Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

on TCM tonight a great favorite of mine, the swoony technicolor Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (writer/director Albert Lewin was a close friend of poet Charles Reznikoff by the way)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

the talk I gave on Maxine Gadd last night--




The map is not the territory. It isn't even the territory. (Joel Oppenheimer)

'Bun' is such a sad word, is it not. And 'man' is not much better (Samuel Beckett quoted by Maxine Gadd)


All history slides into Whig History

Yu feel at ease with yr amnesia

that is the story of us & how we became us
& how it becomes us
to so naturally occupy
our exalted place in the scheme of things,
                                       at the end of things.


Even the present disposition of
la cosa nostra, post-avant garde poetry--
a corpse from which increasing amounts
of blood paradoxically seem to flow--
disports itself as though
its shuffling zombie compromises
were the best of all possible worlds
nuked in the eighties 
or that the public life of poetry is
somehow best sustained
by using higher education
Nibelungen style
to convert the enthusiasm of young people
into credentials & debt & gelt--
by mining their good will
as one would clear cut a hillside
into a smile--
into an assumed permanent natural order.
Rendering unto Caesar.

God loves only Augustus. 

Byzantium lasted ten thousand years.

This contract has given all the communities of
contemporary poetry, for all their competing modes
& methods, an underlying unanimity
borne of fear. 

They make you look now at
the shape of your baby rage.
They intervene in time.
Your feelings are a symptom.
The threat of poverty & prison & homelessness & murder.
They show you the tools they would torture you with.

Thus the industrial academy
not only best arbiter
of discourse but rainbow bridge
time machine transporter slippery slope
between Bohemia & the middle class,
a reversible prophylactic.
It is the vessel inside
which we have agreed
that the radium of poetry
is best protected from itself;
all we ask is a bedbug snuggle in the folds---

as the economic circumstances
which encourage Bohemia have faded
from possibility
so too has the memory
of their former vigour,
history being written by the owners of horses.

They make you forget that it could have gone either way...
Not so much a split then
between the campus
& the coffeehouse
        but a flower of pure heresy--a real floater
in the patriarchal bowl
embarassing & antithetical
autodidacticism self-correcting
bibles with red protestant pencils
jutting from their spines
never beloved by
the people with guns & horses. The glamour of the Romans
marched ahead of their armies. The wise Hungarian boys
wanted in.

Thus Sibylline
neighbor wrestles with starting
the collectible collective chain-saw
Texas massacre style. But for no woman is the shadow
of the Imperium ever absent or
the rumbling engines silent.
So Max for decades sans the benefits of the kind of
eccentrically overproducing
alternative steady state personality
apparatus that keeps bissett going
& sustained Gerry Gilbert for decades
Tim Lander & me for that matter
hiding behind our beards our city. 
Wearing out our knees on the welcome mat
& as boys we get to do that.

but we never get to say

me thinking to kill whoever speaks to me

just like a woman, not in a woman's voice when
there was still a chance heresy might bust out & take over,
the winds of Vatican 2, Prague summer,
Roberts Creek...  In BC you could get away from the state
by walking uphill barefoot for ten minutes
--the British Empire hates mountains
as much as the Romans did. Build a fort on
the lip on which the sun never sets
& keep those good snacks &
drugs & trade goods coming.

We congratulate ourselves for even trying
our good thoughts & a
Dollar store resembles the interior of a bandits sack.

Babies as weapons for Mother Canada.
Dog on stun.


not even feminists
have agency
without a society
to quit

So from here on in the gendered
rejection of Satan & his works
seems a pretty clear choice.
Pride the first indicated voice.
Speaker not keeper.
Ignore the thickening local ghosts.
But the beats were as scared of Peggy Lee
as everybody else. Uniformity of conduct & sweater
mad men how even as men
can we imagine it. Hippy fascism.
Waldorf Willendorf.
Postwar /////

For if yv diddled in the truly amusing the king jumps yu

Dicks working out there shit with chicks
in a very entitled fucking way.

Bail on even as much of this
life with father figure fascism
as what sugared the rim
of the rapidly organizing poetry apparatus
& you do get privileges: 

One is you get to jump off the
whole whig history train,
unshackled by utopic kiwanis klub
pinko bullshit
or future shock payback
or death on the installment plan. 
But the long line of heroes is not up to you
& we'll still give you up to the cops in a heartbeat
& no you can't use our library
& you're one of the greats but
there's a coffee filter burqa
I'd like to wrap around your head---

but everything still gets to happen at once
so the nineties of saddam
the sixties of mailer
& the noughts of oh say thomas fucking friedman
vs the placebo syndrome

FOR prophesy

"places people can take you & put you"
writes Max in the nineties
remember? the happy ending of history
with full release? WHAT COULD THE LIARS PAY?
In the absence of assasins
In the neural networks of high tech
shining path star-whackers--

mind your wants
cause there's someone
that wants
your mind

(george clinton)

less discrete weave
of shiny life
folded in twee boxes
than inconvenient stops on
the Mandelbrot skytrain,
unsurprisable ghosty
unusurpassably bubbling up
every exchange
the void of conception
of a swiping hard thumb
race against metastasizing facts
Lost to Language---

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Audio Recordings of Not Only But Also Episodes Found

The recovery of the soundtracks to 11 episodes from the mid-sixties and
early 1970s means that some form of recording now exists for each and
every episode of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s seminal TV comedy series.

Monday, November 01, 2010

LRB · Hilary Mantel · Diary
I reread Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy, and three Ivy Compton-Burnett novels, though later I can’t remember which ones. I read a new biography of Catherine of Aragon in proof. I read On Being Ill, by Virginia Woolf. What schoolgirl piffle, I think. It’s like one of those compositions by young ladies mocked in Tom Sawyer. I can’t understand what she means when she complains about the ‘poverty of the language’ we have to describe illness. For the sufferer, she says, there is ‘nothing ready made’. Then what of the whole vocabulary of singing aches, of spasms, of strictures and cramps; the gouging pain, the drilling pain, the pricking and pinching, the throbbing, burning, stinging, smarting, flaying? All good words. All old words. No one’s pain is so special that the devil’s dictionary of anguish has not anticipated it. There is even a scale you can use to refine it: ‘Tell me,’ the doctor says, ‘on a scale of one to ten, how much this hurts’: one being a love bite, I suppose, and ten the fiery pit of hell. Pain may pass beyond language, but it doesn’t start beyond it. The torture chamber is where people ‘speak’. No doubt language fails in that shuttered room called melancholia, where the floor is plush and the windowless walls are draped in black velvet: where any sound you make carries only feebly to the outside world, and can be taken for some accidental, natural sound, a creak or a sigh from doorframe or drawer. But then, mental suffering is so genteel; at least, until the dribbling sets in. Virginia only has decorous illnesses. She has faints and palpitations, fevers and headaches, though I am mindful that at one stage they tried to fix her by pulling out her teeth. But she is seemly; she does not seep, or require a dressings trolley, she does not wake at dawn to find herself smeared with contact jelly from last night’s ECG. Virginia never oozes. Her secretions are ladylike: tears, not bile. She may as well not have had bowels, for all the evidence of them in her book...