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May 21, 2012 / dlw43

You guys, you guys, you guys, you guys, you guys

Here’s something amazing. It’s by Laura Jayne Martin.

Tell Me Something About Yourself

Tell me something about yourself.

Are you afraid of people who are afraid of snakes?

Do you like reading? Do you like it so much that you do it when no one else is around?  I don’t want to bother you, but would you mind telling me about some books, or preferably some 500-word articles, you have read recently and find interesting? Actually, don’t tell me about the article at all. Just communicate your opinions about it, sans facts, and exactly how it relates to your life, or how it is totally different from your experience. You know what, forget about 500-words. Instead, simply give me one-to-five words pasted over a ridiculous, hopefully animated, picture. Just let that represent the entirety of your well-considered, subtle, complex and learned opinion on the matter.

How many babies do you have? One, or two, or several? Do you have zero, but want to have a lot with, say, Justin Bieber? This information is vital. Would you be willing to send me some pictures of either? Is there more? Send as many as you have.

Oh, oh! Speaking of pictures, I’m also trying to track down any and all photographs of meals, snacks, or beverages people who I know (or who I do not know) have consumed in the last year. Ideally, they would be heavily-filtered, but honestly, I’ll take whatever you’ve got.

I’m wondering if you have any opinions about any of the latest people. What do you think of the newest crazes, songs, films, or people who think about the newest crazes, songs, films? For the love of God Almighty, won’t someone, anyone, tell me their personal viewpoint on singer/actress Zooey Deschanel? She seems like the best or the worst or the medium, whatever it is it’s obvious.

And are you doing something later? Or are you doing nothing? And is the idea of you doing nothing hilarious because you usually do a lot of things, which gives you the confidence to winkingly let people know about this exception? I think that’s cool.

Or, are you actually doing something? Are you, for instance, going to a bar, a show, or a birthday party? If so, would you mind letting me know somehow when you get there?  I’m most eager to know the following: the address of any establishments you plan to visit/visit/visited, if you will have/are having/had fun, any other items about people I haven’t met (their names just sound cool) and if you have a hangover. If you have a hangover please describe it in great detail. I invite you to do this because, and this is just me guessing, most likely, however bad you feel now directly relates to however much fun you had at your event. I’ve been wondering for a while how much fun you have, so this would help me clear things up.

Also, have you just realized something? I’d like to know if what you’ve realized is a universal truth. I may be older than you and, if so, I’m interested to hear how younger generations are finally figuring it out for everyone. But if I’m younger than you, can it. You’re probably just bitter about how my generation realized all those universal truths after you idiots just bumbled around in the dark until we arrived.

Do you want to come over and watch some television with me? Or better yet, just stay where you are and watch the same show that I’m watching alone in my apartment, alone in your apartment. The only thing is, I want to know what you think about each plot device and certain lines of dialogue — so try to remember all of that and tell me at some point. Don’t forget about the commercials.

You guys, you guys, you guys, you guys, you guys — do you have any topical quips?

I have some, and they’re mostly about malapropisms, award shows, New York City life, or Snapple products. But enough about me, will you share some of yours with me? Maybe something happened on your commute, or on a line, or on a line to get to your commute. Is it in any way possible that some extremely limited aspect of your life is like a small detail of a TV show? Would you mind expounding on that fact, in a way which highlights the irony of this particular situation?

Are you a food truck? If so, where are you now? How about now? How about now? Same place? One block north? I know I’m miles away at work, but I’d just rather know than not know, you know?

Do you have any famous quotations that you can tell me? Hopefully, they are the kind that let me know something about what’s going on in your life, vis-à-vis the application of the quote topic and keywords to potential situations that you are facing. Do you mind if I rank them mentally according to their presumed likelihood, and then just think about what you may or may not be going through? By the way, it’s better if these quotes are taken entirely out of context, but I don’t mind if they’re misattributed.

I know almost everyone has weighed in on the current political issue, but I’m guessing you have something pretty intriguing to say about it. And if I know you, it’ll be tilling fresh ground. You just get it. And that’s more than I can say for those jokers in power/not in power/who will never be in power.

Okay, this is the last thing. I know it’s going to sound weird. I guess this is just me being me, but I really want to know about your romantic relationship(s). If you don’t mind, please don’t tell me or ask me for any advice about them. Mainly, I am wondering if you have any obtuse song lyrics excerpts that I can decode for the answer.

Fine, I know you’re busy. I’ll let you go with the reminder to please, please take an extra camera’s worth of snapshots on your next vacation. I’d like to pore over them when you return. C’mon, please! Why not? Will you at least make sure you keep me posted about any co-workers you dislike or weird dreams you’ve had recently? No? I need it. I’m begging! At the very least, will you constantly alert me to your current music tastes via Youtube videos? I’d like ten a day, minimum. You have to give me something.

I mean, #youhavetogivemesomething.

May 16, 2012 / dlw43

“I believed that I wanted to be a poet, but deep down I just wanted to be a poem” – Jaime Gil de Bieda

April 3, 2012 / dlw43

Grammar by Tony Hoagland


Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend,
smiles like a big cat and says
that she’s a conjugated verb.
She’s been doing the direct object
with a second person pronoun named Phil,
and when she walks into the room,
everybody turns:

some kind of light is coming from her head.
Even the geraniums look curious,
and the bees, if they were here, would buzz
suspiciously around her hair, looking
for the door in her corona.
We’re all attracted to the perfume
of fermenting joy,

we’ve all tried to start a fire,
and one day maybe it will blaze up on its own.
In the meantime, she is the one today among us
most able to bear the idea of her own beauty,
and when we see it, what we do is natural:
we take our burned hands
out of our pockets,
and clap

by Tony Hoagland

March 29, 2012 / dlw43

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012)

Diving into the Wreck

by Adrienne Rich

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

March 27, 2012 / dlw43

Quick Pick Me Up


Marina Kanno and Giacomo Bevilaqua at 1000 frames per second to Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place.”

March 14, 2012 / dlw43




– – – –

1. FROM THE VALLEY: Take the 134 East to the 5 South. Exit at WOODLAWN. Go through the next 3 lights (careful! bump crossing TIVOLI DRIVE) and turn LEFT at MONTROSECRESCENT. Ours is 2nd from the end on the right at the top of the hill. Lavender paint (bluish at night), cedar tree: # 4266.

2. FROM DOWNTOWN: North on the 405, take 10 East to 5 North. Exit DOS PASSOS, circle the roundabout thing; RIGHTat MONTROSE CRESCENT. We’re 2nd from the end on the right at the top of the hill. Cedar tree: # 4266.

3. FROM THE YEAR 1618: Go to the top of the tallest hill from which you can’t quite see the ocean. Wait four centuries then for paving equipment and cedar tree. Sorry about the eighties, those neighbors are gone. Dress warm.

4. FROM A DREAM WHERE YOU’RE AN ANT ON A CHESSBOARD: Cling to the rook of spades as it glides madly around the board eschewing conventional rules of play. Fall off because your grandmother’s cat has powerful blasting eye-rays. Dimly realize there is no rook of spades and Pooncie died in 1983. Wake up as our friend Debbi who’s bringing the hummus.

5. FROM PLATO’S CAVE: Come to understand despite the vividness and seeming totality of your experience that there is something outside the cave and that one of it is our house at 4266 Montrose, Silverlake.

6. FROM THE FIERY DEPTHS OF HELL: Make a deal with the devil where you get out for 24 hours if you can beat him at some game but not a classic like chess that he’s had years to practice or a new one that he might be playing right now like Left 4 Dead 2. Try Mario Kart for Nintendo DS Lite. While he’s impotently cursing take Hell’s Portal to 1311 DOS PASSOS, head up hill, look for the cars. You’ve had a rough time, don’t bring a dish.

7. FROM I DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM OR WHAT I’M DOING: It’s hard for you at the moment. You need to take time for yourself and regroup. You’re better off without him, come on you know that. Look at how he treated you on that camping trip. You can do this, Barbara. You’re a good person. Just take one step at a time. Exit at WOODLAWN, follow route 1.

8. FROM GÖDEL’S INCOMPLETENESS THEOREM:Construct a true sentence that says of itself that you are not not-at 4266 MONTROSE CRESCENT, drinks at 7:30.

9. FROM I DIDN’T ASK TO COME TO YOUR MOTHER’S READING: I don’t ask to go to your stupid things either but I go to them. Like what things? Like that fundraiser your dipshit brother had in Santa Monica last summer. “Art Opening,” whatever. Well, hello, you’re unhappy, what a surprise, the universe has once again failed to align itself to Corinne. Why don’t you step back from this self-pitying bullcrap, take a good look at yourself, exit at WOODLAWN, and follow the roundabout to 4266 MONTROSE? Stow the ‘tude; bring an inexpensive red.

10. FROM UNPLUGGING A LOVED ONE: This isn’t Pop. The Pop we loved has already gone. But you know what? He’s still here, in our memories of him. He’s here in the way Mom smiles. He’s here in his wood carvings and his paintings and all those letters he wrote us when we were in college. But he won’t be here at 4266 MONTROSE, following route 2, above, 8:00-ish. Could you possibly bring those flowers?

11. FROM BEVERLY HILLS: Set GPS to 4266 Montrose, Silverlake. Bring that Montrachet again? Open it to breathe any time after TIVOLI DR. Mwa.

Source: McSweeney’s

March 14, 2012 / dlw43

A Diane Arbus quote

“Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

— Diane Arbus (March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer and writer noted for black-and-white square photographs of “deviant and marginal people (dwarfs, giants, transvestites, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal.” A friend said that Arbus said that she was “afraid… that she would be known simply as ‘the photographer of freaks’”; however, that phrase has been used repeatedly to describe her. Source: Wikipedia

January 13, 2012 / dlw43

Animation by Monika Umba of Bukowski poem “Bluebird”

Birds are the word.

December 8, 2011 / dlw43

Bakhtin, Cisoux, and the rest

Internal error. Stack dump.

November 9, 2011 / dlw43

Excerpt from Henry MacKenzie’s A Man of Feeling

“There is at least,” said the stranger, “one advantage in the poetical inclination, that it is an incentive to philanthropy. There is a certain poetic ground, on which a man cannot tread without feelings that enlarge the heart: the causes of human depravity vanish before the romantic enthusiasm he professes, and many who are not able to reach the Parnassian heights, may yet approach so near as to be bettered by the air of the climate.”

“I have always thought so,” replied Harley; “but this is an argument with the prudent against it: they urge the danger of unfitness for the world.”

“I allow it,” returned the other; “but I believe it is not always rightfully imputed to the bent for poetry: that is only one effect of the common cause. – Jack, says his father, is indeed no scholar; nor could all the drubbings from his master ever bring him one step forward in his accidence or syntax: but I intend him for a merchant. – Allow the same indulgence to Tom. – Tom reads Virgil and Horace when he should be casting accounts; and but t’other day he pawned his great-coat for an edition of Shakespeare. – But Tom would have been as he is, though Virgil and Horace had never been born, though Shakespeare had died a link-boy; for his nurse will tell you, that when he was a child, he broke his rattle, to discover what it was that sounded within it; and burnt the sticks of his go-cart, because he liked to see the sparkling of timber in the fire. – ’Tis a sad case; but what is to be done? – Why, Jack shall make a fortune, dine on venison, and drink claret. – Ay, but Tom – Tom shall dine with his brother, when his pride will let him; at other times, he shall bless God over a half-pint of ale and a Welsh-rabbit; and both shall go to heaven as they may. – That’s a poor prospect for Tom, says the father. – To go to heaven! I cannot agree with him.”

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