Saturday, February 28, 2009

plug in

just received the first issue of P r o j e c t o r, a new film journal edited by bay area poet chris kerr. the gist is this: writing on film that moves beyond reviews or any sort of traditional analysis. the moment i picked it up i read it straight thru, a real delight to the eye and mind. the films range from the arch porno chic of radley metzger to the horrors of dario argento all the way back round to arthouse staple eric rohmer and back again. in other words, this is a fantastic read of poems and experimental prose to, in the phrase of its editor, 'use poetry and prose to letterbox films.' highly recommended. info and excerpts are found here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

a page not torn from mao's little red book

the air warm & soft
the sky purpled like a bruise
the moon is a hang nail
while above it venus tried on her best fuck-me looks
we are in love it seems with everything
if i can remember
we shopped tonight at circuit city's deadlight sales
combing the racks
no mind & not looking
we found it anyway in the parking lot
among the big mac wrappers
& soggy cigarette butts
if i can remember
we are in love

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


'I tried to fight life's alchemical book.'

--garrett caples

'But the sequence of of random inconsequential incidents that led you here -- the time two years ago when you braked to keep from running over a turtle that turned out to be part of a beer bottle in the road, that instant when reaching for a book, another book near it on the shelf caught your attention, the Friday night you took a right on the way home when you might have gone straight. Those forgotten, stupid, inconsequential moments form beds of substrate underlying all the logic on the surface.'

'Poetry with its amphetamine rushes lighting us up, lighting up whatever it is we call our inner selves, that holy knot that gives us a hold on what we actually feel.'

--forrest gander

'When I love, when I art, when I give my best everything, I'm happy. As I wrote long ago, "When I say happy, I mean so damn glad to be alive."'

--john bloomberg-rissman

'Writing this down is an act of adoration.'

--dodie bellamy

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


only caught a bit of obama's speech before congress tonight. but is it just me or are you still as stoked as i am to see a young handsome black man standing before a large group of mostly elderly and stiff-looking [as in square - like uncool, dig] white guys and women as president of the u.s.? this nation ain't post-racial -- yet, but the world is moving toward a kind of globalization where names and persons become hybrids of cultures and races and whatever else can be thrown into the mix. and i hope the presence of obama is just the beginning of this kind of global mixing.

and speaking of hybridizations [is that a word? very well, i'll make it a word if it ain't] after watching last night the live video of the swedish electronica duo the knife performing their song 'heartbeats' i then clicked on another swedish artist, jose gonzalez, doing the same song. oh shit, i'm always the last to catch on. gonzalez' version has been featured in a commercial and he's been around for a few years now. but the only thing i knew about him was that he was born and raised in sweden but his parents had emigrated from argentina and that he's part of the indie lo-fi movement. but man! what an interpretation of a song. fucking wonderful. gonzalez' vocals reminds me a bit of cat stevens. and yes, i'm a fan of cat stevens. so here is a swede with a very unswedish name singing in english. it gives me hope for our fucked up world. really does.

i'll end this rant by pointing out geof huth's poem that really is the shit. fell out of my chair when i first laid eyes on it last night. my god, it's wonderful and i dig huth's enjambed lines as he packs a wallop of the foods and drinks you can use or avoid when having a dose of the shits. this is my kind of poetry.

that's right. just call me the new hippie. below is jose gonzalez' version of 'heartbeats'. groove.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

my top 5 mickey rourke movies

i don't pay attention to the academy awards too much. i will read about the winners tomorrow in the paper but the ceremony and the supposed honor of nominations and winnings is rather bogus and has little to do with cinema either as a pleasure-giving experience or as an art form.

nevertheless, i am a long-time fan of actor mickey rourke. he's probably, in my humble opinion, one of the most talented actors in contemporary film and also one of the most stupid. he's done much to destroy his own career and yet he keeps working and keeps popping up in the most unexpected places. remember his role as marvin in sin city? a fantastic piece of work in a relatively goofy movie. and now rourke is up for an oscar portraying aging wrestler randy 'the ram' robinson in the wrestler. i can't comment on this movie because i've yet to see it. i'll wait till it is released on dvd.

below is my list, in no particular order, of my 5 favorite mickey rourke films. most of these movies are flawed but a couple are gems and in all of them rourke displays a charisma with a mega-watt talent.

9 1/2 weeks [1986]

i'm the first to admit to this being a film of utter artistic posing and pretension. if the direction is flat, unable to find that liminal space between pornography and art [which again is a judgment call - who can really say what might and might not be porn and/or art, anyway?], the photography is lush as it is counterpoised between the pleasures of a dominant as portrayed by rourke's character versus the desires of a submissive which is wonderfully hymned by kim basinger's role. i admit to finding the eroticism of the flick not so erotic if it weren't for rourke's kinked character. the most famous scene of basinger and rourke rutting before an open fridge door as they use food to heighten their sensuality is both gross and a turn-on. i could almost taste the cherries as they were dripped into basinger's mouth but man after the scene ended i most wanted to brush my teeth and take a shower.

a prayer for the dying [1987]

rourke portrays an ira hitman who accidentally blows up a bus full of schoolchildren. it is a story of a violent man whose overwhelming feelings of guilt lead him to reluctantly seek out the guidance of a catholic priest played by bob hoskins. rourke is penitent because of his actions but it is made so by the overt ministrations of hoskins who is trying to get rourke to repent under god and forego the politics of sectarian violence. if the politics of the movie are written in large crayon the subtleties of playing a reluctant believer by rourke are writ in a fine pelikan fountain pen. in other words, rourke is marvelous in this pic.

angel heart [1987]

a fantastic piece of noir horror rourke plays private dick harry angel who is tasked to find a man called johnny favorite. angel is hired to do this job by a man who calls himself louis cyphre. set in smoky, dense and lush new orleans angel discovers who cyphre, played with great relish by robert de niro, really is [louis cyphre = lucifer, get it?] and finds that he is one of the damned. the direction is solid and the photography is redolent of a late night in the french quarter. if the movie no longer terrifies audiences today the last scene with an elevator going straight down to hell might be seen as over the top metaphor, yet it works still to evoke the despair and horror found in the heart of rourke's character.

barfly [1987]

i've written about this flick before and i'm so-so about the life and work of charles bukowski and yet this is a solid piece of fiction. if rourke's chinaski doesn't capture quite the desperation found in bukowski's work there is nevertheless a kind of rapture within the grunge that rourke brings to the screen. barbet schroeder's direction is a bit stiff i think but the photography is gritty enough to evoke the neon life found within l.a.'s seedier watering holes. i saw this flick in the late '80s when i was developing an identity as a young, non-academic entering poetry. after watching this film i didn't want to be a poet like bukowski i wanted to be a poet like rourke's chinaski.

johnny handsome [1989]

this flick directed by walter hill is a misfire but provides a juicy role for rourke who parlays the psychic wounds of a deformed gangster into a robust expression of near redemption. rourke is the eponymous anti-hero who attempts to escape his violent past as he succumbs to reconstructive facial surgery that transforms his inner demons to match his newly remade good looks. yet, those demons persist as rourke tries to get revenge on those who had wronged him. the movie plays like a bad jim thompson novel but is redeemed by the presence of rourke. this is the last of his good films before the actor decided to ditch acting altogether and become a professional boxer.


i've been writing this piece off and on all day and only finished it after i watched the academy awards. i still think the oscars are a cod's game but got sucked into it as we turned the tv on after dinner. so sue me. i am a film geek. i did see rourke get passed over for the best acting award in favor of sean penn's role as harvey milk. nevertheless, i hope that rourke keeps his shit together and gets more work where he can really show off his chops.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

new advert for geritol

now that i'm nearly grey
i pass for old

& the young shits
say, hey old man

what w/ a 4 year old
you need

a swig
of geritol to keep up

oh fuck
it's come to this

i guess
not a bad idea

& sure beats
needing a pill

for e.d.
cuz no one

not even the old
wants to get old

but i've come
all this way

my blood
not worn out

but sure could
use a dose

of iron
so fuck it

i've been sold

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

not far from the apple tree

last weekend we had dinner with my father and his wife. lovely company with lotsa italian food. ate so much and got so full that i was still stuffed the next morning. anyway, my father confessed that he had met with a writing group and wanted to know what i thought about that. what i thought? i told him it was great but what kind of writing was he thinking about. he wasn't sure but he has stories to tell.

and he does. i nearly broke a couple of ribs laughing so hard a couple months ago. and see, he has written already, his wife told me, for publication. my old man is a skydiver and has penned a few articles for the skydiving association's monthly publication. i didn't know that. he's not shown them to me.

his stories however, as he tells them, do not lend themselves to linear narrative very well. at least i don't think they do. but then i have a bias. i asked my old man if he ever thought of writing poetry. you see, i'm not a guild man but i know my mind doesn't work very well with long narrative compositions. rather i prefer to read and write in short staccato bursts. that's at least what i like to think of myself as doing. it's just that i get a chemical charge from poetry, both in the writing of it and the reading of it, that i don't get from other forms of writing.

nope, he doesn't think he'll be writing poetry. whatever he chooses to do i think is wonderful. i'm not an agoniste. i prefer pleasure over pain and prefer reading poetry and poets that make me, in the words of u.k. poet martin stannard, want to be alive. in other words, i don't have a strained relationship with my father and don't quite get why some poets insist on being dreadfully unhappy as a member of the human species, particularly with their family life. what were they, weened too much from robert lowell and sylvia plath? ah, give me the pleasure seeking heat missiles of villon and catullus any day. those poets knew also how to spit bile too. call me the happy pessimist.

i'm stoked that my old man wants to take up writing. i hope he persues it. whatever independent, anti-authoritarian, no shit-taking, but loving and kind all the same, attitudes i possess i know i inherited from him. whatever artistic personality i have comes from him. i even inherited my propensity to premature grey hair from him too. my old man has stories, fantastical forays into the human kind. let him write.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

goya de honor

below is proof that the u.s. academy awards show sucks big-time ass. i can't quite think of an equivalent u.s. director - perhaps russ meyer? - getting a life-time achievement oscar. what i love is the montage of film clips of a life's work. the u.s. wouldn't ever, ever, EVER, with an added emphasis on both syllables -- EV-ER -- dare broadcast such explicit fare. plus the u.s. academy doesn't have the cojones to celebrate, much less, even tip the hat to a wild filmmaker like meyer.

just the same, i think meyer's work is fairly tame compared to jess franco's cinematic manias. below spanish exploitation filmmaker jess franco receives the goya de honor in spain for his large body of work. beside him is his long-time partner and muse and frequent star of his films lina romay. franco gets a standing ovation, but even in spain i wonder what the likes of most of the audience are thinking as they stand to applaud franco's life and work. still, the honor is light-years away from what the u.s. academy awards would even broach. hell, the oscars tend to get all teary eyed on pap such as forrest gump and childen of a lesser god and and and. . .

dig. no, really, dig this clip.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

my bloody valentine [1981]

i've not been a fan of early '80s slasher films. i watched them with a feeling of dread at their puritanical views of sex, only sexually active teens got butchered, which are mired by the sensational aspect of gore for the sake of gore. slasher pics are much like the contemporary torture porn swing in today's horror films, they seem so manufactured at eliciting nausea from their audiences and thus are so fake to be at all believable.

but then so is the manufactured holiday of valentine's day. not that i hate valentine's day. i don't at all. only that the date of february 14 was plucked by greeting card manufacturers as a way to sell more of their products. so it is no surprise that an artificial construct, the slasher film, meets an equally artificial holiday, valentine's day.

well, the movie is awful. it has generated a life of its own as a figure of veneration among varied members of the horror movie audience. for better and for worse. i've only seen it once and was simply whelmed in its plot device of a spurned lover taking the guise of a miner killing off sexually active teens one by one and who appears only once a year on the day of, yeah, you guessed it, valentine's day. valentine's day is the appropriate setting for the killings.

so then, here we are. grab your honey, get a bowl of popcorn, turn down the lights, and get a very red, bloody looking, bottle of wine and watch this flick. happy valentine's day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

art brut

get it
by saying it

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

notes from the trailer park

i've got many, many favorite movie trailers. sometimes the trailers are the best part of the movies. and seeing them in the theater was an event. at least it was for me way back when. now at the movies you've got to sit thru 1/2 hr of freaking commercials before you even get to the trailers. fuck that.

anyway, here are two of my recent favorites. the first is made by director robert rodriguez for a fictive movie called machete. starring hatchet-faced danny trejo as the eponymous anti-hero and featuring jeff fahey as the villain. rodgriguez made the trailer as a piece for the omnibus homage to exploitation cinema grindhouse. i might've written about this piece before however the line THEY JUST FUCKED WITH THE WRONG MEXICAN floated into mind as i was walking to work as my brain began to loop certain sections much the way a song can get stuck in your head. i just love that line and i think rodriquez quite succinctly captures the sleaze of exploitation cinema.

the next trailer is for an exploitation double-feature the blood-spattered bride/i dismember momma from 1974. the trailer focuses on the effects watching horror movies has on certain members of the audience. the gist is a man went insane in the theater while watching the double-bill and a news crew is on-scene to get the low-down. very little is said about the movies but the trailer is heavily edited with very short, tight gore scenes to punctuate their sensationalism. but what the trailer seems intent on selling is the experience of movie-going rather than the films proper. that is one of the reasons why like this trailer so and the fact that whoever directed it is possessed with a large sense of humor. that's right, you'll laugh at it until you cry.

Monday, February 09, 2009

the spotlight

they saw me before i saw them

standing in front of city hall

the reporter & her cameraman

i tried to walk past as fast as i could

the camera light was already on

thrust into my hands a schematic

for a bell-like bike rack

the city plans on building

each of these cost 300 DOLLARS sd the reporter

i asked if that was the going rate for bike racks

silence then again do you approve this at 300 DOLLARS

i do if it gets people outta their cars

silence then a thank you

the camera light turned off

i wasn't even asked my name

Sunday, February 08, 2009

pajama party [1964]

i wouldn't call myself a rabid fan of early to mid 1960s beach movies. i am, however, an enthusiastic fan as my collection of dvds for this genre includes a few obscure titles. many of course no decent, average, film-goer would want to see. but this title has eluded me for years. a quick search on the net and i find that there was or is a dvd release for pajama party but i've yet to find it. i've no idea if this flick is obscure but i couldn't find a trailer on youtube.

maybe that is just as well because this isn't one of the better of the beach films. not to say i didn't enjoy watching it yesterday at my mother-in-law's house. the premium cable channel showtime is airing it and my mother-in-law tivoed the flick for me because she knows my love for beach cinema knows no earthly bounds. yes, i know that contradicts the first sentence of this little ramble but both are true. anyway, i did enjoy this flick but the direction was lackluster and even tho beach movies often lack any sort of discernible plot devices [in that way could they be called postmodern for their lack of linear narrative -- even, gulp, dada?] this one seriously is a jumble of set pieces.

but let's get it straight. annette funicello plays beach chick connie [somehow dropping her usual beach de plume dolores or dee dee] and is the girlfriend of jody mccrea who somehow plays a reluctant leading man. mccrea's usual beach persona is a big stupid surfer who wears a rat-fink styled hat who goes by the name bonehead but not in this flick. mccrea is still big and stupid and his name is big lunk but for this outing he takes frankie avalon's place by the side of funicello and his chapeau of choice is a red baseball cap, which figures as a plot device. the less said about that the better for it makes no sense.

if this sounds rather flat and confusing then wait a minute because it gets worse. avalon and don rickles [another veteran of beach fare, rickles parlayed this role into a bigger one as the skydiving instructor in beach blanket bingo] are martians who plan an invasion of earth. we don't see avalon's face until the very end, probably because he was too ashamed of the movie and shows his face only under threat of contract. instead we are treated to the back of his head for most of the run time. rickles and avalon send tommy kirk as advance man for the invasion. big mistake for kirk, who is named go go but later christened george, falls in love with funicello. big lunk then falls in love with bobbi shaw who is doing her usual dumb swede bit alongside buster keaton who are for some reason working for jesse white who is plotting to steal the alleged millions of big lunk's aunt wendy played by elsa lanchester.

it is aunt wendy who first encounters go go and who names the poor alien george. and if that don't make matters worse there is the annoying gnat-like presence of harvey lembeck as eric von zipper the boss of the motor cycle buffooons who want only to fuck up the penultimate pajama party. that's when things get really swinging. no, it makes no sense at all. the film is rather a mash of bad songs, horrible acting, atrocious writing, no chemistry between alleged lovers and a vapid idea for a story. perhaps we could place all the blame on director don weis. he is no william asher who directed many of the more endurable beach flicks. yes, it must be all his fault. who else can we blame? all the elements are there for a decent beach movie, as well as the usual cast of idiots. but rather this flick falls flat on its face.

madre dios! still, i liked the movie. lotsa dancing, lotsa butt shots of attractive women in bikinis. kirk appeared to have a curious lack of affect in his role as go go cum george as if he were looking thru the lens of a wan fish-eye and cared not a whit. oh well, it was a paycheck, no. funicello is scrumptious in bikini and baby-doll dress. and buster keaton is a first-rate talent even if he were doing his takes between swigs of the whisky bottle. ah, they don't make 'em like they used to. i'll be searching for this disc to add to my collection.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

shopping overdrive

not one to pass judgment there are instances when the mind's gears kick into drive --

e.g. after an evening shopping at discount marts - ross & marshalls - where knock-off clothes & books & dvds & housewares - are found on the very cheap of the consumer spectrum --

i stopped at the local safeway supermarket for beer and chew bones for the dogs - i was standing in line to pay for my goods when i glanced at the contents of the basket in front of me --

the basket's owner was a young man dressed in a style that i'm sure has a name but which i don't know what it is - oversized baseball hat worn low over the ears - sparse but neatly trimmed beard - long-sleeved jersey-styled shirt - pressed jeans & i bet if he wears cologne it would be paco rabane --

just the same it was the continuity of his items that kicked my head into drive:

1 packet of condomsJustify Full
1 tube of ky glide
1 packet of chewing gum
1 bottle of merlot from the francis ford coppola vineyards
2 cans of carpet cleaner

as i tried to imagine his plans for his evening & to which i leave to your imagination too

Thursday, February 05, 2009

i'll be a rock&roll bitch for you

glory be, guess i'm on a bowie kick tonight. sure it's because of the rain but also today i read this interview with poet abraham smith today at lunch and i dig smith's goofy exuberance such as this piece about smith's un-habits of non-punctuation:

JMW: What's been your inclination to abandon punctuation?

AS: didnt ever use it.. was eaten alive in workshops in mfa for
not using it.. still dont use it much.. would like to get into
ellipses in the future.. perhaps parrot zb. herbert the great
polish poet by throwing in some dashes.. anyways.. a gruff olde
famoso poet came down to bama whilst i was in mfa..
he told me i wrote like a polish poet in the 60s and 70s
(which is true, i do, in a way) .. he went on to say..
glowering at me thru his owl sized glasses.. his squalid talons
his inkstained shirt.. that I'd never get a poem published
ever.. period.. all life long.. and that not punctuating was.. partially.. why..
anyways.. tho i am fond of rattling like a pressure cooker..
tho i am prone to the on and on.. ive also felt a desire to
get small.. give me a half a hands worth of birch bark
and let me write out all of my cares there.. just this
feeling that i havent had anything to say.. just yet.. worth
making measured, balanced, gymnast flit tuck worthy...
no caps really either.. no need of that watertower today.. i like
what don revell said he said let a poem stumble to rest..

i'd think smith's style owes more to the exuberance and ironic ecstasies of louis-ferdinand celine than zbigniew herbert. but why quibble because the interview is full of delights that had me laughing out loud.

and it is exuberance and ecstasy that ties my reading to bowie. for check out this ziggy stardust era performance of 'moonage daydream', another old favorite of mine. what i really dig is the shots of the audience positively transported by bowie and mick ronson. rock&roll is seriously timeless.

let's dance

after what seemed like a seriously long time in the doldrums here comes the rain. and without sounding too goofy, okay let it be too goofy, it is glorious. california needs lotsa rain and today it arrived cleaning the air and scrubbing away my blues.

no one, even the rain, had such small hands, if i may purposefully misquote cummings, because there are weather patterns and moments within those patterns that drive home the mysteries and utter joyous features of being alive. to be alive i suppose one must be tenacious and stubborn. but not too or else you risk developing a callous to the sensuous matters of life. such as the smell and feel of rain on my senses.

tonight driving home from the grocery store in the rain the radio tuned in to david bowie's song 'modern love'. i fucking love this song. it brought me back to 1983 when bowie, who is one of the coolest mofos on this planet, remade himself yet again to a shining pop star. and it was glorious. there is that large part of me who prefers bowie's androgynous early ziggy stardust but latter bowie singing about love, and oh man, i'm done for.

it is good to be alive. even now at this strange, scary time. 'modern love walks on by'.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

hwy 99

2 main highways run north to south in california, interstate 5 and highway 99, and both go toward l.a. both are simply not pretty. but highway 99 is the lower gi tract of the central valley. it is ug [emphasis on the uhg!!] ly. nothing pretty about it. just a single black track that runs almost in a straight line thru some serious ag land. nothing but farm, such as almond orchards and dairy. and dairy farms fucking stink! i'm talking the smell is horrendous. yes, i know, agriculture is a vital industry and it happens to be the largest industry of california. but that doesn't make it pretty to look at. not at all.

which is funny since i think the popular image most people have of california is one of sun, sand and surf, or the cosmopolitan european atmosphere of san francisco. but a huge chunk of california is peppered with cities with names like los banos [the bath, or bathroom] and manteca [lard, like to use in cooking]. that gives you an idea of the flat [the central valley is indeed very flat] horrors of many sections of my beloved state. plus it gets very hot here in summer, superhot, almost like the surface of the sun. and in winter, such as now, highway 99 is often enveloped in some seriously thick fog, called tule fog, that makes driving treacherous. which happened to us yesterday as we drove to fresno. lotsa thick fog in the morning. big soggy blankets of it.

in other words, driving south in california simply is an exercise in your temper and sanity. hang on sloopy for it is a long and boring road. but why get so exercised over this when frankly a place is simply the result of geologic and man-made time as an area slowly accretes into a measurable identity? and that identity is hardly artificial. you couldn't make up the results of highway 99. you can try as planners have indeed, but highway 99, as most places we live tend to be, is a series of accidents. it's identity of the flat and boring and frankly ugly is one of necessity. it is what it is because it can't be anything else.

i can't answer my own question on why be so freaked by my travels down highway 99. perhaps it has something to do with my own love of travel by road. there is a mystique to it, isn't there. after all, keruoac wrote his famous book because of that mystique. do i want everything to be pleasing to the eye and nose and ear? no, really, i don't. and i did see a few worn-out and dilapidated examples of road-side vernacular architecture and two drive-in theaters. i love the worn, used and crumbling ruins of our civilizations, especially if it's pop culture. so then it can't be highway 99's fault because it is what it must be. can poems be written about it? i firmly believe poetry can be written about anything. in fact, the city of fresno is full of good poets. so it must be me. the problem lies with me. as i traveled thru and on highway 99 i felt an agitation that belied the circumstances that put me on the road. i looked about and saw ugliness and despair in the land and the buildings. my own curiosity deadened. and frankly i was sick to know why.

another cold

that's right, i got another cold -- again!! staying home from work since i lost my voice -- again!!! -- and felt sort of beaten and bloody this morning. and am heading back to bed for a much needed nap.

the memorial yesterday, wasn't a funeral but a remembrance of a human life, was lovely with an emphasis on humor. yet, the service ended with a performance of the song 'i'll fly away' and i nearly lost it.

i know life is short, even if you manage a very long and healthy life. even then it is still very, very short. what can i add to that thought? only that i hope seriously not to ever lost my sense of the absurd and what passes for me as humor.

does it help in life to have overwhelming obsessions such as poetry? certainly, it matters to give a life depth, dimension and even perhaps definition. like a religion, almost successfully.

oh and it helps to have a measure of humility too. at least that is what my ego tells me. that's right, i am humble, dammit!

Monday, February 02, 2009

post-writing is local

frankly, i don't know what i mean by that title for this ramble. it has to do with something about all writing is local even if it is decentered on the web or even if you write in a language you speak with an accent. writing is local. but chalk up my inaccuracies to an exhaustion i've not felt in some time. a good kind of tired, almost as if i'm high with a mellow buzz.

because i just returned from my reading. hard to tell whether it was a success or not but i certainly enjoyed doing it. the other two readers, crawdad nelson and miles miniaci, are very different with distinct styles and subject matter, but i think the whole worked well. and the band quite literally rocked.

but why i think of writing as a local endeavour is because tho i've lived in this town all my life and am not shy about publishing at all some of the people i met tonight were surprised that i live here. i suppose it's kinda sweet really to be mistaken for a writer on tour. one young woman quite literally did a double-take when she was talking to me about my being a local guy. chalk that up to my not going to many readings and that my style of reading and my subject matter do not fit any readily available definition [i'm just guessing about this anyway but it seems to corroborate what i've heard before] of the kinds of poetry found in the two main local venues for public readings.

okay, i'm tired and rambling. i suppose what i want to say is that my own definition of myself is that of an unknown, international, local poet. and ain't we all? really we are. i think that is in wcw's 'patterson' as a letter from a young ginsberg when ginsberg introduced himself to williams as a young unkown poet to an older unknown poet. i throw in the international because frankly i think that because of the borderless internet and the fact that many of my closest poet friends live 1000s of miles from me.

i'm not gonna correct or spell-check this post. let it sit as the post-reading ramblings of a very tired, but satiated, local, unknown, international poet who doesn't give a shit about self-promotion or literary immortality yet loves poetry to his very marrow.

as a post-script part of my emotional state is tempered by the fact that i am going to a funeral tomorrow and must get up very early and drive to fresno, which is a city just above l.a., for it. the wife of a co-worker died on friday from liver failure following surgery to remove a tumor from her liver because of advancing renal cancer that had spread. she was in her early 40s with two small children. she was diagnosed two weeks ago.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

gathering up

i'm in the process of gathering up some texts to read tomorrow night. yes, an old friend, miles miniaci, invited me to read along with him and another local poet, crawdad nelson, to read tomorrow night. it's my first reading of this kind in a few years. there's even a band on hand to play. nervous? hmm. . . tell you about it tomorrow night. instead, i feel like old obi-wan kenobi for in the announcement my long-time nickname is used. and that name is 'bo' and only my immediate family and my old friends call me that still. ah, i've not heard that name in a very long time. not that there's anything wrong with the name bo at all. just somehow the name that is on my birth certificate, richard, took over in my mid to late twenties.

ah, what the hell. the weekend has been 50-50. i did watch most of the superbowl. not that i care for american football, i don't, only i watched at my brother's house where the conversations turned from movies, politics, to what-have-you. and that was what i indeed found interesting. as for football, i'd rather watch flies fuck or paint dry than witness a full game.

well, then, the latest otoliths is live and it's a killer issue. i've not read it all the way thru but even a quick glance is rich. particularly tom beckett's interview with the always fascinating poet john bloomberg-rissman who is just a dazzling writer, or sampler, or even dj? whatever the word, bloomberg-rissman is foremost a poet of the first rank.

a blog i've been reading lately is u.k. poet alan baker's litterbug which is a mash of poems, criticism and excerpts on the art of living a human life. which are things that i want out of a blog. just wish for baker to post more often.

now then, i've got to get around to clean up my links. not tonight. but soon. in the meantime, here's the announcement for tomorrow night's reading.

Mon. (2/2), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents Richard “Bo” Lopez, Crawdad Nelson, and Miles Miniaci, with Litany (Miles Miniaci, Chéne Watson, and Bob Wilson) at HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento. Richard Lopez, in addition to reading at such local venues as SPC and the Book Collector, has been published in such journals as Shampoo and Galatea Resurrects, and is the author or co-author of several collections of poetry, including Parts of the Journal: Night, Hallucinating California, and his latest, Super 8.

Crawdad Nelson is a meat-eating, fish-catching, homerun-hitting, ham-and-egger from the north edge of the sticks. Not only that, he grows his own corn, eats his own spinach, writes his own dialogue and answers his own phone. He is a student of history and a tutor of English. He is a recent winner of the Reynolds Scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of two-year colleges. His work has appeared in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, New Settler Interview, Sacramento News & Review and other places in print and online.

Miles Miniaci received his B.A. from San Francisco State and his M.F.A. from the University of Southern California. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The American River Literary Review, Poetry Now, Catchphrase Collection, and Harpoon, among others, and he has been a featured reader at such venues as Luna’s, H. Q. Center for the Arts, Café Montreal, Amnesia (S.F.), and M Bar (L.A.). His prose (mostly humor and music pieces) has been seen—or heard—in ‘zines, e-‘zines, and podcasts, including Morbid Curiosity, Short Bus, Retrocrush, and The Backseat Kiss. He also publishes the occasional scholarly article for journals such as American Quarterly (California American Studies Association) and ATHE News (The Association for Theatre in Higher Education). In addition to writing, Miles has made his living, at various times, as a professional actor, a high school and college instructor, and an arts administrator. He makes his home in Sacramento with his partner Beth and his children Gabriel and Maya, and considers himself incredibly fortunate.

Litany is a non-traditional power trio consisting of three multi-instrumentalists bent on defying genres and expectations. Bob Wilson, Miles Miniaci, and Chéne Watson are veterans of numerous Sacramento-area bands, playing a range of styles from folk to power pop to progressive rock. Between the three of them, they sing and play not only the standard guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, but also less familiar instruments including dulcimer, mandolin, harp, marimba, and many others. The band has been performing regionally for the past five years, appearing at venues such as Cesar Chavez Park, Southside Park, Capital Garage, The Distillery, Luna’s, The Space, and various Second Saturday galleries. They have also produced a self-released demo and appeared on KVMR and nationwide on

and finally, since i've been feeling rather maudlin these past few nights i'd been heading over to youtube to watch live music. mi hermano in the art and soul brother, ernesto priego, regularly posts vids in his blog and recently he put up a throwing muses piece. which i watched a few nights ago and that got me started. i love throwing muses, period. there is something about live music when the band and the audience gain the same plateau. it is magic. so then anyway, we've been listening a lot to the shins and i'll end this ramble by posting a vid from the band performing their song 'phantom limb' which has become nicholas's favorite song. my own heart sings when i hear our little guy sing the chorus.