Distribution Automatique

Saturday, May 1

The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging

I'm not at all surprised to find so many delectable
essays by Hazlitt in a volume of his collected works
titled *Fugitive Writings*. Fugitive, I see now,
because they he had published them in various journals
but they remained uncollected by him.

One of the pieces, "The Letter-Bell" (published in *The Monthly Magazine*, March, 1831) connects the announcing sounds made by approaching mail coaches (horse-driven, of course) to the welter of emotions they
invoke in Hazlitt as they occur, or by his evoking their memory. As I read this with great pleasure, imagining his pleasure in hearing from others, including his editors and other readers, I'm thinking of how much I want to mention all this here. The simultaneity of these interconnected activities within their subsequently evoked internal images, and all the connected feelings is the subject not only of Hazlitt's essay, but the occurance in the present of my anticipation of blogging this as well. Then I realize how much this lightness of blogging I kept thinking about has to do with blogging's complex rearrangements of the correspondances between, reading and writing, publishing and republishing, writing and responding. I've been thinking of Jackson MacLow's appropriations in this regard- and the powerful, silent points they make in regenerating & energizing the equivalence of reading and writing, which bends round ("overlaps") into the equivalence of reader and writer, the foregrounding of one only leading to the silent presence of the other's absence, the words said aloud only leading to the implied occurance of the silent thoughts that precede, and surround the current moment of reading, the past moment of speaking, the future moment of thinking aloud, writing silently, reading again, saying again, again listening, again speaking to & with, again thinking within oneself.

So that whatever gravity occurs within the content,
forms & their deft shifts lightly lift all if it from its concavity into the present, quiet, Spring air, the keys and the blog screen, its breathed fragrances of thought and season.

{What had all those stormy fears been about, anyway, with
those jets crashing through air like so much lightning, day after day,
night after night. Then a subsiding, a great long hush, and an actual sudden death close by, right on this floor of this building; the death of a relatively young man, who left behind a young daughter and a wife. On the one hand the cherry blossoms, bursting with rebirth and rejuvanation, and on the other hand, the stormy clash of a silent voice splitting listening in two, a living, thinking, speaking person hushed into eternal quiet. On the one hand, the intertwining algebra of past, present and future, on the other, the conceivable, empty world of no-time.}

The unbearable lightness of blogging consists, right now at least, of two things: the temporal equivalence, the harmonic cancellation and confrontation between writing and reading, ending and beginning, having and sharing, saying and repeating, writing and publishing, hearing and reading, sounding and the gradual, inevitablle decay of sound into the light, blank, moonlit, silent Spring night.


"Complaints are frequently made of the vanity and shortness of human life, when, if we examine its smallest details, they present a world by themselves. The most trifling objects, retraced with they eye of memory, assume the vividness, the delicacy, and importance of insects seen through a magifying glass.There is no end to the brilliancy or the variety...As I write this the *Letter-Bell* passes: it has a lively, pleasant sound with it, and not only fills the street with its importunate clamour, but rings clear through the length of many half-forgetten years. It strikes upon the ear, it vibrates to the brain, it wakes me from the dream of time, it flings me back upon my first entrance into life, the period of my first coming up to town, when all around was strange, uncertain, adverse- a hubbub of confused noises, a chaos of shifting objects- and when this sound alone, startling me with the recollection of a letter I had to send to the friends I had lately left, brought me as it were to myself, made me feel that I had links still connecting me with the universe, and gave me hope and patience to persevere..."


Friday, April 30

Time Travel Touring-1890's {click here}
"I am aquainted with but one person,
of whom I feel quilte sure that if he
were about to meet an old and tried
friend in the street, he would go up
and speak to him in the same manner,
whether in the interim he had become
a lord or a beggar. Upon reflection, I may
add a second to the list. Such is my
estimate of the permanence and sincerity
of our most boasted virtures. 'To be
honest as this world goes, is to be one
man picked out of then thousand'."

William Hazlitt
*Aphorisms On Man*

Seeing the news about Google's IPO today,
I sincerely hope, and that I am not
deluding myself that I feel I
have reason to hope, that Mr. Larry Paige
and Mr Sergey Brin fall into Hazlitt's
rare category.

If it's true, anyway, it's certainly
going to be good
luck for all us bloggers, as Google
has been unusually kind
to many of us so far, and I appreciate that.
"I am not very patriotic in my notions,
nor predjudiced in favour of my own
countrymen; and one reason is, I
wish to have as good an opinion as I
can of human nature in general. If we
are the paragons that some people
make us out, what must the rest of
the world be? If we monopolize all
the sense and virtue on the face of
the globe, we "leave others poor indeed,"
without having a very great superabundance
falling to our own share. Let them have
a few advantages that we have not-
grapes and the sun!"

William Hazlitt
*Aphorisms on Man*
Overlap (Drew Gardner){click here}
covers the l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e
critical watered-down front.

Repeated experiences of listening
to a specific piece of music will
sometimes lead to an experience
of pleasure even in listening to the
mistakes. Mistakes irritate mostly
insofar as they delay an expectable
progression. Once the progression
is known and understood, the
"mistake" is only a glaring record
of the past.

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


An instinct to record some boundaries
Marked here because this is a slate,
A quizzical vector.

Thursday, April 29

"People cry out against the preposterous
absurdity of such representations as
the German inventions of the *Devil's
Elixir* and the *Bottle Imp*. Is it then
a fiction that we see? Or is it not a
palpable reality that atakes place every
day and every hour? Who is there that is
not haunted by some heated phantom
of his brain, some wizard spell, that
clings to him in spite of his will, and hurries
him on to absurdity or ruin? There is no
machinery or phantasmagoria of a melo-
drame, more extravagant than the
workings of the passions. Mr. Farley may
do his worst with scaly forms, with flames,
and dragon's wings: but after all, the true
demon is within us. How many, whose
senses are shocked at the outward
spectacle, and who turn away startled, or
disgusted might say, pointing to their
bosom, *'The moral is here!*

William Hazlitt
*Aphorisms on Man*

About William Hazlitt {click here}

Wednesday, April 28

"because the tongue is in the mouth
that is the book..."
by kari edwards
right now on
As/Is {click here}
359 selections by
Penny Dreadful {click here}
{click here}

as featured on
(solipsis) //:phaneronoemikon {click here}
"A person who does not tell lies
will not believe that others tell
them. From old habit, he cannot
break the connection between
words and things. This is to labour
under a great disadvantage in his
transactions with *men of the world:*
it is playing against sharpers with
loaded dice. The secret of plausibility
and success is *point-blanc lying.*
The advantage which men of business
have over the dreamers and sleep-
walkers is not in knowing the exact
state of a case, but in telling you with
a grave face what is not, to suit their
own purposes. This is one obvious
reason why students and book-worms
are so often reduced to their last legs.
Education (which is a study and discipline
of abstract truth) is a diversion to the
instinct of lying and a bar to fortune."

William Hazlitt
*Aphorisms on Man*

Tuesday, April 27

Language Poet
Barrett Watten
Wins Literary Prize
as reported by his longtime
friend and literary associate-
right now on
Silliman's Blog, Sunday April 25

"Great moments in irony: The 2004 René Wellek Prize, awarded by the American Comparative Literature Association, has gone to Barrett Watten’s The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Politics. Wellek at least attended the Prague School for Linguistics while Roman Jakobson was on its faculty, from whom he seems to have borrowed (and denatured) much of the work of the Russian Formalists in his particular contribution to New Criticism as it emerged in the 1930s.
This blog gave Watten’s book – which I’m still reading – its very first critical mention back in June 2003. When I read it, the first verse of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” runs incessantly through my backbrain. Not only are Watten’s own concerns similar, but the density that characterizes Dylan’s best writing – almost a verticality – is something that Watten shares & has brought forward both in his poetry & his critical work. Watten’s book deserves every award it gets."
Everything you
wanted to know
but were afraid to
ask about Hay(na)ku
right now on
Crag Hill's Poetry Scorecard {click here}
David Bromige interview in
Jacket 22{click here}
and more on David Bromige right now on
Wood s Lot {click here}
including Gary Sullivan's
*My David Bromige*
Review of John Taggart's
new book on Hotel Point {click here}
At Home With Eeksy-Peeksy (Malcolm Davidson){click here)
Tuesday, April 27, 2004  

Break, Fast
Cats on the kitchen table. Two flying cats. Mayonnaise squeeze bottle farty noise splats. Tea, coffee, fruit juice, food on the mats. Phone, money, keys, door. Outrun the rats.
posted by eeksypeeksy | 8:24 AM
from Swimming for Dummies (Tanya Brolaski){click here}

My Lief Is Faren in Londe (My beloved has gone away) -anon. medieval lyric
My lief is faren in londe -
Allas, why is she so?
And I am so sore bonde
I may nat come her to.
She hath myn herte in holde
Wherever she ride or go -
With trewe love a thousand folde.
a sign of the times from
In Place of Chairs {click here}
notebook (poem): 7/17/89

Early Morning Drift

Why do they slip from right to left
In the pause (paws) of a violet?
1) Dog Star Man 2) Pop star 3) Carbuncle

Sandslide at Lake Forget
Pizzicato Fortress and Goodbye
Atom toothpaste
Fast lane closed

Have 'em set up toboggan trees
Record groove
Late bus
Fire zone
New France

Cosby Crosby Cosign
Sin is easier

Monday, April 26

The quickly emerging internationalisation
of blogging is very exciting:
On Friday, April 23rd
we published a comment
we noticed on the excellent
French blog Media TIC {click here}.
The comment had originally been
published on Franchement!{click here}. On the same day (!)
that I published the comment with
my undoubtedly flawed translation
the comment was republished on
that blog along with my translation!
(from Franchement! April 23rd):

Journée mondiale du blogue?
Un blogue est un livre sans fin dont l'auteur écrit sans cesse la première page pour des lecteurs continuellement en attente de la dernière. Définition que Nick Piombino traduit ainsi :

My very rough translation: "A blog is a unending book in which the author keeps writing the first page for readers constantly waiting for the last." Nick Piombino, in Fait accompli
Aujourd'hui, 23 avril : journée mondiale du livre et du droit d'auteur. Si un blogue est un livre, c'est donc la journée mondiale du blogue...

| # | @ | ... |

Poetry is Alive and Well in Brooklyn

It's a damn shame we had to miss
Aaron McCollough's reading on
Saturday night at Shanna Compton's
apartment which is no more than a hop,
skip and a jump from our new digs
in Park Slope. If you haven't already
read her delightful report, replete
with photos and call-ins read it now on
Brand New Insects {click here}.


Another Brooklyn reading I regret missing
on Saturday night as listed on
Venepoetics {click here}

Sunday, April 25

The Ingredient {click here}
focuses on "The March For Women's Lives"
The patient who kept searching for her children
in the street.

"Why does she need to be hospitalized?" the
policeman asked the psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist
explained to the cop that when he told her
her children had been found
and were receiving care she answered:
"Not the facsimiles. I have to find them too."

"I guess you're right," the officer said.
"She does need the hospital."


Of all the possible time travel destinations,
the present is by far the most exacting
one to access. It takes a great deal
of patience to attend to the many details
and tasks the present presents us with,
when we pay close attention to it,
more or less insistently.

The past and the future may be browsed,
likes books on a bookshelf. The present
quickly insists on action- interaction-
on construction, even; e.g., Toni's
maxim, don't fret, file.
notebook (untitled fragment): c 1987

After the accusations for wasting time
After the conclusion that the poems were forgeries
After the years of worry
After the rejections by art museums
After the bounced checks of the collectors
After the armsfull of insect bites
After the outrageous outmoding of freedoms
After the dizzying ascent of repetitions
After the glorification of mathematical originality
After the recommendations of brevity and the mayoral citations
That continue dawn after dawn into the unheralded encyclopedias
After the descent into the past to search for editorial commentaries
After the insignias of printers and the imprimaturs of publishers
After the confusion of bells and the small litter in stuck drawers
We shall still read them
We shall still remember their voices
Which grunted with pleasure in spite of the mistakes
Which begged for confirmation
Despite many proclamations to the contrary.
There are years inside their expressions,
There are so many feelings of relief
Whenever anybody remembers to print their names
On the flyleafs.
This may be the December of time,
These may be the last days of gazelles,
This may be the dessication of caring,
The last leaves quietly collecting
On the rich earth of ancient books.
Yet we are among them
We are the ones who can no longer think
We are the shadows and the skulls
Of all that longing.