Saturday, June 30, 2007

sam ward posted a bit from irish poet billy mills on the subject of publishing. in essence, mills is talking about a life in poetry. check it out here.

i've written about mills a couple of times in the past. he's one of those triggering poets for me. i've not read any of his books, but what i've read online and in a couple of fugitive publications, he's become one of my favorite poets. what i have read by mills makes me want to write and provides a map of living in reading/writing.

splat #30

autobio in prose / life in n california today / drove anna's mom to the airport in oakland / then drove back thru the east bay / to berkeley & moe's / whereupon i find the 1970 2nd printing of spicer's language / published by white rabbit press / a happy find for 15 bucks / i can't let that go / along with 2 books by santa cruz poet kevin opstedal / where i must ask my friend jean / if she knows him / cuz she lives there / i think / along with a book by sikelianos & a collective experiment by bernadette mayer / jen hofer / danika dinsmore / & lee ann brown / all good finds i say / then looped back to emeryville for lunch / at the public market / indian food / followed by a long drive home / for this is california / where every household owns at least 2 cars / it seemed every one was on the road today / so it ends by listening to comedy on xm / laffing my ass off all the way

splat #29

hi summer
blueberries in season
bunches at whole foods
hippies everywhere
contrast that
w/ measures
of unrest
of the cube
the wrest
as i stare
at the screen
all day
& i am
open for any sort
of leap

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Since there is no afterlife, the only hell is the hell of praying, obeying laws, and debasing yourself before authority figures, the only heaven is the heaven of sin, being rebellious, having fun, fucking, learning new things and breaking as many rules as you can. This act of courage is known as transgression. We propose transformation through transgression - to convert, transfigure and transmute into a higher plane of existence in order to approach freedom in a world full of unknowing slaves.

[from the cinema of transgression manifesto by nick zedd; lifted from ubu]

splay #28

analytic geometry

underground pipes

wild thyme

theories of capitalism


dulce decorum est

pro patria mori


no shine

in the abstract

as the kid said

fuck the sentiment

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

splat #27

knocked on my ass it was a scene
lifted from danny boyle's film 28 days later
when jim escapes execution and looks up to the sky
sees the contrail of a fighter jet
i was not alone the sky turned soft and red
traffic opened a vein
muy lyrical as a poem might be
c'mon motherfucker let's get going
i'd come to the limits of my tongue
so i said let's have a kiss
slipped in i wrote it anyway
as tarkos once composed
ma langue est poetique
i said it again

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

splat #26

creep thru night dark
as the black thread
of a balaclava
only the creek
of floorboards and
the blue
grip of the tv after
a long day at work
booze it up boyo
for there is no where
that does not see you
turning into a set piece
from some
'80s slasher film
1 where the killer never tires
never sleeps
what's that behind you
seems the lunatic
is on the prowl again
was that sound
in yr head
or coming from
behind the closet door

Monday, June 25, 2007

splat #25

25 cents
ain't worth much
you got no sense to be dealing
still there was a time a quarter could

haggle for the price of a candy bar
or the newest spiderman comic
something like william shatner in the old twilight zone
before he became captain kirk

threw a quarter into a collection box
where it stood on edge
for the duration our hero
could read minds

a ditz's flatline and vacant stare
and a thug's plan to rob
the bank that was foiled
but in the end left our man hanging


Sunday, June 24, 2007

splat #24

open writes the wall if the wall could write
okay but should the times also tell time

& sun see its light the wall might simply change up
like a movie screen watching light writing time on the wall

Saturday, June 23, 2007

splat #23

spike in radiance
or irradiate those fucking plums
they're supposed to be
organic anyway


Friday, June 22, 2007

splat #22


Thursday, June 21, 2007

splat #21

june 21
there were
reports of
festivities every
where e.g.
in roswell
new mexico
the faithful
celebrated the
60th anniversary
where they
looked to
the gov't
to produce
the wreckage
of that
ufo &
in stonehenge
new agers
listened to
muzak wrapped
in blankets
against cold
for this
the longest
day of
the year
the sun
retired behind
a scrim
of clouds
& the
ancient druids
could be
heard laffing

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

splat #20

on the walk in overheard 2 dudes outside the jail speaking about the source of accents.

one had on a leather vest and his arms were scribbled in blue prison tattoos.

the other was wearing a blazer.

it seems that his accent comes from the north,
a sort of twang, the 1st one was saying.

not sure, there appears a bit of lilt,
countered the 2nd guy. sort of
northeast meets valley girl.

it's a car, not a caah.
you don't do warshing,
you do washing.
there ain't no 'r' in the word.

couldn't say, but the cat is
so cool he talks in dolby 5.1.

that's the word.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

splat #19

in their early days eurydice liked to go dancing. orpheus cldn't shake a lick, but the boy could sing mean. everywhere the couple went he would be thronged for a song. it is said our man could crack walls, drinks would evaporate out of their glasses at the sound.

then one night eurydice felt a bit daring, asked to be taken to see a porn film. orpheus took his love to the pussycat. they sat in the dark with a horrible '70s disco track and no plot. she said it looked like hades. he said i feel like song. she asked for a poem about love.

anna's cousin, john from stockholm, and 3 of his friends, elon, richard and henrik, are planning a road trip across the u.s. they spent a few days here in town. all 4 are young men in their early 20s and are judging from their blog detailing their trip having a blast.

took them to the state capitol saturday night around 10:00 pm. they wanted to see the guvinator's smoking tent. also they were horrified and fascinated by the american culture of gun violence. that there are shootings every night in the city caught them off guard. we drove past a nightclub packed with people and when i pointed out that a person was shot standing on the sidewalk a couple of months ago, richard said, that's so surreal.

it is indeed even for us usamerican's who live here.

and but so, it was cool to see california and these states thru their eyes for a while. everything amazed them. i wish for them one hell of a ride.

Monday, June 18, 2007

splat #18

aliens have landed
he said

pointing to his

i don't get it
you mean to say

yr an alien
i asked

no dumfuck
a tiny one

is driving
right behind

my i

Sunday, June 17, 2007

splat #17

17 is a prime number
anna reminds me
as the tuff ape attempts
a construct of the self
look this monkey's gone
to heaven if hope becomes
past tense
shit what if it were
and i was the dauphin
on the eve of battle
self-medicating on wine
and pride and the loser
of night clicks the light
on like a thought
bubble above my head
and the laff
track of my life
was in perpetual loop

Saturday, June 16, 2007

splat #16

descartes was sitting at the bus stop
scuzzy clothes all bummed in

long white beard
recognized him in an instant

holding court to no one
buses refused to stop

his shopping cart
filled over with garbage bags

thick with soda and beer cans
bottles of everykind

speaking of which
he held a brown-bagged bottle

in his left hand
he cleared his throat

as if to speak
and he did

lifted a toast and announced
to the world

poto, ergo sum

Friday, June 15, 2007

splat #15

i loved
an old hippie named
dave lived life

like a poet
surrounded by
family friends

haloed continuously
by tobacco and weed
read 2 sci-fi novels

a day
a quiet life
ended quietly

3 years ago
stroked out in

flying in a small
plane over the sf bay
above golden gate

one night the
black endless
pacific below

sf living
dappled in
no past no future

the continual
present in

in death
there is no
here here

Thursday, June 14, 2007

splat #14

what i want from poetry is fuck all
this thing like delta blues musician
cedell davis stricken w/ polio in
childhood can hardly grip the geetar
but uses a butter knife to make the
chords and strums w/ a hand no
better off than that his geetar out of
tune his voice splattered with a sound
not to be believed yet it happens this
thing the throat opens and sounds
splay sawn as old dt said it would
a long time ago in a galaxy not
too far far away

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

splat #13

welcome to the communion of yr race was the greeting of satan as recorded by hawthorne
old words same new greeting
fade to black and realize that the horror is us

okay, but then the space we explore is in-between
there was once a platform i could stand on that wobbled
gravity helped that

i held her hand as we stood on another bridge
the wind was blowing hard and cold
it was a kiss

we could stop hold our breath tumble over and thru
that land is an extension of water and air
reminds me of a song sung

you sing it with gusto
horror and love that our communion

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

splat #12

dear ____:

this is just to say
i have drunk the last of the beer
in the icebox

which you were selfishly saving
for who knows what

forgive me [i say]
they were so delicious
so cold



Monday, June 11, 2007

reading david denby's piece about summer movies this evening in the new yorker, denby's choice of summer film is a long favorite of mine. not that i own a copy - i've seen this movie dozens of times thru the years and i have large swaths of it memorized.

quest for fire is an ambitious film bereft of intelligible dialogue. it is a caveman movie about how the world, and its occupants, are changing. the plot is simple: fire is the most precious resource for all sentient beings, yet for one tribe they do not know how to make fire. they only know how to keep it going. going until the keeper of the fire drops the tribe's last ember in a swamp. hence, three members of the tribe - including actor ron perlman - must head out and seek the life-sustaining stuff.

i don't agree with denby's assessment of the film so much. it's more than a summer film. it's a long overlooked gem. but perhaps my own critical eyes are askew regarding the time i first saw the movie. a local shopping mall, arden fair, recently remodeled their cineplex in 1982 with 2 large theaters with surround sound. quest for fire was the very first film i saw there. it was an astonishing film-going experience. for the movie is all ambient sound. from the clatter of rocks falling to the sound of sabre-tooth tigers roaring in the distance.

the open vistas of an earth still largely free of human occupation is also a breathtaking foray for the senses. there is a remarkable scene as the camera retreats into the distance and all you can see in the frame is a speck of light from the campfire of a tribe. this is a movie that benefits from the big screen.

given that there is no dialogue, information is conveyed by body language. some parts are played for laughs, while other moments are fairly dour in their complexion. be that as it may, the movie is ravishes the beholder. there really isn't any movie to rival it.

perlman, as i mentioned, is in the cast. so is rae dawn chong, who is a member of a more advanced tribe. one that can make fire, and when she shows our three heroes how it's down, their walnut-sized brains are blown away. but it is a film where no one star steals the show. the movie is an ensemble piece, and what does it matter anyway. all the actors are wearing make-up and prosthetics. it is the grunts and body language that matter. and the special fx are gorgeous. pre-history has never looked so palpable onscreen.

you can catch this flick every now and then on tv. don't wait, if you've not seen this movie before, put it on yr netflix queue, or seek it out at the video store. it really is a quiet, movable feast for the senses.

splat #11

watching bob the builder w/ nicholas
almost napping
it can get better and it does
after a long weekend of prose
and drab feelings from me
about turning 40
[not just a # it is an age]
a brilliant funny discussion
on the phone yesterday w/
jonathan hayes
and today's email a 6 word story
by jim mccrary
and 2 poems from john tyson
our front door faces west
and at 7:30 pm
this evening the light is as brilliant
as the hatch ajar
on the spaceship from
speilberg's noble but mostly
execrable close encounters of the 3rd kind
or maybe like the sun
that closed in our orbit
to say hey
stop the shit and go on

Sunday, June 10, 2007

splat #10

reading the death knell of poetry
as proclaimed by novelist martin amis

shit, i'd be writing its obituary
were it not for being sentenced

to life in the art
so bet it perhaps i should

find funding for its sequel
for a few poems more

starring the inimitable
anti-hero clint eastwood

Saturday, June 09, 2007

splat #9

1st draw

not a tie

me up

or tie

me down

as if i

lived in

almodovar's film

of the same


even so

i've reached

the middle

of my all

and damn

if it ain't


that it

is just


Friday, June 08, 2007

splat #8

drop the drip
event horizon
currents cross
over time and space
if it were
saith mr hawking
who floated up and out
recently on the good ship
lent by nasa
leaving materialism
for a while
becoming all mind
what if it were indeed
saith a certain heiress
got her wish and cried
till the mothership
found a crop circle
to land on taking
the girl back home

Thursday, June 07, 2007

splat #7

sleepwalking my
way to work

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

splat #6

werewolves attempt to take power and rule the world
according to tv

what do you call a group of lycanthropes
pack of punks

blue light on green eyes
smoke up dude

asked what do you want when you leave
this life

leave a fistful of poems

don't take yrself trouble
so seriously

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

splat #5

dog hair on the book on the page on the laptop dog hair everywhere as i write the dogs snooze and berta the cat keeps point beside me she lets me know when a line or word is fucked up by biting my hand the air blows hard for june 5, 2007 and it was this time 40 years ago the hippies in the haight declared the summer of love born that many years ago tonight at the supermarket the check-out girl said you look under 30 can i see yr i.d. i replied are you kidding, look at my grey hair she said humor me and i don't know if that is funny or not but a nice way to end a long day at work then tonight reading the essays of the tragic poet lew welch who disappeared in the sierras when i was 4 years old welch writes laughter, zany wit, can cut thru so much grease, so fast

i'm sure the hippies are pretty amazed that 40 years ago this june they had declared - in the haight - that the summer of 1967 was the summer of love.

perhaps it was just that. reading the essays of the late, great poet lew welch tonight, written mostly during those wild, turbulent times of the '60s, that welch thought change for the better was just beginning.

being a child born during that tumultuous period of world history, i rebelled against the excesses of peace, love and understanding and turned to the virulent frustrations that borne out punk rock in the '70s and '80s.

now i'm a few days away from turning 40, a poet and man still attempting to learn to become a poet and man. and my attitudes maybe are changing to ask again, echoing elvis costello and nick lowe, what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding.

and i'm listening more and more to trance, a form of electronica heavy on its insistence of love and harmony. should a track have lyrics, those lyrics are pretty simple to the point of being trite. and then there are the exceptions where the voice, the words and the beat become uplift. lately, i've been obsessed with a track by above & beyond good for me. i first heard this piece about three weeks ago driving home at 1:00 a.m. from watching a movie with some friends as the song closed out above & beyond's radio show broadcast on xm satellite station the system. it was a slower, more ambient, mix than this particular track. but i prefer the remix linked to here. it's got that big sound i so love in trance. and the vocals sound, without trying to sound like a hippie, like love.

then again, perhaps i'm a big old hippie after all.

Monday, June 04, 2007

derek motion is writing what he calls splatter poems over here. a poem a day for the month of june. i've never been able to write a poem a day, but i like derek's conception of these splatterings: daily lines, unedited, about whatever.

so below are my contributions to the form. i kinda liken these to the alt.lyrics of schuyler and berrigan. i'll try to keep up with derek with a poem a day. i've renamed my texts 'splats' since my jokey 'splatta matta' that i began with started to send too precious for my ears. what is more important is the processes of writing [that also conveys the processes of reading and living too] rather than the materials of subject. however, my writing never does become abstract - as much as i admire the poems of say hejinian - therefore, whatever they turn to mean hopefully they'll also be.

splat #4

2 cups of black coffee
10:30 a.m. farmers market
later anna in the garden

sunday deadheads
not the corpse of jerry garcia

splat #3

imago of pose
tension surface s/he is
closer to joy = love

mania is necessity
yet in the phrase of thom gunn
the powerhouse of love

fuses desire pitching
who among who
sometimes love is dumb

Friday, June 01, 2007

splatta matta #2

driving by the side
of the river
the drunks weave
out of the bars
going home thru
thickets and fog
she wondered
where the fuck
was home
thinking maybe
it is the wind
that blows yr mind