Saturday, December 31, 2005

From "Composition as Explanation"

There is singularly nothing that makes a difference a difference in beginning and in the middle and in ending except that each generation has something different at which they are all looking. By this I mean so simply that anybody knows it that composition is the difference which makes each and all of them then different from other generations and this is what makes everything different otherwise they are all alike and everybody knows it because everybody says it.

It is very likely that nearly every one has been very nearly certain that something that is interesting is interesting them. Can they and do they. It is very interesting that nothing inside in them, that is when you consider the very long history of how every one ever acted or has felt, it is very interesting that nothing inside in them in all of them makes it connectedly different. By this I mean this. The only thing that is different from one time to another is what is seen and what is seen depends upon how everybody is doing everything. This makes the thing we are looking at very different and this makes what those describe it make of it, it makes a composition, it confuses, it shows, it is, it looks, it likes it as it is, and this makes what is seen as it is seen. Nothing changes from generation to generation except the thing seen and that makes a composition. Lord Grey remarked that when the generals before the war talked about the war they talked about it as a nineteenth-century war although to be fought with twentieth-century weapons. That is because war is a thing that decides how it is to be done when it is to be done. It is prepared and to that degree it is like all academies it is not a thing made by being made it is a thing prepared. Writing and painting and all that, is like that, for those who occupy themselves with it and don't make it as it is made. Now the few who make it as it is made, and it is to be remarked that the most decided of them usually are prepared just as the world around them is preparing, do it in this way and so I if you do not mind I will tell you how it happens. Naturally one does not know how it happened until it is well over beginning happening.

To come back to the part that the only thing that is different is what is seen when it seems to be being seen, in other words, composition and time sense.

No one is ahead of his time, it is only that the particular variety of creating his time is the one that his contemporaries who also are creating their own time refuse to accept. And they refuse to accept it for a very simple reason and that is that they do not have to accept it for any reason. They themselves that is everybody in their entering the modern composition and they do enter it, if they do not enter it they are not so to speak in it they are out of it and so they do enter it; but in as you may say the non-competitive efforts where if you are not in it nothing is lost except nothing at all except what is not had, there are naturally all the refusals, and the things refused are only important if unexpectedly somebody happens to need them. In the case of the arts it is very definite. Those who are creating the modern composition authentically are naturally only of importance when they are dead because by that time the modern composition having become past is classified and the description of it is classical. That is the reason why the creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic, there is hardly a moment in between and it is really too bad very much too bad naturally for the creator but also very much too bad for the enjoyer, they all really would enjoy the created so much better just after it has been made than when it is already a classic, but it is perfectly simple that there is no reason why the contemporary should see, because it would not make any difference as they lead their lives in the new composition anyway, and as every one is naturally indolent why naturally they don't see. For this reason as in quoting Lord Grey it is quite certain that nations not actively threatened are at least several generations behind themselves militarily so aesthetically they are more than several generations behind themselves and it is very much too bad, it is so very much more exciting and satisfactory for everybody if one can have contemporaries, if all one's contemporaries could be one's contemporaries.

There is almost not an interval.

For a very long time everybody refuses and then almost without a pause almost everybody accepts. In the history of the refused in the arts and literature the rapidity of the change is always startling. Now the only difficulty with the volte-face concerning the arts is this. When the acceptance comes, by that acceptance the thing created becomes a classic. It is a natural phenomena a rather extraordinary natural phenomena that a thing accepted becomes a classic. And what is the characteristic quality of a classic. The characteristic quality of a classic is that it is beautiful. Now of course it is perfectly true that a more or less first rate work of art is beautiful but the trouble is that when that first rate work of art becomes a classic because it is accepted the only thing that is important from then on to the majority of the acceptors the enormous majority, the most intelligent majority of the acceptors is that it is so wonderfully beautiful. Of course it is wonderfully beautiful, only when it is still a thing irritating annoying stimulating then all quality of beauty is denied to it.

Of course it is beautiful but first all beauty in it is denied and then all the beauty of it is accepted. If every one were not so indolent they would realize that beauty is beauty even when it is irritating and stimulating not only when it is accepted and classic. Of course it is extremely difficult nothing more so than to remember back to its not being beautiful once it has become beautiful. This makes it so much more difficult to realize its beauty when the work is being refused and prevents every one from realizing that they were convinced that beauty was denied, once the work is accepted. Automatically with the acceptance of the time sense comes the recognition of the beauty and once the beauty is accepted the beauty never fails any one.

Beginning again and again is a natural thing even when there is a series.

Beginning again and again and again explaining composition and time is a natural thing.

It is understood by this time that everything is the same except composition and time, composition and the time of the composition and the time in the composition.

Everything is the same except composition and as the composition is different and always going to be different everything is not the same. Everything is not the same as the time when of the composition and the time in the composition is different. The composition is different, that is certain.

The composition is the thing seen by every one living in the living that they are doing, they are the composing of the composition that at the time they are living is the composition of the time in which they are living. It is that that makes living a thing they are doing. Nothing else is different, of that almost any one can be certain. The time when and the time of and the time in that composition is the natural phenomena of that composition and of that perhaps every one can be certain.

No one thinks these things when they are making when they are creating what is the composition, naturally no one thinks, that is no one formulates until what is to be formulated has been made.

Composition is not there, it is going to be there and we are here. This is some time ago for us naturally.

The only thing that is different from one time to another is what is seen and what is seen depends upon how everybody is doing everything. This makes the thing we are looking at very different and this makes what those who describe it make of it, it makes a composition, it confuses, it shows, it is, it looks, it likes it as it is, and this makes what is seen as it is seen. Nothing changes from generation to generation except the thing seen and that makes a composition.

Now the few who make writing as it is made and it is to be remarked that the most decided of them are those that are prepared by preparing, are prepared just as the world around them is prepared and is preparing to do it in this way and so if you do not mind I will again tell you how it happens. Naturally one does not know how it happened until it is well over beginning happening.

Each period of living differs from any other period of living not in the way life is but in the way life is conducted and that authentically speaking is composition. After life has been conducted in a certain way everybody knows it but nobody knows it, little by little, nobody knows it as long as nobody knows it. Any one creating the composition in the arts does not know it either, they are conducting life and that makes their composition what it is, it makes their work compose as it does.

Their influence and their influences are the same as that of all of their contemporaries only it must always be remembered that the analogy is not obvious until as I say the composition of a time has become so pronounced that it is past and the artistic composition of it is a classic.

-- Gertrude Stein

Friday, December 30, 2005

Winter Rain

Mudslides crushed cars, rivers and creeks roared into city streets, the skies dumped buckets of rain, and delta levees burst and flooded agricultural islands. Sound like this past week?

A bit, perhaps.

But it's been worse in previous years. In many years, as a matter of fact.

New Year's Day floods are fairly common to Northern California, with epic drenchings occurring at the stroke of January in 1997, 1995, 1986 and 1982, and lesser ones putting homes underwater many years in between. And the storms that flooded streets in Napa and Marin counties and turned some river areas in Sonoma County into soggy messes have been damaging, but nothing like those of other years that did far more damage overall.

"Not to say people aren't suffering now, but the fact is we've had much worse before," said Pete Weisser, spokesman at the state Flood Control Center in Sacramento. "Maybe we've learned from all those past disasters. The folks in the emergency service offices are pretty sophisticated now and have been doing their jobs well this time."

Hardest hit this weekend was the city of Napa, where streets became ponds after the Napa River leaped its banks. But the town is used to that. Flooding was particularly bad in 2002, and during the great floods of the mid-1990s the state Department of Water Resources recorded the river swelling about a foot higher than this weekend's 29.8-foot mark.

"Fortunately, these (latest) storms weren't dam-busters on the rivers, and they came and went pretty fast," said Weisser. "The rivers are getting a better chance to drain than they sometimes get."

Most telling for him, he said, is that the Sacramento River -- the biggest in the state -- has stayed 3 feet below record levels so far, causing minimal trouble. And the fact that the storms sweeping into the state have given the area intermittent breaks, and aren't hanging around for two weeks as in other big years, is a life-saver.

"Look, Northern California has some kind of flood every two or three years, no matter what," said Maury Roos, the state's chief hydrologist at the Department of Water Resources. "That kind of makes this one of the more flood-prone regions on Earth. So really, what we're seeing right now is just winter.

"If it's anything like other wet years, we'll probably come out of this and go into a good long dry period."

Those buffeted by winds gusting to 80 mph this time might be comforted knowing the winds blew to 100 mph in the annual winter storms as recently as 2004 -- an off-year for flooding and weather damage. And 500,000 people may have lost their power over the past week as rain and winds knocked down power lines, but that's actually normal for a big winter storm. One million customers went dark in 2002 -- again, an off-year for flooding -- and 2 million lost their power in 1995's New Year drenching.

Several thousand people in six different counties have been evacuated from their homes this time, but during the "Pineapple Express" floods of 1997, more than 100,000 people in 33 counties had to flee floodwaters, from Sacramento to Guerneville. Both the state and federal governments declared disaster areas in Northern California in 1995, 1997 and during the El Niño swamping of 1998, but that has yet to happen this year.

One man died this past week when a tree fell on him, and a California Highway Patrol officer perished when he was hit at an accident scene in the Santa Cruz Mountains -- terrible losses, but unfortunately, the statistics climb even higher when the floods get bigger. In 1997, eight people lost their lives; the number was 10 in 1995 and 13 in 1986. Several more died in other storms during the past 20 years.

The Russian River area is usually slammed the hardest by floodwaters when the rain starts falling heavily in Northern California. And it's been no picnic there this time.

"If you live here, you expect this," Guerneville resident Pete Margolies said as floodwaters lapped a few inches below his front doorstep. "In Guerneville, you either learn to shrug your shoulders at a little water in the house, or you move somewhere else."

Many Russian River residents, to some extent or another, get flooding in their houses several times every year, and it takes a major event to get them to leave. This year, the river's high mark hit 41.8 feet, but that was still 3 feet short of the 1997 level, 6 feet short of 1995 and 7 feet short of 1986 -- and the locals took notice, and sighed with relief. Every foot spells the difference between salvation and ruin for first-floor furniture or business displays.

In fact, given relentless regularity with which the Russian River plays havoc with homes, the joking and jibing is common about why anyone would want to live near the water there.

"I hear that stuff all the time, but really, there are a lot worse things that can happen to you," said Margolies. "I lived in Wisconsin for 10 years, and man, this stuff comes down as snow there, and it's miserable.

"Here? This kind of flooding happens around here about twice every 10 years, and the rest of the time we get to live right next to the river, and everyone else has to drive hours to get here."

Margolies said he had amused himself over the past couple days by watching television news crews dashing around town, looking hungry for disaster they couldn't seem to find.

"Every time a storm drain backed up, they'd all rush over there and film it like crazy," he said, chuckling. "I don't know why our puddles are so interesting. I wish they'd send people out here who've actually had some perspective."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

top 90.3 of 2005 at kusf

90. Mary Timony - "Ex Hex" (Lookout!)
89. Caribou - "The Milk Of Human Kindness" (Domino)
88. Sons & Daughters - "The Repulsion Box" (Domino)
87. Death In Vegas - "Satan's Circus" (Drone/Lab)
86. Daniel Lanois - "Belladonna" (Anti-)
85. The Concretes - "Layourbattleaxedown" (Astralwerks)
84. Pelican - "The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw" (Hydra Head)
83. Broadcast - "Tender Buttons" (Warp)
82. Electrelane - "Axes" (Too Pure)
81. Chris Joss - "You've Been Spiked" (ESL/Cristal)
80. Giant Haystacks - "Blunt Instrument" (S/R)
79. Tenores Di Bitti - "Caminos De Pache" (Felmay)
78. The Mountain Goats - "The Sunset Tree" (4ad)
77. Architecture In Helsinki - "In Case We Die" (Bar/None)
76. The Bellrays - "The Red White & Black" (Alternative Tentacles)
75. Black Dice - "Broken Ear Record" (DFA/Astralwerks)
74. Antibalas - "Government Magic" (Afrosound)
73. Dungen - s/t (Subliminal Sounds)
72. Meat Beat Manifesto - "At The Center" (Morita Cycles)
71. Lali Puna - "I Thought I Was Over That" (Morr Music)
70. Acid Mothers Temple - "Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of..." (Space Age)
69. V/A - "Thai Beat A Go-Go Vol 2" (Subliminal Sounds)
68. Sufjan Stevens - "Illinois" (Asthmatic Kitty)
67. Coco Rosie - "Noahs Ark" (Touch & Go)
66. San Ul Lim - s/t (World Psychedelia)
65. Ezee Tiger - s/t (KSR)
64. Toychestra -"My Good Side" (s/r)
63. The Knitters - "The Modern Sounds Of..." (Zoe)
62. Of Montreal - "The Sunlandic Twins" (Polyvinyl)
61. Konono No.1 - "Congotronics" (Crammed Discs)
60. M. Ward - "Transistor Radio" (Merge)
59. Hot Snakes - "Peel Sessions" (Swami)
58. The Mirrors - "A Green Dream" (Birdman)
57. Sharon Jones & The Dapkings - "Naturally" (Daptone)
56. V/A - "Rewind! Vol. 4" (Ubiquity)
55. General Patton - General Patton vs. The Executioners (Ipecac)
54. Butter Sprites - s/t (Dionysus)
53. Betty Davis - "This Is It!" (Vampsouls)
52. Oki - "Dub Ainu" (Chikar Studio)
51. Vetiver - "Between" (DiCristina)
50. Pan/Tone - "Newfound Urban Calm + Remix Album" (Bip-Hop)
49. Experimental Dental School - 2 1/2 Creatures" (Deleated Art)
48. Blackalicious - "The Craft" (Anti-)
47. V/A - "Soul Fire: The Majestic Collection" (Truth & Soul)
46. OCS - "3 & 4" (Narnack)
45. Nouvelle Vague - s/t (Luaka Bop)
44. Petra Haden - "Sings The Who's Sell Out" (Bar/None)
43. Japanther - "Master Of Pigeons" (Menlo Park)
42. Hasil Adkins - "The Wild Man" (Norton)
41. OOIOO - "Green & Gold" (Thrill Jockey"
40. V/A - "New Thing!" (Soul Jazz)
39. V/A - "Le Nouveau Rock n Roll Francais..." (V2/Chronowax)
38. The Decemberists - "Picaresque" (Kill Rock Stars)
37. Coachwhips - "Peanut Butter & Jelly Live at the Ginger Minge" (Narnack)
36. Deadelus - "Exquisite Corpse" (Mush)
35. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Matt Sweeny - "Superwolf" (Drag City)
34. Gravy Train! - "Are You Wigglin?" (Kill Rock Stars)
33. V/A - "Sexual Life of Savages" (Soul Jazz)
32. Boards Of Canada - "The Campfire Headphase"
31. SLA - "Sonic Love Affair" (DRR)
30. Gogol Bordelo - "Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike" (Side One Dummy)
29. Gang Gang Dance - "God's Money" (Social Registry)
28. M83 - "Before The Dawn Heals Us" (Mute)
27. Calexico + Iron & Wine - "In The Reigns" (Overcoat)
26. Brian Eno - "Another Day On Earth" (Opal/Hannibal/Ryko)
25. Kinski - "Alpine Static" (Sub Pop)
24. Sleater-Kinney - "The Woods" (Sub Pop)
23. A Frames -"Black Forrest" (Sub Pop)
22. The Residents - "Animal Lover" (Mute)
21. Stereolab - "Oscillons From The Anti-Sun" (Too Pure)
20. Four Tet - "Everything's Ecstatic" (Domino)
19. The Hidden Cameras - "Mississauga Goddam" (Rough Trade)
18. The 101'rs - "Elgin Park Revisited" (Astralwerks)
17. The Ponys - "Celebration Castle" (In The Red)
16. Low - "The Great Destroyer" (Sub Pop)
15. Soft Pink Truth - "Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want The Soft Pink
Truth" (Tigerbeat 6)
14. V/A - "DFA #2" (DFA)
13. Bob Dylan - "No Direction Home" (Columbia/Legacy)
12. Kraftwerk - "Minimum/Maximum" (Astralwerks)
11. Deerhoof - "Green Cosmos" (Menlo Park)
10. Devendra Banhart - "Cripple Crow" (XL)
9. V/A - "Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough" (Fat Possum)
8. Stereo Total - "Do The Bambi" (Kill Rock Stars)
7. Numbers - "We're Animals" (Kill Rock Stars)
6. The Fall - "Fall Head's Roll" (Narnack)
5. The Gris Gris - "For The Season" (Birdman)
4. Deerhoof - "The Runner's Four" (5RC/Kill Rock Stars)
3. Jennifer Gentle - "Valende" (Sub Pop)
2. The Dirtbombs - "If You Don't Already Have A Look" (In The Red)
1. Tussle - "Kling Klang" (Troubleman Unlimited)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

We Shall Have Been Forgotten, Forgot

The Pretext
Let's Wrestle
Layout Index
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare Naxos
Empires of the Word
Writing a Novel
The Haiku Year
Far Beyond the Field
Modern Japanese Tanka
Numbers and Tempers
Metropolitan Corridors
The Jukebox Memnon
Florida Poems
Spring Comes to Chicago
Road Atlas
The Vertigo Tarot
A Novel of Thank You
Involuntary Lyrics
The Paradise Of Forms

Monday, December 26, 2005

Step Up Huge

the game is tied at 17
several young players got to learn and grow
"it gave me a sense of confidence"
"you can put an exclamation mark on that"

"eyes I dare not meet in dreams"
he'll reportedly be fired he didn't make the plays
we haven't won that's our job to win
he's back on the sidelines

I don't care I don't dare
you can put an exclamation point on that
a violent coitus filling the cavity
with lumps of gold 2 timing me

anal aggression & eroticism: winged eagle
reading a scroll written by a bull; winged children
you can put an exclamation mark on that
he's putting miniature dolls into her: don't think: look

the story of poisoned milk: Bret Favre after
a party at some big shot's: you can place an exclamation
on that; you don't have to wait around you don't need
to remember you can come and stare at the shower of gold

you can put an exclamation on that

get it on the 6 o'clock news violent opening of maternal
barrels the good and whole mother nourishing the
good and whole infant: play ball with me.

there's a lot of junk out there but not this pure!

-- Jeff Wietor

Sunday, December 25, 2005


I pondered and wondered
I need hardly explain why
I happened to come upon

I cannot do more than I can
I will do my best to make lucid
I had profited by their wisdom

I had gained a deal more
I may say that
I was granted a passport

I was not able, alas
I did
I came to realize

I am glad
I have realized Life
I want to rouse you

I am born
I have grown
I asked

I vision is
I would have you
I read this

I felt a heave
I feel like resigning
I say

I admit
I would
I know

I wrote
I found
I was

I read
I say
I turned

I was
I must
I have

I have
I had
I recaptured

I wrote
I sang
I want

I have
I have
I am

I put out
I do not mean
I have never

I do mean
I have not let it leave
I want to see you

I am at a loss
I consider myself a
I feel

I claim
I feel
I will not find

I love
I do not adhere
I see in it

Do you know what I think?
I do not believe that
Nor do I believe that

I myself do not think
I thrilled
I will confine myself

I have myself borne witness
I have avoided
I would have to propound

I studied
I write about these questions
I need not plead

I am going to suggest
I add
I have revealed

I have experienced
I possess
I say "seems"

I asked him
I learned
I brooded sadly

I felt a little
I feel
I will answer

I have felt a pain
I have expressed many
I felt blessed

I said to myself

Andham tamah pravishanti ye avidyam upasate
Tato bhuya iva te tamo ye u vidyayam ratah

-- Jeff Wietor

Saturday, December 24, 2005

meditative dancefloor space smackers

Nick Bracegirdle's Chicane are not easy to swallow.
What rankles purists and picky fans.



Ad hoc boy


Form of the question





I dedicate with joy my sheaf
I was, indeed, overjoyed to read
I feel a trifle sad

I have often brooded
I recall a luminous remark
I thank him from the heart



I feel
a great deal
has been achieved


-- Jeff Wietor

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fascination Street

Oh it's opening time
Down on Fascination Street
So let's cut the conversation
And get out for a bit
Because I feel it all fading and paling
And I'm begging
To drag you down with me
To kick the last nail in
Yeah! I like you in that
Like I like you to scream
But if you open your mouth
Then I can't be responsible
For quite what goes in
Or to care what comes out
So just pull on your hair
Just pull on your pout
And let's move to the beat
Like we know that it's over
If you slip going under
Slip over my shoulder
So just pull on your face
Just pull on your feet
And let's hit opening time
Down on Fascination Street

So pull on your hair
Pull on your pout
Cut the conversation
Just open your mouth
Pull on your face
Pull on your feet
And let's hit opening time
Down on Fascination Street

-- The Cure

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy;
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

[Re-enter ORLANDO with ADAM.]

Welcome. Set down your venerable burden,
And let him feed.

I thank you most for him.

So had you need;
I scarce can speak to thank you for myself.

Welcome; fall to: I will not trouble you
As yet, to question you about your fortunes.--
Give us some music; and, good cousin, sing.

[AMIENS sings.]



Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.


Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! &c.

If that you were the good Sir Rowland's son,--
As you have whisper'd faithfully you were,
And as mine eye doth his effigies witness
Most truly limn'd and living in your face,--
Be truly welcome hither: I am the duke
That lov'd your father. The residue of your fortune,
Go to my cave and tell me.--Good old man,
Thou art right welcome as thy master is;
Support him by the arm.--Give me your hand,
And let me all your fortunes understand.


- William Shakespeare

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sunday Afternoon

for Hayden Carruth

Watching TV, reading Twilight of the Idols,
as usual looking for a clue to what to do
or think or what kind of man to be and who
should I really read to find what I seek and use it,
at least fifteen books open on my desk,
a coffee cup, my pens, my desperate notes
not to forget CoQ-l0, toilet paper, wheatgrass,
then back to a western, any violence will do,
then out to buy chili, milk, cheese,
egg salad, thinking nothing (Zens say do this),
wondering why it all turned out like this
instead of my deep fantasies of cash and condo,
rich piece of ass supporting me in style
while poem after poem flows out of me, screw

perfectly each time, spinning her head off, then
stumble on "The Four Great Errors," section 8:
"One has deprived becoming of its innocence if being
in this or that state is traced back to will, to intentions,
to accountable facts . . . Men were thought of as 'free'
so they would become guilty . . . Christianity is a hangman's
metaphysics . . . No one is accountable for existing at all,
or for being constituted as he is, or for living
in the circumstances and surroundings in which he lives . . .
The fatality of his nature cannot be disentangled
from the fatality of all that which has been and will be . . .
In reality purpose is lacking . . . One is necessary,
One is a piece of fate, one belongs to the whole,
One is in the whole . . ." and think — That's it!

Everything stays the same is the truth of truths;
everything changes whether you believe it or not.
Take today with its bright saucepan sky; humidity,
September dying into itself, each leaf
hitting the ground, clouds scurrying across, desire
attached to nothing possible anymore.
Take it and do what? It is, each leaf
A separate koan to be solved by nature.
Maybe that's the right way to think of things.
No-mind. 3 o'clock. Reality a pure question.
Upstairs my tenant running the clothes dryer.
Propped up next to Whitehead's The Function of Reason
Dogen's Shobogenzo next to a snapshot of Sydney and Ivy
crawling through a yellow nylon tunnel smiling at me.

-- Stephen Berg

Monday, December 19, 2005

Puedo Escribir

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Escribir, por ejemplo: 'La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos.'

El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

En las noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

Oir la noche inmensa, más inmnesa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.

Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guadarla.
La noche está estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles.
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.

-- Pablo Neruda

Sunday, December 18, 2005




A Francis Jammes

L’Armand-Béhic (des Messageries Maritimes)
File quatorze noeuds sur l’Océan Indien...
Le soleil se couche en des confitures de crimes,
Dans cette mer plate comme avec la main.

— Miss Roseway, qui se rend à Adelaïde,
Vers le Sweet Home au fiancé australien,
Miss Roseway, hélas, n’a cure de mon spleen;
Sa lorgnette sur les Laquedives, au loin...

— Je vais me préparer – sans entrains! – pour la fête
De ce soir: sur le pont, lampions, danses, romances
(Je dois accompagner miss Roseway qui quête

— Fort gentiment – pour les familles des marins
Naufragés!) Oh, qu’en valse lente, ses reins
A mon bras droit, je l’entraine sans violence

Dans un naufrage où Dieu reconnaîtrait les siens...


British India

A Rudyard Kipling

Les bureaux ferment à quatre heures à Calcutta;
Dans le park du palais s’émeut le tennis ground;
Dans Eden Garden grince la musique épicée des Cipayes;
Les equipages brillants se saluent sur le Red Road...

Sur son trône d’or, étincelant de rubis et d’émeraudes,
S.A. le Maharadjah de Kapurthala
Regrette Liane de Pougy et Cléo de Mérode
Dont les photographies dédicacées sont là...

— Bénarès, accroupie, rêve le long du fleuve;
La Brahmane, candide, lassé des épreuves,
Repose vivant dans l’abstraction parfumée...

— A Lahore, par 120 degrés Fahrenheit,
Les docteurs Grant et Perry font un match de cricket, —
Les railways rampant dans la jungle ensoleillée



A M.P. Bons d’Anty

Au Waterloo Hotel, j’ai achevé mon tiffin,
Et mon bill payé, je me dirige vers le wharf.
Voici l’Indus (des Messageries Maritimes)
Et la tristesse imbécile du ‘homewards’.

— Quelques officiers français qui reviennent de L’Indo-Chine
Passer en Europe un congé de six mois,
Commentent l’embarquement de jeunes misses, assez divines,
Avec lesquelles je ne flirterai certes pas!

Sur le pont mes futurs compagnons de voyage
Me dévisagent...
Puis on passe une sommaire visite de santé –

(Cette année la peste a fait ici bien des ravages!)
— Enfin voici la cloche du départ, qui sonne
Que je ramène, pieusement ouatée,

La fleur de ma mélancholie anglo-saxonne.

-- Henry J.-M. Levet (1874–1906)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Little Winter

Wet flags. Asphalt curves. Snow-dusted
Gravel. Fur ads in the background, snow
Spat on & somebody who bit into a bag.
Was the world inside any warmer?

The Righteous Brothers of the Calcareous Alps
Were playing on tape (in the vegetable section ...)
& deep inside the skull of the dances something
Was going on – wild monies, coated sparks.

Two country buffaloes stood in front of a
Video machine immobile: A black rhythm
Diva hissed at glittering instruments &
The instruments howled back at her.

A net of oranges was pushed by.
Rather colorfully packaged babies occurred.
Did a tiny little brain shutter open up? (An old
Flower child manned the cash register &

Knew all the prices by heart.)

-- Erwin Einzinger

Friday, December 16, 2005

Nick and the Candlestick

I am a miner. The light burns blue.
Waxy stalactites
Drip and thicken, tears

The earthen womb

Exudes from its dead boredom.
Black bat airs

Wrap me, raggy shawls,
Cold homicides.
They weld to me like plums.

Old cave of calcium
Icicles, old echoer.
Even the newts are white,

Those holy Joes.
And the fish, the fish—
Christ! They are panes of ice,

A vice of knives,
A piranha
Religion, drinking

Its first communion out of my live toes.
The candle
Gulps and recovers its small altitude,

Its yellows hearten.
O love, how did you get here?
O embryo

Remembering, even in sleep,
Your crossed position.
The blood blooms clean

In you, ruby.
The pain
You wake to is not yours.

Love, love,
I have hung our cave with roses.
With soft rugs—

The last of Victoriana.
Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,

Let the mercuric
Atoms that cripple drip
Into the terrible well,

You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.

-- Sylvia Plath

Thursday, December 15, 2005


A pleat of light has been here twice
back to the day and the day back
a bearing refused at its source
the stalled mercury fused in its glare
with no conjecture to mark the limit
the motion is modified

convolutions of ancient scripts
half drawn half animal birth

the arch of the back

one surface
one depth
one changing shape

an apology for
crossing the pulse of offspring

Uncommon offerings commonly intuited
a wooden bowl with a gilded edge
five dark stone knives
a small clasped vessel for oil with a floating wick
flanked by two wax birds

space is a factor whose
mapping disturbs
our conversation
a prospect of careful planes
tended by argument and birdsong
then abandoned to palindrome

the flex of barrier
and immaculate reticence
relent in equal shares unseparated
by edge or rhythm’s orientation

amid the subtle claims of threnody
no other sense of praise
than wonder

mythic proxy inflected
the unanimous struggle of particulars
primed in situ
white for decay
red for the eye
blue beneath the snow

a cold wind noticed too late
now equitably disposed
something brought to completion
though the worm was in it
beyond the forms of Baal

Emptied markers burning in the ruts

deliberative motives
more in balance than real
fixtures of an arguing anxiety
more generous less fragile

neglected by speculation
plainest increase finds the barb
in the morose distortions of small forms
and the thin yellow words of the infatuation

it brings its own set of questions

like something brought to be abandoned
by the side of the road

Description is what has been taken away
the infinite lost in the simulacrum of displacement

a number not in arrangement but farther on
not in the distance but insistence

the hours gained in anonymity
the years lost word by word

contradicted by the myopia of its internal logic
uphill favors sediment

imago the gift imparted
the cross-eyed shuffle of expedience

too late the song too late the door flies open
too late the spoken mercies too late the fabric bone

Wandering ligatures accelerate expansion
to primary acquisition

nomadic recourse
absorbed in gerundive detail
reclaims the discretionary pursuit

the exactions of light
extolling the riot of genetic ambivalence

no ulterior duplicates
no delivered verges
in shallow equilibrium

only the instruments make rapid movements
adapting to internalized mechanisms
adjusted by accretion

and impossible replicas

regret or loss
become a gesture for that limit

schemes of evidence
offered in contradiction

As intimate as doubt
all that is personal in chance
distinguishes one to one from
the one from the other

reinterpreted in the dark
and shared only with number
the objects in the room
the articles on the desk

are an assent to a consequent perfection
that is abandoned in moving on
pursuing neither a conclusion nor
a new point of entry

what had become unacceptable
is now overburdened only partially remembered
timed to the word denied with nothing
else to take its place or make its order

sustained by mechanism and the simulation
of some capable version or familiar resource
a preemptive predecessor quietly virtual provides
something other than an option

-- Ray DiPalma

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Please Mr Please

In the corner of the bar there stands a jukebox
With the best of country music, old and new
You can hear your five selections for a quarter
And somebody else's songs when yours are through

I got good Kentucky whiskey on the counter
And my friends around to help me ease the pain
'Til some button-pushing cowboy plays that love song
And here I am just missing you again

Please, Mr., please, don't play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it's over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don't ever wanna hear that song again

If I had a dime for every time I held you
Though you're far away, you've been so close to me
I could swear I'd be the richest girl in Nashville
Maybe even in the state of Tennessee

But I guess I'd better get myself together
'Cause when you left, you didn't leave too much behind
Just a note that said "I'm sorry" by your picture
And a song that's weighing heavy on my mind

Please, Mr., please, don't play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it's over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don't ever wanna hear that song again

-- Olivia Newton-John





--- David Shrigley

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

To Various Persons Talked To All At Once

You have helped hold me together.
I'd like you to be still.
Stop talking or doing anything else for a minute.
No. Please. For three minutes, maybe five minutes.
Tell me which walk to take over the hill.
Is there a bridge there? Will I want company?
Tell me about the old people who built the bridge.
What is "the Japanese economy"?
Where did you hide the doctor's bills?
How much I admire you!
Can you help me to take this off?
May I help you to take that off?
Are you finished with this item?
Who is the car salesman?
The canopy we had made for the dog.
I need some endless embracing.
The ocean's not really very far.
Did you come west in this weather?
I've been sitting at home with my shoes off.
You're wearing a cross!
That bench, look! Under it are some puppies!
Could I have just one little shot of Scotch?
I suppose I wanted to impress you.
It's snowing.
The Revlon Man has come from across the sea.
This racket is annoying.
We didn't want the baby to come here because of the hawk.
What are you reading?
In what style would you like the humidity to explain?
I care, but not much. You can smoke a cigar.
Genuineness isn't a word I'd ever use.
Say, what a short skirt! Do you have a camera?
The moon is a shellfish.
I can't talk to most people. They eat me alive.
Who are you, anyway?
I want to look at you all day long, because you are mine.
Might you crave a little visit to the Pizza Hut?
Thank you for telling me your sign.
I'm filled with joy by this sun!
The turtle is advancing but the lobster stays behind. Silence has won the game!
Well, just damn you and the thermometer!
I don't want to ask the doctor.
I didn't know what you meant when you said that to me.
It's getting cold, but I am feeling awfully lazy.
If you want to we can go over there
Where there's a little more light.

-- Kenneth Koch

Monday, December 12, 2005

until words turn to moss.

This was all roses, here, where an overblown house crowns
the hill, the whole field, roses, all the way to the end;
when the rosarian died, the partition of roses
began. We’ve come out of nowhere, literally,
nowhere, autumnal towns marked for destruction
by a phantom hand; houses held underwater, every bed
a sunken tub, tools drowned between rows, every keyhole
caulked; clouds hallucinating girls asleep on a wedge
of wedding cake; the white rose, among the greatest of liars
beginning to show the debilitating effects of fame,
the ever-popular blaze placates a vase; the bad sons
of thunder beating back a strand of light; someone
who knows nothing apart from the rain
standing on a chair in muddy legs; the roses
blown into their cumulonimbuses,
and someone whose glove is recovered, a face
that doesn’t come clear, a face drawn under an umbrella,
beautiful, charcoal, beautiful, like words
that never get old, the sons of thunder beating

-- C.D. Wright

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Reality and Its Antecedents: Fifty Statements on Life and Art

1. Nature is weak in narrative.
2. Indeterminacy has been overdetermined.
3. Nothing is worse than a reasonable poem.
4. Surrealism is a form of the metaphysical.
5. The metaphysical is a form of empty space.
6. Empty space is the source of all creation.
7. In postmodern culture, irony is taken on faith.
8. Style is feeling in search of a sentence.
9. The future is unlived. But it can be experienced.
10. The sign of a good writer is how variously he expresses his one idea.
11. "It is only the point of view that creates the object" (Saussure).
12. Nothing is less erotic than a paragraph.
13. The future has a long history.
14. The present is always a little behind the times.
15. To read the world is also to write it.
16. The soul is nothing but knows something.
17. The tenets of postmodern cosmology are:
a. Since nothing has unity including the object, only the broken is real.
b. The broken (the fragmentary, the flawed, and the half-made) is therefore ideal.
18. Lyric poetry rescues pain from the jaws of pleasure.
19. "Beauty-impurities in the rock" (Lorine Niedecker).
20. "The poet takes too many messages." (Jack Spicer).
21. A poem creates pleasure through the impossibility of completely grasping it.
22. The folk poet is "one-among-the-people," therefore socially at ease.
23. The postmodern poet is "one-among-strangers," therefore restless.
24. Each poem requires a new language.
25. Imagism is objectification in a moment of feeling.
26. Objectivism is imagism in a moment of syntax.
27. Of the senses, touch is most distant.
28. Of the literary genres, poetry and plays are the most ceremonial. This explains their
long association.
29. Poetry values the unknown, the real, the potential, and the silent — everything, that is,
which has no value.
30. Poetry always begins with a sounding.
31. Poetry is closer to the rune and spell than it is to conversation.
32. Lyricism is slowness, as in the drawing of a curved line. This is why nature, which has
no straight lines (Emerson), often verges on the sublime.
33. Artifice is also required of the authentic.
34. "Man is a curious being whose center of gravity is not in himself" (Francis Ponge).
35. "The eye has knowledge the mind cannot share" (Hayden Carruth).
36. Poetry is desire having words with itself.
37. The unstitching of a line (Yeats) is more important than its stitching.
38. Life is closer to art than it is to aesthetics.
39. Nothingness is only a concept — the world is filled.
40. The symbol for infinity should be on the keyboard.
41. The most impressive thing about a parade is the leisure you have to watch it.
42. The tragic hero is a bad reader.
43. Irony is a form of sincerity.
44. Music is silence making itself complex.
45. "All deep things are song" (Thomas Carlyle).
46. The closer it is to absurdity (without passing into it), the better a work of art.
47. Without thought, there can be no feeling.
48. Poetry might as well be profound.
49. The serenity of objects disguises their anxiety (cf. de Chirico).
50. "If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition would have left him alone" (Thomas Hardy).

-- Paul Hoover

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Georgia O'Keefe's Red Poppy

Loneliness was always a retrieved joke with her.
When I objected to her violence she quoted Dante.
It's disastrous, it's absolutely disastrous.

Let's go mad and pale this tawny afternoon
like some Te Deum to autumn let's spirit away
and be late, turning back

-- Jeff Wietor

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Mr Zeuch and his wife Mustafabelle
The Quinzies and the Pargs
Lord and Lady Foote-Smythe
The Baallgs and their daughters
Margareet and Gritae Baallg-Syffert
The Rhuele twins Hoost and Byle
And their cousins Leff and Lugre Wettewin
The Right Reverend Elvira Klaww and her niece
Benedicta Fustus-Jowle and nephew Clarus Minor
The Hunderts and Pilchrings
The Crashelberies and their maid Vinta
The Hyes and the current ambassador
To The Sijille Isles Protectorate Hank Loomish
The Marquesa Niftt with her dog Yel
The Mittagessens from Greensburgh
And their friends Thalassa and Yufik Tythe
Piol Dewsquil the former heavyweight champion
The Rabbi Uen Vy-Vdeuin and his son Noakes
Herr Doktor Brueler Hencken und Frau Brueler
Ytre Ahl the architecht of Podz
The Notheliers and the Ghuushtzies Khaa and Lill
Mr and Mrs Hasch-Heft and their chauffeur Gristikh
Pongo the swordswallower
The erstwhile Jesuit Winterts Rainwind and his now wife
Fifi Woden the ballerina

-- Ray DiPalma

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Three Poems

A Bucket of Pink Sand

A madrigal of knifings,
as paths explained:
a red bandanna to frighten the crows
and put a rumor among the stones
with lengthy applause on summer days

This occurs frequently — all umbrella, gun, and fountain pen:
then after lunch a recitation of
several questions to accompany
the printed version
The Neva, Vade Mecum of Science
Its author hums a syllogism —
Next stop: No Stop, Nevada (Pop. Unkn.)
a Podunk of samovars and drowsy intimacies
where you find the light too busy, for instance,
too secretly colossal, foreign stance

Gynt, GENT.
Here’s some new information.
Will you take delivery?


Dragged naked and wet from the icey river
then hauled away in a crouch
you’ve been lamped for a time-honored pilgrim
still falling backwards

Like a three hour matinee
up and down the scales
just wait until he finds the notes
with all his fingers — you just wait until
the man gets there — still bright and still
no warning — knowing
as he does what your money’s worth —

I look at you and I see anyone else


Ragged chanters on the sagging gat yodel
the melodies mysterious —
reluctant anxieties, calm ironies and nimble pieties
delivered in song after song

Once all big tippers and nice to the help
one hundred percent legitimate
Now it’s physical torture mental torture and
vig out the ass — real aggravation

But I’ve got another deal for you. . .
Because you never know when
you’re going to need something extra

Shelf Talker, Smiling Stranger

I don’t remember how it began:
The exemplary widow and the weak-minded son,
A blue comet, a mix of eras,
All episodes of the struggle,
Intent on the marble trail running
Through the haunted quarry.

Trying to overcome the answer to a question,
The result of a disagreement over an apology,
The bloom of pressure and obligation —
I think there’s I think there’s
Is what is thought. Evidence that a stone fell from the wall.

-- Ray DiPalma

Monday, December 05, 2005

Tiny Umbrellas

she twisted her ring finger & a jar opened & i found myself at a peruvian bazaar
selling rum drinks w/a twig in my hand, my name tag read "crayola" but when i
spoke it out loud it sounded something like "you have lived your years terrified

of beautiful ponies owned by dentists & know little of your second self." books
are like that, & even if you never actually owned a horse wouldn't it look at you
once & understand? stranded here in this cleared cloister of a world one thought

keeps me court & kin: i want to wake up & run my fingers through a cashmere
spock because there's only three ways to see. i catch myself speaking when no
one's around, i'm speaking in a language of hammers ringing like a set of inner

ear drums & examine the faces buried in the facets between the folds - i twist my
finger - back from the bottom i see a salesman at the top holding a pocket watch
& a bucket of birds. somewhere high in the andes they're stockpiling their stash

of those tiny umbrellas made from paper but w/out a map i'm just another tattoo
searching for a thigh to call home. yesterday my biggest concern was whether i
should make a doily out of our scraps of chicken wire or bend them into a shade

hat for my sunday walking & now here i am the judge in a high-stakes cook-off
of fried llama w/out the words needed to get me back to the boat. my ears! i'm
moulting! i wasn't built for such a sandpaper sun! if i took three steps back i'd

be two steps closer to understanding crayola after all, i'd be eating an apple next
to a bookcase waiting for a dentist to walk right through the wall, my last chance
at making the mountains fading into this reckoning over where it all went wrong.

-- Jeffrey Little

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sonnet XV

In Joe Brainard's collage its white arrow
he is not in it, the hungry dead doctor.
Or Marilyn Monroe, her white teeth white--
I am truly horribly upset because Marilyn
and ate King Korn popcorn," he wrote in his
of glass in Joe Brainard's collage
Doctor, but they say "I LOVE YOU"
and the sonnet is not dead.
takes the eyes away from the gray words,
Diary. The black heart beside the fifteen pieces
Monroe died, so I went to a matinee B-movie
washed by Joe's throbbing hands. "Today
What is in it is sixteen ripped pictures
does not point to William Carlos Williams.

-- Ted Berrigan

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Trick

I made love with a man—hugely muscled, lean—the body
I always wished for myself. He kept pulling my arms
up over my head, pinning them there, pressing me down

with his entire weight, grinding into me roughly,
but then asked, begged, in a whisper of such sweetness,
Please kiss me. Earlier that evening, he told me

he'd watched a program about lions, admired
how they took their prey—menacing the herds at the water hole
before choosing the misfit, the broken one.

What surprised him was the wildebeests' calm
after the calf had been downed, how they returned to their grazing
with a dumb switching of tails. Nearby the lions looked up

from their meal, eyed the hopping storks and vultures,
before burying their faces, again, in the bloody ribs.
As a teenager, I wished to be consumed,

to be pressed into oblivion by a big forceful man.
It never happened. Instead I denied myself nourishment—
each un-filled plate staring back satisfied me, deprivation

reduced to a kind of bliss I could lie down in
where I remained unmoved, untouched.
Early on I was taught that the body was a cage,

that illness was a battle fought with chaos,
the viruses themselves unnatural; that sex lived
in some pastel chamber that gave way to infants,

first cousins, the handing down of names.
No one ever mentioned being taken in the dark,
or wanting to be broken open, pushed beyond words,

tongue thickening in another human mouth,
or how a person could be humiliated and like it.
To my surprise, I found myself struggling under this man,

pushing me chest up against his chest, arms straining
against the bed, until some younger, hungrier
version of myself lay back on top of me and took it—

the heaving back, the beard, the teeth at the throat.

-- Mark Wunderlich

The Last Dinner Party

1 Penelope's Lament

Back in the sidereal day, remember how we admired
the elaborately-dressed caryatids and,
after cocktails, listened to some colporteur?
That was delicious, wasn't it? Well, Mamma's tired

of waiting, waiting. I have a tight new weave,
I swallowed all the nepenthe in the house —
my little incunabulum.
I want moiety.

There is too much sadness in the sea,
which is as slippery as a vowel.
For the nonce, I would like to bury one, the O —
invocation and the cruel beginning of your name . . .

2 The Last Dinner Party

The foretaste of duck squats in exalted butter.
A word, mélange, slides off someone's fork.
Of course, cork floats in the Merlot, lovelorn,
the salver drools, and there's talk
of turning the clocks back,
of O Maria, virgo davitica, anonymous, seedy.

For dessert, let us play Anagrams
with the names of our dead friends!
Dan Glen becomes England;
Tom Anderson becomes, oh —
a demon snort. What fun, and so on. Tintoretto
should have painted us — circumspect, verily celestial.

3 Après la Première

That was a lot of seat. Though I see
how your crit. fits into a Polonius sandwich.
And another thing — her hair. Sketchy.
It's only natural to expose the Botox:
Unsex me here, she said. Lady. Not
on my wrist watch. (Perhaps her buskin
is couture — that might selvage the night.)

But I like the part when bustards
ran out from under her pannier. Is that legal?
Her private life is very pedicular.
Now the paparazzi are all abuzz: a velvet
has left the building, in an off-road lexicon.

4 High Handicap

The green is glazed, like my ex-faïence,
yet less meretricious. That chicken-wing finish
will get you nowhere, however —
skin's game. Check out the filiopietistics:

because of all the yipping doglegs,
I waggle and skirl, a big girl. Meanwhile,
a swing plane mows the élan vital
down to its white balls,

which are held by my plenipotentiary
deputy. He hands me an iron
and his laundry before we allemande blindly
onto the second. The eyes open to a cry of police.

5 Pot Luck

Our dialectic is in trouble,
so out of respect we grab the writhers
by the hilt. You'll go blonde
if you keep that up! Allegedly, someone's corsage
has fallen into the dip,
dermabrasion is the new black,
and a doxology with short legs is asphyxiating.

Indeed. Narcissus lies by the pool, uncoiling
his pantyhose. (I'd be happy to fluff him
before the eulogy.) Now the swimmers lip-synch
late Gloria Gaynor from glory holes,
their shoes fin de siècle, insensible . . .

6 Blind Date

A bit scurfy and fubsy, perhaps —
but in a nice way. He took my coat;
his edentate cat implicated me

with a look — the little criticaster. The sushi
he served was off-the-hook,
but I couldn't tell if he was nictitating

or had soy sauce in his eye. All the talk
was of his tontine, how to peculate in the market;
his langlauf years. Life hung by what he limned.

On the divan, I tried to ignore
his blatant stridulation. Whoa, nelly. Feigning a fit
of polydipsia, I politely absquatulated.

7 Falling Asleep Over "Falling Asleep Over the Aeneid"

Two words: gagged Italians. The page,
its broken-winded rage
a fine oneiromancy; the fire
hella yellow — Aeneas, fresh from the pyre,
unsheathes his rod
for a little lucubration. (Good God,
if one wants to flocculate on the files,
do so with concinnity, with miles
of tonal holiday flair.) The only chariots are rolls
of tulle et paper — hey, these poles
are made for dancing! Peep at the Trojan men,
reticulate, absolutely glabrous now. And then.

8 The Rape of Ganymede

As Rembrandt saw it (the boy's posterior
bare, fleshier than a man's; the black air,
Macedonia's smoke; the rosy Trojan
all in a tizzy, his rags hitched-up, urine
yellowing his left foot,
the jut of his white gut),
myth is a hoot. Look in the eagle's eyes:
he's slightly amused at the size
of the brat's fat hands, the fact of his death-
grip on a pair of dangling cherries, both
of which are overripe — the eagle knows
the weight of thugs, of thunderbolts, of Eros.

-- Randall Mann

Friday, December 02, 2005

To Come True a Thing Must Come Second

Once was a story of following following.

Return is rarely the reverse I value or so I
led you like a zero out the zoo,
toured it twice at once from your regard,
and came to understand.

Roughing it, a captive is another whom
a captive asks, which one of us stays wilder.

We watch them polar in the Bronx
among the shots of me looked at in the eyes—
the check of one tactic—drowsing in the rear
but aware—against another—pacing the periphery.

-- Brian Blanchfield

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

-- Wallace Stevens

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Two pieces


An old woman is being led through the parking lot by two girls. They hold her hands and speak in energetic, explanatory bursts while she cranks her head this way and that as if expecting something which has yet to appear.

As if the crystalline clarity of this ocean pool, cradled in two lava arms, meant something which we had been waiting to hear, something indistinguishable from meaning itself, and unchanging, so that, finally, it’s we who turn to go.



As if a single scream
gave birth

to whole families
of traits

such as “flavor,” “color,”

and this tendency to cling.


Dry, white frazzle
in a blue vase —

beautiful —

a frozen swarm
of incommensurate wishes.


Slow, blue, stiff
are forms

of crowd behavior,

mass hysteria.

Come close.

The crowd is made of
little gods

and there is still
no heaven

-- Rae Armantrout

Tuesday, November 29, 2005



Listen! – the earth roar, every mile off in the distance. Then with a piece of fat from a little bag he made a looking glass; with great care he contemplated the effect. "I shall kill it."

Children of the Keeper, of the Leader, of the One-eyed, the Terrible, the way is before us, no trickery! The light in you and eat shall argue, it was made – and he pointed to the north. Galloping clouds to a farther mountain, fired the mist, and followed him into the lightning.

"This noise is king! This noise is king!" thundered through the worship, the elders clapped their hands and ran away. The country grew in wreaths, diaphanous, burning vegetation, the sun odorous. Into square blocks are dome-shaped and built; men can walk six feet wide, surrounded at a distance by a circle of smaller stars.

It is good, we are weary, let us rest. Stepping into the milk, skinned and jointed. Turn and turn about, three of us flung ourselves, the sweet weary, and slept down.

As we were overtaken a horseshoe shaped sunset, a smooth river ends there. No twilight, and the shadows shoot arrows. Mine has been a life, and we shall fall by the way. A hut is ready outside the town, "Unlimited," in a great grass city. Each of us was ready when we woke it. The spectacle standing behind us.

Stood still in silence, in his right hand enormous silence. A girl came, bearing a red jar, boiling with "our lives depend on it." Still stood for a minute, projected an inch, and began to speak: "Listen, stars and storm and unborn words!" Hearts died away in a faint wail, including our own. "I smell it, I’m old on the ground, footsteps, footsteps –," she pointed to the mountains – "Not here, not stones, not gleam, strip off the features –" and was carried back into the hut.

The great space, instantly ourselves, was empty. Windowless indeed, with the outer air driven through the roof. Running down the length of the place as my legs would carry me, I am free to own another five minutes. Enter it again, but he held me tight, I could not, stopped, became focused. "What is that thing? And what are those things?" pointing to the white company.

Very slowly one began to shake in the whole world. When our eyes grew used to it we followed.


As far as the eye down the vapory horizon, line, square, triangle of lurid gold. Measureless cranes against a flying sky. And then the air quivered, turned round, turned over, and got him by the throat. The end fell forward and rolled for a minute. Afterwards, we managed ablutions.

I suppose I slept, yellowish and frizzed up; an old man hung loosely, eyes of paper and a look of monotonous snow. "Stranger" he said, "and by the way they teach their children foot language here. Come up out of the sea." I reached the motion of a drained lake. I saw no signs destined to be gratified.

We discovered the mouth was the contents, hollowed out by a steaming hand. We squatted, the skins ate with satisfaction, orders for destruction were set before us. "Pardon me" I interrupted, "How long is the fifth day of absence?" Watching for our appearance, they saw us come out smoking. Hung upon the wall all shapes were clarified. From a stem was passed the wood of constant attention, burning low. A palm tree showed silence contemplating the shadows.

He rose. There was no air, no furniture, running stone length. Get away, please hold me, I can’t. This never happened, as we stood there literally. The other woman took a walk, shaped like a big spear. As time went on we descended from these men.

They had come forth in a giant cloak, muffled voices. Those who waited could tell no tales, but had power over all things. The land was "households," resembling this stretch of swamp country.

I have been inclined one or twice on the time left. Something happened when I shut my eyes: chosen, beautiful, strong arm, happy face. Ask me what I saw. I love to wash your feet with bitter memories.


They fell upon the white wrappings, hand on the rock. Night by night, soft or stiff, tossing in the slab-form of solemn sleep. Give strength to wander across blotted identity, burst in the past and melt echoing up the cliffs. He stood staring; partial stupefaction. "Cover it up and take me away."

Going to the shelf she bent down and loosed the man, her mouth tied up with a bladder kissed the head and chest. Fumes prevented us from seeing. The hour burst noiselessly, witness.

After some months, boyhood hardened, better than the old one. No ordinary marriage could give such wonderful shame and grief. In the face we had impotence, in the heart insolence; experience is possible. Leaving our hands down, we awaited earthly habitation.

Some spare boots, a rifle each, the appointed minutes. "We are ready," I answered, "though for my part I have no memory." A man in a nightshirt pointed out of the cave to a central path. Light did not consume our bodies.

A sheet of water appeared to descend, a mountain wall, and evident ruins. Remote a little more, we reached high through the sinking ground, filed across. Some idea of sight met our view, shrines and palaces and party walls. We came to a pile of fading light. I think I may as well as have been a tangled thing, pressed enormous enclosing another of a small size. There used to be a spot here; it has passed. While we were eating the moon – cold meat – thickness began to flood the place – I brought you, I can see it, I shuddered.

I brought you your eating; when done we will go out. The brooding days ran from our whispers, imperfections in all their majesty! Upon each other we poured forth the tale, a little untamed solitude.

There remains a basin in the outer court, ready to start. This man bowed humbly till we grew old. "Well, let him come, he will bear this." I slung a spare skin on my back till he had vanished. Quaking, we sprang from ledge to ledge. Angles gave the appearance of blown bodily movement. There was a humming sound beneath us, like a living thing. On our stomachs, grain of the rock, against the wind, we saw the other side. "That’s it!" I groaned, crept, a wilderness of gathering fear. Clasping, I met my own and hauled.


The white day streamed across the plain. Heavy with blood, we rose and ate inward. Years stamped out the murmuring land, sting passed, story passes with it. I shall forget them; I forget them and you. Across the sea – another overshadowed path – a gathering song:

When he was thrown in with men: their history.

An attempt has been made, Chief of incidents.

Something ignited the grass, up to their heads weeping.

His name does not matter.

His name does not matter: he went to bed.

We swept our heads through the curtain, a cutting wind.

Quick, this space wheels, they can never bear this cold.

In the shelter they vanished; you told them nothing.

You told them their spoor was obliterated.

What is to be done?

Look at this hand – it dropped slowly to the earth.

Quiver in their sound, but where are they now.

We saw a woman walking toward us, walked like a woman.

"How is your name and what are your people?"

"My name is ‘fall by the way,’ but I ran faster."

"My name is ‘stood still and watched,’" and he came forward.

Now I will tell you something more.

Now I will tell you lost in the clouds.

When we have stamped the earth flat I have spoken.

Grow fat in my shadow, the liar has spoken!

-- Aaron Shurin

Monday, November 28, 2005

Blue By Heart Bombshell

The word has not been chosen very happily.
These are the vowels of mysterious meaning.
These are the consonants embedded in the thigh of a deity.
You do not know the name of the deity you most want to know
You only know the name others have heard the name to be
You repeat the name you have heard but you do not know.

You can never tell when you sit very still if you will end
up believing in yourself or love someone else with intensity
or forget to tell what you know about the question you never ask.

Your tell it like it is friends see the same full moon
differently they tear at their hair, cry real tears, it's just
like old times when it took sleep or the threat of sleep to wake you

I've always felt honored to have had a meeting with him
we told tales out of school; we discussed you for hours;
your every mood and gesture intrigued us: why is it we disliked
you for learning to stand on your own two feet; you were
so good at everything; gave discounts on relationships and
always, always asked the crucial question: where are you from.

What is there which is neither the one nor the other?

-- Jeff Wietor

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Breaking the Alliance of Karma

What makes you think I'm just not another name on your list.
What makes you think I'm lying, planning a surprise, hiding.

Because an audience craves the on-stage life.
One is sensitive to higher influences.

-- Jeff Wietor

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dealing with Subtle Thoughts

You need to take some precautionary measures.
You mean we. No I mean you. We will not evolve.

I've never stopped creating.
This is what the mantra means.
You expect the next thought to travel in time.
That is not what the mantra means.

You can "get" God's attention with a hat.
You can "get" God's attention wearing a hat.

Mrs. Soames: Who is it, Julia?
Mrs. Gibbs:
Without raising her eyes.
My daughter-in-law, Emily Webb.

There is no other way.
He claims understanding.
He claims to understand the stars.
He wears a hat during the ceremony.
What dishes are served for Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve dinner is meatless but festive.

The twelve foods are:

1) Mushroom soup with zaprashka; this is often replaced with Sauerkraut soup
2) Lenten bread ("pagach")
3) Grated garlic
4) Bowl of honey
5) Baked cod
6) Fresh Apricots, Oranges, Figs and Dates
7) Nuts
8) Kidney beans (slow cooked all day) seasoned with shredded potatoes, lots of garlic, salt and pepper to taste
9) Peas
10) Parsley Potatoes (boiled new potatoes with chopped parsley and margarine)
11) Bobal'ki (small biscuits combined with sauerkraut or poppyseed with honey)
12) Red Wine

He currently works as a designer.
He does freelance design work.
His goal is to continue to evolve as a designer.
His goal is to have fun with his work.
His goal is to work which is either his passion or is also his passion.

What is the sound of the fast-moving earth.
Where must you stand to hear it.
Are you God's favorite?
Wear a hat.

to locate a specific person ::
know the form of a person then find a name
are you God's passion?
perhaps you feel you are God's favorite.
are you the apple of God's eye?
perhaps when you wear a hat you have the feeling of having found something.
"God forbid"

Emily: Papa, you're terrible. One minute you tell me to stand up straight and the next minute you call me names. I just don't listen to you.

-- Jeff Wietor

Friday, November 25, 2005

Waiting Names

Jasper Johns Janis Joplin Scott Joplin Scott Wilson Wilson Pickett
inexpressible rain today call the landlord about the scarecrow
Tony Curtis Dennis Day William Powell Dennis the Menace Gaby Hayes
moon light the invisible wonder of where hook line and sinker come from

Humphrey Bogart Steve McQueen Allen Funt Georgie Jessell Toulouse Lautrec
who will star in the cause of the cause of the inexcusable beginning
Siva Tupac Shakur Richard Gere Dick Powell Zane Grey
I call a series that is ordered by an internal relation a series of forms.

the famous names I do not know the famous bodies I do not meet.
the infamous world of the infinite; the causeless emotions you call theirs.
whole new arrangements of the heart my personal color favorite ::
in the middle of the night a scarecrow waiting in the wings

-- Jeff Wietor

Thursday, November 24, 2005

What Am I Thankful For

Today I am hungry.
Today I am hungry to be loved.
To be loved you are hungry too.
Loving you are hungry to be lovingly loved.
Loving you are hungry too to be loved.
Many of you are hungry and not necessarily in want.
The many are thankful for being full and loved.
I am thankful for being empty and unloved.
I am today not so much hungry as wanting.
Wanting I am lacking nothing.
Today many people everywhere are thankful.
What the gray clouds want and need I do not know.
Being loved and thankful are thankless activities.
I am thankful for the book being red and the cat.
I am hungry today like a ghost hungers for substance.
I have memory of once being a hungry ghost but now I am full.
I am no longer hypnotized: now I am toothy, juicy and succulent.
I know what I want and what I want to do.
I am wanting to go out so I go out. I count my blessings:
I have Seventy-five dollars until December first.
I can buy anything I want as long as it does not cost
Seventy-six dollars. I decide since I am hungry and
want to be hungry like the other millions of
thankful people to go to Whole Foods and
buy groceries: Thanksgiving Day food:

June 20, 1676

"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ."

I take my
digital camera and take pictures of
the sky, of
City Hall,
the gray clouds,
street signs,
and my cat,

I catch the bus to California and Van Ness
and walk up the hill to Whole Foods. There are many
people buying food. It is only 8:15 a.m. but there
are many many many people buying food. Wine is
stacked everywhere filling every empty corner and
available aisle space. Hundreds and hundreds of
boxed pumpkin pies are stacked next to . . . well
you get the idea: food and drink are the major
must have hungry-for gotta-have I'm-starved-for items.
As I pass the Odwalla cooler, I find I run into
an invisible wall of "hypnotic-remembered-emotion" ---
an invisible door to an "obsessive emotional" corridor opens.
I've entered a nether world where wish-fullment
meets pecans and brussel sprouts and candied yams --
And, like out of some 1950s sc-fi/noir grade B movie:
A woman next to me makes an "I'm lonely" gesture: she
holds (too tenderly, it seems to me) a container of
pre-made cornbread stuffing (about $20 a pound)
and while I'm standing next to her considering
the delights of tapioca pudding (too wishfully)
she smiles, smiles a hungry smile. I sense she's about to launch
into a conversation about "the holidays" and I turn my
interest to the food now being delivered to the
steam-tables. Warm food in glass cases.

For the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee; calling out to one another from the parapets, and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball -- better-natured missile far than many a wordy jest -- laughing heartily if it went right and not less heartily if it went wrong. The poulterers' shops were still half open, and the fruiterers' were radiant in their glory. There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chesnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. There were ruddy, brown-faced, broad-girthed Spanish Onions, shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars, and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by, and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. There were pears and apples, clustered high in blooming pyramids; there were bunches of grapes, made, in the shopkeepers' benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks, that people's mouths might water gratis as they passed; there were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance, ancient walks among the woods, and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through withered leaves; there were Norfolk Biffins, squab and swarthy, setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons, and, in the great compactness of their juicy persons, urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner. The very gold and silver fish, set forth among these choice fruits in a bowl, though members of a dull and stagnant-blooded race, appeared to know that there was something going on; and, to a fish, went gasping round and round their little world in slow and passionless excitement.

The Grocers'! oh the Grocers'!

A dream come true. De-boned turkey: $10.99 a pound.
bubbling gravies, succulent pies, buttered potatoes
all for the having. all for the buying. all for the eating.
I picture myself sitting down to dinner with Thomas Wolfe and Dylan Thomas.
Look Homeward, Angel!! it's A Child's Thanksgiving in Wisconsin!!
every year everybody in the U.S.A. gets to be seven years old again.
pass the warm bread! slather me with golden butter! more stuffing please!
I fight the memorable conscious rapture as well as the
unconscious cloying forgetfulness ---
both interwoven into emotional memories of nearly five dozen
Thanksgiving-Past situations and wonder to myself: What ARE you doing
here? I just want some food that "feels like Thanksgiving" --
I decide I really don't want to spend 7 dollars for
cranberry relish or 6 dollars for a container of turkey gravy.
I decide I like being hungry and remember I promised myself
I'd work on the Jim Sorcic memories this weekend.
In the back of my mind I picture myself opening and closing
memory drawers, containers of bits and pieces of this and that.
Looking for Jim Sorcic, looking for objects with names,
events with relational combinations, for sparks and flickers
of what once was, the color of things, the texture of moments.
So while part of my mind is set to the task of locating
a few hundred memories of Jim Sorcic, Milwaukee, 1969, scraps of 1970,
San Francisco in 1974, what did he wear, who did he live with why is he
important, where did he live, his poems, his big-breasted wife,
his daughter, our favorite drugs of choice, ours days together
working on an "Underground Newspaper", our "speed kills" split;
his split with Milwaukee, joining up with me in San Francisco,
a series of joinings and splits; re-joinings, re-combinings:
Only facts can express a sense, a set of names cannot:
dancing, midnight sex in black leather and tickling hair, etc
and all the rest of it not remembered but felt in its unfeelingness
in its remembered unfeltness, its nastiness, its purgatorial misery:
the problem arises, creative in its lusty taunt and tease:
how are you going to put this all together. And why:
redemption? purgation? put to rest? Thanksgiving?

I buy a pound of scalloped Gold Yukon potatoes;
take some pictures on the way back home
of the sky and streets of San Francisco.

-- Jeff Wietor


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