Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I can take the time and figure out what I’m doing while I do it. I can take the time and figure out what I’m doing, a not-look can pass and pass, the Stare is a dance up a stairway nowhere letting up. The “not there” disclosed by the carpentry rubs off on the viewer. Other delights of the week included Moondog’s Sax Pax For A Sax,” pecan pie the color and texture of tar, a letter from Mona with a page in Spanish, and the last chanterelle hunt of the season. The things we are familiar with and the things with which we are familiar with them familiar us. Freely they’re palmed from tree to tree, internetting a veil of perchless similes. I heard it was snowing in the hills.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Yesterday wasting in the library I looked at L. Sprague DeCamp’s book on Atlantis, and saw an illustrations of elephant-like creatures from a Mayan carving, with frontal nostrils and feathered eyes—the author supposed they were “simply” stylized macaws. “In the animistic city we saw the street was our hallway and in the country the house the mind but this still village is an embarrassing relative.” In the final analysis of the final analysis still you finally can’t leave the theater. Can you stare down a train? The stare enacts what it can’t have, giving you the slip, amazing crook coherent lines are sifting it all, untying a household, nearing a border, a little dazed, dangling low over the water—what it can’t have, a rattle a pupa, green amulet’s a stonefly: the stare. Give it a few years to sink in. The old apple tree’s secret.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The third issue of Peaches and Bats will be out in a couple of weeks. This is the cover, which I finished printing today. The image on the cover is by Brandon Shimoda. The magazine will include new work by David Abel, Jennifer Bartlett, Joseph Bradshaw, Stephen Collis, Elaine Equi, Ming Holden, Rich Jensen, Stacey Levine, Lauren Likely, Will Owen, Kaia Sand, Luvsandorjin Ulziitugs (translated from Mongolian by Simon Wickham-Smith), What We Are Learning, and Deborah Woodard. It will be 72 pages. It will cost 5 dollars. I'm very excited about it.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I've just begun exploring this. It's quite amazing. I always imagined Zukofsky reading in a sort of crisp puckish elenctic staccato, but in fact his reading style brings out the flowing rhythms and (subtly) passionate, romantic qualities in his work—he savors each vowel in a way that reminds me of Yeats or Pound's reading styles, though without any of their vatic bombast. The readings of his Catullus translations clear them up a lot for me, so that they suddenly seem much more readable, a slow trickle of astonishing phrases, which before I had read as a few funny lines and surprising images and dirty bits scattered amid an impossible tangle of latinate "verbage" (as Sarah Palin would say). The secret then is to slow down.
Likewise, A-22— which I've always loved the sights and sounds of but never taken much from in the way of "intellection"—is made instantly lucid by LZ's phrasing in a half-hour excerpt, which I was just listening to while washing dishes. I didn't realize, or had forgotten, how much it is an old man's wisdom-book, full of bright anecdotes and terse aphorisms (and pressed flowers), like Lao Tzu or Hesiod, or some of Bunting's long poems, a friendly ramble and not (as it sometimes seems on the page) a mere willful volley of radioactive syllables. Dense and pithy and polysyntactic as A-22 is, Zukofsky somehow managed, reading it aloud, to render it at every point both speech and music—and the music is more flowing, less percussive than I expected.
There's a lot to listen to here, and I hope to spend a lot of time with it soon. Thank you Pennsound!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
It is an opera in changed leaves. Between the sheets, grass from Vermont or bark from the Urals undulated and gleamed. The stare enacts what it can’t have. “How good it is for me, and burdensome, when the moment approaches, and suddenly the stretching of an arch sounds in my mutterings.” “Gold loops across the sluiced cocklackia.” Sounds burlesque, but in the dream it was all eerie and suspenseful and lovely. "It casts glances, it flashes, radiates, gleams."
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Open up your opera. “How does one kiss on the edge of a park, near a carrefour, in the middle of life, after a misunderstanding, watched by a South American General and fortified by several thousand novels?” Merely open up your opera: aperture of song, flecked indigo, red, saffron, silt-grey, sandusky: a live raw unintention. That’ll do, sifted. I rode from 14th and Pettygrove to 11th and Stark carrying 2 sleeves of white #3 to-go boxes strapped under the shoulder straps of my backpack, which was slung by the chest clip over my left shoulder and cut off the circulation a bit, and I could only steer with the right hand. We speak as part of a massive system of shunts and ravels, oxidizing faster than we can learn how, in the sun and salt air, churning its rickety shadow against the great harbor wall—and so we must speak directly through whatever channels clear, sparing no distinction, making the botched equations disclose through their black grillwork a square stab of sky. I’m perfecting my nervous laugh.