Friday, September 27, 2013

I was
by you

(lost in

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I received
really good
scores on
the reality
tv show
and then
I was
voted off.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I don't want
to know everything
about anything.

I just want
to show you
something now.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

One day last week I was walking to the curb to bring in the trash cans.  There was a guy stepping out of a muscle car. He looked at me and said he used to live in my house.

"How long ago?"

"About 50 years."

We walked around the yard.  I explained changes we'd made and some of the history of ownership (as I understand it) since he'd left, and etc.This is, after all, a house which is over a 100 years old.

It was interesting hearing his memories of being a kid in the spaces I've come to know so well over the last 20 or so years. I hope that after I'm gone future inhabitants of this place that I love have similar encounters.

Woob, woob, woob
of a saxophone.


Hallucinations, candy, equinoxes.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Three Stooges
 made a number
 of art films. 


I was misdiagnosed
as a teenager.


Pronouns won’t dance.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

“Constellation” is, for me, a big word.  I mean: it is a big word.  But more than that, it’s a word which looms large in my thought.
I feel isolated at times, but I know that I—everyone, really—exists within an often shifting web of contexts, entities, persons and concerns.
Writing poetry is, at its best, a most excellent constellating practice:  a form of resistance and alternate world creation.
Constellations aren’t hierarchies.
Constellations are environments, microenvironments and pinballing Ids.
That concludes this afternoon’s sermon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

When Mark Young invited me to publish the E-values interviews through Otoliths  I thought he was interested in doing an anthology of greatest hits and I initially demurred--didn't feel I could choose which of the children should survive.  Mark though wanted the whole shebang plus a selection of work from each interview subject.

The result?  3 volumes totaling around a thousand pages.  My experience with Mark is that he seldom seems to err, but  when he does it is always on the side of generosity.

(More later.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

JOYRIDE by Thomas Fink

Read and Recommended:

Joyride (Marsh Hawk Press, 2013) by Thomas Fink.  Just time now to note this terrific new volume.  Hope to pen a review of it at some point.  Truly stellar work.
One of the qualities that make Mark Young a great editor/publisher is his generosity.  I'd wager that most of the titles on Otoliths' list would have had a tough time finding publication elsewhere (my own titles included). I'm not suggesting that the work is below par.  I'm suggesting that finding a publisher for an innovative volume of poetry, vispo, or poetics can be tough sledding in the current environment.

 (To be continued.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mark Young is among the most versatile poets I know.  His serial works like the Magritte series and his Postman poems are touchstones for me. Young is also among the most prolific poets I know (see 2 posts below for info about his latest and maybe greatest book).

I want though to write a bit about Mark Young as editor/publisher.

I've been fortunate to work with Mark in a number of ways, on a number of different occasions.  He published 5 books of mine: 2 volumes of poetry which I wrote and 3 volumes of
E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S interviews which I curated.

Mark, as editor, is a poet's dream.

(More later.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One could say that the internet saved my poetic ass.  And that Mark Young has personified for me the best possibilities for poetry on the internet.

(More later.)

Monday, September 9, 2013


Perhaps if I'd started earlier, & achieved what has thus far been achieved—80 books in total, covering a range of media & with an impressive list of creators—I might still have the energy to continue. But I didn't, & I haven't; so, with sadness, I announce the last two books from Otoliths.

harry k stammer
148 pages
Otoliths, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9872010-8-9
$13.95 + p&h

harry k stammer’s new book, grounds, is a sequel to his previous book tents. It continues to dig deeper into the realm of a homeless person’s mind as he/she lives in downtown Los Angeles. As Philip Primeau, of PERSISTENCIA, said of tents, “stammer mixes a sort of poetic cubism with wordplay, startling typography, and a wide array of other adventurous techniques with creative intensity rarely witnessed.” This book uses imagery and meaning to describe the various illnesses that afflict the homeless.

The Codicils
Mark Young
600 pages
Otoliths, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9872010-9-6
$29.95 + p&h

The Codicils is actually a number of new books, nine at least, collected into a single brick, covering Mark Young's poetry from the four years since the publication of Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959-2008. It revisits some familiar themes — Magritte, geographies, that peripatectic Postman — but it also brings in a number of new streams & memes, & includes an essay by the poet on the universality of the stochastic methodology that lies behind his poetic canon.

The journal will continue on, & print copies of the three most recent issues, twenty-eight to thirty, are now available from The Otoliths Storefrontwhere the full catalog of Otoliths books & issues of the journal can also be found.

Otoliths Editor

NB: I read The Codicils in manuscript. It is a superb, engaging and utterly lovely work of art.  It will repay your attention many times over.  I hope, dear readers, that you purchase this fine book.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Poet Tom Beckett

The Poet Tom Beckett

      The poet Tom Beckett is a horny avatar.
      The poet Tom Beckett is an impaired grammarian.
      The poet Tom Beckett is a born again virus.
     The poet Tom Beckett is a number.
    The poet Tom Beckett isn’t any number than it used to be.
      The poet Tom Beckett does not confuse itself with infrastructure.
     The poet Tom Beckett is a semi-permeable membrane.
     The poet Tom Beckett is a leaky thought bubble.
     The poet Tom Beckett is a lot of work.
  The poet Tom Beckett is: a) opaque or b) transparent?
The poet Tom Beckett is a hapless conductor on a runaway train.
The poet Tom Beckett is the hapless conductor of a runaway train of thought.
   The poet Tom Beckett is given to repeating itself .
    The poet Tom Beckett is given to editing itself.
 The poet Tom Beckett is an intervention in reality.
    The poet Tom Beckett is in need of an intervention.
  The poet Tom Beckett is not the sum of its intentions.
   The poet Tom Beckett is whatever it appears to be.
   The poet Tom Beckett presents contradictory views.
  The poet Tom Beckett is an uncomfortable performer.
    The poet Tom Beckett is a sweaty schlub.
    The poet Tom Beckett wants to listen to you.
    The poet Tom Beckett wants to be heard.
.    The poet Tom Beckett is afraid of the herd.
    The poet Tom Beckett is certain of very few things.
    The poet Tom Beckett knows a few things about collage.
The poet Tom Beckett wants to befriend you.
   The poet Tom Beckett will be found wanting.
    The poet Tom Beckett cannot find its ass in a parking lot.
   The poet Tom Beckett is not and never will be the poet the nation wants it to be.
   The poet Tom Beckett is a complete and utter _____ (fill in the blank).
  The poet Tom Beckett is an unreliable narrator of its own experience.
   The poet Tom Beckett is neither an aphorist nor a forest (discuss).
   The poet Tom Beckett is preoccupied with limits, enclosures, shadows and projections.
   The poet Tom Beckett has too many questions.
    The poet Tom Beckett is socially awkward.
   The poet Tom Beckett is not the king of the blues.
   The poet Tom Beckett is not the boss of you.
   The poet Tom Beckett has insisted over and over again that poetry is received like an unsolicited kiss.
    The poet Tom Beckett is hoping to hear from you.
    The poet Tom Beckett can’t help thinking that poetry is a disease from which one doesn’t want to recover.
    The poet Tom Beckett is kind of whackdoodle at times.
   The poet Tom Beckett dreams of a world in which poetry transfigures things and in which poets are free to dream.
 The poet Tom Beckett thinks that different approaches to poetry have always been contested.
    The poet Tom Beckett thinks that poetry and philosophy are often confused.
 The poet Tom Beckett doesn’t have a plan.
  The poet Tom Beckett wants to be loved but not at any cost.
  The poet Tom Beckett is not unfamiliar with bathos.
   The poet Tom Beckett is not trying to be overly familiar with you.
   The poet Tom Beckett is just trying to continue doing what it can do.
   The poet Tom Beckett has been working on this poem all day.
    The poet Tom Beckett worries about what is and isn’t fiction.
   The poet Tom Beckett is an uneasy warrior.
  The poet Tom Beckett both wants and doesn’t want you to find him.
   The poet Tom Beckett is trying not to
   The poet Tom Beckett is trying not to be
   The poet Tom Beckett is trying not to be found
   The poet Tom Beckett is trying not to be found in
    The poet Tom Beckett is trying not to be found in this.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

This is a photo taken by my youngest daughter, Claire Hale, of a tree frog my grandsons found this morning.


I'm cooking dirty rice, drinking wine and listening to the blues.


I was cautiously optimistic when Obama was first elected.  I voted for him both times.  But I think he's making very bad decisions in regard to Syria.  It is important to recognize what we can't do as a nation.  It is important to recognize that misspeaking shouldn't be the end of the world.  If one draws "a red line," it should still be possible to recognize a mistake out loud.

We all lose face.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Listening to "Moongate" by the Duke Robillard Band, an atmospheric and incredibly beautiful blues.  It's on the CD Independently Blue which arrived in the mail today.  I recommend it.


A translation into Greek of my "Little Book of Zombie Poems" is under way.  More about that later.


Have read the first couple chapters of J.M. Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus.  Am dancing around starting  (restarting, really) Timothy Morton's Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality.  I began reading it online and now have a hard copy.


Appearances is going slowly.  It's a book unlike any that I've ever attempted before.  Everything that I know and don't know is going into it.