Friday, May 31, 2013

Crazy Later, my selected comments, second half of May

To Bill Yarrow: Crazy. Do you hear someone like me while driving? Furry phantom, face it, FUZZ. _Silo_ is the word I'll R.I.P. applying. I never address another, as near as possible, a cardinal lesbian sign of respect. Addressing one other, to the nearby side, rings, as in this crazy poem. 

To Katha Pollitt: My neighbor is brooding. Brood is the word. Yet she may be without child, as things stand. Pronouns are going out of fashion, yet I know from routine linguistics, that pronouns were the decision of our language in favor of inflected gender, masculine, feminine, neuter in its early roots. Thing in Old English _Niedersachsen_ is a phenomenal word. In your earlier writings, you were the best voice for choice. A year ago, my neighbor was a sexy graduate student in fashion design, sounds perhaps shabby, yet if it is, then we in the Middle West are all shabby. That girl's father graduated from high school with Bob Dylan in Hibbing, not entitling her to a child. What might? Are you, is Margaret Atwood, the voice for wandering into motherhood, awares? No. Christa Forster is at her weblog, Texta. Not that she is gegen Choice. Danke sehr. Einmal. 

To Bill Yarrow: A cataclysm, a swivel. All praise due, delivered. Orchiectomy, Orchestra, root cellar. Would the men and why-would-the-women thinking of Orch pirate the $45 M, misteer the renovation, the lobby, dismiss the musicians?

To Forum concerning Story ("Mr. Kunitz, Mr. Lowell, Mrs. Craig"): If this story does not rise to 45 faves on Fictionaut, I shall not leave Fictionaut. I feel that the Lady, yet alive, who wishes she were us, needs to keep the further higher, fave location. Her story, “Church Cancels Cow,” that I read in the middle of Fri-Sat night, caught me laughing sincerely, guttural laughter, as if dying were worth these narrow lines (of the story she authored). The end canceled cows and churches. Until I bought a sack of vinho verde two days later, but I was canceled already, no matter. Sudden stop, end stop, hockey stop, hit the boards, cemetery, running.

To Christa Forster to Charlie Scott re: James Franco's As I Lay Dying: Ever since Etgar Keret's reading and spontaneous occurrence in delivered story, that I anticipated for months, if not weeks, at the Saint Louis Park JCC, I threaten to jump out the first-story window if I have found disfavor with something, not that he even suggested doing or suggesting that. Each time I threaten it, I decide against it, in favor of not curving the well-formed mosquito screen.

At NBD re: Liz Rosenberg's essay about her childhood depressions: I enjoyed working as editorial assistant under Liz Rosenberg, editor, at MSS., the literary journal started by John Gardner, Rosenberg's once-husband.  It distresses those of us denied full-time and even part-time employment in our field, despite our full and even covetable credentials, to read that salaried English teacher/writers, never not salaried, are claiming their heritages as the mentally afflicted, as if their mental afflictions now account for a type of genius that during school days could only have served to disqualify them, and so were denied or hidden or in fact not felt in the privileged and protected environments they occupied.  Laws of Gravity as a title concerns me, given a distinct echo to my own unpublished, unprotected, and pioneering work at University of Houston in the very early 1990s.  Though I am certainly glad, in a Scottish-writerly sense of that word, an inborn, unshakeable thoughtfulness on my part, to see that Rosenberg is writing and publishing fiction after a long hiatus.  Gifted and talented is or is not disabled?  I'll be waiting to hear.

To Sharon Mesmer at Fb re: literature as self-help in Daily Mail Online: Tolstoy's War and Peace, early pages, Constance Garnett, translator, contains a description of feminine beauty to serve as a bar for beauty, a physical measure to hold in mind in preparing for the Beauty Bar Exam, higher than that found in almost any snap photography. The Flarf panel at AWP Denver uplifted my spirits, in part because the panelists, as we once noted about diagnosed bipolars in an article cited in our group, attended mainly by displaced liberal lawyers with farm and ethical law backgrounds: presented as SNAPPY DRESSERS.

To Susan Lewis, managing editor, et al. at MadHat group at Fb: Literary journal conquistadoros (anti-socialist?) are thriving and keeping internal communication to a barest minimum. I realized that I had earned in literary caregiving .0140 per academic subpoint per hour, compared to $1 per academic subpoint per hour as earned by a high-school D-average student working in the technical field in 1998. $1 per academic subpoint per hour in my case would amount to an annual regular full-time salary of $1,780.000.

At LA Review of Books, Andrew Scull:  The history of these men's, including the reviewer's, careers in dominating understanding of psychiatry, though admirably well-woven here, is not of interest, I hope, to anyone. It is doubtful that Sigmund Freud is “a fraud”; it seems to have been needless to take a single step further, for any of us, in reading. Freud in German, as Frank Kermode wrote in The New York Times and reprinted in a later collection of essays, may very well be (Mayberry R.F.D.) better, a wildly hopeful possibility for further rehistoricizing the social science of narrative classification of imaginary human categories. As a non-expert, I might certainly be more interested in a book about The Test, why there is none and has been none for physiological illnesses treatable by psychotropic medications, the development of which has been markedly profitable for certain researchers and scientists. A book about how Big Pharma finances the humanities might also appeal to my pedestrian sensibilities. A perfect book about the long psychiatric study of elite creative writers, rather than of fine arts painters, musical composers, classical and modern dancers, art dealers, or rock ‘n roll musicians is one I might most like to read. I hope that Johns Hopkins, the best of the writing schools, medical schools, and university publishing houses can one day publish it.  The spelling genie post-suggested Kermmode, captcha.

Re: Chris Hedges at Truthdig: Thanks, Borg, dined with apparently very wealthy attorney and his career-active woman spouse.  I felt about him that he was very probably a phenomenal storyteller.  I liked her as well, in that I typically like people.

Still, I wonder how or why it is that to find out what a law is might cost a small fortune or net one.

Love, Borga, looking forward to receiving one of my new grammars, not new, yet new to me.  The book I bought about prepositions in English will serve as a great guide.  Seth Lindstromberg is the author.  Johns Benjamins Publishing.

Alexander Cockburn would not tolerate Chris Hedges' hallucinations well, nor do I.  For one thing, poverty is not an ill, experienced properly.  If AP writers' loss of professional privacy is his concern here, then he might have earned a stripe by breaking the story.

May 22 to May 29, 2013

Jeff, is the bookstore yet possible? June 29, Saturday. Keep me notified. The only good woman's suit in years was body paint, Demi Moore covers. This year I mostly abstain from shopping. The year I shopped suits in earnest, nothing available, so I wore a “boyfriend jacket” and black jeans though they were only so-so. Now I have black jeans I like better that were snug now loose. Disincluded from the disability poetics anthology, that grew out of that AWP panel, not due to my lousy approximation of a good women's suit, skirt OR pants, but due to my creative response to disability itself, as if the panel TEAM had not been notified, though I had processed it in emails, that creative response could be possible. I am still mystified that, in conversation, I could understand every word Jennifer Bartlett spoke, though I could not understand a single word a different woman in a literature seminar spoke, who did most of the speaking that semester from her position at the end of the seminar table, opposite our kind professor, where the woman's wheelchair most naturally fit. I can never forget my gratitude in reading Jennifer Bartlett's essay at Delirious Hem, round 2 fourth wave feminist poetics. Nor fall off in appreciating her poetry. Intellectual is one of three types of disability listed at the government disability employment website. Physical is another type. The middle type is either mental or emotional, word I have not remembered. Intellectual is also a status, conferred sparingly. Disability is in not seeking advantage? Disability is in not seizing advantage? Disability is distractibility? Empathy best routed to characters, as I had hoped and thought possible at 19. Shaped blouses that conform to my lines, four hand-spans from the toe to center crotch, four more from there to the nose.

To Gloria Garfunkel at Fictionaut, Butterfly Writer piece, May 26, 2013: There was a poet I met in the late 80s in Binghamton named Jerome Washington.  He had served a prison sentence for killing a man in a bar fight perhaps in the 60s.  While he was in prison, not as Marcus suggests, for no reason other than writing, and here in the U.S. not abroad, he wrote poetry and arranged from his position there to have not only his but other prison poets' writings published.  In addition, he fostered ... if that is the word ... legislation that went through and passed as law called Right to Write.  After he visited Binghamton and gave a poetry reading, he flew to Huntsville in Texas to meet with a man on death row who had refused to meet with lawyers and would only meet with Jerome Washington.  From there, Jerome Washington flew to Boulder to teach a course at Naropa.  Years later, I remembered Jerome Washington and visited Google to locate him.  He had died by then at the age of 64 at his mother's house.  There was a substantial Wikipedia entry about his work and in particular about Right to Write.  Some time later, I looked for the entry again, and it was not there.  Another website carried some of the same information about him, as if it had been rescued, yet the website was less official, more low budget, one might say, more seemingly temporary, though the Wikipedia entry had certainly been temporary.  Though I have met many other writers and poets who have been through Naropa, I have not heard anyone mention or seen in ephemeral writing on the Internet or in lists of African American literati his name or work.  The comment I left at Gloria's posting from yesterday I ought to have saved for my own file but forgot to do so.  Now it seems to have been removed if not deleted from the website, perhaps by Gloria.  I'll be in the habit more often of self-saving comments.

May 31, 2013, to Chris Okum at “Volonte” at Fictionaut: What is to enjoy?  The beginning about use of Vicky's name, which is what I wanted it to say, won my interest instantly.  I can use her name on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, my misreading, one that would lead to a very different story, one about kidglove damage by spies inf(t)ernal.  The story it actually is, emanating from use of Vicky's _house_, gets pretty violent in its projections, hers (the female persona narrator's), of his behavioral suspicions.  Pretty much “yuck” where it follows, but I suppose “yuck” is where it often does follow, why there are so many “courts” and split families and decisions and why marriage is boss.  So, for me, not a pleasant story to read, and yet worthy of a telling if I remember it as fiction about things American (it seems American) that I dislike.  The word cuckold stayed on my mind for a long time after I almost titled a long short story “The Cuckold” and the story had no cuckold, so it would have framed a question had I titled it that.  Here cuckold is not in the title but pressed in the book like a flower to dry.  It caused me to think of men and their divorce arrangements and even of women who played their hand and of whether any of those men had turned up in short story news or elsewhere, in cafes, as cuckolds and I decided that no, those men had not.  The woman I thought of in particular who had played her hand got very rich in the process.  The story at hand, by Chris Okum, though presumably not about rich people, with its word “cuckold” in it, raised a new question, for me, about transfer of a husband's inheritance as cuckold hush money.  She, a salesman's daughter, got his inheritance after it had had a few babies that resulted in her being awarded one or two of them.  Their five millionses multiplied until each first five million had had six babies.  The servants in the family earned a market-rate wage based on their positions in relation to the permanent wife's, now remarried, interpretation of her role, very different from his as or as not a cuckold.  SAD story! now that I think of it.

To Therese Svoboda at Fictionaut, May 31, 2013, about her poem in The New Yorker, 1989, called "Pink": Marcus gets a finder's fee for finding this poem. See Marc Vincenz or Jeff Davis for fee. I watched and admired your [Svoboda's] AWP reading from March. Here is probably no place to note it, but I want to see a march of women in cities around the U.S. wearing pink burkas. I want to see out the pink burka without ourselves being able to see in one anothers' burkas. Women only. Women only women. I do not want to carry up under a pink tent burka but rather under a private or personal burka or burka of one's own.  Pink not as a cancer color.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Necessary Heat

Jane Vanderbosch told me before Pastor Santo hid in flames then perished that I was spiritual and hid my strength. Liz was blue-eyed, naturally frizzy-blond, honey-tanned in summer. One day, a pleasant semblance took accord. It was Liz and somehow John Lennon around her face, at her piano, her fingers tiptoeing middle C, ebony to ivory, like goldhips. What is writing, Rick B.? You appear in your photo to be more handsome than your first brother. Sudden memory: ”Question mark? Curly cock. Exclamation! Stiff prick.” Eric deserves a position in this/our native country. Next I’ll suggest he go home to Oakland—a call for imaginative conduct—no mere white man living near here in the Middle West, west of Milwaukee. Mne Sota Makoce. The Land of the Dakota. Poet Anonymous lives in America—harped miscegenation, once, to Dr. Poetry, Ph.D., whose master’s pay was unrelated and horrid. Elizabeth Brown-Guillory fired the word, too, in Black Women Writers, the first I’d heard it—shuffleboard puck down center aisle, seminar table, into the net of the door. Hockey was my favorite sport, early. Trailing my father’s walking lesson, he conducted me in hand, north along Williston Road to the Ice Arena behind our City Hall. During the game, I rose in the stands, with all-out alarum, in favor of my future high school team. Liz startled, egyptically—then resumed. Not a soul or spirit could have predicted it, my enthusiasm. Hover-seeing, the hockey cheerleader jump-split it.

This story appears at Fictionaut.  First composition, February 14, 2013, revised off and on since, as is my present practice with stories I have written this year sur les amis.  Original version(s) may be available to those interested.  Latest revision, October 30, 2014.

My mother has shared, with enthusiasm, the plot of a non-fiction account of the Church's view of curiosity before and during the Renaissance in
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in nonfiction. ~AMB

Flash Mob 2013 entry: