Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stealing from Kids

Three cheers for Michael Salinger, breaking it down on No Child Left Behind

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sugar City Showcase at Bon Vivant

I'm happy to be reading my work for a few minutes tonight (Sunday) at the new space "Bon Vivant" at 7 p.m., 1812 Hertel Ave. There will be readings and performances, screenings and music by over 8 different artists and writers. I hope you'll consider coming to the event!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Working Notes :: Poetry Flocks

A poem and then some notes (propositions?) toward an essay on the status of lyric poetry by way of recent online discussions about poets moving in "advanced formation".

Tuesday Pastoral

in dense hum wiring of
black-enchased copper/
optical spun glass
meadows in

electronic twilight
hop little clicks on
beams and blinks the
crickets find their facts
in crystal window rills and

piping soothe the spiders
off from flocks until
the queen of meadows
throws her veil to the winds.

Poetry Notes

One: Conceptualism. Where concept overrides idiosyncrasy by running a script, a set of instructions. After the contract is signed with process, the poem may be permitted idiosyncratic content.

Two: Dramatic Monologue. Lyricism without fixed prosody (modern verse). John Thorpe: "lyricism would divorce interim message from communication; that is, from exploration of 2nd person as more than object, a greater force than song can sustain."

Three: Fixed and emerging conservatisms. These seem to be rhetorical stances. Modernist vs. premodern in the old formula. Some phrases stolen from Walter Pater: "to arrest every object in an eternal outline, to fix thought in a necessary formula, and the varieties of life in a classification by "kinds" or genera." (essay on Coleridge)

Four: The "New". Not a flight from, but acknowledgment that "the new" and the making of "the new" is a function of capital--energies amassed towards market. What any of us are inside of. Logo-poetics: "Flarf is sophisticated, and dedicated to serious fun." The poetics of disjunction and parataxis as the noise of the "field" created by newsprint-page "clutter" (Benjamin). Bliss or terror.

Five: Nets, webs, journals and logs. Parsing out the genealogies of technical means--what descriptive capacity for "literature" can be siphoned off from the fixation on technological development (telegraph, typewriter, letterpress, mimeo, newspaper, cinema)? Questions such as: what is truth? life? death? memory? The degree to which we redefine persistence (and what persists) by way of the technical platform--the computer screen as "faster" than either photography or cinema--registering the free-fall this can induce for other, particularly human, temporalities (memory, transience) The flaneur and the "woman-about-town".

My basic question, to be fully clarified in a longer discussion, is about interruption, the collision of discourses in a cluttered field (disjunction) as a practice which disperses continuities and affects the coalescence of memory for the individual--pulsations of fear-inducing, desire-provoking imagery/complexes--Does Art permit any relevance for the validation of experience which is not contained within this space of conflict? Or is the collaborative (or if formalized, "corporate") enunciation the only means to establish identity/continuity?

These are just notes, first steps. Any feedback/comment, and help at clarifying a direction to this will be greatly appreciated & amply returned in kind---

Friday, July 18, 2008


Jonathan Skinner interviewed me for the Starcherone Books blog. We conducted the interview by email, so all the typos were mine--read it HERE


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Resonance of the Brave

(for Jaye)

what hold you in hand, then?
keys, symphonic temporal treasure
realms of a grain made really real,
some palace wood of worlds.

these become a constant love
belying themes of cramped envy
& when given this acceptance
of vow and that sworn honor,
the relent of narrowing view
upon self and fact and self next.

we have here no time to spend
in false judgment of any other,
you especially, or any one who has
held to such arrogating standards
never marched beneath or even matched.

with acceptance came care,
a space of comfort bestowed with time
and ceremony bid to give
involuntary memory its own vast compass,

a field reshaped and held in heart,
a systolic form to body forth
and return with Paraclete expansion.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Concentration Camps in the USA

I don't know about you, but this is the most disgusting, shocking, and shameful report I have ever read: where the United States Justice Department would collude with the Executive Branch to efface the basic justice of habeus corpus, right to representation, as well as any number of other basic freedoms: and why? Because these people came to the United States to work! Do we believe in hard work? Do we believe in giving someone a chance at a better life here? What did these so-called "illegal" immigrants find? Racism, xenophobia, and a very very sick nation. Watch out--we're spinning out of control--predators walk the street and look like you and me. Please read this report:

If it isn't time to restore the last shred of democracy we have, then we are LOST. U.S. marshals & associated officers swept through the buffalo streets last week in "posse style" gangs, in order to deliver warrants for a small handful of low-priority cases, and our public streets are surveilled by ostentatious police cameras: AND WHO REALLY FUCKING BELIEVES THESE THINGS ARE USED TO KEEP US SAFE?? They are only used to intimidate us and make us behave like we're all Ingalls and the Waltons. Welcome to the new frontier--again and again. Once they take a freedom away, its a LOT harder to win it back.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Current Mood: Gratitude to Barrett Gordon

Barrett Gordon is a great writer. He wrote an essay review for Celery Flute issue 3. As I reread that issue in preparation for issue 4 (or 2:1), I find a good image for how i'm feeling (beyond stupid and selfish):

3 picture-boxes are spread across a screen: "in each, 1 or both of 2 characters: a man (Pearson) and a woman (unknown). The middle picture is the triptych's denominator, showing the two at each other's limbs, pulling in or pushing out from each other, as regular as breath, and, in that same way that, rightly, dependence intoxicates the 2[folks]-in-1[agreement]. In the left-hand picture, he was alone; it looked like the impossible solace of a half-emptied heart's echo chamber, playing everything back; on the right, she went through the same bag, vice versa."

echo (Patchen) -- echo (Pearson) -- echo (Brotzman) -- echo (unknown)

thanks Barrett--

as the fool to Lear:
"They'll have me whipped for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipped for lying; and sometimes I am whipped for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind of thing than a fool; and yet I would not be thee, nuncle"

Sunday, July 6, 2008


morning garden of mind
full of rotted vegetables,
new puke across the wooden slats,
an air of wieners & yeasty burps.

what a burnt bologna way
to start a day
--goopy, stinky, milked and dry--

& i'm not happy with this muck
dunked study of your tire tracks
across from the low breakers
where the buzzards slowly wheel
in search of that succulent stench.

praise be to the summer cardinal strut:
bobbing low to the left, right, fanning red tail wide,
earning chirps of assent from her, avocado ripe,
perched on the rusty fence above him.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The quiet types are always taking notes

I got to hear Tucker Finn, last night. It was very Danny Johnston-ey.

Jane Bowles / Kate Colby

Browsing the Ugly Ducking Presse catalog today introduced me to Kate Colby's long poem Unbecoming Behavior. She describes the work at the Bookslut website. I really love the premise: Jane Bowles was a writer of great gifts, but also known to make a fool of herself. She is recast as the subject of this poem, what Colby calls "revisionist biography". In her interview, Colby describes her interest in Bowles: "She embraced the unbecoming, but not in an empowering way, really; so why? I guess that’s why I got into it. To me, gender and, especially, femininity and its toilsome physical signs, are particularly untruthful constructs. And yet, what’s the alternative? Look at me. Look at Jane. What else is there to go on? There are a lot of things scrawled on the body and you become them."