Distribution Automatique

Saturday, April 5

The problem with time travel is that it takes so much time. This is a joke but there is a germ of truth in it. Why should it be a surprise that the constant difficulty, the struggle, with time is that it is irreducible and limited?

Right now instead of looking for "great poems" I'm looking for poetry which emanates poetic energy.
1) a piece of writing
2)later: what were the attitude and character of the person writing it?
3) later: why that investigation?
A piece of writing which represents all the things that stop me- these are not all the things but the piece of paper represents the feeling of "moving" or taking control over those things. Now the writing comes to represent that piece of paper.

Allowing the manuscripts to get all mixed in together= shuffling the deck for a "reading"

Endless preparations for "a reading" (=Tarot or tea leaves reading)

The poems I am collecting seem to be ones I've thought about or want to think about (!). A poem as a crystal ball- some "thing" around which imaginings can be "seen" and "heard."

"Items of intrinsic value."

I take measure and leap into the pool of ideas- a tune emerges in memory. Imagining: even if I could not do it yet, take the pieces that fit in (these are detail) and imagine (create) the rest.

"I don't want to think about it, but I'd like to have a record of it."

To have control over the attentional faculty, to concentrate and then break away and then be able to return to the concentrated state- an ideal of some degree of comfort under stressful conditions.


Returning to Hart Crane after such a long time- it is very interesting to see how this work's position in literature may shift partly as a result of so-called "language poetry." For me it is now far easier to read and far easier to appreciate and enjoy.

I measured my poems
to fall in beween the cracks

Reading- 1)definition 2) visual image. What Freud called an association I extend into "associative combinatorial" which includes the other senses.A "memory," for example, may contain visual, as well as aural or tactile elements.This "memory" itself may be but a fragment of the associative combinatorial, which synchronistically leans, at the moment of its inception towards one or the other application to an immediate perception.The "chain of association" is or the "stream of consciousness" are linear image which do not confront the complexity of a discrete associative combinatorial.There is not chain or stream but there is a constant overlay, a continuous sequence of accumulating corespondances, which, at the singular instant of time, radiates in all temporal directions, and connects them all.

Literature grows geometrically because there are more connections between words and human beings created every moment than can be tracked simultaneously.

I keep reminding myself to send a letter and manuscripts to Tabor in England.

If all is mechanized then all change of location (like a gadget) is illusory. It's not that machines are taking over is frightening. It's that the further we get with the machines, the more the already available technology appears less and less necessary. As it is, less and less necessary to move, the body's machinery appears obsolescent- with the frightening realization that we can now create machines which are immortal. But this was a re-realization that "we" are not immortal. But who is this "we"? The boundaries there are blurring too. The technology can rub out "us"

It occurred to me that if someone sent messages back to the past and also received them then- what relation to this interaction would the future have?
(5/13/87) Still haven't written to Tabor- (ask Peter Holland)
The endless circle of time vs. practice vs. reading vs. writing- isn't this all transference also? One is always robbing me of the other- I'm not against literary life for being so slow- it's me that stops me from writing- it's me that robs me of time.

Because of the discontinuous nature of attention, the obvious frequently "disappears"-"The Emperor's New Clothes."
So, the most energy-producing way to confront this issue is to more and more find areas of connection- I need more bridges between my varioius roles.

I constantly want to break away from what I experience as the oppressive conditions inherant in any circumstance. This comes from being motivated artificially- towards pleasure. The true revolutionary wants the social reality to be more just, not necessarily more pleasurable. One disregards a chasm at one's own risk- this is certainly where attention comes in. Perception is capable of feeling proximate actuality before knowing it. Directing attention to this can spark awareness of the contours of an otherwise invisible (impenetrable) actuality.

The point about Heisenberg's statement about discontinuity and language that is most interesting is that to discover some new perpective about actuality invariably brings with it a revived awareness of the "prison house of langugage"- or, in Jacobson's terms, the arbitrary characteristics of the sign. This is extremely anxiety-provoking in that our sense of security is greatly dependent on our unthinking confidence in the equivalence of thought and experience. When discontinuity shows itself here, we feel -the "centre will not hold." The complexity of the relationship between our inner picture of reality and the contours of the actualities our senses are attempting to encompass.

Later: the poet as aristocrat of perception (reading Cesaire). Hedonist of exprience and knowledge.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Notebooks 1914-1916 (52E)

"But is language: the only language?...
How is language unique?"

The child is father to the man.

If I may ask you to accompany me, strictly speaking, neither child and parent, the journey might appear slight, but at any length, in the full light of day.

To obtain right answers one must first ask the correct questions.This is not always as easy as it seems. What if I said that it is impossible to conceive of the universe without a pre-existing mind, and yet it is impossible to think of anything as present as mind being pre-existent to matter. So, I ask myself- on this scale perhaps time as we conceive of it does not apply. ("Subject to Change" a conception of experience without duration.) Not :"the" thought but the -thought-
Review of Ron's book- "The Age of Hoots." Also read "Sunset Debris." Very lyrical once I latched onto it. A "street" song. The "ring' of honesty (Whelan too)- I like that very much.

Gradually, the pointy spikes of time begin to smooth a bit, but you never get fully used to the world assuming a strange disguise in the face of any- even the most realistic- expectations. In a face shines infinite understanding, total sensitivity to every nuance of my frutstration. Clearly, any passing through would demand the lightest of steps. In the middle of a hot July afternoon, a dog takes a leak, looking around in an embarassed kind of way. For a moment, even the grandest dilemma is assured the possibility of relief, because of a dog's expression. But the day continues, my preoccupations continue, the moon gradually becomes full. And you can bet I'm looking forward to visiting the bakery. Now things are beginning to get less eerie, in spite of the fact that nothing replaces money. "Nothing replaces anything, Jack." Oh, you know what I mean.

Blake- to learn the language of art- copy forever. Toni- "To read painting you must read paintings."

Friday, April 4

Write about talking.
"the talking cure"
Antin- etc.
365 days 365 pages
Even interval of time provides
the "subjective correlative"

Writing in the 20th century like living on a roller-coaster. Time itself is changing so fast, meaning an awareness of its value also increases as awareness increases.

A poet's notes for a series of poems of 365 days. Can include real and imaginary documents. How to include the imaginary documents.

During the period the poet feels stretched to the limit in a moral conflict.

The diary idea, structured that way is too rigid. I'm reaching for something there, though. Poe's idea means to simply begin at the beginning. McGann on the value of footnotes. See... the sea, as in the Holy See..Spreading out your cards.

Poe- my heart laid bare
my work laid bare

Face it- moments of writing seized through some form of temporal tactic. "Where would I find the time?" Barrett asked (Ototole).

I look out at the "social world." Yes, I see terrible monstrous headlines." Yet every human being



I don't know about you, but I'm not waiting for Godot, I'm waiting for the goddamned bell to ring. Did you hear that name? No, you don't need help. You've got the world by your eyes- your feelers-

I'm backing off. I've got the whole structure behind me. Who do you think I'm talking to? This isn't the paper, this is the exam.

Meanwhile, nobody's talking to me, but I'm not worrying about it. You want to decide who's boss, you do it. I'll just take the money and back off.

I think what I think and I write what I write. It's all too easy and jump across the tracks to speak to you. You think you understand me, but this time I'm waiting it out. Meanwhile, thinking....

Now I know the kind of stool-pigeon he really is. Look at him, he'd definitely take his opinions from somebody else, you said it yourself- he still believes his daddy's religion, in fact, he probably scrimps and saves to put money in the plate. Up or down, by and by, you'll need something to read. Newspaper, magazinne, anything...Just stop talking to somebody you disagree with...it's just that easy? Soon, however, you'll have a war on your hands. But maybe that's what you always wanted. As for me, I've been waiting for years for a chance to attack (attract?) my readers. What did you expect? An invitational telegram- or maybe you would like to store my casket in your livingroom- "for a truthful reminder."

Chapter 2- When feelings disappear anything can happen. Wait a minute. Buy your beep? Boy, you're bad. Brag your best. As uncomfortable as it is, this is probably how it'll be.

Human beings, says Melanie Klein, show a powerful envy factor. Perhaps she took Freud's painfully honest view another step. The league of lost writers. But for whom do I write? I write for my many selves, who all want to speak to you, all of you.They don't care if you don't listen anymore. Nobody's allowed to be this direct, especially you. In fact, you can't even talk back at all (this you) you can't give credit, where credit is due. You want nothing else but to be left alone to think, while I want to invent a language to speak to you. Off the bat, it looks like a good arrangement. But if we're going to have to live together for 365 pages, somebody's going to have to decide who does what. And it isn't going to be you and it isn't going to be me either.

But sooner or later it is inevitable that we're going to have to switch places, And this is where I'm going to begin to fall down on the job. Be careful what you boast about. They'll take it away from you. On the other hand, be good at keeping them guessing.

You're the one that's disappointed in me.

Slow down, this is one way you deal with projected envy.

Freud constructed it as a mystery story (neurosis). I still don't believe in the narrative. But this could also be denial. Life and death. Is hide and go seek. A bigger model?

1. inspection or superintendence.
2. Watch or observation kept over a person, especially one under suspicion or a prisoner.

Survey- (French sur- , over and old French veoir, to see, from Latin super over and vidare, to see.)

1. to overlook, to inspect or take a view of, especiallly in a general or a comprehensive way.

(Everything we send out comes back to us- and everything we receive we send out.)

Words keep reversing themselves. Overlook used to mean, to look over and now it means
1. to look at from above
2. to give a view of from above
3. to rise above
4. to look over or beyond and not see; (1) to ignore, neglect
5. to pass over indulgently; to excuse
6. to inspect
7. to oversee, supervise, manage
8. to bewitch by looking at
synonym- condone, disregard, supervise, inspect, survey, review, pardon, forgive.

So the word includes a reversal of its own meaning where to look at comes to mean to ignore.

2. to see;; to perceive (obs)

This is somewhat funny to me. To actually see and perceive becomes an obsolete aspect of a word which is originally intended to mean, just that. By the time we reach meaning 3

3. to examine carefully with reference to condition, situation or the like, with a view to ascertaining the precise state or value of, to inspect or consider carefully

-we are demanding more in our use of the term, we are asking for a more detailed report which incudes an internal judgement. With the 4th meaning, the word takes on a far more technical application, with interesting applications to what is considered real (the earth itself is the bottom line-)

4. to determine the boundaries, form, extent, area, position, contour, etc, of a tract or area of land, by means of linear and angular, and the application of principles of geometry and trigonometry.


Could you turn up the radio so that I can hear that indeterminate chord better?


Over and over I come back to will and willing.This awareness connects to my imaginings, my desires for change. But that theme constantly points me back to specifics. Will- the generating force (the form)- actions, the particular links of the chain, the specifics.

Thursday, April 3

In every discrete experience can be read the full boundaries of contemporary experience.

Given the fact, that in this century a rat has been set loose, is it no surprise that a connoisseur of experience should, upon encountering some ambiguity, say to her or himself "Let me smell this first?" Does she not jump, lightfooted, around those shores that would fasten her to the "whole earth" of property? When to own property comes to be twisted into joining those who would kill and maim?

Too strident. I myself do not trust such pronouncements. Let me go to the deep shade of my own precious fragments and laugh- and tremble- with my mate.

Fate deals new combinations and keeps us honest .Which is to say fate itself, in its "random" (=inclusive character)
will forever remind me of what I've forgotten.

The mind must face this way or that.

Ethical survival needs mobility of awareness.

Fate reminds us of absolute measure.

If fate= light, the absolute= 186,000 miles per second per second.
(Khlebnikov, and Jacobson, Freud and ---------------------------)

Theorists neeed numbers, whether scientific or not, and this is because without measure, theory has no current application. Thus, any "metaphysician twanging in the dark" (Stevens) has recourse to a metrical scale from time to time.

Art= contemporary measure of freedom.

Return the provisional quality of meaning. Hold to the part, not to the whole. Survey the whole (holy=wholly)

To come close to the source of the imagination is to come close to the source of deception. In this "magic" realm one must learn to step lightly. This "dance" is also a good way to deal with dead ends.

Nick,n. the Devil, Satan: usually Old Nick
nick, v.t.
1. to make a nick or nicks in
2. to score or tally by means of notches.
3. to cut through or into.
4. to strike or catch at the exact or proper time, to hit, guess, grasp, etc. exactly
5. (a) to catch off guard; (b) to trick; cheat; defraud (slang)
6. to arrest; to nab (British slang)

Nick, N. (from the verb)

1. a small notch or slit;
especially, a small
cut, indentation, or chip on the
edge or surface of wood, metal,
china,, etc.
2. any of certain winning throws or casts in a game of dice
3. a channel cut in the bottom of a printing type.
4. a tally or record kept by notching something

in the nick of time: at the critical moment

plumb line,
1. a line directed to the earth's center of gravity
2. a cord suspending a lead weight, or plumb,
used in sounding and determining a vertical direction



Resonance: starting with a small vibration, other proximate objects respond, and a momentum eventually gets established. The response is "harmonic" in that it echoes and frames the original event.

Wednesday, April 2

Thanks to Brandon Barr for posting a visualization of an idea I had for a blogger button for him. He thought the button was a smart idea and he is clearly a very smart guy. The idea went back to a maxim he presented many months ago on the Buffalo poetics list; something like lists proceed by contention, blogs proceed via consensus. I liked that idea so much I tried to get further discussion going on the list. But Brandon is so neat and techie perhaps a lot of shoot from the hip types don't respond to his knowledgeable ideas about cyberspace communications.

And my sincere thanks to Brian Kim Stefans for saying some very kind words about me on his blog -Circulars- (comments section). -Circulars- is certainly one of the most useful and interesting blogs available and is very widely read. Stefans' comments emerged in the context of a vital and productive discussion going on there around some of Barrett Watten' s political theories concerning language of great concern to poets in a time of war. There was also some response to thoughts about issues of contention among poets discussed recently in these pages. Brain also said he thought -fait accompli- might now be getting about 50 reads a week.The issue of number of reads certainly appears to be a provocative area of concern for bloggers. Brandon Barr commented recently on the poetics list he feels that numbers might not necessarily be a key issue in blogging. He feels who you audience is might be more important concern in what it is you might want to continue foucusing on in communicating as a blogger.

Speaking of numbers. It turns out that Caterina, who has been blogging since 1999 gets in the neighborhood of 2000 hits a day. She says that blog audiences evolve over time. Well, I think it also might have something to do with charm also because her blog has plenty of that!

Tuesday, April 1

My mental button of the week: "I'd rather blog."

Dave Hess like's the button idea but his would read: "Kiss me...I blog."

Monday, March 31

Toni's sister Beryl lives with her husband Bob and their two sons Michael and Jimmy in Arlington, Massachusetts .Toni and Beryl love to get together and crack each other up talking about movies, clothes, politics, husbands, or Beryl's two wild and crazy, politically activist teenage sons, and maybe some things I don't know about (yet). So today, Toni got this letter from Beryl:

Dear Toni,
In keeping with the new tradition you started, here is my report from
the Boston front. It was touch and go getting to the rally on the Commons. Martha's
daughter Molly was Bat Mitzvahed yesterday, and we were at the
(Masonic!) Temple till 12:30. Martha agreed that it was important to go to the
Commons, as long as we'd be back for dinner and dancing.
So I changed shoes and jacket in the car and Bob dropped me off at the
subway and pretty soon I was at the Commons- which was deserted except
for a group of 50 pro-war demonstrators. By this time the rally was over
and the parade was moving down Beacon Street. I caught up with the end
of the line, and---there I was, back in 1969. Except that half the
people around me had graying hair and sensible shoes. The other half
were students It was all very comforting and cheerful and friendly, and
there was a lot of creative pageantry. I think the police estimate of
25,000 was about correct, though, being short, it was hard for me to see
where it began and where it ended. We had drum corps, and a brass
marching band. Giant puppets and guerilla theater folks in masks,
carrying "bodies". Some marchers waved smoking sage bundles, which was
very pleasant. Lots of humor and cross-generational camaraderie. No car
noises at all, since the mayor kindly shut down traffic for us. I
really love this city! Though the sidewalk people were friendly, there
was still a sense of danger and adventure. Perhaps for me it had to do
with walking down the middle of the avenues--right through the red
lights! With all those helicopters hovering overhead. I recklessly
took my life in my hands and bought a hotdog from a street vendor.
I looked for Mike, but didn't see him. Toni- did not see your guernica
sign, but did see a woman with a sign saying "Free Guernica!" Lots of
good signs. pretty much in the same vein as the NYC signs. Some folks in
cowboy hats had "More two-steppin' Less goose-stepping". Mike says he
saw "Drunken Frat Boy Against the War" held by a drunken frat boy. A
contingent had "We're from Lynn- War is a Sin" signs. One kid who got
a lot of cheers was perched on a lamppost near Newbury Street. On one
side his sign said " No War on Iraq." On the other side it said "Single
young multimillionaire, male, against war. (617) 515-XXXX." (When asked
if he was really a multimillionaire he said "no"). College girls in the
crowd were exhorting each other: "Go ahead!Call him!" One girl actually
took out her cell phone, and left a message on his machine. Passing the
Hancock tower, I was afraid the wind would knock the big "Vermonters for
Peace" banner right on my head. Another lamp post-hanger had a t shirt
that said "More Love! More Fire!" This sounded romantic and got lots of
cheers, but afterwards people were saying "huh?", "I don't get it."
and- "what do you think he means by that?" I think he must have been a
poet or an English major.
Around an hour into the march, walking down the middle of sunny Boylston
Street- in the heart of the city for the first time in months- I had a
sudden overwhelming desire... to shop! And to find a Starbucks for a
cold mocha frappacino. And to find a bathroom. At the end of the line
folks some were lying down on the streets for a die-in. The "dead"
college coeds were a lively bunch! Some of the deceased were talking on
cell phones. Some were napping. One truly ancient man- could have been a
hundred- was lying so still that I wondered if he was really faking.
Odd how the march was the first real distraction from war worry and
angst in 11 days.
My post-march search for a bathroom and a frappacino took me to Borders
books, where I found an extremely interesting autobiographical novel
abut China in the cultural revolution called "Balzac and the Little
Chinese Seamstress" which I highly recommend.
I then went camera-shopping, since Bob says he wants to get me a really
big birthday gift, and I'm thinking it might be one of the tiny new
digital cameras.
Got home in time for the BatMitzvah dinner and dancing, so all-in-all it
was a fun day, and a great break from my usual 7-day week,
never-leave-the -house work schedule. But today the emails and
storyboards are backed way up, so it's back to the grind.

Sunday, March 30

I am jealous of all these techy bloggers. I’m still stuck at cut and paste. Damn!

Laura says she’s going to teach me do my own links.

No, Laura, I’m not ready. No!

To see who is linking to the Laurable dot com Log search for link:www.laurable.com/log. Google your blog today!
posted by Laurable on 3/21/2003 11:54:15 AM | link

Sunday, March 30, 2003
do you ever wonder how people get to your blog? here are some of the things people typed into google to get to my blog:
poems of thanks
cute crush poems
anti-war songs
poems on abduction
american poems taking the piss out of Iraq (!!!)
poems on pulleys
pro-war songs, poems
poems on low income
poems entitled flying about birds

among others
posted by sandra 3:47 PM
Sandra’s Poems

Sunday, March 30, 2003
I figured out how to record a voice mp3. I just record on audio track for a non-existent digital movie using my imovie program, then open up itunes, find the audio track, somewhere on my hard drive, and convert it to an mp3. Then I can burn a cd directly off of itunes.

posted by Jonathan Mayhew at 11:45 AM

Two great banner ads (Stephanie will like these)

"Peace e-cards from Holland"

"Larry Eigner Books for Sale"

David Hess and Jim Behrle have weighed in on Barrett Watten's call for a critique and analysis of the reasons the present administration have given us for going to war (see -Circulars-). All have ignored the quiet voice of Masha Zavialova whose recent statements on the list were the most cogent because she lived through all this in the Soviet Union. Masha feels there is real work to do for poets in "taking the shit" off what our leaders have to say. But this will take even more time, as poets have immediately clashed as to how to go about working together. One group wants to deconstruct what has been said in order to become more constructive, the other group wants us to say or do something more constructive right away. Are these positions very far apart? Both ideas are useful. But to debate is so much more soothing than to act, feels so much more organized, profound and planful, and these fascinating discussions will continue until a few more thousand, or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people die. I lived through all this in the 60's.

In the years of the organization of the protest movement in the 60's , eventually dissidents of every stripe came to work together. It took years of caring people watching more and more other caring people die horrible, useless, violent deaths. Blotto hippies, radicals of all types, students, business people, soldiers, politicos, mothers, brothers,sisters, children, ex-soldiers, hobos, rich people, poor people, the rainbow coalition all working together. Soon the bodies will be so bloody and piled so high and the disgust and misery will be so intense that these semantic arguments will no longer be of much interest. But none of us can really begrudge this needed time of contemplation and discussion. As long as we can bicker over intellectual points, over who is more brilliant or more knowledgable than who, it only means we are not yet quite horrified enough, not quite revolted enough.A few are already. Marianne Shaneen represents that group: the new avant-garde.(We are already being warned that the hours in jail for protesters are getting longer.)

When we are all revolted enough we will do something, not because we "feel we should" but because we will feel and therefore recognize that we have no choice. And every single one of us will work like hell together to stop this terrible war. And it will feel like love, not hate, like we are embracing something beautiful together, not like we are arguing among ourselves either politely or rudely. This is when the poetry really comes into it, don't you think? That said: when do we call for a "Day of Reckoning?" Doesn't it seem that the next step would be towards a day of job walkout and protest, world wide?