Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I've a chapbook manuscript that's having difficulty finding a publisher. It's made up of 2 long poems (29 pages of text). This is the final piece in the book.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Decided not to beat myself up at the computer today over what I am or amn't accomplishing. Walked downtown, took in the swollen Cuyahoga River, enjoyed me some faux spring weather, had a delicious shrimp po-boy and two glasses of wine. Walking back took another long look at the crooked river, stopped at the library, checked out a book, continued on my way.

Now I'm listening to the blues while some coffee reheats in the microwave. Bend that note, baby.


Tonight the spouse, and possibly me, to confer with the vet about whether Cassie (our dog) should be put down. We take good care of the little darling, but she's old and I'm not sure that the quality of life is very good for her at this point. She has diabetes, Cushings disease, is mostly blind and mostly deaf. Interestingly she hears in higher registers, so I can guide her with whistles at times.


For kicks I'm reading George Pelecanos' recent crime novel What It Was. Derek Strange has to be one of the best fictional detectives ever.

Along similar lines, I recently completed Elmore Leonard's latest Raylin. It was a pure joy. Love Leonard's muscular prose and great, great ear.


In the background: Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert cray, BB King, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Art Neville in a live recording of "Six Strings Down."


Drop by and say hello sometime.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Just watched The Broken Tower on cable.

It's black and white,impressionistic, and labors some, but I have real respect for what's being attempted and will definitely watch it again. Will be thinking about it for awhile. Some of its images are going to haunt me.


Appearances continues. I wrote fragment 56 today.


When I curated E=X=C=H=A=N=G=E=V=A=L=U=E=S I posted with considerable regularity. Ask/Tell has been significantly slower getting off the ground. There are, nonetheless, some good things in the works. Some of which should be posted pretty soon. I'm at various stages in a few interviews. Others are hard at work too.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Appearances arrives in stops and starts. Moments of discovery. Then long lulls, frustration, failure.


Listening to J.J. Cale.


Reading Edmund White's new novel (Jack Holmes & His Friend) which is smart, sexy and beautifully written.

Also just started Lyn Hejinian's The Book of a Thousand Eyes, a book which shimmers with intellection and eros. I remember Lyn telling me about this project 20 years ago when she was in Cleveland to read for the Earwitness Public Reading Series which John Byrum, Jessica Grim and I co-curated. Glad to see that it's finally out.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My job these days is working on Appearances, an ambitious manuscript in progress, which has the working subtitle of "A Novel in 365 Fragments." There's no particular significance to the 365--other than that I'm challenging myself to work on a certain scale for at least a year.

So far I've completed 45 fragments. When I can't seem to get going on a new segment I go back and tinker with the older ones. A stranger looking at the thing right now would probably think it's whackdoodle. Perhaps it is. But I also think that it's philosophically interesting. There are ideas in it.

That's my story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Since retiring I've seriously overworked my eyes. There's just so much I need to read.

One of the texts I'm in the midst of now is Levi R. Bryant's The Democracy of Objects (Open Humanities Press, 2011).

The Democracy of Objects is deepening my engagement with and respect for object-oriented ontology. There's a lot of poetry in Bryant's thought. (Just as there is in Harman's and Morton's.) For example: "The structure of substance is such that it others itself in its qualities." That sentence made me shiver in recognition and pleasure.


The ipod's shuffling Robert Randolph, the Stones, BB, Tedeschi/Trucks, Joni Mitchell, etc.


And babies, it's cold outside.


Friday, February 10, 2012

I continue to wrestle with Appearances. This week the writing has gone pretty well (I think).


Recently I sent poetry to two different journals (uninvited). Haven't done that in ages. The work was rejected. I also entered a chapbook contest (for a fee) and was unsuccessful. I wasn't surprised by any of these outcomes, but what the hell. I might have surprised myself. That's always the hope--especially in the composition of a piece, let alone publication.


Am close to finishing the interview with Timothy Morton. It's been a great exchange. I'm looking forward to posting it with anticipation and a feeling of excitement.


It's snowing powdery snow. Our old, failing dog is asleep on the couch. I check occasionally to make sure that she's breathing. Sigh.


Ambient noises--the furnace, the dryer, occasional fridge chatter, the keyboard I'm sounding.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blank Suite

for Thomas Fink

Might be perception
Parsed by experience:
Haunted weather
(a dialectic between
In and of).

Blank is,
Blank is this.

Is threaded
With thousands
Of parallel lines.

Is blank
A question
Or an answer?

What if blank’s
Revealed to us
As our Dear Leader?

Is most certainly

Is blank
A “bad patch?”

One doubts
Blank’s about

One doesn’t know blank
From a hole in the wall.

Blank might be
A special category
Of Being.

Blank might be
Pure contingency.

Almost certainly,
Is unsettling.

Neither template,
Stencil or archetype,
Blank is continuously present.

Or is it?

Is an
Unlikely monstrance.

Can blank
Be spoken?

Can blank
Be shown?

One thinks
Is blank.

From term
To term

One is

By blank.

Sweet blank.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I was depressed for the last few days but am feeling better now. I think a big factor in that depression was reading Spalding Gray's Journals. His coming apart at the end was heartbreaking.

I tend at times to overempathize with people (real and as imagined). It makes for emotional difficulties. A lot of the difficulty has to do with the ways in which I compensate or overcompensate for those feelings--which often leads to misinterpretations by others of my intentions, or even of my intelligence. It's akin to being overwhelmed by something or someone very beautiful and only being able to stutter and drool as immediate response. And then wondering why everyone is staring.

I'm not inarticulate, but I can't always articulate right away what my response to something/someone is. I think of what I should have said at the party a day or so later. Only one of the reasons that I very seldom go to parties. This is something I need to work on. While there's still time.