Monday, April 30, 2007

"The post-NY School poem is perhaps the closest thing we have in the 21st century to a normative poetry in the United States."

Is this true? I think there's a certain kind of post-NY School poem that's been birthed by the various MFA mills. Say, a poem where you mention a famous pirate, then your favorite brand of organic tator chips, then mention how 'Stewart' hasn't walked the dog yet. But y' know, if the guy from Coldplay says he's really into 'White Light/White Heat', does that have much currency? Alot of these poems, and there are so many of them that there's no need to blame a particular poet, are quirky narrative. Alot of the stuff in Fence, McSweeney's, Jubilat are quirky narrative. Alot of indie films, say those in the post-Wes Anderson mode, qualify as quirky narrative. I should quit my qualms however, because the key word here is narrative.

The normative thing about quirky narrative poetry is that while it is quirky, it's quirky in a completely acceptable way. It removes things from their context just enough to appear avant, but spare the reader any kind of difficulty. Because difficulty is bad.

The making of a poem contains an implicit difficulty. For starters, what to write? Maybe that seems obvious to point of naivete. But if you believe a poem can contain more and articulate more than just quirkiness, then what? What if you think poetry is maybe the best artform for navigating the world?

Naturally the quirky narrative integrates certain apsects of The New York School Poem into it's ecosystem, but outsources so many others. When Some Trees came out, The Instruction Manual was radical. An imitation of that poem in 2007 that's shorter and blander is not.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I know that some who read this have published multiple poems in multiple places. So I want to ask, just for the hell of it. How should publishing poems, getting poems published, feel? Should it feel anyway at all? Should it feel like, 'This is what it's all about'? Have you ever had an experience of getting something published, and felt say, immensely satisified? Or on the flip, immensely unsatisfied, anitclimatic? (Is there a third 'c' in that word?)
Last night I watched The Cruise, and I think it will be probably be one of my favorite films ever, if it isn't already. I always kind of knew it existed, partly from associating it with Waking Life, which is also great but in a very different way. (Not a doc, to begin...) But I've never really heard anyone I know mention it, in interspace or otherwise.

The Cruise is a documentary about Timothy Speed Levitch, who conducts tours, 'cruises' of Manhattan. His 'cruises' are highly literary, and ridiculously detailed-- for instance noting the seven miles of elevator shaft in the area around the Empire State Building. The film is also the most affecting 'portrait' of any real person I've seen in a long time. It's a documentary, but the affiliation is really only by the fact that it covers 'real life'. What it really is, is a fucking heroicly great piece of filmaking. This has to be one of the best films of the past 10 years.

I especially love the shots that show Levitch, in profile or from in front of the tour bus, narrating the cruise. A shot that shows Levitch and only a few tourists seated at the bottom of the frame, foregrounded over a rapidly disappearing Manhattan, is especially terrrific.


If you don't know about Ron Padgett reading with Daniel Borzutzky, Friday 7pm here, and also this, and live within a reasonable distance, now ya heard.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I was thinking today about what, if anything really bugs me about the Blogs. And I guess if anything it's vanity. And by that I mean my vanity. Others' vanity I don't care about really. I've never seen the point in declaring war on 'phonies'. Because everyone is a phoney. Seriously, who hasn't been a phoney at some point?

I just don't want to be vain. And sometimes this Blog Thing, the instant gratification it gives one, encourages vanity. So I don't want to be vain. Sometimes I can be vain. Sometimes I act out of vanity. Sometimes I just think I'm so fucking glamorous!

Actually I've never felt glamorous. So forget about that. But one should consider where this fits into their work, the work of making poems. And I don't even mean that when you feel yourself being vain or 'snarky' that you should stop. One should consider it is all.


Everytime I watch Pavement videos I'm reminded of how much their music means to me. I know that sounds weird but just look at Steve Malkmus walking backwards through a crowd of people, bumping into them. That is all ye need to know.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm very excited to see that The Holy Mountain is coming out on DVD. I can only describe it as one of the most revolting, profound and visually amazing movies I've ever seen. I saw it last year with my friend Amanda, and I remember not actually wanting to go in. We had to go to the late showing of a one-night-only engagement, because so many showed for the first showing. They couldn't let any more people in. But while we were waiting I looked through a little window in the door to the theater, and I really did have one of those little-boy experiences. Like, "This just looks too fucked-up for me." It was the scene where each character visualizes their own mental death-- one character is covered in tarantulas, one character is literally eating a horse's ass, one character has their genitals ripped off, one character is sprayed with what looks like milk by an old man with leopard's heads for mammaries. Et cetera. And poetry is portrayed, along with the rest of the arts as a kind of false enlightenment. But then the film makes a big u-turn and turns out to be an indictment of the very idea of enlightenment. And there are exploding lizards.

Friday, April 13, 2007

So all of sudden after Rod sent me a note, I realized all this went down. Whoah. I had no idear so much damn work had piled up. I only have two hands people! What I like about the form is that it's weirdly erotic, displacing what are 'normal' tasks with tasks that make no sense.

I'm at the library. Someone just fell over. But the librarian helped them up.

In the meantime, I wrote some for Joe, thinking the form could just as well be directed at anyone, and I changed it slightly so each 'Hey...'/Lunatic Renga is in this format: 'Hey Joe I need you to ________, while I ________.'

Here are some:

Hey Joe I need you to love the gluten, while I sob into the spaetzl.

Hey Joe I need you to vaporub the mustard culture, while I watch from inside the DJ booth.

Hey Joe I need you to breakdance next to the bacon paste, while I jump in the denim fish.

Hey Joe I need you to clambake then fistfuck the chocoplot, while I pep talk the VHS policy.

Hey Joe I need you to encourage the english muffins, while I lift my spirits with this stapler.

Hey Joe I need you to channel John Lennon into this frosting sock, while I glance over Zelda Fitzgerald's shoulder at the biggest shit ever.

Hey Joe I need you to douse the porn in I Wanna Take You Higher Hot Sauce, while I come to grips with my own suspension of disbelief.

Monday, April 09, 2007

What is clarity? Immediately Niedecker comes to mind. But that doesn't sit right, as if her work is just a string of Zen Moments. There is alot of pain in her work. See 'Paean To Place'. A very beautiful poem that takes it's context, it's reason for being, from what was a very difficult life.

Clarity is just being able to look straight at things, in writing.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Today I was rejected yet again by a certain magazine. So I've decided no more submissions for them.


Sometimes I think I'm my own favorite poet, because I have to be. But only sometimes.


As I've noticed happens when I'm very depressed, I'm listening alot to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. What happened to them?


Last night, right at the end of the party, I had to take apart the Chocolate Fountain. No I don't work in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. There's nothing fun about taking apart a Goddamn Chocolate Fountain! In fact I don't even wanna look at chocolate right now!!



Was also trying to compose some more Lunatic Rengas, as Joe calls them. But this time I'm giving him more work. For some reason, 'reverse cowboy' is burned into my mind.


Had the Perfect Strangers theme stuck in my head, but adding my own words:

Rise and fall
on a shitty sparrow's wing

Life sure blows
for a fat fuck like me



But trying not to feel sorry for myself.
So my Udub account is running out on April 10th, and that has some implications. First, my email will change. I'm just gonna put the new one right here: Secondly, you people are gonna feel me, but less. I will be considerably less connected. Which maybe's good, I don't know. Maybe now without the option of dicking around on the internet, I'll finally read Moby Dick or Ulysess. Maybe I'll even write more. But seeing as how I'll now have to go to the Public Library for Internet Use, it seems that I will definitely be blogging less.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

Something I've noticed on other blogs that I look at: not only do other poets eat better than I do, they take pictures of it.

I feel Joe. Yesterday Zack told to come with him to visit his female acquaitance named Sara(h), whom I'd never met. So I did, partly cause I thought I might see Amanda and I could say happy birthday. But what's the first (fucking) thing I had to (had to) do once I set foot in Sara(h)'s apartment? Take a violent shit. From the Chicken Fried Rice laced with Hot Sauce. Joe, we're bros in Hot Sauce Trauma, and other things.

This all brought back some shit horror stories from my life. One is overflowing my Aunt's toilet. And then getting yelled at for referring to it as 'the fucking toilet'. Another is doing the same thing at a friend's parents' condo (!) in Ft Myers. And I've shit my pants a few times...

I should start one of those memes... Hey you guys! Oh never mind!