Distribution Automatique

Friday, April 18

I'm thinking-once you start a process and continue it somehow- it takes on a life of its own. Developing the habit of something- is what is essential. This seems to be made enormously easier by the habit becoming part of my identity. Something I'm beginning to trust is the sense that I try to develop habits to make up for deficiencies in my experience. These begin usually by an inner proclamation- which for along time is preceded by repeated experiences.

To take the time to consider things- this is the habit which is replacing the habit of worry. Writing was the earliest example of this- writing to rid myself of repetitive thoughts that wouldn't go away. For many years I wrote the repetitive thoughts over and over. But it was not so interesting to read. Now it would be but it would be hard to find the time.

Changing the perspective towards intervals of time means allowing myself to see first how I feel about it- not feel impelled to guess at what that might be before I'm certain of it.This is the classic method and concealing the immediate feelings and allowing time and experience to wash over us.
I began to recognize the fact that some degree of evidence was likely to exist in the most recent notes I took. Chances are, going backwards in time, I would find fewer and fewer marked examples of what I was looking for. (Also, I have to take heed of who has succeeded me in breaking into the room, to discover its contents and who might have been there. Your mission, if you wish to accept it, is to try to remember and picture the inhabitants.)

Meanwhile, he could be there now, chuckling to himself that my ideal typewriter was all I ever really wanted out of it- not the words themselves, just that totally portable, ever ready to respond, trusty machine. Some joke.

Thursday, April 17

For Sandra
(Rainer Maria Rilke- Duino Elegies)

...Have you thought enough of Gaspara Stampa,
so that any girl whose lover ran off will feel,
from the heightened example of this loving woman:
"Ah, might I be like her!" Should not these oldest
sorrows finally become more fruitful for us?
Isn't it time that we lovingly free ourselves
from the beloved and stand it, although we tremble
as the arrow stands the bowstring, tense to be more than itself?
For abiding is nowhere.

Voices, voices. Listen, my heart, as hitherto only
saints have listened, so that the mighty call
lifted them from the earth, but they kept on kneeling,
these impossible ones, and paid no attention-
so hard they were listening. Not that yhou could bear
the voice of God- far from it. But hear the wind's blowing,
the uninterrupted tidings created from silence,
they sweep toward you now from those who died young.
Whenever you went into a church in Rome or Naples,
did not their fate speak quietly to you?
Or loftily an inscription charged itself upon you
as recently the tablet in Santa Maria Formosa.
What do you want of me? I must clear away gently
the semblance of injustice that sometimes hinders
a little the pure movement of their spirits.
True it is strange to live no more on earth,
no longer follow the folkways scarcely learned;
not to give roses or other especially auspicious
things the significance of a human future;
to be no more what one was in infinitely anxious hands,
and to put aside even one's name, like a broken plaything.
Strange to wish wishes no longer. Strange, to see
all that was related fluttering so loosely in space.
And being dead is hard, full of catching-up,
so that finally one feels a little eternity.-
But the living all make the mistake of too sharp discrimination.
Often angels (it's said) don't know if they move
among the quick or the dead. The eternal current
hurtles all ages along with it forever
through both realms and drowns their voices in both.

In the end, those taken early no longer need us;
one is gently weaned from earthly things,
even as he tenderly outgrows the breasts of his mother.
But we who need such mighty mysteries,
we for whom blessed avancement so often comes from grief:
*could* we exist without them? Is the legend i vain,
that once in the lamentation for Linos, the daring
first music pierced the barren numbness, and only
then in frightened space, which an almost godlike youth
suddenly forsook forever, the void began to feel
that vibration which now enraptures, consoles and helps us?
Nada Gordon wrote this:

Mouth Noises

Let the imbroglio come loping up in puffed-out blankets tuning and detuning the morose object "leg"-the homeless monologues-the hand a pretty hearse, the city steamy and ruinous with detail: onions, the white duck, the frizzy araucana, the dappled hen on east 12th street .Borrachos, camarones, smell of potatoes frying, and a guy bleached into a gorilla at the end of the world. Everybody's got a chimney sweep in her soul, her soul, whistling at the steamy ruins. The world's at war as usual. I'm fighting with my friends, painting a giant hiding box yellow. Melting the perisphere, balefully, with education-it's cloudy lies- biting the phalasteries- carpal starters- thank you- distilled and orderly touch of time. Spiel...roaring through my trunk-panaderia, parlor games, caliphs and terrific abstraction blown out like smoke: hard labor, forced labor, abdominal distention. "Can I have a piece of aluminum foil?"

Popinjay:"The flowers in the dustbin are blowing through the jasmine in Shigeru's lunchbox. It's all relative maaaan."

Good afternoon, Dr. Treadmill. I don't need you any more. I have no more problems. I am in love.
(from -V.imp.- Faux Press, 2003)

Nobody in blogland, nobody anywhere, is writing more beautiful poetry than Nada Gordon. Friends, beware: if you upset Nada, you might be causing a major and permanent loss to contemporary culture in that she might write one less poem.

I kid you not.

Sign outside a wine store (For Eileen Tabios): "There are large bodies of water separating us, and small amounts of wine to bring us together." Is this a line everbody's heard about but me? I'm a beer drinker, anyway.
Cori, I knew in a few minutes of looking at Carla's "Gardener of Stars" that there was nothing in it right now for Julia, and actually I never thought I would find something. It seemed like an opportunity to look at Carla's work in the context of thinking of poems for Julia. Carla is doing something else with the idea of the childlike in writing I haven't been able to fathom or decipher so what you had to say about this was very interesting to me. Do you like Carla's "Under the Bridge"? Some of my favorite prose poems are in this book. Anyway, that's why I typed in the Ceravolo poems for Julia. I guess Jonathan's going to read some Ceravolo to her now.

Right now I'm more interested in your conversation with Stephanie about that screenplay. Curious about the Gaitskill book you mentioned also.
It keeps occuring to me that I do best when I write about a topic- in spite of what I said in "Subject to Change." But, even then, have I simply said all I want to say? Is this the problem?

No, I love to write, I really enjoy it. It's just that I'm only now learning to work with it in a way that's more satisfying.

No- Who am I=Who is listening to me.

When it comes to poetry, I seem to want to speak in a soft voice. Yes, I remember about PS's readings- declaiming his lines in a loud, booming voice. Of course, too, Leland- definitive, confident- like Bruce. (Leland seemed to really like Bruce). But my poetic voice is not so confident- yet I am no longer so afraid of coming out of a delusion.

Perhaps I've been deluding myself about poetry- but I was out to show that I could write. Constantly assailed by doubts, I am forever choosing things in my life that give me no solid foundation- with one exception- my therapy degrees and my practice (and my therapy).

One thing about the short poem that attracted me was its "quick fix" satisfactions. Once published, I could easily picture certain forms being published in certain settings. But in the past ten years- the definitive date being P's announcement- I have discovered again and again that my poems do not *progress* the way my essay writings progress. This is true from a publishing context with no question. But this is largely a question of "change" as Leland's letter puts it. In a sense, going to a publisher is like going to a doctor. That's where my image of Douglas holding Emma comes in. Maybe the fact that I've tried hard to be honest with myself that makes my writing interesting to others- and to myself. I'm getting more and more of taste for that. Part of my anxiety (I felt it then) also comes from this successive (excessive) self honesty. Only fears of coming out of a delusion if I'm afraid I'll have nothing else. But then at times I get fuzzy about what is a delusion and not a delusion.

But art is based on fantasy- and the environments of mind in which I build whatever I write are important to me. From this perspective they are not delusions- in fact- they are the opposite.They are *armatures* (I prefer this word so much more to "structure" with its whiff of strict schedules and strict attention.)

Why should I write anything other than what I want to? Oh, never again (baby); never again. "I hate to see that evening sun go down, cause it makes me feel I'm on my last go-round." (unindentified jazz singer).

"Oh, woe is me" days are over- not that I'll never mourn a loss. But I'm not deluded about the "powers" or "impact" or pleasures of such mourning.

A "private language" is an awareness of the values of giving expression to ones thoughts as a way of learning what they are. "Free speech" then "free association" then- private language ("personal" language).

A series of essays using "trigger" words as starting points. (as in Ponge's use of "objects.") Time (past, present, future) Now - allow the other starting points to emerge from this one.

As a writer, to some extent I need the exhiliration of letting my thoughts go- there is a sense of "stretched time" in this (fold-out of chaos?) There is a mental equivalent of muscular freedom and buoyancy in this. Naturally, one would expect such an episode of freedom to a period of fatigue and reassessment. The point is to allow for, to comprehend such a doubling. It is fully a waste of time to predict the outcome, but here the need for a kind of ordering principle asserts itself. But one must not be too attached to this because it contains only a prediction of a *possible* outcome.

Preoccupation- (effect of trauma) causes a lack of flexibility in the thought process. A lack of resonance can be detected if much is present. This will lead to a narrowness of theme or an obsessive gathering of details. A *mood* will surround the whole.

An argument for sollipsism: the world as it exists (existed) for you comes into being at your birth. You wear the shoe (the world) whether it fits or not. Sollipsism is at one pole of freedom (the outcome of one direction of freedom).



Barthes' method of naming essays defines an area of maximum tension. The ambiguity of the term is isolated, as are words in the language. Now placed in this vulnerable position, the essay comes to protect the word. The same might be said of Stevens' titles.


One thing can be said of a game: it predicts with abolute certainty, the emergence of a winner and a loser. One is immediately tempted to say, well, we didn't need a game to tell us this. With this line of thought one is soon led to the conclusion: no, you didn't need a game, but you needed at least the idea of a game.(The idea of a game gives a form of an outcome). The success of a language can be directly attributed to the fact that words stimulate other words. This is what Steve McCaffery has called "a general economy."

The energy of this exchange, in the long run, keeps increasing- and, as with money, inflating. Since obtaining energy was an important part of initiating a language in the first place, this never becomes a problem, in fact, it's a gain. The loss consists of a loss of interest in the intrinsic properties of the medium. This is exactly what is happening with language now. If is very possible that the entire educational system is a continuously expanding (and succeeding) insitution created to avoid this loss. It is also possible that at the expanding outer rings of this educational system other terms are being negotiated which disrupt these systems in beneficial ways (ultimately, but in the immediate action also, traumatic).

Inflation, doubt, lack, emptiness, hollowness, inauthenticity, all pardoxically created by the holding high of something unnecessary, like a King or Queen, the support of an additiona burden which has outlived its usefulness. Language, seen from this perspective is not empty or corrupted, it is held down by subjects masquerading some false use-value. But don't we suspect that language does not need to perpetuate all its subjects but needs inventions instead? If this is true, what language needs is not a good speaker but a good *book*.

America thrives on invention, not inventors. This is a pleasure in this that subjects lack.

Woe to those iinventors who enjoy the status of their invention more than the invention itself. We like to allow one of each inventor- this necessitates an obfuscation in the value of the inventor's interest. Perhaps Duchamp and Einstein were invented by this in America.

It is hard to pit a union of parts against another. We pit a name against a name.


When it stops working tell me. I'll know when I stop working.


The transfer of attentional energies accompanies all transfer of meanings. Advertising's success is based on this.Writing also must deal with this anticipated event.


Isn't it also your awareness of my forgetfulness my lack of, or a certain kind of attention that leaves gaps for you to fill in, that assures of you of my sincerity? Sincerity implies that I will leave open certain areas, just as it implies that I will attend to some, or inhabit some.

"He points to a greater specificity in Coleridge's details, thus revealing a closer, more faithful observation of the outside object. But this finer attention given to the natural surfaces ia accompanied, paradoxically enough, by a greater inwardness, by experiences of memory and of reverie that stem from deeper regions of subjectivity than the earlier writer. How this closer attention to surfaces engenders greater depth remains problematic." (DeMan, Blindness, p.193)
You couldn't fight your way out of a paper universe.

Am I suspect for trying to live in a melodic world? Melodies are all I have left after so much dissonance- another way of looking at things.

I am really going against you (k)now. A possible bit more leaves plenty of room for doubting.

When the need comes too frequently to resurrect, we begin to suspect that the subject is dead already and we are repeating the story to sustain a picture of the originating source of energy. So that even the worlds that accompany the picture, that help to form it, contain great force.

But such force continuously leads the mind back to the dead subject itself, thus the mental circuit remains caught in a syllogistic form of harmonic, resonant values: built into resolving chords, all the particulars needed to form a picture of the melodic values.

Whole melodies show us over and again an imaginary picture of the process of origination. We are aroused to this by an immediate apprehension of an end in sight. All of this is built on the opening chord. The beginning sparked an end in sight, we are now positioned to look at as a totality the fragments in between.

Nothing in the male (divergence-diversions). An empty box.

I guess I've had- for the time being- enough of all the "official" aesthetics and religions. I need a wider latitude for speculations in order to enjoy living.

Wednesday, April 16

I'm trying to survive as a writer without actually being one. Perhaps that's the best way to put it.
bill marsh | link

Bill Marsh is back-he's renovated the store and it's open.

For the above statement, I hereby nominate Bill Marsh for the best blogged oxymoron of the year award.

Never forget who actually "kicked the podium"
(Nada Gordon)
Never forget: "Jism & Self-Splatter."
Never forget: "Bored Kids on Ecstasy."
Jim 11:57 PM
(quoted from Jim Behrle's blog)

Do you remember "Jism and Self-Splatter"? This was a comment made about blogging by some poor, misinformed and misguided list writer.

I don't know if anybody except me, Jim and Laura (and maybe not even Laura) knows what this refers to: the first time I called Laura "Adorable" on -fait accompli-Jim's comment was that it sounded like "a bored kid on ecstacy."
Let's start a poetry blog dead pool. Who's weblog will be next to push up daisies? Enjoy and benefit from the misfortune and frustration of others with these current odds on the following blogs lasting another 30 days:

Jordan Davis 5-1
Stephanie Young 5-1
Nick Piombino 4-1
Josh Corey 4-1
John Erhardt 5-2
David Hess 3-1
Kasey Mohammad 3-1
Drew Gardner 3-1
Ron Silliman 3-1
Eileen Tabios 3-1
Sandra Simonds 2-1
Jim Behrle Even Money

Wager often and heavily. Note: blog must be dead, not un-updated. Dead = embarrassing goodbye note that will be difficult to take back and will make everyone adjust their links (see Mister, Massey, Tijuana, etc.) No insider betting allowed, punks.
Jim 11:25 PM

That from Jim Behrle. When blogs make me laugh out loud hysterically in the middle of the night, they must be doing something right. Jim! Stop pissing people off! But don't stop being so funny!

-fait accompli- must be the luckiest blog in the world to have a friend like adorable Laura of "A Laurable Log." For about a week her email has been down so she's been unable to put up my new links. OK-here comes a confession- actually a boast- Laurable is the official "administrator" of my blog- check out your blog info- you can appoint an adminstrator- who can go into the insides of your blog whenever they want! But who would want to? Laura keeps threatening to teach me how to do my own links but this is when I go into my Forrest Gump imitations. That ain't NEVER gonna happen, Laura, NOT EVER. (See how dumb I am, Laura, I don't even know that caps means yelling!)

Anyway, in addittion to great bloggy stuff like "Little Shirley Bean" (Corina Copp, who auditions for stand-in parts for operas, among other things, and gets teased by her famous writer friends for having a blog, and attends a dance class with Parker Posey), there is the brand-new Bloggety Blog Blog, from the charismatic, mysterious world traveler Katy Degendesh, as well as the Skeptic who actually reads lots of recent poetry classics and openly admits it, and the entire, huge text of a recent, very complete, very complex, and very fascinating and useful discussion around some ideas of Barrett Watten's about language and war, and other things, that seems to have raised quite a ruckus (among the usual suspects) bloggers, listees and others- linked here as "Circular's Comments" in the Poetry Sites section. Links to your left, please.

1. He learned quickly that simply to wait a bit, to pause, meant to let time stream like a raging torrent over the largest imaginary detail.

2. For you, I imagined an ocean. This was after she confessed her pain- O, don't cast this away. Bits and flecks.

3. (At the edge of closure.) Piss and eyelashes. Renegade son. Renegade nose. Pince-nez- the price of too-early fame. Eyes first giving way (watch this) then seize the moment, *cart* it out.

4. Belonging (s). Just one. Anastasia, anaesthesia, or, listen:-gulls, foam, mask, ash. Thus protect us from an angry face (Let the ashtrays slide over-Collect-Zero).

5. Triumph/torment/trimethylamide

Tuesday, April 15

I'm reading "Gardener of Stars" by Carla Harryman.
Cori Copp

I looked through this book to see if there was anything Jonathan's daughter Julia might like today, Cori.
Thought for the day (from a poem by Jonathan Mayhew):

"'behind a silk screen depicting scenes from 'Spleen
de Paris.' 'You may think that you can talk
to the narcissistic professor, but what you see as guilt
is but a refusal to recognize rivals talented
at golf, macramé, and making breakfast.'
'I tried her and found her icy.'"
Never have I felt more misunderstood in my entire life than today. God bless Stephanie Young for somehow commenting on these discussions and not getting embroiled in them.
posted by David at 5:42 PM

says David Hess.

Yes, but in one moment you'll have us all charmed and laughing. Excellent point about Stephanie Young

Hey Stephanie- whose collecting the Pom-Pom rejects? I've got a few I'd love to get rid of!

What's all this stuff about Fallarfle? Are you guys into vegetarian Middle Eastern? I think Jim Behrle eats mostly take out Chinese food. Toni thinks Flarf might be more like Matzoh Farfel, you take pulverized matzoh and fry it up with eggs.

Listening to Ben Yarmolinsky's opera right now about tax day April 15th- terrific duets with computer "Fred" voice and soprano on WNYC.

Back by popular demand! Heriberto Yepez is writing in English again. Check his Spanish blog-Border Blogger 2 -one of the links on his Tijuana Bible of Poetics page (Links to your left, please. Take any seat you wish!)

Julia, Jonathan Mayhew's 7 year old daughter, is the newest, and youngest, blogger. I like her poems! I've been trying to find some poems that Julia might like, and I thought that since her father likes Joseph Ceravolo, maybe she would like him too.

In The Grass

Here in the grass
where the flowers
walk softer than birds
to their nest
in the clouds
Where the rain
falls toward the sky,
the small breath
of the insect
is like a breeze
before rain


Snow fall like April;
the icicles stick. Like April
the birds float.
It is white foam.

Like April when the first tree blossoms
and you do not know it.

The Metal

O beautiful pale seagull who
stands near the trucks and
tractors and when they
start, looks around
surprised and turns (into whose wings open
from him) and change

Why do we invade
as the peas are ripe as the beans
are yellow would you forgive
me and get up
no sooner than the lake no
sooner than

The Metal

Fish, what is it like?
so let me play.
How can I
push the breeze
into the murmur of fathers?
Small and white love to flowers
not being told your
crooked bite receives me, too tame

O fish, Am I
the bumblebee in the sun's cause?


Sunday night I buy a soda
Someone's hand opens I hold it
It begins to rain
Avenue A is near the river


The rain falls
down down and jumps
jumps in my eye
as everyone I know is sleeping

by the heaviest drops.


Oak, oak! like like
it then
cold some wild paddle
so sky then;
flea you say
"geese geese" the boy
June of winter
of again
Oak sky


We are going the park.
There are swings.
There are rocks a sand bed.
The flowers rest
the bed. The flowers
rise. We are fatigued
but invade them.
There is a smell.
It invades us.
It hides us.
Notice! there are flowers along
the bed, tiny flower clusters.
But we cannot move our legs.
We cannot move our eyes.

The fact that something to do or say feels impossible to imagine- to visualize- is a sure sign that some repression is connected to the act or words.

With a bit of security in my own machine I can let myself be loose, even careless, leave a little room for the blur even if I get lost in the blur, the fog, the lattice of connected fantasies, reveries, thoughts that connect and disconnect, blinking on and off like traffic lights. In the fog, the traffic lights are even a bit beckoning, or become like lighthouses guiding me from street to street. The past hovers on every street. Thousands of thoughts have probably taken place on every one of them, and maybe dozens of conversations through the years...still echoing somewhere. In this blur, there is noplace particular to turn. The best we can see, the boundaries to one side leave us firmly on the side of objects- where the fan's voice steadily sounds in the window and every few minutes the quiet whoosh of a car in the background. In this blur sounds are important because they are evidence of time passing- if you listen closely you can hear the clicking on and clicking off all through the night. The blur is no impediment to sight here, though. Here, where it is really impossible to see in the everyday sense of the term it is possible to feel the presence of the shadows of sound, to slightly make out the shrill, only barely audible screeching of light throught the centuries. And through all this, the utterances of thought are louder still, roaring certain words through time like echoes burrowing endlessly through a vast pattern of caves. The thoughts are heard as words and in this blur, words are also seen. They are seen as they are heard, traveling through solid objects simultaneously. In the still night this is imagined as a glistening, a pale twinkling. But in the center of meaning, words are in ferment, bursting their way through the seams of time, unravelling the spiral that leads, finally, to the vastness of future and past. This blur is deafened by words, is pierced by words, attacked by them, like a level in which the radiant, emitted particles breathe ever outwards through the surrounding solids. Here words permeate any move in any direction and there are more, by far, than the usual number of directions. This blur, in itself, is featureless. But its absence of features serves as a highly sensitive, highly resonant screen, pulling images of actualities into it like a plant drawing light from the sun. The deeper into it, the finer the slivers of color, the more evanescent the winking shapes, but here new classes of resemblance can be seen. Certain aspects of limit are here transcended, but others form basic boundaries. Here, fragments of words and ideas exist in their own right, gigantic, like Sequoias or Redwoods. Here, hearing becomes extremely sharp, sensitive to the mawkish attitudes, provoked by exhaustion, ruffled by the coarse cawing of a Bluejay.

A theory without unity- a unity of looser states of mind- may allow for an expansion of strength- perhaps at the cost of some centrality of focus.

One does not want to make it an accident- this representation.Once we wanted our stories to be direct. Now we are more private (the private people) and more public (the public people). But to represent is simply to ask, again and again. My "private" form of rebellion.

Monday, April 14

I am most inside my mind critically when I am most outside my mind critically. The same. Pain is diminishing the way the sea subsides. I watched it from outside. I reach outside myself not as deperately as before, allowing myself to regress uncritically but gently bringing myself back again. If it doesn't work out the way you want it to it still works itself out that way. There is still being in that. I can't adore the silence. In one space every small movement is vast, in that movement I am a whole world, It's surprise at being, it's a little defiant but defiance can be over-used the way anything can be. If I am not thinking I am not thinking of the whole world, each individual amplitude, the variation and complication of each shading even in the most familiar objects. Every moment has duration, a presentiment, a disclosure, a destiny and a specific quality all its own. Every moment is a potential memory. We like to control time and memory in the form of scheduled activities, into categories of existing. But when these approaches to fulfillment fail we wonder why.Maybe they lacked a lead-in to something else and this left you stranded, confused about what to do next. The predicted, the genuinely experienced presentiment of the future can be a blindfold because it excludes the moments *between*, the gaps between the shared events. That is your private world.

If I'm running from my mind to the outside, to bring in some interest in it outside itself, or something outside itself to make it forget itself I am probably avoidiing something it could deal with itself. Right now I am utterly astounded by the continued silence of my telephone. But that is always an aspect of being astounded that I can still exist without using it. In sleep, I am *one*, but awake I am two- me and the person called "myself" that watches me. A mind that's afraid of itself can't "get in tune." If I do that in being anxious about my "life" (my biography) I take the whole confusion one step further.
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Sunday, April 13

Blogger button for Marianne Shaneen: "NY Times Is Over If You Want It"
Dear Audience-
Whatever yearning that still exists for "works" or "pieces" of writing is probably the result of a reactionary desire for a coherent place for art within a sadistically conformist and conforming society. Don't expect it from me. All you'll get from me are the disparate fragments that result from the totalitarian, manipulative and exploitative culture I live in. Excuse me, but I've been reading Adorno again and he's right.This is an administered culture and like you- I am fucked.

The hope for continuity and wholeness, which all of my nature longs for, is dead and gone.

I pick up, here and there, parts of bodies which still remain- after the explosion. Some are soft, some hard, some beautiful, some bleeding. But I am not in the Frankenstein business- someone else can sew this all together, if they must- for convenient shelving and packaging.

I love just being quiet and listening. One focus in one direction. One could almost wish to never come back- to just listen and listen until there was no more boundary between the listening and the listening-to, between the saying and the saying for, the seen and the wished to be seen, the understanding and the understood. Finally a moment that completed itself, a giving forth with a beginning and a middle and an end, the doing and the doing for dissolved, the done and the would be done upended, as words and the meaning and the words untied the alchemy of the known.