Sunday, July 31, 2005

j'ai soif, si soif!

so i am

just so

Thursday, July 28, 2005

the philosopher's stoner

dude, that was my skull.
i'm so wasted!

sayeth master jeff spicoli

re: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Guilty Pleasure

you know what I'm talking about. the stuff that we say is bad for you but you indulge, covet and love just the same. shit like bad movies, love stories told without irony, pulp fiction etc. etc. the list is endless as it is subjective. just recently the wonderful Eileen Tabios titled a post on her blog Everything Poetics and wrote a terrific defense of her love of reading romance novels.

I'd say that you can trust a writer when she/he confesses a love of what the Academy disdains. or what serious readers collectively spite. in other words, readers who take their reading seriously can, or should, admit to what is glossed over as trash. that includes poets in the Academy who are not serious readers but take their reading seriously, too.

for reading is the great pleasure in our lives as writers and as human beings, period. one question Lance Phillips asks his interviewees at the interview blog Here Comes Everybody what are the poet's non-literary reading habits. I'd go further and ask what types of trash do you like. People, US, National Enquirer? that is not a dis, for I dig trash, and adore even the sound of the word. we all have these surreptitious pleasures. we all scan the covers and even pick up these pubs at the checkout line.

I trust poets who admit to their liking of trash. of their guilty pleasures. tho, perhaps that's not quite how I should phrase it, since we should never feel guilty about pleasure. these thing nourish our poetry too. poetry should be, and is, about everything.

me? well, I, ahem, scan, and sometimes buy, but never, no, never subscribe, honest to god, to Weekly World News. its editors have consistently predicted the end of the world. I'm still waiting.

Monday, July 25, 2005

the word for today is cryptozoology

go forth and find yr inner bigfoot

Saturday, July 23, 2005

good gathering of responses culled by Frank Sherlock re: poets and the processes of composition, found via Joseph Massey and Gary Sullivan.

my fave is Kevin Killian, an established poet by my standards, who gets the writing juices flowing by taking a class on lyric poetry taught by a younger poet at a non-profit learning center. scroll down to find it. what's so appealing is the eagerness, and yeah humility, that Killian displays. I agree we are never to old to learn things new. and relearn.

I think about going back to school to get my PhD. in something. not to become a career academic, not all poets are meant, or should, teach school. I firmly believe poetry is better served by poets who make their livings in all manner of jobs. but for the hell of it, to recharge perhaps, and to serve that small petty thing: my ego.

why the hell not. I guess. tho circumstances now are against the time and moolah it takes to earn another post-graduate degree. that is something else that poets don't talk about: the fricking big bucks it takes to go to school. what does it cost to get an MFA from Columbia anyway? about a 100 grand? whatever the cost of tuition and books and housing and food and shit, that is a buttload of dinero to fork over for a degree that won't pay you back, at all, in the form of a great paying career.

but I like Killian's way toward writing anew, by paying a cheap tuition for a class at a non-profit taught by a younger poet, for the hell of poetry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

so last night I was watching a program debunking the idiocies of cryonics, how some wanting to live forever via freezing the body, or blech! just the head, upon death then hopefully thawed out and brought to life in some distant future.

when the resident dr. skeptic says the reason of course that some individuals shell out close to a quarter million smoliens to be frozen when still warm on the slab is that we have, if we're lucky, only 10 decades on this earth.

100 years sounds like a long time, a very long life, indeed. but 10 decades? that sounds like a long summer vacation. we only get 10 of these suckers, if that.

Rutger Hauer as Replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's book Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner meets his maker Tyrell, head of his eponymous corp. that manufactures Replicants.

--what can I do for you, Tyrell asks the rebel Batty.

--I want more life, fucker!

does that sound bitter? hope not since I love the movie, and esp. this scene where Batty confronts not only his mortality, but the mortality and limits of the person who created him.

I have a deep belly laugh for the folly of persons who shell out significant sums on their wish to outlive us all.

how dare they want to live forever!

Monday, July 18, 2005

today P. and I were walking to the mall for lunch when we see a woman in an 80s Honda Accord parked right on the corner before the intersection directly in front of a Subways sandwich shop. how rude, we said, since she was blocking traffic from making a right turn. was her husband or somebody in the sandwich shop and she was waiting?

no. she was looking confused and scared. perhaps she was having car trouble? whatever it was we could tell she needed help. we could see this 20 feet away.

I walked to her window and asked if she needed help. she couldn't speak. her breathing was shallow and rapid. her car was running, and she held a mobile phone in her hand. she couldn't speak more than a word. or two. she needed help. fast.

so P. got on his phone and dialed 911. the paramedics arrived in a few minutes. while we waited I tried to talk to the woman, tried to comfort her the best I could. she managed to say she needed an interpreter. which was strange because she spoke in a plain, u.s. accent.

when the paramedics arrived they politely, but firmly, took control. I told one what she said. and that was that. the whole experience lasted not more than 10 minutes. we walked to the barber so P. could get his hair cut, then on to lunch.

but what pissed me off was the fact that the street was very busy. cars honked at me for being in their fucking way. anybody with a pair of eyes could see she needed help. I don't know how long she sat there. I don't know what was wrong with her. at first I thought it was a panic attack. but now think that is unlikely. given the fact that she couldn't speak, that she was confused, that she couldn't operate her car, or phone, it might've been a stroke. scary, scary indeed.

cuz it can happen, life can change or end, in an instant. my anger with people today might imply that I think people are callous. I don't think that at all. what I do think is that if something is not blazingly obvious, like a bloody car crash, then perhaps most persons will just walk around.

but again, my adrenaline didn't start pumping until after the fact when P. and I were eating and talking about what just happened.

two weeks ago my pal tried to help a victim of a motorcycle crash. he and his other friends were on their cycles riding in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. they were passed by a group of weekend warriors on their harleys and protected by the smallest of brain buckets. one lost control of his hog, and when P. got to him, his friends were standing round with their mouths open like monkeys before the monolith. the guy who wrecked was fucked-up, to put it mildly. his leg was shattered, the meat torn off, P. could see his kneecap in the open air. and the cyclist was pale, deathly pale. he was suffering from shock and maybe internal injuries. again, the harley enthusiasts did nothing, they were probably in shock too. nevertheless, P. goes down the mountain a few miles to call 911. his mobile wouldn't work in the hills.

I hope the woman today, and the rider two weeks ago are okay. fuck, got a shock myself today.

We have faith in the poison. We know how to give our whole life every day.
Art Rimbaud

I recall another poet-blogger asking other poets about how serious they take the art. what would you do if you had only 6months to live? for me, read, write, watch movies, listen to music, hang and correspond with friends and be with my dear family.

fucking A. amen.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

summer lit the blowtorch and is scorching everything in the air and on the ground. man, it is goddam hots! triple-digit hot, which makes the walk home from work an adventure in sweating. but it wouldn't be summer without days that feel like the surface of the sun.

received el pobre mouse from SF poet kyle kaufman. a kickass diy journal, saddle-stapled, inked and glued with some terrific work by kaufman himself, Jim Goar, Dylan Hock, kari edwards and a poet new to me Lee Ballentine. and many others, this is my kind of publishing.

also been reading the latest 580 Split and digging the poems of C.S. Carrier and Padcha Tuntha-obas . the journal keeps getting better.

it is almost 11:30 pm and it is still damn hot. sheez!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Creative Writing has never
been my trip although I understand
the fun of teaching someone
something fun to do although most people
simply have not got the gift
and where's the point? What
puzzles me is what my friends
find to say. Oh forget it. Reading,
writing, knowing other poets
will do it, if there is
anything doing.

Jimmy Schuyler
(Collected Poems; FSG, 1993)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

exhausting day. back at work after a 2-month leave to care for Nicholas. he went to daycare, Anna and I went to our day jobs, and by all accounts Nicholas handled the change in routine and people with aplomb, unlike his mommy and daddy. well, okay, he is one cool kid.

I liked being a househusband. I think I got good at it, and was in the process of perfecting my techniques, ya know, such as cleaning the house, making dinner, playing all day with Nicholas. shit, now I'se gots to go back to the job. fuck.

and but so I get home to a couple of packages waiting for me to lift my spirits. received from Gina Myers the tiny, and from Lawrence, KS poet Jim McCrary the Lawrence, KS issue of Steve Tills' Black Spring. both journals brim with the good stuff. dipped into both tonight but gonna have to read them from cover-to-cover. from Black Spring I want to single out tonight's reading were brilliant essays from editor Steve Tills on Jim McCrary (the journal contains several essays on the brilliant poet from the Midwest) and Dale Smith's review of the Selected Poems by John Moritz. the back cover sports one cool motherfucking photo taken in 1970 of McCrary and First Intensity editor and publisher Lee Chapman. look closely and you'll see a sign for selling cigarettes at 38 cents a pack!, and another giving away Free Poetry, like Ed Dorn broadsides.

and from the tiny, jam-packed with the good stuff, I read the poems of Mike Sikkema, and Steve Caratzas whose work reminds me a bit of a latter Meat Poet, such as d.a. levy and early Douglas Blazek and whose blog is becoming an addicting daily read for me. also, Hazel McClure got the goods here and genius --yes genius-- visual poet Geof Huth writes an essay about vispo along with a few examples of his art.

makes me ecstatic, these do. I also want to thank Skip Fox for sending along a sound poetry/jazz cd of his vocal group, and Robert VanderMolen for his poem "Molly" recently published in Driftwood: A Review of Michigan Writing. as Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery would say, Yeah Baby! makes going back to work so much easier.

Monday, July 04, 2005

the maestro did it again. Romero's 4th undead flick Land of the Dead is a feast for zombie flesheaters and their fans. I'll say it straightaway, this is one really good movie. much better than I anticipated, and so far the best movie I've seen in some time, in a theater that is.

so I plunked the $9.50 yesterday for the 2nd showing and was warned by the dude operating the box office that the air conditioning was on the fritz and if the heat inside becomes unbearable I'll be refunded my moolah. luckily, there was only one couple when I took my seat. not bad, no body heat to worry about from dozens and dozens of moviegoers. it was almost pleasant sitting there in the dark.

but when the trailers are underway a few people come in and find seats. most were single guys like me (I'm guessing they couldn't talk their partners into seeing a zombie flick too) but there was one younger couple sitting behind me a couple of rows. and they jump, get grossed out and are spooked in several places during the course of the film. which is nice, cuz I don't wanna sound blase but I've been watching horror movies for many years, I don't get grossed-out easily, nor do many things make me jump from my seat. I loved this flick, but nothing was so over-sickening, or surprising, that I turned from the screen or leapt from my chair. but hearing this couple's reactions (and I do think they enjoyed the film too) was an affirmation to the effectiveness of Romero's vision in particular, and movie-going in general. they were totally absorbed in the film, so that they stopped watching and was participating in the experience.

a seasoned cineaste can forget about that that movies, good ones however good is defined by each viewer, are experiences and not simply passive entertainment. I love zombie flicks of all sorts, even cheapass exploitation anti-gems. Romero invented the genre, and here he has unleashed a film that proudly sits beside his earlier work of the walking dead. I know of no higher praise.

Friday, July 01, 2005

a cool bunch of bags and a juicy orange.