Disruptive Juxtaposition

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


make an appearence in my currently-flawed epic poem "The McDonald's Poem". But what poem, Transformers or no Transformers, could ever compare with this?

Admen and -women, I hypothesize, have a simpler & more enjoyable life's work than anyone else. There exists in the panoply of 80s toys a wealth, a fund, nay an infinity of cultural touchstones just begging for corporations to co-opt them. And sure, toys naturally were always in corporate hands, becoming Big big business in the 80s I would argue, but that's not the point here. The point here is what they're being used for now, such as Citroen pitchmen. I say, Bloody brilliant. I say, I know this Autobot tells me nothing about Citroen cars but I do not care. I say, Well, I don't quite get the breakdancing approach, but it's no less arbitrary than say a samba. And finally I say, I can't wait to see what they come (back) up with next.

P.S. I think I recognize the dance the Autobot's doing. Is it not the breakdancing acumen of one Napoleon Dynamite? They're similar anyway. With the arm waves &c. Alright, it's time to do something of worth to someone.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I wasn't going to post this, but I did.

Your Brain is 80.00% Female, 20.00% Male

Your brain leans female

You think with your heart, not your head

Sweet and considerate, you are a giver

But you're tough enough not to let anyone take advantage of you!

80%, eh? Staggering. I'm alright with that.

Whatever, I'm out to buy shoes, who's with me.

Informal forms

C.K. Williams developed and, I think, beat into the ground a pretty interesting 8 line form that, when matched with his long line and wacked diction, did more than a few neat things. My go-to example of this technique is "The Modern" from Flesh & Blood.

Its skin tough and impliable as scar, the pulp out of focus, weak, granular, powdery, blank,
this tomato I’m eating—wolfing, stuffing down: I’m so hungry—is horrible and delicious.
Don’t tell me, I know all about it, this travesty-sham; I know it was plucked green and unripe,
then was locked in a chamber and gassed so it wouldn’t rot till I bought it but I don’t care:
I was so famished before, I was sucking sweat from my arm and now my tomato is glowing inside me.
I muscle the juice through my teeth and the seeds to the roof of my mouth and the hard,
scaly scab of where fruit met innocent stem and was torn free I hold on my tongue and savor,
a coin, a dot, the end of a sentence, the end of the long improbable utterance of the holy and human.

Lines 6 & 7 tilt the whole shebangabang toward its conclusion. It's deceptively complex in terms of the syntactic suspension it creates. I've tried to replicate this effect more than a few times and ended up with short poems built from long sentences with nary the sharp syntax-matched-to-epiphanic-moment effect Chuck here pulls off. Serves one right for imitating / flattering another's form.

Tonight's question then I guess is whether you have a form you love to love, to hate, or to shamelessly practice in the privacy of your own desk-space. Mirror poems, endwords that finish one line as they begin another, the dreaded double abecdarian - hmm, I wonder if the Double Abecedarians would be a good band name? - and plus where does voice couple with this notion of new / adapted forms? They seem distinct to me, although I'm not sure how much.

Time to settle into bed with I think three Oreos, milk, and Ashley VanDoorn's manuscript "Wonderlust." The Oreos are to help me understand the poems, like bud and fireworks.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Not Wordsworth? Weird.

P. B. Shelley
You are Percy Bysshe Shelley! Famous for your
dreamy abstraction and your quirky verse,
you're the model "sensitive poet." A
vegetarian socialist with great personal charm
and a definite way with the love poem, you
remain an idol for female readers. There are
dozens of cute anecdotes about you, and I love

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla

You're not the boss of me!

Wasn't good for much this morning. Tried to write a poem with nothing in my mind at all. Campbell McGrath thinks of the poem as a jet engine, and it runs through fuel (raw material) quickly. I like this. It's handy for identifying those moments when the fuel lines are bone-dry. So I wrote about roadkill. It sounds nothing like me. Sometimes I wonder about the "one-a-day" approach to writing poems. I can't sound the way I want to sound every day. Those days, I'll write something to keep off the rust, but inevitably ratchet up tension- & ennui-wise because I feel like my voice is (for that day) gone. Thoughts on this?

Then I ran 11 miles along the Willamette. Only once did I get the "On your left!" call from a cyclist. I so loathe that call. I know you're on my left, Cyclist. I've been running since your grandpappy was jitterbugging on Armistice Day. But the day: gorgeous. 50 degrees and intermittent sun makes the miles something of a joy. It turns out that I can access this system of paths even from out here on River Road, which I've always considered removed from the town proper. Makes me wish I'd had my bike not stolen in New York; I could have done far less driving this year. Back home, in the shower, allergies struck. Foolishly rubbed my eyes, which clamped shut and blinded me for the duration. Shaving blind is an adventure, let me tell you; I had to peek around the sideburns.

But the big news is that I've just finished my last academic paper for the foreseeable future. It compares the social & philosophical theories of Althusser (you're born into the ruling ideology and cannot escape it) and Gramsci (you can escape it if you foster the right kind of intellect in yourself and others; Marxism helps, nudge nudge). Its title is the title of this post. And that sentiment has ever rung true, but never quite as true as it does now. Mood: sorta lost.