Feb 29, 2004
Torres's poems are elegant, artfully designed, full of pathos and in stretches sexy. Sort of like if the Vadim/Malle/Fellini Edgar Allen Poe pastiche film "Spirits of the Dead" with Brigitte Bardot had been filmed in the 19th century with a cast of decorated Maori, instead of the 70's. In case that metaphor is not clear, a few lines from "Homesong"
"and in the carosels, and in all the chasing hounds.
Since you've been gone, I have rarely seen an animal
as delicate, or an hour as tight, as our bones.
The winter is wintering. We are entering
the second stage of this economics where
lanscapes shift as restlessly as a paper dress,"
A kind of funhouse symbolist narrative with crackly echoes, as delicious as (not from the reading but something I found online here):
"To my chimera,
Your favorite place to sit is on my shoulders. You like to chase your tail on my back."
If I were the sort to compile hierarchical lists of work that I find to be engaging and exciting, Sara Veglahn's work would come pretty close to the top of it. I'm not that sort, but you get my drift. Her poems are expertly paced, overwhelming the reader in a wave of musical language, but relentlessly keeping to their emotional agenda with a brutal precision. Her poems take themselves apart explicitly and rebuild themselves in a kind of slow-motion foment. Like one of those Hokusai prints.
Unfortunately I was too blown away to take any notes, so I can't quote particular lines from last night, but I can quote Sara's brilliant chapbook "Falling Forward" from Braincase Press, one of my favorite acquisitions from the past year or so.
"It would be a different story if the facts were different. Days turned in on themselves. A factored sense of movement. Her heart hurt from all the details. Moving in a straight line is not her forte. In Italian, she means to be louder. To be heard among the din.
Glowing orange balls float and roll over her bed. She wants them off so she pushes them off."
"...Almost always nearly descending, she is and was going to, standing as in panic.
Something is turning is calling is landing."
"Falling Forward" being a pose narrative of a sort does not thus give a sense of the rythms of her verse poems, but the timbre is the same, a kind of barren phantasmagoria.
Both these poets impress me with their unflinching embrace of emotional mimesis without succumbing to the pull of conventional narrative or familiar language. I remember remarking to myself that both poets employed hyperbolic expressions deftly (""When you come back I will eat all the roses again and again," from Torres's "Love Poem"), something which I often find missing from other contemporary work which seems more concerned with coy aphorisms and ironic slapstick. To me, the most exciting terrain stretching out before writers of my generation, equipped with the tools of the Beats, the New York School and the Language movement is a kind of semantic emptiness which explores the surface potential of pure language while still invoking the Romantic and humanist agenda of dissecting human emotion and the narrative of the self, be it conscious or subconscious. A kind of chimera, in fact, or to employ a purely Romantic metaphor, a kind of Frankenstein; animate beings comprised of variously conjoined dead parts. A kind of reanimation, a corpse poetics, to steal a phrase from Eileen Tabios, though I mean literal corpses (literal literal corpses) as opposed to Savasana. Or a kind of Revenant Poetics, as it were, to steal a phrase from myself. I know I get like a broken record with my undead metaphors. But I will ride my dead horse.
Anyway, kudos to both Torres and Veglahn and one should check out their work if one has not...
Feb 27, 2004
fodder for the Insignificant
the skies done up in rivets
a bowdlerized saga
salience (3. Springing, jumping: salient tree toads).
Illiquid my honey is
A burrowed dawn
flanges the ear tunnel.
Far off, I heard it weeping,
the carnal plane
drops Nerf flechettes.
Wake me when I'm gone,
bury these brutal Triscuits
& the worried flames
& the dancers with monkey faces
they play the catgut
the liquidated moon slicks
all along some
Feb 26, 2004
In the Conservatory, With the Rope
You're Pale Fire!
by Vladimir Nabokov
You're really into poetry and the interpretation thereof. Along the
road of life, you have had several identity crises which make it very unclear who you
are, let alone how to interpret poetry. You probably came from a foreign country, but
then again you seem foreign to everyone in ways unrelated to immigration. Most people
think you're quite funny, but maybe you're just sick. Talking to you ends up being much
like playing a round of the popular board game Clue.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Feb 25, 2004
"Yours?" I ask.
"Yeah, it's like that at that age..."
"Yes it is," I say.
Old records on the stereo. I gave a name to the manuscript that had no name, and thus it began to breathe. Began to move its little flipper-arms and take its place beside me and the others as we move through this cold world.
Somehow we wound up watching Ian Curtis on the television. Ian writhing in what cannot quite be described as agony or ecstasy. The hollow drum sounds.
I'll break them down, no mercy shown...
Heaven knows, etc. etc. The world rimmed with black. Karyatid Ians then, the sound beginning to echo and spill. Red circles on the wooden table like bloodstains. I kicked over an empty winebottle staggering to bed. The roommate and I both agree we're glad to have spent this time.
I just finally remembered the word on my lips as my eyes closed of their own accord.
While many people think you're a warmish person, you're
actually really cold and forbidding. In fact, you're downright frigid, and you
demand that people be tough if they're going to hang out with you. Despite
this rocky personality, you still yearn for more independence than you have, and
respect is hard to get even though you have a hard time just surviving day to day.
Of all the pastries in the world, you could live without any more
the Country Quiz at the href="http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid
CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
Gerard De Nerval
When the Lord, lifting his skinny arms to the sky
Under the sacred trees as poets do,
Longtime lost in mute dolor
Called himself traitored by ingracious friends;
He looked down on the ones waiting below
who dreamed to be kings, prophets or seers
But all lost to the numb sleep of beasts &
Started to shriek "No God doesn't exist"
Still they slept, "Friends have you heard the news?
I touched the eternal vault with my face;
I bleed, I break, I suffer days upon days
Brothers, I conned you: Abyss! Abyss! Abyss!
The god is gone from this altar that murders me!
God is not! God is no more!" But forever & ever they sleep.
All is dead! I have traversed the worlds;
I have lost my wings in their milky ways,
& life! life from its fecund veins
Spills gilded sand & silver floods:
Everywhere abandoned land is touched by waves,
Dumb whirlpools in angry seas...
A vague breath incites the vagrant spheres,
But no ghost exists in said immensities.
Looking for the eye of God, I saw only a socket,
Black & bottomless; the night that sleeps there
Shines down to a world growing thicker still;
A strange rainbow enfolds a somber hole,
Stoop of the old chaos whose shadow is the void,
Spiral that swallows the Worlds & Days!
Motionless destiny, mute sentinel
Frigid Necessity! Chance who moves,
Through these dead worlds under endless snow,
Freezing the pale cosmos by degrees
Do you know what you're doing, transcendent god,
With your extinguished suns, bashing together
Can you expell an immortal breath
Beween a world that's dying & another undead?
Oh my father! Do I feel you inside me?
Can you live & overpower death?
Or did you succumb to the final twitch
Of that blighted angel of night, anathema...
I know I'm alone in my tears & my pain,
Alas! & should I die, everything dies with me.
No-one heard his immortal groans
As in vain he gave his exhumed heart to the world;
But about to expire in a powerless heap,
He cried out to the lone one awake in Jerusalem:
"Judas," he screamed, "You know what I'm worth,
Sell me quick, close the deal,
I'm in agony, friend, prostrate,
You at least have the stomach for crime!"
But Judas withdrew, pensive & anxious,
Feeling duped & wracked with such remorse
he could read his dark deeds scrawled on each wall.
Finally, Pilate alone, Ceaser's watchdog,
Prickled by pity & in an offhand remark
to his goon said, "Go & fetch me the freak!"
It was he the freak, insane & sublime...
Forgotten Icarus returned to the sky,
This Phaeton lost to the lightning of gods,
This pretty, bruised Atys who Cybele revives:
The oracle scryed the victim's side,
The earth got drunk on sacred blood...
The firmament spun feckless on its axle
& for a moment Olympus tottered abysswards.
"Answer me!" screamed Ceaser to Jupiter Ammon,
"Who's this infant god loosed on the world?
If not a god then a demon at least..."
The oracle invoked was silent forever;
Only one could end the enigma:
--He who gave his ghost to the children of dirt.
You've got something there on your forehead, doll, want me to lick it off for you?...
Feb 24, 2004
Happy Mardi-Gras, ghosties
"Finally, in the history of signifying systems and notably that of the arts, religion, and rites, there emerge, in retrospect, fragmentary phenomena which have been kept in the background or rapidly integrated into more communal signifying systems but point to the very process of signifiance. Magic, shamanism, esoterism, the carnival, and "incomprehensible" poetry all underscore the limits of socially useful discourse and attest to what it represses: the process that exceeds the subject and his communicative structures. But at what historical moment does social exchange tolerate or necessitate the manifestation of the signifying process in its "poetic" or "esoteric" form? Under what conditions does this "esoterism," in displacing the boundaries of socially established signifying practices, correspond to socioeconomic change, and, ultimately, even to revolution? And under what conditions does it remain a blind alley, a harmless bonus offered by a social order which uses this "esoterism" to expand, become flexible, and thrive? (p. 16, from Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. Margaret Waller (New York: Columbia UP, 1984)).
I think I'm gonna give my empirical ego up for lent.
The things which separates Brenda's work from the majority of contemporary work which is heavily influenced by the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E movement are her polymathematical interests and emotional palette. Brenda's work is about far more than surface or politics, tackling both Language Poetry's syntactic agenda but also the pre-Language Surrealist and Romantic agendas of the soul and the subconscious, and the transcendent possibilities of language.
The only thing which compares with Brenda's scintillating verse are her scintillating essays. I have recently acquired a beautiful edition of her essay Color and Its Antecedents published by Yen Agat books in Bangkok (available from the author herself, email her (or me and I can get you in touch with her) if you are interested in a copy), which discusses the synesthetic and emotional possibilities in poetry. She draws from a wide swath of texts (from Mallarme to Sarsi indian poems to this author) in presenting a hypothesis that is both enigmatic and intuitive.
Ordinarily I don't have much interest in criticism or theory, but find Brenda's work on said subjects to be as interesting as her poems themselves. From Color and Its Antecedents:
"Color finds itself placed in a poem and in being there immediately becomes antecedent and is found to have antecedent relations within any (every) poem. Color is the lure toward polyphony, becomes polyphony; brings about this condition. Adds always-additional levels/layers of accentuation. After all, color is the elan of the actual; as well, it is oftentimes what space clings to, towards..."
(Note to self: research pan-linguisitic etymology of 'ghost'...)
yo met yon mas sou figi Ayiti
mas la pran ri
li ri tout wa ak renn kanaval
e tout lòt madriga mal maske
k'ap chante ponpe danse
an Ayiti tankou aletranje
olye nèg ap prepare revolisyon
yo tonbe lan pyèj eleksyon
mas-la ri jouk kò-l fè l'mal
yo met yon mas sou figi Ayiti
mas la pran kriye
dlo ki soti lan je-l wouj tankou san
san ki te kouri lan je Jak Aleksi
san tout moun makout touye
san prizonye lame ap tòtire
san peyizan grangou ap fin manje
san malere boujwa ap esplwate
san ti Jozèf gwo zouzounn ap souse
yo achte-n an kreyòl
yo vann nou an franse
yo achte-n pou senk kòb
yo vann nou pou dola
men pa pè ti frè pa pè
tout madigra gen pou vole gagè
tankou Kiba Vyetnam Angola
Ayiti va pran chemen geriya
Ayiti va pran chemen libète
they put a mask on Haiti's face
the mask starts laughing
it laughs at all the carnival kings and queens
and at all the other badly adjusted masks
that are singing jumping dancing
in Haiti as well as in exile
instead of preparing the revolution
they fell into the trap of elections
the mask laughs until its body aches
they put a mask on Haiti's face
the mask starts crying
tears falling from its eyes are red as blood
the blood that ran from the eyes of Jacques Alexis
the blood of all the people the macoutes killed
the blood of all the prisoners the army tortured
the blood of the peasants hunger is devouring
the blood of the poor that the rich are exploiting
the blood of the little guys the bigshots are sucking
they buy us in Creole
they sell us in French
they buy us for pennies
they sell us for dollars
but don't worry young brother don't worry
all the clowns are gonna have to bat it
Like Cuba Vietnam Angola
Haiti's taking the path of the guerrilla
Haiti's taking the road to liberty
Feb 23, 2004
Make your very own crucifixion nail!
"Make a nail just like the ones used by the Romans to crucify Our Lord. A thought-provoking project that will impress upon your children the suffering that Jesus went through on their behalf. Makes a great Christmas ornament!
Caution: Pointy edges. Not for children under 5.
Requires: 1 sheet of paper or card stock, scissors, scoring tool, glue or tape."
The "Sorry, Jesus!" is a nice touch, don't you think?
(Thanks to Bibliogal for the link which has provided me with hours of amusement. Also don't miss the Ruby Matrimony Thong or the Lambuel Rapture Clock...)
Feb 20, 2004
Ice-cold vodka between the windowpanes
The faint crackling of bare wires
A lynx, turning into a girl with a drop
of blood in the corner of the mouth
Simply ardor in the crook
of a violet leather jacket
A drop of blood in an absorbent medium
A light damp breeze from between the legs
of the presumed cosmic gap
A sabered attack at dawn
A specific drop of blood, reaching
An enormous bolt of electric blue wool,
gnawed through by mice
Somewhere in Birmingham
And me, I guess.
1751 - Johann Heinrich Voß, poet, (d. 1826)
1757 - John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, philanthropist and patron of the arts and sciences, (d. 1834)
1839 - Revd Benjamin Waugh, founder of NSPCC, (d. 1908)
1844 - Ludwig Boltzmann, physicist, (d. 1906)
1844 - Joshua Slocum, seaman and adventurer, (d. 1909)
1848 - Edward Henry Harriman, railroad executive, (d. 1909)
1887 - Carl Ebert, opera manager and director, (d. 1980)
1887 - Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada, (d. 1967)
1902 - Ansel Adams, photographer, (d. 1984)
1904 - Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union, (d. 1980)
1912 - Pierre Boulle, author, (d. 1994)
1924 - Gloria Vanderbilt, jeans designer and entrepreneur
1925 - Robert Altman, film director
1925 - Heinz Kluncker, labor union leader
1926 - Richard Matheson, author
1926 - Rob Richards, track and field athlete
1927 - Sidney Poitier, actor
1934 - Bobby Unser, automobile racer
1937 - Nancy Wilson, singer
1937 - Roger Penske, automobile racer
1941 - Buffy Sainte-Marie, singer
1942 - Phil Esposito, ice hockey player
1943 - Mike Leigh, director
1946 - Jerome Geils of the J Geils band
1946 - Brenda Blethyn, actress
1947 - Peter Osgood, English football player
1947 - Peter Strauss, actor
1951 - Gordon Brown, British politician
1954 - Patty Hearst, socialite
1954 - Anthony Stewart Head, actor
1955 - Kelsey Grammer, actor
1963 - Charles Barkley, American basketball player
1966 - Cindy Crawford, model
1967 - Kurt Cobain, rock musician, (d. 1994)
1975 - Brian Littrell, musician ("NSYNC")
I'd say I've been through a lot of Number 2 lately.
"Ruled by number 2 and the Moon, you are imaginative, warm-hearted, friendly and hard working person. You are very fond of arts and artistic things and your talents usually bring you a lot of appreciation and rewards, but you lose out the good opportunities because of your introvert and arrogant behavior at times.
Feb 19, 2004
I am Kong.
Strong and passionate, I tend to be misunderstood, sometimes even feared. I don't want to fight, I don't want to cause trouble, all I ask is a little love, and a little peace. If I don't get what I want, I get angry, and throw barrels and flaming oil at whatever's stopping me. What Video Game Character Are You?
I wish they were.
University Unveils Robot Receptionist
"Valerie" is considered the world's first robot receptionist with a personality, university officials said Wednesday. The blonde roboceptionist interacts with people by talking about her boss, her psychiatrist and her dream of being a lounge star.
"We wanted to give her an underdog character, struggling to make it in a world of humans," said Kevin Snipes, 26, a graduate student in drama writing, one of four writers who came up with Valerie's fictional character. "After a while on the job, she gets testy. But she can be charming too."
Feb 17, 2004
Feb 16, 2004
Those of you unfamiliar with Guillermo's blog should definitely check it out.
Guillermo's work, like the man himself, spans two cultures. Though the poems themselves are singular, evincing that which every poetic traveller knows, that the poet's home is there, in the poems, and nowhere else. The poems are clear as a bell, unafraid of senitment but also steeped in the lessons of modern and contemporary American (read North, Central and South) poetry.
The echoes of Spanish language in the poems serve to heighten and enhance the experience of reading them in the way that double-exposed photographs, those images which retain traces of another frame which can be made out superimposed on the subsequent frame, immediately become more interesting to the eye. Saxifrage flowers splitting the rocks of Babel tower. In Parra's own words (apologies that I don't know how to code the accent marks):
on avenues w/ trees older than
skyscrapers stretch toward my feet
of the eventual loss / degeneration
of the body, my back aches after
walking Sabana Grande boulevard
from parque Los Caobos
sampleos, loops, edicion
twenty years since speaking
a child's caraqueno Spanish
on the radio love multiplies
its fountains w/ varied melody
no static, in our city vision
The voice inhabits the placenames as only those intimate can, the way a place name must inhabit a poem in the same way it inhabits the poet's heart. The lquid placenames acting contrpuntally with the crackly skyscrapers and static, the brutally modern and anglo 'w/[ith]' Those avenues w/ trees also older than the slashed 'w' and its abbreviated skycraper slash. The poem fills in the syllable just as it fills in the scene and the mien of the poet. No static.
That's right children, once upon a time the United States had an *elected* president...
Nothing like Presidents' Day hot (or cold, as the case may be) on the heels of Valentine's Day for to provide a dynamic duo of personal and political alienation. Now if they could just throw a religious holiday in there as well they'd have all of their bases covered.
If one didn't get fucked on Saturday, well, today we can all remember how fucked we ALL really are...
Hee hee. I'm really not that bitter, it just makes for a good joke...
Feb 15, 2004
EUCLIDEAN ILLUSIONS--Stan Vanderbeek
din gives way to shadows
WHEEEELS NO.--Stan Vanderbeek
Big fish car
SKULLDUGGERY-- Stan Vanderbeek
the kids are
skull underneath the
fight war surrealism
how then tulip in
SCIENCE FRICTION--Stan Vanderbeek
Speaks at Massachusetts College of Art
Wednesday, February 25th at 5:00 pm, Tower Auditorium
International poet, dramatist, essayist and political activist, Amiri Baraka, also known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amiri Baraka, will present the 2004 Adderley Lecture at Massachusetts College of Art on Wednesday, February 25th, at 5:00pm in the Tower Auditorium. For five decades, Amiri Baraka has helped shape American social consciousness and African American cultural identity.
Beat poet, Black Arts Movement leader, jazz and blues writer, artist, intellectual and award-winning poet and author, Baraka has garnered many awards, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships, a Langston Hughes Award, and was recently inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Established in 1995 in memory of Tyrone Maurice Adderley, the esteemed Adderley Lecture Series features artists, historians and writers of color. Past Adderley lecturers have included Chakaia Booker, Melvin Edwards, Arthur Jafa, Lorraine O'Grady, Sharon Patton, John Scott and Fred Wilson.
Massachusetts College of Art, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston
617-879-7333, public transportation via T Green (E): Longwood, Handicapped Accessible. Free and open to the public.
Does anyone know where I can get one of those pens with the little red lights in it that film critics use for making notes during films? It would be good to have one of those, that way I can see what I'm writing when I want to!
Bill himself is a great writer on film, as evinced by the following from Return Receipt (Since excepting from the book is, as it should be, all the rage these days...):
Like a cloth sea
the black one
in Fellini's Cassanova
Sutherland rows across
through the tempest
but this one is white
and inland, those hummocks
are snow, the tracks
and migrating caribou.
Alaska is one place
I will never go.
Completely ran out of steam last night. Apologies to anyone who was looking forward to watching horror movies or anything. Though as I didn't hear from anyone I assume y'all found stuff to do.
I fell asleep arounf 10:00, didn't watch the horror movies. In fact, didn't do much of anything. Settled into a state of not altogether despair or contentment or anything identifiable. A sort of exhausted numbness.
Though my leg feels much better since I've stayed off it for a day, which is a boon. Given that the leg prevents me from carrying on in the usual unwholesome manner between February 14 and 21, it is perhaps a blessing in disguise. Or the universe's way of forcing me to actually deal with my emotions.
Which actually aren't that bad when they're not distorted. I'm not writing anybody any self-help manuals, but I at least feel like I can hold my shit together for a little while.
Until the next disaster. Oh disaster, what will you be?
Feb 14, 2004
Anonymous. 15th Cent. (?)
Quia Amore Langueo(="I am sick with love," FYI)
In a valley of this restles mind
I sought in mountain and in mead,
Trusting a true love for to find.
Upon an hill then took I heed;
A voice I heard (and near I yede)
In great dolour complaining tho:
See, dear soul, how my sides bleed
Quia amore langueo.
Upon this hill I found a tree,
Under a tree a man sitting;
From head to foot wounded was he;
His hearte blood I saw bleeding:
A seemly man to be a king,
A gracious face to look unto.
I asked why he had paining;
[He said,] Quia amore langueo.
I am true love that false was never;
My sister, man's soul, I loved her thus.
Because we would in no wise dissever
I left my kingdom glorious.
I purveyed her a palace full precious;
She fled, I followed, I loved her so
That I suffered this pain piteous
Quia amore langueo.
My fair love and my spouse bright!
I saved her from beating, and she hath me bet;
I clothed her in grace and heavenly light;
This bloody shirt she hath on me set;
For longing of love yet would I not let;
Sweete strokes are these: lo!
I have loved her ever as I her het
Quia amore langueo.
I crowned her with bliss and she me with thorn;
I led her to chamber and she me to die;
I brought her to worship and she me to scorn;
I did her reverence and she me villany.
To love that loveth is no maistry;
Her hate made never my love her foe:
Ask me then no question why--
Quia amore langueo.
Look unto mine handes, man!
These gloves were given me when I her sought;
They be not white, but red and wan;
Embroidered with blood my spouse them brought.
They will not off; I loose hem nought;
I woo her with hem wherever she go.
These hands for her so friendly fought
Quia amore langueo.
Marvel not, man, though I sit still.
See, love hath shod me wonder strait:
Buckled my feet, as was her will,
With sharpe nails (well thou may'st wait!)
In my love was never desait;
All my membres I have opened her to;
My body I made her herte's bait
Quia amore langueo.
In my side I have made her nest;
Look in, how weet a wound is here!
This is her chamber, here shall she rest,
That she and I may sleep in fere.
Here may she wash, if any filth were;
Here is seat for all her woe;
Come when she will, she shall have cheer
Quia amore langueo.
I will abide till she be ready,
I will her sue if she say nay;
If she be retchless I will be greedy,
If she be dangerous I will her pray;
If she weep, then bide I ne may:
Mine arms ben spread to clip her me to.
Cry once, I come: now, soul, assay
Quia amore langueo.
Fair love, let us go play:
Apples ben ripe in my gardayne.
I shall thee clothe in a new array,
Thy meat shall be milk, honey and wine.
Fair love, let us go dine:
Thy sustenance is in my crippe, lo!
Tarry thou not, my fair spouse mine,
Quia amore langueo.
If thou be foul, I shall thee make clean;
If thou be sick, I shall thee heal;
If thou mourn ought, I shall thee mene;
Why wilt thou not, fair love, with me deal?
Foundest thou ever love so leal?
What wilt thou, soul, that I shall do?
I may not unkindly thee appeal
Quia amore langueo.
What shall I do now with my spouse
But abide her of my gentleness,
Till that she look out of her house
Of fleshly affection? love mine she is;
Her bed is made, her bolster is bliss,
Her chamber is chosen; is there none mo.
Look out on me at the window of kindeness
Quia amore langueo.
My love is in her chamber: hold your peace!
Make ye no noise, but let her sleep.
My babe I would not were in disease,
I may not hear my dear child weep.
With my pap I shall her keep;
Ne marvel ye not though I tend her to:
This wound in my side had ne'er be so deep
But Quia amore langueo.
Long thou for love never so high,
My love is more than thine may be.
Thou weepest, thou gladdest, I sit thee by:
Yet wouldst thou once, love, look unto me!
Should I always feede thee
With children meat? Nay, love, not so!
I will prove thy love with adversite
Quia amore langueo.
Wax not weary, mine own wife!
What mede is aye to live in comfort?
In tribulation I reign more rife
Ofter times than in disport.
In weal and in woe I am aye to support:
Mine own wife, go not me fro!
Thy mede is marked, when thou art mort:
Quia amore langueo.
Feb 13, 2004
Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart's heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
It's a great f-ing poem, deal with it...
Feb 12, 2004
I also actually sort of like the song in question below.
You are "Marlene Dietrich's Favorite
Depressed, Guilty, Regretful...Perhaps you have a
broken heart or are going through a rough time.
Which Peter Murphy song are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Though given the comliness of the actors and actresses who play the elves in the films, I guess I can kind of understand.
Actually, I believe the first "sex scene" I ever encountered as a wee lad was in the comic book "Elfquest," which I assume my parents thought was safe since, hell, it was about ELVES.
It was either that or the movie ZARDOZ which, unbenknownst to my hapless parents, was the feature playing before MOONRAKER one summer night at the drive-in. What the hell my parents were doing taking me to the drive-in to see a Bond film, I will never know. Had I not encountered naked people on the screen, I'm sure if I looked closely I could have spied some in cars.
It is a Catholic service. My Grandmother was a Catholic and I realize that my Uncle and all of my cousins are all also Catholics. I realize that I would be a Catholic were it not for the fact that my father is an atheist. And that was how I was raised, as an atheist.
Why then did my father make the sign of the cross? Why did he answer the priest "Lord, hear our prayers."? My father who is baptized. My father who killed God and then cries out to its lifeless ears. Why now after all those years when I was assured there was no benevolent force in the universe, no faith, no compassion, that lust and greed were what drove the music of the spheres?
Who was he talking to? What was he doing with his hands?
And so ultimately I am the lone heathen in the temple. Who cannot believe. I am not an atheist. I am worse than that. Negation and blasphemy rule my soul.
In the Name of the Father,
and the Hole in the Sky that Will Replace the Moon...
Does he not realize that when the time comes, I will not be able to pray for him...?
Feb 11, 2004
Those "DON'T WALK" signs think they're pretty funny...
for Alice Lamoureux (1919-2004)
The stuff plastic of
flesh not different
to realign or return
some rearrangement of
of release said moment,
archive, lazy binary
skies a glass cover
a wilting flower
a spherical network
of frail seeds:: thermoclines,
pray for an archive
(foiled) hubris, waiting, wading
no different moment no
one to hear no archives
why no sky (arms)
why (no) archive why
no memory (no)
compounds shift, cells
crystalize the moment
no glass flowers no
(laid) down in winter,
laid bare, how many
living hearts & archive hearts
in this room?
You (her) ghost beside
me walks we use
this 3rd person
notice anything else
never never listened or noticed
nothing, the ghosts murmur
into giant space
I am that giant
space, in me, in or thru
fire, gimme some empty
largesse, cold motion
breaching earth, new
into salient gravel
this moment is (the same)
that one there
(now) you (I) grand
mother are the ghost &
the sphere, the glass
Feb 9, 2004
These things just get better and better:
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Yes, it's a giant, pink, carnivorous rabbit. Most likely my totem sprit, I suppose.
Thanks to girl for pointing it out. Being rendered immobile has certainly allowed me to start exploring peoples' links sections.
"No, I don't drive a car so I do alot of walking."
This is heartening since I will be spending the next few days with people who will make fun of me because I don't have a car.
But they can kiss my skinny, healthy, well-developed ass.
If anybody with a car happens to be around and wants to give me a ride to the Ortho. doctor at the Camridge Hopital at 11:00 AM, let me know!
Methinks I'm gonna be taking lots of cabs for awhile.
Feb 8, 2004
I still cannot bring myself to call it anything besides a breast. Though I suppose a breast exposed on TV in a juvenile stunt becomes a "boobie."
I find it astonishing the extent to which the nation can't seem to get enough of J.J.'s mammary as a subject. In most other countries, breasts are commonplace on television.
This could be due to the fact that there are more breasts in Europe. It's true, Prestidigitator V. Ombudsman says so, there are more breasts and they are all waiting for me, or you. It's just a jungle of breasts, pyramid schemes, prescription medication and auspicious astrological forecasts over there.
But alas I am stuck in here with the roomies, and Janet, and my stomach which is making a noise somehwere between a cicada and a commerical washing machine.
Took a look at the knee while changing, swelling seems to be going down a bit, so hopefully this will not be a lengthy situatiton.
Washing the dishes was more or less the same as washing the dishes always is.
Thinking long and hard about how I managed to do this was probably the more arduous task. Though somehow I knew I wasn't going to get through the party unscathed (despite the overall positive-ness of it), so perhaps in a sense my knee took the fall for my heart. Though my heart too is a little sore, but certainly not on the level of my knee...
There is some kind of lesson manifest in all of this, but I'm not entirely sure what it is.
The worst part of it is the isolation, or rather the presumed isolation. Ultimately, my day today was probably more or less similar to how it would have been anyway, but there is something to the feeling of not being able to just run outside whenever I want to without some difficulty. Navigating the outside world in the snow and the ice is going to be difficult with the crutches. Though ultimately it's better to be laid up in the winter rather than in the summer.
Ah, summer. The thought fills me with longing but also fear...
I am already stir-crazy. Suppose I'll sit here and stare at the knee...heal...heal...heal...heal...
Given my current state of immobilization, be prepared for greater than usually blogging activity. Banal posts such as this one.
Coming up next on everyone's favorite unpronounceable sequence of brackets and 0's:
Taking a shower.
Washing the dishes.
Thinking long and hard about how I managed to do this to myself.
Attempting to change my pants.
Attempting to change my socks.
Loads of fun, babies.
Or rather, had a great time until I did a faceplant on the way home. So the next time you see me I'll be on crutches, so don't be alarmed.
My own fault really, I feel pretty stupid. Please don't give sympathy because it is sort of my own stupid fault...
Feb 6, 2004
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Police in the central Argentine city of Cordoba foiled a predawn street hold-up on Thursday -- and were staggered to find one of the assailants was blind.
"When a police car arrived at the scene, the pair took off running. What caught the attention of the officer was that they were running holding hands," Police Commissioner Luis Ceballos told Reuters. "On apprehending them, the officer found one of them was blind."
Police recovered a fire-arm from the scene, and are still trying to work out what was going through the blind robber's mind. It was not immediately clear which of the pair was wielding the gun.
"We don't know what they were thinking," Ceballos said. "This is the first time I've seen anything like this in my life."
29 CHEESEBURGERS by Mark Lamoureux
WORK by Jack Evans
The poets will read briefly from their works and refreshments (yes, free booze) will be served.
GALLERY 108 INFO:
108 is located at 108 Beacon Street in Somerville. Just up the street from Dali. From Harvard Square just walk up Kirkland Street until you hit beacon:
Phone 617-441-3833. www.gallery108.com.
The exhibit "Pill Pop" by Devin Powers will also be on display.
Feb 5, 2004
Gate of Horn, Gate of Ivory
I had planned on launching this project today, and recent events in my life make it even more bizarrely apropos.
Last night I had a dream that I was sitting by a river and arguing with my father. It was one of those dreams that I can only barely recall, but I remember distinctly the river and my father.
My father called me on the phone today to tell me that my grandmother (his mother) died last night. Which means I'll be going back to CT next week (fear not, babies, I will be around this weekend) to go to the funeral. I'll be seeing many members of my family who I have not seen in upwards of fifteen years. This will also undoubtedly involve arguing.
And what the river is is obvious.
Anyway, I'm very interested in the subject of dreams, not in the "I want to live in a house by the sea and have lots of poodles and cars," but rather in the "I have duck feet and Benjamin Franklin is trying to floss my teeth," sense.
I do believe in the collective unconscious, and that when you dream of a person you are really visiting them in some way. There is a strange overarching homogenaity with dreams, many people seem to have the same ones or similar ones.
I guess it is the surrealist in me who is so interested in dreams and the subconscious. But they are very important to what we do, as poets. Much of my inspiration comes from dreams and the subconscious.
So I decided that it might be interesting to set up a sort of collective archive of dreams, so I've set up a blog, "Gate of Horn" (from the Greek tradition that dreams come through one of two gates, those that come from the Gate of Ivory are fatuous and those that come from the Gate of Horn are prophetic) with the purpose of it being a place for folks who are interested to recount remembered dreams. Hopefully over time it will become some sort of subconscious archive. Poems about dreams or dream poems are also welcome. I've posted a few from my journals, etc. to get the ball rolling.
If you want to participate email and I can add you to the roster of people who can access the blog. Or if you'd rather post annonymously, just send me the dream and I'll indicate that it is coming from someone else when I post it.
The blog itself is here.
Hopefully some of you will be interested in this. I think it will produce a really fascinating document.
OK, well maybe both...
You are Aten. You are constantly rejected and wish
to finally be accepted for who you are and what
you do. Don't worry, I understand you. Feel
free to IM me if you need a friend.
Which Egyptian God Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Feb 4, 2004
I wrote this a little while ago to explain what I believed my poetics to be. It has footnotes, but I don't know how to do that in Blogger, so they follow the text, apologies if it is a pain in the neck to read:
I write to set the river on fire. [FN1]
Amid the din of work and the commerce of narrative, [FN2] thoughts leave the marks of their mouths (the grins of their teeth, the spit on their tongues) on whatever surface is made available to them. These small wounds make poems when left undressed.
A poem comes into the world numb, dumb, and moaning for the attentions of the demon emotion. [FN3] It is made pretty through revision until ready to meet the eyes of the world unflinching, as a corpse is made ready for a wake. It is at this point that the demon has had its way with it and leaves the poem to recount: weeping, laughing or sleeping according to its nature.
Through its life, the poem will teach us that our dead cannot be reclaimed, the things that things without brains know, and the names of our doubles, if we're lucky. Our doubles who listen to each word we speak and shriek and cackle. [FN4]
The poem will forget what it speaks at the moment it is spoken. This speech is recorded as marks on the poem's body. The poem speaks most clearly, most musically those words that are written on its back, the balls of its feet. These assertions will run counter to those found on the hands, the forearms and the face of the poem. [FN5] Some say this speech is musical, some say it is like silence. [FN6] Some listen to this speech and mistake it for the sound of their watches. It is these people who comprise the majority of our populace.
Some poems lack certain limbs, some with flippers instead of legs, wasps' nests instead of heads. It is these poems we must listen to most carefully, the ones the demon emotion scorns and is secretly afraid of, the ones whose speech amongst themselves mimics the ticking of watches.
1. The river remembers every injustice done to it, the name of each person who has offered it a kindness & the stories of those injustices and those names. These stories move through the river in a kind of communal dream. The figures of this dream can be seen as shadows dancing in the flames when the river burns. The river burns only when no human eye is watching, a sight that birds know but cannot speak of.
2. Desire, acquisition, the release of desire, regret.
3. The angel emotion.
4. The existence of these doubles has been all but ignored by contemporary thought; the doubles of a few have been made known and assigned the names of particular deities.
5. Common practice in preliterate cultures is the recording of stories as pictures on the body. The practice is similar in literate cultures, but the recordings themselves move though the world as words, carried forth by the invisible bodies beneath them. These ghost-word bodies will inhabit our cities and occupy our homes when we are but dust; never speaking, the task of speech having been completed already.
6. "I can write a rhyme where nothin' rhymes,"--High Priest of the Antipop Consortium.
Heatwave Hits Cambridge
Cambridge, MA-- Temperatures Wednesday soared into the forties, forcing citizens to adopt creative measures to try and beat the heat.
"I decided to wear only one pair of long johns, and I'm thinking of taking off my hat" said Christina Strong of Somerville.
Others fled to exotic locations to escape the broiling temperatures, "I've decided to explore those areas of my apartment that have been too cold to enter since November," said Aaron Tieger of Cambridge.
The blistering onslaught has some residents worried about health issues, "My body suddenly stopped shivering and I panicked, " said Mark Lamoureux of Allston, "I thought perhaps I was dead or someone had put ricin in my croissant. But I guess temperatures just got high enough that my body did not have to remain in constant motion to avoid going into cardiac arrest."
The extreme heat also had some tempers flaring, "I made a list of all those douchebags who piss me off and I photocopied it a few thousand times," snarled Medford's James Behrle, "then I made little papier mache effigies from the copies and buried them all in a mass grave under Yankee Stadium. Hoo hoo hee haw haw! What are you lookin at? What? I'm the bad guy now? What?"
The record highs did not prompt Somerville mayor Joseph A. Curtatone to lift the Snow Emergency Curfew in effect since he took office in January.
"Just because the temperatures are above freezing does not mean that a sudden, violent winter storm cannot happen. I only want to keep citizens prepared and collect revenue, therefore I must ask that the citizens of Somerville only go out of doors between the hours of 1 and 3 PM. Anyone caught outside at any other time will be fined $7,000 and removed to Guantanamo Bay...Um, except for the Snow Emergency Elite Police, they can go outside. But only in their special uniforms."
The heatwave did prompt Boston Public Schools to shut their doors for the next 2 1/2 weeks. ROTC and Home Economics programs will remain in session.
Feb 3, 2004
Watch Where You Put That Signifier
There seems to be some kind of event going on in the HBS cafeteria whereby students are shining peoples' shoes to raise money for the homeless. I saw two decidedly non-caucasian men shining the shoes of a relentlessly caucasian professor. Now I know that these guys are hot shit B-school students from one of them having been in one of my boss's class, but why shoe-shining? Shining shoes for the homeless...the implication could be construed that the message is that if the homeless were willing to engage in the capitalist caste system (e.g. shining shoes) that they could lift themselves up from their position or whatever. I am probably applying a too-sophisticated analysis of a most likely earnest effort on the part of the students, but the kind of complete cluelessness as to the subtext of the 'performance' (as the context of the event sort of is), rankles me.
Also, I wonder if these guys are turned on by shining those pointy elf-shoes that all the B-school women seem to be wearing these days. Personally, I'd be worried that they were going to put my eye out with those sharp little points. Oedipus by way of shoe fetishism?
These B-school drones probably would not know a fetish if it tied them to the bed and clamped a lobster on their nipples.
But ladies, what is up with the elf shoes? Those things can't possibly be comfortable. It makes me think of foot-binding or something... If you're into that kind of thing, that's fine...but I don't think any of these women scurrying around in their pointy little boots think about what they signify at all (the same problem as with the shoeshining above). Are these slim, viscious, pointy little things the current social climate's reaction to funky chunky shoes, the polar opposite of the 70's liscentiousness and the 90's pomo appropriation of the same: the woman of the New American Century, chaste and submissive but ready to eviscerate any potential terrorist with the daggers on her feet?
I must admit I'm a big fan of the sexual aura of big boots, but these foot-rapiers do not titillate me in the least. They seem ridiculous and unecessarily threatening. A good metaphor for our culture. I don't think many wear them ironically. Fashion is supposed to be a tool of the good guys, isn't it?
EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS = Favourite Spice + Last Foreign Vacation Spot: Paprika Canada?
SOCIALITE ALIAS = Silliest Childhood Nickname + Town Where You First Partied: Jammer Marlboro?
ROCK STAR ALIAS = Any Liquid on the Bar + Last Name of Bad-Ass Celeb: Bass Ale Harrison?
SOAP OPERA ALIAS = Middle Name + Street Where You First Lived: Donald Old Farm Road Annex?
Feb 2, 2004
It makes me think of the first girl (at age 14 we're talking about girls) who ever rejected me.
Except now there are machine gun sounds in the background.
Come to think of it, not an altogether dissimilar experience.
I'll go out and burn an oil drum full of newspapers on the anniversary of the invasion, and see how far in jail that lands me...