Sunday, July 24, 2016

quote unquote

The forms of freedom are not without constraint.  If we do not know how to restrain, retrain, our desires, then we will not know how to align our power to the limited resources of the world.  If we do not begin to reimagine our power, we will use it to constrain others.  How to convey the urgency of making choices and decisions which lead to forms of life that do not impinge on others, bully them into agreement, mock context, trivialize faith, thwart rights, waste resources, collude need with want?  Poets, I want to say, are expert at the complex ratio of limit to possibility.

Poetry, I want to suggest, is one way to not be surprised by death.

--ann lauterbach ['9/11: after the fall', p. 234; the night sky: writings on the poetics of experience, viking, 2005]

famous last words


Friday, July 22, 2016

I Regret

not getting a PhD.
friends & family could've sd
when they see
what's up, Doc?

Friday, July 15, 2016

let us now praise famous women

kirsty maccoll


Thursday, July 14, 2016

i make these notes to shore up my fragments

upon this desiccated life
still for him to think
is to love

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

this song is dedicated to john b-r
walk me out to the morning dew, my honey 

read this

eileen tabios' review journal galatea resurrects is fresh and frisky and ready for your eyeballs to revel and your mind to delight in a very many reviews and engagements with our beloved art of poetry.  within its contents you'll find two reviews of this here [theenk books, 2015] by my favorite poet - anti-poet - jim mccrary.  one of those reviews is by me.  nine bows to ms. tabios for editing and publishing this great journal.  get to clickin'!   

Monday, July 11, 2016

after work i promised to take nick to REI, the outdoors-person store.  it's his favorite place.  nick love all the gear, camping equipment, first aid kits and water treatment devices he can see.  i am the loving and dutiful father i take nick to the store where we spend an hour among all the cool things the kid can see, touch and hold.  yes, he did get a small something: a collapsible food bowl designed to fit in a hiker's backpack.

and despite my own mild form of the blues the field trip delivered a much needed respite from the despair and anguish i mostly have created for myself, anyway.  i've not written a poem in a couple of weeks.  i am reading several books, blogs, websites, twitter feeds etc.  but for my own writing i want something a little different.  i've taken to my notebook, and when i have penned a few lines, i am using a character i call the projectionist.  i am allowing myself to be messy as hell with these drafts and not worry about making a finished version.  hammer them out in my terrible handwriting then turn the page and wait for the next group of lines to come.

ah, lady be my muse!  or not.  i have great respect for the muse but i don't trust her.  she's fickle as fuck and really she is like nature, utterly indifferent to a poet's needs.  all i can do is call upon the muse and work like a motherfucker on my own. 

then there is life to be lived.  poetry and life are not distinct.  nope; they are the same, or similar.  navigating thru a poem is much like exploring the streets of your city and/or beloved landscapes, be they mountains, rivers or beaches.  being a poet, again to quote paul la fleur, is to find a new way to live.  i think giving our riotous era, the fucked up beauty of our world, a new way to live is by love. 

so it is that i took nick to REI and on the way there, and on the way back, we passed cal expo, the sight of the california state fair.  i loves me some state fair!  nick asked how they are able to set up a whole midway full of rides in such a short amount of time.  i saw the monorail, a mainstay of the fair, pass thru a couple of buildings.  the monorail is my favorite ride.  it is old!  i mean so old that state fair officials were going to retire the monorail on account of not having replacement parts for the cars.  that was met with old timers like me who love the monorail so much they convinced the officials to keep them running. 

just like me, old, older at least, and still running.  i am doing my best to practice a way to live by love.  i fail but as i quote beckett before i shall quote him again, i fail real good.

today the poet sez

give in / not give up

read on twitter but i can't remember the source

if the choice is the perfection of the art or the life
choose life, fuckhead

Sunday, July 10, 2016

it has  been a crazy month, and particularly a very insane week.  which included some personal travails that are not interesting in of themselves tho i am happy to discuss in private.  readjustment; realignment; mortality, and insept dates [to quote from a favorite movie].  i am behind on a writing assignment that i feel terrible about, not the assignment but about being late.  other things too.  to quote dogen, 'to study the self is to forget the self; to forget the self is to be enlightened by all things; to be enlightened by all things is to forget the barrier between self and Other'.   i am doing my damnedest to forget my self.  i shall fail, of course, but i hope, in the phrase of samuel beckett, fail again.  fail better.