Briefly interacting with Elvin Jones in my dream last night, he had the exact same demeanor -- intense and gracious -- as when I briefly met him for real in the late 80s at a Jazz Machine gig at the Blue Note.

The Jones scene is part of a pattern -- the occasional appearance of sometimes troubling, sometimes caring masculine guide figures in dreams -- Olson is another figure who has made repeat appearances...


Consumer worship music, corn from another planet.


Jordan Davis writes about my poem "Fixing a Real Phantom Limb" over at Lemon Hound.


On one side of the sincerity meter, you could have Townes Van Zandt, very sincere, and the sincerity is really working. On the other side would be The Magnetic Fields, totally insincere, and the insincerity really works.


Snakes in the morning
Wake up, scared, afraid of my warning.


Something I learned today
Never look straight in the sun's rays
Letting all the sunshine in
Can't remember where I've been

For the last few nights the level of detail and the feeling of reality in my dreams has become overwhelming. Awakened at 5:00am with Something I Learned Today blasting in my head as though through an iPod.


I think it's over now I think it's ending/I think it's over now I think it's beginning.


This better fucking happen.


Poetry might be the only art whose leaders are regularly criticized for trying to stay relevant.
... well, what's the line today? What's the cowardly opinion? What's the position people are afraid not to take?


Night owls in daylight.


Take your best swing!

Risa Puno - The Course of Emotions.


I'll be performing at the Bowery Poetry Club this Sat at 4:00:

Drew Gardner -- poetry and guitar
James Ilgenfritz -- bass


Ted Pearson

308 BOWERY, just north of Houston


Has someone thought to create a PDF chapbook of all the comment field and blog reaction to Issue 1?. Clearly that's where the poetry is in all this.

Perhaps I have a perverse sense of humor, but the spectacle of poets angrily claiming and defending the value of their intellectual property and brand name in a context where it has no value to the culture at large is funny to me. What does it mean that this concise, wrong-headed group writing might have more energy charge to it than much of the poetry of the comment writers?

The poems in the Issue 1 all do sound like they're from the same poem generating software. So it's really the work of a single author. I see some people are calling this Flarf. The event of Issue 1 is Flarfy in that it's provocative and identity-blurring. Identity-blurring always enrages poets for some reason.

The poetry itself isn't Flarfy, because Flarf poetry is very much a product of the individual poets who write it. You can tell which Flarf poet is the author within a few lines. Flarf poetry is expressive, or more precisely, it is a hybridization of expressiveness and procedure. The work coming out of the Flarf collective is poetry by any means necessary.


There I sit now,
In this smallest oasis,
Just like a date,
Brown, sweet through, oozing gold, lusting
For the round mouth of a girl,
But even more for girlish,
Ice-cold, snow-white, cutting
Incisors: for after these
Pants the heart of all hot dates.


All good things approach their goal crookedly. Like cats, they arch their backs, they purr inwardly over their approaching happiness: all good things laugh.


Could I be a character actor, playing a part in someone else's absurdest narrative?


... what I want is to occupy a site from which quantities are no longer perceived, and from which all accounts are banished.


Turtles exploding over Istanbul...

Penguins plunged against the Sphinx...

For if I felt bombs were caterpillars...

A barnacled wreath on the moon-squid's head...

Elkbombs will perk their ears...


so you're
that the
of life


a person
to return


From Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise:

Born in 1862, the son of a shopkeeper turned civil servant, he studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he struggled for several years to write a cantata sufficiently dull to win the sinecure of the academically oriented Prix de Rome, He finally succeeded with The Prodigal Son.

Stravinsky ... There was a fling with Coco Chanel....

For Stravinsky, as for many other composers, technology became a new kind of folklore, another infusion of the real.

"Why tonality as such should be thrown out for good, I can't see," Ives once wrote. "Why it should always be present, I can't see."

... by shattering these trite associations into fragments, Ives draws closer to the source.

When Duke Elllington set about making his name, he went for advice to Will Marion Cook.... "I'd sing a melody in its simplest form," Ellington recalled, "and he'd stop me and say, "Reverse you figures..."

...there was an element of nature-mysticism to Webern's method. On a hiking trip in 1930 the composer wrote ecstatically of the experience of being lost in a snowstorm, of walking into a whiteness that was like a "completely undifferentiated screen."

...Ludwig Bauer could have been thinking of The Measures Taken when he lamented that political fanaticism on both the right and the left was devaluing the life of the individual. "The I is disappearing..."

Prokofiev had a gift for what .... Bakhtin called the "carnivalesque" - farce, parody, irresponsible merrymaking, mock grandeur.

"The modern composer must change from a parasite into a fighter."

There was a Communist cell within the Group Theatre, but most members understood the project to in largely aesthetic terms, as a corrective to the intellectual flight from society.

In 1935, through Goldbeck, he met Bertolt Brecht, who challenged him to "write a piece about all kinds of prostitution - the press, the church, the courts, the arts, the whole system."

"I was driven into Paradise"

..."Any composing strategy which is wholly 'rational' is irrational in the extreme."

(Stockhausen) took a particular interest in the semi-independent movement of jazz melodies, the way they floated above the beat in changing values.

he began to look at a orchestra the way a scientist looks at a gas cloud.

"Welcome to the Terrordome" is the Rites of Spring of black America.

When in 1999 (Boulez) was asked why so few major works of the fifties and sixties had become repertory pieces, he blandly relied, "Well, perhaps we did not take sufficiently into account the way music is perceived by the listener."


I'll be playing drums this Sunday with Julie Patton's group at The Stone (Ave C and 2nd St.)

Julie Patton's Ghost of a Chance Defense Fun(d) Band

Julie aka Ezelle/Patton (voicesays)
Special Guest Henry Grimes, Poet of the Air (words, instrumental voicing)
Brad Jones (bass)
Drew Gardner (percussion)
Rod Williams (piano)
Paul Van Curen (guitar)
Taiyo de Jong

see you there.


how many Spenglers am I holding up?




there must be


a very indirect request for rain


... but I too am a stripper.


Clown of thorns.




A cobra in the shape of a question mark.


The lion
and the lamb
are getting


I'll be conducting the Flarf Orchestra this Sat:

308 BOWERY, $8

The Flarf Orchestra
Conducted by Drew Gardner


Franklin Bruno - guitar
Ehran Elisha - drums
Francois Grillot - bass
Dave Ross - guitar

with poets:

Shanna Compton
Katie Degentesh
Benjamin Friedlander
Drew Gardner
Nada Gordon
Mitch Highfill
Rodney Koeneke
Michael Magee
Sharon Mesmer
K. Silem Mohammad
Mel Nichols
Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl
James Sherry
Rod Smith
Christina Strong

See you at the party, Richter!


The pure products of America go crazy. Ange Mlinko in the Nation.


What if you look at something with a little life in it, Leaves of Grass, for instance, and you decide to do everything in your power to drain the life out of it while appearing to champion it? Maybe you secretly, jealously hate the art and wish to kill it with cliches and platitudes, or dripping sententiousness? Or, maybe, more to the point, you valorize the figure of the author, your one true fixation, while having little or no interest of what the art does in the first place, or why. And it's not just PBS. How many poetry listeners in churches and non-profits continually make the same kinds of mistakes...



John Tchicai in Brooklyn tonight @ 10.

He'll also be at Cornelia St. Cafe Wed Feb 6th.

and @ Zebulon Feb 12th (free!)


MP3s from the readings at the Jackson Mac Low Thing of Beauty book party are posted at PennSound.

Included here is my reading of Still Waldoboro, with a GarageBand arrangement for snare and bass drums.

Also-some snapshots of the readers on Anne's website.


My Poetics Orchestra will be playing tonight at The Living Theater with Ty Cumbie's Musetry Project:

The Orchestra features: Gene Cawley (gtr), Ty Cumbie (gtr), Katie Degentesh (poetry) , Francois Grillot (bass), James Ilgenfritz (bass), Sharon Mesmer (poetry), with me conducting.

Ty Cumbie's Musetry Project : 8:00
The Poetics Orchestra goes on at 9:00

21 Clinton St., NYC

See you there.


See you at Barbes tomorrow for the 7:00 set.


Towering treetops are dangerous hazards for balloonists.