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Showing posts from October, 2004

Eliot Weinberger's "Freedom is on the March"

Many of you'all may have already read this over at Possum Pouch, but in case you haven't:

Freedom is on the March

by Eliot Weinberger

Among the things the second term of the Bush junta will bring is the New Freedom Initiative. This is a proposal, barely reported in the press, to give all Americans- beginning with school children- a standardized test for mental illness. Those who flunk the test will be issued medication, and those who do not want to take their medication will be urged to have it implanted under their skin. Needless to say, the New Freedom commission, appointed by the President, is composed almost entirely of executives, lawyers, and lobbyists for pharmaceutical corporations.

The question is: Will anyone pass the test? Half of America is clearly deranged, and it has driven the other half mad.

The President openly declares that God speaks through him. The Republicans are making television advertisements featuring the actor who played Jesus in Mel Gibson's &qu…

Inherited form

Just finished Angelus Bell by Edward Foster and it reminded me in some ways of Daniel Zimmerman's Post-Avant with its formal density.

I was really drawn into Angelus Bell by the reflexive gestures and overarching themes and links from poem to poem (aloneness, sound, eyes, and dry landscapes). It makes me realize how new formalism (Dana Gioia etc.) miss the boat. Perhaps innovative/avant poetry has always included formal elements (I mean inherited forms: meter, rhyme etc.) So a return to "form" is not really a return to anything but conservative politics. it seems mighty coincidental New Formalism popped up in the 80's Regan years, and the academy promoted traditional notions of formalism in the 1950's.

hm . . .

Anyway, the turn towards (rather than return to) inherited form is interesting. Foster's book was also humerous. The humor undercuts the formal diction.

It is interesting to note the use of formal diction and inhertited form in some recent books (Mo…

How to Draw A Bunny

Just watched a new release DVD called How to Draw a Bunny. It's a documentary on the pop artist Ray Jonhson.
Really fascinating and eerie. for some reason I can't get the visual of two Ray Johnson performance piecesout of my head:

1) running around a room in various ways with a chalkboard on wheels
2) conducting a reading which consisted of beating a box with his belt

A lot of the commentators talked about how everything Ray did/touched etc. was a work of art. His highly organized death was also a "work of art."

This movie really got me excited about the possibilites of art. Also read Alice Notley's Margaret & Dusty and currently reading Edward Foster's The Angelus Bell.

I really really loved Alice Notley's Margaret & Dusty. A total experience reading the book from beginning to end in one session. Really liked "As you Like It."

Also finsihed Jarnot's Some Other Kind of Mission. I actually liked it better than Ring of Fire. Haven'…

Ken Rumble's Desert City Reading Series

Another great reading on Saturday. Ken Rumble really brings the heat to town. Tony Tost read some great prose poems. Dense in the sense of including various lives (reading life, dreaming life, love life etc.). Maximalist. funny. Profound. I especially loved the Complex Sleep series (in the tradition of Duncan's Strucure of Rime series). Tony also read a very moving poem about Kim Sun-il. I say about, but that's not all the way accurate. it was informed by the last days of Kim Sun-il (emotionally). Tony has a real mix in the new ms. really taking some leaps and risks.

Aaron McCollough had a presence. Assured. Funny. Comfortable at the mike. Slow, well executed. He read from Double Venus, his upcoming book Little Ease, and some new poems. He read "Democrack Pistols" and asked us what the word play? No one got it. But when he explained a large ah ha resounded in the audience .

Democrack Pistols= demoncratic vistas

The new poems included a Vernacular poem series. Love p…
Randall Williams waterworks performance piece I am still processing this performance. Tiffany loved it as well. Blogged via

NY Times article on potential draft

Feeling the Draft

Published: October 19, 2004

Columnist Page: Paul Krugman

Forum: Discuss This Column





United States Armament and Defense

Military Personnel

Those who are worrying about a revived draft are in the same position as those who worried about a return to budget deficits four years ago, when President Bush began pushing through his program of tax cuts. Back then he insisted that he wouldn't drive the budget into deficit - but those who looked at the facts strongly suspected otherwise. Now he insists that he won't revive the draft. But the facts suggest that he will.

There were two reasons some of us never believed Mr. Bush's budget promises. First, his claims that his tax cuts were affordable rested on patently unrealistic budget projections. Second, his broader policy goals, including the partial privatization of Social Security - which is clearly on his agenda for a second term - would …

bring back the lion

I am not sure why there is sometimes so much build up before writing. It's usually when I am revising/restructuring. The intial writing phases are no pressure/no problem. But getting the structure! There's some anxiety.

And the perrenial questions. Mostly: why do/make this thing called poetry? Is this making doing anyone or anything any "good?" How is writing "good" poetry better than writing "bad" poetry? What effect (if any) does bad poetry have on the world?

Sometimes I feel loaded down with too much intellect. I believe in the intellect. I love the intellect. But sometimes philosophy is a rock in my stomach.

I feel best when the rush happens (as romantic as that is). When the giant swells of sounds invade and bits of philosophy emerge.

I need ferocious. I need ferocious humbling. Violence. Rough strife. Not neglect of the intellect, but a good whipping.

Madness to expel the ego. Not madness as ego as personality as genuis.

I need the lion ov…


I am amazed, blown away. Peter O'Leary's _Watchfulness_ has changed my landscape. Really fired me up to keep moving with my book length poem Campanology.

king Midas Gold, man of light (gnostic light), transfigured light

A few of many lines:

"is it always a few who reach the edge of the world, where its mirror- / image begins"

"so XPC is the name of the Lord; of man; of man of light invoked."

"The poet stands in umbrage of invisible fire"

"My solitude and its simulacrum"

"Light is ore/ abhored/ hoar."

'Was Kiev the kernel/ of the seed of New Byzantium?"

"Virga aurea facta est."

A few of many exciting new words:

ephphatha, 'ethpatah, affeta, effata, adapirire, XPC, emplenishes, girandoles, Areopagite, tychonic, primum mobile, Tinntinnabular, Aikaterina


Louis Sullivan

Favourite section:


I got lost in the bookstore yesterday reading through books on Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Also reading …

Mode versus System

Been reading a lot of Nathaniel Mackey and Leslie Scalapino lately. In _How Phenomena Appear to Unfold_ Scalapino writes,

"The writing is a mode, not a system."

So mode versus system.

When I think system, I think systematic reasoning (and the postmodern critique of such).

When I think mode, I think frame.

But I am wondering about form as a system versus form as a mode.

As in: lyric mode versus lyric system.

How does a lyric system differ from a lyric mode?

Mode as in movement; system as in static?

System as hypotactic; mode as paratactic?

Mode \Mode\, n. [L. modus a measure, due or proper measure,
bound, manner, form; akin to E. mete: cf. F. mode. See
Mete, and cf. Commodious, Mood in grammar, Modus.]

1. Manner of doing or being; method; form; fashion; custom;
way; style; as, the mode of speaking; the mode of

System \Sys"tem\, n. [L. systema, Gr. ?, fr. ? to place
together; sy`n with + ? to place: cf. F. syst[`e]me. See

1. An a…

City of Carrboro dropped the ball

After an amazing first festival, the city of Carrboro has decided NOT to allow another festival next year. Where did the funds go? Another national/international festival?

Patrick Heron received this reply:


I wanted to answer your recent question to Sean Sunkel, Special Events Supervisor about having another Poetry Festival sometime in May 2005.  Unfortunately funds were not approved in this year’s budget to accommodate a Poetry Festival. 

Anita Jones-McNair

Recreation and Parks Director

Town of Carrboro, NC


Visit us on the web at

Our mission
To enrich the leisure needs and quality of life for citizens by
providing accessible facilities, creative and diverse recreation opportunities and a safe public park system


Draft is a really interesting word. As in:


As in:

cold wind down the hallway.

I think Evie is right.

A draft might wake more people up.

Potential Draft

I handed out this information to my students in class yesterday. Most of them were surprised. Especially the female students.

Not sure if Kerry is all for this or not.

POSSIBLE MANDATORY DRAFT for boys and girls (ages 18-26) starting June 15, 2005

There is pending legislation in the house and senate (companion bills: S89
and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can
begin as early as spring, 2005, just after the 2004 presidential election.
The Administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while
the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is
needed immediately.  Details and links follow.

This plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter
and includes women in the draft.  Also, crossing into Canada has already
been made very difficult.

This legislation is called HR 163 and can be found in detail at this website

Just enter in "HR 163" and click search and will …