this journal blug

what the brother said...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

smooth words... as often via whiskey river

"Don't turn your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place.
That's where the light enters you. And don't believe for a moment
that you're healing yourself." - Rumi

posted at 8:49 PM

from The Nation (2.9.04) Arundhati Roy's The New American Century

It was wonderful that on February 15 last year, in a spectacular display of public morality, 10 million people on five continents marched against the war on Iraq. It was wonderful, but it was not enough.

no... hardly enough... so i fell into a unreasonable swoon... and out plopped FINISH YOUR PHRASE... one year old today... who'd a thunk... and now of course... we have a world at peace... yr very welcome... glad to have helped
posted at 9:31 AM


Saturday, February 14, 2004

Farming Magazine- people, land , and community

Farming Magazine celebrates the joys of farming well and living well on a small, ecologically-conscious scale. It explores the intricate bonds connecting people, land, and community and it offers a hopeful vision of the future of farming in America. The magazine is created in the spirit of stewardship for the earth and regard for its inhabitants.
posted at 4:12 PM

Neil Gaiman on book covers

English publishers like book jackets that look one way, American publishers like them another way. Americans grumble about British book jackets, English people talk about how unimpressive American Book Jackets are. Russian book covers don't like like anyone else's book covers, nor do Japanese or Polish or Croat. The Finns tend to be unimpressed by Norwegian book covers, while the Swedes look down on the Danes. Meanwhile, the French struggle with one of the problems of French Publishing, which means that a book of worth and quality should have no image at all on the cover, merely the author's name and the book title; a picture means that the book is a potboiler, and not fully respectable.
posted at 4:03 PM

recently finished John Gardner: Literary Outlaw... with mixed feelings... but am glad it was written and that i read it... i just wish it was... more... as the insightful reviews at this amazon link also say... a continuing shame: that only Grendel, of all Gardner's novels, is still in print...
posted at 3:46 PM review

Over-publicized writers often experience a fall-off in attention after their deaths, as if literary history needed time to catch its breath. That is especially true of writers who die before achieving the secure status that soldiering on in their twilight years can bring.

In this gallant, candid biography, Silesky hardly leaves us with the image of a literary knight in shining armor. He does, however, succeed in getting Gardner back on his horse.

posted at 3:37 PM

NYT Books in Brief: Nonfiction

Literary Outlaw.
By Barry Silesky.
Algonquin, $24.95.
For John Gardner, the achievement of literary celebrity was a mixed blessing. During the 1970's four of his philosophical novels were critically acclaimed and also best sellers; one, ''October Light,'' won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977. He was much esteemed as a generous, inspiring teacher, his admiring students including Charles Johnson and Raymond Carver, and was regarded by friends as magnetic, charismatic, a ''brilliant conversationalist.'' However, ''the more famous he got,'' one friend recalled, ''the more he'd pontificate.'' His characteristic aggressive certitude in his literary judgments became searingly combative. Gardner's heavy drinking intensified and his infidelity ended his second marriage as it had his first. In ''John Gardner: Literary Outlaw,'' the poet Barry Silesky provides a deft portrait of the ''fiery outlaw eccentric,'' an image Silesky says Gardner cultivated. He sensitively traces Gardner's life and the development of his writing. He concludes that Gardner (1933-82) left a body of work that, as he said of good books, helps us ''to know what we believe, reinforces those qualities that are noblest in us, leads us to feel uneasy about our faults and limitations.''

posted at 3:33 PM

Charlotte Observer | 02/08/2004 | A literary genius hellbent on destruction

A reader might wish that Gardner's galloping life had been treated with a more vivid touch. Silesky's expository style is dry and sometimes he reports too briefly on scenes that merit more dramatic exploration. But the facts are here -- the combination of genius and excess that made Gardner such a compelling character, and the gist of the short, wild life that left all those words behind.
posted at 3:28 PM

ALA | Review of Silesky's John Gardner: Literary Outlaw
posted at 3:26 PM

never forget how wonderful, strange, perfect and beautiful is Eeksy-Peeksy

My doctor has me on a diet meant to make me linger. She says we all grow older. I notice her hair is a different color this week and I mention it to her. She smiles and says it's like her real color.

At home, I listen to George Gershwin, who died of a brain tumor at 38, and I read Somerset Maugham, who died of being 91 and Somerset Maugham, and I look at what's on my plate.

posted at 10:45 AM

as you might imagine... i never been a big one for valentine's day... but if you have to listen to some music today why not...

nina simone... do i move you?
tom waits... coney island baby
billie holiday... lover man o where can you be?
bob dylan... sugar baby
bob marley... is this love
cecilia bartoli... da quel sembiante appresi (from that face i learned...schubert)
the smiths... last night i dreamt that somebody loved me
tony bennett... do nothing till you hear from me
wilco... i'm the man who loves you
chet baker... my funny youknowwhat
posted at 9:50 AM


Friday, February 13, 2004

hey... check out savoradin's photoblog... boy i needed this today... thanks, tonio
posted at 7:25 PM

Happy Birthday, Henry Rollins

And it's so lame. I respect the idea of it, how you can render some heightened imagery and heightened intensity of a moment, but most of the stuff I see, and the pretension that goes around it... Anyone who would say, 'I'm a poet'... I gotta run. 'Well, then there's my poetry...' Running! I'm running out the door. You know what I mean? It's brutal. In New York, you talk to these people, and they're like, 'Well, I'm working here, but really, I'm a poet.' 'Aieee!' Run! Out the door! Like Bukowski once said, not that I can quote him all that freely, 'Most people who write shouldn't.' You know, he was right.
posted at 11:45 AM

Suzanne's ongoing reflection on the true nature of sirens reminds me of this piece by Margaret Atwood... which i need to consider in the light of suzanne's ideas... atwood, despite her ironic disruption of the myth, seems to be accepting its basic premise... the destructive end of those powers...

Siren Song

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who had heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.
Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?
I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical
with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.
posted at 10:45 AM

last night i wandered through the halls as an "adult presence" for street scenes student night... and got a few better shots... look what they've done to my classroom...

posted at 10:14 AM

the show in my classroom... they're singing "take me out to the ball game"...

posted at 10:12 AM

across the hall... "herb's tribute to elvis"...

posted at 10:10 AM


Thursday, February 12, 2004

Happy Birthday, Abe

Lincoln's contemporaries often noted that he had lived a 'representative life.' By this they meant that he had shared many experiences with ordinary Americans. As a young man Lincoln moved west with his family, tilled the soil, educated himself, and overcame numerous setbacks to become a successful attorney and politician. Republican political handlers refined Lincoln's experiences into the 1860 presidential campaign's image of 'the railsplitter' at work on the frontier. This image has remained a part of Americans' historical memories and makes Lincoln a compelling, even mythic, figure today.
posted at 3:24 PM

take my hand...

posted at 12:47 PM


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

report/review of an ashbery reading ... (via brand new insects... which responds to said review)
posted at 5:06 PM

went over to school to make a picture of my remodelled classroom... to contrast with the shot i posted yesterday... but it's way too dark... panelled with black flats... windows covered... a wide stage in the center... not even the flash pictures worked... but here are some other things i found...
posted at 4:40 PM

my friend theresa... inconspicuous as ever...

posted at 4:35 PM

slight evidence of dissent will be removed by showtime...

posted at 4:31 PM

it's a fundraiser for the school... with a "patriotic" twinge...

posted at 4:29 PM

the magic of mylar...

posted at 4:24 PM

today they decorated the halls...

posted at 4:22 PM

Pazz & Jop 2003: i'm interested in hearing (from the top 20):

#2 the white stripes
#3 fountains of wayne
#4 radiohead: hail to the thief
#6 the shins (actually mentioned in a local parish homily not too long ago)
#11 rufus wainwright: want one (i can handle small doses of rufus... yes i can)
#16 lucinda williams: world without tears (how have i missed this one... how?)
posted at 10:40 AM

Pazz & Jop 2003... ok here we go... i've heard/got:

#47 Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros: Streetcore
#51 Neil Young: Greendale

and that's it... out of 237 rankings... o boy... though i did acquire my first Outkast disk this year... and i realize this makes me marginally pathetic...
posted at 10:34 AM

make that NONE OF THE TOP 40...
posted at 10:27 AM

Pazz & Jop 2003 is out... a sign of the times: i have heard NONE of the top twenty... NONE... what have i been doing for the past year?
posted at 10:25 AM

happy first birthday, ::fait accompli::!!! (just four days older than fyp... february... birthmonth of all great blogs... i wonder which others were born roundabouts now...)
posted at 9:03 AM


Tuesday, February 10, 2004

the irresistible chalk board

posted at 7:44 PM

the almost empty room

posted at 7:41 PM

suzannagig jig has been riffing on sirenic lore...

so you must understand
your sources up to now

about the nature of sirens

are very iffy

posted at 7:38 PM

today... everything goes... somewhere else... for street scenes... this is our yearly fundraiser in which the school is turned into a playground... for kids on thursday night... for grownups on friday and saturday... my room 305 is going to room 109... right after school today... pictures may follow...
posted at 9:50 AM

Monday, February 09, 2004

o... these are weary monday teacher thoughts... why doesn't it help to think we have no class on wednesday... thursday... friday... monday...
posted at 1:37 PM

i let them change my mind... we will go the other way...
posted at 1:35 PM

five pounds of paper will require what portion of your life time... to process...
posted at 1:35 PM

i must have been asking all the wrong questions today... and it got worse as the day progressed... it must have been my fault...
posted at 1:27 PM

common assessments for each unit... each unit.. common assessments... for
posted at 1:11 PM


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