Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Selfie Destruction

When you
photobombed my
selfie I
f-bombed you
then went
on social
sites to
start our
flame war.

Selfie Realization

I like
this best...

In it
I look

like some-
one else.


Couldn't hear
the music
at the concert
until I took
my picture.

2 Selfies

Front of
that thing
we saw?
I made
a face.

Front of
this thing
I made
another face.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Selfie Insight

Words and
images are

only incidental
aspects of

my selfie.
My selfie.

Selfie Advice

Stop trying
to improve
things.  It
will only
make the
selfie worse.

Selfie Questions

Was it
like this
random thing --

me blindfolded
naked in
the mirror?

And who
posted it?
And why?
Listening to Keith Jarrett and thinking about "selfies"; thinking too about Jean Luc Nancy's dialogues with children on the topics of god, justice, love and beauty; thinking also about weather, the abomination which is called chocolate wine, and a number of other things.

Sigh.  I'm feeling lonely and in between too many things.  Or outside of things.  I don't know.  It's hard to situate one's self sometimes when one's mind is overloaded, overflowing.


Appearances stalled at the moment.


Today have moved snow around, swept the house, cleaned the kitchen, done laundry, gone to the bank and grocery store (none of these things done in that order).



Here I am
blocking your view
with my head.


Can't squeeze
these shadows
out of
the frame.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Name

Is the question
It answers

Haunted but
Not possessed

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two great pieces of mail today:

1/ a real, handwritten letter from Rebecca Loudon
2/ Sheila Murphy's annual holiday poem.

Both made me exceedingly happy.


Appearances is the craziest project I've tackled to date.  Two years in and I have very little idea where it's going from section to section.  I have parallel feelings about learning guitar.  These two endeavors--the biggest writing project I've attempted so far and trying to discover what relation to making music is possible for me--have truly tested the limits of my resolve.


I'm not a big fan of Ohio winters. But there's something about a winter day when the leaves are off the trees and light comes unimpeded through our house's windows.


Thank you Rebecca and Sheila for the light you sent my way.


Friday, December 20, 2013

In & Out

the same

in their difference.

Self-imposed boundaries

seam two

as one.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

McCrary on Burroughs

This is a great piece of personal journalism.
What trying to play guitar reminds me of is that art is about practice and repeatedly starting over. Obsession, frustration, stubbornness are key.

Monday, December 16, 2013

I am slow, oh so slow on the uptake. Especially with this business of the guitar. I keep stumbling in trying to learn a 12 bar blues--specifically the single note backbone of "Rock Me Baby," the BB King classic. I'm getting the mechanics down. It's a 1-4-5 song. 4 measures of the one, 2 measures of the 4, 2 measures of the one, 1 measure of the five, 1 measure of the four, 2 measures of the one as a turnaround, and then everything repeats.

A lot of guitar stuff is about knowing where to go. But, more than that, doing so seamlessly without unnecessary pauses.

Intervals are everything, Jim says.

I'm still working on dexterity, learning the fret board, learning how to play up and down the neck. Learning to play with speed and feeling is what I'm gearing toward. But the dexterity issues are huge right now. I still can't negotiate barre chords and just don't have the ability to absorb everything I'm shown at a glance. Especially when it's upsidedown from me and being played at a quick tempo.


Appearances proceeds apace. I'm quite fond of the last few sections, but they're coming exceedingly slowly. Which is frustrating. I'm coming up on the 2 year anniversary of having started this project. Probably another year to go.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

wanna this.
I wanna that.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Guitar class is on hiatus now until the next "semester" begins in February.  Last night Jim spent an hour explaining what and how he wants me to practice until we start up together again.  Since the end of September I've had twenty lessons and built up to practicing around 2 hours a day.

It looks like the new regime Jim's urging me toward will be  3 or more hours a day.  Until, that is, I internalize it all and get faster.  Geeze, I hope I can get faster.  And I hope I can manage that regime.

When I set out to learn something about the guitar, I really had no idea what I was getting into--no idea what a physical and emotional process learning an instrument is.

My fingers are toughening up.  I'm conscious of them in a different way now.  For example, the pads of my fingers feel different when I type than they used to.


It's pretty damn cold here.


Looks like I'll probably be reading at the Marsh Hawk Press book launch at Poets House in New York City (Aprilish).  Details to follow as they firm up.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Where to
Begin again?

What to
Call this?

Who do

You love?

Friday, December 6, 2013

The day after a guitar class (today for example) I often feel physically and emotionally exhausted.  How much effort is required for even the most pathetic expressions of sound.  There's so much to attend to.  And when I'm observed, measured, I change, tense up, etc.  Perfect example of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, no?

There are glimmers of hope at times.  Today I was obsessively playing, among other things, a simple chord progression: B minor, A, G; B minor, A, G over and over.  And when I got tired of playing it on the new acoustic (which I love) I played it for awhile on the Stratocaster.  For the record, I like B minor.


Snow's coming down.  Every year I dread our Midwestern winters a little more.


Wednesday I had dinner with the friend I hadn't seen/heard from for something like 25 years.  It was an emotional encounter--a lovely 3 hour talk.  I'm haunted by our conversation.  Haunted, too, by memories of our past.  It was as if we were picking up the conversation from where we had left off all those many years ago.  Am hoping there will be other opportunities for such exchanges before he leaves the country.


Listening to Gov't Mule's Shout! cd.  Warren Haynes is at his best on this one.


I've been publishing poetry for 40 years now.  I have learned some things.  It's striking, though, that my core obsessions were formed early on.  There is, regardless of the quality of the individual text, a through line in my work.  Sometimes shockingly so.


I'm thinking about how time as it is experienced telescopes back and forth between the past and the present.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tomorrow I'm having dinner with an old friend.  We've been out of touch for over twenty years.  He's soon to become an ex-pat.  I've missed this person for a very long time.  So many questions.  So little time.


I've been trying and trying to play a six string barre chord today.  And I JUST CAN'T GET MY FUCKING FINGERS TO WORK.


Questions really are at the heart of everything I do/have done.  I feel a real kinship with Wittgenstein because of his struggles with certainty.  I truly distrust the arrogance of  knowing for sure.


I've been reading a lot by and about philosophers.  I've been thinking a lot about the disconnects between experience and thought.


Writing is about disconnects between experience and thought too.


In a recent e-mail zeitgeist JB-R, in an exchange about music lessons, referred to me as Blind Lemon Beckett.  I don't deserve that.  But I love it.  Thanks, John.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

I'm making pasta fagioli while listening to Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones.


Today I wrote fragment 270 of Appearances.


Trying to play guitar is making me even more cognizant of the power of repetition.


Diogenes is reputed to have masturbated in public.  He is also reputed to have been the mirror personality of Alexander the Great.