Friday, September 29, 2006

2 poetry blogs and a googled poet

much of my reading is online via blogs, zines and journals. fell in love with the medium when my mother-in-law got a computer in '98, and from there i discovered jacket. it was finding gold. and i've been a convert ever since. sounds like i took my time since the net has been around for years before that. i did. i preferred pulling books off shelves. i still do. it is hard for me to go thru the house, almost every room has at least 1 bookshelf, without pulling down a book and reading a page, a poem. drives anna nuts.

which is a long way of saying that 2 poetry blogs i've been reading lately is a sure sign of the health of poetry, and the electric medium most, if not all, of us writers now use. both poets are younger, and by that i mean in they're 20something poets. not that i give a shit about age, or even generations so much. both have much to teach me.

the 1st is by ryan laks who i've written about earlier. his blog is password protected. laks' email is in the dialogue box, so email him, get the password and read the work.

the 2nd i found a few weeks ago when i was clicking thru past issues of shampoo and googled the poet's name. derrick tyson's blog hasn't been updated since july, but here's to hoping he continues to post his poems.

finally, a poet who's been on my mind for some time now, another tyson, john tyson of milwaukee, i think. again, i found a poem of his when clicking thru back issues of shampoo and fell in love with the look and sound of his text. his name sounded familiar and it wasn't till i googled it, which was an adventure because his name, like mine, is very common, that i rediscovered his poem published a couple of years ago in big bridge. that poem had me at the 1st line, and i was hooked. it was the rough language, the form of the work, how it looks on the page, how the lines crackle in the ear. here was my type of poetry. thru google i find more of his work here, here and here. he also publishes his own zine accurate key, stories here and here. nothing more i can say except that i'd like to read more and more, and hope that tyson starts a blog.

i'd rather be a poet, and live off guile and beer

dylan thomas was my man during my late teens and early 20s. read everything, biographies, miscellany, poems, screenplays etc. etc. i could get my hands on by and about thomas. the welsh poet embodied at the time everything i wanted from poetry. he's the author, if my memory serves, of that quote above. and tho his star has dimmed in my firmament over the years he was the 1st example of a life lived in poetry. there were/are many poets who also embody this life too. but it was thomas who opened the door. his excesses were too extreme for me, and i discovered him as i was leaving the chemical life. among many things i desire and love in this life, the life lived in poetry is the one i ever want.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

below is a photo of the room i work in. half of it anyway. i'm a nosy bastard. i like it when fellow poet-bloggers post pics of their work rooms, studios, spaces, what have you, and i really like it when fellow poet-bloggers post pics of their bookshelves. surely i'm not the only one who scans these photos to see what's on those shelves. so i dare you, i double-dog dare you, to post photos of yr respective rooms on yr own blogs. c'mon, do it!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

literature bores me, especially great literature
j. berryman

pushing 40 [i'll turn 40 next june] i hate, really fucking hate, the thought currently pushed around that 40 is the new 30. by that logic, 30 is the new 20, while 20 is the new teen, and 21 months is the new 15 months. not that i feel old, still feel like the same retard i was at 16, yet the years go by fast, and that the new 40 remains the old 40.

which begs the question, do i like getting older? well, shit, there is one thing that unites all living creatures, we all get old. no one has mastered biology so that the clock goes backwards. you never get younger, tho you don't see yrself aging either. we live in a continuous present, and we do so as we age. nothing can be done about it, aging i mean. if yr lucky to live at all, yr gonna get old.

so then, i'll simply read/write, not get bitter about aging, and head to the fridge for a 2nd beer. like the dude in the cohen bros' marvelous the big lebowski, i'll try to abide.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

domestic poetics

-the life insurance policy arrived today.


-so don't be surprised if you die.

-baby, chances of death are %100.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

last weekend i caught parts of sin city on one of the movie channels. now i dream only in black & white, with dashes of color for heightened contrast. the movie is ultra-violent but no so much if yr into cheap italian exploitation, or postmodern asian horror flicks. the real pleasure was watching the gifted mickey rourke portray 'marv' an extreme anti-hero par excellence. the gleeful inventions of the violence, coupled with marv's noirish tuff-guy voice-over, had me spinning in its sheer audacity.

i've not read the graphic novels of frank miller, but he and director robert rodriguez has chops to spare. the movie was live action but as i replay some of the scenes in my head they appear as if the whole thing was drawn by hand. guess that was the intention. now i must see this movie from beginning to end.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

watching the henry rollins show [yeah, i like rollins, so sue me] on ifc tonight i see a commercial for american hardcore. a documentary that chronicles the years [late 1970s to early 80s] and bands [black flag, minor threat, to name but 2] that i was into back in the day. so far on the net the news is good about the film. in fact, i'm salivating like pavlov's dogs to see the movie. and it is about time there is another film that showcases those pivotal bands and those years of sterility in politics, and on the airwaves. a splinter from the punk movement of the late-70s hardcore was the bratty younger brother of the more intellectual bands like richard hell and the voidoids and television who couldn't play an instrument to save his life, but could scream real good, and learn the minimum 3 chords on guitar. and who was pretty fucking fed up of the way the world was going.

the only way to vent the anger and frustration was to yell and strip down the song to a throbbing 30-second, 300 bps pile of goo. carthartic is not the word for when you heard the band gang green, off the boston anthology this is boston, not l.a. album, rip into the song 'liar, liar' you were transported. not to get teary eyed for a music that in the end also was coopted for corporate ends [see the band good charlotte, or the most recent music from a mostly decent punk band green day] but it is important to remember that the furious sounds of the bands, and the anti-fashion of biker boots, short hair, piercings and tattoos were anathema to it seemed nearly everything in those days. you got yr ass kicked for short spiky hair back then.

well, shit, i seem to be going down the road toward misty-eyed rembrance of things past. which is silly. still, i do not live [how can anyone sustain it] like a 15-year-old punker but the music, the diy punk ethos, is still very much a part of me. it greatly influenced my writing, how i view our collective realities. i survived those years and today, at work, on the little cd player i have in my cube was the raucous sound of the circle jerks' album wild in the streets.

now, again i beseech, i implore, i'm begging on my freaking knees, will somebody fer chrissakes release to dvd already the 1st great chronicle of hardcore punk penelope spheeris' decline of western civilization!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

this i didn't know, retrieved from oz poet liam ferney's picaresque blog, the uncreated consciousness of our race(s) is held in the mighty hand of chuck norris. witness the evidence here, here and there.

Monday, September 18, 2006

can you identify what text at what moment in yr life that turned you on the path of reading / writing

is it like yr first kiss / yr first sex / that sweet consumption that fills you as you fill it / and you knew that yes this is what i want for the rest of my life

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

i've been told, often enough, that i cuss too much. in fact, an old boss once told me that i had a 'potty mouth'. i don't know what shocked me more, the fact that my mouth was a potty, or that a grown man used such a sterile, yet prudish phrase.

i concede, i do cuss an awful lot. love the sound of it, the color and texture of good slang and bad grammar. there are no bad words, just bad people who utter words which make them bad. consider our politicians who use language to distort and convince us their visions are the correct ones. or how about advertisement where language is forked thru the prisms of our collective and individual desires and wants.

i do worry about nicholas picking up my style of language, not because i'd be ashamed of it, only that i fear the opprobrium meted upon those who do cuss like an ornery sailor.

still, i have my favorites, words like fuck, shit, piss, goddamn, motherfucker, sumbitch - the list goes on and on.

and recall the plasticity of a word like 'fuck'. that one word can be a noun, verb, adverb, adjective and so on, often in the same topic of conversation. it is a word of brilliance.

but then again maybe i should remember and abide the song by the great band x, 'i must not think bad thoughts' as i'm driving in rush hr traffic as the fucking motherfucker who just cut me off can shit some manners, that goddamn sumbitch, and can go piss off now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

p. called me last night. p. is taking a week or so off work to do very little, nothing maybe, just relax. asked me if i knew what day it was.

--of course, i said, 5th anniversary. there's a lot of sanctimonious posturing on tv right now.

--yeah, but did you see shrub interviewed by matt lauer on the today show?

--yes, i said, caught a few minutes of it before i left for work.

--has he made you feel, um, safer after all these years?

--what kind of stupid thing is that to ask? so far this administration is only capable of duplicity, scare mongering and starting what seems to be an endless, stupidfuckingugly war.

--i can't stand to hear shrub talk.

and so it went for a few minutes. i observed the 5th anniversary as i would any other day. i went to work, came home, had dinner, and then went to bed early. should i feel guilt that my obsessions remain anna, nicholas, poetry, movies, beer and friends. yes, poetry makes nothing happen. agreed, auden, now you can shut the fuck up.

and yet, poetry, for me, is not an avocation or vocation. it is part of the processes of living. it goes with life, and hopefully goes into death when i die. there are no careers in it, just the same as there are no careers in the fact that you sleep at night and wake in the morning. if i worry about the sorry state of the world, poetry does so with me. and it does so for you too. yr poems, yr writing, the whole of it, is part of yr life. how integral is up to each individual writer. in other words, to paraphrase whitman, mi page es tu page.

anyway, after i put the phone back on its cradle i went to the bookshelf and reread this poem by the postwar polish poet ryszard krynicki.

Yes, She Says

Yes, I survived.
Now I face an
equally serious challenge: to get
on a bus,
to get home.

[translated by stanislaw baranczak and clare cavanaugh]

then went into the kitchen to help anna get dinner ready.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

a couple of weeks ago jim mccrary emailed me his latest chap. have read it a number of times now, and like much of mccrary's work, it is replete with jump-cuts in imagery, slang and a pared-down approach to the texts' subject. in this case these 8 poems are about the hallucinations of mary magdalene.

i didn't jump on the dan brown bandwagon a few months back, even tho, lazy catholic that i am, hay-suess and mary were all the rage. yet when an excellent poet like mccrary hits the subject, i'm all eyes and ears. the poems spin from mary to jesus to bush in the white house. 2 of the lines in a poem references mary's travails in that she was called 'possessed // I call it fucked . . .so to speak'.

so mary was, and is, since the vatican hates to see mary elevated to the level she enjoys in, for example, the hispanic community. i speak broadly now, since i've never really attended a proper mass, and sitting in church was more of an abstraction for me when i was a child. however, hanging in the mexican restaurant a couple of blocks from my house is a painting of mary embracing the late pope john paul. in other words, mary matters big.

and there are mccrary's poems as large as life too. i'm not sure when the book will come out. mccrary is famous for self-publishing his work. but when it is printed clamor for a copy, because he also matters big. i'll end with just a taste.

Mary oh Mary

You come back to

The season of the witch

The white witch bush in the white house

Mary oh Mary

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

--now then, what are you working on?

an autobiography starting from the end thru the beginning

--may we hear the 1st sentence?

certainly. 'richard lopez died in paris / in a rainstorm / on a day i already remember'.

--wonderful. may we know the title?

of course. the book is called tastes like chicken

Monday, September 04, 2006

below are various photos taken at the california state fair. the last is from a booth that sold krispy kreme doughnut chicken sandwiches. the doughnut served as the bread. nope, didn't try it. couldn't bring myself to do it. the concoction was a crime against nature.

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