Saturday, May 28, 2016

in an interview the painter/filmmaker julian schnabel was asked how long it took him to make a painting/drawing.  he replied his age plus 5 minutes.

can that be the same for poems too.  my hero jose kozer says in a poem that writing it should not take more than 20 minutes.

do we place too much importance on how long a thing is labored over?  can a thing of simplicity and direct expression be measured in the same way as a thing of great ornament and artifice.

was it not thom gunn who said, even in bed i pose.  knowing full well that the posture of sex is artifice and authentication should a poem not be expressed here now in whatever fashion and style that seems appropriate to its author.

must a poem sing beyond its line or can it stop when the line stops.

these are the questions i ask myself as i face these foreshortened years.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

do check out this wonderful short essay on writing by the excellent poet and awesome dude lars palm

from the provinces

the thing is no matter where you are what you are doing who you are doing it with there is always something more cool more fun more exciting where you are not

sayin' hi to alex who just settled in palm springs

i've been having odd
dreams too

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

i stopt at the city library on my way home
pulled a collection of essays by kenneth
rexroth off the shelf at random
i don't know why b'cuz
reading rexroth hasn't been on my
list for like ever
but i read a very short piece
a couple pages on the chinese
poet yuan mei
an excellent 2 page appreciation
& love of poetry
simple clear deep
not a whiff of the saintly or
anointed but a vivid example
of what it means to be human
alive in time

Sunday, May 22, 2016

this was the old days of the steinhart aquarium in golden gate park in san francisco i was in my early 20s single & i must add a complete idiot

i rumbled thru each display tank & diorama like a good soldier until i hit the tank that contained the octopus

there as a girl too with her friend or boyfriend with a two-syllable french sounding name

the girl was cute she held my attention she wore glasses and her long hair fell over her eyes

i was standing before the octopus with the girl & her french sounding companion

it was feeding time & i was waiting for the octopus to get dinner the octopus was waiting too somehow i could tell

then there was a stirring in the tank the lid opened & a crab was tossed in the crab clung to the wall the octopus hit its target faster than a bullet from a winchester 30-06

a loud crunch was heard

or so i remembered it when the girl said oh then the two syllables of her companions name

she & him moved on to another part of the aquarium

while i stayed alone before the tank watching the octopus feed on the crab

Friday, May 20, 2016

i've always longed for a poetics that take the serious & the absurd & grinds them into a new paste e.g. that gilligan's island episode when the castaways retooled hamlet into a broadway musical & created a new beast

o friday nite : door to the weekend

time to slow way the fuck down and take several large gulps


Thursday, May 19, 2016

the newest issue of the new yorker arrived in the mail today [i get the paper edition delivered by old-fashioned snail mail] & thumbing thru it i find a little piece about norwegian-american writers meeting & reading in NYC & i wonder what it might mean if i were invited because i am 1/2 norwegian no shit maternal grandma from bergen who emigrated to the u.s. after wwii & if i were invited they would have a lopez in their midst & what that might mean for the sound, sight & complexion of the u.s. is changing & as the old saying goes you can't judge a book by the you know what

Sunday, May 15, 2016

i've mainlined all three seasons of aaron sorkin's TV drama the newsroom and found it to be compelling television.  i love sorkin's ear for language and the very fact that he is an idealist for our better nature.  but there is a subplot about climate change in the middle of the third season i find particularly compelling.  jeff daniels's character, will mcavoy, interviews an EPA scientist after the release of a report about carbon dioxide hitting the dreaded 400 ppm threshold.

you can find that interview here.

the epa scientist is all doom and gloom.  what i find fascinating about this segment is how the piece is framed.  the show is about the workings of a cable news network.  thus far no story was given this much gravitas.  notice how the camera pans across the set to reveal cameras, teleprompters and staff looking on in stunned silence.  this knowledge is left standing on its own.  when we leave the interview we leave the subject for the show's story is grounded in other matters.  the EPA scientist is pretty goddamn alarmist. 

then i just did a google search about the veracity of this segment.  according to mother jones the facts in this interview mostly, except for a bit of embellishment about the 'blackened skies', check out.  stop arguing.  yes, this segment is fiction.  and yet, i think we should be beyond arguing the hard science of climate change.  kudos to aaron sorkin for at least bringing the inexorable fact of climate change to TV drama.

the question now is what we have to do.  but then i think of that great line delivered by robert duval's character, the old man, in the road [2009], 'even if you knew what to do you wouldn't know what to do.'

time for us to prove the old man wrong.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

i watched, again, last month blade runner [1982].  it is one of my very favorite movies.  now i learn a sequel is set for release in october, 2017 directed by denis villeneuve.  perhaps the sequel will answer once and for all whether rick deckard, the blade runner played by harrison ford, is a replicant.  oh shit.  i'm on the side of deckard being a human.  there ain't a lot of evidence to indicate the blade runner is a replicant.  however, ridley scott has long claimed deckard is a replicant.  but harrison ford says he's a human.  does it matter?  not really.  the movie is just as nuanced, layered and complex if deckard is a human or a replicant because the movie is about the meaning of life.  all life.  that great speech given by roy batty, played by rutger hauer, at the end of the flick is about the love of life, the fullness of living.  then again, should deckard be revealed as a replicant shouldn't that complicate things quite beautifully.  for we are entering an age of epigenetics and gene editing devices like CRISPR.  soon the definition of human might become more complicated.  and yet life will be life.  roy batty demonstrated that fact over 30 years ago in one of the most beautiful, haunting films ever produced.   

400 years

400 years have passed since the death of shakespeare & cervantes

damn!  look at the time go!

the stacks

i was looking at another poet's instagram page where he took photographs of the beer he'd been drinking / placing the bottles on his bookshelves / & goddam i couldn't help but blow up the pics to get a closer look at the books in the stacks

life lesson taken from forgetting that line while walking

carry a pen, always

Sunday, May 08, 2016

the man in the back row has a question

what say you about climate change?

we are most likely in all probability in the likelihood of getting our shit together & with the best intentions fucked

what does it mean to be a poet be a human being
alive in this instant

be ordinary and alert to sensual experience
pain pleasure beauty betrayal fidelity love

life & poetry are better attuned
toward the heroism of survival

of life shared and/or alone
poetry & life are the same thing

& not about climbing mountains
or having extra ordinary sex

it is about the poetry of life we are given
right now

every now & then you must say, oh fucking yes

Saturday, May 07, 2016

poem starring a t-shirt

being a sucka for t-shirts & books
the guy behind me at the check out line
was wearing a powell's books t-shirt
i sd, that's a cool shirt
he sd, yeah man thnx, it's a great store
you could spend a whole day in a single section
i sd, it is a great store
you been, he sd
nope, i sd, but i've bought a shitload
of books from powell's online
& i'm a sucka for cool t-shirts

Friday, May 06, 2016

quote unquote

Lenin was damn right:
Go on being poor & honest, ol' pal
Just don't be an asshole

--nicanor parra ['let's cut the bullshit' tr. by liz werner]

Thursday, May 05, 2016

quote unquote

i'm wasted & i can't find my way home

--blind faith

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

this makes me very happy

wonderful poet and painter jean vengua has restarted her blog.  please click below and discover, rediscover, a great poet.

okir: poetry & art projects

Monday, May 02, 2016

spring trance poetics

we were walking home my son & i
the street was packed with people
enjoying the warm spring night
when we spot a thing moving
on the concrete
like a branch pushed
by wind if there were wind
& then it stopped
a lizard with half its tail chewed off
silhouetted on concrete
by street light
the lizard was a thing
made half of city traffic
& half desert plateau
how it made it this far
was a wild guess
but when it scampered
for the restaurant door
& was stopped trapped in the corner
nick wanted to save it
somehow get it away from
the wildness of the street
back to the wildness of desert
when the waitress spotted us
she opened the door
may i help you
i pointed to the lizard
who took off like a bat out of hell
inside the restaurant
she gave a yelp of surprise
turned & went
the opposite way
now with the lizard deep inside
the eatery i opened the door
& loudly announced
the lizard just ran inside
for the joyous being of scamperers
& chewed off tails
nick & i bounced off
the spring night
silhouetted on concrete by street light

Sunday, May 01, 2016

we've had some beautiful but weird weather some storm cells dropping rain fairly humid hi 80s F in norcal that is indeed weird lots of wind and when it isn't humid like earlier today and yesterday dry hot with hi winds van gogh called it in the south of france 'the devil mistral' a dry hot strong gale that can drive you to madness or worse instead this morning anna and i cleaned up the garden and mowed the lawn then i went shopping for some work shoes nearby the discount shoe shop is a barnes & noble you know how much of a nut i can be for bookstores so i drop by and peruse the stacks i find a favorite mag for anna and a mag about classic cars for nick the boy is into i mean hardcore into classic cars while i am looking at the periodicals i read a poem by brit poet jamie mckendrick in the london review of books it's a good poem where the poet compares his loss of hearing to milton's loss of vision and i read it twice once for the music and once for the meaning i don't get all of the poem but i like it and i think that mckendrick's poem is an antidote to 'the devil mistral' then subsequent humidity of a weird weather kind of day

minimalist sage

take yr