Wednesday, August 31, 2005

it is the end of summer, finally, tho it is still really hot, temp. in the high 90s. but along with the end of summer comes the end of summer travel. i'm reminded of the twins deep anxiety and excitement today when i looked at the photos kyle kaufman posted on his blog.

i love the perspective altitude gives me. my friend p. is a small-aircraft pilot and we frequently jaunt around n ca. i recall a gorgeous night flight over the san francisco bay last winter. we flew over the city and the golden gate bridge that night.

but i did not fly until my late teens. and the first plane i flew in was a cessna used to ferry skydivers. nope, didn't jump out of it, just took a joyride to watch a pair of jumpers leap out. loved every second of that very short flight.

my next flight was on a commercial jet, my first one, at age 23. i was a bit freaked by it, its utter mass, and the number of passenger aboard. it was a relatively short flight, 5 hrs, and after a couple of beers i was really digging the sensation, and the sights outside of my window.

but then in my late 20s i had a small breakdown, which took a couple of years to fully recover. flying scared the shit outta me. then anna and i planned our first trip to visit her grandparents in sweden. i was more or less myself but still pretty fucking weirded out by the most common shit imaginable. and this was my first international flight.

well, instead of making this a confessional of self-help bullshit, i loved flying again. hated, and still hate, the jetlag, but i love the anxiety and excitement fuelled by looking out the window of a plane at 35 thousand feet. on our return journey we went directly over greenland. anna had the window seat and gestured for me to look out. what i saw was a desolated, and utterly breathtaking, view of an environment so old that one knows that people matter very little on this planet. we could disappear tonight and the world would thrive.

i got a shock of isolation and loneliness looking at water so deep and clear that i could see the land holding the water slope out and fade into the blackness of deep. i needed to sit down, and i was already doing just that. for there is nothing to do on an 11 hr flight than to sit down. and yet, i was thrilled by it all, everything.

the flying and the land below.

Monday, August 29, 2005

really freaking exhausted tonight. nicholas has not slept thru the night for about a week. on top of a cold he also developed an ear infection and the poor boy has had a fever off and on. we took him to the dr. and now he is on antibiotics and resting now as i type.

but did want to draw yr attention to geof huth's brilliant review of daniel f. bradley's zine fhole. hie thee to a copy pronto, dudes and dudettes.

and surfing a bit sat. i found via chad parenteau's terrific blog a collection of memories by various poets of the grolier poetry book shop gathered by doug holder. a few poets are new to me, my fave is by ryk mcintyre who found the verification we seek and sometimes get by finding the right book at the right time. i've never been to grolier, but such a place for a poet has got to be better than a candy store, theme park, and toy store all rolled in one for children.

and now beddy-bye time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

what is the sound of one hand typing

which is exactly what i've been doing the past two days. nicholas is ill, was running a fever, the best medicine, well the medicine he wants, is to be held. took the day off from work yesterday and did just that, all day, after a sleepless night for me and anna. last night the fever broke and nicholas slept the whole night. and tonight he is nearly back to normal.

so when i meant that my reading has been far afield lately i meant that i've been reading, and reading essays about, visual poetry, and reading small-press poets too, such as writing published in Thunder Sandwich, and been reading lyn hejinian again, to kickstart my own writing. perhaps this sounds eclectic only to my ears. i think poets need to read and be nourished by a whole lot of writing. also been taking notes from my reading and for poems. feel like i'm maybe coming out of one phase of writing toward another.

and so i wondered yesterday why i've never warmed to t. s. eliot. read him early, but not much, for i found him to be cold and menacing, and not my thing at all. why did i devour hart crane, but found eliot cold, and frankly boring? and why think about him now? i've no urge to read him again. it has nothing to do with fashions, or maybe even taste, my tastes at any rate. and yet i feel eliot is somewhere nearby, maybe just in the language as a latent influence, ready at a moment's notice to pounce.

hm. anyway, here is a small poem etched out yesterday, sort of in homage to the wonderful 8-word poems Steve Caratzas's been posting.

my epitaph

the poet

richard lopez

turning over
in his grave

Monday, August 22, 2005

my reading has been some far afield of late. sat. i took nicholas to the park to give anna some downtime and brought along fulcrum #3 which is, at the moment, one of my fave print mags. my little guy loved looking at the ducks and geese and the other children. light is changing in n ca assuming a softer glow recumbent of fall, the best time of year here, rather than the harsh fluorescent glare of summer. we spent something like 4 hrs there chilling out and soaking up the scene.

and i've returned to the essays by lyn hejinian collected in the language of inquiry.

and been reading wide ranging shit via the web, which has become my habit of late.

and but so beginning to collect various texts for a very short chap based on super 8 stag films.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

we took the following pics on our annual pilgrimage to the California State Fair last weekend. Anna and I have been going almost every year since we've been together. this year was a blast cuz Nicholas is here and had so much gusto, such a great time, especially on the Monorail (which is so old that allegedly spare parts are hard to come by) that we were swooning with delight. and the Fair? it has improved this year. if we didn't live in sac we probably wouldn't care about it, but we do, and the Fair is only minutes from our home. we plan on going one more time. for further hilarious info on State Fairs (in this case the Illinois State Fair, but it could be the one in my own town) might I direct yr attention to the essay "getting away from already pretty much being away from it all" by David Foster Wallace from the collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again.

and I'm sorry to miss Jean Vengua's reading here tonight in sac. I'm so out of it I should have known about it earlier. I know she knocked them dead. and broke a leg.

no! I want to chew on my toy Posted by Picasa

but I don't have a sugar cube Posted by Picasa

what Posted by Picasa

whoa! look at that! Posted by Picasa

I love the smell of the Midway in the morning Posted by Picasa

Nicholas and me riding the Monorail Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 14, 2005

we made a last run to the drive-in thursday night for the season, me and my pal B. the old theater is fucked up, falling apart, signs rotting, bathrooms unspeakable, snack bar is a take-yr-life-in-hand affair, and garbage is everywhere. depressing as hell, but I still love the place, grew up there and soon it will be gone. and when it is bulldozed under to make room for a new strip mall, that's it, no more in n ca. well, there is one in Marysville but the owner lost the lease and the place is scheduled to close in Oct.

and but so B. picks me up in his vintage early 70s Monte Carlo, all cherry, with a brand-new orange paint job. the puppy is loud and fast and B. is happy as a clam driving it. personally I'm not a gearhead, so I'd rather ride in comfortable sedan, or family truckster, but what the hell, I figure this will be fun.

and it was. for the ride to the drive-in was loud and fast. the car gets noticed, for sure. when we stopped at the supermarket for munchies and beer one dweeb in the parking lot drooled over the car and told us it reminded him of the General Lee in the new T&A flick The Dukes of Hazzard.

ah shit, B. is canny, for sure. since that was the movie we decided to see. and so he must've thought he'd bring the right car.

and then Sacramento County started an aerial spraying campaign to combat mosquito-borne West Nile Virus. we were scheduled for a dose thursday night. we saw the plane dumping a load a couple of miles away while we were at the supermarket around 8:00 pm. soon it would be overhead.

but not before B. and I hosed ourselves with skeeter repellent. in fact, most people did just that at the theater. a little boy jumped out of an SUV soon as it parked, stood up straight, spread out his arms, and said, 'okay dad, I'm ready.' and dad dutifully sprayed him down.

the lot filled up fast. the night was warm and clear. everybody scanned the sky for the plane to drop its insecticide on us. and there was a brush fire 300 yards away. the flames were huge and orange, the smoke thick and reflected the fire. a police helicopter circled above while fire trucks got there in minutes and snuffed the flames out.

then the film started. leaving B. and I to shoot the shit, and eat more junk food. the movie is crap. hated it, and really hate the tv show. why in hell make a movie out of that dreck? but it was the perfect movie to ignore and soak up the atmosphere at the drive-in. a nearly perfect evening.

scoring the horse

i fucking
hate the word

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

smashing tomato

it is harvest time bumper crop so they grow like weeds that when friends and co-workers wrinkle their brows at their tomato gardens raising a collective leaf for their kind to rise above i say yes please might i have many few no store-bought red rubber balls for me i love to eat and eat so much i may turn round and red and join the fight

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

of all the words

in the language

why is it

i love

to taste

sound of


Monday, August 08, 2005

I write in english, a kind of english anyway. perhaps I should say, 'I write in english(s)' since the language is spoken in many different accents and dialects. the kind of english I want to write in is rich in expletives, slang, argot, double and triple negatives, with plain words and superfancy grammar. in a way, I want all the english(s) available, from the classroom to the breakroom, for my life in writing/reading. I want my language living.

but all languages are living languages. as long as someone can read in it then that particular language is alive. that goes without saying.

I live in california where the only language I know well is spoken in spanish, thai, vietnamese, tagalog and a host of other languages. my name is hispanic, my language comes from britain. so then english(s) is the source of the local. it is where I live and breathe. and when I speak and write in it, I am therefore occupying the space of 'here and now.' that is until it is read tomorrow or next week. but it remains in the continuous present. it can't be otherwise.

I'm quickly out of my depth here. my metaphysics, metalinguistics, stay grounded in the local dialects of english. it is the only language I know. what then is the definition of 'regional' when californian southeast asian rappers use the words imported by britain.

another topic. but regional writing is what every writer practices. especially me, when I attempt to speak and write in bad english. or to make, as we used to say in the 70s, the english(s) bad.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

what a fucking week!

without confessing the silly details let me say it was stressful and hellish. even so, life and poetry burn on. pubs received, gratefully and even childishly (since I think it is Christmas each time something arrives via snail mail), this week.

The Steely Dan Project by Kyle Kaufman

in(ex)teriors/ex(in)interiors by Jess Mynes

and a thick stack of chaps from rob mclennans' above/ground press

and been digging the photos and diary of Steve Caratzas' west coast tour.

also, Tom Beckett's been teasing out some seriously wonderful poems and thoughts within the shadows.

finally, anybody know anything about the poet Ryan Walker? this is one of his poems I found a couple of weeks ago at DC Poetry Anthology 2003 and think he is quite good.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

can a life of


be a life of


Monday, August 01, 2005

I had avoided reading the reviews. and I didn't read very much online about the movie too. I wanted to come to the theater without any preconceptions about the film, but to sit among others in the dark. I had no inkling of what the critics were saying, until Anna told me Ebert gave it 3 stars, a good movie once you get past the gore. and there was an article in the paper about horror movies not doing well at the box office.

pity! cuz Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects is a slap-upside-the-head fucking great movie. it recalls all those gritty 70s exploitation films, such as Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left, shown across the u.s. at drive-ins and grindhouses, without any trace of goopy nostalgia. Zombie knows his horror/exploitation flicks. and for this go-around he learned to train the kinetic editing, lighting, camera angles, film stock and soundtrack to knuckle-curling levels. it is breathtaking to behold.

not really a sequel to Zombie's debut House of a 1000 Corpses but rather a continuation of the tale. at the beginning the Firefly family are rousted from their sleep by Sheriff Wydell who is bent on seeking bloody revenge for the murder of his brother. there in lies the stock to this soup. I admit to admiring 1000 Corpses but only because Zombie saturates that film with 70s Halloween kitsch and the opening with Sid Haig as demented sideshow impresario Capt. Spaulding is an adrenaline rush. Haig, a veteran B-movie actor, reprises his Spaulding character and his relationship with the Firefly clan is fleshed out to a satisfying end.

and that is the matter here, for the film opens with images of decay and madness, and it ends in full-blown psychosis. the period in the film is 1978, and the soundtrack is pitch-perfect for the era and the action of the principles onscreen. the movie is blood-drenched, manic and dusty. most of the action occurs in daylight, making the film perfect for the drive-in. everyone is ugly, worn in and out, and filthy in action and attire. this is a universe of moral relativism, no good guys or bad guys. we glimpse a vision of hell with Sheriff Wydell, Spaulding and the Fireflys. we are given no explanations why these people commit evil, what motivates them, how they got to be the way they are. and because of this lack of reason we see almost absolute evil.

I say this is a great movie, but it is no masterpiece. Rob Zombie knows his shit and he is getting better at the craft and art of filmmaking. there were moments in this film that were nauseating, that for this hardcore exploitation fan I squirmed in my seat. the film goddamned scared the shit out of me. it has been a long time since a movie scared me shitless. so much so that I was thrilled and tapping my feet along to "Freebird" by Lynard Skynard during the operatic conclusion. the flick is disgusting, reprehensible and extreme at the hardest R rating I have witnessed since perhaps another Wes Craven film The Hills Have Eyes. Zombie had the pleasure to cast old exploitation actors so that I had to stay to watch the end credits to put names to the faces.

I can't recommend this movie enough. flat-out it is the best movie I've seen all year. it ain't for everyone. a friend wondered aloud today how I can love a film like that. well, I guess we'll all probably be smoking turds in hell for something.