is very likely that nearly every one has been very nearly certain that
something that is interesting is interesting them" Gertrude
Monday 30 January 2006 permalink
note This week I'll be serializing my article "Free
(Market) Verse," forthcoming in the pages of The Baffler,
lipstick I'm grateful to Largehearted
the Gramaphone, Lux
Fire, and others from the music side of things for calling attention
to this project. I lacked the time in autumn
to advance beyond the first few August sketches, but with luck 2006
won't be so brutally busy (knowing smile).
Required reading Lime
Tree on Legitimate Dangers.
Struck from the float (passages from Rosmarie Waldrop's Splitting
Image) "Given to conclusions, I admire awkwardness
in love. Open my clothes. To what stands outside my tongue."
to recall the body to itself, with lines discontinuous, metonymy restless,
the mirror in back of the head? The sayable may remain unsaid in what
is said, but still pulls. The force of gravity or tears."
money, phonemes have no reality. No weight, no color, no density of
desire. An abstract value that makes possible language, lunch in a pub,
and the roar of a mob out to lynch."
threefold move is needed if the poem is to equal its ground of silence:
preferring not to, having nothing to say, and saying it. I imagined
the river, too, blinded with quick flames."
up badly "Hegel's third term has bad manners: it doesn't
know when to leave. The fact that it has been brought up badly is the
motor of the Hegelian dialectic: man is a perverted animal whom Nature
fails to reabsorb, an ill-mannered child who insists on having his own
way and forcibly transforms his perversion into a universal. Before
being the measure of all things, he is the very principle of immoderation;
and it is his obstinacy that transforms immoderation into measure. Truth
is an enfant terrible (footnote 119 of Althusser's "On Content
in the Thought of G.W.F. Hegel," Spectre of Hegel 164).
Screen memories Private
Lives (dir. Sidney Franklin, 1931; feat. Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery).
The script of Noel Coward's play still zips right along (I read it after
watching Trouble in Paradise just a few weeks ago
and it held its own), but this sluggish monstrosity ruthlessly hunts
out and assassinates every scintilla of wit in its vicinity. Shearer
is interesting for about eightyfour seconds of the eightyfour minute
runtime, and Montgomery seems a cruel and unlikable prig from start
to finish. Being married to anyone in the picture, leads or foils,
would constitute severe punishment; remarrying one would be sheer
idiocy. You can almost hear the shattering of martini glasses chez Noel
as this dud made the rounds.
Other blogs Somehow found a moment to housekeep my oudated
links page before classes began. Things feel
rather barren in the absence of konvolut m and rue hazard,
but A Tonalist Notes
is a welcome new addition. Today it features some images by Norma Cole,
including this lovely one:
a journal (21 January 1983, aetat. 18, Huntington Beach): 3 O'Clock
& Dream Syndicate at Cal Poly Pomona.
The cataract "For the artist,
who does not deal in surfaces, the rejection of friendship is not only
reasonable, but a necessity. Because the only possible spiritual development
is in the sense of depth. The artistic tendency is not expansive, but
a contraction. And art is the apotheosis of solitude. There is no communication
because there are no vehicles of communication. Even on the rare occasions
when word and gesture happen to be valid expressions of personality,
they lose their significance on their passage through the cataract of
the personality that is opposed to them" (Beckett in his 1931 book
on Proust, copied into a journal on 18 January 1986).
a journal (21 January 1987, aetat. 22, San Diego) "Barrett
thinks I'm too rhetorical" (Charles Bernstein, overheard in conversation).
Il faut bosser Preparing
to teach The Phenomenology
of Spirit this spring, I'm reminded again of the intellectual debt
I owe to Robert
Pippin, with whom I was fortunate to study at UCSD in the mid-80s,
and who has since gone on to chair the Committee on Social Thought at
U of Chicago, among many other things. I very literally owe my present
life, such as it is, to the education I received at UCSD between 1983
and 1988, and I'm grateful beyond words to a dozen or more professors
there (Page duBois, Jean Luc Nancy, Sheldon Nodelman, Michael Davidson,
Roy Harvey Pearce, Stephanie Jed, and Steve Fagin all come immediately
to mind), but because I encountered him in the very first quarter after
I matriculated, and because his lectures on the pre-Socratics, on Plato,
Sartre, Derrida, Barthes, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Hegel and others were
easily the most astonishing evidence of intellectual range and depth
I'd ever at that time had occasion to witness firsthand, it was Pippin
whose teaching most fundamentally shifted the horizon of my experiences
and expectations as a reader and, if the term may be excused, a thinker.
Too light a garment for winter "No,
fools, no, goitrous cretins that you are, a book does not make a gelatine
soup; a novel is not a pair of seamless boots; a sonnet, a syringe with
a continuous jet; or a drama, a railwayall things which are essentially
civilizing and adapted to advance humanity on its path of progress.
¶ By the guts of all the popes past, present, and future, no, and
two hundred thousand times no! ¶ We cannot make a cotton cap out
of a metonymy, or put on a comparison like a slipper; we cannot use
an antithesis as an umbrella, and we cannot, unfortunately, lay a medley
of rhymes on our body after the fashion of a waistcoat. I have an intimate
conviction that an ode is too light a garment for winter, and that we
should not be better clad in strophe, antistrophe, and epode than was
the cynic's wife who contented herself with merely her virtue as chemise,
and went about as naked as one's hand, so history relates" (Theophile
Gautier, 1834 preface to Mademoiselle de Maupin, in Burton Rascoe's
translation of 1920).
unmemory If you asked me today whether I had ever read Nerval's
Sylvie, I would reply that I very much wish I had, but no, not
yet, and not for lack of opportunity. All the more appalling then, the
continuation of that journal entry from 18 January 1986: "3:41pm
It seems so much later than it is. I have just finished reading (re-)
Nerval's Sylvie. And then Proust's essay on Nerval. I preferred
the former to the latter. I don't like hearing Proust's voice outside
of his book. I will never read his letters."
Provisions "Baudelaire was perhaps the first to conceive
of a market-oriented originality, which for that very reason was more
original in its day than any other (creer un poncif). This création
entailed a certain intolerance. Baudelaire wanted to make room for his
poems, and to this end he had to push aside others. He managed to devalue
certain poetic liberties of the Romantics through his classical deployment
of the alexandrine, and to devalue classicist poetics through the characteristic
ruptures and defects he introduced into classical verse. In short, his
poems contained special provisions for the elimination of competitors"
(Benjamin, section 11 of "Central Park," Selected Writings
IV: 168; creer un poncif = to invent a stereotype or commonplace).
On the fret "It was an undoubted proof of his good
sense and good disposition, that he was never querulous, never prone
to inveigh against the present times, as is so common when superficial
minds are on the fret" (Boswell, Life of Johnson, 28 March
(20 February 1998, aetat. 33, Paris): At
Le Solferino the young waiter made theperhaps innocentmistake
of changing an elderly woman's bill as though she had paid with a 100F
note rather than a 500F note. The unaccompanied dame declaimed
at length about the erosion of ethics in the young, what a rascal this
one was, how she would bring the matter before the patron, etc., all
through our brief repast. As I remarked to Jen the other day, the French
seem unbothered by the lack of an interlocutorthey continue their
stream of discourse unabated when alone, all the while checking from
the corner of their eye to see if you might be listening, which they
hope you are. I find it preferable to the enforced quiet of the puritan
U.S., and to the under-the-breath mumblings of the British.
Wizard of Oz (dir. Peter Fleming, 1939). "Are you hinting that
my apples aren't what they oughta be?" The
Big Heat (dir. Fritz Lang, 1953; feat. Glenn Ford, Gloria Graham,
Jocelyn Brando, Lee Marvin, Alexander Scourby). Hadn't known that it's
Marlon's sister playing Katie Bannion with such elan, and hadn't remembered
just how brilliant and ebullient a performance Graham gives. Despite
my dread at the two passages in which harm befalls these women, this
film just gets better with each viewing. Boy's
Night Out (dir. Michael Gordon, 1962; feat. Kim Novak, James Garner,
Tony Randall). Novak has a dissertation to write: "Adolescent Sexual
Fantasies in the Adult Suburban Male." Happily, evidence abounds.
From a journal (early January 1994, aetat. 28, Providence)
I love the way Kafka in his diaries says about this or that story that
he has begun (but cannot finish) that it has x number of "irremediable"
errors. He never says what they are, but you imagine that he is thinking
of a sentence that can't be written correctly, or perhaps an instance
of presentation that is "off" somehow. What counts is that
he knows about them, that he is devastated by them. There is a little
period, between August and December of 1914, when he seems almost happy.
That spring, he writes about Napoleons errors leading up to Waterloo.
For Kafka, it was always a psychic Waterloo, and the tactical errors
were completely recognized as such at each step (not retrospectively).
I cannot say how cheered I feel by reading those pages, all those pages:
as though someone took the trouble to live less well than a Beckett
character. "I can't endure worry, and perhaps have been
created expressly in order to die of it. When I shall have grown weak
enoughit won't take very longthe most trifling worry will
perhaps suffice to rout me" (Kafka, Diaries: 1914-1923 92).
went down with the ships In the first of my childhood bedrooms
there hung a needlepointed quatrain: "One ship sails east, another
west / with the self-same wind that blows / 'tis the set of the sails
and not the gales / which determines the way they go." Who worked
it, who put it on my wall, and what lesson I was intended to extract
from it have all become unanswerable questions with the passage of time,
but the lines themselves remain (at least the first three, the fourth
can be filled out in a variety of ways, none of which my memory spontaneously
reproduces). Last night I experienced an unexpected fusion of past and
present selves while reading this passage in Benjamin's "Central
Park": "For the dialectician, what matters is having the wind
of world history in one's sails. For him, thinking means setting the
sails. What is important is how they are set. Words are for him
merely the sails. The way they are set turns them into concepts"
(section 23, Selected Writings IV: 176).
who you are Richard Pryor, Late May 1968, Hollywood: "And
when I say white man, I don't mean everybodyyou know who you are."
Laughter, Pryor guffaws, pauses. Guy in audience: "You're
lucky I got a sense of humor." Pryor: "I'm lucky you have
too, because I know what you white people do to us." Someone (hollering):
"That's right!" Prolonged laughter and applause. Pryor
(after a pause): "Can I ask you, why are you all afraid of black
power? Why? You, you seem to be the spokesman for the bigot group, why
are, uh..." Laughter and applause, Pryor guffaws. Pryor
(announcer voice): "A contingent from bigotville, what do you say
sir?" Pryor (regular voice): "Guys with a flag" (shifts
to falsetto) 'Dammit I'm for Johnson.'" I've been listening
a lot to the Rhino two-disk set Evolution/Revolution
lately, which catches Pryor a little before and just after the change
of mind and style that grew from his September 1967 "what the fuck
am I doing here" epiphany at the Aladdin Hotel and subsequent season
in Berkeley with Huey Newton and Ishmael Reed. Pryor was a fact of my
growing upThat Nigger's Crazy came out when I was ninebut
just how many layers of it were lost on me only becomes apparent in
listening again now. Judging from the audience reactions, the
physical component to these routines must have been amazing. But the
aural record does suffice: I especially love the stalling use Pryor
makes of his own laughter, which he releases in goofy but precisely-timed
bursts that allow him to ride the audience reaction while remaining
a split second ahead of the cognitive curve of his listeners.
7 January permalink
Screen memory Zardoz
(dir. John Boorman, 1974; feat. Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling; 105min;
screened on FMC). A tenuous sublimity, indistinguishable from silliness,
infuses Boorman's freebie follow-up to Deliverance. One never
suspends disbelief, and yet every moment is gloriously unbelievable.
While I can still remember, here are the castes populating Boorman's
fable: Eternals (cultural elites who literally live in a bubble), Apathetics
(eternals who decline all actions and passionsuntil they taste
Sean Connery's sweat), Renegades (eternals who've opted for a Fellini-esque
denouement: unable to die, they dance out their decay), Brutals (who
subsist in a Hobbesian state outside the bubble), Exterminators (Brutals
commanded by Zardoz to slay surplus Brutals and make the rest to farm).
Connery careers through the picture in a red
loincloth, leading J. to comment: "It's his The
Swimmer." But Burt Lancaster looks like he was born for that
role, while Connery is trapped between game effort and scarcely-concealed
shame at what he's being made to do (by Boorman, not Zardoz).
past forty "Plato forbids children to drink wine before
eighteen, and to get drunk before forty; but those who have passed forty
he orders to enjoy drinking, and to mix freely in their banquets the
influence of Dionysus, that good old god who restores gaiety to all
men and youth to the old, who softens and mollifies the passions of
the soul as iron is softened by fire" (from Montaigne's "Of
drunkenness," chapter two, book two of the Essais in Donald
all the same to him "He displays himself in complete
seriousness, in order to illuminate the general conditions of human
existence. He displays himself embedded in the random contingencies
of his life and deals indiscriminately with the fluctuating movements
of his consciousness, and it is precisely his random indiscriminateness
that constitutes his method. Whether he relates an anecdote, discusses
his daily occupations, ponders a moral precept of antiquity, or anticipatorily
savors the sensation of his own death, he hardly changes his tone; it
is all the same to him. And the tone he uses is on the whole that of
a lively but unexcited and very richly nuanced conversation.... In him
for the first time, man's lifethe random personal life as a wholebecomes
problematic in the modern sense. That is all one dares to say."
(Erich Auerbach concluding his chapter on Montaigne in Mimesis).
6 January permalink
memories (including a few I'd forgotten about below)
Trouble in Paradise
(dir. Ernst Lubitsch, 1932; feat. Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, and Herbert
Marshall). My favorite film in a cleaned-up print. Mrs.
Parkington (dir. Tay Garnett, 1944; feat. Greer Garson). Odd flick
in which we see Garson age from waif to matriarch. Mrs.
Miniver (dir. William Wyler, 1942; feat. Greer Garson, Teresa Wright).
The (at-least) annual viewing. The
Best Years of Our Lives (dir. William Wyler, 1946; feat. Myrna Loy,
Dana Andrews). Teresa Wright, slain in Mrs. Miniver, rises to
love Dana Andrews in Best Years. Myrna Loy is ever so gradually
becoming my favorite actress. 24:
Season Four (created by Joel Surnow & Robert Cochran; various
writers and directors). Previously I knew neither of Shohreh Aghdashloo
(who plays Dina Araz) nor electromagnetic
pulse bombs. Now I'm wiser. Fifty-something Iranian exile Aghdashloo
is gorgeous (she reminds me somehow of Gena Rowlands), but her voice,
rich and throaty, along with her "don't hurry me" line delivery
made hers the most memorable character of the season.
tore through Franklin Bruno's alphabetical anatomization of Armed
Forces in the Continuum 33 1/3 series. It's a testament to FB's
immersive method and indefatigable observational powers that I fully
expected him to describe the skip that afflicts "Big Boys"
(right after "so you can cross her off your list") on my aging
vinyl copy. A few days after finishing the book, I happened to
hear Abba's "Dancing Queen" in a department store. I listened
carefully for the piano line Steve Nieve reworked in"Oliver's Army."
FB's take: "In 'Dancing Queen,' the phrase is one morsel of ear
candy among others, disappearing without resolution. In 'Oliver's Army,'
the entire piano part is a neon arrow pointing back to EC's lyric and
vocal" (54). I seem to remember listening to a cassette
of AF very intently one summer in my teens when I was at my father's
house in Barrington,
New Jersey. Few of the historical referents were known to me, and news
of the "Columbus episode" hadn't reached me. Still, I studied
the music and lyrics for everything they knew and I didn't. And I added
being drafted into the "goon squad" to my list of things to
avoid (along with people who worked for what the Clash called "the
clampdown"). I listen to country music in the car now and
then, for the pleasure of it as well as the ideological education. Little
Big Town's anthem "Boondocks" is hard to escape lately. The
chorus goes: "I feel no shame / I'm proud of where I came from
/ I was born and raised in the boondocks / One thing I know / no matter
where I go / I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks" (hear a
snatch here). Commutation
test: drop the phonetically proximate "goon squad" into the
"boondock" slot. See what happens.
reaching for Beckett, when it was Boswell's Life of Johnson that
I wanted: "On Wednesday, April 3, in the morning I found him very
busy putting his books in order, and as they were generally very old
ones, clouds of dust were flying around him. He had on a pair of large
gloves, such as hedgers use. His present appearance put me in mind of
my uncle, Dr. Boswell's description of him, 'A robust genius, born to
grapple with whole libraries'" (1776, aetat. 67).
to Christmas permalink
(randomized by memory) The
Prisoner of Zenda (dir. John Cromwell, 1937). Witty performances
by Ronald Colman, David Niven, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
The Homecoming: A Christmas
Story (dir. Fielder Cook, 1971). The CBS holiday special that turned
into the Waltons series. Post-stroke Patricia Neal is uncanny as Momma
Walton and Cook's nonchalant handling of diurnal clock verges on avant-garde.
(dir. Ronald Neame, 1970). Musical version with Albert Finney, who is
magnificent in the lead. Also features the best Christmas present I
can call to mind ("Come here, you weird little man"). Folks
indebted to Scrooge celebrate his death (foretold) by dancing on his
coffin and thanking him very much (for dying).
Oliver Twist (dir.
David Lean, 1948). Great sets. Alec Guinness's pronunciation of the
word "dears." The trembling of Bill Sike's attack dog.
A Christmas Carol
(dir. Edwin L. Marin, 1938). With the poorly-suited Reginald Owen in
the role reserved for Lionel Barrymore, who was too ill to fill it.
John Doe (dir. Frank Capra, 1941). Imagine a world in which this,
not (the also terrific) It's a Wonderful Life, was consulted
by all citizens on an annual basis. Barbara Stanwyck's "wow"
is as pure of vocalization of anagnorisis as I've ever heard.
Fanny & Alexander
(dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1982; Swedish television version).
Babette's Feast (dir.
Gabriel Axel, 1987). I'd forgotten about the moan the turtle makes:
so mournful. Jarl Kulle, so brilliant as Gustaf Adolf in Fanny and
Alexander, plays the old general (whose task it is to appreciate
the feast for the uncomprehending dinersand viewers).
First eight episodes of the third season of The
Family Guy (created by Seth MacFarlane). About 2250 UMaine students
list themselves as members of the Family Guy Appreciation Club on facebook,
so I am more or less professionally obligated to know it. At a first
glance, I liked the pacing, the rampant allusiveness, the abrupt shifts
from bathroom humor to arcane cultural references. Also the dog not
dog, baby not baby things going on with Brian and Stewie. One great
random sequence in which Peter is drawn into a fistfight with a rooster
concludes with the latter's startledwhat's the term? cluck doesn't
quite get itof recognition of the doom approaching it in the form
of a propeller blade. Little
Women (dir. Gillian Armstrong, 1994).
The 39 Steps (dir.
Alfred Hitchcock, 1935). The
Lady Vanishes (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1938).
Noam Scheindlin, Anna Moschovakis, and Matvei Yankelevich (the latter
two pictured below), I'm less ignorant about contemporary poetry than
I was before arriving at CCCP.
We never made it out of "conference time," and so sadly missed
Drew Gardner's reading
(and book launch!) with Alan Davies on Saturday, but otherwise, je ne
regrette rien. That Kasey
and Stephanie arrive
in Orono momently seems an extension or resumption of the conference
somehow, or maybe the mystical marriage of n/oulipo
and cccp? Apropos the question "what
time is it?" Kaplan
has an interesting answer.
Screen memories: Shadow
of a Doubt (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1943). More at Filmsite,
including Uncle Charles's epistemology lecture to young Charlie, delivered
at the Til Two Club, where indelible Santa Rosa bad girl Louise (played
by Janet Shaw, center in the still below) waits tables in sarcastic
slo-mo: "You think you know something, don't you? You think you're
the clever little girl who knows something. There's so much you don't
know. So much. What do you know, really? You're just an ordinary little
girl living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of
your life and you know perfectly well that there's nothing in the world
to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day and at night
you sleep your untroubled, ordinary little sleep filled with peaceful,
stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares! Or did I, or was it a silly
inexpert little lie. You live in a dream. You're a sleepwalker, blind.
How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul
sty? Do you know if you rip the fronts off houses you'd find swine?
The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it? Wake up,
Charlie! Use your wits. Learn something."
Antic anticapitalism anyone?
"Every composition is a finite certainty out
of the infinite uncertainty" (Schleiermacher).
I read Joan
Year of Magical Thinking over the course of three evenings a few
weeks ago. The first evening I felt panicked by the premise of the book,
reading quickly, a bit hysterically. (Photographs of the people who
jumped from the towers on 9-11 produced a similar feeling when I first
saw them in the days following the events.) The second evening I was
carried along by Didion's calculated rate of narrative disclosure, always
aware of the disjunction between the distress she was describing and
the mastery of the description. The third night I sped too quickly through
the closing pages, distracted by the story-line of the daughter (which
concludes outside the book's frame) from fully attending to that of
the husband. I'll have to reread those final forty pages or so in a
calmer state of mind. "Because
we were both writers and both worked at home our days were filled with
the sound of each other's voices. I did not always think he was right
nor did he always think I was right but we were each the person the
other trusted. There was no separation between our investments or interests
in a given situation. Many people assumed that we must be, since sometimes
one and sometimes the other would get the better review, the bigger
advance, in some way 'competitive,' that our private life must be a
minefield of professional envies and resentments. This was so far from
the case that the general insistence on it came to suggest certain lacunae
in the popular understanding of marriage" (17).
In the early-90s
I read more Habermas than is probably healthful. It was I suppose a
kind of "cure" from the French post-structuralism I'd been
drawn to as an undergraduate and grown impatient with a few years later.
I still had time to read in those days, and I dutifully made it through
the public sphere book, the Philosophical Discourse of Modernity,
several of the books from the late-1960s and early 1970s (Legitimation
Crisis, Knowledge and Human Interests), as well as the Political-Philosophical
Profiles and the collection of interviews Verso published under
the title Autonomy & Solidarity. When I laid down the second
volume of the Theory of Communicative Action in the summer of
1994 (I think it was), the "saturation" phase came to a close
and I have read only sporadically in his oeuvre (and the substantial
body of commentary around it) in the decade since, during which he has
continued at a prolific pace. So it was with a familiar kind of pleasure
that I read in one sitting his interview with Josef Früchtl concerning
"Critical Theory and Frankfurt University" and the chapter
from his recently translated Truth and Justification entitled
"From Kant to Hegel and Back Again." While the latter does
not advance any substantially new thinking on the matter of Hegel's
partial carrying-through of a fundamental "detranscendentalizing"
of the subject of knowledge and action, it does bring Habermas's thinking
on the topic forward in an admirably concise, erudite, and evenat
least in Barbara Fultner's translationstylish manner.
In the 1985/1987 interview, Habermas is asked to clarify some "ambiguous"
remarks he'd made about Adorno's "genius-like" abilities.
His answer is a mixture of empathy and awe: "Adorno was
a genius, I say that without a hint of ambiguity. In the case of Horkheimer
or Marcuse, with whom, by the way, I had a less complicated and, if
you like, more intimate relationship, no one would have ever thought
of saying such a thing. Adorno had an immediacy of awareness, a spontaneity
of thought, and a power of formulation which I have never encountered
before or since. One could not observe the process of development of
Adorno's thoughts: they issued from him completehe was a virtuoso
in that respect. Also, he was simply not able to drop below his own
level; he could not escape the strain of his own thinking for a moment.
Adorno did not have the common touch, it was impossible for him, in
an altogether painful way, to be commonplace. But at the same time,
in his case the elevated demands and the avant-garde claims were without
the purely stilted and auratic features which are familiar from the
school of Stefan George. If there was a pathos, it was the pathos of
negativismand this need not stand in contradiction to fundamentally
egalitarian convictions. Adorno remained anti-elitist despite all his
striking refinement. Furthermore, he was also a genius in the sense
that he had preserved certain childlike characteristicsboth the
precocity and the dependency of those who have not yet grown up; when
faced with institutions and bureaucratic procedures he was peculiarly
Screen Memory: I Walked
with a Zombie (dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1943). Script and other information
From the film transcript: "Jessica
keeps walking toward Betsy, forcing her to backtrack. Betsy backs up
against the stone wall. Staring into Jessica's frozen face, Betsy panics
and SCREAMS, rushing past Jessica and pressing herself up against the
opposite wall. As if in a trance, Jessica turns and slowly pursues her.
Meanwhile, on the first floor of the tower, two servants stand nervously
in the doorway, while Paul, in a robe and carrying a flashlight begins
to mount the stairs. Jessica closes in on Betsy just as Paul reaches
Wishes and grins: Wish I could be in Los Angeles to catch the /n/oulipo
festival. And wish I'd been in DC to witness the Baraka-Smith
For some reason, I grin when I scroll out of the October 20 entry
Hazard (last sight the good king Ubu) and into the October 19 entry
(first sight a Lear-like Olson).
But it's a full smile when I open the cardboard box and reach
through the packing peanuts to retrieve 750 pages of Ted
Berrigan! I thought I'd have to wait until my trip to NYC in early
November to see it, but some kind soul at UCal wants me to have it now,
for free, with the words "examination copy not for resale"
stamped in red along the top pages, which I can't mind, because they're
what save me $50. Back to grinning, right through "Train Ride"
you got to do
about that hand-
The aggregate results of Attention Span
2005 can now be consulted here.
Individual lists, many with commentary, will come online throughout
On a rainy morning, with the prospect of a few days off in embarrassed
institutional semi-acknowledgement of Christopher Columbus, it's possible
to think, no doubt erroneously, that one has a handle on things, like
and odd projects.
So I've scoured the house for works received since late August &
updated that page
after a long lapse. And mightwho knows?get around to more.
Of the countless thing that might have been more carefully expressed
in the "Field Notes" to Poker 6, I most regret a remark
concerning Stephanie Young's marvelous (and recently relocated) Well
Nourished Moon. I love the moon when it waxes and when it
wanes. Having nothing (or too much) to say, and not saying it,
is (with apologies to Cage) more admirarable than compulsive posting.
Hence I love the periodic disappearing acts at Ecritures
Bleues, the self-described "coy" of Odalisqued,
phases of Stephanie's work. But I hadn't figured that out yet when I
filed my notes, or at least not to the point of making myself understood
to others. Another way to approach the issue: I can't easily
call to mind a more erratic posting schedule than the one at this factory
of mostly nonproductive labor. But so be it: off-line life is absorbing,
happily (per Lyn Hejinian) and sadly (per William Fuller).
June 1-15, 2003 June
July 1-15, 2003 July
16-31, 2003 August 2003
September 2003 October
- December 2003 January - February
2004 March - June 2004
July - December 2004 January
- February 2005 March - August
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