Saturday, December 29, 2007
the space ain’t mine
the space-age rind
you were in the dream
wearing some strange blue pants
in the Play Dome
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
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
Kate Bush: The Kick Inside
Harry Partch: Revelation In The Courthouse Park
Deerhoof: Apple O'
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
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
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 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
Thursday, December 06, 2007
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
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.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
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
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
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
Sunday, November 25, 2007
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
Yep, I would say that's the problem with 99% of today's music too.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Of course this will all be moot once Salacious Banter, ed. by Hauser and Saffran, hits.
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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
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
donning special garb folkways
choo choo blink in bling style
take this brother may it
serve you well
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
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
Thursday, November 01, 2007
And alot of Mr. Show with the commentary track on, which is almost as funny as the show itself.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I am the only one searching for you
and when I get caught
then the search is through
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
let’s spend our quarterstance randomly
you’ve been chosen as an extra
in the movie adaptation of the sequel to your life
so drunk in the august sun
and your the kind of girl I like
because you’re empty and I’m empty
wake up early in the bed
to you morning comes so easy
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
don't hold your breath too long
this tunnel is a texas mile
--Texas Never Whispers
Friday, October 26, 2007
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
--from The Crystal Text, Clark Coolidge
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
walk away all chocolate
repudiate the ordinary
whistful underbelly themes
flight suit antics of negatory
big brother whistle blower
the car is parked
in our periphery
as a generation of
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
or dropsy updates
Friday, October 19, 2007
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
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
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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:
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.
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
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
we have to get up
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
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
we discover first that
out west Hardee’s becomes
with a splotchy star where
the asterisk would be
those days of kissing in stables
how recover those?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
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
Monday, October 08, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
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
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
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
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
they need it in a language they can understand
a poetry of relatable experiences
with an eye beyond the mere contrivance
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
and in line at Church
to be read in traffic jams and football games and
DSL and all the
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
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
you see, I believe poetry should
be at least as
urgently entertaining as our best
which though well-meaning-well
we abuse and unknowingly allow
the sophists into
to subvert and
with their neuroses
their refusal to be clear
and yes, their resentment
of their audience
who after all
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
our daily lives
our struggles and our triumphs
if someone writes a poem in the forest
do you hear them?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
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
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
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
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
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
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Ater that I went straight to try and secure Food Share assistance. It was... "sprinkling"?
Welcome to the future, poets!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
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
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
Plug- Drum & Bass For Papa
Wagon Christ- Tally Ho
Dances With Wolves- Soundtrack
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
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'.