Distribution Automatique

Friday, November 14


Things resting in their place.

Trying too hard to understand
something that may not
be worth it. The effort of understanding
an issue is often one
of an appropriate time or

The process of and
for itself.

A question of where and how to
let thoughts fit in comfortably.

What opens it up and
what closes it. What is an
infringement on what. With a
bang or with a whimper. Like a
conversation or a dialogue.
Things feed into it or
don't. Otherwise they rest.
Noticing the small details.
Richard Tuttle said something
about optimism. The rage,
the fury. Let it slide.
They devote themselves. A
talon. Swept in quotes.
Don't make the difficult
impossible. Who says you
can't. Slides in.

Elaboration. At least this
one.They corner it, splicing
the vastness. Or a blessing
in disguise, a blessing in
disguise makes time. After
the fact. More ways than
"in more ways than one."
They should. Or should
they? even a reverse
is more than one thing,
getting up and making
(creating ) them in disguise.
Singing or (sin-ging) singing a planet.
How to pronounce it-
who leads? or make
something to understand.
Under a narrowing...
tendency. Or can make
it up (create with) by
and for. At last, at

Quarters, folded.
A siren- attention to the
police. Clearing it up,
cleaning it up. They
case, or create a
tendency, a destiny, a
destination. In was, or
someone cleared it up. Devils
in the details. Effacing or
erasing the crime, the comma
a copy, a retroforce in
will. Stay alive. Can
measure. Up to a force,
another kind of connective.
Just start and don't stop.
Conjunction, ampersand.
A full stop. The rhythmic
gestation. Land, ahoy.
Name of a detective,
reflection of a game. The
narrative stretches in.
So between, alright of
(for) a game. Evidence,
or shards, apoplause or a
cause, sandwiched between
the present and the past.
Pieces of evidence to lead
one on, from writer to
reader. Under suspicion,
under assumption- some
pressure , not too much
or too little. Aslight
bit of permission. to
hurry, to slur. Not
enough time to cmpose
a vast lie, only time
to contrive loitering
for a time around an
opening. Critics are needed
to differentiate, a
force for change. Launches
an inlistenable diatribe
(all hell breaks loose
in a whisper). To
embed, or notice. That
was directly autobiographical,
a mistatement. Never
enough of anything,
let alone appreciation,
in quotes. Had preserved
a space to introduce
and underwood (underwouldn't),
Can resist a pun,
is fun. Outside Atlantic.
Atlantic City is a code.

The waves create a
mystique. Im (plausible).
They (some) separate themselves.
Is a kind of scrolling
web sites in reverie, play
it again Sam Daniels. Whose
middle age? A juxtaposition,
an ascension. Captitalize
on won't, gesturing change.
An industry industrious at
for and by repetition. This
copy (un)scrolls forward
and backwards in reverse.
The min(ed) uncovers
itself retreprogressively
curling up inside its
travesties. Put that on
hold. Transvestites,
reader and writer,
dressing, addressing, undressing,
progressing (a dirty word).
Try not to get annoyed,
listening for mistakes
(resonances). Another
name for memories.
Yes, this was to be recognized
as a kind
of automatic manufacture
as well. Phrases
that warm, a
pesilance to cool.
Out of Africa, a
way of effacing lack
of reciprocity, in
conversation, polylogue
or monologue,
Fatuous, fractious,
feceious, fractions,
reflections, confessions.
Aspects of the not so novel.
What else is new? Speaking
in sponge, an entire
poetics created out of
a perverse subversion of
revision. Reviling, reveling,
revealing. Something understood
is tucked between, is stuffed
within, tied in, sandwiched
in the corners.
No Fun {click here}
I got into a conversation on a [poetics chat
room] that will go
unnamed (I am not supposed to reproduce material
from this chat room, but I don't see why I can't
publish my own contribution here
without mentioning any names.) The
querent is telling me that blogs are more virtual than
other media, "speedy" in some
negative way ( I resisted calling this my usual
"get a horse" argument, and you will see why)
that blogs are like "frames of a film"-an image I like,
but here it is "bad, bad , bad" and
that the poetry chat group is
much more
democratic and communal.)


...I do agree that [poetics
chat rooms] call
for more direct dialog on particular topics,
and tend to be more
interactive and confrontational.
Our culture associates
confrontation with democracy,
and particularly a very masculine
form of confrontation which
tends to be argumentative
and frequently in an unpleasantly
tiresome, repetitive, rambling,
highly competitive and quarrelsome
way. This is called debate. Perhaps
you’ve never noticed how few
women post to the [poetic
chat room] on a regular basis.
This is because women- writers, anyway,
appear to not enjoy as much and
as frequently as men the confrontational
and competitive attitudes that have
in the past supplied the flavor of much
of this listserv. Present company happily

Ask yourself the question why there
are so many women bloggers
and why very few women post
regularly to [the poetics
chat room].
I have not found the [room], in the
long range, to be communal in
the way that you put it, not only
because of the absence of women,
but because of the absence of any
sense of process, ongoing
presence or project or ongoing
continuity. While I agree that some
blogs lack depth, they almost
always contain a sense of process
and ongoingness and ongoing
presence of a writer and his or her
ongoing availability. You have to
read them for a long time to
notice how much substantial
dialogue does take place. Sometimes
there are archives immediately
available on the blogger's site
if you wish to read or reread the
blogger's writing in the past.
You have to hang around long
enough and listen closely enough
to have a feel for the "personas"
and their relationships. Hey,
kind of like in "real" life. Whatever
the hell that is these days in
Bush & Company's

J K, who had more
interest in the [poetics chat room]
than anybody I am aware of, and
was the editor of "chatroom@" (X Books),
the only collection of writing from this [room]
I know about, once suggested that the [room]
attempt to organize some ongoing projects.
But I don’t think [the room] will ever do this
because its strength is its spontaneity.
The [poetics chat room]
is like a group of professors and students
leaving a classroom and getting into a
discussion on the way to getting some
coffee or a drink. Sometimes everybody
heads for the bar, and stays up late and
jawbones and occasionally there is a nice,
friendly brawl. This is fine, but to
valorize its democratic potential is
pushing it.

After 9/11 I found the [pcr] to be a lifesaver.
B W and I started a discussion there,
but we realized we couldn’t continue it .
The discussion on the list had quickly
gone onto other things. So he and I
went onto other things and places.
It was subsequently published in C #9,
by the way.

Don’t get me wrong. I respect and
enjoy the[ pcr].
It has its virtues.
But to compare it unfavorably to
blogging is like calling a rowboat more
useful than a car or an airplane. Yes,
if you want to row across a lake the
rowboat is by far the best means
of transportation. And during
the trip across the lake the people
in the boat have a nice chat. Then they
head elsewhere. This is fine. But
not if you want to travel more
widely and for longer-
and more encompassing- journeys.

Thursday, November 13

Mexperimental(Herberto Yepez) {click here} :
On 11/9/03 created what I consider
a first rate prose poem
out of his most recent concerns. Check this out
ye blog writing doubters!

Wednesday, November 12

Excellent article in the London Review of Books
this week (6 November 2003 issue) by
Colin Burrow: "Montaigne's Tower."
Burrow is reviewing a book on
Montaigne by Anne Hartle titled:
*Michel de Montaigne: Accidental
Philospher*. Burrow tells us that
Montaigne retired, due to depression,
at the age of 38 and began what was
essentially a journal. He surrounded himself
with Greek and Latin aphorisms and kept
on writing. Burrow's main point is that
philosophers could learn a lot from
literary writers, including Montaigne.
Though he agrees that there are
basically two kinds of philsophers:
"stove people think that you
can strip everything away and rebuild
reality from precepts; tower people
reckon that writing about and exploring
or refining beliefs is the best you can
do." Burrow tells us that Hartle sees
Montaigne as an "Oakshottian sceptic,
who believes philosophy should be
conducted as a conversation that
clarifies what is already known..."

In discussing Hartle's book, Colin
Burrow makes a point I liked very
much. In saying that he feels that
Montaigne is definitely not a
philosopher, he makes the point that
"...This does not mean, however that
the *Essays* should be regarded simply
as autobiographical writing. They
are much more than either philosophy
or autobiography, and should be thought
of as belonging to a form of discourse
which is more or less unnameable
(unless one names it the essay), in
which what is said is much less
significant than the process by which
it is said, and in which the movement
of the mind matters more than the
propositions that are advanced. Montaigne's
thought processes and his shifting
attitudes to his sources...are what the
*Essays* are...you build as you read a sense
of the habits of mind underlying the
associative trails..." Then Burrow quotes
Montaigne: "Every day I spend time reading
my authors, not caring about their learning,
looking not for their subject matter, but how
they handle it."

Burrow says of Montaigne:
"He is interested not in
precepts but in what he calls the representation
of *passage*, which might be rather brutally
translated as the exploration of writerly
consciousness as it unfolds, minute by
minute, hour by hour."

Burrow's point in this article about Montaigne
could be seen as identifying Montaigne as
one of the Ur-bloggers.

In this age of
innumerable stories, I love only
the fragment.


"consistently now, I study to be
useless." p.23

"(we must disorganize the soul)" p.28

"In the most abstruse reasoning,
and in the most casual sight,
some destruction divides thought
from thought-of." (p 86)

"Having driven ghosts from the graveyard,
I haunt the graves myself." p 95

First Day of Spring
for Keith Waldrop

After 9/11 I found it
difficult to read, I found it
hard to talk, I didn't want
to think, let alone write.
I was argumentative, difficult
to be around. I didn't want
to talk to anybody. I began
to haunt the park, spending
entire days watching the sky,
feeding the gulls, the ducks
and the occasional swan.
One day I came across "Semiramis- if I
Remember" which I had
received some weeks earler from Cydney Chadwick,
the publisher. I remembered
having read it and liking it
very much. Then, taking it off
the shelf, to my surprise, I
not only could read it but I
read it gratefully, voraciously.
Why could I read it and
almost nothing else? Now,
rereading it I see why. Like Rilke's
Duino Elegies, it is not afraid
to look death in the eyes. But like few books of
this nature, for example, almost
all of E. M. Cioran's books, it is not
afraid to embrace life either. And now I
realize what I had tried to learn from my college
days on from Rilke and what clearly
Keith is trying to teach me.
To be less afraid of death
I have only to
learn to be less
afraid of life. To be less afraid
of living, I have only to learn
to be less afraid of loving.
[written for the occasion of
reading with Keith Waldrop at the KGB

Tuesday, November 11

Just now took a slow ramble
through the
Limetree (Kasey Silem Mohammad's) {click here}
bloglinks and a particularly
charmed smile crept
over my face that I associate specifically
with happily browsing, many, many
times through those excellently selected,
wittily illustrated links. And a special little
surprise was there for me: -fait accompli-
has a new Limetree logo. It is the time
machine from the 1960 movie
based on the HG Wells book.
No question in my mind that
Limetree well deserves the title
bestowed on it by a poll recently held by:
Jim Behrle's Famous Monkey {click here} :
Blog of the Year.
New York Times is over if you want it.
Instead read Ray Davis' Bellona Times.
And, aw shucks -fait accompli- got mentioned on there today.
Hey, thanks Ray!

In a related story, this from Rebecca Flood on the Info Explosion {click here}

[via Boynton{click here} ]

Metaphysically, we are like birds in a diorama
at the zoo, looking up through a glass ceiling at
a beyond we can view, but never visit.

Wall Sing Matilda (She Take Me Money &)

The representations call for something
of their own. Their mimicry is an
imitation of the dots that connect the
present sum total of the present from the
already transformed past moment present
in that plane. All ties in pyramidically
(algebraic watchwords I once called it-
some thing- dash parenthesis- a made
object.) Something ( the card game) is not yet
named. (Include the newspapers in this and all
of 20th Century political history- the Lindy,
Beatles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Ford Motor Company,
Al Capp- Jesus Christ why won't these names
leave me alone? (reconstruct your whole childhood
for a grade, close parenthesis).

Now name it- starving children, burning children!
Pianissimo (up yours, buster, D blank K, Cherry

All contain bannisters, all utter themselves
into too many history lessons, all trade in
their clarinets for company air time. Castenets!
I think it's time to glissando into a linguistic

For this, he kept to himself in
chains, he dragged himself from office to office in
unholy tedium- for fragments of time once a year he
was totally free to Polka his/her brains out.
Wanna ketchup of flow behind- airflow
or go with the Flo.

Drop this show, through some filter, into reality.

1/20/86 acoustical differentiation= information
(hearing thoughts/ hearing outside sound)


2) Salvator Dali's Critical-Paranoiac
method- to see the interconnections
of "terror" and power
awareness of

1) The interconnections between
events may be the deepest form of

to connect knowledge the deepest knowledge


Doubling, tripling, quadrupling of thought:
what is called "the associative chain"
is a linear image which does not provide
an adequate visualization (visual
representation) of this inner process (experience).

One thought does not simply "lead" to
another thought. When a thought is "heard"
more resonantly, it gets up a resonant
"strumming" across many latitudes of
inner experience. These "strings" or modalities
or aspects of cognition and emotion are
spread like nets across wide areas of
inner life, encompassinng countless "points,"
nuances, memories, hungers, fears, wishes.
Yet, at certain times, a thought or feeling
leaps across all
boundaries of sense and sensing, interconnecting
and interweaving innumerable nuances of
experience, yet encompassed in some specific
sequence of words [Wittgenstein: words are like
notes on the keyboard of the imagination.]

Note I fouind tonight (written about 1976)
"All substances have a trick."

The idea of going through my notebooks
with an eye towards what I like


When you know what you want you
look at the obstacles as annoyances,
not disappointments.

All notions of succession or tracking
or measurement, all ordering
paradymes, in fact, are dependent
on and built upon everyday notions of the
consecutiveness of temporal experience.
A brick is piled on another brick which is
piled on another brick. After a time the
walls are complete and then they are connected
by a roof. Above the roof, the sun and
moon are shining.

Yet nothing follows anything else,
though day by day the house remains &
the walls remain, and the roof remains and
the sun and moon rise and set over it, again
and again, and again and again.

There is no end to this because there is no
story and never was a story. We
wanted the stories to quiet ourselves- lull ourselves
on a cold night, in the
scary dark. Deep into the darkest night of
evening we sang songs and still sing them
because the future is unknown, remains
unknown, eventually & once and for all, all unknown.

Time is still, it's our hands than move.

(I completed this book the same night I saw
Ron, whose name is the first to appear in it.)


The question of immensity is a question
of visualization. if it is possible to
imagine an actuality, its possibility of
actually being perceived is greatly
increased. This is the place when attention
comes in. When I'm not looking for something, it
is hard for it to get my attention.

Monday, November 10

Last night, at the Zinc Bar,
Maryann Shaneen and
Nada Gordon "interviewed"
each other. For this
event these two excellent
writers created a new
form for poetry readings
(these sorts of events
could very well use an
innovation and these
two did it!) I
expected more of a
parodic experience, but this
did not happen at all.

After a long, respectful
introduction by Brendan
Lorber, Nada asked
Maryann a question.
"You are no
minimalist, thank
Goddesses ...Whence
this breathlessness,"
Nada asked, "do you
dislike limitation? Is
there any connection
between the
forward rush of your
writing and the
quality of your other
chosen medium, film?"

Maryann began
with a direct answer:
"Do I dislike,
limitation...if there is
one quality that defines
me to myself, it's my
dislike of limitation.
In the writing
it's related to a
everything being
too rich, too resonant
to be able to even get
out of the house in the
morning, it's why I am late
for everything...everything
is so filled with history
ithat it's overwhelming,
it's a mania, perhaps a
kind of autism, a way of
processing an oversensitivity
to stimuli, it's also a stance,
I suppose, in a world
based on homogenization
and depletion of
and species. I want the plethora,
it's an urgency-
writing is a place to contain
mania and to layer and layer...
but I also wanted to slow it
down which is
why I moved away from poetry
to prose... The
breathlessness comes
from the frustration with the
medium itself, having to
write one word at a time,
to read line by line, page
by page, the utter linearity
of writing, I want to disrupt
that but thematically
not formally. I want to introduce
layer upon layer
and superimpose and disturb
things thematically
and conceptually...I'm not
really going to address the
film issue...what I'm not doing
in my prose I try to
do in film...people have called
my writing obsessive...
as in being haunted...or possessed
by an evil spirit...
an insistence beyond reading...
Drew said about poetry and activism...
writing as a form of exorcism...a purging
of the relentlessness
with which information
and ideas assault and bombard
but also
as a light, being overwhelmed
by the
knowledge that I can't know,
read and
say everything and a way of
that urgency...I want to instill
the work with
a similar kind of urgency and
overwhelm and
to reorder it into another
form of chaos or
something that can't be controlled
or tamed
and this is also a stance
an overprocessed, over refined
against the fashionable
over determined
formal or procedural
constraints of
writing...there are multiple
streams of
information...the breathlessness
is a form
of addressing fear...afraid of having
my access to information

Then she read from a
terrific piece called

Douglas Rothschild then
asked Nada
to repeat her question
to Marianne.

Then Marianne asked
Nada a question:
"Your writing I see as
varying between being
unapologetically feminine,
unafraid of lush feminine
vulnerability, sincerity,
and male irony,
defiance and formalism.
I want you to address
that and to
talk about the role
and the need
for the ornate
and opulent in your work
and I see one of the most
and engaging aspects
of your work
as the tension and movement
between its emotionality and its
awareness of formalism. And talk
about the
brilliant term you coined:

False dichotomies:
no simple binaries please,
I rear up at these, taxonomic
nonsense separating out
qualities for fear of identification
with what might be deemed weak:
vulnerability and irony, sincerity,
and defiance, fragility and formalism
not mutually exclusive, intertwined,
interpenetrating, kind of like snails,
and codependent.
with Aphrodite in the center,
she helps
me to smudge the chalk at the
boundaries of the two worlds
and then
what's contained in either
can spill
in and over. Being hermaphrodite
also allows me to objectify women to
the point I can keep my own harem:

Marianne: Am I in it?

Nada: Of course. I'm not sure
but I think this can be a form
of table turning or power grabbing,
revenge for the centuries of oppression
that infect my gender memory. When I
say harem I mean my poems, they
are more seraglio to me
than any kind of usable
or tradable cultural capital.
At once emotional
chattel and dowery,
to me poems are
odalisques, women:
bodacious, inscrutable,
frustrated, querelous,
seductive, languorous,
fragrant, manipulable,
manipulative, hard to
understand, easy to please.
[some laughter and joking
from the audience at this]

Then she read one of her
snappy, thought-provoking,
beautiful poems.

After the break, the performance
was to continue,
but unfortunately
a musical performance
in the
adjoining bar began
so their presentation
had to
stop at that point.
The rapt audience
however, was left
stimulated, excited and
craving more from these two
charismatic poets.

I hope Nada Gordon and Marianne Shaneen
can be convinced to repeat this unique and
exciting performance-work again soon
so that others can enjoy and benefit.

Sunday, November 9


Always (there are) the reasons to
write. The inchoate, confusing thoughts,
findings, piling up one atop the other, like
the books, papers, envelopes and magazines
on the floor, on tables and desks, chairs and
dressers, bookcases, anywhere there is a flat

Whatever and whoever I envy, the corrosive
feeling resists my motivation to do, to
connect, to express.

(After writing this I called X
and we talked for 3 and a half hours.
We discussed the Language Movement, our
careers as writers, relationships
between men and women, his view of letting
the negative emerging be absorbed in a
Zen-like way, the New York school of
poets, (their snobbery), French snobbery,
air fares to Europe, the lack of a "wise
man" in the Language school, his distrust
of Y, his own overcoming of his
difficulties w/becoming known, my
idea of the cultural unconscious to
counter his idea that the avant-garde
just effects itself-