Saturday, December 21, 2019


“Anybody who’s breathing should have everything that they need and 93% of what they want – not by virtue of the fact that you work today, but by virtue of the fact that you are here.” -- Fred Moten

"Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble it, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent. Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to the animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you—alas, it is true of almost every one of us!"-- Fyodor Dostoevsky

LOL Contest

Winner: Zora Neale Hurston
Girls with mouths on them! And “challenging him to another appraisal of her person.” Plus jewels like: “midnight stood looking both ways for day.”

Honorable Mention: Gertrude Stein
“The cute way that a certain place is open on a Sunday and not on Tuesday.” "This is the season of rejoicing and the moment to have a denial of advice. If it is a pity it is not the same pity as more toast."


Nancy Wilson, But Beautiful:

Bill Evans Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Not 24 hours after reading in Keith Richard’s autobio that the first Rolling Stones show in the USA was in 1964, in San Bernardino, California, at the (now not there anymore) Swing Auditorium, I’m talking to a security guy in front of a jewelry store and out of the blue he tells me he was at the first Rolling Stones show in the USA at the (now not there anymore) Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday the 14th

Here’s an astute opening by David Rieff, writing from Buenos Aires in the NYRB: “There is an old Argentine wisecrack that says: a person who leaves Argentina for six months, and then returns, finds the country completely transformed, but someone who returns after an absence of ten years finds that things are more or less as he or she left them.”

Pliny the Elder:"Fortune favors the bold."

Babette Babich:“And when it comes to the profession, simple non-mention, utter exclusion turns out to be far more efficient than refutation.”

Homi K. Bahba:"...the American border as cultural signifier of a pioneering, male 'American' spirit always under threat from races and cultures beyond the border...”

Lisa Roberston: “…Gardens leave so little evidence…In what season, through what representation or renovation, from what point in its development, with what persistently spreading perennial, may we retrospectively construct an image of what a garden was? And in its reimagining of nature, history and heritage, the garden itself is a constructed dream.”

Regions I’ve called home:
The Midwest.
The Southwest.
The Land of Enchantment.
The South Bay.
The Pacific Northwest.
The Central Coast.
The Inland Empire.

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Michael Jang

Silvina Ocampo

A Kit

The Practice of Everyday Life, by Michel de Certeau
The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard
A Handmade Museum, by Brenda Coultas

More poets read and enjoyed:
Sam Hamill
David Baker
Kimiko Hahn

And I fortuitously and serendipitiously was guided to Natalie Diaz, Mickalene Thomas, Chantal Akerman and Laura Nyro. I reviewed Kayla Rodney’s book Swimming Home on Amazon,

The brothers Karamozov are twenty somethings, as are many of their friends and lovers
A young crowd, boorish, thuggish, or else saints.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Saturday Evening Spree

from Porcile
“a spree of perceptions”
 Julia Kristeva

“…a dream of/exegetic sleep.”
Nathanial Mackey

“…dream of electric sheep…”
Philip K. Dick

Movie recommendations: Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov, La Jetee by Chris Marker; Porcile, written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. 

Movies: "Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream, it takes over as the Number One hormone; it bosses the enzymes; directs your pineal gland; plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote for film is more film"
---Frank Capra

Lit genre: urban fiction. I’ve read plenty of other books with a lot more action, but this one is pretty good with the dialogue and the customizing of the English language.

“Grown ass men don’t whisper. Two niggas whispering--that’s some sneak shit,” he explained.

Another locution I enjoyed:  “I’m getting my nails and toes did in a few.”

Misc lit: TSEliot was right about a whimper instead of a bang, but he was wrong about the month April, for the fact is November and February are coholders of the title cruelest. 

The wound of existence, the joy of existence: If you can get past the toxic parts, Friedrich Nietzsche is quite amusing at times. Beyond Good and Evil had me laughing out loud often.  I loved it when he referred to “Asia and its little pushed out peninsula Europe.” Europeans are so full of themselves when in fact they’re like a recreational vehicle popout!

New York Times crossword puzzle 1003 by Ricky Cruz: excellent!

My favorite thing I like about owning a car is going to drive-thrus.

Our president looks almost as though created by a cubist God.

In the periphery I saw the name Archie Shepp, so he’s who I’m listening to right now.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Greatest Weekend of the Year!

An extra hour of sleep!

This week I sent out another batch of poems to eagerly awaiting (LOL) magazines. Now a few days of R&R...

First, a big launch: the new Neil Novello website. Check it

Then, one eff, two ens: Stunned I was, when not laughing out loud, by Michael Hofmann’s poem about President Trump: The Resident. New York Review of Books has the poem locked on its website, restricted to subscribers. In the best interests of the country it should be available to all. C’mon NYRB, de-elite yourself for a minute, behave like the force you think you are.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Riding the train/sit there and sightsee

“it is hard to be anywhere once
and twice is a dream”

(From The Desk by Cid Corman)

This week my attention was rocked by new thinking and split between stuff that “interferes with your breathing” and stuff where you could say “this is the sound of God, in case anyone was wondering”

Keetje Kuipers

Nicole Callihan

Add Joanne Kyger to the list.

And Fela Kuti (1971)

Psychedelic Furs (1981) Talk Talk Talk

Robert Schumann: Fantasie in C, Op.17 (Andsnes)

And I learned a little about Nick Land and accelerationism. This link got me started

Plus continued work on a couple of tremendous projects I’m not at liberty to discuss.

Jonathan Williams, oh my goodness.

Then there was Tsitsi Dangarembga and an interesting interview:

I’ve read her first novel, Nervous Conditions, a couple of times. In it, along with everything else, there’s a sense of delight in how she compassionately and honestly dealt with the feelings of girls, young women.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Buy pumpkins

I said look I said harsh beauty
Comes along once in a Total Pho.
Her name was Promise Ji.
She took her race track tea
Black with honey.
My biggest fear was
Half and half.

Getting a charge of out Eric Dolphy
So I wrote to the governor re AB 881
listened to Frank Zappa music.
Black napkins
Burnt weeny sandwich
A Token of His Extreme

and The Observatory by Caroline Shaw


Brahms-Quintet for Piano and Strings in f minor op. 34
Brahms Quintetto per Pianoforte e Archi in Fa Minore Op 34 Quartetto Italiano, Pollini
Brahms Clarinet Quintet In B minor op. 115
Johannes Brahms - Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in A Minor, Op. 114
Brahms Sextets Nos. 1 & 2
Brahms intermezzi.
Brahms violin concerto.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Live at the Scene

After intense writing, I like to relax, read some African-American Urban Fiction. You know what that’s all about. Usually the authors have me laughing out loud at the truth of their creative English, what Fred Moten and Stefano Harney call “eloquent vulgarities” and “mutant grammar.”

My Besties: The Come Up by Asia Hill wasn’t as druggy and explicit and nasty as most, but still I enjoyed the tone. Here are some samples:

“Feel me? We rode hard in these streets.”

“He took care of me. He always made sure I had the best video games and the newest Jordans.”

“Something told me that she was a rotten bitch on the inside.”

I laughed out loud at the description of a young woman wearing an all-white outfit: “Tiki over here looking like a glass of whole milk and shit.”

Then a pivot to T.S. Eliot and his Four Quartets.

And then Art Pepper (“I see where I wanna go, it’s just trying to get there.”) kills it with this:

And where I left off is no longer there
And neither I nor there are the same as when we both were.

Thursday, September 12, 2019


Next Saturday the University of Notre Dame hosts the University of New Mexico in a football game. The Fighting Irish vs. the Lobos.

The left panel is Touchdown Jesus, on a chapel I believe at Notre Dame. The right panel is the Lobo logo of UNM in the 1960’s. The center panel is my father, bridging the two cultures.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Another Saturday Evening Post

I had to finish Splay Anthem before I could gain closure on the Immersion: literature, music, visuals, high consciousness. Immersion? Drenched. Including but not limited to the reviews of books: Los Angeles, New York, London, not to mention the Sunday Riverside Press-Enterprise.


Visual: Duras, Eisenberg, Ensor, Evergood, Frankenthaler (hers at the top).

Music: Lois Vierk, Don Cherry (Brown Rice), Count Basie, Fela Kuti, Tony Williams, Tan Dun

Lit: Tom Stoppard, Olson-Duncan, Barbara Guest, Harryette Mullen, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Alexander, Nathanial Mackey (Splay Anthem), Fred Moten, Kwame Dawes interviewed in Rattle #65, and some poets he published from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia

Film: Charlie Chaplin (a scream!); Sheeler-Strand Manhatta.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Groove Merchant in Training

After a good writing day, in the mood for a piano concerto and Sergei Prokofiev’s #3 is one of my faves. Later Johannes Brahms same same his #1.

But then there was this Dizzy Gillespie:

Reading American:
William Faulkner.
Mark Twain.
Willa Cather.
The Groove Merchant: Jones-Lewis jazz orchestra:

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wind Machine, by Sammy Nestico

drum solo butch miles

drum solo buddy rich

drum solo buddy rich classic tonight show band

Count Basie and I share a birthday 8/21

Default to Count Basie.
Sonny Payne!

The Count Basie Orchestra at Kongresshaus Zurich, Switzerland, February 6, 1959. With Wendell Culley, Thad Jones, Snooky Young, Joe Newman (tp); Henry Coker, Al Grey, Benny Powell (tb); Marshal Royal (as,cl); Frank Wess (as,ts,fl); Frank Foster, Billy Mitchell (ts); Charlie Fowlkes (bar); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Eddie Jones (b); Sonny Payne (dr). Count Basie just kills it.

going to Count Basie school

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison could write. I knew of her almost exclusively through her novels, but in her honor here is a link to an essay she wrote about another writer’s astonishing novel, The Radiance of the King.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

A tough weekend

But I opened my inbox this morning and found a poem by Harryette Mullen and two stories by Diane Williams. And I finished reading A Tale of Two Cities (it was referenced in Out Stealing Horses, which I read late last week). And I threw on some French vanilla coffee, some Gustav Mahler (symphony 5, then symphony 6), and started writing. Flannery O’Connor: “I do what I have to with what I can.”

Saturday, July 13, 2019



Push, by Sapphire

The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri


Nutville, by Horace Silver (Denmark, 1968)
“...looks like Horace was in another universe”
Fifteen minutes of artistic madness
Billy Cobham drum solo: 10:45

Miscellaneous Gem:

Lyric from Leaving California, by Mark Edward Duvall
“Like the Grapes of Wrath, but through the rear-view mirror.”

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Approaching solstice

Here are some things I’ve been looking at lately:

“On a dusty side street not far from the Romeo y Julieta tobacco factory, in a gallery marked only by its open front door, a photo exhibit proposes a different approach, and its impossible gesture of erasure and revelation was one of the defining moments of the 2019 Bienal. No artist’s name was visible, but one of the walls bore a title: Un día feliz (“A Happy Day”). A large dog sits next to a caned rocking chair. Krushchev stands with a dead duck in his hands, another dead duck suspended in mid-air next to him. A baseball flies towards a batter from an empty pitcher’s mound. And in what seems a tacit salute to Antonia Eiriz’s Naturaleza muerta, one of the gallery walls is hung with photos of podiums, decades of podiums, some with gigantic crowds beneath, one bearing the VE RI TAS seal of Harvard University, many with photographers who aim their lenses at a point behind the microphones where no one stands.

Reynier Leyva Novo, the fertile-minded young artist who created the series—other photos in it are displayed at El Apartamento, with his name attached—has digitally altered iconic images by Lee Lockwood, Alberto Korda, and others, to eliminate Fidel Castro, or, you might say, to de-platform him. What’s left is a blank wall cross-hatched with dappled sunlight, an empty field with low mountains in the distance, the open ocean. And also, maybe, air to breathe, space for the imagination, silence to hear yourself think: a future...”  

Esther Allen


Anna Journey