Saturday, August 19, 2017

Computer Raunch/Perfect Webpage


It's been a summer of computer raunch for me: from my hard-drive breaking down in June (many thanks to the masterminds at Silvertek in Broomall for assistance) to online operating systems breaking down. That's something about American life in 2017: computer issues will have you begging for mercy. Especially if, as is the case for me, your sturdy desktop set-up is your home, office, and den. As I continue my experiments with webpage archiving and preservation, I do now have a nominee for the most perfect Philly Free School webpage, the most solid all-the-way-around: the British Library version of my Argotist Online Apps/Sonnets page. The last capture, here, is from July 1, 2017. Once you have a perfect, solid webpage set in place, it is helpful to realize that it can't be truly perfect until a solid portal-page, which also must needs be highly prominent and visible, is set in place. Hidden gems are the way of the Net, but chip away at the aura of the "consummate" which I want pages like this to have. For now, a bunch of portal-way entrances on Blogger (including this one) will have to do for the page I've linked here. Also the attendant solidity quid pro quo is massive: the British Library Wayback Machine is tightly wound, compressed, compacted the right way to achieve maximum durability for its pages; yet the pages won't (as computer heads know) show up in searches on major search engines. So, the vision quest continues.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

September Heat


That September night we followed our
party back to a twin near City Hall, under
an aegis which was not for us, & which
included our enemies, dirt & grime came
down, settled on our backs. Now, I blame
a sense of excess which was just the Aughts;
I got used to knowing a step up on a Philly
ladder could be a step down. They were
snorting coke in a room upstairs at this
party, and, it was rumored, playing Russian
Roulette. The pistol (I saw) had a silencer on it.
I looked up, from the landing, at a greasy light.
September heat cast an eerie glow of nowhere-
someone pushed past me to join the affair.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Eyewear


The UK blog Eyewear has adopted a rather tumultuous approach to what stays and what goes, conservation/preservation, over a long period of time. Most of what I had on Eyewear as of '13/'14 is now erased. Yet, Eyewear is being archived by both the British Library and the Internet Archive Wayback Machines; and this page, from 2008, which contains my poetic apostrophe to Dawn Ananda Hulton, is here completely intact.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Another interesting Ur-page


Another now-offline Ur-page salvaged by the Wayback Machine: poems from Apparition Poems in Listenlight, ed. Mackenzie Carignan, 2010.  

Ricochet Matrix


Over a long period of time, I've noticed that having a large body of work online, in different/disparate disciplines (and representing interests, also, other than my own), creates what I call a ricochet matrix. An environment is generated out of different parts of a kind of organism here, so that when one constituent form held by the ricochet matrix changes in any way, expands or contracts, all the parts respond. Some of the ricochets held within the matrix structure flirt with the unlikely or absurd; por ejemplo, "Brown Eyes Like His" on Soundclick against the Kant-related pdfs on Internet Archive against the Sonnets/Apps on The Argotist Online against Abby's "The Walls Have Ears." The larger matrix structure, which both creates and constitutes the environment around/for everything I do online, is the architecture in Conshohocken, the Philly 'burbs, and in Philadelphia itself. Like a computer, a substantial architectural construct has inbuilt a kind of sentience, and interacts in a semi-sentient way with the world around it. Thus, King of Prussia, Gulph Mills, and Conshohocken are continually poured into my brain as ricochets against the smaller/larger environment of our online matrix as it develops, to nurture (as environment) other brains to remain expansive, too. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tears in the Fence 66


Tears in the Fence 66 is now out and available to be purchased. It features two new sonnets from me, lots of other good stuff. Many thanks to David Caddy. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Getting Tron'd Out


Computers, like architecture, I can still get mystical about. The big hang-up for me, as one playing the lit game (online and elsewhere), is this: the pursuit of the perfect webpage. Take it for granted, given the context, that I mean webpages related to poetry and literature. So, pilgrim-like, I have gone, and continue to go, in pursuit of the perfect webpage, and begin to get Tron'd out, as I realize, as most serious computer heads realize, that both webpages and the insides of computers are at least semi-sentient. Tron, a feature-length motion picture, was not as far-fetched as may have been supposed. So, if you have an almost perfect webpage established, it can be worked, trained, groomed, and unleashed all over again, if you can master the right stretch, compress, and archiving tricks; as though, of course, it were a child eager to perform, ready to learn. And all the warped proportions and strange juxtapositions of the architecture in King of Prussia are mirrored inside a hard drive used to push the human brain forward the right way.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

When the Twelfth House Becomes the Fun Zone...


As someone who semi-actively watches the yearly planetary ephemeris, and likes studying the zodiac archetypes and other elements of astrology though I don't think natal charts work literally that much anymore, I used to dread the last decante of Libra (Libra-Gemini). This decante informs my twelfth house; house of self-undoing, self-destruction, confinement, blind spots, and unforeseen nightmares. I've been learning a new lesson this summer: that the last degrees of Libra which inhabit my twelfth house can also bequeath peace, rest, tranquility, self-transcendence, and, dare I say it, fun. June 3/4, when the print edition of Otoliths 44 arrived in the mail, were the two best days I've had in Conshohocken since I arrived here in '12; and today, also, has been a barn-burner in terms of transmuting possible twelfth house snafus into a liberated sense of living in a world that still has in it boundlessness, heft, eternity. My theory is this: the twelfth house starts to be fun when you've earned enough good karma with the universe to make it that way, through staying innocent of moral atrocities and travesties of all kind, and, more importantly, through using your brain the right way.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

King of Prussia


Last month, for a rather random reason, I managed to make it over to King of Prussia. King of Prussia, and the King of Prussia mall, are always fun for me, both because I like to gawk at the architecture and because I like to indulge in Nineties nostalgia. My semester breaks home from PSU in '94, '95, and '96, I would drive around KOP doing various errands, not necessarily realizing that the architecture was casting a potent spell on my imagination, which it was. KOP looks like it was imported from outer space (and/or the moon), and yet so much of it is so gracefully melded to what mother nature has to offer that it appears entirely organic. Many Philly 'burbs are magical that way; Conshohocken is. The ride from Bridgeport to Conshohocken is another stunning "on the moon" one. If you have wheels, highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

o debbie jaffe, wherefore art thou?


A sign of the times and the Zeitgeist: now that the British online journal Nth Position is offline, we find the key Fieled Nth Position page preserved on two different Wayback Machines, the British Library wayback and the archive.org. This 2006 page is mostly notable to me for containing "debbie jaffe" from Beams. Now, you won't ever get the Ur-page again, but can always come here and get the post-Ur-page, as Blogger ricochets become more distinct/useful, if you so desire. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trooper (for Jeremy Eric Tenenbaum)


In La Tazza, a coffee shop in Manayunk,
a stairway led you stiffly into a high-ceiling'd,
Spartan, red-painted basement, where I
wound up with Chris one autumn night
in '97. How Jeremy's group picked us up
I don't know, but we all wound up in an
apartment on Main Street. Everyone was
wearing army jackets; Jeremy was uncharacteristically
quiet. He had already lost control of his
cabal, & blew in the wind. The poems lay,
then, wrapped in a dossier-like presentation,
at Villanova, among other secret files; as they
lay, also, in Jeremy's brain, as tokens that
he once cared to be a real army trooper.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Poetry Charts


A quirk has emerged from a plethora of music industry websites featuring chart rankings: sometimes poetry gets ranked, too. Poetry mp3s now have the capacity, from PennSound (sans rankings), Soundclick (including rankings) and elsewhere, to travel far and wide, and deliver or not deliver goods to receptive spoken word heads. On the hearthis.at site, the Ode on Jazz, taped on April 5, 2004 at a Live at the Writers House show at KWH on the Penn campus (later broadcast on WXPN), reached #7 in the "Other" category chart. A nifty reminder that the excitement, thrills/spills of the music business are now available to other kinds of artists, who may not write to the tune of Casey Kasem, but don't mind doing business with the dude when he comes a-callin'.


P.S. At one point, I had a #1 ranked poetry page on Reverbnation, also.

P.S.S. Clean (Live in Brooklyn) has a monster ranking of sorts on Jamendo.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Clear Channel?


If by 40 you do not believe in other worlds, above and beyond the world/context of the human race on earth, you can look forward to a pretty paltry existence. Aleister Crowley clearly believed in the existence of other worlds; in Book of the Law, he seems to be channeling one of them. What I find interesting in the book, as the manifestation of a channeling exercise, is the way/manner in which Crowley wrestles with his voices. The first voice is a female voice, and a caressing one (Nuit). With Nuit, Crowley seems simpatico. The second and third voices, Hadit and Horus, are male, imposing, phallic presences. With Hadit and Horus, Crowley not only wrestles with their phallic impositions, it is difficult to tell in the text if Crowley is "clear channeling," or deliberately mangling what may have been being transmitted through the airwaves on those two April afternoons. Why was Crowley quarreling with his voices? The answer seems to be clear: Hadit and Horus espouse a form of spiritual elitism and classicism, against the intercession of plebeians/the plebeian, which Crowley,  not wanting to alienate a potential audience, finds distasteful. It is a theory I have that, literary/occult acumen aside, Crowley as an individual may have been less remarkable than has been commonly supposed. His aims in the world were conventional ones, and he craved conventional success. Maybe. It is just that, when you read Books II and III, when you are hearing Hadit and Horus and when you are hearing Crowley disputing with or rebuking them is a point of some interest, Neo-Romantic interest/transcendentalism intended.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Addendum


As an addendum to yesterday's post about Crowley's The Book of the Law, I want to make something clear about the text. Both Crowley's intro to the text and his postscript are written rather gauchely. Because, in the postscript, Crowley inappropriately suggests that the book should not be studied, for fear of the life of the individual who might study it, he comes across as rather a histrionic adolescent; or, as we see here, The Fool. The Fool on the Hill does, indeed, have a problem; through fooling around with states of non-being and nothingness, while trying to seem to himself like a substantial individual, a something, as it were, on the surface, the Fool has reduced himself to a Zero-state. As he plummets off the cliff, he is a reminder not to be half-assed, where Nothing/Something dichotomies are concerned. Crowley could have used this reminder. Those who will study The Book of the Law, for its literary excellence, will just have to deal with an author unwilling to handle what he has created, and who is more than willing to play the fool.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Do what thou wilt...


There is the big chunk of Crowley's Book of the Law which reads to me as superior poetry; then, there is the dictum which in many circles has become a commonplace: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Crowley remarks, in his introduction, that Do what thou wilt constitutes a simple code of conduct; which implies that what is being signified is a simple Do what you want. Thus, the bastardization of Crowley into Satanic, adolescent cults and orders, mostly undeserved, is due partly to Crowley's own negligence; because there is another, richer way of reading Do what thou wilt. The way I have always chosen to read the dictum, Will (Thelema, in the text) is something, an individual essence, which must be divined for through processes of arduous spiritual labor and eventual catharsis. To "do one's will," one first has to know one's will thoroughly. The process of learning one's own will involves not only introspection but awareness of all levels and gradations of positive and negative Otherness; how the individual must stand in relation to the rest of the (complex, contradictory) human race. Not simple stuff. Just as Love is the law, love under will can only be the manifestation of internalizing complex realities and assimilating them over long periods of time. For the love to be there, under one's will, it must be directed concretely; you must be loving something or someone; and it is impossible to love everyone and everything.

P.S. This piece, on Crowley's novels Moonchild and Diary of a Drug Fiend, appeared on the British blog Eyewear in 2013.

Monday, June 26, 2017

I posit no boundary between us...


The line in the title poem of Posit (I posit/no boundary/between us) is one I'd like to parse, in reference to what Neo-Romanticism is meant to be in the humanities world in 2017. If looked at objectively, an argument could be made that Modern art, post-modern art, and Deconstructionist literary theory are all largely constituted by a succession of boundaries, and a succession of boundaries effect. In other words, the works of art, and the texts, are a game and a gambit against both intimacy, and the possibility of intimacy, between reader/viewer and creator. Deconstructionism configures intimacy as naive, as both an intention and a possibility, largely through the perceived obtrusion of the arbitrary into language and linguistic significations. Modernity and post-modernity lean heavily on alienation tactics and irony motifs. To get a little Wilde, the importance of being earnest is lost. Yet Deconstructionism must withstand its own contradictions; as Roland Barthes enumerates how we might be seduced by texts, it must be understood that what is seductive in textuality is, in itself, the possibility of writer/reader intimacy; and that intimacy can only be a viable possibility if what is arbitrary in language and balanced and offset by what in language and linguistic symbolization is purposeful (as Wordsworth would have it), and penetrant into the psyche of those who read and experience the text. In other words, scruples aside, language works.

Art works, too. Neo-Romanticism is, in fact, predicated on a belief in the efficacy of aesthetic symbolization, and (specifically), the positing of no boundary between creator and viewer/reader. Neo-Romanticism, on a primordial level (sprung, perhaps, from a ricochet to Philadelphia's buildings), believes in itself, and believes in its audience. Why the Dusie chap Posit, which ten years ago was ricocheting across the country for the first time, was more a statement of intention than I at first perhaps perceived, is because I failed to grasp the underpinnings of the work itself in regards to the primordial compact I unconsciously projected onto it, as I created it; a self-regulated, self-sustaining world of good faith, good intentions, and genial good will towards whoever might choose to read the text. The Neo-Romanticism which was born out of Aughts Philadelphia does, in fact, attempt to take the first person singular and make it genial again. There cannot be a "you," a second person singular, without an "I"; and the significance of poetry's primordial perspective, an "I" addressing a "you," is that it becomes a Heideggerian sheltering device against what might corrupt it from without. The succession of boundaries effect embedded in Modern and post-modern art, the creation of more and more vast distances between reader/viewer and creator, is not an effect Neo-Romanticism finds interesting. Formality is another issue, and off the table here; but, suffice it to say, formality creates the inherent genial good will of a rich relationship to history and histories, continuity of consciousness over long stretches of time. Formality adds levels of richness, rather than impoverishment.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Saturn on Docshare


Saturn is a pdf I compiled in 2013. It presents my first run of print books. Docshare has released the Saturn pdf here, in its own way/manner.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Aughts Elucidations


On page 125 of this document is what amounts to an invitation to understand both Philadelphia itself, and what the cultural composition of Philadelphia in the Aughts was. It also reveals something about what I purport to be Philly's sun sign (Gemini), and the more unfortunate dimensions of Geminian postures and behaviors- trash-talk, double talk, slander, insecurity, and evasion. The party who penned this screed wants to be forgotten what I cannot forget- at a certain point, the olive branch was specifically offered FROM the Philly Free School to this posse. They seemed to accept. It's just that, over the rest of the Aughts, some of my forward momentum in Philadelphia was specifically blocked off by their cruelty, childishness, and unwillingness to respect others. Having a choice between adult-level dignity and infantile posturing, I witnessed them usually making the more unfortunate choice. Yet, a good fight can be an interesting spectacle, Artaudian or not, and all this rivalry and trash-talk heightened the perspective that the Philly cultural scene gave off a good amount of light/heat. Go figure.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ode: On the Schuylkill

On the river's bank, boat-legions rolled
    in search of commerce, bridges to build;
souls, cargo (heavy, light), bought & sold,
    coffers waiting in Philly to be filled.
Ladies stepped gingerly onto green banks,
   white satin, black lace, versed in politesse or no-
      patterns walked, insignias inscribed into air-
young ones, underlings already in their ranks,
   sought to make the landing show-offy, slow,
     down a hundred yards from a drunken fair.

Add a century, an Expressway looms over
    the murk- wave-sounds, squeals, & metal-
which the Schuylkill cannot answer, hovering
    under- slow-moving, patient, & settled.
The river's mind is settled- the human race
   churns around it restlessly, adding bodies
      shorn of dignity, bloated, pulp-bloody, blue,
having carried burdens the river never dreams
   of, emptiness so incorrigible the Schuylkill's face
      registers nothing but limp waves- tender, true.

The Keats-brain, peering in, questioning, elevates
    the Schuylkill's mystery into frozen heat-
truth & beauty all in the browning, decay, fate
    of all water-bodies subject to our meat-
I sit on the edge, watching overhanging leaves,
   frozen myself by the gross negligence
      of what lies beneath the river's surface,
& my own, as the summer sun inverts, grieves
   for the masses, exploring no penitence
      as I am, grounded, here, diving for purpose-

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Smitten European Syndrome


Anyone who's lived in Philadelphia for more than a few years knows the Smitten European Syndrome. On one's travels in Philly, periodically one will run into European folk, who passionately vow for Philadelphia against all the other American cities: for class, style, distinction, and dignity. It's just something that happens. Much of the European hoopla around Philadelphia has to do with architecture: after all, what a city essentially amounts to is a collection of buildings. As a collection of buildings in the continental United States, Philadelphia is peerless. What the Philly Free School amounts to, is an extended attempt to transmute the grandiosity, stateliness, and gravitas of Philadelphia's architecture into a body of higher artistic work; why I called one of our key pdfs Our Architecture Did This To Us. All these facets of Philly, as a construct, point to one essential reality: Philadelphia is an adult city; a city about solidity, on and beneath the surface. For the continental United States to grow into an appropriate awareness of PFS, all the sectors of America which remain Babyland sectors (the press corps are the worst, and NYC, with its bold-facade-with-nothing-behind-it emptiness, runs a close second) will have to grow up. What I'm doing here now amounts to planting seeds, because wheels this extensive and ponderous can only turn slowly.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

& Now, Chicago...

As per other Happenings Ten Years Time Ago: on July 6, 2007, I read with a bunch of Chicago poets at Kate the Great's bookstore in Andersonville, Chi-Town. We wound up doing three Philly Free School readings at Kate the Great's; the final one, in the summer of '08, capped off a trip on which I lectured at Loyola behind Opera Bufa. Illustrated here is a Loyola syllabus featuring the book; this, also, is a term paper written on the book for the class by Stacy Blair. But, back to the main: I forgot to mention: Philadelphia and Chicago do share many key issues. Chicago's image problem is a hinge to Philadelphia's: that to make Chi-Town simple is a fool's game. Down to rich Chicago suburbs appearing in 80s movies with which we learned our moves as kids (Bueller? Bueller?).

Friday, June 9, 2017

Dare


Philadelphia is a city with an image problem. To make a long story short: Philly is impossible to nutshell. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: if Philly has a sun sign, it is certainly Gemini. Geminis do, often, have image problems: they tend to be too complex, too all over the place, to make easy summary possible. The press are wankers and adolescents and need their soundbites, and other cities come through just fine (at least on the surface): DC is the government, LA is Hollywood, Vegas is casinos, Frisco is queers and queerness, Nawlins is alcohol, the Florida cities are the Florida Lifestyle, the Texas cities are the Texas Lifestyle, Seattle went from Nothing to Grunge to Nothing Again, Pittsburgh/Cleveland/Detroit are junk/trash, and the funniest, for those who observe the tactile realities of the United States beneath the surface, is NYC as the power center of everything. Philadelphia is just too complicated, too ornate, as its architecture is, to do the sound bite routine. So you will encounter anomalies: Garrison Keillor, avant-garde hipster extraordinaire, on the Prairie Home Companion, confidently summarizes Philadelphia as a "working class city." On the other hand, a movie like 2009's Dare, which amounts to a staging of Less Than Zero in the rich Philadelphia 'burbs, emphasizes all the Easton-Ellis paradigm insignias of too much too soon, from queerness to sex/drugs/alcohol/money.

Indeed, what Dare actually is, is a meta-movie, staging something daring: accurate reportage of what the Philly 'burbs really add up to, beneath the surface. And, as the movie unfolds, the sturm und drang around putting the pedal to the proverbial metal towards an apotheosis of affluent, wasted youth, brings to the surface yet another Philly complexity; the kinds of kids and families who might hire Rocky Balboa as a plumber or maintenance man. They were there in 1976, too. You just didn't see them then.

Ten Years Gone: Double Imperatives


Ten years ago today, on June 9, 2007, I stepped into the post office, on Chestnut Street between 20th and 21st Streets in Center City Philadelphia, to mail out the first copies of my Dusie chap Posit. A decade and many books and e-books later, it is interesting to reflect, on June 9, 2017, what it means to spend ten years publishing at or on high levels. What it brings to the surface, for me, is an awareness and an acknowledgment that we are living through a transitional time, where publishing is concerned. The splintered or splintering effect in publishing, created by the competing, not always commensurate demands of online life against print life, has created a sense of the whole enterprise as a whirling dervish highwire act. Posit, in 2007, was released as a print chapbook and an e-book simultaneously; Mark Young's journal Otoliths had that double-pronged effect going then, and still does. Beams came out as an e-book later in '07, and pirated print editions soon appeared on the market; while later books like Apparition Poems and Cheltenham were released in print without precise online counterparts. To make up that difference, I placed the pdfs on sites like Scribd and Internet Archive, where they have enjoyed some success. But the point, that the publishing imperative should, of necessity, become a double imperative by '17, is one which adds gravitas to a semi-Sisyphean conception or paradigm model of publishing, in which only the super-diligent and highly motivated might survive, and the idea of standing, confidently and suavely, behind print alone, is an antiquated one.

In fact, from '17 on out, it looks like in many ways online is winning, which I did not expect. The reason is simple: online offers a more pure, less riddled-with-corruption reading experience than print does. The paradigm which held sway in my mind for many years, of print and online holding commensurate weight and finding ways and means of balancing each other out, now in and of itself seems antiquated. Online, of course, cannot be completely utopic; the human race en masse are not capable of producing utopic contexts; but many of us at least do not feel, by '17, that we've stepped into a Rosemary's Baby-level Satanic orgy when we read online. Amazon is just that, an obvious, obviously corrupt jungle; as is the University library system in the United States. It is the province of rackets and racketeers; if you didn't think print books could kill, think again. The problem, for myself as a literary individual, is that I love print books. I adore them. Yet, if the integrity and the purity is online, that's where I'll be. When I stepped into the post office on Chestnut Street ten years ago today, many poetry voices were still dismissive of online as a viable context for poetry; I had no idea then, that so many of these were racketeer voices. So, unbelievably, if you want to ride the publishing cutting edge in '17, you may have to admit that print can be expendable now. Preservation techniques have made online a suitable venue for Eternity, and the Eternity Sweepstakes; and print has become a fool's paradise's, at least part of the time, for clods and literary clod-ism.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

PFS and the Heartland


High or serious art is usually considered the province of the big cities, here in the States. That's generally where the schools, the money, and the prestige are. Yet, as I get older, I can't not be curious as to how the Philly Free School will fare in other parts of the country, like the Bread Basket, or Dust Bowl, or Great Plains, or what have you. One of the most salient mysteries built into America, as a construct, is this large chunk of the country, comprised of small and mid-level towns and cities. What would a rural community see or not see in PFS? The way I imagine it, a small town hidden in the Bread Basket somewhere might have an intrigued response. In small towns and rural communities in general, the populace lead slower lives, and live to more advanced ages. Philly Free School art is meant to encourage contemplative duration; that is, is meant to be consumed, assimilated, and interpreted over long expanses of time. And slowly, piece by piece- not like the McDonald's, disposable version of haute culture espoused by New York. The idea is that if this particular population were to be drawn to, and drawn in by, the Philly Free School, it would be because our oeuvre radiates a certain kind of depth, of dimensions and mysteries which in and of themselves require slow, patient study, to yield the greatest receptive reward. I am attracted to the Bread Basket as an idea and an ideal in relation to us; the kind of audience who would be willing to dig beneath the surface of the paintings and books and stay there. Yet, I am no expert where Heartland mores and tastes are concerned. Who knows?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

If I Ever See Doris Day Again


Envision yourself in a bath, in West
Philadelphia, high as a kite (pot, more),
& you may have a vision of her as pure,
like the America we dream of, like Doris
Day. She may only appear that way once.
Even in the course of the bath, where,
as you wouldn't guess, heaven and hell
loom right around the corner, not the
narrow but the wide way, & it seems like
eternal life, until she tightens her grasp,
you feel around for an exit, no dice,
& her eyes tell you You're gonna die...
yes, you're gonna die, right now. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Two deities turn stone-white, hanged.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lucky Dragons, after 13 years....


Those who were there can vouch for it: the Aughts in Philadelphia were a magical time. There was a spirit there, in the streets, in the bars, the clubs, the coffee shops, that was freewheeling, whimsical, and about real artists developing real talents. Those who lived through the Aughts in Philly will all underline different flash-point dates on which things coalesced for them to experience the magic, the radiance. As for myself, I cast my mind back to a spring day in 2004, in Philly’s Northern Liberties district. The online journal Hinge, edited by Marilyn Bess, was holding an entire day’s events at a random warehouse space. The weather was perfect— seventy degrees and sunny. I was one of the readers. Not only did Hinge draw a packed house, the magic in the room was specifically about everyone (I felt, instinctively) wanting to be there. The party was not, could not be somewhere else. I read, and it was fine. But the day did not turn magical for me until sunset, when the Lucky Dragons, led by Luke Fishbeck, took the stage. The Lucky Dragons were electro-wizards, who produced ambient music from computers, and other digital apparatus. That night in Northern Liberties, they had visuals to go along with it. The visuals were projected onto a screen behind them as they played. It was mind-expanding enough, in the confined warehouse space, and with everyone in an ideal frame of mind, that it defined for me what the possibilities of multi-media art are, or could be. It was a voyage through, and to, a place of complete ethereality, transcendental above where we were standing. When the show was over, and I stopped outside the look at the still-setting sun, noting, as always, that Philadelphia sunsets themselves are unique, and uniquely ambient, I felt that what had been shown to me was not just a dream but a possibility. When cross-breeding occurs between art forms, and when events mix and match the right way, it all serves as a metaphor for dynamism in the universe, and in people’s brains.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

Aphorisms Pt. 2

No community is as rich as a community of one.

If you are a "people person," it is because you don't know who or what people are, yourself included.

Contrary to what Stein said, the rules are not already known.

Never revile what's solid beneath the surface.

When a society succeeds in destroying the individual, it also succeeds in rendering itself obsolescent. The individual is the agent of human progress (to the extent that human progress is possible), always.

The primordial perspective poetry sets in place- one individual writing to, for, or about another individual- is also the most durable possible literary perspective.

Pop World/Pop Church, when it happens, is a cruel phenomenon, because it is meant, from its inception, to be erased. The individual is not.

The masses are always implored to admire things that add up to nothing. They are also implored to reject what's solid beneath the surface. What's solid cannot be widely popular.

Yet solidity, is all its myriad forms, is the only ostensible reason for the continuation of the human race.

The individual is solid.

This contradiction; solidity being the only ostensible reason for the continuation of the human race, yet solidity being widely unpopular; strikes at the heart of any perception of the human race en masse other than almost-complete absurdity.

The masses chop things into place, and are chopped into place.

America is more variegated, less absurd, than most other human race locales.

By the most solid standards, the twentieth century was far quieter than the nineteenth. Most of the noise was on the surface, and easily erased. The twentieth century "school" was of quietude; surface-level spectacles now razed to zeroes, permanently.

The profound silence of the twentieth century may have been supposed to work as a riposte to Keats and English Romanticism, a solid apotheosis of the individual. Even Deconstruction is suspect on this level.

Neo-Romanticism was conceived, developed, and disseminated to be solid.

Much more so than other American cities, Philadelphia is solid.

Solidity is louder than what's on the surface. The twenty-first century has already consolidated a position as louder, more solid, than the twentieth.

Philadelphia architecture is solid. Even before Neo-Romanticism, it stood beneath the surface as a representation of Philadelphia's solidity over the rest of America.

.......................................................................................................................

The principle of solidity in serious art has to do with depth and well-roundedness; the sense, in the work of art, that all possible imperatives built into the respective form have been honored and fulfilled. Post-modernity has been one long denial of both the possibility and the desirability of solidity.

Post-modern poetry denies thematics, outright and wholesale. This is absurd. Poetry which addresses no important themes is placed into circulation to preclude seriousness and solidity from emerging in contemporary poetry, at any time this chooses to happen.

There is no reason to read poetry which addresses no important themes, or will only address important themes in a deliberately obfuscated fashion.

The distaste for solidity in serious art is degenerate; and evinces a hunger for art, and all other humanistic endeavors, to be reduced to zero-level beneath the surface.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Shenanigans '08


Jeremy Eric Tenenbaum, ensconced
with a U of Arts semi-disciple, sees me
bust in with a brazen brunette, who
resembles me so closely she might
be my niece; we sit, begin to fight;
she decides she wants red wine;
Mary H is standing across Pine
Street, spying on us; we leave; Mary
follows us; Jeremy, as is his wont, can
only pine for the poems he wrote in
the 90s at Villanova, that he meant
something then; we get the red wine;
Mary positions herself caddy-corner
the liquor store window; we walk past-

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Let Us Compare Mythologies


As of the present moment, and the new pages in Otoliths and The Argotist, I've begun a new writing process/gambit: to compose with an acknowledged, conscious sense of mythology and mythologies, and of the mythologizing process; and to do so to facilitate awareness of what happened in Philadelphia (and a few other places) in the Aughts. Ten to fifteen years hindsight had better be enough, folks; and why wait for myths to be generated around you... why not put your nose to the old grindstone and do it yourself? Candor is important here, because the Aughts had an unblemished feeling about them of cohesiveness and integrity, and I do not want that to be lost. It's also revolutionary about the ascension of Aughts Philly and its cultural scene that, on a socio-cultural and socio-historic level, the good guys in American art, those who dared to put the art first and all the subterranean attendant crap second, found a way to win against the stooges, parasites, and floozies. The Philly Free School story, it turns out, is inherently a juicy one. Mythologies spun out from the Free School do not have to deal with the egg-headed professor syndrome, the spoiled rich brat syndrome, the mafia cartel consonant syndrome, or the hands-off puritanical syndrome. The rest of the sonnets from the first round of writing Something Solid are shot through with an awareness of/ fascination with dynamic individuals who dared to live a life with hands in many games, and tactile ones.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Neptune in Pisces Revisited


Is 2017 the year in which (almost) everything stopped dead? As Neptune continues its transit through time-warped, time-bending Pisces, we've reached a critical crux moment in the US about momentum, force, the surface and what's beneath, and the sense that the new century has scared the shit out of what's left of the last. I make no bones about an opinion which isn't going to change: most of the current media hoopla is about red herrings, red herring issues, red herring personalities. Beneath a surface which bristles with malign, childish vitriol, the issue is the same as it was five years ago: a Recession which won't leave, out of control inflation, liquidation of resources on both general and specific levels, and a society which seems incapable of running smoothly or cohesively in any direction. Neptune steps up to the plate and pushes everything to the bottom of the ocean: slime, grease, corpses, offal. Pisces energy is brilliant at the freeze-frame effect: there you are, passing through time without the comforting sense that time is moving forward. A bad LSD trip.

Yet, remember that Pisces and Scorpio are the two great magicians of the zodiac. Where Pisces goes, everything, even when seemingly frozen into place, is subtly, sometimes subconsciously shifting in new directions. Human consciousness, when it is most earnest, most truly human, is incapable of doing nothing. For those on a bottom-of-the-ocean kind of Neptune in Pisces trip, where I join you, sometimes, take comfort that the magic of the celestial fish is that through hitting the ocean's floor, you have pierced through to new levels of both honesty consonance and spiritual awareness. You are higher up than you seem to be.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Bite the Bullet, Junk the Junket


For those of us who lived through the Aughts, writing and publishing on high levels, it must be clear: times is tough. The book junket routine many of us perfected in the Aughts involved a multi-pronged attack on literature dissemination, from any individual artist's manuscript on out: composition of manuscript, interspersed with submissions to print or online journals; readings and/or social appearances to create interest; publication of book, in print and/or online; and then reinforcement cycles of the same activities. The junket then was very rich: lots of flourishing journals and presses, lots of social action from scene to scene, city to city. In 2017, we notice that what was called The Great Recession five or six years ago never left, and, in fact, is continuing to plummet downwards, what with the outrageous cost of food, health insurance, and other living expenses (Obama did what to counter or even mention this?), so that book junkets, and the book writing process in general, have to suffer just like everything else. Capiche?

Here, I am, writing a manuscript of sonnets tentatively entitled Something Solid. I've had some new material appear in Otoliths 44 and in The Argotist Online, more to come in Helios Mss, maybe a few other places, but it stands to reason that I can't not notice another simple, irritating factoid: all the new poetry journals that have sprung up in the Teens (Ray Farr's I still count as Aughts, because it's Ray's) are formatted in the most revolting, most tacky possible taste, so that I can't even consider the idea of submitting to them. The imaginatively titled Posit is a key example, and there are dozens of others. The new journal scene is mostly paltry now. Which means that the bum's rush effect, whereby new material which passes muster is instantly passed on into submission land, is no longer in adherence at all. Now, if you have forty new poems, and if you place, say, fifteen of them, and then are stuck, there's really nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. If you're going to write the rest of your f-cking manuscript, you're going to have to bite the bullet and junk the junket.

So, you have recourse, possibly, to a more workmanlike approach. I place new sonnets here, on Art Recess 2, and make due with a lack of glamour and a surfeit of grit. Over a long period of time, waiting for the pot to boil again, poets have to decide what they're in this game for, why they're playing it. Without wanting to appear unduly sanctimonious, the more dedicated individuals, with the more passionate devotion to creative activity, are the ones most likely to survive the right way now, even as the recession continues to clear deck after deck and the idiots of the world offer up more red herrings. And I am, it turns out, forty poems into the new manuscript, and I am ready to be workmanlike when I need to be.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ekphrasis: The Lost Twins: Abby Heller-Burnham/Adam Fieled



I place myself in the next room-
white-walled, high-ceiling'd, cavernous-
as the lost twins turn to face Abby,
in her own most vaunted masterpiece.
If I haven't seen them, they may leave
without attracting my notice. Yet I'll
never miss Abby, who both represents
and, as they well know, is them, & who
finds me irrelevant (as a male, a poet,
a clay figurine at such times in her
economy) as she paints, carrying David
like I carry Keats, & in fact those two
might get along famously, looking at
the inception of a new century, lost?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Eight of Cups


The eight of cups card in the Rider-Waite tarot deck to me expresses a complex reality, at a tangent to what you might read in occult/tarot instructional books. The individual on the card is wearing a red coat, which to me indicates a life or death situation or context. The path that seems easiest for him to walk, of a shallow stream set between mid-size rock formations, has been made inaccessible to him for some reason; the moon's eclipse of the sun adds emphasis, finality, and fatality to this. Yet, as is crucial in the Rider-Waite deck, the sky is pure blue, rather than grey or streaked with clouds. The situation, for the red-coated individual, is not an ambiguous one. The sudden shift is also made decisively; to reach his psycho-spiritual destination, he must turn uphill, away from the easy path, and starting laboriously from the ground. He is in tune, in his turning, with the powers of Earth, including the rock formations themselves, as is indicated by his physical alignment with the largest rock formation. The spiritual energy he emanates, and which allows him to perform the correct physical task, however laborious, is why the suite of Cups is appropriate.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Skanky Grease



1819: as we follow Keats' brain around
London (blasted with senses that anything
he sees he could be seeing for the last
time), I like to think that all his own
prosody is mixed in with the security
of self-acknowledged Genius, continually
revealing itself to itself; yet his secret
Muse is, I imagine, a siren, like Psyche,
unlike Fanny; thwarted, Keats stakes
out places she may be, like the Gods
on the Grecian Urn, driven frantic by
female magnetism; drowsily numb but
not comfortably so; only skanky grease,
gutter-mud, preparing him to channel Heaven.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cheltenham at Poetry Library at Southbank Centre, London


Proud to say that Cheltenham is now on the shelves at the Poetry Library at the Southbank Centre, London, UK. Many thanks to the Poetry Library staff!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Gratis (for Mike Land)


I swung a loop from the warehouse
space back into the Highwire itself-
throngs of hipsters milling around,
whiskey, wine disappearing from
the little island space situated near
windows picking up western sun-
light, as night descended on Cherry
Street, with an ambiance of anticipation.
When anything can happen in human
life, nothing usually does- spectacles
like this were exceptions. Avalon established
eye-contact; off we pranced to the stairwell-
Mike Land grinned lasciviously, as usual,
& polished off a beer he'd received gratis.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cheltenham Elegies on PennSound


The Cheltenham Elegies mp3, with the Cheltenham Elegies from the Blazevox print book Cheltenham ('12), is now up on my PennSound Author Page. Peace. 

Exile Ode on PFS Post


On Philly Free School Post (PFS Post): Ode: On Exile by Adam Fieled. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Olympia


I was fighting in a French
Revolution of some kind,
hiding out in a sleeping
bag in a mess hall, gun
tucked under pillow. I knew
in an intuitive flash that
we'd be attacked that night, & we
were, but I followed a horse
out the door & was not
killed. Then I was back in
a room w wooden floors &
I saw you preen through
the window, but you weren't
looking in at me, you were
staring off, into the distance,
pristine as a Vermeer maiden,
so I went looking for Manet's
Olympia, whoring behind the mess hall.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Melopoeia (2009)

Poetry that aims at the heart seeks to do so (usually) through an affective catharsis; poetry that aims at the mind seeks to do so through a certain narrative-thematic skillfulness. If we are merely emotionally moved, or merely intellectually stimulated, it is likely that what we are reading is decidedly minor poetry. Minor poetry maintains a narrow focus on a goal that, however elaborately formulated, stays either in the heart or in the mind. Given the battles that have been waged on this blog and elsewhere, it is useful to note that, between the two camps at war in American poetry (mainstream and post-avant), there is an agreement on each side to reduce the other side to a caricature of one of these two forms. Centrists perpetually accuse post-avantists of being all head; post-avant poets perpetually accuse Centrists of being bleeding heart sentimentalists. However, these battles are often waged at the level of content. Where form is concerned, people tend to clam up, often because they lack knowledge of the formal mechanics of poetry. I want to posit a new possibility that has not, to my knowledge, heretofore been posited. What if someone were to put together post-avant, as a branch of avant-garde poetry (as it exists now), and formalism? What if someone were to kick open the door and declare the commensurability of form and intellect, of letting heart in the back door via a level of formal elegance, employing the architectural techniques of the avant-garde?

I have felt the need to justify to myself why, after all this time and several books, I keep coming back to form, feeding on it so to speak, now that I know what I know. If the arbitrary nature of signs or signifiers means that we would be foolhardy to trust in their transparency, does that negate lapidary or ornamental usages of language? I don't think so. It's not as if Saussure was the first thinker to point out the deficiencies of linguistic signs. John Locke said roughly the same thing 120 years before Saussure, and the major Romantics were all fluent in Locke. Yet the inquiries of someone like Coleridge never threw in doubt for him that the organic unity of harmonious metrical language was worth creating. Maybe, to bring it straight back to 2009, poets of my generation are deciding that experimental poets over the past fifty years have thrown out too much. Or, maybe there is no reason, I can just get tautological and say I like formal poetry because I like it and leave it at that. Tautological logic (a contradiction in terms) can be surprisingly useful, even therapeutic. Why? Because the universe is unfathomable, and poetry is part of the universe, and often few of us know why we write what we write. It's no accident that Jack Spicer thought aliens were dictating to him. At the center of each of us is a solid core of emptiness, which we act out of.


I mentioned Wordsworth's phrase harmonious metrical language. "Harmony" is associated with music, as is, of course, metrical language. Coleridge iterates, in his Biographia, that a man (or woman) without music in his/her soul can never be a poet. I think my addiction to metrical language or melopoeia (and it is, to an extent, an addiction, albeit a positive one) is in large measure the product of an imagination weaned on music and the metrical language of song lyrics. Metrical language, as manifested in song lyrics, is the most popular kind of poetry in the world, and has been for half a century. The nineteenth century saw the tremendous popular success of Byron and Tennyson. There is no twentieth century analogue to Byron and Tennyson, because the lack of metrical harmony in serious poetic language rendered it too difficult for mass consumption. It is no accident that the single most famous Modernist poem would probably be Eliot's Prufrock, a metrical composition. People want music that isn't merely Poundian/High Mod melopoeia; they want it to be surface-level and discernible and, sometimes, I agree with them. Using melopoeia, in its most disciplined forms, is not a mode of conservatism either; it is simply a way of constructing poetry which manifests and works on a maximum number of levels to achieve the maximum inherent memorability and potency. The more tools we may use to create poetry, the more liberal, and liberated, we are.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Aphorisms: 2009-2017

Textual bodies need orifices; text with no flesh is anorexic.

Poetry needs Bodies; know who your Bodies are.

Horizontal leads to Lateral, text-wise.

Poetry needs a new materialism.

The Academy left Deconstruction behind years ago; so should poetry. For once, we need to catch up to the Academy.

Be material but not crass.

Impersonal forces are stronger than personal ones. How is poetry created from this? By the skin of our teeth.

Rule of thumb: nothing Big without Narrative. Great poets address great themes directly. Great poems are felt philosophy.

From Freud, paraphrased: new contexts create conditions for textual orgasms. Thus, the Internet.

Tremble before poetry, not poets.

Moral relativity: the only moral concern that matters. Morality is Ethics for Dummies.

There is no lens to see a text through that isn't tinted. Where text is concerned, idiosyncrasy is always preponderant. And material.

Try a little tenderness. But not too much.

Enough money is enough.

Perversity from one angle is generosity from another. It depends where you stand.

I know how you look to me. I can imagine how I look to you. Health consists of making composites.

Loving and hating America is the beginning of a great affair.

Life is arbitrary and contingent. Providence is a department store mannequin.

Sex is the dominant arena in which things change but do not change. Thus, season tickets are mandatory for serious artists. Sit in the bleachers if you have to.

Sex only becomes distasteful if it is represented in one dimension.

Most Americans do not know most of America. The vastness of America is its bane and its glory.


Monday, January 23, 2017

New Sonnets in Otoliths


I have five new sonnets out in Mark Young's Otoliths. Thanks, Mark!

And here is the new issue of Otoliths in its entirety.

p.s. an Otoliths feed page...

You can purchase Otoliths 44 here.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Chris McCabe: Zeppelins (2009)

Chris McCabe, probably my favorite younger U.K. poet, released Zeppelins last year by Salt. It’s full of rich, tangled gems, some so run over with British idiomatic expressions that I have a hard time making them out. McCabe is a very proficient sonneteer, and so I thought I would start with a sonnet from the series The Transmidland Liverpool to London Express, which fills out the middle of the book. These are poems that have enough narrative and descriptive action to qualify them for mainstream status, and enough rejection of closure to make them experimental. As such, they can answer to more than one set of expectations, prejudices, and predilections: those who want to confine the poems within a set rubric (I would wager that these poems, which can be acidic, tilt more towards post-avant), and those who want to eschew the academic and "let poems be poems," without imposing the closure of a label. This is my favorite sonnet in the series, entitled Merseybus:

The thing is Janine, when I wear my husband's
dressing gown I strangely don't feel like a man—
I feel like a woman in a grown man's dressing gown.
I mean, it's at least half his life isn't it?
Do you think we could add two letters to the alpha
bet & nobody would notice? Bet a laugh we could.
Her hair's like a split golf ball & her head the wood
to hit it with. What he does is this: takes his whiskey
into the wild woods only to have words & curse
his dead dad. Did I tell you Dolly's going to New York?
The thing is, if you smell the bacteria you can
actually see bad breath. I tell you: it's the place
itself I'm thinking with half the time, and it's closer
to a pair of drainpipes than any actual paradise


Formally, the poem is relatively stable, with each line numbering 11-13 syllables. Only lines six and seven rhyme, and the inclusion of one end rhyme adds a minor note of destabilization. The formal semi-edginess of the poem is mirrored by the content. I have to make the admission that I do not know if this kind of language is endemic to Liverpool (Chris's home town), thus making the title particularity relevant. What rivets me about this poem is the games being played with perspective: how the poems seems to begin with someone talking (absurdly), and an "I" that clearly does not belong to the poet; then, an abrupt shift at line seven from the first to the third person, which has the optic-like effect of a film camera making a jump-cut. That this move takes place at line seven makes it too early to be called a volta, though it does function as a twist or turn. Once the perspective shifts, we are reckoned with a "he" who feels compelled to insult the seemingly working-class woman who dominates the first six lines. Then, we remember from the title that this is all happening on a bus, and the vignette becomes complete, and is borne out by the rest of the poem. The "he," who seems much more like an actual protagonist than the "I," tells us what he is doing in Liverpool; home to drink, "have words & curse/ his dead dad." His attention was attracted by the absurd woman, goes back to himself, and finally fixates on the woman a second time to round out the poem. The poem ends without a period, and thus without "closure," suggesting both the woman's seemingly endless volubility and the implicit protagonist's faltering attention. All in all, this is a portrait of connections missed, of loss ("dead dad"), of being numb to one another, not-feeling, deadness-in-life. The quotidian is seen to be a waste land (pun intended), with everyone either annoyed or oblivious, or both. Another standout from this collection has a similar theme, and similar overtones, albeit more comic. It is called Existential Clubbing:

Five fingered bars strobe white prisms from brick.
Inversion of God's Ministry. Bouncers are ministers.
Frisks you in a soulsearch. Finds an in-pocket novel,
original Penguin Classic. Considers refusing you entry,
presumes you're no trouble. Drunken bookish one.
You put your soul in the cloakroom, the ticket says 72.
There are only seven other people you can see.
They are so young your face reflects in their eyelids.
The only offer at the bar is being served.
The lager scrapes the outside of the barrel.
The dancefloor is a pelt of purple, unrefuseable.
It is so long since you last danced the baton of the rhythm
remains two seconds ahead of you. Someone faceless
suggests you are not a student you think quick, say you have
more letters after your name than in it. The dancefloor has
doubled in size. The DJ tells you he has lent all of his albums
to a friend. You have no friends you think he blames you
for the dancefloor being empty. Your spit is mote-dust.
The pulse in your temples is the after-audio of a chant
of a ritual. You start to dream in pink wafers. You take
your coat it refuses to talk back. Outside is cold. The
club is called Secrets. You have never heard of the place.


I like how the formal presentation of the poem (some enjambments, mostly short, un-mellifluous sentences, with a few brief appearances of parallel structure) mirrors the stark reality that the poem presents: a man out of time, out of place, alien, lacking youth and "club spirit." That, perhaps, is why this clubbing is "existential." There is a bit of allegorical gravy; the fabled club is called Secrets, and the beleaguered narrator "(has) never heard of the place." If we do take this as an (albeit comical) allegory, what is the "secret"? How to maintain youth after youth is gone? How to blend in even when you do not fit in? How to pass for something that you are not? It is interesting that this club, a communal space for youth to meet, dance, and "hook-up," is sparsely inhabited. Either the narrator picked the wrong club or the wrong time to visit. What, implicitly, is the narrator looking for? He is eager to affirm his educated status, says he "(has) more letters after (his) name than in it." I am also intrigued by the fact that the poem is written in the second person singular. This is consciousness-reflecting-on-itself, or rather a self-conscious narrating watching himself, rather than a narrator experiencing things in an unmediated way. That seems to be the main theme here: self-consciousness. No one in Secrets makes much of an impression on this narrator; he is too occupied with his own discomfort to notice others. That discomfort is "existential" because it signifies irremediable loss; once youth is done, it is done, and that's that. Yet it is impossible not to notice the comic undertones that vivify and redeem the whole thing: "bouncers are ministers," "you put your soul in the cloakroom," "the dance-floor is pelt of purple," "your spit is dust-mote." So the poem becomes tragi-comic, and in the delicate balance between loss and humorous compensation finds its metier. An excellent coming-of-age poem, as detailed and precise as one could hope for. And these two poems are merely the tip of the iceberg. Though, as has been previously stated, getting American poets to recognize their UK counterparts can be an onerous task, as long as younger poets like Chris McCabe continue to produce poetry of this quality, those of us with a global bent will continue to push that boulder up the hill.

(originally appeared on Stoning the Devil in January '09)


Monday, January 16, 2017

E-Mails: Hannah Miller/Adam Fieled (2005)

What a sweet thing to say! I'm so glad you think so. I woke up in the morning thinking: Dear God, I must have been awful, there's nothing worse than having sex with someone so drunk they have lost all coordination. Besides, I had that roast beef sandwich to compete with. 

Yours,
Hannah

Come on & give me some credit! I'm a pretty classy guy, & I have no intention of saying anything to Nick. Why would I? I'm an adult, & I know how to keep things to myself when necessary. I've been avoiding Nick anyway. Also, you should know I had a great time. You're a wonderful lover. 

Best,
Adam

Good morning! I have one request: again, please PLEASE do not brag to Gruberg about you and me banging!!! No way! I may be accidentally sleeping my way through Philadelphia's literary scene- and it's none of his business anyway- but no matter how much you dislike the guy, please don't gloat! Whatever purposes I am good for- I am not to be used for gloating purposes. 

Muchos gracias,
Hannah

E-Mail: Mike Land to Adam Fieled (2005)



The ever-fading pieces of crap...Anyway, I'll ring yas tomarra when all of its juiced. On to the blog- hilarious, yes, but not what one would call polite. In terms of making it public, it might be wise to first learn if others are doing similar updates; reconnaissance before the trench can be stormed...Although, it would so insanely humorous, I'm sure, to tally how many myspaces, blogspots, livejournals, webpages etc pop up bashing Mannerism just after they see you've lambasted their self-absorption and before they see it's harder than it looks. Hilarious, yes, but apparently mean-spirited, and remember, I betcha, all these poets could "show you what mean-spirited is!" and how fucking tedious would that be? (Though, of course, a war of blogs could also be quite stimulating) So I'd say focus more on their work than their personalities; people tend to take that shit seriously (the hypocritics)

Truly, 
Mike Land

P.S. how do you feel about that personalization 'truly'?  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sonnet: The Schuylkill Flows


The Schuylkill flows cleanly, despite
all the murk, as the Expressway looms
on the other side of it; the trees, as
usual, are Heaven, rooted much too
deeply for us to fathom, cocked at
a solid angle into a receptive Universe;
I am waiting, writing on the edge of
wars, chopping through the cesspool
of centuries old shit, stunned by an
awareness of the human brain's torques;
and when I imagine you it's with a sense
that we're both standing at the river's
edge (we are, of course), and as long as
we see the trees into the sky we blend in.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sonnet: Jarred Tea



O, if only I were still a young
buck, a gun, a razor-sharp grass-
hopping wisp, I'd flip for your
dogged persistence, brutal sex,
siamese purr, write a sutra
for our every rub, manifesto for
every wet night, bagged, bombed,
bitten down to a raw-red quick;
but I sit, bereft of ego except to
know that I like seeing you better than
being seen, and as a vapor hung
above, below, behind you I rate
what possibilities we have of rain-
layed out like jarred tea at Starbucks.