Monday, January 31, 2005


sore from lifting weights at the gym ... one of the personal trainers was helping a new member set up his routine, I worked out around them, the trainer said to me, "you're doing good, nice form." ... I followed a woman onto a thigh machine and had to reduce the weight by 5 pounds; later I followed her on an arm machine and she looked all worn down so I said, "if it makes you feel any better I had to reduce the weight when I sat down after you at the thigh machine." she blinked, then said, "I guess that makes me feel a little better."

kent gives me updates on "24", which I don't watch. I prefer k's updates to watching the show.

kent made a mix CD last night and listened to it today, "it's really tough to get a mix just right."

went to a meeting this morning to learn about the library's newest Electronic Resources. what comes to mind when you see the phrase "Electronic Resources"? me, I get stuck on the "electronic" part, then I think these "resources" must have to do with electronics or computers or something ... but it seems these are reference databases the library subscribes to. dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes to periodicals and associations. during the meeting I suggested renaming the page, instead of "Electronic Resources" howabout oh maybe "Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Indexes, etc."?

Sunday, January 30, 2005


C. Dale Young wonders about his "voice": "When I first started seriously writing poems, I spent a lot of time worrying about 'voice.' So many people, especially in graduate school, had a running discussion about finding one's voice. I became a little paranoid about it. Listening to them, I knew I didn't want to become an imitation of a poet I liked. I went so far as to never read one book of poetry at a time because I feared I would start emulating that poet. I always read two books around the same time, hoping to offset the other. So, I would read Sylvia Plath next to George Herbert, Marianne Moore next to John Donne, John Ashbery next to Whitman. ...

Recently, a friend of mine read the galleys for my new book. In a phone conversation, he reported: 'Your work is all about shadow.' My response: 'What are you talking about?'"

I posted the following in Comments: "Several years ago I thought to myself, the poem I'm writing today sounds like it's in the style of a poet I read a month ago. I wasn't sure whether that excited me (hey, I can write that sort of poem, too!) or if it made me nervous (anybody can see this is just an imitation of so-and-so).

There are certain poems I've written that sound most characteristic of my own 'voice'. There are times I think all my poems sound the same. A teacher once said one of my poems seemed typical of me and I said, 'What's typical for me?' A sort of meditative, contemplative poem, he said. I had to think about that."

Kent and I ate our brunch at on Chester's deck this morning. We were able to see San Francisco clearly, despite a quite usual thin haze. Young has a nice post today about the weather where he is: "Outside, the sun is out and the light is that gauzy light you see in San Francisco many times during the year. All that salt water in the air refracting the light and the hills partitioning up this light so that everything glows as if in a very well-planned fish bowl. Out over Golden Gate Park, the Marin Headlands, grey but somewhat golden from the sea's reflected light. And off to the left, the breakers landing at Ocean Beach while two teenage boys are running along the tops of the dunes. Out by the Cliff House, a red kite. And everywhere, the sound of the Pacific, the dim roar one hears in a shell held to one's ear."

Why do I suspect that "gauzy light" is as much smog as "salt water in the air refracting the light"?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

comments on "Love" version 3

I restricted this version to these words: love star sky I dream moon

OK. You got me. I didn't. I may yet.

"Love", version 3

I love the stars in the sky.
I love the sky, the way the sky loves stars.

Stars love the sky.
Stars love the way the sky loves stars.

The sky loves stars more than I.
I love stars and I love sky.

I dream about love between stars.
In the sky there are stars and stars.

Stars love stars.
There is one sky, one love, one me.

There is one dream the moon turns.
And in this dream I love and sky.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Rice defines herself

Last week I heard an excerpt from the Senate confirmation hearings for Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State. California Senator Barbara Boxer said, after having run through a list of Rice's statements in the lead up to war, "Your loyalty to the mission [invading Iraq] ... overwhelmed your respect for the truth."

To which Rice replied, "I'd like to [discuss this] in such a way that it does not impugn my integrity."

That night the local PBS station was airing some sort of guide on buying antiques. The show's host demonstrated how to ask a dealer questions about a piece of interest. Ask where the dealer acquired the piece, what he knows about its history, has he himself made any repairs, etc. The host pulled out a drawer and pointed out a hidden repair to the back end of the drawer. The dealer nodded, made a couple additional comments ... When he'd walked away the host said to the camera (I'm paraphrasing), "That dealer was honest and upfront. He answered my questions quickly and matter-of-factly. Beware the dealer who says, when you point out a flaw in the piece (and a possible contradiction in what he's so far told you), 'Are you trying to impugn my integrity?'"

Thursday, January 27, 2005


In David Chadwick's tale about moving to Japan to study Zen, Thank You and OK!: An American Zen Failure in Japan, he spends a couple pages on the ways the Japanese use English; it's a dash of the exotic. A lady's dress shop called Infect. A coffee shop called Guns and Coffee.

Chadwick taught English. He copied down these slogans from student Tshirts:

Pay close attention to various objects and be calm

for the player who demands the ultimate best sensitive comfortable fat fashion good things exist throughout time

Here's something printed on one of the notebooks he bought: please use this note book politely, and use up the last sheet. And then please use your brains everyday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Dear Emily

In her poem "Dear Emily Dickinson" Cathleen Calbert asks Ms D lots of questions ("... how would you classify yourself? / Agoraphobic? Anorexic? New England eccentric? / ... / Did you have trouble rhyming? / ... Were you thinking -- / in gaps?"), and ends her poem with "... I've read every one / of your goddamned poems, / and I still don't know what they mean."

It always baffles me when I see people who otherwise fume about obscurity in poetry call Emily Dickinson a favorite. I've been gradually working my way through Dickinson's complete poems, I've been working on it for years now, likely I'll be working on it for years yet. Dickinson intrigues me. She really is like no one else. But her poems read like riddles. And they seem to me so fierce, a philosopher's work, as difficult to read as the thoughts they contain. Sure there are the anthology pieces. Dickinson wrote many many poems and many are easy, even goopy in their bees and sunsets sentimentality, but the more typical Dickinson, I'd say, is:

poem numbered 868

They ask but our Delight --
The Darlings of the Soil
And grant us all their Countenance
For a penurious smile.

What are the "Darlings"? Flowers? I'm tempted to say worms. And why is the smile "penurious"? Is it begrudging? Is it the smile of the poverty-stricken?

Then there's, poem #870

Finding is the first Act,
The second, loss,
Third, Expedition for
The "Golden Fleece"
Fourth, no Discovery --
Fifth, no Crew --
Finally, no Golden Fleece --
Jason -- sham -- too

Is this a version of the Hollywood formula -- boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-gets-girl-back? ... Maybe boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-never-really-had-girl-in-the-first-place ... boy was even deluding himself that he met a girl? And boy doesn't exist either? It's a fucking movie! Stumble out into the daylight and take your popcorn with you!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Ron Silliman

Being as I've been reading Ron's blog almost daily (it's a nice break from the political blogs I otherwise obsessively visit & revisit), and he did quote me on his blog, something like, "What the hell are you talking about, Ron?", I hied myself over to Telegraph Ave for his reading. He lives in Philadelphia. I'm not sure what brought him to Berkeley, other than the Moe's reading (he gave another reading or two while in the area). I'm sure I've seen Ron read before. At least once. But I didn't remember his reading style. Turns out he's above average as a poet-performer. He read about farting underwater and punned and riffed off pop culture & politics, one long jumble of a piece.

Kit Robinson, who read first, writes in a similar vein (Ron said, "Whenever I hear Kit he reads poems I wish I'd written.") but he read with little inflection. I was sleepy (having woken in the middle of the night last night and not been able to get back to sleep) so I yawned and yawned during Kit's reading. Ron's reading was sprightly enough to wake me.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

comments on "Love", version 2

I wrote version 2 last night. Right fresh it seemed clever and funny. Aged a day I'm finding it faux naif. Too cute. The original version is brutal, you might say, in that it forces variations even when they're absurd, the variations limited to a few words. Version 2 gets love-eyed and stars dance like fairies in it, reaches for a pretty metaphysics, less bounded loses tension.

"Love" version 2

"Love as a Matter for Stars"

I love the stars.
I love the sky which provides a place for stars.
I love the sky, most all the time.

The sky loves its stars, why not?
The stars love each other, love each other times one billion trillion.
The stars love!

The sky loves its stars more than I.
Stars would love me if I were a star, especially if I were a big star.
In the sky love is all over, filling up the space between stars, filling up the stars.
Is there room for anything else? No! Love is always expanding.

When I wake up in the middle of the night I discover I’ve been dreaming about love between stars.
It’s very hot, this love. I have to take off my sweaty shirt.
Even though it’s cold in space love doesn’t shiver.

Love rides a sunbeam, when it’s relaxing, when it doesn’t want to get anywhere fast.
Otherwise love is already there, where love would go if it weren’t there.

Love is sitting on the moon watching me.
I want to be there, too! I’m envious.
I would hop up and down in lunar gravity, holding onto love.
Then, because you have to, I’d let go, whee! And we’d both fall down.

comments on "Love"

"Love" is from the Tales of the Blue & Yellow Sun notebook. But not the Blue & Yellow Sun section. After I grew tired of the Blue & Yellow Sun stuff the notebook sat around partially filled and I began a notebook which I titled Tales of Nothing in Particular. It was my first work journal and it was there I started using the method I've continued using for 20 years now. I start a poem in the notebook, then write on it until it's finished or I don't want to write on it further. When next I open the notebook I either do some tweaking of the poems already in it, continue the last poem I was writing, or start a new one. If a poem wants extensive revision or an older poem wants additions I would type the poem then do revisions on the typed version. Since I've had the computer I've done most revision on the computer. In the last couple years I've done serial poems in the notebook. Used to be it was rare for me to extend a poem; it was always a new poem I was writing, even if the new poem was a sequel or variation on the theme of the poem last written. These days I seem to do a lot of variation on a theme in the bounds of what I think of as a single poem. I'm now willing to allow the poem a lot of range.

In "Love" I was trying out a lot of variation on a single idea. I think it works pretty well. Maybe it's fine as it is. When I was reading it in the notebook another version started bubbling around it so I quickly typed up the original then started pursuing the new.


I love the stars in the sky.
I love the love in the stars in the sky.
I love the way the stars love the sky.
I love the sky.
Stars love the way I love.
Love loves love in the sky.
In the sky love pursues love to the stars.
Still I love love.
I dream about love between the stars.
The sky is passionate with me.
Stars love passion more than they love me.
Love vanishes like stars in the sky.
The sky likes love.
Love always rides there with the moon.
The stars are jealous.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

my job

A friend asked me about the state of my job. "I haven't read anything about it lately on your blog."

I haven't been talking about the library because, frankly, I've been waiting to find out something definite about it. Will I still be working there at the start of the new fiscal year this summer? Until this week I'd thought my chances quite good -- lay-offs depend not only on whom or what positions the library administration wants to terminate or eliminate but also on union seniority rules. My seniority in my job classification is fairly low but since I'm fulltime I've actually banked a relatively large amount of seniority since most jobs in my class are parttime. But the rules are complicated, it seems. And is the administration doing a bunch of job reclassifications? Can person with 20 years experience in parttime position X job classificaton U, where position X is being eliminated, bump person with 2 years experience in position Y job classification V, where position Y is fulltime and job classifications U and V have different requirements?

I'm told there is going to be a special meeting of the Board of Library Trustees this Wednesday. The Board has to approve the administration's proposals and supposedly the board isn't just a rubberstamp but actually curious and skeptical.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

lunch hour

Just read through Robert Ullman's comics diary Lunch Hour Comics.

Ullman tried to do a brief comic a day, the production of the day's piece to take no more than an hour. These are simple, nicely drawn moments. Ullman even allows himself a couple, I-can't-think-of-anything strips. Ullman's cartoon version of himself is cute. For a reason that's not compelling (to see if I can?) I've decided to post to this blog every day. This means there are going to be plenty of days in which I think, as Ullman does on his diary of 3/9/04, he's drawing a four-panel grid in his spiral bound sketchbook, a cup of coffee on a napkin on the round table (in a cafe?), his chin resting on an elbow, "It's only taken about a week of this to determine that my life is pretty boring."

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


I leave joky comments on people's blogs. When I go back they've been deleted. On this blog all objectionable comments are pre-deleted.

Monday, January 17, 2005

am I really reading this many books?

What's in my stack of active reading:

A Few Perfect Hours ... and other stories from Southesast Asia and Central Europe, a comic-art travelogue by Josh Neufeld

The Adventures of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, a graphic novel by Chris Ware

Purgatorial, poems by Dale Jensen

What Book!?: Buddha Poems from Beat to Hip-hop, edited by Gary Gach

In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall's famous account of watching the Chimpanzees at Gombe Stream

The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report by Timothy Ferris

Between the Palms: a collection of Gay Travel Erotica edited by Michael T. Luongo

The Best American Poetry 2004, guest editor Lyn Hejinian

Red Mars, a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson

Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry, vol 1: From Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude, edited by Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris

The New York Trilogy, three short novels by Paul Auster

Plus the book I read in the tiny window of my lunch hour during the week: Thank You and OK!: An American Zen Failure in Japan by David Chadwick

There are other books I've started but haven't been reading lately. One or more of the above may actually be in that category (or may soon be). Let's not mention magazines and blogs, newspapers and correspondence.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Poetry Walked

The reading was good -- that Berkeley Rep has a nice sound system, except, that is, for the inevitable but unplanned-for tango with the microphone stand. This poet is tall, that poet is short. But is there anybody adjusting the mic for the difference? And, since there isn't anybody to do it for them, do the poets figure out how to do it themselves? Or do they stand on tiptoe, fumble the mic loose from its grip, or hunch over? Yeah. Well.

Not every poet scheduled was able to make it. The man who wrote "Puff, the Magic Dragon", Lenny Lipton, was supposed to croon the song in the first part of the evening but came late. When he did get up on stage he brought along the lyrics. "I wrote this 41 years ago," he said. Most the audience knew the words. Oddly, I got teary. And that song has always annoyed me. It's a death sentence for the imagination.

I gave copies of Hogtown Creek Review to Robert Hass, Lyn Hejinian, and Judy Grahn. Hass brightened when I went up to him, he's such a nice man, quickly introducing his wife, Brenda (Hillman, also a poet), and I gave my name saving Bob from having to remember it. (Like I would blame him for that!) Lyn recognized one of the names on the cover (Niloufar) and when I said I wondered why they chose to put Niloufar on the cover when she was just the translator, Lyn shrugged, "The translator so often doesn't even get a credit." Judy Grahn was at a table in the lobby when I was shuffling out through the crowd. I thrust the anthology under her nose for autograph. The woman seated next to Judy was saying how much she enjoyed Grahn's Another Mother Tongue, a work of historiography on gay roles. I said, "Ms. Grahn, I read Another Mother Tongue at a time in my life when it was very important to me." Judy paused, touched, and took my hand.

Lucy Day, who has sent poems for HCR to my PO Box, said hi, and I thanked her for sending poems and said I wasn't sure if there would be another issue. I'd let her know. Hope springs eternal, eh?

I've started Lyn's number of Best American Poetry, not out long.

Poetry Walk

The poems have been in the sidewalk for a year and a half now and I still haven't read them all. I remember passing Robert Hass one morning on my way to work. He was holding a cup of coffee and mingling with several other middle-aged-ish, intellectual-looking folks at the corner of Addison & Shattuck. That yellow do-not-cross-this-line tape was stretched between fold-out traffic barriers. Workers were doing something to the sidewalk, I could see.

The poems are all collected now in a paperback anthology. I bought the book at a library event, a trial heat, one might say, to today's 2 hour plus reading with "Robert Hass, Opal Palmer Adisa, Ivan Arguelles, Alfred Arteaga, Chana Bloch, Joshua Clover, Lucha Corpi, Jean Day, Lucille Lang Day, Patricia Dienstfrey, Marcia Falk, Jack and Adelle Foley, Gloria Frym, Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Griffin, Barbara Guest, Lyn Hejinian, Brenda Hillman, Alice Jones, Joyce Jenkins, Ron Loewinsohn, Jack Marshall, David Meltzer, Adam David Miller, Laura Moriarty, Michael Palmer, Jim Powell, Stephen Ratcliffe, John Roberts, Kit Robinson, James Schevill, Richard Silberg, Carol Snow, Julia Vinograd, and Dean Young." I haven't read the book yet, either. But don't I got lotsa books to read? How many sidewalks?

Saturday, January 15, 2005


I listed my site.


I washed a big pile of dishes. What I had in the 5-CD changer: Jeff Buckley's Grace, which Kent bought today at Amoeba (K has been playing Buckley's version of the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah" for days), John Wesley Harding's The Confessions of St. Ace, Hapa (their self-titled first release), Pansy Division's Total Entertainment, and Jill Sobule's Happy Town.

A pleasing mix.

Have been checking in on Nasa's page of pictures from Saturn, particularly the new ones of Titan.

I haven't posted a new version of the Blue & Yellow Sun poem because I haven't done a new version of it. I started typing into the computer all the Blue & Yellow Sun poems (& stories), thinking I'd do a global revision, but there are a lot of them.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Ron Silliman talks about Geof Huth's anthology of pwoermds, the term one of many Huth seems to have coined or adjusted the meaning of. "Pwoermds" reminds me of one of my brother David's coinages, "Switagern" which is a griffin-like beast whose front portion is swan and whose back portion is tiger. Note that both Geof & David use every letter from the two source words when creating a new one. Ron doesn't seem much impressed by the pwoermd ... "a comprehensive anthology of literary minimalism – from the one-letter poems of Joyce Holland’s Alphabet Anthology up to, say, haiku – would generally reveal pwoermds to be the weakest mode therein." I don't know what all is in the Huth anthology (I could probably buy the damn thing, yeah?) but I wonder if Huth has included poems associated with American haiku, like the ones I saw in Cor van den Heuvel's Haiku Anthology, "foalmosteady", being a favorite of mine (foal+almost+steady). (Consulting my notebook I see I encountered "foalmosteady" by Emily Romano in the magazine Modern Haiku edited by Robert Spiess, not in the Haiku Anthology. However, in the Haiku Anthology one would see some by Marlene Mountain, including, "sn wfl k s")

In Silliman's comments I threw in a pwoermd, riffing off one by John Byrum, "UTTER":


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

good Chinese food

If you are in Berkeley and you want Chinese food eat at Mandarin Garden. Mandarin Garden used to be called Yu Ying. Yu Ying River? Or just Yu Ying? I think they changed the name at the recommendation of a consultant. We've yet to order something we don't like. They have prompt delivery, too.

Around the corner there's Long Life Vegi House, which is also good. When I was attending UC Berkeley my mother would visit once a month and take me to lunch at Long Life Vegi. She would tell the waiters how great everything was, how she came all the way from Sebastopol for their food. When I'd graduated and was finally making some money I would pay and insist she be the one to take home any leftovers. Finally, sick of the place, I insisted we eat other places.

Kent and I have probably eaten more times at Mandarin Garden than I ate at Long Life Vegi. And I still like the food. Not that I hate the food at Long Life. I'd eat there again, I suppose. Their gluten-based chicken simalcrum is pretty decent. And it has a certain atmosphere. A very Chinese-restaurant bustle.

Monday, January 10, 2005

money money

I've seen dollar bills stamped "Queer Money" to demonstrate how money passes through the hands of queers, too. A pre-wheresgeorge hint of what dirty (or pious) fingers have fiddled with the corners of your Abe. Didn't I used to suck on pennies? Yeah. They tasted best.

Now there's a gay charity, Rainbow World Fund. Their "mission is to promote LGBT philanthropy in the area of world humanitarian relief." This way people in blighted countries will think, Hey, those weird Western ways sure work for me! Well, as the button on the cap ever on Julia Vinograd's head has it, you gotta be "Weird and proud".

Money from our movement. Tsunami relief or Subaru.

We've had a five dollar bill sitting on the desk for ... weeks? We can't quite bear to spend it, I guess. There's a mash note across the Lincoln Memorial:


Don't worry
I wouldn't
wish myself
on anyone
either but
two wrongs
do make a
Alekzi [?]

Sunday, January 09, 2005

all three

All three animals are in the room. Both cats are settled on the back of the couch, facing away from me. The dog is on the floor behind my chair, licking a paw.

I phoned the US District Court in Oakland tonight. No jury duty this time, but call again later this month at such-n-such a time ... this is the 2nd time I've been put off. How many times can they do that?

Kent is watching the start of the new season of "24".

Saturday, January 08, 2005

cold & rainy

Looks ugly out the window.

Went last night to Poetry & Pizza, the reading series I help run. Both readers were very good. I talked afterward with Shola Wolpe. She's got several readings in the area. A real variety of venues: coffee shop, pub, radio, bookstore. That's saturation! I hope she sells a lot of books. She lives in Los Angeles but (as you can see by her calendar of readings) she gets around. Even if somebody else (her publisher?) does the bulk of the work setting up readings this is still a lot of work, a big committment of time & energy. Most of these places don't pay (P&P doesn't, but you do get free food). She performs her work well (and the writing is sharp) so I was not surprised she sold several books last night. Shola seems to have done a lot of travelling in her life; it must not cause her anxiety the way it does me. I enjoy travel, but every time I go anywhere I feel doomed. Mildly doomed.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Best Poems of 2004

Every time I read a book of poems I stuff in the back a batch of placemarks. When I read a poem I quite like, one that I want to revisit, explore, I pop a placemark in next to it. I return to the poem a few times, reading it carefully, sometimes aloud. If after 5 readings or so I still don't want to leave the poem behind I hand copy the poem into a looseleaf notebook. By hand copying the poem I incorporate it into my body of work -- I've written it, after all. At the end of the year I read aloud all the poems I copied out in that year. This year I didn't get around to the reading until Tuesday night. Here's the list of poems:

"Mom told me to grow up and win the Nobel Prize" by Val Gerstle

"I Remember Clearly" by Imre Oravecz

"Theorem" by Walter Conrad Arensberg

"You say, 'I will come'" by Lady Otomo

"My long white hair is framed by green mountains" by Han-shan Te-ch'ing

"mountain sounds carry a chill wisdom" by Shih-Shu

"Written in the Year of the Parrot" by John Yau

"Hangover" by Jeffrey Conway

"A Week in the Life of the Ethnically Indeterminate" by Elena Georgiou

"As From a Quiver of Arrows" by Carl Phillips

"My Body" by Joan Larkin

"The Cow-Boy" by Vicente Huidobro

"Lovely Childhood" by Gottfried Benn

"People" by Hans Arp

two dinosaur haiku, "Fluxist Poem #5", "Friday", "Beautiful Cowards", and "You" by Sparrow

"Instinct" by Edith Sodergran

"Shhh", "Teeth", and "Heaven" by Billy Merrell

"I tie my Hat - I crease by Shawl", "Because I could not stop for Death -", and "Four Trees - upon a solitary Acre -" by Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Office of Marriage Security

I'm listening to Morrissey: "America ... where the President / is never black, female, or gay / ... you've got nothing to say to me" ... Morrissey, didn't he make a big thing of his celibacy and refuse to respond to questions about his sexuality? A webpage of FAQs about Morrissey quotes Mr M thus, "'I refuse to recognize the terms hetero-, bi-, and homo-sexual. Everybody has exactly the same sexual needs. People are just sexual, the prefix is immaterial.'" So, uh, whatever.

Meanwhile great champion of marriage Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, has announced the dissolution of his marriage. Isn't he Catholic? As a Christmas greeting this year we got a smiling picture of twins and a note that their parents, the Oakland City Attorney, John Russo and wife Chris are splitting. I remember John was contemptuous of Mayor (& former California governor) Jerry Brown's silence when Newsom got SF City Hall into the nondiscriminatory marriage business. John has gay people in his office in Oakland so hosted a party with wedding cake with same sex couple(s) perched atop. Some of his religiously-objecting coworkers disapproved and he says he shrugged, "Who am I to judge anyone's marriage?" Was this his second marriage? Or his third?

There ought to be a Proposition on the ballot! Establish an Office of Marriage Security. Along with a lovely marriage certificate suitable for framing every marrying couple will be issued handcuffs to symbolize the seriousness of the union. The key would be retained by the state. Marriages would be automatically dissolved that do not produce children, as this is a primary argument for restricting marriages to male/female couples. Health care providers must turn over to the state any evidence of infertility, including injury, menopause, congenital reasons, etc. A sheriff's deputy would be empowered to turn up at the couple's home upon invalidation of the marriage; he would bring the key to the handcuffs and unlock them, thus ending the marriage. If it has been determined that the couple entered into the marriage in full knowledge of their ineligibility all property of the marriage must be taken by the state.

As marriages must be heterogeneous the Proposition ought to include requirements for mix of religion (Jews cannot marry Jews, Muslims are not allowed to marry Muslims, Christians cannot marry Christians -- exceptions can be made in the case of sects that hate each other, preferably to the point of warfare or other abuse), mix of race (this is self-explanatory, isn't it?), mix of age, mix of height and weight, etc.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Mars is for the cars

Just watched PBS's NOVA, an update on the robots rolling around Mars, Spirit and Opportunity, and what they've found. Water! No, they haven't found water. They've found rocks that were influenced by water for thousands or millions of years. How long ago? Billions of years ago? At their website Nova has a narrated slide show that's worth seeing.

Life? Could there have been life in that water?

Monday, January 03, 2005

tonight's menu

fish - basa basa - (I think that was what it was called) - white flesh, mild flavor - fried with olive oil and a tangerine-shiitake sauce (from a jar)

green beans and carrots fried with the fish

fettucine pasta fried in the pan with a little more sauce after the fish & veggies removed

a salad sharing the plate: roma tomato slices, cherry tomatoes, shredded purple cabbage, red leaf lettuce torn, grated carrot, chunks of cucumber, sprout mix - doused with an Italian vinegarette (from a bottle)

while it was cooking I stood in the kitchen (which was cozier than the rest of the chilly house) and read four pages of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars: "[W]hat she could sense behind his reserve was some kind of triumph, as if he had won something and she had lost. That Puritan streak in Americans, that sense that sex was wrong and something that men had to trick women into."

then we ate ... I'm getting to enjoy cooking fish, it's simple and quick and easy to clean up and it tastes dern good

nice salad, too

Sunday, January 02, 2005

poems to listen to

If you want to sample some poems being spoke: Spaceship Tumblers


Pennsound, a site to listen to poems.

Spider Tangle -- this seems to be a collection of what Geof Huth calls "visual poems", which seems to be distinct from "poems" ... I'm still developing my thinking on the idea of "visual poems"; they seem more like abstract paintings than language, but inherent in the definition is that the piece must include the material of language presentation -- letters or things that look reminiscent of letters or punctuation or words or things that look like they could be/could once have been words.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

what I'm reading

These are the books that I'm actively working my way through:

Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities edited by Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe

King Solomon's Mines H. Rider Haggard

The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report Timothy Ferris

New Blood edited by Neil Astley (an anthology of poetry)

Poems for the Millennium: the University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry vol. 1: From Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude, edited by Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris

What Book!?: Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop edited by Gary Gach

Books I've started and will get back to shortly (probably when I finish, or get bored with, one of the above):

Dora, Doralina a novel by Rachel de Queiroz

Red Mars a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by Thomas H. Johnson

There are other books that I plan eventually to get back to, some I'll pick up where I left off, others I'll start again from the beginning. I won't list these.