Distribution Automatique

Saturday, August 21

Lanny Quarles of
phaneronoemikon {click here}
enjoyed a poem of William Bronk
I posted, so here's another one:


In the late summer, the sky begins to grow
Larger. Noticeably. Melons. the blue
recedes into mid-fall, The things in it, clouds
or whatever, are not more, but more distinct
and further apart. You have to maintain a watch
for such effects. You have to be looking to see.

*The Empty Hands*
received from *Serendipity*
published by
The Elizabeth Press
1969 (this copy signed
by Bronk to Gilbert Sorrentino)
{click here}
blogs John Kerry's complete 1974 speech
denouncing US war crimes in Vietnam

Friday, August 20

Olympic Memory Feats


essays a Mayhew-style memory collage
From a
Rain Taxi interview {click here}
with Gerard Malanga

ELP: You've mentioned Duchamp previously in other interviews. How was he an influence on your writing?

GM: Well, Duchamp's influence, which was a very concrete influence, had to do with discovery. Recognizing the poetry in something even if it doesn't have to do with words. The courage of discovery, whether it has to do with language or images or whatever. And the naming of things to a certain degree. If you feel what you're doing has to do with poetry then that's a very valid assumption of how you're creating the work.

ELP: Did you talk about poetry with Duchamp?

GM: Yes--he was the one who gave me the idea of writing a poem without my actually having to write it, i.e., using appropriation. This was in 1963.

ELP: That's interesting because appropriation was more common after that.

GM: Appropriation by the early 1970s was basically the norm, and that was all from Duchamp's influence.

Thursday, August 19

Pleased to report that my current
very favorite novelist
Jonathan Lethem (*Motherless Brooklyn*,
*Gun, With Occasional Music*, *Amnesiac Moon*)
had this to say at a recent Kerry/Edwards fundraiser:

"even the novelists are filled with passionate intensity. And when you have roused even the novelists to the barricades against you, I am here to suggest that your days are truly numbered."

Maud Newton {click here}

via Wood s Lot {click here}

Bad With Titles {click here}
links to Locana {click here}
that featured an extensive discussion of Alex Cumberbatch's *Poem in 940 Parts*
A Pleasant Event
for Unpleasant Event
Daniel Nester's new blogspot:
God Save My Blog {click here}
Received from *Serendipity*, Berkeley, CA:

*Shadows of the Sun:
The Diaries of Harry Crosby*
edited by Edward Germain
Black Sparrow, 1977

from "1924, June

15. Words: arctic, absurd, bleak, barbaric, coarse, crude, chaos, couch,
desolate, defenceless, disconsolate, disillusion, envenomed, emerald,
embers, entangled, fragrant, feudal, fragment, gnarled, gracious, grandeur,
hazardous, hawk, heraldic, illustrious, illusion, icicle, irresolute,
iimpregnate, idolatry,ineffectual, imaginative, knight-errant, labyrinth, littleness,
loveliness, loyalty, legend, lurid, leviathan, medieval, mysterious,
mushroom, macabre, merciless, massacre, nostalgia, noon, nakedness,
obolete, orchid, overarch, owl, oasis, primeval, posterity, perfume, pagan,
phantom, pool, pronged, peacock, python, provocative, preposterous,
pregnant, quaint, quagmire, quarry, queenliness, royal, refractory,
restrengthened, remote, reverberate, ruin, rust, rocking-horse, stronghold,
sacred, sunnygolden, sadness, skeleton, sunembroidered, Sun, smoke,
softness, seer, sorceress, shipwreck, stallion, steppingstone, turquoise,
tapestry, tempest, turbulent, tea-chest, toadstool, tigress, thrust, tortoise,
traceried, triumphant, unfrequented, unmuzzled, urn-shaped, untangled,
unicorn, unquestioning, uncoffined, unchaste, unanswered, unchallenged,
virgin, vampiric, vagrant, veil, vastness, vagueness, weariness, wistful,
wagon, watch-fire, wayward, yoke, youngness, yield, zodiac."

Wednesday, August 18

::fait accompli::
summer reruns

from a letter to
Gary Sullivan-
published on
Elsewhere {click here}

Hi Gary,

Really enjoyed reading about your conversation with Drew and your
description of Drew's performance at the Bowery Poetry Club (you wrote
Double Happiness-nostalgia?).

> Gary Sullivan's latest post on his blog Elsewhere (see link at left) raises
> some points about the enterprise of blogging that overlap with my own
> thoughts. At this point in its development, blogging is sort of like having a
> cell phone: much of the time spent on it is spent talking about the fact that
> you're on it. ("Yeah, hi, I'm calling you from my cell phone. Hello? Can you
> hear me? I'm on my cell."

(from K. Silem Mohammed's blog site)

I've been looking at various blogs, realizing that sooner or later I will
certainly dive in. But I remember going through long periods of first
resisting getting a computer (after having my first one stolen, then
realizing that I felt relieved-I already missed using the typewriter),
second, not even wanting to get a metro card, not wanting to give up tokens,
taking years to get a new cable box, etc, etc. I know I should get a digital
camera for my collage work, I want to move my collage making towards the
computer. But to do these things means to accept change, and I am such a
nostalgia buff. I wouldn't need to "meet with my photographer" then watch
her work and work with her in the strange old labs at the School Of Visual
Arts. I miss the sound of telephones actually ringing, and having the
receiver feel heavy in your hand. I miss the smell of mimeograph paper and
those soda machines on the subway where the cup plopped down and was filled
automatically. Eventually kids learned to put holes in them so the soda
spilled out and then they disappeared. I miss tiny tokens that you kept in a
metal gadget where you could keep 10 or 20. I miss automats, and trying to
open the little door fast enough the see the person who was filling the
boxes. I miss black and white movies, then black and white television. I
miss when there was no television, only radio and the whole family would
listen while Dad read the newspaper. I miss "The Shadow" and "The Fat Man"
and "Amos 'n Andy." I miss 78 speed records which were ridiculously fragile,
but all the more likeable because when you handled the records more
carefully it seemed they were so much more dignified and then it seemed you
listened more carefully and treasured them more. I miss the funny (strange)
photographs on the "33" speed record albums. I miss "liner notes." I miss
"45's." I miss those little machines you played them on, making a stack and
then listening to the whole stack over and over. I miss the click of hearing
each key hit the paper on a typewriter and the amazing sound of dozens of
them clicking when you entered an office. I miss "corrasable paper" and
whiteout paper and whiteout. I miss "intercoms." I miss looking into
electronic store windows at "transistor radios." I miss "Crazy Eddie's." (I
know I sound like Joe Brainard but all these things happened to me too- and
much more). I miss having to look things up at the 42nd Street library where
I first read Ted Berrigan's sonnets, writing them with a pencil on three
hole lined paper after hearing him read at the Poetry Project. I miss buying
mimeographed poetry magazines at the "Eighth Street" Bookstore. I miss going
to the "Gotham Book Mart" to check out what was happening in
poetry-sometimes I ran into poets I knew there but they were always shy and
I was also and much later going to "Books and Company" to read the latest
books of poetry, philosophy and literary theory. Paul Auster happily signed
his new book "The Invention of Solitude" to me there and now he gets annoyed
if I ask him to sign a book- he seemed proud then. I miss "Dial a Poem"
where you called a number that John Giorno set up so you could hear scratchy
poems read over the telephone. I miss trying to record music and the tinny
sound you got when putting a "mike" in front of a "speaker" and then record
some rock 'n roll like "Buffalo Springfield" before they became "Crosby,
Stills and Nash", with a name like a law firm. I miss "underground"
newspapers like the "San Francisco Oracle" and "The East Village Other." I
miss telephone "booths" that smelled of all the people who had ever used
them. I miss cigarette lighters that you filled with "lighter fluid" but
when you used them the fluid spoiled the taste of the cigarette. I miss
subway cars with woven seats that faced away from each other, and sometimes
perverts hid in corners and scared people. I miss flash bulbs that pop and
then you would see blue spots in your eyes. I miss "roach holders." I miss
"news reels" in movie theaters with their announcers with melodramatic deep
voices. I miss little "record shops" (there were so many more then). I miss
how strangely hypnotic electric guitars sounded the first few hundred times
you heard them. I miss "feedback." I miss people bragging about the sound of
their "new speakers" and showing off their "hi-fi" sets ("listen to the bass
on this1") I miss trick buzzers that goofy kids stuck in your hands- nobody
shook hands anyway so you knew what was up. I miss "telegraph sets" and
using the Morse code I memorized for the boy scouts. I miss
"walkie-talkies." I miss "3 D" movies and "3 D comic books"...see what I
mean? The more I go on, the more I remember...

I'm wondering what my blogs will be like when I write them, but I already
miss the poetics list before there were blogs. The blogs you and Nada are
doing feel warm and I more and more I look forward to listening in. I want
to keep enjoying them, to take it all in and keep it, before it all changes
again and becomes something else ... I just realized how much all this was
brought on by reading Gaston Bachelard's beautiful book "The Dialectic of
Duration" newly translated for the first time into English (Clinamen Press,


Tuesday, August 17

On Gary Sullivan and Nada Gordon's
honeymoon trip to Tokyo, Gary
filled his notebook with found poetry:
here is the final selection:

Elsewhere {click here}
Her hair I said quiet, rip, tide, hearth grid
Green, greenest, time
Wet, hill, lean, learn, yearn
Barn, thistle, lark

Vehicular breath
Mid-western composure
Side bark sign play
Beaming fast- now a slow full
Storm chat (or, moments between, wtihin compare
Light so shrill, the air
Vehement wind, nestles in)

Atom, appetite, grin
Neighborly bore shoulders by
Smiles- this thrill
Unites, all who call,
Spills, thump

A bump, normally nothing, kills
Largesse, triumph, space
Darkness, pious, bridge (siege)

Riotous nocturne semblance of yon
Your yore is Latin, late bloomers
Suffice to puff

Premium premisses, clickety, clackety
Promises, promises, yackety, yackety

[Notebook (untitled poem): 1/12/86]

Monday, August 16

from Kevin Hart interview
in *Verse*
vol 30 nos. 2 & 3

"'The limits beyond experience...' Since we've been talking about Heidegger,
I might be forgiven for indulging in a little bit of etymology. The word
'experience' comes from the Latin *experiri*, the radical of which is
*periri*. You find it in *periculum*, danger. If you go back to before
Latin, you come to the Indo-European root, *per*, which is used in all
sorts of words meaning 'travel' or 'test.' In Greek you find both *pera*,
'beyond,' and *peras*, 'limit.' Deep down, 'experience' speaks
of undertaking a journey, of being tested, perhaps of being exposed
to a limit. But it speaks of it as having already happened: one has had
experience when one survived a journey. For English speakers, experience
has already happened or is drawing to a close. We've had some experience,
thank you very much, and we're not sure we want any more of it. [Laughter.]
There's not that sense in the German *die Erfahrung*. So when Jungel talks
of *eine Ergahrung*, he's evoking a path that opens before us, one with its
own dangers, to be sure. Insofar as this experience opens before us,
reaches into the unknown, it might already contain the limits beyond what
we have experienced up till now."
when we are not on famiiar terms
the names seem distant
some of the greatest ones
even places I have been:
Rome, Banja Luka, Woodstock, San Luis Obispo
I have lost them or they have been taken away
in the scrap-heap of names that don't belong to me,
the belong to the map:
Jasper, Nurnberg, Aix-en-Provence

History is memory
The future recedes as we overtake it
Experience becomes more important
At the top of a hillside
Events collapse, terms are dissolved
And a ribbon of visions
Winds itself around the names,
ein, one, un.

What would return words to me,
what promise, what attitude, what endearment?
A platitude disguises intent,
A room reels out of place,
Music becomes static, utterances collide
With meaning, significance steps outside
Or breaks, like Humpty-Dumpty
On a schematic of differences.

This is silence: the years, bridges,
Notifications, regrets. Persistence
Oozes out of its hiding place, the chromatic
Measurement of the narrative is interrupted
By an explosion of pain so loud and specific
It is not necessary to refer to it again for decades.
A backdrop is finally removed, a leaf falls pathetically
From a tree already meager, replaced by a wall of blur,
Our smiles and laughter frozen audible

"A picture held us captive," we moved away,
A voice grew suddenly sombre, we inched closer to it.
The alphabet is first, then the near and far,
Then the infinitesimal spiralling inwards,
The limits of thought, the boundary of seeing.

notebook (untitled poem): 7/20/86

Sunday, August 15

a ::fait accompli::
summer rerun

(published on *fait accompli*
about one year ago:8/16/03)

Thanks to Heriberto Yepez for quoting and translating my recent aphorism on his Spanish blog RealiTi


De Nick Piombino:

When publishers fail, they fail at being readers.
When readers fail, they fail at being listeners.
When writers fail, they fail at being lovers.

(Cuando los editores fallan, fallan como lectores.
Cuando los lectores fallan, fallan como interlocutores.
Cuando los escritores fallan, fallan como amantes).