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8.29.2003

Barrett Watten on "Negativity" tonight at Rust Belt. Report soon...
the witch with the comb
a disaster each coming light
asspocketed comb
I’m supposed to stop my chores
to better frame my thoughts of you belabored
as so many words lodged against
lips coming, a thought in traffic
how it travels from your greentint pecks

it’s freezing outside and still we wear little to the club
nor do we alter the clouds from where, arch-necked
to see my poem taking shape

A student told me today that one of her pastimes is reading the Constitution...! Wow!
The great thing about the New Brutalism is that it doesn't matter if you want to be involved or not! The conspicuously absent aesthetic makes it possible for us to assign members! That is, I have deemed Patrick Durgin "Brutalist" by posting his secret swan all throughout Western New York (well, maybe not ALL throughout). Does that make me Brutal? Yes (it is not an easy job). Does that make him Brutal?? Yes (Have you read the poem?? Brutal.). Geoffrey Dyer is perhaps the most Brutal Brutalist. Why? Has he read in the series? Yes. Does he have a secret swan? Yes. Is he in the upcoming New Brutalist Anthology? Yes. Does he claim not to be a Brutalist while others claim he is? Yes. Does he want to be a Brutalist?? Who cares?!!! The point is, labeling someone Le Brutalist is like saying "You are a poet, and you can dance!"

8.28.2003

Have I mentioned that Trevor and I have a new website?? I would list it as a link, but I've sort of given up on figuring that out. Go check it out at www.manifestpress.org. There you will find information about our new book "On the Shining Screen of the Eyelids," and our newly instituted reading dates for syllogism. Have I mentioned that syllogism #6 will be coming out this Fall/Winter and that it will kick you square in the ass?? It features ALL of Ryan Bartlett's "Ivan's Childhood," Eugene Ostashevsky, Brandon Downing, Juliana Spahr, Cynthia Sailers, etc. etc. Wow! I should also mention that Trevor has started a blog, and you can find it at trevorcalvert.blogspot.com. (Maybe I will just do occasional link posts instead of actually linking anything.) While you're at it, stop by www.tougherdisguises.com and pick up new books by K. Silem Mohammad and Noah Eli Gordon. Have you seen Geoff Dyer's new book?? I know I haven't as he has yet to send it to me, but if you want, go look for it at www.krupskayabooks.com or at www.spdbooks.org. Are you waiting to get "Involuntary Visions: after Akira Kurosawa's Dreams," the very first anthology of New Bruts?? You should stop by the Avenue B website and send in a pre-order: www.durationpress.com/avenueb/. That is all.
Here's another:

a spirit serves a small breakfast
and with small utensils even, small matters of the soul like
in the sky, crucifix-green birds, v-like birds, or birds even
painted above the grass is but smiling
two different crayon textures where grow the tulips
tree smiling bananas, stump with natural looks, crucifix bird
smiling in y’s and addition signs, it is a great day for the witch
her two parallel smiling does not see the sun’s similitude tomorrow
will be great the witch thinks ahh

Here is a poem from click click. All of the titles were borrowed from Paul Klee paintings. There will be more.

the cheerful aspect
cephalic, the driver round something for the head
O the world is milky with us and will neither
leave my side. the hollow point
of where we flee the noise, our shying inquiry
the shutters of its eyes have loose
picked at its resolutions alone
and from where I see its ultimate
longing to place me in line
near chemicals, better, an
chemical waste or otherwise,
“hero’s skirt” negotiating the twice masculine
the two-let passing from our world
to where, plummeting, lovers
meet its quell

8.27.2003

On my way to work this morning, I heard a song by Rush on the local rock station. I find that much of what I like about the best prog is also what I tend to enjoy in my favorite poetry. The Prog Rulebook is as "outside" rock as most experimental poetry is outside everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Bands like Magma and Yes, that ought to be as big as any of the current "alternative" rock one can hear on stations like Live 105 (what would a world look like that supported a prog only radio station?? Bladerunner??!), make moves that just don't lay pat within rock aesthetics. There are violins and cellos, vocalists often do a falsetto/opera-esque vocal thing that instantly turns off most listeners (I guess this isn't so far outside the realm of hairbands!). And the chops! I find this same aesthetic in the work of poets like K. Silem Mohammad. In Mohammad's new "Deer Head Nation" (Tougher Disguises), the poems are dissonant and funny and falsetto at times. And the chops!! I find myself vacillating between laughing and "listening" in the same way I laugh when I hear Rush (but then quickly rewind to listen to the "tech" parts)(Did I say rewind??! What does that tell you about my "tech" parts??!). The form of the poems are unwieldy, and often they incorporate elements of culture that just don't show up when reading Robert Hass. And I haven't even seen the actual book yet! I'm sure that it will be even more prog when it is in my hands, after I have salivated all over it!

What I love about Magma perhaps most of all is the fact that I don't understand a fucking thing they are saying. Christian Vander plays drums fast and hard, and somehow is able to sing a sort of affected falsetto without sacrificing the chops. There is a chorus, there is a very fucked up string section. It is difficult to distinguish the rock from the free jazz.

I am currently working on a little book called "click click" that I only now realize is essentially prog (and only after listening to Rush. What does that say about my aesthetics?)! As I edit these poems, I will post them here.

8.25.2003

I just finished teaching my first comp. class at Buffalo, and I realize that most comp. students are exactly the same. They are scared, most of them look very tough at first, and many do not like my jokes. Even when I talk about Slayer or 50 Cent. My Justin Timberlake joke fell flat on its face.

Guess what??? My favorite drummer OF ALL TIME is coming to Buffalo in February! Rashid Ali, famed free jazz drummer on most of Coltrane's "out" records, will be coming to play and talk at the Albright Knox gallery! Holy shit!! If you haven't heard Coltrane's "Interstellar Space," buy it now to understand why free jazz drummers and metal drummers are essentially performing similar tasks. I can't imagine a band like Meshuggah existing without Rashid Ali.

K. and I have finally unpacked all of our stuff, which means my books are finally out in the open. Most of them survived unscathed, though Cocteau's "Infernal Machine" and the Zukofsky anthology "Man, Poet,..." took a beating. I have huge stacks of things to read, and virtually no time. The "Bottom" conference is coming up, so I am trying to finish that fucker before October. Could Zukofsky make it any bigger??! I want to write a paper on the letter "I" of the third section. I also need to read Deleuze. I realize that I have a gap that requires filling.

Get this: I just received an email from a friend in Portland, OR who found a copy of Spicer's "Red Wheelbarrow" (1 of 1000 mind you) for $15! Could this be true? In what twisted world do we live in which this could happen?? I mean, why didn't it happen to me...???! He also said that when the Stooges took the stage in Detroit, the power went out, consequently causing the East Coast black out. Hmm...




8.22.2003

Reading your own blog is sort of like listening to your voice on an answering machine.
Just kidding. oh, and please tell me how to spell check.
I am starting to realize that blogging is an honesttogod commitment. I left the computer yesterday and began thinking about all the things I want to write about and how much time it might take. I started feeling anxious, and then decided that I probably shouldn't blog. So this will be my last post. Goodbye bloggers, forever.

8.21.2003

Before I say important things, can anyone tell me how to add links and how to change the color scheme?? oh and how to link my email address?? arrgh.
Guess what? This is my blog. I waited to see if blogging was going out of style (like rap did) before I joined up. Now that I live in Buffalo, it is important to stay connected. Here I will say many interesting things. I will blog dilligently, and you will not stop me. Even now you can not stop my typing. I will post daily. Perhaps multiple posts a day. I will talk about poetics mostly. and living away from California in my new home with my new wife. and about new brutalists. For now, I will begin thinking about intelligent things.

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