Jun 28, 2008

Especially for Dottie

By way of a post on Brooklyn's blog, this is uncannily accurate (though the one for Rachel's birthday is not accurate at all):

February 20 Birthday Astrology

by Jill M. Phillips

A Pisces born on February 20 is attuned to the spiritual mysteries of life, and religiosity can become an obsession. They possess a phenomenal memory. Their intelligence is more an esoteric understanding than an analytical skill. They have high ideals.

Pisces Information
for February 20
You should embrace: A sense of wonder, perfection, emotional resonance

You should avoid: Doubts, pretense, sleep disorders

Friends and Lovers

Loneliness and a lack of self-confidence often cause February 20 natives to choose the worst companions. They're eager to feel included and may be willing to sacrifice to have a large circle of friends. This attitude is destructive in romantic partnerships. They have a habit of holding on to people who are bad for them.

Children and Family

Letting go of the past is difficult for February 20 individuals. Because of the emotional baggage they bring into adult life, they may feel insecure about becoming parents. If they do, they're often pleasantly surprised to discover that they can let go of the unwise choices of the past.


Destructive habits relating to food and alcohol are not uncommon among February 20 people, who sometimes hide from life's stresses. By turning to exercise and good nutrition, they can create the healthy lifestyle they need.

Career and Finances

February 20 people combine artistic ability with spiritual understanding. Money is rarely an issue with these people. Though they may spend it freely, February 20 folks seldom give any thought as to where it comes from or where it will go.

Dreams and Goals

To understand themselves through the power of their psychic talent is an important goal for February 20 people. They are often emotionally adrift in a sea of confusion. Once they begin to understand their power, they can liberate themselves from fear and delusion. They need to learn to set limits in relationships.

Legrandin is a complete hypocrite, but this is a great passage anyway

"It is true that you are a man of the world, I suppose, and go out paying calls! In order to go and meditate, as I do, beside some half-ruined tomb, my bow-tie and jacket are not out of place. You know how I admire the charming quality of your soul; that is why I tell you how deeply I regret that you should go forth and betray it among the Gentiles. By being capable of remaining for a moment in the nauseating atmosphere of the salons--for me, unbreathable--you pronounce on your own future the condemnation, the damnation of the Prophet. I can see it all: you frequent the frivolous-minded, the gracious livers--that is the vice of our contemporary bourgeoisie. Ah, those aristocrats! The Terror was greatly to blame for not cutting the heads off every one of them. They are all disreputable scum when they are not simply dreary idiots. Still, my poor boy, if that sort of thing amuses you! While you are on your way to some tea-party your old friend will be more fortunate than you, for alone in an outlying suburb he will be watching the pink moon rise in a violet sky. The truth is that I scarcely belong to this earth upon which I feel myself such an exile; it takes all the force of the law of gravity to hold me here, to keep me from escaping into another sphere. I belong to a different planet. Good-bye; do not take amiss the old-time frankness of the peasant of the Vivonne, who has also remained a peasant of the Danube. To prove my sincere regard for you, I shall send you my latest novel. But you will not care for it; it is not deliquescent enough, not fin de siecle enough for you; it is too frank, too honest. What you want is Bergotte, you have confessed it, gamy stuff for the jaded palates of refine voluptuaries, I suppose I am looked upon, in your set, as an old stick-in-the-mud; I make the mistake of putting my heart into what I write: that is no longer done; besides, the life of the people is not distinguished enough to interest your little snobbicules. Go, get you gone, try to recall at times the words of Christ: 'This do, and thou shalt live.' Farewell, friend."

-M. Legrandin to Marcel in In Search of Lost Time Volume III.

Jun 24, 2008

Added some links for some folks from Goodreads. Goodreads has been really buzzing these days. It seems especially to be a good thing for e-chaps and the like, since people can just link to them off of the Goodreads entries based on peoples' recommendations and such. Its nice because it sort of fills the void left when I sort of lost interest/became disillusioned with the Blogging community over the past couple years. Goodreads seems to be a place where many younger poets are getting acquainted with the landscape these days, in a similar way that I felt like the Blog-world did once upon a time, for me. People get weirded out by the rating system, but it seems like no big deal; I mean, you don't have to like everything your friends write as much as everything else they write all the time. It's interesting, also, to see people responding to specific works, both sacred cows and obscure little e-chaps--the internet doesn't know the difference. Which is a good thing.

Jun 17, 2008

I have two poems up at Adam Fieled's PFS Post, "The Madeira Drinkers" and "Scrimshaw Tango." "The Madeira Drinkers" features the flower Stinking benjamin. I like stinking benjamin because I've always thought that given peoples' general penchant for naming girls after flowers (Dahlia, Rose, etc.) that it would be cool to name a boy after this flower, thus Stinking Benjamin. Stinky or Benjy for short. The flower's other names are Trillium erectum (I barely even knem 'um...) and Corpse Flower (doesn't quite have the same ring to it...).

Jun 16, 2008

Thanks to everyone who emailed/commented on the love poems post. I would up just writing a poem myself, and not using any kind of collage procedure. It occurred to me that lucidity in this context was pretty important given that the people getting married were not poets, their families were not poets, and their friends (besides me) were not poets; in fact, I was likely the only poet in attendance, so coming up with some opaque thing for the sake of my own aesthetic agenda seemed sort of, well, stupid. I think this is the kind of thing every poet should do once--an occasional poem that needs to fulfill a transparent objective; somebody should require Bruce Andrews to write a poem for the dedication of a pediatric cancer hospital or something like that...

So here is what I came up with:


No magician or jeweler
wrighting baubles, such things
that fool the eye with their glint
but buckle like dry grass underfoot;
rather a microscope gazing
longly at fat drops: too strange
for the eye those things that love
lays bare, little things writhing slightly,
tiny lives what in expiration give
bubbles to bread.

No lock, no key, no door, no house,
no bed, no hearth, no cellar, no ceiling,
no window, nor wall.
Love is the ground.

No oxidized shine that bleeds black
& dim from the tongue of the air,
a cog pitted & dull, swinging
the arm of a clock, an engine
that purrs or groans, seizes
under weight, gives in, but to sputter
quick again when coaxed, love lives
in the creased skin or the folds
of the brain, doubling surface in its
tiny fist of a skull. No heart, but
the darling of the hand & the mind.

No face, no eyes, no ears, no nose,
no arms, no legs, no hands,
no feet, nor breast.
Love is the bone.

No beacon or lighthouse lamp, flame
a slave to the hours of its breath;
does not guide the ships to shore
but lives in the airless depths of cold
trenches where wide-eyed fish swim
by the sheen of their skins alone.
Or love is a shrimp in the sand, out
to feed with all bathers asleep.
A brook that babbles uphill, a book
of blank pages, rewritten daily, or
hour by hour, minute by minute.

No word, no act, no ink, no pen,
no poem, no name, no spirit,
no god, nor star.
Love is.