Sunday, February 20, 2005

God, I'm boring.

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to the First Level of Hell - Limbo!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very High
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's" Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Interesting post at Conchology on Thoreau and like-feelingness.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I don't know that writing poems is the best way to write poems. I mean this in the way that making money is not the best way to make money. Though maybe I mean it in the way that teaching is not the best way to teach. That is (if those examples are oblique to my purpose) in the first case it is better to make money without only making money, perhaps, that is to pursue what intrigues you, and in the second case it is better to teach in the mysterious way than by direct instruction. (By the 'mysterious' way I mean that the broader teacher, speaking of literature, will communicate a sentence's structure better than a grammarian, in my experience.) That is, in either case, it is in the nature of the thing that not directly ending at it with your intention will attend the thing done better, if done well.

Poetry is different than these, in what I mean, because I mean I'm not sure that it in and of itself wouldn't be better off without itself, in and of itself; not meant in a Platonic way, but in an actual way. If poetry could be sustained as a poetry behind the eye, cultivated in that way, as a life, a perceptual art, studied to be enworded but not ever actually; kept where it belongs; quick, forming.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

My week?

We took Jonah to interview at the Princeton Friends' School. If anyone can tell me whether going to the perfect school--supportive, open-minded, kind, intimate, rigorous, creative--is worth a 45 minute commute, I'd appreciate it. Especially if you've been to a private school, I'd like to hear. Most especially, if you've actually been to a friends' school.

It's kind of a rough balance. On one hand, I already see the grind of conformity setting in in public school; Jonah's in kindergarten, and already they start teaching for the tests (o "No Child Left Behind," you are the enabler of education's worst impulses!). On that one hand, already I see the teachers 'helping' the kids respond by learning to observe the teacher and give him/her the answer the teacher wants, as opposed to thinking it freely themselves. Confusing sentence, but you know what I mean, I bet.

On the other hand, forty five minutes each day, each way. And I'll have a little baby for it each day, each way, once Dara returns to work in January. Yeesh.

As for the rest of my week? Neverwinter Nights is the best critique of D & D I've ever played. Yet quite the page-turner.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Little Big-Eared Thing

It leaves turds shaped like rice grains
beside the jar of rice grains, and dry as them.
It is not behind the stove now. It is rummaging
in my sink. It is a simple thing, hungry
like you or me. The residue
of my life passes through it
as we are the residue of lives
which pass through us, and
though not just the same
this thought is what I have
for setting no traps.

The Disappointments of Archibald Kent

That sometimes listening to music he feels as if he is that music yet remains, in fact, himself.

That green is less comely upon his being than he tells himself it is; he knows, and his telling is in the face of his knowing; leads him to his various ties of green and green fields, frogs, clover, aspens, the Hulk for his son on Museum Day; his telling himself is his dissatisfaction.

Is a folk ballad playing in the elevator.

Moby-Dick. The Rapture. Original Sin.

Commuting is not, contrary to long preconception revealed to be rationalized desire by the unfolding of actual time, conducive to introspection.

That spirituality has nothing to do with dreaming.

Having spent $2.19/lb. on an organic pumpkin and finding upon his habitual porch pulp and cracked seeds in a nimbus around the rodent-cored vegetable.

Fishing, in general, is not as relaxing as he’d expect.

That due to inflation, cost comparisons over time are inaccurate. That adjusting by rate is a further lie, in that dollars are relative and unless the commodity pool is equivalent, how can you know what anything is worth or was worth, in and of itself, let alone each to the other?

The Rolling Stones’ 25th reunion concert.

Not knowing, opossum, squirrel, or raccoon. His son not caring too much either way.

When groups of small waves are interspersed by too-few larger ones.

The week camping in Shenandoah his father promised to teach him fly-fishing.

That professor who would say ‘incredible’ regarding details which were, in fact, mundane.

The unconscious being far less mysterious than he’d planned. Than he’d been promised. Also, the internet.

Dreams. Especially wet ones. Not to mention his romantic life.

That “melodrama cannot be seen as frivolous.”

Meekness often passes unrecognized.

Tunnels which lead somewhere. Language. Almost all bagels, though not Lender’s. That is to say, essential instability.

That time has no recognizable rhythm, and does not repeat. Or will not. At least, it won’t him. But does, to him, the stars. Though not really; for even such is mocking. Is apparent, not true, repetition.

That his dissatisfactions seem not to be shared by others.

That people who say “go with the flow” really mean go with their flow. And don’t.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Funny that Dan Tessitore is trying for standup comedy; because his was the first poetry blog I read (before it disappeared), following his poems which appeared in APR around 1-1/2 years ago. Funny because I really liked the poems (enough, obviously, to google etc.), but I also felt that he exhausted his interest in what he was doing specifically there, with footnotes, in those few poems. That is, the possibilities of what he started was greater than his execution of them. I felt, really, that he was interested in it as far as the schtick went. They were very good poems, I don't mean to speak them down, just talking about a larger sort of attention.

So now, he's moved onto schtick pure. I bet he'll make it, too.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I have so many thoughts regarding Josh's notes toward "Notes Toward . . ." But I think I'll just say my own shorthand take on where I think Stevens was going for now, and not sort out the vocabularies yet:

It Must Change (roughly translates to) It must constantly be what it is (that is, anything that truly exists, exists in a changing state);
It Must be Abstract (roughly translates to) It must not be what it is (sort of a Godelian self-transcendent set);
It Must Give Pleasure (roughly translates to) It must be what it is not.

I think all these categories are fulfilled by a cat, sitting in a room (well, actually, by a cat sitting anywhere. Cats are so good at being cats). This is sort of how I think of the qualities Stevens was suggesting the supreme fiction manifest.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I haven't been blogging much because I have so little to blog about beyond my health, which is boring. The Eavon Boland class was interesting, I haven't really sorted it out yet--I mean, it was most useful for reminding my brain what it's like to have that immediate feeling of a critical eye on my work. The work of poetry is all within the poem, and the effect is all without, and sometimes it can be hard to keep a handle on how that ratio plays out. But truth be told, beyond what it was the day was worthwhile for how it showed itself up as an empty experience. To use an entirely inappropriate comparison, like a one-night stand. I need someone who respects my poetry, and can offer consistent criticism, and so on. Someone I can reciprocate with, dammit!

I need that kind of relationship, but I just don't think I have room for it in my life now. You know the story.

Could someone get me a beer? I think I'm getting misty.

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