Thursday, May 29, 2003

Dan Bouchard was the guy who turned me on to Rexroth, though I think he is swayed more by his political work.

Jim Behrle asks whether poems can be erotic. I've always thought of Rexroth as, in part, an erotic poet. From "Between Myself and Death":

It is wonderful to watch you,
A living woman in a room
Full of frantic, sterile people,
And think of your arching buttocks
Under your velvet evening dress,
And the beautiful fire spreading
From your sex, burning flesh and bone,
The unbelievably complex
Tissues of your brain all alive
Under your coiling, splendid hair.


I like to think of you naked.
I put your naked body
Between myself alone and death.

It goes on from there....I like the entire poem. Even if the word "buttocks" sounds silly to contemporary ears.

I'm only half serious about the Donne thing, but I'm enjoying the process nonetheless. It's pretty artificial, taking the title of a poem, the first letter of each line, and then staying close to the meter (but by no means too close, as even the casual reader can tell). There's no ideological basis other than those superficial arrangements. Just a way to get some writing done at times when I feel overwhelmed by work/life. But it's NOT meant to be parody (I LIKE Donne, and the lines I come up with are not always in reaction to the lines in the originals). As I write this I wonder Why the hell bother? Just gets the blood heated up. I know of a couple other examples of poets using poems other than their own as templates. For example, I believe Michael Palmer's Sun is exactly the same number of lines as The Wasteland, though I can't remember why. See, I remember the superficial here and not the.........

And there I go, I've placed my work in context with Michael Palmer. Now posterity will have to acknowledge me. Or not.

Must take the Fabulous Lucy to school and drag myself to work/drug myself to sleep.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Thanks Kasey for the info on how to link. I promise that soon.

The indents here are easy, just every second line in about four spaces.

The Expiration

Son, soon days expire into flamingo.
Whether permits or not, the seed grows high
Through exfoliation and chemical.
Ask the lawn which particulars you desire;
Will grows but god is a toothless man, frayed,
And lapses into a second form of vision.

Grass, fine blades, pink and blue prismatics,
Erase gloom here in the condo, the box sent us
Over holiday cheer by nephews and grand kids.
Ask the day to be both night and day and
Expect you’ve asked too much. Kill this double life,
Bend us into graves of expectation.


I'm learning more about ol' Donne out here than I ever did in school.

Did anyone else enjoy the hell out of Joe LeSueur's "Digressions On Some Poems by Frank O'Hara"? Even as a memoir it was a perfect antidote to Brad Gooch's forgettable "City Poet" bio. Somehow the memoir form, at least in certain cases, paints a fuller picture of the characters of a time than the biography, which is subject to the leaden detail that can remove the fun and spontaneity of a life. OK, that's an overwhelming generalization (I've read Ellman's Joyce bio twice and that is certainly detailed, though never weighed down by its facts), but maybe you know what I mean here.

Perhaps someone will do this for Bob Dylan someday. But considering his pinky-swearing musical mafia secrecy, it's unlikely before his death.

Amanda, you are too kind.

I hear that folks are heading to Gloucester this week for poetry and fun. Hopefully someone will send me an update on what went down.

Jim Dunn should be doing the John Donne series. More from that series, I think, tonight. For those who would like advance extra study credits, it will come from The Expiration, a devotional, an ecstasy. Coming later: The Flea. Yippee! As if the world was waiting for this.....

Sorry this comes so slowly, but I'm working around the Fabulous Lucy this week. Her poetry to be posted soon as well.

Last one is from a series I've been working on with the estimable (second definition "worthy of esteem) Jim Dunn, which we hope to publish as a chapbook. One from him, one from me, one from him.....and on unto infinity. Back to work. Though finding a moment at work to blog is pretty encouraging.

Tuesday Called

It’s the small bit left after
interruption, the tiniest glass
of possible
Beneath stenograph a moment
to wheel in bigger guns,
Blake with a hard-on
Newton frozen beside

The moment happened and gone
The auxiliary forces of seconds
The wristwatch dangling
On a glass table shaped by liquor

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Play on Bird

Ridiculous, innit?
-Joe Strummer

Moon half
engaged it creates
mistakes like
you or I.
Woodpecker works
late, overtime,
today’s meal
obliged and
judicious pays
rent. He promised
to write one
world a day.
But not an
ounce of it, not
a brush stroke
of anger.

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