Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, December 31

It's time for the countdown.

Thinking about so many shared
moments with blogging friends
in 2003.

To them, and my many *fait accompli*

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30

Charles Baudelaire

*A Wag*

The New Year's Day upheaval was at its height- a chaos of mud
and snow churned up by a thousand carriages; a glitter of toys and
sweetmeats; a swarm of selfish greeds and heartaches- the officialized
delirium of a great metropolis, calculated to unbalance the sanest
loner's mind.

In all this uproar and pandemonium a donkey came trotting briskly
along; egged on by a lout wielding his whip.

As the donkey turned the corner of the pavement, a well-turned-out
gent, immaculately gloved and groomed and cruelly cravated,
encased in his brand-new outfit, bowed with great ceremony towards
the humble creature and said, as he raised his hat, "Here's wishing
you a Prosperous and Happy New Year!" Then he turned towards
his cronies with a fatuous grin on his face, as if inviting them to add
thier approval to his self-satisfaction.

The donkey took no notice of this foppish wag, and went galloping
along to wherever his business called him

As for me, I was suddenly filled with uncontrollable rage against
that superlative idiot, who struck me as the incarnation of the French


The Poems in Prose
translated by Francis Scarfe
London, 1989

Monday, December 29

Paging through Baudelaire's
letters I found two types.
Most were written to his
mother to beg for money.
In the others he complains about
boredom. He's only happy once:
when he tells his mother about
the publication of *Fleurs
du mal.*
Asking myself what the difference is
between writing and "just thinking."


The hardest thing for the group mind to remember
that the individual mind can never forget is:
writing is not just a contest
(series of evaluational summaries:
books, readings,
reviews, awards.)


It's impossible to think for long
in a staight line.
Feelings are the drops,
curves and long ascents
on this rollercoaster
called lilfe.


Sunday, December 28

Overlap (Drew Gardner)
{click here}

suggests some new year's
resolutions for the heavyweights.
Notebook: May 17, 1991


On a stage where each one makes a final appearance
(A smile, a bow and another document)
Absence is presence and God is a fool-
Because if you feel for a wall and nothing is there
No one is there and you'll doubt yourself
And it makes me sigh that even my own language
Is foreign to me and tastes better that way.
Don't be superhuman, don't even shrug your shoulders
In the face of pain- still it's too early to get up
Read but stop reading, write but stop writing,
Speak but stop speaking. This, in fact, is the only way
You can hear anything at all. By the way,
Where's my hairbrush?- I want to know because I don't have one
And want to borrow yours.

Saturday, December 27

Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 11:38:24 EST
From: Laura Elrick
Subject: Alan Davies and Tom Orange in NYC


We are very disappointed to announce that Jeff Derksen, who had been
scheduled to read, will not be able to make it on Jan 3. However, the fantastic Alan
Davies will be reading with Tom Orange. Please come out and join us!

January 3: Alan Davies and Tom Orange

Alan Davies is author of many works including the poetry books Rave (Roof,
1994), Candor (O Books, 1990), Name (This, 1986) and Active 24 Hours (Roof).
Recent chapbooks include Sei Shonagon (Hole, 1995), and an untitled collaboration
with the photographer M. M. Winterford (Zasterle, 1994). Signage, a
collection of writings on and about poetry and poets was published in 1986 by Roof.
Originally from Canada, Davies has lived in Boston and is currently living in New

Tom Orange co-curates the "in your ear" reading series at the District of
Columbia Arts Center. He maintains and edits the dcpoetry.com Website and
anthologies, and he teaches periodically in the English Department at Georgetown
Notebook: 5/17/91


Now that I've been barely able to stop
Things move with a start that smiles forbiddingly.
Don't disagree with yourselves
You have throats and necks
And decibels of silence no one can even save.
I yearn you in replicas
I take thousands of socks and heave
them at your eyeglasses
No refrain. No butter, either, in the urn,
No anxieties about people's atttudes,
No getting left out either. Sorry
My breath smells so bad. Sorry
I forgot your name and even what you said-
Forgive me- so long ago- embarassment
Slaps me around all day. Take the bus,
Or at least paste the ticket
On a piece of paper this year.
Ay caramba!
(If you want to understand this,
Don't read it.)

Friday, December 26

Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year in Many Languages {click here}

Happy Chanukah in Many Languages {click here}

Holiday Good Wishes in Arabic {click here}

Center for
Multicultural And Gender Studies
Holiday Information Page {click here}
2004 resolution number one: learn to appreciate
insults, especially poets' snobbery: after all,
what happens? You get pissed off and forget
about your *real* worries.

Thursday, December 25

Lost In Thought

"This prediliction for getting lost, this
was the sign beginning with which
all possibility opened."
Jean Fremon
*Distant Noise* (Avec)

The arcades, so many doors.
Images calling to me from behind those doors.
The increasing impersonality of stores-
Starbucks' tendency to offer an identical
experience everywhere.
As if there were a conscious attempt
to eliminate the necessity of thought.
Thought gradually becoming equal to
The impossibility of thought, the
erosion of thought.
The retreat from thought.
Essential uncontrollability of thought.
Emotional turmoil associated with thought.
Looking for thoughts behind those doors,
faces, faces in thought.
Thoughts going on behind the faces.
Faces as doors that open and close.
Closure of thought, essential
immovability of thought.

Hurrying for thought,
hurriedness of thought,
thoughts interfering with
other thoughts,
paradox of thought,
contradictions of thought.
Thought's eddying quality,
essential opacity
and permeability of thought.
Instability, transformability,
peculiarity, parodoxical
pettiness of thought,
thought's dangers,
passivity of thought.
Levels of thought,
coincidences, thought
within thought, intellectual
bias of thought, thought's
cul-de-sacs, detours,
stereotypes, one-way-streets,
capability of condensation,
thought's tendency to
unearth and sustain origins.
Widening access to
thought, translation of
thought, thought's
chasms, divides, its
rhetorical treacheries,
hypocricies, tendency
towards illusion or
deception, thought's
limits, its divides, its
vulnerability to confusion,
its secrets, its
isolated character,
thought's asocial
thought's earthquakes,
volcanic eruptions,
tectonic shifts,
its essential
privacy, its
constant gnawing
appetite for continual
its tendency
to seek momentum,
its desire for
for history,
for remembrance,
insistence on
truth, in private
its public
insistence on
its desire
its chameleon-like
tendency to
adapt to its
its charm
and amiability
when it
needs to
or seduce,
ability to
invent its
own vocabulary,
or improvise
a language
by means of
lightness, its
capacity to
be held
to the lack
of necessity
for material
tendency to
rise, thoughts

"Redemption depends on the tiny fissure in the continuous catastrophe."

Walter Benjamin, *Central Park*
Volume 4 Selected Writings
Harvard UP/Belknap 2003
Notebook: May 17, 1991


I'm trying to remember "not-remember"
But I don't know what it is.
For one thing it oozes but this isn't important
What is important won't tell you anyway.
Secret smile, laughter that doesn't get dressed,
Disappearing intentions that later your find hiding in the satisfactions
Of breakfast. But now I'm late, I'm not even gone yet,
I'm running in syllables that also don't matter
And nobody bothers to rub their shoulders once in awhile.
This hasn't occured to its own progenitor
Who insists on editorializing instead of writing that ending.
That's not what I meant. In the wink of an eyelid
Sombody has already explained it in raised eyebrows
While I am only trying to get understood.
What an understatement! As they say
The best understatement is no understatement at all.
But is that being nice?

Wednesday, December 24

Happy Holidays from
*fait accompli*

Pine cones
Silver balls
Yellow Bell
Green Light


Red Light


Yellow Light


Green Ball
Green Light


Silver Ball
Red Light

pine cones
Blue Light


Yellow Light

Red Bulb
Green Light


Yellow bulb
Blue Light


Blue Bulb
Yellow light


Tinsel rope
Male Surfer


Yellow Light
Female Surfer


Red Bulb
Yellow Bulb

Planter with Red Foil
Tinsel Rope

Red and Brown and Green Basket (Autumn colors)

Present (yellow paper)

Present (blue paper)

Present (blue paper)

Present (yellow paper)

present (blue paper)

present (yellow paper)

Ribbon and maracas
on lower shelf

I'm determined to learn Spanish
and to improve my French. How?
By reading blogs in French and Spanish
every day. Why? Just look:
Heriberto Yepez {click here}

Media TIC {click here}
Notebook: May 17, 1991


The crook is the seventh priest.
But this isn't what bothers me.
What kills me is that under the current
digestive system
One must not listen to two birds at one
Two would be stone it they didn't look back
Burning a hole into the northwest curbs of them.
But such is language. And thus pain
Bangs its fists into the doors of courage
But no one answers because bravery forgot
What words to say, not having a drink in its hand
At the party it couldn't make itself go to
and thus read a book and fell asleep at 12.
The crook is off the hook now.

Looks like we'll be moving soon...
Checking the yellow pages...
Oz Moving and Storage {click here}

Tuesday, December 23

January 11. . .(it‚s a SUNDAY)
BELLADONNA* Traipses UPTOWN to the MAKOR Uptown/Downtown Arts Marathon
(i.e. read carefully, everything is going to be strange and different!)

January Belladonna* poets, MARCELLA DURAND, JOANNA FUHRMAN, JULIE PATTON and our very own ERICA KAUFMAN and RACHEL LEVITSKY will mix it up with the Makor Artists Networks (A Fusion of Art School and Jewish Studies) and some of downtown's most exciting performers!
The Marathon takes place on Sunday, January 11th from 12:00 Noon until 6:00 pm. NON STOP.
The UPTOWN/DOWNTOWN MAKOR MARATHON is: Performance, Poetry, Spoken Word, Music, Comics, Film, Video and Art, and Food. Featuring: Hourly Gallery Launches//Makor Comics Book Corner//Belladonna* poetry readings and book release// Bowery Poetry Club‚s Urbana National Poetry Slam Champs//Rooftop Films‚ daring new shorts//R. Sykoriak‚s "Carousel" Cartoon Slide Shows//Deep Dish Cabaret//DJ Raz Mesinai aka Badawi//Tribeca Performing Arts Center Artist-in-Residence Karen Sommers and Friends//Video Installations by Raul Vincent Enriquez//Writer and Performer Lisa Kron//Gallery art curated by Anat Litwin
Be the first in line for the High Noon DJ Bagel Brunch!

All events will take place at :
Makor/Steinhard Center of the 92nd Street Y
35 W 67th Street (btwn Columbus & Central Park West)

Admission is $20 All Day Pass for all day pass, Advance Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from www.makor.org or by calling Makor at 212-601-1000.
Poet discounts may be available.
Perfect Toast Every Time {click here}

Ok. I'll wait until midnight to
tell you where I found this link.

If you've been reading
*fait accompli* for awhile
you should be able to guess.

Wednesday, December 24
(Tuesday December 23rd, of course
in Australia)
That Melbourne {click here} blogger, of course, is
Boynton {click here}

"A minor character in a
minor Shirley Temple film."

Notebook: 5/9/91


Everything is gradual
Everything is gradual

Monday, December 22

I think a few bloggers are tired of their own formulas.
Improv out. {click here}

posted by Jack 2:48 PM

Jack! It's the holidays!
Chill out!
Save your strength for shopping:
tomorrow is Christmas eve

And by the way,
have a very, very happy...
same to all my readers...
"The free mind abhors competition. It sides
with its opponent.

It is too well aware that, though defeats
may lay us low, victories annhilate us.

A man who can overcome defeat will be wiped out,
disintegrated by victory.

The free mind loathes the two base thoughts implicit in
"victory" and "defeat."

All that hinders the mind from forming *all possible*
combinations of ideas debases it in its essential function-
which is that of forming them....

Antagonists are merely polarities of one and the same
system, a system that itself is changeful and will pass

It feels that fits of anger grievances-like joys- are so
many losses of freedom; as the creaks and tremors of a
motor and so many losses of its driving power...

Our whole existence is an injustice; our
intelligence an offense *per se*- perhaps the most cruelly
resented of all."

Paul Valery
"Odds and Ends"


The Final Destruction of the Nobodies

The prevalence of manipulation and
counter-manipulation with its raw,
constantly mutating,
increasingly virulent forms of propaganda
via group persuasion is a direct
outcome of the continuous,
ever increasingly fragmented, divided
and traumatized
condition of humanity.
It is easy enough, particularly when outraged by
an abuser, to disconnect someone's
use of power from their inner or outer
felt vulnerabilities- the ultimate source
of such driven, compulsive need to control.
The "powerful"
always know how to disguise
their feelings of anxiety and insecurity.
Feelings of outrage of the victims of
power struggles serve the interests of the
exploiters of power struggles. Manipulative,
power- oriented people require the use of divide
and conquer strategies. Nations, systems,
poems, ideas, people
have to be "bad" or "good," "in" or "out."
The knee-jerk application
of "oedipal" interpretations misses this point,
because this interpretation focuses on
power struggle which is what the powerful
and would be powerful always want. Whether
such people are generals, politicians, nurses,
corporate bosses or poet- leaders, what
the powerful always want is to encourage power struggle
and a constant focus on issues of control and authority.
The powerful almost always win in a power
struggle. What is lost in a power struggle?
The usual victims of power struggles are autonomy,
caring, sensitivity, thought, revery,
contemplativeness, composure,
freedom, independence, overview,
philosophical awareness. The "winners" of power
struggles are the manipulative users of them.
"Winners" and "losers" alternate roles in a
never-ending game of sado-masochistic
musical chairs. All the players of the game
are both winners and losers. The better
one becomes at losing, the better one
becomes at a winning.

In fact, probably nearly
every third or fourth grader
is capable of recognizing, if not
comprehending, that
the underlying cause of all
power struggle is insecurity.
This knowledge doesn't stop
anybody who wants
power from using manipulation.
The person who
indulges in manipulation is a person who
has learned to fake caring and
interest and
to substitute constant goal- oriented
behavior on their own behalf, or on
the behalf of their group of supporters.
Such people
come across as having leadership potential,
sometimes charisma and charm.
especially if they surround themselves with
an aura of infinite energy and available resources,
personal or social. Leaders like this
extend a false
hope of coherence during an
incoherent era.

It's an exhilarating thing to see when
people work together on their
own behalf. All too often,
power seeking individuals exploit
what they see as weakness in
people they are competing with.
They will isolate competitors, exclude them,
fail to acknowledge their accomplishments,
dismiss or criticize or ridicule them socially,
all in the spirit of furthering their own
little circle, aspiring to empower themselves
and their sub-group of supporters.
In any case, the idea of independence
must be connected with the idea of
isolation of disempowerment. This way
the individuals participating in the circle of
winning and losing are the new winners,
the new conquerors, the new aspirants
filled with hopes for victory. "Let the
marginalized and the separate take
notice!" their gestures signal.
"You are not one of us! You
will be forgotten and ignored.
Your bad work and bad ideas are nothing.
You are 'little unimportant people.'
We are the big people deserving of
ever-increasing acknowledgement and
respectful gestures."

The cycle is endlessly reborn
with each new would-be person of power.
"You know what you have to do. Now go for it!"
There's no time for snivelling sympathy and so-called
"humanism." We all know such are the pawns
of the powerful. "Only we initiates know the true
political, religious, philosophical or aesthetic truth,"
they assure themselves.
"And we are a closed group.
No one who doesn't closely follow our private
signals and codes will be recognized
and permitted to be
one of us. They’d better
join us in our power play and also be the conquerors.
The others will just be out there by themselves
deluding themselves that they are some bodies.
When we insiders know they are nothing and nobody.
They are nobodies."

Sunday, December 21

from *The Notebooks of Samuel Butler (1835-1902)*


"They are like shadows-substantial enough until we try
to grasp them."


"The fact that every mental state is intensified by
expression is of a piece with the fact that nothing
has any existence at all save in its expression."


"All things are like exposed photographic plates that have
no visible image on them till they have been developed."

"Acquired Characteristics"

"If there is any truth in the theory that these are inherited
- and who can doubt it?-the eye and the finger are but
the aspiration, or word, made manifest in flesh."

"Physical and Spiritual"

"The bodies of many abandoned undertakings lie rotting
unburied up and down the country and their ghosts haunt
the law courts."

"Trail and Writing"

"Before the invention of writing the range of one man's
influence over another was limited to the range of sight,
sound and scent; besides this there was trail, of many kinds.
Trail unintentionally left is, as it were, hidden sight. Left
intentionally, it is the unit of literature. It is the first mode
of writing, from which grew that power of extending men's
influence over one another by the help of written symbols of
all kinds without which the development of modern
civilization would have been impossible."

Saturday, December 20

End of An Era?
A Laurable Log (Laura Willey)
deletes her links with
a laconic comment:

"Other Poetry/
Poetics Weblogs






Hotel Point
(John Latta),
Loss Glazier,
Spam Poetry,
Bruce Andrews
Troubled Sleep
I'm with
Bellona Times (Ray Davis) {click here}
all the way re: Anton Webern,
Robert Johnson, poetry & the dead
don't charge but when he writes:

"Are weblogs, in contrast, a living form?

Not the way I do them."

I couldn't agree less.
Bellona Times is pointing the way...
[see December 19th]:
*Time Flies Like A Banana*

thursday reading series...january 29 2004

poetic inhalation and the tin lustre mobile {click here}
will present their first live reading at the
thursday reading series...a joint series
of the arlington county, virginia public
libraries and
arlington county public affairs commission {click here}
on thursday january 29 2004 at 7:30pm...

perry lindstrom will be taping the event through
arlington independent media {click here}
for the first in his public access poet series
which will be poets and performance artists
as they perform and also in settings that they
choose as personifications of their muse.
Belated Happy Birthday Ulalations!!!! Hope you had a great day on your blog birthday yesterday, Nada.

And Nada's back with more of Song of My Own Self {click here}, this time with Yiddish Chanukah flavor.

Elsewhere (Gary Sullivan) {click here} checks in too!

Friday, December 19

Notebook: 1/1/87

A gathering- "writing as revery"=
selecting as revery- understanding that
the seeing that it is (contains) poetry-
from a certain perspective.

The weather-vane of attention's turret
moves with the winds of the mind's-eye
imaging. Alter the relationship between
words and images and you can alter
this relationship. The winds will sweep
wildly or sharply or may cease
with a sudden cataclysm of transformed
reference. At one word (or letter), awareness
suddenly intensifies, and the wind will
increase, shifting the turret and the eye now
turns to the nearby verbs, and with this shift
an implication emerges which
gathers suddenly around a minor phrase,
like a bank of darkening clouds. And
if the words then scatter, as the glance
sweeps across the page as rapidly as a
hundred gulls might shift direction, the
wind of memory supplies an entrance into
time, until the real moment emerges and a
sentence stops. What (or where) comes (a thought)
between? A reverse run through reveals a
trace of altered perspective, from quick
assumptions to the as quickly dropped part
images of words. This is not quite what
was meant to be marked or surrounded by
the reflection on the earlier
assumption (also forgotten). What becomes,
becalms. Thought scatters the conclusion
into a composite series of attentional
reference points, each positing a peculiar proximate
provisional point of reference. To flee from
this, to end it, is to assume that a reduction
of focus will permit an alternative sequence of
elaborated comparisons. These are required
to allow a continuous alternation of textual
inclusions and other (unmarked) areas of attentional focus.

"Picture what you language."
Ron Silliman
*The Age of Huts*

Notebook: 12/19/03


The ordinary is invisible. It
has a pleading voice and finds
itself upset at all the false
tones. Habitual, loyal, persistent,
bereft, it imagines itself in
outlandish costumes in a
dream space. Whenever these two
realms speak, however, they tend
to disagree. It is usually a matter
of a single unnatural element, an
undignified detail, the nuance of
a kind of weariness around the
eyes (the observational turret
of recognition). Day and night
alternate as masculine/feminine,
as legions of philosophers
clamor for a hearing. Someone claps
her hands and the audience turns
into a prism, apprehending
the piece's pulse
by means of a fingerboard of
rainbow rhythm strips.
These are systematically misheard.
"Oh, in order to strum that one,"
the conductor
pointedly remarks,
"You must play an
instrument against a song."

"But there are words to this,"
answer the trombones. And the
clarinets remark: "Ah, the latest
semblances to neutral harmonies."
"How easy recognized!"
the audience member swoons.
An usher in a bright red uniform
is completely flabbergasted, turns
and freezes in place.
With immense panache and empathy,
and with flying hair and skirt,
the ticket-taker quickly winds him up
then gracefully steps up to the podium-

The violins quicken with pizzicato

The conductor takes his cue....
One and-a-two and
a breeze blows through the
oboes and basoons. Now they
seem to understand, he thinks.
And then announces:

"They are
in unison!"

Thursday, December 18

Notebook: 4/15/89

It's true that you can hear the sounds
of things breaking and just beneath or
beyond the sounds of things broken,
collapsing, but most of this is
dead wood anyway, so don't mourn.

Creation, no matter how many times we
witness it, must remain partly clothed
in the deepest form of obscurity.

Who made you
The keeper of the gate?
Who made you
The monarch of the state?

Who gave you the chalk
And all the slate?

I did.
I took the bait.


Dear Writing-

I guess I'll be saying goodbye.
You've been a good friend through all
these years, but it has reached the
point that you are more a part of the
problem than a part of the solution. I
know this sounds very sixties and corny but it's
me. And don't go saying I'm not grateful,
because I am. I admit you were always
there when I needed you, but I think
I can get along on my own now, so
I'll be going. Don't get mad at me
and send me those letters you always
send because I might not even read
them. I love what we had together, but
it's over now. I'll never forget you,
I'll miss you, and I really did
love you, but I don't anymore. I'm not
sorry about this, no regrets.


P.S. It's been real.


The price of being a philosopher
is that the truth hurts. You'd think
the philosopher invented overturning one
argument in favor of another by learning
to do the same with people. But all's
fair in love and the pursuit of truth.
The philosopher learns to convince them they are
following themselves by following him or her.
*Beware dear philosopher, behind the ghost of every argument is
the ghost of a person come to haunt you.*

Reminder: before resuming typing, go to
the end of the book.

Dear writer: if you add in something real the
sauce will thicken.




The tried and true circle around
you. The nonchalant at peace with
themselves sequestering a balance
for a time.This is a benefit
that can't be released. Morning
to you, Mr. Blue. He travels
light and "tells it like it is."
A gray marker. Steeped in
technological savvy, surrounded
by friends that care, warmly
regarded by your peers, dreaming
on in technicolor silence. I
had gripped the cup too tightly
and it fell from my
hand. Rainbow coalition, futuristic
voting bloc. Speakeasy. Loyalty.

Wednesday, December 17

looking for that completely different holiday present?

check out

Pure Products USA {click here}

from ligorano/reese


Here's a review of their work I published in *Chain*
some years back: New Languages for Old {click here}
(But to see the terrific photos of this work you
need to get your hands on a copy of Chain 3.1
*Hybrid Genres*)
Samuel Butler
from *The Notebooks of Samuel Butler*

"America will have her geniuses, as every other country
has, in fact she has already had one in Walt Whitman, but
I do not think America is a good place in which to be a genius.
A genius can never expect to have a good time anywhere, if
he is the genuine article, but America is about the last place
in which life will be endurable at all for an inspired writer of
any kind."

Samuel Butler

"My Books"

"I never make them: they grow; they come to me and
insist on being written, and on being such and such. I did not
want to write *Erewhon*, I wanted to go on painting and found
it an abominable nuisance being dragged willy-nilly into
writing it. So with all my books- the subjects were never
of my own choosing; they pressed themselves upon me with
more force than I could resist. If I had not liked the
subjects I should have kicked, and nothing would have got
me to do them at all. As I did like the subjects and the
books came and said they were to be written, I grumbled a
little and wrote them."
The fact that we say something is in the past
means that it will be repeated.

The fact that it is the present means that you
will ask yourself: should I continue? Should I
continue what I am doing?

What in the whole world could compare to asking
yourself a question like that?

It's enough to change your entire reality.

Wait a minute. What else is in the present except
the imperative: how do I continue?

Clearly this isn't the opposite.

The thing is, each sentence is said by an entirely
different character. You can hear that twang across
the distance between one statement and another.

Oh no, it isn't about the logic or the consistency. Uh-uh it's
not that easy. That's not what makes a person a person.

A person hears things. A person listens. A person begins to
echo everything that exists around them. A person reacts
so "they" know what's going on.

A person is a "they." A tremendous group, an enormous special
interest. As much, or more, than any group.

Notebook: 2/10/89


It is easy to speak of the irrational in a
time when what is irrational is determined,
or the whole, by committee vote. the
committee is, in turn, so determined in its
judgement to be self-serving to the larger
institutions it represents. The humane
judgement, like the judgement of the powerful,
is left to the individual. The group as
a whole has never known humanity and
never will.The group as a whole must be
determined in its action by forces too
dark to ever govern fully in a just way. In our
fear and frustration as a group again and again we
turn to the individual. How the group then
longs to corner, destroy or corrupt the individual.
The group wants the individual to submit
and only submit. But the individual
will never submit.


Tuesday, December 16

from *A Burning Interior*
David Shapiro
Overlook Press, 2003

from "Dream of December 9"

"I was a peace emissary to Saddam Hussein
I explained that I had hardly gone to a synagogue
more than a few times in my life
I was a pacifist and hated the military regimes
better he face me than Snowcroft
The plane was lurching to a pitiless Iraq
like a bus with military views of Washington..."

Notebook: 10/22/03

1. The present seen on a movie
screen in black and white: close
up of a table. The rhythmic uncertainty
of temporal progression sequesters
the expected chronology. The
direction is never doubted, never
questioned. Memories reside in
the hands. Viewing them as
centered on the screen, then
"this must be your favorite montage."
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
spliced across the dance floor. No
regrets about the fingering, no
second guessing what passed. Variations
on a scream. One direction back
to circling the first generation of
pain. Hide the trigger words.
I don't want to think
about what the "objective correlatives"
were. They remain, they must
remain, disguised at all times.
Seeing them in someone
else's clothes, understanding them
as dressed in a costume, listening
to all their speeches as if
they were prepared dialogues. Of
course they were- of course they
were not. Transcending both
categories. They appear as
part of a masque, part of a
remembered and lovingly repeated

I am pleased about deleting
a word. You won't be asked to guess it
or think about it. They exist
only to give you permission. But
why must I be given
permission to think. I can
only assume that thinking has
been forbidden, as I am quite
sure it was, very long ago. The
particles that filter down,
that drift, are the only
evidence we have that
thinking ever existed. This
film has been repeating so long we have
long ago forgotten there was a
time before reruns (letters
in the public domain). Intermittent
messages from the time before. These
resonances were sporadic from the
beginning. They appeared
like glittering reflections on a lake.
From time to time they arranged
themselves in recognizable patterns.
These would be suggested by
sequences of words. For example:
forest, insignia, slope. The
words settle like particles
swirling around in water.
Brownian motion, a message trapped inside
a rock for eons.


Before there was a before,
at a time when the present was
far more urgent than it is
now, someone had an inkling.
Someone started to remember.
"Time" began with this moment.
Looking, looking around anxiously,
anxiously searching. What, or who,
remembers? Running in terror,
searching fearfully, and keeps its
close relation. I want nothing
more than to forget it. To
foresee, to understand time's
odd qualities, perceive its human aspect.
Time and being, circling around each other like
two curious, hungry, searching,
fearful animals. What can we
do with each other, so far apart?

How can we understand each
other, one completely non-human,
the other vulnerable, but seeing
time, feeling it run through,
watching it, moving, thinking,
playing within it, like a child
romping in the ocean, feeling
the strong waves, playing in its
changing currents, regarding its
vastness, its inhuman responses,
its hidden expressions.


In poetry, prescience and
relevance are the same thing.

Monday, December 15

"Trees are archangels thinking light."

Allen Ginsberg


"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings-
always darker, emptier and simpler."

::fait accompli:: 2003
*stocking stuffers*
These are a few of my
favorite things...

Maria Damon and Miekel And, *Literature Nation*
Potes and Poets Press “[You, the Reader, are nervous to understand the words on the screen]”

Marcus Aurelius, *Meditations*: A new translation by
Gregory Hays -Modern Library-
“Everything transitory- the knower and the known.”

Walter Benjamin, *Selected Writings Volume 4*
The Belknap Press, Harvard UP
“The interplay between antiquity and modernity
must be transformed from the pragmatic context-
in which it first appears in Baudelaire- to the
context of allegory.”

Charles Bernstein, *Let’s Just Say*
Chax Press
“Let’s just say that the truth is somewhere
between us.”

Li Bloom, *Radish*
“See over there/Lonely desperation/
is a surface/ Problem”

Charles Borkhuis, *Savoir-Fear*
Melting Eyes Bindery
“Meanwhile it’s snuggle-time/
inside distraction’s warp and woof”

Daniel Bouchard, editor, *The Poker*
“Marcella Durand: Great. Your poetry makes me happy.
Kevin Davies: What, are you nuts?”

Tanya Brolaski, *The High Lonesome: Letters to Hank Williams*
True West
“hank, I had to write the clouds were a bad sign
and I knelt before their omen. ‘a ghost is an
extreme emotion stuck in time,’”

“Giddily they agreed: objects in space may be said
to derive their boundaries from coexistence”

Chain 10 *translucination*
“what interested us was the relentless
utopian drive within any act of translation”

Corina Copp, *Sometimes Inspired By Marguerite*
Open 24 Hours
“Twittering hammers down too the rain
like talk is like us is too, too soon”

Mike County, *Copper*
Pressed Wafer
“Of light interchangeable
with silence.”

Michael Cross, editor, *Involuntary Vision: after Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams*
Avenue B
“at the heart of this dialogue is
an unwillingness to accept objective
conditioning (which, I suppose, is
what gives the a label like ‘The New
Brutalism’ its credence).”

Jordan Davis, *Million Poems Journal*
Faux Press
“The red moon
is a banjo”

kari Edwards, *a day in the life of p.*
subpress collective
“the stopped moment that stopped
for centuries continued to fade.”

Elaine Equi, *The Cloud of Knowable Things*
Coffee House
"I'm at the corner between Can't & Won't
At the kiosk between Aroma & Automatic..."

Clayton Eshleman, *Everwhat*
“I come from a generation oily
with typewriter, blessed with
stubborn /angst of view”

Jean Fremon, *Island of the Dead*
translated from the French by
Cole Swenson
Green Integer
“…it’s as if I take stock of the
day’s mood by letting the pencil

Jean Fremon, *Distant Noise*
translated from the French by
Norma Cole, Lydia Davis, Serge
Gavronsky and Cole Swenson
cover by Louse Bourgeois
“A strange dream,
the other side of passion”

Nada Gordon,*V.IMP.*
Faux Press
“Come live with me
and be my love/
and we will buy a new vacuum (Lao Tzu)”

Noah Eli Gordon, *The Frequencies*
tougher disguises
"My radio did this to me."

Michael Gottlieb, *Lost and Found*
“Those lonely, terrifying gifts.
The hall of disclaimers.”

Barbara Guest *Reflexions on Art*
“As mysterious as a herd of animals
galloping across a moonlit landscape
is the interior of a silent room…”

Lyn Henjinian *My Life in the Nineties*
“What? is the fiftieth year of my life
now complete?”

Crag Hill, editor, *Score 18*
“Meanings are jade pebbles, mildy
ways, golem cages.”
Edward Mycue

Brenda Iijima, *spacious*
“Flash to a time when feelings were
reconciled by a glued in formalism”

Thomas Kelly, *All Hands*
“Don’t Touch My Art Project
It is the one that looks like
an orange pylon-”

Deb Klowden and Ben Lerner, editors
*No* (includes *In Denmark* by Ken Irby)
“By the light oranges, strangers”
Cole Swenson

Hank Lazer, *Deathwatch: for My Father*
“and for a time/the new drugs/
seem to work”

Matt Lee, editor, *Razor Smile*
Alan Sondheim CD-ROM Special
“He has been an inspiration for a lot
of avant-garde and experimental writers
and net theoreticians…”

Rachel Levitsky, *Under the Sun*
“Destiny as a life written by
the wall. on the wall. frescoed
into the concrete wall”

Ligorano/Reese with Gerrit Lansing
*turning leaves of mind*
“The book sits
in a tower
of dust”

Karen McCormack, *Implexures*
Chax and West House
“today many physicists think
nothingness is the foundation
of everything”

k. silem mohammed, *Deer Head Nation*
tougher disguises
“\*=America died today
\*=America killed by the President”

David Perry, *Range Finder*
Adventures in Poetry
“I have nowhere to go
that isn’t/ automatically
written language”

Tim Peterson, *Cumulus*
Portable Press
“The grotesque imbalance of powers
fuels my morning walk: azaleas, blue
phlox, curbside junk”

Antonio Porchia, *Voices*
translated by WS Merwin
Copper Canyon
“We have a world for each one
but we do not have a world for all”
“Tenemos un mundo para cada uno,
pero no tememos un mundo para todos”

Tom Raworth, *Collected Poems*
into the mirror

Elizabeth Robinson, *Apprehend*
“The witch herself wears stripes…”

David Rosenberg, *See What You Think*
Critical Essays for the Next Avant Garde
“A visionary poetry instead of omnisciently
embodying the present, must see through its
omniscience to explore the future.”

Kurt Schwitters
*Objects, Ephemera, Collages, Paintings*
UBU Gallery

David Shapiro
*A Burning Interior*
"Dream of December 9th"
"I was a peace emissary
to Saddam Hussein
I explained I had hardly gone to a synagogue
more than a few times in my life
I was a pacifist and hated the military regimes
better he face me than Snowcroft"

Rodrigo Toscano *Platforms*

Stephanie Young & Catherine Meng, *Postcard Poems*
Poetry Expresso
“Dear Santa, I’ve already got
a lot of unexpected presents”
“And who was singing
next to me made
no difference to my brain-“

Stephanie Young & Del Ray Cross, *Postcard Poems*
Poetry Expresso
“There was a line/ in the sugar,
of ants/ and a line to cut
the week in two”
“Was it something
the big stones had said?”
Del Ray

Tim Yu and Cassie Lewis, *Postcard Poems*
“Never worry about irony, looking
out over an abandoned planet.”
“The perceptions of others
and the clouds of intent”

Barrett Watten *The Constructivist Moment*
Wesleyan University Press

Sunday, December 14

Quotation of the Day Dep't

On December 7th, John Most
finished *Finnigan's Wake"
by James Joyce {click here}
I've plunged to position 9 on
Whirlygig (Amanda Cook's) {click here}

crush list. Crazy busy this week,
I was afraid i would fall off the list altogether
(fell from #3 to #9).

There's still hope!
(Back to the
drawing board)
Paul Valery's Blog Revelation

from *Analects*

"The poet has a great advantage in the fact that most people
feel incapable of pushing their thought *beyond* the point
where it can dazzle, excite, or elate them.

The spark lights up an area that seems infinite in the given
instant for which it is seen. The expression dazzles.

The shock of wonderment cannot be separated from the
objects it reveals. The strong dark outlines that appear
during the instant remain like wonderful properties in the

They are not distinguished from real objects. They are
seen as positive things.

But one must note that, to the great good luck of poetry,
*the tiny moment* I spoke of cannot be prolonged; there is no
turning the spark into a *fixed, continuous illumination.*

*That would light up something altogether different.*

In this case the phenomena a dictated by the source of

The tiny instant offers glimpses or gleams of quite another
system or "world" than what can be revealed by a contin-
uous illumination. This world (to which it would be use-
less and absurd to attribute any metaphysical value) is essen-
tially *unstable.* It is perhaps the world of free and characteristic
association among the mind's potential resources? The world
iof magnetic forces, of shortest distances, of resonances...

Perhaps the element of the inexplicable here would have
*distance* as its symbol? Action at a distance, induction, and so
from *moonshine highways*!

Back at you haiku

Our fait accompli
a morning blend of ripe sounds
a lovely wake-up.
# posted by Amy @ 8:32 AM


Linky Haiku

Moonshine Highways {click here}
and a bottle of


Mallarme on Blogging

from *A Break in the Act*
translated by David Paul

"How far civilization is from assuring us the pleasures
that are supposed to be its attributes! For instance one
might well be amazed that there is no league of dreamers
in every great city, existing to support some newspaper
that would record events in the light appropriate to
dream. *Reality* is a contrivance, serving to situate the
average mind among the mirages of an event: but by
that very token it must be founded on some universal
understanding: so let us see whether, ideally, there is no
essential, obvious, simple aspect of things that would
serve as basic type. I want, from my own solitary view-
point, to narrate, as it struck my poet's eye, a particular
anecdote before it is spread abroad by reporters en-
trusted by the public with the task of assigning each
thing its commonplace character..."
I've really appreciated having my two collages in
Sidereality-and on stage
over the past couple of months. I'll miss it. And it
also brings to mind what a pleasure it was to work
with Lewis La Cook and Clayton Couch.
I greatly appreciate the work they did on
the current issue,
in particular, of course,
their intensive,
empathetic and generous focus
on *fait accompli* and my
other work.

Saturday, December 13

The Soul Indrawn
Stephane Mallarme
(tr. Roger Fry)

All the soul indrawn
When slowly we exhale it
In many rounds of smoke
Lost in other rounds

Proves that some cigar
Burns skilfully how-so little
Its ash withdraws itself
From the clear kiss of fire

So the choir of songs
Flies it to your lip
Exclude if you begin
The real as being base

Its too sharp sense will overscrawl
Your vague literature

New Directions

"Man loves company even if it is only
that of a small burning candle."

Lichtenberg, *Aphorisms*

"The most absurd and the most
rash hopes have sometimes been the
cause of extraordinary success."

Vauvenarges, *Reflections and Maxims*, 1746
Very busy the last few days and blogger out for a night
and a morning- I guess. Very interesting, a little
disorienting, but in a good way; like when you
are forced to change your sleeping schedule- bracing and
stimulating but in an astringent kind of way, something I wouldn't
mind encountering quite rarely.

Friday, December 12

Benjamin: Blogger Flaneur

"How this work was written: rung by rung, according as chance would offer a narrow foothold, and always like someone who scales dangerous heights and never allows himself a moment to look around, for fear of becoming dizzy (but also because he would save for the end the full force of the panorama opening out to him)."

I was looking for a place,
in one chapter of the *Arcades Project*
where Walter Benjamin would project a
perfect image of a blogger.
It didn't take me long.

As I read this book, it feels
that Benjamin took on the task
of visualizing what it was to experience
the vast change that had taken place in
the world in the modern era, particularly
concerning the individual's relationship
with time. Walter Benjamin also
understood that the torrential
onrush of time in contemporary
life demanded a drastic change
in literary methods.

"Method of this project: literary montage. I needn't *say* anthing. Merely show. I shall purloin no valuable, appropriate no ingenious formulations. But the rags, the refuse- these I will not inventory but allow in the only way possible, to come into their own: by making use of them."

"Making use of them."
So often Benjamin comes back to
themes of reclamation. In this way
he is similar to Robert Smithson and
Andy Goldsworthy. Benjamin took
the everyday literary reaction to time in
reverse for his project. The more
the pressure of time demanded
complicity, the more he
immersed himself in the
immediate past. He is insisting:
time is going slower than you think.
The demands of contemporary
production demand a relationship
to time that is completely complicit
with commodity production,
commodity consumption and
commodity disposal. The need for
reverie time should be constantly
lessened not only by means of
administered work: the administrators
have as their task to determine
the rate of production - the worker's
relationship with time. This is
discovered to be the most
effective way to enslave the
masses: making it impossible
for individuals to think for
themselves by removing the
type of time needed to acquire
exactly the emotional and cognitive
powers that might set them free.

"It is not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present its light on what is past: rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation. In other words, image is dilalectics at a standstill. For while the relation of the present to the past is purely temporal, continous one, the relation of what has been to the now is dialectical: is not progression but image, suddenly emergent.-..."

As the historical perspective
fades away into the fabled
world of the material present,
time changes speed. The exact
reverse of this is
"dialectics at a standstill."
"What has been comes together
in a flash with the now..."
Understanding here is
envisioned as a "flash,"
a flash of insight.
The past and present
stand frozen in their
representative historical
contexts in symbolic forms.
In Benjamin, time's materiality
is all the more unnerving because
it is apt to come disguised in
details, and not present
itself as a completed
tableau. It is presented
in stages, to be absorbed
presently at the pace of the
flaneur. The irony is that what
is seen and experienced is not
translateable into insight by the
flaneur because the function of
commodity processes has
overwhelmed the perceptual
apparatus. Benjamin would
have loved the way a blogger
could move much so quickly
through informational time
and space as to outmaneuver
the one hypnotic materialistic
drone of information expressly
created for mass consumption:
buy now and buy *in* now.

"Resolute refusal of the concept of "timeless truth" is in order.
Nevertheless, truth is not- as Marxism would have it- a merely contingent function of knowing but is bound to a nucleus of timel ying hidden within the knower and the known alike. This is so true that the eternal, in any case, is far more the ruffle on a dress than some idea."

Like his friend and literary companion
Brecht, Benjamin's notion of history
is bereft of the notion of climax.This has
been replaced one the one hand by the
largest historical version: the breadth
of imagined time which is messianic time,
and on the other, by the moment to be
characterized by perception of the
multiplicity of objects for sale in a store
window.The tragedy that has already
taken place is more likely to be allegorized
in the form of a cane used by a beggar
play-acting the part of a cripple.
It's not that "timeless truths" are cliches,
it is that their emphasis is mistaken.
Such truths are proffered like a hunter's
stuffed prey hanging on a wall. They are
objects constructed in factories for quick
consumption and equally quick disposal
(for example, the conceptual planned
obsolescence of the academies).


Walter Benjamin would have
loved blogging because of its
capability of embracing as
part of its mortar what society
considers trivial and unmentionable.
These innumerable details,
which constitute the names,
or at least the initials,
of every person who exists or
who has ever existed, embrace
what traditional journalism consigns
to "quaintness" and the
"human interest story."
Walter Benjamin would have
understood that like the growing
masses of moviegoers ,
the thronging masses of bloggers
stand with insourciant
defiance towards the overall capitalist
conception of the function of
information and history.

"Necessity of paying heed over many years to every casual citation, every fleeting mention of a book."

Benjamin frequently refers to
time in relation to literary details.
This summons an image of
everyday activity and attention
and *citation* of details.

"It is the present that polarizes the event into fore-and after-hhistory."

"It is my intention to withstand what Valery calls "a reading slowed by and bristling with the resistances of a refined and fastidious reader." Charles Baudelaire, *Les Fleurs du mal*, introduction by Paul Valery, (Paris, 1928)

Benjamin is anything but the slow
and methodical kind of scholar-creator.
On the contrary, Benjamin would have
loved the quick turn-around of reading
and writing made available and
nstantly universally accessible as blogging.
Benjamin's collecting of materials for the
Arcades project, like blogging,
pleasurably embraces reading
over the shoulders of other writer.
In turn, this action embraces the past,
as well as the future.

"At any given time the living see themselves in the mdday of history. They are obliged to prepare a banquet for the past. The historian is the herald who invited the dead to the table."

The blogger invites the reader
to the table, and the table is
spread by bloggers en masse.
Time, by means of such connections
created each day by thousands of hands,
a wave of reading, in a tide of electronic pages,
new each day, return the passage of time
to the individual: the story,
invented by the media in complete
complicity with the demands of commodity
projection, is atomized and sprayed out over material
space and time as in Phillip K. Dick's *Ubik.*

All quotations from *The Arcades Project* Walter Benjamin
*On The Theory of Knowledge, Theory of Progress*
The Belknap Press of Harvard UP

Thursday, December 11

The BBR Reading Series:

Brenda Iijima &

Graham Foust

Tuesday, December 16, 8pm

($4 to benefit the poets)

Bar Reis

375 5th Avenue

(btwn 5th & 6th Streets)


(F train to 4th and 9th)

Are books a Dead Letter Game? {click here: see post on 12/ 8}

"The art of living is more like
wrestling than dancing."

Marcus Aurelius


Wednesday, December 10

Walter Benjamin's *Arcades Project* and Blogging

"Thus the poet's thought, after meandering capriciously, opens onto the vast perspectives of the past or future..."
'Mareceline Desbourdes-Valmore'

from "Baudelaire"

"The correspondance between antiquity and modernity is the sole constructive conception of history In Baudelaire"

"For the decline of the aura, one thing within the realm of mass production is of overriding importance: the massive reproduction of the image."

"If the crowd is a veil, then the journalist draws it about him, exploting his numerous connections like so many seductive arrangements of the cloth."

"The poetics of *l'art pour l'art* blends seamlessly into the aesthetic Passion of *Les Fleurs du Mal*"
"The 'loss of a halo' concerns the poet first of all. He is abliged to exhibit himself in his own person *on the market.* Baudelaire played this role to the hilt. His famous mythomania was a publicity stunt."

"In the opening poem of *Les Fleurs du mal,* Baudelaire accosts the public in a most unusual fashion. He cozies up to them, if not exactly in a cozy vein. You could say he gathers his readers around like a mantilla."

"Modernity has its anitquity, like a nightmare that has come to it in its sleep."

"Professional conspirator and dandy meet in the concept of the modern hero. The hero represents for himself, in his own person, a whole secret society."

"Baudelaire would never have written poems, if he had had merely the motives for doing so that poets usually have."

from "The Flaneur"

"The most characteristic building projects of the nineteenth century- railroad stations, exhibition halls. department stores (according to Giedion)- all have matters of collective importance as their object. The flaneur feels drawn to these "despised, everyday" structures, as Giedion calls them. In these constructions, the appearance of great masses on the stage of history was already forseen. They form the eccentric frame within which the last privateers so readily deployed themselves."

*The Arcades Project* by Walter Banjamin
translated by Howard eiland and Kevin McLaughlin
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 1999

With some stretching of categories and
conceptual photoshop image-pasting
and tweaking many if not most of the
statements above could be applied to
the contemporary literary/poetic/political/
anti-propangandistic and counter
mass-media blogger.

Like the railroad stations,
exhibition halls, the
"despised , everyday"
weblogs easily adapt
themselves to the
of everyday activity
and more or less comfortably
serve as literary and political
meeting places, akin to what
was once cafe culture. Although
you have to make your own coffee,
you can amble around blogs very
much like Benjamin and Baudelaire
flaneurs wandered through the
arcades and in and out of the
bars and cafes of late nineteenth
and early 20th century Paris. Early on,
blogs started to take on names
very much like cafes: one of my
favorites was *Breakfast All Day Cafe*,
which strangely, the author switched to
a blog of his own name "Bogue's Blog"
around the time *fait accompli* was asked
to contribute its link list to the EPC. Lists of
Blog names remind me of those stacks of
ads for Band performances you see in the
Village Voice by the dozens. The idea is the
same. Blogs extend themselves as
places to hang out, virtual cafes and other
kinds of digs. In this environment, the
everydayness of poetry has an opportunity
to blossom and show itself. I like to blog my
diaries because they are returned to the
everyday spirit in which they were written.
Poems strain to get this "off the cuff" tone
to their works probably in attempt to avoid
the finality (and dullness) in the aura of a lecture

Blogs also give the poet places to exhibit
themselves as demanded by Baudelaire and
Benjamin above. Again, the blogged "place"
happily offers the writer some truly deserved
and needed privacy. You are in the town
square but behind a curtain (a screen).
Unquestionably blogland is a marketplace
but a quaint one in which all the products
are free, and can be copied and exchanged
and interchanged at will. Benjamin is fascinated
with and partly horrified by the eagerness the
masses were taking to these circumstances of
the "infinte copy. The multiple copy, so weightily
and mightly earned by the maker of books, is
available to infinitude on the computer. Its
instantaneity and availablity have a long way
to go indeed to where they feel ordinary.
Xeroxing copies is hard to compare to the
way references and their facsimilies are made
available instantly and more and more universally
by html as information gatherers more and more
expect this availability and accessibility with all information.

Art for art, like the "loss of the halo" emanated
from the rapidly expanding universal availability
and interchangeability of all informational access
points. Every bit of a collage is connectible and
transformable to every other part of the collage,
a printed circuit of currency quickly breaking
through boundaries and altering the shapes
and functions of the forms the content inhabits
and moves within. Blogs are like informational
Jackson Pollacks, decentering information by
providing nodes of connection between every
aspect of each informational byte, and
simultaneously participating in the means
by which geometically expansive transformable
content can be universally accessed and exchanged
via equally transformable formal processes.
Just as the poles of content and form transform
themselves and are absorbed by and within each
other, the various roles of readers and writers
become transformed, via disoriented and distortion-edged codes.

Blog names are the store fronts of Walter Benjamin's
ageless arcades, inviting the reader into the
contours of a day, fading into various qualities
of light in morning, noon and night's
photographic darkroom.

Tuesday, December 9

Linky Haiku

Moonshine Highways
and a bottle of

TEN MORE POEMS by James Hoff
CITY/TEMPLE by Mark Lamoureux

Saturday, Dec. 13 7pm
at The Nest, 88 Front Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
(F train to York St., A/C to High St.)

If you're in the area, please come. Or tell your friends who are in the area.
It should be a great time.

We're all very excited.

"We were fervent listeners... we were like sticks of dynamite." (Joe Strummer)

Dear Kimmy,

Everything's fine now.

And while I'm at it, thanks for
Blogger. I do enjoy it quite
a lot.

Best wishes,
Nick Piombino

On 12/9/03 12:26 PM, "Blogger Support" wrote:

> I've just gone in to take a look at your blog and it appears to be fine.
> This may have been a temporary problem that has since been corrected.
> Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns!
> Sincerely,
> Kimmy
> Original Message Follows:
> ------------------------
> From: "Nick Piombino (1197149, )"
> Subject: no blogger
> Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 05:35:04 -0800
> Why still another version of blogger when they ha
ve all been fine?
> No blogs will open, including my own.

The Day John Lennon Died, December 8, 1980 {click here}

"How can there be laughter,
how can there be pleasure,
when the whole world is burning?"

The Dhammapada, probably 3rd
Centrury BC


Jonathan Mayhew "dreams of a poetry
without any poetic vocabulary" {click here}


"A true poet does not bother to be
poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener
scent his roses."

Jean Cocteau
Notebook 7/6/95

"His power to adore is responsible
for all his crimes...once man
loses his *faculty of indifference*
he becomes a potential murderer...
We kill only in the name of a god..."

E.M.Cioran, *A Short History of Decay*

"When we refuse to admit the
interchangeable character of ideas,
blood flows..."


You can't go backwards
You can't even go forwards
You can only face forward with dignity
And try not to fall

"In the fervent mind you always
find the camoflaged beast of


Is it sad not to know which way to go?
At least, the signs point East.
Some time ago when things were certain
They held their babies to themselves and sighed.
All at once the sky was registered in orange.
It is so simple to go forward blindly
Taking your joys with you strongly as you go.
In the Bonnards at the Museum D'Orsay
They sit in dignity and each are looking inward
in different directions.


Here we are over a hundred years later
Still dying of what Baudelaire was dying of
Still crying and sighing the same old sorrows
Sung to the same sad Debussy melodies.
The trees are dark the sky is dark my face
is dark my hands are dark,
The tears were dark. And how they laughed.
Listen you can still hear them laughing.
Listen on the same dark Paris streets.
Walking and walking till you're so
tired you can't stand anymore.

Monday, December 8

{click here} Ron Silliman's wife Krishna
is home and doing well; but his PC crashed.

Drew Gardner is home with the flu
for two weeks. Read about his
videorama and get his email address
if you feel like writing him at:
Overlap (Drew Gardner) {click here}

notebook: 5/19/95

killing begets killing
hurting begets hurting
hating begets hating

wanting begets wanting
holding begets holding
touching begets touching
walking away begets walking away

Silent when you walk away
Silent one
In dark absence, a darkness

Even the air is an empty page

Kindness factor

Coming back factor

Rough edges- pages-

Inevitability (follow suit)

surcease (measurable gaps in interpretation)



going sideways (slipping into speed
down the rabbit hole)

lost trail of clues (cues)

rendering the world into a game
becomes the narrative of winners and
losers (loss of childhoood into
adult/oedipal measure)

One size fits all= childhood
adulthood=winners and losers
humor (remembering the shared characters)

Sunday, December 7

Who could follow Alli Warren
except Chan Marshall? Who is now headed
for performances in Florida:
Cat Power {click here}
Cool- there are now three video clips on her site
including one of "He War"
(you need RealOne Player)
and an mp3 of
"I don't blame you",
both from her album *Free*
(If you click on the second
one down in the first row of
squares you will find the videos;
if you move the album image
of *free* to an open square you
will find audios from *free*.)

Of words, as seen by poet:
The Ingredient (Ali Warren) {Click here}
Don't miss your chance!
Send her your words
before she moves on...

"Happiness is a how, not a what,
a talent, not an object."

Herman Hesse


"The remedy for wrongs
is to forget them."

Publius Syrus


la photo du jour... {click here} cheers me up.

But I miss Solipsistic {click here}


Snow on the ground
creates such lovely

Just enough
to listen to these
Tactus de Sonus (fr) {click here}

Saturday, December 6

I keep thinking about the ways Walter Benjamin's work
anticipates blogging. I found the following sections
in *One Way Street* on some level to have
envisioned or anticitipated the circumstances of
blogging, its uses and its impact and aftermath.


"Filling Station"

"The construction of life is at present in the power of facts far
more than convictions, and as such facts as have scarecely ever
become the basis of convictions. Under these circumstances true
literary activity cannot aspire to take place within a literary
framework- this is, rather the habitual expression of its sterility.
Significant literary work can only come into being in a strict
alternation between action and writing; it must nurture the
inconspicuous forms that better fit its influence in active com-
munities than does the pretentious, universal gesture of the book
-its leaflets, brochures, articles, and placards. Only this prompt
language shows itself actively equal to the moment. Opinions
are to the vast apparatus of social existence what oil is to
machines: one does not go up to a turbine and pour machine
oil over it; one applies a little to hidden spindles and joints that
one has to know."


Benjamin here is noting several things, but particularly the
slow and cumbersome quality, as well as the "pretentious"
permanence of the various "permanent" printed
media. On the other hand, as in
blogging, the quick, spontaneous expressions
of points of view keep the rusty
joints that interweave the thoughts of individuals into the
emerging social opinions of the time, are crucial to the
agile movement of mass media.


from *Chinese Curios*

"These are days when no one should rely unduly on his 'com-
petence.' Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows
are struck left-handed."

By left-handed Benjamin here may mean literary
forms that do not operate in conventionally
literal ways. Improvisatory methods, keyed to the
moment-by-moment movement of the writer's
exlorations and insights, will impact social reality
and artistic reality much more powerfully than
slow moving conventional forms of literary commentary
and literary innovation. Again. blogging mirrors this
vision of literary insurrection quite well.


from *Imperial Panorama*

"7. The freedom of conversation is being lost. It was
earlier a matter of course in conversation to take interest
in one's partner; this is now replaced by an inquity into
the price of his shoes or his umbrella. Irrisistibly intruding
on any convivial exhange is the theme of the condition of
life of money...It is as if one were trapped in a theatre and
had to follow the events on the stage whether one wanted to
or not, had to make them again and again, willingly or
unwillingly, the subject of one's thought and speech."


The commercialization of writing will eventually
lead to the emergence of forms that resist
creative submission and repression. This is partly
because human expression has become so
codified due to capitalism that the need to
comply has become hard to resist. Writing,
speech and expression become, as they have
in Us and Only-Us Land, in the land of the
inexorable Terminators, so adapted to propaganda
that expression becomes a predictable mechanism that
inexorably and automatically
serves the needs of the marketplace.


from *Teaching Aid*

"VII...The typical work of modern scholarship is intended to be read
like a catalogue. But when shall we actually write books like catalogues?
If the deficient content were thus to determine the outward form,
an excellent piece of writing would result, in which the value of opinions
would be marked without their being thereby put on sale.

The typewriter will alienate the hand of the man of letters
from the pen only when the precision of typographic forms has
directly entered the conceptions of his books. One might suppose
that new systems with more variable typefaces would then be
needed. They will replace the pliancy of the hand with the
innervation of commanding fingers.

A period that, constructed metrically, afterward has its
rhythm upset at a single point yields the finest prose sentence
imaginable. In this way a ray of light falls through a chink in the
wall of the alchemist's cell, to light up gleaming crystals, spheres,
and triangles."


Here Benjamin envisions a form of writing that, like blogging,
immediately sets the conceptions of writers instantaneously
into typeset forms adaptable to the grain of spontaneous visions.
He sees the work of the writer someday combined with that of the
typesetter and the publisher, as in blogging,
leading the writer to invoke the
powers of light akin to ancient alchemists.


*Post No Bills*

"VII. Never stop writing because you have run out of ideas.

*Thirteen Theses Against Snobs*

"VII. Meaning is the outcome of experience.
Subject matter is the outcome of dreams."

"VIII. In the art-work subject
matter is a ballast jettisoned
during contemplation.

The more one loses oneself
in a document, the denser
the subject-matter becomes."


Here Benjamin is imagining forms of writing that break
away from the slow, impeded horse and carriage pace
of developing conventional, literal subject-matter. He
envisions a form that allows a direct current between
the writers conscious and unconscious mind, that allows
the writer unimpeded visionary processes using the image
of taking their ideas into flight.


from *Hardware*

"Quotations in my work are like wayside robbers
who leap out armed and relieve the stroller'
of his convictions."

Future modes of appropriation are here invoked and envisioned, with
Benjamin pointing out that the implied thievery of the literary
appropriator creates a sort of "black hole" where readers
see their stereotypes disappear, in a gesture which is the
inverse of Robin Hood, as in flarf, where overwhelming
the reader with environmental influences may rituallistically
exorcise its dangrous propagandistic radioactivity.


from One Way Street
and other writings
translated by Edmund Jephcott
and Kingley Shorter
with an inroduction by Susan Sontag

Friday, December 5

For no particular reason, I'm thinking of Vallejo tonight.

In this poem he is able to drive a sombre subject to the
verge of a kind of poetic white hot heat, where there is
a meltdown of meanings, and even the harshest of
negative assertions verges on generating a kind of affirmative
rip tide:

"You're all dead.

What a strange way to be dead. Anyone would say you aren't. But, in fact,
you're alll dead.

You float nothingly behind that membrane, hanging from the heights to the
lowest, which comes and goes from sundown to sundown, shaking in front of
the echoing box of an injury that doesn't hurt. So I say life is in the mirror, and you're
the original,death.

While the ripple goes, while the ripple comes, it's so safe to be dead. Only when
the waters fall apart in front and keep on folding over, then you change yourselves
completely and when your know your'e dying, you notice the sixth cord and it's
not yours anymore.

You're all dead, not having ever lived. Anyone would say that, not being now,
you must have been in some other time. In fact, you're the corpses of a life that
never was. It's a sad fate having been dead all the time, a dry leaf that's never green
Orphenhood of orphanhoods.

And yet the dead aren't, can be, corpses from a life they have yet to live. They al-
ways died from living.

You're all dead."

from *Trilce*
Cesar Vallejo
translated by David Smith
Grossman Publishers, 1973


*fait accompli* special manhattan
snowstorm edition
Friday, December 5th
*fait accompli*((((COOL)))))(((((BLOG)))))



william watkin's blog

Porthole Redux(Catherine Meng)

The Ingredient (Alli Warren)

Negative Velocity

[nonlinear poetry](Jukka-Pekka Kervinen)

fluss (John Most)


Home Is Not

The Cassandra Pages

MGK (Matt Kirschenbaum)

Media TIC

On 12/5/03 9:46 AM, "Jonathan Mayhew {click here}" wrote:

> Very good response, I actually agree with most of what you say. Don't you
> think, though, that introspection cannot ultimately protect against
> self-deception. Like those who say to themselves, "I cannot possibly be
> fooling myself, I am so thoughtful and introspective a person." I am very
> prone to introspection yet believe I am constantly prone to self-deception as
> well.
Brand New Insects (Shanna Compton)
has announced
Jordan Davis's
reading with Dara Wier
and Christian Bok (!!!)
on Sunday, December 5th.
Leslie Scalapino, Jen Benka, & Susan Briante
Friday, December 5, 2003, 7PM at

Bluestockings Activist Bookstore

(Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington)

A $7-10 donation is suggested.
from Bemsha Swing (Jonathan Mayhew)

Tuesday, December 02, 2003
"The poverty of introspection: It is not that the results are not "rich" and rewarding on their own terms. Only that they are, on the whole, illusory. We don't really know how we actually think. We cannot solve this problem by merely observing our own thought processes."

posted by Jonathan Mayhew at 6:22 AM

This is like visualizing introspection
as a house without windows.
Introspection is the
essence of thinking,
one of the few pathways
to insight.

Insight results from the
alternation of looking
without and
searching within.
"I searched out myself."

A computer thinks
without introspection;
it follows orders.
People think with introspection.
Without introspection, no empathy.
Without empathy,
no transcending one's
own presuppositions.
Without transcending
one's own presuppositions,
endless assumptions
based on received information,
beliefs and points
of view.
Without introspection,
a person is incapacitated
in thinking for themselves.
Without introspection
no antenna for self-deception.

"That doesn't sound right
or feel right to me"
is the beginning of introspection.
When a person asks
of themselves
"Who is this person
who thought that way?
How could I have
said such and so,
how did I
come to such a
the process of clear
has begun.

Thursday, December 4

The way people behave. They refuse to admire their
contemporaries, the people whose lives they share. No,
but to be admired by Posterity- people they've never met
and never will- that's what they set their hearts on. You
might as well be upset at not being a hero to
your great-grandfather.

Marcus Aurelius
A new translation, with an
introduction by Gregory Hays
The Modern Library, 2003
from Mysterium (Carlos Arribas) {click here} today:

Underground New York {click here}
Notebook: 7/28/88

It is really no surprise, in the end, that
what we might want from our poetry- from
so many things- is different than it was
a generation ago, let alone a hundred
years or so. I worried, once, that my book
of poems might be not *whole* enough, not of
a piece, say, like Baudelaire's *Fleurs de Mal*.
But this is not what a bouquet would look
like now, my dear fellow poet. Not that
yours looks any less fresh a hundred years later.
And now poisons even more in need of your pungent
antidote. Our lives are simply devoid of mystery.
This is really what I try to inject into my poems- in the face
of the fact that the world I try to escape
to in my poetry will hardly displace
a jot of the double-dealing world in which
we live. The truth is- there is hardly
anything alive out there anymore. All we
have is what we have within- and more and
more energy is needed to supply ever greater
amounts of fuel to keep burning the minute
ember of authenticity that is left. Every
bit of the universe I remember *could have been*
burned up in that little spark.

But words, words. Haven't
human beings proven it again and again?
Anything is possible with words. And psychoanalysis
demonstrates that even the wounded mind's hurts can be
healed by words. If only we could listen.

[What more is the poem than the injunction: "listen" ?]

Poetry- a way of getting ourselves to listen.
"Who gets credit for the waves. The margins
are at our feet-"

Then again, I must be careful not to besiege
myself with *too many* arguments.


I've lived with time so long as a limiting
and controlling reality- that I am weary with
thinking of it like this.

I need new images for time. I am tired
of being pushed in front of it, like a child
being urged to take its first step-or
like a pet, being dragged along its staccato
steps, lurching forward one moment, and
then seeming to drag on forever, locked in a room,
waiting for its next chance to get out. I
can learn to accept a concept of time that
is inexorable, leading to one inescapable outcome
which awaits all human beings. Of course
there is nothing afterwards. Time- more and more
not matter what. The end of time- nothing more, no
matter what.

Good speech is more a question of *when* then
*what*. But good writing offers something that transcends time.

Wednesday, December 3

Sure, Li {click here} , I understand
the need to take blog breaks, but come back soon, ok?
White, black and gray discussed on
Media TIC {click here}
today. Interesting discussion of 50's images, particularly
typewriters, and some interesting images. Good chance
to practice your French, too.

Capitalism Has Had Its Time {click here and scroll down}
o... it's alright to say... something
pleasant... now and then...
a compliment... a heartfelt... un... ironical... compliment
pleases every good man and woman... and child {click here}

Dangerous talk, *finish your phrase*, especially coming from such an
consistently excellent blogger poet!


Speaking of excellent blogged poems, check out Tonio Savoridin's
Echo of the smoke {click here}

Jessica Stockholder's art continues to
intrigue me. I was reminded of it today
and found these images from a show in a
French gallery:
Jessica Stockholder {click here}

Here's another one:
Jessica Stockholder {click here}

and another:
Stockholder {click here}

A sigh can break a man in two.

The Talmud


Tuesday, December 2

1:00 PM, Saturday December 6, 2003
• Admission: free
211 Pierce Building, Stevens Institute of Technology,
6th and River Streets, Hoboken, New Jersey
To mark the publication of
TURKISH POETRY, edited by Murat Nemet-Nejat.
• A discussion of, and readings from,
the works of young Turkish poets
in both Turkish and English translations.


7:00 PM, Tuesday, December 9, 2003
• Admission: $10
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street
(between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues),
New York City
The poetic activity that swept Turkey
through the 20th century into the
21st marks one of the most exciting
moments in world literature.
• Readings in Turkish and English
preceded by the playing of Turkish music.

küçük Iskender, poet

Murat Nemet-Nejat, poet and translator

Mustafa Ziyalan, poet

Edward Foster, poet and editor

Ron Silliman's wife Krishna is in the hospital.

Verging on
the tentacles
of a poem



Monday, December 1

Alright, I won't, I can't be modest
about this-
I made #3 on
Ironstone Whirlygig (Amanda Cook's) {click here}
crush list.
Good company, too.
(The last time I made the list, I predicted
Gata, Amanda's cat would be found.)

Create your own Pollack {click here}

brought to you by Boynton {click here}

Blogging and the Future of Poetry Dep't

I've been asked by a poet and blogger
from Massachusetts- Mike County
to comment on the how blogging
might change poetry. What
I predict might happen is that the
relationship between local scenes
and national and international scenes
might change. Up until now
that relationship has emerged
through the herculean
efforts of small press publishers
and their connected reading series,
the heroic efforts of small press distribution, academic
poetics programs, etc,

As bloggers, individual poets have the
possibilitiy of gaining a small portion
of what used to be reserved completely
to such efforts. Publishers
are unable to complete the task of
interrelating the various
scenes emanating from localities.
Local scenes, on the other hand,
no longer become "the only game in town"
for poets. Blogs are
not just pieces of paper. With a blog a writer
is an indepenent
publishing entity as well as a maker of texts.
This is empowering,
as Gerrit Lansing was acknowledging on Saturday night
at the Sheraton Commander, after the Saturday night
Wordsworth reading in Cambridge, in way similar to the way
readings are empowering.

Through blogging poets can connect more
frequently and
exchange information. While I don't see
poetry readings
as being any less important,
they used to be the only
place where poets could be seen and heard. On the other
hand, blogging is new and many
reading series have gone
on for a long time. These gives
them great prestige and

Poetry reading series are like the
town squares of poetry,
where poets met and get to
know each other. But now
there is blogland as well where poets
can get to know each other
and each others work and ideas.

The traditional avenues
for poets to connect
will eventually recognize
that the scene
must become more national
and international. Bloggers
can connect so frequently
that working relationships can
be established in a very
empowering way. On the other hand,
no matter how the relationships
evolve, the blogger remains
an independent entity. This is
unprecedented in the field of
writing. It is as if up until now
the reading series was the
only real poetry employer, but
now not only can a writer be
their own employer, but they
can work directly with other
"companies." And just as
good as that is, they can quit
if they want to and happily
continue their own company.
This is also unprecedented.

Since I have unquestionably
reached my anecdotage, I
want to mention that
Ted Berrigan once said to his
1967 workshop that a poet
couldn't get anywhere without
giving readings. This made me
uncomfortable because I
was so shy then that I felt
intimidated enough going to readings
where I might meet John Ashbery
one moment, David Shapiro
and Ann Waldman the next,
and then Allen Ginsberg might say
hello to me. What was I supposed
say? I didn't have a clue.To make
a long story short, I learned how
to give readings whether
I liked it or not and this changed
a lot of things for me. I met Ed Friedman
through Bernadette Mayer
and he asked me to do a lot
of readings in the early 70's, including
one at the Kitchen with Patti Smith. A couple
of years later he started inviting me to
read at the Poetry Project.Because of this,
Ted Berrigan came to hear me
read. I met Charles Bernstein at
a performance/party that
Ed Friedman gave where
I sang a song I I had written in French,
with a guitar player backing me up. A few years
after that I started working
with Charles on L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E.
a xeroxed magazine. Alan Davies and
I encouraged Charles to continue the
magazine for an extra year or two, and I
suggested that way it might become a

Xerox technology and mimeo
technology made the poetry publishing
scene expand, in concert
with the reading series where the work
would be read and poets
could publish and distribute
their own mimeo magazines. Nearly
40 years after its inception, the
Poetry Project still
works in the same way.

Blogging takes this so much further
because where before
you needed a physical
place, like St Mark's Church to create
a place to meet, now you can meet
in blogland. Relationships
can still only mainly
flourish with live exchanges,
but blogging makes it possible for poets
to meet and exhange work and
ideas much more frequently.
You can introduce yourself to
someone you don't know
much more comfortably,
and this could lead to working
with them on projects. This can happen
very often now. But there is still
the formality of the
written word. Still,
bloggers could
have their own
national and international
reading series right online, tv series,
any kind of series all day
long and get to know
each others work and
put together projects
very fast. Soon they
will be able to work
in any medium on projects
every day and
distribute the products
right on line.You could
have the equivalent
of an entire movie company
for a series of
projects and then go on their way
just as in film projects.
With this quickly developing
technology, poets don't need
middlepersons to work
with each other, where the middlepersons get a lot
of the credit and had most of the power
(all the way
from a few months to a few dacades.)
But even
with a few photoes and audblogs
and poems typed out by hand,
working independently
but in an indirectly ensemble
way every day the way blogging goes,
makes things happen so
much faster and in such a more
quickly networked way than a local
print series combined with reading
series can do, at least in terms of
projects. Still, the live meeting
remains crucial. But now it just isn't
the only game in town, but exists in the
national and international town
square of blogging. Faces, and voices
can have very fast exposure in
concert with the printed words.

The potential for dailness
changes the power and
possibilites of every kind
of relationship.
People work together everyday much more
naturally than they do meeting once in
awhile the way poets have until now.
This is what gave the middlepersons
all the power, because they
were among the very
few people who worked with writers on
these kinds of things every day.
This creates the power of
working together, really working,
not the way a group of hobbyists might.
And shhh...with
the power of perruque, we can do it
on the company dime!

This is a tremendously
important and potentially very
empowering difference
with blogging in that it can go on every day. This can
move things much faster.
When poets start to feel less dependent
on the given outlets, while still
respecting their great accomplishments,
influence and prestige,
they can do things in a way they've
never been done before. They can
work together and make things
happen in a way that is
unprecedented for

In the end, all writers need is a way
to exchange their writing and their ideas.
Tradition and prestige are important but they have
been overly depended on by writers because
with poets there were few financial ways
to gauge things
as in every other field.

Bloggers can now gauge
things differently. I can use html tracking
sites to see how and when writers
are interested in what each other are doing.
This is important because people want to know
when what they do is useful, interesting,
enjoyable, and when it connects in the
minds of other people, is rewarding, etc. With a site meter
for example, we connect and
correspond quickly and our
working together is immeasurably
expanded- the only limit of the frequency
of exchange, as far as I can see, is
how much caffeine you happen to
have around that day or night.

In short, to quote an oft used phrase:
with blogging you "don't need a weatherman
to know which way the wind blows."