Wednesday, February 07, 2007

so

yeah, february 3rd I had a poem on Verse Daily. thanks to Chet G. for telling me, otherwise I'm sure I would have had no idea.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Parting Shot (Dedication)

to all my little climbers out there, and the people who grease the wheels for them.

find your own tree,

cola


Dear Twin Falls (& Co.)—

Now do you hear the thunder? It softens me into a milkshake
& so many straws are in my back. Drink up! When you’re all done,
we’ll walk out opposite doors: you to the awards show, me to the
funnel cloud. Was any of this ever in doubt? From the start I’ve
been all dressed up, nowhere to go. Dressed for success & does
success ever come? Missed congeniality, but I learned the golden
rule & guess I’ve nothing good to say. Now it’s my way, blue eyes—
at least that’ll be more than any speech can accept. My crowd
going wild is the tornado waiting outside & it's hungry.

I’d like to thank the academy,

Quad Cities

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Fix Is In

Between questionable red cards, bullshit suspensions and manufactured publication credits, it's been a strange few days, indeed. Fellow Shark, Ben Fong, tried to buy two Radiohead tickets last night & thought he had, in fact, purchased them. Then today, TicketsNow.com called him to say that the tickets, which the night before he had paid an absurd amount to have, did not exist. Not only did they not have the tickets he bought, but they were sold out of all tickets for both shows, even ones they had listed last night a $900 a piece (face value: $42.50). He got a refund, sure, and a $25 gift certificate for their website (thanks), but what the fuck?!! So no one out there use TicketsNow.com. In fact, if you know anyone who works for them or any other ticket brokerage, beat their ass. Set them on fire. Whatever. It's like Bill Hicks said about people who work in advertising: "You have no soul, there is no excuse for what you do, you are Satan's little helper. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now."

& don't you think it's highly amusing that when a magazine you worked on, for which you and one other person did all the bitch work (solicitations, submission log, editorial meetings, rejections, acceptance letters, etc) that when the magazine is released, not only are you not notified, but that there are several other names on the same line as yours, some of whom did little or nothing at all, and that there's a "managing editor" credit for someone who, until you saw the magazine, you had no idea they had anything to do with the production of the magazine last summer. I guess you shouldn't be surprised to have been screwed out of financial compensation then, should you? All another day in the Land of Careerism. Hopefully, our bold & beloved Machinist is receiving better CORK than I, you or various sporting interests have been lately. I will, however, being seeing Radiohead tomorrow night, and that lifts my soul just a touch, despite the fact the theater is caddy-corner from CCC. How long, O Lord, how long?

ALERT: If anyone out there knows of poets we should be talking to for an interview or publishing a couple of their poems, PLEASE let us know. We want what you want & hopefully that is high-end writing. We want the new voices, people. Help us find them, and if you think you are one, help us find you. This site has gone collaborative & it's getting goddamned lonely around here. But I suppose there are plenty among us who know exactly how lonely hell can be. You know who you are, don't you?

A quote to end on. Something for referees on the take, scalping scum and careerist poets to take to heart: "We are all the custodians of our innocence, and we let it die at our peril." Consider yourself reminded. & warned.

Make That Change, RC

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Report Cork

Wondering what it means that the song your boyfriend gave you is also the song your roommate's boyfriend played her?

How you & a friend, after months of silence, write each other at the same time?

Have you & your mother recently gotten library cards on the same day?

It's CORK, friends, & check it out.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

O Who May Abide


From what have you fallen, what might you best have been?

Were you taught by strangers
to become a stranger, even as a child?

What can you not be told apart from, what is it you match,
as the creatures match
the mud, the snow, the sky, the grass?

Why do you say dear god,
as if you were writing to him?

If you strayed far, would the dog recognize you,
would your name no longer be famous
as it was in the mother's mouth? Is this what you mean

by human that you keep on
being born, till there is no house

for where you are headed?

--Christina Davis, from Forth a Raven

beautiful poems, beautiful book

Monday, June 05, 2006

Are We There Yet?

I thought I was already there. Are they going to screen the remake of THE OMEN, too? Grab me some merch.

Hope everyone has a great Day of the Beast, or whatever you want to call it. Not sure how I'm celebrating yet.

Sharks playing soon. Details coming. Also there are new demos @ www.thesharx.com. Check them out.

Hey true believers-- let us know where & how you're going to celebrate Satan Day, assuming you're not going to the big bash in Hell, Mich. Thanks to Woody for the find.

(end transmission)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Who's Coming With Me?

Live entertainment and a costume contest are planned. The Gates of Hell should be installed at a children’s play area in time for the festivities.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Semiotics

We see the glories of the earth
But not the hand that wrought them all:
Night to a myriad worlds gives birth,
Yet like a lighted empty hall
Where stands no host at door or hearth
Vacant creation’s lamps appal.

We guess; we clothe Thee, unseen King,
With attributes we deem are meet;
Each in his own imagining
Sets up a shadow in Thy seat;
Yet know not how our gifts to bring,
Where seek Thee with unsandalled feet.
--Father Hop, from 'Nondum'

The signs still come crashing--some ignore them, I receive them with parleyed tongue. Though the sign-maker & I are on better terms these months. I think.

7 on Monday at 11th St. Bar, Richard invades NYC. Jay Hopler, Peter Streckfus, & Louise Glück read, as well. I'll be there, so will others. You should be too. Last installment around, Joshua Clover read his index. All of it. Maybe Richard could give us his table of contents.

Little to say right now. Projects major & minor lie in various planning & pre-planning states. Projects poetic &, thankfully, non-.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Us Kids Know

Couraging through Lowell’s letters & the better off for it. The danger lies in finding myself in his dark spots: the selfishness, dependence, the frustrations. Some days, I get lost in the minutiae & grandness of his words; other times, they bore me into another book. In talking of the poets before him, Lowell says Words swelled in them. They weren’t like us. Sit him, JB, Frank down in front of me & I’d thank them the same.

The best new albums I’ve heard in the past months?
Broken Boy Soldiers --The Raconteurs
St. Elsewhere –Gnarls Barkley (thanks to AJ for the mention)

Different sounds. One rock, one with a bit more hop in it. One makes a great karaoke vice, one is city walking music.

***

I understand people are saved in different ways. That, at times, the world is too much with us & so forces us to retreat or advance accordingly. In my life, I’ve been saved, at various times, by a song, a woman, a U-Haul trailer. Today, I’m not sure what it will be. I know it will come, but I have a headless heart & tire of bravery. Faith scratches tracks into the dirt & still people die & die. Or if not die, leave.

The night before I moved to New York, I stood in a parking lot in Indianapolis, crying, hugging Z—. Diesel poured from the busses & it was not yet midnight. He said I’ll miss you. He said I love you. I said I love you still & so. What I’m meaning to tell myself is sometimes I am the one who leaves.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.

Things to Do in New York City
for Peter Schjeldahl

Wake up high up
frame bent & turned on
Moving slowly
& by the numbers
light cigarette
Dress in basic black
& reading a lovely old man’s book:
BY THE WATERS OF MANHATTAN
change

flashback

play cribbage on the Williamsburg Bridge
watching the boats sail by
the sun, like a monument,
move slowly up the sky
above the bloody rush:

break yr legs & break yr heart
kiss the girls & make them cry
loving the gods & seeing them die

celebrate your own
& everyone else’s birth:
Make friends forever
& go away


--Ted Berrigan

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I Cast for Comfort

Men go by me whom either beauty bright
In mould or mind or what not else makes rare:
They rain against our much-thick and marsh air
Rich beams, till death or distance buys them quite.

--Father Hopkins


Find myself reading dear Hop & Kierkegaard afternoons. Nothing at night but South Park, maybe some Battlestar. Few things work. My joints creak—not used to waking up without a body folded over them. The doorknob, thankfully, is fixed, but the windows won’t lock. The shower curtain rips more every day.

Soren tells me ‘it is the task of the single individual to strip himself of the qualification of interiority & to express this in something external.’ The last word I first read as ‘eternal.’ Freud’d love that one. And so the letters trickle to all corners. No floods, but water nonetheless. A.J. writes his own postcards, and & I wondered & nodding & demand more.

‘No more dying,’ to our loss, meets with swift renunciation in Illinois. Messages are sent up requesting safe passage. That is all we can do, but I send them swift & often.

Still, friends are true, & with a shake of luck, they’ll be two more, furry ones, wiling away the hours here in the apartment. Judgment sets in, but poets should not read their index during a reading. If nothing else, trust me on this. A reading series is in the works in the crawling future. The bar must pour its first pint first. Then, not red carpets & spotlights, but poetic assignments for our readers & certain other trials & rewards. That & beer.

Contemplating new tattoos. Frank or the Father. My tattoos are reminders: fleur-de-lis, brushstroke, & soon some words. The where & what are fuzzy but quickly coming to focus.

Contingencies abound & I am a true crab at heart, scuttling to corners. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Show Me That Smile

Apologies for the delay, but as usual, technical difficulties plague me. All writing's been analog for your humble narrator, which is fine by me. Anyway...

apparently we are all witnesses. Holy playoffs! & apparently the Cubs (otherwise known as the Chicago Cancer) produce better prize-fighters than ball players. But i digress...

I shouldn't discuss sports on my blog I know. It's all about careerism here! "publicity is everything!" Or so I heard. Gee, I thought it was about imagination, ability & execution. But apparently I was wrong; it's all about putting your face forward, putting your mouth where your eyes should be.

Anyway, the letters persist. Letters letters letters. How May evaporates schoolless & underfunded. I know i should go corporate, but I'm waiting for corporate to come to me, so I can just say No! just like ol' Nancy learned me.

I had so much to say but sadly going to have to keep it brief, as I write you courtesy of B Love from the new Shark reef. Yes, the new practice digs are up to both snuff & fire code, which is an improvement of sorts. First, to our Machinist, who has been holding down nobly, yes?! & the rest of our dis-possessed friends everywhere:

it is wise, I think, to mourn what might have been, in our own ways, but then we must display faith in proving that the stories of our past, mourned loves & fortunes can be understood, made our own & realized. "No more dying."

Second, Kate found this little tidbit in Anime Insider & I thought I would, as I do, forward it on to you true believers for consideration & comment:

"Of the 50,000-plus kanji in use in Japan, there are only around 3,000 approved for use as personal names! Japan's Family Registration Law states that parents can only name their children from a government-maintained list of kanji. Applications that use kanji not on the list will be rejected."

Lastly, in response to reports of a press surfacing out of this ring of hell, yes. There shall be publication(s) afoot, eventually. To gain traction for larger future projects & to proliferate the circle, I proudly announce Fifth Circle's first running feature, FRIENDS OF V, referring to many things, specifically the Roman numeral for five. Ha! What is this beast, you ask? Well, details will follow shortly, after conference with your humble Machinist. Safe to say regular poems, interviews, ditties. New faces for sure. More later, as always.

from the hunting grounds, rc

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Reliquaries

We all have our ur-texts. Those pieces of art that more than moved us, that changed us on some visceral level. For me, these all came within a 3 year period in college.

Long quotations, sure, but damnit, it's worth it, & you may win a prize.

Fear & Trembling --Soren Kierkegaard

I cannot make the movement of faith. I cannot shut my yes and plunge confidently into the absurd; it is for me an impossibility, but I do not praise myself for that. I am convinced God is love; for me this thought has a primal lyrical validity . . . but I do not have faith; this courage I lack. To me God's love, in both the direct and the converse sense, is in commensurable with the whole of actuality. Knowing that, I am not so cowardly that I whimper and complain, but neither am I so perfidious as to deny that faith is something far higher. I can bear to live in my own fashion, I am happy and satisfied, but my joy is not the joy of faith, and by comparison with that, it is unhappy. I do not trouble God with my little troubles, details do not concern me . . . Faith is convinced that God is concerned about the smallest things. I am satisfied with a left-handed marriage in this life; faith is humble enough to insist on the right hand, for I do not deny that this is humulity and will never deny it.



Uncertain Grace --Rebecca Wee

You want to know why I hold you off? You all want to know this--
what happened in the shut rooms, on the brown or blue sofa

Certain things. The holly. The ache to sleep in a wooden room
in a place where no one waits for me. A place to slip into and be noticed
then forgotten


The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara

To the Harbormaster

I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings. I am always tying up
and then deciding to depart. In storms and
at sunset, with the metallic coils of the tide
around my fathomless arms, I am unable
to understand the forms of my vanity
or I am hard alee with my Polish rudder
in my hand and the sun sinking. To
you I offer my hull and the tattered cordage
of my will. The terrible channels where
the wind drives me against the brown lips
of the reeds are not all behind me. Yet
I trust the sanity of my vessel; and
if it sinks it may well be in answer
to the reasoning of the eternal voices,
the waves which have kept me from reaching you.


Lost in the Cosmos --Walker Percy
(3) How do you explain these odd little everyday phenomena with which everyone is familiar:
You have seen yourself a thousand times in the mirror, face to face. No sight is more familiar. yet why is it that the first time you see yourself in a clothier's triple mirror--from the side, so to speak--it comes as a shock? Or the first time you saw yourself in a home movie: were you embarrassed? What about the first time you heard your recorded voice--did you recognize it? Clearly, you should, since you've been hearing it all your life.

Why is it that, when you are shown a group photograph in which you are present, you always (and probably covertly) seek yourself out? To see what you look like? Don't you know what you look like?

Has this ever happened to you? You are walking along a street of of stores. There are other people walking. You catch a glimpse of a reflection of a person. For a second or so you do not recognize the person. He, she, seems a total stranger. Then you realize it is your own reflection. Then in a kind of transformation, the reflection does in fact become your familiar self.

One of the peculiar ironies of being a human self in the Cosmos: A stranger approaching you in the street will in a second's glance see you whole, size you up, place you in a way in which you cannot and never will, even though you have spent a lifetime with yourself, live in the Cosmos of the Self, and therefore ought to know yourself best of all.

The question is: Why is it that in your entire lifetime you will never be able to size yourself up as you can size up somebody else--or size up Saturn--in a ten second look?

Why is it that the look of another person looking at you is different from everything else in the Cosmos? That is to say, looking at lions or tigers or Saturn or the Ring Nebula or at an owl or at another person from the side is one thing, but finding yourself looking into the eyes of another person looking at you is something else. And why is it that one can lok at a lion or an planet or an owl or at someone's finger as long as one pleases, but looking into the eyes of another person is, if prolonged past a second, a perilous affair?



You'll Never Walk Alone --Rodgers & Hammerstein

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on, through the wind,
Walk on, through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone.



Oddest about this list is that I had no idea at the time on all but one of those. They snuck up sudden-like in the past year & it's only in working on my thesis & accompanying thoughts on past & future I've been able to trace much back to these. I fought out a lot of the Percy book, but that was more because of the professor than the text. And Rebecca's was the first book of contemporary poetry I bought. The Kierkegaard counsels me, Never Walk consoles. And the harbormaster guides me safe.

And what are your own sacred texts? the ones that pushed.


p.s. I lied about the prize.