Jun 30, 2005

Is it me or does the poblogosphere seem particularly surly lately? Perhaps it is the summer heat. Or this moronic century. Or maybe it's just me. Not that I am particularly surly, but perhaps I am just presently oversensitive to surliness or something.

Maybe I need to think of some kind of fun meme to cheer myself up...

Jun 29, 2005

Pwoermd: The Goddess of Postmodernism:


Jun 24, 2005

Great reading by Lori Lubeski, Jess Mynes, and Doreothea Lasky last night. There are few readers who can match Dottie's aural power, so hearing her read (as well as Lori and Jess) is always a pleasure.

Picked up Jess and Dotty's Anchorite Press chapbooks, and they look stunning as usual. I recommend picking up copies. Contact Chris Rizzo at Anchorite Press to order. (Also pick up the 2 new Katalanche Press chapbooks from Lori Lubeski and Travis Nichols). All 4 chock-full of poetic goodness.


(That's a review)

Jun 23, 2005

DEA descends on medical marijuana growers in CA, flag-burning outlawed, government seizure of homes for private development OK-ed, and the Pentagon can keep a database of your kids' names for recruitment purposes("fresh meat")...

What's goddamn next? I shudder to think.
Tonight in Somerville:

Thursday, June 23, 7:30 pm
Lori Lubeski, Jess Mynes & Dorothea Lasky
Katalanche Press / Anchorite Press
McIntyre & Moore Books
255 Elm Street
Davis Square
Somerville, MA

Jun 22, 2005

Installed Tiger on the Mini this morning. Rowr.

I am the sonnet, never quickly thrilled;
Not prone to overstated gushing praise
Nor yet to seething rants and anger, filled
With overstretched opinions to rephrase;
But on the other hand, not fond of fools,
And thus, not fond of people, on the whole;
And holding to the sound and useful rules,
Not those that seek unjustified control.
I'm balanced, measured, sensible (at least,
I think I am, and usually I'm right);
And when more ostentatious types have ceased,
I'm still around, and doing, still, alright.
In short, I'm calm and rational and stable -
Or, well, I am, as much as I am able.
What Poetry Form Are You?

Jun 21, 2005

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Jess Mynes come to help us steal the jobs of hard-working, non-internet-using poets.
Back from an informative and fun trip to New York City. The reading at the 4-Faced Liar was very fun and I enjoyed the other readers quite a bit. It isn't often that I get to read poems and drink beer (the two things in life I am best at) simultaneously.

Someone appears to be harassing Tony on his blog. Every once in awhile a bout of this seems to go around. I guess some poets who don't use the internet are angered by poets who do. Apparently all poets who use the internet constitute some kind of demographic or movement, despite the fact that many of us have next to nothing in common. Evidently it is part of the Famous and Important daily regimen to remind those of us doomed to obscurity that this is our fate. It's difficult being Famous and Important, because you have so much to do keeping homeless people, waiters, toll-booth attendants and poets who have web-logs in line. Understandable, since it's next to impossible to tell any of us apart and none of us use deodorant.

In the words of Groundskeeper Willie, "These colored crayons are the work of the devil!"

Jun 17, 2005

Jun 16, 2005

10 Things you don't know about me.

1.) I am obsessed with the 70's Japanese cartoon "Space Runaway Ideon."
2.) The first concert I ever went to was Tears for Fears touring for "Songs from the Big Chair" and the second was Julian Lennon touring for "Valotte."
3.) I have 1 tattoo and 1 piercing.
4.) When I was 3 or 4 I stole a Legg's Egg of pantyhose from my grandma because it was shiny.
5.) I like things that are shiny.
6.) I hate the White Stripes.
7.) I never drank, smoked, did drugs, or kissed a girl in high school.
8.) I had done all of the things in #7 by the end of my first week of college.
9.) Until about puberty or so, I worried obssessively that I would become possessed by the devil.
10.) When I hit puberty, I became possessed by the devil.

Jun 15, 2005

I've been tagged by Erica... Having been a tenacious tagger lately, I will answer the question but refrain from any furhter tagging this time around! (Anybody who wants to participate in the comments box or whatever, feel free, but I won't implore anyone to do so.) Well, except for Guillermo, because I know he wants to answer this...

"List five songs that you are currently digging. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're any good but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the five songs in your blog. Then tag five other people to see what they're listening to."

In no particular order:

1. "Bulletproof"--DJ Rap

While her new record, "Bulletproof," is not necessarily everything I hoped it to be, the title track is pretty amazing.

2. "Music in Me"--DJ Rap vs. Konvertor

"Because the music in me is the only thing that keeps me alive."

3. "Flu (Acoustic)"--The Peopletree feat. Milla Jovovich

Say what you will. The quirkiest and best pop song about intimacy ever. "I gave you my flu. My flu, for you..."

4. "Driven Like the Snow"--Sisters of Mercy

"Like a voice in the wind blow little crystals down
Like brittle things will break before they turn"

5. "A Little Louder"--DJ Icey.

Because I love vocoders.

6. "Rough Boy"--ZZ Top

Because I hate rules. "What in the world's come on over me, I ain't got a chance of walking free..."
Gutcult Summer 2005.

Jun 13, 2005

Also, I have a review of Annie Finch's The Body of Poetry in the June/July issue of Art New England (on sale now).

Sunday June 19, 4-Faced Liar, NYC

I will be reading at the 4-Faced Liar Frequency series in Manhattan this Sunday at 2:30. With Maureen Thorson.

The Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th Street,
(Between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 366 0608

Jun 10, 2005

Later this summer I am expecting a new bouncing baby chapbook, Film Poems from Katalanche Press. This will be a collection of the film poems I have written to date. Watch for details concerning release date and reading, etc. here and at the Katalanche site. This should be very interesting, I have seen the proofs and they look great!

Jun 9, 2005

Finally saw the Star Wars film.

Enough people have commented on Revenge of the Sith already, so all I have to say is that, in the current renaissance of the female action hero, the fact that we only get to see Aayla Secura for about 40 seconds, which constitute her getting shot in the back and subsequently shot-up by Storm/Clone Troopers, proves that it is still your father's "Star Wars." And no, Natalie Portman running around in Danskins and taking an occasional pot-shot (in Episode II) with a water pistol doesn't count.

Overall, I liked it OK. But I still maintain that the cartoons are still the true heir to Episodes IV-VI...

Jun 8, 2005

Luckily for me, all of my books have been chronologically not published.
Eveything seems to be in it. It must have just gotten knocked out of my pocket when I was rushing through the crowd of doddering Harvard grandparents. Now I'm really glad I didn't take the money in the supermarket. Maybe that was the test. Who knows? Maybe if I'd taken it the wallet would not have come back with everything in it.

Yes, I know I sound like a paranoid schizophrenic, but I'm just saying, from a karmic perspective...
HUPD found my wallet. Now to go see what remains in it...

Jun 7, 2005

I walk through a dense crowd of ogling Harvard-types, jammed packed into Harvard Square, for graduation and somesuch. I'm in a rush, everyone seems to be moving sluggishly. I run down the stairs and reach for my wallet to pay my fare for the T. Nothing in my pocket. Look through my bag, nothing there. Sit down at the Dunkin' Donuts table and take everything out. Laptop, keys, The Crystal Text, On Language, cellphone, iPod, "White Noise" from Netflix. People are staring. But no wallet. I realize that someone has stolen my name, and all of my money from my pocket, in the crowd. Probably others, too. Fortunately I'm by the bank and it's still open so I dash over there and have them cancel everything. Call information on the cellphone and cancel all of my other cards, too. I'm penniless. The bank lets me write a check to myself and I get some money. I go home, nameless.

It feels disorienting, being nameless. I can't seem to calm down much, I decide to go to the supermarket. Walking in the doors, in front of the self-checkout machine, there's a wad of 20's just sitting there. I look around for someone who's dropped it. Nobody. There was money in my wallet when it was stolen. I wonder if this is karma here, paying me back. I check my pocket to see if it is the money I lost from the bank. Nope, still there. Somebody else has dropped these 20's. Nobody else sees them. Am I being paid back? Is this karma, I lose money, it is returned to me. An eye for an eye, etc. Desolation and retribution. Nobody will ever know if I take it. The way of the world. They bomb our buildings, we kill their children. They take a house, we take a block. Exchange of prisoners.

No. I look for somebody who's working there, I spot a guy with long dark hair in a Shaw's uniform. My age. Thoughtful looking, perhaps trustworthy.

"Somebody dropped some money there, " I point to the money, "I didn't see anybody drop it."

"Thank you," he says, "thank you very much." Trustworthy lookng. I want to tell him that 2 hours ago somebody in a crowd took my wallet and all of my money, and please that he should not pocket this money, he should save it in case someone comes back to claim it. I want this to stop with me. Please, don't take it, I want to tell him. But namelessness has made me feel uncertain, small.

"Someone will come back for it," I say and that's all. Why can't I tell him more. He's my age, just a guy with a job, just like me. Probably broke, just like me.

It will take effort now, money, to get my name back. I wonder who has it. I wonder who has the image of me, my health insurance cards, my Coop number, all of those numbers whereby the world rewards and punishes me. I am nameless, I should feel free. But I feel invisible. The money from the supermarket will not find its original owner. Perhaps the thoughtful guy will take it. Maybe he's a good man, maybe he opposes the war, maybe he cares for his family. But I can't bring the money back to the person who lost it. Nor can I stop the war, the prison camps, the loss of our rights. I can only cower before them and ask them for my name back and give them some money so they will return it to me. But it was stolen, why should I have to pay? I didn't take the money in the supermarket, why should I have to pay? Nobody will ever know happened in the supermarket. Except for you, that is.

Jun 3, 2005

Received this baton from Guillermo. So here goes:

1. Total number of books I've owned

This is more or less impossible to speculate. Like Guillermo, some of the earliest books I owned were comic books (it would be interesting to do a comic-book meme) and there were tons and tons of them. Most of them were Marvel superhero comic books. I especially liked the ones based on toys when I was very young, and then as I progressed to adolescence I started reading Moon Knight, The X-Men, and The New Teen Titans (mostly because of Starfire's chainmail bikini...). Also, when I was a little kid I was allowed to purchase as many books as I wanted (other purchases obeyed the usual parental restrictions, but I was given more or less a carte blanche with books), which must have, I suppose, contributed to my later bibliomania in one form or another.

As it stands now, I have no idea how many books I own. Thus, the only real answer I have to this question is, "A lot."

2. Last book I bought

Again, tough to answer because I'm pretty much constantly in the process of buying books online from places like Alibris, etc. The last books I have received in the mail, more or less simultaneously are a copy of Bernstein's A Poetics (had only read photocopied chapters prior), an old library copy of John Wieners' Nerves, and a used copy of Mamoru Nagano's Five Star Stories Vol. 1 (old habits die hard, I suppose.)

3. Last book I read

This is also somewhat difficult to answer, believe it or not. I read very slowly and I read a whole bunch of things simultaneously. Chronologically, I believe the last thing I finished in its entirity was Balzac's Unknown Masterpice, which was for a class. Chapbooks (which *are* [ahem] "real books") I read more quickly and frequently, so that is tough to answer.

4. Five books that mean a lot to me

This is much easier to answer.

Kenneth Rexroth 100 Poems From the Chinese. My discovery of this book in the midst of an undergraduate library job was epiphonic. Though I had long toyed with the idea of becoming a poet, this book for some reason gelled it for me. Odd given that the poets here are from a different culture and long dead, but for me it was a point of entry alternate to the Western Romantic/Modern tradition and opened up a lot of doors for me. My studies of Asian literature would eventually lead me to an Asian Studies professor at Marlboro who would introduce me to literary theory and postmodernism (Eagleton, Kristeva, Barthes, Benjamin, etc. etc.).

Gerard Manley Hopkins Collected Poems. I have owned any number of editions of Hopkins' work over the years, so this just sort of stands in for his ouevre. It is perhaps cliche for a writer of my stylistic bent to mention Hopkins, but as they say, the reason it's a cliche is because it's true. Hopkins' way of making language shimmer and sputter and clang was eye-opening to me, as well as his penchant for inventing hybrid words. Inscape as a metaphor for the subjective singularities of an entity or experience would also become an important touchstone for me. His use of artifice to adumbrate the nigh-inexpressable sublimities of the "soul" were and are a guiding force.

John Berryman The Dream Songs. Like so many others this was my bible through many years of bad behavior and worse writing. There is still much of worth to be found here, but if only there were the same cornucopia of SSRIs available then as now, things would have ended differently for Mr. Berryman and we would have seen changes in him and his writing later in life. I mean, yeah, I probably still haven't stopped imitating Shakespeare, either, but Berryman's "I'm a drunk old overeducated pervert" schtick is cloying to me now.

Ange Mlinko Matinees. A little while after I moved to Boston, before I knew anybody in these parts, I stumbled across this book and bought it because I liked the cover. It opened doors for me, stylistically, and also insofar as it offered a window into literary Boston which had existed and was existing in my midst. I would later make the acquaintance of any number of characters who appeared therein. Thus, this book was important to me aesthetically, and also as a kind of premonition of things to come.

Plato Cratylus. This is a recent addition, but I have found in this text and interesting dramatization of many of the central elements/issues manifest in my writing. Heartening that these things were being thought of in antiquity. The echoes of the Cratylus/Hermogenes dispute are still heard today in any of the various dialectics/bumper-car matches present in our contemporary literary culture. Socrates/Plato's arch synthesis/disarmament of the whole mess is inspiring, and a worthy paradigm to think upon.

5. Which five bloggers am I passing this to?:

I will pass this on to others with an eye towards those who aren't already meme-weary (there have been a lot of them going around lately): Gina, Chris (hello, Chris, are you there?), Cat, Jean, and Scott.

Jun 1, 2005

Received my contributor's copies of LIT yesterday, and it appears to be packed cover-to-cover with literary goodness. Lest we at Fulcrum think we have the monopoly on genre-spanning behemoths, this healthy tome seems harbors styles from yours truly to K. Silem Mohammad to Billy Collins. While I am indeed a fan of small, specialized publications, I think that these sorts of inclusive mega-magazines are important. Like a crowded club, there's something for everyone, there is a giddy potentiality manifest in the fact that there's bound to be someone/thing that one likes. There's also a feeling of autonomy, like a big lumbering cruise-ship: bring one of these babies to the beach and you won't need anything else.

Despite reports from any number of partisan enclaves, journals like LIT prove that U.S. literature is thriving and couldn't be more alive and well and diverse. The rainforest is stronger than a field of peas (as much as one may love peas). What we need is more celebration of our multiplicity (by way of big journals like LIT and also by the proliferation of more specialized smaller ones) and less snarky infighting. The next time someone tells you that U.S. poetry has dissolved into a morass of ceaselessly bickering and impotent factions, just whack them with a copy of LIT or Fulcrum or some other journal with an interest in catholicity.