Saturday, May 28, 2016

in an interview the painter/filmmaker julian schnabel was asked how long it took him to make a painting/drawing.  he replied his age plus 5 minutes.

can that be the same for poems too.  my hero jose kozer says in a poem that writing it should not take more than 20 minutes.

do we place too much importance on how long a thing is labored over?  can a thing of simplicity and direct expression be measured in the same way as a thing of great ornament and artifice.

was it not thom gunn who said, even in bed i pose.  knowing full well that the posture of sex is artifice and authentication should a poem not be expressed here now in whatever fashion and style that seems appropriate to its author.

must a poem sing beyond its line or can it stop when the line stops.

these are the questions i ask myself as i face these foreshortened years.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

do check out this wonderful short essay on writing by the excellent poet and awesome dude lars palm

from the provinces

the thing is no matter where you are what you are doing who you are doing it with there is always something more cool more fun more exciting where you are not


sayin' hi to alex who just settled in palm springs

i've been having odd
dreams too

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

i stopt at the city library on my way home
pulled a collection of essays by kenneth
rexroth off the shelf at random
i don't know why b'cuz
reading rexroth hasn't been on my
list for like ever
but i read a very short piece
a couple pages on the chinese
poet yuan mei
an excellent 2 page appreciation
& love of poetry
simple clear deep
not a whiff of the saintly or
anointed but a vivid example
of what it means to be human
alive in time

Sunday, May 22, 2016

this was the old days of the steinhart aquarium in golden gate park in san francisco i was in my early 20s single & i must add a complete idiot

i rumbled thru each display tank & diorama like a good soldier until i hit the tank that contained the octopus

there as a girl too with her friend or boyfriend with a two-syllable french sounding name

the girl was cute she held my attention she wore glasses and her long hair fell over her eyes

i was standing before the octopus with the girl & her french sounding companion

it was feeding time & i was waiting for the octopus to get dinner the octopus was waiting too somehow i could tell

then there was a stirring in the tank the lid opened & a crab was tossed in the crab clung to the wall the octopus hit its target faster than a bullet from a winchester 30-06

a loud crunch was heard

or so i remembered it when the girl said oh then the two syllables of her companions name

she & him moved on to another part of the aquarium

while i stayed alone before the tank watching the octopus feed on the crab

Friday, May 20, 2016

i've always longed for a poetics that take the serious & the absurd & grinds them into a new paste e.g. that gilligan's island episode when the castaways retooled hamlet into a broadway musical & created a new beast

o friday nite : door to the weekend

time to slow way the fuck down and take several large gulps

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

the newest issue of the new yorker arrived in the mail today [i get the paper edition delivered by old-fashioned snail mail] & thumbing thru it i find a little piece about norwegian-american writers meeting & reading in NYC & i wonder what it might mean if i were invited because i am 1/2 norwegian no shit maternal grandma from bergen who emigrated to the u.s. after wwii & if i were invited they would have a lopez in their midst & what that might mean for the sound, sight & complexion of the u.s. is changing & as the old saying goes you can't judge a book by the you know what

Sunday, May 15, 2016

i've mainlined all three seasons of aaron sorkin's TV drama the newsroom and found it to be compelling television.  i love sorkin's ear for language and the very fact that he is an idealist for our better nature.  but there is a subplot about climate change in the middle of the third season i find particularly compelling.  jeff daniels's character, will mcavoy, interviews an EPA scientist after the release of a report about carbon dioxide hitting the dreaded 400 ppm threshold.

you can find that interview here.

the epa scientist is all doom and gloom.  what i find fascinating about this segment is how the piece is framed.  the show is about the workings of a cable news network.  thus far no story was given this much gravitas.  notice how the camera pans across the set to reveal cameras, teleprompters and staff looking on in stunned silence.  this knowledge is left standing on its own.  when we leave the interview we leave the subject for the show's story is grounded in other matters.  the EPA scientist is pretty goddamn alarmist. 

then i just did a google search about the veracity of this segment.  according to mother jones the facts in this interview mostly, except for a bit of embellishment about the 'blackened skies', check out.  stop arguing.  yes, this segment is fiction.  and yet, i think we should be beyond arguing the hard science of climate change.  kudos to aaron sorkin for at least bringing the inexorable fact of climate change to TV drama.

the question now is what we have to do.  but then i think of that great line delivered by robert duval's character, the old man, in the road [2009], 'even if you knew what to do you wouldn't know what to do.'

time for us to prove the old man wrong.