Thursday, June 30, 2005

I remember feeling exactly this way.

(Well, about how amazingly great "Wizard of Wor" was. And David Bowie. The rest, unfortunately, not really.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Blogoview take 2

Thanks to Charles Jensen for giving us (read: me) things to write about when our (read: my) own thoughts are to overgrown for harvesting, and an excuse for a bout of embarassing narcissism:

In fifth grade I kept a little journal with pithy aphoristic sentences I thought were very important. But those weren’t really poems. I guess my first poem was in 7th grade, it was in imitation of Auden’s “Law Like Love,” called “I Am All”. It used variations in meter for dramatic effect, parallel construction, made a statement of pantheistic absolute selfedness, and was completely derivative. I was very proud of it. My teacher didn’t care too much for it either way (she was more taken with those in class who wrote in imitation of Police lyrics, as I remember it), and I was so piqued by her inattention I didn’t write another poem until 11th grade, when, for my project on the surrealists, I smartassedly handed in a dictionary for my project and called it an anthology of ‘every poem ever written,’ and got an A. Which I found surreal, to be honest. Go figure.

Do I still have “I Am All” somewhere? Yes, somewhat memorized (this may get deleted in short order if I can’t take the pressure of exposure to your eyes):

“Some people say the sun is a god
or the mountains, or moon, or stars;
some people say . . .
. . .
. . .
some people say one god rules in heaven,
and is king of all others, gods and fools;
but I say that these gods,
these mountains, or moons, or stars,
these slithering serpents and uncaring kings,
all exist in myself, for I am all.”

You know, looking at it written out, I see that it would’ve been less embarassing had I just written in response to the “Things you don’t know about me” question instead. What can I say? I was a very serious seventh grader. Except for when I was laughing, which was, mercifully, often.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

This month in Poetry's letters section, Christian Wiman channels his inner William Packard.

It's kind of unsettling, really. (And, to be honest, though there are some yucks, not so big-hearted.)

(If you don't know what I mean, go hunt down an old issue of the New York Quarterly. I haven't read an issue since Clinton was president, so I don't know if they've kept the same inimitably ruthless weirdness up or not. Though without Wm. Packard and his preoccupations, I don't see how they could.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

The danger of the word 'maybe' (cartoon of June 27, btw).

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

One interesting thing about the widespread geography of bloggers is being able to see (or to imagine seeing) trends of various kinds. For example, it seems that recently a number of poetbloggers have taken ill, with nausea and faintness, in disparate locations, such as San Francisco and New York.

I wonder if it is a general country-wide thing, or if, maybe, only poets are susceptible, or only sedentary, in-front-of-the-computer types, or metropolitans, or . . . ? Curious.


Poetry recitation (the school mascot is a purple dragon, if you're wondering . . .) Posted by Hello


My graduating son Posted by Hello

The chicken soup party was a smash. The two photos are (1) of Jonah's class reciting Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup poem, and (2) of Jonah getting his 'diploma' from his kindergarten teacher. Afterwards, she got all teary and said this had been her best class in 35 years. And she had been my sixth-grade math teacher, though seeing as how neither of us remembers the other, I didn't even think about that I had been in one of those not-best-of-the-past-thirty-five-years classes until I was sitting in a tiny chair at a tiny table, eating my chicken soup with rice, and satisfied anyway.

Jonah's had a great year. A good portion of his classmates are nearly a full year older than him, but he handles social interaction very maturely with them, and everyone wants to be his friend. He's grown out of his timidity completely, as I knew he would, but it is so gratifying to see. I know it doesn't mean anything to someone who doesn't see it up close, but I really am so proud of him. It takes a lot of work to grow up, all the way through, kindergarten especially. Probably every age especially.

So we took him to Toys R Us afterwards, and he got a pokemon board game and a pump-action spring gun that shoots ping-pong-size rubber balls at a frightening velocity.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


behaving unspeakably!

I'd like to draw your attention to the end of this article (which I found via Jill Dybka's Poetry Hut), regarding Bloomsday celebration:

"Meanwhile, in Dublin, the annual celebrations of Bloomsday will dominate the city's cultural life in the coming days.

The Dublin Writers festival takes place at venues across the city centre. Forty Irish and international writers will take part in four days of readings and discussions.

Imaginative members of the public will also be taking matters into their own hands with impromptu readings from the novel.

Many don period costumes as they imitate the events in Ulysses such as swimming at the Forty Foot, lunching on Burgundy and Gorgonzola cheese in Davy Byrne's bar and behaving unspeakably on Sandymount Strand." (emphasis mine).

That's pretty devoted. Scary, but devoted.

The movie sounds like it may be good, actually. I'm looking forward to it, though with a little skepticism in reserve, of course. Still, it seems to me that if it can tap one-hundredth of the emotional drama in the original, it'll be a powerful movie. And the principal actors are good, imaginative, ones, so there's hope.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Andrea Hornick, The Battle of Six Flags, acrylic and oil on paper, 50" x 38", 2005 Posted by Hello

I've just found out that my friend Andrea's work will part of a show at the Jen Bekman Gallery (6 Spring Street), opening next Tuesday. I am continually amazed at her ability and ability to change--she keeps on growing, outdoing herself. Without outdoing the viewer, I might add, or her own vision. She is a true artist, my admiration for her ability and accomplishment--and her, herself, as well--is boundless. Her recent work (see image, above, for example) has something of the open motion of Shakespeare's Romances (my favorite period), and I find it absolutely entrancing.

If you are in the neighborhood and you have a bit of time, I highly suggest you stop in. The opening reception is Tuesday at 6 pm, and the show runs through the end of July.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Admirably clearheaded post on torture and politics, from Billmon.


Manuscript page from Ulysses, 'Calypso' episode.

Happy Bloomsday, all. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Ana Maria Correa passes the baton (aka the 'what songs do you listen to running?' meme), so for my leg:

Sadly for the purposes of this question I run without music, or at least I used to when I used to run (i.e. before this most recent phase of my life). I found it easier to focus on the pain I'd hit (we had a very intense coach on high school track, and he had the better runners running under 30 minute 5-mile practice runs, for example) and through it to that strange place of one-step-at-a-time than to distract myself or trance myself with music. So I suppose I'd say 1-my breath, 2-traffic, 3-thought. That's kind of lame/flat, but, really, in the same way, so is running. Which is why I liked it.

Dara used to tease me about how much I liked to talk about track--practice, not the meets themselves, where I was just barely good enough to get beaten by the really good runners. Coach Russell was a great coach, a true maniac; he was over 50 and in front for the aforementioned 5-mile runs. He didn't listen to music either. I think he may have been in the marines once. I also think he may have been in the olympics, though we weren't too sure (no internet research capability in the late 80's).

Well, I just got the phone call that I got picked by Brenda Hillman for a psa chapbook award this year.

Once I stop feeling shocked, I can tell, I'll be feeling really happy. Wow, that's nice.

Friday, June 10, 2005


(The whole post, if you click through the link I've linked to, is pretty cool, too.)

edit: if the above link doesn't work, or you just want to go right to it, here's the post (at "The Outer Life") the above link (at Daniel Green's "The Reading Experience") linked to.

It occurs to me that the media's recent fascination with 'missing white girl stories' (which I read various liberal bloggers lamenting the prevalence of and the presence of which drowning out important stories like the Downing Street memo or Darfur or Guantanamo/Abu Ghraib/Bagram or etc.) = the national unconscious (that would be the media) asking "Where is our innocence?"

They like the answer to be that some bad man took her (her being transformed at this point from a person to a personification) by force or misinformation and did bad things to her, though this isn't always how it turns out (one of the difficulties of trying to shoehorn real people into mythic roles). Why is this the satisfying (if grim) outcome for the narrative?

I'm thinking that maybe eventually the psychic repressive force will grow to where an angry and ashamed country will name the bad man by name.

An aside: It is interesting to look at the way the fiance of that woman who ran from her wedding was considered publicly, basically told he was an idiot for taking the words of someone he trusted at face value and not weighing her actions against normative reality. And then taking her back for a second chance. Sounds like projected collective shame to me.

(Thus ends a foray into political blogging from a psychohistorical perspective.)

Once-blogger Jodie Reyes, on Poetry Daily. (today being June 10, 2005).

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Now that's funny.

And that's profound.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Tony's hitting 1.000 recently (here, here, here, here).

I found these questionnaires snores mostly (no offense intended), but they had a purpose, to get these responses from him. Invaluable.

update: I don't know why I felt that other responses were uninteresting--I must've been off my feed. Reviewing responses esp. to the latest round of questions, I've decided they are actually very good reading. Tony's are still standouts, though.

In my local municipal library there is a pitiful (3 or 4 volume, I'm not exaggerating) poetry collection. So I had this idea the other day, to offer to lead a local community poetry workshop kind of class there, say three hours, limited to ten or so people (not that I think that many people would sign up, but in a town like Highland Park, they might even), once a month, and asking for eight or ten bucks a person a class. Not that I would get the money. Part of the plan/deal is that I would use it to buy poetry books to be added to the library's collection. Now how's that for community service? Imagine if the basic template was used by poets across the country in their own local town/borough/district libraries--now that would be pretty cool. The great thing is, you run the workshop, you get to shape the library's collection. For me, that would be an honor, and a reward worth more than money. I just wonder if anyone'll pay for the class itself. I'd like to think so. I'd certainly do my best to make it worth it.

So when I have a little energy and time, I'm going to call the library and see if they are game. If anyone else is intrigued, well, help yourself, it is an idea just waiting to be borrowed, improved upon, what have you.

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