Saturday, February 07, 2004

There when you needed him. (via Talking Points Memo)

"As someone once pointed out, it's a lot easier to document links between the bin Laden family and the Bushes than it is to document links between the bin Ladens and Saddam Hussein." --Krugman

A Kurdish blogger. (via Salam Pax)

Debating Sixty Seven and Sixty Six. Sixty Seven is the Summer of Love hence the pinnacle from there it all goes to hell. But Sixty Six is just before & you don't know yet how far it will go. Mod, psychedelic, pop--all the pieces are still in play. There's a freedom in Sixty Six.

01 30 04

As if rising out of valley mists, i find my past ever more accessible with each new year; i recognize in my dreams now theplaces of my childhood, and begin to understand how a soul may be composed of a few vivid locations, from their infinite resonances, that the changed sojourner is always trying to discover or flee in the scenery of the nonce. But this only makes interpreting my art easier, not the making of it. The old forms have acquired such polyvalent power, such surpassing complexity of perspectives and sudden vistas, like mountains broken and rebroken by recent uplifts and ancient explosions, that when i manage to capture a single aspect i see in it mainly the failure of a thousand others. Then i turn to real-time [performance art], as if another dimension and closer similitude could further the impossible quest... But after all, this is just what my ego claims to be seeking, and why i really create remains a deeper enigma, which perhaps is being solved even by these perplexities and halting byways. And my art could be the least part of it...the visible one.

Untrammelled, our attempting to escape 2-logic results in: lying, imposture, denial, fantasy, gameliness, addiction, theory, criticism, collecting, idealism, projection, lateral thinking, art.

So much anger. What waterwheels could this force turn?

Friday, February 06, 2004

   Quiz #11

This final quiz contains only one long question. Your answer will need to be at least equally as long... It would be easy to rewrite each of the architectural interpolations in the quote below to describe the current ideological Other of the poetic field. (In fact, we will place poetry in parentheses, in nominal or adjectival form, where appropriate.) So: Is such social/economic magma poetry's repressed but elemental ground? If not, why not? What would be needed to move beyond its big suck so as to loose poetic production into a truly autonomous and liberatory field? Here is the quote. Five extra points if you can identify its source: "The institution of architecture [poetry] is clearly more than buildings [poems] and the practices by which they are produced... The building [poem] itself is no more than a specific mechanism of representation. In fact, there is no such thing as a building [poem] outside of a large number of overlapping mechanisms of representation: schools of architecture [poetry], professional codes of ethics, critical practices, historiographical methodologies, academic protocols, pedagogical techniques, curriculum structures, the strategic role of the author's signature and project credits, legalization of the word architect [poet], designated safety factors in structural [prosodic] calculations, standardized drawing [writing] techniques and conventions, building [attributional undergirding] codes, aesthetic codes, zoning codes, clothing codes, school admission standards, faculty classifications, fee structures, hiring and firing practices, rhetorical conventions, examination structures, model-making techniques, various forms of etiquette, legal contracts, copyright law, the structure of the slide lecture, strategic control and dissemination of ideas through conferences and publications, ritualized master worship, theoretical and graphic commonplaces, copy-editing protocols, interview and presentation formats, photographic techniques, the institution of the architectural [poetry contest] jury, portfolio construction and circulation rituals, competition formats, official and unofficial club membership control. Funding patterns, the structure of the architectural [poetic] monograph, the biography and so on, to name only some of the most obvious ones. All of them are mechanical systems of reproduction whose ritualistic, if not fetishistic, repetition constantly affirms the presence of architecture [poetry] rather than analyzes it. Indeed, the very intensity of their repetition seems to mark a nagging but suppressed doubt about that presence. They are the real mechanics of architecture [poetry]. The building [poem] is literally constructed by these mechanisms of representation." I dreamed that the world's most famous painter made a new picture every night in front of a live audience. After the performance, the picture was always destroyed. Other painters tried to copy her, but their pictures were soon forgotten. The paintings of the world's most famous painter lived as long as each viewer lived.

   Quiz #9

1) If architecture is merely sculpture that bodies can enter, then is poetry merely prose into which certain tunnelings and orifices have been chiseled? If this definition is valid, would you qualify it as an effective materialist definition of poetry? Write your answer in block letters. NO, RATHER THE CONVERSE: PROSE IS POETRY ALL THE AIR HAS BEEN LET OUT OF. IF YOU WANT A MATERIALIST DEFINITION OF POETRY, TRY DESCRIBING THE MOTION OF BIRDS MATHEMATICALLY. WHEN YOU SUCCEED AT THAT, GO FLYING.
2) Assuming that there is something to the above definiton, consider the following: Recent research into Egyptian pyramids has found that the famous and heretofore puzzling secret passageways that rise from the burial chambers toward openings at the outer walls...intended as a sort of launching ramp through which to shoot the mummy-spirit to the stars. ...would you say that poetry has a like purpose, in any way? If not, would you say that there are particular objective historical forces (beginning with 17th century English copyright laws) that have progressively accreted to seal over the launch-openings with a kind of viscous substance? I would tend to blame, rather, an education system that compels, & hence inculcates a dislike of poetry from early on; the reward system, also, is skewed toward consistently mediocre performance, rather than that excellence which illuminates. But always, things of the spirit are commandeered for ego-purposes.
3) If architectural theory has any utility for innovative poets today...then what happens when Steve McCaffery, for example, writes a poem under the influence of Vitruvius and Alberti, both of whom insist that the ordering and structure of their respective theoretical treatises perfectly match that which they prescribe for building (theory as art work)? (snip) Well, Milton thought he was following Christian theology, but as Blake told us, he was of the Devil's party without knowing it. And Marxist poetry never got any better than Vallejo's... However, those who believe they are writing sonnets when they make a fourteen line poem in free verse--will be condemned to burn in eternal styrofoam.

   Quiz #10

1) Go back to Quiz #6 and review the outline given there of Total Design as insistent concern in 20th century architecture, in both its implosive and explosive traditions. Now consider the following dictum/ars poetica of Barrett Watten...: that poetry is, in its essence, the manifestation of a mind in control of its language. What is the relationship between the connotations of such a terrifying pronouncement and the overall look of Architectural Digest magazine? I don't know. I live in a yurt. My language is under the control of my Spirit Double. What is this Architecture Stomach magazine?
2) What is a thematic house? Define this with reference to Charles Jencks. And what kind of design, inner and outer, would you give, if you were the architect, to a multi-million dollar commission for a House of Poetry? Would you spend all the money on the building itself? The thematic House of Poetry would be something like the Wincester Mystery House, a structure that disregards both need & probability. On the other hand, you can charge admission to it. But i believe that the House of Poetry is better off left as the Destroyed Temple--a symbol of our exile, dispersion, & eschatology. Therefore i would spend the "Poetry"* bequest on shelter for the homeless, because some of them might oneday write a true poem.
3) What is the security alarm system that is likely to keep a poet like the Australian desert dweller John O'Brien from being published in a magazine like Jacket (if, indeed, he gets around to sending his work there)? (snip) In other words, would O'Brien be rejected because his poem is ugly, or would he be rejected because the poem doesn't fit into the Total Design (a concept whose ideological vectors remain virtually uninvestigated within the institution of avant-garde poetry)? People become poetry editors in order to enforce their snobbery. If people became poetry editors out of a love of poetry, they would welcome interesting poetry of every description. The concept of a uniform magazine is one step removed from a Final Solution to poets you don't like. I buy up every one of those magazines i run across & then i set fire to them in a heap at midnight on Samhain, with weird howls.
4) How high can a poem be built? Some haiku almost reach the Moon. Can it have elevators? does a dog have Buddha-nature? Can the cable on the elevator in a high-rise poem snap so that the elevator drops for hours, crashes through the ground floor, and keeps going all the way down to Hell? Happened to me one time. What do you think the architecture is like in Hell? Like Dallas, only when you look in the mirror-walls, you see the image of George W. Bush.

*now funded, at its past rate of expenditures, through the year 3541 AD.
   Quiz #7

1) Consider this thought experiment: You are a Poet, and although you cannot imagine it, you are always in a diorama. The diorama is inside a museum. The museum is located in a city. The city is in a 21st century country. The diorama changes according to the scheduling of exhibits: Savannah plains, Arctic ice, Rainforest verdure, Academic conference... Unaware of your placement, (for your reality has always been *here*) the limits of your Poetic world are obviously the limits of your diorama. Assuming this scenario, what is the spatial relationship of cutting-edge Theories of Space to your spatial predicament? Now close your eyes. Explain. This is a good question. If cutting-edge theories existed that weren't simply old metaphors distorted, then presumably it would be possible for the fly to find his way out of the fly-bottle. But that doesn't mean there would be a way to write about it.
2) Please think of professional wrestling: Are the sounds the wrestlers make (the grunts and yells and body-against-canvass sounds) to the hoaxed fight as theory is to poetry? Alas. If so, is architectural theory, when quoted by poets, a kind of theatrical scream of pain? If not, why not? Yes, but denying theory can also be a cry of pain.
3) Let's assume that Western accentual-syllabic prosodies are a kind of white stucco wall: a paradigm of a will to order, a thin layer of periodically bumped plaster that hides the real materiality of the wall so as to produce a simulacrum of ideality and cleanliness uncontaminated by the foul fullness of history. The conceit drawn here is full of holes. Deconstruct it. Rhythm fights the fear of chaos. But it is less a barrier than a patterned path through, like marching. There are times when it is necessary to march. But one cannot build a pleasure dome out of marchings.
4) Please consider Lenin. In 1920, in the midst of raging civil war, and shortly after a Social Revolutionary wounded him in an assassination attempt, he spoke before a Moscow conference of revolutionary architects, poets, and Constructivist artists, including Mayakovsky, Rodchenko, and Tatlin. It is dangerous, comrades, he said, to believe that Soviet art and architecture in the era of the dictatorship of the proletariat can outstrip the present and model the future. It is rumored that many of the petit-bourgeois intellectuals in the audience snickered at the ironic obviousness of such a remark. Mayakovsky, drunk, opened his trousers and produced his flaccid penis, saying, with a dead-pan matter-of-factness, Look, it is a cloud. Christian Rakovsky, later to become a leader in Trotsky's Left Opposition, laughed, and so did Brik and Mandelstam and Lunarcharsky (the latter who, in democratic spirit, had chosen to sit among the artists). Stalin, sitting across the aisle, two rows back, inhaled, blew smoke, and took note. It is said that Lenin was unusually lethargic and hesitant in this speech, perhaps due to his recent gun wounds. Taking the above scenario as starting point, make up a relevant question relating to Poetic Architecture, and then answer it. Great anecdote. The question becomes, when regular prosody is mandated by law, will only outlaws write free verse?

   Quiz #8

[This Quiz contains only one question. Therefore, your answer should be four times as long as usual.]

1) Derrida has said, in speaking of deconstructive architecture (Tschumi, Eiseman, Johnson, Steven Holl, COOP Himelblau, and others): "First of all, they do not only destroy, they construct, effectively, and they construct by putting this architecture into a relation with other spaces of writing: cinematographic, narrative (the most sophisticated forms of literary narration), finally experimentations with formal combinations... all of this is something other than a restoration of architectural purity, even though it is also a thinking of architecture as such, that is, architecture not simply in the service of an extrinsic end. So, I am now increasingly tempted to consider this architectural experience to be the most impressive deconstructive audacity and effectivity. Also the most difficult because it is not enough to talk about this architecture; one has to negociate the writing in stone or metal with the hardest and most resistant political, cultural, or economic powers... It is these architects who come up against the resistances, which are the most solid ones in some way, of the culture, the philosophy, the politics in which we live." Doesn't this quote suggest to you that as soon as Derrida leaves the ethereal sky of Continental philosophy and enters into discussion about matters concerning everyday technology, that he comes across as a banal blabbermouth? Yes, but--.

In any case, consider, because he has a point: As long as innovative poets do not bring the imagination solidly up against the category of Authorship, that hardest and most resistant of ideological powers in the cultural field, will they ever succeed in constructing a truly new poetic architecture? Answer and speculate, in Piranesian fashion, what a revolutionary Archi-texture might be.
I know what you're getting at, but at the same time, it privileges one orthodoxy over all the rest. The Book, the Page, the Act of Reading itself--these can be examined (not that we have to do away with them). And after we examine them, perhaps we will decide that we like them the way they are fine. But i think the result of such an examination will be the creation of new forms, rather than the abolition of the old. See what happened to painting after photography. Similarly, a new kind of appropriative-ironyless ironic writing--based on computer operations, advertizing, &c--is now being practiced on the internet, though we await the emergence of a true audience for it.

   Quiz #5

1) Is the cultural space that forms the writing even as the writing ...attempts to probe its dimensions the space of a certain Flatland? No, it is the sound of a symphony being played on squirming live insect-instruments.
2) Can architectural acoustic theory...serve as an heuristic tool for imaging the institutional interpolations (not obvious ones like the Academy, but those at more inaudible frequencies) inhabiting the cultural structures of avant-garde poetry? If Yes, build a cardboard model of such a tool. If No, try to build one anyway. All prisons warp the spirit of those who are incarcerated there--most of all, those whose employment is keeping other people under guard. There is, of course, an underground economy to such places; & one can suppose, competing systems of exchange. A model of this might be envisioned as the three faceted solid (round, square, triangular) of psych-test fame.
3) The following question is two questions, really, so points are double (tripled if the two answers are seamlessly melded into one): a) What is a flutter echo? Provide one example from the current English Poet Laureate and another from one of Jack Spicer's translations of Federico Garcia Lorca. I don't get the joke. Are you going to laugh at me when i google for "English Poet Laureate" + "2004"...?b) Was Kurt Schwitter's Merzbau a visionary and mystical poetic text or a meaningless shrine to garbage, insanely imploding into an ever-more claustrophobic post modern space? Justify, being careful to note the possible irony in the question. Both. Irony is dead.
4) What is more relevant to avant-garde poetry's possible coextensiveness with architecture: The Brooklyn Bridge or the ruins of a university after a riot? Explain. The flutter echo. It goes & goes.

   Quiz #6

1) Is it possible that the recent desire amongst innovative writers to build analogic skywalks into a discipline of power and social utility such as architecture may be impelled from below by a hidden structure of ideological tensions and undergirdings that parasitizes and eats from within, thus shaping, as it consumes, the very social space of avant-garde aesthetic practice? Answer yes or no, and then rewrite this question into a syntax that is less onerous. We play Russian roulette with blanks. The danger of this is that we cannot blow our brains out.
2) As partly evidenced by the November, 2000 Language/Poetry/Performance Conference in New Dehli, contemporary innovative poets have become influenced by recent architectural theory's critique of Total Design, a concept that has two meanings: a) the implosive, in which design takes over all interior space (Sullivan, Wright, Taut, the Vienna Secession, etc.) and b) the explosive, where architecture is destined and authorized to move outward beyond discrete structure to encompass all scales (the Harvard School of Design via Gropius, the Englis Designs and Industries Association, etc.). The former resists (in petit-bourgeois/aristocratic fashion) industrialization and mass culture; the latter (in futuristic/avant fashion) seeks to become its very spirit. (snip)Write an answer of at least 300 words drawing parallels between the Bauhaus as described by Wigley and Language poetry, with particular attention to the latter's accelerating absorption by the academic institution. Be rigorous in your answer and avoid servile timidity. You're being paid by the word, aren't you? L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing is hated the way Bauhaus is hated. But people's trademarked procedures aren't even widely recognized within the community--so the analogy fails. Really, there are not many useful analogies to be drawn between different artforms, especially ones so diametrically socialized as poetry & architecture. Poets are more like the people who build things by their own reckoning & violate code--which the city then hastens to

3) Is the Anglo-American Modernist long poem explosive or implosive in its architectures...? (snip) Long poems don't have architecture anymore. They only have the accidental inflections of doggedness. You could remove every other line & improve the vast majority of them.
4) The architects who talk about chaos, absence, fragmentation, and indeterminacy usually work hard to assure that you know that a design is theirs by using signature shapes and colors. (snip) Branding is only the surface indicator of our deep folly. We seek to become poem-making machines, when it is obvious all our
efforts should be made toward freeing ourselves of the desire to write.
After doing so, briefly discuss the meaning of the Signature and its role as limen within Poetry's institutional architecture. The work of machines is all that's allowed in the standardized shop.
   Quiz #3

1) In poetry, what is an arch? A shape that half-encloses space. Explain and draw a model. See "Un Coup de Des".
2) Take Le Corbusier's somewhat forgotten Savoie house as analogy: Can the body of a poem be hollowed out in every direction (snip)...? Only if it is composed of ambiguous words.
3) Is it possible, in a move of boldest conceptual elan, to build a poem over a waterfall? "Lycidas". Confirm or deny, then, if the former, say what you would title such a poem. "Perpetual Motion".
4) Is the incipient turn of new poetries to architectural/spatial theory symptomatic, in any way, of the generalized crisis of the current poetic avant-garde? Insert a compass as metaphor (or metonym, if you desire) in your answer. The wind from the sound of no hands clapping, perturbing the gargoyle-weathervane of the Muses which the Sufi fool takes for a compass pointing at Eternal Truth.

   Quiz #4

1) Take Michael Riffaterre's book Semiotics of Poetry, where he argues (as described by the American poet-bridge builder Henry Gould) that the poetic involves a dialectic between mimesis or representation, on the one hand (which creates what Riffaterre calls meaning), and significance, on the other. The architecture game of poetry, then, would seem to involve deciphering a significance that is always deferred by the parabolic indirections of transforming meaningful observation into architectonic
structure. Does this suggest that a poem --the kind that is written on a two-dimensional page-- is necessarily and merely a kind of deceptive *faciatta* through whose apertures an interior content is fleetingly and deceptively glimpsed against what is, in the most material sense, a swarming particle space? Answer yes or no via a parable in the style of Plato. There once was a boy who believed
in the promises of Poetry. He ran away from home & tried to make himself into a Poet. He failed & became a gun-runner, but he changed Poetry forever.

2) If a metaphor is a balcony, is the view it affords measurable in terms of a paraboloidal function (for example: x2/a2+y2/b2 = 2cz [where a, b, and c are constants]), or is that just gibberish? Justify. Its view is not a parabola but a hyperbola. If it had been a parabola, we would not still be arguing about it.
3) What is an Author? Is she an Architect? Think hard. The Author is a figment of the poem's imagination, as is proven by the existence of so many misconceptions about dead authors which are inspired by fanciful people reading their works. Where she builds, where she makes her nest, is in the Future.
4) Can a security alarm system be built into a poem? There's one in "The Waste Land". Name it. Ezra Pound.
I take Kent's quiz.
   Quiz #1

1) Can a poem have a blueprint? Yes, but it always goes astray.
2) Does a door connect the inside and outside? A poem is a Moebius Strip. It doesn't have an inside & an outside.
3) What kind of door should it be: swinging or sliding? It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
4) Is there plumbing and where does it go? Only grad students need to worry (--& they should).

   Quiz #2

1) Is a dactyl a brick or a gargoyle? A gargoyle is a kind of brick. A dactyl is just a figment of a grammarian's imagination. Justify. See "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird".
2) What is the relationship of engineering to poetic architecture? When a bridge falls down, people sometimes die. When a poem falls down, the poet sometimes wins prizes. Is the architect-poet responsible for designing a structure that can actually be built? In his dreams. If so, why? Denial is a way of life.
3) Can concepts of architectural acoustics (reflection, diffusion, diffraction of waves) be applied to poetry...? (snip) Perhaps concepts of an imaginary physics--analogous to occult anatomy--which are what "aesthetics" & "poetics" prefigure, might be. But so far, mostly what we have is imitation. Whether yes or no, explain. Poems are writ by fools like me, but only the anonymous scop of "Beowulf" can make a tree.
5) Are words in a poem a) rooms b) furniture c) walls d) vestibules e) windows f) corridors g) other? Are the organs of your body separate, except in the functional sense? Explain. Change one letter, & it's a different poem.
"No statue has been erected in memory of the martyrs of Chicago in the city of Chicago. Not a statue, not a monolith, not a bronze plaque. Nothing." --Eduardo Galeano (via Wood_s Lot)
   "Golgotha Is a Mountain

Golgotha is a mountain, a purple mound
Almost out of sight.
One night they hanged two thieves there,
And another man.
Some women wept heavily that night;
Their tears are flowing still. They have made a river;
Once it covered me.
Then the people went away and left Golgotha
Oh, I've seen many mountains:
Pale purple mountains melting in the evening mists and blurring on the borders of the sky.
I climbed old Shasta and chilled my hands in its summer snows.
I rested in the shadow of Popocatepetl and it whispered to me of daring prowess.
I looked upon the Pyrenees and felt the zest of warm exotic nights.
I slept at the foot of Fujiyama and dreamed of legend and of death.
And I've seen other mountains rising from the wistful moors like the breasts of a slender maiden.
Who knows the mystery of mountains!
Some of them are awful, others are just lonely.

* * *

Italy has its Rome and California has San Francisco,
All covered with mountains.
Some think these mountains grew
Like ant hills
Or sand dunes.
That might be so--
I wonder what started them all!
Babylon is a mountain
And so is Nineveh,
With grass growing on them;
Palaces and hanging gardens started them.
I wonder what is under the hills
In Mexico
And Japan!
There are mountains in Africa, too.
Treasure is buried there:
Gold and precious stones
And moulded glory.
Lush grass is growing there
Sinking before the wind.
Black men are bowing
Naked in that grass
Digging with their fingers.
I am one of them:
Those mountains should be ours.
It would be great
To touch the pieces of glory with our hands.

These mute unhappy hills,
Bowed down with broken backs,
Speak often one to another:
"A day is as a year," they cry,
"And a thousand years as one day."
We watched the caravan
That bore our queen to the courts of Solomon;
And when the first slave traders came
We bowed our heads.
"Oh, Brothers, it is not long!
Dust shall yet devour the stones
But we shall be here when they are one."
Mountains are rising all around me.
Some are so small they are not seen;
Others are large.
All of them get big in time and people forget
What started them at first.
Oh the world is covered with mountains!
Beneath each one there is something buried:
Some pile of wreckage that started it there.
Mountains are lonely and some are awful.

* * *

One day I will crumble.
They'll cover my heap with dirt and that will make a mountain.
I think it will be Golgotha."

--Arna Bontemps, in: American Negro Poetry (1963)
"In his mind Walcott went back over the wars that history had recorded: 2850, Mars v. Venus; 2817, Mars v. Earth; 2780, Earth v. Venus; 2612, Earth and Mars v. Venus; 2590, Mars and Venus v. Earth, 2471, attack from outside the system by weird things called Luarkas..." --Orbit One by "Mel Jay" (Lionel Fanthorpe), 1966
There is a crisis there is not a crisis. I yell at somebody that's the crisis showing through. But when i consider my options i realize the best thing is not to think about it unless i have to. This is called Doublethink, or "normalcy". With it i can survive anything, even Dubya's fascist state.

01 28 04

The architect as paradigm artist-- because it's closest in form to a science-- this means stale notions framed with the utmost clarity, so you wonder why it happened at all-- and that feeling, repeated, becomes the expected response to any art...

To admit that you no longer love what you once loved is hard, because that means admitting part of you has died. It implies that eventually, there will be no one to love what you used to love, that you will finally vanish from the earth (not merely from your life); and that thought is not pleasant to a person who defines self by external riteria: like the Sun King who tried to forbid anyone mentioning the mortality of monarchs in his presence. In order to grow, you must accept your death, for you are not a thing but a nexus of processes, some of which metamorphosize into others, some going out, some coming into existence. The more you understand this, as form-genesis or as real-time, the less impeded by inner blockings will be your growth. And that means discarding much, as well as acquiring much-- in order to create a past for yourself, and a future, out of the vortex of the present where nothing can abide.
Death is a thought of adolescence, of the first dying-over...And the uman race, which even now consists mainly of children and teenagers, has always been obsesed ith that thought, in spite of words from the few whose minds continued past that point.
But now our dreams have become our reality--.

"January 29, 2004

To whom it may concern:

During our 9 week unit on hate, we are learning about the Holocaustand
prejudice and power in the wrong hands can be catastrophic. We have a
project that we would like your help on.Northridge Middle School is a
rural school located in central Ohio. Our student body consists of
400 students who are mostly Christian with very little cultural
We will be traveling to Washington D.C. in May and will be experiencing
the sights of our wonderful capital. One of our stops will be at the
Holocaust Museum. By that time, we will have completed a comprehensive
about the Holocaust. Even though we know that 6,000,000 Jews were
in the Holocaust, it is hard to fathom such a huge number. As part of
research, we came across a class project conducted by a middle school
Whitwell, TN. We were inspired by their efforts to collect paper-clips
symbols of those who lost their lives during that terrible time. We
decided to start a paper-clip drive of our own. Our ultimate goal is to
collect 6,000,000 paper-clips to represent 6,000,000 victims of the
Holocaust. We are asking for paper-clip donations for a particular
During World War II, Norwegians wore paper-clips on their clothes to
show their opposition to Nazism and anti-Semitism. Once our project is
completed, our class intends to use the paper-clips to build a
with the help of our talented art teacher. This project will be
in our school. Our sculpture will stand as a lasting reminder of those
gave so much. Our project will continue until March 5, 2004. At this
we will decide if the project will need to be extended. It is not
to us how many paper-clips each person wants to send. We'll leave that
decision up to you. The paper-clips should be sent to:

Northridge Middle School
Holocaust Project
ATTN: T. Bowman/A. Thompson
6066 Johnstown-Utica Rd.
Johnstown, OH 43031

From tracking the states from which the paper-clips were sent to
and organizing the load, everyone in our class will have a hand in
this project a success. Thank you in advance for sending us

Ms. Bowman's 8th grade English Class"

   "An Old Pagan Talks About Love"

dazzling, and
if you bury
the WORLD, and deep/
The rage of
It thousand I
have a A
whole calls into
the gravity wars nacreous
Mad goblin, meteorogram
words, indigo shade
we have to train and continents,
silence of
the far away, in front
his desire to
become a result of
pyrotechnicians nibbled him as

02 06 04

Thursday, February 05, 2004

A new McGonagall. (via Poetry Hut)
[So where's the poem? --Pay per view, i guess.]

Winner Talk.

Proposed feng shui building code. (via A Perfectly Cromulent Blog)

This is hilarious: Dreamthorp, which i have by the Spasmodic poet Alexander Smith--is also a horror novel by Chet Williamson.

I think the horror genre will make a comeback.

I find one, Domain by James Herbert, that's an After-the-Bomb story where the last humans fight rats for world supremacy. Maybe it's time i wrote mine, about the war between the Rats & the Roaches...?

Listening to- Big Fun.
[It is more & more becoming clear to me that Miles Davis is one of the great artists of the Twentieth Century.]
My mother had a flat at the groc. A man offered to fix it. She gave him some money & drove to a tire store, where they told her it was a racket: they slash your tires & if you're elderly you're glad to pay them. Of course there's no security. Not in that neighborhood.

01 24/28 04

Why there are always more artists than anyone suspects. --The glow of the workroom dazzles; crowd posits a demiurge within. The only thing known about the gods is their name, that is, their aspert to mortals. So. The names of gods must be few, and their aspects simple, else it's no pantheon but an encyclopedia: and crowd forgets all! Some like it that way. But the ones that don't, don't either want to admit one new god to the pantheon. Because they already learned it one way. It's tidy and they're happy to keep the shelves dusted. For the shelf-dusters there are no demiurges or else so long gone they might as well hadn't been...
   Well, artists are people and people come in more names and aspects than any encyclopedia could ever hold. If you love artists you should say: Every one is a new eye in the world! Another relevation! We are that much closer to the dawn! ...but don't you sart loving Art more than artists, 'cause then it's the fewer the better, you want to save Art from all the artists......
Yes, and i would love the bad artists most; the better ones don't need it. Those who can'tor won't see straight, heir crookedness is part of world-texture. When i have my attacksof purism, it's really my own betrayals i am bemoaning and seeking to castigate. But how could i save art from the artist who is myself?

More from Stanyhurst's Aeneid:

"Wee leaue Creete country; and our sayls vnwrapped vphoysing,
With woodden vessel thee rough seas deepelye we furrowe.
When we fro land harbours too mayne seas gyddye dyd enter
Voyded of al coast sight with wild fluds roundly bebayed,
A watrye clowd gloomming, ful aboue mee clampred, apeered,
A sharp storme menacing, from sight beams soonnye reiecting:
Thee flaws with rumbling, thee wroght fluds angrye doe iumble:
Vp swel thee surges, in chauffe sea plasshye we tumble:
With the rayn, is daylight through darcknesse mostye bewrapped,
And thundring lightbolts from torneclowds fyrye be flasshing."

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

New book by the author of Alphabetical Africa. (via The Literary Saloon)

Vollman considers violence in 7 volumes. (via Mosses from an Old Manse)

The Moment Project. (via Open Brackets)

" -- the readers, the slicers, dicers and copiers -- hold in your collective action the secret of the future of publishing. Writers are a dime a dozen. Everybody's got a novel in her or him. Readers are a precious commodity. You've got all the money and all the attention and you run the word-of-mouth network that marks the difference between a little book, soon forgotten, and a book that becomes a lasting piece of posterity for its author, changing the world in some meaningful way." --Cory Doctorow
Axes of Evil. (via Antiwar)

Poetic Architecture Quiz.

Who are the great visual poets?

No comment.

   "On Mars Yet Again"

Melanie saw a movie about the star of a fictitious reality TV show; this has inspired me to return to my screenplay about Philip K Dick struggling to complete his novelization of Blade Runner--in that alternate universe where he didn't turn down the job-- (NOT!). --But i was considering a satire on Richard Perle...

01 28 04

I never sit down to write as if it were going to be destroyed immediately, and yet this is so.

"Looking at the moon all col and wite and oansome, Lorna said to me, 'You know Riddley theres some thing in us it dont have no name.' I said, 'What thing is that?' She said, 'Its some kynd of thing it aint us but yet its in us. Its looking out thru our eye hoals. May be you dont take no noatis of it only some times. Say you get woak up suddn in the middl of the nite. 1 minim youre a sleap and the nex youre on your feet with a spear in your han. Wel it wernt you put that spear in your han it wer that other thing whats looking out thru your eye hoals. It aint you nor it dont even know your name. Its in us lorn and loan and sheltering how it can.' I said 'If its in every 1 of us theres moren 1 of it theres got to be a manying theres got to be a millying and mor.' Lorna said, 'Wel there is a millying and mor.' I said, 'Wel if theres such a manying of it whys it lorn then whys it loan?' She said, 'Becaws the manying and the millying its all 1 thing it dont have nothing to gether with. You look at lykens on a stoan its all them tiny manyings of it and may be each part of it myt think its sepert only we can see its all 1 thing. Thats how it is with what we are its all 1 girt big thing and divvyt up amongst the many. Its all 1 girt thing bigger nor the worl and lorn and loan and oansome. Tremmering it is and feart. It puts us on like we put on our cloes. Some times we dont fit. Some times it cant fynd the arm hoals and its tears us a part. I dont think I took all that much noatis of it when I ben yung. Now Im old I noatis it mor. It dont realy like to put me on no mor. Every morning I can feel how its tiret of me and readying to throw me a way. Iwl tell you some thing Riddley and keap this in memberment. What ever it is we dont come naturel to it.' I said, 'Lorna I dont know what you mean.' She said, 'We aint a naturel part of it. We dint begin when it begun we dint begin where it begun. It ben here befor us nor I dont know what we are to it. May be weare jus only sickness and a feaver to it or boyls on the arse of it I dont know. Now lissen what Im going to tel you Riddley. It thinks us but it dont think like us. It dont think the way we think. Plus like I said befor its afeart.' I said, 'Whats it afeart of?' She said, 'Its afeart of being beartht.' 'How can that be? You said it ben here befor us. If it ben here all this time it musve ben beartht some time.' She said, 'No it aint ben beartht it never does get beartht its all ways in the woom of things its all ways on the road.' I said, 'All this what you jus ben telling be that a tel for me?' She larft then she said, 'Riddley there aint nothing what aint a tel for you...' --Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (1980)

   "To Anvil Eden"

Stealing perfume from a mole
Flying meta- hackers depleted
Uranium poem; blind man in a room full

Of deaf people bemd

Ink harl want.
Dim battlebots. Mutiny,
Thy bookish onus should have fallen:

Ascendency we Belknap at any price

--Blackened pit/
The master race at Christmas,
The color of madness we down rain
Pull metallic apple pierce green, matte black, &
Chrome burnt shell...

Lurch the otherwise
Unremarkable incoherent weak streak
Finishes presto diametric
--The decibel ice
Wire transfer a rain place for
The rage of
It thousand
Eyes gone what will then happen
High on ev'ry show?

02 03 04

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


Fimbul Winter.
   "Plagiaristic Epiphany"

I was reading The Pirate, when i had an epiphany: i recognized a passage (p. 150 of the first edition) as those exact words i had just been listening to Kathy Acker read on cassette--i am listening to my old tapes during my commutes (since i now have a car that will play them)--

01 28 04

...Only a fanatic would try to fight banality with profundity...

My Place in the Riot (3). An amateur in a simultaneous exhibition against a grandmaster. I don't know how i'm going to lose only that i will. Yet i continue to cherish, in the face of this annihilation, some wild intuition or hallucination that there's a chance to win, based on my very insignificance...that i'll be underestimated & survive by a trick...the religion of all mice, maybe. So what does it enable them to do? Keep rom dying out completely, i suppose. And the art-impulse now, is it a time for hiding or for witnessing on streetcorners?
Neither trick has worked so far.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Killer Fonts. (via Boing Boing)
Freedom is the "phlogiston" of our times. Eventually they'll have to coin a new set of phrases when they want to talk about what that really involves. And as for love, we are like the laity tossing around the technical terms of medieval theologians--who themselves are ignorant of what the mystics have seen.

"I wonder what the country is like. The fields and like that, the strange smells. And, he wondered, where do you find that? Where do you go and how do you get there and stay there? What kind of trip is that, and what kind of ticket does it take? And who do you buy the ticket from?" --Through a Scanner Darkly (1977)

I don't know why i bother to think about art or art's purposes when no one could recognize my works in my doctrines or my doctrines in my works without a field guide. They are twin emanations from this friction with my world, like flames and smoke. But i am determined to know what i'm doing even if that means knowing that most of the time i don't and can't know what i'm doing (The Sleepwalker School). The pleasure i get in ordering is a trivial one and the resultant order doesn't last for long. What i discover goes back into the unconscious ferment, though. And that reflectivity must show in the changes my work has undergone, if not in any single object. Unlike most artists, i think about my art in order to upset my sense of security from them; the more uncomfortable it makes me, the better i think i have succeeded in digging deeper or flying higher; strangeness doesn't guarantee truth, but truth is always strangeand found nowhere else. A person (who herself painted) once said after looking at CARNIVOROUS EQUATIONS 2, "You're sick." To which i responded, "I sincerely hope so."