2.24.2007

poems by Meret Oppenheim

looking at The Governess tonight --

poems she wrote when first in Paris from Switzerland apparently translated as part of press for the documentary

another example of an artist -- we all have these -- that if the educational system in especially the US, and the provincial character was different, certainly interested young people would find it easier to access excellent artists languishing in obscurity? what is it that makes this obscurity?

Meret Oppenheim died the year after I graduated from high school, at a time when I believe I had already encountered her most famous work and it made a lasting impression -- interesting me, at a time when I was most interested in visual art (before being discouraged from it) -- photos of course -- and actually wasn't far from places she lived a few years before that

who from the turn of the century, much less our founding fathers, could have believed the likely future populations oft he world or what that size and spread would mean to lives

production and reproduction vs. a land of looking and creation; perhaps technology the only way to move between the two


POEMS by Meret Oppenheim
Translated by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & Anselm Spoerri


I feel how my eye turns towards the forests and the moon.
I feel my compass pointing towards the nourishing proverbs.
But my beautiful crocodile.
My crocodile out of heart,
Where does your pride go ?


Up there in that garden
There stand my shadows
That cool my back.
They stand in that garden
They fight about old bread
And crow like cockerels.
Today I want to visit them
Today I want to greet them
And count their noses.


For you, against you
Throw all the stones behind you
And let the walls loose.
To you, on you
For one hundred singers above you
the hoofs run loose.
I delight in my mushrooms
I am the first guest in the house
And let the walls loose.


The dew on the rose
Who touched it before
Before the night ?
She kept her pale flesh
Her wax
Black and white
One sees her again in the clouds
Eating marzipan.


Forsaken, forgotten
So black on the shore of oats.
I do not want to measure the time,
that invented this pain.
The yellow waves cut
The new net in two.
They come, go and say:
The poor miscellany !


Loyal captain
Tell me
Show me the place in the clouds
that the wing of the swallow opened
The valley of waves in the goddess' hair
The green lights in the forest
Here it is night
Evil brooms kill the kobolds
No wheel turns anymore.
Darkness does not know itself
Nor does it ask
It is a fist within a fist
That no one sees.


The sea lies frozen on the beach
The statues fall unconscious to the ground
A thousand flashes of lightning are looking desperately for an exit
Knives fly like birds through the air.
Nothing more to hear
Nothing to see
Nothing to feel.
Whoever sees her white fingers,
is willing to transform themselves.
Everybody sheds their skin
to offer themselves to the new world.
All know that no ship will bring her back
but the horn of plenty waves.


Finally !
Freedom !
The harpoons fly.
The rainbow is floating in the streets,
Only overshadowed by the distant humming of the giant-bees
Everyone loses everything, which they, oh so often,
have overflown in vain.
But: Genevieve:
Stiff
Standing on her head
Two meters above the ground
Without arms.
Her son Realm of Pain:
Wrapped into her hair.
Small fountain.
I repeat : small fountain.
Wind and cries in the distance.

Weak, weaker, left.
The living to the left.
The dead ahead.
The stubborn will approach soon.
Who whistles once, does not belong here.
He will be sifted, respected,
And nine and well slaughtered,
And at last the hairs are empty.


I feel how my eye turns towards the forests and the moon.
I feel my compass pointing towards the nourishing proverbs.
But my beautiful crocodile.
My crocodile out of heart,
Where does your pride go ?

Up there in that garden
There stand my shadows
That cool my back.
They stand in that garden
They fight about old bread
And crow like cockerels.
Today I want to visit them
Today I want to greet them
And count their noses.

For you, against you
Throw all the stones behind you
And let the walls loose.
To you, on you
For one hundred singers above you
the hoofs run loose.
I delight in my mushrooms
I am the first guest in the house
And let the walls loose.


The dew on the rose
Who touched it before
Before the night ?
She kept her pale flesh
Her wax
Black and white
One sees her again in the clouds
Eating marzipan.

Forsaken, forgotten
So black on the shore of oats.
I do not want to measure the time,
that invented this pain.
The yellow waves cut
The new net in two.
They come, go and say:
The poor miscellany !

Loyal captain
Tell me
Show me the place in the clouds
that the wing of the swallow opened
The valley of waves in the goddess' hair
The green lights in the forest
Here it is night
Evil brooms kill the kobolds
No wheel turns anymore.
Darkness does not know itself
Nor does it ask
It is a fist within a fist
That no one sees.


The sea lies frozen on the beach
The statues fall unconscious to the ground
A thousand flashes of lightning are looking desperately for an exit
Knives fly like birds through the air.
Nothing more to hear
Nothing to see
Nothing to feel.
Whoever sees her white fingers,
is willing to transform themselves.
Everybody sheds their skin
to offer themselves to the new world.
All know that no ship will bring her back
but the horn of plenty waves.

Finally !
Freedom !
The harpoons fly.
The rainbow is floating in the streets,
Only overshadowed by the distant humming of the giant-bees
Everyone loses everything, which they, oh so often,
have overflown in vain.
But: Genevieve:
Stiff
Standing on her head
Two meters above the ground
Without arms.
Her son Realm of Pain:
Wrapped into her hair.
Small fountain.
I repeat : small fountain.
Wind and cries in the distance.

Weak, weaker, left.
The living to the left.
The dead ahead.
The stubborn will approach soon.
Who whistles once, does not belong here.
He will be sifted, respected,
And nine and well slaughtered,
And at last the hairs are empty.


One feeds on berries
One salutes with the shoe
Quick, quick, the most beautiful vowel empties itself.


Belvedere, the summerhouse behind the church, is my spiritual oasis.
The things that surround me here are close to my heart and inspire me.
Here, I can refresh my mind and collect new strength.
Here, I feel connected to ancient times.

Ohne mich ohnehin ohne Weg kam ich dahin ohne Brotohne Atem aber mitnichten mitneffen mit Kasparmit Kuchen so rund war er etwas eckig zwar aber ohne Grasbewuchs mit Narben mit Warzen mit Fingernmit Stäben mit vielen O's und wenig W'sdafür mit ganz enorm wenig viel.Oh falle du doch in dein Loch oh begrabe du dich doch selbstund deine langatmige Hoffnunggib deinem Ich einen Tritt deinem Es seinen Lohnund was von dir übrig bleibt brate wie Fischlein im Öldu kannst deine Schuhe abstreifen."

2.22.2007

not claiming to be a poet? he taught in an MFA program... he washeadhunted because he was a poet and a banker --John Barr, an investment banker, college professor and published poet,"John's vast experience and understanding of the business world,combined with his serious and lifelong dedication to poetry..."I would really love to hear from those who know Barr from PSA,Bennington, and Yaddo -- were they appointments mostly to fundraisefrom him?if so, these previous board appointments are very much in line withthings Monroe did to raise money for Poetry -- the error is theturnaround, seemingly from a misunderstanding -- a profound stupidityin the poetry foundation itself -- of what a board president might dodifferently as a poet / banker than a banker / poet,what one qualified previously mostly for banking, poetry being theweakness -- what to fundraise off of -- might lack that someonequalified mostly for poetry leadership, business being the weakness(knowledges and capacities which have drained time from the writing,perhaps)

From Library JournalIn his fifth book of poems, Barr (The Hundred Fathom Curve, Storyline, 1997) adopts the persona of Ibn Opcit, a Caribbean-accented poet who lards his speech with puns, witticisms, neologisms, and archaisms. The six parts of this epic add up to a linguistic tour de force, verbal playfulness reminiscent of the work of James Joyce or Anthony Burgess. Opcit is a supreme punster, playing on words like liar/lyre and wanton/wanting while cracking jokes like "Too Loose" Lautrec and "harps a chord." Weird names abound, like Linda Tantalus and Pudenda Avacado. There is even a grotesque menu featuring items like "Remonstrance of Quail" and "Sanctimonious Salad." Opcit invents these oddities while wrongfully imprisoned but rises to a profound seriousness in Part 3 (on marriage) and Part 5 (a re-telling of Genesis). Grace is a unique reading experience, guaranteed to add spice to the "glum tostada" of American poetry. Recommended for larger poetry collections.ADaniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, IL Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. Book DescriptionA song of the human spirit responding to beauty and adversity, Grace is an epic poem for America at the millennium.
Grace is the master song, the last telling of Ibn Opcit, a Caribbean poet condemned to die by torture. In a series of jailhouse monologues, we hear him comment wryly on justice, on creation, on death, and on life after death:
One little theory or theorylette hold dat de longoblong of de grave is not a place of cold and silence.It be a place of popcorn and comfort. De saved get to see first runs. De lost must watch Ishtar for eternity.
"In Grace, not only does John Barr handle the demanding form of the long poem with skill and panache, but he delivers a one-of-a-kind linguistic tour de force. Spoken mostly in a Caribbean dialect and rollicking with word play, Grace achieves a riotous level of verbal inventiveness. I don't know any other work with which to compare it unless we think of it as a kind of funky Finnegan's Wake in verse with palm trees. You have never read anything quite like this wildly sustained imaginative drama. Set those one-page lyrics aside and dive into this momentous feat."-Billy Collins, author of Picnic, Lightning
"John Barr's Grace is an incredibly risky poem about white American consciousness in the instant of attempting sympathy with black American (in this case Caribbean) consciousness. This cross-cultural ambition couldn't be any more vertiginous, but that doesn't mean that it's not crucial for the regional literature. Barr's courage and zeal for the project are astonishing, and his ambition should be the wonder of writers and readers north and south of the Panama Canal."-Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm
John Barr has pursued parallel careers as poet and investment banker for the past 25 years. He has founded the country's largest natural gas marketing company and a prominent investment-banking boutique. He is President Emeritus of the Poetry Society of America, and Chairman of the Board of Bennington College. Story Line Press published the trade edition of his first book, The Hundred Fathom Curve, in 1997. He lives with his wife and three children in Westchester Co
on a poetry listserv I belong to (that narrows it down! not), a poet I know personally, locally, etc. etc. made a post that I do not agree with, but I find it diifcult to argue with in that or any forum (see previous)

I can't repost what she said, but

poetry is not dead like gardening, quilting, and rifle practice

gardening is not dead, of course
quilting was changed into a craft, hobby, occasionally rising to an outsider art form, but the industrial revolution (and -- the participation in the industrial revolution -- for example, argricultural workers in rural areas kept *needing to make* quilts long after the rest of us were fully embroiled in the monetery system before this one, based on industry, AND the industrial revolution (cheap goods, jobs in mills) -- see my quilt poems

rifle practice is not dead; but it is not an art OR a craft even at its best

poetry is alive like painting is alive -- arguably more alive than the theatre, since theatre requires an audience that doesn't really exist, and an audience that needs to be enlightened and entertained in a different way than (now more than ever, believe it or not) educated audiences currently require ; poetry would arguably be MORE alive than painting because poetry is not competiting with photography -- although it is competing with alternative / popular music for the attentions of the young, so -- there we have it, one reason that before the youth of eurasia had access to commercial music, television, and film, literature ws a bit more important

additionally, poetry is not expensive to pursue like painting is, and it is even nearly free to pursue; poetry is not limited to a medium -- it can be sound only, visual only, sound and visual, performed only, on the page only, all of these things -- video, animation, documentary, fictional --

Not all poets are dirt poor. In fact, very few are. The ability to make a financial sacrifice for art is not being poor. Choosing a pursuit which is less expensive than some others, but also hardly ever results in, say, public art commissions, is not poverty.

more soon of this response; I have to shower before the tile guy comes over

ok, picking up...

Poets write for a variety f reasons, and have theories, justifications, and excuses for that. Luckily, because poetry lends itself to not only many media but also many purposes (entertaining, didactic, philosophical, humorous) we don't all have the same concerns. Unfortunately, this makes it rather difficult to assemble a "big tent" since some of us don't like the whole circus / tent revival sort of thing.

Since this post was first in response to a post in response to the new yorker story and I haven't responded to that -- having only begun with some poems, then probably a broadening concern about poets who are editors and publishers, and viewed as lesser poets by poets who want to be published by them but do not want to be publishers -- can we say ezra pound? and poets who read far more conservatively than they write -- say TS Eliot, Brenda Hillman or Lyn Heijinian, than poets who read less conservatively than they write -- it mentions the president of the poetry foundation. But he rhetorical move here -- that the separation of worlds, the conversations over cheap red and rice and quail and champagne being irrelavent to each other -- even being profoundly different -- is where I leave off to print out pics of how the garden wintered for the landscape poets in Woodland Hills

landscape poet wasn't there, bought two wisteria, three flats of gazania, two of pennyroyal, and some daisies and will return next week

of the modernist poets with modest or large fortunes, many spent it on poetry; ts eliot always wanted to work, and had ezra pound getting him jobs and grants so he would have more time to spend on poetry -- which he didn't -- he just got better and better jobs; people like james joyce and it hs been said dylan thomas, spent a lot of their time cultivating sponsors, benefactors, etc., because they wanted to have middle or upper middle class lifestyles

lots of writers, but even poets like parker, benchley, duer miller (the ol' round table / early new yorker staff), fitzgerald, faulkner, went to hollywood -- many writers still do; to say that this -- or the new yorker and its audience -- is anti-literate -- or politically conservative, as we might remeber the loooooong history of liberal literatu in hwood -- is quite false

of the OTHER modernists, under rebuke, WCW, made it -- Stevens, made it, Pound? HD? married it -- Teasdale, Monroe -- genuinely separate from main thrust of imagism experiences of the east, due to upper middle class status; long forgotten Aldis -- husband made it, gave a lot to poetry; Ridge, never had it....

The debate between red wine and beans and white champagne and veal is tricky because it is NOT a class or money debate, it is a rivalry about choices, what "deserving" or earning means, "quality" and "relevance." Where poetry fits in, and where it fits in to your life, or, what's more contentious now than ever, lifestyle. Some others wouldn't or couldn't frame it that way. And unfortunately, none of these decisions has primary bearing on the poetry itself, and while it does change who reads it right away, it doesn't change who reads it years from now *as much*.

There's a saying about rich men and camels and eye needles that applies to doing good / moral acts to help the poor. It really doesn't transfer to rich or poor artists writing great or mediocre poetry.

2.21.2007

before I begin blogging about the corruption in recruitment through closed searches through headhunters, especially to load boards, the opposition of modernism and entertainment, and the shocking inadvisability of white men self publishing dialect poems,

AND the self-satisfaction of those who sacrifice more, and less, to perputuate medicocre poetry, I want to post some poems from Harriet Monroe and James Laughlin -- and make some observations about imaginsm and what not, maybe orientalism and modernism


On the Porch

By Harriet Monroe


AS I lie roofed in, screened in,

From the pattering rain,

The summer rain—

As I lie

Snug and dry,

And hear the birds complain:


Oh, billow on billow,

Oh, roar on roar,

Over me wash

The seas of war.

Over me—down—down—

Lunges and plunges

The huge gun with its one blind eye,

The armored train,

And, swooping out of the sky,

The aeroplane.

Down—down—

The army proudly swinging

Under gay flags,

The glorious dead heaped up like rags,

A church with bronze bells ringing,

A city all towers,

Gardens of lovers and flowers,

The round world swinging

In the light of the sun:

All broken, undone,

All down—under

Black surges of thunder …


Oh, billow on billow

Oh, roar on roar,

Over me wash

The seas of war …


As I lie roofed in, screened in,

From the pattering rain,

The summer rain—

As I lie

Snug and dry,

And hear the birds complain.

the refrain is a shitty move, and it is difficult to believe that Monroe included it in 1917; I don't have a manuscript, there's also some period punctuation -- it is pre-armistice wwi, tho, so who is our comparison this early as far as anti war poetry?


On the Porch

By Harriet Monroe


As I lie roofed in, screened in,

from the pattering rain,

the summer rain—

snug and dry, I hear the birds complain.

I like the "in" and "rain / complain" eye rhyme


billow on billow,

roar on roar,

The seas of war wash Over me
10
—down—down— plunges

The huge gun with its one blind eye,

The armored train,

And, out of the sky, The airplane.

Down—down—

The army proudly swings Under gay flags,

The glorious dead heaped like rags,



A church with bronze bells ringing,

A city all towers,

Gardens of lovers and flowers,

The round world swinging

In the light of the sun

broken, undone,

down—under Black thunder

so, change some line breaks, do a little worshop tweaking like we pick up and do in mfa programs, or the evcen more interminable creative writing or low res english lit phd programs, et voila!

http://www.darsie.net/library/monroe.html

Step on His Head

"Let's step on daddy's head",
Shout the children, my dear children, As we walk in the country On a sunny summer day.
My shadow bobs dark on the road as we walkAnd they jump on its head, and
my love for themFills me all full of soft feelings.
Now I duck with my head, so they'll miss when they jumpAnd they screech with delight, and I moan"Oh, you're hurting, you're hurting me! Stop!"
And they jump all the harder,And love fills the whole road.
But I see it run on throught the years,And I know how someday they must jump and it won'tBe this shadow, but really my headAs I stepped on my own father's head.
It will hurt, really hurt,And I wonder if then, if I'll have enough love.Will I have love enough when it's not just a game?
I think this probably merits finding out about what was going on in 8th century spain and ramadan,

spring and fasting -- makes no sense -- was it a period of relative calm and prosperity? makes more sense if it is really ramadan / something desert-like, more recent-religion-like pasted onto the christian tradition

yup, the muslim conquest of spain; so ramadan, supposedly a fast of great joy (although, ever work with any Muslims during Ramadan? cranky), gets grafted onto european springtime --

still don't understand the idea of penitence in springtime, when things are getting planted and coming into bloom (although lent is really too early for springtime); could be timed to coincide with the end of the winter larder -- I think I'd heard that theory before
happy ash wednesday and other inappropriate greetings

it isn't a holy day of obligation, you know; do so many people go to church today because they get something?

whence the ashes? I was thinking these things while scrubbing mortar from clinker bricks that were in our chimney, and will soon be edging planting beds around our house

I thought it was mourning, but maybe it is penitence, but that's a very OT thing, like saying / writing / thinking "that's a very OT thing" is very contemporary

Thomas Talley, an expert on the history of the liturgical year, says that the first clearly datable liturgy for Ash Wednesday that provides for sprinkling ashes is in the Romano-Germanic pontifical of 960.

before that, it signified jopining one of the myriad lay orders, the order of penitents

http://www.americancatholic.org

Catholic Encyclopedia says 8th century.

"Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return."

but what about this whole lent idea? it is pretty old, but used to be a few days, and sometimes was a few days before being baptised, not before easter

does it mean springtime? why fast?

back to the mortar scrubbing



ashes to ashes, dust to dust; we know thatnks to bill and ted and kansas, that we are all just dust blowing inthe wind is an older idea, about as old as ashes for penitence
THE RUSKIN LECTURE SERIES PRESENTSLECTURE/DISCUSSION/SLIDE SHOW with WILLIAM FOXCOGNITION, LANDSCAPE and LOS ANGELES
3 PM February 24, 2007
The Ruskin Art Club800 S Plymouth Blvd LA CA 90005
at Plymouth & 8th
1block S of Wilshire/3blks west of Crenshaw
$10/$5 Free Reception/ Books for Sale

"Art, Mind & Matter: a guided tour through an anthropology of art. Fox will discuss how human cognition transforms land into landscape, and as part of the process creates art and architecture."

William Fox, author of numerous books on cognition and landscape, will read from his recently released "Making Time: Essays on the Nature of Los Angeles." Fox most often writes about how we transform land into landscape in places such as the South Pole and the world's largest uninhabited island in the Arctic, where NASA practices Mars. Now he takes on his home turf and how we manufacture time at locations such as the La Brea Tar Pits, Mount Wilson, the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, the special effects studios of Hollywood, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Along the way he'll detour to the African savannah, Las Vegas, and other sites of the "present perfect continuous."

2.18.2007

palm press at the smell
6:30pm sunday, 2/25/07
247 S. Main St. (Cross Street: Between Second Street and Third Street)
d-town LA
david buuck
andrew choate
ara shirinyan
dana teen lomax

come by or come meet me after for a drink