Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday trading, one month in

Whoever it was that objected to Sunday trading being introduced hereabouts—see my earlier post—it certainly wasn't, based on the evidence thus far, the majority of the local population.....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ceci n'est pas une Magritte

210 kilotons.
Christmas Island, 1962.

A colorful example

of the predator/prey model.

It is breeding season for butterflies, & the backyard is full of them. Mainly yellow, but interspersed with black & brown & ultramarine varieties.

Kingfishers feed on them; so there are also more kingfishers around than there usually are.

I do not know how many butterflies a kingfisher can eat in a day but, judging from their activity & the number of times they return, I would guess it would be more than a few.

Additionally, butterflies are fairly ephemeral—they mate, the female lays her eggs, they both die. Natural attrition.

Soon they will have almost disappeared, leaving only lizards as food for the kingfishers. There are only a few lizards, & they are far less naive, less trusting, than the butterflies. & far less visible. They live in concealed spaces—one currently has a small portion of its head protruding from a hole in the brick wall near to where I sit to smoke—have protective coloring, are often quite large. Too large for a kingfisher. Are kookaburra food. Kookaburras are members of the kingfisher family. Big Brother takes over.

There are only sufficient smaller lizards to support one kingfisher.

The other kingfishers will leave. The kookaburras will still come round.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

you have been band from facebook

                      Let your Girl Scouts 
lip-synch freedom
songs & use their cookies
for pleasure not for
pain. Now that the
mouth of the wild beast
is ranked No. 315 with a
bullet on TripAdvisor's
top 788 attractions in
Paris we can move on
to the next important
project—does jelqing
lengthen, & lengthen the
shelf-life of, one's penis?

whose / band's banned— / a found spam(na)ku

have been
band from facebook
It always intrigues me that people who are hoping to induce you to part with cash/passwords/bank account details/shoe size/whatever seem reluctant to use any form of spellcheck to make their missives appear more authentic...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Sun Tzu ficcione

The premise of Sun Tzu's The Art of Espionage, a prequel writen to cash in on the runaway success of The Art of War, is that though the world of Espionage obeys the rules of Heaven, the life force of the individual spy is, a priori, out of balance.

A posteriori, how they end up is governed by which principle holds sway within them. Too much yin & the spy may be consumed by elements of self-destruction, display a subconscious desire to be outed, manifest it through actions such as dressing up as Gerard Depardieu in drag & living their life entirely in the dark. Too much yang & they become spy-hunter, keyhole peeper, closet cannibal, turning on their own, seeing them as enemy equal to those on the opposing side.

It's a precursor to the classic predator / prey model later postulated by both Lotka & Volterra, with the ratio of yin to yang determining who is x & y in the differentiated equation. But this is a finite model with an endpoint of zero. Too much egocentricity, too much paranoia. It does not stop when all known spies have been consumed; there must be others out there. Trust no-one, not even oneself. Eliminate them all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Out from Otoliths—Paul Siegell's wild life rifle fire

Finally! After trials, tribulations, panic attacks, potential coronaries, all brought about by what Ron Silliman aptly described as the print process deciding to collaborate on the content of the book, Paul Siegell's wild life rifle fire is out, later than its intended binary date of 01.11.10, earlier than its cautious rescheduling of 02.28.10. But it's passed its 2nd & 3rd re-proofings with flying colors black & whites, so let's crack a be-ribboned bottle of champagne upon its spine & launch it now.

wild life rifle fire
Paul Siegell
96 pages
Otoliths 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9806025-6-2
$10.00 + p&h
Lulu URL link
Amazon URL link
Paul Siegell’s wild life rifle fire proves, if proof were needed, that the electrifying art and legacy of Concrete Poetry is not dead!

Siegell’s book-length carmen figuratum not only flashes the reader back to the heady first days of the Noigrandes Group in São Paulo and Eugen Gomringer’s adventures in VisPo, but even further back to Medieval anagrams, Greek bucolic poems and Sumerian figure poems. Here we find DaDa dynamite and typographical talismans freshened by a poet whose native gifts imbue this exciting work with a whole new sense of "poetic object."

Siegell’s haptic heroism compels the reader to re-examine the basic elements of a language that we too often take for granted, in the process creating an energetic and always surprising work of both visual art and poetry. Not to be missed! —Vladimir Slender-Hedge
Signed copies of wild life rifle fire are also available. Full details can be found at Paul Siegell's blog, ReVeLeR@eYeLeVeL.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

*HOME & AWAY 2010*

*HOME & AWAY 2010*
A Trans Tasman Poetry Symposium
30-31 March at the University of Auckland
1-2 September in Sydney and the Blue Mountains

Not everyone can get to everything in real time; and then there is poetry. The New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) presents HOME & AWAY 2010, a trans Tasman poetry symposium dedicated to generating work and conversation face to face and in the global/digital neighbourhood. We want to talk about (and produce more) literary connections between Australia, New Zealand and the world of 21st century poetry.

We are planning a two-part symposium in Auckland and Sydney. We will host readings, launches and forum-style talks at the University of Auckland 30-31 March and celebrate the publication of Steal Away Boy: Selected Poems of David Mitchell (Auckland UP). During the March event we will also establish a digital bridge and invite poets and others to start from one end with a contribution (text, images, audio or video). Further contributions to the bridge will be uploaded as the symposium convenes in Sydney 1-2 September ( In this way we hope to create two-way traffic between points in time and places where people meet.

Let us know if you would like to attend HOME & AWAY 2010 (March or September) and check out how to contribute to the digital bridge. Our resources are as usual slender but in the spirit of past *nzepc* symposiums (3RD BIRTHDAY 2004, FUGACITY 2005, and BLUFF 2006) we will do our best to accommodate expressions of interest.

For an earlier example of nzepc activity offshore, see LOVE, WAR & LAST THINGS: A DIGITAL BRIDGE FOR FLORENCE (2008).

Pam Brown, Martin Edmond, Brian Flaherty and Michele Leggott
16 February 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

forgive me for being corny

It's Valentine's Day,

it's the first day of the Year of the Tiger

so tell me, who does have

Tiger's heart?

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Buddham saranam gacchāmi
Photo editing software. Someone sporting riding breeches. Retailer-perceived brand equity. Guides to the different stages of German intellectual development. Visual parallels made between the use of pesticides & degradation of the land. An exodus of female talent. A problem assuming added significance in view of rapid globalization. Temporal logics. Improper drainage. You need to upgrade your Flash Player.

Dhammam saranam gacchāmi
Steel doesn't protect sugar farmers. Nothing was found today during a search in South Carolina for missing Chili teenager Brittanee Drexel. Optical signals affected by an external magnetic field. The fringe that consumes. Size 34B Black with silver sequins, silver beads & silver beaded trim. Policy endogeneity. A neckline like that would be bad for makeup. What does it cost? Sort it out monkey nuts!

Sangham saranam gacchāmi
Nothing has proven to be better than this song. Eliminating artificial lighting. The strip-searching of women in Australian prisons. Price competition produces mixed results. Clothing that is all natural & free of toxins. Large as the executions arrive. Lighting a fire. An embroidered osteopath. A trance duo based in the U.S.A. Common bugs can freeze the machine. Is there any way to make my chest look bigger?

I go for refuge in the Buddha.
I go for refuge in the Dharma.
I go for refuge in the Sangha.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Today the
postman brought
me a book en-
titled What is
. I didn't
see him come
into view.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

point / counterpoint

It's been wet & windy over the past few weeks, which means, because it's also summer, that the pool ends up full of orange & white & red &, especially, yellow flowers.

I also have the occasional sad task of scooping drowned frogs out of the pool. They're not the usual green tree frogs that are constant residents of our garden & porches & are quite content to accept—ignore?—your presence near them. These are Striped Burrowing Frogs, skittish but groovy little hopper/boppers that live underground in a coccoon & emerge when there's been a bit of rain. A few nights ago, there were about 50 of them pogoing around the back patio where I sit & smoke. The number has decreased since then, but there are still a few about.

Today, when I went to clean the pool, there were two of them swimming around, unable to get out because they couldn't get sufficient purchase on the surface of the water to spring to safety. So I scooped them up & rescued them. Good guy points, 2.

But my Buddhist nature only goes so far. The same rain & warmth that brings out the frogs also brings out the mosquitoes. Several varieties—big, small, soft, sharp, designed all razor-edged like military machines. All after my blood. There's more than a bit of paranoia attached to them. Think vectors of disease. Think malaria, leishmania, Ross River fever; & now cases of Dengue fever have been reported 300 kilometers away, several hundred kilometers south of what used to be the limits of its occurence.

So, whack, whack, whack, whack, ad infinitum. Blood—my blood!—smears my arms & legs. To hell with Buddhism. Death to the beasties. Bad boy points, 100.

(Photo by Donna Flynn reproduced under a Creative Commons license.)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Out from Otoliths—Mary Kasimor's new book, & cruel red

& cruel red
Mary Kasimor
68 pages
Cover design by Sheila E. Murphy
Otoliths 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9806025-9-3
$12.50 + p&h
A seductive exploration of the individual—Mary Kasimor’s new book is innovative and energy packed, crafted and aurally interesting, with poems ranging from classical myth to Freud to Rimbaud to butterflies. These poems delve insightfully into the person and the process of writing and definitely reward reading and rereading. —William Allegrezza

'There are always butterflies around death' and around the vivid poems of & cruel red language leaps with multi-layered pleasures. Diverse spaces, where 'tractors tow a fleece of sky', 'secrets circulate', where grass grows a spine, and it can rain moss. As the very first poem suggests 'you are tangled up', and indeed we are as we are lead to the threshold between chaos and order, pain and relief, burden and symphony. Deconstruction/ reproduction—Mary Kasimor navigates what lies between. All 'safety rolls away', bones are reshaped, the poems look for surprised freedoms and find them. —Diana Adams

A curious and open mind, in love with the writing of and experimenting with language, is awake within the pages of Mary Kasimor’s new book, & cruel red. Nature and her creatures, the lives of saints, mythology immersed in the everyday reflect the presence of a poet whose subjects exist in all that life might offer. —Bobbi Lurie

The full catalog of Otoliths books, plus print editions of the journal, can be found at The Otoliths Storefront.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

from the instruction manual

How / to split / your own tongue
Things You'll Need:
•       Fishing line

Step 1
Pierce your tongue and allow it to heal fully. Full healing can take up to a month. A pierced tongue is absolutely necessary when you split your tongue yourself.

Step 2
Ensure that you have a high tolerance for pain. Splitting your tongue yourself takes several weeks and the procedure involves a lot of pain.

Step 3
Take a fishing line and thread it through the hole where your tongue was pierced. Line the fishing line up with the tip of your tongue and tie a knot in the line as tight as you can bear. Tie a second knot in the line so that it's so tight it hurts.

Step 4
Repeat Step 3 every 3 to 4 days. The line should be loose after a few days so you can cut it off and replace it.

Step 5
Continue the tying process until your tongue is almost fully split. It will take between 4 to 8 weeks. You may have to use a razor or blade to cut the last little section of tongue.

Step 6
Practice using your newly split tongue. You will soon be able to move each section individually and be able to talk without a lisp.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

geographies: Hampstead Heath

    Knitting is an un-
  expected passion, but
cross-temporal validation
of the model indicates
  too many activities
    take place in the dark.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Jacket magazine: An Announcement from John Tranter and Al Filreis

Dear friends:

We are writing with news of a transition we both deem very exciting.

By the end of 2010, John Tranter and Pam Brown will have put out 40 issues of Jacket. It began in what John recalls as "a rash moment" in 1997 - an early all-online magazine, one of the earliest in the world of poetry and poetics, and quite rare for its consistency over the years. "The design is beautiful, the contents awesomely voluminous, the slant international modernist and experimental." (So said The Guardian.)

After issue 40, John will retire from thirteen years of intense every-single-day involvement with Jacket, and the entire archive of thousands of web pages will move intact to servers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where it will of course be available on the internet to everyone, for free, as always. But the magazine is not ceasing publication: quite the opposite.

Starting with the first issue in 2011, Jacket will have a new home, extra staff and a vigorous future as Jacket2. Jacket and its continuation, Jacket2, will be hosted by the Kelly Writers House and PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania.

The connection with PennSound, a vast and growing archive of audio recordings of poetry performance, discussion and criticism, is seen as a valuable additional facet of the new magazine, as is the relationship with busy Kelly Writers House, a lively venue for day-to-day poetic interchange of all kinds. The synergy in this three-way relationship has great potential.

Al will become Publisher and Jessica Lowenthal, Director of the Writers House, will be Associate Publisher. The new Editor will be Michael S. Hennessey (currently Managing Editor of PennSound) and the new Managing Editor will be Julia Bloch. John will be available as Founding Editor, and Pam will continue as Associate Editor.

More news about Jacket2 in the weeks and months to come. Meantime, the Jacket2 folks extend gratitude -- as many in the world of poetics do -- to John and to Pam Brown for the extraordinary work they've done. And John, for his part, is mightily pleased that Jacket will be preserved and will continue and grow in a somewhat new mode but with a continuous mission and approach.

John Tranter & Al Filreis

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The latest bug-eyed comedian

Lord Monckton

"It is indeed better to have a policy which nods to the issue of climate change for those who still believe, and there are some diehards who still believe, that fixes some of the genuine environment issues that are a lot cheaper than the enormous amounts diverted to this ridiculous climate thing," Lord Monckton said.

Later Monckton told the National Press Club that human-emitted carbon emissions were not warming the planet, that increased sun activity accounted for recent higher temperatures, and that the draft negotiating text at December UN climate talks had proposed setting up a world government.
Problem is, people take this dickhead seriously. &, unfortunately, there are small pockets of sloppy science in an otherwise impeccable body of research that allow the climate change sceptics to single those out as evidence that the remainder must be flawed as well.

Ah, Marty Feldman was prescient when he said

"I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat Lord Monckton."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tie One On

magritte tie for alex gildzen

Last year, along with another 24 people—all male, though I wasn't conscious of that fact until I saw the finished product: gender balance, Alex, where's the gender balance?—I was invited to take part in one of Alex Gildzen's conceptual projects. The invitation consisted of a tie, an accompanying letter giving the provenance of the ties being sent out & a request that the invitees respond with a photo of them wearing the tie they'd been sent.
25.Britches tie
I think I purchasd this tie in Georgetown in 1973 while a houseguest of Tom Shales. & I think it’s the tie in the Monogram photo with James Robert Parish. last worn on closing day of the noir festival in presence of Sherry Jackson & Ron Oliver.
With one notable exception, every body invited took part. The final collation of co-respondents is now available as two pdfs from Lars Palm's ungovernable press.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Issue sixteen of Otoliths has gone live

Carlyle Baker

Otoliths rounds out its fourth year with another issue that maintains the journal's reputation for excellent offerings across a variety of disciplines & styles. Included in issue sixteen, the southern summer 2010 issue, is work from Thomas Fink, Satu Kaikkonen, Nate Pritts, Jane A. Lewty, Craig Foltz, Michael Basinski, Stephen C. Middleton, Márton Koppány, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Raymond Farr, Jeff Crouch & Sheila E. Murphy, Joel Chace, Caleb Puckett, Philip Byron Oakes, Ed Baker, Tom Beckett interviewing William Allegrezza, William Allegrezza, dan raphael, Alyson Torns, Jeff Harrison, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Michele Leggott, PD Mallamo, Ray Craig, Mark Cunningham, Cecelia Chapman, David-Baptiste Chirot, Vernon Frazer, Helen White & Jeff Crouch, James Yeary, Robert Lee Brewer, Michael Brandonisio, J. D. Nelson, Scott Metz, Geof Huth, Corey Wakeling, John M. Bennett & Thomas M. Cassidy, Sheila E. Murphy & John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett, Rebecca Mertz, Felino Soriano, Cath Vidler, David Wolach, Carlyle Baker, Stu Hatton, Jenny Enochsson, Robert Gauldie, Rebecca Eddy, Joe Balaz, Bobbi Lurie, Andrew Topel & Márton Koppány, Hugh Tribbey, John Martone, J. Gordon Faylor, Evan Harrison, A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz, Bob Heman, Guillermo Castro, & sean burn.