Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Crystal Text

Saturday, December 19
Beginning at noon; ending 5:00ish

The Waypost
3120 N. Williams

Free admission
(Audience welcome to come and go)

The work of heaven or hell: to somehow
become aware of a howling in the motors.

Clark Coolidge, The Crystal Text (54)

As the solstice approaches, come in out of the wind and join us to listen to Clark Coolidge's compelling booklength poem The Crystal Text, read aloud by a dozen local writers.

Readers will include James Yeary, Jesse Morse, Sam Lohmann, Maryrose Larkin, Rodney Koeneke, Patrick Hartigan, Jen Coleman, Allison Cobb, Joseph Bradshaw, Meredith Blankinship, & David Abel.

A colorless quartz crystal sits upon the writer's desk, still and irreducible as a death's head in St. Jerome's study or Cezanne's studio. But what would the crystal reveal, if it could speak? How might the issue of its presence be brought into language? The poet of The Crystal Text, by means of a rare stamina of attention and listening vulnerability, seeks to become the medium of the crystal's transmissions.
(unattributed blurb, 1986 edition, The Figures)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

like experience is

idiom-free, an vocabulary not to use

but to purge, (the large glass?) rubs

its traces ,dreamcatcher keychain

th bazaar itself, heavy metal lyrics

sunburnt retina or, Mekas' Walden vs.

experience, ("walking acetate")

Monday, October 5, 2009


Is it gone? It is gone.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Nate Orton has roused my long docile participation in the plastic arts, by convincing me, at an early hour of the day, to sign up for launch pad gallery's upcoming showcase: "Family."

So, I (and you) were "enthusuastically and apprehensively invited to explore what family means" at Launch Pad gallery, as part of their 8th annual open-call non-juried group show. I'm excited to participate in this, to which I am bringing both an installation sculpture & hybrid performance, which will be performed, physically, between 6pm & midnight Friday October 2nd, and displayed from the 2nd until November 1st.

This will be the first gallery show I have participated in since the pair of gallery shows that marked my exit from the University of Idaho in Spring, 2006. Fear not- my low-fidelity, low-resolution aesthetic & crypto-linguistic-projection appears to have held its icy constancy during this dormant period, as the liquid nickel of conception sloshed 'round the objective pit.

Launch Pad Gallery
534 SE Oak St
Portland, OR 97214

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Concrete is only avant garde to the extent it is not subsumed by the hypothetical set we call "poetry." & then or thus or moreso the "hypothetical set" we call visual poetry -even tho its definitions may be broader- is restricted in the sense that it is another pleasure of the idiom. The avant garde (as opposed (literally) to the postavant (which DOES exist), to poets, painters, etc) defines itself (from without) by being an oppositional force. The Situationist anthology wrapped in sandpaper.

And to that extent the avant garde is bad. Mac Low's chance/deterministic pieces are bad to the extent they are poems (ask conventional poets!) but good if not incredible to the extent they are not. -while remaining w/in the definitions of the set-
An avant garde work wld not have borders w/in or around it The avant garde artist wld have to be in loathe of his subject
If the avant garde artist was a lover of poetry
he wld stay away from it

A binary alphabet wld halve to reflect that. Or the diastic selection wld dance to it, as the translation incl. color, it incl. setting, as it incl. character it also incl. movement.

And it isn't that the definitions aren't broad enough for a room-size poetry environment against poetry. Is not the room, or space, the catchall/counterpart to voice?

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Reporting from the vispo conference in Finland, Geof Huth has relayed that Finnish vispoet Marko Niemi has started a new blog.

To me this is very exciting. Of course it at the moment just means the unveiling of a blog that hasn't any posts yet. But, from the Phaidos disc to Chinese & Islamic caligraphy, Apollinaire to the concretists, there is something new under the sun.

Or, at least, there is an attempt to recognize and begin real discussion of a new form, in (under the banner OuVispoPo) the tradition the Movement for Potential Literature, a movement for potential visual poetry.

This will be different from much of the visual poetry's history in that this 'wing' of vispo will be a conceptual side (tho I think Nico V's work is a different conceptual side), based on deterministic form & constraint. Those of us who choose to get to work on this will need to get to work on lists of instructions, diagrams & frameworks, & other devices.

The parent movement, oulipo, or OuLiPo, or Ouvrement pour Literature Potentiale, led to such works as Perec's A Void (a novel that lacked the letter "e," and in translation the letter "y," I believe), Walter Abish's Alphabetical Africa, and also paralleled Jackson Mac Low's constraints & procedures.

A precurser to visual poetry's "Movement" might be bpNichol's "Translating Translating Apollinaire," which began as an OuLiPoean series of "translations" and developed into a multimedia, and very visual series.

But TTA isn't the vispo of our canon. It's still heavy on the textual side. I've been scratching my head trying to think of constraint-based visual poetry pieces. And I -I'm sure they exist- I don't know if I've seen them. Or enough. Get to work. Give Marko something to blog about.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

After June 4th reading, w/ Jim & Crag @ the tugboat

Jim: "Fucking New York School! Ted Berrigan drank beer and took speed and wrote about it. We all did that. He died. We've got to write about something else."

"All we can do is have a conversation, to go any higher is impossible."

"What we need to do is, next time we all get together, go out into my yard or your yard or his yard, and get sticks and spend an entire afternoon, four hours at least, and just scratch a single syllable into the dirt."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Note on the end of a notebook

I thot my poetics were the most open, but I am beginning to suspect that in spite of my perceived openness it is actually quite difficult for me to "make poetic" of the grapheme. And by that, I mean I am finding it difficult to apply the context that is poem to any string of words.

Since "From Cause" + its variants I have written two "my days," a work where the grapheme is charged w/ poetic force via its proximity to Nate's/my sense of place. I have come to enjoy this type of (nonce) writing much, tho I still believe my day at the library to be the masterpiece.

I have also worked (sparingly) as of late on a series I am entitling "Candor Calendars," which are memory-based compositions. I actually produced one of these some time ago (Echo Lodge(d), April 2008, part 1 of "Suspended Ball") before Candor Calendar 1. Both were (are) composed as a collage of fragments of earlier works, the fragments put to the composition as memory's rhythms called them forth. One odd note I take on these pieces is the earlier, Echo Lodge(d) seems the much more "poetic" to me, tho the latter the more phanopoetic.

Other variations on the Candor Calendars include the "Mnemosyne Articles," which are detailed notes on everything I can remember from the course of a day, and their cousin, the dream journal. These works are attempts at compositional fodder as well as tools that might help one understand memory's tools + techniques, but in this regard, I will say the results have been limited; I am left, at present, with the concept of the magnet.

There is, I think, a tripartite relation (genesis?) btwn these works + my interest in the art medium used for a non-artistic purpose, such as Storm Large's "life story" monologue (tho of course she + her enthusiasts wld be very offended by the notion that it isn't art). What are some other examples of this?



The theatrical idiom brings to mind the dream journal. In theory, the dream is an account(ing), perhaps in the "number-crunching" sense of the mind's varied occupations, an attempt of the mind to process, to understand its (pre)occupations. And yet we experience the dream as a (somehow distant) observer-participant, the caesura between dreamer-director + the dreamer as (s)he experiences.

Does the hinge/wedge between the "psycho-self-accounting" + the dream's theatrical tendency relate to our understanding of conceptual writing?

For instance, the notion that the dream is a chance-assembled account(ing) that the dreamer as observer-participant applies narrative cohesion to. Conceptual writing's de/recontextuali(reali)zations perhaps "force" narrative out of these juxtapositions in a like manner. Place & Fitterman note in "Notes on Conceptualisms" that "conceptual writing could be determined by the expectations of the readership/thinkership," + "that an 'open' conceptual writing may be somewhat closed." Is my "poetic" charging of the ego-voice-as-distinct-from-the-self + appropriated-texts-as-a-manifestation-of-the-ego closing off the possibility of a (traditional?) poetic?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


James Yeary & Jim McCrary
Thursday June 4th
Concordia Coffee House

Monday, March 2, 2009

detritus from MY DAY AT THE LIBRARY


ZINE 565.39
A comic about a trilobite

270 c555
Christianity: the illustrated history
Fabric Memory Books


partly phonetically symbolic, the two different
vowels suggesting the two different directions

"did I steal that from you?"


Antique Doll Collector
--Discovering a Pit Brow Lass
--Spain's Cloth Doll Boom
--Half Dolls

"Behind such feelings lies the notion of a stable
shared world in which all men's [sic] senses participate."

introduction by Jennifer Love Hewitt

R 823.8
and a zone for your waist.

Topographical Shakespeare

Monday, February 9, 2009


When searching for my buddy Ashby666 in my cell, I hit 'search,' push 1 (which means 'A' the first time) then 7 (P) AP brings me close enough to see Chris.

Tho as I mentioned before "I only know your phone number"

Saturday, January 24, 2009


" I don't trust it in their ears."


no fences


zag right


elk cave

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Ubiquitous Herb

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009


fricative jibe

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Just remember that there were three thousand and that they were thrown into the sea."

Just read "100 Years of Solitude." I know I'm a little late getting into it (it was published 25 years before I was born). But I've talked to a couple people who read it and told me they only liked the beginning, specifically, one said the first chapter, the other the first half. I think that that is because once you penetrate Marquez' vision of Macondo/Aracataca the magic becomes little more than a literary treatment of a Colombian's knowledge of his own people's history.

Specifically: Treating the mis-en-scene of the novel as its world, HYOS begins with a migrating people with no ancestry or origin. They are not 'Colombians' because there is no outside world until a couple generations of Buendia bring in a train and a water port. The outside world, in fact, established by the citizens of Macondo.

The phantasies of those that live in solitude are juxtaposed against the violence, when the same enters the real world, a sentence that condemned Marquez to exile, perhaps. Out of the one character who has really snapped, lost his mind, and not a participant in magic (even while he spends his last decade in Melquiades' room of ancient texts) Jose Arcadio Segundo speaks the one truth, the one history, from the real's inverse in literature, in the center of the magic, the eye of Marquez' intentionally orientalized home, is the thesis:

"Just remember that there were three thousand and that they were thrown into the sea."

Friday, January 9, 2009


I am for some reason fascinated with the thought process (mine) as it operates between waking and "the day's first speech." I have no excuses for this but I have made several attempts at scoring down thoughts before I've spoken on a particular morning- and I have been repeatedly unsuccsessful. However, I awoke this morning with my poem-magnet at work, and though I said "Hello" and "thanks" to the bus driver, what I scored afterward is basically what was formulating prior.

So its a lie, but writers are liars. Thus, "Bus."

Felt like I could only quit my job if I left town.

Running across the boardwalk, carrying his cane.

Smells like big tits in Mo Money

and it's
(issa) cold in the word.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stevens variation

All writing is conceptual poetry.