Monday, July 31, 2006

weather finally broke over the weekend. so today the high was in the upper 80s f. which kinda feels like fall, my favorite time of the year. and i did manage to buy tickets to the california state fair which opens in 2 weeks. last year nicholas had a blast, and we had a great time watching nicholas ooh and ah over lights, sounds and stuff. so yep, expect photos in few weeks.

so but anyway, some great zines went live over the weekend. you all know about otoliths and melancholia's tremulous dreadlocks. let me also point toward a new zine published by jesse crockett, listenlight. crockett used to maintain the blog differentia before it went dark. anyway, he's got a few terrific poets already up. read, send him stuff, spread the word.

so trying to write but am constantly distracted cuz the video channel vh1classic is showing the 1st 24 hrs broadcast of mtv. sac didn't get cable until the mid to late 80s so i missed the early days of mtv. i'm struck now of the flat-bottom suckness of most of the bands on rotation at the time. who's rupert hines? precisely. interesting. video did kill the radio star.

Friday, July 28, 2006

shit, i'm a bit tired and speaking of loops, i'm feeling, well, rather loopy. so forgot to quote this great response regarding the first poem that awoke the possibilities of poetry by hassen i read today at the older blog poets9for9:

This poem woke me to the possibilities of a certain perspective of Life! poetry being my/a reflection of it. I'm not so interested in the possibilities of my poetry as I am the possibilities of my life. In any case this one poem contains lots of stuff that turns me on wonder, imagery, play with reality/convention, simultaneous seemingly conflicting truth, silliness/absurdity especially regarding such things as mortality.

and check out these gorgeous texts by irish poet billy mills i ran across a few nights ago. that dude is amazing, methinks.

now a few things to do left, then night-night

thought i lost a post last night. figured what the hell, but when i logged in tonight noticed that it was there. so i republished, but since sometimes there is a delay of several hrs before i can see the update on my blog, don't know if it is there or no.

all things tech seem to be sucking for me right now. tried to order tickets for the california state fair, we go every year, we look forward to it, if we didn't live in sac we probably wouldn't give a shit about it, but anna and i, and now nicholas, grew/growing up with it, and we love it's fried-foods-on-a-stick insanity, but i get off point. i had a bit of trouble logging on to their site. very frustrating as hell.

think i've got a working manuscript now for my loops chap. once that is in the can, i'll go back to my ed wood sonnets. then from there, perhaps i'll stop thinking about poems as series and write them as episodic and random as my life often seems. am interested in journal poetics, the kind practiced by william corbett and james schuyler. one step at a time, i guess.

i've not watched any movies for several days. every free moment has been spent reading/writing, often till the early morning hrs. there ain't much showing at the local cinemas. god knows why the fuck the tv show miami vice was made into a feature. are there no good, original ideas in hollywood no more? each morning i pass a shop that displays photos and drawings of pin-up extraordiniare bettie page in its window. one of my loop poems is about page and her photographer irving klaw. i can't wait to see the recent biopic about her.

here's looking at you kid

Thursday, July 27, 2006

richard taylor on the death of his friend the poet leicester kyle.

in other news, received my copy of otoliths, mark young has done an outstanding job with this print version. i'm pleased to be in the company of such great poets, visual and textual. when i have a bit more petrol in the tank [tonight i'm running on fumes] i'll try to do a shout-out of some favorite pieces. in the meantime, hie thee to and order yrselve's copies.

oh, and check out this killer post by allen bramhall.

go on now

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

a bit cooler today. when anna picked me up after work the pilot's temp. read 105 f. shit, positively chilly. thought maybe i might need my sweater. tho the streets, the air, the people look exhausted and seared. go on, i dare you to say i love the heat. no one could love the heat. why, cuz it's too fucking hot. all one can do is stay indoors. three elderly persons died yesterday sitting in their rooms at a transient hotel from the heat. it is that goddamned hot!

why bitch. my motto, should i adopt it, is don't complain/don't explain. i also like don't think/do which i always use when giving commands to our hound hugo, an 80 lbs lab/pitbull mix. never works, i always see the gears turning in his head as he thinks up increasingly ambitious new deviltry. e.g. when he was a pup i'd have to keep him from going into our room and stretching out on our bed. one evening he disappeared. i thought, i know where you are, little fucker. so i went into our room. it was dark, and very cold. i could see my breath it was so cold. the room was deathly silent. in the gloom i could see hugo. his eyes glowed fiercely red. i could see he was not on the bed, but floating over it.

other than that, been working in my loops manuscript. there comes a point where the poet must concede valery's point, and abandoned the thing. otherwise, it would be worked on and on ad infinitum. or agonized over, and one thing poetry is not, it is not an agony. sometimes.

alex gildzen turned me on to the poetry of jim cory. check out these poems i found last night at ducky magazine. as we used to say around the bong, that some good shit.

word to yr momma,
& grandma too

Sunday, July 23, 2006

if poetry is music
what type would

including over

a) punk

b) classical [contemporary; older]

c) jazz

d) blues

e) classic rock&roll

f) show tunes

g) electronica

h) other[s]

Friday, July 21, 2006

today was in the triple-digits with high humidity. sure, i bitch about the weather like any other person, but today, today it is fucking hellishly scorching! i can, really, handle hot weather, but throw humidity into the equation and i feel like i'm suffering in the 9th circle of hell. i'm not exaggerating at all. just returned from outside watering the plants in our garden and front porch. it is 10:00 pm and the thermometer says the temp. is 93 f. and when i opened the door to the backyard i was knocked back from the blast-furnace heat.


and but so, today i was clicking thru jasper bernes' fine blog and read that he was thinking about writing a screenplay [bottom of the post] with karl parker about john berryman. okay, got my ear pricked in interest. berryman was my first love, and remains a love still. in my early 20s i read everything by, and about, the poet i could find. except, never was able to finish his autobiographical novel recovery (1973). everything else, a big ah ha! and a movie about his life, now that could be, done right, as spock would say, fascinating.

speaking of movies, in the great old blaxploitation flicks of the 1970s, such as shaft, the anti-heroes all had theme music. richard roundtree was one bad muthafucka taking no shit as the opening credits rolled and isaac hayes crooned the ultra-cool theme shaft. everyone is the hero/anti-hero of the movies of their own lives. so what would yr theme song be?

mine, well, if i had to pick one it would be 'sex dwarf' by soft cell.

Sir, I Ham a very Bad Hand at Righting.
tony harrison

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

talk often turns to movies, watched, gonna be watched, what was crap and what are gems. today, at lunch, the conversation steered toward pee-wee herman aka paul reubens, who got himself into an embarrassing jam back in 1991, if you recall that imbroglio [blogger, for whatever reason is not letting me link. however if you google pee-wee herman the first thing that pops up is his infamous mugshot with the cut-line that reubens was busted for wacking-off in a porn theater.].

that probably doesn't need to be repeated at all. i recall most of my friends at the time wondered what the big deal was about it. except that reubens had a critically aclaimed children's show, pee-wee's playhouse, and that his persona was of a man-child. so even being seen near a porn theater was not a good career decision for him, much less being in one.

still, the actor continues to work. yet for me his best film will always be pee-wee's big adventure, directed by tim burton. it is slap-ass silliness at its finest, and the movie is, if i recall correctly, burton's first feature. the two were made for each other. reubens as herman concocted a brilliant comedic shill for his antics, and burton's love of grade-z cinema combusts onscreen to a gorgeous show. recall that the reluctant herman's love interest, played by elizabeth dailey [whose most recent role was as a hooker in rob zombie's the devil's rejects], only wanted to be taken on a date to the drive-in theater.

pee-wee's big adventure is the story of a man and his bicycle, which gets stolen, as herman shops for 'supplies' like whoopie cushions and dribble glasses. distraught he consults a psychic who tells him that his bike is stashed in the basement of the alamo. so off he goes, and it is road movie galore. my favorites scenes are 'large marge' and the dancing tequila interlude. to be sure herman and bicycle are reunited, and yet, as the sages remind us, it is the journey not the destination that enlightens.

burton works best, i think, with films about man-childs. movies like edward scissorhands, a nightmare before christmas, beetle juice, and ed wood are, in a way, fables. burton is possessed of an acidic imagination that roald dahl would consider a kindred spirit. and yet, burton's films that are mostly pastiches of exploitation films, such as mars attacks!, or remakes of goofy sci-fi like planet of the apes, fail his imagination, and therefore suffers from too much dross without any of the zaniness a foil like a character such as ed wood had to focus burton's abilities to tell his terrible, wonderful stories. both reubens and burton together created a film that is at once stupid, goofy, beautiful and almost timeless. the universe created within its frames is both wonderful and terrible, with a terrific visual style and a child-like glee that animates pee-wee's big adventure. it is one of my all-time favorites.

i read a couple of years ago that burton was going to direct the latest superman film, with nicholas cage as superman.

what a shame that didn't get the green light. at least burton would've made the superman franchise a little more interesting to me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

it is hotter than the surface of the sun here. temp. yesterday, when anna picked me up after work, was 112 f. official high was something like 107 f. but why quibble with a couple of degrees. so all one can do is cocoon and watch movies, stay hydrated and take siestas. which is what we did on sunday.

so i'm on heading off to the office, walking there before it gets too hot. and anyway, thinking about the latest thread at the buffalo poetics listserv, which is about philosophy and the existence of god. such a topic is best left for mystics, theologians and mathematicians, since the human intellect can conjure forth many systems of beliefs and the equations, and arguments, to either refute, reject or try to prove the theorems of god.

i'm quickly out of my depth here. i've mentioned before that i consider poetry a religious calling, but that i'm also an atheist. discussions of the nature or existence of god, or theodicy, is not part of my poetics. i think.

writing is, for me, not about mysticism but part of the strangeness and wonder of living. in all its horror and glory.

now i've gotta run.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

been a long night last night. went to bed a bit earlier after working on my loops book. night before that it felt that everything i wrote, including an ancillary poem, was shit. i moaned in an email to a friend about it, who gave me the sage, and necessary, advice to either get the poem, or don't get it. don't bitch about it, don't complain, don't explain. so i tried that, a sort of seeking without striving, and last night was a bit better. holding off on my wood sonnets until i can get the loops chap to cohere.

if that makes any sense. writing is nearly always a pleasure. no agoniste here. but even so, pleasure sometimes turns to pain.

sometimes joel, you have to say what the fuck, as booger advised tom cruise to do in the movie risky business.

at any rate, my links at the right are my sort of crush list. i visit all of them at least once a day. should i give a writer of any age any advice it would be to start a blog, and post poems, essays, reviews, journals, rants, vispo, you name it. it is publishing, and if you want to get technical about it, sure, it's self-publishing. who cares as long as the work gets out there. and as for the often personal nature of poets' posts i'm all for it. long before the net i'd gobble up notebooks, letters, biographies and notebooks about, and from, writers. an all-time favorite is james schuyler's diary, a source of great pleasure, and a restorative to my own health as i was at the time of its publication suffering another series of minor breakdowns.

but i read a good number of blogs that i've not yet set up links. a lot of my daily poetry fix i now satisfy online. this is a half-ass way to say, if yr a poet, start publishing a blog!

let me conclude this ramble by pointing out two new zealand poets i've been reading lately. i've earlier pointed out richard taylor's eyelight. taylor hasn't updated it for a while. hope he keeps at it since i admire his wild ruminations, his thoughts of poetry as living thru praxis and theory, e.g. his notes in the comment field here.

the second poet is jen crawford whose blue acres i read thru in its entirety today at one sitting. that is not an indication that crawford's is breezy. not at all. it was such a source of pleasure, i couldn't stop reading. she has a spot-on clarity that is a wonder to behold.

and with that, i bid you a nighty night.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

trying to update my links but still getting those large spaces between blogs in the list. fuckinghell.

in the meantime do check out richard hansen's micro-press poems-for-all blog.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

a sequal

say it is the end of the world. and the two protagonists were battling it out outisde yr door.

king kong v. godzilla

who would you have yr money on?

king kong is fast, can jump and is really freaking strong.

godzilla is a bit slower, but is armoured with scales and has one helluva a kisser cuz he breathes nuclear fallout.

shit, ol' honda is with his camera now. trying to take the last of it in.

up too late again. almost 1:00 am now. anyway, working on my little book of loop poems, and anyway again, what is that old replacement song that goes: i'm so unsatisfied!


check out tom orange's london post. reminds me a bit of our visit there in '02, the last time there was a world cup championship, in fact. didn't know the meaning of the word fan(atical) until i was in europe during the games. we had a wonderful time in london. loved it, in fact. felt great to be there. some cities feel very comfortable and london was that for me.

i won't get any older now the angels wanna wear my red shoes

Thursday, July 06, 2006

couple of nights ago nicholas woke up at a quarter to 2:00 a.m. needing a bite to eat and some comforting. seems when the boy is in a growth spurt, along with some aches (i sometimes think i can hear his tiny body screech like a sculptor stretching steel) he becomes a large empty stomach. when that happens, waking up in the middle of the night i mean, i feed him and hold him and turn the tv to whatever nonsense is on. mostly i channel-surf until the little guy goes back to sleep.

but on this night i watched the tail-end of a show on pbs about big-wave surfers, and the storm systems that cause big waves. now, what i understand about big-wave surfing is that the waves are freaking huge, and the surfers have to be towed by wave-runners to get to them. and the surfers are bad-ass individuals who have structured their lives around surfing. and they do it every day, surfing, religiously.

there are a few things in life that the devoted do structure their lives around, golf, surfing, skateboarding, running, skydiving etc. etc. it's a sketchy list, i know, but one thing that struck me when we stayed in santa cruz last may was that every morning there were guys who looked like they were in their 50s and 60s returning from the morning's surf. it takes discipline, and devotion, and love to do that.

i don't mean fans, people are fanatical about you name it. we all know, or are, persons who love football, basketball, whatever. no, i mean, surfing, for example, is a discipline and way of life for some. either you get bit by the bug, or you don't. it develops into a need, a discipline that i would call a religious expression.

that is all a long way round to ruminating about the call of poetry. which is a devotion to which we structure our lives. hell, i'd go so far to say that it is a religious calling. what i'm reaching toward in language and experience is the numinous. granted, i'm an atheist who grew up nominally catholic, but is it in the arts where we seek the transcendent? what the hell are the definitions of art anyway? i make no bones about my love of the lo-arts. last night, for example, i had written #9 sonnet of my ed wood cycle, and to relax afterward i played a dvd which has as an extra a gallery of drive-in movie posters played to exploitation radio ads. it relaxes me, but also, i find beauty in such drivel.

a few years ago, i was much taken with the work of philip k. dick. dick was a gnostic fuelled by amphetamines and scotch, who looked for god in garbage. one of the most resourceful books i'd read at the time was dick's collection of writings published under the title exegesis. these were his notebooks of his investigations of the divine in a fucked-up universe. a futile search perhaps, depending on yr belief systems, but for me it was a catalyst to my own poetics.

a boost that i cannot define quite yet. even so, the connection between surfing and poetry is tenuous, yes, and yet it was the surfers' devotion i could connect with. there is so much talk about what poets should do for a living, teach, not teach, have a full-time job, and so on, that it becomes so much blather. who cares. poetry must, for it's own survival, for the survival of those who make it and read it, include everyone who is called forth, garbage collector or adjunct teacher. there is room enough for we many few who choose to live by and thru language. i hope so, anyway. i don't subscribe to rilke's advice to the young person thinking about taking up the pen: if you can do something else, do it. i am lucky enough to know what i want to do with my life. you probably do as well. trick is to find a method of employment that'll keep me, and anna and nicholas, in the three b's: beer, burritos and books.

i've got a lousy memory. but i've managed to memorize, mostly without realizing i've done so, a few scrap of poems. one of my favorites is from auden's memorial to mr yeats. i love it so because this extract has become part of my poetics. for what it's worth. i'll end this rant with it.

Time that is intolerant
Of the brave and innocent
And indifferent in a week
To a beautiful physique,

Worships language and forgives
Those by whom it lives;
Pardons cowardice, conceit
Lays its honors at their feet.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The filming of Plan 9 started over a month before Lugosi died. We shot in a cemetary in Sacramento.

eddie wood on shooting his most famous flick.

Monday, July 03, 2006

a few words before beddy-bye. too tired to make links but i thought that some hacker was fucking with eileen tabios by deleting her blogs. alls well that ends well, and wonderful that blogger found her blogs. weird tho, and frightening. at any rate, the great chatelaine is back and that is always good news.

now i must update my links.

weekend was great. we took nicholas to a public pool for our very good friends' son birthday party, who turned 3. nicholas had a blast. it was the first time he went swimming and there was no stopping him. i almost felt like a kid again, playing in the water, and trying to keep up nicholas.

yep, i let my belly show, proudly, and my panther tattoo saw the light of day in years.

on the radio today i heard 'the 4th of july' by the great los angeles punk band x. holy shit! it almost is the 4th.

now i'm babbling. time for bed.

shine on you crazy daimond