Friday, January 31, 2003

High on Goldberg Variations

Friday Noon Recital

perks perks perks

Back to words

A friend of mine started talking about Koch's idea of a language of poetry. He said that since he's read so much poetry over the past few years, he's noticed a change in his vocabulary cache. His poems have a richer more poetic texture that came from reading more poetry. I asked if what else he's read, and he's widely read, for sure. So, I then asked does not your other reading inform your poetry? Yep. I think the language of poetry is more like a poet's language. The more widely a poet reads the richer the texture of the poem.

Do words drive form?

My friend Jeff, let's call him Ineluctable Maps' Foreign Correspondent reporting from the magnificent Aegean island of Paros, sent me an email with the subject line, "poetics."


Captain Benwick was so intimately acquainted with all the tenderest songs of Scott, and all the impassioned descriptions of hopeless agony of Byron; he repeated, with such tremulous feeling, the various lines which imaged a broken heart, or a mind destroyed by wretchedness, and looked so entirely as if he meant to be understood, that she ventured to hope he did not always read only poetry; and to say, that she thought it was the misfortune of poetry, to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly, were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly.

--Jane Austen, Persuasion

First of what will be running morning sports quips:

Does the NHL [National Hockey League] really matter? That's a lot of money that could be better spent on, say, poetry marketing or supplementing Bush's clean-air hydrogen car R&D.

Did the NY Mets really need those horrid orange batting practice jerseys? I'm sure Tom Glavine having left a very professionally run club like the Atlanta Braves can't believe what he's gotten himself into. The Mets Caravan? How can anyone else get in the bus with Mo Vaughn?

Michael Jordan? Does anyone really care that this is his last season...unless, of course. he makes another comeback when he's 50?

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Jullich should have been an economist

JJ should title his next book, Ars Bean Enumerica or The Gross Verse Product of the St. Mark's Poetry Project Troubadors: POEMS or Word Indices Summary

I wish I were an economist

Re: the monosyllabic/polysyllabic argument, polysyllabics readily appear more frequently in my verse than my prose. I realize the few and brave who visit my blog may not all be subscribers to the Buffalo Poetics list, and so you have no idea what I'm talking about.

I mean no insult to Jeffrey Jullich. His posts always intrigue, provide food for thought, and at times awe me

Nelson Mandela tees off on Bush and Blair

"Why does the United States behave so arrogantly?" Mr Mandela asked.

"Their friend Israel has got weapons of mass destruction but because it's their ally they won't ask the United Nations to get rid of them.

"They just want the oil," Mr Mandela went on. "We must expose this as much as possible."

He also called Tony Blair, "US Prime Minister." I like to call him lapdog, but US PM does the trick.

Calling a spade a spade? Mr Mandela added that both Mr Bush and Tony Blair were undermining the United Nations. "Is this because the secretary general of the United Nations [Ghanaian Kofi Annan] is now a black man? They never did that when secretary generals were white," he said.


Funny, you think that hurts Bush? Nope. He thinks he's so right that there's nothing anyone can do. He really thinks he's right here. It's like that awful father who won't listen to his kids but knows what's best for them. The saddest thing about all of this is that the majority of Americans, who are starting to see that he's going to take all their money away from them do not care. I firmly believe that they have complete faith in Bush to protect them, to keep them safe. Most Americans really think that the team of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Wolfowitz, Negroponte et al will keep them out of harm's way. Yeah, and I got some property in southern Manhattan to sell you.
At least this is what my therapist and I agreed upon today...
"Jay-Z is more important to young people than George Bush," Russell Simmons said. And today more and more young people are writing poetry. Ten years ago, he said, if he had visited a New York City public school and asked how many people wrote poetry, there would have been few hands raised.

"This new spoken-word thing is really gonna change the world," he said, to another shower of hoots and shouts, whistles and cheers from the crowd.

Change it how? Look, I'm not a fan of it, but I'll watch it on HBO if I see it on. Patiently, I listened trying to show I was interested in what my exuberant co-workers said when they told me how DOWN Def Poetry Broadway was, and since they had me on the line, they gave me the 411 on Brooklyn's spoken word tip. One more time: Def Poetry Broadway.

Poetry's big circus tent has room for more than three rings, The Bob Holman aka Baba aka Babaloo aka Ringmaster of the Bowery Poetry Bar told me. [embarrassed: haven't been there, yet]

As Carlo said yesterday, "It's only poetry."

Everynight there are poetry readings I want to check out. Group blog for poetry reading reviews? You go to the show, you tell others what they missed when they didn't go.

For example, this past Monday night, 27 January 2003: Reading Between A & B featured John Yau, Monica de la Torre, and Brett Lauer. Reading order: 1. BL; 2. MdlT; 3. JY.

1. Lauer. First line/First poem: "You move your hair from your face to your shoulder." He lost me. Can I bum a cigarette?

2. de la Torre. Monica read what I'd call a mix between Gerhard Richter/Don Hall in the Museum of Idea poems. Diptychs: snapshot descriptions followed by poet's emotional and intellectual emplacement. Hall has those Horace poems I believe that were straight translations followed by "Or say," versions. Appreciated Monica's courteous by unnecessary apologia for the darkness of the poems. "These are not happy times."* Can I get a witness?

3. Yau. Too dark for the poor guy. He could hardly read his poems. I'm sure his continual entanglement with his cigarette didn't help either. All poets should chew gum when they read. "It's just poetry." Two highlights for me. One was a sort of homage to Breton and cyborgs, but the brightest of the night was a new poem, "Soto Voce." "S.V." was a long poem wherein he tried to carry 4 story lines at once, and he did so successfully. The poem's surface held tight and clean. He never dropped out of sight, and I appreciated his effort. It looked to be 4 or 5 pages long, and I'd like to read it. There was a short poem early on, too. The coloration in the poem held a solid neutrality, and I could really see how much Jasper Johns has influenced John. It was a poem of white numbers and white flags.

Very cold. Very crowded.

*BSOTU--And her pronouncement came before Dubya's State of the Union.

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