Saturday, July 19, 2003

Online Etch-a-Sketch.

Christiania update.

A neat little list of sculpture gardens.
Applied Canetti. Although he won a Nobel Prize not all
that long ago, Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power is a
great book no one seems to have read. Not only profound,
but a storehouse of highly entertaining anecdotes... (Nowadays
if he is remembered at all, it's as the basis for a character in one of
Iris Murdoch's novels

A form which has become prevalent only with the internet,
& which resulted from not understanding that Billy Collins
was making fun of fixed-form poetry
: the Paradelle.
No doubt someone this instant is seriously trying to follow
the Rules of Flarf...
[Reminds me of how zzxjoanw became extant*, after it was inserted
into a Maori dictionary by the lexicographer as a joke; similarly, i
believe, Lewis Turco invented the terzanelle to see if anyone would
write one--& they did.]

Another definition of "flarf" : snarky towards the idea of
Robert Lowell...

And let's not forget about scrytch.

*i have used that word in poems, so it is now a "real word"...
According to this, in David Brin's novel Earth, there's a char-
acter who play that imaginary musical instrument...Ironically? Or not?
Who can say?

My favorite utopian idea: the 20-Hour Week. Just double
everybody's hourly wage, & cut their hours in half. (I
maintain that practically no one works more than four hours
in an eight-hour shift, anyway--.) What would we do with
all that extra leisure? Perhaps, construct a civilization.

I still think FLARF is an Icelandic word, but i can't seem to find
out what it means... Consider This:

Bei›ni um annan gagnahra›a flarf a› sko›a ? hverju
tilviki fyrir sig. ? landsbygg›inni er bo›i› upp? 512
kb/s og 2 Mb/s tengingar en bei›ni um annan gangahra›a
flarf a

? fleim st?›um, sem ekki eru skilgreindir sem IP-sv?›i,
flarf vi›skiptavinur stofnl?nu fr? heima-bygg› ? n?sta

Ef betri?rangur ? a n?st ? bar?ttunni vi v?muefnavand-ann
flarf fletta a breytast

Anais Nin postcards!

from Harlem Gallery (1965) by Melvin B Tolson:

" '...If,
anchored like hooks of a hag-fish to sea weeds
and patient as a weaver in haute-lisse tapestry,
a Rivera or a Picasso,
with a camel-hair alchemy,
paints in fresco-buono
the seven panels of a man's tridimensionality
in variforms and varicolors--
since virtue has no Kelvin scale,
since a mother breeds
no twins alike,
since no man is an escape running wild from
self-sown seeds--
then, no man,
judged by his biosocial identity
in toto
can be,
a Kiefekil or a Tartufe,
an Iscariot or an Iago.'

Is philosophy, then, a tittle's snack?
History a peacock's almanac?
He laughed down at me,
a kidney without anchorage,
and said: 'You must see through the millstone,
since you're not like Julio Sigafoos and me--
an ex-savage.'

His ebony forefinger an assagai blade,
he mused aloud as the box played in Harlem's juke:
'Creator of the Harlem Ghetto, what is a masterpiece?
A virgin or a jade,
the vis viva of an ape of God,
to awaken one,
to pleasure one--
a way-of-life's aubade.'

Black as cypress lawn,
the crag of a woman crabsidled in.
he breath of a fraxinella in hot weather,
her unlooked-for grin
evaporated; then,
like a well's spew
of mud and oil and raw gas,
she blew
her top.
Dipsy Muse slumped like Uhlan
when his feet failed to prop,
his squeal the squeal
of a peccary ax-poled in its pen. ..."

Friday, July 18, 2003

I'm not sure if these are the snarling angels i saw
in Prague, but they'll do.

You can buy my CD now (see "tie ins" at the upper left)!
Makes a great stocking stuffer for Lughnasad!!!

"...if Joseph Goebbels had run his own cable channel, it
would have been indistinguishable from Fox News."

(Caution: reading a printout of this article in a coffeeshop
got one guy a visit from the FBI, according to today's Tom
Reading: Extremities by Kathe Koja (recent short
story collection by one of contemporary horror's finest
writers), Dark Sleeper by Jeffrey Barlough (as if
Charles Dickens had decided to try a Lovecraftian
pastiche), Doctor of Silence by Robert Kelly (stories
by a much overlooked poet), The Devil's Church and Other
by Machado de Assis (top Brazilian writer of the
fin de siecle), & (rereading) Moderan by David R Bunch
(which, though aimed at the Vietnam War, loses nothing of its
outrageous punch even today).

In order to write, i devise a Phantasmagoric
of everything around me;
cars, for example, become "Yaldabeests"--large
spiders that are ridden.

The burglar stole $16 in change--& climbed right
past a $250 book on display.

   "The Brights"

Now the hard road lengthens:
Return, between bad tires & the scarred road, lengthens.

A wonderful dream happens to someone else
Beyond; & the barred road lengthens.

"Truth is both dogmatic and intolerant"
Says a sign, & the marred road lengthens.

07 18 03
   "A Family

Beyond the window
The crescent moon, attacked by T.B.,
Thrusting out its lung almost consumed,
Is hanging white without breathing on a high-tension wire.
The children of mice tear off the ceiling.
The loam falls down much.
Cats do not appear for a long time.

Why, the youngster 'Sung-og' carrying a toy-gun,
Shouts, 'I'll shoot you!'
'I'll shoot you!'

The body-weight riding in a balloon
Soars high up inflated;
The dialogue of my family
Seems to be in a hospital ship."

--Zang-hyon An

Listening to: Clara Rockmore- The Art of the Theremin

When will we understand that our dream of a free
& egalitarian society requires an athleticism of
the spirit we have to train for, when all we know
of discipline is the bogus dichotomy of unlimited
self-indulgence or coercive regimentation? When all
we know of choosing, is between the packagings of

Thursday, July 17, 2003

    "My Country is Not

Blanca, we are not grapes.
Many grapes do not make my country.

The dark of the eye cannot see my country.
Only the swallow knows what the swallow swallowed.

An onion lolls on the ocean.
The ocean, they will say, resembles an onion.

Far away is my country.
Rider on a horse cannot cross it.

On the rooftop: rooftop, feathers, sky.
Who has not, into our earth, spit?

The sun, the moon, they do not darken my country.
The pregnant ones, even they cannot bear it.

Your happiness, Blanca, is not my sorrow.
My country is not a democracy.

The salamander's sigh, the cricket's careful quiet.
Not in either, I have looked, lies my country.

Who has not, in his heart, beat?
Who has not, in his stomach, snarl?

My country is not a watermelon.
My country is not a cancer.

Much grandfather, therefore, in my country.
Much Blanca, much country.

Not even the swallow
Knows what the swallow swallowed."

--John Bradley

The famous "necromantic" art gallery in New Orleans now has
a webpage.

I'm not sure announcing yourself as a "bright" these days is all
that bright.

They need clicks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

I'm mad. I'm hopping mad. I'm mad because they're using
a Lynyrd Skynyrd song to sell shit beer.
We visited a small factory run by Lighthouse for
the Blind. They make notebooks, glasses cases.
It was loud, just like the factories i'd temped in
long ago. Takes some designing to make a factory
you have to feel out the operation of. Something
to feel good about. Imagining that i were writing
for these people...

   cool in here, a faint
metal smell; & a nonstop
   roar, my hands steady

   07 16 03
Aleatoric places (via sylloge).

Listening to: Silk Road Journeys.

A bumber sticker i saw: Yo soy el army. A duplicate, with
translation: "One-man army".

Who is Mary Cavendish Gore, & why is her 1934 novel Mad
Hatter's Village
worth so much?
Looking at this book about Coelacanths. I wonder if i
can google a picture of one?
The Coelacanth has entered my private mythology ever since i first read
about it. It's also a nifty word...
Our store got broken into Thursday night. I'm still
steramed about it. They didn't take much money, &
they must've gotten cut up pretty good on the broken
glass, but they took a couple of our (semi-reliable)
remote phones, & the good CD player. I know if any
of our cash-only "customers" comes in wearing ban-
dages, i'm going to be real stingy.
      Non fanda timemus;
Sed venient maiora metu.
--Lucan I.634-5 ('We fear
unspeakables;/ Worse is on the way.')


'When Augustus Caesar legislated against the unmarried citizens
of Rome, he declared them to be, in some sort, slayers of the

Ah! no, not these!
These, who were childless, are not those who gave
So many dead unto the journeying wave,
The helpless nurselings of the cradling seas;
Not they who doomed by infallible decrees
Unnumbered man to the innumerable grave.

But those who slay
Are fathers. Theirs are armies. Death is theirs--
The death of innocences and despairs;
The dying of the golden and the grey.
The sentence, when these speak it, has no Nay.
And she who slays is she who bears, who bears."

--Alice Meynell

Most literate cities: Dallas is #36. (But only because i have
a copy of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.)

"Despite all the time and effort I have wasted on the attempt to hide it, trying to tell my self I am wrong and hunting for chances to prove my self wrong. I think the time now is right to reveal it, the time to be honest has come.
In the presence of that mountain sized despair, which has already burdened my weary heart with the frustrations of all the past years to wait for me now and rip me apart to pieces which are hard to bring back together. I am going to declare what has been gnawing on me brutally from the inside so hard I can't even think about blaming myself for keeping this inside for so long. I will confess that I despise you.
Yes, I blame you for creating all these rifts within me, I hate you as much our people have suffered, as much as my ears had to listen to the sounds of bombs and missiles, I hate you as much as the destruction my eyes has seen, as much as I hate the blood that flowed, the wasted years and the loss of my hopes for a future. I hate you as much as all the Iraqis who had to immigrate, as much as the politicians who had to disappear. I blame you for the suffering through the merciless humid and hot nights of Basra without the simplest creature comforts, I blame you for not being able to find the simplest entertainment in my city the second biggest city in Iraq, blame you for the dirt road I have to travel to get to my university which is right in the middle of the city. Blame you for loosing the will to live and for my need for love which was lost in you……..
Because of all that, my dearest Iraq, I despise you. But please, my love and hate, understand my anger. I want you to stop answering my questions about the wasted childhood and youth by saying that these things will be forgotten, because if you do that again you will have to allow me to keep on despising you. " --Ishtar Talking (translated by
Salam Pax)

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Attending a poetry reading is like going to a Latin church
service; attending a slam, like going to a service that's
been painfully rendered into the vernacular. The ritual
stands for its own defiant persistence. Which is not the
same as transcendence: we've given up hoping for the
same thrill we might find in dancing, say, or a really
good movie. But it is not nothing that some of us still
feel pious toward a dead culture. And in fact its deadness
becomes ever more relevant, as the tricks of the moment
begin to pall on us. For dead things never get any deader,
& that, in a world of violently gyrating meaninglessness,
can be something to hold on to.
   "Hyo-gwan Bag

Pen name, Un-e or Cloud Slope. Opera singer at the time of
King Czôl-zong and King Go-zong. Gained a good reputation
among the people, but dreamed his life away. The famous
anthology of poems named Gagog-wônlyu or the Original
Streams of Songs, which he edited in the 13th year of King
Go-zong being helped by his student Min-yông An is the
collection of Sizos in chronological order, and classified
them into two kinds, Male Voice and Female Voice accord-
ing to the tunes." --op cit
There was a time when only traditional music was
listened to; then a time when only contemporary.
Now we live in another kind of time, when not only
every past era, but also every other culture, presents
its version of music (& they even mingle). --But our
literature, & even moreso our poetry, remains mired
in the contemporary paradigm(s). This is its doom, &
also its charm: to be unlike our music.

   ”The World

It burns in the void,
Nothing upholds it.
Still it travels.

Travelling the void
Upheld by burning
Nothing is still.

Burning it travels.
The void upholds it.
Still it is nothing.

Nothing it travels
A burning void
Upheld by stillness.”

--Kathleen Raine

Monday, July 14, 2003

We were at a party & someone just sat down at the
piano & started playing the most amazing, intricate
flowing piano piece i had just about ever heard. "Is
that Debussy?" i whispered. "Ravel," i was told. "Jet

Found an old paperback in one of our stores that seemed
to be an amazing story: Sally Trench's Bury Me in My Boots,
about her work in the late 60's with homeless people. When
i googled for her name to find out more, i discovered she was
still helping people thirty years later--in Bosnia. Who says
there are no more heroes?
[Oh yeah--she was blinded by a thrown bottle at 22.]

Listening to: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue.

"Investigation of the Royal Massacre"

The desert's share of elves
Alluringly recedes, a highway night
Disclosed in orbs that flicker, hover, melt
And leaving, jab with knives:
The desert's share of elves.

The thievish dealer says
One day you too shall vanquish with the moth;
Anything to lose this daily death.
You hazard it, because
The thievish dealer says.

The desert's share of elves,
The thievish dealer says,
Is more yours with the fading felth.

06 09 01

I'm not disingenuous about's politics--nobody hates
the neocons like an old-time conservative--but when i read ol'
Justin Raimondo defending Ann Coulter's defence of Joe McCarthy, my head kind of spins--
& then i giggle.

Economic Lysenkoism (long, technical). (via Counterpunch)

   degrees of sanity

ability to make small talk

capacity to recognize illness

understanding past mistakes

foresight & avoiding situations of lessened choice

teaching others the same (who ask)

teaching without appearing to teach

...Now that Poetry magazine has been funded (at their
current rate of expenditure) through the year 3541 AD, i'm
thinking it may be the only 20th century institution to survive.

If just being a Satanist isn't bad enough for you, try being a
Communist Satanist.

Fridge magnet pornography.
Poems made from the words of another poem.
Using the minor characters in a famous story.
A poem using the rhyme-words of a famous poem.

The Dowson poem near the end of "Laura".
The Auden poem near the end of "Three Weddings and a Funeral".

Another Iraq soldier-blogger.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Poems written a line at a time, every day for a year.
Sculpture made exclusively from metal fragments salvaged
at the scene of a car wreck.

From there
The vast zone stretches.

It began to ruin.
A cross-shaped sword is sticked in.
It was hard and small.

Whitish clothes are folded there.
The third one is vacated not covered.

The stone fence is broken.
It was built again, being built again.

It was built.
The stone fence was built.
And the wind stole in and lodges.
Then the frozen evening squeezed in.’

--Zong-sam Gim

My Best Palindromes

Seva saves.
Sip alone no lapis.
Emanate: get a name.
Stem men-emmets.
Sex: every gyre vexes.
Won king is a sign I know.
Pope Wodwo, how do we pop?
Elapse day, Hyades pale.
No garden if a fine dragon.
Ode protocol: loco torpedo.
Nidor of sagas for Odin.
Diana, simoom is an aid.
I garble Babel, Bragi.
Raps clack calcspar.
Diastole hymn, my helot said.
Fresh Caesar ever as each serf.
Allude my wedded dewy medulla.
O due spasm: I had Ahimsa pseudo.
‘Til ransom may allay, ammo snarl it.
A neb revels in Aegean isle verbena.
No sibyl, no senile lines. Only bison.
No omen urn I say, so rosy as in rune moon.
Night-omega, minimum in image: moth ‘gin.
DNA-lyre, I felt senses nestle fiery land.
Story, cremate ylem anew: enamel, yet a mercy rots.
Revenge buoys telepath; tape lets you beg never.