Saturday, December 02, 2006

 

Is Dia MIA?

§

A new Museum
of Contemporary Art

opens
in Detroit

§

Of Wharton Esherick.
the great
modernist wood-carver,
also a resident
of my home town

§

In praise of
Sylvester Pollet
& his
Backwoods Broadsides

§

Nate Wiley,
a saxman
who used to play
with Gil Ott
& who had his first CD
at the age of
75,
has died

§

Self-published
Canadians
break into
the nation’s largest
retail chain,
but only on its
(not inexpensive)
terms

§

The path
from Robert Creeley
to the Flaming Lips
leads thru
Mercury Rev

§

More Creeley
set to music

§

Mário Cesariny
has died

§

Ferlinghetti’s
beret

§

The “incomparable
(primarily in the gap
between hype & substance)
Poetry Archive
begins to add
Dead White Guys
to the collection

§

Miller Williams
& his daughter
Lucinda

§

If you like bad poetry,
welcome to heaven

(on Ginsberg’s early work)

§


Dancing with anyone
other than
Emmitt Smith

§

tough-guy poet-criminal
(that’s fiction)
amidst the
Whitbread
shortlist

§

Interviewing a writer
who makes
$50 million per year

§

Defacing
a work of art
that is also
a train station

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Friday, December 01, 2006

 

Nuova Poesia Americana – San Francisco is the second volume (Los Angeles was the first) in a series of nice fat anthologies translating American poetry for the Italian reader, published by Oscar Mondadori under its Poesia del ‘900 imprint. Edited by Luigi Ballerini & Paul Vangelisti, it’s an interesting take on San Francisco poetry since, say, 1950, and makes some attempt at being broadly inclusive, containing everyone from the North Beach street poet scene (Bob Kaufman, Neeli Cherkovski) to language poets (David Bromige, yours truly, Lyn Hejinian, Michael Palmer) to the SF Renaissance (Robert Duncan, Robin Blaser, Jack Spicer, Lew Welch, Phil Whalen, David Meltzer, Philip Lamantia) to the School of Quietude (Stan Rice, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Gillian Conoley), stretching in time from George Oppen to Jeff Clark.

There are some gems of inclusion here – Kaufman is one example, too often by-passed for any other member of the Beats, or James Schevill, the Berkeley-born poet who, having refused to sign the loyalty oath at the University of California, went on to become perhaps the defining director of the San Francisco Poetry Center before moving to Providence in the mid-60s, or Ronald Johnson, long a San Francisco poet before he returned to his native Kansas in the last decade of his life, whose prickly personality kept him from being fully active in any of San Francisco’s various literary communities. And I was ecstatic to see George Stanley included, given his importance to the scene in the 1960s. Like Joanne Kyger, also present & accounted for, Stanley is one of those writers without whom that decade of American verse – let alone Bay Area poetry – ceases to make sense, but who all-too-often is not included because he’s lived in Canada for 40 years.

There are choices here as well – this is a 500 page book, but because everyone is represented by work in both English and Italian, it has the range one might expect from a collection half its size. Contrast this with Stephanie Young’s Bay Area Poetics, which has roughly the same number of pages, but 109 contributors. It’s great to see work by Norma Cole, Leslie Scalapino & Laura Moriarty in Nuova Poesia Americana, but Jean Day, Kit Robinson & Bev Dahlen are absent. The School of Quietude selections underscore the fact that, at least after Louis Simpson fled Berkeley in the wake of the 1965 Poetry Conference, the “traditional” or “conservative” poets in the Bay Area have never really been very traditional or conservative. Adding Thom Gunn, John Logan or Kay Ryan wouldn’t really have changed that perspective (tho possibly including Chana Block or William Dickey might have). And given all the warriors from the 1950s, it’s odd that Lawrence Ferlinghetti – to whom the volume is dedicated, along with Kenneth Rexroth (also not present), Ambrose Bierce, Dashiel Hammett & Joe DiMaggio – is not found in these pages. Ditto Carl Rakosi, who spent nearly 30 years in the City after he retired. Or Tom Clark or Bill Berkson, poets whose aesthetics may shout New York, but who have lived in the Bay Area for decades. Or – and this might have been harder to articulate within the space of an anthology – writing associated with the New Narrativity: Bob Glück, Kevin Killian, Dodie Bellamy, Mary Burger, Camille Roy, Michael Amnasan. How to identify a kind of writing that most often opts for fiction as its genre-coat, but also is integral to the poetry scene, as such? Realistically, tho, there are only one or two spots in this collection where one wants not just more, but different poets – I don’t see how you choose Cherkovski, for instance, when you don’t include either of the two Jacks, Hirschman or Micheline.

Given the space constraints, I wonder actually about my own inclusion here, as well as that of Jeff Clark, since both of us have moved on to other parts of the country. I did live in the Bay Area – in San Francisco as well as three different cities in the East Bay (Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, to be precise) – for over 45 years and I’d be lying to say that I wasn’t pleased to be thought of in this context, just as I am to have a plaque on Berkeley’s poets’ walk on Addison. But when resources are finite, it feels odd to be on board when others are not. And it raises the question of all the other poets who made their mark first in the Bay Area before moving elsewhere: Rae Armantrout, Erica Hunt, Stan Persky, Bob Perelman, Barrett Watten, Jack Gilbert, Carla Harryman, Kathy Acker, Tom Mandel, Shirley Kaufman, John Wieners, James Liddy, Ted Pearson, Linda Gregg, Andrei Codrescu, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Myung Mi Kim, Larry Fagin, Mary-Margaret Sloan, Arthur Sze, Lytle Shaw. Even Louis Simpson.

Two larger absences are writing from people of color – Ishmael Reed & Kaufman are the only representatives among the 29 contributors – and writing explicitly related to the feminist movement, such as the work of poets like Pat Parker & Paula Gunn Allen, Judy Grahn or Susan Griffin. Parker & Allen would have helped on both counts. The feminist literary movement that first emerged in the 1970s is inconceivable without the presence of the Bay Area, and those writers were hardly cordoned off from the rest of the scene. Susan Griffin & I both took the same classes at San Francisco State, Parker & I read together quite regularly in the open reading series at Shakespeare & Co Books in Berkeley in the mid-1960s, Grahn & Allen both read at the Grand Piano. (Some others, like Kathleen Fraser, Frances Jaffer & Edith Jenkins, clearly drew from both that world as well as the heritage of the post avant – none of them here either.) I can make virtually the same argument for more than a few poets of color, from Al Young to Al Robles to Ntozake Shange to Janice Mirikitani to David Henderson to Jessica Hagedorn to William Anderson to Victor Hernandez Cruz to Nate Mackey to Harryette Mullen – all are completely a part of the history of Bay Area poetries. Big Oops not find at least two or three more of them here.

Some of this may just be a combination of space limitations and the difficulty of editing an anthology of this kind at some distance – Vangelisti is a long-time Los Angeles resident & chairs the MFA program at the Otis College of Art and Design. Ballerini divides his time between L.A. and New York. I certainly couldn’t do half the job they have if I were trying to put together an anthology of the Los Angeles region. But at the same time, having lived not that far outside Philadelphia now for 11 years, I’m not at all sure that I could begin to do the same job for Philly either. It really takes a full immersion in a major regional scene like that of the Bay Area – or Philadelphia or Detroit, or any major metro – to completely appreciate its richness, breadth & depth. Indeed, that’s why finding Schevill, Johnson & Stanley is so great here. Vangelisti & Ballerini have come within shooting distance of having accomplished the impossible, making this a good book to own even if you don’t read one word of Italian.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

 


Ken & Ann, Ken & Ann

DRIVING
back the edge
with art that cares

This short poem, two syllables, three, then four, almost the essence of concision & a noble idea at that – tho that may depend on what you envision the edge to imply – by my old bud, the late Jim Gustafson, stares up at me impeccably printed on a plain gray piece of cardboard, one part of this year’s mailing from The Alternative Press, the last hurrah in a run of annuals dating back to the founding of the press in 1969 by Ken and Ann Mikolowski. Was there ever a press more aptly named than this one?

This year’s annual is, in fact, the first in several years, apparently since Ann passed away from breast cancer on Hiroshima Day, 1999. She was 59 at the time, a detail that makes Hettie Jones’ own “Song at Sixty” in this year’s mailing all the more plaintive:

If you want to know me
you better hurry

In the preface to The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley describes the Mikolowskis' process, as well as Ted’s own unique use of it:

Ted’s final book (though these are not his final poems) was A Certain Slant of Sunlight, which occupied him for all of 1982. This sequence of poems was written on individual postcards, 4½ inches by 7 inches, sent to him by Ken and Anne (sic) Mikolowski of the Alternative Press. There were five hundred cards to work with, one side left blank for a poem and/or image, and the other side incorporating space for a message and address. Postcard by Ted Berrigan was printed at the top of the message space, and running sideways, The Alternative Press Grindstone City. Many other artists and writers participated in the Milolowskis’ project, producing original art or text for the blank sides of their own five hundred postcards, the finished cards were always sent out singly, along with other Alternative Press items – broadsides, bumper stickers, etc. – in the Press’s standard free packets. Ted, so far as I know, was the only participant who turned the postcards into a full-scale writing project and then a book.

There are an almost infinite number of variations the post-avant poets of our time have been able to figure out – for example, I have one card meticulously hand written – not quite formal calligraphy – by Edward Sanders dated 10-5-93 that reads

Americans
crave
      perfect space
in their streets

and perfect lawns

but do not hesitate
to create
          violence
in other countries’ streets
& blood & gore
on other lawns

Yet another card (# 410, it tells me) offers a drawn, collaged & typed piece by Gustafson that is borderline illegible (tho I note the phrase “the notion of cwazy onwardisms”) and another postcard, from a sequence entitled Just Married by Alice and Andrei Codrescu challenges my sense of interpreting handwritten script. I think it reads

with a miner’s lamp affixed to his head
Clark Coolidge mines these strata.

written between layers of watercolor (or possibly finger paint), ranging from dark purple at the top, through some deep blues to a color I take as bordering on aqua. But when I first read it, what I saw was

with a swimmer’s lungs affixed to his head
Clark Coolidge mimes these strata.

Which has a certain attraction as an image as well. A handwritten poem by Faye Kicknosway similarly challenges my interpretive skills.

A number of the postcards, tho, are not hand-produced originals but rather short press runs of poems, including ones from Al Young, Lee Ann Brown & this from Allen Ginsberg, dated 3/23/97 4:51 AM, less than two weeks before his death:

STARRY RHYMES

Sun rises east
Sun sets west
Nobody knows
What the sun knows best

North Star north
Southern Cross south
Hold the universe
In your mouth

Gemini high
Pleiades low
Winter sky
Begins to snow

Orion down
North Star up
Fiery leaves
Begin to drop

Several of the cards are artworks as well – collages in particular seem popular here. And there are larger works, such as the Gustafson poem printed above, fully 8½ by 11, or poems by Sherman Alexie or another by Ginsberg, printed two months and one day later than the card, this time for a memorial reading in Ann Arbor.

In addition to Ken’s three books, and the various shows of Ann’s artwork there have been, the Alternative Press itself has been the subject of some exhibits, including one at the Detroit Institute of the Arts back in 1990 and a more recent one at the University of Michigan shortly after Ann’s passing. Since this current packet is the final number, I don’t know if there are any unclaimed copies available. But you could write to Ken (mikolows AT umich DOT edu) and ask. It’s one of the originals of my generation.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

 

An excellent piece
on New Western
poet-painter
John Brandi

§

Chax Press
receives
a 60-day
reprieve

§

Alice Notley
in
Poetry Daily

§

Having won
the Governor General’s
poetry prize,
Oolichan Press
rushes John Pass’ book
into a new print run
of 300 copies

§

A review of a new
Steve Swallow-Robert Creeley
CD by someone
who likes the idea of poetry
but doesn’t actually
read much

§

Four hours
of Steve Reich
MP3s

§

Boston’s take
on Reich
is muted

(But the bit about
his shock
at the response
to Four Organs
is nonsense –
I saw people stomping
out of the West Coast
debut of Violin Phase
at UC Berkeley
in 1967 –
the first to go
was Mario Savio)

§

Anger in art criticism

§

Cecil Balmond
architect?

§

Rethinking Rem

§

Stuart
is an online gallery
and an instant
hit

§

Curating globalism

§

Remembering
Jamaican poet
Gwyneth Barber-Wood

§

P.K. Page,
the poet at 90

§

Poetry in the schools:
(1) In Edinburgh, Scotland
(2) In Lincoln, Nebraska
(3) In Lincoln, Nebraska
from another point of view

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

 


Hannah Weiner, 1967
(photo © 2002 by Carolee Schneeman)

I’ve written on numerous occasions, starting indeed with the forward to the anthology In the American Tree, “Language, Realism, Poetry,” that language poetry has always been deeply involved with realism in the arts, a term that to my mind resonates with echoes of both Objectivism in American poetics & a perspective that is perhaps most clearly articulated previously in mid-century Italian cinema. Not only do almost all of language poetry’s literary devices function to strip away the social wrappings that come between the reader and the materials of the poem itself, but even when the poetry steps into a consciously referential mode, it’s default position often seems to be reportage. You can see this in my work, in Steve Benson’s writing, in Bruce Andrews’ ensembles of social expression & in Hannah Weiner’s journals, although otherwise we are all very different in our ways of practice.

The day after Thanksgiving, Krishna & I got away for an overnight up to the northernmost reaches of Bucks County, and spent the next bicycling along the towpath of one of the old coal canals, until we got down to the bridge across the Delaware River to Frenchtown. The one book I read on the trip was Country Girl, an early journal of Hannah’s coming pretty soon after The Fast, leading in the general direction of her signature work, Clairvoyant Journal, which was written three years later in 1974. I think Country Girl may be out of print – we seriously need a big edition of her work, not just the collected books published in, or soon after, her lifetime, but such writing as the 205-page 1973 journal that immediately preceded Clairvoyant Journal, Big Words, only one fragment of which was printed in Weiner’s lifetime (the whole is up as 205 separate JPEGs on Weiner’s EPC site, a solution that is pretty much unreadable – a single, albeit humongous, PDF file would have been better). Hannah Weiner is one of the major writers of my lifetime, but what we have available at hand feels fragmentary & disjointed, not only because of the disruptions her schizophrenia imposed on her writing, but due even more to the haphazard, small press, always-out-of-order chronology of her publications.

In 1971, when Weiner wrote Country Girl, she was 43 years old and had published, the year before, just one eleven-page sequence, Magritte Poems, brought out by Poetry Newsletter of Sacramento, not exactly a major trade press. Magritte Poems had been written in 1966 and was already a considerable distance from her concerns when it came out. Had she not had her psychotic break in 1970 – exceptionally late for a first major episode – Weiner’s career might simply have taken on an arc familiar to many women writers, that of the late starter or late bloomer. In her case, it wasn’t the usual narrative of childrearing, but rather a successful career as a lingerie designer after her graduation from Radcliffe, that absorbed her twenties & early 30s. But by the mid-1960s, Weiner was already an active presence in the downtown New York scene, right at the moment when Warhol & the Factory was redefining the visual arts scene, the poetry world was waking up to the New American poets generally (which in New York meant the second generation NY School & the sudden sense of an interrelationship between poetry & the visual arts in general), performance art was happening (Weiner’s second book Code Poems grew directly out of this engagement; the book, which didn’t come out until 14 years later, includes a blurb from Sol Lewitt, along with others by Jackson Mac Low & Jerry Rothenberg).

But then came the break, recounted in painful detail in The Fast, but still the focal point of Weiner’s attention here in Country Girl, visible in its very first paragraph:

I am in the country. Whether or not the spirit, which is what I called my mind at that time, approves. I cried a little when I put the deposit in the mail. Please I want to be well. So many negative visual signs on the above paragraph. I am now trying to be guided by my experience in what I’ve learned from the spirit, instead of just following advice. It is now I who make the decisions and the spirit gives a yes or no on all thing. He, she, it, is so active. I do not always listen.

Here Weiner’s sensitivity is to color, which she feels intensely & often with excruciating pain. Here is a passage midway through the book:

I wish I could understanding the signals. Perhaps the book would be clearer too. My life would be. The knee fucks up everything. But I can take more of the purple vibes than I used to. No it says. Not so much pain as there used to be. Still, some signals seem to mean OK, some no, some clear up the bad energy. And they keep switching. Perhaps it’s all a low vibration trip.

Wanted to eat chicken. Saw thumb all wrinkled chicken skin and yellow fat along fingers. Didn’t eat chicken.

Today wore avocado green sweater of acrylic with purple aura. Felt OK on back, although I could feel slight muscle contraction in shoulder, but knee really hurt. Had gotten my “carrot” signal on it – means too constricting. Knee felt better when I took it off and put on an all wool rust sweater with a red aura.

Sleep on green sheet with purple aura, gray blanket with purple aura, orange blanket with red aura, yellow blanket with purple aura. What I see in the morning is red and purple auras on shoulder. As far as I can tell, if the aura is strong it is more important than the actual color. The gray blanket, which is fuzzy, Peruvian and book print design, has a very energetic purple aura. I intend to blend all this to a nice rosy pink. Ho hum Blue on hum. Pink on hum.

Weiner is trying methodically & quite patiently to come to terms with what is happening to her and given the visual dimension of her symptoms at this moment – the words appearing in dog fur written across somebody’s forward would come later – the closest analogy she seems to be able to find is in the Hindu concept of chakra and aura. Yet nothing here fits very readily into that system (to the degree that it is one, which is a lot in India, and a lot less in hands of many a new age practitioner). Yet note that her first commitment isn’t to aligning her experience with any existing theory of auras, as such, but rather, systematically describing what happens now, what happens where, what happens how. In this sense, Weiner becomes the anthropologist of her own psychic processes, following with tremendous attention even as her senses begin to spin wildly out of control. Which, it would be fair for readers to ask, is the true Hannah Weiner?

I think the answer is both. But it is the powerful reporter, an absolute master of description, that is the writer. She is as much a chronicler of her unique condition as was Larry Eigner of his own more physical containment.

I knew Hannah at times when she was quite matter-of-fact about her psychiatric diagnosis and the need to use medications to keep from being whipsawed by visual imagery that “spoke” in a commanding, even commandeering tone. But I knew Hannah at other times as well, when I couldn’t get past the web of hallucinated commentary to reach her in any meaningful way. Phone calls could come at any hour of the day and she could explain away the rudeness of a 3:00 AM call by insisting that my 18-month-old boy, whom she never had met, had told her to do so.¹

Perhaps because I was raised by a woman who had not uncommon psychotic episodes – not schizophrenia, but rather deep chronic depression that never was treated – I seemed to do okay responding to Hannah, and we got along as well as one might. But it’s a marker also of a deep sadness I feel that she never lived to see her work in print that would make the whole of it apparent to all, that I don’t think she really “got it” just how deeply her fans appreciated & responded to her work, that it’s taken me two years – long enough for this chapbook apparently to go out of print – in order to read it.

 

¹ Hannah’s own perspective, at least circa 1971, is stated here:

Question: is it better to call and ask someone to do you a favor and give them the chance of saying yes or no, or to concentrate on having them think of it and call you. Answer: yes to first. If you concentrate on them they might not know if it’s your thought or theirs, and if they get your thought and think it is their own, confusion – or you are trying to control them. Or they don’t get it at all. If they get it and think it might be your thought they still have free will about what to do and you’re not controlling them but in this case they have to be pretty conscious to know their own minds. Example: I was thinking I wish I could buy cookies to get some ready-made wheat; but couldn’t because they’re made with sugar. V goes shopping for me and say I walked to the cookie counter and almost bought cookies and then I said what am I doing here I don’t that shit. So he said, “Please tell me all your thoughts about food because I don’t know you or me.” I said “Were you thinking about dungarees because I got this thought I needed some, and I don’t wear them.” And he said “Yes.”

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Monday, November 27, 2006

 

So, having written that note Sunday about Ubuweb and its film archives, I finally did download & watch Frank Film by Frank & Caroline Mouris for the first time in over 30 years (and for just the third time ever). I had forgotten just how deeply and directly this film influenced my writing of Ketjak one year after I first saw it at an evening of experimental animation held at the late, lamented Surf Theater in San Francisco, a little haven in those years for European & independent cinema out at the very end of the N-Judah line in the City’s Sunset District.

I had forgotten not just how directly Frank Film influenced the writing of Ketjak, I had forgotten that the film wasn’t just a one-man effort, but involved Caroline Mouris as producer & Tony Schwartz doing sound. I had forgotten – if I’d ever known – that Frank Film actually won an Oscar, for best short subject, animation, in 1973. Yes, Ketjak, that poem so disjunct that I still from people who tell me they find it too radical & alien, is in some very real sense derivative of an Academy Award-winning cartoon. If ever one needed an index of just how conservative as an institution poetry is, that’s mine. (Nor am I the only person to notice this connection of Frank Film to my work. Ubuweb’s ebook edition of 2197 uses an image that is at least based on Frank Film, if not taken directly from it, for its cover.)

And I’d forgotten, at least partly, how very simple this nine-minute film is (you can view a brief excerpt here, or download the whole from Ubuweb, which is what I recommend, tho Macs will require some special software to run it). Mouris uses two sound tracks, one of which consists of him telling his autobiography in a low-key, not quite humorous fashion (imagine a mellow version of a Robert Ashley opera sans music), the other of which consists of Mouris reading lists, sometimes of numbers, but mostly of objects related to the narrative of the autobiography. On the screen while this is going on is a peripatetic, constantly evolving collage mostly of images taken from popular magazines, really using that 24-frames-per-second possibility to show what is almost a Busby Berkeley dance of tires while one half of the sound-track discusses Mouris’ dad’s gas station, the other half lists objects one might find around an auto shop. Mouris’ imagery fits right into the collage work being done, especially on the West Coast under the rubric of funk art, at that moment in history – as distinct from the more static use of the same imagery in the hands of, say, Andy Warhol).

I know that when I first saw Frank Film at the Surf Theater in 1973, I felt that the experience, and especially the sound track, was far more disjunct than it feels to me know, watching it on a five-year-old PC monitor. Not overwhelmingly so, but close enough to make the experience completely exhilarating. For one thing, I think that we all, and perhaps me more than most, have gradually learned over the decades how to hear multiple simultaneous soundtracks in a way that we can integrate, picking & choosing which to focus on & which to treat as more ambient, than was the case when this aesthetic effect was still so new as to feel unnamable. (Another example of this same process at work: Jackson Mac Low’s earlier instances of “free writing,” such as in the Light Poems feels far less packed & disjunct than his own chance poetics at the time he composed those poems, yet because he was able to learn from younger writers like Clark Coolidge & Steve McCaffery, his acts of “free writing” later in his career handle opacity and density with terrific élan.)

So maybe Frank Film isn’t the finest single act of film since Dziga Vertov, but it’s a damn good one nonetheless. When I look it all these decades later, I can still see the ideas about multiplicity, complexity & layering that I was myself struggling with at that very moment in my own poetry active & alive here. When I saw Frank Film I wasn’t ready yet to try & put all these elements together – that would take place a year later, a few days after hearing the West Coast premier of Steve Reich’s Drumming, another work – as different from Ketjak as both are from Frank Film – investigating this same territory. Having Frank Film available, along with Vertov, and films by or about, just to drop a few names,

Vito Acconci
Robert Ashley
Bruce Baillie
John Baldessari
Samuel Beckett
Jorge Luis Borges
Stan Brakhage
James Broughton
Luis Buñuel
Jorge Luis Borges
William S. Burroughs
John Cage
Alexander Calder
Henri Chopin
Rene Clair
Jean Cocteau
Merce Cunningham
Guy Debord
Maya Deren
Marcel Duchamp
Tracy Emin
Ed Emshwiller
Flux Films
Richard Foreman
Terry Fox
Jean Genet
Alberto Giacometti
Philip Glass
Piero Heliczer
Henry Hills
Abbie Hoffman
Anish Kapoor
Raashan Roland Kirk
Jacques Lacan
George Landow
Fernand Leger
John Lennon
László Moholy-Nagy
Gordon Mumma
Bruce Nauman
Phil Niblock
Pauline Oliveros
Yoko Ono
Nam June Paik
Charlemagne Palestine
Robert Rauschenberg
Man Ray
Terry Riley
Aram Saroyan
Carolee Schneeman
Richard Serra
Jack Smith
Kiki Smith
Robert Smithson
David Wojnarowicz
Stan Vanderbeek
Agnes Varda
Edgard Varêse & Le Corbusier
William Wegman
Rachel Whiteread
David Wojnarowicz
Zubi Zuva

is frankly breathtaking. Ubuweb is one of the great cultural resources of the 21st century.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

 

The favorite artist
of British artists
ever

§

And the top rated
woman artist

§

Brice Marden
at length
in the New York Review of Books

§

Peter Schjeldahl
on
Kiki Smith

§

Designating a painting
historic

§

Mel Bochner
on
The Joys of Yiddish

§

An “auto-bug-offery
by James Laughlin

§

Plagiarists of the past
alas

§

Yet another poem
entirely in questions,
this time
by Galway Kinnell

§

“Whitman’s exactly the right patron
for a poet like Kinnell
(one more attempt
to make an SoQ
interesting
by placing him
into an avant lineage)

§

Hooking up
thru the
London Review of Books

§

Why Melville matters
even if he’s still not popular

§

A second
New York Times
review of
Against the Day,
this one positive

§

“The biggest surprise,
not counting the space devoted to
Lake Baikal,
white slavery, Tamerlane's tomb
and Jonah and the whale,
is an astonishing excess of
ukuleles.”
John Leonard on
Against the Day
in The Nation

§

There are exactly
four books of poetry
among this year’s
New York Times
100 Notable Books
list, by
Louise Glück,
Allen Ginsberg,
Galway Kinnell
&
Ishmael Reed

(Glück,
who is 63,
is the “baby”
in this quartet)

§

“The pen is edgier than the blade”:
a poet-in-residence
for a cricket tour

§

UbuWeb
has converted all
of its rare and out-of-print
film & video holdings
to on-demand streaming formats
a la YouTube,
which means that you
can view everything
right in your browser
without platform-specific software
or insanely
huge
downloads

(There are still some exceptions,
such as Frank Mouris’
Frank Film,
still my favorite instance
of film as poetry)

§

The subtitle of this review
of Ginsberg’s biography
describes him only
as the
”Poet who wrote ‘Howl’”

§

The trouble with Ted

§

Andrew Motion
on being laureate

§

The poet laureate
of Brownsburg,
Indiana

§

A new story
by
Eugene O’Neill

§

That low-fi sci-fi
trading as “speculative poetry

§

A test of translation
concerning
Fagle’s Aeneid

§

A little piece
on
Creeley’s Collected
(with Zukofsky
spelled with an ‘S')

§

John Timpane
on all the new books
concerning
Allen Ginsberg

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