Monday, March 31, 2014

the weekend

finally the spirits lift and the world is good again.  if that ain't a bit melodramatic but to hell with it.  i kinda gave in and accepted my state which allows for a kind of forgiveness for being a human being.  at any rate, the weekend was wonderful.  not much doing.  but below are a few cribbed highlights.

--spending friday night with some writer friends at the local beer watering hole, pangea.

--the last genet: a writer in revolt by hadrien larouche [arsenal pulp press; 2010].  a study of jean genet's political activities and writing from the late 1960s to the end of the writer's life.  genet was an early love of mine particularly his novels like the thief's journal.  this book by larouche is i think the only study of its kind.  it reads like a political history married to a travel narrative while having an affair with a biography.

--the hall of uselessness: collected essays by simon leys [new york review book classics; 2013].  i don't know leys work but had pulled this book off the shelf last month at the local BARNES AND NOBLE and read a short essay on leys' desire to create an anthology of the history of tobacco and tobacco use after considering the critic richard klein's book cigarettes are sublime.  i loved the clear lucid cadences of leys' sentences.  the book lodged itself in my thoughts so i returned to the bookstore saturday night and bought it. 

--the season finale of the walking dead.  this series in its weaker moments plays like a soap opera.  but in its sublime moments this tv show is some of the most audacious and daring storytelling in current broadcast.  the season finale was a real nail-biter and heart-pounder.  it had a few moments of mawkishness between characters.  the writing, particularly the dialogue, was a bit flat in spots.  the set pieces and the foreshadowing of later events were spectacular.  the producers and writers have challenged their audiences by traveling in to some very dark terrain.  this series is now very strong tea.

--hanging with nick and anna, especially as we did some chores and shopping.  the weather turned rainy with patches of sun breaking thru the grey clouds.  very very lovely weather that can make even the grumpiest of us burst into song and laughter.  anna and nick was the life blood pumping thru and preventing the hardening of this old heart.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

goofy foot

would it be a poem that swifts on its left feet to stand before or beside the fucked up day or week or month or year as if one could countenance the *issues* as they are called and if you lead with your left would that make you ambidextrous in the effort for you recall the first time on a skateboard a logan earthski and when tried to lead with your right you titled off balance and discovered your weakest side confounds then leads your stronger ability to push off down the street hewn to the asphalt gravel and dirt of the 'burbs

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


bring me to the age of pyrite

the slog the open pit of boredom

what if boredom is in my chest

what if i see that what is boring me is me

i have asked for the age of pyrite

the fake the anti-wonderful the mean

i ask for an age worthy of our times

of newsfeeds of tweets of combustible


if boredom wears a body

bring me its head so i may

show it my very pure love

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


i've stumbled i've fallen into

such spirits of the age my age

crafted by knife edge and cedar

the emptiness of the mirror

is a testament to my idiocy

i say lust for life and carpefuckingdiem

bring your sad drugs art of poetry

so i may compose the melancholy poems

of jason kleander


i received in yesterday's post tom beckett's newest book Dipstick(Diptych) [marsh hawk press; 2014].  let me tell you how lovely it is in our digital culture to receive a physical package by post!  a made thing, the real thing, wrapped up and taped with handwritten names and addresses.  i tore open the parcel and opened the book at a random page and started reading.

beckett's book is divided into two sections, each a long poem, 'overpainted thresholds' and 'I forgot'.  the author explains that most of the contents of the poems were published on his blog l'amour fou.  i'm all for digital publishing but it is better to have these texts between the covers of a book.  these texts are tombeckettian at their finest.  they are acute metaphysical constructs of our quotidian world as contemplated by a clown with a massively sized IQ.

by clown i mean an artist of the first rank who works from failure only to succeed thru that time-honored art of having a pie thrown at his face.  the poet's frenetic yet lucid texts move into territories of strangeness and utter delight.

i'll not stretch the clown/circus metaphor but i think you get my drift.  these pieces are written out of a fear and despair that manages to stay sane.  humor is a stabilizing device.  for without the ability to laugh we are fucked.

take these pieces from the second poem, 'I forgot', as examples of poetry of the first rank.

           Once I forgot to give a shit about something I should have given a shit about.
           Actually, that happens quite often.

* * *

          One morning, halfway to work, the unbidden question: Had I closed the garage
          door?  Turned around, headed back home.  Passed my house.  Forgot to see
          if I'd closed the garage door.  Had to go back again.

you might recognize yourself in these texts.  that's what art of the first intensity will do, allow us to refresh and see the world anew with that you you in it.

this is a wonderful book.  i had to put it down last night [i started reading it standing in the kitchen] because of an appointment i had right after work.  i read the book in its entirety today.  at work.  i had to stifle my laughter as my coworkers might've thought that i'd gone loony laughing to myself, again.  i'd been feeling a bit blue lately but reading these poems by tom beckett i regained my happiness. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

me, japanese

once upon a time there was the shell of a fighter jet on the schoolyard at recess i climbed aboard and headed toward the cockpit another kid said hey, you american and i replied huh the kid said you can play on this only if you are an american confused i went home and asked my parents if i'm american

my favorite portion of joyce's novel a portrait of the artist as a young man is at the beginning when stephen telescopes the universe up into the cosmos and down to his country and his town because he is a creature of the universe

it is st. patrick's day when my ancestors celebrated by drinking tequila whiskies cum guinness stout and mead as all mexican viking berserkers from the west of ireland are wont to do

below is a teaser trailer for a documentary i found in the making about jose kozer the title of the documentary is the title of this little piece kozer tired of explaining his identity now says me, japanese

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

cat talk

ollie chasing noah across the kitchen floor loses his pitch and slams into the wall / he looks up to see if anyone was watching / and with a oh shit! look on his mug says, fucking meow man, fucking meow 

Monday, March 10, 2014

sprung forward

i will regain my happiness in the fall when we set our clocks back and we regain that hour we lost sunday morning when we observed the start of daylight savings time i've been groggy like a bear roused from a deep sleep deep in the bowels of his cave 

the morning was a good wet pour but by early afternoon the clouds evaporated and there was sunlight of a kind that rejuvenates the soul and recharges the mind

watched old episodes of cosmos hosted by carl sagan yesterday in preparation for the premier of the new cosmos hosted by astrophysicist neil degrasse tyson once in a while there is a program that can broaden the mind broadcast on network TV

while doing chores saturday i also thumbed thru an issue of the lit journal court green with its dossier on frank o'hara and i hazard to say we need so badly more poets like him so deeply in love with life

in discussing the stupidity and horrors of the 20th century with my father he said i reminded him of that character in the film spartacus [1960] not the slave spartacus but the trainer of the gladiator school who was summoned in the midst of the revolt to the roman general who was tasked to crush the rebellion and told to point out the leader of the slave revolt because the general did not know what spartacus looked like the trainer told the general that he can't he doesn't believe in war that he is a pacifist that he is a civilian the general said so what the trainer said you don't understand i'm even more civilian than a civilian

my father's observance of me reminds me of a poem i could never finish about daffy duck drafted into WWII daffy is a patriot until he receives a phone call that the little man from the draft board will be at daffy's house shortly to serve mr duck's induction papers daffy duck freezes in terror stops singing 'the halls of montezuma' and is chased all the way to hell to get away from the little man from the draft board

Friday, March 07, 2014

i've been reading and hearing about the internet of things and how objects such as my fridge will talk to my mobile phone and tell me when i need cheese or i am low on beer.  i have no doubt that the internet of things will soon be here.  i look forward to some of it such as smart cars talking to each other that will prevent collisions and such.  i really look forward to self-driving cars because i am not fond of driving and i trust computers more than i trust the reaction times of human drivers.  in fact, tonight some dude in a van cut me off as i walked into a crosswalk on a green light.  i don't know if the guy saw me or not.  i had the right of way and he jammed thru the intersection at warp speed.  a smart car would have already sensed my being in the crosswalk and would take evasive maneuvers and reduced its speed.  people tend to over-estimate their abilities and senses so that they are always the safest drivers and can multitask like changing lanes and texting too. 

do i want my fridge to talk to me and all my other devices too?  we have entered new territory here, folks.  twenty years or so ago i read, i can't remember in what publication, a futurist who said we will be reading books and magazines on electronic devices that can stream video and music.  i showed the article to my poetry professor and asked him what he thought.  he said, this sounds like science fiction.  it is not science fiction but now a fact of life.  iPads, smart phones and tablet computers are changing publishing today. 

this new old world.  it is astonishing.  nick will never no an analog world.  he won't know the chore of having to change an old Black&White TV with a pair of pliers because the knob broke off.  he won't know the charm of a scratched LP.  he won't know the chirr of a movie projector.  not that i am lamenting a lost world.  i think the new world is pretty damn cool and exciting.  i look forward to a driverless car.  when i get one i'll take more journeys to the bay area since the car will deal with the horrendous bay area traffic rather than me white-knuckling it in the congested traffic.  i'll be sitting cool and pretty in all that mess reading a book, a real book printed on paper with a binding, as my car gets all jetsons-like and finds me the nearest and most convenient parking space in san francisco.  i won't even break a sweat. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

tweets to vincent van gogh

yes i think the inverted world looked a lot like a starry night

* * *

i had a busy day and fell asleep over my laptop the space between the 19th C and the 21st C was a single breath

* * *

i did too shave my head like a monk

* * *

i wrote this out in longhand in pixels in the aether

Monday, March 03, 2014

i'm not a big fan of book trailers but the following caught my eye last weekend as i was searching for more poems by late brazilian poet paulo leminksi.  there are a crapload of excellent videos by and about leminski on youtube.  i don't know portuguese but i think one can learn much by listening to poems in languages that one doesn't know.  at any rate, the following trailer was created by fellow brazilian poet arnaldo antunes.  i love how leminski's eyeglasses and moustaches are icons of the poet.  see for yourself.


i richardlopez enter the international republic of poetry

on a few feet of Super8mm film

shot at 24 frames per second

lighted by a blowtorch sun