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...
"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...
"one of the old farts in the pews
that i used to smirk at..."
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?
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...
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
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.
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...
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
up... starts profound... ends pathetic
here's a fine
site full of good shots of 16th-18th century title pages and illustrations...
thanks to giornale nuovo
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...
Friday, November 14, 2003
Moore - The Academy of American Poets
: In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
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
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...
last set of essays:
to be done... tomorrow
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
had my share today... pass the insulin, please
too much sugar since lunch... damn smarties
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...
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?
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...
a very brisk walk this morning... don't
know the wind chill... but dom's face was... glacial... he needs
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
: molly ivins on texas: Is
authentically awful, comic and weirdly charming, all at the same
and that's why i
enjoyed my time there... so much... 1977-1986
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
fog... in so many ways
why isn't everything the same color?
all evidence to the contrary... today
is not monday
here it comes... this day... all our
shirts are tucked in... all our nametags... on
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
thanks to Silliman's
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...
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...
prayers and good thoughts for jean
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
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
... the gaze goes in... nothing gazes out...
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
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..."
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
Monday, November 10, 2003
can a boring person... write fascinating
poems... does the page always have to be some mirror to the person...
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)
here's the site's description of mike's
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.
Film & Video Festival
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...
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...
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...
t j b l
u g archive
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