Sunday, February 27, 2005

i'm still a sorry saint

First big news is Malia getting a poem in Shampoo Poetry #23. I'm tickled.

Next big news is the Henry Darger documentary, In the Realms of the Unreal. If you can see it, see it. I am always saying how much I like documentaries that leave me feeling conflicted, and this one did not disappoint. Calls into question what is art, what is mental illness, what is genius, what is creepy. Plus, considering the fact that there are only three photos of the guy and virtually no sources for moving images with which to make a film, the animation that was created from his art was brilliant. Gah. Spectacularly creepy in the best possible way.

The Lovemakers are a really good band because they sound kind of Duran Duran-ish, actually inspire dancing among the hipsters, and the two singers make out onstage during the show and I don't care if it is a shtick it's hot.

This weekend was a bacchanal. I don't know what that was about, but my body seemed surprisingly ok with it.

Dance Dance Revolution: if I had it in my house I'd do nothing else but dance. End of story.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

i'll let you be my chaperone at the halfway home

This week marked the momentous occasion of my first ever reading as a featured reader. I was extremely psyched at the opportunity and honored to read at SFSU's Poetry Center, where countless illustrious poets have thrown down. I read a big chunk of Thomas, which is growing by the day. Er, week. I'm pretty busy.

So for all egoists out there who have already self-googled, there's another fun web activity awaiting you. Look up your birthday on Wikipedia. See all the events and people with whom you are connected in this truly meaningful way. What killed me are the people with whom I share a birthday: Virgil, Nietzsche, P.G. Wodehouse, Mario Puzo, Italo Calvino, Michel Foucault, Lee Iacocca, and Todd Solondz (who was told personally by one of my students in New York that I have a crush on him). Mata Hari, Dutch exotic dancer and spy, died on my birthday. That's quite the arbitrary family I'm in.

Reminds me of that artificial family that was set up in a Kurt Vonnegut novel (Slapstick?) in which you were assigned family randomly with a word and a number as your middle name, but if you didn't like your family you could tell them "Why don't you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying fuck at the mooooon?"

A thought after seeing Interpol this week: Indie rock is becoming the new genre to which teenage girls' ears are bending. They are showing up at concert with posters. WTF?

Some Thomas for you:


the eagle’s jerky movements gave rise to suspicion. fishing line is undetectable in the film’s grain. animatronic eagle laden with codes and ciphers. its foamrubber head a palimpsest of secret flesh. unnaturally white. cryptology cryptographer raptor. we will learn all its secrets and then send out faxes. i will sing its wire armature, its delicate and convincing synthetic plumage. so downy at the base and nearly weightless, even a handful. i’ll just tuck one in my pocket for safekeeping and xerox the rest.


Monday, February 07, 2005

i would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys

This morning, as I enter the bathroom to take my daily shower, I rip the door off the hinges. wtf?

So I guess today's advice for my general readership is: Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Hulk smash! Hulk destroy! Hulk de-hinge doors!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

these same thoughts people this little world

Thoughts of recent days:

handclapping: makes for good music pretty much automatically

my new life motto: righty tighty, lefty loosey.

my visit to the winchester mystery house: bizarrely fascinating. Sarah Winchester was one crazy bird. I read about that house back in fourth grade or so when "true ghost story" books were intriguing me. I never did forget it, but it got shuffled away, and when I was reading House of Leaves last year, it elbowed its way back to consciousness. I looked it up on el internet, and lo and behold, it's in San Jose, ever so close to my then future destination of San Francisco.

If you've had a nightmare of being trapped in some sort of nonsensical house with strange passageways and endless and confusing series of rooms, you've pretty much been to the Winchester Mystery House. What's weirder is the touristyness of it and its location smack in San Jose among the multiplex and snooty shopping streets. All in all worth the large amount of money I spent to go there. I bought a keychain of the enigmatic stained glass windows, the text from one being the title of this post. I also bought a commemorative coin on which I could imprint x number of characters. I tried to put my new life motto on it, and it came out:


Clearly took me a little while to get a hang of the printing machine.

And now, a new section from what is now just being called Thomas:


And the girls have set up the birdfeeder again.
Peanut butter weds seed to nailed bottlecaps.
The branch’s sturdiness belies my inner strength.

If the birds flock to it, to what would they flock otherwise? Telephone wires
and abandoned churches comprise America and the birds are the only ones
who get that.

The farms where birdseed is grown consider bird pest and clientele both,
and that is also America.

When you struggle for analogy I want to throw
you one but I can be more patient than these birds
who flock but never queue. The feeder
is painted over with birdflesh.