I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You’ve got to be at least a little hermaphroditic to play this game (poetry). Two great readings recently by women with good proportion of yang: Jeni Olin & Kristin Prevallet. I can’t write more right now… have to prep my classes…so busy…
Jordan asks in his blog,
Whatever happened to defeating both the assumption of mastery and the ever-asserted canon of white guy writers? Was that just a lot of dry ice and ventilation? To judge from the typical poetry blog prose style and set of preuccupations (I’m keeping that typo), it shore was. (That one too.)
And I say, NOT IN MY NAME!
Just Back from the Peace Demons
Just back from the peace demonstration at Dag Hammerskold (sp?) Plaza where with a couple of hundred others stood in the 6-degree weather and listened to rousing speeches by members and affiliates of NOT IN OUR NAME. My impression was that I was part of a minority demographic there — most people seemed to be either twenty years older or twenty years younger than me. Understand that I say this speaking only from a very rough impression, and that everyone there was so thoroughly swaddled in coats and scarves that it was difficult to tell their ages. The people I saw on stage, however, with the exception of one man who was the leader of a group against racial profiling (and who very engagingly led us in a Sly Stone “War/huh/What is it Good For” chant), were definitely either much younger or much older than me. (Where were my poet-friends who work right around the block?) The older one was the far-left defense lawyer who was recently held for defending the privacy of her client (I’ve forgotten her name, but she’s much in the media). The younger ones were a coalition of articulate high school students, one I think a chapter leader of the RCYP, and a few others who took to the mike with much hip-hoppy gesticulation and empassioned exhortations. On the whole a tightly organized performative event (dare I say, it almost felt like MTV at moments), but as demonstrations go it felt a little awkward, probably because it was so cold. Hiphop afficianados, who did the Not in My Name song?
Earliest memory of a demonstration: Chicago, 1967 or so. At a park — Hyde Park? Everyone clapping. I clapped too. A tall man (but then, when you are three, all men seem tall) turned to me (I think I was on someone’s shoulders) and asked,” Do you know what you’re clapping for? You should always know what you’re clapping for before you clap.” I have been very judicious about my applause since then.
Meanwhile the women of the poetic left are tearing each other up like Oscar Wilde characters over on Brian’s site. What’s to be done?
harshes out pores,
in gleaming codes of hostile
Kali is Calliope (Cruella)
in the vicious circling
of protective similars
copping grownup voices
in the internecine mist…
in the glow…
of the left… a glass of Listerine…
the party… ?
To silently manipulate
a mood… or populate…
all this populism???
and disappear, making plans
for our annihilation… like Marsh Arabs
winging to Mars…
No end in sight… of the crux
of matter… asteroids… four-winged…
dinosaurs… uterine… cringing…
“I don’t really like… HYPOCRISY”
(or the total annihilation of innocents…)
Populism ( a sandy fiction)
beaks an utterance.
The butter runs clear
into the bank of guns,
burnishing their cocks…
In that moment,
when I am more genuinely a charlatan
than all the other charlatans…
when I come to you with love again —
my hands saying “namaste”
my eyes saying “cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo”…
New issue of How2 up online. Why doesn’t it compel me?
I can’t deal with preciousness, people. I just can’t fucking deal with it.
Nick’s torrent of nostalgia for obsolete technologies triggered a big wave of a nostalgia (for Japan) I feel continuously, almost like post-nasal drip…
and it gets more intense the more horrible this country’s policy, for which I am infinitesimally responsible, becomes…
not that Japan is beyond reproach… hardly… but at least living there I was able to detach… I like… fantasyland… this horrible… ambivalence…
Each American is forced, or privileged, to carry a globe (not THE globe — A globe — of responsibility) like so many Atlases… the only problem… is that those globes, for all their heaviness, are fake, hollow, and useless — all for show… the giant shadow puppet’s… got the whole shadow world… in his shadow hand… and his shadow puppeteer…filing his shadow nails… couldn’t care less…
but I don’t want to talk about my BAD ideology and my BAD faith (not to mention my BAD writing) anymore, because I know it’s wrong, and that’s why I went out today in the freezing day… to stand there fighting my lack of conviction and hoping…
a new bright orange badge reading NO WAR ON IRAQ…
would lift me out of that mire…
A Poem by THE FLARFOLOGIST (not me). I tellya, those FLARF guys are really kinking out the jams. I mean kicking:
Poems are, like, total bullshit unless they are
squid or popsicles or deer piled
on elk in the trunk of David Hasselhoff‚s
Cutlass Sierra. “Or black ladies dying
of men leaving nickel hearts
beating them down.” MAINSTREAM poems
and they are USEFUL ˆˆ Great if you like
having a Popsicle stuck in “I love George Bush,” like,
the popsicle squid goes “gong” when all the other
dishes run out of toilet paper, how far can Bush go
with a squid up his motherfuckin ass ˆˆ see what I mean?
We want LIVE world wide words of the MAINSTREAM ready
to sink her teeth into the flesh of our Deputy Defense Secretary
Paul Wolfowitz when the napalm in his blood
starts cooking. I could kill an entire day
with a popsicle stick and a small jar of insignificant
brain cells lost in the 70’s by George W. Bush. We want
poems like epileptic Pokemon fits on Walmart‚s
lingerie racks, MAINSTREAM poems to smear on
a photo spread entitled the “Women of Enron,” to showcase 50%
Chance Of May Rate Hike whose numbers are
Glycerin Suppositories between the asscheeks of
Justin Timberlake ˆˆ Check it out ! Photos, Soundtracks, Video Clips,
Fan Boards and More! Fucked-up poems that everybody understands
like “The Morality Of Money 4:46 pm CD Sludge UQ
Wire: Kissinger ˆˆ Bloody Hands,” cavity searching the man himself
with the broken off end of his Run-DMC glasses and
sending the swab sample to the Olson Twins for analysis.
Knockoff poems for Sindhis and Baluchis, Kurds, hundreds of
Brittany fans, some in full cowboy dress with a smattering
of applause from the Tekken Anime fans doing
their 5 Kick Massacre sidethrow, clutching their throats
and puking themselves into eternity “as TV Heroes
safe from these Viagra mushrooms proceed
to kick the Bard’s ass in a Tom Hanks Bison-Death” ˆˆ sub-
way poems like, “Aw yeeh, got my NASDAQ petunias
AAWWWL mixed up, woah, thass nice, flufffy lil
mestizo couch doing the ROLAID smooch in my NAWSTRils,
hhuh hauh ,,, Mkaeing some TYPos, cuz i wasnna be PRASSident of
the Ungdidtyedf Stsnaatesand go to coleege with a ANDROiD bitch!!!!!!”
Robert Pinksy is pinned to a comfy chair at his favorite
hangout spot, a Barnes & Noble Café in Louisville Kentucky
reading a poem that begins, “I love shopping
in Brooks Brothers, oh, / and I found the cutest
sheer / cappuchino colored button” . . . rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .
In his award-winning epic poem he revisited
Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey, relocating to
Gap Kids . . . rrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .
Aggghhh . . . searches Google . . .
Put it on him MAINSTREAM poet! Strip him nayKID
to the world wide world. Another MAINSTREAM POEM cracking
squid tentacles upside the tea-stained skulls of the
FAKE-ASS MAISTREAM . . . poem scream
Son ecologistas; y Jorgito Bush es todo, “izquierdosos, moros,
Archienemigos,” ˆˆ Qué puta mierda. Me cago en Bush
y los 365 santos del año!! Llego tarde a la iglesia!
El jodido televisor no funciona!
Tongue-kiss the MAINSTREAM world for love.
Let their be no non-mainstream poems written until
love can exist freely on the headstones of Nixon‚s inner
circle. Let MAINSTREAM PEOPLE understand
that they are the lovers and the daughters and sons
of lovers and workers and children
of workers Are poems & poets &
all the loveliness here in the world
We want a MAINSTREAM poem. And a
Let the world be a mainstream poem
And Let All Mainstream People Speak This Poem
Learned from Ron’s metablog today that Eileen Tabios has a blog! Yay! and it’s very lush, seeing as how it’s called Winepoetics. Link at left, too.
More recycling of old material:
Here are some introductions I wrote for writers who read at the Segue Double Happiness series when I was curating. Writers introduced: Ben Friedlander, Cole Heinowitz, Michael Gottlieb, Kim Lyons, Kevin Davies, Jack Kimball, and Pat Reed.
Benjamin Friedlander is the author, most recently, of A Knot Is Not a Tangle. With Donald Allen he edited The Collected Prose of Charles Olson. Two books are forthcoming: The Missing Occasion of Saying Yes: Poems 1984-1994, from Subpress Collective; and Simulcast: Four Experiments in Criticism, from the University of Alabama Press. He teaches at the University of Maine.
An anonymous source close to him told me recently, “Ben has an edgy relationship to nature. Once, trying to memorize the name of the bird-of-paradise flower, he kept calling it ‘impending doom’.” Quelle slippage! There is indeed an edginess – a comic edginess – to Ben’s sensibility. It appears in his work as sardonicism, particularly in A Knot is Not a Tangle, some of whose rhyme-laced verses aim to shock with their mordant – and ultimately critical – vulgarity. But Ben is never merely sardonic. He’s also a writer of great conscience, perceptiveness, curiousity, erudition, and sentiment. He lopes heroically from the lofty to the goofy to the arcane to the banal to the lovely as only a feeling thinker who carries in his head a vast library of obscure poetry books, philosophies, and great records can. Please welcome my friend of twenty years…
When a bull first comes into the arena out of the toril, or bull pen gate, the matador greets it with a series of maneuvers, or passes, with a large cape; these passes are usually verónicas, the basic cape maneuver.
The amount of applause she receives is based on her proximity to the horns of the bull, her tranquillity in the face of danger, and her grace in swinging the cape in front of an infuriated animal weighing more than 1000 lbs.
As with every maneuver in the ring, the emphasis is on the ability to increase but control the personal danger, maintaining the balance between suicide and mere survival. In other words, the real contest is not between the matador and an animal; it is the matador’s internal struggle.
The kill, properly done by aiming straight over the bull’s horns and plunging the sword between its withers into the aorta region, requires discipline, training, and raw courage; for this reason it is known as the “moment of truth.”
Cole Heinowitz matadors language. Like a matador, she is provocative, theatrical, highly skilled, and fiercely erotic. Her multi-genre debut, Daily Chimera, published when she was nineteen, is an extraordinary weaving of viscera and intellect, full of mucous, pubic hair, brassy assertions — “The habitual is a cowardly spindle.” – and dramaturgic inventiveness to equal Carla Harryman’s. Today, hot off the xerox machine, we have Stunning in Muscle Hospital, a Detour Press chapbook, her too-long-awaited first collection of poems since 1995. Brace yourself for the moment of truth. Afficianados, prepare to toss roses from the balconies…
Back in the rigorous, turbulent 80s, Michael Gottlieb was one of our most radical disjunctionists. Paratactic to the max, his early books, Local Color/ Eidetic Denier and 96 Tears, did not invite close reading – tho some people tried it, with generous application of the parsimony principle. They are, however, as much in their accompanying graphic images as in the writing itself, imbued with the urban and urbane sensibility Michael displays throughout his oeuvre. They are also hothouses for what have emerged as his most pronounced fortés: 1) brilliant two-word collocations, some of which stand on their own as gemlike lines, and 2) the device of arbitrary precision. What more apt title could there be than 96 Tears, the prime popular example of that device? Michael’s more recent books, The River Road and Gorgeous Plunge, with its somehow endearing moodiness, are more authorially voiced , with a deliberate sense of pacing. The lines no longer accrue pell-mell but become judiciously — and deliciously — discrete, leaving pauses for the impact of their deadpan wit, or rueful disillusionment, to sink in. His most recent book, Careering Obloquy is available literally from today.
Right now the sky’s hot, dark, and rumbling oppressive. Sweaty prickling and hair’s frizzing all directions. Wind chime jangling, I’ve got to write Mitch’s introduction. In this menacing weather. How can I do him justice? Big wind knocks Bullwinkle lunchbox off the sill. Nemo jumps up to see what’s the matter. Cats have less fear than curiosity. Same with Mitch. He wants to know, seems to know at least a little about, everything. Mitch is all about capaciousness – in intellect, in generosity, in warmth and righteous conviction, and in myriad enthusiasms. His writing too. He has the distinction of being confessional (as in his beautiful Situations book, TURN) and procedural (as in his Detour chapbook, the hardboiled Blue Dahlia) at once. His confessionalism nothing like the Iowans. More like, I’d say, Whalen. He’s earthy. He craves authenticity, and creates it in his presence, his conversation (he’s garrulous to a virtue — as he writes “Friends avoid me on big news days”), and his poems. His work says best what needs to be said about his work. Sirens outside – an accident? The huge elms shake in wind, blow my sharkskin curtains. Mitch works for a bank, and the signatures on his e-mails always read, “This e-mail may contain confidential and/or privileged information. ” This intrigues me. His office used to be next to the WTC. He made a habit of writing in Liberty Plaza, next to the fountain. But not – thankfully — that day. Here’s a quote from one of his unpublished works, section 20 of a long sequence poem. Note the fountains in it:
squaring circles in the hub-bub
of sound checks and fountains
splash of overgrown mums
and delicate pansies. I thought
to myself, I said “self – why
not grind my opinions down
to a fine puce dust, why not
just attend to perception alone,
why not just gargle the lymph
of French philosophers then
spit gleefully in the fountain,
tune up that zither and emote
Huge flash, then thunder. Many car alarms go off. The cats’ ears radar around. Tires swooshing, dogs barking. Please welcome… Mitch Highfill.
In Kim Lyons’ beautiful poems, “moody small domains”, even the adjectives seem like nouns. Listen: “Hell is red, smeary, entered through a green crack.” “The page was bronze, but weightless, in your eye.”
When I read them I notice an excitement akin to the feeling I have when (I admit with some chagrin) shopping. But not the acquisitive kind of shopping born of greed or necessity. Rather, the flaneur’s kind – moving rapt, randomly, among objects. Like going into curio shops in strange neighborhoods and finding – with surprise and delight!… cold rosewood plates, isolated tinsel, a funny old bedroom lamp of brown paper and green ceramic horses, or bamboo stalks the color of a diorama of bamboo stalks.
Gerhard Richter, asked what his paintings were about, replied, “light”. Jordan Davis has made the same observation about Kim’s very optical poems, in which “the eye. a box of fluids, conveys a channel.” But conceptually, there’s much more to them than just retinal observation. There’s the attentive revelation of how poems come to be: “Come forward out of the shadows, disconnected piece. Become a peach that does not adhere, resists fugitive hours.” There are plays of stillness and movement, sensitive enjambment, the skillful isolation of phrases. There’s a balance of cosmic awe and the goofily quotidian. The abstract and concrete take pleasure in each other: “the reversal of momentum has the ragged shape of real daffodils”.
“The words (says Kevin Davies, author of the much-acclaimed Pause Button and Comp.) , on hundreds of scraps of paper, get accumulated over a given period, during which I am in the midst, as are we all, of various situations… Most of the “notes” are either assertions or shields. A few are silos. One or two might be reedy exhalations with vegetal imagery. I take it all personally, even the bureacratese and excerpts from how-to manuals. Or especially those… the struggle then, usually in the week before the reading, is to force the liveliest and most contrary piglets to arrange themselves serially within the container. I ask them to please try to be interesting.”
They are not merely interesting. I remember the first time I saw Kevin read, just a couple of years ago at the Church. I was sitting in one of the back rows with Mitch and Drew and Gary. Kevin was reading in his inimitably focused, almost pedagogic style, checking off the obdurate piglets as he read them. And… you know, I don’t think I ever understood exactly what Breton meant when he said that beauty should be convulsive. I’ve had a seizure, and it wasn’t at all beautiful. But Mitch and Drew and Gary and I, by the middle of Kevin’s reading, were completely convulsed, with laughter, that is, and wiping tears from our eyes. We couldn’t help it. Kevin’s work is a relentless procession of punch lines and the unpredictable insights of a very very conscious person fighting hard not to get caught in the undertow of alienation. So there’s pathos in his sharp humor. We were laughing so uncontrollably that Kevin looked at us severely and said SHUSH, which of course made us laugh even more. The amazing thing is, although we were being totally, though not willfully, disruptive, we didn’t break his composure. Only some arcane practice could have cultivated that. He really is a consummate artist, public, interpretive, and situated — an acrobatic code-switcher — the ventriloquist of a thousand voices.
Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence, and Jack Kimball is the author of Man Ship, Witness Protection, Frosted, and Quite Vacation. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life. He is also the editor of the invaluable East Village Poetry Web magazine and the new, gorgeously eclectic and exciting Faux Press. The tea-room (the Sukiya) does not pretend to be other than a mere cottage – a straw hut, as we call it. I saw you crossing Banal. As though a mistake meant whatever you do, like troubadors. The original ideographs for Sukiya mean the Abode of Fancy: Bambi, Flower, Coke, Puffkin Dinos. Latterly the various tea-masters substituted various Chinese characters according to their conception of the tearoom, and the term Sukiya may signify the Abode of Vacancy (craft of cloves) or the Abode of the Unsymmetrical (a paper boat of loose proportions) . It is an Abode of Fancy inasmuch as it is an ephemeral structure built to house a poetic impulse. It locks onto my thought – it’s always just one … and then the thought will shed its skin right there – and inject its own dream instructions deep down inside my Utopian outfit. It is an abode of Vacancy inasmuch as it is devoid of ornamentation except for what may be placed in it to satisfy some aesthetic need of the moment. This is because we disambiguate, and remain creatures before undercounts, “bumps” in the void with no potential to unwind away from the kingdom of experience. It is an Abode of the Unsymmetrical inasmuch as it is consecrated to the worship of the Imperfect, purposely leaving some thing unfinished for the play of the imagination to complete. The warm radiate pulses,/ your darting/ tightened of… what? Teaism is the art of concealing beauty that you may discover it, of suggesting what you dare not reveal. You’re sensing an avian / dammed up stolid-to-rapturous, something/ enriched awaiting Eve’s brain. It is the noble secret of laughing at yourself, calmly yet thoroughly, and is thus humour itself. That temperature all over us like sea ponies. Let’s fragile.
I don’t know if it’s because of 9-11, El Niño, the drought, global warming, or countless everpresent environmental toxins, but I’ve noticed that a lot of New Yorkers have lately been beset, even more than usual, with respiratory difficulties. Gary and I, for the first time in our lives, have had to start using inhalers. So when Pat asked me what I wanted her to bring from California, I told her, I don’t know – something aromatherapeutic – maybe some sagebrush to scatter around? And lo and behold, when she got here last night, she pulled a plastic bag out of her suitcase, filled with rosemary, lavender, nasturtiums, lemon blossoms, and even a sprig of redwood. Suddenly my breath liked inhabiting the world and my body again. This is how I feel about Pat’s poems too. They are fragrant with sound, breath, perception and unmediated love of nature. She’s kind of like the Opal Whitely among us, collecting bits of lichen and pretty shells and thistles and putting them on her dashboard to counteract all the steel and plastic and fumes that surround. I remember asking her long ago why she writes poetry, and she told me about growing up in Los Angeles — obsessed with the ocean, the only thing, she said, “that wasn’t paved” and there was so much endless horizon, so much placelessness, she felt like she needed to create limits, which come to us in the form of her delicate, super-melopoeic writing. Author of More Awesome, Qualm Lore, Kismet, Tangle Blue, Container of Stars, and We Want to See Your Tears Falling Down, which is about her experiences teaching Vietnamese refugees, Pat writes the most reverently attuned nature poetry of anyone I know. She’ll make you want to climb mountains, surf, camp out in the desert, or at the very least, breathe.
Three years ago, the online magazine How2 posed the following forum question. I just missed the deadline for response, but it is posted beneath…
THIS ISSUE’S FORUM QUESTION
Taking risks in critical writing often seems impermissible for those of us seeking jobs, tenure, promotion, and most telling, publication. At the same time, many of us are fascinated by more experimental forms of expression and desire to participate in critical writing that is more riveting, evocative, and boldly playful, making use of innovations that are not only permitted but often valorized in the poetry that we, as critics and readers, discuss. Given the extreme pressures to publish in academia, most writers in academic contexts feel compelled to conform to certain styles of writing, with their attention focused especially on the audience of reviewers who ultimately determine whether or not an article is eligible for publication in “juried” and traditionally targeted print journals.
What are the risks and rewards of carrying the innovative project over into our forms of critical discourse? We are interested particularly in how this dilemma is experienced and negotiated by women in various stages of their professional and writing lives. What are the models of critical style available to us? Do women feel pressure to conform to certain styles in order to survive in this profession? If they do not, what makes it possible for them to write in another way? Is audience the determining factor for their style, and if so, how do they envision this audience? Is inclusion of the personal a taboo, an innovation, or has it been worn out by overuse? And, as importantly, how has the proliferation of online publications changed assumptions about public intellectual exchange, and transformed the parameters for critical dialogue?
If I were an academic, instead of an independent agent/writer who made a conscious choice after graduate school not to enter the academy, these are questions I would ask myself should I find myself in the quandary described in this issue’s forum:
Why did I ally myself with a normalizing institution in order to reap its financial and social benefits only to complain that the writing I am “compelled” to do there is not sufficiently “riveting, evocative, and boldly playful”?
Why, if I want to write in more “experimental” forms (although I have a sneaking suspicion that those forms are, at this point in literary history, at least as codified as straightforward exposition – this forum question itself being evidence of “experimentalism’s” modishness), don’t I follow one of the following strategies?
1) I could write in two or more styles (one conventional, one as I will), pandering properly to the forums I aim at.
2) I could quit my academic job and find some other way of making a living that allows me to use my writing energy as I see fit, or…
3) … if I could bear the wait, I could first do whatever it takes to get tenure, and then whatever I want.
Might it not be true that academia’s “extreme pressures to publish” generate a great deal of useless and intrinsically unmotivated scholarship, theorizing, and paper wastage?
If I feel compromised by the structures I have elected to be contained by, couldn’t I use my will and get out? Or, if I am very stubborn and idealistic, couldn’t I try to change those structures? Would I use so much energy doing so that I might forget to read or write?
As to the question, “Is inclusion of the personal a taboo, an innovation, or has it been worn out by overuse?”, I might ask myself, “Am I not looking for an absolute answer from some validating and authoritative – but actually nonexistent — “audience of reviewers” in the firmament?” Isn’t it true that for any individual reader or writer, the answer might be yes, yes, and yes (or the inverse)? Aren’t there certainly some glowing examples of women academics who have managed to write the personal in their criticism brilliantly? Don’t Maria Damon and Rachel Blau du Plessis come to mind as some “models of critical style” available to those who want to write critico-subjectively within the academy? Aren’t there others?
Do I not have deep within me a sinking feeling that for academics everywhere to make “use of innovations that are not only permitted but often valorized in the poetry that we, as critics and readers, discuss” is to weaken the impact of said innovations by further recuperating them? And doesn’t that makes it all the more difficult for poets (including those allied with the academies) to find new newer newest iconoclastic strategies for academics to puzzle over…? And isn’t it also true that for the most part, truly iconoclastic strategies are ignored by those whose job it should be to notice them????????????
Do You Know the Scene in Bye-Bye Birdie Where All of the Teens are Talking on the Phone to Each Other about Hugo and Kim and the Screen Keeps Splitting to Include More Teens and the Word that They’re Going Steady Increases Exponentially? And They’re Lying on their Backs in their Pastel Bedrooms Kicking their Legs About?
Kasey wrote the essay that I would have liked to have written about Hecht. Click link to left.
RED-LETTER DAY — DREW HAS POSTED AGAIN!
He picks up on my use of the word “oscillating” but not “bimbo.” Click link to left.
Why not “bimbo”?
Why is self-infantilization an “evil twin”?
We all desire to regress, right?
Heriberto wants to do away with divas. Click link to left. No, no, Heriberto! Leave the world its divas!
[I think he’s ‘cranking out’, as the common parlance would have it.]
I refuse to live in a world that did not at least at one time include Maria Callas, Misora Hibari, and Naseebo Lal.
I say this as both a diva and a gay man.
Speaking of gay men, my faery godfather asked for some more expansion into expository prose of what made Drew’s reading great.
It was great because he successfully rejoined the separated Siamese twins of poetry and music, thus satisfying in the auditors a deep, maybe unrecognized, psychic need. You know, we applaud when doctors successfully separate such twins, like the Guatemalan girls who recently were allowed to go home as discrete entities. In their case, the operation was probably necessary for their continued survival, but that doesn’t erase a kind of metaphysical sadness about severing what may be the ultimate intimacy.
I feel a great need to put poetry and music back together and often try to, although, as I have mentioned before, the textual purists may get on my case about it.
Jordan comments in his blog (click link to left), Actually, what’s remarkable about blogging is how *consistent* everybody is; Nick’s metaphor of proliferating cable channels is apt. Ladies and gentlemen, start your brands! I think I should like to be a little less consistent. Actually I don’t know what I am. Except “oscillating.”
But there sure are brands. I thought about that upon receiving an announcement for the most recent Slought Networks events focusing on sociopoetics. Sociopoetry is a viable market position. And you have to be really clearly a sociopoet (i.e. not too wildly oscillating). My writing is not NOT sociopoetical, but I would never get included in such a grouping, with Jeff Derksen, Rodrigo, et al….
Very sharp defiant essay on Brian’s blog (click link at left) by Carol Mirakove defending Laura Elrick’s very relevant, NYC polyglot poetry against those who would counterproductively (snootily? I don’t know. Haven’t read the review) harass it.
I sure do wish there were more ladies (or shall I say Laydayz) “starting their brands.” It’s cold out here all alone in my oscillating negligee…
Notes in response to Ron:
I adore titles. Sometimes I spend more time with a Table of Contents page than with the rest of the book. They have a delicious effect similar to the one I experience reading lists of crossword puzzle cues (PURE POETRY).
My funny formalist was funnier smarter younger and more complex and way less dismissable than his funny formalist. IMHO.
I’m so tired. Had a catheter in my cervix today… what a very unpleasant feeling!
Oscillating Bimbo Poetics
I may be the foremost (only?) proponent of “oscillating bimbo poetics.”
The constant (territorial) display of “intelligence” among poets gets very tiresome, as it is only one modality among countless possible.
But I’m not “interested” (synonym, pleeze) so much in “stupidity” either.
There’s a gigantic plethora of third terms.
Maybe it’s “being in touch with one’s inner buffoon.” Thus spake the oscillating bimbo.
Ditziness as a condition for writing.
Airheadedness as a desirable quality.
[as in… my mind is blowing through the jasmine of my mind…]
Really what I’m after is the effect of giddiness, as that is something I am physico-emotionally experiencing most of the time. A kind of metabolic condition related to sugar, allergies, hormones, and an overdeveloped sensorium. It’s a little like love and a little like fear and a little like a pajama party.
Analyzing the essentially unanalyzable. OSCILLATION facilitates “a thousand” (in the Chinese, metaphorical sense) viewpoints & voices. Not that that’s anything new.
Marjorie Perloff writes somewhere (in that big Talisman book?) about a Rae Armantrout poem that ends with the awkward word “neck”. Alan Davies also has a line somewhere (although I can’t remember if it’s in _NAME_ or somewhere in _Candor_) about eating his neck.
I don’t know if that line was floating about in my subconscious when I unknowingly stole it for the last line of “Articua (Araucana)”, a poem written just upon waking which appears in _Are Not Our Lowing Heifers Sleeker than Night-Swollen Mushrooms?_:
as edible gaiety: i eat
Dream this morning in which I am trying to think of a word for “boat” that doesn’t have an “r” in it. All I can think of is “barque”. Which is a variation, of course, of “bark” or “barkentine”: “a small sailing ship” or (I love this definition) “a craft propelled by sails or oars.”
“BARQUE” makes me think of “The Golden Hind” — which I believe was one of Sir Francis Drake’s exploring (colonizing) ships. And I think of Queen Elizabeth, “virgin” manipulator-king. Did she sleep with Drake? Some think so. Although she was no longer young.
Another association with “The Golden Hind” is a golden “hiney” — as if suntanned.
A word for “boat” that doesn’t have an “r” in it…
this state of perpetual… puzzlement…
If you are only reading poets’ blogs, let me encourage you to blog-surf at blogger.com. There’s an incredibly rich linguistic universe out there, full of opinions, anecdotes, information, and confessions. I’m very excited by the colloquiality of this medium.
Drew managed, in his reading Saturday, to synthesize his verbal and his musical talents under the umbrella of his innate charisma. That, perhaps, is why he got an encore. How many poets get encores?
His “sarcasm” “especially” “well-” “expressed.”
A fig of one’s imagination:
It’s time for fig croquet!
An oud or minaret…
fig. 8 (sidewise)
I come from Calymyrna… dancing a little fig…
I don’t give a fig!