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Showing posts from August, 2004

forklift, ohio

Just got a poem accepted by Forklift, Ohio. It's strange. My last three acceptances have been for poem I cut from my MS (Columbia Poetry Review, Conduit, and now Forklift, Ohio).

I've decided to reinsert the poems accepted by those journals. Perhaps I get too carried away with new projects and think the old projects are no longer valid.

Forklift, Ohio

Innovative poetry and intro to poetry

I am teaching two sections of intro to poetry in the spring. I've taught with a lot of the Norton/Vendler/Gioia anthologies (etc.) in the past and I am very tired of them.

I was thinking of just using five books of contemporary poetry. It is a general education class. They don't need to know the canon (if anyone does). It's not really a survey class. There's usually about 40 students per section and most are just trying to get their lit credit out of the way.

One problem I've had with using individual collections of stories or poems is getting the books on time. Since the books are almost always published by a small press, it seems to take over half of the semester for 80 copies of each book to show up at the bookstore.

An anthology is certainly a lot easier. There's never a problem with ordering. The university bookstore seems to have a very fast pipeline to college textbook companies. Within days there's hundreds of copies.

The Norton Anthology of P…

more quick thoughts of/on surrealism

So there is American surrealism of the deep image and pastoral variety

(perhaps Matthew Rohrer is a good example of this tendency although he sometimes moves away from deep image and the pastoral to some kind cyber erotics.)

There is also the surrealism of Eastern Europe with its folklorish qualities (Simic etc.)

And French surrealism seems a little heavier on the intellect than say latin American surrealism.

So American imagism meets say Latin American surrealism and becomes deep image? (I realize this history is very simplistic and watered down)

What I am interested in exploring is the interaction of textual poetics and surrealism (or neosurrealism).

If I remember correctly I think Watten denounced surrealism (and perhaps other poets of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school).

So when (or in who) did textual poetics meet surrealism? I haven't read enough Yau to know if his poetics involve both, but from little I have read it seems possible.

John Ashberry has elements of both, but I guess …


I am teaching Jesus' Son in my intro to lit class and the students often want to know if such and such really happened. The narrator is not reliable, but he is very aware. Oftentimes lucid via drugs. Other times he thinks he is lucid and is just fucked up.

The surrealist moments of the stories reveal the psychology of the narrator and the "agonistic embrace" of reality and desire.

As a strategy, surrealism has been adopted full on by the capitalist machine. It is an excellent marketing strategy. It went mainstream in the sitcom world with Ally McBeal (perhaps before?)

Ally McBeal was hailed as a "breakthrough" form of narrative because it showed what a "female pyschology" and enacted it on the screen. I only watched a few episodes, but there was a wierd male lawyer who had a fascination with flushing and stuttered. Ally McBeal carried around a theme song in her head. She was empowered.

Surrealism as special effects is also an interesting adaptation. …

Combo magazine WOW

I am in awe. I just sat down and read Combo Winter/Spring 2004 from start to finish and I honestly loved every god damn poem (and interview and letter).

I have never enjoyed reading a literary journal so much. The feel of the magazine (simple, exact, crisp). The quality of the poetry, HOLY SHIT!

There's nothing to highlight.

It's all so excellent.

I must subscribe soon.

If you haven't read Combo I highly highly recommend getting your hands on a copy.

blurg and block and burp

Inspired by the comments of Ken Rumble, I just re-read My Life and read Chris Vitiello's Nouns Swarm A Verb. It was a very interesting experience to read those two books back to back.

I found Nouns Swarm A Verb much more "self-contained" than My Life. What I mean is the gestures (language) are often more intense IN themselves in _Nouns Swarm A Verb_. The "indefinite continuation of the poem" includes words that do intense "repetition, recombination, and permutation."

I feel like I am bumping around in an freight train or an overhead bin. Bin=to be. Bin equals a storage. Bin equals . . . well anyway. Whereas, in My Life, I must be riding a ship.

Density in different ways. The word swarm and the word body.

Hejinian's "I lapse, hypnotized by the flux and reflux of the waves"
Vitiello's "Causality is discovered to be an analogy of allegory."

Nouns Swarm a verb is a "real" war book. A mispro(noun)cement. The …


Yes U2 currently sucks. In the past they might not have sucked.

I think there is a difference between sucks and sucked.

It's sad when something that didn't suck now sucks.
If something sucked and still sucks it is neither sad nor tragic.

Brittany Spears sucks and still sucks so to say Brittany Spears sucks is like saying English is a language.

is the future more important than the present? If something sucks now does it suck foreever?

The future is death; the present is life.

I don't care if I suck when I am dead because I am dead.
I just don't want to suck now.

dreams dreams dreams

So many strange dreams. An orgy last night. I was ordered to do certain things. I was also ordered to try the new and improved Mormon filter (for Camels only). The filter left a strong minty residue.

Then I had to run through the snow barefoot in Bountiful Utah in search of a secret house with a blue mini van (there are many houses with blue minivans this was not an easy task).

I did not find the secret house but I did find an old cramped missionary apartment (from my missionary days in Boise, Idaho). A few of girl characters showed up at the missionary pad and we smoked via the new and improved minty fresh Mormon filter.

Then I had to complete a series of sexual tasks I won't go into (I am a little embarrased). I will say one involved the famous pour grape juice down the crack of your missionary companion (only this time it was a tall gymnist since I went to sleep after watching some olympics), catch in glass, and drink for a free large pizza (this event did happen).

So, orgy, &q…

goats head soup

a collective blog featuring some of the folks of Lucipo poetics is linked to the right.

I've been reading about Bean News in the Chicago Review. Sounded like an interesting project. A newspaper run mostly by poets. A group blog could certainly function in a similar fashion to Bean News. Hodge podge (I need to research that term).

Just printed out _Edge_ by Bruce Andrews and _Extremities_ by Rae Armantrout. Looking forward to reading them.

Returned a collected James Galvin to Barnes and Nobles and ordered _Clean and Well Lit_ by Tom Raworth and _word Group_ by Marjorie Welish. A nice trade.

literary history

I am still concerned about the conversion narrative (from school of quietude to avant garde). The problem is the narrative is too simplistic. But knowing where you're coming from doesn't have to be a bad thing does it? I am really enjoying the latest Chicago Review. The letters between Dorn and Jones (Baraka) are really fascinating. Shows how poets are in the times (not aiming for some religious eternal). The cuban missile crisis and Fidel and race.

I feel an affinity for the unaccomdating poetics of the historical avant garde. I also feel a little concerned about the watering down of the avant garde (I am not a purist though). I also feel excited by Mark Wallace's idea of multiplicty of forms. A re-evaluation of the past etc.

Anyway. off to teach for the second day. it's difficult to let go of summer.

Ed dorn and Tom Raworth

Chicago Review has some interesting letters between Ed Dorn and Tom Raworth and Dorn and Olson in 1961.

So far they are really interesting.

Raworth is really funny. I did not realize he had such a complex family background. He says his mother was Irish "from a Dublin family of anti-British bomb throwers" and his father was from "a poor London family." Raworth left school at sixteen. from what I can gather he is largely self-educated.

This latest issue also has some critical essays on Dorn. Jennifer Dunbar Dorn chronicles Dorn in the 80's.
Lisa Jarnot reviews Tom Clark's biography of Dorn.

Also some good poems by Chris Stroffolino, Peter Riley, Mark McMorris, and Christy Garren. An interview with Eleni Sikelianos.

Chicago Review is a good mag for solid contextuality and historical breadth.

around the table some of the gang around the table Blogged via
kathryn taking a break another porch break Blogged via
Serge, Samantha, and Brian Howe a little porch break Blogged via

another fascinating Lucipo reading

The reading took place at Todd and Laura Sandvik's home. They are amazing hosts. Always great food, liquid, sound, art.

I borrowed Chao Manhattan from Todd. Looking forward to watching it later today.

Passed around a little notebook and asked some fellow Lucipo poets to create a quick list of artists to check out.

The list:

1) Henry Darger
2) Stan Brakhage (Criterion collection)
3)Bunuel (obscure object of desire and discrete charm of the bourgeosie)
4) Marjorie Welish ('The Windows Flew Open")
5) Emmanuel Hocquerd "Theory of Tables"

Chris Vitiello read a fascinating play that felt like a cross betwee Beckett, Watten, and a David Cronenberg. Lots of poeple with holes and slime. A little bit Happy days a little bit eXistenZ. It takes place in a parking lot. He also projected a poem about words, meanings, ghosts on an led screen and read a poem that interrogated, crossed, and sometimes followed the projection on the screen.

Serge Falcoz Vigne (a visitor from P…

the larger form

Read an essay by Marjorie Perloff last night called "After language Poetry: Innovation and its Theoretical Discontents." It's a really interesting essay.

She begins by talking about the semantic history of innovation. Innovation as sedition and treason esp. in 14th and 15th century. She then gives a short but good background on the innovations and theories of language writings. She mentions how Bruce Andrews called referentiality the misguided "search for the pot at the end of the rainbow, the commodity or ideology that brings fulfillment."

So the very crude version goes a little something like this:

modernists react against the romantics
plain spoken lyric workshop mode reacts against the impersonal modernists
language poetics reacts against plain spoken lyric workshop mode with theory based heavily in Marxism.

So the the signifed as a commodity I can see. But can't the signifier also become a commodity? A fetish?

Newness and innovation are vital to capita…

amazing avant/post avant and everything in between reading series in NC

If you live anywhere near North Carolina you gotta check out Ken Rumble's
Desert City Reading Series

The upcoming season (keep checking Ken's blog for details) is going to be nothing short of spectacular.

I mean he's bringing in the big ones (guns).

If I lived hundred miles away, I would make the drive for these readings.

Three cheers for the man who is putting the triad and triangle on the poetry map!

just what I needed

John Taggart's _When the Saints_ is blowing me away. Stunning. Really. I am rolling. Flying. My head's on fire.
Don't need a pond.

I read a few pages and feel compelled to write. I am really really digging this shit.

This man knows how to use repeition unlike anyone I've read.

Listening to "Brilliant Corners" right now. Predictable I know, but Taggart and Monk are really juicing me up.

I traded in a free exam copy of some boring anthology and got $11. I wanna find some more Taggart.

Forget trying to get everything just right for my English 101 class.

This is why I live.



That's all I wanted to say.

Back to Taggart.

hurry up please it's time

I can't believe summer is almost over. Time to read the books I am gonna teach. Which is gonna be hard since I just picked up a few cool books from Chapel Hill:

1) David Bromige _Birds of the West_
2) Peter Gizzi _Some Values of Landscape and Weather_
3) Lewis Warsh -Methods of Birth Control_
4) Lewis Warsh _Dreaming As One_
5) Joel Oppenheimer _The Love Bit_
6) Robert Creeley _Pieces_
7) John Taggart _When the Saints_

I would much rather sit down to a cup of a coffee and one of these books then my English 101 text (Literature for Composition).

Ordered a really cheap basic pda yesterday (2mb Palm Zire). Hope it works well enough to take roll, record grades, and keep track of my schedule. I don't need anything more than that so I didn't want to pay over $40.

When I look into purchasing some technology gadget it takes days because there are so many reviews and ebay, well, I feel like I have to track the average price for a day or two before beginning the hunt.

I a m excited…

same dream with different characters

Night one:

characters: a girl named Cami (ex-gilfriend of main character. Lived with main character after he left the Mormon church.)

Cami visits the main character and gives him chocolates. They both attend a Mormon service and the main character walks out with his fist in the air and she follows. They run away from the church arm in arm until the main character realizes she has popped out two children. He leaves.

(IRL: Cami is divorced with two children. She is staunch born again Christian)

Night two:

characters: a girl named Elissa (ex-girlfriend of main character. 1st love of main character. Main character thought he would marry her after returning from Mormon mission).

Elissa sneaks out of her house and meets main character in a large blue room. They meet in a corner near a dresser. Main character tells Elissa he knew she could make it. They hug. Then her parents call her for church. Main character also attends but insisits on wearing his most worn-out clothing (shorts with h…

death versus ceasing to be

There seems to be a difference between death and ceasing to be.

I sometimes imagine death, but I cannot imagine ceasing to be.

More and more it feels like ceasing to be (rather than dying) is what will happen.

Should I fear ceasing to be?

It seems silly to fear ceasing to be since death and the life never really meet (they pass each other).

But that's exactly what might be feared: the unimaginable.

As much as I tire of capitalism I sometimes find myself buying stuff (books, cds) to keep my current flowing. To keep from thinking too long on my own ceasing to be or filtering my thinking of ceasing via language.

When I think about ceasing to be I think images and emotions without words. I cannot write ceasing to be.

To plug is to prevent from leaving.

I plug the bathtub to take a bath but what if there's no water?

Or does it matter? Do we need the correspondence theory of truth? Or do we leave all the enlightment baggage behind?

The harp is done

Finished the ms (Mouth Harp) yesterday. Feels really good to let it go. The title changed a few times from Never Mind the Beasts to Stigmata:Burger to Mouth Harp. Mouth Harp seems to really get at the heart of the ms.
Harp as meditative heaven instrument of the mouth and harp as

To dwell on or recur to a subject tediously or
monotonously in speaking or in writing; to refer to
something repeatedly or continually; -- usually with on or
upon. ``Harpings upon old themes.'' --W. Irving.

Harping on what I am, Not what he knew I was.

It's done but I will allow myself to do small tinkerings if needs be. The final poem in the manuscript might need a little tinkering. it's called "Mouth Politics" (mouth as verb more than noun). I used some of the personal (my lost life as a Mormon).
Here it is:

Mouth Politics


Waiting wet
for first time
broken in (broken out)
want oral …