Tuesday, September 22, 2009

move over, summer! now there's something leaner!

where titania hid the indian kid

& where keats found his feets:

in the eglantine,

next to the coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,

under hot nodding violets, fast-fading and wet,

amidst the oxlips (in background),

with wild thymes, wild thymes! and wyld stallyns--rowing in eden,

in a murmurous haunt of flies, luscious & lulling.

the dudes: William Shakespeare and John Keats. Inside they're crying.

(the drawing of oxlips above is "Oxlips and Daisies" by Tricia Newell, this a copyrighted image that i'm using without her permission, and with no hope of profitting by using it, so please visit her site. If you ARE tricia newell, thanks for the great drawing, and please don't sue me!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

at one

these are notes.

not an argument.

so i'm trying to eat good food. smile at the sun. cross on green and stop on red.

i read somewhere that saying there were not serious and lasting aesthetic differences among American poets was like throwing a sucker-punch. A mean gesture. Not ameliorative.

But maybe our sudden realizations take us aback and we can make new differentiations once we've regained our senses. half the time i deliberately place myself in the path of oncoming shock. this is kocik's susceptive science.

i'm not satisfied with dissatisfaction. its not a stance, proposal or a program for art.
that smart writer Walter Benjamin explained Baudelaire's broodiness as somewhat dependent on the consistent quick movements he had to make to get from point a to point b in crowded places. That and combining a kind of appetite that is cheered and checked by an equally appetitive company (or lot). Arakawa and Gins design architectures to make it very very hard to get to the bathroom, thus extending our lives indefinitely by making basic fluid movements impossible. this is a recipe for romanticism.

if i could sing with the glee singers of bright pill-crushed joys and festive reedy stringed things glittering like shiny green crystals and hairy nimbuses, get lost in rhythms' wooden-wagons circled ukulele plasma squirt in the wildflower meadow i'd do it all the time.

i desire to achieve a lasting sympathy with the scope and scale of the popular entertainments. an effort immediately palpable in the results. but there's a lot we forgot. we forgot sooooo much.

if i could eat greeny greens and drink fresh fruit juices all the time and run at dawn and salve all scrapes encountered, and open up Doug & Mir's Texts and Textiles again i sure would.

but there are liens and leases all over the place. "No sharing" someone told me. on the train they pipe in the words: "please do not give".

i fell into a swoon and collapsed and dreamed i was in a crowd of dissatisfied wanting people who were impatient. i must pay very close attention to my thoughts at these times, and observe them very carefully. i can't read the iconography very well any more. but i can see where the symbols tremble enough to gain purchase.

there is no reason for writing if not part of a conversation. sure, i'm comfortable with Blanchot's infinite conversation, inasmuch as we can be comfortable with the basic premise of discomfort he presents us with.

but i'm serious. i called seven people this morning. i don't want to be typing right now.

read the announcements, show up in the place, say hello to the people. do this. it is enough.

there is no one driving the source of the shock i deliberately placed myself in front of.

non-dairy whipped topping, sugar, margarine, cheese food, canned tomato soup.

there are no outsiders, no outre poets. forget art.

i'm happy to give due acknowledgment and greet warmly the suddenly perceived off-garde poets.

off-garde poets and artists don't apply shocks and are as happy to get them as they are hate mail and the quietude of critics who won't review their books and are reluctant to speak their names in certain company.

off-garde poets are susceptible to unannounced delays and unexpected rainshowers of gifts and surprise kisses and cuddles walking right up to your room and saying, "there, you needed that"

they don't throw sucker-punches

they have kids and eat in restaurants. o my.

they throw parties.

they don't mind people stealing all their best ideas, because they're worth imitating, even if badly.

no not giving!

no not sharing!

they find the minutiae of individuality as perplexing as the silliness of the thing they walked 44 blocks to buy and got yelled at at every intersection and very nearly chopped at by an irate pedestrian. but the smiles of gentle souls are as shocking also.

their kind of love is not insomnia or tobacco or fetish mediation posing as direct experience.

they don't hunt madly for mirrors as confirmation.

like this and like this and like this, it's beautiful now, see?


Friday, September 11, 2009

To you. For this.

Two cheap hamburgers digesting into useless grease and supplementary globs of unusable energy flow thickly into his blood and nerves as a spreading lethargy. He is sitting at a table in the public library of a small, insignificant city. A grey rain is shrouding heaven’s unwinking light, it seems to him, even as it sustains and renews the emergent blooms and budding limbs of the winterlong featureless trees outside the windows. On his travel into the city, the subway car smelled of an intransigent rot, while a small pile of shattered masonry and brick on the sidewalk startled him with its modest scale of ruin. He had set out on his day with the predisposition of clinging to every indication of tragedy he would encounter. Yet every notable discrepancy, every pale, exhausted or wasted face mocked him by being possessed a kind of comforting softness or minimal expectation that transformed the prevailing mood into cheer, or at least the caricature of failure: rain, rot, and ruin. On his walk through the fugitive downtown streets, some of the architecture consoled him with fluted, curling moldings, intricately worked stone, or the striking color contrasts of building materials, while most of the living human landscape served only as a reminder of an insentient, indifferent dark age recently endured, not yet concluded.

He tries to capture his own smell by arcing his arms in front of him, forming a small sphere of air permeated with his own odor. He is worried that he now carries, or even has contributed to the intransigent odor of rot he experienced a few minutes earlier on the inbound subway car. At the cheapest restaurant in town, a man in a wheelchair is talking into a cellphone about his gratitude for his two children for keeping him “aboard”: aboard the steady ship of sobriety. He is thankful that he had not spent his time and money getting high and drunk. Another man at the counter relates that he had just spent twenty-three years in prison, having been released just fourteen days ago. He seems calm. The woman he is speaking to, an old classmate from childhood, asks, “Are you serving?” And he responds, “Oh, yes. I’m serving the lord. It’s the only way I could have survived.”

He feels perched like a bird, or carefully set in his chair by a loving hand, looking out through the shelves and into the rain, thinking it a sign of life, the promise of spring, rather than some undisclosable and indistinguishable blur of failure. He is there to challenge himself, as if in some kind of self-declared spiritual contest. At its least, to understand the meaning of what is, in his mind, the very warehousing of that same mind in being thrust out of his job, in the structured idleness to which he has given over his sense of purpose. The challenge then is to broach that isolation to which he seems fated; to refuse playing out a narrative, built up from the constant reinforcement of marginal cinematic and TV cliches of his youth, in which a man is unexpectedly thrown (as the passive mind forever figures it) into an idleness for which he is both grateful and furious. Why open such a shape of feeling in language? To whom? For what reason? To you. For this.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Welcome to Boog City :: 5 Days of Poetry & Music

Here's the program page listing small presses & my featured poet. It's me!

Check out the full program here: