Just received Book of Stirs via ILL. The pages which are supposed to be centered are skewed in one direction or another. Nice color selection for the cover. Looking forward to reading this.

This is exciting.

How do you know a full moon is nearing? The cat is out all night and I am up at 4:30. Wrote for about an hour and half. The actual physical process of writing in a notebook reminds me that writing is a sensual engagement. I write better when my hand is stained with ink. I should have been a painter. I need to push and glob my materials, form them into something. Scratch them out, draw arrows, circles, run out of room. I become impatient when writing directly on the computer, there is little gestation. Regard is lost. Capacity seems limitless. Limits create freedom.

I've dropped off the planet with correspondences, be patient with me.

This quote by Roethke from the quotes portion of Catherine Meng's blog, "Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries." Yes.

Trying to manifest an active passivity. This is very difficult for me. Life is trying even with all its wonder.

Lots of longer walks lately. Seeking to get myself out of my head and into my body and thus back into my head integrated. Huh? To remind myself that the brain is a muscle and to return to materials that renew, i.e. nature. Francis Bacon said that flowers are beautiful because they die. Trees are even more beautiful because they die several times.

OK lack of sleep among other things has made me decidely philosophical this morning. I'd like to continue some of these ideas at a later date. I'm off to work.


word of the day

Schlimazel (Noun)

Pronunciation: [shlê-'mah-zêl]

Definition 1: A person with no luck at all, a sort of loser who magnetically attracts misfortune.

Usage 1: Today's word is almost always defined in terms of interaction between schlimazels and schlemiels. According to Leo Rosten (Hooray for Yiddish!), if a waiter spills the soup he is carrying, he is a schlemiel; the person who gets it down the neck is a schlimazel. When a schlemiel accidentally knocks over a priceless vase, he blames the nearest schlimazel. Most dictionaries will allow you to omit the [c] after [s] (shlimazel), but our spell-checkers frown on the practice.

Suggested usage: Although both these words refer to unfortunate people, they are generally used in good humor, often with sympathy attached: "The poor schlimazel had just cashed $500 in travelers checks when he was mugged." In fact, this word rarely occurs without the attribute "poor" preceding it: "One time in his life he runs a stop sign and the poor schlimazel hits a police car."

Etymology: Today's word comes from Yiddish shlimazl "bad luck, unlucky person" from an ancestor of German schlimm "bad" + Yiddish mazl "luck" from Late Hebrew mazzal "constellation, destiny." "Mazzal" came from Akkadian manzaltu, mazzatum "position of a star," the noun from the verb izuzzu "to stand." The Yiddish variant of "mazzal" is also found in mazel tov "good luck," the indispensable toast at Jewish weddings, from Mishnaic Hebrew mazzal tôb "good luck." (Today let us thank Evelyn and Morty Hershman of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania for suggesting another little lexical jewel loaned to English by Yiddish. For a treasure chest of them, read the 'JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words,' always available in the Word Shop.

—Dr. Language, yourDictionary.com


why must you
I fight back
while a beech
tree looks inside
me in the
eye orange in
red there push
pins of hope
I fight back
an engine cries
I know nothing
the blood
in my eyes
the sky is
lying a leaf
falling no
a swallowtail

dang me

Watched this the other night. Highly recommended. I love this IMDB Plot Outline: Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

The relationship between Daniel and his parents is particularly interesting.

sausage, etc.

Was made. My friends harvested their pigs recently. We made hot, sweet, and breakfast sausage. The hot is not so hot. Not in flavor, but temperature. I couldn't convince my friend to go hotter. More chipotle! We processed about 35 lbs of pork. Making sausage is a labor of love, it is very time consuming. Well worth it. I'm very fortunate to have friends who have the right priorities.


It is getting cold. It should be getting cold.


Saw Borat. I feel no justification needed for saying this film is essential viewing.


The color of my work space at home is all wrong, remember I just bought this place. I've some definite ideas about what color to paint it, but if you have suggestions please comment. It is currently dark purple with black and glitter trim. Yes, glitter. It is about 12 x 12.


I've revived an old manuscript. Realizing that in light of finishing current projects, I always invent new projects. Is this a good thing? It is what it is. Such as my brain. At least I finish.

Marden: Rothko was the shining light in terms of everything I'm thinking. He was the one who showed that you could be that way, just make beautiful paintings. I thought that those black and gray paintings at the end simply ranked right up there with the best ones. I remember going to the Rothko Foundation with (David) Novros to see hundreds of un-mounted paintings on paper, and we got up on these ladders and we were flipping through them; it was just incredible. Maybe I was too young to be able to make the right kind of judgment, but it seems to me that there was just something different than Kline and De Kooning. To me, what he talked about, what he believed in, is all invested in the paintings, so you're responding to that, you're sort of thinking along those lines while seeing the paintings. It can be a very intense, moving experience, unlike any other. When you're in the Chapel looking at his paintings, especially if you're standing there long enough, the painting will engulf you. It is definitely the most elevating, spiritual experience. You're best not distancing yourself from the situation, at least for me personally. Then you start trying to figure out how he does it. He really had this thing about intensifying beauty. He presents color in his own way, it becomes all about color, but it's not color, it's drama, but drama is too light a word. These terms almost seem cliched, but it's true. He's really otherworldly. In one of the Rothko books that came out last year they asked him what is the ideal viewing distance from your painting and he said, seventeen inches. And there're always pictures of him standing there. And you go back and look at them and he's absolutely right. And you to any museum, and they just hang his paintings in a room with other works of art, and it just doesn't work. He needs his own space. There was a point when I studied some of those monochromatic paintings and it made me push color in a certain way, not at all similar to how people had referred to his sense of color to Matisse or Bonnard. Rothko is simply a very, very tough painter.

from In Conversation Brice Marden with Jeffrey Weiss

thanks to Bill Corbett for sending this

G: Images that can be too quickly recognized. To preconceive an image, or even to dwell on an image, and then to go ahead and paint it is an impossibility for me. I have often wondered why I find an image that is easily recognizable to be so intolerable in a painting. My answer is that it is intolerable -- and also irrelevant -- because it's too abstract. By that I mean that it's simply and only recognizable. The artist had a thought and then proceeded to paint the thought. Paul Valery once said that a bad poem is one that vanishes into meaning. In a painting in which this is a room, this a chair, this a head, the imagery does not exist -- it vanishes into recognition. The trouble with recognizable art is that it excludes too much. I want my work to include more. And "more" also compromises one's doubts about the object, plus the problem, the dilemna, of recognizing it. I am therefore driven to scrape out the recognition, to efface it, to erase it. I am nowhere until I have reduced it to semi-recognition. R: Could we say that you are opposed to realism because it is too subjective, too closely confined to the artist's notions of things? For you, it would seem, an image can have meaning, or reality, only if it first comes into being on the canvas and not previously in the artist's eye or in his mind. G: Yes. And this has to do with how the image comes into being, with the process of its creation. It means that the point you are working toward is that -- that -- you didn't do it. You have to work to achieve a kind of nonentity, althought it's not anonymous.

from Philip Guston's Object
A Dialogue with Harold Rosenberg

Thanks to C Brand for sending this.




This is looking even more positive.

On an unrelated note, a word of advice, if things aren't working, give up.


Some poems or publications function like little mechanical toys: the delight is to come back to them and see them perform the same simple manoeuvre again and again.

One strength of poetry is that in an overcrowded world it can open up imaginative space. The whole sweep of the landscape can come into a room, with a hill of sufficient bulk, the din of rushing water. I like the flicker between literal and imaginative space, that our environment can be subject to a nominal transformation. A few words on a card propped up on a table can summon up a prospect or command a whole situation.

I like the way that our publications fall through the system but yet exist in the world. They are to be found pinned to a notice board, carefully placed on a table, in a walker's jacket pocket, in galleries (or display cases in a library), rather than in bookshops. I like the fact that they get little acclaim but a lot of attention, that they are not given by the culture but are a discovery for each person who comes across them.

Thomas A. Clark

I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not.


Whatever the reason,
it is: beginning and end
and what comes
between. Including this
being here, too late
by far into the night
to make a difference
to whatever it is I seek
to make a difference to.
Not even believing it could
be grasped for good,
rather than known
in an instant--which cannot
be lived in, but loved.
And lost as soon again.

John Phillips


Some things change, some things stay the same. We'll see...

Politics making me happy is unheard of. Thanks for the memories Don.

Finished a month long of Woody Allen films with the movie watching gents. Next up, got this in my hip pocket, film noir. What are some of your favorites in that genre, if you care to?

From Thomas A Clark's "Lullaby"

curlew and coromant
the colours of dusk
an arrow of wild geese
a slow release
of thistledown

Thanks Sam Ward!

Tulips, irises, crocuses, daffodils, and garlic. Wait Until Spring, Bandini.

Rust Buckle reviews Rizzo's.

So and So

So and So #7
Saturday, November 11th 8 pm
@ the Lily Pad
13 53 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA (Inman Sq.)
Adam Clay, Kate Greenstreet, Matt Henriksen, and Jess Mynes


Listen up

Andrew Mister has an earful for ya.