Right now I like Heathens in Heat best of all the blogs.

Not that it’s a contest.

I like Nick’s a lot too. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything so adorable as Nick and Murat talking to each other, their first meeting, intensely conversational doppelgangers!

Jack asks that I give a rundown of my reading (if you can call it that) Wednesday night. I think that’s a little too self-spattery even for me, Narcississa. But Marianne tells me she’s going to write something about it. You go, girl.

Nick, in the meantime, has said something very sweet about it. Thanks Nick!

There are parameter people and then there are no-parameter people.

I fancy myself in the latter group.

Of course there are always parameters.

But I enjoy the fantasy of kicking at them, storming them, even just pushing them out a little to thwart the cops.

Brian seems to want some parameters here in blogland. How come?

By the way I’m not calling him a cop. I really dig Brian. But he does seem interested in constraints. His assertion, not long ago, for example, that he wanted to see more visceral poems that were under a page long. Why under a page?, I asked him. It’s a good constraint, he said.

Books demand limits, Barry wrote. Yes, and they push them too.

Brian lauds blogs as being laboratories for what will later be more polished work.

For me, I just want more more more pondwater.

I might even say it’s ALL ABOUT pondwater. As opposed to “polish.”

I don’t seem to have the same set of problems (for example problems with blogs) as some of the other bloggers do. I have a different set of problems, of course, like the fear that I might actually be a problem. That fear is of no real consequence except for the agon that infiltrates my work. I might say I’m attached to that fear and that agon as a kind of stimulus.

I don’t have any problem, for example, with the idea of this being my lawn. Or my front yard. If it means I can actually have a front yard! My coop does have a side garden where longlong ago when it was actually summer I grew basil, but that’s a far cry from a front yard.

I remember a yard in San Francisco – where was it – Diamond Heights? That was filled with the most extraordinary variety of succulents I have ever seen. They formed a mosaic of color and shape and texture – gray, bulbous, deep maroon, spiky, low, trailing, lime-green – all on the slope in front of a beautiful San Francisco house.

There are other front yards I have seen, both on the east and west coasts, filled with tchotchkes – little dolls, stuffed animals, bits of pottery. Yards as labors of folk art. In my neighborhood in Brooklyn, as Ellen Zweig put it, the front yards are like installations: Blue-clad Virgin Marys in hand-built alcoves, sometimes made of stucco, sometimes enclosed in glass.

I like a yard.

I like notes under doors. Or better yet notes under pillows.

The invisible description of this blog is “a kind of pillow book of musings.” That’s all. Not all things for all people. Not trying to build a canon or a coterie or a reputation or take the whole fucking crazy out of control water buffalo of a world by its horns, look it in the eye and somehow hypnotize it into curbing its aggression. I just can’t do that.

Not to fetishize the beauty of particulars – but I guess I feel… if I love … the details of life… enough… I am moved to go on… even with the ridiculous practice… of writing poems.…

Jordan Davis writes in on the topic of SELF:

Subject: Self

The soldiers, as queasy a random selection from the globe’s hot spots as

could be managed on a helicopter’s notice, rounded the quiet corner with

mounting dread.

“Shit,” said Kielbasy in his thick, garlicky accent.

“Are we looking into it or what,” said Ben Fong-Torres, crouching

for cover. “Did I roll my 401(k) over into a granola bar?”

There, in front of them, wearing striped red and blue pants,

was BRENDA COULTAS!Q!!!!!!! andshe was reading fucking awesome poetry

I DON’T WANT ANYONE EVER TELLING ME HOW (OR HOW NOT) TO WRITE.

NO MATTER WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD.

NO MATTER WHAT “ART HISTORY” DEMANDS.

NOT TEACHERS OR EXPERTS OR IDEOLOGUES, ESPECIALLY NOT IDEOLOGUES.

WRITING IS THE EXERCISE OF AUTONOMY.

SO DON’T FUCK WITH ME.

Ron again: there are a lot of relatively younger writers today who adopt some of the surface features of langpo in order to rehabilitate it back into an already canned psychology of the person

By “already canned” does he mean “always already canned”?

Is psychological dysfunction a kind of botulism?

Can you get self at a discount at Costco?

Are there generic or store brands?

Can I tell if my self isn’t canned by whether or not I have the taste of metal in my mouth?

If I get rehabilitated can I go free?

NB: The label of PARROT brand condensed milk has the loveliest picture of a rainbow macaw on a creamy background.

I keep getting messages in my inbox from colleagues at Hunter College who say they are for the war on the grounds that it will liberate the Iraqi people. These colleagues call peace demonstrators “peaceniks” full of “hypocrisy”. My response to them:

A couple of comments these anti-anti-Iraq war posts of late have brought up for me:

1) Bush’s motive for this war is not the liberation of the Iraqi people, although he may give lip service to such a goal in order to try to win over the empathetic among us. In fact, he doesn’t seem to be terribly concerned about the potential suffering and loss of “their” civilians (see point 2 below). Rather, he wants to wage this war to gain control of Iraqi oil, avenge Saddam’s attempt on “Daddy’s” life, vent some frustration at not being able to win the unwinnable “war on terrorism”, and aggressively continue a long policy of American imperialistic intervention.

2) Any American truly concerned about the Iraqi people might first want to question our government’s policy of economic sanctions against Iraq, a means by which we doubly punish innocent people already living under a despotic regime.

3) And speaking of cruel despotic regimes, what is the Patriot Act? What is inadequate health care? What is detention and mandatory registration of males of Middle Eastern ethnic extraction? What is incomparable violence? What about the racism our country was founded and thrived on? You know the new slogan, “Regime change starts….”

4) Have all methods of ridding Iraq of Saddam been explored? Why would it be necessary to induce shock and awe and civilian deaths in order to get him out of power? Are we not even a bit cleverer than that?

5) Why single out Saddam when there are so many despots to choose from? (As the writer below mentions, Nigeria, Rwanda, Chile, Colombia… not to mention Burma, Pakistan, North Korea — oh yeah, what ABOUT North Korea?

6) As a person who lost countless distant relatives in the Holocaust, I agree that war is not always absolutely categorically wrong. However, in terms of the Iraq war, the grounds for which have certainly not been sufficiently justified, I can only sign off this e-mail as a committed — but not, I hope *hypocritical* —

…Peacenik.

Peace.

Nada Gordon

JISM AND SELF-SPLATTER

Jim Behrle says of blogs: “right now they seem saturated with jism and self-splatter.”

JISM, it turns out, means BODY in Hindi.

JISM is the name of a commodified-sexy Bollywood film Gary and I watched half of on video the other night. It’s the first Bollywood hit of 2003, they say. Absurdly model-gorgeous couple has illicit affair against Pondicherry beach resort background.

Ripoff of numerous USA films: Nine and a Half Weeks, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Fatal Attraction, the ice cube scene in Do the Right Thing.

A few dull songs but so far, no ensemble dancing. So what’s the point?