Distribution Automatique

Saturday, October 25

"Nobody listens to poetry." Can this be changed?
Crag Hill (click here)
says yes!
The Disappearance

I don't even know why it's not there.
I looked among my papers for hours
Remembering a feeling I'd lost long ago.
So many thoughts passed through my mind
I couldn't hold on to one of them.
There were pictures I'd misplaced
Photographs of faces which are landmarks in my life,
Letters received and letters never sent,
Souvenirs, a few forgotten schemes,
Lists of things I've done and never done
Reminders, tokens, dreams.
Perhaps in some other untracked world
I've never left this scene
Fumbling in a timeless reverie
Among the numbers and the scrawls
Diving and swooping down again
Like gulls and shadows on the sea
In random cries, flights and descents
Towards and away from me.
"...Certainly, with respect to the sort of writing
that separates domains in the name of the division
of labor and reveals class affiliations, it would be
"fabulous" if, as in the stories of miracles, the
groups that formerly gave us our masters and
that are currently lodged in our corpus were to
rise up and themselves mark their comings and
goings in the texts that honor and bury them
at the same time. This hope has diappeared,
along with the beliefs which have long since
vanished from our cities.There are no longer any
ghosts who can remind the livng of reciprocity.
But in the order organized by the power of
knowledge (ours), as in the order of the
countryside,or the factories, a diversionary
practice remains possible.

Let us try to make a *perruque* in the economic
system whose rules and hierarchies are repeated,
as always, in scientific institutions. In the area of
scientific research (which defines the current order
if knowledge), working with its machines and making
use of its scraps, we can divert the time owed to the
institution; we can make textual objects that signify
in art and solidarities; we can play the game of free
exchange, even if it is penalized by bosses and
colleagues when they are not willing to "turn a blind
eye" on it; we can create networks of connivances and
sleights of hand; we can exchange gifts; and in these
ways we can subvert the law that, in the scientific
factory, puts work in the service of the machine and,
by a similar logic, progressively destroys the requirement
of creation and, by a similar logic, and the "obligation to give."
I know of investigators experienced in this art of diversion,
which is a return to the ethical, of pleasure and of invention
within the scientific institution. Realizing no profit, (profit
is produced by work done for the factory), and often at a
loss, they take something from the order of knowledge in
order to inscribe "artistic achivements" on it and to carve
on it the graffiti of the debts of honor. To deal with everyday
tactics in this way would be to practice an "ordinary" art,
to find oneself in the common situation, and to make a kind
of "perruque" of writing itself."

*The Practice of Everyday Life"
Michel de Certeau
"The operational models of popular culture
cannot be confined to the past, the countryside
or primitive peoples. They exist in the heart of
the strongholds of the contemporary
economy. Take, for example, whatin France
is called *la perruque*,
"the wig." *La perruque*is the worker's own
work disguised as work for his employer. It differs
from pilfering in that nothing of material value is stolen.
It differsfrom absenteeism in that the worker is
officially on the job. *La perruque* may be
as simple as matter as a secretary's writing a love
letter on "company time" or
as complex as a cabinetmaker's
"borrowing" a lathe to make a piece
of furniture to make a piece
of furniture for his living room.
Under different names in
different countries this
phenomenon is becoming more
and more general, even if managers
penalize it or "turn a blind eye" on it in
order not to know about it. Accused
of stealing orturning material
to his own endsand using the machines for his
own profit, the worker who
indulges in *la perruque* actually
diverts time (not goods, since he uses only scraps)
from the factory
for work that is free, creative and precisely not
directed toward profit. In the very place
where the machine he must serve reigns supreme,
he cunningly takes pleasure in finding a way to
create gratuitous products
whose sole purpose is tosignify his own
capabilities through hishis solidarity with other
workers or his family through *spending*
his time in this way.
With the complicity of other workers
(who thus defeat the competition the factory
tries to instill among them), he succeeds in
"putting one over" on the established order
on its home ground. Far from being a regression
toward a mode of production organized around artisans
or individuals, *la perruque* reintroduces "popular"
techniques of other times and other places
into the industrial space(this is, the Present order)."

From *The Practice of Everyday Life"
Michel De Certeau
U Cal press

Friday, October 24

Flash!yesterday, Noah Eli Gordon (click here) linked to two of his own poem sequences on his blog
*Human Verb*!
The "Yeah, well I've been saying *this* all along!" department:

This just in: "The Politics of Male Blogging"
Halley's Comment
via Caveat Lector
(By the way, have you been reading
Caveat Lector? "Let the reader beware!")
Tanya Brolaski's workshop (*niagra/cinematic*) on how to breathe underwater. Right now on:
Swimming for Dummies.
Happy Birthday
Chris Murray!

Team Work

The decision is everything, yes.
I like the material outcome of the
noodling around also. The quotes
don’t necessarily have quotes around
them- either appropriation,
accommodation or admiration.
The settings
are the places we go to. These are
made of all the decisions we
struggle with, the web
which constructs- moment by moment-
what the whole thing is. Now that I’ve
done that, I want to do this.
The places we go, the things
we do, the people we are.

What do we actually do? We
get in touch
with each other, we meet,
by accident or on purpose, and we
say things. These things are done
and said in places. In the particular
chain of sequences I have in mind,
we meet in all the places, we go to work.
(Think of the distinction between
“work” friends and “real” friends,
but don’t get stuck on that either).

At one point I decided to have
friends that would challenge me.
This was a decision with
very good consequences.

I could go back to the time
when I sometimes chose people
as friends who gladly undermine me.
Sometimes the two are built into
the same person.

When all the clues are there you
are prompted to proceed. What would
a manifesto be if it were not addressed
to the actors themselves, each of whom
would have to weave some part of their
actual work lives into this poem?

It wouldn’t be everybody everybody
is working with. Each person would have
to choose. This would be equal to what
they call in psychoanalysis, the “latent content”-
or might be also considered the background content.

Each actor becomes a character made out of
their own lives, each actor would “co-produce”
their “team” from their past from their own work
lives. Allowance is made for overlap between
non-work lives and work lives.

As always, a project is the result of a series
of meditations. Only solitude can allow for this.
Solitude is built in, even when it is not provided
for in, in the transitions . During transitions
we don’t still, or don’t yet, know who we are.

Thursday, October 23

Today, Wood s Lot(Mark Woods)
draws attention to Michel Foucault's book of lectures, *Fearless Speech*. Click here:

"Diogenes went up and put a crown
on the head of the horse who stood
its ground...What are you doing when
you award a crown in the Isthmian games?
For if the crown is awarded to someone
as a moral victory, then Diogenes deserves
a crown. But if it is only a question of
superior physical strength, then there is
no reason why the horse should
not be given a crown."

"There is, however, very little
positive doctrine in Cynic
preaching; no direct affirmation
of good or bad. Instead,
the Cynics refer to freedom
(*eleutheria*) and self-sufficiency
(*autarkeia*) as the basic
criteria by which to assess any
kind ofbehavior or mode of life.
For the Cynics, the main condition
of human happiness is *autarkeia*,
self-sufficiency or independence,
where what you need to have or what
you decide to do is
dependent on nothing other than
you yourself. As a consequence-
since the Cynics had the most
radical of attitudes-they preferred
a completely natural life-style.
A natural life-style was supposed
to eliminate all the dependencies
introduced by culture, society,
civilization, opinion, and so on.
Consequently, most of their
preaching seems to have been
directed at social institutions or
laws. In short, their preaching
was against all social institutions
insofar as these insitutions
hindered ones freedom
and independence."

"The crisis of *parrhesia*,
which emerges at a cross-road
of an interrogation about democracy
and an interrogation about truth,
... at the end of the Fifth Century...
What I mean is that there
is a new problematization of the
relations between verbal activity,
education, freedom, power
and the existing political institutions
which marks a crisis in the way freedom
of speech is understood in

from the editor's preface:
"a verbatim transcription of his
lectures""compiled from tape
recordings of lectures given by
Michel Foucault at the
University of California, Berkeley
in the fall term of 1983"

It has long been my feeling that
in the U.S. we are in
deep denial regarding the
extent of the traumatized
state of our national consciousness.
It is in the nature
of Americans to rely on taking
action as a solution
to all problems, including those
of self-esteem. I am by far not the
only person who has noted the great
irony in The Terminator becoming
California’s governor. The persona of
the Terminator is constructed to be able to
act without any power being capable of
deterring that action. While Superman
had a vulnerable side (Kryptonite)
and self-examining side (Clark Kent)
we have moved on to an unfeeling
robotic superhero that keeps on
going:no interaction, no dialogue,
no possible deterrence.

Underlying this is a
form of denial created
to persist in the face of any trauma
or threat. This is at the heart
of the masculine ideal.
However, the symptoms of
anxiety that
result from the trauma do
resurface. They resurface in the
form of a growing and widening
sense of anomie and
in human endeavor and in
an increasing difficulty in finding meaning
in anything, or anyone,
an increasing reliance on a facade of
indifference, as a defensive reaction to
actual tragedy and the
resultant deprivation and despair,
summarized in the
far-right wing philosophy of “kill the beast,”
meaning, destroy all semblance of
vulnerability to the sufferings of others
and to threats of futher destruction.

Ron Silliman published the
following statement on his blog recently
offering his thoughts about the poet’s political
life, that grew out of a recent poet’s
retreat in Philadelphia:

“I point this out to note that the way to challenge & defeat “militarized language & propaganda” is not through poetry, but through same political action a steelworker or waitress might take. The idea that poetry is in this sense a different practice strikes me as a genre-based mode of megalomania. If poets are serious about taking on the forces of darkness, the avenues for action are plentiful.”

But poets need not turn
only to the available public
avenues to express their political feelings
or “take on the forces of
Are steel workers more needy
of political organization than poets?
I may agree it is certainly
somewhat futile for poets focus
on political change through the
application of the forms of poetry to
by means of metaphor or lilteral meanings
enlightening the "mainstream mind." And yes, this is
not the day of Dryden, Swift and Pope,
or Shelley, Keats and Byron. The culture
industry and the political industry are
united and we all realize
they don’t give a hoot about
what poets have to say
as a group.

I do think it may be worthwhile
for poets to see what might happen
if they were to work much more on
using their considerable knowledge
and intellectual insight and
experience in the direction of
changing the politics of the poetry
field itself. If we can’t do
much about our clout with the mainstream,
the least we could do is create more
fairness and mutual support, and the
probable resulting
effectiveness, in working
with each other.

It seems to me there is a next step
for poets to take
after so much insight has been
gained through innovative writing,
through the struggle with form and
formal innovation. I think so much
has been accomplished- the form issue has
not exactly been "done to death"
but it has been done, and done
very effectively at that, not that
there is general consensus among poets
and poetry readers by far,
but the territory, and the main avenues have
certainly been very well sketched out.

It seems to me the next step to take
is to pull together all this linguistic
advancement in verbal skill and work to
connect it to the "forms" or “genres”
poets choose to work together
cooperatively, not destructively.
To understand this means most of
all to examine the forms by which
we publicly acknowledge what each
of us has accomplished, rather than
perpetuate the conventional systems of
awards and traditional critical
and academic apparatus, canon building
and the like, negative reviewing and
piecemeal scholarly fiefdom
creation around specific earlier writers,
as well as personalized,
systematic, destructive “polemics,"
directed at particular individuals. This
activity attempts to achieve its own competitive
goals by means of a "divide and conquer"
mentality, that sometimes leaves
the polemicists
themselves pathtically isolated.

I realize that academic professionals in
the writing field face these issues in
practice much more that I do or
ever did.
I also realize that what I am
saying may be
interpreted as similar to the naive idea
of putting all the
power of decision in beginning
students' hands,
etc. This is not what I am
implying. I am talking
about (frequently covert, or unstated
or discussed)
what we think of
as a writing "career" and what the
outward trappings of
this "career" might mean, etc, and
how these assumptions might
ultimately interfere
with the process of the net of
writerly relationships
empowering the field as a whole.

I’ve concluded that the best
place right now
for me is to seek political change is
within the (sometimes covert) systems
writers employ to relate to each
other in their work,
and about their work, within academia
and outside of academia and to
come to grip with the ways that writers
can best work together to get the
message out about each others work.

Writers have been working collaboratively
so intensively for so long, that gradually
together many of the old customs
have already been eroded, as has the
need for the old system so much,
it could possibly now, with a unified effort.
just be tipped over, or gradually abandoned,
in order to scatter the essential
elements around, and to change our
own culture the way radical
linguistic dynamism operates
in our poetics changed our poetry.
There are social
implications to our poetics that
*none* of us are completely facing
up to in ourselves and with each other.

Because of poetry’s
commitment to authenticity and
truth, we have the rare opportunity
to attempt to assure social avenues
for that authenticity and truth
to be activated
in our ways of experiencing and
responding to each others work
(and, as a result, each other’s lives)
that don't exist very much overtly now, but do
exist covertly. They exist covertly
because of what we have learned from
non-narrative techniques, from cut-up,
enjambment, defamiliarization and
deconstruction, catachresis,
free association, Dada, surrealism, collage,
abstract expressionism,
automatic writing, visual poetry,
acoustic experimentation, hypermedia,
collaborative writing, conceptual art and
many other technical
processes. Obviously we have not been
studying and practicing
these techniques for so many years to
become better union organizers
and workers for the Green party
or the latest hip Democratic
party leaders.
There's a missing link here. If there is
so much meaning in the formal
operations of our poetry
and poetics, then couldn't it also potentially
reside in the meanings we
give to our writerly judgments,
and the social avenues we endorse
that activate these judgments in
our real life relationships,
the ways in which we share our work
and ideas, and as a result,
and how we compete
and receive and give support,
recognitions, response to our work
as writers; how we condemn, and undermine,
criticize and exclude each other; how we connect
and how we cooperate and we try to destroy
these connections and cooperative efforts?

The archaic system of accumulating stacks of
manuscripts to add to more stacks
of books,to be evaluated and processed
by experts, labeled and distributed as significant
and important, can frequently amount to so much
canon fodder
(I am a decent speller plus I have a
spell check and the word "canon"
is spelled right).
The reputation industry,
the way we expect each other to live it out,
is our politics. It is what we live and breathe
as writers every day. If my perception
is apropos,
what we are doing is
compiling technique after technique
of critiquing and reconstructing form in writing,
while frequently neglecting to take the implied next
steps by closely, and together, examining
the implications of
these significant discoveries and resulting
changes of formal applications that
we employ in our writing work
in the way we organize our writerly
relationships, our working relationships.
All the politics are right there on
the table within the implicit formal
critiques of mainstream writing practice
that have been accumulated by so much collaborative work,
meaning carefully shared and discussed accomplishments in
the area of technique and the application
of writerly ideas of a work's
form to its content,
(therefore thinking), and much opportunity,
so much potential for change has
already been accomplished.

Just as professional government
representatives and corporations
have to deal with assumptions
regarding competition that have
awesome real life implications
regarding survival and the
utilization and control of violence,
as writers we will either be doing
what is needed to convince the world
by following our example,
to work together for mutual advantage,
or be submitting to their
observing all of us work
against each other, because of
unbridled competition,
towards universal mutual disadvantage
and destructiveness.
Writers also compete, and like the
rest of the culture,
we are necessarily obsessed
with competition. In this area,
I think we are well positioned
to exploit a deficiency in our culture
as an advantage.

Since, as we all know,
few are paid very much
for writing,
what's the point of so
much emphasis on competing
in the writing field?
Or intensifying the small amount
of competitive feeling that others’
accomplishments arouse in us,
but that one may relatively easily overcome
by means of acknowledgement and support
of others, as well as self-challenge?
I understand that increasing and exposing competiveness
may appeal to those reponsible for
creating excitement, and for obtaining some attention
to bring revenues to cover the cost of publications
and their distribution. The problem with this is that
the politics underlying this assumption may not be the
best one for writers as a group to support.
Could we not undermine and parody and
illuminate and complicate and
basically turn the whole business
of competition inside
out in our own community?
Aren’t we are all sophisticated
enough with techniques of enclosing
form within content,
with "nesting," with
using mirror reversals
and randomizations of content
and innovative modes of
organization to struggle with such
complex philosophical issues? Isn't
it perfectly clear that the next
step is to apply this to our ways
of sharing and collaborating and
finding purpose and meaning in
each others work?
If our work is at heart
composed of our meditations,
and it is not-for-profit, and
it is resonant with
writers works and with
what other significant,
valuable and interesting
works we can track down
to read, and should we not
work to link that
understanding to each other on
as many levels as possible
(in contrast to the
slow-paced linear
movement of culture
industry products)?
In applying this
of writerly
forms to the forms
of our writerly
and informal,
would we not be using our
writing on
our own behalf
directly, politically
and in the arena
that we know best:
our everyday life , the one we
are most trained to comment on:
our everyday lives?

Political representation
is obviously a fraud:
in this era. It no longer
exists. This is one of the
main reasons why things
in our culture are
unraveling so quickly.
Public media are
an unhealthy but fun
fast food meals at best,
hypnotic poisons at worst;
the political/government industry,
the entertainment industry,
the culture industry, sadly, even
the education industry,
all interlocked,
horribly enslaved, frequently against
their own better judgement,
and their united will,
as the Third Reich of the
contemporary intellect and imagination.
This stagnant situation
prevents any possible
political change at the same time
manipulates writers into working to
undermine all previous political change
by participating in these utterly
compromised institutions.
(“Starve the beast.”)

It is my sense the best chance
writers have to change the political
situation is to use our
own writing culture
as our political workshop.
In turn, we will be empowered
with tools that can be used to
powerful advantage in critiquing the
system that we are replicating in the
traditional ways we empower our own
work, each others work, our own “careers”
as writers and each others “careers”
with each other: the modes by which
we exchange and interpret each others
writing work,
sometimes helplessly
permitting its exploitation
and subservience to the system
we purportedly want to change,
that must be changed so that
we can rediscover and redirect
the most productive
and generative political

Wednesday, October 22

Thanks to the following blogs and listings for referencing my recent
Sidereality pieces:
and thanks again to ululations(Nada Gordon)
and Elsewhere (Gary Sullivan) for
publishing "Confessions of a Blog Artist" in the
Poetry Project Newsletter

random items (German/English)
The Cassandra Pages
Blue Kangeroo(Jean Vengua)
Cahiers de Corey(Josh Corey)
Mike Snider's Formal Blog
Hatstuck Snarl(Stephen Kirbach)
Limetree (Kasey Silem Mohammad)
The Well Nourished Moon
Wood s Lot(Mark Woods)
Electronic Poetry Center

Tuesday, October 21

Voting machines are online again at:
Jim Berhle's Famous Monkey.

Texture Notes (Sawaka Nakayasu) "keeping it
New Jim-sides on Jim Berhle's new blog: The Jim

Like most bloggers, after
furnishing my blog with
the basics: name, subtitle,
template, a vague sense
of direction about where I might
be going with it,
links to friends and their favorites,
I began to take some
long walks around the far
reaches of the territory. I
did it the way most beginning
bloggers do it, not
by drifting through lists at
Technorati or Blogroll,
but simply by going
into the links lists of blogs,
from those into others, and on
and on into some pretty
strange and unusual bloglists.
Occasionally I would forget
to bookmark and never found
my way back. Already a
close reader of Silliman,
Davis, Sullivan, Gordon,
Kimball, K.S. Mohammad,
Berhle, Hess and
Mayhew, I
was immensely lucky to discover
two blogs early on
that extended my vision as
to what blogs could
be. These blogs were
and what is now called
Solipsistic, but
was then called
Solipsistic Gazette.
It was around the time that I
discovered these blogs that I
decided to start my bloglink "Crush
List"- the title of my listing was meant
to be a vague parody of Jim Behrle's
famous "crush list."

What I love about
Boynton and Solipsistic is that
they are unclassifiable. Boynton
is a fictional name for a blogger
living in
Boynton's wry and dry humor early on
became an antidote for me
for almost anything that might
ail me, but particularly my penchant for becoming
overly serious and worried,
(especially about the future of blogging),
not an unusual quality for a poet, though
this does not get me off the hook.

Recently, Boynton celebrated
her first birthday as a blog,
and as a sort of surprise gift,
I let her know about her listing
on the Electronic Poetry Center.
We had linked our
blogs to each other ages ago,
so this was
a modest gift indeed.
With her usual gentle wit she
reminded me that she would have
replied to my middle of
the night missive sooner, but she was
about to go for an afternoon walk,
as it was an unusually sunny day
in Melbourne at the moment!)
It's this kind of moment I live for
in blogging.

-fait accompli- wishes to
thank Boynton for mentioning and
praising, today, our
Sidereality feature so highly! Or is it tomorrow?
Y'know it's kind of fun
having a friend who lives on the other
side of the planet, and who is
so much fun
and who we know only by her fictional name!
She can visit us for a little
lift anytime-(she spoke, as so many have
recently, about "blogger malaise"
on Boynton today).

I strongly suggest you should get to know
if you haven't already.
You'll enjoy it, and please
let her know so she may be
convinced to keep it

Monday, October 20

A few people who attended my reading
with Corina Copp on Saturday at the
Bowery Poetry Club asked about my
poem "With Open Arms" which repeats
the phrase: "Poetry is..."The poem was
published on -fait accompli- on May 14th
and it can be found in the archives column
on the left . Thanks to all
who came, and while we're at it, to all
my readers at -fait accompli-.
If you couldn't make it- see you next time.
Or look for me and
say hello-
you will find me at the Bowery Poetry Club
every Saturday if humanly possible-
want to know why? First, it's a terrific place to
hang out, hear poetry and music and second,
check out this series
curated by Nada Gordon and Gary Sullivan:

Next week (Oct 25), the
Manifesto Marathon: Mairead
Byrne, Rachel Levitsky, Kristen Prevallet,
Kim Rosenfield, Marianne Shaneen
and Rod Smith; November 1: Robert Fitterman
and Murat Nemet-Nejat;
November 8th: Poet's Plays: Charles Borkhuis,
Jordan Davis, Ethan Fugate and Brian Kim Stefans;
November 15th: Michael Gottlieb and Michael Scharf,
November 22: Process and Formal Invention:
Jena Osman, Tina Darragh,
Matt Mdden, and Warren Craghead;
November 29th: Allen Fisher and Ange Mlinko.

Let's hear it for Bob Holman, owner, manager,
maitre d' of the Bowery Poetry Club who
makes it all possible! (Wouldn't hurt if
we spent a few bucks while we are there,
we need this place to last! Good drinks,
good eats. The admission,
which goes to the poets, is $5)

c. 1995

"The good mixers, liked by all." Alan Davies
"We ask for a catharsis, we get a cathexis." Abilgail Child

Unfinished business. A fragment broken off from
a dream object. What is a dream object. An
object to dream on . So long since it was said
hello to. A voice gone, or hidden.

T.C. a theoretical construct, yet real. You
can't really object, in words, to a dream created
by another person. Technically, it exists. That way,
T.C. is loved, the way anyone known to all,
accessible to all might be loved. Also hated
according to a similar process.

Something was created, then hidden away. This
is part of its metaphysical charm. Part alive,
part dead, half poetry, half real, a centaur or
griffen to readers. Another character (A.C.?)
might walk by T.C. and notice him. She is, or
was, almost created. They may, or may not,
have noticed each other.

Certainly T.C. had to create something, just like
H.C. had to create him. Who am I to stop
him or decide?

"You notice the sound of a day, its smells,
some children clustered on a stoop, a man in
a car just sitting there and staring. You'd think
someone had died. In fact, someone has died"
thinks T.C. looking at A.C.as she walks by.

A.C. almost, but doesn't, say "Hi." This is
because you might say she heard what he was
thinking. This isn't, of course, telepathy. It's
just possible in theory.

H.C. has wondered whether the blurbs
for this book might be asked for in advance of
its writing, since no money will be involved,
they way a cash advance might be offered to the
writer of a book before it has been written, the
credits being an integral, even a structural
part of the whole creation. H.C. reasons,
however, that T.C. , still coming into existence,
and still possibly never coming as fully as possible into existence,
might strongly object to this. In his own case
realizing that this book might be aptly called
Six Authors In Search of A Character. He decided
to consider it, but not to do it yet, recognizing
that this creation (T.C.) was being formed and
effected further in this way. So far, in any
case, there is little to distinguish T. C. from
H.C. A chip off the old block.

What is fully palpable, T.C. reasons,
is anger. I know I am an excuse to distance
myself from H.C. Yet
I still have my own opinions, thinks T.C.,
my own ideas. H.C.already knows I am not
fully in his control. I see anger everywhere
about me, when I look. Rage oozes from...
the streets, from the sidewalks, in the cracks of
voices you hear on t.v. They are angry at
everyone and everything. They are constantly
angry. And for good reason. They needed
objects to dream on, metaphysical objects,
and what did they get? Death, disappointment
and disease.

H.C. suddenly imagines what A.C. might
think of this. A.C. appears and looks impatient
and annoyed. Then, absent mindedly she goes
back to her painting. Leave her alone, thinks H.C.
Without saying a thing, A.C. touches a
brush to the canvas and disappears right into
it. H.C. wonders about this effect. About the
colors, specifically, the green. Besides, thinks
H.C. I hadn't planned on this text being so

Mine wouldn't be, thinks T.C. To both their
surprise he has noticed A.C. "I like the
painting," he says.

"You do?" she says, incredulous and delighted.
"T.C. meet A.C., A.C. meet T.C." H.C. says
sarcastically. Both ignore him.

What do words approximate, wonders H.C. while
A.C. and T.C. stand there wordlessly
in A.C.'s studio. Now they are talking but H.C. can't
quite make out their words. Or is it that I
just don't want to interpret them, thinks H.C.
He looks at A.C.'s painting. Lines over lines over
lines. Scratches over scratches, indentations. He wants
to say something to A.C. but now she and T.C. are
far away. "I need some space," T.C. had
whispered to him earlier. "So we're going to
move over here."

They were still in her studio, but at this
distance the room loooked like a room in a doll's
housed with one wall removed. A.C. was showing T.C.
her paintings

Sunday, October 19

"Criticism in the New York Times has always
seemed to me to be negligible. I had not
realized before the publication of Professor
Matthiessen's piece that whether what the Times
prints is negligible or not it makes a great deal
of difference that the Times prints it. Moreover,
I had not realized before I saw your clippings that
the idea there was anything queer about writing
poetry and being in business at the same time
was anything more than an American attitude..."

Wallace Stevens
To Barbara Church
Hartford, Conn.
July 17, 1947.
Despite my dwindling supply of my 1999 book *Theoretical Objects*
(I think Amazon still has some)
CorpsePoetics(Eileen Tabios)
and abolone (Li Bloom)
and I swapped books via snail mail.
I am awaiting Li's book
but Eileen Tabios' *Reproductions of An Empty Flagpole*,
one of the most aptly titled books in recent memory,
is packed with prose poems that will bring a
reader back for revisits again and again.
Thanks to both for recent mentions
and generous quotes
on their weblogs.

From *Reproductions of An Empty Flagpole*:

"What does it say about me when I ask for asylum in places where
people wish to leave? I try to find meaning in flags. But they
repel me when buffeted by an incidental breeze. Oh, I reconsider
when I am pierced by an empty flagpole. It makes me think of barkers
at street corners flaying the wake of traffic. They should never sell
their souls."
Ron Silliman kindly read and responded to
Lewis LaCook's interview with me in the recent issue of
He said that when he saw that Lewis asked me whether Ron would
ever write in code, in the budding genre of hypermedia that this
would be as likely as his taking up the trombone. He disagreed
with LaCook's sense that I have envisioned blogging
as a new genre of writing, and Ron's
feeling is that blogging is more comparable to giving a
poetry reading than offering a new form . I
thought that Ron's reference to an instrument that is rarely used
as a solo instrument perhaps has to do (unconsciously) with a view
of writing as being something one might do in concert with others,
but that one performs, essentially, alone. Of course, as I see it,
it is just this assumption
that blogging undermines, an aspect of blogging that Ron
may be eagerly participating in without
necessarily wanting to recognize or perhaps acknowledge.
In the pre-blogging view of writing, writing was a solo activity.
Each writer reads each writer,
and each takes a turn onstage, reciting their "own"
words on the stage. Each acknowledges the echoes in
all the others' works, but each
"plays" alone on stage. Such writers as Jackson Mac Low
have made bold attempts to undermine this view of performance.
Mac Low does this in so many ways, not only in performing his
work aloud with others, but frequently "writing
through" other writers. But even in Mac Low's masterful work,
the activity remains "solo." My sense of the situation
right now is that blogging has the potential of bringing about
dramatic changes in such assumptions.
The poliical implications are powerful, particularly in that
torturously unresolved, complicated, universal and
literally explosive issue of competition,
that powerful but wily stimulant,
which, like so many other short term highs,
when thoughtlessly
indulged in, takes its participants
right down that slippery slope
into exclusion, domination, cruelty,
violence. The poetry community,
while no doubt having its
issues, is hardly vulnerable to critique
in this area at all
by comparison to the global
corporate world, and to the antics of
blood thirsty nationalists.

Yesterday's post (Saturday, October 18, together with that
of Friday, October 17)
from Never Neutral (Ernesto Priego)
is exemplary of the kind of spontaneous
collaboration I am thinking of
(I don't pretend to speak for Priego
here at all, and wouldn't want to try, and whose work, as much
as I admire it, I don't, as
yet, know very well. This is merely a "tune" I am hearing
in my head, that I have improvised, reading through
his blog post):

Priego quotes an intensely
lyrical philosophical passage
from Luce Irigary on the
multi- dimensional aspect of time.

Next, a brief diary entry. A cross-section
of a day in EP's consciousness, open, funny,
dream-like, intimate. The implication
from #2 (I have to work a bit more on section
1) is: one moment in a person's life cuts through
an entire spectrum of their experience.
A self-portrait, not quite a caricature, but more
than a sketch.

Then, a quote, an intensely
lyrical/philosophical aside,
in a sentence,
from Amy Bernier's Moonshine Highways(Amy Bernier).

Finally, Priego quotes Derrida, but in Spanish!
My thought was: he is
following through on Heriberto Yepez' open
challenge to "US- and only US- land" poets.
The understated plea
here is: reread Derrida, but in another
language, for example,
Then, maybe you'll be
able to hear him again, and,
familiarize yourself a little
further with the language
of an enormous number
of your closest neighbors .

It is just this sort of spontaneous
act of publishing, an improvised sudden
jump cut across temporal boundaries
and genre categories, writing through the work
of a few other writers, a kind of musical/
thinking/conversing/envisioning, that excites me
about the collaborative possibilities
of blogging, that I think Ron remains
skeptical about. But Ron is a wily
theorist. He wouldn't throw down
a gauntlet like this to discourage,
is my sense of the situation,
not at all. He is following
every nuance of this form,
he is listening to every moment
of the game
(the "words" and "the music")
as intently as anyone,
maybe even more intently. And if he
ever picks up that trombone, watch out:
the whole orchestra may suddenly join in
and jam on and on into the bloglinked night...