Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dubious Calm

departure hangs over present eludes cascades mossy forest private picnic people dogs tired legs second wind cars pour in dust children lets go friendship reaches out alternative place sleep coffee fragrant smoke alarms scream again break dreams hot studio induces dubious calm money comes chores refrain solo work traverse Mozart sonatas now Chopin nocturnes finger memory surprises reason lyric recovered so we go on in to be me he is my amanuensis rediscovered selves responding nature furthering art sensations refresh soul all food

Personism: A Manifesto

by Frank O'Hara Everything is in the poems, but at the risk of sounding like the poor wealthy man's Allen Ginsberg I will write to you because I just heard that one of my fellow poets thinks that a poem of mine that can't be got at one reading is because I was confused too. Now, come on. I don't believe in god, so I don't have to make elaborately sounded structures. I hate Vachel Lindsay, always have; I don't even like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve. If someone's chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don't turn around and shout, "Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep." That's for the writing poems part. As for their reception, suppose you're in love and someone's mistreating (mal aimé) you, you don't say, "Hey, you can't hurt me this way, I care!" you just let all the different bodies fall where they may, and they always do may after a few months. But that's not why you fell in love in the first place, just to hang onto life, so you have to take your chances and try to avoid being logical. Pain always produces logic, which is very bad for you. I'm not saying that I don't have practically the most lofty ideas of anyone writing today, but what difference does that make? They're just ideas. The only good thing about it is that when I get lofty enough I've stopped thinking and that's when refreshment arrives. But how can you really care if anybody gets it, or gets what it means, or if it improves them. Improves them for what? For death? Why hurry them along? Too many poets act like a middle-aged mother trying to get her kids to eat too much cooked meat, and potatoes with drippings (tears). I don't give a damn whether they eat or not. Forced feeding leads to excessive thinness (effete). Nobody should experience anything they don't need to, if they don't need poetry bully for them. I like the movies too. And after all, only Whitman and Crane and Williams, of the American poets, are better than the movies. As for measure and other technical apparatus, that's just common sense: if you're going to buy a pair of pants you want them to be tight enough so everyone will want to go to bed with you. There's nothing metaphysical about it. Unless, of course, you flatter yourself into thinking that what you're experiencing is "yearning." Abstraction in poetry, which Allen recently commented on in It Is, is intriguing. I think it appears mostly in minute particulars where decision is necessary. Abstraction (in poetry, not in painting) involves personal removal by the poet. For instance, the decision involved in the choice between "the nostalgia of the infinite" and "the nostalgia for the infinite" defines an attitude towards degree of abstraction. The nostalgia of the infinite representing the greater degree of abstraction, removal, and negative capability (as in Keats and Mallarmé). Personism, a movement which I recently founded and which nobody knows about, interests me a great deal, being so totally opposed to this kind of abstract removal that it is verging on a true abstraction for the first time, really, in the history of poetry. Personism is to Wallace Stevens what la poésie pure was to Béranger. Personism has nothing to do with philosophy, it's all art. It does not have to do with personality or intimacy, far from it! But to give you a vague idea, one of its minimal aspects is to address itself to one person (other than the poet himself), thus evoking overtones of love without destroying love's life-giving vulgarity, and sustaining the poet's feelings towards the poem while preventing love from distracting him into feeling about the person. That's part of Personism. It was founded by me after lunch with LeRoi Jones on August 27, 1959, a day in which I was in love with someone (not Roi, by the way, a blond). I went back to work and wrote a poem for this person. While I was writing it I was realizing that if I wanted to I could use the telephone instead of writing the poem, and so Personism was born. It's a very exciting movement which will undoubtedly have lots of adherents. It puts the poem squarely between the poet and the person, Lucky Pierre style, and the poem is correspondingly gratified. The poem is at last between two persons instead of two pages. In all modesty, I confess that it may be the death of literature as we know it. While I have certain regrets, I am still glad I got there before Alain Robbe-Grillet did. Poetry being quicker and surer than prose, it is only just that poetry finish literature off. For a time people thought that Artaud was going to accomplish this, but actually, for all their magnificence, his polemical writings are not more outside literature than Bear Mountain is outside New York State. His relation is no more astounding than Dubuffet's to painting. What can we expect of Personism? (This is getting good, isn't it?) Everything, but we won't get it. It is too new, too vital a movement to promise anything. But it, like Africa, is on the way. The recent propagandists for technique on the one hand, and for content on the other, had better watch out.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


small words big change he lost an eye she died war broke out moaning way walk Brush Creek Playhouse new siding old plywood tarpaper painted thanks Shannon Nancys truck ticket concessions Little Nell audience of three home nap read Theater Castorf Berlin Foreman

Friday, July 29, 2005

Between Dreams

water memory suspends body one single time unfolds lives tragic history unknows reverse pain loss destruction betrays liberal ideal loving brotherhood art not wart flourish protected produced believed in treasure these nights touch one other between dreams salvages real

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Falling Leaf

miss Christopher concert web falling leaf what words do like fish in butter guys film "East of Eden" takes me back sublet Barbara Baxley 34th Street why Kazan's melodramatic expressionism my model rejected defied better never so home unforgotten lost in shadows smells silent stars sibilant parenting wet against heat road call sleep chair dream new knee pillow where am I cast substantially changed rehearsals anyway influenced by current reading

Simple Diet

ten pounds lost two weeks simple diet eat much less no coffee alcohol goodies feeling good still too bulgy 95 in my studio music Dunlap keyboard "Bigfoot" journal already typed nap hold hands using my files find surprises James Salter "Light Years" beautiful novel Wes Anderson "Life Aquatic" charm touched

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Grammie's Iced Tea

1 gallon water boil and add 3 tbsp tea 3 lemons juice and rind 2 cups sugar 6 sprigs mint stir and cool strain into quart jars

Monday, July 25, 2005

One Way

discover vlogs thanks Times take time healing breeze new freezer berries garden bounty honest sweat fanned forgot nothing on smokeless dull movie numbers invite remorse the past ah ruby soaked lawn furniture pressure changes easily forgive myself forget move another state child partner memories are who we are one way of looking

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Dark Confusion

Goldbergs in 44 minutes Anne-Marie McDermott strong loud fast effective barely Bach Busoni kitsch camp taste who knows Reed audience stands cheers wrong turn after gantlet car dealers dark confusion dream City Hall key Richard fell off ladder I took message didnt scrape day lost suddenly spacing what to do relax read paper Lurie plodding plot missed concert finally remember Cino promise

Saturday, July 23, 2005

More Real

old building here where nothing old scrape our theatre crudely patched all but falling no money fix Shull paintings smart over skillful trash grammar open express more subject content automate leap oral inflame no pain contained worry read Alison Lurie write Caffe Cino comment Bob Heide keeps me in touch Dick Buck emails Florida network buzz not here more real than anything

Friday, July 22, 2005

Die Trying

movie nights going strong chest freezer location set read Burroughs see roots huge dahlias brown tree imagine clustering of galaxies any direction should see same lighting gig Santa Barbara secret sharing risky bet mind body healthy frail can only change yourself Waugh dust shallow characters bloody pity how sorry heart bank mistake quick fix library Roth's gas honk fan static mars music familiar every no new how deep piano river ripples perfected art futile chaos wins what else but try die trying

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

London Tension

early watering italics arena photographs nervous Arabian manipulated neck arch horse people obsessed unreachable postswim city Sally Potter gem "Yes" beautiful characters London tension everything poignant today Burroughs chapter "The Disipline of DE" ("Exterminator!") thanks Gus Van Sant thanks Powell's DE Do Easy my practice long wastebasket toss try never miss look later dark place hand perfect pick red ripe raspberries nightly ritual farmer's big crop across road neighbors' land help self asparagus too season passing vines rank berries few no doesn't exist there is only yes all of us are still learning about how the web can be used

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Diet or Cycle

take time for music just listen nevermore put up notice library fish for music partners tried again get together Steve says he wants to pitched play Paul sent script raves about Sally first time my theatre library used intensely researching pages website takes me back feel good better months is it diet or cycle

Monday, July 18, 2005

Call Paul

Patti rekindles book about Johnny scary interview people while I am in New York doing "Trouble" TNC Alfred is committed we can stay in Donald Brooks's apartment no word Sally Kirkland I sent script call Paul he could play all three heavy guys don't keep thinking about it do it done

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Snowed In

while dreaming I remember another dream what is real no doubt and yet "Rules for Old Men Waiting" read moved deep mind warmth snowed in failing triumph question idea men martial women gentling why then not more effective not knowing war do I not know my true nature no no war is wicked distortion hate war entirely despise hate not oppressed not victim crave no revenge Ry names the artist David Bowie

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ten Principles of Burning Man

1. Radical Inclusion 2. Gifting 3. Decommodification 4. Radical Self-Reliance 5. Radical Self-Expression 6. Communal Effort 7. Civic Responsibility 8. Leaving No Trace 9. Participation 10. Immediacy see afterburn/

Practical Magic

Art has too long been captured by commerce. Art must change or die. You do not make art to make money or gain prestige. You make art because you have to. If your art sells all well and good and one cannot begrudge anyone who happens to sell enough art to make a living. This should translate as more time to make art. The true purpose of art is to change the world through the practical magic that is particular to art. The art we need is visionary, consciousness elevating, and/or contemplative, for the maker and the viewer. Cash value is no longer an art value. The manufacturing of widgets for investments, décor, or advertisement will no longer do. Too many excellent artists are too easily disheartened when their work doesn't sell. Why should it sell? The making of the art is a value in itself. Even if no one else understands or even sees it. The first rule and perhaps the only rule is that you make your art to change yourself, through a critique of the visual, through a critique of art, through the very work it takes to make something. —John Perreault

Wrong Glasses

mistakes wake wrong glasses wrong saying years ago no regrets yet they accumulate New York apartment material surprise cool remnant spendy window film fight blaze poetry dough balances only Kelley me six art guys John's hot sandwich beer "The Wild Bunch" fans my few people possible best talk last standing hall leaving funny sewer smell stars creek rushing home

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hungry Belly

grumpy no treats no friends phone silent glasses broke swim good no real complaints day breezy fine working pages theatre emails sent on time no escape hungry belly

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hard Pillow

dieting both eat much less no coffee chocolate goodies quick hungry faintly faint how fast thin Kelley visits poetry biz more interested friends poetry part life write every day occasion read give her "The Waves" Spalding Gray sad now nap studio sofa hard pillow dream strange my cabin house more comfortable short plays remember edit errands folders distant gesture days daze faint headache busy birds breeze by forget water social vacuum threatens viability

Monday, July 11, 2005

Three Deer

presence that is the act of being is of greatest importance Bonnie Marranca on Irene three deer on our intimate grass as they were preparing to go to know these girls better little now someday grown I gave Sid Lisa my car no kids took them on with Carol they went to the coast we played I finished "Snobs" fun break from "Rogue River Journal" dinner corn asparagus mole leftovers then they went what distance my age theirs what gravity informs desire

Sunday, July 10, 2005


everything feels risky now even kids must feel it who can protect them when do we notice screaming the horse comes up on the porch crashes in through the door Beethoven goes on absorbed scratching whistles hums frantic resolution

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My Life

The so-called "rules of objective journalism" dovetail with the disciplined functioning of a one-party government to keep the political debate willfully opaque and stupid. (Mark Danner) if we got high together possibly we could talk how to raise children how keep yourself intact growing discover real child self realized being your busyness mine is there nothing you want to ask I crystallize experience word artifacts read more write less I must always be writing this my life even if only you actually read it

Friday, July 08, 2005

Less Affection

mouse droppings kitchen counter Ginger given two days catch it Lisa Sid's wife allergic cats poison set behind lazy susan mouse itself spotted stumbling around hides under stove not feeling too well natural fondness earwigs inspire less affection is it crueler to let cat kill it at least the cat has fun

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Not Even Hot

directing Gertrude Stein where start lunch errands arrangements water minutes theatre plan siding repair bombs London subways bus trump G8 sad news bad day so beautiful not even hot start to think phone cook chickens freeze berries eat

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Falling Light

buckets of blueberries picked Steve Ann's big hidden field dogs kids three horses watching barbecue sweet summer evening falling light past present future darkening oil squandered meretricious oligarchy consolidating control good people look away touchingly unafraid innocent pleasure lilac screened raspberries ripen canes last year strip mall stop light worse ahead way late savage false redeemed

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


no more comments nobody commented anyway tired of seeing 0 comments comment direct by email contribute text if you will if I like it I will put it in I don't have to write everything my jacket ringing in the grocery listen to the pockets find the phone red tomatoes cantaloupe and grapes present wavers and a voice yes I remember my only high school friend

No Out

Christopher Fry died 97 long silent time for poetic drama passed Eliot's breakthrough left behind "A Sleep of Prisoners" my first directing relished language metaphor epic antiwar just a few simple soldier fellows tender sensitive imagination flowers draw the audience in reality transformed engorged with meaning lives ignite what theatre can do inspires me now New York four two big two little Carol granddaughters adorable lively Genevieve Gabrielle three things going on at once clean one day over yummy dinner materializes everybody cooking yakking sprites in constant motion sound week whee free my thing adults enough join fun will easy welcoming compassion deconstruct my past epic website forms every page rich substance real experience real people realize my visions make-believe so Freudian bed mother kill father succeed father I myself go straight getting married joke no out it is every human's Calvary each play framed context comment some text photo ancillary documents tell old story anew new writer medium novel life

Monday, July 04, 2005

American Music

ears plugged follow wrestle mower two lawns all trim now sweat violently cant cool down a little typing a little Mozart American music Fourth dust sweep mop water clean porches backache used up whole day calm at last high summer wakes my old dog she loves the puppies roll and tumble nor cares that her grave is dug where flowers will grow tree bloom just loves soft belly scent and snuffle she cannot rise but watches all I cannot let her go but she is leaving

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Hot Peaches

making web pages for each of my plays facts an essay credits some text now "Prussian Suite" my favorite actors Ondine Charles Stanley misbehaved three dead remembering Jimmy Centola lured from his own Hot Peaches to my strange Freudian abstraction history Frederick the Great his father King friend sister coming of age agony my harpsichord Michele's tamboura fireworks tonight potluck strangers

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Water Street

my head is exploding whole skin wants scratching immerse me in sensation scream jump up and down whirl naked in a sandstorm rake me with your fingernails wrap me in your many arms hang upside down turn inside out lie down in fire burnt hairless I read your words nonconsecutive streaming word banners remembering trying to pull the edges of my life together who was loved who was useful Johnny me child idiot wife what was I thinking I wonder from this distance 58 not child hysterical in the bath Melisande and me tripping in aprons layered we wore three at a time Peshe raving on water street Johnny baptized Julian in the storming sound it was enough the hurricane came you leaned out the window a minor storm what we chose and what we chose not oh god I still grieve

Purple Hair

up down blueberries confidence escapes like peanut butter bread spreaded smooth dandelion fairies dance scattering breezes one hand falls away emptiness intervenes puppies play tumble dancing in the grass like secret messages cereal rings second marriages andante cantabile chemistry color beneath surfaces brief impulsive leaf kites thread forgotten wind sniffing mountain sweetness dry snow melts harmony resolves like warm blooded fish motion like information put away hammock swaying afternoon sun dried socks purple hair browning tree electric fencing future without plans like glue sleeves improvising deadpan doll drama wild cards meat returns library silence like mouth taste like breath in out stop listen polish mirror like another room waiting trackless potless satisfaction pull thistles pull grass finish project rise for tennis visitors immaculate like mother father blessed memory counting clouds like vultures passing miles moments homesteading desert

Friday, July 01, 2005

Road Trip

three days driving big Oregon loop Santiam valley towns decrepit failing pass lush forest lakes deep top burnt piss pick one wild lily fills car scent clouds vaporize solidify floating puffs Sisters charming tourist Bend usual endless strip commercialized America after open highway empty sagebrush dry hopeless homesteads blown away we picnic empty vast eases my soul buzz on across desert deadly pioneers my VW loafing at 75 loves 3000 rpm Hines Burns south ambiguous water land desert lake causeway see no lake wildlife refuge Malheur now blessing bird migration hub thousands acres Donder Blitzen river valley protected eight room hotel preserved historic tiny room old fashioned double bed dine family tables porch talk anyone screens limit mosquitoes night long Steens Mountain destination famous dramatic fault west side gentle east drop sheer mile Alford desert playa loop road snow plowed top closed we head south Catlow valley nary car beautiful ranches grasses trees magnificent isolation endless work north east side Steens spectacular peaks ridge chasms slopes blush green gravel road trail dust cloud scores more miles Oregon beyond picnic round barn century standing nap bigger room bigger bed read John Daniel months alone porch swallows clear mosquitoes feed chicks mud nests eaves peeping drive up Steens remark tree zones gradual high as snow breathe sweet road gate closed lone hiker coming down photo falling P Ranch barn dinner talk alpacas horses cruises tricky too many bugs outdoors bed better read sleep wake think stars step outside naked sky splendid splinter toe pants shirt shoes past roofs whole overhead stand gravel head back open Milky Way glowing clouds of worlds beyond conception clear no lights visible grand sublime neck stiff staggering what do with it trouble coming here below mistakes mendacity catching up stars go on hearty breakfast pay up hit road goodbye clear quiet space ready go birds galore still no lakes steer north pristine canyon mountain labyrinth John Day valley wide mad geology slow lunch busy only food many miles sail down Prineville oldest city ugly Redmond growing badly on and over steep Cascades pines yield Douglas firs Carol driving too much for me happy home flowers trees in cats salad blueberries moles comfort so June closed going glad return