Saturday, February 07, 2009

(young Moyers with LBJ)

must watch--Bill Moyers Journal
Is the old media sustaining the old politics? News and analysis with NYU journalism professor and PressThink blogger Jay Rosen and political journalist and blogger Glenn Greenwald...

my publisher New Star has also made available in pdf form the exciting & entirely original Henry Pepper by Justin Lukyn--

From a train crossing where the dispossessed "swear at the train like
they didn't have time for it, like it came to them as a great financial
loss," to the brutal economy of evacuating in alleyways where the
ground cover has been systematically pared away, the imaginary Pepper
is a ribald, mordant participant observer. The architecture of his
alleyways, from the ubiquitous telephone poles to the dumpster serial
numbers titling each poem, becomes Henry Pepper's doorway and
windowsill. Smithrite, Monica's Hair Salon, gumboots and puddles are
his daily newspaper, dishes, chairs.

Local trees

interview with Jesse & Charlie from This Ain't the Rosedale Library, one of Canada's best bookstores
Too much attention has been paid to literary prizes, which are only as good as the juries that select from the current crops. Too much attention has been paid to market research in the cultural realm. In our case we enjoy, perhaps even a little too much, the work of researching culture on our own. We go to readings, we take recommendations from customers (many of whom are writers) and, especially, we aren't afraid to look backwards at books that were published in the past but still deserve a place on our customers' shelves. When we're traveling, we check out as many bookstores, galleries and readings as we possibly can. As a natural result of our enthusiasm we are happy to billet out-of-town poets, and keep abreast with the cutting edge in the areas of film, music, and especially visual art. All this demystifies the whole idea of marketing books and brings it down to earth, turning it back into a pleasure for all involved...

found this truly awesome Totoro snowman on Monster-Munch

Friday, February 06, 2009

Giant Snake Fossils Unearthed !!!
The animal named Titanoboa cerrejonensis (the titan boa) is a predecessor of today's boa constrictor, one of the largest snakes in the world. Its ancestor had a length of 42 feet, weighed up to a ton, and lived more than 60 million years ago, after the disappearance of the dinosaurs. The snake was apparently a force to reckon with, as discoverers say that it's main course was crocodile meat, and the only way to get it was to actually go out and eat a crocodile.

for further study ::: wood s lot ::: has coralled up a fine collection of KD links...

in the Nation, Jordan Davis on The Poetry of Kevin Davies

& responding to both the above & to Drew Gardner's review in the St. Mark's Poetry Project Newsletter, esp. their misguided efforts to enlist Davies in the army of Flarf--

Isola di Rifiuti

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The colours of feathers
If a cardinal's red feather were ground into powder, the powder would be red. Grinding a green feather from the speculum of a Green-winged Teal would make yellow powder. And the feathers of a bluebird would reduce to a drab brown powder. Clearly, there is more to the color of a feather than meets the eye...

Thelonious Monk's Advice, Archived By Steve Lacy

Just because you’re not a drummer, doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep time.

Pat your foot and sing the melody in your head, when you play.

Stop playing all those weird notes (that bullshit), play the melody!

Make the drummer sound good.

Discrimination is important.

You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?


Always know….(MONK)

It must be always night, otherwise they wouldn’t need the lights.

Let’s lift the band stand!!

I want to avoid the hecklers.

Don’t play the piano part, I’m playing that. Don’t listen to me. I’m supposed to be accompanying you!

The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outside sound good.

play everything (or every time); let some things go by. Some music just
imagined. What you don’t play can be more important that what you do.

A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination.

Stay in shape! Sometimes a musician waits for a gig, and when it comes, he’s out of shape and can’t make it.

When you’re swinging, swing some more.

(What should we wear tonight? Sharp as possible!)

Always leave them wanting more.

sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene. These pieces were
written so as to have something to play and get cats interested enough
to come to rehearsal.

got it! If you don’t want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any
case, you got it! (To a drummer who didn’t want to solo)

Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along and do it. A genius is the one most like himself.

They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along and spoil it...

fascinating essay on Charles Reznikoff's "Testimony", with a link to another one...
Reznikoff’s Objectivist untitled verse settings of facts taken from published court decisions were short enough to read almost anytime, and impeccably well-made: concise and powerful. That Reznikoff, after being trained as a lawyer, had gathered his facts from case reporters filled with court decisions made the poems all that more miraculous: he’d made incredible poems from the same kinds of tedious cases I was studying...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Why US Airways Pilot Chesley Sullenberger III May Be the Last of His Kind

No pilot in modern jet aviation had ever pulled off a successful water
landing. The simulators don’t even offer it as a scenario...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Aaron Vidaver has gathered together a nice bunch of Vancouver poetry Ephemera & handsomely scanned them as a Flickr set, including these two classics from the recently departed Zonko, aka Billy Little, of Vancouver & Hornby Island, though born in Jamaica, Queens & schooled in Buffalo. A classic omnivore: the rare bookseller who got high on his own supply. He read a lot of books people think I have. Through the dark days of the Socred reign & beyond the flood of poetry, agit-prop, decals, tiny books (including Kevin Davies' first book "Despite"), broadsides & declamations that flowed through him combined genial good humor with an almost Swiftian loathing of any form of authority, his own perhaps most of all. At his best, he knew how to amp things up to the exact point where the hidden propriety of any sitation stood revealed and embarassed. Hence at one of the great Solidarity rallies in Victoria in the early 80's chanting "Hang the Socreds" (in his Queen's brogue the first syllable came out "soccer") to the grim dismay of the surrounding bused in union workers whose inner thoughts he so intemperately expressed. Billy's greatest poster was a collaboration with Scott Watson, for a fake organisation called the anti-literacy council or some such. At the top of the otherwise blank poster was the question: can you read this? Far below another: don't you wish you couldn't? A lifelong servant of language & books, but the kind of servant who might spit in the vichysoisse or short the silk sheets...

photographer Rob Amberg, whose terrific Sodom Laurel Album was about tobacco farmers in the until-recently remote mountains of North Carolina, has a new book about the construction, beginning in 1994, of the


The first wave of newcomers to Madison County in the early 1970s were
back-to-the-landers and others seeking refuge from the cities. Since
that time, a steady stream of people has moved to the county. With the
opening of I-26 in 2003, that steady stream has become a roaring river.
Dozens of new developments and gated communities, fast food franchises
where there were none, and hundreds of new residents with little
knowledge of the existing culture have brought significant changes to
the area.

When I began documenting the new road construction in 1994, I had
little idea that the work would develop into the long-term,
multi-disciplinary project that it has become. I expected to visit the
site of the proposed interstate on occasion, shoot some film, and add
it to my growing body of photographs on change in Madison County. But
as the intensity and magnitude of the changes to the physical
environment became more evident, I was constantly drawn to the
construction site -- compelled to photograph the destruction of the
vernacular landscape and to record its impact on the lives of the
residents. I also began to understand the construction of I-26, the
new road, as a metaphor – a symbol of the push toward modernity that
seems to be happening in much of the world.

it's Groundhogs day around the manse--

On Split, more than any other Groundhogs album, they played in a shamanic whirling that shattered and scattered the beat around in several directions at once. The frenzied drumming of Ken Pustelnik reduced the kit to the role of moronic streetgang defenseless against one lone Kung Fu hero. Stun-guitars wah-wah'd and ricochet'd at random against concrete walls, leaving passers by mortally wounded but deliriously happy. Even Pete Cruickshank's bass, that one remaining anchor, was no anchor at all, but a freebass undermining the entire structure. As McPhee explained in a Zigzag interview of the time:
"[Ken] just wallops everything in sight and sometimes I lose him completely. Like I often come back in during a solo and can't work out where he is - so I just have to play a note and let it feed back until I can find my way back in. And Pete doesn't help either, because he's all over the place and he follows me rather than Ken … so when we fall apart, we really fall apart..."

YouTube - Cherry Red
Split 1971

Monday, February 02, 2009

Local trees

We sleep with vigor. Content with the knowledge that Lenin’s body shall never decay…

Sunday, February 01, 2009

May we never forget the genius of John Martyn
Overnight, he became a star of sorts, prompting thousands of aspiring guitarists to experiment with delay pedals and unbuttoned waistcoats...


Solid Air
Bless the Weather
May You Never &
Solid Air (1973) (LP download)

avoid the superbowl with the terrific, bittersweet musical It's Always Fair Weather, (on TCM this aft. 1500 PST, just before the over-rated "Down in the Hole") which features one of the the few occasions where the great choreographer Michael (Seven Brides &c. &c.) Kidd got a chance to act...(see also his work in Michael Ritchie's "Smile")

Shot in earthbound Eastman color, It's Always Fair Weather doesn't look or feel like the Technicolor froth that preceded it. It
lacks any of those big dream ballets that Kelly's films are often building towards, and feels altogether less whimsical, loaded as it is
with broken friendships and dashed dreams.

Assorted trees & snowmelt