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)