Aug 29, 2003

Today's offering at the Harvard Business School cafeteria's "International Station":

Regional American.



I love Harvard.
Updated the links. In order to keep the links manageable, I'm linking to sites that appear in my site meter referals section, which I figure is a good way to link to people who link to me. If you don't appear on the list, it just means that nobody's clicked the link to get to this site (can't say I blame 'em) and I am generally clueless. Apologies to anyone who may feel left out or overlooked. Booze, food, poems and sex are generally good ways to get my attention. FYI.

Aug 28, 2003

I now hold in my hands the new issue of Carve, edited by Aaron Tieger and lemmetellya, this baby is the shit, as the kids say. Not an off moment from cover to cover. Contact Aaron, give him money, get a copy. Get 2 copies and save one to sell on eBay in 10 years for the money for the drugs we'll all undoubtedly need by then.
Sign me up for this:


In New Operation, Heart Removed, Repaired and Returned

By Tim Craig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 28, 2003; 3:45 PM


Ugh.

Aug 27, 2003

I guess it falls upon me to give the details of the Mars-viewing party, since I was the only Bostonian/Cantabridgian who showed (besides expatriated ones). A fine time were had by J. Dunn, S. Dunn, M. County, The Fabulous Lucy, A. Cook, J. Cook, G. Cook, Zack who's last name I don't know, P. Dowd and A. Dowd. S. Dunn made the, in my opinion, correct observation that the White Stripes have, in fact, only one song: "Seven Nation Army." The pasta salad and gazpacho were, according to theme, out of this world. J. Cook showed me how to pull off Voltron's legs.

Amanda conducted a taste test in which is was determined that there is no discernable difference between the Mars bar and the Milky Way. Even to my discerning palette. Milky Way Midnight, however, is another story entirely. It being the most relevant bar in question as the sky itself was obscured by clouds, thus Mars missing from the sky much in the way that almonds appear now to be missing from the Mars bar. In their classic "I Need a Mars Bar," the Undertones specifically mention "googles" (slang for almonds, apaprently) in the list of ingredients which appear in the Mars bar. However, there were no almonds to be found.

I threw some chestnuts for J.B, which he returned. I threw some slimy wood pieces for J.B., which he returned. I did not throw what appeared to be a bug in some advanced state of decay.

P. Dowd beat everyone at pool. We agreed that "Steeltown" is Big Country's crown jewel. Mars came out for a few minutes around midnight. People wondered why we are so afraid (not of Mars, mind you, but life in general). This made me tired, so then I went to bed.

Aug 25, 2003

Orgiastic sparrow pinions
tearing at a bagel parcel

yards away
in the pit the punk kids
are in love

red star gone out over
the smoothest
morning in weeks

no word from you for days
the world advances
in a determined way
VENEZUELA NAMES TINY NEW PLANET AFTER RAIN GOD

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Huya, the rain god in Venezuelan Wayuu Indian culture, has been granted a place beside his counterparts Jupiter, Mars and Venus.

Venezuelan astronomers led by physicist Ignacio Ferrin have named the frozen planet 2000 EB173 -- which they discovered in March 2000 -- after the deity.

The planet, which is beyond Pluto and takes 256 years to orbit the Sun, must be named after a mythological god under guidelines set by the International Astronomical Union, Ferrin told Reuters late on Wednesday.

In March, after determining its orbit, the Venezuelan scientists baptized the light-red planet Juya but later changed the name to Huya to avoid phonetic confusion in the English pronunciation of the name.

"We wanted to make sure it had the connotations of a Venezuelan indigenous god," Ferrin said.

The scientist said that there likely was no life on Huya's surface, where temperatures reach 292 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The planet has a diameter of around 435 to 466 miles.

Ferrin, a professor at the University of the Andes, said he felt like explorer Christopher Columbus discovering uncharted lands when his team at the Center of Astronomical Investigations came across the planet.

"I don't think we can see it, but science indicates that we cannot be alone in the universe. It's like thinking there is only one elephant in the jungle," he said.
I put the books where the voices tell me to put them. Except in the fridge, the fridge is for the infant god.

Aug 22, 2003

It is indeed an honor to see one's words on the breast of the great equanimity-bot. Thanks, Jordan! Hope you are staying cool in the office...
Went on a picnic with Karl Merleau-Marcuse . There was an earwig in the duck pate. He called me a rueful fig. I said his hat was tawdry. He drew his revolver. I drew mine. I was shot in the arm, spleen, gullet and shoe. Karl was shot in the kidneys, lips, ear and knee. Afterward, we laughed and wept bitterly at the folly of it.

Aug 21, 2003

New favorite Google search resulting in a hit to this blog: "what's wrong with Masonite siding?"
OK, so I'm a little pathologically iconoclastic today...
I didn't see Blue Crush or Blue Juice, but I'd venture that the best surfing movie of all time is Surf Nazis Must Die or, alternately, the "Skeet Surfing" scene from Top Secret.
While I find the idea of engaging in activities actually related to surfing somewhat problematic and antithetical, what say you Tieger, Rizzo and Mick (or anyone else for that matter) to Shin Yu's idea about an outing to said surfing documentary?

I generally find sports movies to be odious, but since it's at the Kendall, maybe it isn't all that bad. "Best in Show" was pretty good. Is dog showing a sport? I never saw any of those skateboarding movies because I thought they might give me flashbacks to when I used to work at a youth center with a skatepark: shining a flashlight under the halfpipe to try and recover the teeth that had gotten knocked out of some 10-year old hotshot's mouth...

Aug 20, 2003

This is a prelude to something else...


ARMILLARIA OSTOYAE

1.
Mycelium of frost on frail grass
lit up at this hour by saved
daylight says spring's been born still
like a record is born only quickened
by revolving the way my tongue
on your palm is a revolution
the way this starched town shrinks
from its own ankles

put the needle on the

huge orange moon hung
over Biogen by unseen forces
In runnels: sacramental wine
exceeds its object

2.
Easter morning: all the spoons
bend around Holger Czukay shouting
You've made a believer out of me

Long lines at the donut shop

Under Oregon
mycelium garners a rapture
specimens as large as 1.6 million square feet

I shave poorly thrust the key
into the lock
not quite believing

Sticking your head in the fridge is not necessarily the polar opposite of sticking your head in the oven...
Argh.

Aug 19, 2003

SIRIUS


Floodlamp boxes ensconced
by blurred glass
& lit glyphs

on the stone ribbon
ascending
to Charles/MGH:
city turns to mulch
bruised papaya
in a shark's mouth &
the holy charge
rides the rails / not blacked
out this dreaming East & the
gleaming mean climbs
the Pru: Bing-o-Reno
on Olmec scale

No words for the speech in
the light as it falls on you

a cocoon in the cavern of a mouth
throw silk ropes across
the chasm

balance a turbine there
the wing of a plane / absurd

how the wind holds metal up
the spark that moves the last
train under Mass Ave.
NO SERVICE: sutures of fire
keep my legs under me
swamp-light mist summer's ending above
ground I forget
which way to turn the trains
stop moving while you sleep

I realize many of you have probably given up on checking my blog at this point since I haven't posted much in the past two weeks or so. On vacation, so thus not near any terminal.

While I was in NYC visiting the good folks at Ugly Duckling Presse, I attending two fabulous readings (for those of you who weren't present), Mike Ford at the Ugly Duclking Space in DUMBO and Tim Peterson and Aya Karpinska. I intend to talk about these readings in more detail later on.

Now I am back and summer is coming to a close, more or less. Though it is quite nice out now, not too hot but also very sunny. The end of August often provides very pleasing weather, and also very interesting light.

On that subject, saw Mars last night and it was pretty amazing. Was considering the ramifications of Mars. While beautiful there was also something vaguely sinister, perhaps because astrologically speaking Mars represents everything that is antithetical to me (Mars being the planet associated with Aries and fire and me being a Pisces with Libra rising, creature of water and air). I suppose in a war year, it is only appropriate that Mars be of exaggerated proportions up there, an aloof red eye. I'm having trouble getting past this notion of Mars as sinister harbinger. Maybe I should reread The Martian Chronicles or something...

Aug 13, 2003

NYC loot:

Baffling Means, Clark Coolidge
Love Songs, Bruce Andrews
Swing One Hand, Michael Ford
Cumulus, Tim Peterson
Leon Thomas in Berlin, Leon Thomas with Oliver Nelson
Evangeline, Loren Mazzacane Connors
Karma, Pharoah Sanders with Leon Thomas

Aug 8, 2003

Writer's block as walkabout.
Shin Yu reports that Holga has released a new model featuring a built-in flash. You guys have no idea how happy this makes me. Something alot of you don't know about me is that once upon a time I was also a photographer. (My degree from Marlboro college is actually in Creative Writing/Photography), I haven't made images in like 5 years (mostly due to the high cost of lab space in Boston), but I do miss it sometimes. I wonder if Ferrante-Dege will process 2 1/4 film? I have been taking alot of snapshots lately, and dreaming about photographs...

Aug 7, 2003

I think the whole issue of women poets in the avant-garde is a relevant one. It's also perhaps a delicate one, as evinced by the strong emotions that seem to be underlying much of the discussion on this matter. But strong emotions, are a good thing, aren't they? Particularly for poets.

My only contribution to the discussion is that the gender balance admist the people I see regularly at readings/ hanging out/ at parties, etc. is generally pretty heavily skewed toward males. Far be it from me to declare the particular group of individuals I associate with as the definitive "avant-garde," a legitimate "community," or "scene," or the only "avant-garde" or "community" or "scene" going. The initial discussion refered to the gender dynamic in a particular group of poets in this area who asscoiate with each other. Of course, the discussion is relevant to any discussion of the "avant-garde" in general, or to poetry communities in general.

One could have a similar discussion about gay or lesbian poets or poets of non-white ethnicity (as Shin Yu has already pointed out), such a discussion would incorporate lots of factors: demographics, socio-economics, etc., etc. A complex and somewhat hairy endeavor, but an important one, I think.
Brenda Iijima points out the work of another Boston-local female poet:

Elliza McGrand lived for 10 years in Medford, MA. Her work stems from an appreciation and intense reading of Elizabeth Bishop's work. Her book, Shadow Dragging Like a Photographer's Cloth is available for $11 postpaid from: Portable Press: 596 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238 address. Everyone should support her by finding out about her work!

An exerpt from said text:

Voices rise in drab lachrymosa,
transcripts of the Trial arranged in parts
and all day people take turns singing.
There is no volume knob on the dolorosa
of his mysterious contempt and, like a hart
pinned by dogs, my pulse beats in crow-wings.

Aug 6, 2003

Aug 5, 2003

Fear not, Blogland. I am alive and well, just no time or inclination to post anything right now.

Aug 3, 2003

Redbones tab after diniing with James, Amanda, Chirstina, and Ben after moving Christina to Somerville:

1 LEMADE
1 FRITT
1 ATOMIC RELISH
2 CAT PLATE
1 SMALL ARK
1 CHOPP/SAUS
1 PULL DINNER
1 HOUSE MARGARITA
1 ANDERSEN IPA
1 RAPSCALLION
1 BELHVN

Aug 1, 2003

IN DEFENSE OF THE SURF POETRY COLLABORATIVE

Though this may get me kicked out...

Surf

\Surf\, n. [Formerly spelled suffe, and probably the same word as E. sough.] The swell of the sea which breaks upon the shore, esp. upon a sloping beach.

Perhaps I'm way too postmodern for my own good, but in considering the notion of Aaron's project I reckon it primarily based on it's contextless title, e.g. "the sea which breaks upon the shore," the nature of the word "surf" itself, which is an onomatopoeia (1685, probably from earlier suffe (1599), of uncertain origin. Originally used in reference to the coast of India, hence perhaps of Indic origin. Or perhaps a phonetic respelling of sough, which meant "a rushing sound.") Insofar as an onomatopoeia is a word which has a sound which is "mimicing" another sound found in nature, it represents a certain kind of articifice. Similar to Aaron's notion that the work associated with the project is an attempt to somehow channel the properties of surf music (language-less sound) into poetry (language). Given that said project is generally concerned with artifice, I think it makes the question of whether any of us have ever "surfed" sort of moot. I disagree generally of the idea of "authenticity" in poetry, anyway, but that is overstepping my point here.

I think it's clear from the work on the site that the project is concerned with artifice. Err...Mick...Carr's poems create a sort of chimera-slang by mashing together referents and idioms. Thus:

catch 'em planning Haggerties for
the summer at Sunset Redondo

is charged with an informal diction that invokes a kind of intimacy. The speaker is making the assumtion that the listener can identify a "Haggertie" and "Sunset Redondo," but it is an empty intimacy given that what Mick is doing is largely language-based. He's faking an idiom, insofar as "Surf" music and "Surf" culture are idioms of a sort. The same kind of thing is going on with:

meta-tongs laze oriented
Kudos to this dynasty problem

King Hu "Haven't you seen La
Strada?" Identical twins are

spooky unaccountable wheezing

and

bolsheviki backboard
mugger wrist diavolo spree
musty lathe nodded kawasaki
dimmer totems guzzleboy

Catchwords, brand names, cultural references, etc. etc. parsed together non-narratively and therefore akin to music, especially surf music which invokes a sort of bombastic bravado and oversaturation.

What Christopher Rizzo is doing in his poem, "Mr. Eliminator" is similar:

Tip click tap flash to lip to
sources translate
refreshed and now
Just Do It fakie, 5-0 shark.

Christopher perhaps allows the wires pulling the puppet to be seen with:

pretty pretty icons O I
con you con we.

and

We con you con I O icons.

It's all a ruse, a stage set of sorts. Artificial in the way those surf movies of the 60's are artificial. Aaron's also alluding to this with his found "Flotsam" poem. Just as Hawaiin Vintage (?) chocolate has fuck all to do with surfing, and surf music is only connected to surfing by way of a certain sound-association, or context, or perhaps even just happenstance (Aaron is going to take issue with this), the poems themselves have only a dubious connection to "surfing," although that is the formal lens by which Aaron is approaching his editorial agenda, or governing principle by which the contributors decided to submit poems to Aaron for that purpose. In a way, it's marketing, so the poem culled from marketing exemplifies that.

The title of my own poem "Jenny Haniver" refers to a sort of chimera or jacakalope, a fake mermaid that sailors made by mutilating seaskate corpses. The poems in that project are love poems of a sort addressed to this "Jenny" who is an artificial creation. I like to think of it as the fake beach-blanket action which completes the "Beach Blanket Bingo" equation.

Obviosuly, Aaron has already spoken of his editorial agenda, but I wanted to offer my take on what I think is going on with the work there from a different perspective.

I gotta jet though, because Errant, Mick and Rizzo just tooled over and they're trying to give me a wedgie...