Sunday, September 20, 2009


1) Trying to find a way to write poems that say a thing (or many things) clearly in the midst of their falling apart (or after which they fall apart)--with music both subtle and bombastic, tripped up and sicke [sic]--like an orchestra going over the side of a cliff into the sea, still playing. Like Rebecca Horn's exploding piano piece. Like Sonic Youth playing George Maciunas' Piano Piece #13 (Carpenter's Piece). Like a Greg Ginn guitar solo. To make/compose this sort of racket I've been writing ten or twenty or thirty-seven lines, etc., then continuing by breaking off bits of the initial stuff and weaving them together with new things as they come. The difficult part is in the idea of "saying a thing (or many things) clearly," (rather than merely demonstrating something) since what I want to say is never pre-determined. I never know what the poem says (or doesn't) until it says it, or says nothing. The method is exploratory, and allows me to peal off the layers of the initial stuff to see what (if anything) is there...


3) The new Yo La Tengo, Popular Songs, has some epic barn burners on it, e.g. "The Fireside" and "The Glitter Is Gone"--these are by turns lovely and subtle, ecstatic and messy. Note: I first typed "bran burners," rather than "barn burners" above. Bran burning is another name for running. Is this an endorsement of both Yo La Tengo and Raisin Bran? Yes, it is. I even dig the former's cover of James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend"

4) And yet, I'm not interested these days in making poems which are only collages. I love collage, but I love lyric profusion/effusion and even narrative just as much. Of course, I have nothing to narrate, and what I do have to narrate I either don't recognize or can't manage. I love details that float. Events that talk like birds on a wire out to lunch in the Vast (or the Void--I musn't forget the void).

5) Need new shirts...


7) Students' art reviews...


Alexis Orgera said...

You, my friend, are speaking my language, in #4 particularly. At poetry camp this summer, I was obsessed with the idea that collage can't just be a collection of disparate parts, yet one of my favorite things to do is cull lines from strange places and witness the spine that's created out of their juxtapositions. I talk about this in my editor's note to New CollAge--something about a tightrope of tension that collage, at its best, walks. But there has to be a spine, along with "details that float. Events that talk like birds on a wire out to lunch in the Vast (or the Void--I musn't forget the void)."

To be perfectly honest, right now I'm heavy bored. I need a spark. Got a spark for me?

russell said...

re: #1... beautiful. difficult. important. makes me think of a rocket launch; boosters falling away, unimaginable speed, broken through the atmosphere into an unnameably true silence, smaller, more specific and task driven, and then the final piece, which becomes not the piece itself, but the mission (the moon, the deathstar, the monkey in its orbit). there in the vacuum, after all of your boom, the heavy microphoned breathing punctuated by beeps, the body weightless.
as for the multi, there was a specific firework with similar characteristics, which i can barely remember not.
thanks for this, pal.