Friday, July 30, 2004

Here's a poem I recently struck from my m.s. -- it's a response to "A" 7 -- not really a translation of sounds, or meanings, but a definite line-by-line transaction with Zukofsky, loosely inspired by David Bohm's ink-drop experiment. Or, in other words, a vaguely mystical response to a poet I find compelling & confounding. So instead of trying to understand the poem in a traditional manner, or in the manners I've been taught, I thought I'd try re-writing, seeing what other lines/thoughts/images were present but not immediately visible in the text. For instance, the phrase "just for the fun of it" in Zukofsky becomes "adjust for the fawn outfit" in mine. "We found them sleeping" becomes "We found the hem, Sleep-King." The title of my response, "Thin Eyes in Gin Gets Not to See" is a translation of the line "Then I singing it's not the sea", with singing being the key word that is translated into a new form: Thin Eyes in Gin Gets Not to See. Most of the transactions are less precise than this. I at times feel a bit intimidated by the intelligent, specific critical responses in some of the stronger blogs to difficult material -- my response is usually not to map out a coherent critical response, or even a casual one, but to re-view my poetics to account for my reactions (of whatever stripe) to the read piece. I'm sure most others do the same, but it seems I work most productively when I use poems immediately as response without the intervening critical notes.

Thin Eyes in Gin Gets Not to See

Says you! Then I, Singing, It is not the sea
But what floats over

– Louis Zukofsky

Hours : who will don them? out of names? Swords
Wilt to it, out of names, outta eras, but
They have no names, so where are our eras, brides
Of works, from men too, they know (singly) good.
Forth, we have noise, forth air / lakes are wound,
Forth air / storm aches or logos with princedom’s end.
Blood read red lapsing form, nexus where cold
Bedecks two lakes standing. Form, to get ether. Them
Sweet clothes is what princes on the storm-ache’s
Thickets : shout every bloody, doubt the biggers.
Years cutthroat, answers cutthroat, anvil jugglers
Are cutthroat. Known. We candy-half such an orb’d x.
Oz won it, through the air’s knot. Here, piss through a hoop
Straight onto a manual – moi? Ammo on a stoop.

Ammo on a stoop. Toss it here, thou, no one
Asked mean or askew Beat clues. Years knottier,
Assigned creeks – LAWN-DRIED TOOL – it
(creeks – wound – ) – SEWN –
(Night’s?) the sewn is broke, what moth’s rendered as rare?
Eight, huh – and no names and hours rot? tub, tub
Of the heart, brides spreading hearts, two names appear.
Of brides, each whirl a bird, a steaming good,
Rot, rot – ? No hour is heir, no hour is fair?
Seizure! Thinning—follow me, era! realm-ache
Wound-hour, and record-knife. Get with your worlds –
Knotted – mindless too! – as man, yes, took
Tomb-ache, a dead man pulp, all in preface.
Fooled residue. Rise and cycle through a peace,
The rained hours – in lettered oracles, (witch!) burns.

Adjust what I said – Brides! – Serum! Who?
The Sewn-
. Gravitas of taxes, taxes gone.
Woe blacked off oracles. Saint rides one legion, one
Legend – wounded hours? give them names! –
(was on
A stoop, He found the hem, Sleep-King, don’t you see?)
Serum! How? Again Saint wooed his boy disclose
Some peaks : my first attire is for the healed, mighty.
The plankton’s for the healed, having eros –

Brides – brides – muzzle of hours, wished plane in air . . .
Forth he had no names we would gift the names.
For the wound was dealed the wound would moon – bare
But for the prince on it – forever’s goon. The rain’s
Run. Lit lithsome era, wear the deadly pose –
As man, yes, take life forever, sweet clothes.

“Clothes”? then follow me. Air-well. Hopin’ roots
For the wounding rain’s kin, lawn, deer, topaz, Thoreau
‘s witch is a whip which never husbands. Cuz
Wind is forward – the earth screams words. Eras on track
– Now
The night, and oracles were heard? Hours pissed? –
There, wear nodding years, Bro’, no hours there
‘Bout the grave, swear to feed and the great hours gassed
To voices : – Eras? No, brides. Texas? Nowhere –

Seasons! Thin eye – Our logos?! Two eggs standing.
Face them! in evolution! art, his name!

Witch! Sea! we can heave sex, and box thoughts. The
Year : not here, ignore we’re there. Piss through a hoop
(Thought : they’re eggs or wood antlers. Next, have no mane)
Straight onto a manual – Seer! Ammo on a stoop!

Seed! From me these juggles, this dance-sing box :
Bomb, pup. Addendum : the pup is in ether. Bomb
North, drum up dumb hum huh! bump up oh! sharks!
(Who sees calm cymbals? bomb? bomb? tedium. . .)
Knots in the sailboat, in the sound – say, say –
The way to die, Day, day, day, day, taps low,
Day, week’s up, up! up! Oh, save your. . . to die!
Choice juice, sure. Ice or hoist any weak choice! Go!

But they add noise, and their legends wound!
But their storm-aches were logos with princedom’s end!
Bloodied. Read the amps hung from the next nowhere. Cold
Beneath two legs. Saint’s ode, a fort to gather. Um –
They had known names so were nowhere, but –
Tub. . . tub. . . form me. Stop it. Nosing in good!

Seizure! Thin eyes in gin gets not to see
But what floods over : hinges for necks, or we’re cold
Beneath bloodied red lambs (Nights). L.A. under me,
Ma! Ray! Sea of hours that wants your wound,
Greet and, and leave, or believe, a dance-sing box
Who takes lives for ether! Taken. Ape up
And ship, deflowered. “Sweet clothes” on the storm-aches.
Bittersweet, his moves attach, black a stamp.
That boss looms red. And I, satyr. Noon
Asked mean or askew hymns. Newer knots there.
Assigned creeks – L.A.’s SUNDRY TOIL – (it, creek –
wound –) – SHOWN –
(Knits?) the shown is broke, no moth’s rendered as rare –
Bump up a dumb noon. Scout out Papa
Tricky bro’. Shame on you, sun, yours is the
Calm cymbal – mindless too, savin’
We (re: the biggers), savin’ song, dance. The peace is
Savin’, savin’ (save yours) went to havin’ –
The air to guess hands, effete. I hears a dart,
preface is
Off, a seal or king out toward (Eros the Glass
Broker), Aches are flecks on the ether.
Adjust for the fawn outfit. Ants came, topaz

(Oppen of fire, flaming spit!)

tree said: “Brother,

Birth here, we were ants, a meal, indifferent. Tech-necks.”
To weigh my two voices. . . Oval and wheat
The image-nation. . . And the savin’ came
To hours, savin’ (a wound – hooey? – kicked
these storm-aches)
Been needed as this is a rose around the hem – true – true –
Spook : works, works, we are wards, hours, names :

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Can's Future Days.
I can't stop listening to this album.
In other news, I turned 29.
& I'm looking at Ph.D. programs.

& I'm on input mode, which is why my blogging and emailing has been subpar.  But I'm soaking stuff up.  On the 2nd volume of the Complete Correspondence of Olson & Creeley.  Other recent reads: William Bronk's The New World, Lance Phillips' Corpus Socius, David Shapiro's A Burning Interior, Frank Samperi's Lumen Gloriae.  Leigh & I are spending a lot of time watching the Democratic National Convention, & a lot of time with the world of wedding planning.

Monday, July 19, 2004

We've seen Will Ferrell's Anchorman twice so far, may try to see it again.  The most quotable movie since . . . Don't know.  But it's much less a situational comedy than a language-driven one--the humor arising from the juxtaposition between what is expected to come out of a person's mouth and what actually does.  The best bits always milk this.  The weakest, most superficially "funny" parts (the anchorman rumble, the animated trip to 'pleasure town') aren't really that funny at all.  But the improvised lines are inspired and brilliant, as when a member of the news team puts on Sex Panther, a cologne that's made of actual bits of panther, and then tries to pick up Christina Applegate's character -- the smell is nauseous, which is where most comedies would then cut away, pleased with the ironic distance between the guy's expectations and the reality -- what makes Anchorman brilliant is the linguistic invention of people's reactions: "it smells like a dirty diaper with Indian food rolled up in it!" "it smells like a turd wrapped in bird hair!" and, perhaps my favorite single line of this or any other movie, a middle-aged professional looking woman (while trying to accurately capture the stench in the room but inadvertently implying a very interesting past narrative) exclaims in horror: "it smells like Big Foot's dick!".
One of Will Ferrell's major gifts is to state with utter conviction a very minor insight, such as when he jumps into a bear's den and exclaims "I immediately regret making this decision!!"

Anyway, Anchorman: funny as hell, and inspired, and it rewards repeated viewing just because of the sheer verbal velocity of the gags. I hope he goes on a good run of movies based just on his comic personas and doesn't fall into the same trap as Adam Sandler, who started off brilliantly with Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, which had premises that were just excuses for him to explore his comedic persona, but then dropped off poorly with things like Big Daddy and such, which relied more on the situations and premises with Adam Sandler's persona in auto-pilot.  Anyway, I'm hoping for a good Harry Carey movie.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Early birthday gift from Leigh:
Personae, Ezra Pound, New Directions.
The Complete Correspondence, Charles Olson & Robert Creeley, Volumes 1-5, 8, Black Sparrow
Great stuff!  & ma and pa are getting me a staddle stapler--
& Leigh and I are going to see the Durham Bulls (& BJ 'the stallion' Upton) as well.  Good stuff.
Starting to send new work out.  

Monday, July 12, 2004

Not feeling the blog bug lately. Reading, but don't have much blog-pulse. We found a wedding-spot, in Springdale, Arkansas, June 25th of next year. Beautiful inn from the 1880s we'll have for the weekend. 10 beautiful rooms.

Still a bit psychically rattled from the hectic nature of the road trip. I do everything (& I do mean everything, ladies) at a slow and easy pace.

I'm up this week at Lance Phillips' excellent Here Comes Everybody interview blog.
Sara Manguso has an amazing interview there a week or so ago. Mine is decidedly underwhelming. That's ok. My picture cracks me up, though:

A link for all you conspiracy buffs: my review of Kent Johnson and Alexandra Papaditsas' The Miseries of Poetry.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the 2004 reading lists up over at Third Factory later this summer. I sent Mr. Evans my own, limiting myself to poets who I haven't reviewed the last year or whose poems haven't been in Octopus; I had an original list of 12, so this rule cut me down to nine, letting me slip in a recent CD.

Anyway, my list of recent favorites, in a vague order:

Joseph Donahue, Incidental Eclipse, Talisman House
David Rosenberg, See What You Think: Essays for the
Next Avant-Garde
, Spuyten Duyvil
Aaron McCollough, Double Venus, Salt
Standard Schaefer, Nova, Sun & Moon
Murat Nemet-Nejat, The Peripheral Space of
, Green Integer
Bonnie "Prince" Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music,
Will Oldham, Palace Records/Drag City
Janet Kauffman, Five on Fiction, Burning Deck
Pierre Alferi, Oxo, Burning Deck (translated by Cole
Mark Wallace, Haze, Edge
K. Silem Mohammed, Hanging Out with Pablo & Jennifer,

I've had another good writing run. Right now, On the Oblivious Pool, my current manuscript, is at 98 pages. I'm thinking 130-140 pgs is the shape it's making in my brain. Career suicide!

I knew I was in back in Arkansas when I woke up, curled up like a lap dog with an amazingly large bruise on my knee, at the foot of a bed to find two people (not a couple) from our wedding party regaining consciousness at about the same time as me, and realizing that they were naked. Made me feel 26 again.

One more thing: apparently I am either 6'1" or 6'2". I've always thought I was six foot, even though people told me I looked taller than that. I just told them what I thought, that I just looked taller, like some people look fatter, or smarter, than they are. But lately I'd been feeling taller, which is maybe the result of seeing Marcus Slease's picture of Leigh and I at the Carrboro Poetry Fest.

I think I look freakishly tall in this picture, nearly Olson-esque (though I can cook, clean and wipe my bottom all on my own, which keeps me from ever being truly Olson-esque) in my enormity, with my head about the size of a child's torso.

Anyway, on our road trip we stopped for lunch in St. Louis at a Steak n Shake, which is my all-time favorite food chain. Most, if not all, have a spot at the exit where you can stand and measure yourself. Leigh went first and was her usual height, and then it was my turn and I was right at my usual height, a notch over six foot. And then came the mind-blowing: Leigh says, "Why don't you put your feet together?" And the lightbulb came on. All my life when measuring myself I'd been standing with my feet shoulder-width, thus minimizing my actual height. Triangles, etc. So we went again, and I clocked in at 6'2", but that's way too big of a jump to put my mind around, so I'll stick with 6'1" for now.

Friday, July 09, 2004

We're back in NC after a couple of weeks on the road. I'll re-enter the poetry universe, in baby steps, this weekend.