Apr 30, 2004
I like to take photographs of running water because I like to prove to myself that something random is still capable of happening. But I suppose even the water has a pattern.
By the rules of narrative, I'm supposed to feel something going back to this place. But I don't. Or rather, intellectually I think it's an interesting idea, and I like the idea of bringing my words back to the place where probably many things started. But the nature of the place has no meaning. I lived with a woman. I was a photographer. I had long hair. I was a vegetarian. I had rings in my ears and in my nose. I worked in a record store. I taught photography to kids from an insane asylum. None of these things has any meaning to me anymore. I might have been someone else. They may have happened to someone else.
It's late and I'm not altogether certain what my point here is. Ultimately, I suppose I don't have one. I have no point, no body. I'm a white word painted on a white surface. I rarely recognize myself in the mirror anymore.
I'm excited to stay in the hotel I once lived across from. Now I am one of those strangers in that hotel. My own ghost will watch me from across the street. We won't recognize each other. I have no time for you, ghost, and no love either.
I am curious, though, but I'm not sure about what. You look at your own hand in the dim light and wonder what it's for. You kick the wall and wonder if it will hurt. Perhaps something there will have some kind of meaning, a message I wrote to myself for the future, when I've forgotten everything. But I'm not sure I speak the language anymore.
Apr 29, 2004
Apr 28, 2004
Lots and lots of great stuff, if you are in Boston May 1 & 2, you owe it to yourself to come and take a look at these books and give your money to your friends and heroes.
And bring me some coffee. And maybe flirt with me. But more importantly, COME BUY BOOKS!
or unrusted blood
the furor of
a hollow copse
of darks blushed
seen thru eyes beet-
veined by purple pinot's
vinestains or an
angel's mouth, handjob
in the vineyard
crystal streak of
blood's brother the deeper
plants the heavy
eggplant-skinned no sepia
no nectarine surly phantom
who yanks O Aubergine
As if I didn't abuse this job enough...
I'm thrilled to be a part of Runaway Spoon Press's anthology of pwoermds Ampersand Sqaured. I'm a big fan of pwoermds, and this is a fantastic anthology. The size itself is satisfying, approximately the size of a book of postcards, with the pwoermds in a pleasing bold font. Reminds me also of flashcards from kindergarten (learning English) or high school (learning French); I suppose this constitutes "learning English" as well.
I'm a big fan of pwoermds. I like that they are elemental, reducing the dynamics of the word to one of the smallest possible units, they draw our attention to the true pawns, the true building blocks of this act of poetry: the words themselves. These works become our occidental ideographs, working sometimes visually, sometimes upon the context of the mark in relation to other marks, or echoing other marks; they are to our language what those mythic "Chinese" characters described (inaccurately) by Fenollosa are. The dynamics of the works function in a similar fashion:
In this Chinese shows its advantage. Its etymology is constantly visible. It retains the creative impulse and process, visible and at work. After thousands of years the lines of metaphoric advance are still shown, and in many cases actually retained in the meaning. Thus a word, instead of growing gradually poorer and poorer as with us, becomes richer and still more rich from age to age, almost consciously luminous. Its uses in national philosophy and history, in biography and in poetry, throw about it a nimbus of meanings. These centre about the graphic symbol. The memory can hold them and use them. The very soil of Chinese life seems entangled in the roots of its speech. The manifold illustrations which crowd its annals of personal experience, the lines of tendency which converge upon a tragic climax, moral character as the very core of the principle--all these are flashed at once on the mind as reinforcing values with an accumulation of meaning which a phonetic language can hardly hope to attain. Their ideographs are like blood-stained battle flags to an old campaigner. With us, the poet is the only one for whom the accumulated treasures of the race-words are real and active. Poetic language is always vibrant with fold on fold of overtones, and with natural affinities, but in Chinese the visibility of the metaphor tends to raise this quality to its intensest power. -From The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry.
In the pwoermds, we can see that evolution of English words, as they copulate with each other and with graphical, concrete elements to form mutated signs.
An informative essay by Geof Huth traces the history of the pwoermd and comments on the works in the anthology. He speaks about the demonization of pwoermds, and minimalist art in general by those who fail to see that any work of art is an organism or a compound, made up of a system of cells or molecules. The minimalist is more of a chemist than a sculptor, engaging the materials at their most base level. Indeed, in the case of the pwoermds, the minimalist is an alchemist, fusing sometimes unrelated, sometimes related units into new forms, creating chimeras, mules and tangelos.
I have deliberately not mentioned any of the pwoermds here in the hopes that the reader will go to the anthology itself to see them. For locals, I'll have a few copies at the Indie Bookfair at the Yart Sale in Somerville this weekend, otherwise, you can contact Geof Huth by way of his blog in order to order a copy...
Apr 27, 2004
on an umbrella, the silver april weather
rushing like molten glass to
the speaking fissure where harp
strings stretch as sutures, solemn
& the white darts fall
where they may--a dark face
backlit, harboring the terror
of words: burns eyes when read
this necronomicon my heart holds
burnished secrets, my poison
idols: a little ghost
collects in the damp lamplight the green
hairs on my barren arms make a banyan
tree. Some wasted thing, a letter
in a bottle in the hull of
the Flying Dutchman: tiny metal balls
in the bloodstream are all that's
left of that adventurer, no dry
season, a shadow tells a story
to the votive candle: I might've forgot
myself in you, remember my arms
as if they were alive, a cage wrought
with jade holds a canary face-
up, I named this constellation
for you before all
those suns went out.
This is a favorite topic of mine, so it is very nice to have someone addressing it in my work, and the work of colleagues. Shin Yu's "De Stijl" broadside by anchorite press is beautiful, in case you haven't seen it.
Hopefully Anchorite will have some copies of it at the Yart Sale. If not, you may be able to contact Shin Yu Pai herself for copies.
Apr 26, 2004
Shirley Shirley by Alicia Askenase
Analfabeto/An Alphabet by Ellen Baxt
snapshot by Jennifer Firestone
The Fit by Joanna Sondheim
Available by subscription.
2 chapbooks in May, 2 in June.
Visit www.sonaweb.net to read excerpts.
Send $20 to Jill Magi/Sona Books at
7825 Fourth Avenue, F10
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Questions? Email Jill at email@example.com.
Apr 24, 2004
Listened to the Cash/Strummer "Redemption Song" this morning and have had it stuck in my head all day. Again, could be worse.
Time to drown my sorrows in coffee. Unfortunately, sorrows seem to be fairly adept swimmers in anything but booze. I feel like Bill Murray in Caddyshack, except instead of gophers they are sorrows. How's that for an allegory?
Apr 23, 2004
Now I'd just like to take a moment to give a shout-out to all my posse. Much love and respect to: Sweet African, Old Bull Dodga, Head Fish, Tree Trunk Jamaican, Sweet Chimpanzee, Phat Indian, Supa-Hard Guatemalan, Crouching Baller, Loose Shrinky Nutz, White Mofo Tree Hugga, Good-ass Killa, Supa Crab Whacka, Green Egg Crab Whacka, Da Lumpynutz, White Mofo Cop Killa, and anyone I forgot.
Peace out, from Old Pee Hands!
Apr 22, 2004
Midnight: Ian & Leon
What do you think, should I use this one for my internet personals ad?
I know the spam thing is getting old, but this one is just too good:
From: "Medallion R. Basting"
Subject: Mark, medication for you
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 08:31:20 -0700
Live as you wish your kids would.
Man is a slow, sloppy and brilliant thinker the machine is fast, accurate and stupid.
Mark, cheapest medications around.
The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them it is by excusing nothing that pure love shows itself.
My heart that was rapt away by the wild cherry blossoms -- will it return to my body when they scatter?
Nothing is so soothing to our self esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.
No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.
Apr 21, 2004
Rock on, blogueros!
Glad We Cleared that One Up
Study: Poets Die Younger than Other Writers
"For the report, published in the Journal of Death Studies, Kaufman studied 1,987 dead writers from various centuries from the United States, China, Turkey and Eastern Europe. He classified the writers as fiction writers, poets, playwrights, and nonfiction writers. He did not study the causes of death."
They can call it "The Action of the Christ."
I bet "Oh yeah, harder!" sounds good in Aramaic.
I give you this. Courtesy of Nick Piombino...
This summer and beyond, I am going to be curating poetry events for Gallery 108. In order to keep the poetry event entity separate from the gallery entity, I have given it the name "Maudite Productions," I'll be listing the events on the Maudite Productions blog, the first of which is the Indie Bookfair at the Gallery 108 1st Annual Yart sale. See the blog for details.
There will be more events in May, June, July and August, which I will post the details to as they solidify.
Apr 20, 2004
Apr 19, 2004
Sister Goldenhair & Steamboat Annie
ain't your friends no more-- Bad Sneakers
in the Toyota Celica, your lips all around
that codeine, you came when
the ghost hit the windshield, spun out
beside Kowloon, bombastic in the fuck
motels, a mouthful of SPF 15 & to hell
with your parochial ivy & your Derrida &
the historic first block of Marlborough Street
where the dawn dragged me nonplussed
as that equinox & I was never your
dead God nor your ballgagged IT
professional, following a snake outside
the Church of Christian Science, not your Iceland
nor your Munch-tongue, the soft white sand
could never guess why the front broke
the sky & the creep jerking off in
the bombed-out dancehall, they moan
for your sinister devices, Zombi
Mardi-gras, elephantine All Souls' fresco
cascading Gin-blight, Blood Sugar
Baby I cried for you all winterlong,
your spectre, your dirty Heathcliff, no
fire on the mountain, no cigarettes: fodder
for your analyst, take your phantom thighs
& let me be, the fire ants climb the chakras &
I had to leave the brown light & the
bar murk where I borrowed my own name
to pay the boatman, prodigal footsoldiers
of that flatlined rapture, the coy
waitresses remember me & how
dismally you disappeared your
alligator sweat into those hallowed
halls of better men & the flaccid canon:
I beg you Coney Island, I beg
you Vineyard Haven I beg you
Virginia get your soft disasters
out of my sun.
Now with the haughty imps going
commando in the saltmarshes, recall
how a walking pattern held the polychromatic
map of glass shards. Don't touch me, I'm
the Prince of Ghosts; the unconsoled hovered
between those breasts, a couple
drops on the white tip of black Chucks,
tongues darting behind the frog-
green miniature houses; she gave away
those baubles, the rocket
pauses in ether just before
it starts to tumble, a pinwheel
for the horny gulf & the thin clouds
will not avenge me. A cherry tomato
bursts, the wheat fries
in the fields. Rihaku:
gonna get me a shotgun & go down
to the river to practice my smile.
Remember, all the stardust ladders must be in place to reach the top.
It's a good idea not to leave too many undone below. On the first
mountain you'll be safe from the dream demons on the top of the ropes.
Try to catch as many love kisses as possible.
As dawn breaks you will be returned to the graveyard. If victorious a merry
melody plays and you rejoice with your friend. If you lost, both of you are
doomed to descend into the ground with the tombstones!
Or maybe because it's not really a "team" sport, but rather an individual thing. I don't really like the idea of "teams" (which is why I'm a lousy Socialist). It also seems to be a pretty gender-neutral sport, there seem to be just as many female runners as there are males...
This whole spring is like when you ask your grandparents for a Snoopy doll for your birthday and then an ex-con in a Snoopy costume shows up at your birthday party...
Apr 17, 2004
Apr 16, 2004
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
From Managers and the Legal Environment: Strategies for the 21st Century:
"Trustworthiness and dependability are essential to lasting relationships."
Apr 15, 2004
8.) "Rough Boy" by ZZ Top
4.) Little Debbite Peanut Butter Bars
9.) André Breton
10.) Louise Brooks
3.) Leon Thomas's "Um, um, um"
7.) "Subterranea" --Atari 2600 Game
4.) "Private Eye" --Atari 2600 Game
6.) The films of Stan Brakhage
Though whoever wrote it bollocksed up the HTML and I don't know how to fix it. The caption should say:
"To you, love is desperate and hateful. You're wildly passionate and wildly inventive. You're also likely to start stalking people. "
|Which poem are you?|
The Mad Girl's Love Song by Sylvia Plath
To you, love is desperate and hateful. You're wildly passionate and wildly inventive. You're also likely to start stalking people.
|Click Here to Take This Quiz|
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.
Apr 14, 2004
Room Scanned For Something To Sell On eBay
ALBANY, CA--Applying tape to the last package in a 12-item round of eBay sales, Brandon Vye scanned his bedroom for anything else he could auction off online. "I sold the Grand Ole Opry floaty pen... the UNO cards... the Santa socks--so now what?" Vye asked as he spun around in his swivel chair. "Maybe I could sell these science textbooks, or my tapes of old SNL episodes? God, I've got to have something I can mail off."After listing a misshapen clay bowl he made in a high-school ceramics class, Vye decided to head out to the yard to search for "eBay-able stuff" there.
Apr 13, 2004
& do you son accept this rain
as your personal savior, to have
& to hold its head under
the water, do you take this
rain metonymically for 4 reasons &
behind each a tiger or a sawtooth, the lady
plays the saw & ought to know
better, says one night Lumpy
fuckeda volkswagen &
he bent her like a yew switch into
next week, close to breaking &
stretched from here to there that catgut
where arrows hung, where darts were
cast at apples & oranges that hung heavy
from the trees, "I'm tired
of the night," he said,
she said "the sun is not
your friend"--fuggetabboudit there's
no way in hell
to throw the hoop around the
clown, Lumpy's shooting
ducks from the ferris wheel, a tumbler
of bourbon & some hard-
luck type laid down in
the funhouse: aluminum garters &
a Darth Vader helmet:
the foam rubber skeletons
are not so different from you
Apr 12, 2004
"As I crossed the threshhold of the bedroom, I transcended. I was one place and my body was another. I dropped to the floor, right on my face and my teeth went into my bottom lip. There was blood everywhere....
"So I couldn't do my own show with Pharoah. I had eight stitches in my mouth. I couldn't do anything. Pharoah came by to see me [and he said] you can't pull out."
Leon decided to play the gig, a church benefit for a group of anti-police activists in New York. "I couldn't smile. I could hardly open my mouth...but I went along anyhow. I got up on the stage and when it came time for me to scat, this sound just came out. It shocked me. I didn't know where it was coming from.
"I realised it was me and I realised that the ancestors had arrived. Pharoah, standing beside me on stage just raised his eyebrows at me. The ancestors had given me what we call throat articulation and they said to me 'You will sing like this with your mouth CLOSED.' And that was the first time it presented itself to me, in a church. My God! Thank you....It surprises me, it does everything of its own volition. I call it Soularfone. The pygmies call it Umbo Weti....This voice is not me, my voice is ancient. This person you see before you is controlled by ego but my voice is egoless."
Few things make me happier than Leon Thomas!...
"I call what I do 'egoless'," Leon explains, "because it goes into the unconscious. It can be a moan or a cry or a tear. It can be a great big sigh--but under control. The thing is, however, not to be limited by what you consciously think or feel - you have to let it all well up. I have no label for what I'm doing; I guess there isn't any name yet for what it is."
"So far the horns have been in the forefront in terms of exploring the new dimensions of sound and expression. But no one has been nearly adventurous enough-for this time-with the possibilities of the voice. I feel I'm into that, and I feel that it can be unusually theraputic, for the listener as well as the singer. All I need is a chance to get to the ears of the people."
Attention Small Presses & Magazines:
On May 1 and 2, Gallery 108 in Somerville, MA will be sponsoring the 1st Annual Yart Sale at the Gallery. Lots of local artists will be selling affordable pieces and I will be manning a table of local (an not neccesarily so local) small press books and magazines.
If you have any interest in having your journal for sale at the Yart Sale, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The sale will run from morning until evening both days on the 1st and 2nd. Essentially, I'll be selling stuff on a consignment basis. You give me your wares and I will sell them and put aside any money that you make and return the money and unsold stock to you. There are no fees involved, as this event is largely just to stir up interest in the Gallery, and by way of local presses, etc. interest in upcoming literary events at the Gallery.
The deadline for submissions for the sale will be Wednesday, April 28th. This is a good opportunity to try and get your books/magazine to an audience outside of the exclusively literary scene.
Apr 11, 2004
Oh well, kiddo, when you're ready Crazy Cousin Mark will be there for you...
From the Annals of 52 Old Farm Road
All I have to say about the quest to exhume salable merchandise from the chaos of my old room which, due to my mom's...err...fragile relationship to change has remained untouched since 1989 is DRAFTS, DRAFTS, DRAFTS. So many friggin' drafts. Some day the trees will come for me...
On the subject of pornography, I WROTE THE FOLLOWING POEM IN 1988.
I suppose the answer to the question I get asked the most, "Have you always been this fucked up?" Is...um..."yes"...
(I didn't use caps then...)
THE SPEAKING SCAR
down into the scarring crag
towards the motion of the sea
this place exists with the passion of any nexus
and the same pulsing addictive fear
into the place where the bleached forms
still caught in last ecstasy,
the nonangular fluid stasis
of the white unmoving
the white of peace
the white bones of beasts and men
somewhere on a shore an ancient
yew must have divined the beauty of
the death of flesh
and the white purity of shortly after
and gave itself
to the beckoning of the storm
and sculpted organic beauty
for the trees choose their own skeletons
how everything and the unmoving
gives itself to the always moving
the fluid arm scars the land
and shapes the stone
and the seaweed hangs
like the hair of expired mermaids
who knew the taking of the sea
and speaks with the spasm voice
of the knowings of the long lost
the spirits of the taken
crash against the rocks
that copulate with seaweed forms
remember me to my love
this moves in through the
scar and among the green
intoning of the lost with
we would take you when you
long finally to know
the white peace first
and ever among the rocks and voice
the coming and leaving of
the half sorrowed lost
the skeletal voice the charmed tears
sculpting among the stones
I really don't remember where I was or what I was doing. I don't remember much about 1988 at all, in fact.
While You Were Away...
While I was gone this weekend, the following google searches brought those lonely searchers to the hallowed halls of this Ghost City:
"barbie doll flexible porno"
"narcissistic personality disorder"
"huya the new planet"
I anticipate all were satisfied except for the porno seeker. I'm working on it, guy, OK?
Apr 9, 2004
I suppose the majority of the Easter candy will come Monday.
But that doesn't do me any good right NOW, does it?
I hope to god, though, that I don't have to eat any Cadbury Cream eggs this year. But those Peanut-Butter filled Reese's eggs, bring 'em on.
Apr 8, 2004
Apr 7, 2004
How Awesome is This?
It's SO bad, but SO, SO good...
"They clutched the ribs of the plant, churning a hand about the pistil of the flower. Next minute, they too were spiraling into the air. Yattmur was not horribly afraid. She fell face forward among polleny stamens, almost unable to breathe for the scent of the flower, but incapable of moving. Dizziness filled her.
A timid hand touched her shoulder.
"If you have a making hungry by the fear, do not eat of the nasty Stalker flower but taste good fish without walking legs we clever menchaps catch in the pool!"
She looked at the tummy-belly, his mouth moving nervously, his eyes large and soft, a dust of polen making his hair ludicrously fair. He had no dignity.
Yattmur burst into tears."
Would someone named "giantslob" fit into a jacket that would fit me? I don't think so.
A pox on you, giantslob.
thru cirrostratus feeds
where have all those
The ravens & the bees punks
I'ma scare crows
I'ma still winter
Apr 6, 2004
Apr 5, 2004
Apr 4, 2004
I don't know if the ghost city here is the place for parents, though. Not that there would be any chance of that, er, happening.
For the record I *don't*, in fact, kiss my mother with this mouth...
"You are not yet ready..."
Daylight savings time is nice, as it means it stays light out longer after I get out of work. Now all I need is for the climate outside to become at least slightly habitable and I can begin my usual summer program of wandering aimlessly and anonymously through the streets of Boston, being careful to stay away from bridges (occupational hazard)...
After all, when I gave my father a copy of my book he said, "I think you need a new hobby."
I guess he was right.
Apr 2, 2004
File Under Hairbrained
Trying to fund a trip to Budapest by selling my old toys on eBay. The only problem is that the only toys that would be worth any money (vintage Japanese diecast robot toys) I don't relly want to sell.
Who wants to buy my Adventure People for $700?
Apr 1, 2004
Those ghosts don't sweat it, the way the apples turn to wax because of the curve of the moon. Don't disappear she said because she wanted to disappear first, the same cold ground where the foxes run, ran across the graveyard. Too cold to photograph the river, the ghost cursive on the dark water. Dark water = dark wine = the 4th of July when I threw up my name & my arms. Fundamental zeugma. Everything & nothing. A zeugma is not a tautology: I still can't think about the waves or the miniature houses or the gunmental sky when the front crept in, these skies are frozen, the blood in our sandals long gone. The diagonal rain the same the sinister karaoke: who's going to drive you home, tonight? An echo's not the same sound, it is a different sound but it looks the same but they have different mothers. Eating her mother's xanax & gluing the plastic roses to the ceiling. Xanax is a pallindrome, so is forget:
The spectre walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps & walks back to the silver house & walks to the beach & wades in the water & weeps.