Monday, May 31, 2010

sometimes it is necessary to make a confrontation

Once I was beset by anxiety but I pushed the fear away by studying the sky, determining when the moon would come out and where the sun would appear in the morning. Louise Bourgeois
Photo Robert Mapplethorpe

Sunday, May 30, 2010

some days i have an obstinate fondness for all my poems

Some days I have an obstinate fondness for all my poems. Other days I dislike them intensely. Stanley Kunitz in The Paris Review
Photo Edward Weston 1979

Saturday, May 29, 2010

and today

at Clara's graduation from SJSU, 24 Japanese American students who were forcibly removed from California universities to be interned during World War II were honored with degrees as part of the California State University's Nisei Diploma Project.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

here's the thing

I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty... you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. JD Salinger

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

maps of the world in its becoming

Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery. The Road, Cormac McCarthy

summer's coming

and I'm hoping for road trips and time, time in the hot black sand.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

not Roi, by the way, a blonde

Personism, a movement which I recently founded and which nobody knows about, interests me a great deal...It was founded by me after lunch with LeRoi Jones on August 27, 1959, a day in which I was in love with someone (not Roi, by the way, a blond). I went back to work and wrote a poem for this person. While I was writing it I was realizing that if I wanted to I could use the telephone instead of writing the poem, and so Personism was born. It's a very exciting movement which will undoubtedly have lots of adherents. It puts the poem squarely between the poet and the person, Lucky Pierre style, and the poem is correspondingly gratified. The poem is at last between two persons instead of two pages... "Personism," Frank O'Hara

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the writer's body

The internal pressure of a poem seems to take over the pulsation of the writer’s body. The beat of a 4 or 5 stress line, though variable, is synchronous with the heart-beat, and the line itself is often synchronous with the breath. ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ has 5 stresses and a rising emphasis on the second syllable of ‘compare’ which is synchronous with the usual in-breath and slightly longer (ratio 2 to 3) out-breath. I have no idea why (did the Italian inventors of the sonnet work this out?), but a sonnet contains 14 lines (breaths), each of 5 stresses which equals 70 beats a minute. The average adult human breathes 12 to 15 times a minute with a pulse of 68-72 a minute… A sonnet is a minute! And by the way, since early renaissance hour-glasses could not measure seconds, Galileo timed his experiments with falling objects by counting his own pulse beats. Paradoxically poems create time (although they predate clocks), while they can seem ‘out of time.’ Sean Haldane's blog
Prime numbers arranged in a spiral, Dr. Yuen, University of Kentucky via Alexander Kruel

Sunday, May 2, 2010

she bears them unknowingly

Hélène Lagonelle’s body is heavy, innocent still, her skin’s as soft as that of certain fruits, you almost can’t grasp her, she’s almost illusory, it’s too much. She makes you want to kill her, she conjures up a marvelous dream of putting her to death with your own hands. Those flour-white shapes, she bears them unknowingly, and offers them for hands to knead, for lips to eat, without holding them back, without any knowledge of them and without any knowledge of their fabulous power. I’d like to eat Hélène Lagonelle’s breasts as he eats mine in the room in the Chinese town where I go every night to increase my knowledge of God. I’d like to devour and be devoured by those flour-white breasts of hers.

I am worn out with desire for Hélène Lagonelle.

I am worn out with desire.
From The Lover, Marguerite Duras
The Little Mermaid Dissolved in Foam, 1911. Edmund Dulac via even*cleveland

Saturday, May 1, 2010

what I really wanted was every kind of life

It's so effortless to let my loneliness defeat me, make me mold myself to whatever would (in some way - but not wholly) relieve it. I must never forget it... I want sensuality and sensitivity, both... Let me never deny that... I want to err on the side of violence and excess, rather than to underfill my moments. Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963