Thursday, February 26, 2009

Revolution never come ...

not with a warning or otherwise ...
so here we all sit with excerpts from others' writings, and you tube clips, and songs sung by others ... we put it in this space as opposed to that, as though this is a space better though the space is the same, and what we accomplish is ...
not because we are old
or older than the ones who grew up with all this as second nature
but because no one ever got anywhere sitting on their ass
and sitting on our asses is what we do best as americans
nothing else much matters since in the end
we are
most of us irrelevant, redundant and oxymoronic
so enjoy the song, or hate it -- either way
then let's do something that matters
whatever that is
cause no one ever told me what matters
and i never got it figured out.

"Revolution never come with a warning
Revolution never sends you an omen
Revolution just arrives like the morning
ring the alarm and come to wake up the morning.
They tellin you to never worry bout the future
they tellin you to never worry bout the torture
they telling you that you will never see the torture
Spend it all today and we'll bill you tomorrow
Three piece suits and bank accounts in the Bahamas
wall street crime will never send you to the slammer
Tell all the children in the arms of the mamas
the F15 is a homicide bomber
TV commercial for a pop a pill culture
Drug companies crowding like a vulture
Iraqi babies with a GI Joe father
Ten years from now is anyone gonna bother

Revolution never come with a warning
revolution never sends yoiu an omen
Revolution never comes witih a warning

Everyone addicted to the same noicotine
Everyone addicted to the same gasoline
Everyone addicted to a technicaolor screen
Everyone trying to get their hands on the same green thing

Love the one old guy with his sign (paraphrased) "I can't believe I's still protesting the same old shit."

Amazing .. whatever happened to Darwin?

Friday, February 13, 2009

tired old and boring

i need to change this picture
enough of stinson beach -- boring
but then what?
as though it matters --
it doesn't.
i need to find something to write about.
i need to quit writing.
i need to connect but
to what
and why?
i need --
but what
and why --
or is it want only?
we all want much while
needing little.
egocentric self
kitty litter is absorbent
with purpose
no purpose to seslf absorbed self
nothing to be gained
nothing one can offer
from the place of
self absorbed.
why is it not purely simple
accepting i have
nothing to say
to offer
no insight,
no wisdom to quit taking
for my nothing?
is it so that you
and all the rest have more than nothing,
something to offer, you know, to say,
reasons to take space
or is it my ignorance
telling me so?
what do any of us know?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Feeling no more a movement
forward back lateral down
only no progress
but stillness
where the wind don't blow
none to hear even if speech could form
We will find us, maybe you, but not alone to stay.
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Testy creatures may suspect all
who glide above, defacing the languor
til once allayed we can build such deserts as never before.
Every poet commits infection
self-willed and despising
presaging the rhetoric
only to then tease adore awake if there be another.
The fore-bemoaned lack of candor comes full circle
and up to date
another love forced for the captain
his coward's legacy bends like such weeds
in a sandy blown desert when one big rain
flows, eroding dry etched ripples with cool liquid sheets.
A faint eloquent comfort vexed
then nourished doubting beauty like nothing else could.
Flapping jaws hide the loftiest fears
making no sound but blubbering
yet even
still grace influences the decline of heaven.
The night is blunt and direct as always
dissuading only the ills but never the tombs
carved in the mountains below.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

post ike it's spring again

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went to galveston again last week ... it' not any better. Maybe i should post some of the photos... maybe not. In more better news we no longer have a blue tarp ... the roof was finally fixed and we even had a little rain yesterday and so far as i can tell none of it came in the house. then again, it didn't rain very hard. Today bids for taking out sheetrock, and after that, maybe we can get a floor ... this is progress. And soon, hopefully, we can get beds built to put in a real garden rather than the strips along the driveway panted with peas and greens and turnips and radishes etc... and the first daffodil is up and yellow all by its lonesome, one of the peaches bloomed and fruited right through the freezes and the others are budding. Maybe i'll even find time to read a book, to write, to think about something -- anything -- other than work.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

and now what? why?

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Many years I've thought about teaching. I could go through the alternate certification program -- b/c I have a doctorate but not a masters and while the local district says they want experienced professionals from other fields to consider teaching, they still need to make their money by funneling the folks through the system. Can't test out of anything but gotta take all the classes. So okay ... but you can't work and get your certification. There's no procedure to help you decide what grade level or area area of certification you're interested in, or maybe you want to be a generalist. No way to audit or otherwise determine what level you might want to teach but since your certification is geared to specific grade levels, you just gotta close your eyes, pick a level and hope you don't get to the end and find out you screwed up big time. And did I mention you have to do the alt cert program full time and can't work even as you stumble along without any way to know if you're doing the right thing, if teaching is for you or at what level? My child -- who probably knows me as well as anyone when it comes to my suitability to teach -- thinks 3rd grade is my level with 5th the highest, since after that we're into middle school. We are inner city and she's gone to tough schools -- always segregated in a separate program for gifted and talented (aka Vanguard) and her HS is one of the top 50 public HS in the country -- so her experience one would think is a little more positive. According to her, my emotional stability is insufficient to manage much more than 5th grade b/c (she says) after that 1) they carry weapons to school; 2) they come to school loaded, etc.; and 3) they don't care. The teachers making the biggest impact on her were 3rd and 5th -- therefore I should teach 3rd or 5th b/c (she says) I can still make a differecne. For me the teachers that had the biggest impact were HS so therefore, I think HS is it -- maybe I can somehow help 1-2kids every once in a while in HS? Might teaching be fulfilling or would it be more a matter of following someone else's once-size-fits-all rules with no room to deal with the individual, and then be frustrated at the resulting impotence?
And besides not knowing if I would be any good, or what level to teach, or what area to become certified in, and having to quit a steady job with steady pay and benefits, and be totally worthless for the year I'm in school hoping I'm doing the right thing ... if I get out and get a job (there is no promise of any job anywhere after you shell out your money and quit your job) then there is the pay cut, about 33%. So what if I do it all wrong? I may be the most terrible teacher in the world - I'd like to think I would be good but probably I'd be very mediocre at best and end up with nothing to offer. To have cut my family's income to boot just b/c I'm too lazy to do what I'm doing now ... how selfish is that? Don't answer - it's a rhetorical question. I could try to justsify by saying changing careers now, after 20years, would give me some time of my own, some ability to have weekends and evenings free to garden, shoot photos, be with my family, etc. -- but maybe that is not that great a deal for them either. Perhaps in the end it's better to do what I do, bring home the pay, and just count off the next 15 or so years 'til I've put in enough time. Today I taught my Saturday professionalism class and then we goofed off, went to the nursey and bought some plants, all well and good and stuff we've not been able to do together in a very long time, but if all my weekends were free -- at least freere than now which is virtually never -- would they want me around that much? Am I a bitch because I work 60-80 hours a week or am I just a bitch at heart? If the latter, it seems preferable that I continue to work insane hours and have less family time and maybe no one will figure out that I really am just a bitch at heart. And it's not just the work hours... what I do for a living doesn't matter; it's frivolous and irrelevant and I'd like to think I can do something that matters. If I taught could I make a difference? I don't know -- how can you know before you get some experience? It's probably not a right reason for anything; it's only self-centered and egotistical, and doesn't fit well with the notion of trying to do something for someone else.
I wish there was an easy answer, that I knew what to do ... that I could know what was right, if I had the ability to teach, if it would improve the quality of my life, of my family's life.
And after 20 years doing what I do, I feel like I need to figure this out soon so I have enough time to work and earn a doable retirement before I'm just too damn old...because one thing I do know is that I don't want to work right into the grave.

Friday, February 6, 2009

death and pearls

Pearls are apparently de rigeur for funerals now.
Maybe always they were, but I never noticed.
So why was I noticing what peeople were wearing at the funeral?
Oh, yeah, because they were large and showy, and if we weren't in a church you'd a thought all these ladies were on the way to the opera.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

berry v silliman - form over substance

"In marriage as in poetry, the given word implies the acceptance of a form that is never entirely of one's own making. When understood seriously enough, a form is a way of accepting and of living within the limits of creaturely life. We live only one life, and die only one death. A marriage cannot include everybody, because the reach of responsibility is short. A poem cannot be about everything, for the reach of attention and insight is short.

"The names poetry and marriage are given only to certain things, ... Poetry is made of words; it is expected to keep a certain fidelity to everyday speech and a certain fidelity to music... Poetry of the traditional formed sort, for instance, does not propose that its difficulties should be solved by skipping or forcing a rhyme or by mutilating syntax or by writing prose. Marriage does not invite one to solve one's quarrel with one's wife by marrying a more compliant woman. Certain limits, in short, are prescribed—imposed before the beginning.
Wendell Berry, "Poetry and Marriage" in Standing by Words. North Point, 1983. 201.

Berry and Silliman are different writers -- and I am no writer of any proximity yet it seems counter intuitive to approach something called "poetry" -- any writing reallly -- with the rigidity WB suggests. Never could I could pass as a writer should I have to adhere to Berry's rules. Not that I'm especially good at following rules but still, this is writing. Perhaps the very purpose of poetry -- or some -- is to be unmusical and lacking in fidelity to everyday speech and all other traditional conventions, the better to make a point. And who cares if the point so made is lost on you, the reader, if it meets the need of the writer? Why does anyone write? Perhaps WB, making his living as a writer, is constrained to follow a prescribed format? I have enjoyed much of WB's writing -- essays, poetry, fiction and non ... and while my writing is of no real interest to anyone else, the fact is I don't write for money. I don't write for you. I write for me. True, a comment or acknowledgement is welcome, and I, with millions others, like to think I might get good enough to be published and read and enjoyed, I know I'm more likley to win the lotto ... without buying a ticket. I might put out here in this largely anonymous space something I write but you are not required to read it. One man declaring certain rules must be follow? Poem Nazi... rather disappointing, really.

I have no illusionins: I am not a poet or writer of any sort. I write what I want to write the way I want to write it for much the same reason you might get up in the morning and pour a bowl of cereal. It's really no one's business if you have cereal or pizza, curry or ice cream for breakfast - you eat because you're hungry or maybe just becasue you think you're supposed to eat when you get up in the morning. I don't eat breakfast, but does that really make me any different than you? Who can say that what another writes is written properly or that it qualifies to be called poem or prose, memoir or fiction? There are rules for haiku and for sonnets but if I write a sonnet that doesn't comply does that mean it's not a poem?

I think Silliman has the right idea:

"5. Language is, first of all, a political question."
I am generally not political so this is stike one against me as a writer.

"20. Perhaps poetry is an activity and not a form at all. Would this definition satisfy Duncan?"
I wouldn't even start to begin to know --just not smart enough. Strike two. But I think it's both and neither

"37. Poetry is a specific form of behavior."
I've always had trouble behaving as expected so perhaps this another reason I'm not even a pretend poet. Strike three.

"57. He's content just to have other writers think of him as a poet."
I guess it depends on why you write in the first place ... if you sit down at 9 am to write poetry and stop at 5, and claim that space as a home office for tax purposes, perhaps you qualify as a poet but what is the quality of the writing? I am not, have never been thought of, as a poet. If you too don't think of me as a poet that is one thing we can agree on.

"61. Poetry, a state of emotion or intellect."
Statement or query? I agree. What brings one to occupy such places from where comes the instinct to write? Do you know where it is, how to find it? Maybe hte 9 to 5 poet can Google it ... What prompts one to look for such a place or do you, like me, just find yourself there? Also now I see how my intellect lacks. I'm out.

"73. A social definition of a successful poet might be anyone who has a substantial proportion of his or her work generally available, so that an interested reader can, without knowing the writer, grasp, in broad terms at least, the scope of the whole."
Nothing to concern myself with-- this definition clearly marks me as not.

Ron Silliman, "The China Notebook," in The Age of Huts, University of California Press 2007

What's important ... walking the line

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K as a jew could not stay on the palace grounds in Prague but his sister loved this little house [the blue one] and they rented it on Golden Lane. Every day they would go together and he had a small upstairs room where he wrote; small dormer windows looking over the alley and ceilings low, shaped to the roof, requring me to stoop. The light in the evening of a January day is clear. K was an insurance lawyer who hated his job. Perhaps I should move to Prague and rent a room. Would that make me at least a writer of even the most base kind?
But I could never do this ...
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... so I guess i'll go to work again today.

Light up ya fire

speaks for itself...

"This one is nothing like Vietnam,
except for the bullets,
except for the bombs,
except for all the youth that's gone"

and history too... not the best version -- this is pretty mellow, but the best video

Is there a cure for this life? my life? yours? Do we think we can just dance on by and the band plays on?

Close your eyes ...

cause the video isn't really but the music really is ...

Fljotavik from Medsudieyrum vid spilum endalaust.

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houston, tx, United States

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