Monday, December 31, 2012

This One's for Mark Young (excerpt from Appearances)

Among my fondest memories of Mark Young are the times he asked me for lists of poem titles to get him going (ha!  this guy is one of most prolific, always inventive writers I know).

 Anyway, in a section of Appearances that I'm working on now I list titles of imaginary songs that appear on an imaginary juke box in an imaginary bar called the Cave, a very special club house for the legendary performance art group Vaudeville without Organs.  Here's a taste:


A juke box is a treasure trove of information about the sort of establishment it exists within.  Herewith follows a list, alphabetically sorted, of a few of the song titles in the Cave’s juke box:
Algebraic Bric-a-brac Breakdance
Badiou’s Bad IOU Blues
Chalk Songlines
Data Dump Duet (the remix)
Erotic Ergonomic Prelude
Forgotten Fantasies
Ghost Whirl
Homophone Nights,
Haiku Zydeco
Irregular Interventions
Joint Custody Rhapsody
Karaoke Suicide Stomp
Lactic Acid Rock
Multivariate Melodies
Niche Notes
Open Letter Operetta

Mark, you're welcome to any of these titles if you're looking for some.

Francis Bacon's Favorite Toast?

This is reputed to have been one of the painter Francis Bacon's favorite toasts:

"Champagne for my real friends.  Real pain for my sham friends."

Works for me.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I've never had
a complete thought.

I don't hate speech, but I believe it hates me.



Friday, December 21, 2012

The ground's covered with snow.  Flakes are swirling in the air.  Thankfully the winds have abated.  It's cold.  This 112 year old house makes noises in the cold that are different from other times of year.


I was looking at pictures of my one month (one month!) old granddaughter and thought "She has elfin ears."


Still stuck at a pivotal point in Appearances.  There's a thing I need to figure out in order to proceed.  I keep rejecting different possibilities.  Once I figure this out the piece should open wider.


Thomas Fink and I have returned to working on our sestinas.  Once the revision process is completed we'll have a chapbook worth of work.


I have a book's worth of uncollected poetry from the last year or two.  Maybe a couple of books or a number of chapbooks.  I just don't see any available venues at this point.  Nor do I have the sense that the work I've already put out is garnering much attention at this point.


Slow sips of wine.  Slow glances snuck at the accumulating snow.


I think of my hair as brown but the other day when I got a haircut all the evidence on the apron was gray.


The stew I'm building is starting to smell very good.


Disappointed that the new Roland Barthes book didn't arrive today.


I've been experimenting with a slide on the electric guitar.  There have been isolated moments of an elementary blues developing which I am trying  not to get in the way of.


One of the things I love about an electric guitar--strumming it before you turn the amp on and then hearing the sound extend and continue when you do.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Extent of Things

This could
Be otherwise.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nick Tosches' Me and the Devil is one of the books in the current mix of things I'm reading.  It goes well with all the blues I'm listening to.  Am currently obsessed with Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge ( it was Buddy Guy's club).  


It's unseasonably warm.  Usually, per the weather statisticians, we've had at least 9 inches of snow by this time of year.  We've had less than an inch.  The Devil, you say?


Fresh Galatea!

I'm delighted to announce the release of Galatea Resurrects Issue No. 19, with its 69 new reviews in addition to other features.  You can access the issue directly at  For convenience, I am cutnpasting the Table of Contents below.
Happy Reading!
Eileen Tabios
Editor, Galatea Resurrects

Eileen Tabios


Eileen Tabios engages THE COLLECTED POEMS OF LUCILLE CLIFTON 1965-2010, edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser

Sunnylynn Thibodeaux reviews FAULT TREE by kathryn l. pringle

Judith Goldman reviews FAULT TREE by kathryn l. pringle

Micah Cavaleri reviews STILL: OF THE EARTH AS THE ARK WHICH DOES NOT MOVE by Matthew Cooperman

Guillermo Parra reviews UNCERTAIN TIME by Richard Caddel, with an introduction by Aaron Tieger 

Jeff Harrison engages LETTERS TO MADELEINE: TENDER AS MEMORY by Guillaume Apollinaire, edited by Lawrence Campa, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith

Bill Scalia reviews MAYBE A PAINTER by Christina Fisher

Jean Vengua reviews RING OF BONE: LEW WELCH COLLECTED POEMS, edited by Donald Allen

Burt Kimmelman reviews DIVINE MADNESS by Paul Pines

Lucy Biederman reviews RE- by Kristi Maxwell

Eileen Tabios engages MAY APPLE DEEP by Michael Sikkema

jim mccrary reviews CAPTAIN POETRY’S SUCKER PUNCH: A GUIDE TO THE HOMERIC PUNKHOLE, 1980-2012 by Kenneth Warren

Lucy Biederman reviews NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL by Harmony Holiday 

Garrett J. Brown reviews MAP OF THE HYDROGEN WORLD by Steve Halle

Jaime Townsend reviews HART ISLAND by Stacy Szymaszek  

Tom Hibbard reviews FOUR PAINTINGS by Guy Beining

Bill Scalia reviews BODY OF WATER by Erin M. Bertram

Eileen Tabios engages ANGLES OF INCIDENTS by Jon Curley

Tom Beckett reviews DECK OF DEEDS by Rodrigo Toscano

Lucy Biederman reviews MOTHER WAS A TRAGIC GIRL by Sandra Simonds 

Allen Strous reviews IT CAN BE SOLVED BY WALKING by Jennifer Wallace

Patrick James Dunagan reviews BEYOND THE CHAMELEON’S SKILL by Darius Cooper

Eileen Tabios engages BENDING AT THE ELBOW by Matyei Yankelevich

Jeannine Hall Gailey reviews EVERY DRESS A DECISION by Elizabeth Austen


Bill Scalia reviews ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE by James Davies and Simon Taylor

Gayle Romasanta reviews FOR THE CITY THAT NEARLY BROKE ME by Barbara Jane Reyes

Bill Scalia reviews THE SILVER BOOK by Jen Bervin

Eileen Tabios engages COMMON TIME by Chris Pusateri

Tom Beckett reviews PORTRAIT AND DREAM: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Bill Berkson 

Bill Scalia reviews RUST OR GO MISSING by Lily Brown

Eileen Tabios engages ARDOR: POEMS OF LIFE by Janine Canan

Henry W. Leung reviews PHYLA OF JOY by Karen An-hwei Lee


Neil Leadbeater reviews ISLANDS IN THE BLOOD by Geoff Stevens

Mirna Perrin-Louis reviews “Heart as Arena” from THE FEELING IS ACTUAL by Paolo Javier

Eileen Tabios engages CLOUDFANG :: CAKEDIRT by Daniela Olszewska

John Bloomberg-Rissman engages BAN by Bhanu Kapil

Jon Curley reviews USELYSSES by Noel Black

Nicholas T. Spatafora reviews THE SHEPHERD’S ELEGY by John C. Goodman

Patrick James Dunagan reviews ON THE PLANET WITHOUT VISA: SELECTED POEMS AND OTHER WRITINGS AD 1960-2012 by Sotére Torregian

rob mclennan reviews AS LONG AS TREES LAST by Hoa Nguyen

Neil Leadbeater reviews A PARTIAL VIEW TOWARD NAZARETH by Kathryn Rantala

rob mclennan reviews THUNDERBIRD by Dorothea Lasky

Neil Leadbeater reviews THE WHITE CALF KICKS by Deborah Slicer

Jeffery Beam reviews APPROXIMATING DIAPASON by j/j hastain and tod thilleman

Eileen Tabios engages CUTTING TIME WITH A KNIFE by Michael Leong

Patrick James Dunagan reviews, viz “Random Diptych,” MATCHING SKIN by Shirlette Ammons, A COINCIDENCE OF WANTS by Michelle Detorie, THRONE by Michael Cross and MAJAKOVSKIJ EN TRAGEDY by Johannes Göransson

 Lucy Biederman engages, viz “Random Diptych,” PARTYKNIFE by Dan Mager and AUTOPSY TURVY by Thomas Fink & Maya Diablo Mason



“Engaging My Trans” by j/j hastain



Edric Mesmer and Matthew Hall review DESIRING MAP by Megan Kaminski, FLASH BANG by James Cummins, GLOSS TO CARRIERS by Ian Heames, HGFED.JANVr; SOME STARSs by Jo Cook, THE KATECHON: LINES 101-200 by Michael Cross, PEACHES AND BATS, Issue 9, Spring 2012 edited by Sam Lohmann, THE RELATIONAL ELATIONS     of ORPHANED ALGEBRA by Eileen R. Tabios & j/j hastain, SORRY YOU’RE OCCUPIED: SPONTANEOUS ORDER, edited by James Louden, WHEREIN? HE ASKS OF MEMORY by Jeremy Balius, WORDS ON EDGE by Michael Leong 

Richard Kostelanetz reviews ALL THE WHISKEY IN HEAVEN by Charles Bernstein

John Olson reviews WHERE SHADOWS WILL: SELECTED POEMS 1988-2008 by Norma Cole



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Please Consider Signing This Petition

On December 14, 2012, at least one gunman entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and opened fire, killing what is currently being reported as a minimum of 27 people, 20 of whom were children. Completely innocent unarmed victims. 

Columbine. Red Lake Minnesota. Essex Vermont. Lancaster. Virginia Tech. To name a few. 

How many more innocents must die at the hands of an antiquated and oft-misinterpreted amendment? Enough. 

It's time to stop the violence.

That's why I signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

"Our second amendment rights are long overdue a reevaluation. How many more senseless and entirely PREVENTABLE shootings have to occur before we do something about Gun Control. 

As a citizen and constituent of this great country, I am asking that you take a firm stand and make a positive change by restricting access to guns and saving lives. 

I don't have a gun. I don't want a gun. I don't need a gun. But somehow the guns always wind up in the hands of people crazy enough to use them irresponsibly and dangerously. This HAS TO BE STOPPED. 

Thank you for your action!" 

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name: 
are wounds
which never heal.

are called
by other names.

A Way Early Valentine for Geof Huth

an ocean
not a notion.

In places
it's shallow.

In places
it's deep.

Unfathomable things
swim in it.

Unknowable creatures
drown in it.

Love does
not conclude.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Of course I love Tim Morton's elegant response to the shooting tragedy.  Go here.

Ryan, my 4 year old grandson, stayed with me for a couple three hours today while his mom had a medical procedure.  He spent 15 minutes or so educating me about Angry Birds.  We collaborated on some drawings and some piano compositions.  We built some improbable Lego edifices.  We acted silly, had snacks, etc.  It was nice.

After Ryan and his mom left I went to the bank, did some grocery shopping and came home to the radio news of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

My Mom and Dad and both my brothers and their families live in western Connecticut.  One of my brothers, who is an iron worker in NYC, lives in the Sandy Hook/Newtown area.  My other brother and parents live in nearby towns.

I have visited often but never lived in Connecticut.  With the exception of a few years as an adolescent in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I have spent my whole life in the Middle West.  Still I feel closely touched by this tragedy.  Just as I did by the shootings at the Chardon school here in my own NE Ohio awhile back.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this.  I have no desire to preach about anything at this point.  I'm wondering, I guess, though about the sacredness of guns in our culture.  I'm wondering how people can intentionally terrorize and kill children.

Somehow, somewhere in between the sound bites and talking heads, we need to clear a space for  thought and action on the behalf of others.

Society is a petri dish in which all manner of things grow.  Why is it that I think capitalism is the carcinogen in the mix?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Shuddering can, to be sure, be a demonstration of fear, anxiety, the apprehension of death, when one shudders in advance at the idea of what is going to happen.  But it can be light, on the surface of the skin, when shuddering announces pleasure or ecstasy.[...] Water, they tell us, shudders before it boils, which is what we called seduction."

I want
I want to
I want to examine
I want to examine something
I want to examine something in
I want to examine something in the
I want to examine something in the light
I want to examine something in the light of
I want to examine something in the light of the
I want to examine something in the light of the current
I want to examine something in the light of the current situation. You
You ask
You ask me
You ask me why
You ask me why I
You ask me why I am
You ask me why I am trembling
You ask me why I am trembling now
You ask me why I am trembling now as
You ask me why I am trembling now as I
You ask me why I am trembling now as I attempt
You ask me why I am trembling now as I attempt this
You ask me why I am trembling now as I attempt this thing
You ask me why I am trembling now as I attempt this thing for
You ask me why I am trembling now as I attempt this thing for You.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

On Saturday afternoons I often listen to The Splendid Table on a local NPR affiliate.  It's a great program about food and food culture.  Tonight I'm going to try and make a recipe that was featured yesterday: Fettucine with lemon, hot pepper and pecorino romano .


As many of you know, from 1980-1990 I edited and published a journal called The Difficulties.  Recently I was approached about putting the whole run of the magazine online.  Hopefully that's going to happen sometime late next year.


This will be my 481st post to this blog.  When I created it I didn't make up a blogroll because I didn't think L'amour Fou was going to be around long.  I've created and deleted a lot of of blogs.  Sometimes I wish I had some of that old work back.  But for me art has never been about saving every scrap of work.  Destruction has been an aspect of creation.  Having to start over.

Anyway, on previous blogs I, a couple of times, wrote love letters to my bloglist.  I'm contemplating doing something along similar lines soon.  I think it's good to let those whose work you value KNOW.


Reading the Derrida biography and thinking about the ups and downs of a creative life, thinking about the consequences of thinking against the grain of what's taken for consensus (doxa).


I really don't want to take on any editing projects at this stage of life.  And I certainly don't want to do any more projects that resemble The Difficulties or the Rae Armantrout volume.  Not that I don't think those projects are of value.

I have thought at times though that it would be interesting to create an anthology focused on writing sex.  In my feverish imagination it would be a mix of genres, very much a hybrid affair.


I continue to be interested in conducting interviews but I'd prefer, at this point, to interview people from other disciplines--dancers,choreographers, architects, composers, musicians, philosophers, etc--about the poetics of what they do.  As you can tell from the slow development of Ask/Tell this is proving a challenging proposition.  So it goes.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

I look at erotic pictures on the web from time to time.  I'm fascinated by bodies (all sorts of bodies--male, female, transexual, plump or thin) even while never having been particularly comfortable in my own.

I recently discovered a site called Sex is not the enemy.  It depicts group sex, solo sex,  gay sex, straight sex, bisex, transsex and a   lot of different kinds of body shapes.  What I like most about the site is that most of the pictures communicate joy.  Which is kind of rare in erotic/porn photography.  If you visit the site, check out multiple pages in order to get a feel for the range of what's on offer.  It's certainly not for everyone but I found it rather beautiful.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm enjoying Benoit Peeters Derrida: A Biography.  This morning I was particularly charmed by this passage in which Avital Ronnell tells the story of her first meeting with Derrida:

"I'd come to this conference with my friend Gisele Celan-Lestrange, Celan's widow.  At that time, my status was unclear: I was still something of a student, even though I'd already begun teaching.  I wasn't prepared for this meeting, on that day.  I didn't think there would be so few of us in the hall. During the break, Derrida came over to me and asked me who I was. I don't know why I replied: 'But...don't you recognize me?'  He gazed at me in embarrassment. ', I don't think so.'  I insisted. "Really?  But that's not very nice.  I'm metaphysics.'  I was staging myself like an effect of his text.  He was dumbstruck, a bit lost: 'So, you're metaphysics...?'  I'd been hoist by my own petard, and more or less obliged to carry on with the game.  I added something like: 'Yes, and I don't much like the way you've been treating me up until now...'"  (308)

Isn't that marvelous?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Electric guitars are crazy fun.  One doesn't have to know shit to make interesting sounds.  I, for one, am in favor of interesting sounds.
We smoothed
Things out.

We made
Our bed.

We talked
Things over.

It wasn't
Like that.

It wasn't
A wash.

It wasn't
A thing.

We found
Our way.

We thought
Things out.

We were
Out there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Practice of Writing

for Branton

The practice of writing is not autogenous.  It doesn't arise from within or from a thing itself.

Nor is it autonomous.  It doesn't exist apart.

The practice of writing is interstitial.  It arises between and in the midst of things.

Concepts are things.

Relations are things.

Desires are things.

Practice is, I'd venture, life itself.

I'd venture, idventure.

You say stomata.