Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the loop

far as going to readings these past few years i've been outta the loop. i was a regular fixture, i think i was what might be called a regular fixture, at readings. sac has a fair number of reading series. but when nick was born i stopped spending so much time away from home. plus, with this new-fangled thing called the internets a universe of poetry, and readings, is right at my fingertips. i think for the most part writers are loners who are happiest with their books, their keyboards, their pen and paper, and maybe the telephone.

still, one must get out every now and again. santa cruz based poet james maughn read last night. that got my ass out of my usual routine of not going to readings and i went to this one. i'm glad i did. maughn is a wonderful poet. his reading was full, rich and concise. he read this marvelous sound aleatory poem that was published as a broadside but i'm afraid i forgot its title. after the reading i bought his book kata [blazevox, 2009] and two of his chapbooks. maughn also edits a journal called ping-pong and had two issues for sale. i'd have bought those as well if i had enough cash on me but if it was between the book and chaps and the few dollars i had left over for the collections jar and getting the two journals, well now, i'll have to make do. i flipped one issue of the journal and read a couple of poems by jason morris, a poet who is brand new to me. i mentioned that i liked morris' work and maughn lit up and described him as an old friend and terrific poet who lives in san francisco.

it was also instructive to learn maughn's obsession with the martial arts -- the title of his book, kata, is the word for the forms that one learns as a student of karate -- reflected my own experiences. when i was a kid to about 15 to 16 years old i was crazy-insane over karate. my love of the martial arts has not left me and i still toy with the idea of going back to my studies. at some point in my life my love for the martial arts had transmogrified with a love of language and poetry. maughn too and took his love of both, the mind and body if you will, and created poems of shimmering beauty.

there you have it. i broke out of my shall and got, however briefly, back into the loop. james maughn was a pleasure to hear read and talk to after the reading. he knocked, in the figurative sense, my socks off.

also, please be sure to read the 10 year anniversary issue of the great zine shampoo. poet/editor/blogger del ray cross publishes out of love and it is evident in his zine. i can't believe 10 years have passed by so quickly. but for del's efforts i give him nine bows.

and but don't miss these remembrances and poems for f.a. nettelbeck by kevin opstedal here, stephen kessler here, greg evason here and paul harrison here.

rage at the dying of the light? fuckin' a, right, man.


At 12:33 AM, Blogger Jim Maughn said...


Thank you for this. It was a great pleasure to meet and talk to you last night. Let me know where to send them, and I'll send you a couple of Ping Pongs.

The broadside poem was called Nurse to Rhyme. If you want the Ping Pongs, I'll send one of those in as well. All I ask in return is that you consider sending us some work. After I got back to my room last night, I re-read alexandria /california and electromagnetic fields in Otoliths, and then spread out from there. I love the diptych play in it takes a nation of crows to hold me back. Great stuff. I'm looking forward to reading more. Are there any copies of super8 left?

Thanks again,

Jim Maughn

jamaughn at cabrillo.edu

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Jim K. said...

Thanks for the links..great choices.
The relation to 'bold witness' mode.
When you edit you compose.
When you point you paint
the distance.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

jim m.: i'm gonna send you an email now.

jim k.: i knew nettelbeck only as a reader and fellow word-worker. he as i understand had a great gift for friendship, as these links attest. i never knew the man personally but i miss him too.


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