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Showing posts from November, 2007

life savers

Did a lot of reading and re-connecting and writing. Read some of Tost's Complex Sleep, Theodore Enslin's Then, And Now, and Susan Steward's Poetry and the Fate of the Senses. God I miss reading and thinking. Only teaching for four hours on a Friday is helping me recover. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is also a life saver. I listen to the BBC radio recording at night and drift off.

Three hours teaching Saturday and I am free again. Tomorrow: a printer and a light bulb.

from my balcony in katowice

getting my feet back

new direction for my manuscript. cleaning it up. finding my feet. forced language in previous versions felt forced. yes. the other versions were false starts. All new now.

Here is the rough draft of the beginning:

Because It Was Corporeal They Did It With Marvelous Sublimity

our minds were not so much closed
as unready
to change our whole view
of how life is constructed (nostalgiac strictures of feeling)

Our memories are kitsched and must be refabulated
(St. Sebastian fucked against a tree with flimsy loincloth)

memories are the absolute denial of the accident
of birth (she tore her lips—this is the sound of the tearing—spread legs—liturgical—popped eyes—light on slanted windows— the midwife carried a glass for measuring blood loss)

what held and what
fell in that
bloodstate

what slapsong gibbers
us into existence

born
through
bloodfolds
life does not begin auspicious

memories fluffed-up

like dandelions

like a dead
tree floating
on a mountain
of water

like stray hairs
on the bedsheets

prodigal drift

the new manuscript in process is now called Prodigal Drift rather than Memory Swerve. I am tightening it before moving on. Or actually I tighten it as I move. Clear out the space. Shed some light. Re-shuffle and re-organise and then get lost in the sweet chaos of language. I need both tendencies while writing almost at the same time. I find a lot of pleasure in seeing where a poetic project is moving. Organizing through language.

Here is the latest re-working:

creative
abandon-
ment
orbiting
over
anti-bodies

sworn letter-
less water
mimed
into memories

inwardness
meant
sisphoned
into
awareness
where
mouths
dwell under
light

so as yet—convergence—insisted
on the move
extent
of duress
meant
inwardness
meant hanging
around
in lost &
found

a ghost
in every sound

run-
away
feet
across
the apocryphal
page

incineration
of hope
and lightnotes
burst
in the
memoryskull

sickness slides through
language

in the nous
of unknowing
a runaway
sickness

water transpired
in every
sound
a convergence
washed
up
in memorytide

new ink

I woke up this morning at 6 am feeling the rut. A lot of teaching and little time or energy for reflection. I drank my white tea with honey. I spread some yellow paste on my Polish bread but the bread had hardened and it stuck to the roof my mouth. I walked out my door feeling like it was just another day in the industrial city of Katowice. I walked through the hectic and dirty train station. I walked through the snow and tried to ignore the beggars and all the people trying to shove some reklama (advert) into my hand. After 40 min, I reached my usual Friday morning destination. A large business building and small shopping mall called Altus. I checked in with security and showed them my EU health card as ID and took the lift to the fifth floor to teach a conversation class at Deloitte (a tax company). The students are advanced and quite talkative. I don't have to do a lot of preparation like my other classes so as a whole it is an enjoyable class. Class ended and I walked out the …

taking stock

memory is tricky. geting wrapped up in the moment can be both good and dangerous. I have been re-reading my poetry manuscripts Hermit Kingdom and Godzeenie. I feel quite good about Godzeenie now that I have about five months distance from the manuscript. I need to send it out to publishers.

I think part of my frustrations over the last two years has to do with being cut off from thte publishing community. The internet has the potential to lessen that isolation.

I have also been re-reading some blog entries from the past two years. It is strange to go back to those times. It helps. I forget some easily. Comparisons between then/now help. The U.S. offered me a lot in terms of education and especially the amazing Lucipo Group. I have also gained a lot from the hardships of living abroad with some difficult situations with my job and literally surviving. This summer after losing my job because of postings on this blog I would literally have been on the street if a good friend hadn't h…

andrew and zofia in prague

andrew with a few beers

andrew and the ghost of andrew

between the legs in prague

time and money

25 hours on trains this weekend but it was fab. Went to Prague and had a good night on the town hanging with Zofia and Andrew. Then we went to Regensberg in Bavaria on Saturday. It was my first time in Germany and it was quite a contrast to Poland and Czech Republic. Everything was very orderly and clean. No dog shit everywhere etc. A beautiful city!!! Great cathedral (St. Peters) and some seriously side splitting good food. The beer was also excellent. Yeah Germany is cool.

On the train back to Prague from Regensberg Frank (a German friend) taught us all a nice German song from Munich. We drank a ton of beers on the train and sang a nice German song. We also sung the popcorn song. Great train party!!!

Yeah. I need more times like this weekend. Getting caught in the workday world. And the workday world of teaching ESL in Poland doesn't have many advantages (money etc.) So need more benefits from travel around Europe. Just need time and money (like most people).

YEAH!!!! Keep on keepi…

Social animals

Things are different this time in the industrial city of Katowice. Slowly I am making some social contacts. But still no face to face contact with artists and writers. The internet has been a life saver. I went to a Halloween party last night at a local pub and it wasn't too bad. It was good to get out of the house after a month of nothing but teaching. And tonight, a little after midnight, I am taking the train to Prague. Going to see my good friend Andrew.

I am not sure how much longer I can do this type of teaching, but I think I can hang with it for another year if I can create a small social life for myself. Some nice girls named Beata and Joanna invited me to hang with their friends for Halloween and it helped.

Today is All Saint's Day in Poland and everyone is with families. Holidays are very hard in Poland because everything shuts down and I feel my isolation quite a bit more.

So trying to look on the bright side. I don't have a home, but I also don't have a mort…