Sunday, July 03, 2005
dry day for the dirt...
says about independence & all ...somewhere
in all this
liberty freedom self sufficiency
pursuit of happiness talk
other words must also be considered
of Grass' at 150: As Exuberant and Encompassing as Ever - New
...The Whitman of that great
poem is a holy fool, a sprite, a personification able to be everywhere
at once, thanks to its immaterial nature. But there has never
been a spirit so aware of his sinews and veins, so good at loafing
and river-bathing and arousal. The body Whitman inhabits is as
inclusive as his mind and feelings. 'I find I incorporate gneiss
and coal and long-threaded moss and fruits and grains and esculent
roots,/And am stucco'd with quadrupeds and birds all over,' he
writes, as though he were the subject of a strange Renaissance
Saturday, July 02, 2005
on the walk we met no humans but a large raccoon snuffling around
the base of a tree not far from butterfield road. we clapped our
hands. people in cars looked our way. and eventually the animal
looked up. as we curved around it on the sidewalk the asphalt
path back toward the gravel trail it tiptoed into the tall grass...
normally green things are very
brown these days. our pond is a mud flat. lawn grass crunches.
but my few strong perennials in the garden are toughing it out.
the late-planted nasturtiums are struggling. and what is this...
some kind of coreopsis? i forget...
out on the walking path the bread&butter is
just past its prime... the wild bergamot is set to bust out bigtime.
maybe i'll get some pictures soon.
Friday, July 01, 2005
on a painting of the
by (x-carmelite) filippo lippi ... An infinity of details achieves the
by means of second
sight. Lucidity in the presence
of so many details. These details
partly occluded (submerged)
by means of their
number. Endless depths are also
elicited by means of numerous
less dramatic but equally rich in detail ... befuddles the eye
to have so much to see ...
> Orion Magazine > July | August 2005 > David James Duncan
> What Fundamentalists Need
is, for most humans born on earth, just one mother tongue, and
a given tongue at a given time consists of only so many words.
These words can absorb only so many abuses before they cease to
mean. America's spiritual vocabulary--with its huge defining terms
such as 'God,' 'soul,' 'sacrifice,' 'mysticism,' 'faith,' 'salvation,'
'grace,' 'redemption'--has been enduring a series of abuses so
constricting that the damage may last for centuries. Too many
of us have tried to sidestep this damage by simply rejecting the
terminology. But the defamation of a religious vocabulary cannot
be undone by turning away: the harm is undone when we work to
reopen each word's true history, nuance and depth. Holy words
need stewardship as surely as do gardens, orchards or ecosystems.
When lovingly tended, such words surround us with spaciousness
and mystery the way a sacred grove surrounds us with peace and
oxygenated air. But when we abandon our holy words and fail to
replace them, we end up living in a spiritual clearcut.
Right's" fully-automated evangelical machine runs twenty-four
hours a day-like McDonald's, Coca Cola and Exxon-Mobil-making
converts globally. But to what? The conversion industry's notion
of the word Christian has substituted a "Rapture Index"
and Armageddon fantasy for Christ's interior kingdom of heaven
and love of neighbor; it is funded by donors lured by a televangelical
"guarantee" of "a hundredfold increase on all financial
donations," as if Mark 10:30 were an ad for a financial pyramid
scheme and Jesus never said, "Sell all thou hast and distribute
it unto the poor...
Thursday, June 30, 2005
of Mundelein Water Usage
...As a reminder,
water restrictions went into effect May 1 and go through September
30. The east side of Highway 45 is permitted to water on even
numbered calendar days and the west side of Highway 45 is permitted
on odd numbered calendar days. Watering hours are 5:00 to 10:00
a.m. in the morning and 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. in the evening. Lawn
sprinkling and the outdoor watering of trees, bushes, sod, shrubs,
etc. All other outdoor use of water is permitted provided a hose
with a shut-off nozzle is used.
in writing you say to yrself what are you running away from what
are you hiding & it's always this. trying to prove. something.
not saying that tess didn't feel guilty for having fallen asleep
and allowed prince to die to die to die. it's not her fault. but
of course it is always anyone's fault. given the way things are
set up. as in writing one is always trying to say something that
lies just beyond the next rise. and finally saying it flattens
it for a while. when one cannot write one is fully flat for a
good while. accident-free. not even worried much about what one
believes. knowing that it only matters what one does what one
does & what one does...
i heard there were summer pots and winter pots ... one is wide
... fat ... the other is tall... thin ... at fyp i'm doing mostly
thin summer poems for the heat ... tho i think the summer pots
are wide & fat in order to cool down sooner ... and the winter
pots are tall & thin to wrap yr hands around for warmth ... but
i could be all wrong ... usually am ... nevertheless ... those
skinny things at fyp seem just about right for the weather ...
open to the breeze ... not made of brick ... tho it seems skinny
poems are less forgiving ... harder to hide in ... every word
is a big sign ...
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
is back ... we can be happier now
that sadoff piece from the apr ... "trafficking in the radiant:
the spiritualization of american poetry" ... i was dense
last night ... am a little less so this morning ... here is this
passage near the end where he makes his point from a sort of then-now
perspective ... the then
is roughly 1965-1975 .. he writes:
Those years registered
wide-sweeping critiques of institutions, governmental and otherwise;
during that time we saw enormous growth in the civil rights movement,
the anti-war movement and the feminist movement. the scientific,
philosophical, psychological and metaphysical discoveries of modernism
became a pervasive discourse in mainstream culture. Freud's ...
Einstein's ... Heisenberg's ... Nietzsche's ... Sartre's ... Derrida's
and Foucault's work all suggested a world without
design, a world where truth was relative and shifting. The
movement toward acceptance of these values had a great effect
on our poems and our lives. In poetry, respect for the irrational
and materiality was expressed in the surrealist and realist poetry
of the generation of Simic, Tate, James Wright, Merwin, Levine,
Rich, Etheridge Knight, Ginsberg and others. Traditions counter
to the canon, many overtly social and political and linguistic
... not only thrived but influenced the terms of our poetry during
the years that followed. These poets' faith and doubts were tied
to the social world and the here-and-now on earth. It's not that
they lacked a faith in the impalpable, but rather that the impalpable
-- love, for example -- grew out of the material world and out
imaginative associations with it.
aha ... sadoff goes on to discuss the now
...The social and metaphysical
ideologies that underlie our poetry now both reflect
the terms and spectrums of our poetic arguments.
example of how the centrist bill clinton is now percieved as a
paragon of liberalism] ...And to be clear, I'm talking about
how conventions, seeming expressions of individual need, grow
out of specific social and historical moments, and unexamined,
drive our poems. This commitment to the other-worldly, then, affects
our commitment to
he's working from an atheistic perspective ... but
it's not so far from my own closely held notions ... i guess theologians
would call it an incarnational view ... the belief that "the
other world" can only be known and active upon us via a close
attention to and high valuation of this present world ("effluvial,
filled with goodness as well as darkness, sufficient beauty and
difficulty") in which we find ourselves ... it calls us to
see better what it is ... s. seems to be objecting to the a priori
imposition of a spiritual ideology that blinkers a poet to the
relatively unstable flow of whatever is actually present ... he
wants that freedom ... "without consolation or excuse."
Monday, June 27, 2005
sometimes i think i will say more
... then i worry that i won't say anything worth saying or reading
... then i worry that i will show my foolishness to the world
... as if i haven't done that already ... as if ... then i think
i am too old for all of this ... and too young ... then that i'm
not smart enough not only to say but to do or be ... anything
... but i'm not complaining ... and this is not what they call
angst ... i'm just typing ... but i do feel a tiny bit like j.
alfred prufrock .. and i have never really liked that poem ...
never much at all ... but that's ok because there are plenty who
do ... so one who doesn't won't matter so much ...
i was looking at the new APR that arrived today
... an article by ira sadoff called "trafficking in the radiant:
the spiritualization of american poetry" and i haven't been
able to finish it because i'm not sure what he's saying and i
keep re-reading passages i don't get ... and i still don't get
them ... but i like that title very much ... he's clearly against
this spiritualization ... but i will have to read some more and
report back to you once i find a quotable bit that makes his point
better than i could ... i guess ... but it all makes me very self-conscious
.. because i am supposed to be a spiritual person but i don't
write recognizably spiritual things ... or i hope i don't (that
passage on our recent chapter excepted ... but was that spiritual
or just religious ... these things are so befuddling) ... hope
i don't because whose business is my spiritual business anyway
... certainly not almost anyone's ... and i wouldn't presume ...
but of course what isn't spiritual after all ... what isn't ...
i read 12th Night yesterday and
finished it today ... then i began Tess of the d'Urbervilles ...
and find the beginning much smoother going than i'd expected ...
i'd read it long long ago in college and had a pretty muddled
sense of it ... but it's a long book ... so there's still plenty
chance for it to get muddled sooner or later ... and probably
will ... no fault of its own ... probably
Hejinian - Introduction from The Language of Inquiry
...Poetry, to use William James's phrase,
'is in the transitions as much as in the terms connected.' This
is not to say that poetry is about transitions but that 'aboutness'
(in poetry, but, I would argue, also in life) is transitional,
transitory; indeed, poetry (and perhaps life) calls conventional
notions of 'aboutness' into question.
in December's grip
the gripe was for more sun
and now the gripe, the sun
and by Dissatisfactions
one by one
capacity for pleasure
... ain't it
the truth ... but not me boy ... i went out walking in the steamy
bright sunshine this morning & i sweat a bit ... but it was a
good thing all the way ... a very good thing ... hot & heavy as
it was ... a good thing ... soft edges all over the tall grass
and the birds and bugs ... all a good thing
t j b l
u g archive
finish your phrase