Wednesday, March 29, 2017

quote unquote [i.m. joanne kyger 1934 - 2017]

Dangers of Reading

After reading this quote from Joanne Kyger--

     "Writing for me is a kind of daily practice.  Even if you 
     don't have anything to say, you keep your hand in -- that's 
     the journal, just jotting something down, observations of
     eternal weather.  I find if I don't write for awhile, I become
     very uncentered.  But that's because I'm used to using the
     journal as a kind of focus."

--I leapt up and slammed my forehead into the corner of
Molly's bedroom door -- blood rushing into my eyes, lips, chin.

--tom morgan [on going: poems, journals, sketches 2002 - 2005; bootstrap press, 2007] 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

slc punk [1998]

it seems to take me forever to get to a film.  we've owned the disc of this flick for several years.  i knew it was about a subject near and dear to my heart: punk, punk ethos and the 1980s.  for i was such a young man as portrayed by matthew lillard in this movie.  a screaming punk, thoughtful [sorta] young dude, who got to a bridge to adulthood and agonized about crossing it.

well, my life was not so neat as steve-o's life, as portrayed by lillard.  for me there were lots of steps forwards and many steps backwards.  for steve-o's life is linear.  you can almost graph it.  which is just was well for this is a bildungsroman about the life of a punk rocker living in the conservative city of salt lake city, utah.

i have some experience of slc.  we lived there for a short period when i was just a wee lad.  why?  i really don't know why my father and mother, both raised in california, would choose to quite their jobs and take their children to utah.  but they were young and needed a change and their reasons for moving states is their own.  i remember slc being very snowy.  which was a novelty for me.  it doesn't snow in california.  and i remember drivng across the great salt flats, too.  other than that, slc was just another place for me, and as long as i was with my family, it was home.

it is home for steve-o and his misfit friends too.  he discovers punk rock at the age of 14 through the auspices of his best friend heroin bob [who hated needles and didn't use drugs, hence his name is meant to be ironic].  steve-o is an anarchist all thru high school and college.  now in his early 20s he runs at the margins of society.  he has a pretty good relationship with his harvard trained lawyer father, and mother, and as you know that steve-o was a good student in college, him being a harvard legacy, there is no secret what happens to him at the end of this film.

how we get to the end is the meat of the matter.  steve-o and heroin bob hate rednecks, hippies etc etc.  fighting is a way of life.  remember that this is the mid '80s, ronald reagan is president, so there is a shitload of anti-ronnie art on display in the background.  that made me realize the end of the world has always been nigh.  so why the fuck don't we enjoy ourselves before we drop the bomb.

i shit you not.  i recall hitting the bong in the '80s and discussing what we would do if we learned the missiles were on their way.  that was life in reagan's america.  we lived with MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction, but most of us knew nuclear war could happen without reason and without warning.

so does steve-o and friends.  that is their driving thesis: life could end at a moment's notice.  so anarchy, motherfucker!

it is a delightful film with a great soundtrack: dead kennedys, fear, the stooges, roxy music, the specials and so on.  and i'm tellin' you when i got to the end i was in tears of sympathy.  i know these people.  i was one of these people.  i'm almost 50, yeah that's right put that in yr pipe and smoke it!  i'll be half a century this june.  and i'm still deeply influenced by punk ethos.  steve-o does right by me.  finally, i watched this movie nearly 20 years after it was released.  time does fucking fly!  but what does that matter as we stand here alive for the little while that we call our lives.  punks' not dead!  not yet.  not now.  i'll prove it to ya.  i'm not even going to edit this essay.  how's that for a punk's fuck you!  well over 30 years later i'm still slamdancing to the beat of the exploited's barmy army.  i suspect steve-o is too after a long hard day's work at the office.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

quote unquote

if the u.s. is a christian nation, or, at least, if many of our leaders declare themselves to be christians, then tell me where in the life and teachings of jesus christ does he say, 'i will cure the blind and sick only if they are insured'

[from a comment i read today on a story about the u.s. healthcare bill debacle -- i don't know the identity of the author of this quote, but i thought it is brilliant and deserves sharing]

Saturday, March 18, 2017

let us praise two artists [life is so very short & death is permanent]

derek walcott [1930 - 2017]

chuck berry [1926 - 2017]


Friday, March 17, 2017

i'm feeling green

today is when everyone is irish, at least for a couple hours.  yep, even in the elevator at the office a co-worker asked me if we had anything planned to celebrate st. paddy's day.  nope, i said.  what a drag, my co-worker said.  then another person sharing the elevator with us turned and said, what?!  st. patrick's day is the highest of the holy holidays!

maybe so for some, or many, of us in the u.s.  except for me because the highest of the holy holidays is halloween.  now, if some genius crossed st. paddy's day with halloween, that might be something.  after all, halloween began with the celts.  i can dream, right?!

but then anyway, the whole of downtown and midtown was packed with people wearing green and bar hopping.  basketball fans too, because we got a new basketball arena, a big monolithic building smack in the middle of downtown, my city is hosting a bunch of college basketball games.  i didn't know college basketball was so popular.  it is.  oh, how i like to see my beloved city alive and hopping.

well, then, i think i was irish in a previous life such is my love and appreciation of irish culture, country[s] [north and the republic], poetry and so on.  i hope that doesn't sound weird.   today my name is richard o'lopez.  okay!

but as for names i was thinking of the fresno poet peter everwine, whose interview i had been reading in the lit mag i bought at B&N last weekend.  everwine is a cool name.  but i'm not big on wine.  so if i were to change my name, adopt a nom de plume, i think i'd go with this, richard alwaysbeer.  because beer is, in the phrase of austin powers, international man of mystery, my bag.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

two videos

snoop dogg rips a new asshole [courtesy of jonathan hayes]

remember living colour?  this song was so prescient 

the ides of march

this morning on the way to work guy is sitting behind the wheel of a beat-up white pick up truck stenciled HAUL YR JUNK

waiting at the stop light he shouts at me, dude!  what's the date today!!

i look at him & gesture like you talkin' to me?

he shouts again. dude!  yeah!  the date, man!  what is the date!

i cup my hands around my mouth and shout, beware the ides of march!

guy gives me this i-just-farted-in-the-elevator look

then the light turns green & he drives away

Sunday, March 12, 2017

wide awake and watching the newest episode of the walking dead 
the day was exquisite sunny warm birds bees & trees in bloom
we bought a pressure washer yesterday [if that ain't a study in poetics
i don't know what is] & cleaned our garden & drive way
worked ourselves into exhaustion but then i needed new shoes
mine had worn out from my walking to & fro & up & down
well then so what about all that is not so interesting except
after purchasing my shoes i went next door to the Barnes & Noble
to see what might be inside i was surprised to find quite a collection
of print lit mags but maybe i'm getting old because print journals
are often boring but that is no diss on the poets published therein
& i did buy an issue of new letters because of an interview with
peter everwine interviewed by two fresno based poets
jon veinberg and christopher buckley & i like those two fresno poets
then i read a couple of articles in a mag titled new philosophy 
an issue dedicated to future predictions of the human being
because i agree we are in an era of great economic & technological change
throw in a destabilized climate to boot & well who the fuck knows
we might not survive certainly our civilization won't survive
but after the catastrophe if we are able to rebuild the philosophers
i read tonight mostly agree that we shall merge with technology
cyborg edited genes brains interfaced with information devices
& really that is happening right now as i type these words in to the ether
we shall remake what it means to human if we survive
i hate this spring forward lose an hour time change

our curse

                   is to be terrestrial beings limited by time
we can express ourselves in the now
but the now stretches in to the past present
& the future thus this moment of time
is of all time regardless of fashion
but that which grounds us back to earth
is the expression of the limits of time
we can only be here right now
which is the expression of all time

Saturday, March 11, 2017

sometimes one must get one's head out of one's ass

i was thinking of risk & adventure how my bio is pretty lame

i have not scaled mountains nor sailed the oceans blue

nor hitchhiked across the u.s. nor done any of those things

that one would usually ascribe to an extra ordinary life

but yet i ascribe to a philosophy that was best phrased

by my friend the poet alex gildzen

'i would rather head dive in to the o.e.d.'

reading & writing are the great adventures

for me literature is not a career

but a way to live in the world

by and thru poetry the poet [the reader is the poet, too]

rearranges and recreates reality

having a career is akin to money-making devices

we know poetry is most definitely not a money-making device

but then neither is love & friendship

& in the end when you are nearing death

you will reflect upon your life not by the number

of zeroes in your bank accounts

[tho i'm sure there are exceptions among us]

but how you lived your life

& life for me is how far & wide & deep

i dive in to the o.e.d.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

yes these be strange times when a writer at the new yorker pens an article about how recent society fuck ups [the election, the best movie oscars flub] might indicate that we are indeed living in a computer simulation, and the dude is serious

at a loss i stumble thru these days waiting for the comedy, waiting for the punch line of the joke

like survivor's shock i want to wake up from a bad dream but i know that this is reality

even in this reality i want to praise life poetry movies family friends

i want to praise women and men and othergendered and the beauty of women and men and othergendered

i want to praise the children of women and men and othergendered

i want to praise language and books and the internet

i want to praise javier sicilia the mexican poet turned peace activist whose son was killed by narco traffickers who wants to end the drug wars thru non-violence and legalization javier sicilia is a hero of mine

i want to praise the tourists i saw tonight in downtown sacramento stopping every few feet to take yet another picture with their phones of the state capitol and other sites for when i saw them i thought they must be out of state because who wants to take pics of little ol' sac but then it was a lovely early spring evening and when we manage to stop every now and then and eat the flowers we will rediscover the magic of where we live and our place in it

because we are granted no other place for it makes us as we make it and we can create a prettier world even as we study the beauty of the world as it is