Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Went to the Cambridge Y last night to hear a panel discussion on subversive theater. Cutting to the quick: it was mostly disappointing in all the usual ways. The right was uselessly caricatured. Critiques led quickly to self-congratulation. Important & interesting distinctions were avoided in the name of solidarity. Panelists talked across and through each other most of evening.

I'm glad I went neverthessless. If only for this from Brecht: Is the policeman a worker?
W/ a brother in the military this has been an important question for me over the last few years.

Another good outcome: I will reread Fanny Howe's essay in the new Poker w/ other notions of poetry & politics & lives lived in mind.
More on the event: (I've said nothing yet about the four panelists. As you'll notice two of 'em are well known. Maybe I'll get to that later.)
Monday, November 17, 7 pm
with Peter Schumann (Director, Bread and Puppet Theater), Howard Zinn (Historian and Playwright), Robbie McCauley (Performance Artist, Director, and Emerson College professor), Xander Marra (Movie Maker, Puppeteer and member of Dirt Palace, a feminist art collective in Providence, RI); moderated by Dr. John Bell (Puppet Historian, Emerson College professor and author of Puppets, Masks and Performing Objects) suggested donation $5

From the soft city:
walking w/ friends after parking the car, I realized I spend far more time walking in Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston than I do here in Gloucester.
(This has many implications. But they'll have to wait until after teaching & meeting.)

Monday, November 17, 2003

from the observation tower of the ghost city {w/ reports from the flesh}:
* I am a ghost-ghost. I am not even here.
* ...whereas you are there. Aren't you?
* There is a children's program on PBS set in "cyperspace". I learned about civics and logic w/ my nephews. Except for its setting, the show is a conventional public television cartoon.
* When I stand up and turn around I can see my nephews' house from this room. Do you believe me?
* I am still reading Poker 3. Want to talk to Aaron Kunin 'bout his piece 'cause tho' I think I grasp his point, I don't grasp the import of the point. Aaron are you there? Could anyone send him my (e)way?
* I have also been thinking about Richard Demming's introduction to the Williams talk/essay/fragment/notes in Poker 3. That bit about the Eliotic & Williamsesque responses to tradition is, I think, quite relevent to our moment. (Unfortunately, I don't have the text in front of me.)
*Saturday I read and enjoyed James Thomas Stevens' Tonkinish. Cover reminded me of Fanny Howe's Amerinidan Coastline Poem.
* It's about time I started to acknowledge Throwing Muses & especially Ms. Hersh as a significant influence on the "Arguments" I've been writing of late.
* Joel Sloman's transformations of Trakl must find a way into the wider world. "I'm attracted to you because you [create? attract?] violence." "Tiny black larvae like em dashes..."
* More Joel: "Patchwork": "the modern patchwork" "speech clarified" "if one was listening/one was tired/tired of speech" "one was modern/one was composite"
* From Xtina: "we must suffer them all again patterns..." "grieving reaches out and pistol whips your name here..." "if we had remember[ed?] a gesture of locations"
* My argument w/ poetry is as yet unsettled.
* Who among you has read Lovecraft's "The Outsider"?