"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I know the morels are exciting, but

I'm going to actually try to write a real blog post since I don't have to leave for work for another hour. I can't promise pyrotechnics, Massey-esque free-associative toilet humor, or any insights into my twisted personal poetics. However, I can do minor rants.

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Coffee, for example. Why does Sinister Koffee say to use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water, while Seattle Koffee says to use 1 tablespoon. I hauled out the handy French press and tested both methods. Result: not a huge bit of difference. The space needle coffee was a little lighter-bodied, but the strength and flavor of both samples was surprisingly comparable. So, I guess I'm rooting for the #2.

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I have the iTunes on shuffle this morning. I've discovered a new fondness for Glenn Philips (the guy behind Toad the Wet Sprocket) and rediscovered the underrated corpus of Jay Bennett and Edward Burch. Now I will concede that most of Bennett's post-Wilco oeuvre is negligible or at my most generous, inessential. However, his first album, The Palace at 4 a.m. is seriously great. I prefer it over YHF. In fact, I think it's a vastly better album. In any case, the song that caught my ear this morning was "CTM"--I'm guessing that most of my readers haven't heard this song, so let's just say that it's a great tune to listen to when you're thinking about your ex(es) and having maybe less than charitable thoughts. So that's what I was doing this morning. While running coffee tests. And doing dishes.

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You know what I hate? College kids. Not at college, but when the come out to the bar I'm drinking at and bring all their friends and wear too much cologne and perfume and act like jackasses. Did I ever do that? Nah. I was not a traditional college kid though.

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In the mail: Asterisk numbers 1 & 2. #1 features Massey, Tieger, and Tharp. Good work here, particularly the Tieger and Tharp. Oh, don't get me wrong, the Massey's up to snuff, but I've seen these particular poems before. The freshness of the others was nice to encounter. #2 is poems by John Phillips, a poet I'm unfamiliar with. The aesthetic here is in the Massey/Tharp vein--maybe more Tharp than Massey. While the subject here is often nature, Phillips' speaker seems to be thinking his way through nature, or using the physical world to map some inner space. But that's really only a comment on the poem "Seen." The other short pieces here belie a Creeley influence. Maybe a dash of Cid Corman as well. In any case, fine work.

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Trying to wrap my head around Mynes and Rizzo's Full On Jabber. I must be honest, I've never been able to get into Rizzo's work. It's not that I don't "get" it, I just don't find it compelling beyond its surface. Take away the music and the associative leaps, and there isn't much there. This isn't so much a criticism of Rizzo's poetic muscle but more a reckoning with my own inability to appreciate this type of work or to see what's beneath the surface. This is a self-critique in some sense too, as I used to write poems in this vein. In fact, one of them was published in CARVE 4, I believe, if you want to compare. I no longer write that way, but I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why I can no longer appreciate this type of writing. In any case, I'm a great fan of Jess Mynes, and it's pretty apparent who wrote what in this particular work. Jess' poems can also be associative, but they are (small and large scale) image and emotion-driven, even at their wordiest. And maybe I'm letting the fact of my friendship with Jess cloud my evaluative ability, though I doubt it--I was a huge fan of his work before I met the man.

In any case, if you want any of these publications, here's the info:



"Fewer & Further Press has published a folded pamphlet named Asterisk. Asterisk One features poems by: Shannon Tharp, Joseph Massey, and Aaron Tieger. Asterisk Two features poems by John Phillips. There are 75 copies of each issues. You can order a copy through the Fewer & Further Press webpage: fewfurpress.blogspot.com.



Thanks,

Jess Mynes, editor



Also:



CHAPBOOK RELEASE



Hello All,



We're excited to announce that our collaborative work, FULL ON JABBER, has just been released by The Martian Press. As with many small press publications, this uniquely designed edition is limited in number.



Copies are available directly from the editor of TMP, Jonathan Ball:



jonathan@jonathanball.com

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Allergy season is here. Or I have a head cold. Or both.

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Recently revisited Ammons' Selected. The contrast between the young Ammons--esp. in his first self-published book--and the old man Ammons of the long poems and the poems in pseudo-couplets is astonishing. He didn't get "better" or "worse" (whatever that means) but he changed. The early poems, it seems to me, are really only poems that a young, somewhat naive man could accomplish. There's something almost Shelleyan about the confidence and the voice here, something fearless yet calm underneath the sometimes loud or audacious surfaces. Maybe I'll get ambitious and actually look at a poem or two in this space soon.

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Two weeks from now, I'm scheduled to give a guest lecture to a room of freshmen poetry students, on *my own work*--how do I do that? Anybody have any advice?

A young woman, an acquaintance of mine, recently heard about my little book and asked me yesterday if she could buy a copy from me. I had to tell her, uh...no. I don't have any copies left! I sorta wish I hadn't given my last one to Kasey. No, no, I don't really wish that. I just want another copy for myself.

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AB said that there is something O'Hara about Andy and my HTY. I guess that's fair! I mean, whatever it is, it couldn't have happened without NY School poesy buzzing both our brains. And the pills and booze and camaraderie helped too. And the Pepsi.

The late-night IHOP (Andy Mister screaming at two frightened college kids and a very timid waitress "I hate white people!") did not help.

1 comment:

Jesse Crockett said...

what are morels?