Tuesday snuck up on me this week, so here's . . .
If I have an idea for a poem, nothing will stop me. If I don’t have an idea for a poem, nothing will start me.
The poem’s purpose is often rhythmical, it is often the ear that determines it.
I’m, I suppose, a kind of secret semi-formalist, in the sense that I love the visual part of poems, I love how they look on the page, so very often I like to see the actual pattern on the page -- three lines per stanza, four lines, or whatever. The thing that bothers me about the idea of form is that people always talk about it as if it only had to do with counting syllables and rhyming at the end of the line.
-Dennis O’Driscoll, in coversation with Thomas Lynch
A random picture:
Election fonts: Here. and here:
The Norwegian Puffin Hound:
Due to their inaccessible nesting locations, the puffins are difficult to catch in any quantity. The Lundehund, however, was able to scrabble up cliffs and crawl into caves, hauling out the puffins for their owners.
The Lundehund is a polydactyl canine. The Lundehund has six toes rather than four. The extra toes are not vestigial, but fully formed, jointed and muscled. The Lundehund uses the extra toes to gain traction on steep, slippery cliff ledges and for gripping as it hauls itself along in positions where only the sides of its legs are touching the rock, a fairly common occurrence while maneuvering through crevices and narrow caves when puffins roost.
The Lundehund is extraordinarily flexible with unusual joint mobility. Its forelegs can bend outwards far enough for the dog to lay flat on its chest, with the legs in an approximation of the human arm position. The neck and spine are flexible enough for the dog to lay its head back along its own spine.
The last of the Lundehund's adaptions is its ear structure. Normally held upright and pricked, the Lundehund can seal its own ears shut by bending them either forward or backward. The tip of the ear can be pricked separately, allowing the dog to use its ears effectively, while still only exposing a tiny, mostly covered space. This ability saves the dog from getting rock dust and water into its ears as it wedges itself through the caves.
January 30th birthdays:
We tend not to take Brautigan too seriously these days, and perhaps we do him an injustice. Most of his poems were slight, but that's true of a lot of poems, so what? And certainly they and his other writing are infused below the surface with anxiety, death, unavoidable change. And TFiA holds up, as does In Watermelon Sugar. IWS was part of my adolescent discovery of poetic prose and prose poems: Anais Nin, Rimbaud's and Baudelaire's prose poems, Miguel Serrano, Rilke's Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke, and etc. The library of unpublished books in The Abortion certainly finds plenty of purchase with poets, who, if you take everyone writing poetry, must have a very high ratio of unpublished to published works. I find it hard to judge Brautigan, who thought of himself as in a line with the Beats, and did not (like Kerouac) care much for the movement and thought of the 60's. But of course, as the Big Lebowski says, "the bums lost" and Brautigan was left on the battlefield in many ways. The most people are willing to say is that he was a big influence on them when they were young and they have retained their fondness for him. Do poets under, say, 35 have any respect, thought, or attachment to him? I wonder.
The back cover of Trout Fishing In America had only the word "Mayonnaise" in white letters on a solid red background. It used to be a tradition to flirt in coffee shops by showing someone the back cover from far away and then refusing to explain which I think fits in with my feeling that back then we thought and hoped Brautigan would have some cachet as a courtship prop (those covers!), and we would be more attractive for our knowledge and display of RB. Some.
Did you know that . . .
Jack Spicer helped Brautigan with the final editing of Trout Fishing In America?
Robin Blaser helped Brautigan with a page by page final edit of In Watermelon Sugar?
Here's a poem, whose title makes at least the top 20 great poem titles in English:
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
like pure water
touching clear sky.
I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.
I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.