Thursday, September 27, 2007

Archive Series: Locus #7/ STL #50

Eleven for 4/13/2006


1. Fever: giving over completely to happenstance. Thrashing about, sweating through your shirt and into your sheets, until finally...
2. Recovery: Drinking wine again, drinking coffee
3. Junebug: Like the good version of the horrid Elizabethtown. I think it actually teaches us something about the red/blue divide. Also, I like the lettering in the title. And Will Oldham's in it.
4. Sam Hamill: Translations. Sam Hamill's visit to my Intro to Poetry class 15 years ago was a transformative experience. He talked about poetry as a "gift economy" and recited Kinnell's "The Bear" (making us close our eyes). He talked about Projectivism and the line as a unit of breath, and recited Creeley's "Whale Cakes." He had a man groupie and a woman groupie who chuckled and nodded at the references we didn't understand. He dropped names like John Coltrane and talked about studying the classics, and he knew exactly what these classics were. Over the years I've kept tabs on him, paying attention especially to his translations. I've done comparative readings of his translations from the ancient Greek lyric and from Tu Fu, and find that he balances semantic meaning with strong sonic structures.

The Pleiades disappears,
the pale moon goes down.

After midnight, time blurs:
sleepless, I lie alone (Sappho)
5. Sam Hamill: Poetry. In his own poetry, a lot of his conclusions seem too comforting, too easy. He is also blissfully ignorant of popular culture. (He calls his new selected _Almost Paradise_). But he hews to the clear, simple, and beautiful:
...I love the sound of a storm
without thunder, the way winds
slow, trees darken, heavy clouds
rumbling so softly
you must close your eyes to listen:

then the blotch, blotch
of big drops
plunketing through the leaves.

6. How to Cook Without a Book: so you know why the recipe goes like it does.
7. Smart Playlists: keep track of all that you import into your iTunes library. Keeps a record for the next time you back up your music onto DVD.
8. "You can never hope to grasp the source of our power"
9. David Mamet talking: I like what I've seen of his (mostly movie work) and I love the kinds of pronouncements he makes on the art of drama. "Nobody ever says anything unless they want something from the person they're talking to." (Grotesque paraphrase.)
10. Bonde do Role: That's a slamming MySpace beat!
11. Free wireless. Starbucks doesn't have it? Wha'?

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