with an em-dash (my favourite punctuation mark!). You could consider each block a poem, or each page, or each titled section, or the whole book. The door is kept open that way.
So there we are.
The first section (of three, not counting afterword) bears the title “I Forgot the Flamenco Red”. Inspired by if not an ode to red toilet paper that Eileen managed to discover in Spain and is pictured on the book cover. The lines here generated all begin with “I forgot Red”. Here are some random selections:
I forgot Red for the slithering snake freezing to S in Espana [from this I see this weird ass tp pulled sinuously from the roll]
I forgot Red of black heels stamping concrete
I forgot Red of Guernica
I forgot Red as the roses sacrificed to the spiders by the winemaker
This section strikes me as more thematic than the other two.
Many lines carry a sad, surreal quality. There’s an intimacy in these lines:
I forgot a child crayon to form a heart—
I forgot instructing saliva to wait—
I forgot minarets growing within muddy pools—
A few lines seem directed, as if the author were trying to say something. These satisfy me less than the oracular ones that seem to arrive from who knows where. I should add that within the context of random origination—math types always say there is no such thing as random, don’t they?—the compelling voice would want to speak as well.
Against Misanthropy (subtitle A Life in Poetry) is, as I did mench, interviews and statements. Eileen is much thoughtful on the process of writing. Writing seems too delimiting a term to enclose the artistic, political, cultural, aesthetic, and humanistic concerns of this author. This book offers an engaging sampling of her thoughts and concerns. Eileen Tabios engages and supports poetry with unusual zest. That zest shows in every page of this book.
I was about to get wordy but the three words I just used, engages, supports, and zest pretty well map the territory. Lively statements and lively replies about poetry, people, and world. Do drop in.
Monday, June 01, 2015
Finally saw this second Avengers movie. It was okay. I’m not really keyed into the grand intertwining of story lines. That’s Marvel’s contribution to comics. I didn’t savour the lengthy plot lines when I was 13, and haven’t changed much on that. But anyway.
We got to the theatre early enough to sit thru ads for tv shows. Sorry, not about to watch. The theatre, by the bye, has undergone a redo, to the degree of electrically-powered lounge seats and room for my legs. Wowzer!
In the previews, there’s a movie about a boxer. Rocky redux. To keep custody of his daughter he has to beat the champ. Okay chumps, buy that one again. Old never gets old.
Looking for something else to buy again? Try more Terminator. I never saw the previous, altho of course I have absorbed them all thru cultural osmosis. Arnold’s back. It looks like the same old shit, albeit with shiny new graphics. And while I cannot abide Arnold, his acknowledged status as a cultural thing works well in the two minutes that I saw. Jurassic Park has also received a reshine.
Adam Sandler sits in the middle of a movie in which aliens invade Earth using video game characters such as Donkey Kong and Pac-man. Sort of almost nearly kind of a cute idea but Adam Sandler, the God of Stupid. The Fantastic Four return, also redux. Yeah, I slept thru the last 90 minutes of the earlier attempt. I have to say that I never particularly cared for FF in its comic book evocation.
Ant-Man also hits the screen. I never read Ant-Man. What up with Marvel’s predilection for hyphens? This looked more okay. Paul Rudd seems a funny cast selection, but he does have a bead on comedy, which these stupid movies need.
Anywho, the movie for which good money paid finally arrived on the screen. Popcorn was by then gone.
I was plot-confused the whole way thru. It’s me, Erin claimed that he followed it (them). I don’t even want to recount that which I got. Doesn’t seem to matter.
The plus of this feast is the cast. Robert Downey, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansen, and Chris Hemsworth all snap off crisp banter with charm. Joss Whedon writes crisp banter. Plot, ugh.
We had to get sad because the poncy English AI voice of Tony Stark’s computer system is, er, killed by Ultron. Ultron is voiced by James Spader, a pretty good escapade. I recognized the voice but couldn’t put his name to it. Spader lounges back in the character like an old hammock, if that simile isn’t too much to digest.
CGI still sucks. I think you are supposed to smoke a few joints and then say Whoa!. Look, the greatest movie ever is Monty Python and the Holy Grail—budget three quid—which just let you enter the process and say those men pretending to be on horseback really are. Those blurs on the screen in The Avengers just look like blurs on the screen. And Physics is just a suggestion, not a set of qualities by which we are ruled.
The action scenes are splat. Ridiculous movements all over the screen. Physics should be ashamed of itself for allowing this free for all.
Captain America the character and Chris Evans the actor are surprisingly appealing. I like Cap’s earnestness. He seemed more of a dick in the comics that I read (in the day). Not a dick, really, but just standard superhero.
After a rough superheroing day, the crew betake themselves to the unexpected farm in the middle of nowhere whereat Hawkeye stows wife and fam. I mean please.
Stupid got the game ball with Ultron’s attempt to wipe out humanity. He lifts an entire town with I dunno secreted underground. The idea being that it would drop onto the earth with force enough to wipe out humanity. In the last X-Men that I saw, Magneto lifts a ballpark, and that seemed tuned to idiocy enough, but Ultron trumps. From this disaster and the attack of Ultron’s robotic minions, three gazillion and seventeen nobodies die. Ho hum.
Almost nobody gets hurt amongst the favoured heroes, no matter what befalls, not counting that three gazillion and seventeen. There’s an endless scene in which Iron Man tries to subdue The Hulk. More means nothing, they clash and clash until it’s time to stop. The more that finally beat Hulk is the same more that earlier did not.
This is America in action. Why think when thoughtlessness will fill the bill? Do we understand revenge, at all? It looks like the stupidest intolerance of all. The Old Testament hails the calm satisfaction of us and them. So too The Avengers.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
I saw this performance on The Voice last night. I found the song and performance surprisingly strong and effective. That is Nate Reuss, singer for the currently quiescent group Fun, out on his own. I don’t know him beyond that but you probably do.
He shows confident command from the start. Kicking the voice out like that, naked. He’s not over-reaching, which many singers do. He has trained the gift. The usual implement describes gifted as loud, or dramatic. Reuss led with his voice, which a singer had ought, in all good conscience.
When the band explodes into notice, a palpable excitement occurs. Reuss demarcates the power chords with full body arabesque. It’s an obvious technique but it visually captures a leaning possibility toward full capacity. Except for that jacket he’s got. The jacket looks like a 50s housecoat, flower-printed even. It fits oddly, especially as Reuss jumps about. The jacket must be his clumsy cousin. The nobody guitarist leaning back in Jimmy Page 1969 is just testament to the picture. However it may sound.
No restraining order has been issued to the show’s claquery, so there is potent waving of arms for the instigation of pop revival. Do we really need to be told to listen? The song is strong, Reuss is confident: that chicanery just collects at the bottom of the tub into which we gaze. POP MUSIC. It is okay to be pop music.
See, I have been reading a bio of James Laughlin, publisher of New Directions books. In that vague day of refined glory, poetry books rose up to public consciousness. People bought books, and poets could expect a soothing smackerel, as if writing poetry were a viable occupation. Poetry was pop, then.
Today, poetry is leaden detritus, whereas music lasts until it’s over. I do not descry a competition, just observe how well the music can be choired into impact while poetry has lost the audience.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Okay, so we went to New Jersey to fetch a storage unit full of stuff. I could give details, but won't, only the minor thrilleramas. Like say crossing the river on the Tappen Zee Bridge. I know for most people this represents the daily slog but for me there really exists a feeling of Bifrost, bridge to Asgard. The bridge over the canal that my family took, heading towards Provincetown, always was a magic moment/memory.
We left civilization a scosh late, near 1 pm. At Someplace, CT, we partook an early dinner that boasted every indication of breakfast. Usually enough, when we travel, Beth heads towards breakfast while I conjure burgers. This time, I went all breakfasty (the time was around 3:00 or so). The specific restaurant (in CT), was Cracker Barrel. Safe Harbour. I am honestly touched by the sign at the entrance saying no matter what race creed colour, etc, you are welcome. It's the sort of value-packed declaration that companies make. I dunno if CB has had Denny's sort of bad moments, but I appreciate the getting it in writing palm open.
We arrived Sunday eve just a scosh past close liquor stores. After the hotel embrace, including a demanding $100 hold on the credit card for "incidentals", as if Keith Moon had joined us, we went next door to Longhorn Steakhouse for a smackerel of wine.
Monday meant picking up the lucky truck to transport all the all. The offered truck featured fully evident leaky roof. I had roused before 6 am that morn to darkling clouds and whipping wind. Some pittance later sloshing rains. Beth haggled for a better carrier, that being one that had just gone elsewhere, and could be retrieved. This equation meant a somewhat late start at the loading process. That finalized around 6:00.
NJ I must say must be the first example. The possibility that so many people can exist on so fragile a framework seems completely imaginary. NJ is just ahead of the curve, but the tonnage of dissupporting vehicles and mercantile extremism just seems empirically emptying on this stage of sand near ocean. Logic simply says so. We are talking sand castles.
After the much lifting/moving, some of us felt like whoa, I'm like wow = tired. We procured wine and beer, then included dinner. Apres diner, well, it seems Comedy Channel offered South Park.
South Park has soul, and tender, and its advance into inappropriate is oddly warm and subtle. I have not watched it religiously, but it always seems fresh. I especially liked the Towelie character. I cannot explain the appeal of this stoned towel.
Journey home included a stop at Buffalo Wild Wings. Our entrance to the place was like grandpa and grandma got lost. Thumping music, but just ice cream for the asshole age. Not scared yet.
One wall had a ridiculously over-sized tv screen. A college football game. Lo def, with the image scrunged up. All around were normaller tvs featuring that game, or a chatter about sports events, or a fishing show.
The waiter was a youngster who wasn't somehow prepared for anyone who was, like, hey you know what I mean. I don't mean this against him, someone should have told him that creaky vessels might hit harbour. Attempt mooring, that is. He was earnest, but when Beth ordered hot tea, he arrived with an iced tea tall glass full of hot water, and a teabag. Beth helped sort him out that one.
Just from the menu, the wings sounded disappointing and expensive. I just wanted food. The menu descriptions were plangent in laying bacon, honey bbq sauce, chipotle, extra cheese, glop, glop, on a bun. I'm not vegan but it just seemed oppressive. The perimetre of intent seemed to exist solely in cholesterol.
The prime dollop of curious consternation came after the unloaded truck. Brought to lovely Lowell, we found a deserted gas station. A note on the door indicated that we leave paperwork in the vent hole of the garage. This gas station has a pump offering gas at something like $1.60 a gallon. Except the pumps are marked deceased. The garage itself is loaded with trash and junk. One window is boarded up. You can hear a radio playing. I later mentioned a weird gas station in Lowell and the person immediately said Middlesex St. Yup. Beth yawped with the proprietor, there being a deposit to reckon. He delivered it to our door but still, the curious condition of Lowelness. It is something to study. Kerouac came from Lowell, if that makes it easier.
And I just don't know how to hold this stuff, both precious and rank. We have a funny, odd world to defend. Please care about caring.
Monday, January 12, 2015
e plan, which never gets revealed. Second, her death isn’t by the fish, which, given her professional status, should be her nemesis as the one who knows fish.