January 7, 2008

he had that sweet country sound
but they stole every note in his head

Lisa M. Robinson, Solo, 2007

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"4. Rudy Giuliani

"Rudy Giuliani has decided not to campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, preferring instead to focus on warmer states where he can get a nice tan, like Florida. Apparently Rudy's strategy is to suffer a crushing defeat in every single primary and then show up at the Republican National Convention with Bernie Kerik and some hired muscle. 'Nice convention center you've got here. It would be a shame if something happened to it.'

"And so far Rudy's strategy is coming up roses. His loss in Iowa was truly embarrassing, a sixth-place finish with just 3% of the vote - seven percentage points behind cult leader Ron Paul.

"But of course this is all part of the plan. According to Newsday, Rudy has 'no regrets' and confirmed to reporters that 'This is the strategy that we selected pretty close to day one.'

"The former New York City mayor said he's not concerned about his recent slides in polls here and in Florida, where he later campaigned in the afternoon.

"'On Sept. 11, I was worried,' he said. 'The way I approach politics, you don't worry about these things; you deal with them.'

"He added, 'September 11th. September 11th. 9/11 9/11 9/11. Hello? Is anybody there?'"

* The Nation on Robert Creeley. excerpt:

"The most important American love poet in living memory, and certainly one of the most important American poets tout court, Robert Creeley was born in 1926 and raised in eastern Massachusetts. His early life was marked by two devastating losses: the death of his father in 1930 and the removal of his left eye the year after, when he was 5. In 1944 Creeley left his studies at Harvard to drive an ambulance in Burma, and at war's end he returned to Cambridge. Then, in 1947, just before graduating, he dropped out, married Ann MacKinnon, tried raising chickens on a New Hampshire farm and eventually went to Mallorca, where he and MacKinnon started a small literary press. There he found the vocations of writing, traveling, editing and, eventually, teaching that he would follow the remainder of his rambling, rambunctious and often difficult life--a life that included two more marriages, raising children, the accidental death of a young daughter and periods of settling in New Mexico, Bolinas, Buffalo and Providence. Throughout these years, he journeyed around the world to read his poems and stories and pursued collaborations with a range of artists, from Jim Dine and Francesco Clemente to the legendary jazz soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. Creeley died during a sojourn on a fellowship in Marfa, Texas, in March 2005."
"Because Creeley was a friend of Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Jack Kerouac, he was often identified as being part of the Beat generation. Yet his main early poetic influences were, to put them in historical order, Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Hart Crane, Louis Zukofsky, Charles Olson and Robert Duncan--the last two forming his immediate company at Black Mountain College, where he taught in 1954 and 1955. Just as important is the fact that their influences were often some of his. Creeley's early poetry shows a Poundian affinity for the troubadours and poets of the dolce stil nuovo, but his love of what might be called an English American English--the New England speech patterns that were his native legacy--can clearly be heard in his echoes of Campion, Herrick and Anglo-American ballad and song traditions. The spareness of Creeley's poems is Puritan as much as '70s Minimalist, and perhaps only a Puritan could celebrate the body and its ambivalent desires quite as well as he does. His well-known mantra "Form is never more than an extension of content," which he honed in his extensive early correspondence with Olson on issues of form and line, can be viewed not only as the outcome of a Modernist rebellion against Victorian meters and narrative structures but also as a late-twentieth-century version of the concept of organic form, which reaches from German Romanticism to Coleridge's lectures on Shakespeare to the New Criticism of the 1950s."
"In Creeley's final poems, he knew well where he was going both as a poet and as a mortal being, cognizant of old age and the body's failings but still loving and changing his work. Friedlander includes a selection that takes the reader in surprising new directions, including a luxurious homage to Wallace Stevens from the late 1990s, 'Histoire de Florida.' Creeley left many apostles; perhaps some of them will turn now to the tasks of fully editing and annotating his collected works in poetry and prose and producing a solid scholarly biography. Others will no doubt end up fighting over his legacy before sorting it all out. In the meantime, this Selected should continue to draw new readers to lines as remarkable as these, like a rough-hewn work song, from his 2003 'Supper:' 'Shovel it in./Then go away again./Then come back and/shovel it in.... I can no longer think of heaven/as any place I want to go,/not even dying. I want/to shovel it in.//I want to keep on eating,/drinking, thinking./I am ahead. I am not dead./Shovel it in.'"

* "Not to dismiss Gershwin, but Gershwin is the chip; Ellington was the block." -- Joni Mitchell


Anonymous Anonymous said...

great picture, it's now my second favorite photo of a backboard....

10:54 AM  

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