Sunday, December 23, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Shining (the best scene)

There is nothing new in the world now either.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

THE FACES music video (2005)

I am so sick of irony. I am glad some people still make unironic things.

I really like when Weird Al Yankovic gives him some balloons.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Dewey love (my love doth never end)

Dewey loves the new, as do I:

"The 'magic' of poetry--and pregnant experience has poetic quality--is precisely the revelation of meaning in the old effected by its presentation of the new. It radiates the light that never was on sea or land but that is henceforth an abiding illumination of objects."

(from his essay "Experience, Nature and Art" in Art and Education (1954))

You should love the new, too.

What form does the new take, you ask? Life. Life is the form it takes. With its "abiding illumination of objects."

Friday, December 14, 2007

The White Stripes - Hotel Yorba

"If I'm the man that you love the most, you could say 'I do' at least."

John Dewey's Art as Experience

I am pretty much whole hog in love with John Dewey and I am really not afraid to say so. I have been reading his book Art as Experience (1934) and it is basically one of the best things ever written. (But he rambles, you say. Sure, he does, but doesn't everyone?). In Chapter 1, "The Live Creature," he writes of a somatic connection to art that is possible when the conceptual and spiritual are not flattened over each other, but instead are wholly aware of their dependence of the body. That's right, people--the body. That's where the whole thing happens. He writes:

the trouble with existing theories [of art] is that they start from a ready-made compartmentalization, or from a conception of art that "spiritualizes" it out of connection with the objects of concrete experience. The alternative, however, to such spiritualization is not a degrading and Philistinish materialization of works of fine art, but a conception that discloses the way in which these works idealize qualities found in common experience. Were works of art placed in a directly human context in popular esteem, they would have a much wider appeal than they can have when pigeon-hole theories of art win general acceptance. A conception of fine art that sets out from its connection with discovered qualities of ordinary experience will be able to indicate the factors and forces that favor the normal development of common human activities into matters of artistic value.

I can't help but think that this idea is in every Dolly Parton song.

(I am in love with her too, but that is an older, deeper love.)

And I can't help but think that this is in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling too--that faith means a surrender to the power of the body and its aliveness. Art that has this faith is never not alive, even when it should be dead given its past context.

Anyway, I think that you should read Art as Experience by Dewey if you never have. Maybe you will get an old copy, like the one I found in the library, with futura font. Futura font just makes every reading experience feel like you are a glamorous 1960s secretary, reading the great works on her lunch break. That's not a bad way to feel either. Most of those women were the great artists of our time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dean Martin - Young At Heart

Have fun in Italy, my dear sweet Laura!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shea Butter

When Laura came over smiling yesterday, saying "I have a present for you!" I was confused as I didn't see an iPhone or some grapes in her hand (since those are two things I always want). I was still confused as she brought out of her bag what looked to be a tub of rancid hummus (is that possible?). I was PISSED when she opened the tub of rancid hummus and tried to smear it all over my hands. "It's Shea Butter," she said, "It's a cure-all." All I could say at first was, "What the hell is that?" Then I grumpily put it on my hands, face, hair, and dog's head as she instructed.

I didn't believe that Shea Butter was a cure-all until I tried it. But in just a few hours after applying it, my skin and hair have never been so soft and healthy. You really should try it. Winter is fast approaching. It is already here really. You might not have a giant live grizzly bear to keep your warm during these cold months (who does these days, really?), but for a few dollars you can have a pound of Shea Butter. Not everyone out there cares about having soft and healthy skin and hair, but I think you do. This is not a commercial. This is me telling the world that I was wrong and me trying to make it right. Laura, I was wrong and you were right (like always). I was wrong, but now I am right. Softly right, which is the best kind.

Listen, just buy some Shea Butter already.

If I can't make it to the grocery store today, I might try to eat it. I doubt it could be bad for the digestive system.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Last night, Eric Baus and Ish Klein read in the closet leg of my Tiny Tour. They were both wonderful, of course, and their poems were meant to go together. Eric's poems were just as brilliant as they were when I first read them six years ago. And Ish continues to amaze me with her poems and puppets and movies and I am just so lucky to know her and to live in the same city as her. She made a new puppet named Sally and brought her to the reading. I had seen Sally in pictures, but seeing Sally in person filled me with immense love, as I have a thing for animal puppets. In the middle of the Question and Answer section of the reading, Ish actually gave Sally to me. I was speechless and still am.

Here is Sally:

I am hoping that in the future Ish will want Sally to be in a movie of hers and that I can do Sally's voice.

Here is a video of Ish reading her poems that will probably blow your mind. It is from the Action AIDS Benefit event back in November that CA Conrad organized. That whole event was amazing and my only regret is that I didn't tape record the whole thing. Here is Ish:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Alan Davies and Frank Sherlock are reading in Boston

I don't live in Boston anymore, but if I did, you would find me at this reading (see below announcement by John Mulrooney and Michael Carr). If you go, you will have a chance to buy Frank Sherlock's new Katalanché chapbook, Over Here.


Come One, Come All to P&S on the Road, Alan Davies and Frank Sherlock kick off the holiday season at Pierre Menard Downstairs at Lame Duck Books, 12 Arrow St. Cambridge MA

SATURDAY December 8th, 2007 7 P.M.

Please note this holiday treat is Saturday not Sunday, Lame Duck not Plough

ALAN DAVIES is the author of many books of poetry, including Name (This), Signage (Roof), Candor (O Books) and Rave (Roof), as well as an untitled collaboration with photographer Mark Winterford published by Zasterle. He has written many critical articles and book reviews, and has lectured here and abroad. He was twice a recipient of Canada Council Grants for the Arts. His big book called Life is forthcoming from O Books. He is at work on a lifelong project consisting of individual books, a couple of which have been published as chap books.

FRANK SHERLOCK is the author of Wounds in an Imaginary Nature Show (Night Flag Books), Spring Diet of Flowers at Night (Mooncalf Press), ISO (furniture press) and 13 (Ixnay Press). Forthcoming chapbook publications include Daybook of Perversities & Main Events (Cy Gist Press), Over Here (Katalanché Press) and a collaborative poem with Brett Evans, entitled Ready-to-Eat Individual. He is alive in Philadelphia.

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