Sunday, May 28, 2006
went well today ...
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 ...
Saturday, May 27, 2006
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
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 ...
Friday, May 26, 2006
removed from its roots in musicality, spirituality, shared community
tolerant of difference, language loses its most usable and shareable
... 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
going to copy/steal/lift & set down again this whole freaking
bit by jonathan mayhew of Bemsha
... 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.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
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
ordinary person reads the "dirty bits" from the recently
challenged books at this
, 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
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.
Olson, Projective Verse 1950
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.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
... reading a book from every country in the world
for fyp today ... i'm just a-weary ... not a single poem thing
in me ... nowhere
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 ...
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
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
hey ... pete's my brother ... and today's his
birthday ...Happy Birthday, Pete!!
Monday, May 22, 2006
test down ... taken & half-graded ... two more tomorrow ... a
big mess of discussion board posts to count ... & grades grades
due very soon ...
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
t j b l
u g archive
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