Been a while, yes.

I haven't posted in this thing for nigh on a year; probably been longer than that. Why? Well, I'm finding that Live Journal is, in many ways, a perfect microcosm of work life. I find some people here to be rather unfriendly; some seem interested in only hearing (and forcing other to hear) the mellifluous tones of their own voices; and others seem to be rather clique-y, a phenomenon I had hoped left my life years ago after school.  Not so.

I suppose I could be wrong, but right now, this is my impression of Internet live journal boards. MySpace seems to be even worse; it has the same drawbacks as Live Journal, only the men are more persistent: it's an online pick-up joint masquerading as an online journal joint.

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    Venetian Snares: Doll, Doll, Doll

After all, DaDa means "YesYes"

I saw the DaDa exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art this weekend. It rocked. There were some of my favorites there, of course, Duchamp and Schwitters, and I had forgotten how beautiful Max Ernst's work is. There was one piece of his there--entitled "Nude", or some such--that was simply gorgeous. And his portrait of his DaDa friends was amazing. I love the way he painted it to look like a collage. 

This makes me want to get back into my art studio and work. But nooooooo, I have to get INSURANCE first. Bastards. I hate art studio landlords.

Kickass Poem Number One

Crow’s Last Stand






there was finally something

The sun could not burn, that it had rendered

Everything down to--a final obstacle

Against which it raged and charred


And rages and chars


Limpid among the glaring furnace clinkers

The pulsing blue tongues and the red and the yellow

The green lickings of the conflaguration


Limpid and black--


Crow's eye-pupil, in the tower of its scorched fort.


-Ted Hughes




Hughes vs. Plath

Last night, I read an online article about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, which attempted to analyze their respective worth as poets. Uh oh.

Not surprisingly, it pissed me right off. 

The article portrayed Plath as an hysterical,  formless poet, one who wrote about the world, as many "women writers" did, while viewing it through her "small emotions". Bah!

Bah! Bah! Bah! I say. Now I have become a sheep.

This is bullshite. Yes, I know Ted Hughes was a great, great poet, but why must this xenophobic, sexist ass of a journalist imply that "women writers" do such and such, and that Hughes was a better poet because of his greater (read "male") objectivity, and the fact that he had the "English tradition" of poetry behind him? Why bring the term "women writers" into the fray at all? According to this guy, Plath was a rootless, undisciplined "freak", more a prodigy than a poet, a flash in the pan, a "woman writer" so wrapped up in her own feelings that she could not transcend nor control herself enough to be a "great poet" . I wonder if this jamoke would consider any females to be "great poets" or "great writers", or whether he believes that their lack of a Y chromosome ensures their inescapable inferiority. Hmmmm, how about George Eliot,? Was she good enough for you? No? How about Sappho? Can't read Greek? How about Elizabeth Bishop? She didn't write about nature the way a man would? How about Edith Wharton? Oh, wait, she was American...

I know what the guy was trying to say in some of his article. Hughes dealt with themes that were more objective, more universal, and he did so while using myths and legends, while creating his own myths and legends. His poetry is sonorous, deep, deceptively simple (as many myths are). But, dammit, his poems are emotional. Oh yes. Read "Crow" and tell me those poems are not emotional. But the emotion he presents in his poetry is less directly personal than Plath's.

Plath's poems, at least those in Ariel, are closer, in-your-face, and very personal. Her scope is not as wide-reaching as Hughes', no. But who the fuck cares? Where is it written that the emotion in poetry needs to be presented with a particularly-defined distance? Where is it written that personal emotion is not acceptable at all?

I know the difference between mere "emoting" on the page (or the canvas), and the effective, applied use of emotion. I see nothing wrong with personal emotion in poetry; it alone neither makes nor breaks the poem. It's what one does with the emotion, the ideas, one's use of words, rhythm, theme, that makes or breaks the poem. And Plath did a lot with emotion, ideas, words, rhythm, and theme. A lot.

So give us all a break, Mr. Journalist/poetry critic. And fuck you very much for taking two poets I love and making me sleepless over them. 

I am Coleridge!

Encouragement can come from the most unlikely of places.

I took the "Who is your Romantic Poet?" quiz, and was thrilled that I turned out to be Coleridge.

Interesting that I tied 75% on all four: Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, and Keats. Interesting, even, that that is even possible. 

The tie-breaker was the question that clinched it. LOL.

I was a bit afeared that I'd turn out to be Wordsworth...but no. ;)

Here's my breakdown:

Your poet is Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His works include Poems on Various Subjects (1796), Lyrical Ballads (1798) written with Wordsworth and which includes The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. While in an opium dream, he wrote the poem Kubla Khan (1797-8). His love poems include Love (1799); Dejection: an Ode (1902) was about his addiction to opium. His major work the Biographia Literaria was written after his rediscovery of Christianity and Aids to Reflection (1825) and Church and State (1830) are religious prose.
Along with Wordsworth, Coleridge was one of the founders of the Romantic movement.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Percy Shelley


Lord Byron



John Keats


William Wordsworth



Who is Your Romantic Poet?


Bending Over for The Man

Another day at work spent toiling for the man. Bending over for the man, more like it--bending so far over that I’m in a perennial state of almost-breaking.

Such is work for an artist. I'd rather be reading, drawing, painting, even (working on a life-size oil portrait of my sister right now; it's calling to me in a sepulchral voice; it scares me). 

I think of poor Melville, whiling away his precious time, for years on end, as a customs inspector. Not that I’m in any way comparing myself to Melville, no, heavens no; I just retroactively feel for the man. I relate to the fact that, through necessity, he was forced to endure hours of time away from his true pursuits.

Another good reason not to marry, I suppose.

Pondering Dodgson

I've been doing a lot of thinking about Charles Lutwidge Dodgson lately. Was he in love with Alice Liddell, or are those merely scurrilous rumors perpetuated by cretins in response to the man's brilliance and his natural, well, oddness?

Hell, I appreciate the man for his oddness. And I happen to think stutters are charming. A friend of mine stutters; I like when he does it. 

Recently, I read online of an art project that involves calling a certain phone number that will prompt you to record a dream you've had. Any dream. Then, the recording will tell you that you will be called back, and will be played someone else's recorded dream. Well, I called the number, recorded a dream, and hung up. Sure enough, about ten minutes later the phone rang. 

Now, I realize this is an art project, and that the thing is set up to record one's phone number. But still, it was a little creepy. I have to admit, I was too afraid to pick up that phone.

Maybe I'll try it again. It's toll-free, by the way. Try it. Maybe you're braver than I am.

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