Wednesday, September 28, 2005

awright! that's it! have had this cold for almost two weeks and the fucker is still clinging to my cilia. it is a type i remember having when i was a child: long, durable, painful and designed for the sufferer to really know he/she is in pain. i'm thru, get me off the boat. i wanna stop now.

in the meantime dig these words and pics about the great, enigmatic alt-poet jwcurry at a recent reading.

and crack up in recognition and humor at the plight of 'the water-closet poet' here at nick bruno's blog.

so much to write, but now i be sleepy.

Monday, September 26, 2005

slowly getting my energy, and my voice back. been raspy like a 3rd rate tom waits without his beautiful growl. but still have the hacking cough. don't like taking any sort of cold medications but for this doozy, i said to hell with it, and been drugging myself with as much as i could take. i discovered cough suppressant syrups don't work for shit. so i'm stuck hacking like an 80-year-old smoker.

haven't written, but for the odd line, or phrase, and when i try to read i tend to stare at the wall. so i watch bonehead tv and movies.

weather here is a bit strange, a thunder/lightening storm, very lovely, but with the humidity and temp. in the high 80s today the storm reminds me of the east coast, and not the warm to cool early fall of n ca.

at any rate colds usually make me feel weepy. and this one ain't no exception. which reminds me of a movie-going experience i had several years ago.

anna is a bit of an amy tan fan. so when her novel the joy luck club was made into a film we saw it in a packed arthouse. knowing nothing of the novel i had no expectations, except that the movie was about mothers and daughters.

we take our seats. i notice the couple to my right, a burly guy wearing a leather jacket and motorcycle boots with long blonde hair and a thin moustache. his companion is a woman wearing leather pants, leopard-print halter and also has long blonde hair. the guy takes his jacket off and i see he has tattoos. not the fine-ink kind popular today, no these puppies are old fashioned blue-inked designs of anchors and dragons. a real he-man type of dude.

i forget about the couple during the next hour and half. that is until the very end when the lead actress, the lovely ming-na wen, travels to china to visit for the first time her sisters left reluctantly behind by their mother, who had passed away during the course of the film. it is a tough scene, and it took everything i had to keep from blubbering like a baby. i was unsuccessful, i felt like a wimp. but when the houselights turn on, i see, blurred thru my tears, the couple sitting next to me gather up their things to go. his eyes are bloodshot, and he is sniffling in his hankie, too. our eyes meet for a moment. then we went our separate ways.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

i want to bang on the drum all day Posted by Picasa

we'll be dancing in the streets Posted by Picasa

portrait of the poet as one sick puppy Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

caught a real nasty bug. took yesterday and today off from work. so it is me and nicholas, who also is on the tail-end of this crappy cold, hacking away like 40plus year smokers and sneezing like we invented the sneeze. actually it is mostly me, as nicholas is feeling pretty good, i think.

other than suffering not-so-silently been digging the vispo at daniel f. bradley's blog.

and geof huth's fantastic translation of a famous basho haiku.

and and a series of poems by derek beaulieu published here.

now to get back to some serious napping.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

a while back a fellow poet-blogger announced his intention to write an offensive poetry. i've been wondering what that might mean. offensive in what way: bad language, crappy attitude, misanthropic, racist, sexist, all of the above? would a poet be read if the poem is offensive, once the word is defined. would it were only one definition, offensive, cuz the word is in the eye of the beholder and the beholden.

not that i advocate racist/sexist shit, no not at all. tho there are plenty of poems with macho posturing, think bukowski and his ilk. the same of some writers who hate humanity, think larkin at his worst. could offensive poetry be political? depends on what side of the divide you sit.

some of the most brazen writing i know of comes from hardcore punk bands of the early '80s. parents/teachers/adults worry so that contemporary hip-hop is the end of western civilization, what with its emphasis on drugs, sex and violence. i say, shit; you've never heard 'code blue' by los angeles-based t.s.o.l. which is about necrophilia. the chorus goes something like, 'i wanna / i wanna / fuck the dead'. my parents hated that song when it blasted from my room.

last halloween i went with a friend and his brother to a movie festival. my friend's brother is a grad student at uc riverside studying the classics. two things i asked him. first did he ever study under derrida, second can he translate a line from catullus for me. for the first question the answer was, yes, loved it and with great respect and awe for the philosopher. the second question was a bit more tricky since the latin is concise and quite an insult.

which is one of the reasons why i love catullus so. the dude loved to eat, fuck, love and hate. here is the line.

'pedicabo ego uos et irrumabo'

robert j. ormsby translates it as, 'i'll fuck you both right up the ass'

peter whigham just shortens the line to an almost quaint two words, 'pedicabo et irrumabo'

while jim powell does it this way, 'bend over, aurelius you faggot queer / and you, dear furius, kneel down cocksucker-'

that's pretty offensive. it has yet to be matched, i think. anyway, i don't know if the poet-blogger ever wrote and published his offensive poetry. i'd want to read it, but frankly don't know i'd recognize it as such upon first reading anyway. catullus set a pretty low standard.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

time to bust my near-week long silence. been bummed a bit about the state of the world. everytime i fired up the laptop to scratch a few words i found myself reading instead. a lot of blogs, journals and movie sites. and the news, which is fucked up. which we all know is the state of the world.

then the weather breaks and damn if it don't feel like fall. if i keep repeating myself regarding fall it is only because i love it so. in n ca fall is the best two days of the year. the only thing that would make it feel most like fall is if the rice farmers of the great central valley all started burning the stubble from their fields. it is illegal to do that now for the air gets so polluted from the smoke. but the smoke, the thick grey haze and the rich acrid smell of it, takes me back to childhood, zips me directly to memories of halloween.

and halloween is a mere 48 days from today. so time to start planning. yep, we got nicholas a costume already, a baby lobster outfit that we're afraid he'll outgrow in a month. i think maybe we can stuff him into it long enough to take photos.

then for the trick-or-treaters i'm debating on what type of candy to hand out. perhaps it'll be wax lips, sure to be a hit with the young-uns. but then those are made from wax and don't taste real good. so how about packs of candy cigarettes instead. but i can just feel right now a punch in the nose from an irate parent as i hand out those little goodies. so then perhaps i'll go with my old stand-by: ice cream. scoops of rocky road for little ghouls and goblins.

when the tykes knock on the door they'll be holding out their bags and pillow cases already abrim with sweets. i'll take my little scooper and say, here ya go. and plop a bit of the creamy stuff to mix-in and up the candy. i can see their eyes now. oh i love halloween!

* * *

(um, in the phrase of triumph the insult comic dog, i kid!)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

in some half-assed way i knew what i wanted to be when i grew up at age 16: a writer. didn't know what kind of writer, and i sure as shit knew i wasn't gonna be a famous writer, but a writer just the same.

it started with fiction, weird, surrealistic crap about monsters and aliens, and there was the erotica, which i've given up, the writing of i mean, not the reading of it.

then i had a severe breakdown when i was 19. spent a year of my life pretty helpless, hardly able to go outdoors even. in my slow recovery i discovered john berryman, and shortly after that rimbaud who was, and remains still, a great influence. and it was all down hill from there.

i became a reader, a poet second, a reader first. and even tho i read a bunch of trash, still, i take my reading seriously. and i realized early that reading/writing will not probably advance me a career in anything. what it will do, and does, is guide my living. one might ask a poet how his/her job and family influence the poems. i ask, in all seriousness, how poems influence yr job and family.

often on my walks to and from work lines i've been working on mix with lines from other poets' texts all to the beat of whatever song is looped on the soundtrack in my head. which in turn affects my walking patterns, my rhythm, how i view traffic and so on. i think there is nothing special in that. we all live within language, and yr words, how you say them, how you write them, become part of how you live and work in yr daily jobs of being a human fucking being.

Friday, September 02, 2005

the images are staggeringly horrific. like scenes from an end-of-the-world flick. the last days. i've never been to new orleans tho like most i'm enchanted by its food, music, history and mysticism. i can only echo the anger i feel here of the piddly response by the u.s. govt. to the victims in the gulf regions. i am ashamed, pissed, and floored.

i know only one poet in Louisiana, skip fox, and i just sent an email asking if he is okay. i read the news and watch the images on tv, and my heart constricts. the best indictments i've read against shrub and his cronies are by mark young and alexg.

such a disaster can happen here in sac. we are in the valley, a flood plain, surrounded by two rivers, the american and the sacramento, which are shored up by a system of levies and the folsom dam. there have been two major floods in the last 20 yrs. one in '86 when the levies in some of the more rural areas did breach. my family house was 3 blocks away from the american, and the streets flooded. it was pandemonium. i thought the levy broke and i abandoned my washed-out car for home. but it was only the street drainage systems backing up from so much water. and we were okay, a bit buzzed by the adrenaline.

the second time was in 1997 and the flooding was less corrosive. and the levies remained intact, for the most part.

we live in a flood plain. that is one of the reasons the ca great central valley is so rich from agriculture, deep, crazily abundant and rich alluvial soil. but it would flood almost every year until the levies were built in the late 19th century. the houses in the central city and midtown are all built with the first floor about 10 to 13 feet from the ground. old sac, now a tourist trap, along with downtown was raised to its present level again late in the 19th century because of the frequent flooding. there are numerous underground tunnels, hidden jewels that are capsules from another time, that are now being rapidly destroyed for development. this city has been drenched with great loss of life. it will happen again, that's for sure.

there is a slight elevation located in midtown, an area of sac known for its eclectic style, its victorian homes, its funkiness, its gay community. anna and i lived near this hill for about a year in our 2nd ever apartment. the hill was a gathering place for the poor who could not leave the city in times of flooding. it is called poverty ridge.