Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2005

Ego ergo letgo my ego

I am really fascinated by the intense relationship between Olson/Creeley and how they created an institution for the reception of their work. Not quite traditional marketing but perhaps marketing nonetheless.

In thinking about why I write (poetry or whatever) I've often thought about the relationship between the substanceless emphasis of the new in the wider captitalist marketplace and the emphasis on the new (via Pound)in innovative poetics.

It seems there is a danger in equating (or conflating) the two.

On a personal level I think I write because I want the experience. Much like I listen to music for the experience. Yet, unlike innovative popular music, poetry has a long history of puffing up the writer (often to exclusion of ethics). This puffing up in the name of the advancement of art strikes me as needing to go out the window. An idea (or an excuse) that has stuck around too long.

Now, I am not saying art should be judged on the ethics (insert your ethical code of choice) of the…

sausage parties

I am reading a book right now called _Career Moves_ by Libbie Rifkin. Rifkin analyzes the making of an American Avant Garde community via Creeley, Olson, Berrigan, and Zukofsky.

I am only a little ways into the book, but it is fascinating so far. Rifkin has a chapter where she focuses on the homoerotic and institution building correspondence of Olson and Creeley. There are a lot of fascinating issues concerning gender and the avant-garde (both American and transnational). The modernists where certainly one big sausage party (as someone recently noted on a listserv thread about the legacy of the beats). How much of the sausage party is merely a reflection "of the times" and how much is simply not excusable under the banner of time and place? Or maybe that's not the point. It is not so much a finger pointing as an analysis of the larger structural forces at work.

The main focus of this book is the position taking and institution and career building strategies of Creeley, Ber…

input and output

I am really amazed by the output of Clark Coolidge. I read Own Face, Alien Tatters and I just finished The Crystal Text. I loved these books so much I want to read everything Coolidge has ever written. But that's a lot of books and my assumption (where did I get it) is that if someone publishes that much it must be uneven.

Take the case of John Ashberry. I've heard many readers complain that he publishes too much. Or they enjoy early or middle or late Ashberry. I still don't really enjoy Ashberry. I have no desire to read everything he's written.

So, what's the difference between Coolidge and Ashberry in terms of their amazing output? Well, from the three books I've read of Coolidge they seem very interconnected. There are aliens in The Crystal Text and a lot of speculation about faces etc.

In other words, it seems like a life's work. A continous transmission with lots of riffs but with underlying themes.

I have been afraid of repeating myself as I am almost c…

Lisa Jarnot got my juices

The soon to be knighted Sir Rumble braught Lisa Jarnot to my intro to poetry class yesterday. The class was standing room only (word got around) and most of the students were a tad shy. Lisa was friendly and intimate. She contextualized her work by talking about influences such as Bob Dylan and the Objectivist nexus (Creeley, Duncan etc.). It was interesting to hear her talk about Getrude Stein. It seems a lot of critics compare her work to Getrude Stein and she acknowledged the Steinian elements, but she went on to discuss how her work is different than Stein in terms of line and musicality. She read a few poems and one of my autodidact students mentioned how Jarnot's "Brooklyn Anchorage" has a similar narrative structure to Frank O'Hara's "The Day Lady Died" and wanted to know if her poem was a writing through/with this poem. We have not read Frank O' Hara in class so I was happy to see she had ventured out on her own. Lisa said she was well awar…

Another Ireland by Robert Archambeau

This review really hit it for me. I recently read Maurice Scully's _Livelihood_ and Geofrey Squires _Untitled and Other Poems_ is on deck (I love that baseball term. It is baseball, right?)

I think this is from The Nortre Dame review, but I found it via goofle (I mean google).

Another Ireland: Part Two
Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
Geoffrey Squires, Landscapes and Silences. Dublin: New Writers' Press, 1996.
Catherine Walsh, Idir Eatortha and Making Tents. London: Invisible Books, 1996.

By Robert Archambeau

I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…

The Importance of Source Texts?

I've been reading Poetry On & Off The Page by Marjorie Perloff and I am really enjoying it. Perloff is so lucid and engaging. One of the essays in her book, The Music of Verbal Space, really got me thinking about source texts. In this essay she discusses John Cage's "What You Say. . . ," I have only read a little of John Cage's compositions/poetry and did not have much of a context for what he was doing (other than a general notion of musicalizing language). Cage's mesostics interest me in terms of the verbalvisual play (as Finnegan's Wake fascinates me with its play with sound), but after reading Perloff's essay I am a lot more fascinated. In particular, I am fascinated by the idea of a written through text and its relationship to the source text. For example, Cage's "What You Say . . .," takes Jasper John's statement at the end of a Geelhaar interview and minaturizes it ( as well as sending it through various "chance opera…

Carrboro International Poetry Festival

Announcing the Second Carrboro (International) Poetry Festival

May 21 & 22

The 2005 Carrboro Poetry Festival will feature readings from 40 poets
during the two day event Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22. Hundreds of
people attended the first annual fest in 2004, and many more are
expected to turn out this year.

Festival Organizer and Carrboro Poet Laureate Patrick Herron will be
joined not only by renowned North Carolina-based poets Carl Martin,
Gerald Barrax, and Evie Shockley but also by some of North America's
finest poets including Ammiel Alcalay, Christian Bok, Harryette Mullen,
Hoa Nguyen, Lee Ann Brown, Linh Dinh, Heriberto Yepez, Kent Johnson, and
Murat Nemet-Nejat. We're also working on getting
internationally-renowned poet and playwright Ariel Dorfman as well as
new NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer to come and read as well.

Poetry represented by the event is not limited to any particular
aesthetic or world-view: some of this year's readers are yo…

How can we sleep when the beds are burning?

Lester sent a great link to a music video celebrating the wonders of America. Check it out:

America You Must Go ON

Lester also sent this quote:

"Of course we welcome, and I welcome, dissent and debate,” [Condosleeza
Rice] added.  “I welcome it privately. The United States government is
of course a single entity and when decisions are made, I fully expect
that people will support those decisions, because there is only one
President of the United States and that's President Bush. The American
people elected him to direct the course of the country."

A very ambitious new journal coming soon

This hot new journal sounds very very promising. A focused eclectic (much needed as opposed to so many unfocused eclectics like Fence etc.)

Here's the notice (and open call) from editor Tony Tost:

Here's an open call I'm hoping to spread like good
butter. Feel free to forward to any lists or post on
any blog or message board. There's a copy also at my
defunct Unquiet Grave blog



o p e n c a l l

This summer I will be launching a new online site
called Fascicle with the help of Chris Vitiello and
Ken Rumble. Another web journal, I know, but one with
some focus, hopefully. We're looking at running a new
issue twice a year.


In the spirit of Jacket, Talisman, Sulfur and other
journals that present a possible context for the poems
and poetics found therein, Fascicle welcomes critical
prose on various historical and cultural tende…

stella and cod

some really fresh cod and cold Stella last night at Fishbones. A nice little birthday celebration with some Greensboro buddies. My good friend Dan got me a gift certificate to Gate City Noise and returned from AWP with some books from Apogee Press. Angie and Jake got me a nice card with a racecar from the salt flats and some Ugly Duckling books. A real nice birthday.

My b-day books from friends:

Fine by Stefanie Marlis (Apogee Press)
Passing World Pictures by Valerie Coulton (Apogee Press)
The Pleasures of C by Edward Smallfield (Apogee Press)

Ten More Poems By Ames Hoff (ugly Duckling Presse)
Landscapes of Fire and Music by G.L. Ford (Ugly Duckling Presse)
Nets by Jen Bervin (Ugly Duckling Presse)
Sea Shanties of Old Vermont by Aaron Tieger (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Also getting ready to read and write a review of:

Plots by David Meiklejohn (Effing Press)

Now I must prepare a bit to teach some Sleeping with the Dictionary for my intro to poetry class.

Poetry on the Radio (Sunday 4PM-6PM PST)

The second airing of My Vocabulary this Sunday. Last week's show was great. Some wonderful Robert Creeley poems and tributes.

Check it out this Sunday. Here's the message from one of the hosts Matthew Shindell:

This Sunday on My Vocabulary we will be featuring a full-length
reading by Jordan Davis (delivered and recorded here in San Diego this
winter) and a "mini"-reading by Sara Sowers (the first of our
telephone-assisted readings). In the second hour of the show we will
be presenting poems by Gabriel Gudding, Marcus Slease, Jeffery Bahr,
Nathan Pritts and Tatyana Moseeva (with a translation by Matthew
Shindell). All of this and some fine, fine music.

Make good use of your internet connection. Join us this Sunday at 4 pm
(PST) on UCSD's KSDT radio station. Just direct your browser to KSDT Radio and choose your connection speed.

I got an ipod

Wow. Tiffany surprised me with a 20gb ipod for my birthday today. I've never used an ipod. It's charging right now. Can't wait to load it up with some tunes (and maybe a few pics).

Those things are bloody expensive. I had no idea this was coming.

Yeehaw. Now I will really resemble my students!

Alien Tatters

so I am turning 31 tomorrow. it's a strange number. the only significance being 10 years older than 21 (the age of drinking in the U.S.).

In other news, I am fully enjoying Alien Tatters by Clark Coolidge. I tried to read Mesh and Own Face about a year ago and couldn't make a go of it. I wish I had kept those books. They are in some Durham used bookstore (unless someone purchased them).

It's strange how art speaks differently at different times. I would say my readings for the past year helped me contextualize/appreciate Coolidge's work. After reading a lot of Jack Kerouac, Basil Bunting, Ron Silliman, and some of Finnegan's Wake, I can appreciate what is happening in Alien Tatters (goes good with Sparklehorse or straight up silence). I like to dig in with newly discovered writers. spend some time with them. I just ordered The Crystal Text and the Talisman interviews (William Bronk, Clark Coolidge, Bernadette Mayer and others).

I am also still reading the collected To…

banned by the feds

Patrick Heron sent this link to the Lucipo folks recently. A really well done music video. Here's the synopsis:

Protesting U.S. foreign policy, the Norwegian rap group Gatas Parlament created this video entitled "Kill Him Now." Under pressure from the U.S., this was banned by the Norwegian government who claim that the video advocates direct violent action against President Bush, rather than peaceful protest. Consequently, it's become a major free speech issue in Norway. Check out the translated version, with English subtitles, before it's censored here also.

check out the music video:

Kill Him Now

Robert Creeley

re-read _Pieces_ last night and it moved me greatly. There's so much packed into the book. Philosophical meditation on the "I" and death and the world body. This book really enacts the old "form is never more than an extension of content." Multiple poems per page. A great range of diction. Some distinct Creeley uses of the line and some long "prose" lines. This book really does it all. The fragment/whole, I/we, the ethics of metaphor. So so much.

I haven't read much of Creeley's later work (I am especially interested in Life and Death and As If I Were Writing This).

What a life.

Goodbye Mr. Creeley. Godspeed.

Jessica Stockholder at Weatherspoon Art Gallery (UNCG)

I am excited to check out Stockholder's work at the Weatherspoon. Just came across this brief interview and it perked (peaked) my interest:

Klaus Ottmann: What are the most important issues in your work?

Jessica Stockholder: My work developed through the process of making site-specific installations—site-specific sometimes in very specific ways but also just by virtue of being "art" in a room; there's at least that much going on between the work and its context; after all, paintings don't hang on trees. In all of the work I place something I make in relationship to what's already there. With installations it's the building, the architecture, or you might say, it's the place that I work on top of; with the smaller pieces I work on top of or in relation to stuff that I collect. I don't see a dichotomy between formalism and something else. Form and formal relations are important because they mean something; their meaning grows out of our experiences …