Friday, November 30, 2007

You're Welcome, Ken Rumble

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just to be clear

I am NOT this kind of poetry bear. Or am I?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Scary Bear

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poetry becomes

that conversation we could

not otherwise have.

--Cid Corman

Raleigh Holiday

on sunday i had some time to go into raleigh and do a little shopping at Nice Price Books. i picked up a bunch of good stuff, including Cid Corman's Nothing Doing. i'm new to his work, but love it. it's so simple and direct it feels almost naive. at the same time, though, i'm reminded of emerson's notion that in genius we hear our own rejected thoughts. here are a couple examples:

I want the words
so simple and
true you think they

have come out of
your own mouth and
are breathing you


I will tell you the secret. 

              What is it? -- you ask? 

I keep telling you: 


these poems articulate more clearly than most i can think of a sense that what is most difficult is so only because it's so simple. the first poem is, in many ways, how poetry should be. something that speaks to readers so fundamentally they feel they could have written/said it themselves. i believe that is one aspect of the sublime according to Longinus. it certainly echoes Emerson's notion of genius i mentioned earlier.

the second poem, in many ways, is a lesson in reading. there is no meaning per-se to be gleaned from poetry. one should only listen and respond accordingly. simple, but exceedingly difficult for most to abide by.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dream a Little Dream

over thanksgiving i dreamt that i was being executed, only i had to choose how and when. i fought it off as long as i could, ruling out the firing squad on a rainy day, the electric chair and the gallows. what i settled for was essentially lethal injection, except on a park bench on a beautiful autumn day, my head in my wife's lap, the clear blue sky over me, the last leaves falling (of course). i would take a shot that would slowly put me to sleep then somehow know that i was asleep and transform into a deadly poison.

i was resigned. i had accepted my fate. death would not be so bad. simply be another part of life and even if there was nothing there i would be ok with that because i would die believing i was headed somewhere beyond this world. as i lost consciousness i had a sudden and unshakable feeling that there indeed was no next world and that as soon as the poison ran its course, i would absolutely be gone forever.

Starting Out

i do not intend for this to be a baby blog, but i met my 3 month old niece for the first time over thanksgiving and was struck by how involved with the world she already seems to be. her facial expressions are really quite intense and range from joyous smiles to furrowed brows of struggle toward some sort of understanding.

i can't tell if a baby's facial expressions are indicative of intelligence, but i like to believe so--or at least the potential for real intelligence. it's amazing watching my niece, though. she's really on the verge of some important breakthroughs. she smiles a lot and you can tell any day now is going to figure out how to actually laugh. she's also putting huge amounts of energy into moving her legs and hands and strengthening her neck muscles to hold her head up steadily on her own. she wants very badly to hold her bottle and put her pacifier in her mouth herself but just isn't there yet in terms of physiological development. maybe that's a sign of intelligence, the ambitions of the mind working beyond the abilities of the body? or maybe just that we all start out as artists?