Sunday, May 28, 2006

graduation went well today ...

trying to shave this morning, the power goes out for a few minutes ... when it returns, our (brand new, very costly) central a/c does not ... so we've been roughing it up here on the second floor ... first floor is nice, but the cat & i are feeling a bit wilted up here ... fans going like crazy windows & doors wide open ... given that an obsessive need for a/c is one of things that bugs me most about life in wealthy america today, i will not complain ... i will wilt ... and think about the littlke bit of damage we're possibly NOT doing to the environment ... and feel all righteous about that for a few seconds ... but ... it's all so complex ...

posted at 9:59 PM


Saturday, May 27, 2006

since tomorrow is his birthday ... Gyorgi Ligeti's Aventures: Ode to the discrepancy between word and deed ...

When a composer wants to write for voices, he faces the problem that voices cannot sing unless they articulate words. Words are borrowed from a text to which the composer has to subordinate himself. If he wants music to speak for itself, he obviously can resort to speechless instruments. But when he cannot refrain from writing for voices ­ after all, voices are the primeval instruments ­ and when he wants those voices to speak for themselves at that, he inexorably has to neutralise the text some way or a another. There are lots of possibilities.

tomorrow is also graduation ... so as a senior homeroom moderator i work from 9 to 1 ... the end is in sight ...

kind of muggy up here in northeastern illinois ... some rain came through ... nice walk this morning ... no skunks but some interesting obscene trail graffiti ... now obliterated by the rain ... and each person we encountered (4 or 5) was accompanied by dog ... dominic was my dog ... and i was his ... i was humming uncle tupelo's cover of the stooges' version ... but dom didn't get it ...

posted at 9:57 PM


Friday, May 26, 2006

If removed from its roots in musicality, spirituality, shared community tolerant of difference, language loses its most usable and shareable qualities. ... nicely put ... something to think about ... i'm thinking about/imagining language without many usable or sharable qualities ... what kinds of language would that be ... language of "the hegemony" ... which would necessarily be a fabric of lies aimed at the maintenance of power ... language of a white house news briefing ... language of nea grant proposals (of which i know nothing) ... hmmm

posted at 3:36 PM

i'm just going to copy/steal/lift & set down again this whole freaking bit by jonathan mayhew of Bemsha Swing ... just because i want it in my face for a while because it thinks very usefully about an issue that rises constantly in my classes ... not always according to my own plan ... it just does ... this matter of meaning seems to have a mind of its own ... and voices itself via senior and sophomore wonders all the time ... thanks, jonathan!

It's pretty obvious to me that a poem can't have a 'meaning.' A sentence can have a meaning, that is, an equivalent sentence that we might agree means pretty much the same thing. Two sentences have two meanings. The meaning of this sentence followed by that sentence is not the meaning of either sentence, or both put together, but something else: an interpretation of why that sentence follows the other one. The meaning of a Faulkner novel is not the meaning of all of its sentences put together, or the sum total of all the meanings of the words. It is pretty improbable that all these sentences, put together, would add up to a single 'signified,' a concept that could be summed up in a 'meaningful' way. All the elements are meaningful, but there is no one 'meaning.' Nobody could even hold so much information in his or her head. Imagine Faulkner recites his novel from beginning to end and someone asks, what did you mean by that? A single assertion like, 'we are all doing to die and life is tragic' would not be a plausible 'meaning' for an entire novel. It just seems off scale. A paraphrase of a novel is another novel, just like the meaning of a sentence would be another sentence. But no two novels mean the same thing. What did you mean by Light in August? Oh, what I meant was, As I Lay Dying.

posted at 12:56 PM


Thursday, May 25, 2006

not one but TWO skunks this morning ... on different sides of the building ... snuffling around in the grass even as the sun gets higher and higher ... someone needs to remind them that they are NOCTURNAL & should be well gone by the time certain humans wander out into the world ... useful info: Muscles located next to the scent glands allow them to spray with high accuracy as far as 2 to 3 metres (7 to 10 ft).

posted at 8:26 PM

when this ordinary person reads the "dirty bits" from the recently challenged books at this site, this ordinary person is offended by it all ... all the smut smut smut ... and bloody violence ... but then this ordinary person remembers reading the entire book the whole book start to finish ... remembers the power of risky writing to wake him up to open doors and windows of compassion and beauty ... and then this ordinary person is only offended by the obscene butchery of truth that frightened & ill-informed people are capable of ... but then this ordinary person remembers he is just a wacko lefty english teacher bent on the corruption of youthful innocence and the destruction of the nation ... and he feels ashamed of himself for ever having read a book a poem a word

posted at 11:17 AM

Giving teens room to grow | Chicago Tribune ...

Parents have a natural instinct to protect their kids. But please, don't try to protect them from provocative ideas, provocative writing. Such works contribute to the intellectual and emotional growth of students. Much as parents may hate to admit it, controlling all the ideas that flow into their child's brain is not possible. Nor is it desirable.

posted at 11:02 AM

Judith Levine

posted at 10:58 AM

Charles Olson, Projective Verse 1950 ...

A poem is energy transferred from where the poet got it (he will have some several causations), by way of the poem itself to, all the way over to, the reader. Okay. Then the poem itself must, at all points, be a high energy-construct and, at all points, an energy-discharge. So: how is the poet to accomplish same energy, how is he, what is the process by which a poet gets in, at all points energy at least the equivalent of the energy which propelled him in the first place, yet an energy which is peculiar to verse alone and which will be, obviously, also different from the energy which the reader, because he is a third term, will take away.

posted at 10:53 AM


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nearing Mactan ... reading a book from every country in the world

posted at 8:29 PM

Flannery O'Connor - Lesson Plan

posted at 8:15 PM

I'll bet Tony Bennett doesn't have to go through this kind of thing.

posted at 4:05 PM

nothing for fyp today ... i'm just a-weary ... not a single poem thing in me ... nowhere

posted at 3:12 PM

done grading senior exams ... done counting senior posts ... need to make the quarter grades ... need to get it all into the computer ... then i need to attend to my poor little overlooked sophs ...

posted at 3:11 PM

bill moyers ... I find I am alternatively afraid, cantankerous, bewildered, often hostile, sometimes gracious, and battered by a hundred new sensations every day. I can be filled with a pessimism as gloomy as the depth of the middle ages, yet deep within me I'm possessed of a hope that simply won't quit.

posted at 12:53 PM


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

the Varmelite mystics ... ha!

posted at 3:17 PM

The instability of experience is what his writing does justice to.

posted at 10:19 AM

period C is writing their exam ... i should be reading period B's ... just finished & neatly stacked right here ...

period B had to examine Hart Crane's "Voyages I" ... just as yesterday period D had to explore Kenneth Koch's "One Train May Hide Another" ... just as these present are thinking about John Ashbery's "Rain Moving In" (from A Wave) ... a tricky one that ... a challenge to how we think about a poem ... i can't wait to read what they do with it ... i hope

posted at 10:04 AM

hey ... pete's my brother ... and today's his birthday ...

Happy Birthday, Pete!!

posted at 8:16 AM


Monday, May 22, 2006

one senior test down ... taken & half-graded ... two more tomorrow ... a big mess of discussion board posts to count ... & grades grades due very soon ...

time time time ... out to dinner this evening with sal lema ... carmelite communications director ... who's writing something on the ten brothers in our province ... i didn't know we were only ten ... that's a mild shock ... just ten of us ... so sal interviewed me & dom & will write it up somehow & will visit us at school in the morning to make photos of us in our natural habitat ... ten ... that's right ... and i'm one

posted at 9:09 PM

In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.

posted at 10:42 AM


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