Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yesterday I went to the beach

Yesterday I went to the beach:

I am living life in a way I never have before. I am sick of the old ways I used to live life. I want to believe in the picture above again. I don't think I have ever been alive and truly believed in the picture above.

When I was in college, I worked in the library with this wonderful woman named Mona. She told me that the world was full of people who would suck your joy out if you let them. It sounds like she was talking about vampires, but no I don't think she meant that. Joy is not blood. She said to protect your joy at all costs. I think we all should do that: protect joy. It needs protecting. It is not a very strong thing, very flimsy and serious and watery. It is not blood, so it doesn't go on forever, bringing life. But when it is around, I will surround it in my meaty hands (but not touch it, you should never touch it) and not let the darkness seep into it anymore. It is worth saving, like chance. Chance is worth saving, too.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sometimes I look at blogs and I find things I like

I drank almost an entire bottle of Diet Mountain Dew today in order to finish an academic task I have been working incessantly on for the past week (and let's just say I haven't finished yet). Anyway, sometimes drinking lots of Dew makes me find blogs with poems that I like. I really like this poem by Kendra Grant Malone: "is it narcissistic that im attracted to you even though we look similar?"

It is a great thing when ass is the last word of a poem. This is not a rule, but a general observation.

It is kind of a rule that I am glad that geniuses like Bernadette Mayer wrote poems like this, so that we can all write poems that end in ass as much as we want to.

I will continue to look at blogs more to find more poems I like. People writing poems and posting them to blogs--I like that! The world wide web. Who would have thought.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Terrible Love

Here is the best news ever I could tell you: Ish Klein's first book is due out Feb. 9, 2009. It is called Union! and will be published by Canarium Books. Ish Klein is a genius. People say that sort of thing a lot about people, but I really mean it when I talk about Ish Klein. It is a true blessing to know her. Alice B. Toklas wrote (or we will say she did for the sake of argument) that there were three times in her life that she met a genius and each time she heard a bell. And she said, when she first met Gertrude Stein she heard a bell.

I first saw Ish Klein read when I had only lived in Philadelphia for two months, as she read for the Philadelphia leg of the Poetry Bus Tour. I didn't hear a bell that night cause that's not my thing, that's Alice B. Toklas' thing. Still, bell or no bell, she was so good, she scared me. For about 8 months after that, I would see her around town, but I was so scared of her genius that I would lose all ability to say anything and end up running away. One night, last summer, after having known who she was for 8 months, I went up to her at a party and introduced myself. She was very nice and I like her very much to this day.

I really like Alice B. Toklas.

I first read Gertrude Stein's Three Lives when I was 15. I was in San Diego visiting my Aunt Ardis. The day I read the book, I was swimming by myself in my aunt's pool, with a bunch of orange trees all around. That was a very important day for me.

The other day I went to a reading Molly's Bookstore in Philly's Italian Market. Molly Russakoff is a brilliant poet who ran the bookstore, but is now closing it in order to open up Project 360, an amazing educational venture for teens who feel like they don't have a place in the traditional school system (I will hopefully write more about Project 360 in a future post, as I think it is wonderful and people should donate money to it). Because the bookstore is closing, there was a closing reading. Books from the bookstore were very cheap at the reading and I bought a book called Staying on Alone: Letters of Alice B. Toklas. It seems like a really good book so far. At the reading, Ish Klein read the poem below. It knocked me so far off my feet that I can't stop thinking about it. In fact the poem below this post called "The Body" is written to Ish after hearing this poem by her. Here's Ish's phenomenal poem:

Act I: Against Death

Since we are ghosts,
since we are barely here but for pain and song and sad lights from our memories
making it out,

since we are brightest before death-
Wait ghost!
Wait friendly ghost! I’m running after which means I thought of running:

I watched myself do it
I had regret
I put it all on you.

You- the mobile ghost
You- the better ghost
You with your magic and who am I?

I am an angry friendly ghost. A ghost who wants to lose weight,
one who picks at skin and pulls out hair.
One who doesn’t haunt others but who haunts herself.

Ghost among ghosts!
You who are a weary ghost- who is hung over and scribbling out the fear-
The old buildings that we move through as we dodge machines.

Come here and be faithful to blood
to the fact that it pours constantly-
The collective blood that pays our way and says almost nothing.

I am haunting these people.
I think they are my friends.
Not well

am I doing this.
I am going to be forgotten.
I do hope that happens.

Maybe then I can change
maybe I can say,
You go here, do this do that:

first A, then B, then C
and I will be reliable
as for endeavor.

But always it is:
C! B?
fuck you A. I never needed A.

A is destroying my mind-
A is the devil and the devil wants to fuck and crawl out of me again;
to make me responsible for the end of it all.

A- the thing to do-
Avoid the devil
do the laundry.

Avoid the devil’s cameras.
Hi! I say. I smile.
behind the loudness, my evasion, the hangover, I am planning,

planning to get better.
I am figuring somewhere else.
I have been working on it.

I’ve been imagining the woods- not the city.
The woods and within the clearing
two castles.

They will dig me out from a whole.
I was sleeping inside a tree.
You see I killed myself before for love. I could not be found.

Others needed me and I did not care.
I needed me but I did not know it as I was essentially leaking
everything and the love and the pain it mixed

sand to glass inside- it broke and my glass with wine
broken- this is how I drank it.
This is what shocked my voice

this is the further tear along the front.
The front filling up with blood- ballooning with it.
It fears the air a bit.

It needs to keep moving.
Wary blood, how can I blame you.
I am dead.

I did kill myself. I must forgive everyone in pain.
I must give them everything to correct my mistake.
It isn’t easy . Sorry.

Well, the furies
You know- the furies who can cure them.?
They have many arms all weaponed, all holding edges and points to tear.

You can’t hug them from behind.
They roll with spikes out.
Who’s in there? What blood is in there? How can it be freed?

I am part of you furies.
I am a radiant of you too.
Let me take you in and care, let me sit you by my fire.

My sister in her car.
We will die now, I thought.
We’re together- it fits

I guess I’m ready
If this is love
it isn’t trusting.

Love you are allowed to be you.
You with frightened blood and plagued by cameras from beyond and dancing sort of.
You with no magic that has become a new magic of ticks and clicks. Hit it with a stick

Metal, it is now,
a moment! I have stopped
aware of my complete apparent lack of comfort.

Numbers. Points in the dark.
Heaven. Old time.
Shame. Shame the stupid soiled person, the actor.

You out there, there is a way.
A way to break out!
You mate with flames

You forgot-

you forget

You must have been

You must be:

A. Devil

B. Angel

C. Motion

D. Dog

E. Electric

F. Made by Men

C. Computer, broken circuits cutting other circuits

inside and around

outside holding you in.

Inside screaming

Your friends are keeping you here

They need someone too, Love.




Monday, July 21, 2008

The Body

for Ish Klein

Eric says all my dreams are in my body
All my bad dreams
About betrayal
I don’t want to be in this body anymore
That holds all the betrayal of the universe
Its tissues bluing all day into blue-black
Blood balloon
One day all that blood will be dark and grey
I want to be an unearthly body instead of this one
I want to be a body that is free of dreams
The imagination
I never wanted the imagination within my legs and arms anyway
Blacking within it like forgotten light
Umbrella limbs full of potential light
I never wanted to be the person who tells you
That I believe in you
So that you never had to listen to anyone else
I never wanted
You to forget about me
Freeze me into arctic lust
Until I am never the body
That is amber in the sun
The people, I never wanted the people
To touch my body like they owned it
In dreams
On earth
In real life
I wanted people to believe in my body for once
Not my dreams
That you can walk through in wonderment
Because they are so beautiful
The whole world, the people
They never believed in my body
They only ever believed in their own bodies
Walking and talking
Through the world
Mimetic knights
The people
They only ever believed in their own similar bodies
Flattened pieces of videotape
Matted pictures, red and black
And twinned
The twinned heads and feet
The pickled noses, the twins
The people
Lost and adorned
They only ever believed in the things that were similar
They only ever believed in the cold

Sunday, July 20, 2008

english bulldog puppies

These dogs make me want to live forever.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Talking fish

After reading this article, I don't want to eat fish anymore. And this after I just started eating fish again after two years of fishlessness.

Check it out:

Article about the sounds of fish

Friday, July 18, 2008

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now (Live, 1970)

"But now its just another show
You leave em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know
Don't give yourself away"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Suicide - Ghost Rider

Nelly Furtado Say it Right

This song is so sad.

Pinkberry Song

i wonder should i get it plain or green tea, doesn't matter to me
don't care how long i have to wait,
i like it in the rain, or in the winter time
like a burst of sunshine, good for my body, good for my mouth,
good for my mind, good with the family, good with the friend, with the lover, or alone
it's an obsession, pure and delightful, simple and heavenly
and guilt-free, yummy! pinkberry

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

iChat Screenshots-possible picture pool?

Hey, does anybody out there want to start an iChat screenshots picture pool on Flickr?

Here's what I have so far: iChat photos

Maybe there is one already. I can't imagine there wouldn't be. It would be cool to have a poetry one.

Deadpan poems in Glitterpony Magazine

Check out some more of my Deadpan collaboration with Thom Donovan in the latest issue of Glitterpony. Glitterpony is the brainchild of the fabulous Natalie Lyalin and the fabulous Jon Link, both Sagittariuses. I gotta stop. Sometime soon, I promise I'll stop. Soon.

Here are the poems: Deadpan poems in Glitterpony.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cat Power: The Moon

"the moon is not only beautiful
it is so far away
the moon is not only ice cold
it is here to stay"

Very Small Movies

Yesterday, I communicated via puppets with some friends on ichat way into the night:

But before that I went to a party with my work friends and I had to walk for what seemed like a very long time by myself on a woodsy street. I made this movie because I wanted to remember the feeling of walking by myself on the street:

And then after I made the movie, I started thinking about other very short movies I have randomly made within the last year. Here are a few below:

That one I made when Laura and I were in Ithaca, NY and this nice woman was driving us to the train station. Below is one from the same trip when we were on the bus:

Here are some dogs in NY:

And then here are some water ripples in a pond:

I have some more, but I'll spare you the overload. Still, looking at them has made me consider how much the lack of a regular performative element in them might have something to do with their being tied to the natural world in some way (animals, trees). Anyway, very small movies really interest me lately. Making very small movies seems to be some way to capture the memory moments of a life that are actually important and don't have much to do with performance, except the performance of the everyday. Still, the everyday has a style and very small movies show this style, this joy of living. I don't think there is anything I could say about them that wouldn't seem extremely naive and simplistic to anyone with any expertise in film, but I have noticed that video sites like youtube and vimeo have more than likely bred an explosion of many short movies (under 30 seconds). When visiting the youtube channels of my poetry peers for instance, I have noticed that many of them seem interested in capturing moments in very short movies that have no obvious narrative, are wholly quotidian in their beauty. As well, there are probably millions of very small movies on sites like youtube, such as the millions of movies of cute moments between people and their dogs (I have looked at all of these, I think). Still, why is capturing and archiving these small moments so important to us as a culture? I don't know why, but the possible answers seem fascinating.

This interests me too because I've been working on an ethnography this past Spring of an after-school science program and very often in an attempt to capture unperformative moments of the children's learning, I have taken very short movies of their interactions. In capturing the social aspects of a learning event, it seems that a culmination of very short movies might show more about their learning than weeding through a continuous record. The performance is in the off and on switch, but the players, often unaware of the small moments being captured, are more true to the real life I want to better understand to aid learning in the future within these short movies.

What matters in a human life is not always the very dramatic moments that are infused with high meaning. We know this. What makes life good is being content through an accumulation of very small moments. Gorky knew this always. We have always known this all along. Still, the materials of this, in very short moving pictures, haunt me in a way that my memories haunt me. Because the past goes into a hole in the universe we can never fully capture, even as the past is the very thing that gives any existence at all any meaning.

No, that is not entirely true. I mean the future gives meaning, too.

When I was talking about this with EB this morning, he told me about the Early Edison films and how they captured very small moments as people experimented with the medium of film. Here is a snippet of them:

That kiss is amazing. Still, it is not these moments that I am thinking of now exactly, although they are related and beautiful. I am thinking of the moments up until the limit that make the limit +1. These are the moments that important to the poetry of our time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rock Star - N.E.R.D.

"You think the way you lives okay
You think posing
Will save the day
You think we don't see
That you're running
Better call your boys
'Cause I'm coming"

"I guess
You ain't heard that we swallow guys
It's too damn late to apologize
Will you see the mantle or will you see the skies

It's almost over now
It's almost over now"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead

James Taylor - Something In the Way She Moves - Live Concert

"Every now and then the things I lean on lose their meaning,
And I find myself careening
Into places where I should not let me go.
-- she has the power to go where no one else can find me,
Yes, and to silently remind me
Of the happiness and good times that I know, you know."

Grease - You Are The One That I Want

"If you're filled
with affection
you're too shy to convey,
meditate in my direction.
Feel your way."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bob Dylan - Simple Twist of Fate (1975)

"They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burnin' bright.
He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate."

Bob Dylan - Love Minus Zero/No Limit

"My love she speaks like silence,
Without ideals or violence,
She doesn't have to say she's faithful,
Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
People carry roses,
Make promises by the hours,
My love she laughs like the flowers,
Valentines can't buy her."

Two great things I saw yesterday

I saw Giant #3 by Zhang Huan in a gallery yesterday (I wish I remembered the name of the gallery). Here are some pictures of it. If you click on those images, you can see them better.

I was not expecting it to be so big. It must be at least 100 feet if you stretched the thing from end to end. The whole giant is made out of animal hides, tacked together, hooves and all. I think art should punch you in the face from time to time. That thing really knocked me out.

In the exhibit, there was some text by Huan about how conceptual art does not serve him and how social realism always serves what his body wants to say. I am completely misquoting him and probably misrepresenting him, too. But whatever he said, I loved.

Also, in another gallery, I saw this painting "You Can't Stop and Smell the Roses with Amphetamine Psychosis" by Larry Johnson.

I think the painting is actually called "Untitled (Courtney Love)." I have always liked her. Anyway, I detest drugs, but something about those woods in the painting gives me the creeps in the best possible way. I have always been a sucker for art about psychological dysfunction. I think because this is the stuff that is the fucking truth.

I have no idea what Johnson's painting has to do with this Livejournal entry. I still don't understand what Livejournal is. Do people still really use that? I think I missed this part of the internet.

I have noticed that Livejournal seems to give license to people acting inordinately goofy or sad and wonder why that is.

Just wanted to share some beauty with you. Hope you'll check these artists and their work out more today.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Renting Babies

Dear EB,

You can rent babies!

Look: Renting Babies


Sunday, July 06, 2008

UPDATE!! on Savage Grace, the movie

So, I finally saw Savage Grace. And while fellow natural redhead Julianne Moore, the greatest and most beautiful actress alive today, can do no real wrong in my eyes, I found the movie so profoundly disturbing in the worst possible ways that it has given me horrific dreams for days. Listen, I thought the movie was going to be about bakelite. I love bakelite. This movie is more about insanity than bakelite. The combination sounds cool, but I have had my fill of insanity for a lifetime. And it wasn't a combination really. Where was the bakelite? I wanted to see at least a couple of people wearing bakelite and I didn't. So, I can't really recommend this movie, although it is not bad per se. And if you are into movies about insanity, I suggest seeing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest instead. If you are into bakelite, I suggest finding the people who are still selling it for cheap at yard sales because they don't yet understand its magical/economic worth.

Also, in other entertainment news, I would like to take this opportunity to say "In Your Face!" to the doubters and haters in England who didn't want Jay-Z to be in the Glastonbury festival cause they thought hip-hop is not rock. Hip-hop is everything. Just look at these sales: In Your Face Sales for Jay-Z in England.

And then, take a listen to the master: Amazing Jay-Z song.

You are not dead

I would love you if you were dead
But you are not dead you are alive
You body ringing in me, ringing true
Ringing true, not like a blue nerve net
Encased in glass
Not a red rubber heart encased in glass
Not a burned out body encased in glass
But a real thing, a soft thing
A soft and wild thing
I am so glad I left the world
And found the wildness beyond in you
I am so glad I was brave enough
To leave the place in me that was not wild
To go into the cave of life that is not dead

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Style is Joy, cont.

Style is Joy. As it says:

"One mustn't always believe that feeling is everything. In the arts, it is nothing without form."

"Style is as much under the words as in the words. It is as much the soul as it is the flesh of a work."

Both of these gems are by The God of All Writing--Flaubert. All hail fellow fire sign, Gustave Flaubert, The God of All Writing.

More Style is Joy to come. Oh, more to come.

New reviews of AWE, famous coupling, and CA Conrad's Somatic Poetry Exercises

Check out a new review of my book AWE in InDigest Magazine.

Thanks so much InDigest Magazine and Jess Grover!!

Also, the wonderful Katie Fowley reviewed AWE in the recent Rain Taxi. Thanks Katie!!

Also, yeah, while you're at it, check out this site of famous astrological couples. I did!

(Can you believe that a Pisces woman and an Aquarius man could be happy forever AND make salad dressing--Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward? I could not.)

(I could believe that Hall and Oates are Libra/Aries though (you have to scroll down a bit.) That picture looks just like my buddy Laura and me--Libra/Aries.)

Also, you'd be remiss not to check out CA Conrad's latest Somatic Poetry Exercise (dedicated to genius Ish Klein) and follow it to the letter to write some beautiful poems. Write some garbage poems! Stop talking to people and write poems!! That's what I tell myself a lot. So, I guess that's what I'll tell you. But really I am telling that to myself. All day long.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Poems in The American Poetry Review

I have poems in the July/August 2008 issue of the The American Poetry Review, as part of a special Philadelphia poets section. Please check them out when you can. I think it is cool that this section came out at the same time as the awesome FANZINE Phillysound feature. Philadelphia is such an amazing place for a poet to live.

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