Friday, May 22, 2015

Those Befoibled Guys Who Think - You Know - the Poetic Moment's a Pocket in Pool





New Destroyer! Have I ever mentioned I love Destroyer? It's true, I've posted lots here before but can't prove it because this shitty blog's wotherfucking search midget is broke and I, mumb dotherfucker I am, never tagged him for some obscure tagging rule I impose on myself. I did remember I'd seen that New Pornographers, of whom Dan Bejar is a member, are coming to 930 this summer, I like them (I love Neko Case), knew they are one of Planet's favorite bands, shazam, I have tickets for me and Earthgirl and Planet and Air and two extra, speak up.













AS GOOD AS ANYTHING

Alice Notley

I don't see the point of
remembering you; you're too boring,
Iowa City, Iowa,
much duller topologically than
Needles, California. I'm here
in the Rebel Motel, with
my grape-colored sweater
and maté tea, whose smoky odor's
bound up with first rooms and foods here
sex and snow. I
write about Needles
Herman and rocks, the story's called
“As Good as Anything,” and in it
daft Herman—true local
of Needles—says
“Rocks is as good as anything.”
I figured that out summer after
first love affair in New York:
hung out, home, at a rock shop
inspecting geodes and thunder eggs
Arsenic samples and petrified
dinosaur dung.
What can I say about Iowa City
everyone's an academic poetry
groupie, I haven't yet written a poem,
there's a bar where for 25 cents a
meal of boiled egg and tiny beer.
Really I don't know what kind of poetry—
what's the name of the make they
use here—or what kinds of
poetry live people write in the world.
Is there a right and wrong poetry, one might
still ask as I patronize,
retrospectively, the Iowa style,
characterized, as I remember,
by the assumption of desperation
boredom behind two-story houses
divorce, incomes, fields, pigs,
getting into pants, well not really
in poems, well no “well”s and all
in the costive mode
of men who—and the suicidal women—
want to be culpable for something,
settle for being mean to their wives
and writing dour stanzas. God this is bitchy
I modeled for art classes
that's rather interesting
the hypocrisy: nobody needs
to paint nude women
they just like to. So here I am
naked for art, which is a lot of
dumb fucks I already know,
same with poetry.
Written and judged by. Those befoibled guys
who think—you know—
the poetic moment's a pocket in
pool; where can I publish it; what can
I do to my second or third wife now.
Nothing happens in Iowa, so
can I myself change here? Yes
I can start to become contemptuous
is that good or bad, probably bad.
In New York I'd developed a philosophy
of sympathy and spiritual equality:
out the window, easily, upon
my first meeting real assholes.
“A rock's as good as anything” 
there are no rocks in Iowa
shit-black soil, a tree or two,
no mountain or tall edifice,
University drabs, peeping Toms, anti-war
riots, visiting poets
treated like royalty, especially if
they fuck the locals or have a record 
of fighting colorfully with their wives.
You can go to the movies once a week,
like in Needles. You can fuck
a visiting poet;  you can be paraded before
a visiting poet as fuckable but not fuck.
You can write your first poems
thinking you might as well
since the most stupid people in the universe
are writing their five hundredth here.
I'm doing that now. What
difference does it make.
I like my poems. They're
as good as rocks.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Of Right Of Wrong Of Up Of Down Of Who Of How Of When Of One Of Then Of If Of In Of Out Of Feel Of Friend Of It Of Now. or: Born Eighty-Nine Years Ago Today




SELF-PORTRAIT

He wants to be
a brutal old man,
an aggressive old man,
as dull, as brutal
as the emptiness around him,

He doesn’t want compromise,   
nor to be ever nice
to anyone. Just mean,
and final in his brutal,
his total, rejection of it all.

He tried the sweet,   
the gentle, the “oh,
let’s hold hands together”
and it was awful,
dull, brutally inconsequential.

Now he’ll stand on
his own dwindling legs.   
His arms, his skin,   
shrink daily. And
he loves, but hates equally.


Creeley interviewed. Six more poems below the fold

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Baby, Said the Girlfriend, Moments Before Lapsing into a Shamanic Seizure, I Need You to Conduct a Longitudinal Analysis to Understand the Correlation Between Despair and Genital Laughter




In latest Harper's, May 2015 issue, a What Went Wrong with Obama cover piece written by David Bromwich. I haven't read yet, mostly because I didn't discover it in a pile of mail until last night, but a bit now by Why? Harper's pulls bullet quotes off each page and highlights in margin, here they are in order:

  • It is one thing to know that you follow the path of least resistance. It is another to say so in public.
  • Obama believed that his power as an interpreter of the American Dream was on the order of Reagan's.
  • In his first years in office, Obama displayed the political equivalent of dead nerve endings.
  • Much of the disarray in foreign policy was inevitable once Obama resolved that his would be a "team of rivals."
  • Democrats have never properly realized that foreign entanglements set limits on what is possible at home.
  • A strain of quietism has been a recurrent and uneasy motif of Obama's presidency. But the trait is deeply rooted.
  • Obama has spared himself the illegality of torture by killing the suspects his predecessor would have kidnapped.
  • Obama has taken care not to disturb the American concensus that Iran is a uniquely dangerous country.
  • "The Obama Administration," Snowden said, "almost appears as though it is afraid of the intelligence community."
  • Nobody bent on mere manipulation would so often utter a wish for things he could not carry out.

Here is the final sentence: Much as one would like to admire a leader so good at showing that he means well, and so earnest in projecting the good intentions of his country as the equivalent of his own, it would be a false consolation to pretend that the years of the Obama presidency have not been a large lost chance.

At what? I will or won't read it in full, I'm sure bullet quotes highlight the gist. I post this not to rage but to count to ten, yet - I'm weird about this, I admit - the absence of the words "bankers" and "Wall Street" in the bullet quotes strikes me. Maybe I'm wrong - and here I now commit myself to reading the peace and will tell you if my assumptions are wrong - but while Bromwich is mad at Obama for being a foreign policy pussy, I'm angry Obama's working more steadfastly than he's been steadfast for anything towards the coming Corporate fleecing of my daughter's future.

UPDATE! There is one paragraph re: Triskelions, ends with this sentence: But it was Obama's choice to put Lawrence Summers at the head of his economic team. It's one paragraph out of many, and not nearly as critical of Obama on this issue as critical on most others, but I said I'd tell you if it was mentioned.

When we visited Ann Arbor for Air's senior Art show there were firemen in the tended "woods" of the campus slowly controlled-burning the "woods" underbrush. Air said they do it every early spring, to kill ticks, invasive plant species, maintain the illusion of woods for aesthetic purposes? we speculated. I confess, in regards to future Obama Legacy pieces from anyone of any stripe, this is a pre-burn post. It doesn't kill anything: new growth spurts. The invasive plant species tells me ignore this shit, I ignore what the invasive plant species tells me. As for aesthetic purposes, here is the regrown nail of my left big toe I bashed against a rock in creek at the bottom of a gulch in Shenandoah National Park late last June, I trimmed it for the first time since it fell off months ago last night!













This from Borzutzky's in the murmurs of the rotten corpse economy, click, yo:












Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rest in Peace: Franz Wright, Whose Poetry I Came to Too Late for the Obvious and Wrong Unreasons





ENTRY IN AN UNKNOWN HAND

And still nothing happens. I am not arrested.   
By some inexplicable oversight

nobody jeers when I walk down the street.

I have been allowed to go on living in this   
room. I am not asked to explain my presence   
anywhere.

What posthypnotic suggestions were made; and   
are any left unexecuted?

Why am I so distressed at the thought of taking   
certain jobs?

They are absolutely shameless at the bank——
You’d think my name meant nothing to them. Non-
chalantly they hand me the sum I’ve requested,

but I know them. It’s like this everywhere——

they think they are going to surprise me: I,   
who do nothing but wait.

Once I answered the phone, and the caller hung up——
very clever.

They think that they can scare me.   

I am always scared.

And how much courage it requires to get up in the   
morning and dress yourself. Nobody congratulates   
you!

At no point in the day may I fall to my knees and   
refuse to go on, it’s not done.

I go on

dodging cars that jump the curb to crush my hip,

accompanied by abrupt bursts of black-and-white
laughter and applause,

past a million unlighted windows, peered out at   
by the retired and their aged attack-dogs—

toward my place,

the one at the end of the counter,   

the scalpel on the napkin.

*
(Six more poems below the fold)