April 28, 2006

tanning beds explode with rich women inside

martin kippenberger, theoretisches bild-mein zahnstocher

A Girl in Milwaukee and a Girl in Brooklyn
-- by Matt Cook

My wife is talking on the phone in Milwaukee
To her girlfriend in Brooklyn.
But, in the middle of all that, my wife has to go pee.
And it turns out that the girl in Brooklyn,
At the very same time, also has to go pee.
So they discuss this for a moment,
And they're both very intelligent people.
They decide to set their phones down and go to the bathroom
(This was back when people set their phones down).
So they do this, and now we have a live telephone line open
Between Milwaukee and Brooklyn
With no one speaking through it for about two minutes as
A girl in Milwaukee and a girl in Brooklyn go to the bathroom.

Poetry is Back
-- By Ed Sanders

Osgood brings a smile
reciting poetry from his files,
He brings news that you can use
in a way that will amuse.
Poetry is back.

Jessee Jackson promotes,
preaches and orates,
using woven words
to help his message be heard.

Poetry is back.

The cowboy poets from all over
gather in Elko annually
to recite a verse,
tip their hats and houdy.
Poetry is back.

The rappers rap,
the hip hoppers hip.
Poetry is back.

These strange bedfellows
use verse and rhyme,
to preach their politics
and enjoy a good time.

They save for society
and for all time,
poems with proper meter,
and rhymes that really rhyme.

All the while they work
and write and speak,
the properly "educated" poets
write poems that truly reek!

Without any attention
to meter or proper time,
they write and recite
poems that don't even rhyme.

They gaze over their upraised noses
to us rabble far below.
writing verse that makes no sense
except to their friends in the know.

Many of these self appointed poets
who can't even make a poem rhyme,
suckle from NEA grants, writing
poems that only whine.

If their work had to pass the
free market test they wouldn't eat.
But they live high in fine clothes,
as they suckle the government teat.

In spite of the professional poets
talent or their lack,
Cowboys, preachers, radio folk and musicians keep on...
And poetry is back.

The Speed Of Darkness
-- by Muriel Rukeyser


Whoever despises the clitoris despises the penis
Whoever despises the penis despises the cunt
Whoever despises the cunt despises the life of the child.

Resurrection music, silence, and surf.


No longer skeaking
Listening with the whole body
And with every drop of blood
Overtaken by silence
But this same silence is become speech
With the speed of darkness.


Stillness during war, the lake.
The unmoving spruces.
Glints over the water.
Faces, voices. You are far away.
A tree that trembles and trembles.


After the lifting of the mist
after the heavy rains
the sky stands clear
and the cries of the city risen in day
I remember the buildings are space
walled, to let space be used for living
I mind this room is space
whose boundary of glass
lets me give you drink and space to drink
your hand, my hand being space
containing skies and constellations
your face carries the reaches of air
I know I am space
my words are the air.


Between between
the man : act exact
woman : in curve senses in their maze
frail orbits, green tries, games of stars
shar of the body speaking its evidence


I look across at the real
vulnerable involved naked
devoted to the present of all I care for
the world of history leading to this moment.


Life is the announcer.
I assure you
there are many ways to have a child.
I bastard mother
promise you
there are many ways to be born.
They all come forth
in their own grace.


Ends of the earth join tonight
with blazing stars upon thier meeting.

These sons, these sons
fall burning into Asia.


Time comes into it.
Say it. Say it.
The universe is made of stories,
not of atoms.


blazing beside me
you rear beautifully up—
your thinking face—
erotic body reaching
in all its colors and lights—
your erotic face
colored and lit—
not colored body-and-face
but now entire,
colors lights the world of thinking and reaching.


The river flows past the city.

Water goes down to tomorrow
making its children I hear their unborn voices
I am working out the vocabulary of my silence.


Big-boned man young and of my dream
Struggles to get the live brid out of his throat.
I am he am I? Dreaming?
I am the bird am I? I am the throat?

A brid with a curved beak.
It could slit anything, the throat-bird.

Drawn up slowly. The curved blades, not large.
Bird emerges wet being born
Begins to sing.


My night awake
staring at the broad rough jewel
the copper roof across the way
thinking of the poet
yet unborn in this dark
who will be the throat of these hours.
No. Of those hours.
Who will speak these days,
if not I,
if not you?

[from the small world department: was doing laundry last night at Laundryland in Mt. Pleasant, and the guys next to us was wearing a silver jews hat.]

April 27, 2006

I am of several minds
I am the worst of my kind

'64 Chrysler , 1971, by Robert Bechtle

* The Rude Pundit on new Bush spokesperson Tony Snow. excerpt:

"Motherfucker, you are hardcore. The Rude Pundit bets that in the locker room at Fox 'News,'" when you creep in to listen to Hume, Hannity, and O'Reilly talk about how nutzoid right wing they're gonna be that day, you figure out how to go even nuttier. You're like the craziest hooker at the whorehouse, the one who knows she's not the prettiest, not the tightest pussy, but she wants to be the most popular whore there so she decides she's the one who'll do any fuckin' kind of fucking that people ask. Someone wants the snowball, hot Karl, dirty Sanchez, felching mudslide, golden showers, and/or pukey Jack, you are the go-to girl. You may go back to your room every morning covered in cum, shit, piss, blood, and/or Crisco, but no other piece of ass is gonna out-fuck you.

"In one fuckin' column, you called removing the feeding tube from a comatose girl 'capital punishment,' used a fraudulent researcher as a way of discrediting embryonic stem cell research, and paid tribute to the 'March for Life' in D.C. Shit, man, toss in your great big Christmas 'Tony loves the Jesusbaby' column, and, dude, the base just got itself a little hors d'oeuvre to keep its tummy quiet until the midterms.

"And the worst part of it all, Tony, is that when you were at Fox 'News,' you got paid by your pimps for the quality of your rim jobs. Now, the Rude Pundit's helping to pay your fuckin' salary, as is every tax-shoveling American. Yup, we're paying you to abuse the press, lie to us, and pretend you have the interests of more than one man at heart. Just like back at the old job."

* 120 Questions for George Saunders. [via] excerpt:

"7. What book do you wish you could live in?

'The Big Book of People Praising George, Seeing Only the Best In Him, and Overpaying Him, and Overpaying Him On Time For Once.' The hardcover. The one that shows me grinning from ear to ear.

"8. What movie do you wish you could live in?

"The film adaptation of 'The Big Book of People Praising George, Seeing Only the Best In Him, and Overpaying Him, and Overpaying Him On Time For Once,' the title of which Hollywood has changed to 'Savage Desperate Lust Vendetta Handjob'
"19. What's your favorite way to blow money?

"No questions about my sex life. I told you that in the 'pre-questioning.'

"20. Which living writer most influences you?

"I would have to say I've been most influenced by myself. Which is too bad, because basically I think I suck. But what can I do? When young, I didn't think I sucked, and during that time, that critical time when my asthetic opinions were being formed, I was quite enamored of myself, and therefore kind of imprinted my view of the world on myself. So now I find that, no matter what I do, I am always eitherimitating myself or (perhaps worse) contra-imitating myself, ie, acting in such a way as to distance myself from myself. In other words, I am always operating under my own influence. Or, like, operating under the influence of myself. What I mean is, I can embrace myself, I can reject myself, but ultimately, what am I reacting to? That's right. Myself. But enough about me."

* The Prague Post on the Plastic People of the Universe. excerpt:

"From the perspective of the modern Western world, it's hard to grasp that in 1976, when members of the Plastic People of the Universe were doing hard time for 'vulgarity,' it had been 10 years since Lenny Bruce, free on bail and awaiting appeal, did his final performance, opening for Frank Zappa. Indeed, by that time, Zappa and bands like the Sex Pistols had far outpaced Bruce and the Plastic People, and were freely taking their outré acts on the road.

"But there the comparisons end. While performers in the West got in legal skirmishes, artists like the Plastic People and their fans were subject to arrests, brutal interrogations, house burnings, beatings and forced exile."

"Today the reconstituted Plastic People are going strong, both on the performing circuit and in the studio. On Saturday, the band has a CD launch at Vagon for Za?ni U Stromu, a new release by saxophone and clarinet player Vratislav Brabenec and guitarist Joe Karafiát. Over lunch during a rehearsal break, band members agree to talk about their turbulent history — sort of.

"'I don't like talking about politics,' bassist/vocalist Eva Turnová says as soon as the tape recorder is switched on. Her statement seems to ring true for the rest of the group as well. For the past 15 minutes, the conversation has moved from Brabenec talking about a pig farmer telepathically translating James Joyce's Ulysses to keyboardist Josef Janí?ek professing his love for Celtic music, while violinist Ji?í Kabeš nods approval."

* Last words of Joan Crawford, who died May 10, 1977: "Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me." To her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud.

April 26, 2006

we believe in the sum of ourselves

paul bowles, morocco, 1983, by mary ellen mark

Sound and Structure
-- by Barbara Guest

"Sound leads to structure." Schöberg

On this dry prepared path walk heavy feet.
This is not "dinner music." This is a power structure.
heavy as eyelids.
Beams are laid. The master cuts music for the future.

Sound lays the structure. Sound leaks into the future.

Sitting Outside
-- by W. D. Snodgrass

These lawn chairs and the chaise lounge
of bulky redwood were purchased for my father
twenty years ago, then plumped down in the yard
where he seldom went when he could still work
and never had stayed long. His left arm
in a sling, then lopped off, he smoked there or slept
while the weather lasted, watched what cars passed,
read stock reports, counted pills,
then dozed again. I didn’t go there
in those last weeks, sick of the delusions
they still maintained, their talk of plans
for some boat tour or a trip to the Bahamas
once he’d recovered. Under our willows,
this old set’s done well: we’ve sat with company,
read or taken notes—although the arm rests
get dry and splintery or wheels drop off
so the whole frame’s weakened if it’s hauled
across rough ground. Of course the trees,
too, may not last: leaves storm down,
branches crack off, the riddled bark
separates, then gets shed. I have a son, myself,
with things to be looked after. I sometimes think
since I’ve retired, sitting in the shade here
and feeling the winds shift, I must have been filled
with a child dread you could catch somebody’s dying
if you got too close. And you can’t be too sure.

-- by Alison Bracenbuyry

Who plants forsythia now? It is not tasteful;
Too ragged, tall, and dull when leaves are out.
But see the sparrows rush into its heart,
Eyes stroke it, raw and golden as a shout.

In Dispraise Of Poetry
-- by Jack Gilbert

When the King of Siam disliked a courtier,
he gave him a beautiful white elephant.
The miracle beast deserved such ritual
that to care for him properly meant ruin.
Yet to care for him improperly was worse.
It appears the gift could not be refused.

April 25, 2006

The sun shines and people forget

paul klee, cold city, 1921

* Alan Wolfe, writes about a possible Bush legacy in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The piece concludes:

"It is beyond my powers to know whether America's next president will be a Republican or a Democrat. But I do know that some future president will be faced with undoing the damage of a man sufficiently lacking in intellectual curiosity to question the bad ideas upon which he built his administration. Academics and intellectuals with an independent cast of mind — whether liberal or conservative — have played little role in the Bush administration, given, as it is, to reiterating talking points and insisting on absolute loyalty to the man in charge. But that is all the more reason why academics and intellectuals will find themselves in great demand when the leaders of this country eventually decide that their foreign and domestic policies will have to confront the real world around them, not the imaginary one bequeathed to them by their ideology. When that happens, future historians will look back on the Bush years as paving the way for a golden age of intellectual inquiry."

* The New York Times on the politics of pot. in full:

"The Bush administration's habit of politicizing its scientific agencies was on display again this week when the Food and Drug Administration, for no compelling reason, unexpectedly issued a brief, poorly documented statement disputing the therapeutic value of marijuana. The statement was described as a response to numerous inquiries from Capitol Hill, but its likely intent was to buttress a crackdown on people who smoke marijuana for medical purposes and to counteract state efforts to legalize the practice.

"Ordinarily, when the F.D.A. addresses a thorny issue, it convenes a panel of experts who wade through the latest evidence and then render an opinion as to whether a substance is safe and effective to use. This time the agency simply issued a skimpy one-page statement asserting that 'no sound scientific studies' supported the medical use of marijuana.

"That assertion is based on an evaluation by federal agencies in 2001 that justified the government's decision to tightly regulate marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. But it appears to flout the spirit of a 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine, a unit of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The institute was appropriately cautious in its endorsement of marijuana. It said the active ingredients of marijuana appeared useful for treating pain, nausea and the severe weight loss associated with AIDS. It warned that these potential benefits were undermined by inhaling smoke that is more toxic than tobacco smoke. So marijuana smoking should be limited, it said, to those who are terminally ill or don't respond to other therapies.

"Yet the F.D.A. statement, which was drafted with the help of other federal agencies that focus on drug abuse, does not allow even that much leeway. It argues that state laws permitting the smoking of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation are inconsistent with ensuring that all medications undergo rigorous scrutiny in the drug approval process.

"That seems disingenuous. The government is actively discouraging relevant research, according to scientists quoted by Gardiner Harris in yesterday's Times. It's obviously easier and safer to issue a brief, dismissive statement than to back research that might undermine the administration's inflexible opposition to the medical use of marijuana."

* Video for Serge Gainsborg's Hotel Parculiar. Watch it.

* "What I am going to write is the last of what I have to say. I will say that literature is the only consciousness we possess and that its role as consciousness must inform us of our ability to comprehend the hideous danger of nuclear power." --John Cheever

* Larry Bird's wine: surprisingly good for a white.

April 24, 2006

Do you curse where you come from
Do you swear in the night

elizabeth murray, what time is it

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"3. Scott McClellan

"Farewell Scott McClellan, we'll miss your outrageous lies and egregious stonewalling. Scott quit as White House press secretary last week, and if you're wondering whether he fell or was pushed, the answer is neither - he was thrown bodily out of a third floor window by Bush's new chief-of-staff Josh Bolten.

"You could see the disappointment written all over Scott's chubby little cheeks as he announced to the press that he would no longer be carrying the president's water. As he stood on the south lawn and told his former boss, 'I have given it my all, sir, and I have given you my all, sir,' it was a bit like watching Smithers accept forced retirement from Mr. Burns. Or watching Old Yeller get a bullet in the brain from Travis Coates (except McClellan wasn't noticeably rabid).

"When asked how he felt about his dismissal, Scott replied, 'The White House is going through a time of transition. Change can be helpful. This is a good time and a good position to help bring about change.' Ah, giving non-answers to the very end. That's our Scott. We'll miss you, old pal. Here's hoping you don't become the subject of an ongoing investigation any time soon."

* Flicker photos tagged the finger.

* clusterfuck nation. excerpt:

"America commuted back into the unknown country of $3-plus gasoline and $75-plus oil (per barrel) last week, and President Bush revisted the Tomorrowland of hydrogen cars in the absence of any reality-based response to the global energy crunch that will change all the terms of America's 'non-negotiable way of life.'"
"Events seem to have dragged us kicking and screaming beyond the sheer denial stage, since this is now the second time in six months that oil and gasoline prices have ratcheted wildly up. Something is happening, Mr. Jones, and now we want to talk our way out of it."
"Can we bust out of this narrow tunnel of fantasy? Can we imagine living differently? Can we turn more fruitful imaginings into action before the American scene becomes a much more disorderly place? It would be nice to see President Bush really lead by taking a well-publicized ride on the Washington Metro, or dropping in to visit an organic farm, or signing a bill to increase incentives for small-scale hydro-electricity, or turning loose some federal prosectors on WalMart's human resources department. It would be nice to see the Democrats put aside their preoccupations with gender confusion and racial grievance and start campaigning to restore the US railroad system.

"It would help to see the science and technology sector return from outer space. Corporate America and its leaders are probably hopeless, but so is the current scale and scope of their operations, and circumstances will decide what they get to do. The mainstream media, representing the nation's collective consciousness, remains in a coma. This morning's electronic edition of The New York Times displays not one home page headline about oil or gasoline prices, despite the trauma of the week just passed."

* "The unusual is only found in a very small percentage, except in literary creations, and that is exactly what makes literature." -- Julio Cortazar

* The Sunday Herald on Patti Smith. excerpt:

"Smith has weathered the last four decades as one of America’s true individuals in a country claiming to be full of them. Though she’s known as a musician, it’s obvious from this performance, and the art downstairs, that Smith was never content to just stick to the recording studio. She’d had two volumes of poetry published before she’d even seen the inside of legendary venue CBGB’s, and has been experimenting in visual art since the late 1960s.

"She also might just be the worst guitar player to be accorded punk icon status, which sounds like an insult, but is, in this case, a compliment. There’s something refreshingly honest about Smith’s occasional fluffing of the songs she sings tonight. That she’s still a fragile, uncertain player unable to get through the three simple chords of Hank Williams’s I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry without stopping halfway through, after more than 30 years of being on-stage, is more punk than anything else. Why bother to properly learn guitar when you’ve got a voice like hers, not to mention Lenny Kaye or (her late husband) Fred 'Sonic' Smith to play for you?

"The rattling, urgent Gandhi – 'I can’t screw this one up, it’s only got one chord' – is followed by a slightly overwrought, People Have The Power, delivered unaccompanied. If its simplistic, gung-ho vision of 1960s idealism seems a little naïve four decades later, Smith’s rendition almost saves it. Though less strident, her poems have a sometimes uneasy tendency to slide into overblown pretension. As Smith reads aloud, you occasionally wonder whether they’d be better left to the page, but her flat, declamatory tones bring out the internal rhythms of pieces such as The Oracle and Music Of The Spheres (written on the day that Pope John Paul II died).

"Smith’s intellectual appetite, were it not matched by her creative impulses, might leave her open to accusations of being something of a dilettante (a charge levelled at most musicians who express a desire to do anything other than stick rigidly to the patented rock’n’roll template). However, her passion – for William Blake, for idealism and the transformative powers of song, for poetry and learning (she declares herself thrilled to be playing inside a library) – is undoubtedly genuine, and infectious."

April 21, 2006

so many beautiful days in a row

daniel richter, flagge

digital recording (after eliot)
-- by Joanne Burns

one thinks of all the hands
that whip money out of ATMs
quick as condoms, headache pills;
that jiggle herbal tea bags in thick
mugs like puppeteers; that fill
out lotto forms on a stream of
thin white shelves; that are
dropping shaggy track pants on
the floor beside a bed, that
press touchfones more than flesh;
that vote in cardboard booths
with short lead pencils, tied
to string like small harpoons:
that tremble at the mirror too
close to the patinas of their skin;
one thinks of all the hands, burning
teaspoons in a thousand motel rooms

Higher Maths
-- by Cassie Lewis

The News muted by blank snow.
Drivers’ coffee dawn. Promised
cures. Music conjugates the verb
to witness, holding forth. Parish
of all light: shelter those on foot.
Broken town: two trucks collide,
and at one juncture a frozen face
looks more formal than the trees.

-- by Cassie Lewis

I jolt awake. Remember beer for breakfast
in seedy bars. Furnishings close in, suddenly, their sweat.
What is this wanderlust

Stay here wrestling smallest things,
this broken morning.
It is unremitting —
must I force this door?

Haven. You sit still in your chair,
like an absolution. Each of your knuckles burns
white hot on the armrest. You are a saint,

I just pose as someone awake.
How do I tear this parcel open? Are you
the glow inside?

I wiped the smoke off the walls
but I can’t stop the forest.
It blows through the door’s wooden slats as
we confer. Late night TV

glares, and murmurs
'I’ll love you through this.'

-- by Frank Stanford

The old woman washed my socks
Light went through my hair
Like a school of minnows

Death had a socket wrench
That'd fit any nut
He knows a little tune
You can't carry

Death say he give you credit
You better not sign

A journey is just like a journey
The so-called mystery of death
Will run you about an even seven bucks
Go ahead and see
This includes a washtub of beer
Advice on love
Snake oil on your tally-whacker

Wind blows over our plots
Whistling up the butt of our deaths
I could be anywhere
Wind on the island at night
Not the schoolbell full of mud

April 20, 2006

we're gonna find the meaning of feeling good

The Debutante, 1998, Mark Ryden

* Rolling Stone wonders whether Bush is the worst president ever. excerpt:

"Now, though, George W. Bush is in serious contention for the title of worst ever. In early 2004, an informal survey of 415 historians conducted by the nonpartisan History News Network found that eighty-one percent considered the Bush administration a 'failure.' Among those who called Bush a success, many gave the president high marks only for his ability to mobilize public support and get Congress to go along with what one historian called the administration's 'pursuit of disastrous policies.' In fact, roughly one in ten of those who called Bush a success was being facetious, rating him only as the best president since Bill Clinton -- a category in which Bush is the only contestant.

"The lopsided decision of historians should give everyone pause. Contrary to popular stereotypes, historians are generally a cautious bunch. We assess the past from widely divergent points of view and are deeply concerned about being viewed as fair and accurate by our colleagues. When we make historical judgments, we are acting not as voters or even pundits, but as scholars who must evaluate all the evidence, good, bad or indifferent. Separate surveys, conducted by those perceived as conservatives as well as liberals, show remarkable unanimity about who the best and worst presidents have been."

* From an interview in the believer:

BLVR: Rumor has it that you turned down the chance to direct Disney’s remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner because you felt they weren’t interested in really exploring racism.

Harold Ramis: The way they wanted to do it didn’t have a lot to do with the colossal amount of pain and violence that swirls around racial injustice. It would’ve been like an episode of The Jeffersons. What’s the point? But who knows, maybe that’s as much as most people want. I can’t tell you how many people have told me, 'When I go to the movies, I don’t want to think.'

BLVR: Does that offend you as a filmmaker?

HR: It offends me as a human being. Why wouldn’t you want to think? What does that mean? Why not just shoot yourself in the fucking head?

* Can anyone help this average homeboy get his record contract?

* Another retail rant. excerpt:

"Let me preface this by saying that, as a person with a very small bladder, I very much wish public bathrooms were available everywhere, all the time. So I certainly feel your pain. I realize, and sympathize with, the fact that in an ideal world you could stop browsing through used CDs and take a dump, and pick right back up where you left off. But I'm sorry, dear Customer, we don't have a public restroom for you here.

"I don't mind you asking. Really, I'd do the same thing if Nature called. But after I've said, 'No, I'm sorry' I'm not entirely sure what else we have to discuss on the matter. Today, after I devastatingly disappointed a twenty-something woman, her mother was enlisted to take up her battle. 'You seriously won't let my daughter use your bathroom? That's ridiculous.' Full of indignation, incredulousness, and especially entitlement. She obviously deserved use of the store's commode. She wasn't going down without a fight, that was clear. I was informed that 'rules were meant to be broken' and that I'm 'absurd.'
"The real issue here for me is one that I seem to encounter often with customers, and certain kinds of humans in society in general. Almost always they are white people, and very often they are 45 years old or older. They clearly think that they are entitled to whatever they want. They seem to value rules in general, at least in that you'd always imagine these folks obeying the law, working the jobs that get them the luxury minivans they pull up in, telling their kids what to do, and so on. But when confronted by someone like me telling them they can't always get what they want, they are outraged. No matter how polite I am, this sort of person feels that shitting in our can is some sort of birthright. Invariably, they all eventually amaze themselves with a turn of logical debate in what they think is an infallible argument: 'Well, YOU must have a bathroom for yourself!' You can see the chess moves they've worked out, 2 or 3 statements in advance, in which they envision me admitted defeat saying, 'Inconceivable! You've outfoxed me this time, Captain. I grant you access to the John.'

"To be fair I get like this too, I'll admit, at least to a certain extent. When Panera Bread restaurant won't sell me a cheese sandwich, or even a meat and cheese sandwich without the meat, I can't help feeling that these monkeys are little more than malfunctioning robots. But I don't go around living my life with this sense of divine right or entitlement. It seems like these American assholes have grown so accustomed to getting what they wish, they're just plain spoiled brats. The specific issue of a bathroom aside, I'm just disgusted by the rude, egocentric, selfish behaviour of so many people. I too, wish life was laid out all pretty and neat and orderly just for me, with tides parting as I enter the room--who told these fuckers that they were the world's bellybutton? I mean, yeah sure, if you get a bad piece of food at a restaurant, send it back. Return something that doesn't do what they said it would. Refuse to shop at places with poor service or where you are not treated with respect. But get over the illusion that you are a snowflake, unique in all the world. The world is not your oyster. Above all, come to grips with the possibility that you don't know everything, and others have reasons for the way they run their shops and live their lives. I'm not about to explain everything about how the universe operates to you, you daft bitch."

* "I once shook hands with Pat Boone and my whole right side sobered up." -- Dean Martin

April 19, 2006

from the cheap seats see us wave

untitled, by silver juice?

American Flag
-- by Jack Anderson

This is an American flag.

Here it is. Let these words be spoken or read, and if you
know this language you recognize this flag. Look, here are
the thirteen alternating red and white stripes and the
union of white stars upon a blue field.

A match is approaching the American flag. The American flag
is being set on fire. The match touches, first one stripe,
then the rest. The American flag starts to burn.

The reason why the American flag has been set on fire is to
protest American policies regarding the Vietnamese war. But
should this be read at some later date when the situation
has altered, then the flag is to be burned to protest any
subsequent evil caused by these American policies in Vietnam,
or to protest any other evil, anywhere in the world, in which
America may be involved.

The American flag is burning. It blazes. The flames leap
higher. Hear them crackle. Feel the heat rise.

Listen, listen and look: whenever you read these words, or
whenever these words are read to you, then an American flag
has been set ablaze. You can ’t stop it. The word has been
given. Right here you will always find that an American flag
is burning. Watch it burn and think upon evil.
Think also upon justice, prudence, and mercy.
Now the flames subside. The flames die out. The flag is ashes.
An American flag has just been burned.

--by Mary Ferrari

for Kenneth Koch

at the end of every cigarette that burns there is of course
a soft little bright light which means
hope! eternity! so you are not
killing yourself when you
smoke you are preparing for
heaven where the loving lavender
cigarette angels have soft ash wings
or for hell where a flaming cigarette forest makes
a marvelous explosion in which at least you are involved!

--by Denise Levertov

The flowerlike
animal perfume
in the god’s curly
hair —

don’t assume
that like a flower
his attributes
are there to tempt

you or
direct the moth’s
hunger —
simply he is
the temple of himself,

hair and hide
a sacrifice of blood and flowers
on his altar

if any worshipper
kneel or not.

Reading Postures 7
-- by Marcella Ronk

Within the spine are warlike beings
interior, a certain space of cushioned
joints, leading upwards to places where
each vertebrae is a lit candle & wavers
in wind caused by a word
spoken in a desert full of air.
A tendon replaces a street, stretched,
it reaches the length of a median.
Placing a foot behind an ear
makes one hear the distant thud
of a small distortion in axle alignments,
a cough, a bone thrown out, tracing
drawings made on equators and
doldrums, deltoid scrims, your
wrists & upwards, small movements
of eye blinking down, the cushion of
gravity, jowls, o rosy fruited pines
placed at the rims of softness, these
warlike beings, and candles burning
through wax, your tracings and mistakings.
When holding a cup full of wicks,
light one throughout the body,
center a fire in the gravity fall of place.

April 18, 2006

I'm set free to find a new illusion

untitled, by tom cakuls

* The Rude Pundit: three signs that your superpower is becoming a cheap rip-off of the Soviet Union:

1. Members of the party in power pledge allegiance to their party's own symbol. At a GOP dinner in San Diego, the fine Republican attendees stood like good meerkats and began to say the Pledge of Allegiance until some observant Pavlovian diner noticed that there was no, you know, American flag to pledge to. "Pledge to the elephant," shouted one quick-thinking GOPer, and all the pledgers, including weepy Rep. Darrell Issa, turned to say the pledge to a starred and striped elephant banner.

2. Children sing songs in praise of the government, no matter how incompetent and dangerous they've been to those children. At the gay-infused White House Easter egg hunt, a group of "Katrina Kids" sang a song about how major great President Bush, Congress, and FEMA have been in helping them. It's a little like a National Guard member thanking Bush for sending him to Iraq 'cause it gets him out of the house. Except creepier. The song was sung to the tune of that song of blind optimism by Cy Coleman, "Hey, Look Me Over," which has the prescient line, "I figure whenever you’re down and out, the only way is up." Truer words, motherfuckers, truer words.

3. The government creates guidelines telling adults what they can and can't do with their bodies. The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families has defined "abstinence" for abstinence-only programs seeking federal grants. That definition says abstinence ain't just a bullshit lie that conservatives tell teenagers. Nope, see, now the only time you can fuck is in a man-woman marriage. Otherwise, no fucking, of any sort: no single sex, no gay sex, no Scalia-approved orgies, no under the desk blow jobs, no on top of the desk anal, no muff-diving, no rim jobs, no hand jobs, no backward daisy chain monkey in the middles with a butterfly twist. No sexual stimulation between two people unless one's a guy, one's a gal, and they're miserably united in connubial bliss.

Hey, all we need is morning bread lines, absurd government secrecy, spying on citizens, a foreign policy of militarily imposing our ideology on others, and soaring fuel prices...oh, shit. Scratch that. All we need is morning bread lines, and then welcome to the Politburo's America.

* "War is a coward's escape from the problems of peace." RIPWilliam Sloane Coffin.

* interesting, longish velvet underground rant, ending with a listing of bands influenced by VU. excerpt:

"THE ROLLING STONES-Mick Jagger admitted that the Stones had a Velvet influence in a '78 ROLLING STONE interview, which makes me want to ask him "WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG TO 'FESS UP?" Since he made this oft-debated (by R. Meltzer in the pages of a NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS review of STICKY FINGERS) statement known at the height of a punk-inspired Velvets mania I've answered my own question. The Velvets influence on the Stones was greater than anyone other than Meltzer or Lester Bangs would have admitted at the time, to the point where in the here-and-now it can be acknowledged that the early-Velvet Underground were a template for Jagger's harrowing tale of statutory rape "Stray Cat Blues," though I recently listened to FINGERS (considered by some the Stones' strongest Velvets/punk offering) and thought it sounded a lot like the Flamin' Groovies' TEENAGE HEAD, but since I'm a guy who thinks the Yardbirds sound remarkably like Count Five, you could say that I have my rockism priorities straight. Which brings us to..."
"AMON DUUL I and II-Krautrock might have sounded a lot weenier had the Velvets not happened. Take these guys for example...without the Velvet Underground in their makeup both editions of Amon Duul would probably have been as weak and lilly-livered as the ever-failing San Francisco bands they also emulated. Fortunately the Velvets added a punk verve to not only them but a whole bunch of groups who we can probably categorize with the Stooges and MC5 this far down the line rather'n with the Jefferson Airplane. Speaking of the 'plane, AD II sound like what I think that VILLAGE VOICE critic who heard the Velvets influence in the Airplane thought he heard, while it was none other than one Mike Stax of UGLY THINGS fame who said that AD I's PARADIESWARTS DUUL reminded him of a mythical jam with the Jeffersonians, the Velvets and the Manson Family! As for me, it sounds like the Velvets just before Cale left only using the acoustic-sounding gear from the third album. All Amon Duul I albums are recommended with interesting Velvet-sneaks tossed into those 48-hour drug jams, while the Amon Duul II releases seem to get less-interesting as time goes on although they still have their own charm. However, 1969's PHALLUS DEI still shines within the sixties' (and Velvets') mad dash to the point where even the fine playing doesn't seem to bother me anymore."

April 17, 2006

well you certainly are nice people

nadine spinoza, untitled

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"10. Penn State College Republicans

"And finally, College Republicans have been featured on the list many times for lending their voices to the national dialogue in ways which will go down in history as profoundly racist, homophobic, or just plain stupid. And they apparently have no intention of stopping.

"Last week, College Republicans at Penn State University announced their intention to join the raging debate on immigration by playing a 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game.' I know you can't wait to learn how to play this game, so I'll tell you. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 'People would be invited to 'catch' group members wearing orange shirts symbolizing illegal aliens.'

"Then what? Sadly, the Post-Gazette doesn't say. Are they deported from campus? Beaten up? Handed over to the 'Minutemen?' They're wearing orange shirts, so perhaps the College Republicans are suggesting that they should be sent to Guantanamo Bay. No, wait - I've got it. They're going to put them to work cleaning their dorms for two bucks an hour.

"Anyway, the idea was deemed to be an incredibly bad one by all concerned - apart from the chairman of the PSU College Republicans who said of his detractors, 'I think they're just misinformed.'

"Look out for the PSU College Republicans' next exciting event, the 'Stop a Gay Wedding Game,' where participants will track down pairs of same-sex couples wearing pink shirts and then lock them up until they convert to heterosexuality."

* Neil Young's Impeach the president song, recorded with a 100 voice choir, drops soon.

-- related: additional details of Neil Young album:

"Whilst details of the 10-song recording are still incomplete - it is known that he is accompanied by Chad Cromwell on drums, Rick Rosas on bass and Tommy Bray on trumpet - a further insight into what to expect has come from the California-based musician Alicia Morgan, who was recruited to be part of the 100-strong choir. In an entry on her blog on Friday she wrote: 'Have you, like me, been recalling the great protest songs of the Sixties, and wondered where the new protest songs are? Yesterday, I found out.' She said she and the other singers read off the lyrics as they flashed onto a giant screen, with cheers of approval coming up from the choir. With the main tracks having been previously recorded, Young himself directed the backing singers. 'Turns out the whole thing is a classic beautiful protest record. The session was like being at a 12-hour peace rally,' she said.

"Every time new lyrics would come up on the screen, there were cheers, tears and applause. It was a spiritual experience ... We finished the session by singing an a cappella version of 'America the Beautiful' and there was not a dry eye in the house.' She added: 'I've never been at a recording session that was more like being at church. Heck, I've never been to a church that was more like a church than that session.' Speaking from Sherman Oaks, California, yesterday Morgan told The Independent that many people liked Neil Young because he 'pisses everybody off.'

and in Neil's words: "I just finished a new record -- a power trio with trumpet and 100 voices, I think it is a metal version of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan."

* "Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

April 14, 2006

the stars don't shine upon us
we're in the way of their light

maxfield parrish, stars

The More Loving One
-- by W.H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total darkness sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

-- by Louise Gluck

A man and a woman lie on a white bed.
It is morning. I think
Soon they will waken.
On the bedside table is a vase
of lilies; sunlight
pools in their throats.
I watch him turn to her
as though to speak her name
but silently, deep in her mouth--
At the window ledge,
once, twice,
a bird calls.
And then she stirs; her body
fills with his breath.

I open my eyes; you are watching me.
Almost over this room
the sun is gliding.
Look at your face, you say,
holding your own close to me
to make a mirror.
How calm you are. And the burning wheel
passes gently over us.

The Truth the Dead Know
-- by Anne Sexton

For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959

Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one's alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in the stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

* Friday bonus: watch this hilarious live late night ad for a San Francisco-area car dealer which aired in the early 1970s. they don't make 'em like this anymore (possibly NSFW due to excessive swearing).

April 13, 2006

you say you lost your faith
but that's not where its at

give em an inch and they'll take a foot,
Trenton Doyle Hancock, 2006

* Short interview of david berman. excerpt:

Q: You have some pretty unusual lyrics. Ever come up with anything too weird to use?

Berman: No, but I bought a giant safe because I have so much backlogged writing that has to be processed from the past 15 years. Whenever I leave the house, I'm always convinced it's going to burn down, and I'm going to have to come back and start from the beginning. I'm always imagining a stack of hay or something somehow got in the bathroom and a match falling on it.
Q: I read you were once hit on by Tina Louise (Ginger on "Gilligan's Island"). What's the story?

Berman: It was a party at the Whitney Museum [in New York]. All I can say is that I was there, and she wouldn't leave me alone. I was the guard, and she was a guest. We talked all night long. I wasn't physically attracted to her. I knew that she was Ginger, too. I'm pretty sure the first sexual feelings I had were from her slinky, white, sequin dress on the island.

Q: You weren't attracted to her in person? So you're more of a Mary Ann fan?

Berman: I'm not! I'm totally Ginger. The first couple years when I was in New York, I didn't get laid. I felt unentitled to any [action]. I couldn't get the girls who worked on the fifth floor, so I couldn't process that Ginger would let me have her.

* Jazz musicians more likely to have drug, mental, problems, British study indicates. excerpt:

"Dr Wills focused on what is described as the "golden era" for US modern jazz between 1945 and 1960. He found that of 40 musicians studied, four had family histories of psychiatric disorders.

"For example, saxophonist Art Pepper's parents suffered alcohol-related problems, and Stan Getz's mother suffered from depression. Miles Davis, Art Pepper and Bill Evans all developed a powerful cocaine habit, said Dr Wills.

"However, he noted that heroin use was widespread among jazz musicians at the time as a vast supply of the drug was targeted at black urban neighbourhoods. He said: 'Modern jazz was a revolutionary music that was rejected by the general public, and heroin, like the music, was defiantly anti-establishment.'

-- related:

[Testifying before Congress in 1948]
Harry Anslinger (former head of FBI): "I need more agents."
Senate: Why?
Anslinger: "Because there are people out there violating the marijuana laws."
Senate: Who?
Anslinger: "Musicians... And I don't mean good musicians; I mean jazz musicians."

* "Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne." -- Kurt Vonnegut

April 12, 2006

we're all here chewing our tongues off
waiting for the fever to break

still from the must see 1973 film the wicker man

Three by Kim Addonizio

Dear Editor

Thank you for your form rejection letter
which I discovered on a small scrap of paper
at the bottom of my SASE.

Editor, I am sorry to inform you
that I cannot use your rejection at this time.
Perhaps another time will be better.

But somehow I doubt it will get better.
My life is full of difficulties
which is why I write poetry,

and this scrap is an added impediment.
Also, it is clear from your writing style
that you have no discrimination;

your prose is impersonal, and so lacks
the distinction of all great art,
though it took you an entire year to compose.

You are like a house filled with tasteless furnishings
with a plastic Sambo stationed on the lawn.
You are a woman in a dress like a sack,

an old man with trousers up to his tits.
You are a retromingent crap weasel
who is possibly only a graduate student

and not a real editor at all.
Therefore I am returning your rejection to you
along with some of my new work

which I think you will agree is my strongest yet,
and whose universal themes you will recognize
from my many previous submissions.

What the Dead Fear

On winter nights, the dead
see their photographs slipped
from the windows of wallets,
their letters stuffed in a box
with the clothes for Goodwill.
No one remembers their jokes,
their nervous habits, their dread
of enclosed places.
In these nightmares, the dead feel
the soft nub of the eraser
lightening their bones. They wake up
in a panic, go for a glass of milk
and see the moon, the fresh snow,
the stripped trees.
Maybe they fix a turkey sandwich,
or watch the patterns on the TV.
It's all a dream anyway.
In a few months
they'll turn the clocks ahead,
and when they sleep they'll know the living
are grieving for them, unbearably lonely
and indifferent to beauty. On these nights
the dead feel better. They rise
in the morning, and when the cut
flowers are laid befor their names
they smile like shy brides. Thank you,
thank you, they say. You shouldn't have,
they say, but very softly, so it sounds
like the wind, like nothing human.

Good Girl

Look at you, sitting there being good.
After two years you're still dying for a cigarette.
And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
Don't you want to run to the corner right now
for a fifth of vodka and have it with cranberry juice
and a nice lemon slice, wouldn't the backyard
that you're so sick of staring out into
look better then, the tidy yard your landlord tends
day and night — the fence with its fresh coat of paint,
the ash-free barbeque, the patio swept clean of small twigs —
don't you want to mess it all up, to roll around
like a dog in his flowerbeds? Aren't you a dog anyway,
always groveling for love and begging to be petted?
You ought to get into the garbage and lick the insides
of the can, the greasy wrappers, the picked-over bones,
you ought to drive your snout into the coffee grounds.
Ah, coffee! Why not gulp some down with four cigarettes
and then blast naked into the streets, and leap on the first
beautiful man you find? The words Ruin me, haven't they
been jailed in your throat for forty years, isn't it time
you set them loose in slutty dresses and torn fishnets
to totter around in five-inch heels and slutty mascara?
Sure it's time. You've rolled over long enough.
Forty, forty-one. At the end of all this
there's one lousy biscuit, and it tastes like dirt.
So get going. Listen: they're howling for you now:
up and down the block your neighbors' dogs
burst into frenzied barking and won't shut up.

April 11, 2006

Carry on, it's a marathon

nicolas se stael, untitled

* The Rude Pundit on the Bush lies. excerpt:

"The Rude Pundit believes this at the bottom: Cheney's a lying piece of shit and the President is a rube and an idiot of titanic proportions (fuck all those people who say, 'No, he's really not that dumb'). Either Cheney outright lied to Libby about Bush giving the thumbs-up or the conversation went something like this: Dick Cheney slithered into the Oval Office and said, 'George, listen, there's some shit I'm gonna get Scooter to do. You don't give a happy ratfuck, right?' And the President said it was fine, whatever, lemme play more Madden. So Bush 'knew' in the sense that he was told, but 'knowing' and 'Bush-knowing' is a little like the difference between telling your husband you love him while lying in bed awake together or while he's in a coma.

"On the President Not Being Able To "Leak": Let's say, and why not, that you are a dopehead living in Amsterdam and you are one ganja-smokin' motherfucker. You wake and bake; you do a three-toke lunch; you head over to one of the many fine, fine 'coffeeshops' every evening to meet up with hookah-suckin' friends to get toasted, toasted, nice 'n roasted on the latest greenhouse-grown organic shit. And it's all cool, man, 'cause pot's legal in Amsterdam. But let's say you run a website that's specifically targeting Americans in America, tellin' 'em not to smoke pot. In fact, the website is all about how bad it is, how it should not only remain criminalized, but the penalties oughta be more severe, how smokin' marijuana is a gateway drug, even though you've never found yourself suckin' a glass crack pipe or stickin' needles in your arm.

"Let's say that eventually you are outed, that someone says you are, in fact, a number one stoner, not the model of drug free living you advocate. Now, the proper response would be to hang your head in shame as you are beaten with sticks like a rabid cur, chased down the street until you disappear over the horizon. But, no. Instead, you simply state that no, you are not like American dopesters 'cause it's legal for you. You never broke the law, unlike all those fuckin' tokers in the USA.

"When 'senior White House officials' declare that President Bush can't 'leak' classified material because he, in fact, is in charge of declassifying it, despite having said repeatedly that Bush would take any leakers in his administration, rip out their tongues and shove them up their own assholes, well, shit, it's still time to break out the sticks and clear the road for the horizon's beckoning."

* Fun, 70s signage from the electric company.

* Howard Zinn, in this month's edition of the progressive. excerpt:

"What is the idea of our moral superiority based on? Surely not on our behavior toward people in other parts of the world. Is it based on how well people in the United States live? The World Health Organization in 2000 ranked countries in terms of overall health performance, and the United States was thirty-seventh on the list, though it spends more per capita for health care than any other nation. One of five children in this, the richest country in the world, is born in poverty. There are more than forty countries that have better records on infant mortality. Cuba does better. And there is a sure sign of sickness in society when we lead the world in the number of people in prison—more than two million.

"A more honest estimate of ourselves as a nation would prepare us all for the next barrage of lies that will accompany the next proposal to inflict our power on some other part of the world. It might also inspire us to create a different history for ourselves, by taking our country away from the liars and killers who govern it, and by rejecting nationalist arrogance, so that we can join the rest of the human race in the common cause of peace and justice."

* Game six of the 1986 World Series replayed using RBI Baseball. worth a view. [via]

April 10, 2006

the first ice cold twist of the wind

jeremy blakeall, the dirt

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"2. Tom DeLay

"So, farewell, Tom DeLay. How lame your predictions of returning from the wilderness to lead the Republican party into permanent majority status now seem. DeLay announced his resignation from the House of Representatives last week, which clears the way for his final humiliation - the possibility of conviction and imprisonment for conspiracy. But DeLay certainly wasn't going down without a fight. When he was booked in Texas he name-checked Jesus ("Let people see Christ through me"), and last week it was the turn of Martin Luther King ("Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last"). Then the Bugman lashed out at his former colleagues in Congress, saying that the Republican leadership had no agenda.

"DeLay managed to pull off one last screw-job on his supporters before resigning. He knew that the shit was hitting the fan well before his recent primary election but chose to run anyway. Why? Well, it turns out that all the money he managed to raise during the primary can go directly into his legal defense fund. Thanks for the cash, suckers of Congressional District 22.

"Don't count Tom out just yet though - he has a plan to revamp the Republican party 'from the outside.' Whether he'll be able to do that from the inside of a prison cell remains to be seen. But you never know - if Ahmed Chalabi can go from wanted fugitive in Jordan to deputy prime minister of Iraq, could President Thomas D. DeLay be too far down the road? And hey, if America won't forgive him he could always literally follow in Chalabi's footsteps and run for office in Iraq. Actually scratch that - they've got enough to worry about."

-- related: A tom delay poem, written for the dust congress, by Klipshutz:

the twisting in the wind of tom delay

fuck you tom delay
stick a fork in you you’re done
not even worth the trouble
it takes to cap your name
much less a surname twice

hey tom, you know that joke?
the crude mean heartless one?
i bet you do i bet a golfing trip you do—
about the woman with no arms or legs
on the beach & crying
a guy he comes along
to ask her why
she says i’ve never been hugged
okay he hugs her

next day same thing
him her the beach
the tears he asks she says
i’ve never been kissed
he plants one front & center
just like that

day after that the beach
the him the her the waterworks
the question & she says
(in a kind of strangled moan)
i’ve never been fucked
he picks her up & throws her in the water
says i hope the wait was worth it
you’re fucked now

the kind of joke i’d bet my paycheck
you tell the table on a junket
a mariannas junket at the clubhouse
(nineteenth hole) guffaw guffaw
your batteries recharging
for the cockfight after dark
as a coffee colored gal delivers drinks
& jack collects the checks
to hand out later

i hope you feel the burn you turd
the cat & mouseness closing in
as prosecutors squeeze
the underlings you shat upon

if you have some time to kill
you can google your dead self
read this & realize what you’ve become

barely a dead horse to beat
for fun

* what is happiness?

* "Rather than be confronted with an overwhelming proof of the limitations of our understanding, we accuse the dreams of not making sense." -- Erich Fromm

April 7, 2006

feel sick and dirty more dead than alive

andrew moore, ice breaker

--by Beth Woodcome

This morning the three dogs shat
on the floor and that’s what I woke to.

Before I even woke my body took itself
in, took it in like an immediate mother would.

Not every mother, but let’s get back to you.
One dog is now sleeping at my feet.

I know how that feels, that shame.
This is my sixty-seventh postcard.

Each time, when I say
I wish you were here

I mean to say I don’t know if you’re real
or intend to hurt me by having a body I can’t get to.

A Poem for James Frey
--by Beth Woodcome

"And you altered things about yourself," Winfrey said.

When I was born, it was known that I would have to lie in order to live.
Even swaddled, we're all little myths waiting to unfold.

My father ate my mother, my sister married my brother,
the gods weren't merciful. Behind that, in the curtains,
I concocted myself out of the scraps.

This is my memory; this is what it had to be in order to survive.
I think we alter according to necessity, and the truth is
what you're willing to die with.

"Did you cling to that image because that's how you wanted
to see yourself?" she asked.

Ouch. I see myself as you see me because I'm young.
There are at least ten wars right behind your back,
but all you can do is look at me.

If I perjured myself, it's not that I truly knew I had. I swear it.
The definitions are confusing. All I know is that I held myself up
against the light, and a real image came through.

16-bit Intel 8088 chip
-- by Charles Bukowski

with an Apple Macintosh
you can't run Radio Shack programs
in its disc drive.
nor can a Commodore 64
drive read a file
you have created on an
IBM Personal Computer.
both Kaypro and Osborne computers use
the CP/M operating system
but can't read each other's
for they format (write
on) discs in different
the Tandy 2000 runs MS-DOS but
can't use most programs produced for
the IBM Personal Computer
unless certain
bits and bytes are
but the wind still blows over
and in the Spring
the turkey buzzard struts and
flounces before his

April 6, 2006

I love soda can pipes and life

candy darling, by gerard malanga, 1971

* the rude pundit on life in the house without Delay. excerpt:

"There are various schools of thought on how best to get rid of an infestation of Eastern subterranean termites in your house. Basically it depends on the severity of the damage already done. Termites are persistent insects, chewing through the soft parts of the wood in your house, leaving behind a honeycombed shell of the great, sturdy place it used to be. Really, what termites are doing is creating a place where they can live and feed and wreak more and more destruction, taking the solid wood and transforming it into a moist, muddy network of tunnels and tubes. It's the best environment for termites.

"A termite colony is a caste-driven society, with a king and, most importantly, a queen at the top. The colony depends on the queen for its survival, as she can lay 2000 eggs a day. The queen can live for up to 25 years. Do the math. That's a hell of a lot of vermin. The worker termites make up the largest caste, and they live up to that moniker, maintaining the tunnels, catering to the needs of the queen, gathering the food. Workers are essential to a well-run destruction wrought by the colony. Then there are the soldiers, with their mighty mandibles and sticky chemicals, always at the ready to kill and crush any ant that might attack the colony. Then there are the swarmers, the termites that leave the colony to find mates with which they can start new colonies. Destruction, you know, is a neverending project.

"As revolting as all termites are, especially when you see them in their creeping, crawling swarms, the most disgusting by far is the queen termite. Its gooey white sac is often bloated with eggs, its progeny slipping out of her in a neverending spewing of slimy, larva-engorged mucus balls. She's so filled with the burgeoning termites, ready to be catered to and then set loose to eat and corrupt the stability of the very house that surrounds them, that she's an easy target, too fat to move, too single-purposed in her existence.

"So the schools of thought on saving your house are this: if found early enough, before too much damage has been done, you may be able to get away with just killing the queen. However, most pest control experts would say that it's a fool's errand to pursue the queen alone and think that the infestation will be taken care of. Really, in the end, to be safe, to make sure your house isn't gutted from the inside, it's best to just kill the entire colony. Otherwise, they'll just find a new way to breed and destroy, breed and destroy. So wipe 'em out. You'll be happy you did. And you may discover that your house can remain standing longer than you ever expected."

* Popmatters reviews various books in the Continuum 33 1/3 series.

* Interview of V.S. Naipaul. excerpt:

Naipaul: You only have to look at that dreadful American man Henry James. The worst writer in the world actually. He never went out in the world. Yes, he came to Europe and he 'did' and lived the writer's life. He never risked anything. He never exposed himself to anything. He travelled always as a gentleman. When he wrote English Hours about what he was seeing in England - written for an American magazine - this man would write about the races at Epsom and do it all from a distance. He never thought he should mingle with the crowd and find out what they were there for, or how they behaved. He did it all from the top of a carriage or the top of a coach. A lot of his writing is like that. And he exalts his material because he thinks that this subject matter he has alighted on - the grandeur of Europe and the grandeur of American new money - is unbeatable. Elizabeth Hardwick said to me about Henry James many years ago, 'What's he going on about? These people he is talking about are just Americans!' It has the effect that young American people still think they can 'do a Henry James' - come to Europe and write a book like Henry James.

Q: You couldn't say the same about Hemingway, whom young Americans also try to follow. He did mingle with people.

Naipaul: Hemingway didn't know where he was, ever, really. He was so busy being an American and that was his subject matter. You wouldn't have any idea, from Hemingway or Fitzgerald and their stories or writings about Paris, that Paris was in the most terrible way between the wars. They just talked about the cafes, the drinks and oysters and things like that. They don't see the larger thing outside. I find it very difficult to read that kind of writing or to take it seriously. It's for other people - people down the road...

* "Religion restricts this play of choice and adaptation, since it imposes equally on everyone its own path to the acquisition of happiness and protection from suffering. Its technique consists in depressing the value of life and distorting the picture of the real world in a delusional manner which presupposes an intimidation of the intelligence. At this price, by forcibly fixing them in a state of psychical infantilism and by drawing them into a mass-delusion, religion succeeds in sparing many people an individual neurosis. But hardly anything more. There are, as we have said, many paths which may lead to such happiness as is attainable by men, but there is none which does so for certain. Even religion cannot keep its promise. If the believer finally sees himself obliged to speak of God's 'inscrutable decrees', he is admitting that all that is left to him as a last possible consolation and source of pleasure in his suffering is an unconditional submission. And if he is prepared for that, he probably could have spared himself the detour he has made." -- Freud

* 100 greatest punk songs.

April 5, 2006

sometimes flashing lights seem soulful in the window

English Skylight, by dronepop.

I Love You Sweatheart
-- by Thomas Lux

A man risked his life to write the words.
A man hung upside down (an idiot friend
holding his legs?) with spray paint
to write the words on a girder fifty feet above
a highway. And his beloved,
the next morning driving to work...?
His words are not (meant to be) so unique.
Does she recognize his handwriting?
Did he hint to her at her doorstep the night before
of "something special, darling, tomorrow"?
And did he call her at work
expecting her to faint with delight
at his celebration of her, his passion, his risk?
She will know I love her now,
the world will know my love for her!
A man risked his life to write the world.
Love is like this at the bone, we hope, love
is like this, Sweatheart, all sore and dumb
and dangerous, ignited, blessed--always,
regardless, no exceptions,
always in blazing matters like these: blessed.

Daytime Thoughts and Night-time wishes
-- by Sally Clarke

The sun sinks on another quickly passing day
For some reason they don't concern me
Any more
The quickly passing days
I just long for the nights
And my dreams

-- by Gerard McKeown

Sometimes I want to become a farmer.
Not because my ancestors were farmers
And I'm supposed to have it in my blood,
Nor is it because I've lived on a farm
And the experience inspired me.

I don't want to be the sort of farmer
That Heaney talks about in his poems,
A farmer that is at one with the land
And farms not as their job but as their life.

I want to be a farmer like Burroughs.
I would wait out my boredom on my farm
Keep busy with hard work and earn money
And when I leave I would leave my boredom
Lying battered in the soil behind me
With a snapped shovel bloody beside it.

Be Drunk
-- by Charles Baudelaire

You have to be always drunk. That's all there
is to it--it's the only way. So as not to feel the horrible
burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to
the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish.
But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a
palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude
of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone,
ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything
that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: "It is time to be drunk! So as not to
be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk!
On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish."

April 4, 2006

sleeping is the only love

subway, unknown

* Delay to leave congress within months. excerpt:

"DeLay's fall has been stunningly swift, one of the most brutal and decisive in American history. He had to give up his title of Majority Leader, the No. 2 spot in the House Republican leadership, in September when a Texas grand jury indicted him on charges of trying to evade the state's election law. So he moved out of his palatial suite in the Capitol, where he once brandished a 'No Whining' mug during feisty weekly sessions with reporters, and moved across the street to the Cannon House Office Building, home of many freshmen.

"The surprise decision was based on the sort of ruthless calculation that had once given him unchallenged dominance of House Republicans and their wealthy friends in Washington's lobbying community: he realized he might lose in this November's election. DeLay got a scare in a Republican primary last month, and a recent poll taken by his campaign gave him a roughly 50-50 shot of winning, in an election season when Republicans need every seat they can hang onto to avoid a Democratic takeover of the House.

"'I'm a realist. I've been around awhile. I can evaluate political situations,' DeLay told TIME at his kitchen table in Sugar Land, a former sugar plantation in suburban Houston. Bluebonnets are blooming along the highways. 'I feel that I could have won the race. I just felt like I didn't want to risk the seat and that I can do more on the outside of the House than I can on the inside right now. I want to continue to fight for the conservative cause. I want to continue to work for a Republican majority.'

"Asked if he had done anything illegal or unethical in public office, DeLay replied curtly, 'No.' Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, 'We're all sinners.' Asked what he would do differently, he said, 'Nothing.'"

* Video and mp3s of Captain Beefheart's 1980 SNL performance. [via]

* "In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. ... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness." - Hannah Arendt, The Origins Of Totalitarianism

April 3, 2006

Electricity comes from other planets

gerhard richter, untitled

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

7. Christian Soldiers

"Last week, representatives of the religion which claims at least 85% of Americans held a two-day conference in a posh Washington DC hotel to discuss how they're being oppressed. Actually, scratch that - these people are not representatives of the vast majority of American Christians. They really represent a radical right-wing fringe which seeks to use religion as a tool to gain political traction for their bigoted ideas. But of course, claiming that there is a 'War on Prejudiced Fools Who Seek to Destroy the Separation of Church and State and Radicalize America With Their Own Warped Version of Christianity' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, so so they decided on 'War on Christians' instead.

"And oh, how they whined. 'It doesn't rise to the level of persecution that we would see in China or North Korea,' said activist Tristan Emmanuel, 'But let's not pretend that it's okay.' Doesn't rise to the level of persecution that we would see in China or North Korea? No kidding. In North Korea, Christians are executed. In America, the president is openly Christian, as is the vice president. And the Speaker of the House of Representatives. And the House Majority Leader, and the Senate Majority Leader, and the Attorney General, the Defense Secretary, the Secretary of State, and seven of the nine members of the Supreme Court. And 85% of the rest of the country. So one might indeed argue that it doesn't rise to 'the level of persecution that we would see in China or North Korea.'

"Top speakers at the 'War on Christians' event included Tom DeLay (under indictment for corruption in Texas), John Cornyn (a top recipient of funds from convicted felon Jack Abramoff), Sam Brownback (another top recipient of funds from Abramoff), and Gary Bauer (accused of adultery). And let's not forget Alan Keyes, who threw his daughter out of the house because she's gay.

"The event also featured Michael Horowitz, who told the attendees, 'You guys have become the Jews of the 21st century.' Presumably he was referring to the 6 million American Christians who were gassed to death in Massachusetts concentration camps last year."

* Dorothy Parker will her copyright to the NAACP -- an organization her executor hated. excerpt:

"Soon afterward, Parker's will was read. It was no surprise that she appointed Hellman as literary executor—a shrewd, high-energy businesswoman, she was the obvious choice to oversee the estate. Perhaps figuring that Hellman had no need of money, though more likely because she believed passionately in racial equality, Parker had decided to place her sparrow-size nest egg where it could do some good. Her entire estate, including any copyrights and royalties from her writings, was left to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man she had never met but admired tremendously. In the event of King's death, it was to go to the NAACP.

"When notified of the unexpected bequest, which amounted to around twenty thousand dollars excluding unpaid bills and burial expenses, King was puzzled. He had no idea who Parker was. As for the other interested parties, their reactions can be best described as disbelief, if not shock. In Brockport, NY, twenty miles west of Rochester, Dottie's niece and nephew expressed disappointment. Their lawyer wrote Bernstien to find out whether King could not be persuaded to share the estate with them. Hearing of this, Hellman exploded to Bernstien about their 'absolutely unmitigated gall.' And when the children subsequently asked for an autographed book or picture as a personal memento and wanted to know where their aunt Dottie was buried, they got no response. (Hellman also disregarded a Volney resident who claimed she had been promised Parker's old fur coat.)

"On the face of it, Hellman seemed pleased about King, publicly applauding Parker's 'strong feelings about civil liberty and Negro rights' and saying she was 'very impressed' by such a noble bequest. But in private she was fuming. King irritated her—apparently he reminded her of southern preachers from her childhood—but what upset her most was her friend's betrayal. Having managed to acquire control of Hammett's literary estate, Hellman had also expected to inherit Parker's; indeed, she believed she was entitled to it. As literary executor, she would be expected to make all decisions but would not benefit financially; proceeds from sales of the work would go to King, the new owner of the copyrights. Within a year of Parker's death, the civil-rights leader was assassinated and the estate became property of the NAACP, an organization for which Hellman had no respect whatsoever because she considered it timid and ineffectual. Ignoring the fact that King had been a vigorous thirty-six at the time of Parker's demise, Hellman continued to berate her friend and hold her personally responsible for the fate of the coveted copyrights. In a gloves-off mood, she didn't mince words with playwright Howard Teichmann: 'That goddamn bitch Dorothy Parker. . . . You won't believe what she's done. I paid her hotel bill at the Volney for years, kept her in booze, paid for her suicide attempts—all on the promise that when she died, she would leave me the rights to her writing. . . . But what did she do? She left them directly to the NAACP. Damn her!'

* "I was concerned much less with the deepest sources of the religious feeling than with what the common man understands by his religion * with the system of doctrines and promises which on the one hand explains to him the riddles of this world with enviable completeness, and, on the other, assures him that a careful Providence will watch over his life and will compensate him in a future existence for any frustrations he suffers here. The common man cannot imagine this Providence otherwise than in the figure of an enormously exalted father. Only such a being can understand the needs of the children of men and be softened by their prayers and placated by the signs of their remorse. The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.

"It is still more humiliating to discover how large a number of people living to-day, who cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to defend it piece by piece in a series of pitiful rearguard actions." -- Freud