Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Magical Headache

the space ain’t mine
the space-age rind
you were in the dream
wearing some strange blue pants

in the Play Dome
please-a-saurus

kind of like bewildering oneself
too shy to Heart
to hear dripping

skuzzy beneath pantaloons
you already have that part covered

which anchors as well as
sings it’s name to drug dealers

we are out back of this
in carts downstole wholesale
explaining minks to pardonable succlusion

writing the pot odes
I flesh colorfully
linking oafish cormorants to
the will of the people
illustrated through blended
French Vanilla play-things
pardonable offences many
3-syllabled words make us sanguine
and ready to be fucked

The Ape Consciousness on the
radio knows this
To disinstall it’s image from
the landing gear we try being nice
then if that doesn’t work

the alchoholic refreshments arrive

tugging the skies that build us
rodeo fragments

in the Blizzard cop-to
ranging over many helipads
like dogs marking their territory

cards protect us from our feelings
dazzling all over wendy filmic
getting glossary contact from
fibro mialga speech patterns

Could you hide something?
here put this down your vocals
I smuggled in a little skepticism

_____

The Conscience Of The Race

Theology wedded to itself is happily
some Taco Bell trickery

this is the simulation of events
that would happen were it the bloody case

That we are fat and alone
in post-industrial nightmare

I cheat to get back to safe
Hey No Fair on Sirius

Seriously we’re patrolling some
dirty waters, organising

the fat black night
into faltering pairs of
rummage sale tagged flow

could you borrow this forever please?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Well I don't have much to say. Let's see. I had naughty thoughts in my bed then go up and drank coffee, walked the Corgie, who always wants to smell things and sometimes pee on them, very strategically mind you. I took a shower and rode my bike to Jimmy Johns. I had a Beach Club, pretty good. Some kind of Satanic mix was playing at the Exclusive Company. I bought these cd's:

Kate Bush: The Kick Inside
Harry Partch: Revelation In The Courthouse Park
Deerhoof: Apple O'

also:
K. Silem Mohammad: Breathalyzer, at Wal Mart. (Kidding!)

The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season.

From the library, Twin Peaks, Season One Discs 1-3, A Story of Floating Weeds/Floating Weeds (Ozu), Alphaville (Godard), Dylan: Modern Times, Low: Drums And Guns.

Picked up The Onion, Arthur.

Got a little carried away with the old media acquisition.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays. The first few seconds of this are what are mine are usually like.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Damn right. (Scroll down). You know those hacks at Pitchfork be readin my ass. But seriously, compared to the usual list of SNL-aspirant smugabees, this proves why Pitchfork is at least still worth looking at. And now here's where I say that I normally don't give two fucks about "lists man" but ok I was checking a few and will continue to do so because I'm rooting for Person Pitch to get the recognition it deserves.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I was going to blog about "The Menards Guy", but really what can you say. So here he is.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007


"The breast milk is whiter than the evening shade."

(This is from an episode of the early 1990s sitcom Evening Shade where I appear as Arkansas' Poet Laureate, reading The Autobiography of Alan Alda to the entire cast to mark the occasion of the show's 100th episode. Burt told me afterward that he doesn't usually like poetry readings but he would be checking out some more of my stuff. Later that night he, Marilu Henner and I were joined by Tom Bosley at local watering-hole Hank's Room (owned by then Home Run King, Hank Aaron). I hadn't seen Tom since our days at Iowa teaching workshops with the likes of Jimmy Wright and Phil Roth. This appearance was an important step in my climb to the top of the poetry world.)
I have a receding treasure-trail.
I didn't hear alot of albums from this year, or at least it seems like I missed so much more than I heard, but I can't imagine that any of them are better than Person Pitch by Panda Bear. I was going to write a review of Person Pitch but I almost don't want to ruin it. All I can say is listen to it. It's a wondrously great, inventive, inspiring release. Right down to the great National Geographic collages, and the list of artists in the liner notes. The Times New Viking album was good, though I haven't found myself listening to it as much since the initial goodness. I like the Dan Deacon song that song that samples Woody Woodpecker. I like what I've heard so far from the Fiery Furnaces album.

I heard what I think was a pretty good song from In Rainbows, though I'm not someone who salivates for all things Radiohead. I really liked Jusitice on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which can be found on the YouTube, as well as a Kenneth Anger-ish Fiery Furnaces video for the first single from Widow City. The new Black Dice is pretty good.

Now that I think of it, I liked alot of things. I evened liked Arcade Fire on Austin City Limits (actually I thought that was fucking amazing) and Feist on that commercial, or from that commercial, or in that commercial, or appearing on that..., or rather Feist inspite of the fact that she was hawking iPods during the halftime of some football game, or rather just the song "1234". Yeah it's almost the "Stay" of this decade, but it shys just far enough south of that. The National seem like they might be a good band. The new Animal Collective, which I did go out and buy the day it came out, is kinding of making me go "eh" right now but that may change. At the risk of seeming... square?... "#1" seems to have been a poor choice to perform on Conan. Am I becoming more commercial? I didn't think I was. Oh well I'm just glad neo-garage is on the way out and is being replaced by what seems like more of a bent toward maybe eclecticism and even conceptualism (though we know that "rock" as it can still roughly be called gets carried away with "concepts"). And people are beginning to see what a one-trick-pony the White Stripes are.

Oh and Joanna Newsom. I still love her. She was fucking amazing at The Pabst.

And the My Bloody Valentine reunion? I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I can't think of anything positive to write. I need help. Commision me to write a poem

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I am a Young Hot Shot, writing the Young Hot Shot poems that shoot and ping and leave your shitty retinas smoking. You are befuddled and scratching your head. I just whip off my ray-bans and cackle in your direction.

I am invited to read in Norway, where I single-handedly revive the Norwegian Poetry Scene with my reading of Cat Piss In A Didgeridoo's Dead Dying Laser Cornhole. Think William Carlos Williams crossed with "Eruption" crossed with Goya crossed with Carrot Top. Having inaugurated Language Prop Poetry, I travel on to LA.

While taking a steam with Robert Pinsky and Robert Evans, hashing out the details of a new Laureateship-themed Reality Webcom, throwing out the names of possible co-stars, a Chris Elliot here a David Spade there, I spot my future wife Kelly McGillis.

Off come the ray-bans, my shorts and my future in show business. I do the one thing you should never do when you are the Young Hot Shot. Walking backward lockstep with Pinsky and Evans, fingers snapping in time to a lean walking bassline. I reach back, pull out a diamond-studded pool cue and line up my shot. Paul Newman is jaded, outside the frame.

In essence I reach for Cupid's Rifle, not Cupid's Arrow. My come-ons all fall off Kelly McGillis like so much jello from a lunch tray. She is the lunch tray. I shoot a ping, then a zip, then zap, then ping-zim-Zinn. All of it fails utterly to impress Kelly McGillis.

She is walking away on Lyle Alzado's arm. I am crest-fallen, shrinking back to being just another young poet, another dreamer with a few too many twinkles in his eye, all little-kid wonder and prozac fueled slacker ranting.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Joanna Newsom - New Untitled Track (Live - 10/07/07)

Ok this qualifies as a criteria. I know Joanna Newsom is one of those "devisive" artists. But this song just well, I turn into some kind of retarded, gaping pumpkin whenever I hear this song. As in if you were my GI system and you made an emergency call while this song was playing, I'd probably have to do a load. Let's just leave at that.

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! - Dads

Ok at this point I'm very drunk and angst ridden. I may be headed for a nervous breakdown or I may just be laughing and howling at this because it's fucking hilarous.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Terrell Owens throwing popcorn in his face is still the dumbest touchdown celebration ever.
Mmm fractal.
Paris


That one's a little inside

and here's another one

Men's Group meets tonite
Blog Note

I want to thank me
for being me
Squirrel



Today is my day off, what should I do?

I think I have hemorhoids.

Today is my day off, what'll I do.

I think I have hemorhoids.

Today is my day off, whaddaya want?

I think I have hemorhoids.

Today's my day off, whaddaya want man huh please pass the freakin
steroidy cheez?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Armantrout’s brief stanzas are skeptical about almost every source of human confidence, trust, hope, joy, strength or belief. I don't think this is true. I think they're skeptical of the forces that variously act on these "human confidences".

Why is it that just because they don't offer the preferred consolation tents with pitiable decor of most poetry, they have to be read as somehow unfeeling? What I think they withhold is reassurance, which is not the same thing as distrusting humanity.

Monday, November 26, 2007

So yeah today I took Joe's advice and read poetry that I like, though I had to do it at the workplace. But this is actually a job where we are encouraged to read during the downtime. And well, Joe is right. I read Alice Notley, Clark Coolidge, Rod Smith and a little Ceravolo. And I also read Arlo Quint's book Photogenic Memory. It's pretty great. It falls apart and puts itself back together again. That's a compliment. I love it when poetry does that. I don't think any other artform achieves this combination of cognition and viscerality quite the way poetry can. It exists on the tongue, in the brain, in the body, and out there all at once.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm in a pissy mood. I will probably remain involved with the "community" in a half-assed way as is my want. Sometimes however I wish I could "drop out" and just become a recluse. Of course I can do that, but I won't. I'm going to say something that is not directed at any one person. It's often hard to see what the point is of links, connections and various correspondences. Being a part of the "community". But then if someone was all like "Hey Mike, I wanna publish your book." I'm sure I would be all like, "Oh my God, the poetic community. Me and Uncle Creeley and Auntie Gertrude Stein. Oh where would I be without it!?" I always said that I didn't want to turn into one of those bitter poets. I don't know what really makes me a poet. Where am I going with this seriously? Where am I going with this "blog post" and this "poetic career". The fact is I just don't work very hard. I don't really try to get my poems published, I don't really try to do readings, I don't try to be a part of the "community". I don't say where the press is from that so and so had their book published by. I don't know how important any of that is. I guess I shouldn't be complaining about some percieved indifference.

There have been alot of times when I said to a friend of mine here what amounts to the opposite of what's above. But that's all really important. Sharing with your peers. Having an audience. I don't know if I ever actually said "community".

And now it is the next day. I'm a chubby frail human being. In the morning I'm writing on the other side of a "pissy attack", so things haven't gotten started yet. Though I know they will. I wasn't sure last night whether to publish this, but it's like what the hell.

Friday, November 16, 2007

1. poets are all so short

2. all you have to do is be there

3. good taste is important

4. know the dialect

5. know your 'damn role'

6. gesticulations: when to / when not to

7. a poet's wit : bear with big fangs & claws

8. recipient of : little rabbit being jostled
I've got those non-existent middle class 'rich people all think they're smarter than me' blues.

____

Mishearing in Cat Power's 'Taking People': "Who's wrong to day-trade you?"

Indeed, Chan Marshall.
"Too much goddamn tradition-worship around here as it is now, that's what's wrong with Creedance Clearwater and a half a horde other wasted talent that could be kickin' off doorknobs and hinges if they weren't so allfired concerned with respecting all that stuff from the past and doing things the Right Way as learned from the old farts insteada just kicking their musical asses around the rumpus room until it might begin to sound like something new." --Lester Bangs

Yep, I would say that's the problem with 99% of today's music too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I was having a discussion today with Karl about about what a Collected Comments From Silliman's Blog might be called. And first off let me just say typing that kind of made me shiver. Let's at least make it a very very slim Selected. Like one of those little The Essential... volumes. But then that word leads to all kinds of other questions that trail off at the corners of my mouth like so much gravy from a Philly Cheez Hot Pocket. But I'll go ahead and say let's call it Fuckin Wit My Head: The Best of Silliman's Blog's Comment Threads 03-07. Now if we can just get the rights to Jim Behrle's cherry-red dong.

Of course this will all be moot once Salacious Banter, ed. by Hauser and Saffran, hits.
I know I will sit down and eat and walk around and try not to use the phrase 'cobalt sky'. Use commas less in my writing because that is how my heroes write. ON drugs.

Ok so they are not all on drugs, but I had this fancy the other day, if you can imagine me having a 'fancy', that I would like to pay some person to dress like Jim Morrison, sit in a spinning chair with shades on and recite my poems under a single spotlight. Sort of like in that Oliver Stone movie about the doors. I would have to pay them to do it.

My only direction would be to 'take it easy' and 'know which way the wind blows'.

By the way it really irks me 9 out of 10 times when people (still) try to incorporate Dylan lyrics into an editorial piece. I know that almost 45 years after the fact is a little late to be complaining about this, and the piece I have in mind isn't really gonna cause anyone to reconsider anything. But how anyone could think 'watch the parking meters' was meant to be or could be viable in any political context is beyond me.
I have today off, what should I do?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rereading Frank O'Hara almost newly shocked anew at just how fertile a poetic ground there is there. He is the major poet of the last 50 years I think, seriously. Without him there would be no langpo no flarf no various generations of the NY school for sure. To be sure many poets now would still be grappling with difficulities that reading Frank's poetry shatters and liberates us from completely. But one thing I've also noticed is how much his poetry bleeds into my poetry while I'm reading it. It's completely accessible and yet has every bit as a wide a vocabulary and breadth as any of the so-called Great Modernist Works. And you don't need a guidebook.

But I don't want to just imitate Frank, but then how can you not. He showed a way that was just so fucking liverating (what?) and intoxicating. I read the back of Lunch Poems and it really kind of surpised me because I've never really read any writing about O'Hara that resembles the deceptively simple explanation he himself gives for their "method".

"Often this poet, strolling through the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon, has paused at a sample Olivetti to type up thirty or forty lines of ruminations, or pondering more deeply has withdrawn to a darkened ware- or firehouse to limn his computed misunderstandings of the eternal questions of life, co-existence and depth, while never forgetting to eat Lunch his favorite meal."

I especially am intrigued by his use of normally avoided words like "rumination" and "pondering" in reference to Lunch Poems, though he may not have been 100% earnest in his use of them. That and the fact of "never forgetting to eat Lunch his favorite meal..." Last night I was typing a poem called Convo and realized when the pizza I ordered arrived that I really wanted to eat it, so I finished the poem a little more quickly than I would have otherwise. I think that was part of O'Hara's method too. I mean if you're hungry then that probably affects the poem no? But anyway, there's just nothing like O'Hara. Who the fuck else, even after all the imitations and flattery, could write something like this from Poem (first line "So many echoes in my head"):

but where in all this noise
am I waiting for the clouds to be blown
away away away away away into the sun
(burp), I wouldn't want the clouds to be
burped back by that hot optimistic cliche, it
hangs always promising some nebulous
healthy reaction to our native dark

Monday, November 12, 2007

Slowdive

quick a poem before I crap my pants
the bombs falling in full
brain stock bloom

Slowdive’s “Allison” like a
steep anchor pill

fastidious gospel annoyance

or the glorious writing we pen
in golden foyer breath
the insane trangender gesturing

beyond the old familiar death
the ideas of blank proportion

the politics of wells
perhaps humping atomospheric
drones

donning special garb folkways
choo choo blink in bling style

take this brother may it
serve you well

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Maybe it's nostalgia talking but Times New Viking's Present The Paisley Reich is taking me on one hell of an indie nostalgia trip joyride right now. Not since the treasure map of early Pavement recordings has such a blissful lo fi racket entered these ears. I don't know why I am writing such lavender prose, I guess I'm just in a weird mood. But this band really is kicking my ass more with each listen. And what's more, maybe this is one of the secret ingredients, they actually rock harder than most lo-fi of yore. Which makes the blissed out joyful racket that much more blissed and joyful. On the group's myspace which lists the members as Hamish Kilgour, Brix E. Smith, Mark Ibold (nudge nudge wink wink) and "///ron house on tapes", a note from Matador informs us that TNV will soon become the cache of "exactly the sort of people you can't stand to hang around with". And Matador, that towering Chrysler Building of Indie Rock tm, should know because having signed the kids they're gonna be the ones bringing these 'sorts' to the party. But oh well it was never my party anyway. Since teenage years I've been mostly content having Transmissions from Satelite Indie beamed in from a distance. What's really of note is that Siltbreeze Records revived itself to bring out TNV's Dig Yourself. And that hearing "New Times, New Hope" offers a rush akin to seeing some lost beloved denizens returning from the Arctic Shelf with the news that yes it's melting but we can still party etc. Andy Mister has probably already heard Times New Viking, but I wonder what he thinks.
Ssh quiet, the poet is dining on a cheeseburger.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I have written the first song for Nothing In That Drawer below.

________

Bat Absorption

unfrisk follies
propped lovingly stagingly
can control climate control

wait for the lovelies
and your fangs bleeding
our first song is about a monster

your town once
wagged it’s tail

we are now here to celebrate the breakdown
we are now here to celebrate the breakdown

can the locks go
abrasively total drugstore
the trash bin’s arm

can the supple
poo stick remember
the oak shaven tears

and his bungle
made every boy purr

we are now here to celebrate the breakdown
we are now here to celebrate the breakdown

Monday, November 05, 2007

Someone help out with this. What is the Williams poem that has something about standing naked in a room while swinging some garment over your head?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trying to catch up with the recorded output of Lisa Germano. I stopped paying attention after about Excerpts From A Love Circus. Happiness and Geek The Girl were albums I would listen to when I was in a very specific kind of mood as a teenager. Heavy heavy shit. Spare. Very plainly sung and lyriced. By far one of more the interesting 'indie singer-songwriters' from the 90s.
Does anybody want a Welsh Corgie named Ollie?
My new job captioning gives me time to read, so I've been reading Alli Warren's No Can Do, John Wieners' Cultural Affairs In Boston, Jack Spicer's Heads Of The Town (in the Collected Books), Vital Source, MKE, The Onion, The Shephard Express and Sports Illustrated. A number of those are free weekly mostly pretty crappy boring local newspapers. I pretty much knew that I would love No Can Do. I feel like I'm just starting to "get" Wieners somehow. I'd never really delved into Spicer's later work, and I'm liking it alot of course. In SI, I was actually reminded that there's something about sports that's very comforting.

And alot of Mr. Show with the commentary track on, which is almost as funny as the show itself.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Last week I had a dream where I was in some kind of cafe and Bruce Andrews was telling me about Shakespeare and driving some kind of sharp object into my arm at a 90 degree angle.
I never do anything elaborate for Halloween. Tonight I'll go as World's Greatest Dad. But I have a theory that this pisses some people off, my lack of effort at Halloween. Because they went to a great deal of effort, even spent alot of money, to look the way they do. And then here I am, in a t-shirt that says World's Greatest Dad, a lame cap, a fanny pack, and a name tag that says Albert Einstein? What is that? Some kind of ironic shit? He's making fun of Halloween isn't he? I spent 100 bucks to look like the guy from Beetljuice, and this guy spent 3 dollars at Value Village!
Some Favorite Pavement Lyrics

I am the only one searching for you
and when I get caught
then the search is through
--Frontwards

painted portraits of minions & slaves
crotch mavens and one act plays
are they the only ones who laugh
at the jokes when they are so bad
and the jokes they're always bad
but they're not as bad as this
--Here

let’s spend our quarterstance randomly
--Here

you’ve been chosen as an extra
in the movie adaptation of the sequel to your life
--Shady Lane

so drunk in the august sun
and your the kind of girl I like
because you’re empty and I’m empty
--Gold Soundz

wake up early in the bed
to you morning comes so easy
--Type Slowly

no BIG HAIR
--Cut Your Hair

write it on a post card, ‘Dad they broke me’
--Stop Breathin (possibly #1 Pavement tearjerker lyric)

lies and betrayals, fruit-covered nails, eee-electricity and lust
--Trigger Cut / Wounded Kite At :17”

I got style
miles & miles
so much style
that it’s wasted
--Frontwards

don't hold your breath too long
this tunnel is a texas mile
--Texas Never Whispers

Friday, October 26, 2007

Clarity is madness. Is isolate damage.
To cleave off a facet for will dims the whole.
To take but a part is to spin the song to a single pitch.
To hear the wind as a howl. To see the light as a fire.
The expert is the crazed mosaic, the blood-veined stone.
I must strike the crystal without touching it.
I must spread the same light.
Nothing taken but what is
still now.

--from The Crystal Text, Clark Coolidge

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chocolate

walk away all chocolate
past generations
repudiate the ordinary
whistful underbelly themes

prom performance
flight suit antics of negatory
big brother whistle blower

the car is parked
in our periphery

as a generation of
general underbellys
we, hapless
grow despondent in
white chocolate light

cooly shutting down venus
with the evidence handy
call to transcribe around
a bestial floor with an open bar

reverse conduits
or dropsy updates
Sexual Poem

you of
the opposite
angle

from my po-
sition

don’t know what’s
good for
you

hold my
cock a minute

ok I’m back

I have
no arms no legs
no nothing

_____

Illuminated Poem

what if we
forgot the
napkins

and they alight?

what if we
forgot
their function

and we alight?

Friday, October 19, 2007

El Nino



you're not so great

(snare hit)
John Ashbery


Riding home and just beating a storm I thought, Boy this is really some dusk-charged air!
___

And I rode past a car with a bumper sticker: this too shall pass.

I wonder if the car was referring to itself.
When I was a teenager I wanted to be a rock critic, and I had a guidance counselor who was sympathetic. Or at least seemed to want to help. So he first set me up with this publication called Maximum Ink. I was sent cd's by bands called Walt Mink, Humble Gods and lowercase. (Get it?) What I wrote for Walt Mink was something along the lines of "The next time you see Bob Dylan at a coffee shop, kick him in the balls and ask him to sing 'Never To Be Found' by the Meat Puppets and you have the sound of Walt Mink." About Humble Gods I think I made fun of their punk image and how they have a song where the singer says he has to carry a knife because people are out to get him. And I think I made some vague comparison between the singer for lowercase and Lou Barlow (but I think I was actually remembering Jason Lowenstein's voice) and someone's grandma. At some point before or after the magazine actually folded and didn't exist for a while, a person called me and asked me if I wanted to go to Milwaukee to review a band at The Rave, which was the city's 'alternative' venue. I didn't know how to even get to Milwaukee then, so I chickened out. I said something to the effect of 'homework', but I also managed to brag about this underground paper that me and a friend had distributed at school that day. He tried to act interested. In the course of the magazine disappearing and reappearing with a different editorship, I never bothered to get back into it. The reviews were never published either.

On another occasion, my guidance
counseler got the number of magazine based out of Milwaukee called milk. Not to be confused with Milk Magazine online that's edited by the estimable Larry Sawyer out of Chicago. milk was run by some guys, and one of them I think now writes about music for the Onion. I called the office and of course I was very nervous. The outgoing message was "This is milk, blah blah..." It was literally an outgoing message that trailed off at the end. Looking back it's pretty funny. But in the state I was in, I did not react well. I actually launched into an obnoxious sarcastic rant about the fact that they had an answering machine. I seem to recall the phrase "really blasting off into 1980s guys!", and then at some point stopping myself or realizing what I'd done or something. My incoming message ended with me actually enquiring maybe they would want me to review records for them or something, and leaving my name and number. I never heard back.

There was controversy earlier in my high school tenure over a record review of Jon Spencer Blue Explosion, where I said the f word several times and made some allusion about getting pissed at someone for standing up in front of my seat at a porno theater. The school paper advisor and the editor were both pretty liberal and they allowed the f word and everything else. And they allowed the f word and the allusions to rape I put in a couple 'creative' pieces. This all got mention on The Mark Belling Show. He's a local conservative talk guy here in Milwaukee. And
Slinger is a conservative place so you can imagine that enough parents were listening. And there was moral outrage. The paper's advisor and editor decided to make the next issue largely about this incident and the larger free speech issues at hand. And those were free speech issues because the paper would slowly become more and more subject to censorship under succeeding advisors. But my good friend at the time (hey there!) published an editorial called Jello Biafra The Oblivious Criminal, which ended as a diatribe about my taste in music. He compared it to a hobo walking into an opulent buffet and picking out one little crumb and praising that crumb as the best thing on the buffet. Jello Biafra was the name I published the creative pieces under. I guess they were sort of prose poems about my idea of some harsh reality elsewhere, but I didn't really know who Jello Biafra was. I just picked his name out of some magazine because I liked it. If you had handed me a Dead Kennedys tape I probably would've loved it. I was called into the principal's office and at some point after we agreed that I was going to clean up my act, he asked me what I was going to review next. I said I was writing a review of The Velvet Underground & Nico. He said, "The Velvet Underground? No one knows about them anymore do they?"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Picante Sauce of Yore

opened with charm
they are rebuilding something along it’s edges
not through port or hole
did you sup in lee
trevino’s rippling tent
muttering ‘New York City New York City’
until the hush built to a kind of ambient clatter
the white spheroids as stably aligned
as geese flying over marsh waters
in films demonstrating THE MYSTERY OF GOD?
both of our boats were absconded
into the lacey fog
and us in them still waving toward
some point along the shore
we remember as orange
and with jollity dreaming of eggs benedict
texas toast and maker’s mark whiskey
and dreaming of thighs and low interest rates
and dreaming at last of reality of the ruins of
San Antonio and the urine stains
among the casual artifacts of our youth

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My new favorite band is Slowdive. This happened at around the tenth viewing of the below video for "Alison" last time. I would say it's about as good as shoegaze gets, which is very good. Something about the gently lolling chorus and the accompanying My Bloody Valentine-like searing guitar makes me wish I like didn't have a body or something. Know what I mean? Like really good music in this genre, MBV, early early Verve, Ride and yeah I'll include Cocteau Twins, it hangs in the air, barely existing and yet completely resonant. And the video's a pretty good approximation. There may some drug that can abbreviated to it's first letter involved. But what the hell do I know about that kinda thing? Oh yeah and two Slowdive songs appeared in The Doom Generation. The one at the credits, Blue Skied an' Clear, was also really good but then something on YouTube claimed to be it and it wasn't the song I remember. Check out "Allison".

Slowdive - Allison

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pony Boy

I once saw the Arcade Fire play in Milwaukee on bill that included The Unicorns (who I call the Hughnicorns) and my friends' band The Holy Mary Motor Club. I enjoyed The "A.F"s performance a great deal. I went up to the table where the girl in the band who dates the singer (not the girl in the band who wasn't dating the singer) was sitting, and handed her a piece of paper that had some kind of terrible poem with the word "fart" in it. This other person named Anthony was standing next to me. We were vaguely trash-talking Montreal to her. The next day I stood up in a wedding and read a poem about love, having been asked to do so. The person in the bride's party just read a Kenneth Koch poem. Which I should have done because Kenneth Koch probably knew more about love then I do. The sun just came out. I now have a new understanding of the title to one of Kenneth's early works, When The Sun Tries To Go On. It could be like in the show biz sense of "Sun! You're on!". In a way, Kenneth Koch was the Lorne Michaels of that poem. Enter sun stage left. Huh?
Huh? And the clouds have weight problems and stage fright. Or is it I who has those issues? What if I owned a motorcycle, like a Honda Goldwing? Do you think people would call me Honda Hauser? "There goes Honda Hauser on his Goldwing, off to another night of crime fighting." If you would like to be rescued by a pudgey man on a Honda Goldwing, please leave a comment in the comment box. I have a friend who once said, "What if Jesus were a Cyclops?", and I laughed for nearly five minutes. We were at Dairy Queen, and I always think of seeing the film The Outsiders and how there's a scene where Pony Boy is eating some sort of Sloppy Joe-type sandwich. And I always wished because of that that you could get some kind of Sloppy Joe-type sandwich at Dairy Queen. I don't know about you but I think they have the best fast food burgers. The sun just started trying to come out again. If you disagree that Dairy Queen has the best fast food burgers, please leave a comment in the comment box. Sometimes when I am talking to a visiting poet, I think it might be less awkward if we were at Dairy Queen. I once wrote a poem that is as follows:

Bless You

We fall asleep
inside Dairy Queen

We wake up
outside Dairy Queen

If you think that is scary, please leave a comment in the comment box. Joe Massey was asking people to help him name a press, and I just thought of Pony Boy Press. I am laughing now, but I think I may actually use it at some point. Now the sun is behind a cloud again, but it looks as though at some point it won't be.

A Geology of Groovy Patois

there’s only one way to rock
and that would be back-to-back
lexicon participle fracture

of course one would prefer
to have been asked
and given courtly shoes
to be hunted in

but hey that’s just me
I’m one of those
only-one-way-to-look-at-a-grease-stain-shaped-like-jesus
kinda guys

my friends have said I’m a kidder
or dead in the morning
but perky in the afternoon

warming up in the bullpen of love
Ned Yost is known to rest his head
on my knee

and everytime this happens
and the insert button is accidentally
depressed

we have to get up
drink coffee
pack our backpacks

and drive all the way
out to Watertown to
cheer this guy up

alone in bed
a certain slant of sunlight
away from feeling pretty ok

and he always said
“there’s only one way
to hunt for truffles”
and he would know

alternating between the resistance
to glossing one’s memory

and becoming an outright
candy-coated
lexicon of indifference to
shopping malls on the outskirts

which actually makes them
a little more fun

there are balloons
children in their pantaloons
who are really an inter-
ference within a much more

shrouded, desperate one

as inimitable as a of glass water
resting on the ledge of the air

as crystal clear as the light
between your thighs

which Rich say reek of
Honky Tonk Revenge Fantasies

but I think not

remember when we lost
Kip at the auto mall?

I’m taken back to those days
swimming through the aroma
of lemon grass

basking in total glow sperm
John Waters What-up moments
everywhere

we discover first that
out west Hardee’s becomes
Carl*s

with a splotchy star where
the asterisk would be

those days of kissing in stables
how recover those?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Guess This An Essay

It seems like whenever I read something in praise of Pavement, the writer is also quick to note that there are some Pavement tracks they definitely don't like. These devisive Pavement slay tracks have included "Hit The Plane Down", "Brinx Job" and "Fight This Generation". I don't dislike any of Pavement, that is I think it's beside the point. If you want concision, you really shouldn't be listening to them in the first place. To some extent I've always loved artists, be they Allen Ginsberg or Pavement, who are willing to fall on their faces once in a while. I think the greatest rock record of all time is probably The Raincoats. So that establishes that I like what others might call sloppiness. Why do I care why I like what I like tho? Especially since my taste doesn't make all that much sense to me anyway. I've always resisted liking things that I should like, just because I like these other things. I know that there are some people who are obsessives and have an encyclopedic knowledge of certain types of music or poetry or cuisine. But I've always kind of thought that I would never be one of those people (who I respect!), because after about 1 to 2 thirds of the way into the steeping process I just lose interest and move on to something else. I'm actually lucky to have been born when I was, because if I were kid now, I would probably be on every ADD drug under the sun. Which doesn't seem right. But I like to think that there are times when I can use this short attention span to my advantage, in making inroads toward post-avant membership (ha HA), or at least being willing to fall on my face in the process. And then there's sincerity. If I write something, I really don't see why anyone should go about investigating whether I meant it. But I do believe in two things I guess: one is devotion and the other is seriousness. This is how I understand devotion. Once I've published something, I will care about whether it's recieved to some extent by an audience that appreciates it and loves it, and I will also care about how it is recieved by that audience. As an addendum I also subscribe to a loose idea of being commited enough to the process that one is willing write things that are potentially stupid, embarrassing or even petty. This ties into how I understand seriousness, that once I've started writing I will follow that through or least investigate until the thing itself seems to be exhausted. Does this mean that I have to be exhausted? I don't know. For example as I write this, I'm not winded. But I'm interested in your response.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

One of the most amazing readings of poetry I've ever heard in my life is here. I sat there listening to this, my mouth agape, like some joyfully retarded pumpkin. I think if I had actually been present at this reading, I would have caused some kind of scene. They would have asked me to leave, or stand outside, and I'd have had to spy on the rest of it, Creeley-peering-through-The-Cedar-Tavern-window style. So it's better that I was solitary in me room for it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

How Weird Is This?

A dream where I'm on tour with The Arcade Fire, and I think me and the blond one are like stranded in a McDonalds parking lot somewhere, until Marx comes by in his Hummer to pick us up, so we can catch up to the rest of the band on tour.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Humor

I've been reading the Jacket discussion about humor in poetry, and apart from the entire thing getting bogged down in the question of what is "unintentionally bad" poetry, I've noticed that this and many other discussions of said topic seem to center on whether humor and poetry can be reconciled. But I like Kenneth Koch's quote, which can be read at right under the title of Jonathan Mayhew's blog: "The very existence of poetry should make us laugh. What is it all about? What is it for?" (Completely off-topic, I was never a student of Kenneth Koch's, but having an insight such as this must be a big part of what made him a great teacher.) Another idea Koch had was that the most absurd thing he could write was better than the most serious or solemn thing another poet could write, and so (my shakey interpretation anyway) we get a poetics of most absurd thought-best thought.

The problem with the perception of humor in poetry seems to be bound up in a tendency to approach humor from the perspective of seriousness. Whereas, as he himself points out, a person like Gary Sullivan came from humor to write works that, in the scariness of the truth that is illuminated, approach seriousness. Much the same way Lenny Bruce had material that was literally funny and scary. Thanks perhaps more to Kenneth Koch than anyone else, there is now a real indentifiable tradition of humor in American poetry.

Please understand that I'm not accusing the people were involved in that Jacket discussion of not having a sense of humor with relation to poetry, a sense of how humor relates to poetry, or a sense of how poetry in and of itself is humorous. But Silliman suggesting that (corrrect me if I'm wrong) humor has less staying power because it relies too much on a specific context, lit up a big WTF in my noggin, and seemed to steer the discussion for longer than it should have. If that's true, it would have to apply to all poetry.

The elements of humor, from irony to nonsequiter to satire to juxtaposition are so central to my own sense of poetry that I can't imagine what kind of dreadful tripe I'd be writing without them. And there's comedy abound in a work like Tjanting, tho not the same kind of humor in say The Simpsons. Coolidge? Hilarious. Rae Armantrout? Ditto. Likewise Berrigan, Ashbery, Notley, hell even Niedecker has a sense of humor, even if her work isn't always high-larious. (Though I could find some passages that are.) And of course there's Ron Padgett, who has the reputation of being a "funny poet". Two people on the guest list at my dream dinner would definitely be him and Steven Wright. Having no sense of humor is just not an option in poetry.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sibylle Baier, Colour Green

Earlier this year, a friend lent me Colour Green by Sibylle Baier. Recorded from 1970-73 on a basic reel-to-reel machine after a trip through The Alps in Genoa, it's songs achieve a starkness that will make some recall a certain floppy-haired English songster who sang of pastel moons. Some may even say Sibylle Baier is the female version of this person, he of the Fruit Tree.

Sibylle Baier doesn't appear to have been among an entrenched folk music or hipster culture. She did appear in the Wim Wenders film Alice in the Cities and it's speculated that "Wim" is about Wenders. A google search brings up as many hits detailing that one film appearance as her music career.

But the music sets itself apart, with a deliberate wistfullness, and a sober ken for the basic struggle of one's existence. One might say that Sibylle Baier doesn't sound like a very happy person, but that's honesty they're hearing, which involves alot of pain. Most people aren't willing to soberly face pain.

The bareness of the compositions (all but the final "Give Me A Smile" find Ms. Baier's voice accompanied only by
herself on the Spanish guitar) belie a melodic inventiveness that brings to mind at some points Joni Mitchell, but less jazzy. "Softly", for instance, has a subtly acrobatic structure, a steady sing-song besieged by an almost lilting chorus of "my daughter my son one by one". The lyrics for the most part address simple encounters with friends and lovers, the fact of those quietly intense moments. One imagines a person alone in her kitchen fingering songs she wrote, keeping time with whatever's at hand, alone with various prospects and possibilities.

"Remember the Day" begins with the simple intonation "remember the day/ when I left home to buy some food/ myself in my painful february mood/ I did what I could". It goes on to describe the circumstances of a trip to Genoa, which brought her face to face with "the cold ocean", returning to "I did what I could". This countenance of one's own striving, besides bringing to mind any number of Robert Creeley poems, displays an exceptional kindness toward the self and the circumstances that bracket it throughout a life.

Though the music is soft, it evokes the muted after-effects of a harrowing experience. But maybe all of life is beautifully harrowing.

No song is more poignant than "The End", a document of a person quietly struggling with the end of a friendship, dealing in the plain facts of the situation and what can't be known on any other than a purely emotional level: "dear friend I cannot tell the reasons/ why we started well/ good time/ gave me some wine/ when you opened the door/ you seemed hurt/ didn't try to speak a word to me."

Sibylle Baier sings in a kind of breatheless way, albeit with a diction sometimes as plain as speech. When I hear Colour Green, I'm reminded of how lyrical song, whether in the context of music or poetry, can help a person who is otherwise very shy articulate themselves, even in detailing loss.

This record achieves a feeling like being completely alone, at say 3 in the morning. So naturally it's perfect for listening late at night. The final "Give me a Smile" is a nice lush composition with strings abound, but it also demonstrates that if the previous 13 songs were given that same ornamental treatment (compared to a single person with guitar anyway), their subtle genius might have sounded slightly less audible. Ultimately, with this kind of music, one wants just the person doing it. Quietly, bravely.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

So I have home internet now. Which means that while I'm writing this I can be sitting comfortably in my room, listening to The Fall. Which is nice. And a special thanks to Dave for that.

Before today, I would have to go to the library if I wanted to blog. Which maybe seems like alot of trouble to go but hey I'm unemployed right now. So this 'home internet' thing may actually mean I'll have to find more or other reasons to leave the house. I'll just have to hang out at Woodland Pattern more, but I want to avoid being there while they have staff meetings because it's awkward. It just is.

Another perk is that I can spend more time viewing old issues of The Impercipient. Again, I am faced with the realization that I cannot hold Bill Luoma's jock. As I read his poems, I feel moved to say that Bill Luoma is the King of something. An as yet undefined medium or realm.

Keeping with the theme of Mike's new home internet, I can hear a little voice in my head whipsering "be careful". See how I added a little foreshadowing there?


Thursday, September 27, 2007

I love Joe Massey. He is a terrifically great, but this was his idea.

Joe Massey is an asshole because he is also a master of dangling participles.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he is a brown and pink conduit of bliss.
Joe Massey is an asshole because of his many appearances as “dramatization Wilford Brimley” on Unsolved Mysteries.
Joe Massey is an asshole because his baking interferes with my transcendental meditation.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he once grabbed a bouquet of flowers I was arranging and threw it out the window yelling “Isn’t life beautiful?! Isn’t life beautiful?!”
Joe Massey is an asshole because he bathes in Faygo strawberry soda, then stands upwind naked from a troupe of girl scouts.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he is close to ending the Joe Massey War.
Joe Massey is an asshole because of his many nipples.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he once flooded his own bathroom with cherry wine and copies of For The Union Dead, thereby raising all the union dead and giving them my address.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he won’t cancel his subscription to Columbia House for Zombies.
Joe Massey is an asshole because like Joe Brainard, he listens to boring girl groups and like Ron Padgett, he is a tight-ass.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he has the ability to levitate.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he likes to climb statues of pioneer folk heroes in town squares and sprinkle “Massey-dust” on them, thereby raising from the dead all the Native Americans who died at their hand and, again, giving them my address.
Joe Massey is an asshole because his pubic hair contains much-needed roughage and essential inks.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he once posted a naked picture of himself smeared in Oreo Cookie and M&M Blizzard from Dairy Queen to The Internet Poetry List Serve.
Joe Massey is an asshole because the caption below read “carpe Massey!”
Joe Massey is an asshole because he writes poems that tickle my inner poetry buddy.
Joe Massey is an asshole because he understands what being an asshole really means.



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Milwaukee

There is a campaign to put a statue of one of our city's great icons downtown. I shit you not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I don't trust the idea of a presupposed audience in poetry. I think that if you read poetry, you are a part of it. I might for example watch The Sopranos and enjoy The Sopranos, but it is pretty much impossible for me to make an episode of The Sopranos myself. I would need to at the very least meet with David Chase, and the executives at HBO, who would then supply me with the huge amount of money and resources that make an episode of The Sopranos. (And of course the fact that The Sopranos is no longer existent as a tv show... well that's never here nor there.) A poem on the other hand, requires only a love of the form to make. How much more DIY can you get? So the idea that poetry must be made accessible to an audience, I've decided I don't trust that. In fact, I don't think any poet should ever consider the idea of an audience, or a casual on-looking concern, people who want to come and spend their money but still be firmly relegated to spectator status. Poetry is already accesible to the audience, to make and understand as one sees fit. Self-consciousness could be one reason a person won't send their poems to myriad mags, the way others do. It's even a perfectly valid one. And one might just have a complete lack of desire to do so. But self-consciousness shouldn't prevent an audience from writing their own poems, thereby becoming a part of it's 'community', or whatever word feels more comfortable for you. If poetry is a large part of your life, there's just no excuse to not write poems yourself.

To stay with The Sopranos, which I love by the way, during an episode one is set at a defined remove from the action. Maybe to root for who gets and doesn't get wacked, but they're specators. There is of course some richness in interpreting the many layers on which the show functions, but this is firmly outside what comprises the show. And of course, there's the perverse lust of distancing that comes from celebrity. There's certainly less of that in poetry, or on a smaller scale anyway. But the cobirthing of a work's meaning is more immediately accessible in poetry than anywhere else. On a certain level, the reader is experiencing the work along with the writer. Either voluntarily or not, they are a part of their own consciousness of it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I am feeling frustrated about not only my life, but about the poetry world in general. So I post about how I have lost my job and my confidence, and don't know where to send my poems. And about how I don't perform well at job interviews, and clam up at receptions following poetry readings. I voice suspicion about the nature of publishing in poetry, and especially about the nature of small press publishing in poetry. I apologize for no apparent reason to certain people, who I state that I feel I've let down. I decide to end on a more positive note however, and become earnest about the fact that I am a poet. And that this has something to do with the known universe. This is really the part that's hard, the part that puts a lump in my throat I can't remove.















Poet Laureate Inaugural Speech

Let me first say that I am honored
to be among you and to have been
named Poet Laureate
but on this day I am also ambivalent
oh so ambivalent to accept it
you see I don’t want to be one
of the snobs
I don’t want to be inducted into some
secret fraternity
I want to be
among my audience
who are my public
my role to constantly unveil
what I, in my humble analysis
have found to be
eternity
boy, do I wanna bring poetry to the people
for they need it so much
like they also need someone
to show them the light in their eyes
to show them the brief
yet entirely meaningful succor
that poetry affords us
and yes
they need it in a language they can understand
as well
a poetry of relatable experiences
with an eye beyond the mere contrivance
of form
with an eye
to the emulatable code of
humble pleasure, morality
and yes, life lessons
poems to be read by an audience
in airports, in line at fast-food drive-thrus
(I know one poet named Walt
who’d have loved that particular
modern luxury)
and in line at Church
to be read in traffic jams and football games and
DSL and all the
ethnic niches
that add such flavor to this great land
poetry needs an ambassador
a tall dark-haired man, who is well-spoken
with good social graces, well-trimmed nose hair
and an attractive wife
someone whom powerful men will again
be proud to have shared a clambake
and sunny boat ride with
during National Poetry Month

so let’s have no more of this
inwardly-directed sniveling
no more of this intentional difficulty
let’s have a poetry that reminds us
of the eternal truths
the truths that never stop being truths
a poetry of
when the going gets tough the tough get
tender
you see, I believe poetry should
be at least as
urgently entertaining as our best
televised culture
which though well-meaning-well
we abuse and unknowingly allow
the sophists into
to subvert and
self-consciously adorn
with their neuroses
their refusal to be clear
and yes, their resentment
of their audience
who after all
are you
like any other cherished tradition
we must guide and protect poetry
from subversive elements
from willful obscurity
and from itself, if necessary
we don’t want a poetry
that talks down
that condescends us
we seek a poetry
that transcends, and yet
makes poignant
our daily lives
our struggles and our triumphs

after all
if someone writes a poem in the forest
do you hear them?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Strokes

edited so that a mighty saltlick
might portion the bargain hunters
grief as massage left in the sun
freeze dried assays own lap in erotica
moves into town next to my yard uh uh

this city is sleazy
you will note the potted geraniums, their garrulous look
you got the look
paunchy grandparents in slender dinette moments
tracing their calligraphy of smoke

some door I bought huh?
I ought to have saved all those suspenders, not to mention
their accompanying adjectives outsourced to endless nameless
chat shows, as the credits play

said enterprise is angry mist among rocks & water
investing such glancework and tansy as the yellow
arboretum lost you in some tick ticking green chest suit

they say that the animals can hear brighter kinds of
music culture than humans, collected poems rage as vegetable
juicer pro

infomersh is an important aspect of their humanity
I mean their culture I mean why don’t
young hip hop kids wear culture no more?

those bouncing backpacks in frizzy light
will have their revenge
we are all guilty of attitude adjustment to save energy
in our couches like glittering complacent mob wives

let truck wheels do their thang
shake it like yr being attacked by bees

we were out here a couple years ago
and found ourselves in a cave telling our troubles to steve wilkos

threatening espies tick ticking the blurred shrubberies along our tour
lastly mormon or not you must count down on fat
the beav, displaced lawnmowers


as a couple saved their price in deluxe
cornholio magnate invites them into a barn
hissing bugs yet the ripeness is a plunged sack of oranges

luck in this context would seem to befriend a warning
context of bushels flipping the public

where have all the game day meals gone?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dream

I've always dreamed of being in a band of misfits where we play our instruments by not learning how to play our instruments.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hi

I'm a recovering leaping poet
September

September Burger
The Classics

Sound of a thousand babies clearing their throats.
Coasting

Between 27% and 67%, is coasting.
I blog about a topic that is of interest to you, or perhaps just pose a question that stimulates you and you comment. Now you are over-heated, so you go into an adjacent room to drink Fresca. There's no Fresca, but you are still thirsty. You drink tap water, and stare out the window at a squirrel, which fills you with righteous indignation. You are Henry Rollins. You come back to your laptop, and you decide to visit your friend's blog. And they blog first how they have been masturbating alot recently, and then about Charles Olson. Next you go to visit Charles Olson's blog, and Charles Olson is blogging about diarhea. He's become a shut-in, one of the grown ups. You go to your other friend's blog to cool off. You are looking at flickr pictures of your friend with Terrence Trent D'arby in Cancun. You are thirsty again. You get up to leave the house to buy Fresca.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On the question of accessibility, I'm reminded (of all things) of the blurb Alice Notley has on the back of Bill Luoma's Works & Days. She writes basicly (I don't have it handy) that a book should be readable. This seems to tie in with how easily a work can be accessed by it's audience, that is understood on some level. Music is more visceral in how one interfaces with it than books are. And maybe a poem read aloud is more visceral, more directly involving the senses, than one that simply appears on the page, but only on a superficial level. The question is whether one's internal understanding of a poem, how they interface with it, produces a visceral effect. But I haven't heard yet, no pun intended, how poetry can produce the same effect one feels from hearing an extremely abrasive piece of music, which physically engages one regardless of any emotional or intellectual content it might have.
Some intitial thoughts on Strawberry Jam: The first song, "Peace Bone", sounds like Daniel Johnston. It's also built initially around what sounds like an extremely mangled recording of Wendy Carlos' interpretation of the lone ranger theme that appeared in A Clockwork Orange. There's a conspicuous dearth of Panda Bear, with exception to some harmonizing and the last song, "Derek". The sound has a much brighter, clearer sheen. Animal Collective albums have steadily flirted more and more with song-based forms, without following the stereotypical indie career arc of starting out obscure than "selling out"; they have gotten more accessible however. This sounds maybe the least like a horror movie of all AC records; less screaming, less of a sense of build-up in the song structures, less slashing dynamics. The accessibility seems to come from a sense of things being more to the point.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On Sunday I sat and watched old episodes of Masters of The Universe with friends. And though that nostalgic appreciation for it was there, it was interesting how none of us could really remember much of anything about it, except for the characters. This could be because Masters of The Universe was a character-driven series, or maybe the toys were better than their televised manifestion. (The movie, with Dolph Lundgren, is good for a few laughs.) More likely it was because we just couldn't remember. I mean listening to some punk band from your teenage years is one thing, but man, Masters of The Universe?

Monday, September 10, 2007

I hope no one ever says "get out your popcorn" in reference to this blog.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I wonder if there'll be a trend of begrudgingly liking James Wright. "Well it's not that bad." That kind of thing. I've written a little about how much I used to like his poems. He's definitely still one of those poets a student who doesn't know anything about contemporary poetry encounters first. Jonathan Mayhew makes a pretty good point here about the translated feel of the poetry. Those poets, from what I can tell, were obsessed with the idea that the only deep poets were Lorca, Vallejo, Rilke and a few others. Kind of a reverse xenophobia. But it seems people like Robret Bly made an artificial connection between these poets. Almost an ideology, which in part became the men's movement. There's a line in Robert Bly, that's like beating you over the head-- "innerness, innerness, innerness". Until one dissappears up one's own asshole? I dunno. You can't say that LV&R, though they became the flagships of "leaping poetry" are all from the same school. I don't know if they ever even met. Maybe Lorca met Vallejo at some point. I know Neruda met Lorca. We can probably thank Robert Bly for the instant association between Lorca and Duende. Of course I was guilty of all these things. In the end, there's something to be said for just taking James Wright's poems as "their own thing". I don't think art happens in a vacuum either, but sometimes the "own thing" approach allows one to do a more close reading. That's only one of the many angles from which one can approach a poem, but an important one once a person has already been inundated with so much background knowledge.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Wait...
Fuck all... that?
Will you please reply? In no time? Like, Richard-Dreyfuss-obnoxious right now?
Wha-the-fuck 'm I gonna do t'day?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

If this blog were focused on donuts, it would be called Maybe I'm A Glazed. Is that the worst joke you've heard all day? Why or why not?
Do you feel that your poetry is like a cream pie headed for your face?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What is it with me and making almost identically-sized blocks of text? Is that a talent? Or better yet, my superpower? Ron's superpower is generating blocks of text that gradually increase in size, and mine is generating blocks of text that stay the same size.
Concerning the heavy duty shit being brewed up poetically at lime tree (and I say that mostly out of trying to diffuse just how blown away I am by some of the ideas Kasey is getting at, or that I think he's getting at), I have a whole bunch opinions just waiting to be articulated, though the wait could be anywhere between 5 minutes and 5 years. I have to say however that there is a certain characteristic that maybe could be called obscurity I tend to find very attractive in all kinds of art. Alot of times the term "willful obscurity" is used to detract from poetry. But I don't really care if I understand something right away. I like it when something gives me the feeling of being taken to an unfamiliar place. And I don't know whether this person is going to offer me a ride back to point A or not. There's alot to more to catachresis, I suspect, than making a poetics from "not making sense", it does keep bringing me back to the idea that sometimes art does nessecarilly have to eschew sense, for the sake of breaking new ground, unfettered from repeating itself. Poets repeat themselves alot of course, but poems they make definitely have the capability of repeating themselves less.
________

And I thought of the part in the Dylan documentary, where Bobby Neuworth claims that everyone's criteria back then was whether a piece of art or an artist had anything to say. Not that I'm constantly obsessing over Bobby Neuworth's aesthetics but I've heard this idea before and it's always kind of irritated me. I really don't care whether a poem has anything to say, that is in order for me to get some enjoyment out of it, it doesn't need to have a message like telling one to seize the day or commiserate with small furry mammals or go do the dishes. I'm with Frank, I don't care if you eat your vegetables. That is, the enjoyment you get out of something I make has nothing to do with whether you eat your vegetables. I can appreciate that kind of thing as a thematic element, like in alot of hip hop songs that contain a 'moral' or a 'lesson'. By all means, 'protect ya neck'. But it isn't essential that art tell you to do that, or anything else. It doesn't need to justify it's existence that way. I don't care whether this or that is 'earned'. "it doesn't matter whether we think the poet "really means" them; what matters is whether they get in our heads and make things happen there." Yep.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I have always hated the Monday-holidays: Labor Day, Memorial Day etc. I hate the 4th of July, because even though it doesn't fall on a Monday, the same thing happens. Which is, nothing. None of my friends are ever really willing to "get together" on these days, because I dunno we're just all too jaded or something like that. But it isn't the fault of any of my friends that I don't have a good time on these "holidays". And in truth, I'm probably much more jaded than any of them, at least in terms of constantly being sarcastic, distant and always sort of being on the margin of the whole social circumstance. And that's probably by choice though I do get lonely like anyone else.

In a literal sense, the reason I hate Monday holidays is the fact that libraries shut down. So I'm left with one less way to get myself out of the house. And it's not just that one day, it's the three day weekend where I always seem to slowly sink down into a morass of fidgety depression and anxiety.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Do you ever imagine that your poetry is like a tank, and you're driving around in it, but not like to destroy things? Just that it is that awesome?
The dream I had last night about trying to help Alice Notley find a bagel is based in something that really happened, when she stayed at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Milwaukee.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Last night I saw "Blades of Glory" and while it's not upto "Anchorman" standards (it doesn't have that cast, for one thing), I have to say that "I'll get inside your face" as a retort to "Get out of my face" is one of the funniest things I've seen in any movie recently.
Leonard Cohen named his daughter "Lorca". Should I name my daughter "Lord Alfred Tennyson"?
What is the appeal of black metal?
A dream where I had to go back to my dishwashing job, where somehow I was obligated to and there was no way to get out of it. And looking in The Sports Section at an article about how Steven Wright is actually a really great athlete. There's a picture accompanying the article that shows Steven Wright's rifle-like tennis swing. And also an article about a local couple who were involved in the Avant Garde in the 1930s and 40s, posing nude with their parts strategically covered. And I'm yelling at Ross in my father's living room, loudly complaining that there's no way I'm going back to that job. He's trying to explain to me how the person they have now comes in late, calls himself "Mr. Bumblebut" and uses the wrong exit to leave. And I'm getting really upset but then I wake up. And I'm very relieved.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My job interview at the Journal Sentinel was cut short today when it was determined that I only type 34 wpm. If I were Alice Notley I might have gotten that job! I guess that joke's not very funny. Just recalling how she once she said types very fast. I wonder what the words-per-minute on Alma is.

Ater that I went straight to try and secure Food Share assistance. It was... "sprinkling"?

Welcome to the future, poets!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I do "creepy" pretty well.

Monday, August 27, 2007

We are nearing the end of summer, when the blogging is dumb and the living, it's easy.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I have posted a possible a first step in my search for an antidote to 2 dollar word-itis here.

But I'd love to see some more monosyllabic coupons.

Thank you.
Somewhere in another dimension there may be a an alternate "bizarro" version of this blog, that is filled with all the entries I started and decided to abort. It may still be called unreliable zygote, or may have come under a gravely intense bout of influence by Billy Crystal movies, and have the title "baby fishpants".

Friday, August 24, 2007

I think I have 2 dollar word-itis. Can I write a poem with no 2 dollar words in it? Please leave some monosyllabic coupons in the comment box below.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm not good at knowing whether someone is joking. You might say, "Hey Mike, go fuck yourself." And I experience at least one moment of not-knowing.

This is funny because on New Year's Eve of last year, I became surly and drunk at the same time and I started yelling people's names out and then flipping them off whilst they looked back at me.

A few years ago, actually like eight years ago, I was with my friends Justin and Clay and one of them said that when you insult someone sarcastically, which we did alot, you actually mean it a little bit. So I don't know what it says about my personality, but I always take it a little personally when I shouldn't. I should say, "Ah fuck you, jagoff" or "Yeah well ya mutha didn't think so" or just "Ahhhh..."

Friday, August 17, 2007

All celebrities are weird and have weird twinkles in their weird eyes. You begin to think that they will bite you. But they won't. Their eyes reason with you as if you were some wild badger, raising Tom Hanks' iPod, in the wild. Their celebrity eyes totally glow in the NBA night. Which is/was their want. They are standing "at the crossroads", bottle of water, confidence bestowed by Tom Hanks. Their eyes leak iPod courage that is really neat. We're talking scarves, bandanas, babuschukas. Hot Pockets! Mellow grande appreciation of the foreform, Garrison Keiller's deft twaddle, radio knobs stabbed in corn cobs. Celebrity eyes floating down from Haven reassure you, appreciate you in value. Celebrity eyes glowing weirdly in streams and fibre optics, middle of night. Tom Hanks' car goes by on nerve. Cerebral cortex microwave. The celebrity eyes will close shortly, please save their work to a disc, they will appreciate in value. Weird weird nunchuck of green gables.
Why do I feel like someone out there is about to 'break it' to me? Please be gentle!
I'm SPOOKED

Today the library called me telling me that they had my floppy disc and I should come and pick it up. I thought this was a little weird, since I know I'm way too disorganized to have written my name on the disc, though I did remember leaving it. So the people at the library, many of whom I know and once worked along side must have gone into and found my resume with my info and called me based off of that. But then I get the disc and my name and number are written on it, only unmistakably in a handwriting that ain't mine. So I'm wondering if they did that. Maybe. I wait for a computer to open up. I go sit down, and I look at the disc. Now I remember this disc and I remember that I only put one document on it, my resume. But now there are three documents. One is a note to me from the person who found it, telling me that I seem like a great guy but resume is too wordy so they rewrote it. They also tell me in bold lettering that they mean me no harm. And I'm like, what? There's harm in question? Thanks for the reassurance I guess. So this person who means me no harm happens to know where I live... Hmm... Oh and they signed the end of their message, "your guardian angel on earth, S."

I guess this is what it took to get me to stop leaving discs at the library, so thanks S.

By the way, my resume does look more concise and professional now, so I guess, thanks for that too S.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So I'm minding my business, riding my bike, loving my bike in two worlds really, when whose playing in front of Beans & Barley but Perry Farrell, Mr. Lollapalooza himself. I'm all like, "Dude fuck dude.", so I stop, pull down my pants to get his attention and I'm all like flipping him off and yelling "Dude you suck, dude! Just quit dude!". And then I'm all eating a kielbasa no licking out the remains of my Dannon yogurt and Perry Farrell is on stage just like, "Oh my god! This fat truthteller does have my number! I say, old boy! I'm going back to Venice!" And I just yell, "Beyatch!", and that's it. I'm loving Beans & Barley in two worlds, and eating out this kielbasa, totally throwing "metal fingers". You know...

Then Perry Farrell all of sudden jumps off the stage and next thing I know, dude's fuckin suplexing me like I'm some fuckin cornish game corndog dude. And then I'm layin there with fuckin asphault encrusted yogurt all over my face, and Perry Ferrell's all back on stage and he's flying down, a tap-tapping his elbow, which is The Flying Elbow smash. I'm like "No!" The impact of Perry Ferrell's elbow was hard and fast, but then I look and I'm like "Whoah, dude hit his forehead on one of the lights!" So now's my oppurtunity, I smear yogurt and organic cream pie all up in his face, and he collapses and I collapse. In his arms. And now me and Perry Ferrell are loving each in two organic cream pie worlds, totally making out. He's buying me a plane ticket, one way. I'm like, "Dude, I've just been really frustrated and shit." And he's like, "No need to apologize old boy!"

TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, August 13, 2007

Who knew cooking a damn bratwurst could be so difficult.

______

propositions are integrated within
jet up to electric dog status
we pat on you on the back
your ears prick up
we call you hitler
and then kick you around like homogenized milk

-- The Fall

The reader is not Mark E. Smith. I wonder who it is.

______

A piece of paper was left next to this computer with "GNOSSIENNE 1" written on it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Anne's right. To name something 'blue eyed soul' is more ironic than dumb. Is it that it's easier to be ironic than it is to be dumb? Dumb is hard. And easy at the same time.

And now I'm excited about gerunds. What is about that decade? I came in right at the end, so the 70s are somewhat of a mystery to me. But I do know that gerunds are rife for satire. Here are some gerundic titles:


Shoving The Hoarse Marsh

Spooning David Lehman

Spooning David Lehman In Two Worlds

Gathering The Wet Butts

Gathering The Wet Butts On Sunday

Gathering The Wet Butts On Sunday At Noon Because The Green Bay Packers Don't Play Until Three

Humping The Well

Cloning The Sheep For Jesus

Peering Into The Taco's Heart

Shlupping Around Venice With Andy Rooney

Loving Andy Rooney In Two Worlds

Diving Into The Pool

Fussing Over Procedure

Sweating Like Roger Ebert (not mine)

Breakdancing In The Afterlife

Fluting Miscreant Oboes

Shucking The Early Corn

Glancing Toward Midnight
So the list of albums, which can scrolled down to, is starting to get perhaps obnoxiously long. Probably no longer a 'desert island' collection. But I like trying to remember all these albums. I'm kind of ashamed to say I no longer own the majority of em. Moving to Milwaukee with no money in 2000 nessecitated selling alot of the 3-400 disc collection I had. Is Milwaukee worth trading all that music for? I guess. So the list is kind of a pasty nerd version of that Willie Nelson song. For All The Music I've Loved Before. And I'm serious about the last one on that list, tho it's strictly a sentimental attachment that goes back to my early adolescence. I can't really justify it any other way.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is this the dumbest name [above] I could have given this blog? For some reason I'm really into the idea of giving this blog the dumbest name possible without resorting to like 'poogie poo poo party pants' or something like that. I mean naming a blog after the genre of music Hall & Oates play is pretty dumb right?
Today as I was crossing an intersection on my bike, I heard one of the passengers in a pickup truck waiting to cross utter the phrase "moron on a bike". That's funny!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mairead Byrne is a very very funny person.
There needs to be more flirting on this blog, besides just me with myself.

Actually on second thought, forget it. Flirting does me no good.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Well it's looks like all the blogs are closin up for the day.
I'm interested in your body fat.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Miscommunication

You look down, but I'm up here.
I'm in the mood for Kenneth Anger and Nashville Skyline.
Tom Petty

Why do people listen to Tom Petty?

Friday, August 03, 2007

There is an episode of Strangers With Candy in which all Flatpoint High students are assigned to submit a photo that illustrates what free speech means to them. So Gerri submits a nude photo of herself with legs spread wide. But upon seeing this photo, Principal Blackman exclaims 'Snatch it down!'. Well, ever the defendant of free speech, Mr. Jellineck offers a 'censorship' story of his own, in which he had some paintings on display, but no one bought any of them. So he convinces Jerri to go on a 'hunger strike', which consists of her sitting in the school display case until they 'win'. And once Principal Blackman offers to buy one of Jellineck's leaf collages, Jellineck considers the battle won. Jerri however refuses to end her hunger strike, which was a stipulation in Blackman and Jellineck's deal. Jellineck is outraged at Gerri's uncooperativeness and lashes out, "Why are you censoring me Gerri?!"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I want to know your favorite albums. Or least favorite. Or just what albums knocked you on your asses. Here is a list in no particular order. Ok so I'm getting a little carried away...

Pavement- Slanted & Enchanted
Beach Boys- Pet Sounds
Beatles- The White Album
The Raincoats- The Raincoats
Erik Satie- Played by Ciccolini
My Bloody Valentine- Loveless
Wu Tang Clan- Enter The 36 Chambers
Aphex Twin- I Care Because You Do
Aphex Twin- Ambient Works Vol II
Panda Bear- Person Pitch
Charles Mingus- Pithecanthropus Erectus
Pavement- Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
Billie Holiday- As Time Goes By (a generic CD my Mom got in the mail from the Bravo Network for some reason, but the recordings are amazing)
Nick Drake- Pink Moon
Elliot Smith- XO
Sonic Youth- Daydream Nation
Public Enemy- It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back
Eric B & Rakim- Paid in Full
Van Morrison- Astral Weeks
Rolling Stones- Exile on Main Street

Can- Future Days
Love- Forever Changes
Zombies- Singles Collection
Mercury Rev- See You On The Other Side
Pavement- Brighten The Corners
Velvet Underground- Velvet Underground
Husker Du- New Day Rising
The Stooges- Funhouse
Lisa Germano- Happiness
Nas- Illmatic
Suicide- Suicide
Sonic Youth- Experimental Jet Set Trash & No Star
Joanna Newsom- The Milk Eyed Mender
Animal Collective- Sung Tongs
Animal Collective- Feels
Panda Bear- Young Prayer
Charles Mingus- The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady
A Tribe Called Quest- The Low End Theory
Lee 'Scratch' Perry- Arkology
The Fall- A Sides
Tricky- Maxinquaye
Plug- Drum & Bass For Papa
Wagon Christ- Tally Ho
Dances With Wolves- Soundtrack

Another poet I dug closely in my Serious Midwestern Young Man phase was James Wright. And when I read his poems I still like them on some level. I don't know if liking something is a problem or not. The guy has an ear for poetry. Listen to this:

Two athletes
Are dancing in the cathedral
Of the wind

Sonically that's pretty beautiful. Even if the line breaks are a little clunky. It's from "Spring Images", which can be found in The Branch Will Not Break.

I was heavily influenced by stuff like this for awhile. I tried to write a poem called "Inviolate Child", that was filled with long, mellifluous lines about a kid who lived under a tree in my Dad's backyard or something. I eventually abandoned the project.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Have you ever had a teacher, who inspired you at the time, and you needed that, but then you look back and realize that you are now in complete disagreement with much of what they said. For example, "you should read Robert Bly", which I did, and so for awhile I was one of those aspiring faux deep image poets, all hung up on 'image' and such.

An important breaking away point for me was reading The Sonnets, which somehow fit in with my weird worldview and nascent buddhism, I liked it immediately. But The Sonnets also allowed me to see all these other tributaries in plain view from where my writing currently was. To my mind it had some 'leaping', actually a dazzling, breathtaking, heartbreaking amount of 'leaping', but it was also much more free in it's associations and syntax then most work I was into at the time. And eventually of course, I came to realize that the whole concept of 'leaping' is actually pretty questionable, and that the whole deep image thing was basically an appropriation of the 'raw' by the 'cooked'.