Monday, March 28, 2005

oh man, I had a dream. this weekend I dreamt I was reading a couple of poems by Chris Murray, and I thought, damn she's good. then I woke and later in the day I got to wondering where it was I read her poems. I'd been reading poems online and in print all evening. but in my dream I recall reading Murray's poems in a journal, and how I read journals is usually by dipping into them from back cover and scanning my way to the front. so I hadn't read them online but I just couldn't place where and when I read the journal.

I'm so used to getting five hrs of sleep, working with a sleep deficit, that waking life and dreaming life blend together. I dream when I'm awake, and I read when I dream. and the dreams are so fricking vivid that I think an episode I experienced was but a dream, and the dream is an episode from my waking reality.

all weekend I'd been racking my brain trying to remember where I read Murray's marvelous poems. till I started rereading Crag Hill's journal Score, and lo, there I find Chris's poems, the very ones I'd been reading in my dream. and I was right, damn she's good.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

weather here has been alternating from sublime to rainy and shitty. oh well, I've recently ordered a batch of books and every other day is a new shipment awaiting me when I get home. ooooh! feel like a boy at Xmas cuz I've not fallen out of love with the weight and smell, the sheer mass, of books.

a delightful discovery is the first book by Bay Area poet Rusty Morrison, Whethering (Center for Literary Publishing, 2004). actually I've been looking forward to this book since I found out about its publication. Morrison is one of my favorite poet-critics around, and I read this in one gulp when I opened the package. I'd write more about it but I think the book deserves one hell of a review with a very careful reading. let me say tho that I get shivers when I read Morrison's work, and I'm very happy she has now a book out.

also, been digging Eileen's post on tourism poetics. ay, she's on to something there.

oh and another thing, where, oh where is Steve Tills. miss his words, man.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

got a new notebook computer this past week. still learning a bit about it. blogging with it right now, and still getting used to the keyboard. I do say that surfing the net, writing, making notes, blogging in the comfort with the computer on my lap, an Anchor Steam beer in my hand and sitting in my living room on my big cozy chair is a knockout. I recall a while back on the British and Irish poets listserv the vispo poet Jim Andrews observed that in just fifteen short years the computer he had in 1990 was able to hold only one scene from one movie while his new computer in 2005 can hold 300 movies, or over 400,000 books. my buddy at work mentioned his old IBM clone back in the late '80s, how it had to be booted from a six inch floppy and was in physical scale huge: big computer, big keyboard and the old DOS (sp?) programs were so unfriendly, a missed keystroke was completely unforgiven.

anyway, got the new big brick of a book the journal Verse: The Second Decade. many, many fine poems. just skimmed it but got a kick out of its sure size. and got Fence magazine as well. picked up the latter primarily for the poem by Jenny Mueller printed within its pages. don't know much about Mueller at all but I like what I've read and I remembered her name from the 1994 edition of the Best American Poetry. also, there is a young poet (I'm guessing he is young) in Fence by the name of Shane Book. what a great name for a writer, really. I'm attracted to names for sure, and I do find Book's attractive. so I immediately read his poems, quite good texts, and I look forward to reading more of Book.

Monday, March 07, 2005

what a lovely day. not the workday, mind you, I'd been bent over my desk all day re: working. but the weather couldn't be much prettier: highs in the mid-70s F., sunny and clear. what can bloom is busting out and what isn't blossoming can be seen to stretch out into sparks of green. so the poetics of place, of space, come to mind. is there a journal, website, or blog that is a forum for writers to explore, whether in an interview format, or in essays, or poems, these notions. surely, writing is influenced by where and why poets resides. and I don't mean the obvious urban areas, such as SF or NYC, that have really wonderful scenes. there are many, many, many, many and a whole lot of poets who live outside of these two poles on each coast, not even counting the tremendous abundance of good and excellent writing found in Australia, New Zealand, etc. etc. and so on and so forth.

not only are you what you read you are also where you live. a lot, not everyone of course, excepted company excepted, of people have a love/hate relationship with the place they live in. I'm interested in hearing stories on how someone found him/herself in a certain city, community, place, etc. etc. we all can trace the arc of movement, point A to point B, and so on. but the why and how can be made of mystery.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

everyone meet Shecky Artaud, Tom Beckett's alter ego at his new blog. I've kept the archive of his old blog up at my links cuz I dig it, and I dig it that Beckett is back doing personal blogging.

I've got a jones for poets' notebooks. I don't read much fiction, really, but I do love reading the notebooks of poets. that is why blogs are so attractive to me. I've noticed poets are such inquisitive creatures who read everything under the sun. is it the same for writers of fiction? do they also read poetry as deeply and lovingly as poets read novels, stories, bios, textbooks, journals, magazines, etc. etc. is that an idiotic question?

anyway, I've been thumbing thru the notebook entries of a great pleasure-giving poet, Anselm Hollo, lately. his selections were published in The Poet's Notebook: Excerpts from the Notebooks of Contemporary American Poets, ed. by Stephen Kuusisto, Deborah Tall and David Weiss (W.W. Norton; 1995). bought the book from the university bookstore back in my undergrad days. there are scores of other writers here but my favorite is definitely Hollo. here is a taste.

my 'inspiration' is like Kit Robinson's cats
they move into the kitchen wall
they were gone.
(p. 91)

or here is Hollo on the art of translation.

On translation: the latin shrug does not involve a raising of shoulders / contraction of shoulderblades. It is, instead, an oblique glance skyward, plus a tilt of chin, accompanied by palms outspread between waist and shoulder level: Hence, "shrug" (noun or verb) is not really translatable into Spanish. (Informant: Argentinian poet Mario Trejo.)
(p. 96)

that entry alone is worth the price of the book. and but so.