What is the relationship between retire and tire?

For and between also interest me.

If I am between Irish nationalism and cosmopolitanism what am I for?

or (as the small stirs indicate almost to the point of a dead horse)

If I am between

language as multivocal, flux filled, slidding, anxiety ridden


language as steady, horn in the hand, ding ding ding, lightbulb

what I am for?

If I am unsure what I am for then

can I be sure what I am against?

What if what I am against is also

what I am for?

I am between, against, and for at all times and at all places.

Never hot, cold, or lukewarm. All three at once.


It is time to retire for the evening with my stuffy head so you sleep medicine.

Paz is on my brain. Paz can stay on my brain.

Swimming underwater today with head cold.

I’ve been thinking a lot about period styles (conversational narrative etc.)

Sebastian Matthews came last week and read some poems and part of the memoir. Did not enjoy it. William Matthews is ok, but not very interesting. I am not sure why (other than recognition, status as son of etc.) a memoir that restates all the old conventions of artist as fucked up, unconventional etc. So what? maybe I’m not being fair since I didn’t read the whole memoir, but the parts Sebastian read were boring as hell.

So do we ignore the worry of being swept up by a period style and just write from gut. instinct. diverse readings across time and space etc. ?

Again cross pollination as impure versus cross pollination as possibility. Take a little Paz mix it with a little Simic, Lorca, O’ Hara, Kinnell, memory, your experience of and with language, and what do you get? Something new?

Does novelty carry a negative (i.e. fad)? I’m constantly searching for new experiences (of language, of music) does that make me blow with the wind and thus inauthentic, ungrounded? I’m bored easily, but many poets from previous centuries interest and astound me. Novelty. New. fad. period style.

The worry of period style is the worry of authenticity or the worry of immortality. Can only the authentic be immortal?

Alright, I am throwing things around very loosely and my philosophy background is screaming at me: define your terms.

Art and life do not divide in any way for me. I am searching, always searching and that searching for authenticity exists in my attempts at life and my attempts at art.

Being a tad sick makes me contemplate my mortality.

I will only write out of neccessity (as the cliche goes).

Time for a wrap (no cheese).

I am looking at:

a nice color plate of Dali’s Night and Day Clothes

and listening to:

Bonnie Prince Billy’s “wolf among wolves.”

The combination is moving me.

juxtapositions that buzz.

Snow on the ground. Cold fingers. I don’t have to teach today because of the ice. Cuddle up to Dali, Bonnie prince billy, an issue of Lit (Spring ’01 with Richard Siken), and Word open and ready to revise.

Worked with Dan Albergotti last night on revising some poems for Story South. He has an amazing eye. And I mean amazing. Good poet as well.

here we go here we go here we gooo o (my football chant).

Isolation makes me happy. No cars on the street. So peaceful.

Summer depresses me. Everything so open. I can hide easier in winter.

Gotta read Yeats “The Twisting of the Rope” and prepare a lesson plan for it. A little Celtic Twilight lecture perhaps.

Listening to Czech music. Jaromir Hohavica and Kapela.

I am wondering about poetry and performance after listening to Craig Arnold the other day. I like poetry read well, or well read poetry, but sometimes the over dramatic puts me off. I don’t like things too quiet though. Maybe it all depends on the poet and their poetry. Maybe some poetry is better for performance while other poetry is meant to be savored. Rich, dense poetry for example. John Latta’s reading allowed me to pay attention to the rich language. If he “acted” it, I think a lot would have been lost.

Ah, this czech music isn’t very good. I’m switching to Flaming Lips.

I suppose performance needs to be defined. Is a silent reading to oneself a performance? In other words is all reading a performance even if silent? (the voice in our heads is a performance).

Somehow we need to distinguish between reading and performing poetry. If reading is always performing then we have no way to distinguish between performance art and a nice little academic poetry reading. And there is a difference. If performance is no longer applicable then lets invent another term.

It’s about semantics. The Semantic island lacks a king. Or maybe there’s always a silent king. So, we have to vocalize the semantic king. Bring him to light. (is the semantic king always male?)

Time for Yeats (and I think he acts his poetry. The lake isle and all).


The Boy with the Arab Strap

Sleep the clock around kicks in the joy. A cup of coffee. re-reading Palmer’s At Passages. He is so amazing.

Going to hear Craig Arnold read at 2pm today. Haven’t read any of his poems before. He’s one of those Yale winners.

Daddy long legs. Useless jaws. Sometimes I wonder when the poor buggers jaws will start working (via evolution). I don’t want to be the first one to get the bite though.

Ate meat (red) for the first time in a while at the bar last night. I’ve been worrying the swiss cheese brain via mad cow for a while. But it could take 6 years (or 10 or 15 everyone has different info) for it to manifest.

I love Morning Star Farms though. The bacon isn’t so good. But the sausage and all the burgers. Yum.

Working on an opening poem for a second manuscript. making it a tad long. Palmer and Grossman are having a way with me.

Boy with the arab strap is working for me this morning.

Been thinking of ways I don’t want to go:

1) Foaming at the mouth

2) With a priest hovering over me

3)Tubes and a breathing machine

4) Unaware (i.e. out of my mind)

5) gun shot to head

6) hanging

7) gutting

8) electric jolts

9) Decap (via accident or otherwise)

10) clamps to the head

11) black and decker drill to the knees then temples

Cold hands in this room. My study room is always cold. No heating vents. Gotta get me some holy gloves.

So the mac version of blogger is different. Not a split window. Maybe nicer.

Watched Lost in Translation last night. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The inaudible whisper near the end. Most of the movie uses gestures more than conversation. Emotion is lost in translation from movie to audience.

Which came first, the emotion/experience or the language?

Experience births language, then language births experience, then experience births language etc. (or no then. It’s all happening at once)

Language used to create reality versus language used to describe reality.

The encounter with nothingness. Is it over yet?

It’s only begun.

Neck Popping feels good in the morning after a night of gorging on brick oven pizza, Guinness, Genache, coffee.

Watched In America last night. Felt quite familiar. I came to America at the age of 12 from N. Ireland. It was 1985. Breakdancing was big.

My preconception of America was built around movies (of course). Esp. E.T. There’s a scene where they eat Pizza Hut pizza. I wanted Pizza Hut.

Instead we landed in Las Vegas in July and headed to a K-Mart for our first American hamburger. My Dad purchased plastic cowboy boots for the whole family. He laid insulation.

Then mormondom, strange underwear, and disowning of my accent.

What is an accent? Assimilation, melting pot. The ideology of a melting pot. Not sure what I think yet. My first instinct is against it. The idea of homogeneous etc.

Difference etc.

But then Irish, Italian, Ukrainian neighborhoods? Separate communities to maintain the integrity of a culture? I admit, I often wish we landed in NY or Boston instead of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is the ultimate big pot of commodified cultures.

Is culture always a commodity?

Lots of lights in Las Vegas.

It’s called The Strip!

Strip indeed.

Moses and the wine part two.

Or Jesus, the camel, and the death of fatherhood.

If wavering is to stray then the narrow road requires flexible horses

to get through the eye of the needle.

If home is an interior then not home is . . .

What a strange, profound, bewildering wilderness

We invented off-hand wavering to wake up in an orchard of fermented fruit.

Abstractness in poetry an end in itself? Abstract grounded is the “common” Williams wisdom. What makes a good abstract poem (Barbara Guest) versus bad abstract poem (teenage angst poem)?

All my wonder and awe nailed down in a narrative easy going poem is dishonest.

All my awe and wonder exploded into abstract tidbits sometimes feels dishonest.

So, the tidbits of narrative or dramatic situation help me to dig further intellectually and emotionally. Or emotionally intellectually. Emotion and intellect at war since the wee Greeks invented reasoning etc.

Here comes the sun.

Gotta get ready to teach George Moore’s “Homesickness.”

I am almost always homesick.