Distribution Automatique

Saturday, April 12

Sorry to just blurt this out, but it occurred to me today that: the past is not that long ago and the future is very soon.

A work about reading a certain book wherein the content is described in the most sketchy way-leaving enough hankering after more that could lead to fifty other books. For example: an event (death) is described in the sketchiest of terms. "The past was lopped off in the early chapters." This reading takes place also in the faintest, the most ambiguous of surroundings. For example, this one smells like a bookstore- it's almost grotesque. This enormous array of words and ideas-what made him think he could find it in here...It might have been something like that.

This would seem to be a kind of continual going to and fro between some abstractly represented pillars-a typically ancient setting with green flowing robes and endless colonnades...

Reserve a good bit of time to reread the original ms...

The evening seemed as inviting, just with the book and smokes and plenty of coffee...Maybe a record or two...after a long day of looking for books...

If it is so easy for a book to fall into corrupt hands, for its secrets to be miunderstood...and all in bits and pieces...

And it is so pleasant to rush through a book, to feel the pages quickly turning...low rustles ringing out in the reading room of the 42cd Street Library...And best of all, it so easily conquers time...

I must have been 5 or 6 when I started to read. I fell in love with books and this has never ended. Oh, there have been shabby times...months of reading Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf in Rapallo in 1968...I was dying to go to Paris...that was something else...but books saved me then and I suspect they will save me again-for instance-tomorrow-when, in the morning at the office-I'll sneak out a book (I wonder if it is true about Wallace Stevens' open drawer in his desk...he denied that he wrote there...but still..)
Re: Schwerner interview- what I find in common between "language" poetry and Schwerner's "Tablets" is the
admission (?) awareness (?) recognition (?) in the pattern of the work of the sporadic quality of the "reception" of the poetic "message." Not knowing the difference between outside and inside: is similar to Jack Spicer's idea of "messages from Martian" or the idea of poetry being "Martian"- a different language. Another way to describe this is "indeterminacy" but I think this model distorts more than it clarifies since it brings in the idea of a projected time field which may be unnecessary, i.e. "The Tablets" projects a time field both backwards and forwards. Indeterminacy of intention- this is probably a way to describe the difference between Schwerner's work and much language poetry. Often in this work the impact being sought by the writer as a poetics of either the content or the form is less apparent. In this sense, the cohesiveness of "The Tablets" dramatic (let us say) intention offsets the fragmentary quality of the lines themselves. Language poets tend to subtitute a procedure, that is, foreground the procedure."The Tablets" does this too, but in a more traditionally naturalistic manner. On the other hand, this approach allows for a more clearly discernible sense of humor, for example. You "get" the joke, whereas often the very interesting and challenging difficulty of language poetry often leaves you unclear about the "intended" emotion; ie, Lyn Hejinian's pursuasive attack on "emotion" in the "Writing/Talks" book. The humor of "Tjanting" is perhaps more wistful, this emerges from the repetitions and the accretive quality of the experience of reading and rereading the work.

Poem: Perpetual Motion

Friday, April 11

This from Cori Copp today:

"I didn't blog yesterday--needed to get some perspective. That and people keep making fun of "me and my blog." More and more of my "real-life" friends are finding out. Egads! S'okay, I say egads in real life too."

That's why I wear a mental button that reads, "I'd rather blog"

Let them laugh, let them cry, but keep blogging!

Marianne 12:28 PM

Jonathan Mayhew has been blogging for seven months and has only now learned to put links in his text. This makes me feel better, though I am afraid adorable Laura is getting tired of getting emails from me asking her to add links to my sidebar. It's a gray rainy morning and I can't think of a better way to start the day than to stay inside, with a cup of tea next to my computer and to read some of my favorite bloggers like Stephanie, Dave Hess, Sandra, Gary Sullivan, Caterina, Ron, Nada, Jim Behrle, Marianne, Jack Kimball, Anastasios, Brandon Barr, Cori Copp, Drew Gardner, Joseph Duemer, Eileen Tabios, Jordan Davis and Jonathan Mayhew who yesterday morning put up an audioblog of Frank O'Hara reading "Ode to Joy": "no more dying...buildings will go up in the dizzy air...we shall see the grave of love...a feeling of intemperate fondness will excite the birds to swoop and veer..." And there goes that whistler again, walking by downstairs, happily whistling "The Three Penny Opera"...maybe this will be a good day after all...
Heathens In Heat (David Hess):


An octopus
waves goodbye
to the moon.
posted by David at 9:53 AM
I am trying to put into words my intuitive understanding of time. Also I am trying to find a verbal formulation of what I experience partly in a lexical way. As I have struggled with gaining some basic understanding of modern physics, I am grasping some inner connection with the verbal and the visual.The image I thought of yesterday and today: that time is being experienced within us as the linear is causal in the narrative sense- simultaneously we experience time as anticipitory excitement (expectation) which is future oriented- and also, the acausal and associative transformation via proximity (meaning by proximity-/typology formulation)

In the cosmological sense- the Heisenberg dualism may be resolved by positing that in the macrocosmic and microcosmic sense time is simultaneously swerving toward the past in the very broadest sense as it arches towards the future. Time is a spiral.

Its linear motion is simultaneously flowing "backwards" in the sense of its flowing around itself.

Time may be woven out of several strands of experience.. One strand (expectation) is future-focussed. Another, more associative, recalls. Another strand, at the very core neither remembers or expects. this strand interrupts, surprises, brings time to a halt. On a cosmological level this may mean that past and future bend inwards towards a present expanding at greater and greater accelerations. As gradually, once more, the entire future bends back on itself, history repeating itself for billions of years. Time as metaphor.

Einstein wrote to his old friend Maurice Solovine, who had asked what Einstein meant by the comprehensibility of the world. Einstein answered with a distinction. One can order chaotic events in arbitrary or conventional ways. This is quite different from discovering an order already present.

Not an order already present in language, but an order already present in language beyong that of its descriptive usage.

"Therefore the two processes, that of science and that of art, are not very different. Both science and art form in the centuries a human language by which we can speak about the more remote parts of reality,and the coherent sets of concepts as well as the different styles of art or diffferent words or different groups of words in this language." (Heisenberg)

Non narrative:moves fast, because life (reality) changes slower than perception senses is really going on- Doubt- uncertainty- demands structure- intuition demands spontaneity.
Time and doubt-
Is the unconscious timeless?
The year 2000.

For a moment about ten minutes ago, all the engines were starting to turn over. I saw everything- all the pads and pencils and folders like parts of a machine (by Tinguely for example). It's funny because Tinguely's machine simply destroyed itself at the end.

Part of the idea related to collage and the boxes I put my ideas in with arrows connecting them. Part of the idea included how bits of incompleted actions are the physical complements to links between thoughts (Bion). Also- each piece being collageable and therefore recoverable.

The second postcard to Barrett yesterday. 11/11 try for August 1st. Toni supportive throughout.

Procrastination as being blocked- Max analyzed this with me as the (oedipal) opponant.

1) An image of an opponant- unconscious fantasy.
2) A feeling of being drained of m\y strength.

This feeling is also a slight feeling of nausea accompanied by mental images of my actions being useless in an endlessly repetitive life that does not change. Events appear to be slowing down or seem to be drawn out. This is what is usually considered boredom. But I do not feel bored. Actually, I feel very excited and seem to "drop" the activity to just muse about things excitedly. Exactly at that point I usually "do" something. Then I "forget" how to come back to what I was doing. But generally I leave some kind of "marker" and can usually recover the "lost" object (or idea) if it is absolutely necessary.

My inner estimates of time have vastly changed. This notebook was begun 9/26/83- this is a full 9 months ago. Now this interval of time seems so little or that the amount of productivity (amount produced) still feels small.

I am trying to put my finger on the feeling I get when I'm on vacation. it is anxiety about havinng fun. Became so much more aware of this this week w/Max.

Thought is experienced as an inner voice that is telling me something. It seems so concerned with judgement. It is a good time to not how far I have come on the issue of procrastination. I can see it although externally I have still not appreciably moved very far in this sphere. I certainly understand it far better.

It is clear from my experience of writing that thought does not begin at the beginning. Because of the exprience of inner resistances, thought tends to be cicuitous, circling around its goal or spiriling deep into it. Since thought is like a beam of light emanating from a larger source or light within- it has to choose an area of focus, even when the experience simultaneous to it is far broader and more encompassing. The narrative, which is one response to this renders the experience in metaphysical terms, ordering details of events in a way which makes them appear coherent.

(1) (A) I was thinking that prior to this I thought of a year vaguely, from examples of certain years.

(1) (B) The amount of material covered during this interval is an indication of the amount of movement that can actually take place during the year.

(1) (A) Only a certain amount of movement can take place during a year.

((1) (B) Not necessarily true. A certain amount of movement during this year. the many thoughts of "age" and what ha been accomplished.

(1) (C) From a certain perspective, the absolute feeling of a certain moment overrules the frequently referred to assumptions about accomplishment and age.

(1) (D) Natthalie Saurraute. The idea of a book which is both personal and abstract.

(1) (E) Before that thought there was an image of a kind of writing- this I associated with N.S. But it was a kind of writing.

(1) (F) Just enough and no more.

(1) (G) Blake- Enough. Or too much.

(1) (G) A certain amount is sometimes enough.

(1) (H) Overdoing is-------------------------comes from a feeling that one hasn't done enough-

(1) (I) One overdoes when one is plagued by the feeling of not ever doing enough.

(1) (J) -------------------------------------------------------
The determinate quantity of time is very difficult to grasp experientially. Limitlessness is always contrasted to finitude.One boundary of the conscious imagination is death, the other, birth.The value of history is found at the nexus of origination; the value of prophecy at the crossroads of change.

The longing to know all the parts of each sequence between writng and no-writing. Then the flow may become more spontaneous and I would feel less troubled about it.This is also an issue which relates to the procrastination. Max may say that procrastination is akin to the oedipal experience of feeling blocked. You wait, rather than asserting yourself. As he said: "With your kind permission, sir."

Just because an element is always present, it doesn't mean it is a causal factor.

An image of what I've been thinking about lately: once you understand the essence of a situation, continuing to master it becomes a repetitive honing of the edge of your tools. But the difference between adequate mastery and no mastery at all is a very different affair. Without adequate mastery, establishment of a focus on the entire situation, including its boundaries, is impossible, or extremely difficult. No scale for estimating both the significance of the situation with relation to other related boundaries and territories can be established, because insufficient experience causes each fragment of the whole to appear to take up the whole focus of consciousness. To focus, one requires a range; to establish a scale means to freely move about within the focal range, appropriately estimatinng the necessary changes of position in establishing foucus and maintaining it, and moving from one type of focusing to another.

Bob and Melinda showed up for a surprise visit today. Pucci's again. I am feeling the best I've felt for the whole vacation. Analyzed my own dream- about Scott- Someone saying "I like Scott"- my analysis-"I'm like Scott," as good as Scott= asserting myself. Today I emerged from the fantasy that began the day. Poppy said: "The four of us will rent a house."

The analysis of the dream was not a big "jump" from "I like" to "I'm like." Not a big jump- but something "obvious" in terms of its lexical proximity- although the "meanings" in the declarative sense are far apart. The "obvious" here has to do with availability of choices. Anxious choosing whirls about, looking everywhere, not accepting the choice offering an adequate solution rather than a glittering one. Then again, one should never be oblivious to the shine and twinkle of the far-away and pure.

Knowing what the right energy feels like is most important. Then again, not to pick oneself up because one cannot fly, again and again, is very foolish. Now I feel like the kite, as high as a kite as they say, the one I flew yesterday and today.

Everything is so much simpler here.

Well, what about procrastination? At the beginning of this little book, I was still tending to rail against myself about it. Now I've learned something else, and a few more things are coming together. This notebook itself, for instance. These are graph paper grids, this paper is graph paper. So a small bit of my own movement has been mapped, and something has been "plotted." But we don't want to thicken the sauce with too much narrative. It is sage for the chicken and for the brave to add a little spice.

Thursday, April 10

Again to Pucci's this time with Bonnie, Howie and Holly (Hughs). More laughter, more ribs. When I look at my old journals sometimes I feel embarassed at the extent of my naivete. But I realized, it seems, for a long time what is of value you come back to again and again. This may be one of the secrets of my writing. There is always so much left unsaid, no matter how much one writes. I was thinking that this is a good reason to reread the old writing, so as to realize my own reactions. These realizations as well help to allow me to fill some of the gaps. I just had an image of climbing a high wall. Maybe this is what it has always felt like to me. I've never scaled it, but more important is that part of me knows for certain how much I've been able to get for myself by writing. There is something in the tone of this I don't like that is reminiscent of the old journals and that might be that I am more and more clearly identifying the source of the trouble to be related to anxiety. It's just that when I get really excited I have a need to fumble and then pick up the ball and keep runnning. But with all this I get some glimpse of where the trouble is.
The reason I feel so good tonight is the way that I experienced two social events- the two visits to Pucci's. As Max has said, a gain in one area wil lead to a gain in the other. For awhile now I've doubted this, because of failing to meet the deadline of the article and I want to squarely face face all the factors and make a solid hypothesis about the relative situations- the relativity of science (psychoanalysis) and art. This partly has to do with the actualization of the manifestations of the human (spirit) experience in writing. Even this is really just another tiny fragment of the possible idea. I feel I'm taking small pieces of the ultimate mosaic of this idea and examining each one slowly and carefully, like making fine collage.
Exactly at the point where I "force" things, another experience comes along and trips me up.
(8/8/84; Provincetown)

A poem called "Wars and Weddings." This is based on a dream in which a wedding turns into a war. Also- other poems where the dream is turned into lines or a title.
The depression which precedes a creative period following the excitement aroused by the promise of creation.
Like in analysis, writing requires remembering and including the obvious. It is this interplay of the obvious and the hidden that the magic depends- obvious and hidden- hide and go seek

Don't have to be afraid of circuitous routes if you're not too proud to return home a little abashed.

"I was there."
"What did you see?"
"Nothing much."
"You mean, all that trouble for nothing? Why do you bother?"

Art for the artist is like eating lobster- a lot of thick and obstinate shells to deal with to get to the precious little morsel inside.

The feeling when creating: nothing wasted, all in balance.

The more you need to protect, the less you are mobile.

Moving in on it, stealthy, like a cat.

(Two characters: one, a dog, the other a butterfly. This thought after noticing a butterfly).

It is important to isolate the observation provoked by an event and an observation which follows sequentially in the associative train.

The conflict between thought (or spirit, mind) and the associative chain- the links do not form a stream, if anything, the movements of consciousness are more like a tide and matter is more apparent than real. The difficulty is usually one of quantity which is easily taken to be a difference of quality.

Non-narrative: to isolate the mind's movements from those perceptions which are on hold (continuous; reality testing) we must distinguish between synchronous and non-synchronous observations (outer sequence of events, inner chain).

Working through an idea must include grasping the obvious.

Reaffirming the obvious is like a pedal point,like the "beat" in rock and jazz.
(8/18/84; Provincetown, Cape Cod)

Wednesday, April 9

Ah, Eileen, I almost missed this...Three bits of sunshine...

Like me and Nick both quoting from Rilke's Duino Elegies (I'ma telling you Nick: we met in a prior life. Perhaps I was the mischievous younger sister you were forever extricating from various scrapes. There was a river nearby. I wore mini skirts woven from bamboo leaves...puppies frolicked by our feet as we played...yadda...)
posted by EILEEN | 9:16 AM
Two bits of bright sunshine on an otherwise cloudy and stormy day: thanks to Sandra Simonds for the Rilke poem and thanks to Cori Copp for the link.

Tonight is the first night since I started this blog that I feel completely mute. "The flesh is tired, and I've read all the blogs" (paraphrase of Mallarme). By the way, check out Joseph Duemer's blog when you get a chance. Some words of wisdom there.

Maybe I'll go and read some of those new poetry books I just received. Maybe even write a poem or two, you never know. Catch you later.
The only thing I am completely unambivalent about is the necessity to accept ambivalence.

Tuesday, April 8

-Heathens in Heat- has published an anonymous and fairly witty parody of a number of bloggers, obviously taking great relish in ridiculing my custom (see a recent post of Brandon Barr with a button of my design) of designing buttons for certain bloggers. The comic interview, admittedly slightly humorous in parts, is surprisingly fairly inoffensive until this part about dogs, which is brutal and unkind.

But there is, too, some delight to be taken in killing dogs in literature: they are after all roundly arrogant beings. Many dogs snarl and snap and bare their teeth—and they can bark at one in the most disagreeable way. What’s galling is they have NO IDEA how (1) stupid they look, (2) utterly irrelevant they are, (3) keyed up they are acting, (4) annoying and boorish they are (no one gives a shit what a dog thinks, despite how much they bark and snarl as if we did care [we do not care!]), and (5) they are violent, territorial, and (when not being aggressive) craven. I find them for these reasons to be foolish and reprehensible creatures. They also look stupid

I can grant this person's right to lightly mock a certain far far ahead of its time poetry movement with a few churlish gags, but dogs! How dare you?
For Sandra
(from Rainer Maria Rilke-"The Duino Elegies"-The First Elegy)

Who, if I shouted, among the hierarchy of angels
would hear me? And supposing one of them
took me suddenly to his heart, I would perish
before his stronger existence. For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of a terror we can just barely endure,
and we admire it so because it calmly disdains
to destroy us. Every angel is terrible.
And so I restrain myself and swallow the luring call
of dark sobbing. Ah, whom can we use then?
Not angels, not men, and the shrewd animals
notice we're not very much at home
in the world we've expounded. Maybe on a hill- slope
some tree or other remains for us, so that
we see it every day; yesterday's street is left us,
and the gnarled fidelity of an old habit
that was comfortable with us and never wanted to leave.
Oh, and the night, the night ,when the wind full of welkin
feeds on our faces-for whom wouldn't it stay,
yearned-for gently disappointing night
that wearily confronts the solitary heart?
Is night more easy on lovers? Ah, they only
hide their fate from themselves by using each other.
Don't you know that yet? Throw the emptiness from your arms
into the spaces we breathe, so maybe the birds
can feel the expanded air, more ardently flying.

Yes, the springs needed you. And many stars
expected you to feel them. A wave rose
toward you in the past; or, as you walked by
an open window, a violin yielded itself to someone.
All this was assignment. But could you handle it?
Weren't you always distraught by anticipation,
as if all this announced a sweetheart's coming?
(Where do you think you can hide her,
what with those great strange thoughts running in and out
of you and often staying for the night?)
But when you yearn, then sing of the gods who were lovers,
the fame of their passion has not been made immortal enough.
Those you almost envy, the deserted ones you found
so much more loving than those who had been appeased.
Ever newly begin the praise you cannot accomplish.
Remember: the hero keeps going, and even his ruin
was only a subterfuge for achieving his final birth.
But nature, exhausted, takes the lovers back
into herself, as if she hadn't the strength to achieve it
a second time...

Received three books from Bridge Street Books today (Rod Smith put out a list recently on the Poetics List)
and two books from Stephanie Young:

Lee Ann Brown, "The Sleep The Changed Everything" (Wesleyan)
'Now come the Naysayers

Some people feel

Sick for beauty"

Lytle Shaw, "The Lobe" (Roof)
"She was given to fits of coughing, and minor visits
from non-canonical saints. His radical veterinary operations
were a great success at court. They were the first to lost limbs
in the siege."

Tom Raworth, "Collected Poems" (Carcanet) (576 pages, with an index of first lines, and signed!-some signed copies may be still available)
a likely button of yes

all 'over' the world

Cassie Lewis and Stephanie Young, "Postcard Poems" (Poetry Expresso)
"and then she took
her long walk down
the hallway, was overheard repeating
'The young prince will go mad'"

"Be hospitable to strangers
Sometimes you may want to give away everything you have"

Del Ray Cross and Stephanie Young, "Postcard Poems" (Poetry Expresso)
"There was a line
in the sugar, of ants
and a line to cut the week in 2."

"he wants words dying in my
coffee with a cellphone laughing"

Monday, April 7

My blogger button for Laurable: "Adorable dot com"

Jordan Davis' blogger button: "Million Blogs" (of course!)

Jim Behrle: "Audioblogger"

Blogger button for Stephanie: A rose is a rose is a blog.

Sunday, April 6

Straight from the horse's mouth! Bill Marsh is not closing shop, he's renovating. This is great news.

Blogger button for Bill: "I Sign Therefore I Blog"