Saturday, September 30, 2006


you &/or me, eurydisephone

apocalypse in the bone. hold me closer, fine firey marrow.
could the psycho in my eyes be seen? when lined with black
those eyes turn colors.

wrap round me smokelike all parts. keep meat packed up
in red and black. hold me closer, firey marrow.
i'm going home like salmon
fine bright and filleted,

crazed in the eyes as apocalypse in the blood and dark ventricle.
the left and right one. the right one. when hearts attack.
eurydice had honey stuffed up in her marrow.

persephone breathes life down after dark. hold me closer, cold hell and ownership.
let me at that red dark pack and let
me eat color-eyes.

to the teapot-bearing tree girl

it's Esther Williams. she was a redhead. other famous redheads i didn't know were redheads include (but are not limited to): William Blake, Napoleon, James Cagney, Emily Dickinson, James Joyce, Lenin, Shirley MacLaine, Florence Nitingale, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Margaret Sanger.
it's a post-pretty-girls kind of day, what can i say? objectification now?


carmen brando

(thin formed.
like a ghost.
yet unwield.
like rock or stone.)

scraps fell from the curvaceous talon-wielder gay horace the yellow sun.
the sun spilt red cherry product it rained down splat splatterly.
onto the head and the shoulder.
hey down-a-down.

it was in the sky though.
it was sunset. there was a glow
about it.

the hills were loadbearing they were like blackened pachyderms.
there may have been
an explosion.

and boy how i loved

hey down a down down

lovers were fucking in the bushes,
amongst the wheat so stiff and gold
above my rooty head. puffed and tanned skins blushing
like bilious and nodding poppies.
it was spring.

juices on the ground and inside it.
there was some contact spillage and some yellow screaming,
hey down a down down.
it was the weather.

and i loved you in the dirt.
i sat atop and under rocks
and loved you, red and black persephone.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

in the dooryard


there is a thing inside it.
it cannot find it.

there was
a body
on a
lips and

there was red
and black.

there was blood
and shadow.
the blood was

there were sounds:
a striking clock.
there was a fetid yellow streetlamp.
there were things.


(red and black)

i'm obsessed, and i'm also incredibly stuck. maybe reading petrarch would help. maybe i'm just stuck fair and square. maybe i got nothing to write about.
i wish stuff would stop making creepy noises in the dark.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

slightly awesome



and that's a guy with a tuba. i'm not sure why. please disregard anything but the shit--the rest of this blog's contaminated. possibly everything is contaminated. i chewed on a paperclip today.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


sorry about the rabbits. poetry is making me angry right now. man, watership down. what a rush. i saw it once and i think it scarred me for life. of course, never having been touched in my no-no spot as a child, the more scars i can accrue the better, right? poetic subject matter lying so thin on the ground that i have to resort to viy. or V--my universal symbol, my sin, my signifier. love, at least in poetry, truly does appear to be the great good use one person can get out of another. of course, in the case of my poetry, the "good" is purely subjective. distract from idiotishness! look at the freaky rabbits! freaky rabbits!

it's purely a literary exercise, of course, this tagging every poem back onto v. a compositional expedient, if you will. and you will, namely because "you" are me. v's the augustinian signifier--the place from which all of it springs. v makes it un-nonsense. i suppose the connection isn't entirely's possible that v was there and the world rioted, but memory's such a crap shot that i have no idea what really happened. like with proust and building the past up again, making the connections run back through time as though one's present self injected silver into a rock's veins: v is now what v once might have been, but i've got no guarantees. ergo v may or may not exist. and probably doesn't. but until further notice appears to be absolutely necessary if i don't want to spend my time meandering around with capulets and ice-plants...

i guess to retreat further and further into the object in the manner of petrarch according to that article, especially when the object is barely distinguishable from the self---i need to look into stuff more thoroughly. sorry.

and i just get so angry.

viy again


there is a thing inside it.
i cannot hide it.

the edge of days

sky red
like hot lead.
the seeking
dark comes
hey down-a
the rocks and
the stones

the lingerer

spring comes
into the dirt.
i want to plough
your face
into the ground
and regrow you.

i want to
split real stones
and find you,

to pull apart
the dahlia head
petal by

to find you lingering,
my lingerer.

to find you,

my nothing,

my sweet signifier.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

acc. to stein

a little monkey

is like

a little donkey.

the great good use

after that carmen senior seminar, i have to say that looking at gounod's romeo et juliette avec soustitres (heh...that may or may not mean "subtitles" in french--it's okay to show off if you look like a freaking ass) was pretty awesome. it put the lotion on the skin. and now i will tell you why.

without having the skills of a leicester, i can yet pick up on a few of the things his viewpoint might dictate, or what i learned as his viewpoint has to me dictated. the insertion (the fairly forcible insertion) of god into the original shakespeare is...well, it brings up interesting stuff. like, i think most of the characters, especially juliette and the friar, are replacing their own issues, desires, and unknowns with god. for the most part this doesn't make them the least bit less sympathetic, especially juliette--it seems to me that opera-juliette's obsession with bringing god into everything is an obliquely strong method of replacing the more word-consuming character subtleties in the play-juliet.

one thing i think that setting words to music does is accentuate the awkwardness of how meaning sits on top of language, or how language sits on top of the body. (body body body! i am sorry-sorry!) in the gounod, it seems that at times the two actually go head-to-head, as in the bedroom scene: i watched it without knowing what they were saying, though having a vague idea, based on the staging, some idea of the play, and the music, of what they ought to be saying, for at least a week, before watching it with subtitles, and i was pretty surprised by what they actually were saying. there's this beautiful, tender, not-languid-but-liquid-sorta music going on under the singing--the vocal lines are doing that thing (i think--i ought to pay more attention) where they sort of weave in and out of the orchestral music almost as afterthoughts, and it turns out that what juliette opens the scene with is recontextualized material from the play dealing with the subject of tybalt. it's basically the thing she says to the nurse, " should i be something-something he who is my husband?" except put into the post-coital scene and addressed to romeo. i mean, WHAT?? (unless this was in the original bedroom scene and i just don't remember it. curse you, shoddy memory and laziness!)

but it works, because the portrayal the librettist puts to juliette is one of an extremely intelligent, articulate and quick-witted girl who at the same time is completely cut off within her own subjectivity when it comes to, you know, "desire" (and that in itself is a definite stand-in--who knows if it's desire?). she doesn't know what the manners are in love--literally, she doesn't know the language, the word-objects which will stand in for the things she wants to express; she doesn't know how to say what she wants, what she expects of herself or him or society. so she borrows a language and a signifier that she understands--she re-appropriates god to express her passion and her fears, her whole comprehension of her situation. the play-juliet, as far as i remember, doesn't do something so...not simple, but--encapsulateable (improperly by my lazy ass)--but the magnitude of her challenge is on a similar (or not un-equivalent) level.

if juliette puts her confusion and her inexpressibles into the language of god, the friar does so as well--and because he's a friar, he does so almost exclusively. out of all of the characters he's the bizarrest. the play-friar's at least somewhat explicable in light of the duke in measure for measure (because i feel like the duke is the dvd extended version of r & j's friar, an exploration of the same sort of concept of character)--too wrapped up in a logical world which follows certain rules, like those of his herbs, to behave at all practically, or realize that he himself doesn't follow those rules at all. but the opera-friar is--well, it seems like the language of god, which takes the place of other languages that characters don't know how to speak, takes the place of all of his language. he's got this enthusiasm that i can't describe because i don't know the opera well enough; i guess it's that he doesn't just place some of his faith in "god," but all of it, to the point at which god becomes totally and completely divorced from objecthood and turns into all of his subjecthood. because god is entirely personal with him, the things he attributes to god are the things he desires, allows, and works to make happen. the opera-friar and the god he speaks of are completely interpenetrate. it's just interesting. gounod has him sing on the same note a whole lot, so that his lyrics too came as a surprise to me--he sounds as though he's a very stable character...but man.

this is interesting. maybe it means that instead of the music expressing desire, emotion, and whatnot, it instead expresses what ought to be going on in a particular scene, while the lyrics express what actually is... unfortunately, i hate that explanation. the alternative i like better can be borrowed from the duel scene, and the crazy things gounod at times does in the score. romeo's lament, "o jour de deuil," is the freaking wackiest lament ever. the melody goes from the third, to the second, then up to the sixth, then fifth, then to the first, then the seventh below it, then up to the fourth, and the third--in a major key, slow, with a distinctive rhythmic pattern. this is the melody line; when i first heard it i was like, dude, you're kidding me, right? but i think now that it means something like, gounod was thinking outside the box. he was thinking big-time outside the box when he came up with this melody. it lacks all of the signifiers i think of when i think of lamentation: it isn't rhythmically unsteady or ragged (not exactly, that is--not in the manner i would think of), it isn't either quick or smooth, it isn't in minor, its intervals aren't traditionally shocking ones--it's just jumbled, but its rhythm isn't jumbled... none of the requirements for lamentation are met, and yet it works so well, so hard, as though gounod actually captured the moments of raw shock and pain, and then translated them into the notes that a person would force themself to sing in that situation: trying to force meaning through notes that have been overplayed, oversung, oversignified. and if you take this out of the boxiness and apply it to friar lawrence, you come up with the fact that, possibly, gounod's going far out with the friar's music as well, searching for things to signify which have never signified thus before: his sustained notes carry sustained and restrained, and redirected energies--his conception of his own feelings is unified into one thing, which is god, but what use he makes of god!, the orchestra expresses...


Friday, September 08, 2006

flesh & plan



hands and

five fingers per

hand. two feet and five

toes per foot. one face and five features

per face. one heart with two dark ventricles on the left and right

beats. beats and beats. beats and beats and beats. beats and beats and beats and beats and beats. beats its meats and

and meats and meats and meats and meats and meats and and meats and meats and meats and meats and meats and meats and meats and meats and meats and and meats and meats

Monday, September 04, 2006

all roads lead there

so i was reading resisting representation, and writing down various word combinations elaine scarry had put together that i liked in the margins, when i realized that it was just going to continue that process of stupefication (case in point: how do you spell stupefecation? my brain is resembling a molding nerf football left out in a puddle of rain [more than usual, even!]) begun next to immediately after graduation if i read without responding--hence here goes.

someone pointed out (and said moldy nerf-brain can't pinpoint a locus of who, where, or precisely what, but only a nerfy, spore-laden impression of what i heard as having been said) that various shakespeare plays are full of various body parts--one body part per play or something--in other words, that the play develops a slight obsession with, say, knees, and sticks knees into the metaphorical, simile-ical, or literal processes of its expression as often as possible (i'm re-explaining this idea because even in my own self it was never that clear, plus i may have developed an entirely...ahem, unique [read inattentive and crazy] spin on the thing). it's as though shakespeare puts on knee-vision, and sees, and writes, the matter of his play through it. in romeo and juliet the body part was, i believe, hands--r&j was written through hand-vision. the examples i can remember off the top of my head of this hand overload are the courtship scenes (the hand-with-palmers and stuff meeting scene, and the "glove upon that hand" of romeo's under the balcony). there's probably a million much more interesting things to say about this hand-omnipresence than the one that i'm about to--but i think it's going to tie in with another (improperly understood) concept of scarry's, so bear with me.

which is that the overload of the word "hand," rather than serving to enflesh (or embody) the language by bringing weight, heaviness, meat to the concept on the page, instead serves to distance its meaning from its physicality. the word "hand" is not the motive but the tool of so many metaphors, is applied and used in so many situations, stands in for so many desires that its linkage to the meat of "hand" becomes no more than that of a reflection (which i guess is sophomorically obvious--this is the shit shakespeare was famous for, no? "mirror up to nature" and all that crap?) to the face it bounces back. shakespeare's verbalized "hand," however, becomes a complete body in has so many aspects that it gains depth, opacity, or equivalent things...

i get the feeling that the above is a load of derivative bullshit, but i'm finishing this bastard no matter how hard my gut cries out in mewly panic (couden: rambo of blogging).

scarry (and keep in mind i've barely begun the article) says that hardy works at embodying his characters in terms of the manner in which they physically interact with and imprint themselves upon the world. i think this corresponds with the linguistics-theorist-who-wasn't-saussure's idea of the icon, which as i understand it goes thus: you can call the bullet hole in the wall an icon because it's a clear indicator of a certain bullet--it communicates and symbolizes on a physical plane. and for some reason, reading the scarry account of how hardy manipulates narrative into including icons everywhere it goes--as she seems to be saying, how he can't let the interaction between human and world be ephemeral and how he therefore puts said interactions in terms of not just entwined imagery but flesh-contact--brings to mind the hands in romeo and juliet.

i think it's the manner in which these two understandings are similar rather than the manner in which they're separate that makes this connection spark enough in my mind to be worth writing over... shakespeare puts hands to work. he extends them into a sort of linguic objecthood (man, i like making up my own words). this objecthood is made up of all the manners in which shakespeare works hands--literal, metaphorical, and, like, meta-metaphorical--all the angles from which he comes at them, until the idea of hand you have is completely disengaged from the flesh-hand, but at the same time almost as solid as a flesh-hand can be to a lacanian symbolic understanding... the icon, as i understand it (same ol' caveat, new direction), in being physical, gets into a messy territory, one in which the thing signified by the bullet hole could be not a bullet but the physicality of a gun, a moment in time, a sound, a smell--the physicality of a feeling. the fact that the bullet hole in the wall signifies all of these things makes it into an object much in the same vein as shakespeare's word-hand: floating above itself. hardy (if my understanding of scarry's reading is at all valid) and shakespeare are thereby walking down the same road in different shoes. hardy is taking the indeterminacy implicit in physical objects and interfacing it with the unapproachability of characters, how they look, how they appear, what they appear as. shakespeare is taking the overdeterminacy of the concept implicit to a word and splitting it up, atomizing it, relocating it in a new medium, without at all taking away any of its fleshly opacity--in both cases, in some way, they are dealing with the red and black, the interior of the body and of other things.

unless i'm wrong. because maybe that's just what i'm dealing with. and if i'm rome...