Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

OVER MY HEAD



1.

Pairing odd combinations of
images -- many of them
not even fresh
or original -- is not
poetry, but gamesmanship,
verbal solitaire. Poetry
is not about scratching
your head, but feeding it.

2.

This I am fairly comfortable with:
I have a good background in
dialectics; I understand
polarizations, juxtapositions,
pastiche techniques, quotational devices, etc.
in music....What I don't understand is this:
why those words
rather than others? Why
are these two images juxtaposed, rather
than two others? What criteria
could possibly be articulated
to differentiate "good"
language poetry from
"bad" language poetry?

 3.

I have no idea
what's wrong with me
these days. I seem
to have strayed far,
far from the path
where poetry is concerned. 

4.

There is a laziness to these poems,
a fake rigor -- short sparse lines
that imply lyric tension, but feel
like no more than cocktail coaster
jottings. Lots of vague
pseudo-connections,
hocus-pocus, imagistic
smoke and mirrors
-- and to what end?

5.

How could a listener tell by ear
whether it's Stockhausen's
latest masterpiece
or some configuration
of monkeys at a piano?
How would I know
whether what I am looking at
is a masterpiece of language poetry
or unrelated sentences
spliced together on a page,
between which I am supposed
to invent connections
and deep meanings?

6.

I can be a bit of a snob, you see;
I have a strong appreciation
for poetry of many sorts,
and consider myself
to have fairly well developed taste
in modern music, art,
and literature.

7.

Well good luck to those
who like this book.
It made me feel disjointed,
even a bit
empty. I don't get it.

8.

All my poems start
with a feeling, not a
word. They are part
of my life and in that way
give me a feeling
of wholeness- each
in its own way.

9.

When you get thoughts
or feelings like this
from pure nonsense,
then it's GOOD pure
nonsense, fun pure
nonsense, admirable pure
nonsense. Of course
you might be kidding
yourself, like a child
playing with blocks
and pretending she's
raising a tower to the sky –
but is that a terrible or
unhappy child? Should we
take her blocks away?

Or ... is it saying
we go into a noisy club,
and they've got some sparkles
blowing in an updraft,
and that's exciting; the particles
look so nervous and afraid?
And nervous and afraid is part
of the fun of going out to raves
and things like that? Or is she
pointing out that glitz, trendy
decoration, is not just decoration,
but also something crazy, scary
and scared? Does she mean
ordinary dust particles, caught
in an updraft, catch the light
and shine like glitzy ornaments,
one identical seeming particle
next to another? Or is the section
nonsense pure and simple
just as I said to begin with?

10.

You can find ideas like these
in various idealistic philosophers,
but not in so short a space,
and not put forward so gently.
Because language poetry
is constantly interrupted by
nonsense, you don't have to believe
anything in it, and so you're in a
special place, where the theories
you feel don't make sense
can still show whatever magic
they may have in them –
and all without hurting anybody.
Idealistic ideas like these
dominated the nineteenth century,
and did a lot of harm.

11.

But after awhile, just as Sudoku
gets more difficult, this felt
like more work than I was willing
to invest. I just don't have that
in me, to understand
what these mean. I am too
simple for these
complexities.

12.

Language poetry is poetry
that allows itself to include
nonsense, passages that don't
mean anything coherent or
paraphrasable. This goes back to
"hey nonny" in the old Elizabethan
songs, and comes right up to rock
band names like Jefferson Airplane
or The Grateful Dead. It happens,
by accident or on purpose,
in very beloved modern poets
like Dylan Thomas. Still, some people
are against it on principle. Those people
can't be talked to, but they're politically active,
hence some of the one- and two-star reviews.
Let them go.

13.

this seems like so much bool shit: ?
am i wrong? read this crap- non referentiality-
seems right wing- ayn rynd?


14.

critics are to art
as are pidgeons to statues-
i finbd armantout's poetry- like ashbery's-
counter productive?

15.

I'm fine with stream-of-consciousness
writing, but that doesn't describe it
either. Quite simply, I was lost.

16.

Language poets were once
a cultural rebellion against Post-
Modern poets, but have now
become more mainstream,
and of them, she's known
as the best. The essay explained
how her poems are often cryptic
with double meanings and turns
that are meant to wake up
the reader, to shock them
out of numb
reality.

17.

I've experienced the pathos
myself, I agree it's inexplicable,
and I'm glad someone else saw it
and wrote a poem
about it. 





(composed of the remarks of commenters on the Amazon page for Rae Armantrout’s Versed)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My summer vacation plans


I'm going to Japan soon.

I will start in Tokyo for a couple of days, then go to Osaka for one night:






I will stay at this hotel:





Then I will go to the famous temple complex, Koya-san, for one night. I have never been there; people always tell me how magnificent it is. I will stay in this temple:




Here is another photo of Koya-san:



Then I will spend three days exploring the highlights of the Kumano-Kodo pilgrimage trail.  It is a World Heritage site.








I will visit two little hot springs along the Kumano-Kodo. Here is one, Yunomine:


Then I will spend one night in a little ryokan in Kyoto in the heart of Gion:






Then I will stay here at this beautiful house for a month.

I cannot wait. I love Japan so.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Nearly Baroque Wall Fountain, Just $35.99!

Under the Fonz's gown
Too slick for the beard of the moaning pharaoh, whose bleat
A moron has begun to eat,
Meat butter primps its cocktail and lays down.

Ass-spattered bosses, freaks
On the edge of a vacant spill, chill
With the passive bird below.  Its trill
Is heady in the trollop's skin, and squeaks

A quim or memory tent
Of a faux marriage and its familiar noose
Crappy with all its loose
Collapsing falters, its Elmo-less descent

Like Chatterly's hairspray.
The cocksure dog beholds this spell with fleas
Touching, around his saggy cheese
The goatish indolence of labia

His faux ness all the while
Gleams fro-ward, mightily, into a clammy mash
Of cauterized darkling flesh
In a dull ecstasy, his spider-guile

Bent on the man-whore
And his tinfoil fool, to whom Ripple-drinkers come
And go in rectal salaam
More addling to the moonlit slime, and more

Indefensible in thought
Than pleasure's chaos. Yet since this
Is pressured flesh on Adderall
Mustn't it be sort of crumpled? Are we not

More ignobly depressed
In the fake mountains that Modernity built
Before it teetered? The lame guilt
Snuggles softly into a hornet nest

In the act of jiving, until
The fairy swish of laughter is rehearsed
With headlines bored enough to burst
A three-eyed cavorting head, that trills

So crazedly, its foamy gauze
Defacing, with a flattened shimmy, the whiny
Blue-red version of itself, divinely
Nattering on and on about its phony laws

As drear as adipose
So I becomes a lowlife and the band
Exudes  a muchness ― a damp clam
Toward which all mollusks droop... their pantyhose

Friday, April 11, 2014

kids in my ear water watching

and he wanted a packing house saline

pretty little space invader prayers

Thursday, April 10, 2014

they think I'm complaining
explaining his little seeds

There's a kind of thing we need to shape
and then it dissolves backward

and a finite child so child.

these grammar schools

transit can turn into a little bit
of a defiant tulip

banana singers fish farming
beginning a banana butter

feelings
reason
reason

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rescheduled: DIA reading with Bruce Andrews! March 31

Bruce Andrews and Nada Gordon

Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Monday, March 31, 2014, 6:30 pm    add to my calendar

<p>Bruce Andrews and Nada Gordon</p>
Bruce Andrews and Nada Gordon
 
 

 

Event Information

Monday, March 31, 2014, 6:30 pm
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York City
$6 general admission; $3 Dia members, students, and seniors

Advance ticket purchases recommended. Tickets are also available for purchase at the door, subject to availability.
Publications by poets in the series can be found on diabooks.org.

 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Squirm Pill

Now as I was pugilistic under the middlebrows
Above a minty mouth as slappy as a mondegreen
            Where right above the dingleberry
                        Crime let me flail in rhymes
            Moldy in the Fay Wray exercise
And horny among dragons I was winced at by caps and gowns
And once below the slime I hardly had the knees of bees
                        Frail with laziness, snarling
            down the quiver of the pinball fight

And as I was Oprah Winfrey, shameless in tangled yarns
About the papillons and clinging as the harm was form
            In the crumb that was somewhat lonely
                        Mimes let me bray and find
            Gordon in the smurfy antifreeze
and feeling mopey I was mutton and birdman, the elves’
sanctity corn, the loxes’ lonely trills snarking clear and bold
                        And Black Sabbath sang lowly
            In the Pebbles of the Bam-Bam dreams

All the dugongs they were sunning, it was grumbly, the shlemiel
flying with grouse, the moons in the kidney, it was there
            and swaying, mumbling and muttering
                        like frying sassafrass
            and politely under the pimple jars
I rolled the sleepy towels while staring at marmalade.
All the blue lanyards, messy and unstable, the gotchas
            vying with their pricks, and the chortlers
                        crashing into the quarks

A tremulous shake, and the bomb, like a quandary might
with the new, dumb lack, or querulous soldier, it was all
            timing, it was rad and amazing.
                        The guys chatttered again
            And the musky hounds began to bray
So it must have been after the jerk of that limber knight
In the words’ silly place, the spellbound nurses walking warm
            And shimmying, unstable,
                        Into the bleary haze

And wandered among toxins and peasants with the famous
under readymade crowds and snappy as the art was wrong
            as an unborn over and over.
                        I ran my sleepless maze
            My fishes spaced out the Mabuhay
And nothing I cared, in my Bayou shades, that time mellows
In all his rueful burning, such blue and such boring songs
            before the kitties mean and scolding
                        swallow him out of space

Nothing I cared, in the lamb lip haze, that time would take me
to the marshmallow sangfroid with a sparrow of a man
            to a tune that is anodyzing
                        Nor that riding a Jeep
            I should hear him shout to the Seinfelds
and quake to the charm forever bled from the violet band.
Oh as I was young and sleazy  like a new adzuki bean.
            Time held me like a lion
                        Though I came in my mane, like a dweeb.