Thursday, June 30, 2005

check out Tom B.'s latest interview.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

alt-poet Daniel f. Bradley on the state of publishing experimental poetry in Canada. dig the last paragraph, publish it yrself, do it now, give it away.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

found this site full of celebrities with tattoos. but no pictures of poets with tats. celebrity poets, an oxymoron? well then, who among us is inked?

Beastie Boys say:

It's Time to Get Ill

I say:

I'm learning to chill

Monday, June 27, 2005

my father, Bill, is a skydiver, has over 900 jumps to his credit, and is incredibly passionate about the sport. rather, the art, since really there isn't much competition to jumping out of an airplane, and those who become obsessed with skydiving possess qualities I've found in the arts. there are parallels with writing, I think, tho I certainly can't qualify that statement in any coherent fashion. just a gut feeling I have.

so the following pictures are my old man doing what he loves so much last Sat. at a skydiving festival called a boogie at Skydance located in Davis, CA. now why would sane people hop out of a perfectly good airplane of their own volition? passion, I suppose, thrills and love. or something.

me on the left, my father in the middle, and my brother Marv on the right. Posted by Hello

packing for the skydive. Posted by Hello

all geared up and ready to show. Posted by Hello

waiting for the plane. Posted by Hello

steady now. Posted by Hello

another jump for the log book. Posted by Hello

touchdown. Posted by Hello

ready to do another jump. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I could take no more. Really Bad Movies needed a different look anyway. the text located at the bottom of the page was driving me nuts. anyway, need still to fix some of the links. I added a couple and plan to add more down the line, and fine tune the look, tho my knowledge of basic html and programming remains nil, soon. like Bowie sang, Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes/Turn and face the Strange//Don't tell us to grow up and out of it, etc. etc. um, does that quite apply? naw, but I love the song anyway, and sing it to myself regarding any change I face, big and small.

Friday, June 24, 2005

last night Anna got home with a handful of old papers. her sister found these pieces in an old leather bomber jacket I'd forgotten I owned at their mother's house.

--here, I think you might like these things.

--what things?

and so digging thru the piles of scrap were receipts for beer, pizza etc. etc., movie ticket stubs, college class schedules and check stubs for a non-profit I worked for all from 1994-95. it seems I don't throw any shit away.

I have the New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs in a little green book handed out by the Gideons when they were on campus one afternoon.

I have a movie stub for Schindler's List at 8:00 pm on Jan. 15 (admission seven bucks).

I have a Spring 1994 class schedule for Poetry Writing II, Masterpieces of Cinema, World Civilization 1600-present, Media History and Mass Media Law.

and so on. as I go thru this shit I realize that the circumstances of my life have changed, dramatically changed, these past 10 years, but my obsessions are just the same.

for example, among the movie tickets and receipts for beer and pizza are countless pieces of scrap paper with library numbers written on them. most of my college days were spent in the library on my own looking up everything I could find re: poetry. I loved it, padding among the stacks, pulling this and that book off the shelf, making discoveries etc. etc.

here is one such scrap: Villon PQ 1590 E5 K5; Keats Complete Poetry and Letters PR 4890 E99.

here is another for a panel I must've wanted to see: Poetry Panel Discussion 11:30-1:00, E&C5 1015.

what a time warp. and what a lot of scrunched up paper.

going thru these items from my past when I was one Richard Lopez who was, and still is, discovering the life of a writer to the Richard Lopez who is typing these words, recalls this little text from Edmond Jabes.

Open my name
Open the book.
(translated by Rosmarie Waldrop)

but in this case the opening is among the scraps of paper that was my life.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

in defense of poetry/blogging (again)

I'm taking a quick lunch break while Nicholas naps, and in-between household chores, I fire up the desktop and click thru a few fave blogs. it seems that Poetry magazine has published an essay by Peter Campion that trashes poet-bloggers. now, I've not read the essay, and I know nothing about Campion (only that he has one cool name) but I've read two defenses of the poet-bloggers. one by Matthew Thorburn as a letter to the editor here and a brilliant defense by Seth Abramson here. in fact, both poet-bloggers write eloquent defenses of what is a new medium.

but communications between poets is nothing new. writers have always used whatever medium at their disposal to communicate with our brothers/sisters in the art. what I dig about the Internet is that it breaks down the barriers of time and space so that I can communicate almost instantaneously with poets on the other side of the globe. that is a good thing. it is so obviously a good thing that perhaps it need not be pointed out.

and but so poetry has always needed defending, it would seem. I think of the French poet Rene Char whose texts were evidence to the necessity of poetry. and so it is with blogging too. it is not the technology perhaps but writers need every resource they can get in their solitary tasks of living/reading/writing.

so who cares what Campion thinks. may he get tenure wherever he may be. I can think of nothing worse. for those that writing/reading matters the most shall continue in their solitary labors and use the mails, emails, blogs and listservs (and what else might be thought up) for I do believe poets are all brothers/sisters no matter what age or generation we are from. it may not be a happy family but it is a family just the same. Catullus is my bro as is Sappho is my sis as you are too. so there.

I've got to get back to my chores. Nicholas will be up very soon and will want second lunch. I leave you with one of the best defenses of poetry I've read in some time by UK poet Martin Stannard on his blog here.

peace and poetry.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

right now watching the final 3rd of Kubrick's masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey on tv. remarkable how Kubrick et al. were so prescient re: technology in the film. for example, I am watching the film on tv with my laptop literally on my lap and I'm struck by how the characters of the movie are watching their news while eating dinner with very similarly styled devices. or how Dr. Heywood Floyd phones his daughter from the space station with a phone card. or how Floyd watches a movie on the monitor fastened on the seat in front of him on his flight to the space station, like on most international flights.

that is no small potatoes too. since most of the costumes look so bloody mod that it reveals the times Kubrick created the movie. also, kudos must be given for the ambient soundscapes that punctuate the themes of the film. funny, but when I was a pup I couldn't get past the first 20 minutes of the movie when it was broadcast on tv. the pacing, and the soundscapes put me to sleep. these are qualities that I now adore. Kubrick was a genius, and this movie was one of his best.

unlike the movie I watched yesterday. okay, I'll admit that I'm a fan of Logan's Run. I saw it --where else? -- at the drive-in in 1976, when I was a pup. it is a fast-paced no-brainer thrill ride right off the bat. Michael York and Jenny Agutter over-emote their way to life past the mandatory cut-off birthday of age 30. when you hit that number it means you either die by a state-sponsored freakshow, or run and hope the Sandmen (get it?) , don't put you to the big sleep. anyway, I like York and Agutter, the latter in one of my favorite horror movies, John Landis's An American Werewolf in London, but the real star of the movie is the splendid Richard Jordan as York's bestest buddy-cum-antagonist. a terrific actor who barely maintained a modicum of dignity for this silly outing.

what is strange about this movie is that it was released a year before Star Wars, and I think won the f/x Oscar for 1976. yet, the movie is pure cheese in the looks dept. in fact, the film is shot in what appears to be any US shopping mall. and a super cheap one at that. at any rate, for a bit of art the producers, or writer, or director, or somebody had Peter Ustinov (playing a lost old man outside the City living in the ruins of Washington, D.C.) spouting the cat poems of T.S. Eliot to the young, impressionable York and Agutter. perhaps, somebody putting the film together thought the T.S. stands for Terribly Sexy. I'm sure if Eliot had seen this film he would demur and say the T.S. stands for Terribly Sick.

holy shit! guess what's the next movie. yep, that's right Logan's Run. must be in the air, or water, or something.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I broke down. I couldn't help it. it was my brother's fault, since he insisted that I would love it. so I did it, and no, I don't love it. for George Lucas's movie Revenge of the Sith was quite spectacular, but the acting, and yes, the story itself, was so contrived and wooden that gifted actors like Natalie Portman and Ewan MacGregor couldn't save it from bombast.

oh and watching Yoda kicking the ass of Palpatine was so downright funny, not exciting, that my brother had to lean over and poke me in the ribs to get me to shut up. yes, I am a witness upon the birth of Lord Vader, but the lines spoken by the Dark Lord were godawfull, and when I watched Vader rise in all his black armored glory, speaking in James Earl Jones's deep voice, and shuffling like Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster, I couldn't breathe was I laughing so hard.

so the movie is tripe. but goodlooking tripe. imagine that. like a lot of US movies of late, they are expensive, they are pretty to see, and full of explosions and bodies, but really about very little else. a shame. should I have expected something more?

well, for the moolah forked over, at least make the theater-going experience better. in my city it costs $9.50 for an adult to see a movie. I don't know what it costs in SF or NYC or LA. whatever, the price of admission for two is more expensive than buying a new or used dvd. shit. I mean, if the theater chains are going to jack the price up then at least add some cartoons and a second feature, and not 20 minutes worth of trailers only.

I have a tummy ache, and not just from the 15 bucks I spent on candy either.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

after reading a little, just finished Freakonomics borrowed from my mother-in-law, which I heartily recommend for its authors ability to capture "sense" from "sensational," I surf the web a bit looking for drive-in intermission shorts on dvd. no such freaking luck. there are few and far between mini-collections of these commercials, which had their heyday in the culture of the automobile ca. 1950s-1970s, on disc but none that are only these shorts. fucking bummer.

okay, sure it is a form of nostalgia for these things, but what the hell, since I'm not the only one who suffers so. take for instance this marvelous collection of clips I found tonight. these videos alleviate a bit of the frustration I feel for not finding one disc of drive-in goodies. and why should I feel frustrated? um, because it is summer, feels like summer, and for me that means a night spent under the stars choking down chips and popcorn, washed with beer and breathing in the noxious fumes of exhaust from piece-of-shit vehicles, and to top it off by barely being able to hear the soundtrack of the film from the crackle of the speakers. ah, summer!

it ain't like that no more. so I must look for discs that have just a smidgen of drive-in flavor. and there are those just barely. but come on! surely someone could transfer all those old 33mm and 16mm shorts I know people collect to digital.

well, what to do. indeed.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

all right, so I've been bumming about last week, because I am now a year older than I was the week before. usually b-days don't depress me at all, usually feel pretty lucky in that I'm alive. hopefully that doesn't sound terribly naive since for the most part I do feel lucky that I breathe, think and can use language, at some degree at least.

that maybe my sense of humor, crude if defined by Anna (for example, watched sections of Army of Darkness on the SciFi Channel yesterday and was rolling in hysterics while Anna shook her head and thought maybe that kind of humor is found only on the Y chromosome, like digging The Three Stooges or something [she's probably right]), had permanently left me. so that when Anna showed the photo of me and Nicholas wearing striped shirts (an accident I assure you, not done on purpose but by happenchance, mind you, since both articles of clothing, my t-shirt and Nicholas's onepiece, were the first things in reach that morning, really, honestly) to friends and co-workers she said, my husband is the one not wearing a diaper. a classic line! I shoulda thought of it myself.

but then so the weather, rainy and miserable last week, brightened and hotted up. like summer should be. and I've been laughing at the stupidest shit imaginable. so that has come back, at least. and today I saw my first fireworks stand in the parking lot of a shopping mall, which nearly always puts me in a good mood. so there.

oh, and I've been looking at the photos on Tom Raworth's site lately. what I dig about Raworth's site is that he proves the lie that being a topnotch poet means ignoring yr family. it is obvious from the pictures of his family that he very much loves them. and loves being with them. the only complaint I have is that I wish the poet would captioned all his photos so I know who the people are in them. I really like looking at the photos of fellow writers, artists and musicians, such as this one of the brilliant, devilishly handsome, poet Duncan McNaughton. now if they were all captioned like McNaughton I'd not be guessing all the time who is who. but I dig Raworth's photos just the same.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

hanging with mr frog frog Posted by Hello

me and my boy! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dear Tom:

names are openings in the present
and the past
that i don't know what name i'd choose
if i had the chance to

i am attracted to names fancy and not
that influences my reading
for we are what we are called
but we have our private names too

that i recall a gary larson cartoon
whereby the reader learns
the real names of dogs
for example, napoleon the cat-killer

rather than rufus the hound
given by his owners
and who owns names anyway
i'm only borrowing lopez for now

and so let us live into language
and when it is time die into it too
from senor pez to m bucket
lots of love

yr friend in this life and art,


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Letter, #3

Dear Tom:

if a rose still smells as sweet by another name

but why indeed would a parent use a child as a punchline
since i agree that names are leaky things

signifiers of what? because they are malleable and inert
Anna kept her maiden name too

when we married in 1996 and I was supportive
so that our child has now both our names

and i've considered using her name as well
why the hell not

men have been insisting on their names forever
but i am stuck with my name as it is

for now
it has given me good use

it is a good fit
i think and again what the hell

hugs in cyberspace,


Monday, June 06, 2005

Letter, #2

Dear Tom:

when a pup of around 20 or 21
i discovered the poems of Paul Celan
translated by Michael Hamburger
later to discover Celan is an anagram
for Ancel which was a further abbreviation of the poet's name

and there i realized the poverty of names

a few are happy with what they got
but not for me and my common name

so i experimented with anagrams too

only to know that i can love my poverty

and i'm sure if the poet liked Pez
then he would've like to have been
something humble or cool like Spiderman



Sunday, June 05, 2005

Letter, #1
for Tom Beckett

Dear Tom:

yes, i know my name
sounds like the candy got from plastic toy containers
in the shape of funky, goofy heads

so that my father
when teasing me as a kid
would say, ah, yr name is venerable

from the old country, means Lo Peasant



Friday, June 03, 2005

Poetics of Summer

life is too

to be
in such a hurry

portrait of the artist as a middle-aged dog Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

tonight while feeding Nicholas and flipping channels I stumble upon a reality show called Meet the Barkers on MTV and I wonder who the fuck are these people? I've seen bits of the show before but usually just flip on past to something that approximates interesting. so I check here and find out that the tattooed goon husband half of the pair is the drummer for the pop/punk band Blink 182 (almost wrote bling but that counts too).

so it comes to that that a reality show can be built around anything, and anybody, for this married pair have not even the sliver of charisma or talent that makes the show worth watching. they do not possess a fraction of an ounce of likability. at all.

so why get so exercised by another reality show. why to submit a proposal. how about a reality show that features a poet and his/her family life. consider the possibilities.

for example:

watch the poet sit for hrs at a time reading from a book or a computer screen.

watch the poet get up from his/her couch/chair/bed to feed the baby, and return to his/her book or computer screen.

watch the spouse/partner of the poet read or flip tv channels as the poet reads/writes most nights of the week.

watch the poet talk nonstop, sometimes brilliant and fascinating, most times just gibbering away.

watch the poet daydream, some days all day.

watch the poet play with his/her baby.

watch the poet clean the house, then go back to his/her book or computer screen.

don't watch the poet at work, the kind that pays the bills and keeps the poet in the three Bs (beer, burritos and books), because whatever he/she does to pay the bills is the least interesting part of the poet life.

watch the poet drink beer/wine/coffee/sodas almost daily.

watch the poet read the prose of travel writers, then stare off in the distance like he/she can really see India/China/Japan/Iceland over yr shoulder and out the window.

watch the poet comfort his/her crying child.

watch the poet remain in love with his/her spouse/partner.

watch the poet cook dinner.

watch the poet overeat the food his/her spouse/partner cooked.

watch the poet shop for books, journals, cds and dvds (and sometimes, with reluctance, clothes).

watch the poet think about getting a Vespa, but not a motorcycle.

anyway, a reality show about a poet and his/her daily/family life is endless. perhaps, even endlessly boring. who knows, but not half as bad as the crap on tv now.

two really good chaps Posted by Hello

from the notebook Posted by Hello

act natural. there's a giant screen behind you.  Posted by Hello

hey man, you got a light? Posted by Hello