Distribution Automatique

Saturday, May 3

Tiny plays about tiny things in a tiny world by David Hess
Lunched with Caterina Fake today. Yes it is pronounced fake. She was at the GEL conference which focusses on understanding what creates "experience" with her husband who was giving a talk here. I saw her blog on Thursday where she mentioned she was coming to stay on Amsterdam Avenue and W. 77th St. I live on West 95th Street. So I emailed her and she picked it up here on airport right in the middle of the steet. Then a lot of phone tag and we met. She even let me interview her! Caterina was a sparkling, sprightly, elegant presence with a sly sense of humor, much prettier than her picture on Caterina.net, and a veritable font of information, know how and history about blogging. We had salad, sandwiches and desert for an hour and a half and it was a joy to see how little in a hurry she was. She had just received my book in the mail before she left and had it with her. We were sitting at an outside cafe in the bright sun and she put on her sunglasses for a few minutes so that sunlight pretty much lasted until it started to rain lightly when she had to leave. She carries her little Apple laptop wherever she goes and she showed me how she opens in on the street and writes in it using wireless access just floating around in the air here on the Upper West Side. We ate outside at a cafe down the block on W.77th Street near the NY Historical Society Building. We could barely stop to eat and breathe, there was so much to talk about, I had so many questions and she seemed to like to listen very carefully too. She told me how she became a blogger at the time that Blogger had 20 blogs, how she had a Diary Site before she started with Blogger in 1999 and then later realized the two were the same thing. She looked at at an article I'm working on about blogging and corrected where I put she gets 2000 reads a day to 2000 hits a day! She talked about a blogger at this conference who gets 8000 hits a day and how some newspapers are uneasy about all this blogging. There are some published articles about her blogging but this will be her first interview in cyberspace. There's so much more to say but I've been working on my links all night and at least I got to write this little note. Lots of bloggers are changing their links and I'm enjoying all this interaction!

Press Release: SDPG Nominated for Award

SDPG has been nominated for the prestigious "Best Blogged Oxymoron of the Year Award" for a statement issued earlier this week.

The announcement came on the morning of Wednesday, April 16. Fait Accompli, an organization dedicated to "spellbound speculations" and "time travel," offered the nomination in response to the following statement, which appeared in the April 15 edition of the SDPG blog:

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

SDPG accepted the nomination, but according to an anonymous spokesperson, the Group is cautious about its prospects.

"We're hopeful, but then again, there's so much oxymoron out there you never know who's going to walk away with the award," the spokesperson said.

SDPG also promised more oxymorons in the near future. "We'll do what we can for as long as the luck holds out."

However, SDPG denied allegations that the oxymoron was deliberately planted in the April 15 blog in order to win back disgruntled fans lost in the wake of the Group's unexplained name change.

"We don't operate like that," the spokesperson said. "All of our oxymorons are free to come and go as they please."

Nonetheless, SDPG is grateful for the nomination and plans to attend the award ceremony, scheduled for later this year.
bill marsh | link

As a special service to the *Special Delvery Oxymoron Group* -Fait Accompli-is drawing attention to the banner ad above SPOG at this very moment!

Become a Freelance Writer
Writing opportunities & resources for a successful writing career.

Friday, May 2

How many bloggers does it take to screw in a light bulb???

Or make plans to go to a Yankee game on Sunday?

Behrle's Pearls

And will everything now simply be a smirking reflection of the past?
Jim 1:48 PM

Yes, every now and Zen.

Best of The Oldest Poets, 2003

Big discussion on the Poetics List today about who is the oldest poet.

Bob Hass says Kunitz is 100, born in 1903. He is just a little bit older than Rakosi.

"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes..."

"Gregor," said his father now from the left-hand room, "the chief clerk has come and wants to know why you didn't catch the early train. We don't know what to say to him."....

"Mr Samsa," the chief clerk called now in a louder voice, "what's the matter with you? Here you are, barricading yourself in your room, giving only 'yes' and 'no' for answers, causing your parents a lot of unecessary trouble and neglecting- I mention this only in passing-neglecting your business duties in an incredible fashion. I am speaking here in the name of your parents and your chief, and I beg you quite seriously to give me an immediate and precise explanation. You amaze me, you amaze me. I thought you were a quiet, dependable person, and now all at once you seem bent on making a disgraceful exhibition of yourself. The chief did hint to me early this morning a possible explanation for your disappearance- with reference to the cash payments that were entrusted to you recently- but I almost pledged my solemn word of honor this could not be so. But now that I see how incredibly obstinate you are, I no longer have the slightest desire to take your part at all. And your position in the firm is not so unassailable. I came with the intention of telling you all this in private, but since you are wasting my time so needlessly I don't see why your parents shouldn't hear it too. For some time past your work has been most unsatisfactory, this is the season of the year for a business boom, of course, we admit that, but for season of the year for doing no business at all, that does not exist, Mr. Samsa, must not exist."

"But, sir," cried Gregor, beside himself and in his agitation forgetting everything else, "I'm just going to open the door this very minute. A slight illness, an attack of giddiness, has kept me from getting up. I'm still lying in bed. But I feel all right again. I'm getting out of bed now. Just give me a moment or two longer. But I'm all right, really. How a thing like that can suddenly strike one down! Only last night I was quite well, my parents can tell you, or rather I did have have a slight presentiment. I must have showed some sign of it. Why didn't I report to the office!"

"The Metamorphsis"
Franz Kafka
Karen Horney on the arrogant-vindictive personality:

"The need to save face is urgent, and there is more than one way of effecting it. As a matter of fact, there are so many different ways, gross and subtle, that I must restrict my presentation to the more frequent and important ones.The most effective, and, it seems, most ubiquitous one is interlinked with the impulse to take revenge for what is felt as humiliation. We discussed it as a reaction of hostility to the pain and the danger involved with hurt pride. But vindictiveness may in addition be a means towards self-vindication. It involves the belief that by getting back at the offender one's own pride will be restored. This belief is based on the fact that the offender, by his very power to hurt our pride, has put himself above us and has defeated us. By our taking revenge and hurting him more than he did us, the situation will be reversed. We will be triumphant and will have defeated him.The aim of the neurotic vindictive revenge is not "getting even" but triumphing by hitting back harder. Nothing short of triumph *can* restore the imaginary grandeur in which pride is invested. It is this very capacity to restore pride that gives neurotic vindictiveness its incredible tenecity and accounts for its compulsive character....Because the power to retaliate is so valuable for the restoration of pride, this power can itself be invested with pride. In the minds of certain neurotic types it is equal to strength and often it is the only strength they know. Conversely, the incapacity to hit back usually registers as weakness, no matter whether external or internal factors prohibited a vindictive move. Thus when such a person feels humiliated, and either the situation or something within him does not allow him to retaliate, he suffers a double injury: the original "insult" and the "defeat" as opposed to a vindictive triumph....The need for a vindictive triumph,as stated before, is a regular ingredient in a search for glory. If it is the dominant motivating force in life, it sets going a vicious circle that is most difficult to disentangle. The determination then to rise above others in every possible way is so gigantic that it reinforces the whole need for glory, and with that the neurotic pride. The inflated pride in turn enhances the vindictiveness, and thereby makes for a still greater need for triumph."....

"...But he never allows himself to *feel* any hurt because his pride prohibits it. Thus the hardening process, which originally was necessary to protect real feelings, now must gather momentum for the sake of protecting his pride. His pride then lies in being above hurts and suffering. Nothing and nobody, from mosquitoes to accidents to people, can hurt him. This measure, however, is double edged.His not consciously feeling the hurts allows him to live without constant sharp pain. Besides, it is questionable whether the diminshed awareness of hurts does not actually dampen the vindictive impulses too; whether, in other words, he would not be more violent, more destructive without this lessened awareness. Certainly there is a diminished awareness of vindictiveness as such. In his mind it turns to warrented wrath at a wrong done and into the right to punish the wrong-doer. If, however, a hurt does not penetrate through the protective layer of invulnerability, then the pain becomes intolerable. In addition to his pride being hurt- for instance, by a lack of recognition- he also suffers the humilitating blow of having "allowed" something or somebody to hurt him....Closely akin to his belief and pride in his inviolability or invulnerability, and indeed complementing it, is that in immunity and impunity. This belief, entirely unconscious, results from a claim which entitles him to the freedom to do to others whatever he pleases, and to having nobody mind or try to get back at him. In other words, nobody can hurt me with impunity but I can hurt everybody with impunity. In order to undersand the necessity for this claim we must reeconsider his attitudes toward people. We have seen that he offends people easily through his militant rightness, arrogant punitiveness, and his rather openly using them as a means to his ends...He must indeed keep an even balance between letting others feel his righteous anger and between holding it back. What drives his to express it is not only the magnitude of his vindictive urges but even more his need to intimidate others and to keep them in awe of an armed fist. This in turn is so necessary because he sees no possibility of coming to friendly terms with others, because it is a means to assert his claims, and- more generally- because in a warfare of all against all taking the offensive is the best defense....In arguments that may arise he seems to be unconcerned about the truth of any statement he interprets as a hostile attack, but automatically responds with counterattacks- like a porcupine when it is touched. He simply cannot afford to consider even remotely anything that might engender a doubt in his rightness....Or he may realize that he is infuriated at somebody for no other reason than that the latter is always cheerful or intensely interested in something....It hurts his pride that anybody could have something which, whether he wants it or not, is out of his reach....Most people respond to this type by either being intimidated into submissiveness or by rejecting him altogether. Neither attitude will do for the analyst"

from "Neurosis and Human Growth" (Norton, 1950)

Thursday, May 1

Remember: the thought police will never tell you that you have the right to remain silent.
Another idea about fiction. Why be afraid of the first person? The very situation forces out philosophical issues and also (as I was told) frees you from a dependence (or requirement) on physical description. Well, naturally. If you are more *worried about* issues of internal consistency you are not going to pay so much attention to the details.The *delicious* details of which the actual present consists. The other idea is presenting before the reader a "case." I think this is the most interesting kind of book. The author must also convince themselves this way- the ambivalence is about choosing among several possible ways of understanding things and people.

There is every possibility that I have unconsciously been held back from writing as completely as I am able about others on account of certain kinds of anxieties. The point is not so much to catalogue these anxieties but to circumvent them. Reading "Howard's End" has effected me in many ways, but one of these ways is to review thoughts about these issues.

Words reveal us at the same moment we reveal them. It is as much the need to try to control what they reveal as it is to use them to reveal.

Words reveal us at the same moment we use them to reveal anything. This is primarily what is so absorbing about them and why we turn to them or wish to at nearly every significant moment of our experience. Both literature and psychoanalysis consists of the things we say to ourselves, and to each other. But these things we say we always say in words and these words often have somethiing to say of their own back to us. This is how language itself comes to be part of our lives in the same way that beliefs and wishes and memories become part of our lives. As I came to realize this with more and more conviction, my desire to express this conviction to others became more a part of my desire to write.

An anxiety attack is a kind of small physical spasm that gets generalized by the mind into a fearful fantasy. It is a kind of shiver the fantasy coming to the surface provokes, and is provoked by the physical response. In monotonously preventing action, perhaps it is meant to delay action which could be dangerous under threatening circumstances.
Le Rochefoucauld

#557 - "There is nothing more natural, or more mistaken, than to suppose we are loved."

#558- "We prefer being with people we do things for to people who do things for us."

#559- "It is harder to hide feelings we have than to feign those we lack."

#560- "Patched-up friendships call for greater care than never torn ones."

#561- "A man whom no one pleases is much worse off than a man who pleases no one."

Le Rochefoucauld

#238- "It is less dangerous to do most people harm than to show them too much kindness."

#269- "Almost no one is perceptive enough to realize all the harm he does."

#309- "There are people destined to be fools who not only do stupid things from choice but are even forced to do them by fate.

#310- "Sometimes situations occur in life where we must be a trifle mad to come off well."

#337- "Certain good qualities are like the five senses: those who entirely lack them can neither recognize nor understand them."

#341- "The hotheadedness of youth causes more damage than the apathy of old age."

#357- "Small minds are too much hurt by small things, great minds know they are trifling, and are not harmed."

#369- "The suffering we go through to keep from loving is often worse than the hardships endured by love."

#370- "There are few cowards who know how really cowardly they are."

#384- "What alone should astonish us is that we can still be astonished."

#386- "They are most often wrong who cannot bear to be."

#388- "If vanity does not topple the virtures, it leaves every last one of them swaying.

#390- "We sacrifice our welfare more willingly than our inclinations."

#402- "What counts least of all in conventional lovemaking is love."

#406- "We come newborn to every milestone of life's journey, and often act like novices at each, no matter what our age."

#480 - "When we are merely prostrated by misfortune, we often think we are steadfast; and we endure it without daring to look it in the face, as cowards consent to be killed, too frightened to defend themselves."

#421- "Self-confidence adds more to conversation than wit does."

#436- "It is easier to know mankind in general than any particular man."

#441- "In friendship as in love, we are often happier not knowing things than knowing them."

#453- "In matters of moment, we should not so much strive to create opportunities as to profit by those that arise."

#470 "All our qualities are questionable and unfixed, in good times as in bad; and they are almost all the playthings of circumstance."

#473- "However rare true love may be, true friendship is rarer."

#477- "The same strength of character that resists love can make it fierce and enduring; and weak people, who are constantly in emotional turmoil, are almost never truly flooded by passion."

#538- "A wise man needs little to be happy, just as nothing will make a fool content- wherefore, most men are miserable."

#540- "To overcome an initial desire is much easier than to satisfy all those that come after it."

#550- "It is more essential to study people than books."

#556- "It is never harder to speak well than we we feel embarassed at keeping silent."

Thanks, Nada for noticing I was trying to be funny in a couple of blogposts that have now been deleted. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused to any readers. This experience reminds me of the time I stepped on a beehive in a walk in the country. Live and learn!

Oh, when will I ever learn my lesson? Never again...

Awhile back I thought of a maxim which I was very proud of which goes "If you don't listen to everything, you don't hear anything." Now I realize the corollary is- "If you don't think of everything, you can't think of anything."
Cesar Vallejo-Trilce-XXVII
"This house pleases me perfectly, a perfect spot for this not knowing where to be/Let's not go in. It frightens me, this permission/ to return by the minute, across exploded bridges."

In 1996 I returned to a study of Cesar Vallejo's *Trilce*. I don't speak or write Spanish with the excuse of time. Time is nothing that invites me closer so don't criticize or disagree. The poem is found elsewhere.

Enigmatic notes in the middle of nowhere.This is a kind of loving that wrenches me out of language, that reverses me inside a catalogue of surrealistic prepositions.That they always correct deprives us of accurate lessons.I stand by my note about *Trilce*. It's not much but that's all there is.

I am inside outside inside.Transference of the lexicons. Exhausted admiration not me. But that's all to continue. Not. Midnight. That wrenches languge out of me.

Eileen Tabios has quietly announced on WinePoetics that a book of her stories is to be published! She says they are sexy. That's all to the good, because she's a good writer and this will add a bit of spice to the mix.

The thing is, she sandwiched this terrific news between flattering hints about me, and flattering hints about her parents.

Hey, Eileen. Forget me and your parents (easy solution: don't give them your book.) Actually, don't give anybody your book (unless they are writers who are willing to swap). Make 'em buy their copies. Readers are nicer to you when you do that. If your parents buy your book on the sly, they won't have to tell you about all the fun they had reading it!

Now: tell us more about your book!

Wednesday, April 30

Today, from -Heathens In Heat-

Great aphorism or adage from Jordan today: "All work is the avoidance of harder work."....
Our moralization of the work ethic, labor as an end in itself and ownership has made us lazy and worst of all, as Marx knew, stupid, in too many ways to fully diagnose.
posted by David at 7:11 AM

Hey Dave, can't resist chiming in with my own maxim on this topic, from *Boundary of Blur* (1993) :

Everyone must have a night world and a day world. And often, this day world is as afraid of unleashed work, as the night one is of unleashed love."

And, since you mention Marx, David, what about Freud's notion that life consists of two main activities: "Lieben und arbeiten" (work and love).

Subject matter: the air, the ground. Earth/air/water/fire. Object and experience. A "given" already seen, deja vu.The opposite of blank (ness); for example, by making blankness a subject, what is describable as being negative, an absence of something becomes something which can be added-on, something filling. A defining process makes subject matter objective, an alchemy of extended focus causes an abstracted concept, invisible by nature to be at the center of continuous analyses. Seeing (seeking) without need of an image, the consumer of subject matter may suspend all choice and judgement, perhaps making subject matter better grounds for science, than art. The possibility of choice splits subject matter in two; with parts gone, subject matter becomes fragmented and discontinuous, no longer a compendium, its completeness is determined only by those who choose to examine it.

To discuss "subject-matter" somehow offers a perspective on writing processes which is not really linguistics or philosophy. Such a topic is literary in the most literal sense and offers the possibility of a defining a boundary for literary processes. Pragmatic obvious point: I can say- "The literary cannot exist without subject matter" if I said "not for very long." Becuse even the most modest of literary experiments in "subjectless" writing will soon replicate its history through its replications- the lists, documentations, the sum total of the social history which surrounds it. "Subjectless writing" seems to function like a black hole of meaning- the immense amounts of interpretive energy which hovers on, around, beneath, witin the work of such writers as Beckett, for example, whose characters approximate inner perpectives more than they do "actual" persons in the "real world."
A title: "Signs of Life"- somehow connected- sounds.

Subject matter is more than just matter and more than "just matters." And it has to do with just matters. Syntax sparkles, glistens, echoes around subject matter but it is different- it bends to the will, it has elastic properties, it is not intractable.

Ponge's method of revealing objects: it is like he is closing his eyes and feeling the object through all the other senses- remembering the smells and sounds, touching it, feeling it. This way subject matter is created out of experience, not out of thoughts, concepts and categories. these are syntactical, more map-like- or like a set of directions, a program.

The very act of writing "about" an experience tends to push the mind towards of view of experience likening it to subject matter.

Is there any area of exprience which offers no possibility of becoming transformed- (or transposed or transfigured) into subject matter? This is soon obvious- none. Then, is there anything other than experience which offers itself as subject-matter? The answer is much less obvious- I suggest it is- yes!

(Smithson suggested that language is (=) physical matter.)

What is this subject-matter other than experience. The answer is plain but not so simple- abstraction.
Sign-making converts experience into abstraction.

Through abstraction we chip away at the massive block of reality which we are incapable- thus far- of knowing and experiencing.

Subject matter is map like because it is the remaining trace of all experience.

(But) subject matter's relationship to art has vastly changed in the past century. Simultaneously- in another sense- it remains nothing less- than all of reality.

What can I mean by that?
Or nothing more than a celebration, no more than a pause to reflect a journey to remember and talk about (or) target for a souvenir and change. Say you had never learned more than this letting things go with a great silence- sending others off their tracks to nowhere, it might still be enough.
I'm glad you remembered once
that I reminded you to notice what its like in the so quiet. snow
and, in the end, no more than particles that twinkle and dissolve
a star or a moment
dissolving after a pause
of billions of years

An experience: Toni couldn't find her Tarot deck. I stood up, after she looked for awhile and couldn't find it. I didn't know *why*- but I walked to the corner of the room. I had a thought: why do I think it's around here. Then I said to myself, I'll look around here.
I started to think about tracking. I mean a literature that tells us something new because it helps to didrect us *where to look* for the answers, if not the answers- or I could say (almost)-*how to look*----

If I don't like the way it's put, I can still abstract out the idea- it was *the experience* I was interested in anyway. How does experience become subject matter?
What more than one observation at a time? Thisis the perceptual breadth of the eyes- limited to the range of vision. With the multi-sensorial (dreams, visual art, poetry) comes the multi-perspective,multi-rational, many strands or sequences of developmental thought, melodically related or contrapuntally contrasted.

Improvisation and silence. Not long ago I had the luck to do an improvisatory performance with the poets Jackson Mac Low and Charles Bernstein.We performed Jackson's *Simultaneity*. As Jackson tried various suggestions in turning Charles and I to this performance of his piece- one suggestion struck me deeply: " Real silences!"

Perhaps the famed and mythical "silence" of the Freudian psychoanalysti is related to a wish to create an improvisatory atmosphere in which "free association" could occur unhampered by "directorial comments" and narrative expectation.

Device: imagine each line separately- as if hearing them in a foreign language.- This is what I meant by the title "Translation Sans Original."
Another "subject to change." The moment I declare anything I'm already breathing in the heady element of spontaneity. I'm "holding the floor" and now I can "go where I want with it." Of course, this freedom is much more apparent than real. A fascinating, thorough and profound documentation of this fact can be found in the books of Erving Goffman.

1) Imagine each line separately as if hearing it in a foreign language.
2) Translate from teh French, lets say, into English- or an "imaginary" French.

Later: Not a "plenitude of reasons/things but a single reason/thing.

Improvisation- as in the example of the conquering Spanish- arises often from a risky or unfamiliar situation being taken on. A kind of artificial sense of improvisation can be evoked by treating a familiar situation as if it were an unfamiliar situation. "Procrastination is the poetry of our lives" is also partially because to procrastinate a repetitive task is to then force yourself into an improvisatory situation when it could have been a prepared situation. this might have been as much a part of the aesthetic aspect of the psychoanalytic situation as it is of the scientific one.

For 1991- one notebook. And thereafter, one notebook at a time. the two times before that I've been workikng in multiple notebooks were periods of confusion. This *includes* poetry. The "scrapbook" didn't work out either.There should be a separate small reminder book- not the electronic lists reminders. This should also be spiral ringed.

It is entirely possible that two writers or, even more, perhaps several writers could be burrowing towards each other without even knowing it- eyes on the brightness of the page- mind focused on the dark opening of thought's cavern.

Tuesday, April 29

Stephanie Young likes to notice the banner ads. This one now above Drew Gardner's blog:

USA Horn: Sax Specialists
Expert advice, sales & service. Major brands. Competitive pricing.

(Drew is great musician- plays piano and other instruments- and recently, while accompanying his readings)

Drew- feel better soon.
I still don't need drugs! I saw this most recent post at Nick's blog:

"Thanks, [+] :"

You're Welcome Nick!

posted by David at 4:17 PM

Some pretty wierd stuff turned up on FA today due to my stuggle to follow Jonathan's patient efforts to walk me through writing links into my message. After several hours, (I was picturing Jonathan getting ready to tear out his hair watching me go through this) I managed to do one link correctly. But then the rest of the message still appears as a link.

David Hess proves once again he can find something to salvage- and savage!- out of almost any type of idiocy.

Thanks to Jonathan Mayhew for his generous attempt to help the technically challenged (me) learn how to write a link into a blog text.

Now I can get a link to appear, but the rest of my message also appears as a link. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks, Jonathan

What am I doing wrong now?

Even though Stephanie Young's poem postcards sent to me got misdirected because she dropped one digit off the address, somehow I am sure the whole thing is my fault. I'm not saying this to be "charming," accomodating or self-effacing. I am quite literally sure it is my fault.
She's right, though, about why the cards got lost. Because Stephanie put the right zip code on the cards some wonderful, conscientious post office person actually tracked me down at my address on the same avenue (West End Avenue).Stephanie wrote 68, but the address is 680. The postal employee actually wrote in the "0" and you can see that it is squeezed in in a different hand. I called the postoffice today and they said there's a good chance more will come through! And she spoke with her supervisor and said I could call back on Friday. Hang in there, Stephanie, we'll get this book together yet!

Sandra Simonds, of Sandra's Poems, has given me the sad duty to report that she has closed her blog. But she is not unhappy! She wants to catch up on her reading and she and Andrew Mister have things to do like maybe leave Missoula, Montana and move to San Francisco. I have no doubt at all that here in blogland you will be sorely missed! Very best wishes to you and Andrew and l hope you will come back and see us! -fait accompli- and most other blogs- love receiving letters! And please keep reading us!
This just in! Blogger getting married! Toldja the guy had a big heart! (see -bloggers consent!- under "recent entries" on Brandon Barr's site)

wedding site/

Trudy and I sent out most invitations to our wedding on Friday, which is one of the many reasons I haven't been posting much lately (along with a stack of essays to mark and a few to write, and zero-motivation or interest in getting them done). I created a small wedding site with a little mini-blog to coordinate information about the wedding, which is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on July 5th.
Posted by brandon barr at 04:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Links to your left, please.

Why am I so constantly amazed that I can't have everythilng when for so long I had nothing?

Worry is a kind of rehearsal for action or- more- a throwing of logs on a small bit of burning flame to incite oneself- to action, often of an indendiary kind.

Taste- but how much?
Whatever you do
The world pours in
Drink of it deeper and deeper
Still hungers drive the thoughts
Forward pulling time ahead of themselves, drinking
Celan- the "gravity" of the downward reading-

also- some qualities of Trilce

"Imagining" I'm magining

All that "looking forward and looking backward"- necessary, but so foolish. I imagine a cup- and 5 years are 1/4 to 1/5 of that cup. I.

But there is a poetic flavor to that spendthrift attitude towards time- the irony of having "plenty of time" so much you can "throw it away." It's stupid to live as if you can "save" time- and, like the seasons, our feelings and all of it repeats and repeats, like the tides-

The only sweeteners- courage and love.
Title: Scanning

I begin with a word which reflects a thought. The word I begin with occurs with the thought. I start where I start. I start with a word, a word for a thought.

Scanning the whole language- an instructional manual for scanning.

I thought of it first as computer instructions- instructions for programming the computer to scan the language by reading it aloud. (allowed)

Narrative has to commit itself to details, the same as people do in a relationship. Discovering the outcome of the game also comes by "following" it rather than be deciding it. In a narrative you can "go back" and change details- just as in everyday life you can gradually evade the "hard data." But this "hard data" will eventually erode your hard-ware.
"Excuse me, but no. Right now I need the shelf space more than I need the window dressing."

The "voice" of the people: the way we look at things- it's not all that auditory a thing.

"Rebuilding" a dialogue that never really took place.

It is energizing to be torn away from unsatisfying attempts- this increases hopes for a real success.
On the other hand- it is equally important to remember that this new construct (when de-constructed) will be found to mostly consist of already familiar aspects. But the whole will be different. It will contain everything that the earlier construct carried to a different outcome.
We will have found that earlier we had lost our way in time, when suddenly the overall direction we had been heading towards became clearly evident. Moments can now connect with each other again. Perhaps we have only discovered a new mode of making transitions. For clearly, movement never stops. But, like a driver, we are periodically, and constantly looking into the rear view mirror.
True, although we have been listening, no one actually said anything quite clear. Silence had taken over so much that the slightest routine sounds had become greatly magnified (planes, birds, cars and the rain and wind). Each car going by took on significance, a loud voice, some laughter, because such interruptions proved that duration, as such, still exists. Soon, however, our interest turns away from such small proofs. They do not, after all , constitute events in the real world of meanings. Although we are unhealthily addicted to it, time is
measured in meanings, not in moments. It is neither qualitative nor quantitative- it is transformative. Like Orpheus, we must learn not to watch it too closely, because, dizzying into the whirlpool, we may drown in the multiple voices of the future.
"Soon,soon" it seems to say to us constantly, "very soon," to any question we might put to it. Soon, you will sit down at the piano, soon your great quartet will be played and soon it will be heard, understood and blended into other recent textures of sound and soul.
It seems I've learned to collect such hopes like shells on a beach. They are evidences, but only meager ones like those passing sounds. With their bleached and muted colors, such objects hold the attention in such a way that you pocket them and later place them in our special drawers and shelves, thinking they can later be more completely deciphered.
I examine some for awhile and then sit down to play.
Once again, I've combined the possible and the impossible in harmonies that, very elusively, hold these two opposites together for a brief period of time. Over and over, I listen to the recording, trying to ascertain the spot where past, present and future seemed to combine. Of course, I wanted to stay there for as long as possible. I wondered how long I could suspend the afternoon in this way. The more I could shape the transitions, the more quickly I seemed to be able to move inside the hour. Having its own characteristics, I could characterize a series of moments by its exterior markings, instead of reverting to the metronome, or some other kind of mechanical conductor, like a tapping foot, or the sounds of the old woman upstairs walking round and round and round and creaking the floor.

Too much neatness makes me wonder.
Given a choice most of us go for a soft landing.

Reading Cioran's reaction to an English critic's cynical discussion of Marcus Aurelius makes me laugh with tears in my eyes.

Monday, April 28

Something is lost about time from moment to moment. Perhaps true time travel is cracking the secret of the link between moments, the interval.
Waiting has a particular quality, for example. Feelings seem to have a certain duration.
Thoughts have a very special secretness and privateness. This is part of the secret of the interval. Who has not savored and thoroughly appreciated a lucious daydream that no one else may ever know - and may be repeated. No one can take these away, even from a madman, or a man asleep. It has been said that even the dead have their dreams. No one alive willl ever know, and the dead won't remember.
Young people like to laugh, but older people appreciate both the value and the duration of cynicism. Like every form of bravado, its efficacy is short-lived. Love of life- vibrance, warmth- are more lasting and responsive to the daily demands for effort and spontaneity.

from -Heathens in Heat-

Cori Copp don't be committing no blogicide on us ya hear. (Maybe make that white type a lil bigger, it's making my eyes go insane. Like white polka dots on a red dress.)
posted by David at 1:50 AM

I second both motions, Cori!

Sunday, April 27

Hearing Cori Copp's audioblog on Jim Behrle's blog and noticing Sandra Simonds' remark about dysfunctionality in blogland I got into an inner debate with some ideas that came to me about whatever I sensed they were getting at or implying in their comments about blogging. I remembered that people constantly got tired or annoyed on the Buffalo poetics list, particularly women, and would write letters to the list that they were tired of the fighting and arguing or of being completely ignored. I always found this disturbing and wondered why it kept happening. I realize that women have strong reasons for developing a highly sensitized bullshit detector. It's an absolutely necessary defense mechanism against a lot of shenanigans by men some of which are aimed their way. But what I'm thinking right now about writing and the arts in general is: if someone, even better a group of someones don't get bit carried away or outrageous nothing much happens! I don't mean necessarily getting overexcited, or crazy, but at least a bit more intense than everyday levels of becoming absorbed or engaged in ideas, discussion, expression, interaction, exchange. Surely most bloggers try to do this in some way. What kind of theater can happen if people don't get a little surprised, aroused, upset, dazzled, confused or provoked? Any given twenty minutes of television will convince you that most of life should consist of discussions of some sort of mildy provocative rehash of events reported in the news . My favorite Blake aphorisms are: "Enough! Or Too much." The other is: "If the fool were to persist in his folly he would become wise."
"The future of our thoughts likes outside us, in another world than theirs."

Paul Valery
"The first thought of some is to consult books.
The first impulse of others is look at things."

"A man who feels things very deeply and has a sense of being intimately bound up with those things themselves cannot help being obscure.
For visibility ceases a few yards below the surface.
To feel very deeply the latent presence, the countless combinations,the sum of all the possibilities of a language transforms *the idea of a thought,* and imparts to every thought that "occurs" to us both freedoms and exigencies quite other than those which are the lot of thoughts handled on everyday lines."
Paul Valery
"What is called invention is in the nature of a communication.
Inventiveness in every field keeps pace with the acquisition and improvements of means of communication.
A good system of notation leads to invention.
You need to be two to invent. One man takes combinations, while the other selects, notices what he wants and what c an be of service to him in the total output of his colleague.
What is called
"genius" consists far less in the labors of the former- the act of combining-than in the promptitude with which the second man recognizes the value of what has been produced and takes that product serve his turn.*
*scorn of "natural gifts" and of all that has not been thought out."
Paul Valery