Saturday, April 29, 2006

preparing to spend next week in santa cruz. we've rented a beach-side house with some friends, and we've been looking forward to this respite for months now. and now the weather has turned from winter to summer, as usual maybe two days worth of spring, we might even get a chance to dunk our toesies in the warm pacific. the website for the rental agency states that the house is equipped with hi-speed internet access, so i'll be taking my laptop, but most likely spend most of my time drinking beer and gazing at the surf while nicholas, with our friends' 2 and half year old, scampering about like, like, like, kids at the beach.

so for a week au revoir mon pretties. oh and in a little bit of self-promotion i've got a text in the latest fhole. look up the line-up there, there's some great stuff by john w. macdonald, rob mclennan, jon cone, lynn mcclory, francis raven etc. etc. send 3 dollars canadian to daniel f. bradley, now.

word to yr momma

Thursday, April 27, 2006

sad news. just learned my friend, the painter vic selinsky, died early morning 4/25/06. never asked how old he was, he served in the pacific theater in wwii, and would regale me with stories on the illusions of fame by bringing up a once very famous child actor who was a boyhood friend every so often, and begin by saying everybody remembers dicky ____. he did tell me that he was distantly related, i can't remember how, to osip mandelstam. mandelstam was his original family name from the steppes of russia.

a man of great humor, and no bullshit sensibilities. he loved painting, but would make fun of artistes who thought they were god's gift to art. his favorite 20th century artist was duschamp. once, when i was visiting his wife, another good friend, the poet pearl stein selinsky, i was sitting in their kitchen when vic came home from a life-drawing class. he told me about the beauty of the model he was using to draw from, said, she is what is known as a cupcake.

another evening pearl convinced vic to show me his sketches made when he was in the navy during wwii. he was stationed on an island in the pacific that supplied the ships and troops. every evening and every morning, you could set yr watch by it, japanese zeros would bomb and strafe the base. many of the sketches were made of the attacks. told me how you would see an explosion before you could hear it. i asked, weren't you ever afraid? no, he said, i was 19. i wasn't the one who would get it. you were, the other guys were. i had a great time.

he was what is known as a character.

peace be upon you.



writing in
to out


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

tom becket is back now posting great shit at his latest blog, and he's just published a wicked, feral interview with the great jim mccrary. tried to use another adjective to describe mccrary, but fuck it now, great is the least i can say, and it will do.

in other news, going thru some papers tonight, i found a hand-written text by doug blazek used as an intro for a reading a couple of years ago. it describes his current compositional methods, a bit, and why and how his writings have developed thru the course of a life in poetry. thinking about posting it here, but wonder if that would be appropriate without express permission. i mention the text tonight only because doug's been on my mind, he did a blow-out reading last month, and that he gave me that text with a shrug of his shoulders, as if to say, what the hell do you want with that old thing anyway?

thought of a series of poems titled extempore, meaning write whatever the hell comes to mind, without any revision, and remembered, duh, that o'hara beat me to it 50 yrs ago. and anyway, poetry is immediate, for me, but i sure as shit can't stop doing revisions. like an old junky who takes the greatest pleasures in the processes of getting high.

then i thought of another series of poems, and like it, so won't say shit until i've done something with them.

oh, updating my links i keep getting blank spaces between sites. e.g. the dead spaces that keep james denboer's website isolated. what the hell is that about? don't know anything about html formatting, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

oh, oh, check out also this editorial by canadian poet ryan fitzpatrick which is an elegant farewell to editing the journal filling Station and the importance of community.

peace out

Sunday, April 23, 2006

weekend was lazy and frenetic. weather opened into sunny, cloudy, but cool bay-area style days. our spring has been much like a swedish summer, cold and rainy. we like it, in sweden, and the rivers are high, and tho the threats of flooding have eased, they've not totally abated since we are not out of the rain quite yet.

so then, days are like a punch in the nose. went to a poetry reading of mostly so cal poets and transplanted so cal poets. good shit, and i'll post pictures later this week. reread roland barthes pleasures of the text, which inpsired this poem i dedicated to eileen tabios and also christopher rizzo's zing. also, the latest poetry flash, which has a good review by richard silberg on a few babarian poets and the most recent fuck!

and then watched a quirky, very good, canadian film nothing and the sinister aussie horror flick, which i just finished viewing a few minutes ago, wolf creek. good photography used for the latter movie, kind of a documentary-style, and the soundtrack was terrific, as was the acting. however, the villain was vile, but not too, when we first meet him as a rather avuncular outback oz-type. he never achieved that total creepiness that is necessary for such a character. mick taylor is styled as a serial killing mick 'crocodile' dundee, but there is too much g'day mate silliness rather than a cold killer. torture scenes were believable, the grue was held in check, and the scenes cut-away when something nasty was really going to happen, which usually means the the imagination fills in the gaps, which is nearly always worst than seeing it on the screen. yet the script was so-so, and the scenes were not built up enough to deliver great suspense. in short, good movie, but softcore rather than hard. for the former movie, see it, for it is excellent.

been meaning to write emails, but my desktop tends to shut down everytimes i use hotmail. i owe a book review, and a bio, and the next question for my interviewee.

on the subject of coffee: instant, brewed, or french-pressed?

it seems english is rather limited when it comes to the number of its swear words. however, its richness derives from the many applications of only a few words. comedian george carlin gave us a list of seven forbidden words in english, but frankly, too tired look them up. my favorite cuss word is fuck. everybody says it, everybody, so it seems, knows its manifold meanings. it is in every u.s. produced film, novel, song and poem. it is an adjective, noun, verb, and all other parts of speech one can think of. it has been used with great wit and imagination, and has been coursely spat out. so my favorite word in english is fuck. what's yrs?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

the poet is the one who applies for credit and is quoted an astronomical interest rate where chances of paying in full are reduced to nil then reaches for a pen and shouts

i'll sign on the dotted line!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

can there be TRUTH, where reality is inviolate and absolute. or is it only a series of small truths, protean and ever-changing definitions. i used to think that an action was in itself immutable, that however it is interpreted, defined and redefined, that the action is upon a higher plane, and is therefore a truth with a capital t.

so is it the failure of language, and by extension poetry, because it is not objective, it is always seeking new definitions. that language cannot by it very nature represent, much less be, an objective reality, the truth. i think it strange that certain phrases, strings of words, can be, and are, trademarked because of the author(s) of those texts are adepts in the pitch and sale of goods, services, etc. etc. ah capitalism!

and yet, poetry, whether its books sell or no (mostly no), resists the market, of a certain pitch. but we engage a bit of the tactics of the hard sell when we write and publish under our own names. marketing, but not for moolah, smolien, greenbacks etc. etc.

for whom do poets write

for whom does the bell toll, que pasa?

i think it odd to rail against capitalist structures when i use its products and services. the software i use on my computer, and the programming used to build this blog, the servers doing the hosting and connecting ad infinitum.

and yet
and yet

senor keats reminded us that truth is beauty, beauty truth. does that still apply now?

does truth, again, behave, like an organism so that it exists whether we care or for it or no, do we create it as we move along.

* * *

moving along, check out new zealand poet richard taylor's blog. i'm a bit of a lurker of listservs, and i really dug taylor's posts at buffalo poetics.

and read the latest uk journal pores 4, which tackles a host of questions regarding experimental poetics, reading and capitalism.

word up

Monday, April 17, 2006

tho davis is only about a 30 minute drive, depending on traffic, across the causeway, we get home too late. too late, anyway, to make the jaunt in time to hear poet/critic joshua clover read from his latest collection the totality for kids. learned about it yesterday, otherwise i'd have tried to finagle a friend into driving. we have only the one suv, anyway. go now, hear him read.

moping around the house on saturday while anna spent a few hrs at the office, i watched ed wood's plan 9 from outer space, again. nicholas was playing with his toys running from bedroom to living room, and would bring me a book to read to him. tho, nicholas idea of reading from his books does not include the actual words. at this stage it is looking at, and identifying, the pictures.

so then, anna comes home, asks what i was watching, and i tell her.

need inspiration, she asks.

hadn't thought about it, but yes, yes i do. strangely, watching camp films is a vivifying sensation. more like a series of experiences to work into language. for me, inspiration is not unlike a collection of exercises to get the muscles going. it is not a flash of lightning come from the aether. that happens, sometimes, but rather it is a very rare occurrence. i don't trust it when it does happen like a lightning bolt, because often when i return to that text written in a flash, i find that it sucks.

it was rainy saturday. the previous week at work was especially stressful. i had hardly written anything. watching wood's film was like a holiday. the words didn't come, but language returned to its possibilities.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

bill knott has a blog

there is a good review
of yasasuda's letters here

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

clicking thru anny ballardini's website poets' corner i read the poems of italian poet freddy longo translated by anny. my italian is shit, but i'm blown away by these poems, here and here. there is something of cendrars in the texts, and a wizened intelligence. a bit of the scuzzy life tempered by veteran knowledge, and a literariness that i love so. i know charges of being literary is a felony offence in a lot of creative writing courses, at least it was 10 years ago, but i've always loved writing, and writers, who are borne out and into other poets' texts. i hope anny has more longo in her.

in other news, listening the satellite radio station the system, which specializes in trance. i think i've lost my indie cred when we bought a honda pilot a few months ago. i still walk everywhere i can, but now i own an suv complete with satellite radio. the satellite radio service was free for 3 months but we liked it so much we subscribed. does that mean i'm all growed up?

and got a kick clicking thru poet ron androla's links page. the usual poetry plus several surprises that had me busting up, and also clicking out of real fast.

thinking of eileen and alex.

do i owe you an email?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

today's mail brought a host of goodies from poet jill stengel: her chap, history, possibilities, and two issues of mem. very generous, and i'm looking forward to reading them all. stengel, who lives in nearby davis, got my attention when chris murray posted several of stengel's poems as the tex poet of the week. the journal is a forum for poet-mommas, in stengel's phrase. can't ask for more, and as a fellow parent i got to run and go to the grocery store.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

every few weeks me and a few friends get together for pizza, brew and movies. my pal, p., subscribes to netflix so he's the one who's in charge of getting the films. and the flicks we watch tend to come from conversations, such as, do you remember airplane!? yeah, we've got to watch it! it used to be that we would watch exploitation movies from my collection. i recall turning my buddies on to the lunatic genius of ed wood. they were a bit nonplussed by wood, and wondered why i was so enthusiastic over some crappy movies directed by a guy who loved to wear pink angora sweaters. philistines, i say. moron, they say.

ah such are the vagaries of taste, or the lack of taste. at any rate, last night's screening was the disco gem saturday night fever, starring john travolta. an imperfect film, but a beautiful coming-of-age story. i've long thought that the movie was conceived by its producers as an exploitation grab-bag to capitalize on the disco craze. even lloyd kaufman, later to found and head the infamous sleaze factory troma, worked on the movie. the editing and directing in fever are choppy in spots, however the flick paints, in broad, but effective, strokes the lives of brooklyn working-class teenagers who feel alive at a disco.

the film is well-cast, but the stand-out is travolta, who is so charismatic and drop-dead gorgeous, that simply standing in his speedos-style underwear combing his hair is an iconic tableaux. the soundtrack is superb. say what you want about disco music, but at the end of the movie, when stephanie asks tony if he could be friends with a girl, and takes his hand in hers, the bee gees 'how deep is your love' is the perfect song to end the movie. i would say, going back to my previous post on love songs, that i'd include 'how deep is your love' as one of the greatest love songs recorded. hyperbole? shit, the song is that good.

i'm not sure what became of the other actors. karen lynn gorney has continued to work in tv and film, tho i can't recall if i've seen her later productions. but in this film she is outsanding as a young woman who is trying to change her life. and travolta is a conjurer, we see his character tony grow up, so much so that when we come to the dance competition near the end of the film, tony is so dazzled by his competition, it is in his expression: his love of dance is so great, that it is not out of self-loathing, tho that is the spark the drives the motor, but respect that he gives the couple who he thought should've won first place his first place trophy and check for 5oo smackers.

i must've seen this film a thousand times over the years. i remember seeing it as an 11-year old boy at the theater. my brothers and i wore out the album. and as dated as the costumes are, and the music, the themes of growing up and older are just the same. i'd not call the film a masterpiece, but it is one of my long-time favorites.

Monday, April 03, 2006

hate fucking daylight savings, where we lose an hour in order to gain a bit more daylight. feel a bit jet-lagged for the effort. all the clocks are wrong in the house. don't ask me the time i don't wanna know.

working on an interview with a favorite poet. received, and devoured, birds for example by jess mynes, february by aaron tieger, zing by christopher rizzo and sometimes city undercovers: levyfest 2005 ed. by s.a. griffin and bill roberts. i owe richard hansen a review of the levyfest chap.

it's been raining, hard, cold, winter rain for 20 of the past 30 days. the city is on flood watch.

and eileen tabios is working on the harrowing heart of home. beautiful, beautiful.

my aim is true