Friday, April 28, 2006
The aides said the lawmakers had been told they could not trespass on the embassy property. They made their statements off the property, then stood on the embassy steps. The lawmakers did not leave after police warnings, and "were arrested one by one," Lantos' spokeswoman Lynne Weil said. Spokesman Michael Mershon said he was on his way to the station to post $50 bond for McGovern's release." (Full article here)
Liz Halliday is one of the best race car drivers around. She is the highest placed female driver at Sebring ever. With Porsche not entering Le Mans this year, Ms Halliday should become the highest placed female driver at the 24 Heurs de Le Mans as well. There are four or five races that are the pinacle of the racing world, Le Mans is number one. The 12 Hours of Sebring is definately another. She will compete in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on September 30th and some consider this another
The other two big races she doesn't compete in: the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January and the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix on May 28th.
Her other helmet is an equestrian one. She is a candidate for the United Kingdom's 2008 Olympic Equestrian team.
Sometimes I hate people.
I was the whole summer remembering
more than I knew
as though anything could stand still
in the waters
there were lives that turned and appeared to wait
and I went towards them looking
sounds carry in water but not
what I called so far
sun and moon shone into
the moving water
and after many days
joys and griefs I had not thought were mine
woke in this body’s altering dream
knowing where they were
faces that would never die returned
toward our light through mortal waters
A sentence continues after thirty years
it wakes in the silence of the same room
the words that come to it after the long comma
existed all that time wandering in space
as points of light travel unseen through ages
of which they alone are the measure and arrive
at last to tell of something that came to pass
before they ever began or meant anything
longer ago than that Pierre let himself in
through the gate under the cherry tree and said
Jacques is dead and his feet rustled the bronze leaves
of the cherry tree the October leaves fallen
before he set out to walk on their curled summer
then as suddenly Pierre was gone without warning
and the others all the others who were announced
after they had gone with what they had of their summer
and the cherry tree was done and went the way of its leaves
as they wake in the sentence the words remember
but each time only a remnant and it may be
that they say little and there is the unspoken
morning late in spring the early light passing
and the cuckoo hiding beyond its voice and once more
the oriole that was silent from age to age
voices heard once only and then long listened for
The Pupil is one of Merwin’s latest works. Merwin is one of my favorite poets, so I was excited for the opportunity to examine his work deeper than a casual read. That excitement quickly faded. Merwin has mostly gone the way of Olds, Ashbery, and Collins to patented poems. His pieces still pack a lot of punch, but each one has the same punch, the same point, the same things at stake – the entire book falls over beneath the redundancies. Don’t get me wrong, take two Merwin poems and put them against two poems of most other poets and Merwin’s are much better, but he has lost his ability to play deep. Where he used to experiment with taking punctuation out, there is now no punctuation in the book at all. The Pupil has points of utter brilliance and most poems are gorgeous and powerful, but the entire book is slick and over-edited. While the poems read nicely out loud, they seem to lack the raw quality he used to strive for.
“Prophecy” opens the book with a harbinger of the type of poems to come. This short poem repeats sings too many times and only one image flies: “all the white days that were brought to us one / by one that turned to colors around us.” The poem is good, but lacks originality. Merwin’s typical themes of death and beauty are the main themes in this work as well, and these poems are redundant in their pursuit of the waters.
Where Merwin’s waters and contemplative poems used to be his pinnacle, now those are old and his descriptions are brilliant. Later in the book he gets into these narrative and descriptive pieces that are simply stunning. “Once in Spring” can be seen as the transition, though the line between contemplative and narrative poems is not clearly defined. “Once in Spring” is one of my favorite and least favorite pieces in the work. The first and third stanzas are orgasmic in their brilliance, but the second stanza bogs down in repetitions of insipid words. I love the concept of the second stanza, the way he likens the rebirth of a sentence to the efforts of Pierre and Jacques Dupuy in preserving words and books, but he repeats too much and the stanza lacks raw power. This poem can be seen as indicative of the entire book in its coupling of amazing and boring.
I cannot do what Merwin does in his contemplative pieces, but I understood that he could pull off subtle strength of words four or five books ago and now he needs to move on. Experimentation is integral to a poet’s life and writing, but Merwin has forgotten how. This is a great book, but it lacks variety, rawness, and originality. Taken one by one, the poems fly wonderfully, but in the flock of The Pupil they plow into the side of a mountain.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Everything is now due in less than 300 hours. May 4th at 9:30, all my Architecture is due. May 4th at 3:30 all my poetry is due (The new chapbook is shaping up nicely). Friday, May 5th, at some unspecified time, Sculpture 241 will take hostage Friendship Square in downtown Moscow. We will be displaying inflatable sculptures. I make the fifth of my group. I have few ideas, but don't need any till Wednesday. Last year, across the border, a team made a 70ft tall caterpillar. We're going big. Feel free to come. There may be Jazz Ensemble and theatre productions - or just big plastic sculptures with little fans blowing them up.
So my three part self portrait was due today. However, I had no time, and my prof has been setting up the already legendary 2006 UI MFA show at the Prichard (Just opened Friday. Everybody I know over here has gone already. It's amazing. Review + Pictures coming soon) which he is a member of, so he forgot all my stuff was due today. I have another week.
Friday, April 21, 2006
This is bullshit, "they'll say 'Oh, my God, that's horrible,' and then they'll go on eating their dinners." People say I am a dreamer? This guy's irrational.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
He is a skilled tennis player who grew up two streets over from where Oprah lives. He opened without a crack about reading in a court room, the first in a while, and with a short prose piece that was absolutely stunning. The piece is from his new book, Sleepwalk, published approximately three days ago. Like a few of his pieces, it examined childhood longing and a quest for knowledge you don't realize you are without. As a poet, he is good: fairly prosaic, but his prose is stupendous so that helps.
A lot of his work builds up to the concluding line. Rather than trying to turn the poem inside out in the last stanzas, he instead supports it with resonant lines and questions ("How long do we have?"). His work is fabulous. As a reader, he isn't the best. He speaks slowly and enunciates, doesn't seem to get excited about much, and gives unnecessary five minute introductions to works that need none.
He also read from ...and the Sea. These pieces were my favorites. About 60%-70% of his writing is place specific, and I like it. My favorite piece from this book described spear fishing under kelp beds, "Eucharist white bones of fish", and "unconscious youth." The only problems I had, besides the introductions, were his extensive pronoun use and his failure to explore ideas fully. I liked how some pieces left unanswered, but there were things like Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle that he didn't fully understand. I am a Physics nerd, and maybe that's why it bugged me, but I think he should have done more research for his references. I am still saving up to buy two of his books though, Sleepwalking and ...and the Sea. His work stood up besides his inability to read well.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Le Mans: The invitations this year were superb: there are 14 GT2 cars, and 12 each of the rest of the classes. This is the most even field in a long time. Le Mans is the pinacle of motorcar racing - F1 and WRX each close seconds. The excitement is phenomenal.
My 58 day early predictions:
Overall: I don't expect another surprise like Sebring. Audi's and Dyson's on top. Intersport may make it there too.
LMP1: Audis and Dyson Lolas on top.
LMP2: Intersport Lola, Mazda, and
GT2: Corvettes and Astons.
GT1: Ferrari, Flying Lizard Porsche, and Panoz on top.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
We watched the opening credits to Donnie Darko and most of Cannibal the Musical.
The word cannibal is still stalking me: at least one or two references a day for the past 12 days.
We celebrated yesterday: went up to visit my girlfriend's family in Rathdrum, near Cour D'Alene. I left Moscow at 2, got back at 10:30.
I played video games with her brother, ate a ham and six helpings of potatoes, then finished the pan, talked with family I hadn't met yet, tried to get girls to play airsoft with Eric and I, had two beers, threw a tennis ball around, broke up a dog fight, found four easter eggs, ended up with thirteen easter eggs, gave my car gas, and went to bed.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
There is a view over the valley between Hayden and the Reservation. There is a spur of the mountain. There is a creek coursing off that mountain. There is a blood-red barn. There is an old blue farmhouse. There it sometimes feels like home with its faint taint of cow shit and stale straw. There is welcome. There is friendship. There is no judgement. When I pull up I feel more than home.
In Washington, a mile away, the last day to take studded tyres off is today, tax day.
Today is the first day in a month that has snowed.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Last night I attended a standing-room only poetry reading/thesis defense. I don't know Rochelle, but she already has quite a large fan base. She is funny, but most of her work is more serious than she is. She weaves mythical and narrative craft into lyrical poems of stunning resonance. Exploring incompatability, gender, knowledge, myth, folklore, love, and desire, her peices braid words together to gorgeous ends. She was nervous due to a crowd of over 50, and she read a little fast, but when she did slow down her peices struck home "right in the solar plexus," as she says. I hope she gets a collection out soon. On the way out the door I bumped into a man who sailed alone around part of the - or maybe the whole - world.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
"I'm just waiting for it to beep in probably 10 minutes or so. I'm a little hungry, but for chocolate. Unfortunately Lindor's are too creamy right now, while Milanos are too dry. Is there a vending machine with Hershys?"
"Can you hand me my robe?"
"Nothing. Just waiting for the hydrocodone to kick in so I can drink."
"No, my throat is starting to hurt again. I think it's time for more motrin, can you ask? Well Evelyn forgot earlier today & I couldn't breathe for a while."
"This stuff helps and the hydrocodone helps when it hurts too bad."
"But Longo's work has a lot of negative space too!"
"Freshman Dorms! It was Virgil."
"Chris moved in Friday! (Yesterday?) Can you call him and ask him how he's doing and if the new Ping-Pong table's any good?"
"I love your sister!"
"Your hand is very warm right now"
"Micr-evolution is one of the coolest natural processes out there."
Today is Rochelle Smith.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Darfur is the three western wilayah (states) - North, West, and South Darfur.
Most of the Darfurian refugees are internally displaced (IDPs). However, a growing number are flocking to the overcrowded, inadequately supplied refugee camps in Chad.
The Week's News:
NATO is sending about 500 advisors over to assist the African Union in logistics, communications, and tactics. Finally, some Occidental action. (Article here)
As always, good news from home comes coupled with terrible news from Darfur. About two or three months ago the Darfurian violence spread to Chad. A treaty was signed in February, after two weeks of brutal skirmishing. Sporadic conflicts carried on for a few weeks.
Lately, unknown armed militia have been night-raiding Darfurian refugee camps in Chad. About 2 days ago, Sudan backed Chadian rebels and ordered an attack on Haraze Mangueigne, close to Chad's borders with both the Central African Republic and Sudan. It is unknown whether or not the attack is still on. Chadian reinforcements were seen heading that way yesterday. This coincides with another large outbreak of violence in Darfur. The presidential election is next month in Chad. (Article here)
This morning I received an acceptance letter from one. It was one I sent five really good poems and one I have since come to loathe. Of course they accepted only the atrocious one.
At first I thought about recanting my submission but I decided to ask Joy. She told me that this always happens to poets and I should publish the shitty piece and move on.
There will be no post revealing the name of the publication. I will not celebrate. But I look forward to reading other's pieces in the magazine. And those rejected five will go to another literary magazine.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Moscow in Spring.
My girlfriend and I finally got out walk in. Beautiful day. Picked these along the side of the road - did not even have to venture into anybody's yard. I was told these bloom first in Idaho. I don't know what they are called.
Today is the first lawn-mowing day of the year in Moscow.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
I begin work on Monday at a camera shop. They're going to have me work with customers, sell stuff, and develop film. Apparently they couldn't figure out that I'd only be good at the last one: I'm not quite a people person.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Tools: "There's no poetic tool that ever gets worn out. If it doesn't work, or comes out trite, or is just bad, you only have the failings of your own imagination to blame. That's what poetry is: trying things you haven't done yet." -Robert Wrigley
The State of Poetry: "It's good. The institutionalized study of creative writing seems to make it more vibrant and various. People are trying things they normally wouldn't. It gives them the confidence to push themselves to and past new boundaries. And, whenever you push yourself, there's going to be failures. But I think if you took a section of poetry today, and a section of poetry from any other era, you would find the same percentage of shitty poetry." -Robert Wrigley.
Rather than poetry as a mythical giant living out in the hills, why do people not realize that we are poetry. Whatever is happening to us is what is going to happen to poetry. "If we smoked out, [poetry] gonna be smoked out." It's simple. We write words. I doubt that words come to us like, "I was working through this draft, and the words themselves appeared before me in tahiti dress singing a cool island song." No. The words come from us. We write them. The only place words come to us from is inside our own minds. Both Wrigley and Def understand this: poetry is personal. Poetry is a thumbprint. Poetry is me and I am poetry - what I read affects me, and what I am affects what I write and how I take what I read.
Last night, when asked if what he wrote was predominately fact or fiction, Wrigley replied, "Yes. That's why I write poetry: it's both. If you write under the moniker nonfiction, you better make damn sure what you write is accurate. If you write fiction you have to be positive you don't plagarize. I write poetry, it's both. So all my poems are based on personal experience, whether I've had it or not." It's the age old debate between truth and accuracy. Truth is the pinacle, but has no place in journalism. Accuracy is admirable, but has no place in poetry.
Wrigley read eight miles away, in Pullman, at Washington State University. He began with an orgasmic peice about the summer before he was drafted, "That summer of a thousand Julys ... the world rode shotgun." This peice is amazing. I do not remember which book of his it is out of, but I must ask him sometime.
He read three of my favorites, "Do You Love Me?" "Discretion," and "Highway 12, Just East of Paradise, Idaho." All three are found in an anthology I had to purchase as a class textbook, Billy Collins' 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. That book is terrible, despite some wonderful poems by Merwin, Olds, Dunn, Pereira, and more. Overall though, I didn't like it.
Wrigley however, is a wonderful orator - funny as hell. He prefaced one poem about his daughter with, "Three year olds are the most stupendously dangerous people I know." Throughout the reading he had the crowd laughing and thinking at all the right times. He really is a fantastic reader.
Wrigley has a New & Selected coming out in October that I will be in line for.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
That was my weekend, drafting. Always drafting. Hand drafting at that. My Portfolio is slowly growing and I'm slowly getting caught up on the 2 months of school I missed.
This is my Building Section draft of Robert Venturi's Vanna Venturi House - Mother's House. Completed in 1964, this house blew the predominant High Modernism out of the picture. Often called the first Post Modern anything, it was certainly the first pomo building. The classic picture you have probably seen is here. It is likely the most important erection of the late 20th century.
7 Things To Do Before I Die:
Live on a Pacific island
Become a master with a large format camera
Own a Submarine
Make a movie
Publish a book of poems
Buy a box of Opus X Perfexion X's to celebrate my publishing
7 Things I Cannot Do:
Find that library book
Keep money in my wallet
Get to a 9:30 class
Write something I like (But deep deep down I love all my work best)
7 Things I Say Often:
Fuck that shit
Screw you guys, I'm going home
I love you
I don't think that works for me, personally (Poetry Classes)
What the Fuck?
7 Books I Love: (Not a complete list)
La Divinia Commedia - Dante Alghieri
Local Time - Stephen Dunn
Tarantella - Rebecca Loudon
The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Gateway to Atlantis - Andrew Collins
Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad
Revolt in the Desert - T. E. Lawrence
7 Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Again: (Not a complete list)
Lawrence of Arabia - 1962 - David Lean, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness (Seriously, who didn't see that one coming?)
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - 1977 - George Lucas, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones (The first 'used future' movie to strike it big)
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens - 1922 - F. W. Murnau, Max Schreck, Hans Erdmann (Erdmann's soundtrack is still the best ever)
Pulp Fiction - 1994 - Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson (Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Amanda Plummer, Tim Roth, Et Cetera)
Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources - 1986 - Claude Berri, Marcel Pagnol, Gerard Depardieu (I know, I know, but I just love 'em so much)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - 2004 - Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Anjelica Houston (Anything by Wes Anderson, but this is my favorite)
Salt of the Earth - 1954 - Herbert J Biberman, Rosaura Revueltas, Juan Chacon (The only banned film in America, Rosaura was deported before filming finished)
3 People I tag Now:
Rebecca, Tiffany, and Sheryl are it now.