Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Red Shorts Diary

Happy Labor Day Weekend in the USA.  Check out the website and you'll see the re-worked Shaking Up The Whole Game has dropped.  The spirit and place of the book is perfectly captured in the cover (designed by Amber Wallace)  I was on my way, going somewhere, not sure where, frenetic and tumbling, and this book rolled me closer to it.  The dedication from the original was a pleasure to carry over to the e-version, as were the old skool poems featuring friends Neil and Peggy, and Bill and Anna.  This was a transition piece, presaging what was to come.  
There is a double jeopardy in poetry: it is the most “serious” of art forms, many of its practitioners almost supernaturally sensitive and deep (residue from the Romantic period:  all poets are geniuses, all geniuses are tormented, all poets are tormented).  Well, I graduated from the Dick Shawn school of poetry.  I didn’t seek out the form, I happened upon it, and laughed at my own audacity.  I’m still laughing, and still writing--a red shorts minimalist with show business in my blood.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Booty Battle

COMING SOON!  A bonus edition of Shaking Up The Whole Game, which was released as a physical book in 2008, is about to drop, and will be available two ways: as a free pdf on my website, and as a Kindle e-book selling for 99 cents on Amazon. Part of the bonus edition is the spawn of the original Shaking Up The Whole Game, and other parts are substantially carried over from the physical book---the old skool writing I was transitioning out of.  I didn’t notice it at the time, but my style was evolving even as I was writing the book; today, six years later, I can see I had no idea how much shaking was actually going on, like a booty battle between dance hall queens.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Early Morning Writings

The title of this post is also the title of the poem from which have been lifted the stanzas below.  (The poem is from a collection, The Happy Birthday of Death, by Gregory Corso.)  Not representative of Corso's style, the excerpts, numbered 5 and 6 in the poem,  nonetheless caught my attention.


The taxi stops at the 42nd Street library
---I don't understand


Two men look into each others eyes
---one shoe is missing

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Say What?

How to describe “my” style?  Not tweet, not meme, not text message.  Somewhere I read a poet’s work described as “epigrammatic and compressed” I like that.  Somewhere else, somebody else, “conceptual, minimalist.” 

Craig Dworkin wrote about Kenneth Goldsmith's “phatic back-channel fillers and voiced pauses that punctuate messages (all the ums and ahs and uh-huhs)” and Christian Bok described a robot’s poetry as “syntactically orthodox, but semantically aberrant.”  I go there sometimes, too.  

In fact, Christian Bok was reviewing something called RACTER, an automated algorithm that “gives voice to its own electric delirium.” The robot’s poem quoted below is hard to beat, robot or human being: 

“This dissertation will show that the love
of a man and a woman is not the love
of steak and lettuce.” 

So is this one: 

“A tree or shrub can grow and bloom.
I am always the same.
But I am clever.”

However, in the course of the review, there are 15 other examples, none of which rise above the level of a journeyman enjamber.  So, I don’t fear automation.