Monday, March 31, 2008

Yearbook (3.6)

“Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.” “Wherever I dip, again, I pull out a plum from under the tooth of time.”

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Correspondence

Philip Guston, Morton Feldman, Clark Coolidge—the same artist working in three different media? (Feldman looks like a Guston gangster on the back cover of the CD "Crippled Symmetry" I just got from the library.) Studying the muddled pavements and stapled tarpaper exteriors of Portland this year has taught me a lot about these three workers in obscurity.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yearbook (3.5)

I cleaved no ether of my faith that I should sail and should sail dearer and more than the whitest of sails, and yet I should chant with more blue—on the sea of song, that is, on which I might hear of the New World at all—than the America with the most athletic Democracy of poems, the most celebrated bygones of surfaces, and the rightest pulse of life. Adam invented the snake out of the subtlest steam of his breath before he learned how to speak, before he knew he’d woken up, seeing it rise into the sky, the first sin all he failed to say. Horoscope: “Praise a loved one’s creative endeavor even though you secretly don’t get it.” Michaela compared a kelp tube to “octopus prophylactic.” Beautiful plane views. Not excerptible. “In a way it was fun not to see Mount Fuji in foggy rain.”

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Yearbook (3.4)

Aspect, spectrum, specter, suspect, spectacle, spectator, inspect, respect, specked, “Ah spect.” Some fries, a bit of Oreo milkshake, a bit of champagne with sorbet, some chocolate pudding, sips of whiskey and beer, and half a potato-rice-bean burrito. Thighs and marbles, thighs and yellow silk, thighs and cattails, thighs and mirrors, thighs and commas, thighs and argyle, thighs and charcoal, thighs and kelp. Clean kitchen, call DOT, email Tony, laundry, shopping, invite folks Tuesday. Iodine, wasabi, matches. Marry vowel to consonant, marry the book I’m reading, marry light and emulsion, marriage the golden ampersand. It’s forsythia, cherry, apple, quince, daffodil, star magnolia, camellia, osoberry, red-flowering currant time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jonathan Williams, 1929-2008

Poet, publisher, photographer, hiker, essayist, critic, conversationalist, correspondent, conservationist, "dilettante true to his delicto," "truffle hound of American poetry," activist, amorist,

literature—the way we ripen ourselves
by conversation, said
Edward Dahlberg . . .

we flower in talk, we slake
our thirsts in a brandy of heated speech, song
sweats through our pores,
trickles a swarm
into the sounding keyboard,

pollen falls
across the blackened paper . . .

always idle—before and
the act:

making meat
of vowels
in cells
with sticky feet

—"Enthusiast," in his Jubilant Thicket: New and Selected Poems
(Copper Canyon Press, 2005)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yearbook (3.3)

The biggest moth on the lamp-sheet was the White Witch, Thysania agrippina. One balcony is concealed by a white stucco veil with an oblong window, like that of a business envelope, looking in on the door. Doorbell repetend. Repetition as crescendo in Romantic writing. “Clam cup connection” (Gertrude Stein). “What’s it like inside your tambourine?” (Prince). This being the whole joke.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Yearbook (3.2)

Michaela told me about how when she was little she gave her mother a turtle made of soap for her birthday, having plotted beforehand to make her believe it was a live turtle by hiding it in a box when she came over and offering it beans in water to eat (they sprouted). And before that, breakfast sausage with (not sure but it tasted like) lots of MSG and corn syrup. It made you want to run around the world. At any rate there are little tiny staminate cones on the yews, and little bugs on this outdoor table at San Fran Bakery, and now would be a good time to start gathering for a project of violet jelly. Michaela told me about feeding her ex-step-grandmother’s pet baby bats. Like stepping into a bright airy room where someone was singing strings of clear crisp monosyllables, almost short of breath and almost logical. First moth-sheeting of my life.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Yearbook (3.1)

The critics were left adrift, obliged to take a look beneath the swimsuit issue, dip the metaphorical ocean, arduously blue and full of nudes forever.