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


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
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
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


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


I'm a recovering leaping poet

September Burger
The Classics

Sound of a thousand babies clearing their throats.

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

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.