August 31, 2007

I am a middle aged photographer with nothing left to shoot

Allan Sekula, The Rich Are Destroying the Planet, 2007



with a small sample of the outpouring of love for the man:

"Citing executive privilege, he defied a subpoena and refused to show up for a congressional hearing just two weeks ago on the allegedly improper use by White House aides of Republican National Committee email accounts. Fellow Bush advisers have said they believe the congressional probes have been aimed in part at driving Rove out." The White House said his departure was unrelated to the investigations. -The Washington Post

"We aren’t rid of the fat pig just because he’s leaving the White House. He’s never really been a "presidential" adviser anyway, IMO. He’s a political operative for the Rethug Party, pure and simple. He’s just slithering off to become the brains behind the campaign of whoever gets the Rethug nomination for ’08." -Joolz

"Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war—and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency." -Andrew Sullivan (a conservative!)

"For those of us in politics, an operative like Karl Rove comes across once in a generation. The Reagan generation had Lee Atwater. And we had Rove." -Patrick Ruffini

"I wish we had nailed Rove years ago. Him leaving now is like resigning from a poker tourney after breaking the bank." -The Sinstral

"He's America's Joseph Goebbels. As a 21-year old Young Republican in Texas, Karl Rove not only pimped for Richard Nixon's chief political dirty tricks strategist Donald Segretti but soon caught the eye of the incoming Republican National Committee Chairman, George H. W. Bush. Rove's dirty tricks on behalf of Nixon's 1972 campaign catapulted Rove onto the national stage. From his Eagle's Nest in the West Wing of the White House, Rove now directs a formidable political dirty tricks operation and disinformation mill." -- Wayne Madsen

"'The question isn’t whether or not Karl Rove was juicing,' says Davis Logsdon, a University of Minnesota professor who studies steroid use among White House political advisors. 'The question is, exactly how much was he juicing?'… And Mr. Logsdon suspects that steroids may have also played a role in the 2000 presidential election, in which Mr. Rove engineered a victory for Mr. Bush even though he received fewer votes than former Vice President Al Gore. 'If Rove was using steroids during all that, then the 2000 election has to go down in the record books with an asterisk,' he says." -Andy Borowitz (The Borowitz Report)

Video of Karl Rove's greatest hits. -- Daily Show

--Karl Rove

(with a little help from Byron & Dylan)

So we'll go no more invading
So late into the night,
Though Dick be fibrillating
And the boss still pass-fail bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And David Spade nails Yasmin Bleeth,
And greed itself must rest.

Though the night was made for loving power,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more invading
Till the darkness at the break of noon.

"Rove himself is deeply enmeshed in some of the scandals being investigated as we speak, including those missing emails that could tell us who turned the attorney general of the United States into a partisan sock puppet. Rove is riding out of Dodge city as the posse rides in. At his press conference this week he asked God to bless the president and the country, even as reports were circulating that he himself had confessed to friends his own agnosticism; he wished he could believe, but he cannot. That kind of intellectual honesty is to be admired, but you have to wonder how all those folks on the Christian right must feel discovering they were used for partisan reasons by a skeptic, a secular manipulator. On his last play of the game all Karl Rove had to offer them was a hail mary pass, while telling himself there's no one there to catch it." -- Bill Moyers

-- Today’s post a co-production with West Coast Correspondent klipschutz

August 30, 2007

happy songs sell records
sad songs sell beer

Georganne Deen, Persephone

* Joan Walsh on Alberto Gonzales:

"The tragedy of Alberto Gonzales came to an almost farcical end Monday with his self-pitying speech announcing his resignation. It's terrible that the country's top Latino leader is going down amid scandal and a hot debate about the nature of his wrongdoing -- is he a serial lawbreaker or just an incompetent Bush crony? But it's appalling the way Gonzales and his supporters have made him a symbol of the American dream, and implied that it's his Democratic critics who've turned the dream into a nightmare. 'It's sad we live in a time when a talented, honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeding [sic] from doing important work because his name has been dragged through the mud for political reasons,' President Bush said Monday, after describing Gonzales' climb from humble origins.

"Gonzales' rise -- from the son of an alcoholic millworker in, yes, Humble, Texas, to the top of the American justice system -- is a fascinating psychological study, especially when you remember that Bush, his patron, also had a drinking problem, and that one of Gonzales' early key accomplishments for Bush was hiding a 1976 drunken-driving arrest. But Gonzales may have reached a new low when he invoked his father in his resignation speech. 'Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days,' he said Monday morning.

"I can't judge whether that's true, but I'm not sure Gonzales can either. Gonzales could go down in history as the worst attorney general ever, accused of ginning up legal rationales for torture, spying on U.S. citizens and trying to turn the Department of Justice into an arm of the Republican National Committee. The man biographer Bill Minutaglio credits with having a "mortician's calm" attempted to embalm the department he was supposed to lead. Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to charge him with perjury for his many likely lies to Congress. (Paul Kiel has six of the best lies here.)

"I know his father had a difficult life and that, according to Minutaglio, young Alberto was ashamed of him, but the comparison seems self-serving and unfair to me. According to the values of Gonzales' elite patrons, a scandal-ravaged day serving Bush as attorney general might well rank higher than the best day of an alcoholic manual laborer, but it's a shame to see Gonzales say the same thing -- and deeply revealing of Gonzales' scars. Maybe it's time that he go home and deal with them.

"Glenn Greenwald has said everything there is to say about the need for Democrats to block the next Bush appointee unless he or she is a person of uncommon character and experience. In War Room Tim Grieve shows how everything about Gonzales' tenure as attorney general was foreshadowed in his Senate confirmation hearings, and yet six Democrats voted for him -- Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor and Ken Salazar. And even Joe Biden, in asking Gonzales for more candor, felt compelled to say, 'I love you, buddy.' Let's hope the Democrats don't buddy up to the president's buddies yet again."

* List of Republicans who say one thing regarding family/sex issues, and do another.

* 1985 interview of the minutemen. excerpt:

Interviewer: The last time you were through, you were handing out "U.S. Out Of Central America” stickers. It’s obvious there’s a political emphasis to a lot of your lyrics. Do you really think you’re reaching the audience?

Boon: Yeah. They took ‘em, they grabbed ‘em. This one girl grabbed one and said, 'I love it. My father works for the CIA and he’ll love this.' Then I had one guy come up to me as I was passing them out and I give him one and he goes, 'I don’t want one – I’m stationed in Andreas.' I have a lot of people come up to me and they ask me about it and tell me they’re happy to hear me say it. I wrote a really good song about that on the next record, 3 Way Tie For Last.

Interviewer: Where did you get Brother Awest from? He said in one place they got shot at or something.

Boon: He baptized a whole audience of punkers and they bombarded him with horse manure...Used condoms…

Interviewer: About how many songs do you guys think you know at this point?

Boon: Maybe 80. We’re going to do a triple album during the summer. 3 dudes doing 6 sides, 3 live, 3 studio and we’re passing out this ballot where our compatriots in music can vote on what songs to put on the live records.

Interviewer: What’s the inspiration behind Brother Awest?

Mike: The MINUTEMEN‘s kind of a dry, one-dimensional thing. Covers, different styles of music, but, as far as our political stance, it’s pretty cut and dried so Brother Awest has a sarcastic point of view to get people thinking another way. We’re all trying to tell the same story, just from different angles. We use rock; he uses, uh, subversion.

Interviewer: You said punk rock changed your life (on History Lesson, part II). Do you still believe in it bringing about any sot of social change?

Boon: In that song, it didn’t really mean social change. In the song, it means, here I was working a job, going to college 2 or 3 years ago, and now I’m traveling around the country in a band, playing music, something I never thought I’d do. It changed my life. I don’t know about punk music trying to change society. Society has to change and music should be one of the means. What rock music has done for me is show me that people could actually not hate each other.

Mike: We want people confronting issues, whatever they’re going to pick. At least they’re confronting them. Me and Boon are very personal about our beliefs. We just want to point out the issue more than our opinion. A lot of people believe things because they’re told to. We’re not into brainwashing.

SV: I remember reading that you guys believe in the Democratic Party. Do you think they can get the momentum going again?

Boon: Well, they’d better. I don’t want to have Bush as president!

* "The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." -- H.L. Menken

August 29, 2007

going places I'll remember with my friends

Silver Juice?, 2007

-- Ron Padgett

When I wake up earlier than you and you
are turned to face me, face
on the pillow and hair spread around,
I take a chance and stare at you,
amazed in love and afraid
that you might open your eyes and have
the daylights scared out of you.
But maybe with the daylights gone
you'd see how much my chest and head
implode for you, their voices trapped
inside like unborn children fearing
they will never see the light of day.
The opening in the wall now dimly glows
its rainy blue and gray. I tie my shoes
and go downstairs to put the coffee on.

Oh Yes
-- Charles Bukowski

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
too late.

-- John Sinclair

late one night
in the early ’60s
between sets
at the village vanguard

charles mingus
was holding forth
on the current struggle
for black liberation

& making a lot of noise
when monk walked up,
stood there & listened,
then shook his head

& said to charlie,
‘goddamn, mingus,
I never knew
you was black!’

Real Life
-- Kim Addonizio

Here we walk without wallets,
no keys to anything. The gates
swing open, we move among the
cows, hot hills, at night through wet
foxtails; the kitchen light hums
winged things circle it. Yesterday
you slit a snakeskin and found
the diamond pattern interrupted,
in the center, by a heart:
covered it in salt, tacked
it to a board for drying out.
This evening it's soft, the scale
you peel for me a tiny
translucency in my hand.

August 28, 2007

I’ve driven through every end of the state today.
Across little towns and empty fields just the same.
I dropped them off at the airport
And make my way back home

William Gedney, John Cage Picking Mushrooms, 1967

* Clusterfuck Nation. excerpt:

"Bad financial paper, like rust, never sleeps.

"We may be in the traditional torpor zone of late summer when the whole nation takes off on vacation, but worms are still turning in the compost heaps of securitized alphabet debt (MBSs, CDOs, CLOs, et cetera) behind the glass banking towers in places like Wall Street, London, Frankfurt, and Shanghai, and the odor from all this garbage blowing 'round the world grows stronger by the day.

"Transfusions of loss-cover-loans from the Federal Reserve have enabled the The Big Fund Boyz to spend a last weekend or two rubbing elbows in the Hamptons with transcendent beings like Diddy and Kelly Ripa. The Boyz gather along the dunes at twilight, bongs in hand, to gaze at Hedge Fund Island, looming off-shore in the gray Atlantic mist, and they notice something alarming: the island, which the BFB's built themselves over the past ten years, seems to be either floating out to sea or perhaps just sinking!

"The scores of billions of dollars and euros that central banks have poured into the maw of losses lately will only paper over the essential problem for another few weeks, at most. The damage to global structured finance has been done, and it can be stated rather precisely: a widespread recognition that it's not possible to get something for nothing, after all. And that when you hold a lot of paper that was gotten for nothing, and put it up for sale, nothing will be offered for it. What a surprise.
"Reality is biting hard. As with the little marmot caught in the Gray Wolf's jaws of death, the body simply surrenders and God's grace of physical shock softens the translation from free-willed joyful creature to dead meat. That is where we are at here in the final days of August, 2007. Digestion follows. The Big Fund Boyz and all their minions will end up as mere worm castings in the aforementioned global compost heaps.

"Terrible shocks are going to rip through the socioeconomic fabric of the USA as we turn the corner past these late summer doldrums. The fiasco of bad debt won't be contained. The choices for those who find themselves financially underwater in the fall of 07 will be 1.) liquidation, 2.) bankruptcy, or 3.) destroy whatever remains of confidence in the US dollar in order to erase debt by hyperinflation. People holding power don't like the first two, which translate into Depression (let's make it capital 'D.') When a nation turns into a fire sale from sea to shining sea, and bankrupt citizens don't even have enough cash-on-hand to buy things desperately cheap -- well, that's a Depression. Everybody from Fed officials to news editors have favored the softer term 'recession' the past half century because it implies a mere pause in the inexorable march of progress toward economic nirvana. That's not what we're heading into.
"This is how America enters the Long Emergency -- in a Nascar rapture, with Jesus directing the pit crews and the Holy Ghost working the barbeque concession.

"I apologize for what has been a rather excessive spewage of mixed metaphors this week, but the extreme abnormality of events has just got me going. The bottom line, though, is simple and straightforward: things may appear normal for the moment, but we are heading into a shit-storm as sure as Sam Walton's descendents contracted to buy all the three-ringed loose-leaf binders made west of the international date line. America, you're about to go back to school the hard way."

* The world's most expensive desserts.

* From a 1996 interview of John Cale. excerpt:

Q: What was David Byrne like to work with on 'Crazy Egypt?'

Cale: We've known each other for a long time, and our daughters play together a lot. But I'd never been in a work situation with him. His studio persona is very calm. He made the whole mood of working better. I was really impressed. There wasn't very much said, but it was effective.

Q: Describe the last time you saw Warhol.

Cale: We were exercising. The old Factory had been changed into a carpet manufacturer, and there were a lot of rugs there. In the back he had notes of how many lifts and curls he had done. He used to do that every day, so he was strong as an ox. I did leg curls. He was on a bike. It was around the time my daughter was born, and I had stopped drinking and turned around my metabolism.

Q: Tell me something funny Warhol said.

Cale: I had this album [Honi Soit], and I said, 'I don't have a title, and I don't have a cover.' And he said [imitates Warhol], 'Oh... John. I'm very close friends with Yoko. Why don't you have your picture taken with Yoko and call it John and Yoko?'

Q: What happened with the Velvet Underground re-breakup?

Cale: Everybody had songs they wanted to do, so we did that, and I was like, 'Now let's do some new stuff.' But instead we got into nit-picking about the guitar part on this song or that, and it got inane. And the level of abuse that everyone had to take from Lou in the end was just abominable. There comes a point where he just wants it all. Whatever promises are made in the beginning are very quickly gone.

Q: With all the success that he's had, why can't he be more generous?

Cale: I have no idea. When I first met him, he was a very fragile individual and also very volatile. Any situation could go anywhere. There was a generous side to him when we first met, and I prefer to remember that. I couldn't have had a better guide to New York and to the underbelly as well.

Q: Victor Bockris' biography of Reed, Transformer, says that his parents tried to 'cure' him of some of his personality traits by having him undergo electroshock therapy. Do you think that's true?

Cale: I know it's true. Some of that book, I don't know how he got it. No one in the band participated—that was one of the terms of going out on tour. I think Lou has a certain problem with the truth. Ninety percent of that book is true.

QL You produced Patti Smith's first album, Horses.

Cale: We had great fights. Patti has a way of connecting in conversation by shadowboxing. One of the things I did when I got there was take away all of the band's instruments because they were all warped and out of tune. I spent the first day getting them all tuned, and then when they were in tune, the band sounded awful. So I got them all new instruments. I handed all these guys who were sensitive musicians completely new axes to do what they're used to doing. But the results were inestimably better.

Q: What do you make of kids these days?

Cale: The Beck generation? Fucking fantastic. Best thing to happen to rock in a long time. I turned on Top of the Pops one day and here's this guy loping around singing 'I'm a loser.' I was like, 'Where does this guy come from?' It worked in the way that rock and roll was supposed to work.

Q: What do you want your epitaph to be?

Cale: No talking in the library

* "I would just as soon play the music on the new album [Clear Spot] because when I see all those people out there taking acid to get into *my* music, then I don't want to play that kind of music. I don't want to make people think they've got to use some sort of elevation to get into what I do. If I did that, what kind of artist would I be? Just another phoney asshole." -- Captain Beefheart

August 27, 2007

Some people into Jesus
Other people into Zen
I'm just into everyday
I don't hide from where I been

Gerhard Richter, Fuji, 1996

* Top Ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"5. Melanie Morgan

"A couple of weeks ago, right-wing radio nut Melanie Morgan freaked out about chairman Jon Soltz, complaining that by speaking out about Iraq, he's 'in violation of the United States Marine Corps Code of Justice.'

"Just a few problems with that.

"1) There's no such thing as the 'United States Marine Corps Code of Justice'

"2) Even if there was, Soltz is a captain in the Army, not the Marines

"3) And he's also a member of the Reserves. According to Media Matters, 'military law does not prohibit reservists from engaging in political activities. Indeed, several members of Congress are members of the U.S. military reserve, including Rep. Stephen Buyer (R-IN), a colonel in the Army Reserve; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a colonel in the Air Force Reserve; and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a Naval Reserve intelligence officer.'

"But Morgan wasn't finished yet! She followed up her completely erroneous and stupid remarks with this bombshell last week:

"'Jon Soltz is still a hypocritical cockroach. He needs to be stomped on and neutralized before he and his ilk can silence military support for the mission in Iraq.'

"Gosh, did she really just say that members of the United States military who hold opposing viewpoints are "cockroaches" who need to be 'stomped on and neutralized?' Way to support the troops, idiot!"

* Hallelujah, Gonzales has RESIGNED.

* Mad Cabbie hurts his shoulder:

"As a veteran cab driver whenever I have someone who is completely drunk and out of it in my cab I make sure I get the complete address from the passenger before I even move or there won't be a ride at all. I go as far as checking the address on the driver's license if I think they are going to pass out as soon as they enter the cab. That's what happened last night when this toasted dude in his 40's was escorted by couple of bartenders and thrown in my backseat in front of Washington harbor in Georgetown.

"The guy was so fucked up he couldn't even put two sentences together but I managed to copy his address from his driver's license and started to head north towards Deerwood in Montgomery county Maryland. My man was knocked out in the backseat and when we arrived at his place after about thirty minutes ride there was no sign of life at all in fact he started snoring so I had to carry him over my shoulder and started banging on the door of this pricey house of his. There was light on couple of the rooms upstairs to suggest that his wife or kids were still up and few seconds later couple of dogs started to bark, lights came on and a fairly good looking middle aged blond opened the door and that's when all hell broke loose.

"She was screaming 'Take this idiot where you picked him up from! That drunk you have on your shoulder is my ex husband and he doesn't live here anymore! Go away before I call the cops!' and the fucken dogs won't stop barking and on top of that my legs were starting to get weak, the guy weighed at least 170lbs and a drunk 170lbs is much heavier than what you would think.

"When the tone of his wife got angrier and louder I started to turn around and walk towards my car and that's when the dogs started chasing my ass and I started running with the motherfucker on my shoulder while dragging one of the dogs across the driveway who got of hold of my army boots with his teeth until he let go when I kicked him in the balls or something. I managed to throw the guy in the back of my cab and ran for the front seat and I got out of that neighborhood packing 90mph and that's when the jackass woke up confused and started to ask me if I was kidnapping him.

"To make a long story short I managed to get his current address from him which was three minutes away and five blocks from the pick up point in Georgetown which was at 31st and O streets instead of the 52 mile round trip and an hour and half drama I went through. When he realized what happened he was apologetic and paid me the full fare of the trip without arguing after we stopped by an ATM machine and it turned out to be the most expensive and longest five block trip ever and I am not complaining at all besides this aching shoulder and hopefully I will be fine in a couple of days."

* "Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something." -- Frank Zappa

August 24, 2007

freelance patrol sounds the all clear

Manuel Ocampo

State and 32nd, Cold Morning Blues
-- Kenneth Rexroth

A girl in a torn chemise
Weeps by a dirty window.
Jaws are punched in the street.

A cat is sick in the gutter.
Dogs bark up nightbound alleys.
There’s nothing like the sorrow

Of the jukeboxes at dawn.
Dice girls going home.
Whores eating chop suey.

Pimps eat chile mac.
Drowsy flatfeet, ham and eggs.
Dawn of labor, dawn of life.

The awakening noises
Of the old sacrifices.
The snow blows down the bare street

Ahead of the first streetcar.
The lovers light cigarettes,
And part with burning eyes,

And go off in the daylight.

Rose Colored Glasses
-- Kenneth Rexroth

Ten years, and it’s still on the
Radio. La Vie en rose
Spills out of a dozen windows
Onto the canal. A woman
And her son in a vegetable
Barge sing it. A man polishing
The prow of his gondola
Sings it while his dog wags its tail.
Children playing hopscotch sing it.
Grimy half washed clothes hang overhead.
Garbage floats in the narrow canal.
More radios join in. Across
The canal, beyond the iron windows
Of the Women’s Prison, a hundred
Pure voices of pickpockets
And prostitutes start to sing it.
It is just like being in church.
The next number is Ciao, ciao, bambina.

-- Kenneth Rexroth

Lying here quietly beside you,
My cheek against your firm, quiet thighs,
The calm music of Boccherini
Washing over us in the quiet,
As the sun leaves the housetops and goes
Out over the Pacific, quiet --
So quiet the sun moves beyond us,
So quiet as the sun always goes,
So quiet, our bodies, worn with the
Times and the penances of love, our
Brains curled, quiet in their shells, dormant,
Our hearts slow, quiet, reliable
In their interlocked rhythms, the pulse
In your thigh caressing my cheek. Quiet.

* In DC? Come on out Saturday at 6pm at Lamont Park (corner of Mt. Pleasant and Lamont Street) for sets by the foreign press and the caribbean.

August 23, 2007

sitting in a dark bar
doing shots of middle class nostalgia

Tal R, Riders from the sky, 2000, oil on canvas

* The Lost War. excerpt:

"Thirty-six years and hundreds of billions of dollars after President Richard M. Nixon launched the war on drugs, consumers worldwide are taking more narcotics and criminals are making fatter profits than ever before. The syndicates that control narcotics production and distribution reap the profits from an annual turnover of $400 billion to $500 billion. And terrorist organizations such as the Taliban are using this money to expand their operations and buy ever more sophisticated weapons, threatening Western security.
In the past two years, the drug war has become the Taliban's most effective recruiter in Afghanistan.
"The trade in illegal narcotics begets violence, poverty and tragedy. And wherever I went around the world, gangsters, cops, victims, academics and politicians delivered the same message: The war on drugs is the underlying cause of the misery. Everywhere, that is, except Washington, where a powerful bipartisan consensus has turned the issue into a political third rail.

"The problem starts with prohibition, the basis of the war on drugs. The theory is that if you hurt the producers and consumers of drugs badly enough, they'll stop doing what they're doing. But instead, the trade goes underground, which means that the state's only contact with it is through law enforcement, i.e. busting those involved, whether producers, distributors or users. So vast is the demand for drugs in the United States, the European Union and the Far East that nobody has anything approaching the ability to police the trade.

"Prohibition gives narcotics huge added value as a commodity."
"The drug trade is so lucrative, he said, that when police seize growing operations in houses worth $500,000, suspects simply abandon the properties. 'They are making so much money that they don't care about losing that investment,' he said."
"In one particularly revealing conversation, a senior official at the British Foreign Office told me, 'I often think we will look back at the War on Drugs in a hundred years' time and tell the tale of 'The Emperor's New Clothes.' This is so stupid.'

"How right he is."

* Funeral Pudding has mp3s from the Talking Heads performance at the Heatwave Festival, August 23, 1980. At this show they debuted many tracks from 'Remain in Light.'

* Reasons why female teachers slept with their students.

* "Never underestimate the power of the State to act out its own massive fantasies." -- Don DeLillo

August 22, 2007

I eat an oyster and I feel the contact
But more than one would be a waste

Nick Stillman, Yellow jacket emerging from door of Richard Prince's 1973 Chrysler Barracuda at Second House (2007)

Brothers on Sunday Night
-- Frank Stanford

We'd been dreaming
Or at least I had
About peanuts that grow in the river
And oozed sap
When you bit them

A woman bootlegger shook her dustmop
That was the moon

In the fields
Something barren like a journey
And echoes of salt
Sprinkled deep on the table

Where they said the young mother
Walked into the water

With her dress full of rocks
I laid down
And ate a peck of bruised peaches

A fisherman went to sleep on his mule
Riding to the store
For a roll of wax paper
Then we heard
Shouting that tore out the light.

-- Mike White

half a room

no one around
to lift the thing

all those parts

after a while
you give up

even dusting

Stars and Strips
-- Catherine wiley

I've called the cops on him,
friendly guy next door who sneaks
pork fat to my cat, cookies
to my daughter. He tends
with the vigilance of love
a red van hunkered on the curb,
paint flaked and pale U.S. flag
sealing the rear window. He sings,
then weeps when he's had one
too many beers.

The night he swears to kill
his wife--sobs and curses
through the screen jangle me
from sleep--police come fast,
five white cars block the street,
two men vault the broken gate
to pound the door and wake
with a flashlight in his eyes
the old man whose house it is,
whose son.

Morning, I ask how she is
through the fence where she rests
an elbow; thumb caressing
her bluing cheek. She says
with disbelief that someone
called the cops, she thinks she might
know who, she'll kick their ass.
Later in full sun and heat
a different neighbor stops.
"I wish they'd get it over with,"
she sighs, "and shoot each other so
the rest of us could sleep."

August 21, 2007

In the waking hours of some not too distant morning
you come walking barefoot to this cowl pulled mind
selling yesterday's dreams wrapped in tomorrow's paper
whistling for a dog named kindness that you'll never find

Cara Ober, All The Same

Cara Ober's art is currently on display at Baltimore's
Gallery Imperato. The exhibition, which runs until September 22, 2007 also features work by Tung Lo. The opening reception is this Friday, August 24, 2007 at the gallery from 7-10. Ober also blogs at bmoreart; additional information can be found here.

* From a 1998 Interview of Dieter Dengler:

indieWIRE: How did you and Werner Herzog meet?

Dieter Dengler: He called me at home in San Francisco, and explained to me very briefly his idea to do a movie about my life. I had never heard of him before, so I was like "Who the heck is he?". I said to him, 'You want to talk to me, come on over.' So a couple of weeks later he's standing in front of my door with a movie crew, about 8 or 10 people, with cameras and boxes and all this stuff, and I said 'What's this all about?' And he said 'Well, you said to come on over...' We started to make the film in German, and Werner said, 'Why don't we make it in English as well?' But this was difficult, because Werner is hard to work with sometimes.
iW: Were you at all nervous about going to film in the jungle with Herzog, having heard stories about his and Klaus Kinski's legendary battles on movies like 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God' and 'Fitzcaraldo?'

Dengler: No, because I knew from the beginning that I had one up on Werner, because I'm more familiar with the jungle. He likes to act like he knows all about animals and bugs, but this is my territory.

iW: Kinski wrote of Herzog during the filming of 'Aguirre:' 'He should be thrown alive to the crocodiles! An anaconda should strangle him slowly! Huge red ants should piss into his lying eyes and gobble up his balls!' Did you ever feel like that while making this movie?

Dengler: (laughs) No, no, no. We didn't have time for that. We were only there for a few days.

iW: How was it doing the reenactments in the film? [In Thailand, Herzog filmed Dengler running around in the jungle with his arms bound behind his back while telling the story of his capture, imprisonment and escape.]

Dengler: I saw 'Miss Saigon' (the musical) this afternoon, and tears were running down my face, because it was so real to me - what happened to the GI's, and the girls and the children who were left behind, things I actually witnessed - and that was in a Broadway theater! And so when we were running around in the jungle for this movie, and I'm all tied up with four or five Thais following me with rifles, I said, 'Jesus, Werner, this is too close for comfort! I really don't like this!' And Werner would say 'That's exactly what I want you to say!' But it was a positive experience.

iW: What was it like seeing the film for the first time with an audience?

Dengler: Oh God, Telluride! Last year I was having dinner with Werner, and I said 'I'll call you next week." And he said "I won't be here.' And I said, 'Where're you going?' And he said, 'Telluride.' I said, 'What's in Telluride?' He said, 'They're going to show your film.' I said, 'MY FILM?! You don't even tell me about it?!' He said, 'I forgot.' I couldn't even get a flight, so I jumped in my little airplane and flew out there, but I couldn't get a room and had to sleep in my plane. Next thing I know 500 people are clapping and asking me questions - which is the fun part!

* Poor Captain Dan. excerpt:

"A dwarf performer at the Edinburgh fringe festival had to be rushed to hospital after his penis got stuck to a vacuum cleaner during an act that went horribly awry.

"Daniel Blackner, or 'Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf,' was due to perform at the Circus of Horrors at the festival known for its oddball, offbeat performances.

"The main part of his act saw him appear on stage with a vacuum cleaner attached to his member through a special attachment.

"The attachment broke before the performance and Blackner tried to fix it using extra-strong glue, but unfortunately only let it dry for 20 seconds instead of the 20 minutes required.

"He then joined it directly to his organ. The end result? A solid attachment, laughter, mortification and ... hospitalisation.

"'It was the most embarrassing moment of my life when I got wheeled into a packed AE with a vacuum attached to me,' Blackner said."

* "Typos are very important to all written form. It gives the reader something to look for so they aren't distracted by the total lack of content in your writing." -- Randy K. Milholland

August 20, 2007

goddamn it's so very hot
supposed to rain but it's not

Sean Cassidy, 2006

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

5. Dick Cheney

"Who said this?

"'...if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off ... It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.'

"If you said Michael Moore, sorry - the answer is Dick Cheney. Cheney made these comments in a recently-unearthed interview at the American Enterprise Institute in 1994, back before he decided to completely ignore his own advice and invade Iraq, ending up in exactly the quagmire he'd already predicted. Brilliant.

"Apparently September 11 really did change everything, including the number of American soldiers Cheney was prepared to sacrifice on the altar of his own hubris.

"From the 1994 interview:

"'The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families -- (the Gulf War) wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?'

"Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.

"Hmm. And now, as I write this, 3,706 Americans troops have been killed in Iraq. So how many more dead Americans is Saddam worth, Dick?"

* The map of political faith.

* "We've come to a point where every four years this national fever rises up — this hunger for the Saviour, the White Knight, the Man on Horseback — and whoever wins becomes so immensely powerful, like Nixon is now, that when you vote for President today you're talking about giving a man dictatorial power for four years. I think it might be better to have the President sort of like the King of England — or the Queen — and have the real business of the presidency conducted by... a City Manager-type, a Prime Minister, somebody who's directly answerable to Congress, rather than a person who moves all his friends into the White House and does whatever he wants for four years. The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand. It's come to the point where you almost can't run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip each other with big sticks. You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics." -- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

August 17, 2007

But anyone who ever had a heart
Oh, they wouldn't turn around and break it
And anyone who's ever played a part
Oh, they wouldn't turn around and hate it

Avery Preesman, 1996

Lucifer at the Starlite
-- Kim Addonizio

—after George Meredith

Here's my bright idea for life on earth:
better management. The CEO
has lost touch with the details. I'm worth
as much, but I care; I come down here, I show
my face, I'm a real regular. A toast:
To our boys and girls in the war, grinding
through sand, to everybody here, our host
who's mostly mist, like methane rising
from retreating ice shelves. Put me in command.
For every town, we'll have a marching band.
For each thoroughbred, a comfortable stable;
for each worker, a place beneath the table.
For every forward step a stumbling.
A shadow over every starlit thing.

-- Robert Lowell

What was is ... since 1930;
the boys in my old gang
are senior partners. They start up
bald like baby birds
to embrace retirement.

At the altar of surrender,
I met you
in the hour of credulity.
How your misfortune came out clearly
to us at twenty.

At the gingerbread casino,
how innocent the nights we made it
on our Vesuvio martinis
with no vermouth but vodka
to sweeten the dry gin--

the lash across my face
that night we adored . . .
soon every night and all,
when your sweet, amorous
repetition changed.

Please Fire Me
-- Deborah Garrison

Here comes another alpha male,
and all the other alphas
are snorting and pawing,
kicking up puffs of acrid dust

while the silly little hens
clatter back and forth
on quivering claws and raise
a titter about the fuss.

Here comes another alpha male--
a man's man, a dealmaker,
holds tanks of liquor,
charms them pantsless at lunch:

I've never been sicker.
Do I have to stare into his eyes
and sympathize? If I want my job
I do. Well I think I'm through

with the working world,
through with warming eggs
and being Zenlike in my detachment
from all things Ego.

I'd like to go
somewhere else entirely,
and I don't mean

August 16, 2007

Dreams unfulfilled, graduate unskilled

Dana Frankfort, Thinker, 2006

* How Karl Rove lost a generation of Republicans. excerpt:

"There is an old joke that campaign veterans toss around war rooms, bars and BS sessions. We say there are people who have worked in campaigns who say that they have lost some – and we call those folks operatives, managers, strategists, consultants; and then there are people who work in campaigns and say that they have never lost, and we call them liars.

"The joke reflects an obsession with winning as the real benchmark of success in politics. By that measure, Karl Rove’s career has to be deemed a success. He built the Republican party of Texas into one of the most powerful state parties in America.

"Nationally he has pulled off some of the most unexpected and impressive victories of modern political history. (I will not be debating the 2000 election for the purposes of this article, but I also will not be crediting him with it, so let us just move on to the next cycle.)

"Mr Rove picked up seats in what was an almost historically impossible context in 2002. Then in 2004, he engineered one of the most remarkable feats in American politics. He got Americans to re-elect a president who they really did not want to re-elect. Even the Republican defeat in 2006 was predictable and well within the range of historical norms so, by this sport’s standard of winning and losing, there is still no black mark on Rove’s record.

"If we concluded our analysis in 2007 and confined our judgment merely to Mr Rove’s immediate electoral record, we would have no choice but to judge him a spectacular success. There is no doubt that Mr Rove won elections. He has perhaps one of the most remarkable win-percentages in modern American politics.

"If only things were so neat and simple. The evidence is now pretty conclusive that Mr Rove may have lost more than just an election in 2006. He has lost an entire generation for the Republican party."
"Mr Rove’s famous electoral strategy – focusing on the Republican base first – is also largely responsible for a shift in international public opinion against the US. It would not be fair to blame Mr Rove for the Iraq war. But it is clearly fair to blame his strategy for the Terry Schiavo fiasco and the Republicans’ adherence to the policies and doctrines of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson. The world and now most of the US are contemptuous of the theocratic underpinnings of the policy Mr Rove ushered into government.

"There is also a distinction to be made between Karl Rove the political strategist and Karl Rove the government official. Mr Rove was not just an operative sitting at the Republican National Committee and scheming. He had a West Wing office. This distinguishes him from other political operatives, whose roles were outside the White House doing scheduling, advance work and presentation. They were not firing and hiring or shaping national security policy.

"Mr Rove was as powerful a government figure as he was a campaign figure. The past six and a half years of Mr Rove’s career were spent as a very, very senior and extraordinarily influential Bush administration official.

"He has been assistant to the president, senior advisor and deputy chief of staff. Mr Rove was the architect of social security reform, immigration, the hiring and firing of justice department officials and the placement of literally thousands of ideologically driven buffoons throughout the US government. As deputy chief of staff he was also responsible for handling the White House post-Katrina reconstruction efforts. On these actions, history has already rendered its judgment on Mr Rove. And, as we say in Louisiana, 'it ain’t pretty.'

"When it comes to judging Mr Rove’s political career, I am reminded of Chinese premier Zhou Enlai’s meeting with Henry Kissinger in the 1970s, when Mr Kissinger asked, 'What do you think of the French Revolution?' Zhou replied: 'It’s too soon to tell.'

"If the trends hold, the one thing that we can be sure of is that Mr Rove’s political grave will receive no lack of irrigation from future Republicans."

* From a 1996 Index Magazine interview of Will Oldham. excerpt:

BRUCE: What's your song-writing process like?

WILL: It's different for each song or each album. Usually the songs don't begin to be put together unless there's a goal in mind, like a single or EP or a record - and by the time they become song structures, that unit is always there as well.

BRUCE: Music first or lyrics first?

WILL: Well it depends. Most of the time - all the time - is spent on music, words, sometimes separate, sometimes together. When there is a recording goal in mind, it'll start to get shape.

BRUCE: By the time you go into the studio do you have a rough or a pretty fixed idea in your head of how you want to get it down?

WILL: Well, we go into the studio with lyrics, chords, and a basic melody, but have - usually - no concept what it's gonna sound like, but - usually - the lyrics, words and basic melody don't change.

BRUCE: Do you write things down - pencil and paper - or is it all in your head?
WILL: It depends on the stage that the song is at. Right now I'm working on songs that have been typed out for, like, could be a month or a month and a half, and when the typed-out thing becomes obsolete because there's so many revisions on it then I'll re-type it.

BRUCE: And do you save them?

WILL: Usually. To save paper I'll type on the other side.
BRUCE: In terms of your own music and Palace Records, do you like putting out something that is hard to talk about?

WILL: Yeah. There is obviously an obscure quality to a lot of music, including most Palace music, but I think that Palace does work more on the level of, like, Lynyrd Skynyrd music or Bon Jovi music or Madonna music than say on what my impression is of Jon Spencer music or Talking Heads music - music that seems like it cries out to be talked about. The way some of the people have talked about me is not how music really should be talked about and I don't think Palace has been that successfully talked about. Palace is music made for pleasure. It's just that the kinds of pleasure are different from a lot of mainstream music pleasure. I think it hits the hearts of people who just aren't moved by Bon Jovi or Lynyrd Skynyrd - but hits in a way like that music.

BRUCE: Two different friends of mine listening to Arise Therefore said, "It's so good to listen to in the morning." That was their praise.

WILL: When the first record came out the highest praises that I heard came on two separate occasions: people came up and talked to me, two couples, in different cities, and said how important it was, how much of a good time they had together listening to it, and that was exactly what the record was supposed to be. It's a record for being with someone else.

* "Piano tuners around the world still fear him" -- Sterling Morrison, on John Cale, 1986

August 15, 2007

Proud brothers
Do not fret
The bus will get you there yet

Karen Kilimnik, The Witchs Meeting House In The Malvern Hills, Buckingham, England, From Blood On Satans Claw, 1604, Water soluble oil colour on canvas, 2005

Thumbing With Bob
-- Dennis Mahagin

On Oregon State Route Twenty-Six, at the outskirts of Jewel-Mist,
Creeley laid backpack on the hot tarmac, and shoved his thumb inside a weary fist. I adjusted my ear bud from the spliced I Pod we were sharing, programmed for an extended Doors Shuffle. Then, Bob’s crazy lazy albino eyeball started rolling back in his skull again, and my worried mind flashed on the belly button of a baby seagull heaving with kazoo-like sobs.

"My God, that is so Creepy, Bob."

"Aye. But Anathema to the Snipers in Winnebago, their brains like Jimbo said—'squirming so…' Now those crazy homicidal fellows lie in wait for adolescent Litter Pickers all got up in gumboots and Day Glo vests!"

"And Morrison? What about him?—his slaughtered Indians on road shoulder? The dust devils of viscera and severed limbs?"

"Pyrrhic Bones, stinking of Gage! Smoke signals from the bowels of a Parade Float, aromatic cartoon balloons rising, vapor trail of ellipses eclipse all we ever wrote."

"Ten miles from the freaking coast, and we can’t catch a bloody Moonlight Ride!"


"Stop looking at me like that!"

"Go on, boy... BRING IT. You know you wanna."

On uptake I was far too slow, so Master Robert lobbed the first salvo:

"Jaundiced Anchor Men—in Aviator Goggles!"

I reeled, backstroking the hollyhocks, my comeback came as a rusty bottle cap, popped off a shaken neck of thoughts:

"Foot-Long Afro Combs, planted as sturdy reflective yield signs in freshly-poured Paving Tar on Ass End of the Turnaround!"

Creeley caressed his goatee, and the one eye-ball focused its hideous energy on me. Then Bob said:

"The Oracular Crows—perched in a stately row on a power line in Oakland… They damned well know the Score!"

I could fairly smell the succulent sea, thoughts of earnest Densmore, Phiso-Hex and Triple A Towing, they terrified me! Big Ride would come, surely as the sun was going down, but independent--always!-- of our jutting thumbs, or Bob’s now-nut-brown chameleon eye sore.

Meanwhile, my lines kept getting better—but Creeley always had so very many more.

To Do
-- Elaine Equi

for Joe Brainard

Never finish everything
on your to do list.

It will look as if you have nothing
better to do.

Swing Shift Blues
-- by Alan Dugan

What is better than leaving a bar
in the middle of the afternoon
besides staying in it or not
having gone into it in the first place
because you had a decent woman to be with?
The air smells particularly fresh
after the stale beer and piss smells.
You can stare up at the whole sky:
it's blue and white and does not
stare back at you like the bar mirror,
and there's Whats-'is-name coming out
right behind you saying, "I don't
believe it, I don't believe it: there
he is, staring up at the fucking sky
with his mouth open. Don't
you realize, you stupid son of a bitch,
that it is a quarter to four
and we have to clock in in
fifteen minutes to go to work?"
So we go to work and do no work
and can even breathe in the Bull's face
because he's been into the other bar
that we don't go to when he's there.

August 14, 2007

I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when

Tim Gardner, Mobile Home, water color on paper, 2001

* Harper's Index -- September 2007

-- Average annual cost to taxpayers of a U.S. government intelligence officer: $126,500

-- Average annual cost of a private intelligence contractor: $250,000

-- Number of times FDA officials met with consumer and patient groups as the agency revised its drug-review policy last year: 5

-- Number of times they met with industry representatives: 113

-- Cost of Medicare in 2030 of treating dementia, expressed as a percentage of the program's total budget today: 98

-- Chances that a U.S. firefighter is overweight or obese: 9 in 10

-- Rank of on-the-job heart failure among the top killer of firefighters: 1

* Gregory Corso discusses Kerouac, Morrison, Dylan and Burroughs. Excellent stuff.

* Joan Baez as Bob Dylan. Pretty convincing.

* "Music should never be harmless." -- Robbie Robertson

August 13, 2007

Nighttime's the right time to pull all the dimes from your pocket

Jordan Bennett, Organic Market, Maine

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

7. Glenn Murphy

"The latest Republican to come tumbling out of the closet is Glenn Murphy, chairman of the Clark County Republican Party and president of the Young Republican National Federation. Murphy quit both those jobs last week - not because he's gay, but because police are investigating him for 'criminal deviate conduct - potentially a class B felony - after speaking with a 22-year-old man who claimed that on July 31, Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on him while the man slept in a relative's Jeffersonville home,' according to

But it's okay, because:

"Larry Wilder, Murphy's attorney, said Murphy is cooperating with police and Prosecutor Steve Stewart. Wilder said Murphy contends the sex act was consensual.

"Ah, a classic case of he-said-he-said. The alleged victim claims that Murphy went down on him while he was asleep, and Murphy claims it was consensual.

"Funny story though...

"In 1998, a 21-year-old male filed a similar report with Clarksville police claiming Murphy attempted to perform a sex act on him while he was sleeping. Charges were never filed in that case.

"What a coincidence!

"But you never know. Maybe Murphy was simply confused. Maybe he heard those young men snoring and thought they were saying 'Yo Murphy, what's a guy gotta do to get a blowjob off the president of the Young Republicans around here?'"

* The Stones' Sympahty for the Devil was inspiried by Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita.

* Congrats to Leafy Green and Stereogab, who were married over the weekend.

* "Education should be exercise; it has become massage" -- Martin H. Fischer

August 10, 2007

I'll put twenty-five knicker, please, on Gallop printer

William Eggleston, Louisiana, 1978

The Crowded Countries of the Bomb
-- George Oppen (1962)

What man could do,
And could not
And chance which has spared us
Choice, which has shielded us

As if a god. What is the name of that place
We have entered:
Despair? Ourselves?

That we can destroy ourselves

Walking in the shelter,
the young and the old,
Of each othes's backs and shoulders

Entering the country that is
Impenetrably ours.

Born Under Punches
-- Major Jackson

The deejay fingered a 12"
From a batch of milkcrates &
We were back inside the school
Gymnasium, catwalking between
Slowdrags & hipgrinds.
Skullcaps pulled below
Brows, Timberlands
Laced high, our fists swelled
Inside goose-down, metallic
Parkas. Spacemen
On the dancefloor!
Heavy-eyed, feral-faced,
We roamed till some
Boy's neck flashed
Links of gold.
When Big Jake threw
A suckerpunch, the boy
Fell like a swimmer
Giving up breathing. Lovers
Left each other's arms,
Backing away.
Someone's sister moaned
In the bleachers &
A heavy groove
Unlocked a flurry of fists.
In that darkness,
Speakers rose like
Moonlight diamonded
Mesh-wired glass.
What was it that bloomed
Around his curled
Body when the lights
Came up, fluorescent,
Vacant, garish?
The gym throbbed
With beats & rage
And his eyes darted
Like a man nailed
To a burning crucifix.

The Irish Space Program
-- David Berman

The day was hot and it was not cold.
He sat by a stream east of the trees,
the very picture of invisible labor
in the old price ranges of folklore,
like a hermit in a romantic ballad.
I guessed him dreaming of unnoticed things
or unnoticed aspects of noticed things
in that meadow whose fundamental beauty
was commensurate with its uselessness
as was, so often was, the case.
It was the wonderful overgrown field,
ever-redolent of an abandoned stage
where I had written "Death Rents A Flower"
and "Reactions From A Snowbound Academy"
the year before. Finding it occupied
I continued down the shabby road
past the barn that seemed to hide things
not worth finding. There was a waterlogged
tavern door lying flat on its back
in the grass. With a stick I engraved
curse words on the surface of a forest pool.
Oh why should I lie to you! I was desperately
unhappy. I could hardly believe how
uncomfortable my clothes had become.
Was I to return to the wobbling candlelight
of the inn to gamble for nightingales
with west-country earls? These forests
were just voids with bears inside.
I could not have felt more harrassed
if it had been raining carrots.
I turned on my heels and headed back,
determined to eject that hermit from
my thinking spot. Hatred came flipping
down my forearms. Any refusal would be met
with super-refusal. It was not for nothing
that I called my hands the Wild Fives.
But upon returning, I found my pastoral arena
depopulated once again. I took a seat and
turned an ear to the birds inside the sky.
So only ten bad minutes had been appended
to my life. Leaves fell in soft corkscrews.
A lone rabbit hopped by.
The day was hot and it was not cold.

-- Mark Halliday

The very fact that her skirt swirls
bespeaks something that compels my interest
as if not because the skirt covers her ass and thighs
as if I mean not only because given a chance I’d want
very very much probably to help her take the skirt off
in a fantasy bedroom, but for some more lovely reason
more lovely I mean because more mysterious
when she swirls my head turns on my not-merely-biological neck
to follow the play of shadow in those folds of cloth–

in the swirling there is some meaning that draws me
without specific reference I’m saying to her vagina
somewhere beneath the skirt and what my penis might get to do;

it’s about a flowing quality in life I’m serious
about something flowing like light among branches
on a windy day, the truth or a truth of how
the beauty of our life is like a winding river
under rapid shifting clouds and how the river is change
and change is possibility and our infinity of possibility is
what makes us not just banal dogs wagged by our tails.
There across the crowded room she turns and turns,
her hair swings, her skirt swirls, she doesn’t know
I’m standing here with these deep insights into everything
but if I write it all down with a lovely
swirling of its own she might read it and see
that if I stare at her it is not just the usual but
because I am interesting here alone at the edge of the dance.

August 9, 2007

You'd think these guys would have something to salute by now.
Something that'd make the government so proud

Michael Ciervo, Untitled, 2007

* From a 1999 interview of Lee Hazlewood by Dean Warham (originally appeared in CMJ), excerpt:

DW: How old were you when you started with (guitarist) Al Casey?

LH: I think Al was about seventeen years old when he played on that first hit for Sanford Clark, 'The Fool' (written and produced by LH). I put his name on the record, which they never did in that day, but the riff was so good, I had to put his name on it. In lieu of more money. And I used to list the 'recording rebels' on the back of all the Duane Eddy records. I put the musicians’ names on there so they could show it to their mama, so they didn’t think they were holding up gas stations.

DW: You dedicated the new record to Larry Flynt.

LH: I like him for what he did. When the republicans were being so snobbish and everything, he caused a couple of them to resign. All of us have a little dirt, so to sit there on TV and look so prim and proper and say you’ve never sinned... well I don’t consider making love a sin, but anyway... I decided to dedicate this record to him. I don’t know about the magazine. That’s for a certain kind of person, but what he did with the power of his magazine was good. Using all that money and power. He’s gotta be a liberal, and I’ve gotta be a liberal ‘cos I was born with liberal parents, which I had to keep a secret. My grandfather on my father’s side was a judge, my two uncles were lawyers and my Dad was a wildcatter. On the other side, my mother’s, was a farmer-rancher from Oklahoma, and he was a staunch Republican -- couldn’t stand FDR.

DW: Did he think he was a communist?

LH: No he thought he was a fascist. When the government sent people out to kill the pigs, to keep the prices down, he thought that was fascism. He had a huge ranch. I worked for him from age six or seven, working in the summers. A big Gary Cooper looking sort of man. I went there because I was such a city boy. He worked you, and he paid you, and I loved him to death. You could go into town on Saturday and boogie away your salary.

DW: When did you leave Oklahoma?

LH: As soon as I could. I was only born there, I consider myself a Texan. I spent summers at the ranch, but I never considered myself an Okie. I was only born there ‘cos my mother happened to be there.

DW: This has my favorite Lee Hazlewood track, 'My Autumn’s Done Come.'

LH: Not bad for a guy who wrote that when he was thirty-one years old. I was much older when I recorded it, but I wrote that song and saved it. Now is when I should do it, but I guess I could change it to 'My Winter’s Done Come.'

DW: Who wrote 'Your Sweet Love?' That’s a great song.

LH: I did.

DW: It's misidentified one of the bootleg CD releases as a Leonard Cohen song.

LH: Leonard Cohen writes great melodies and pussy lyrics. We used to be out of the same office, lawyers in New York. I used to see him when he came to Sweden. I got no problem with Leonard, except he takes care of the little people a little too much.

DW: He comes from a poetry background.

LH: It’s a terrible thing to say of a poet, that you don’t care too much for his words.

DW: Nancy and Lee.

LH: That’s our accidental album. The songs, most of ‘em, can be found on one of Nancy’s albums. I wrote them for her and someone else to do, but I taught them to her. She auditioned some really good singers (I can’t tell you their names), but she had heard me and my bad guitar playing, and she said 'I’d rather do them with you.' I said 'here’s the deal, I’ll do one on each album with you' and that’s what we did. Forever. That’s how my musical career was revived.

DW: The production is fantastic on this.

LH: It’s good, isn’t it? Damn I was a good producer.

DW: What do you think you’re best at? Lyricist, singer, producer?

LH: I’m a fair lyricist. My songs were kind of Cadillac lyrics with Model-T melodies. I disguise the melodies alot. I’ve written some pretty songs. Songs like 'For One Moment.' But the critics would say, he couldn’t get the line in, he had to speak that part.... Let me look at that record... I don’t even know my own records... Some Velvet Morning. Listen to the tempo change in the beginning. The track was recorded in London, when Nancy was doing her London album.

DW: Who plays on these recordings?

LH The best. Frank Sinatra called it the B-team. That’s Al Casey, Donnie Owens, Don Randy, Hal Blaine on drums. Sinatra had the A-team with all the jazz players, but the B-team played on 'That’s Life.' I talk to Hal Blaine every now and then. He’s been married more often than I have. I loved Hal’s playing. There were drummers who played just as good and sometimes better than Hal, but no drummers who tuned their drums like they were timpani. He had five sets floating between sessions, and he would tune them to E, or A or whatever. I gave Hal some of his first jobs, I convinced him to quit working for Patti Page, I said come work here, I can give you enough work. She paid him about $300 a week). And I didn’t have much work then.

* TV's top closet stoners.

* The world's oldest map.

* "It's really the obligation of the sculptor to define sculpture, not to be defined by the power structure that asks you, that while you put your sculpture up, to please make this place more beautiful. I find that a totally false notion, because their notion of beauty and my notion of…sculpture are always, invariably, at opposite ends." -- Richard Serra

August 8, 2007

In the beginning there was nothing
but it was kind of fun watching nothing grow

Pierre Huyghe, One Million Kingdoms, 2001. Video installation with sound

When I First Saw
-- Leonard Nathan

When I first saw my new-born son, I saw
life would be somewhat different now for me,
as Schopenhauer warned us that it would
if we gave in to mere biology.
Of course, there was pity--pity, seed of love,
but there was more: a grown-up feel, quite new,
of separation. I saw it when my son
looked at his own first son; when he was first
shown me, I guess my father felt it too.
And so the hunter, after his freelance chase,
comes home to find another mouth to feed,
and, watching the woman lift it to her breast,
feels useless, yes, but more responsible,
and growls and frowns, and kneels to skin the kill.

-- Edmund Berrigan

Another milkman stitched
His portico in shower silk
A daily slog of chemical activity
Mourn o falsetto would you be xtian
Where down by the wheel we all like to kneel
Joint cut plastic kiss on the potable edge
This is where hallucinations struggle to lose
A hill patched with flowers and bees
Diffident strides a-pondering
Crying to the mothridden archetypes of Seth
For subjects with whom to objectify with death
To decipher the ornament I retrieve my mount
When alcohol was a nation with a drawer full of stallions

Blonde on Blonde
-- Liam Ferney

enchanted by fisherman/ the sun
accelerates through the sky/ we dream
of villas & rearrange abandoned netting/
coarse cords/ trailed along the beach/
like human tissue/ boys throw frisbees
& footballs with doosra wrists/
seagulls ignore economies/ dive bombs
shattering jade panes/ nickel
& dime moments/ where you’re singing
for your supper/ or dancing to
amphetamine tunes/ psychosis takes over/
like a souvenir store novel/ grains of sand
wedged between the pages/ the big kahunas
who rule our waves/ the duke turns up
on our shores/ rough & ready/ like an auteur’s
first rape revenge video nasty / formulas can’t
advise it/ nine out of ten dentists don’t
recommend it/ the visionary writes/ his first novel
on postcards/ scratches haiku in taut sand/ motorcycles
chainsaw along the ridge/ rituals of holiday
& tide/ ain’t it hard to stumble/ when you’re
riffing like keith richards/ rejoice in the ocean/
when the junk blows across some driftwood/
or an errant seagull/ lifting on an updraught

i.m. Laura Riding
-- Grace Lake

if thought be woven from the brain wished ill may learn to love again
a moonlit dusk by lamplight’s side a less anxious life
where proof of purse is not in pride nor strife a jokey vendetta
beginning twice more to examine extremes of sanctioned shapes
which knew to lighten mechanics with previewed disfunction
once the essentials are proven and normalities intergraved
it will not be mine to decide who are the damned and who the saved.

August 7, 2007

Paper cups and cigarette butts left in the sink

John Salvest, Paper Trail, 2003, Shredded Enron Letterhead

* New York Times. excerpt:

"It was appalling to watch over the last few days as Congress — now led by Democrats — caved in to yet another unnecessary and dangerous expansion of President Bush’s powers, this time to spy on Americans in violation of basic constitutional rights. Many of the 16 Democrats in the Senate and 41 in the House who voted for the bill said that they had acted in the name of national security, but the only security at play was their job security.

"There was plenty of bad behavior. Republicans marched in mindless lockstep with the president. There was double-dealing by the White House. The director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, crossed the line from being a steward of this nation’s security to acting as a White House political operative.

"But mostly, the spectacle left us wondering what the Democrats — especially their feckless Senate leaders — plan to do with their majority in Congress if they are too scared of Republican campaign ads to use it to protect the Constitution and restrain an out-of-control president.
"In the Senate, the team of Harry Reid, the majority leader, gave up fast, agreeing to a deal that doomed any good bill. The senators then hurriedly approved the White House bill, dumped it on the House and skulked off on vacation. Representative Rahm Emanuel, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic House leadership, said yesterday that his party would not wait for the new eavesdropping authority to expire, and would have a new, measured bill on the floor by October. We look forward to reading it.

"But the problem with Congress last week was that Democrats were afraid to explain to Americans why the White House bill was so bad and so unnecessary — despite what the White House was claiming. There are good answers, if Democrats are willing to address voters as adults. To start, they should explain that — even if it were a good idea, and it’s not — the government does not have the capability to sort through billions of bits of electronic communication. And the larger question: why, six years after 9/11, is this sort of fishing expedition the supposed first line of defense in the war on terrorism?

"While serving little purpose, the new law has real dangers. It would allow the government to intercept, without a warrant, every communication into or out of any country, including the United States. Instead of explaining all this to American voters — the minimal benefits and the enormous risks — the Democrats have allowed Mr. Bush and his fear-mongering to dominate all discussions on terrorism and national security.
"Mr. Bush’s incessant fear-mongering — and the Democrats’ refusal to challenge him — has had one notable success. The only issue on which Americans say that they trust Republicans more than Democrats is terrorism. At least those Americans are afraid of terrorists. The Democrats who voted for this bill, and others like it over the last few years, show only fear of Republicans.

"The Democratic majority has made strides on other issues like children’s health insurance against White House opposition. As important as these measures are, they do not excuse the Democrats from remedying the damage Mr. Bush has done to civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. That is their most important duty."

* Description and picture of, every gun used in Scarface.

* From a 2001 interview of Steve Buscemi. excerpt:

AW: In a relatively short space of time you did an impressive amount of character parts. You were also in New York Stories, directed by Scorsese, and you began your relationship with the Coen brothers. As an actor, was there a particular film-maker at that time, in the late eighties, who had a major influence on you?

SB: I'd say that the director I had most involvement with was Alex Rockwell in In the Soup. It was one of my earliest leading roles, and he gave me a lot of responsibility as an actor. In it I was playing a film-maker, and at that time I had already written the script for Trees Lounge, but I wasn't able to get it off the ground, so it's ironic that I was able to play a budding director in In the Soup and in Living in Oblivion as well. In the film I had to show a short film to Seymour Cassel's character, and he let me shoot that and edit it. I guess your question was about acting…

AW: I was going to go on to ask about directing…

SB: Well, acting with Seymour Cassel, who is somebody whose work I really admire from the Cassavetes films. I learnt a lot working with him as an actor. With Alex I was privy to the whole editing process, which I hadn't done before, so that was interesting to see how a director makes a film in post-production.
AW: Then in the mid-90s you did Trees Lounge, which, as you said, was long in gestation. I remember when you were here before and talking about the personal nature of the film, you said that you weren't sure that you would make another film that you wrote a script for that was so personal. What's happened in the interim?

SB: I haven't been able to do it again! I don't really consider myself a writer as such. When I was doing it in the theatre, I was doing most of it with Boone. Trees Lounge was really hard for me to write, so I was grateful to have other material come to me through Eddy Bunker that was already there. We worked the script a lot, and I did some writing on it, but… Hopefully, one day, I'll write another original screenplay, but right know it's more important to keep directing, so it doesn't matter so much where the material comes from. As long as it's good.

* "Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object." -- Albert Camus

August 6, 2007

I'm the only one who laughs
at you're jokes when they are so bad
and you're jokes are always bad
but they're not as bad as this

Ed Van der Elsken, Switzerland, 1967

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"10. Dennis Gallagher

"And finally, it's time for another round of 'Guess the party affiliation!' The rules are simple: I give you a recent news headline, and you try to guess which political party the person in the headline belongs to. Here we go...

"'Queens Councilman Surrenders To Police'

"Got it yet? We're talking about a New York politician here, so chances are he's a Democrat, right? Perhaps if I give you a bit more detail on the crime of which he is accused, you'll be able to get it.

"'Queens Councilman Dennis Gallagher surrendered to authorities on rape charges on Friday.'

"It was a devastating image. Gallagher surrendered Friday morning at the 112th Precinct. He was led out in handcuffs on the way to his arraignment.

"Appearing before a judge, he pleaded not guilty, and was arraigned on $200,000 bail, much of it put up by his brother.

"Outside, he was greeted by a crush of media. He labored to make his way down Queens Boulevard, accompanied by his wife, who held his hand despite charges he raped a 52-year-old grandmother.

"If you guessed that Dennis Gallagher is a Republican, congratulations! You're right."

* Lee Hazlewood, RIP. Sad, was just listening to Cowboy in Sweeden last night.

* Glenn O'Brien remembers Theresa Duncan. Shortly after learning that Theresa Duncan committed suicide, Jeremy Blake asked Glenn O'Brien to write a eulogy, to be the final post at Duncan's site, The Wit of the Staircase.

* Help Tim, help Sarah (and others) fight diabetes.

* "When the crudity of the sexual act goes through the imagination it becomes eroticism, and when it doesn't, it is pornography." -- Alain Robbe-Grillet, nn the difference between eroticism and poetry.

August 3, 2007

And the ripples from the wind
Cast a shadow on your soul

Ben Piwowar, Of This Much We Are Certain

Four Poems by the new Poet Laureate, Charles Simic:

Paradise Motel

Millions were dead; everybody was innocent.
I stayed in my room. The President
Spoke of war as of a magic love potion.
My eyes were opened in astonishment.
In a mirror my face appeared to me
Like a twice-canceled postage stamp.

I lived well, but life was awful.
there were so many soldiers that day,
So many refugees crowding the roads.
Naturally, they all vanished
With a touch of the hand.
History licked the corners of its bloody mouth.

On the pay channel, a man and a woman
Were trading hungry kisses and tearing off
Each other's clothes while I looked on
With the sound off and the room dark
Except for the screen where the color
Had too much red in it, too much pink.

The Partial Explanation

Seems like a long time
Since the waiter took my order.
Grimy little luncheonette,
The snow falling outside.

Seems like it has grown darker
Since I last heard the kitchen door
Behind my back
Since I last noticed
Anyone pass on the street.

A glass of ice-water
Keeps me company
At this table I chose myself
Upon entering.

And a longing,
Incredible longing
To eavesdrop
On the conversation
Of cooks.


Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

Summer In The Country

One shows me how to lie down in a field of clover.
Another how to slip my hand under her Sunday skirt.
Another how to kiss with a mouth full of blackberries.
Another how to catch fireflies in jar after dark.

Here is a stable with a single black mare
And the proof of God's existence riding in a red nightgown.
Devil's child--or whatever she was?
Having the nerve to ask me to go get her a whip.

August 2, 2007

please don't take my sunshine away

Tessa Sutton, Past Glaciation, Present Foundations, 2006

* A truly odd communication:

"August 1, 2007 -- Pulitzer prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler sent out an e-mail yesterday announcing that his wife had dumped him for billionaire Ted Turner.

"'Put down your cup of coffee or you might spill it,' Butler, 62, wrote to his graduate students and fellow professors at Florida State University in Tallahassee. 'Elizabeth is leaving me for Ted Turner.'

"Elizabeth is Butler's wife of 12 years, Elizabeth Dewberry, 44, an author in her own right, who might be attracted to Turner, 68, because the media mogul resembles the grandfather who molested her as a child, Butler writes in the shocking e-mail.

"'She has spoken openly in her work and in her public life of the fact that she was molested by her grandfather from an early age, a molestation that was known and tacitly condoned by her radically Evangelical Christian parents,' Butler wrote. 'And it is very common for a woman to be drawn to men who remind them of their childhood abusers. Ted is such a man, though fortunately, he is far from being abusive.'

"However, Turner, who has been married three times, is hardly an ideal partner. 'She will not be Ted's only girlfriend. Ted is permanently and avowedly non-monogamous,' Butler writes. 'But though he has several girlfriends, it is a very small number, and he does not take them up lightly and he gives them his absolute support when he does.'

"The jilted husband reveals Dewberry nearly died in March from an intestinal blockage while she was traveling with Turner in Argentina. The white-haired mogul also took Dewberry as his date to the May premiere of 'Georgia Rule,' which starred Turner's ex-wife, Jane Fonda.

"'Rumors will soon be swirling . . . so I want to tell the full and nuanced story,' Butler wrote. 'This sort of thing can get wildly distorted pretty quickly.'

"Butler, whose books include 'Tabloid Dreams' and 'Mr. Spaceman,' told Page Six he showed Dewberry his e-mail before sending it off and, 'she was weepingly grateful to me for it. It's full of love and compassion.' He said he was surprised one of the recipients then leaked it to several Internet bloggers. 'Elizabeth and I are not Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston,' he told us.

"A rep for Turner had no comment."

* A beer can Mustang.

* The Caribbean kicks off their west coast shows tonight in Denver at the Hi-Dive.

* "Rock won't eliminate your problems, but it will sort of let you dance all over them." -- Pete Townshend

August 1, 2007

He could stream Quicktime
He could code in Flash
He could make your icons dance with Java
Then empty out your trash

Kerry Skarbakka, Croatia, 2006

The School of Hard Carriage Returns
-- Klipschutz

Barry Bonds chases Harry Potter,
as I make a small donation to my alma mater

outside the Rite Aid on Taylor and Geary.
The guy collecting gets exactly three quarters from me,

as Harry Potter runs circles around Barry Bonds
and the whores adjust their rhythm to fall in lock step with the johns.

* * *
[coming soon to a faux Grecian Urn @ a Disney Store near you]

Three Poems by Sarah Hannah:


I've hit bottom now -- your murky water.
Too breathless to swim, too frightened to float,
I sank from light and shore, my dress wrapped strait
Around my limbs, preventing any stir.
And this is how you thrive, consummate host,
Coaxing reeds from your edges, roots from soil,
Now sparkling in conquest, now misted and still,
But not inert, planning tributary, tryst.
There must be a way out (not how I came),
But if I knew, I forgot the lace
Of your currents, in the deep chills that numb,
In your muddly lips' promise: Drink. No blame.
What sweet obliterations bloom in a kiss --
Morphines, poppies, plums.

Snow Drift

I only want to write about a space
Three-inches square, in the picket fence's
Stolid corner, that uncontested crevice
Boasting, suddenly, a jagged occurrence
Of snow, Alp-like, resting on the brief ledge
The wooden crossbeam makes: unlikely cliff,
However wedged, suggesting passage
Beyond lawn and property line, as if
Transgression could be intimately known
Through bold example in miniature,
On familiar ground, a trace of snow blown
On a fence, articulation of a dare:
To realize the route the mountain sees,
The fall to nether -- valley, wild trees.

Run, Don't Walk

Because you know that not even the dictate
Of a shuffling song in 4/4 can carve
A proper course out of the arching surf
Enfolding you, that green wave thick with bait
And rank with disinhibiting toxins
Amplifying itself every hour;
Because you know you lack the stature,
Countermand, and balance to ride it in;
Run, when a certain body comes around;
Leave the party early; don't wash dishes;
Don't wait until it crashes and you're eating sand
In undertow; just go, i.e., egress
Whichever way -- by cab, on foot or crutch
Because you've changed, but you haven't changed that much.