this journal blug

what the brother said...

Sunday, November 16, 2003

a pretty good afternoon at the school's open house... but it sure blows the day to pieces... didn't accomplish as much as i'd hoped... this weekend... alas...
posted at 7:16 PM

"i used to smirk at"

yes... i was a smirker... but i think i've broken myself of that filthy habit... now i am... a smirkee... a much more comfortable role...
posted at 10:55 AM

"one of the old farts in the pews that i used to smirk at..."

the old farts... i used to smirk at... not the pews... i don't care about the pews... except these at the parish are too close together and my knees keep sliding apart on the slippery kneelers and if there's nobody behind me and the kneeler is still up i can hardly kneel at all... and i hate kneeling anyway... don't you?
posted at 10:51 AM

soon and very soon... we're going... to meet the... king... who sings at seven or eight thirty in the morning... not me... not me in public... so that makes me part of the problem... certainly not the solution... since we're almost always priestless on sundays this year, dom and i worship at the local parish... and it dawns on me that i have become one of the old farts in the pews that i used to smirk at...
posted at 10:46 AM

 

Saturday, November 15, 2003

to vicki w. (i hope you are able to stumble upon this blug): thanks for your thoughts about my thoughts on thinking... you are right about attention just being the first step... and about the importance of questions... i like this thought from w. james in varieties of religious experience

...the tendency of raw experience to extinguish the experient himself is lessened just in the degree in which the elements in it that have a practical bearing upon life are analyzed out of the continuum and verbally fixed and coupled together, so that we may know what is in the wind for us and get ready to react in time.

all attention, questioning, posing of provisional answers meets a basic survival need... and yet... thinking often feels more care-free than that... maybe we get into trouble when we try to think for the sake of thinking... maybe that's all about tying unneeded knots...

thanks for the snail address... but i'm terribly spoiled by electricity... don't own a stamp... this will have to do for now...
posted at 10:11 PM


posted at 9:34 PM

re: property

took phone jack from computer... plugged it into phone... found a message from my brother... dated last tuesday... called him and talked an hour or two... one topic: the publishing question... he encouraged me to be as suspicious as i am... and gave reasons... something about how these little magazines are sometimes fronts for bigger publishing houses that have all kinds of ulterior designs...

then i jacked into the computer again and found all kinds of supportive and challenging thought from suzanne... and checked my mail to find a reply from said publication's editor explaining their policies... which i think i can live with... and so... we'll see
posted at 9:28 PM

journal's up... starts profound... ends pathetic
posted at 2:37 PM

origins of modernity

here's a fine site full of good shots of 16th-18th century title pages and illustrations... thanks to giornale nuovo.
posted at 2:16 PM

i want to stay on... but i've got to get off... things to do... on this funky gray saturday... missed the walk this morning... alarm issues... a journal piece goes up today after a few tweaks...
posted at 9:10 AM

 

Friday, November 14, 2003

Marianne Moore - The Academy of American Poets:

In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.


what is that "raw material of poetry" which is something other than, opposed to, or at least "on the other hand" of the "genuine"...?

language? imagination? these thoughts that fly...?
posted at 10:35 PM

what a day... not a bad one... but busy... in the classroom... a period b screwup put me on my guard all day... i forgot to give them an important assignment... but i remembered in the other classes...

progress reports: done

last set of essays: to be done... tomorrow
posted at 3:45 PM

 

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Ce De Candy Inc. has to work hard to make enough "SMARTIES®" to keep kids of all ages happy. "SMARTIES®" are made 20 hours each day in three plants in Union, New Jersey; Newmarket, Ontario (Canada); and Charleston, South Carolina. Whew! That's a lot of time making "SMARTIES®"! Each year we make 35 million pounds of "SMARTIES®"! Which is over 2 billion rolls. Placed end to end they would span over 85 thousand miles. That's a lot of great candy. How long would it take to make a bridge to Mars with "SMARTIES®"?

i had my share today... pass the insulin, please
posted at 4:42 PM

too much sugar since lunch... damn smarties...
posted at 4:39 PM

it's just that... these students feel so far away from... what i feel when i read poetry or write pomes... what pinch of REALITY comes - or can come - with anything done as a school project...
posted at 4:37 PM

is this approach to poetry more death than life... too formal... too reductive... of the poem...the poet... the process... of making and reading (which is a kind of making)... down to some odorless grey goo?
posted at 4:35 PM

introducing the poetry project for this quarter... choosing a poet and poem... writing close analysis... presenting the poem and findings to the class...

finishing madame bovary with some attention to possible humor and astonishing writerly techniques... i point out the possible and/or likely ambiguity of emma's epitaph... composed by homais... one student with the oxford edition shows that their footnote translates the latin unambiguously as a kind and loving thought about emma... but my discussion with our talented latin teacher opened the door to double meanings.. dripping with flaubertian irony... if we're reading it right... we might be dreaming... that it could mean either "she warmed her loving husband" or "she trampled her loving husband"...

then we looked at the coach ride... emma, leon, and a harried coachman... and discuss sexual inuendo... how can a writer under constraint of censorship both hide and reveal a subject... at the same time...
posted at 11:19 AM

a very brisk walk this morning... don't know the wind chill... but dom's face was... glacial... he needs a hoodie
posted at 7:55 AM

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

via brand new insects: molly ivins on texas:

Is Texas America?:

It's authentically awful, comic and weirdly charming, all at the same time.

and that's why i enjoyed my time there... so much... 1977-1986
posted at 12:08 PM

remember that on friday cnn will be providing info about televising - soemtime this weekend- wendell berry's talk in d.c. last sunday... tape this when it happens...
posted at 10:00 AM

fog... in so many ways
posted at 8:30 AM

why isn't everything the same color?
posted at 8:28 AM

all evidence to the contrary... today is not monday
posted at 8:26 AM

here it comes... this day... all our shirts are tucked in... all our nametags... on
posted at 8:25 AM

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

thanks to Silliman's Blog for retrieving this thought from a wcw speech at harvard 1941 (and for mr. silliman's reflections on the speech)... just published by the poker

"A poem is a use of words (as emphasized by Gertrude Stein) to raise the mind to a level of the imagination beyond that attainable by prose. It is prose plus. "

i wonder what my students would make of this...
posted at 8:07 PM

was just standing at the crossroads... trying to decide... tomorrow is the birthday of both roland barthes and neil young... trying to decide... who gets the mention on my front page... this has been known to make and break reputations... no small responsibility... and really no choice at all...
posted at 7:58 PM

prayers and good thoughts for jean...
posted at 11:52 AM

fait accompli:

"When I'm not looking for something, it
is hard for it to get my attention." nick piombino


exactly... what happens on days when i'm not looking for anything... days weeks months years... no agenda... a bovine perspective...

also from nick:

6/10/97
Metaphysically, we are like birds in a diorama
at the zoo, looking up though a glass ceiling at
a beyond we can view, but never visit.


edit: don't mean to be an anal poop (yuck), but now it strikes me that nick got the wrong word there with "diorama"... which is a static display containing not living creatures but images of living creatures... like those which holden caulfield pondered at the museum of natural history... they stay... unchanging... without desire... while provoking desire in the spectator... as in i wish i was there... in that perfect world... the gaze goes in... nothing gazes out...
posted at 11:12 AM

all told... yesterday i was able to meet and speak with the parental representatives of 38 of my students... and i'm scheduled to meet two more... so that puts me at 40%... not too shabby for seniors
posted at 10:51 AM

at the end of the walk this morning dom looks at the scrubby old brown plants all over and says... "this would be a good day to work in the garden and bring in the hoses... i'll help you with the hoses." to which i replied, "yes, it would be..."

so after breakfast i grabbed the clippers and began the deconstruction of the garden... got the big purple plants, ripped out huge clumps of mint, chopped down the old coneflower... after two big bagfuls i didn't feel much like tackling the roses or the pampas grass... and i forgot about the hoses... another day
posted at 10:46 AM

 

Monday, November 10, 2003

can a boring person... write fascinating poems... does the page always have to be some mirror to the person...
posted at 6:51 PM

here at parent-teacher conferences... a slow moment after a blast of action... this afternoon i had a total of 15 visits in two and a half hours... i've had 11 already in the first fifty minute tonight... all very positive... which comes with the territory (mostly easy for me since i tend to teach the more hightly self-motivated, "successful" students)
posted at 6:22 PM

here's the site's description of mike's movie:

From Yesterday Till Tomorrow : Michael Fitzgibbons, dir. 99min. Comedy. Michael O'Brien is in the midst of the mother of all mid-life crises. He is not happy with his job, he is not relating to his sons and wife very well, and he is not handling the pressures of aging with grace or confidence. He realizes the next three days will be of great importance in his life - he just doesn't feel he has any control over them.

posted at 11:13 AM

NY Film & Video Festival

and tonight's the night for mike fitzgibbons to shine... out there at the nyf&v festival... 10 (9 central)... you can't make us proud, boy... cuz we already are...
posted at 11:08 AM

if my visitors are sparse i might be able to scale down this last stack of in-class essays... on "the convergence of the twain"... that would be a good thing...
posted at 10:51 AM

after a weekend of paper-processing comes a day of parent-teacher conferences... i sit in my classroom... and wait to see who appears... in the past it has been a not-so-unpleasant event... i have that hope for today also... we begin at 1 p.m. and go to 8... with a two-hour break for dinner...
posted at 10:45 AM

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