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Showing posts from January, 2005

person+ al+hood=?

when people say personal in relation to poetry they often say:

"the use of the personal"

how can we know if the personal is using us?

By this I mean to make a distinction between the personal and us.

or me and the personal.

or then again is the personal all that is the case?

how can I write the impersonal?

perhaps a computer can write the impersonal.

or a camera in Siberia rotating and snapping pictures all on its own.

but once we start seeing/hearing/smelling/eating/touching
things get very personal

how can we know if we are getting too personal?

is getting too personal simply not personal at all?

the personal as insult:

"I don't mean to be personal, but . . . "

what does the al in person do?

when is a person no longer a person?

a person is a person is a person?

give me back my person!

per son= each son?

or each sun?

or sum?

or "we are all enlisted and the conflict is 'ore . . . happy are we . . . happy are we"

person+hood= one hooded sun?


more work in progress from campanology

( +speaking+) a voice

reading neither film nor mirror. the lake a question.
the gift a symbol. among the sparks. with thick eyes descending.

fascination for fools. of dried apples. a sack in the woods.
with thick eyes descending.

on the march. cowbell. speaking in mutation.
a palladium. mechanic on call. slogan raw. with thick eyes descending.

skull on ice. neptune’s moons. cuffed to a question grafted to landscape.
a juggler. with thick eyes descending.

and marrow. a tool for descending. a belch from the uberworld.
reflux on wheels. with thick eyes descending.

waking: a gesture. gap notes. thermo cow with churning stomach.
if asked we were dusty. with thick eyes descending.



"It is only a few who reach the edge of the world where its mirror /image begins"
(Peter O’Leary)

“shem was a sham
and a low sham
and his lowness
creeped out
first via foodstuffs”

the sniffers were hired to find illicit fish. the sniffers were invisible
but the ghosts were not. the fish were illicit but the sniffers were not.
the sniffers were not dramatic. their signs meant bugger all.
slogans were on the march. by and by, money missed
the mark. the fish were illicit but the sniffers were not dramatic.
the signs meant bugger all. money was the beacon. the sniffers missed
the slogans. the fish missed the money. the signs meant bugger all.
by and by, the fish became dramatic but the sniffers were not.

we sent a distressed signal. a sequence of gestures in space. but they pipped slogans through the vents. lucky charms were sold
on the mountain. bloody knees meant god-with-us. clouds meant all
too soon. a mouth meant funnel you funnel me.
then …

great kick off to 2005

Another great Desert City reading on Saturday. Poems by Marcos Canteli (read in Spanish then translated by Rachel Price into English). A very refreshing bestiary from Mr. Standard Schaefer. Great intros by Ken Rumble. Blue door reading/performance by Tanya Olsen. She performed some very funny, wit-filled poems. No pages anywhere in sight. Impressive presence.

Also received Effing Mag # 3. WOW! I mean, shit this is one helluva mag. The art is very good. The editorial vision is outstanding. Not a mesh-mash (i.e. Fence mag). Some very very good poems. The look, feel, smell of the printed object is also something to celebrate.

Alright, I know I talked/wrote about Backwards City the other day, but this mag is a must-have. I mean, a must-have. A collectors item. Mint. Just overtook Combo as my fav. mag.

If you are not familiar with Effing mag (and Effing publications) check 'em out:

>Effing Press

I've got some great reading (and readings) ahead of me. Off to Philly and D.C. with …
Standard Schaefer and Kathryn Standard read some great bestiary poems. In this pic, he is saying some very naughty things to poor wee Kathryn. Blogged via
patrick Heron LOOK INTO MY EYES!!!!! Blogged via
three of the evenings readers/performers Rachel Price, Marcos Canteli, and Tanya Olson Blogged via
the rumble Mr. Rumble's own private disco after some great desert city and blue door readings Blogged via

a few more pages from Campanology

at Belfast city hall the cold alters the relation between rain and puddle.
the heart fills with hellium. voice a soggy pitch. in this place the pattern
is meager but the means whistle. a three-legged dog chasing its tail.
and therefore memory is muscled.

thick in feeling. slag spite:his toe my toe. to see inhabits forgetting.
an entire brochure of new nouns. boiled eggs. frayed string.

the case of the mind is a shellgame. a game wattled gravy. and just
as false with your back to the wall.

Things are not OK. (I.E.The Rage of Attachment)

the Latin for seethe, the German for broken, the Spanish for upsurge. in other, in otter, we trust. & bed-living. presence dies but the latin for rough house stays with us. the Russian for clock. the Irish for ring the bell. words regal in range
of attachments.

me against metaphor and the Manson family. me against the other for Latin. the medium attracts me. well-rounded and leaning in for a kiss. it was like crossing the alps. in vacancy between vacati…

of note

I just received my copies of Backwards City Review. Some cool poems and comics (I haven't looked at the fiction yet). Tony Tost does some complex sleep, Kent Jonhson does some strangeness with "poetry blogs in Zurich," Kasey Mohammad does some Demoral chillout and illegal cars (kicks ass as always). So many very interesting poems (including Arielle Greenberg, Gabe Gudding, John Latta, Sarah Manguso, Johannes Goransson, Ander Monson, and Joyelle McSweeney to name a few other stars).

A really funny and fascinating comic about consciousness and mushrooms by Jim Rugg.

This first issue of Backwards City is very promising. As always, I am sure the first few issues are vital to the journal's survival.

Check 'em out. Seriously consider a subscription (it's cheap):

Backwards City Review

loyalist mural in Portadown

Most people are tired of paramilitaries. And the militaries. Us versus them everywhere. In Portadown. In Belfast. The murals are everywhere. How about a new story now.


I received some genuine sheepskin slippers in the mail today.

I just wish it were cold around these parts. Ah well, it does make me feel cozy. It'll be damp sheepskin most of the time with the humidy around here.

Speaking of cozy. when I write about "my life" on this blog is it self-expression?

Or even when I use some random operations to write poetry does it still end up as a form of self-expression? What are the various degrees of self-expression? Can self-expression include process-oriented approaches to art/life?

When I hear self-expression I think gap. I think of my wooly slippers. My fetish of macs.

I am contemplating how best to challenge self-expression. I do not disagree with the concept in a general sense. I only disagree with its vulgar application.

In other words, the notion of a stable self (if the self is constantly in motion and is constructed then self-expression takes a spin). Or/and the notion of poetry as energy from within rather than without (Jack S…

From Campanology

at the Buffs in Belfast. after twenty-four years.
no ark for flood. no balm for ear. (liquid filling
into liquid). horses on the telly. lust of memory. and the larynx
of that place. at the table his hand on my leg. his toe my toe.

and afterwards the _____
of that place

twisted syntax
we fragment together

in sound
and sour stomach

a dweller in figment
hybrid of whole

words a make-shift cargo. sometimes a crater. a jewel in the soap.
consider the riggs: make-shift screen, make-shift heart, make-shift
as a spray of honesty and the excuse of it

two claws in the throat
little bitch of a rose
a hedge in the rain.

stamp and release. away in the head. no crib for a bed.

close the gate lovingly.
for my mother.
for white stones.
for uncounted pennies.

meaning begin again
between carpeted walls.

or push down the snib. mind the road.
the journey is long and ends quickly.

either way out of sequence
in a land never safe
from the (s)word.

An Ulster Fry

settling back in

Picked up some Peter Riley while I was in London. Haven't read much of him except Untitled Sequence (a chapbook from Wild Honey Press)

It's strange being back. It took me ten years to get back to Ireland for a holiday and it felt like I never left.

I think Tiffany was excited to come back to America and eat "regular" food. She is not as Banger mad as I am.

A few people we met had a very limited perception of America. Monolithic. Hollywood etc.

The Tate Modern was amazing. My cousin was a member so we went to the roof and took some pictures of London. The size of Rothko's paintings were amazing. It was really interesting to look closely at the paint drips of Jackson Pollock.

I really liked Bruce Nauman's sound poetry at the Tate. Check out some of the sounds from the installation:
Bruce Nauman's Raw Materials

We went to Belfast two hours after the biggest bank robbery in the U.K. (27 million). We walked right past the bank. So far it looks like the pulled i…

The Spectrum of Abstraction

Reading a little James Monaco for the class I will be teaching on film a week from today.

He has a little chart. The spectrum from least abstraction to most:

1) practical: design
2)Environmental:architecture, sculpture
3) Pictoral: painting, drawing, graphics
4)Dramatic: stage drama
5) narrative: novel, story, non-fiction
6) Musical: poetry, dance, music

He argues film is unique in that it occupies all these levels of abstraction.

There are lots of in-betweens (poetry can have both narrative and musical elements for example).

This spectrum (connecting back to Aristotle's Poetics) may still be interesting, but isn't it seriously inaccurate after modernism?