Thursday, April 30, 2015

started the day reading excerpts from the dairy of jimmy schuyler.  sometimes i need a reminder thru poetry i must slow down and touch the earth.  hot today.  like summer.  i dress for work like every other 21st century male office worker.  khakis, tucked in oxford shirt, brown shoes.  except when i walk to and from work i wear my chuck t's with my khakis and tucked in oxford shirt.  everyone has their uniform.  but tucked in shirts are not propitious to hot weather and by the time i got home i was soaked in sweat. 

reading blogs, poems, a few pages in a couple of books.  on TV right now is the last of the mohicans [1992] directed by michael mann and starring daniel day-lewis.  a magnificent movie.  large and beautiful.  the window is open to the warm night.  the cats are stretched out in cat repose.    


 to be a poet is not writing a poem, it is finding a new way to live.
--paul lafleur

so tired eyes crossed
                   read 'bees' for 'knees'
this ancient air says
                   what the hell is taking you so long

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

two things

the world sure seems to be going to hell.  but there are good things too.  for example, when i got home yesterday i saw a fat envelope in my mailbox.  i saw the return address.  eileen tabios.  two books: I forgot light burns [moria books; 2015] and Against Misanthropy: A Life in Poetry [blazevox; 2015].  two lovely and unexpected gifts.

i opened Against Misanthropy and there was an epigraph by danish poet paul lafleur, 'to be a poet is not writing a poem, it is finding a new way to live.'  a beautiful reminder that being a good person is not antithetical to being a good poet.  i like to think so.  we all live in this crazy world together.  poetry for me is a way of participating in our world.  you don't have to be an asshole to participate.  you can create a new way of living based on generosity and kindness.  eileen's books are emblems of generosity and kindness.

plus i check my email and see jim mccrary sent me a link to a radio program.  he was interviewed yesterday on a lawrence, ks radio show.  every time i hear jim's voice it is a good time.  follow the link here and listen for yourself.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


today i read another poet's line
the frogs of basho

the fogs of basho
i don't know if either clarified my mind


the beatles said so elequontly
                  today is your birthday 
                             it's my birthday too yeah
have a party party on me
alex g

Friday, April 24, 2015

poem beginning with a line from a song by george michael

that's all i wanted to be warm and naked by your side
like the beauty of rain and 
street semiotics

like when i saw the woman wearing the star wars t-shirt
mirrored my thoughts precisely
at that moment

life becomes symbiotic
to its

e.g. i can't think without my i-phone
or when i was humming a song
by john mellancamp

on the way to work
another woman was singing
that same song as i passed her by

Thursday, April 23, 2015

check this shit out

poetry by my brotha jim mccrary published here at truck 

and this vid with brazilian poets waly salomao and paulo leminski [a small portion of the vid is captioned in english.  i don't understand portuguese.  i do love these poets energy.  these guys are fully engaged.  when i watched this vid last friday for the first time i got a real high high].

Monday, April 20, 2015

poem beginning with a line by paulo leminski

o richardlopez
is a mad dog
that likes long
walks in the park
running after cars
shooshed by news
papers and shoes
cowering in corners
afraid of his own
shadow and loud
bangs barks at
the moon and will
chew the furniture
of every room
of your house

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

life is
too short

to be
in such

a hurry

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


sick with worry and unable to find a cure i read an article about the robotization of the military with a youtube vid. of autonomous driving supply vehicles and i think i am witnessing a scene from a 20th century sci-fi flick complete with cheesy dialog and a dystopian ending but then who can predict the future we all have our digital lives so much has tech. woven into our shared culture[s] why even today i saw a homeless man set up camp with a TV monitor and an x-box gaming device at play in the fields of the lord

spring crows flick
                  burger king wrappers
cars honks to move them out of the way

Monday, April 13, 2015

los ultimos dias [2013]

an interesting spanish horror film.  it is 2013; marc is overworked and is on the verge of being fired from his job.  his girlfriend, julia, wants to have a child.  they argue.  he leaves for work.  the city is bustling.  a coworker is in the process of getting sacked.  marc is told that this man had not left the office in several weeks.  he had been living there.  two security guards physically escort the man out of the building.  the man is panicked.  when he is thrust outdoors in seizes.  marc runs to his aid.  but the man has died.

soon everyone in the city is afflicted with THE PANIC.  if someone goes outside they die.  barcelona falls to ruin.  marc left julia.  he needs to return to julia.  marc enlists the help of the hatchet man of the office.  the rest of the story is one of great peril.  people organize into tribes for survival.  food and water are scarce.  outside barcelona is a ghost town.  inside the buildings, sewers and subways it is mob rule.

i am unfamiliar with the directors, brothers david and alex pastor.  the cast is game.  the theme of mass agoraphobia with attendant immediate death if one does venture outside is fascinating on its face.  marc's love for julia is his single redeeming quality.  before that he was just an overworked, superficial jerk.  still, the pastors' do little with their theme.  i don't need an explanation why THE PANIC exists.  i do need to know how people deal with it in greater depth.  instead the pastors shot a road show with a buddy chaser.  two misfits learn to work together and trust each other for their mutual survival.  but even the relationship between marc and the hatchet man [the guy who does the firing for management], enrique, is rather shallow.  these two men are thrown together and then become coevals.  they are not.  their work together is false.  their professed love for another is not believable.

but then so what.  for the pastors are trying out larger themes.  i think.  the ending had me scratching my head too.  i thought, what?!  that's it?!  the larger themes are how brittle the bonds of society and how easily those bonds can break.  what does it mean for urban dwellers when they can no longer go outside?  what sort of government will these people create?  how does one procure food and water?  what do you do with your waste?  why is there THE PANIC?

it is not always the place for horror movies to answer the questions it derives for their themes.  but the better horror films will create an utterly believable world to explore and exploit our collective fears.  the pastors made an interesting film but an imperfect one.  the world they created is a strange one but it does not give goosebumps.  a serious, but unscary horror flick is indeed the more scarier for it being so.     


Sunday, April 12, 2015

old is the new old

there was a photo of the punk band bad religion in the paper today.  the pic was captioned something along the lines of 'old is the new young'.  see, the huuuuuuuge music fest COACHELLA held for two weekends in april booked bands like ac/dc and steely dan.  your grandparents music.  from another century even!  well, fresh fucking hell.  i say old is the new old.  always has been.  even if i don't cotton much to the artificial delineations made between generations.  baby boomers, gen-x and millenials have many things in common.  such as rock&roll, such as we are all human beings who want very similar things, such as the need to be happy and live good lives.  so i say fucking rock out to ac/dc down in the desert, young folks.  because you shall be old too, and very soon.  i say embrace your age, whatever you are on the spectrum.  for we shall all die.  someday.  soon.  age is not just a number.  it is an achievement.  a great gift.  rock out at whatever your age.  because you can't rock out when you are dead.  you might only wish you could.

Friday, April 10, 2015

if you happen to be at the AWP tomorrow please do check out my friend, tim kahl's panel on the late mid-west poet, john engman.  engman reminds me more than a little bit of the late, great oz poet john forbes.  both died in the 40s, both left brilliant poems of love, work, money, drinking and so on.  unfortunately engman's books are long out of print.  hopefully, kahl's panel will introduce more people to this singular poet's work.  click here for the details.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

the houses october built [2014]

ah, the blair witch project [1999], how i adore you.  you made the dreams of many filmmakers come true.  have video recorder in hand, a group of willing friends, and viola! you can make a movie.  you can scare yourself stupid.  you can bore your audience to tears.  you can learn how to edit a decent jump scare.  you can leave the ghouls right outside the frame and make it up with a few scary sounds.  if it wasn't for you, oh bwp, we wouldn't have this mini renaissance of found-footage, documentary style pics.

not that i'm complaining.  i do like me some found-footage.  call me a fan of the micro-genre.  this movie features five twenty-somethings scouring the back roads of the u.s. south for an extreme haunt on halloween.  they don't find the haunt, it finds them.  yet, the characters are believable and flawed human beings.  they bicker.  they are awkward.  they stumble around.  and they seem to all genuinely like each other.  that's good.

what is not good is that there is hardly any creepy build-up or tension.  i love halloween and haunted houses.  for me halloween imagery relaxes me.  i feel comforted by frightful halloween paraphernalia and imagery.  when our group goes thru a couple of real commercial haunted houses i am sitting on the edge of my seat wanting more.  yet there is nothing to amplify dread.  my palms didn't sweat in anticipation of the next turn.  this pic failed to become scary.  the troop travel to a couple of haunted attractions in their search for something a bit more strange and weird.

after the second haunted attraction some of the haunt characters start acting nasty to our group.  they reappear down the road.  some crazy clown breaks in to their rv in the middle of the night, films the group as they sleep, and post the video online.  instead of bugging the fuck out our troop pushes ahead.  they want to find that one fabled, illicit haunt that will scare them to death.

did i give too much away with that last sentence?  come on, this is a horror movie predicated on found footage!  you know it will end badly for our group.  but how?  well, let's just say they do find that illicit haunt.  a perverted version of a commercial haunt with all the trimmings of sights, sounds and gory sets.

oh, there was one scene that got a little creepy.  they stop at a bar in baton rouge, louisiana called D&D Lounge, get it? D&D: dungeons and dragons, the fantasy role playing game that was every nerd's favorite pastime when i was growing up.  anyway, the leader of our group, the dude who is set on getting frightened to death, is told to meet a person called 'giggles'.  giggles will tell him how to get to the crazy place for the fright of his life.  the patrons of the bar are all ghouled up haunt actors.  but are they?  i don't know.  the filmmakers play it straight and it seems what we are witnessing is a haunted attraction come to life.  it was pretty good moment in the film which got my hackles up.

even with all its flaws i liked this film.  because i'm nuts.  i'm nuts about halloween and all things that go bump in the night.  the credits roll state that the filmmakers went to about half a dozen or so real haunted attractions.  a couple of these are in the film.  for me everyday is halloween.  at least in my heart.  a movie even this flabby that celebrates the scary season with genuine love of halloween is a good flick to me. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

curiosity is often the better part of me.  an adept in the art of living.  but being a bad student in all things i often fail.  sometimes wonderfully.  for example, i feel guilty for not writing enough poems, emails, blog posts, reviews both of movies and books etc etc.  i feel guilty for not reading enough books, websites, twitter feeds [yes, there are a few good ones out there], chapbooks, pdfs etc etc.  i don't know if the guilt i feel is the failure, or my lack of doing enough.  i console myself with failure.  i fail to fight sleep. i fail to get enough sleep.  i fail to call a friend.  i fail when my curiosity seems to be the dominant force in my life and i find myself wishing i had more hours in my life to devote to making new discoveries or following the threads of knowledge of subjects, like string theory, that are always outside my grasp of understanding.  failure is part of my life.  i fail, often, to practice gratitude and love this present now.  i fail to watch all the TV shows that are recommended to me.  i fail to find the humor in the newspapers.  i fail in my dislike of contemporary pop music.  i don't know where i begin and where my failures end.  in this i know success if it belongs to me is failure by another name.  i know.  and with this knowledge of failure i can say i have succeeded in knowing my name.

i.m. bob grumman

today's poem goes like this
                                       i am thinking of you

Thursday, April 02, 2015


news says war climate speaks drought
ladybugs sun on the roses

the cruelest month

i don't need no freakin' month to celebrate poetry, right?  so but then anyway, april is national poetry month.  some good shit is being produced and published in many different places so keep your eyes open.

but let me suggest, again, the tattooed poets project in honor of this cruel month published by this most excellent NYC tattoo blog tattoosday.

and might i suggest reading nate marshall's very cool essay about poetry and hip-hop, blueprint for breakbeat writing.

with all the pollen in the air and my eyes red, scratchy, my throat tender and dry, and i can feel every millimeter of my sinuses, april is indeed the cruelest month.

now get outta my way!  i'm heading to the fridge for a peach.