Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Earlier this afternoon Thomas Fink and I had a phone editing session.  We were sculpting down our latest collaborative effort (17 poems so far).  Hard to describe how much fun our process is.  It really is a kind of jamming.

Collaboration.  I recommend it.  It makes one question what one is doing in interesting ways.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

This was the first Christmas, since I've been able to read, that I didn't receive a book of any sort as a gift.  I'm not complaining.  It just seems weird.  But then I spend most of my pin money on books.  So it works out.  It's not as if I'm ever going to be without good stuff to read.

The two main things I'm reading at the moment are Zizek's Absolute Recoil and David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks.  Am enjoying both immensely.


Santana and McLoughlin in the background working their version of "A Love Supreme" from Love, Devotion and Surrender.


Watched The Skeleton Twins a couple of days ago.  Hader and Wig are absolutely brilliant in it.


My father's cancer is in remission.  Which is an incredible relief.


One of my grandsons (he's 8) got a guitar for Christmas.  I tuned it for him and tried to show him a couple beginning things.  He got very frustrated when he didn't get what to do right away (which I understand, believe me).  So I've decided that I'm just going to try to teach him when he asks me to.  I'm not going to push.


Appearances is staggering  toward the end of the first draft.  I'll write nothing for days and then a couple of fragments will emerge. I wrote #344 today.  21 fragments to go.


When it comes to guitar, I'm a slow learner.  Embarrassingly so.  Still, there are moments when I get lost in playing, lost in the infinity of possibilities inherent in a scale, say.  I doubt the sounds I'm making would be of much interest to anyone else.  But those moments are what sustain my effort.

On a related note, my father in a recent phone conversation said that he'd asked my youngest daughter Claire how my guitar playing was really going.  He said "Tom always tells me he's struggling with guitar, blah blah, but I suspect he's doing better than he's says."

Claire responded that the few times she's heard me practicing she thought I sounded pretty good, that in fact she'd once mistaken me for the radio.

What Claire didn't tell my Dad was that when she originally told me she'd mistaken my playing for the radio, she'd gone on to add "boring old man's radio."  Ha!


Monday, December 15, 2014

I had a good writing day today.  Completed 4 fragments for Appearances, started a fifth and have a plan for the sixth.  It's a relief I tell you.  Only twenty-some fragments to go before the first draft is completed and I can start the hard work of sculpting the manuscript into its final state.


Listening to Beth Hart's "Bang Bang Boom Boom."  Google it, there's a great video of it online. She's going to be in Kent in February.   I want to go but expenses have been steep this year.  And there's the Robert Cray tickets I crave too. Sigh.


One of the pacts I've made with myself is that if I'm watching mindless TV (which is sometimes the best kind of TV) I need to do it with a guitar in hand.  My shoulder and neck (on my left side that got slammed against an apartment wall when I was assaulted on the job) ache after practicing for two hours while I watched , in my desultory way, Guardians of the Galaxy.


Unseasonably warm day today.  I'll take it.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

I've been thinking a lot this morning about this passage from Zizek's Absolute Recoil:

...what if the Hegelian claim that the 'subject is not a substance' means precisely that the subject is nothing but its own anticipatory form?  In short, what if the subject is something like Malevich's black square on a white background, a pure marking of a difference between inside and outside, a pure frame which paradoxically precedes what it enframes?  And, consequently, what if an event is like Duchamp's urinoir:  a contingent little piece of reality which can provoke an evental reaction from the subject only if the subject is already there as its own form/anticipation?  This is why Lacan's claim that there is no subject without object is to be strictly distinguished from the standard transcendental correlation between subject and object: the subject is like an empty frame without an object, and it is correlative to an object without a frame, without its proper place.  These two can never encounter each other within the same space, not because they are too far away but because they are one, the front side and obverse of the same thing.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Eileen Tabios has an interesting post today about the latest project from Dusie, a project inspired by philosopher Tim Morton's Ecology without Nature.  By all means, click on the link to the Dusie project via Eileen's blog.  But, also, if you'd like a little intro to Mr. Morton's work, go here to read an interview that I did with him, and then consider purchasing his important book.
Jean Vengua's e-zine Local Nomad is now accepting submissions for its Spring issue.  The theme: "Killing Ground."  The inescapable first association I make with this theme is the great blues song by Howlin' Wolf. Listen to it here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Have an epigraph for Appearances:

"Only shallow people do not judge by appearances."

--Oscar Wilde

Although, perhaps it would be better as a blurb!

Galatea Resurrects #23 is fresh....

...go directly to http://galatearesurrection23.blogspot.com or click on your individual inks below.

Table of Contents:


Bill Scalia reviews A MESSENGER COMES by Rachel Tzvia Back

Steve Dickison reviews WRITTEN 1976–2013 by P. Inman

Tom Beckett reviews WRITTEN 1976-2013 by P. Inman

Eileen Tabios engages IN THE ICE HOUSE and SETTINGS FOR THESE SCENES, both by Genevieve Kaplan

John Bloomberg-Rissman reviews SONNETS by Anonymous

Mark Young engages BEYOND THE OHLALA MOUNTAINS: POEMS 1968-2002 by Alan Brunton, Edited by Michele Leggott & Martin Edmond

Djelloul Marbrook reviews MALANGA CHASING VALLEJO: SELECTED POEMS BY CESAR VALLEJO, New Translations and Notes by Gerard Malanga

Eileen Tabios engages MANUAL and IMAGEMS 1, both by Richard Berengarten

Pam Brown reviews INDIRECT OBJECTS by Louis Armand

Allen Bramhall reviews HOME AMONG THE SWINGING STARS: COLLECTED POEMS OF JAIME DE ANGULO, Editor Stefan Hyner, with an essay by Andrew Schelling

Eileen Tabios engages  “The Way In,” a poem in DARK. SWEET. NEW & SELECTED POEMS by Linda Hogan

Jennifer Campbell reviews GOING WITH THE FLOW by Peter Siedlecki

Eileen Tabios engages TO KEEP TIME by Joseph Massey

John Bloomberg-Rissman reviews #! by Nick Montfort

Eileen Tabios engages #! by Nick Montfort

Bill Scalia reviews GEMOLOGY by Megan Kaminski

Eileen Tabios engages BOMBYONDER by Reb Livingston

Allen Bramhall reviews I-FORMATION BOOK 2 by Anne Gorrick

Eileen Tabios engages IATE THE COSMOS FOR BREAKFAST by Melissa Studdard


John Bloomberg-Rissman reviews AFTER-CAVE by Michelle Detorie

Eileen Tabios engages AFTER-CAVE by Michelle DeTorie

Eileen Tabios engages A STRANGER’S TABLE by Anne Brooke

Rebecca Loudon reviews THE FINNISH ORCHESTRA by Kathryn Rantala

Zach Choi, Andrzej Richardson & Jeffrey Simonetti review STRAIGHT RAZOR by Randall Mann

Eileen Tabios engages POEMS FOR THE TIME CAPSULE, collected by David Watts

Heather Sweeney reviews THE MEATGIRL WHATEVER by Kristin Hatch

Eileen Tabios engages THROW    N by James Wagner, Poems to paintings by Bracha L. Ettinger

Bill Scalia reviews A DISTURBANCE IN THE AIR by Michelle Poulos

Eileen Tabios engages OTHERWISE, MY LIFE IS ORDINARY by Bobby Byrd

SS Prasad engages COMPLETE MINIMAL POEMS by Aram Saroyan, 1st edition and 2nd Edition (Edited by Aram Saroyan and James Hoff) and its review in GR #22 by Eileen Tabios


Bill Scalia reviews STAINED GLASS WINDOWS OF CALIFORNIA by Julien Poirier

Neil Leadbeater reviews SELECTED POEMS by Mark Ford
Eileen Tabios engages SALSA by Hsia Yu, Trans. from the Chinese by Steve Bradbury

Bill Scalia reviews COMES UP TO FACE THE SKIES by Steve Gilmartin

Eileen Tabios engages I DIDN’T KNOW MANI WAS A CONCEPTUALIST by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde

Bill Scalia reviews MAO’S PEARS by Kenny Tanemura

Eileen Tabios engages ON LIBERTY, REPRESSED by Tom Jenks

Allen Bramhall reviews SKY LANTERNS: NEW POETRY FROM CHINA, FORMOSA AND BEYONDEdited by Fiona Sze-Lorrain and Frank Stewart

Eileen Tabios engages LIFE IN THE ORDOVICIAN: SELECTED POEMS by Robert Murphy

Grace C. Ocasio Reviews ROUTES HOME by Crystal Simone

Eileen Tabios engages THE WAY WE LIVE by Burt Kimmelman

Marthe Reed reviews STATE OF THE UNION by Susan Lewis

Neil Leadbeater reviews SARAH – OF FRAGMENTS by Julie Carr

Eileen Tabios engages THEY TALK ABOUT DEATH by Alessandra Bava

Bill Scalia reviews MINIATURES by Meredith Cole

Neil Leadbeater reviews A TOAST IN THE HOUSE OF FRIENDS by Akilah Oliver

Eileen Tabios engages THE SPEED OF OUR LIVES by Grace C. Ocasio

Bill Scalia reviews WOMAN IN THE PAINTING by Andrea Hollander Budy

Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey reviews HANDIWORK by Amaranth Borsuk

Eileen Tabios engages THE SHAPE OF A BOX by Grace Curtis

Tom Beckett engages A PRINCESS MAGIC PRESTO SPELL by Lisa Jarnot



Neil Leadbeater interviews Jane Seabourne



Brandon Som reviews FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY: [GUMA] by Craig Santos Perez

Jeff Von Ward Reviews WE, MONSTERS by Zarina Zabrisky

Takeema Hoffman Reviews NOCHITA by Dia Felix

Takeema Hoffman Reviews A HISTORY OF BROKEN LOVE THINGS by SB Stokes


Alexandra Gilliam Reviews BESIDE MYSELF by Ashley Farmer


Saturday, December 6, 2014

If you're a reader of radical philosophy, you're in luck, Verso Books are 50% off with free shipping this month.  Go here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Listening to Miles at the Fillmore, wrestling with Appearances and profound depression.


In March the great Robert Cray will be back in town at the Kent Stage!  I've heard him at that venue twice before and am looking forward to hearing him again.


I found this footnote in Zizek's Absolute Recoil: Towards A New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism interesting:

In India, thousands of impoverished intellectual workers are employed in what are ironically called "like-farms":  they are (miserably) paid to spend the whole day in front of a computer screen endlessly clicking "like" buttons on pages requesting visitors to "like" or "dislike" a specific product.  In this way, a product can be made to appear very popular and thereby seduce ignorant prospective customers into buying it (or at least checking it out), following the logic of "there must be something in it if so many customers are so satisfied!"  So much for the reliability of customer reactions...(I owe this information to Saroj Giri, New Delhi).



"Some eyes are mirrors.

Some eyes are holes."

(from Appearances)


Sunday, November 30, 2014

I'm multitasking.

There's a DVD on of Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo.  It features a new backing band.  I was a fan of the last configuration, but this one is fabulous.  I can't fault Beck's ability to keep evolving.  He's a great recognizer and encourager of talent.  I admire that about him.

I'm typing this, obviously, making something like a "real" post--something I haven't been doing much for awhile.  I do want to get back to blogging.  My sister's death took me out of the game for awhile.

I'm making dinner--a chicken chili.

OK.  So I am hopping up and down a lot, putting things on pause, adjusting temperatures, draining things, setting timers, slicing stuff, playing air guitar and etc.  That's how I roll.

As I roll toward the end of the first draft of Appearances I'm feeling frustrated.  There have been so many interruptions in the course of its making that I keep having to start over again.   I've been working on it for three years, the longest I've ever worked on a writing project, so I'm anxious for it to eventually resolve into something of some use.

I've been keeping up with guitar practice but progressing slower than I'd like.  Part of the problem is that my fingers still aren't strong enough to do what I want to do.  Part of the problem is that I'm very slow to understand musical concepts--it takes me awhile to hear patterns, changes, etc. Part of the problem is that I can't make it the totality of things, the entire focus.  In the end, I'm a poetry person.  But music,damn it,  I want at least a tiny piece of it.

Thanks for listening.  Stop by and say hello now and then.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Go here to read my responses to three questions concerning Dipstick (Diptych).  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When I was in the Atlanta airport I picked up Carlos Santana's new autobiography, The Universal Tone.  I'm relishing it.  As I type this I'm listening to Santana Live at the Fillmore, an astonishingly beautiful album of live jams recorded in late 1968.

In late '68 I was 15 years old and listening to other things. I caught up eventually, but then I'm still playing catch-up in many ways.


Ketchup. Catsup.


Freak flagon.


Still feeling punched in the gut by my sister's death.  Tears are set off by the smallest things--a news story, a stray thought--whatever.  I'm grieving.

Amy cheated death so many times over the last 25 years, It's hard to believe she's gone.  She was a strong, brave girl.

I'm struggling to return to routines.  Have been doing a lot of housework and yardwork.  Hoping I can find a way back to thinking/writing soon.


Monday, November 10, 2014

This is what I read at Amy's memorial:

Life is messy, knotty.  Each of us is made up of braided strands of good and evil, compassion and indifference.

I believe that laughter can help sort our messes, help loosen our knots.

Amy and I didn’t, as adults, get to spend as much time together as we would have liked; but when we did get together, we laughed!

Often at family gatherings when our Mom would start to laugh, Amy and I would catch one another’s eye, nod and—sometimes in unison, sometimes in a raggedy asthmatic harmony—begin to draw deep raspy breaths.  Something like this… uhhhh!!!

This would cause Mom to laugh uncontrollably.  She’d laugh until she cried, she’d laugh until it hurt.  Amy and I were co-conspirators in our Mother’s laughter.  It was a beautiful, cathartic thing and one of my favorite family memories.

I’ve cried a lot over the last several weeks.  I’m probably not done crying, but I’m not done laughing either. 

I hope all of you—family and friends—will find it in your hearts to remember Amy with a smile & perhaps a rollicking belly laugh as you reflect on a special moment you had with her.

I want to conclude by saying: uhhhh!

Emotionally and physically spent after returning from my sister's memorial in Colorado.  A day of travel, another day with family and Amy's friends, then another day of travel.  I'm glad I did it, but it was exhausting.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

My song for Amy is up at the issue of Truck which La Bella Anny Ballardini is currently assembling.
The first issue of Jean Vengua's new journal, Local Nomad, is up!!    And I'm happy to have a little something in it.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My sister passed away this evening.  Amy, rest in peace.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Today I have been working on a song for my sister.  I have the lyrics down and have recorded a rough draft acappella version which I haven't been able to figure out how to post.  Am struggling with a guitar part to be added later.

Here are the lyrics:

Shadows Can’t Be Rehearsed
Syllables dissolve in
Syllables dissolve in
Syllables dissolve in words

Curtains fall
In the middle of things
In the middle of things
Curtains fall

Curtains fall
In the middle of things
In the middle of things
Curtains fall

Syllables dissolve in
Syllables dissolve in
Syllables dissolve in words

Curtains fall
In the middle of things
In the middle of things
Curtains fall

Curtains fall
In the middle of things
In the middle of things
Curtains fall

Syllables dissolve in
Syllables dissolve in
Syllables dissolve in

Curtains fall
In the middle of things
In the middle of things
Curtains fall

Curtains fall
In the middle of things
In the middle of things
Curtains fall

Syllables dissolve in
Syllables dissolve in
Curtains fall
Curtains fall

In the middle of things
In the middle of things
Curtains fall

Saturday, October 25, 2014

B's sleeping on the couch.  I'm listening to the blues(R. L. Burnside) and thinking about writing projects.

There are 3 book reviews I need to do.  I also need to get back on track with Appearances.  And I'm thinking about making a long poem through erasure of Hegels Phenomenology of Spirit.  


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Tired Old Me

at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs last week:

Literally breathtaking since at that altitude I had to catch my breath a couple of times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hibiscus blossom
on the kitchen floor.

Bespoke suit
of a known heterosexual.
Feeling tired and listless I googled myself and found this image of a pamphlet of mine from the  '70s:


How abstract is that to just give the url.  It's in keeping with the work at that time though which was pretty abstract.  So...I don't even have a copy of the thing.  Wonder how it would look to me now.

I sent it to Guy Davenport back in the day.   He incisively critiqued it as being about, but not inhabiting, the subject matter.  That was a very useful response.

Monday, October 20, 2014

When my sister was in high school she was told that she had type 1 diabetes.  The diagnosing physician said that she wouldn't live past forty.  His cruel prediction would have come true but for a double organ transplant (pancreas and kidney).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

When my sister was in her twenties her passion was skydiving.  Back in those days, the seventies, parachutes were round and notoriously hard to maneuver.  Once she landed on a water tower and had to be rescued by the Fire Dept.

Her greatest skydiving feat occurred when she was participating in a group dive.  They were all supposed to land in a football stadium at halftime (I think it was at Penn State). Everyone but Amy overshot the stadium.  Amy landed on the 50 yardline.  When she took her helmet off someone yelled "It's a girl!."  The stadium erupted in thunderous applause.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Just got home.  Have been away for 5 days--in Colorado.  My sister Amy (two years younger than me) is dying.  It's been a tough week.  I feel wrung out, exhausted.  Will get back to regular posting when things settle down.  It may be awhile though.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lot of existential issues right now that I can't discuss in public.  Suffice it to say that I will when I can.  I'm stressed.


Friday, September 26, 2014

"A body is the withdrawal from self that relates a self to itself as it exposes the world.  My body is not just my skin turned toward the outside; it is already itself my outside,the outside in me and for me--opposed by me to myself in order to distinguish me from unity.  A stranger to others and first of all to this other that I become thanks to it. Where am I?  In my foot, my hand, my genitals, my ear? Where am I in this face, these traits, traces, eccentricities, tremblings?  Who am I on the contours of this mouth that says 'I'?"

--Jean-Luc Nancy, from Corpus II: Writings on Sexuality

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This past weekend I received an email from Jean Vengua.  She's starting a new online journal devoted to art and literature.  It's called Local Nomad.  The first issue is on the theme of Migration.

Jean asked if I would submit something.  I wanted to but wasn't sure I had anything interesting in me to say on this theme.

I read Jean's email  fairly late at night, just before bedtime. So, before I went to bed, I looked up "migration" in the dictionary.

I woke up in the morning with a six line poem ( a double hay(na)ku) rattling fully formed in my head.

Jean accepted the poem and wrote that she loved that it appeared in the migration between sleep and waking!


Appearances is an ungainly machine of improbable devolving beauty.  It's never not in the mix for me.


"There is neither unity nor multiplicity.  There is the one and the other, the one to the other, the one beside the other between the one and the other."

Jean-Luc Nancy, from Corpus II: Writings on Sexuality (Fordham University Press, 2013)


Friday, September 5, 2014

I enjoyed this Zizek passage at Ecology Without Nature.
Out late last night.  My friend Branton and I caught a Wilco concert at the Akron Civic Theater. It was fabulous.  I arrived home tired but wired and inspired, guitars and lyrics clattering in my old head.  Branton and I were outliers.  Most of the audience was 20- and 30-somethings.  I feel like I'm sleep walking today, but it was a great, great night.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Trying to learn music at times impedes my ability to enjoy hearing it.


Floor and ceiling fans are holding humidity at bay.


I'm wrestling with Appearances and thinking through a friend's selected essay manuscript


I woke up in the middle of last night wondering if I had just ventrilloquized a fart.


Poetry is always going to be a problem for those that care about it.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Lately I have been writing blog material which I delete instead of posting.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

TV. Reality
poetry.  Reality reality.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Listening to the always compelling Imogen Heap.  Thinking about making dinner: pesto pasta and salad.


It's been a wet, coolish summer.  A roofing contractor I know said that he hasn't been  able to put together 5 straight days of work all summer.  That hurts a lot of people.


I pinched a nerve in my neck a few days ago.  Which plays into an old shoulder injury (from when I was assaulted on the job back in the day).

The aging body.  It's not always pretty.


The writing hasn't been coming, so I'm in one of those rebuilding times.  Have been revisiting a number of things, philosophy books etc, trying to resituate, rethink some stuff.

Attention spans these days... Anyone's shelf life...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Spent a chunk of time today reviewing scans of The Difficulties.  Found a few problems, but we're getting very close.

Spent another chunk of time searching the living room for a guitar pick I'd misplaced.

And another chunk of time reading and thinking about Robin Williams.  Such a gifted man.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Listening to some blues and thinking in my meandering way.


Sounds as if The Difficulties should be online pretty soon.  The magazine scans are pretty much done, it's just a matter of finalizing the index.  It's really not something that I sought out.  It's something I was encouraged to do by Charles Bernstein.  And, on reflection, I think that it will be a good thing to have done.  There's some solid things in those mags.


Went to the farmer's market this morning.  Got some great stuff.  Especially the first local peaches of the season.  Nothing like standing over the kitchen sink eating a perfect peach. Juicepocalypse.


One of this last week's highlights was watching Sharknado 2. I didn't see the first film in this franchise, but numero dos is a hoot.  I'm surprised my friend Richard Lopez hasn't reviewed it yet.

Speaking of Richard, he has a glancing mention of the IBM Selectric typewriter in one of his recent posts at Really Bad Movies.  That got me going.  That's the typewriter I used in getting together The Difficulties.

I went through a couple of those machines(which I bought used).  I loved them.  They were state of the art back in the day.  You changed fonts by switching out type balls.  And Selectrics were fitted out for correction tape--that was huge at the time.  For ten plus years I banged on a Selectric everyday.  And sweated, cursed and laughed over it too.  I miss the sound and touch of those lovely typers.


Getting used to my new notebook computer.  Which is probably partly why I'm waxing nostalgic over the technology of a few decades ago.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

"The Skin Of" at Moss Trill

I've got new work ("The Skin Of") up at Moss Trill .

Tip of the hat to editor William Allegrezza.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Otoliths 34

Otoliths 34 is live.  It looks fat and sassy.  I'm pleased to note, too, that a chunk of my Appearances is in it.  Kudos to Mark Young for another great issue of his wonderful e-zine.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taking a break from Appearances until I can see it with fresh eyes.  So fucking frustrated (300 some sections into the damn thing after 2 and a half years).  "Fail better" as uncle Sam once wrote.


I've been working on a new catalog poem called "The Skin Of."


Cool, rainy day.  Clapton on the stereo.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

My laptop's fried.  And, while I usually like fried things, this isn't good.  Really don't need the expense and hassle right now.


My belated birthday present from B. arrived in today's mail:  a silver guitar pick which has my name engraved upon it.  Very cool and a total surprise.  It makes a lovely sound as I rake it against the strings.


Did I mention that my laptop's fried?  The computer on which my manuscripts, etc reside.


Though I mostly practice on the acoustic guitar, I've been spending more time with the Strat lately. I bought the instrument a little over a year ago and am developing a deeper appreciation for the thing.  I even like the humbuckling.  And don't get me started on my wang bar.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I've been thinking about rhymes--my antipathy toward them, but also the complexities they can reveal.

I'm Starting to Think Questions Again

What constitutes enough context to make a decision?  How does one decide that?!
Listening to Keith Jarrett: The Impulse Years, 1973-1974, a lovely 5 disc set.

All the fans are going.  It feels like rain.


I've been leafing through Being Nude: The Skin of Images (Fordham University Press, 2014) by Jean-Luc Nancy and Federico Ferrari.  It's a book of  meditations on 26 pictures, photos, paintings which are arranged alphabetically by subject.  It goes like this:

A    Acephalus
B    Bathsheba
C    Caress
D    Disfiguration
E    Equivocal
F    Fenestration
G   Goya
H   Humus
I    Incarnate
J    Joker
K   Khaos
L   Lumbar
M  Model
N  Nimbus
O  Optic
P  Presence
Q  Quodlibet
R   Resurrection
S   Scopophilia
T   Trans
U  Use
V  Veritas
W  We
X    X
Y   Y
Z    Zero

I'm going to sip this book slowly.  I know it's going to be delicious.  And I'm wondering if I might find some inspiration in it for new work of my own.


Listening to Charlie Haden's bass playing on the Jarrett discs and thinking about the power and resonance of individual notes.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gone But Not Forgotten

In the course of going back through the six issues of The Difficulties, I was struck by the fact that many of the contributors have passed away.  Frank Samperi, Hannah Weiner, David Bromige, George Butterick, Robert Creeley, Fielding Dawson, Larry Eigner, Jerry Estrin, Dick Higgins, Ronald Johnson, Jackson Mac Low, Paul Metcalf, Gill Ott, Cid Corman, Robert Ashley, Theodore Enslin, and Douglas Woolf are sadly no longer alive.  I miss them all.  Especially Fielding.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Drive-by Colonoscopy

(my forthcoming memoir
from Wrecked Him Press).

This Just In From Nico Vassilaksis

  "Reason: To share a recent set of work

Item: A short series of letter composition, imagetext and alphabet vispo


Size: 35 pages

Cost: Free

Wishes: All the best"

Check it out.  There's some interesting work in this portfolio.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bought a number of used CDs this afternoon.  One of which, Coverdale * Page, I'm listening to now.  Hell, yes.  Jimmy Page always brings it.


B. made her world famous sour cream banana cream pie for my birthday (sugar free in this case).  Wow!  And homemade gazpacho (or Gestapo as my brother John always calls it).  I know, we're a strange bunch.


There's a groundhog living under our garden shed.  It emerges to survey its domain and to chow down on our flowers, etc.  Well, Moby Twerp, plans are afoot to relocate you.  It's not personal.  It's a business decision.  I'm gonna make you an offer...


So I was picturing a horse head in a groundhog's burrow and thinking "WTF's wrong with me?!"


What if the Godfather Trilogy was reenacted with groundhogs?  Far out, right.  I might be on to something.


A quick postscript to my last post...The Difficulties has found a digital home with a diligent curator and should be available in a week or so. I'll let you know when it goes live.

I've been going over the scans and experiencing a kind of intellectual-emotional archaeology, reliving a number of significant moments/encounters.  I was unprepared for the overwhelm.


Today's the 45th anniversary of the first moon walk.  It's also my 61st birthday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

In a past post I alluded to my magazine The Difficulties eventual appearance online.  The curator of the project had told me it was going to be up and accessible in a few weeks.  I waited a year without hearing anything further, then emailed asking what if any progress had been made with the project.  I waited another month without a response.  So yesterday I wrote withdrawing permission for The Diff's reissue online. Interestingly, that got a rapid response.

I won't work with people who won't communicate with me.  No matter who they are or how nice they might be in other circumstances.  When someone initiates a project and doesn't exercise the minimum amount of courtesy, that's the end of things.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Blogs I Visit Daily

I read more blogs than those listed below.  But these are the blogs I never fail to read on a daily basis.  In fact, I usually swing by them more than once a day to see if anything else has been posted or to reread a post I've been thinking about.

Silliman's Blog

What can I say.  It's a great resource.

Charles Bernstein

Another great resource.

Zeitgeist Spam

John Bloomberg-Rissman's masterpiece in progress.

Allen Bramhall

Allen's one of my favorite poetry curmudgeons.  His work deserves more appreciation than it has received.

Alex Gildzen

A good friend.  A terrific poet.  My admiration of Alex only deepens as time marches on.

Crag Hill

Crag works both the vispo side of the street and the lineated poetry side also.  I am a longtime admirer of his writing and editing work.

Really Bad Movies

I love this guy.  He's a mensch.

Eileen Tabios

I love this woman. Her generosity. Her energy.  Her restless drive to make things, to make things happen,never fails to move me.

Rebecca Loudon

Speaking of women I love...Rebecca is a huge part of my poetry heart.  If I were in charge of picking the poet laureate of these disunited states, I would--without question--pick Rebecca.  I can't wait until her Henry Darger book is completed.  It's going to be a major event.

Mark Woods

I've learned so much from this blog over the years.  Woods curates selections from his voracious combings of the web.  Poetry, philosophy, art.

Mark Young

Prolific, generous, innovative and brilliant, Mark Young is my favorite genius.  And I am happy to think of him as a friend.

Lynn Behrendt

Speaking of geniuses, Lynn Behrendt comes to mind.  Her poetry and collages are stellar.

Speculative Realism Aggregator

Ian Bogost's terrific philosophy resource.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I'm still sore from the guitar stint I finished an hour or so ago (left shoulder, left arm, finger pads).


Busy weekend.  Grandsons did an overnight with us Friday and stayed until Saturday afternoon.  Then Saturday evening we walked downtown to the Heritage Festival and took in the Numbers Band, the Bluestones (my guitar teacher's band), and had drinks with Branton and Andrea.  Sunday was kind of a recovery day.


Listening to BB King now.


I haven't slept well for a few years.  The plus side of this is that when I'm awake staring at the ceiling my mind races and I sometimes get  viable ideas.  And that is how the latest installment of Appearances came about.


My poetry friend Lynn Behrendt sent me a link to 5 short tracks of her son Jake's guitar work.  Great work.  Exactly in my sweet spot.  Go here to hear.  I want to be able to do what he does.  That's my goal as a budding (at almost 61 years of age) musician.  That last track is my favorite by the way.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Earlier I was headed to the back of our lot to check on the raspberries and spotted a hummingbird in the bee balm.  That's always a little epiphany for me, seeing those small super fast creatures.  At first the eye isn't sure what it's taking in--a dragonfly? No. A hummingbird for sure.

I remember hanging out on Robert Grenier's patio back in the day and freaking out about the number of hummingbirds in the garden.  And they were huge.  I went on and on about it.  I'd never seen more than one at a time before and this Californian variety looked slow and obese compared to the little ones I'm used to.  I think everyone who heard me ramble about hummingbirds on that trip figured me to be a real rube.


Today (between exercise, reading, housework, guitar practice, etc) I've been obsessing over how to write one sentence (the next fragment of Appearances).  I actually started obsessing about this sentence in a dream last night.  It's almost, not quite, there...


The iPod just shuffled over to early Wilco.


This June there were nine inches of rain in this part of Ohio.  Our second wettest June on record.


The shuffle's on to Keith Richard and his Winos now.

Yeah, I'm not writing this without interruptions.


"Interruption" is a word that's important to me.  Especially in its Brechtian sense of  intervention.  It figures in Appearances too (not the word--at least not so far--the concept).


Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm on guitar class hiatus until late September, the community education classes being pegged to the high school's schedule.  So I've been trying to make this summer the Summer of the Chord and have been working to get comfortable with a lot of different shapes and trying to move between them with a degree of fluency.


A week or so ago I was listening to NPR and heard a man talking about learning a string instrument as an older man.  He spoke about how a child struggling to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" or some other rudimentary song tends to get a lot of support and encouragement, but that a grown ass man (not his vocabulary, by the way) tends to get a wholly different sort of reaction.  That really struck, uhh, a chord with me.


This summer I'm also hoping to up my musical skills into some sort of rudimentary song.  But none of that Twinkle stuff.  I'm just saying...


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Check out Eileen Tabios' latest chapbook, 44 Resurrections.  It's terrific.  That it's dedicated to me is an honor.  An even greater honor is that it is a text which works with and expands the "I forgot" structure which ( I guess) I pioneered in my book Dipstick/Diptych (available through Amazon and SPD).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It has taken me over 2 weeks but today I finally managed to figure out how to write  fragment 300 of Appearances.  65 more fragments to go and then I have to re-imagine the manuscript into its final form. Unless I get really lucky, I probably have at least another year of work to do on this project.  It's the most difficult piece of writing I've ever worked on.  I routinely veer between doubt, frustration, depression and joy when considering the thing.


My father has cancer.  He's 84 years old and, otherwise--all things considered-- in good health.  Last week he was at Sloan-Kettering in NYC for some procedures.  One of the procedures involved the injection of a nuclear material.

Dad and Mom live in Connecticut.  After they finished up at the hospital, they were at Grand Central Station racing to catch a train.  Someone tapped my Dad's shoulder. Dad turned around to face a uniformed policeman.

It was a subway detective. He told my Dad that he'd set off a detector!  And proceeded to ask if he had  been in the hospital.  My Dad explained his situation, the cop photographed my Dad's driver's license and thanked him for his cooperation.

Of course, Mom and Dad missed their train.  But the cop helped them to get their bearings and figure out what to do next.


My love affair with Jack White's CD Lazaretto only continues to deepen.  I'm obsessed with it.


It's muggy.  I should be practicing guitar, but my motivation is flagging.


When writing goes well everything seems possible.  But the truth is that the life of an artist is about failure as much or more than it is about success.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Yesterday I watched It Might Get Loud for the third time.  It's a fabulous documentary in which Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White talk about electric guitars.  Oh, and they play together, too..  There is so much good stuff in this film.


Writing not going well.


Three people in my extended family have serious health issues at the moment--my Dad, my sister, and a grandson.


Winter was relentless.  Spring was a soaker and Summer's looking like it might be a soaker too.


Guitar work?  I might have one day a week when I play in a way that doesn't make me unhappy.


Last Friday I walked downtown in the drizzle to hear my guitar teacher's band, The Bluestones.  I sat at the table closest to the stage so that I could study fretwork and the interplay between the musicians.  I was surprised to be joined by a friend, Fred, who is a more practiced and advanced guitar player than me, but who has many of the same frustrations with the instrument that I do.  It was a fun night.


Virtually the only CD I've listened to in the car for the last 3 years is Robbie Robertson's How to Become Clairvoyant. I'm obsessed by the recording.  Here's one of the songs played on late night television with The Roots and the amazing Robert Randolph.  And here's the title song as presented on the album.  Isn't that fucking great?


Not sure if I'm going to do this blog much longer.  Shout out if you have any thoughts.