Paid a visit to my dentist Wed afternoon. Light classical music combined with the sound of air sucking through the tube in my mouth-- good arrangement!

Then down to 18th St. to Academy Records, which has above average used jazz and _Post War_ classical sections. I had a few things to sell, tried to hold off buying, though tempted by a Tony Scott CD. Ran into Joel Lewis. Talked for about a half hour in the front of the store's cast of characters. Topics covered included: the Zukofsky conference, the relation of aging and poetry scenes, Hawkwind, Dennis Charles, do young people read Zukofsky?, Neil Young, Amiri Baraka, early Can 1968-1971, Hoboken, Objectivism, acceptable "poetry gig"-type day jobs, John Cage's botany tutorial where he went door to door telling people - "I'm teaching a class about botany, which I don't know anything about." (my comment- that's when the rents are very low...") The amazing Max Roach/Cecil Taylor concert outside at Columbia a few years ago, The Max Roach bio that Baraka is working on, Billy Higgins, A-22, A-23, Ed Blackwell, Patty Smith, Lorraine Niedecker, Steve Winwood, spending money on CDs vs. poetry books...

Down to 2nd Ave. for hot borscht and challa bread for dinner at B & H. Deep red tones. The clientele totally uncontaminated by new East Village yuppies. A restaurant with a spatial extent so narrow as to be effectively two-dimensional. It's like being a character in Flatland. You can see the sphere pass through, but it looks like a bowl of borscht disappearing into your body. The cook hands you the soup over the counter. Best challa bread in town. Total:$3.75

6:30pm: the Jordan Davis talk show at the Bowery Poetry Club. Jordan's opening monologue is the highlight. I was thinking he should stretch/wig out even more during this section. Late late late late show maybe? Where is video net streaming? Pleased to find Jim Behrle and Brandon Downing in the audience. After, Jordan and I discuss how unemployment has been good for Jim's comic art. Met Miss Meghan and shook her down for info about the message my shoes are sending: I am drawn to comfort.

Off to The Poetry Project to hear the Eileen Myles Opera "The Workshop from Hell." Packed house in the large room. Jim, Brandon and Bob Holman all came over from the BPC. Eleven piece chamber group. Great to hear harpsichord, vibraphone and bassoon. Professional, slightly campy neo-classical music. I had no idea what was going on plot-wise, though- couldn't make out most of the words- though I liked hearing the poetry sung. Some fragments came through, imagine them in camped-out operatic voicings:

"this is the first Goth PO-em"

"hold ON -- my browser's STUCK"

"we thought hell could be REPLACED by an inexpensive WAX MODEL"

"the trees won the earth FAIR and SQUARE"
(There were some (singing) trees holding golf clubs)

(and, my favorite,a dig on poetry bitching):

"the people of Iceland have been writing and telling STORIES for thousands of YEARS in an incredibly obscure LANGUAGE- you don't hear them COMPLAINING...."


This is first time I've seen Ezra Pound compared to Resident Evil 3.

I have to admit that the Hell Cantos do play a lot like RE3- awkward.

Other parts of the Cantos play more like Silent Hill, though, discontinuous, compelling, and full of odd detail, and with a flow and rhythm that increases one's curiosity about what's going on in this odd world.

One's position as an agent in The Cantos is also more like Silent Hill in general- one stumbles through it, not getting the references, absorbing the atmosphere, and moving through an altered spacialization of time and history where an investigation is part of the reader/player's participation in the story.


The Kerry team doesn't seem to understand that they are fighting two Mecha-Godzilla-scale forces of human repression: religious faith and fear, things that by themselves have the capacity to shut off the powers of critical thinking, and can combine to do untold damage, esp. when harnessed by dangerous millionaires. These forces make people feel protected by their exploiters.

I think Kerry still has a chance of winning, but he has to somehow use the media to send the message to the population that the Bush crew is 1) robbing us 2) killing our children for no reason 3) poisoning our air and land 4) raiding our retirement funds 5) systematically bankrupting and weakening our country. Can this be done in the current media landscape without threatening people's realities to the point where there's a backlash within the population, causing them to retreat into a violently self-disempowering fantasy space where they have not elected a maniac, putting their poetic imaginations to use in the face of an unpleasant and unflattering reality?

For most Republicans, the fact is that their father-figure/buddy leader and protector is stepping on their necks, and they respond to this by asking for more -- and by licking the offending boot. Will the swing voters adopt the same mental strategy? Is Kerry too blandly patrician to understand what it would take to win against people like Carl Rove? You have to credit the Republicans with a knowledge of mass psychology that completely leaves the Democrats in the dust. The RNC was brilliant performance art. The Republican poetic is masterful. These tactics, the swift boat stuff and the RNC pitch, the bald opposite-of-the-truth dissociations, the fear mongering, the character assassination, these are thousands of years old, and the Kerry crew responds by taking a nap.

If the Bush people win again the ante on the worst-case scenario is up considerably: American religious fundamentalist-led creeping global neo-capitalist corporate Stalinism working in a symbiotic relationship with an equally fundamentalist and militarized fragmented Islamic radical terrorist _opposition._ It's a perfect mutually-empowering partnership against the populations of the world, who are the real opposition to both groups. If this happens you'll have the Christians of middle-America to thank: people so uncomfortable with their own identities they agree to tolerate having their children killed in profiteering wars of foreign occupation as long as they don't have to hear anything on the news about the president getting a blowjob.

As long as W keeps intoning _I'm protecting you people from A-rabs_ and there's no proper answer to it from anyone, then he'll win. Then again, the American death count in a war justified by and universally accepted as unrelated to 9/11 is already at 1/3 of the number of people killed on 9/11 and rising.