Saturday, May 31, 2008

survey meme

hope gina doesn't mind but i've pasted her template here. i did it because i'm old and my memory is pretty gruesome and and because i didn't want to toggle back from one screen to the other to remember what the questions are. here goes:

What were you doing five years ago?
1.) perhaps maybe thinking about having a child
2.) publishing my first chapbook
3.) reading in public for the first time in many years
4.) started to seriously collect dvds
5.) doing pretty much the same shit i do now

What are five things (in no particular order) on your to-do list for today?
1.) go to frys electronics store for a new scooby-doo movie and a power cord for the laptop
2.) go to the grocery store for junk food for the drive-in movie tonight
3.) go to jimboys tacos for dinner to eat at the drive-in movie tonight
4.) get cash to pay admission for the drive-in movie tonight
5.) drive to the drive-in theater for the drive-in movie tonight

What are five snacks you enjoy?
1.) almonds
2.) cheese
3.) tortilla chips
4.) strawberrys
5.) bananas

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?
1.) stop worrying over money
2.) pay off my house
3.) found an organization that would study the marriages of the arts and the art of living
4.) become a hippy
5.) rebel against hippydom and revert back to being a skate-punk

What are five of your bad habits?
1.) moseying along rather than hurrying up
2.) cutting people off at mid-sentence
3.) talking rather than listening
4.) procrastination
5.) incredibly bad, unreadable, handwriting

What are five places you have lived?
1.) sacramento, ca
2.) sacramento, ca
3.) sacramento, ca
4.) sacramento, ca
5.) [i've traveled here and there with extended stays at other places too but i'm a born and bred californian and i've lived in my natal city my, so far, entire life]

What are five jobs you have had?
1.) janitor [at sac state, best job i've ever had]
2.) forklift operator
3.) general laborer at campbell soup co.
4.) busboy and barback
5.) manager of recycling facility

Which five people do you want to tag?
1.) derek motion
2.) jean vengua
3.) alex gildzen
4.) geof huth
5.) ernesto priego

Friday, May 30, 2008

since i've cut back my drinking to a few on the weekends i've dropped somewhere close to 17 lbs. okay, no big whoop but i like beer and since i don't drink to excess, haven't had a hangover since my last big one, i was 27 and it was 2 days of living hell and i realized that that sort of over-drinking, you know having a many few [in the phrase of the late, great john berryman] and trying to amplify heaven, simply ain't worth it.

still, i like beer and like drinking it, the taste, the texture, the effect. so i limit my intake to the weekend only. why not. indeed.

enuff ov dat. taking nicholas to the drive-in tomorrow night where we plan on showing him the playgrounds, the snack bar and so forth. will he dig it? i sure will, and i'm looking forward to watching his reaction to a place that i've loved since i was nicholas's age.

in other news, reading jim mccrary again, slowly, deeply and with great pleasure.

also, last june oz poet derek motion and me wrote daily poems called 'splatter' using ginsberg's dictum 'first thought, best thought' as the platform. which sure didn't mean me since my fifth thought is as bad as my first. has it been a year already? i can't keep track of time no more. anyhow, expect derek and me to be at it again beginning tomorrow, and see if we can see to see.

furthermore, gina myers tagged me to do a survey meme. this one is cool. i should be doing that instead of typing this. however, take this as a pledge that i'll be stealing gina's survey template and giving you my answers here, directly.

word up

Thursday, May 29, 2008

received the small press distribution fall 2008 catalog and spent 3 hrs in its pages reading nearly every item and drooling like pavlov's dogs

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

approach & identify

take the first left
which is after the
last right & follow the
lead until you come
to the end which you'll
know when you get to it
because the end is
made just for you

Monday, May 26, 2008

the weather could not be better for the beginning of summer. it is what anna and i refer to as a 'swedish summer day' which means that the days are very cool, overcast and with a fairly heavy breeze. normal temperatures in sac for the memorial day weekend sits between low 90s to the triple digits. in other words, this short respite from the heat is a cause of pure pleasure.

movies i've watched the past 3-4 days:

there will be blood

this film is fucking astonishing. daniel day-lewis's performance is a work of genius. i've already written a poem using a scene from the film. there were moments when the photography, the sound and the figures in the frame literally took my breath away. i'm surprised and happy that a film of this nature, a slow-paced, densely textured piece about a last turn-of-the-century oilman, got such a strong critical response and made a few buck at the box office. it gives me hope that there is something good in humanity that a movie like blood got financing, produced and distributed at all.

the darjeeling limited

wes anderson's first film, i think it's his first film, rushmore is simply one of my favorite movies of the past 10 or so years. however, anderson specializes in studies of lack of affect. most of his characters are odd-ball intellectuals who engage the world and each other in what i can only describe as a calm frenzy. it worked well with rushmore, it didn't work so great with the life aquatic with steve zissou, at least not for me who was more annoyed with murray's character and anderson's deliberately slow storytelling. yet, i enjoyed limited immensely. the characters' silly, but profound, intended spiritual quest in india worked. anderson's camera made much of the claustrophobic sets where the characters never seemed to mind inhabiting. i laughed almost as much as i did with rushmore. that is, and i'm not kidding, high praise indeed.

the phoenix lights

this is a documentary of one physician's research into the mass ufo sighting in the state of arizona on the night of march 13, 1997. she discovers of course that we are not alone. i love the paranormal and usually salivate over ufo miscellany such as this. what is remarkable about this ufo event is that thousands reported seeing the same thing and even the governor of arizona at the time, fife symington, is among the witnesses. my only complaint about this documentary is that there is no conflicting explanations, just one airman was interviewed and no scientists were interviewed at all. instead we have a series of talking heads corroborating what each saw. is that necessary? do i doubt their veracity? i simply missed a more balanced approached to a controversial, or silly, depending upon your point of view, subject. i like the premise of the documentary but in the end feeling the lack of a more down-to-earth explanation of the phoenix phenomena i felt that i was indeed alone.

other films i've been watching because i am the father a three-year-old i've seen them more than once:

scooby-doo and the aliens

scooby-doo on zombie islands

nicholas is on a scooby-doo kick.

Friday, May 23, 2008

often the walk thru midtown and downtown, which i've been doing for years now, ever since i got an office job and realized that after years of blue collar work i must do something for physical exercise, is rather tranquil with very little going on in the way of heavy traffic or fellow pedestrians. most people tend to respect each other's space and give some distance. i'm talking about the walkers and not the drivers who are for the most part nuts behaving as if someone crossing the street in a crosswalk and on a green light is invisible.

tonight however was a little different. because it is friday night and because this friday is the start of a three-day holiday, memorial day, which is the traditional kick-off for summer, i knew the streets would be choked with clubbers and hipsters and so on. i thought about taking my camera because i've been thinking of snapping pics of my city during my perambulations and posting them here for a taste of the community where i choose to spend my life.

my city and my walks in my city have influenced my writing both in content and technique. how could they not. i find it damn near impossible to write on the fly as i find myself, in the best of moments, in a kind of walking meditation. these are some of the best moments when the mind and the body become thought and action. often i find myself listening on conversations as i pass, and since everyone is on their mobiles yakking it up eavesdropping is quite easy, and looking at my fellow creatures as they also move in and out of their days.

tonight i was walking thru lavender heights, the section of midtown with a continuosly growing cluster of gay clubs, and the streets were of course packed with people. for the most part i feel safe, i am a fairly large guy, 6' ft and over 200 lbs, but i sure the hell don't look tough as anna pointed out to me recently as i was goofing around trying to look and behave like snake plissken, as played by kurt russell, in john carpenter's kick-ass film escape from new york. i might even be naive in my own self-perceived toughness. i've probably mentioned this before but i remember when a friend was looking for a flat to rent in midtown. me and another friend were walking and found an apartment complex with a 'for rent' sign posted outside. we stopped to read it and write down the phone number when a voice called down from the third floor and asked if we would like to see what the flats looked like. since it was a young man who offered i said, sure. so up we went for a few minutes then thanked the him and went on our way. later my friend, the one i was walking with, the one who joined me in that young guy's place, said that the guy could've been a serial killer. perhaps going to his rooms wasn't such a smart thing to do after all. i told her that i hadn't even thought about that, didn't have an inkling the guy might've been a psycho. i figured that no one would fuck with me because i'm a fairly large man. i had no fear or even trepidation in the guy's sincerity.

that doesn't mean i've not had some close calls. when you are a walker, especially in a city where most people drive, you see and hear some strange shit. sometimes dangerous shit even. as i mosied thru lavender heights about a block ahead of me was a young asian couple dressed for the clubs who just passed a couple of street persons, one black and one a very tall mexican. the black guy shouted something to the young woman and her boyfriend turned around and screamed 'fuck you you fucking asshole'. in a second it escalated to what looked to be a brawl. the mexican got in on it and started slurring 'i'll kick your ass motherfucker'. but the girl pulled on the young man's arm and the hatchet-faced, and that is not a judgement call at all, i mean these two dude had deep lacerating scars on their faces which were evidence that these guys know a violent life, dudes put their shirts back on and continued down the street. i was glad the girl defused the tension by not letting her boyfriend's arm go and kept walking as i was walking towards them and i was wondering what i'd do if they started to tussle. i could tell the dudes were fucked up and slow but i thought that a fight with both of them could have a deadly outcome. despite the u.s. cop shows where a person can get hit a dozen times with a baseball bat then get up and shake it off it would only take a couple of blows to kill a person. they were not good guys because as i passed them the black guy screamed, i'll take your bitch and fuck her till she she split. that is a direct quote.

i also knew that a potential fight with two drunk bums on a crowded street in the midst of gay clubs would not last long since -- and i'm guessing of course but human nature being what it is, both good and bad -- many men would run to break it up. in other words, i had no fear from the two dudes who were still walking about a half block ahead of me. they then stopped another young man and bummed a smoke off him then asked for money and when the guy said he didn't have any they said, well you got an atm card right.

then it was my turn. i could here those idiots behind me as i waited for the traffic signal to turn green. then the black guy asked me the same things he asked the earlier guy. he asked for a dollar to buy cigarettes. when i pointed he was already holding a cigarette he then said, no man cigarettessssssssssssssss! when i told him i don't have any money he said, you got plastic right. i responded, you want me to give you my plastic, in a tone that sounded like, are you fucking nuts. that's when he told his compadre, we better get outta here before i get all jackie chan on this motherfucker.

which maybe he might've tried doing. instead they crossed the street and kept up with my pace for a couple of blocks shouting to me and whoever got in their way. then they disappeared into another street with their plastic bag of cheap vodka and orange juice. and no, i was not nervous, tho there was a second when i thought that they might just indeed try to get all jackie chan on my ass. i knew i could take them, i don't know how i knew this but i did, one on one. that sounds like braggadocio but it isn't. simply a feeling i had, a naive feeling, yes. two against one and they would've killed me. the mexican was very passive in his demeanor however and as i kept replying the incident i thought that all i'd have needed to do with him is shout out sit down and shut the fuck up.

i've already written a poem using this encounter as a platform. i also got a rush from it. not the i just escaped death rush or i just bungee jumped rush. more like a rush from living in the center of a city, one that is dynamic and vibrant and sometimes unpredictable. it lasted the whole way home and when i told anna about it her chuckle was the balm i needed to come down and rest on what we used to call in college the real world.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

last night was a double feature of sorts. i turned the tv on to the independant film channel as i fired up the laptop to work on my little project. the movie that started about 20 minutes earlier was david cronenberg's crash. i was astonished by this film. i'd heard of it before, in fact a good friend told me she thought it was the most erotic movie of all time. my friend, who i lost track of thru the years, was at the time single and used movies to sublimate her own desires. and crash did the trick for her.

i watched it half with an eye to the television and half to my computer screen. the movie requires one's full attention. based on j.g. ballard's novel of the same title the flick stars james spader as a tv exec who gets into a horrendous car accident. at the scene he notices a couple fucking in the middle-distance and as spader's recovery progresses he finds himself fetishizing the automobile and car accidents. it becomes the antidote to he and his wife's boring love-life. he then later finds that couple who were fucking and discovers that there is a small subculture of like-minded individuals who are aroused, nay they get high, from car accidents.

cronenberg's eye is lush and detached from the principals, nearly clinical in his depiction of people transfixed by speed, metal, impact and elemental squishy human bodies that become so much blood and meat. it is an astonishing work. the characters are hyper-sexual beings that get off on watching crash test videos as pornography. i don't know how much cronenberg strayed or remained faithful to the source material having never read the book. i can say that the movie is haunting and i've been thinking about it all day.

of course i need to watch the movie again and give it all my attention to write fully on it. the second film last night was amores perros which is a triptych set in mexico city of three strangers who are connected only by their love of dogs and a single fatal car crash. again i need to watch it again from start to finish in order to write about it. it is also a beautiful, hyper-violent story reminiscent i think of tarantino's early work. that is not a flaw at all. the film is, in a word, incredible.

anyway, today i told a friend my impressions of crash. she said, oh wasn't that a good movie! especially with matt dillon as. . . i said, matt dillon wasn't in it. the movie starred james spader, holly hunter and rosanna arquette. what?

she thought i was talking about this crash which is a movie that i hadn't bothered to see. then she told me she hadn't heard of cronenberg's film. when i said the plot involved people who sexualized car crashes she gave me this look and said, oh.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ryan eckes on the poet as amateur

and geof huth on the joys of living poetry

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

on the matter of influence as i get older it becomes more difficult to say what precisely i'm influenced by. i still can pinpoint my obsessions however as my love of language is wide my memory is presently narrowing. not necessarily a bad thing i suppose. but it means that if i have a clump of words or a line buzzing thru my head i must stop what i'm doing and write them down or otherwise i'll lose them forever.

e.g. last week after doing some surfing, some reading and some writing i went to bed around 1:30 a.m. i was pleasantly exhausted and as i did the routine things around the house i had this sentence humming literally as it looped within the grey matter. i thought it was catchy like a hook in a song so as i crawled into bed i thought i'll write it down before i left for work the next morning. of course i got up because i knew that soon as i fell asleep that hook would dissipate and blow away. i opened my eyes, pulled back the covers and fished out my moleskin which i carry in my backpack, took it to the next room and wrote the sentence down. there was no other way to preserve them. that is a sign of obsession i think. kind of ocd i suppose but i had no other choice. the words demanded it and as a writer i had to obey.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

i'm interested in writing a long poem. i've just embarked on a project that is a minor affair and so far in writing the poems it seems that one common theme is emerging. i've written serial poems but frankly the work i'm doing now for this project - which i'll talk about more fully when i'm done - is rather narrative and i think kind of tame. the theme is rather large and i don't know if i'll continue to pursue it. but i think i want to try writing at least a five-page work using completely different techniques such as collage and so forth. can i do it? fuck knows. only one way to find out and that is to do it and find out as i go.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

i was surprised and saddened to read of the death of john phillip law on alex gildzen's blog last night. law was one of those golden boys best known from late 1960s european cult films, his most famous role is perhaps as the blind angel in roger vadim's classic barbarella.

below is the trailer for another well-known movie, mario bava's danger: diabolik, in which law plays the lead. i've not seen the flick but it's just been released to dvd in the u.s. i think either late last year or this year. just the same, the movie, as you can surmise from the trailer, has that groovy '60s score and campy, outre sets and costumes. and law is simply beautiful to behold.

it's hot in northern california. real hot. how hot? triple digits. the show in sf last night, crowded house at the fillmore, was fantastic. first time at the fillmore which dates back to the hippie era when the dead and jefferson airplane would perform in all their wild glory back in the day. more on that later perhaps, my impressions of the fillmore because it was my first time there.

however, it was hot in sf, a city known for its temperate clime. it was freaking hot, i mean close to 100 degrees f. and sf is a city without air conditioning. anna and i freaking roasted! everytime i went to the bar the bartender kept moaning about the heat. i told her i'm from sac, a city used to very hot weather in summer but at least we have air conditioning. i then asked, doesn't sf believe in air conditioning. that's when another employee said, no. no air conditiong and if i thought the building was hot i should've been there earlier that afternoon when not even the devil himself could've staunched the heat.

here a few things that seem to be poems in of themselves i witnessed standing in line on geary st in sf waiting for the doors to open for the show:

--beer bottle tossed thru the rear door of a muni bus during a regular stop

--middle-aged skate punk with a navy blue shirt with ALAMEDA COUNTY JAIL on the back pushing a street person in a wheelchair up to nearby liquor store and walking back down geary st with two cans of beer

--young woman eager to talk treating herself to the show as reward after a long grueling year at university who then was surprised that i recognized the name of her poet-professor

in short, it was a great evening. neil finn possesses one of the greatest voices in pop music. i got goose-bumps when he nearly closed the set with 'i fall at your feet'. i love that song.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

living in the art

found the school of

poetics of


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

only wish


*has this poem already been written? it seems so familiar. it is a found text, at least i read it today clicking thru a drive-in theater website.

guess 2 days of delaminating did the trick. i've not had the strongest urge to write in a long time. i could spend 2 weeks doing nothing but i don't have the time for it. so 2 days and now i feel like sitting down and writing a chapbook worth of poems. or a couple of movie reviews or something. i suppose for me what i needed to do was change my thinking a bit. let go of my desires for well everything and soon those things find their way to me. does that make sense? i don't know but another way to look at it is to stop worrying and step into the now. oh shit, that sounds goofy too.

i'd think i need to articulate myself a bit better. but now it's almost time to make dinner. anna and i are heading to sf tomorrow to see crowded house at the fillmore. never been there before. i've been threatening jonathan hayes who lives in sf with a visit for months now but tomorrow ain't the time for it is date night for me and anna who rarely get a moment alone.


surrealisms after watching la belle captive by alain robbe-grillet

magritte made the painting la belle captive so it would be filmed by a novelist

manet made the painting of an execution so it would be used in a film

trust just the head for the heart will lead thru a moebius strip

the head tho will get it wrong and you will find yourself on a moebius strip

alban berg made music just for this film

the woman is not dead is not a vampire is not a woman

the other woman is his boss is dressed in leather is driving the motorcycle at night is an icon

this is reality this is not real

thunder claps as if it knows the ending

this is not film is not pictorial novel is not painting is not score

the beach is not in uruguay it is in death

eroticism is not pornography it is the station that lead to the head and so the genitals

s&m imagery is not pornography too it is not it is

black shades black leather frilly blouse silver chrome

he is executed he is not dead

desire is obsession is the consummate searching

her body is found handcuffed in the street in the bed

he is obsessed with blood from neck bites sometimes there is no blood

he learns with some realities there is no end at all

late distant warning


*a prominent, unknown poet sd this about the report: yep, i knew it all along. it's too late for me. i knew i ws fucked the moment i even took a glimpse at the print of my daddy's newspaper long before they taught me to read.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i could have easily

been a monk
happy in my cell
simply reading & writing
with the occasional stroll

rather i'm acting
monk-like reading
watching tv without
speaking a word all day

[written today - 1:20 p.m. - while watching deadliest catch & clicking thru deep oakland]

Monday, May 12, 2008

okay, that's it; i'm fucking bummed. read in the paper yesterday that the county board of supervisors tabled their final decision on their development plans for the land that the sac 6 drive-ins sits on for may 14. the drive-ins have escaped the wrecking ball for the past 8 years but i think that this is the final curtain call for the venerable old theater. i've written about the place many times before so my love of drive-ins is i think well-known. and when the drive-in is gone that's it no more for sac or even northern california. my good friend b. and i plan to go to the drive-in this friday. it may be the last time.

* * *

but in other news, good news, philly poet ryan eckes started a blog. do check it out. eckes is one of the most exciting poets i know.

* * *

taking the week off for a much needed holiday. my plans are to have no plans. i'm gonna do a little writing, a little reading, a little movie watching, and a lot of delaminating.

* * *

speaking of movies i just watched for the 2nd time today, i don't know why i watched it twice but i did, the indie film seven and a match. i'd caught the last 15 minutes of it last year on ifc and because it features heather donahue whose most famous work is the horror flick the blair witch project i wanted to see if she's a good actor. she is. but seven is not really a good movie. an ensemble piece much like the big chill sans the nostalgia and for twenty-somethings the movie is about old college friends who have a weekend reunion at the summer home of their friend who still lives in the house and who also organized and set the action in motion.

now, we have the disparate cliched, yet goofy roles, such as the sensitive male, the gay guy, the letch and the person so miserable she can't help but make those around her miserable too. the actors are game and the only one i half-way recognized, other than donahue, was devon gummersall who played geeky, brainy brian krakow in the excellent, but short-lived tv series my so-called life. but here's the catch: the main character, the one who still lives in the beautiful seaside house in maine, ellie has an ulterior motive. since the house is in foreclosure, she inherited the house along with a mountain of debt when her parents died in a car accident, she discovered that the insurance is worth much more than the house. so ellie asks her friends to help her commit arson.

i don't believe it. even in this depressed housing marking a coastal maine house with lots of woodland surrounding it would be worth a lot. i think. in california a house like that would be worth millions and selling it would be fairly easy. i don't know what the housing market is like in maine but the movie was released in '03, the height of the housing bubble, and i figure ellie could at least get a half mil out of it. but then there would go the plot and the movie would end up just like the big chill. and that movie was boring!

instead we have a group of friends who've grown apart thru the years but not grown up very much. but then how could they when they are only in their late twenties. despite their relative naivete, after all what does grown up really mean anyway, i mean i know people in their 50s who still haven't figured out what they want to be when they grow up, the seven friends renew their bonds and are for the most part likable.

the main thing for me is that the movie lacks nostalgia that makes a film like the big chill kind of icky. the characters' neuroses match their types and even if there is little depth to their roles they do their best. the photography is mostly gorgeous which is helped out by filming coastal maine in the fall. the direction is both harried and leisurely. this film is the only one i think by director derek simonds who also wrote and performed most of the indie-rock style songs for the sound-track. the music matches the movie just so. not that that is good but it is a good effort with the occasional moment of genuine love.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

on the subject of higher education

in the steve martin vehicle l.a. story which is a lark about l.a. being a magical place martin portrays a lonely wacky tv weather man

when martin plies his trade as a comedian-meteorologist the anchors laugh uproariously when the cameras are on

in this segment after martin's schtick one of the anchors says, i've heard you have an advanced degree

martin turns serious and replies, yes; i have a phd in art history

a lot of good it did you, the anchor finishes

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

lisa, lisa

after the 2 middle-aged goombas wearing suits
[tarantino probably got the idea
for the natty dressed thugs for resevoir dogs from watching this]
killed 2 men along with their young sidekick with so much
hair and beard from a distance i almost called out yeti
went on a psycho killing spree because on the run
from the law they hide out at psycho lisa's farm
a young woman taking care of her grandfather who could
neither walk nor talk & yet lisa neither knew the men
or cared where they came from only that they got in the way
it so happened both goombas wanted lisa
in a bad way but instead got the axe while their young
sidekick is freaking out because of all the death & violence
to confide in lisa only to discover her own bloody handiwork
all this clocked in just over an hr because exploitation producer
harry novak is clairvoyant with what the audience will watch
slow paced still but the flick remains a model of concision
shit got done as lisa gets revenge and proves she's just
as nuts as the rest of them & so what indeed
as i type these lines the police chopper circles searching
for someone while sirens blare from down the street
going to who knows where that it appears the world
is a world of death & violence or better still as the old
u.k. punk band the exploited titled a song 'sex & violence'
where those are the only words repeated in a constant refrain
is something novak would probably attest to if i could ask him about it
but i figure he couldn't hardly care to give a shit

[written after watching the exploitation film axe; alternate titles lisa, lisa & the virgin slaughter]

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

it often comes to light

it often comes to light
that i don't know
what the hell
i'm doing

[written on a fly in sac - may '08]

* * *

fixing the fountain

fixing the fountain warm clear night
skeeter the size of a fist

[composed on the tongue tonight dodging a bloodsucker - 8:45 p.m.]

Monday, May 05, 2008

tonight in an email i mentioned an old east bay punk band, code of honor, that was one of my favorite bands back in the early '80s. i was bitching about how code of honor's debut album, code of honor, is long out of print. i was complaining how somebody must own the masters somewhere. it was a double-sided album, one side was code of honor, and the other side was another east bay band, sick pleasure, who were if i remember correctly the members of code of honor with a different, gravel voiced singer, nikki sikki. sick pleasures songs had titles like 'i shot the muni driver' and other such homilies. code of honor on the other hand were a politically motivated group. they aligned themselves with skate punk and the cover art of their side of the lp was three skateboards and a les paul lined up against a graffitied wall. they put on a great live show and i'd seen them live countless times back in the day.

so tonight i find one of their two videos. frankly i didn't know they had videos. but here it is. the song is 'stolen faith' from their eponymous debut.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

turns out that i use the word 'lovely' a lot. at the wantling reading i read a very short poem and said 'isn't that lovely'? without irony and during the course of the evening it was pointed out how often i used the word.

but why not, indeed. today is a lovely day. warm, clear, sunny, without a cloud in the sky. we just got back from the park where nicholas fed the ducks, rode the swing and played with his shovels to the point of wearing himself out. now he's down for a nap.

the wantling reading was fantastic. caught up with some good friends i'd not seen in a long time. the readers all read the wantling poems i think beautifully. it was an intimate affair where we all sat around a table and read, joked and told wantling stories.

i suppose the blog format begets an intimacy of expression. in other words, it's almost impossible not to be autobiographical. i suppose that is both good and bad in a way. however, i love it when poets i admire write about their personal lives. because poems are made by people and at leat this person, me, if i find the poems fascinating i'll also want to read what the poet thinks and feels about everything and anything.

which is a long way of saying that in my own personal universe i can't help but write about this life of mine. for good and bad. at the moment i'm feeling tremendous stress because of my recent illness. blood tests have come back with elevated liver enzymes which are indicators of liver damage. i've had two sets of independent tests in the past two weeks with the same results. the causes are of course myriad and my doctor told me that it could be from a fatty liver which is due to my weight. i'm 6 ft and weigh now 213. that is down from 222 lbs two weeks ago. i'm trying to get down to 200 lbs. who knows the causes but i'll tell you the internet is a source of anxiety for looking up my results leads to all kinds of sites with all kinds of dire causes.

yet, except for my allergies getting medieval on my ass i feel my normal self again. my energy level is up and i no longer have fevers or headaches. i don't know. but my travails remind me of a few lines by sf poet duncan mcnaughton:

Last night was a long one in the ER.
I couldn't move for the cables attached
to my body. Doctor Wong gave me
an aspirin. Death is not optional, he
said, as if his exasperations
were supposed to be important to me.
Later, when I asked him if that was something
he thought about a lot, he ran away.
ER docs have short attention spans. This one
wanted to bully a poet. An old frightened
poet with a tough pain in his chest.
A poet, as he is one, is a poor man.
Like the Egyptian fellah said, Our
lives are the cheapest in the world.

['It Felt' from bounce; first intensity press, 2006]

Thursday, May 01, 2008

open till midnight

the great e-book exchange at poetry super highway where you can download hallucinating california by me and jonathan hayes as well as work by ron silliman and tons of others. go get 'em!