Monday, October 31, 2005

how had i not heard of dolch words before today? "220 high-frequency words" a.k.a. basic sight words every child learns first/should know by the time they're seven years old. for poets, is this not bread-making? read kit robinson's take "the dolch stanzas" (c. '76 but now online), and he must've expanded on this elemental vocab just a smidge... i.e. are "crap" and "cum" really part of this early lexicon? compared to kit's, i think there are even greater possibilities for diffusion here, as his phrasing, in spite of the restrictive word bank, is still very concerned with concreteness, sentencey. the bits cited in the review printed in l=a=etc. #2 gave me a different impression/ suggest a less conventional flow than i see reading the chap start to fin. is this a matter of time passing and degree? that is, is one man's fragment c. 1976 nothing to a mind after 30 more years of flickering?

to mean:

meaning is lonely.

(a manifesto?)
(here come adjectives) yesterday matthew birthday minigolf: in spite of changing my name to helmut at the 10th hole i still got beat. i did however putt better when we played the holes out of order.

wish i had a camera for: m hitting ball back up the tubey shortcut, having it erupt from the ground to the ready swinging j aim.

after this, pizza, and m saying this is exactly how i spent my 12th b-day.

wondering with all why "up yours" can't be a friendly greeting, for christmas or everyday.


craving poetry, essays, writing of any sort online that participates in the world as much as, or more than, it observes, and that possesses a sense of something being at stake.


meeting tonight with another gallery to see about putting the d series. then to friends in beverly for squash soup and trick or treats.
volcano! cd came in the mail this weekend. sounds effing good. yay j for horn and string arrangements on a couple of tracks. of them, the last, one of my faves.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

best costume i saw last night: french obstructivism


j a very convincing cowboy had travolta down to the lone star beer


this morning: bollywood siren asha bhosle telling me to wake up
and the downy woodpecker following me on my walk to get the paper.

who then will be my sprite for putt-putt?

Friday, October 28, 2005

The word shines forth above a line of relationships emptied of their content, grammar is bereft of its purpose, it becomes prosody and is no longer anything but an inflexion which lasts only to present the word. ...says Barthes on modern poetic language..
thinking about the fingering charts i'm learning guitar by, a grid representing the fret board with dots for where to put fingers, that this strikes me as a kind of field poetics. will my ear learn to visualize the spaces between just as my eye is drawn to the white silence of the page? and thinking of this as a form of musical communication without touching a string, and how distant/distinct is such a musical language from language language really? both essentially language-as-instructions, a meta step 1: preheat oven.
can't do any work today because the lab has been turned into a haunted publisher's conference. what to do but fake bleed from the neck and await the chili cook-off? picasso femme getup will have to be for tomorrow, today i'm going for more of a stinky, disheveled beatnik look. didn't make it smartbar last night because j got an early call for a live show today. but we did pop into our new favorite tap, the phyllis, an old polka joint where my accent comes out and where, under highly apt pumpkin artistic direction, a team of regulars worked on carving studs terkel, frank llyod wright, shoeless joe jackson, bob newhart, coco taylor, mike ditka, harold washington, ernest hemingway, saul bellow, harry carey, hugh hefner, jane burne, muddy waters and american gothic.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

the one speaking
and the one
loved sometimes


Hurts today to type- strum thumb and the fingertips learning chords feel filed down. First guitar lesson was a blast. We learned “Horse with No Name” and how to make faces like Neil Young along with a dramatic rock ending. After the class all the students- all levels of guitar plus banjo and harmonica go into the auditorium and sing and play along to a medley put on by the instructors. The cumulative sound makes you think you sound pretty good. Wee!


Maybe now I can finally get a full night’s sleep, now that the Sox have finished off Texas. A little extra joy in seeing mama and poppy Bush frowning in their tea as Uribe threw the Astro out at first that ended the game for the Sox win. Crede should have gotten MVP, but what’s great about this team is that there really aren’t any showboaters in the bunch, all, when interviewed, are very deferential to one another.

Lots of people in the workplace are beaming, even if this is the north side, and recalling Sox memories of their youths, which makes me wonder- is Chicago unique among major cities in terms of how many people are born or raised and stay here? If a stat exists about percentage of “native” population in Chi compared to places like NY or LA which have often struck me as places people moved TO or FRO.

Pretty certainly a root has snuck up on me, but a nice one, I like it. Maybe more of a rhizome.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

looking at cartoon nuclei all afternoon reminds me that jen k. and i talked sunday night about a calling a summit of local lit organizers (magazines ed., presses, reading series coord's, etc.) to figure out how to make more of a noise for the new, the forward, the sometimes-not-a-parable-starring-moi poetry. one of jen's ideas is to get a table at the printer's row book fair next summer- a.k.a. the annual joyce carol oates lovefest- to collectively pee on a little corner of chicago's lit landscape out in the open. the operatives will be contacted forthly.


looking at cartoon ueteruses all afternoon reminds me that tomorrow night we're going to SmartBar for a little steppin. the line-up is a friend plus other all lady djs. going, that is, if the sox don't have to play a game 5, and my caffeine-laced Geritol holds. haven't been to the Smarty B. since courting J with my batman dance in '97.
at my last job a coworker was teaching me how to knit. so far i've made a square. she wanted to call it a potholder, but i told her i only wanted to knit useless, abstract forms. since leaving that workplace and since she lives in the suburbs, we haven't gotten together and my studently codependence=no needle action since. enter robots. a new goal, more lessons, and a date to converge on a new yarn store.
oh, and...

Annie Hall
oh, i totally neglected to include anything by goddard.. so..

Thanks Drew for making me aware of the The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction - a department of the Ontological Museum of the International Post-Dogmatist Group’s gorg. Hannah Hoch site. Here’s a question: does the Ontological Museum actually exist? Does it have bricks and mortar?

Also, I’m taking the cue and thinking over my favorite movies… if the criteria is movies you’ve watched the most times in your lifetime, my preteen years spent with the Lost Boys and the Goonies would skew the results considerably. So, ones I’ve found memorable in one or more viewings in the last 10 or so years.. a.k.a. The New Goonies:

Man with a Movie Camera
The Decalogue
Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon
Talk to Her (Habla con ella)
Dead Man
Night on Earth
8 1/2
The Dreamers
Lost in Translation
Being There
Akira Kurasawa's Dreams (every time someone walks a dog with jingly tags past my window I think of the woman running discreetly through the peach orchard... and the fox wedding, another favorite scene)

But a list like this totally misrepresents all of the Harold and Kumar Go to White Castles that I watch (and enjoy)… so this requires more of a mull than now after a late night with baseball (and I still couldn’t make it to the end of the game) (tied for the longest in postseason history) (and I take back any disparaging word I’ve ever blogged about the white sox.. they are the most well-rounded team I’ve ever watched and they never give up… this is a total revelation for someone who grew up watching the cubs. I’m glad we got to all of the games that we did in the last few years, because I bet gone will be the days of $25 getting you a good seat with plenty of elbow room as they play to a half empty stadium.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

oo-oo, favorite new phrase: the referential fallacy (from the silliblog). if I had a dissertation or a band...


the lyrics widget on Tiger: nothing now holds us back from singing along precisely to Supertramp.
Heinrich von Kleist (via Wittgenstein): What the poet would most of all like to be able to do would be to convey thoughts by themselves without words. (1811)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Motion and Forces Family Letter

Dear Parents,
With my good leg I sometimes know where to stand as mostly an observer. My motion will be affected by my looking, so with my good leg I am pulled into a dance with some relief about forgetting. I've learned that the alphabet is important because otherwise I could not say which vague points are traveled between. I'm surprised when asked of their origins more people don't give A or B when each is true. T or F tells me the truth. Sometimes I say "here" rather natively when handing someone a drink or else it will sound too much like a parting word. With my good eye I can see that the answer is a location to which you compare other locations, helping make it easy to compare locations. I convince people I was going to their locations when I am asked for directions instead of telling them to turn where the car lot burned to the ground, to keep going past where I once saw, in spandex, the mayor, whole crowds that walked between cars on a day of protest. It's a good reminder to say I was just going there, between the cars, their drivers standing out of sun roofs, even if it only happened once like the answers. I still might look like I'm waiting but it's how I plan to remember. The person, the suitcase and the ground would be moving, the people inside would be still. The people in the train and the train would be moving, the ground and the suitcase would be still.
Focused as long as I’ve been on the smaller units, the words, the minims and lately trying to work with a wider view, at the level of the sentence, the paragraph, it’s a perfect time to become more familiar with Anna Moschovakis’ and Matvei Yankelevich’s work, both reading last night at Myopic. Of the work they read, it was Matvei’s essays from “Writing in the Margin” and Anna’s- I think it’s one continuous poem that fills- The Blue Book that struck me as two distinct ways of developing ideas through prose styles that diffuse and weave for solid page, pages. Matvei builds with firm, declarative sentences that at times infuse the discourse with humor and a touch of surreal. The one that I look forward to spending more time with in print begins, “I hate writing.” Anna’s work fascinates for its ability to keep buoyant abstract threads on- so many things- how things interact, when we begin to distinguish one thing from another.. in physical space, human (dynamics) space, political space, etc: (quoting approximate) “in the ocean, surface and depth interact on the surface.” “let’s stop thinking about the war. This is a true story about a dress. It went with everything.”

Sunday, October 23, 2005

took this picture today moments before an angry fellow tore the sign down and called the person standing near it a "commie prick."
Last night amped til 2 a.m. after strong coffee at 3 p.m. (this green-tea weakling's version of meth) and a nailbiter Sox victory, watched Batman Begins, and while I'm not usually a fan of comic book movies, this one had ninjas and that "searching for your singular purpose" narrative that I'm frequently a sucker for. Maybe I was also well-primed after hearing "Sonnet for Morpheus" by John Beer at the Red Rover reading earlier that eve.
Better than asprin (Rich -and Dowd- editorials)... today the evidence is lined up in the stated vs. actual case for war, which two years ago got us called "paranoid" for suggesting in(/by) mixed company.

Suddenly I have 2 things I have to do in a costume next weekend, so I'm going as this.

Friday, October 21, 2005

tomorrow night at the spareroom jonathan messinger will read some of my spools and i will read a story by him and other writers will read things by other writers...
the last thing i was grunting about anne b. considers much more lovely.


misheard? maybe medicine is ac/dc


crevel: "i know of no words that are more gentle to the ear than two names. the whole world might be saved by the grace of the right syllables."

case in point:


a bit of keith's liner note on ubu:
Wolgamot decided-about 1930-to write a book.

He wrote one name to a page.

But he knew it could be richer. Names react to one another. He made long lists of names and held the list next to the pages of his projected book. When certain names came near each other, there was, he said, "a spark," and that was how he knew they went together. In this way, three names gathered on each page, and then around those three clustered multitudes of names.

And still something was lacking. Each page rhythmically complete, there was no impulse to go from one page to the next. There had to be a matrix, a sentence, to envelop the names. So far, he had spent a year or two composing his book. The sentence, a sentence to be repeated, more or less identically, on each page-this sentence took him ten years to write.

"It's harder than you think," he said, "to write a sentence that doesn't say anything."
that article link i posted yesterday about the marcus-franzen debate made me go out and get the harper's to read all of ben's article for myself, and, while the slate writer was trying for balance, and though i left the harper's at home today in my just-woke-up-5-minutes-before-leaving-the-house morning this morning, i've read 3 pages out of 13 so..opinions. perhaps the slate writer is reacting to that marcusonian pith that is, well, what gets heard over all the poets who perenially mutter the same argument, that writing that engages language on more than one register isn't created out of contempt for readers, rather it does so under the hopeful assumption that there are readers out there who like to read something with a little more depth, texture, substance, abstraction, artfulness, whathaveyou than the daily newspaper or its slightly taller cousin: mainstream fiction. as a poet, i look onto the whole debate with my nose smudging the glass, a little envious, since poetry doesn't even have registerable economic that can get its parallel argument to matter to such relatively large audience, i.e. the followers of fiction. and while it seems like primarily an aesthetic statement marcus is making, there's an implicit hope (like dalkey archive press hopes) that legions of american readers who buy books off the tables that are placed right by the front doors of borders, readers who don't fancy themselves any sort of writer at all but just like to read, will catch the experimental fiction wave and give writers like renee gladman the same chance at making a viable living as jennifer wiener. or is this argument just passe?

more from the house of perturbations

Made a meal from scratch last night for the first time in months, a Frenchy, mushroom ragout over hunks of crusty bread. Since it’s been so long since home cookery, I forgot how dismal the grocery store by us is in terms of produce selection and quality.. since it’s geared toward people just running in for CoCo Puffs and sushi. J’s workplace is becoming a drop-off point for an organic farm share, and even though I won’t know what to do with that many rutabagas, I think it’ll be good for us to join.
the building where i work is so vast i'm discovering new bits of it all the time. yesterday i found another break area on my floor- with an excellent view of the city- and a lending bookshelf of miscellaneous books and magazines, entertainment magazines and chic lit mostly, but I was intrigued by the books with stickers for this. i'm probably the last person who's heard of this by now, but what a great idea. if i could ever part with any of my books it would be a fertile front in the effort to put poetry in people's way (the front in which i am still active in refacing the poetry section at big chain bookstores when i have the chance).. also kind of an extension of that wandering journal project i was all hepped up on a few months ago- here is where a nice, little, self-reflexive, internal blog link would come in handy, but my sad blog savvy does not make it so. though venturing out of the template at some point is a goal...

...presently there are 19,406 books of poetry in the wild. there's got to be a double of something good at home i can cull and release...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Chest-beating afresh for Fiction.
recently added this picture to my cubicle.. i had underestimated just what a delight it would be to look up from my computer and see gertie there, gaze piercing me at eye level as if to say sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Thinking a lot about the state of primary and secondary education (public and private) as much of the materials I deal with at work are geared toward curricula which are organized around ever-changing state standards and moreover standardized tests. Everywhere there are graphics that interrupt the text- *fcat! *icat! *Xyzcat! And sample tests, and drills for things one needs to remember for state and nat’l tests. And remembering my poet-in-residence days sensing a strange mix of curiosity and panic from the teachers whose elementary classrooms I was dispatched to that a full 40 minute period once a week was being spent on something that didn’t matter on a scantron. And while the schools differed- one an overcrowded, underresourced, innercity school full of many students for whom english was a second language.. the other a small, highly selective magnet school for gifted children- I saw the same phenomenon… students at first bewildered and then delighted to be doing something creative, talking about poems, sharing whatever silliness my writing prompts had generated. The first few weeks with each new class inevitably there was a skeptical one or two who had to ask me, “are you sure we’re not being tested on this?” this from 8 and 10 year olds. and another thing I noticed.. the period was always too short for all of the students who wanted to share their work outloud with the class, talk to me one-on-one, or respond to something else shared by someone in the group. Sure, there were a few kids who chalked poetry hour up to goof-off time, but most were overly eager for a rare opportunity to dialogue and not be hemmed in by right and wrong answers, in both schools. The same students who were particularly eager for my attention, usually writing two or three poems in a class period where one is what was expected, were the same ones I’d see with oo-oo hands waving during their other lessons with their regular teachers, which out of curiosity I’d try to linger before/after my session to hear and see, and they were seldom answered because the teacher was obliged to prod the 32 other kids who were less eager. These teachers, many of whom remarked to me that they appreciated what I was doing, and that they saw improvement across subject areas when students’ abstract thinking and language skills were concerned, would say that they wished they could do more of such things if they only had the time. More time than 9 months? Well, maybe we get to do more creative things in May, after the tests are over, they said. I believed them. Any attraction I felt at ne time to their profession dissipated when I saw how hard they worked within a system determined to legislate away all of their time. All of this and the US is still last when developed nations are ranked according to high schoolers’ ability in core subjects? (Though an article in Slate suggests that American hs’ers aren’t dumber just lazy..i.e. blow off the internat’l tests because they don’t “count.” And the other article in the times this week that basically posits academic success best gleaned via the threat of familial shame and lack of all discrenable joys of childhood). Intermittently I like to read child cognitive development type of books to better understand what one’s potential is for learning vs. the institution’s falling short. Years later it seems that most people I encounter who are smart, creative, self-styled learners report having been utterly bored for most of their pre-college years. Then there are the adults I’ve educated who have been so conditioned by this system of points and consequences I’ve been hard pressed to get them to do anything beyond the minimum stuff for credit. These are the only reasons I don’t miss teaching. I anticipate most of these issues will be moot with the one-day, non-compulsory poetry workshop I’ll be leading at the Chicago Public Library’s new Logan Square branch on Saturday, Nov. 5th.
all the studies done in the u.s. of the effect of prayer on health, though usually deemed inconclusive, seldom have such a tone of "controversy" as this bit in today's times. it's hardly new news, as the details the times article lacks are more abundant here.
i think i've made it over the hump with the strapping fiction, a phillip roth novel, incidentally. the contrast between that and concurrent reading (crevel novel, cixous essays, essays and poems from recent lit journals) has achieved something, something over the frustrating... the frustrating: traditional, well-mannered prose driven by a need to reveal and emote is like watching black and white tv. there's an unmet potential for color, but, once acclimated to it, it accomplishes its own insights/beauties by this omission. the trope of man-who-has-it-all-only-upon-closer-examination-is-his-life-in-shambles wasn't all that thrilling either, and still isn't, but it enables some interesting questions into how motivated people can be to dedicate themselves to certain endeavors, convince themselves they derive absolute personal fulfillment from even, when they are bound by a sense of obligation or duty... also, how experiences are appreciated in the present (as, say, pleasurable) but are able to be recast (as repressive) after unforeseen events of several years intervene. there is plenty to mine here with characters from the ww2 generation: sons who couldn't think to refuse the assumption that they would take over the family business so learned to love it, spouses that endure one another's burdens bordering on abuse, etc. but is there as much dramatic tension in this regard possible with subsequent generations? sure, people still make sacrifices, but less so as the values of self-determination and personal autonomy increase?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

i was unaware of this journal until a few minutes ago. great work by chicago poets there...


a few discrete updates:
the joe & kass event this friday has been cancelled. (did i already post this? sweet, sweet dementia...)
11/11 is still on. grinnell and watson will be at the spareroom at 7*
12/9 too: stempleman and block at the spareroom at 7... website will be updated soon

this phrase in my head all morning: all of the slavias 8000ly

Monday, October 17, 2005

this weekend: defeated a cold with pumpkin pie; defeated angels with superior pitching; defeated living room furniture held together with tape with an ascetic, armless, backless "bench" thus solving the three-year trying-not-to-buy-a-marshmallow-type-of-sofa-dilemma. so long lolling.

Friday, October 14, 2005

on my lunch hour, paid a visit to my favorite tea shop, and the woman who owns this place must be a doctor of chinese medicine, because everytime i'm in there she is diagnosing patrons' ailments, giving them articles to read, lifestyle advice, whipping up special concoctions. i was in a hurry, so couldn't sniff everything or get diagnosed, but she steered my green fancy to a few new things: a yu jun green, a dragonwell from her hometown, and a bamboo something-or-other green that smells nutty-toasty and looks like a bag of crisp feathers. since i drink tea all day long, which is mostly at work, my desk is starting to look like an apothecary. i'll have to go back and treat myself to a cup of the "sparrow's tongue" sometime soon... it's too nice to drink next to a stapler.

I say all of this having not seen Jost’s other films, so I don’t mean to extrapolate into his oeuvre, and I would very much like to see the others, all the Vermeers in New York among them. And the flier and the woman introducing Jost and this film last night at the Siskel Center echoed the “American Goddard” someone at one time tagged this (*Chicago) filmmaker.

Working with Final Cut Pro, or in the case of this film, Premiere, and making videos and photos of place that are interested in textures, reflections, the impersonal- the process of this film was very apparent.. and there’s the pomo given yay, process is a foregrounded element, but then there’s knowing too much and having it occasionally be an obstruction/distraction. J was miffed sonically because, like Goddard, Jost uses a lot of cacophonous, drawn-out sonic gestures, but as J pointed out, the analog that G used stretches a lot more warmly than stretching digital sound- that was not recorded well to begin with (just the mic built into the dv camera).. jost’s result sounded quite a bit muddier and at times produced frequencies that offended J’s canine senses.

While we were cautioned by the evening’s introducer to “forget what we think we know about narrative,” which I was more than happy to do after the day’s rude awakening to all that I wish I could permanently forget about narrative (i.e. reading the strapping fiction), the film was so busy visually quoting 20th century French cinematic moments that it became not an homage but simply schizophrenia (at times the preeminence of this desire would derail pacing and rhythm entirely). I think this film came up short in finding what promised to be an intriguing identity in its own right, an identity not necessarily without some of the quoting. J said it would have been more interesting if the filmmaker had remixed the original source material, but then he wouldn’t be the man holding the camera, I said knowing one of J’s biggest goats is when the ego of the artist overwhelms the art. That’s an issue to return to for more..

Anyhow, I may see this film again when it’s in video and I can break up the 2+hour montage with a nacho break or two, because several of its visuals are truly striking and memorable: the way Jost angles the camera in reflective surfaces to capture the candid expressions of unsuspecting people, lights, traffic, advertising creates some beautiful compositions, like one of these at the beginning of the film from the vantage point of the cameraman riding the metro. The actors, there are only 2, and they’re not actors but just people being a slightly more intense version of natural, and with no script, improvising the few, mostly monologues, times they do speak on camera.. anyhow, one of my other favorite moments, well, several minutes, of the film is when these two, a man and woman in their early twenties, converse. It’s presented as a split screen and the camera is fixated on each of them, unwaveringly, and at angles that would have the viewer question whether these two are even talking to one another. In fact, each camera is rolling a separate take in which the conversations differ, though they are vague enough that, when played simultaneously, what develops is a porous boundary prone to some interesting intersections- another interesting instance of Jost’s knack for- I wouldn’t call it pastiche exactly, but- overlay. At times on the post-production side, he can’t help himself and creates superimpositions of images using the Premier toolbox, which seems slightly inconsistent with all of the stunning effects he’s able to produce organically, but is ultimately an extension of his explorations of the textures of DV itself, as many dropped-frame and similar effects in the program’s palette get taken for a spin along the way too.

Back to the actors and the fact that they’re not actors and have minimal to zero script and, it appears, minimal direction of any sort.. this gives the idea of character a refreshing candor and spontaneity, though in cases like this, the character is only as interesting as the real person and the woman of the pair amounted to the brooding, French equivalent of Meg Ryan whose most cultivated quality for the camera is her furrowed brow. –In another inconsistent moment where some kind of plot/artifice attempts to assert itself, a voiceover tells us they have broken up and the viewer is forced to endure a lengthy close-up of a sob so unconvincing it made my toes curl.- The guy, an acrobat in a traveling circus, is slightly more interesting and one gets the impression that the director must have been coaching him or kicking up his heels at the chance that this guy goes off on a tangent about the illusion of his work as a performer. Because, as we are all too explicitly and repeatedly reminded in voiceover, this film is an illusion, a dream. And J recognized this trope from some other French film. Oui Non employs this trope in recurring interludes that ask,”why this image? Why this one? Why not this woman’s story? (long pause) Because it is cinema.”

Thursday, October 13, 2005

expert at a good hooky day, i'm ticked that i had to cash one in today because, for the stupidest reason, i was up late with wine and reading this book for my book group at work, this 400+ pg. novel of strapping, pulitzer fiction that i've been putting off like a term paper. so this morning waking up late and with a headache, what do i go and do, but spend the day continuing to read the motherfucker. it's not that i particularly like it or dislike it: it's a sugar pill, like the weekend we watched the first three seasons of the sopranos, having never had cable. i feel guilty- not about the hooky, but that i'm not fiercely affected by what is clearly a smart, well-crafted novel. i can see that i'm supposed to be enthralled by the precision with which the writer makes bare for analysis every character's, major and minor, fears and foibles over the arc of 50 years, just like i can see that i'm supposed to be wearing gauchos.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

another thankly tip from the uberblog, "w" magazine and scalapino's contribution to it. i think this is the most compelling poem i've yet seen drawn from the us's brutalities of the last three years. it's a fine balance scalapino achieves: more than referencing the war but less than exuding it. i haven't read many of her books (yet) simply because it's hard to know where to begin. but the ear of her language, its mosaic-like phrasing makes it more necessary i make myself a course. and how between the words (space or no) can feel like a gap and an overlay at once, and how.
quality I'll just fall
asleep next
to an open window
listening to
by a patient
mist helps me
believe in junk
on the yangtze a lady doesn't
speak that way
mothers echo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

should have listened to janet jackson instead

tried to watch kontroll this weekend but had to turn it off halfway through. as a valentine to fluorescent lighting this film is beautiful, but the insipid plot that revolves around a bunch of boorish characters is insufferable. i was under the impression that a film about subway ticket checkers would present more of humanity's minutiae- instead this is a cardboard premise for a whitewash of good vs. evil, gross out shots of brains and puke, and footchases aplenty (and i usually like a good footchase, and am not totally adverse to a little fisticuffs either). i don't care if it won the queen's breakfast at cannes, this film shows that hollywood's banalizing forcefield has now reached as far as hungary. czech filmmakers better run while they can.

found poem/the answers

venus and mars
mars- the temperature is closer to ours
the fly larva and the earthworm
fly and butterfly
answers could indicate size, shape, wings, legs.
both have no fixed shape, and individual particles move.
the space between particles is close.
see chart below.
a sentence j and i never thought i'd say: "want to go to guitar center with me later?" was said yesterday and went. my new idea: to learn it, guitar. so together we got one, this one partly mine, and after excellent thai food at a place that reminds us of living in the coachhouse which we only stopped eating because a. we moved away and b. the fire spinach once had a bug, i learned 2 pixies songs and we played duets and then tried to cheer for the yankees but i kept forgetting how.. so unnatural.. la clearly a better team and now tonight to our white sox. rah rah jet lag.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I went to see the runners. I walked the last half mile of the route.

It's interesting, the gestures people make for endurance. The curb is full of dogs wearing energizer bunny ears, people holding up babies, shouters. I wish I brought a bell. It's like a protest only the people eating in the windows of McDonalds aren't flipping you off. Runners have torn their shirts for air or solace. They've written their names on chests and arms so strangers can call to them.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

.woke up..blueberry pancakes.
.read the reader which made me frustrated except for hearing of a film i decided i want to see "oui non."
.J in line for 30 minutes to pick up a prescription saying "what was it about long lines which is why we don't have socialized medicine?" and having great ideas about how davinci imagined a lot of inventions like hang gliders and heart valves by synthesizing mechanical ideas and observations from nature: how currents form in water, the wing span of birds, etc. and that electronic music and new media needs to be less infatuated with the means of its own production and develop along these lines. Still in line, grabbing a pamphlet on Alzheimer's disease, he makes some notes of this. a long time later when the pharmacist finally puts some pills in a jar, he accidentally leaves it there. but decides he is intent to remember.
.wrote a long email to a friend in another country suggesting i will take up lapidary, much to my own surprise.
.went to hyde park in an itchy sweater on one of our first cool, overcast autumn days. they have trees there, i figured.
.went to seminary coop bookstore which had nothing i went there for*. instead of little theaters (erin moure) i got splendide-hotel (gilbert sorrentino); instead of agnes martin's writings, songs of the milarepa; instead of the human abstract (elizabeth willis), my body and i (rene crevel); instead of indiana, indiana (laird hunt), i, etcetera (susan sontag); instead of the activist (renee gladman), an anthology of tang and sung dynasty poetry; instead of a form of taking it all (rosmarie waldrop), three steps on the ladder of writing (helene cixous).
.on the midway in the recess i hear a yell that sounds a little bit like "here," a little bit like "joe" and i see a man catch a football and run up an embankment that is treated by everyone as a boundary. then i see another man running toward him with a lacrosse stick and wonder how many sports they are playing or is this a hybrid.
.sat in grocery store parking lot writing a lot of things while someone slept next to me in a minivan.
.bought a baguette still warm through the bag.
.almost bought a plant called "pothos" because i thought for a second it was called "pathos."
.saw a man in a gust of wind battling a large balloon shaped like a 3.
.went home.
.put on a hat.
.walked to the lake shore.
.saw a tall ship from 100's of years ago out on the lake in full sail.
.saw a guy snag a fish that he bet was 20 pounds.
.saw a bride's veil whip in circles around her head outside the aquarium.
.walked out to the end of the peninsula and sat with my new books under the planetarium's big telescope.
.walked out on northerly island to find fields of purple wildflowers and not a soul.
.finished reading juice (gladman) on a bench out of the wind in front of the museum of natural history and a big banner that said "sue" while families going home walked by wondering about their cars.
.walked home around barricades set up for the marathon tomorrow. i think the finish line is a few blocks from our house. i remember being there 20 years ago watching my parents cross and then collapse into silvery suits. i remember being driven to different points along the route to watch them pass- looking like they're in so much pain- feeling the same way i would when seeing video of women giving birth.
.went home.

i'm writing this down so i can repeat it exactly.

*one thing on my list was there: dissonance, if you are interested. elated, i turned it over and saw the price ($40!) and heard myself say not out loud "I'm not THAT interested."

Friday, October 07, 2005

since tuesday i've been either working, sleeping or watching baseball, so missed with great disinterest the latest "terrorists bad, america good" speech.


met with hothouse last night... could put discrete there but it would up my operating expenses threefold. hmm. the kass and joe event scheduled for 10/21 has been cancelled-- they'll come up next year once discrete has a stable home. i have a date with a gallery in two weeks to discuss putting d series there. speaking of galleries, just when I thought all affordable space in wicker park had gone the way of the paulina tire salvage yard, i get a notice for a warming and opening for 23 spaces above miller lumber tonight.


rereading everything by renee gladman this week, though i still have to get the activist. somehow silliman's phrase "curiously agnostic on plot" was the right prod.. i think i'll make that a requirement for fiction from now on. that and the insightfulness gladman's work reveals about the stuff under the stuff of how people relate to each other.

"In a world where a person's tastes revolve around what kind of sleep she gets, I could not find four people who cared."


Just heard someone say, "Have you heard anything more about the elaboratus?"

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I don't know when this happened, but U of C has put up podcasts of all of the excellent readings and lectures I haven't been able to make it to there in the past year!

J VJ'd at Sonotheque last night (set of what I call kinetic paintings with the comfiest set-up yet... wall-sized screen with low-slung couches around it) with the always good, ever-changing roster of DJs programmed as part of the Wake Up Series. The series name is handy as a next-day at work mantra, since the martinis, er, music goes until 2 a.m.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

i realize this space is looking a little too texty, so will try to make a practice of posting a randomly generated image from one of the words in the day's post. here we have camp gunterville.

Physical Science

Cause: Light is coming from a window to the left of the plant.
Effect: The kayak moves forward and to the left.
Effect: Trees or people or tall objects get hit by lightning.
Reading first issue of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E at long last.. these essays of youthful bombast and ideas that have shaped my writing several times removed but here first hand. And since the author of each bit appears after the bit, and I'm scrolling through them online, I'm left to guess- sometimes correct- whose writing (and thinking) style 25 years later is whose. In one way or another, I've been in some contact with most of these 1st wavers and, as someone just jumping into the pool in the last few years, regard them as canonized pro boomers, but to read them here is to understand them as they lived through their time in cultural space--before computers (a constant and delightful reminder by reading the originally typed documents as jpegs online), the Reagan years, globalism, before NYC was Disneyland,

...digression: this feeling too at watching Henry Hills' "Money." First I thought, wow, that looks dated, but I was alive and conscious then (though conscious more of My Little Pony than poetry), so that makes me dated. But not quite as dated as poets in fuzzy-collared jackets reading their poems on Wall St. (didn't even recognize this was Silliman until reading his post). My second impression was, wow, this sounds like Acufen, Stock Hausen and Walkman and other sample-driven, "glitch" music/electronica. All it needs is a phat beat.

before they could see the other side of their history-- that they would be historical- or did some/all already know that? And seeing the listing of periodicals that were then a flash, a few years run, as now: Attaboy, Zzzzz... and the interwoven contributors of past and current issues and their editors- much like today- a signature of a community of interdependence and few degrees of separation.

Won't finish issue 1 today- a ton of work just dumped on at work- but left off with favorite essay so far by Alan Davies, who, right up there with Steve Benson and Peter Inman, is the one of the most open and engaging poets of this bunch I've ever spent any time with (OK, maybe I shouldn't cancel the reading series this sentence makes me think).. Why wonder then that his essay manner and content, but moreover manner, catch me: "It is a word and a word, what else."

Monday, October 03, 2005

for love

got the kids the suv of all cat condos yesterday. it's uglier than all of our furniture combined, but just look how happy it makes the preciouses.

this week's pomo moment.. just noticing here that my living room shares its color scheme with the lavamatique decor.

After Eigner, Van Dyke prints and slides of the Age of Exploration

A shotgun lesson in making the surface light sensitive, not optimism exactly. Your whole body, he asks, could be an album, like a citizenry. If it is always a face the question is present on, let us wonder if this is asthma carried by the Scotia plate. Sleeping wrong in whatever language comes about, where victories don’t pour, stand in straight lines from the cartographer’s hand, so look "something" there through our clothes. Things I would tell myself, fear chemicals more, people less, dark rooms innocuous on hands. What happened, 1991? Willing--between the idea to walk down the street and the observer, too frequent to be knocked out, ending anyway with trees. My guess is continuing, like anything else, with some fiddling, but “what” then “can things mean?”
is this a writing stall? then, little nugget, unstick!
[so] "much contemporary poetry wants us to like it – you almost have to go back to Pound to find work that could care less what you think & feel (especially the latter) as you read."