6.02.2005

1. Art is not the sublime descent of the infinite into the finite abjection of the body and sexuality. It is the production of an infinite subjective series through the finite means of a material subtraction.

Huh? Oh, must be my eternal worry about money as well as my distressing conversation with the cousin in law in law about how the marks of a beginning writer outside the academy are:

that there are very large profits to be made; that my book is like the celestine prophecy, i.e., like a religion (religious content or no, but generally yes), i.e., I can get the message out, witness and proselytize, hand sell it to church groups, book groups unlike bantam doubleday dell picks it up and I'm on Oprah...

fear of theft / copyright infringement, i.e., can I give it to a friend to read, can I give it to an editor, can send it out to publishers to be read [this is coupled with total ignorance of copyright law, and falling easy prey to lawyers who will offer copyright and libelrelated legal services, for large fees, to anyone, published or not]

can you tell me what the market wants: i.e., will it sell better as a memoir or as a journalistic revelation of scandal in the medical industry or as a great american novel or as a religious book?

will you edit it for free -- I mean, I'm a brilliant writer and all because I know grammar, though it does need copyedit and proof of course, but can you edit it but let me have total final say -- i.e., can you engage, for free, in a months-long tug of war, rather than me learning how to revise and edit?

I have more hallmarks of the beginning writer, but you can see that even in this case, the infinite isn't becoming bodily here (how very christian), or the "creation of an infinite series" but rather the imagination is trying to meet the market; the creative or perhaps ambitious dreamer person is wondering how that creativity or dream can become a medium of exchange.


2. Art cannot merely be the expression of a particularity (be it ethnic or personal). Art is the impersonal production of a truth that is addressed to everyone.

Oh, what a load of hoo-ha this seems this morning. Art and truth differ fundamentally -- art has more qualia, for one thing.

But it is also the hallmark of the beginning writer to reach to deliver a truth that is an already commonly-accepted truth in that writers' circle, i.e., to reinforce the status quo, with an eye toward the equation generality/universality = money. [The above seems reactionary to identity politics.] I have a story which is about the christian god my local preacher preaches about and he says I could sell it if I only printed it up [on the reviewing table -- THE GOD'S HONEST TRUTH by Darrin Hufford, who is from LA, and even paid a halfway decent book designer and layout person.]

OK, enough with "15 Theses on Contemporary Art" (found @ www.lacan.com); they are way to religious for me.

6.01.2005

aside from putting jasco on our dark purple tile (it was porcelainned white, and the blue-black tile painted black), talked to Ron's first cousin's wife Anita re: her book project

Anita is a recent creative writing undergrad of a well-respected central Ohio school with an undergrad writing program

someone in her family died, and she has a story regarding god / faith, illness, and hospital malpractice (I think) -- her notes are quite long, she says 1500 pages, but I'm sure it is book length -- she says she needs editorial help -- sounds like she needs whole manuscript structure help and help "editing down" -- she says she also needs copyediting help

she sys she has been encouraged to continue in her deciscion to self publish, in hopes "it gets picked up by a big publisher" and that her second one "becomes part of a series" -- there are many religious serial novels out there now, one co-written with my fave Thomas Kincaid
Greetings Poets,

To all of our "Poetic Souls" readings, and "Poetic Souls" writing groups - we are now accepting poems. These will be grouped together and submitted for the next issue of "The Messenger Newspaper". Any may be published in their 'Poetry Corner'.

Open to all "Our Poetic Souls" readings participants and "Poetic Souls" writing groups, as well as selected poets who are invited to participate.

Here are guidelines for your submittals. All submissions must be sent to Lakolya@aol.com, or P. O. Box 1205, Walnut, Ca. 91788-1205. Submit in body of e-mail (attachments will be discarded).

1. 4 to 8 lines (no excessively long run-on lines). TWO submissions per poet - maximum.
2. Poems must fit into one of these categories:

A. Uplifting.
B. Sensitive.
C. Creative.
D. Unique.
E. Experiential.

3. Poems must NOT be morbid.
4. There is no payment; this is an outlet for local poets to publish their works.
5. Final decision of publication lies totally with "The Messenger" editor.
6. Uniqueness of summer.

All materials must be received by 9th of June for consideration of the July / August issue.

This is an opportunity for poets to be able to express their Poetic Voices. All poetry was given for someone to receive. Let's not hide our talents - reach out to those who are in need of your gifts.

5.30.2005

the very belated midtown detroit visitor survey

The University Cultural Center is taking a survey to get feedback on what visitors think about Midtown Detroit.

1. What city do you currently call home?

2. What brought you to Midtown Detroit?

3. Did you participate in any social / recreational activities?
brined brisket going in as soon as smoker reaches 200 degrees

mayhew's questions:

1. What is your sense of the poetic tradition? How far back does your particular historical sense range? What defines your tradition? Nationality, language, aesthetic posture? What aspect of your poetic idiolect or tradition most distinguishes you from your closest poetic collaborators?

I just took the romantic poet test, but I think I was Keats by default. I mean, I chose lots of answers, but Keats is a very modern type of poet, because he had many very practical concerns. I just took it again and changed all my answers and I am still Keats. I took it a third time -- still Keats. Third time -- choosing Blake's job -- alright. Finally Coleridge.

S. T. Coleridge
You are Samuel Taylor Coleridge! The infamous
"archangel a little damaged!" You
took drugs and talked for hours, it's true, but
you also made a conscious choice to cultivate
the image of the deranged poet in a frenzy of
genius. You claimed you wrote "Kubla
Khan" in an afternoon after a laudanum,
when you pretty manifestly did no such thing.
You and your flashing eyes and floating hair.
And your brilliant scholarship and obvious
genius.


Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
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My sense of the tradition is probably shaped by Jerome Rothenberg anthologies as much as most. I am keenly aware how English-specific my sense of poetries and history is. I don't know what in this reading distinguishes me from the poets who write most like me; the most obvious difference is non-poetry stuff (religion and belief, computer stuff, work). I suppose I have made an attempt at bringing in the stuff of middle class life into an innovative poetry, as well as an attempt to be less English-centric than a poet who has not other language that can be considered a second...

2. How would you define contemporary poetic practice? (Say, the typical poem that would be published alonside one of your in a magazine where you are published.) How does this practice relate to the tradition defined above?

Does poetry of the "past" (however you define the past for these purposes) occupy a different corner of your mind?

Than that of the present? Yes, it is different. Well, how about this -- poetry by certain well-established poets being written now -- I tend to treat that differently than poetry written by "peers" -- poets under 40 with mostly one or two books out.

I feel that a lot of the poetry written by we young poets is a second hand domestic surrealism with great effects but no real meaning, or vague experiment, and so the poets I really love have established this meaning that is not about "boring poetry concerns" like voice or originality, but "exciting poetry / critical concerns" and ideas and experiences which are typical of people in our time.

3. Whom, among poets you most admire, do you understand least? What is hindering a greater understanding of this poet?

4. Are we over-invested in poetic "hero worship"? Is it necessary to have a poetic "pantheon"? How does the poetic pantheon relate to the notion of an academic "canon"? Are they mirror opposites, rivals?

I think in therms of pantheon and canon, but when it gets down to reading and writing I think of usefulness. Which poets are useful to me at a given time, which poets might prove useful to a student at a given time.

5. Is "total absorption in poetry" benign? How about "poetry as a way of life"?

It is not benign, and I'm getting tired of it -- I get most tired of it when I have something else in my life to do that is interesting to me -- I like it most when I have something else in my life that is completely dull.

6. Do you see poetry as a part of a larger "literature," or is poetry itself the more capacious category?

I think both. I think it is good that there is a currently-developing blur between fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and, in the work of a few writers, between plays and poetry. The MFA is so common now. The writing MFA has moved away from the other MFAs in fine arts and theatre and film. Schools are hiring phds to teach comp, lit survey, and writing. And all of this is moving poetry away from art and from translation and toward literature in english.

7. Are humor, irony, and wit (in whatever combination) a sine qua non? Or conversely, is humor a defense mechanism that more often than not protects us from what we really want to say?

Too much poetry is too serious. It ends up being dull (not as in boring, but as "not sharp") by not having enough humor and wit.

8. Is the poem the thing, or the larger poetic project?

To me, that's like asking about the line versus the stanza. Kind of silly. They are both important.

9. What is the single most significant thing anyone has ever said about poetry?

10. Which of these questions asks you to define yourself along lines of division not of your own making, in the most irksome way?

2. and 3.

How close do these questions come to the way in which you habitually think about poetry?

4., 6. Not think about poetry, but those concerns to which talk about poetry in my circle is unfortunately most often limited.

What other question would you add to this list?

what are you working on now and how does it fit in to these q&a and why is it important

5.29.2005

I needed to go to Jane (Sprague) and Stan (Apps) reading tonight, but we were deep into our 1st holiday weekend / smoker construction.

We did the large flower pot, electric burner / hot plate, hose pot, smoker.

You get a large (19 inch diameter) terra cotta pot. I from - Traget 20 dollar hot plate put in bottom. A hose-winding pot also 20 inch diameter, but shallower, to go inverted as the top. We had a giant lobster pot to kill -- you put it on the hot plate with water-soaked wood chips within. Used the grill grates from our (small, but not the mini) Weber. Meat thermometers (2).

We did mesquite tonight, and chicken breasts -- took two hours for the thing to warm up to 200 degrees, which is what's required. Used tin foil to seal off smoke leaks. The chips actually do burn / turn to charcoal.

Hickory and (brined) brisket tomorrow -- brining in 1/9 kosher salt, 9 parts water, mole, red wine, chives, cumin seeds, 1/4 cup hazelnut syrup....

sauce made w/ ketchup, honey, ginger, balsamic... and more more more