Lumpy pudding

Judging a poem is like judging a pudding or a machine. One demands that it work. Poetry succeeds because all or most of what is said or implied is relevant; what is irrelevant has been excluded, like lumps from pudding and 'bugs' from machinery. (Wimsatt & Beardsley)

Here we celebrate the excluded, lumpy parts of the pudding!

Apr 13, 2014 3:55pm

Word Jazz Maestro, Ken Nordine - 94 today…

Ken Nordine: Spectrum - from You’re Getting Better: The Word Jazz Dot Masters, (rec 1967)

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Mar 27, 2014 10:29pm

Frank O’Hara, 1965, reading his poem “Song”

SONG

Is it dirty
does it look dirty
that’s what you think of in the city

does it just seem dirty
that’s what you think of in the city
you don’t refuse to breathe do you

someone comes along with a very bad character
he seems attractive. is he really. yes very
he’s attractive as his character is bad. is it. yes

that’s what you think of in the city
run your finger along your no-moss mind
that’s not a thought that’s soot

and you take a lot of dirt off someone
is the character less bad. no. it improves constantly
you don’t refuse to breathe do you

(1951, publ. 2013)

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Mar 13, 2014 3:25pm
Robert Gibbons: On This Day at This Age, March 13, 2014
On this day at this age I want to turn a bit more toward the Eastern way. What with snow on boughs of trees out the window framing a few Asian books & imagery on the desk like some sequestered monk I could reach for brush & ink to make calligraphic lettering accompany a mountainside. But I can’t get out of this Western skin. Winter here simply another brutal stretch of Time to get through till Spring exactly a week away.
Ill.: Jack Kerouac: Face of the Buddha, 1958

Robert Gibbons: On This Day at This Age, March 13, 2014

On this day at this age
I want to turn
a bit more
toward the Eastern way.
What with snow on boughs of trees
out the window
framing
a few Asian books & imagery
on the desk
like some sequestered monk I could reach
for brush & ink
to make
calligraphic lettering accompany
a mountainside.

But I can’t get out
of this Western skin.

Winter here simply
another brutal stretch of Time
to get through till Spring
exactly a week
away.

Ill.: Jack Kerouac: Face of the Buddha, 1958

Mar 1, 2014 11:45pm
Richard Wilbur - 93 today…
Above: Asides from the ‘New Poems’ section of his Collected Poems, 1943 - 2004

Richard Wilbur - 93 today…

Above: Asides from the ‘New Poems’ section of his Collected Poems, 1943 - 2004

Feb 4, 2014 11:38pm
Jacques Prévert: I Am as I Am
I am as I am  I’m made that way When I feel like laughing I burst right out I love the one who loves me Is it my fault especially If it’s not the same one I love each time
(Translation Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
Photo: Jacques Prévert and Jacqueline Laurent, Paris 1937 - by Wols

Jacques Prévert: I Am as I Am

I am as I am
I’m made that way
When I feel like laughing
I burst right out
I love the one who loves me
Is it my fault especially
If it’s not the same one
I love each time

(Translation Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

Photo: Jacques Prévert and Jacqueline Laurent, Paris 1937 - by Wols

Jan 30, 2014 10:25pm
Jack Spicer: A Diamond
                A Translation for Robert Jones
A diamond Is there At the heart of the moon or the branches or my nakedness And there is nothing in the universe like diamond Nothing in the whole mind. The poem is a seagull resting on a pier at the end of the ocean. A dog howls at the moon A dog howls at the branches A dog howls at the nakedness A dog howling with pure mind. I ask for the poem to be as pure as a seagull’s belly. The universe falls apart and discloses a diamond Two words called seagull are peacefully floating out where the waves are. The dog is dead there with the moon, with the branches, with my nakedness And there is nothing in the universe like diamond Nothing in the whole mind.
— from My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer

Jack Spicer: A Diamond

                A Translation for Robert Jones

A diamond
Is there
At the heart of the moon or the branches or my nakedness
And there is nothing in the universe like diamond
Nothing in the whole mind.

The poem is a seagull resting on a pier at the end of the ocean.

A dog howls at the moon
A dog howls at the branches
A dog howls at the nakedness
A dog howling with pure mind.

I ask for the poem to be as pure as a seagull’s belly.

The universe falls apart and discloses a diamond
Two words called seagull are peacefully floating out where the waves are.
The dog is dead there with the moon, with the branches, with my nakedness
And there is nothing in the universe like diamond
Nothing in the whole mind.

— from My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer

Jan 10, 2014 11:53pm
Robinson Jeffers: Their Beauty Has More Meaning Yesterday morning enormous the moon hung low on the ocean, Round and yellow-rose in the glow of dawn; The night-herons flapping home wore dawn on their wings. Today Black is the ocean, black and sulphur the sky, And white seas leap. I honestly do not know which day is more beautiful. I know that tomorrow or next year or in twenty years I shall not see these things—and it does not matter, it does not hurt; They will be here. And when the whole human race Has been like me rubbed out, they will still be here: storms, moon and ocean, Dawn and the birds. And I say this: their beauty has more meaning Than the whole human race and the race of birds.
— Poetry, October 1947
Photo: Edward Weston

Robinson Jeffers: Their Beauty Has More Meaning

Yesterday morning enormous the moon hung low on the ocean,
Round and yellow-rose in the glow of dawn;
The night-herons flapping home wore dawn on their wings. Today
Black is the ocean, black and sulphur the sky,
And white seas leap. I honestly do not know which day is more beautiful.
I know that tomorrow or next year or in twenty years
I shall not see these things—and it does not matter, it does not hurt;
They will be here. And when the whole human race
Has been like me rubbed out, they will still be here: storms, moon and ocean,
Dawn and the birds. And I say this: their beauty has more meaning
Than the whole human race and the race of birds.

— Poetry, October 1947

Photo: Edward Weston

Jan 10, 2014 6:08am
R.I.P.

R.I.P.

Dec 27, 2013 6:37pm
Charles Olson: Christmas
dirty Christmas which Origen and Clement both showed up for the junk it is — as though, sd O, he was a mere Pharaoh. Or, says Clement, do we have here some  child baptism to go gee-gaw over? in long favorably embroidered gown a boy? instead of a man standing in desire in the Jordan, with the green banks on either side, a naked man treated by another adult man who also has found out that to be as harmless as a dove is what a man gets as wise as a serpent for, the river of life?

Charles Olson: Christmas

dirty Christmas
which Origen
and Clement
both showed up

for the junk it
is — as though,
sd O, he was a
mere Pharaoh. Or,

says Clement, do
we have here some
child baptism to
go gee-gaw over?

in long favorably
embroidered gown
a boy? instead of
a man standing

in desire in the
Jordan, with the green
banks on either
side, a naked man

treated by another
adult man who also
has found out that
to be as harmless

as a dove is what
a man gets as wise
as a serpent for,
the river

of life?

Dec 21, 2013 12:11pm
Robert Gibbons: Hints of Others
It was dark. Dark, dark, can’t accentuate it enough. Especially when on opposite sides of the house battling snow from the overnight storm. Bundled up, yup, thankful for the humble home even with flat roof needs ladder, needs raking, needs the aging man (not her, please) to tramp on & shovel. Darkness early in the morning 3 days away from a 12:11 p.m. Saturday Solstice, is somehow still tinged in an eerie, spectral December light. Especially when paths cross or meet up at some halfway midpoint of the driveway. Nothing much to say, although language remains one hinge, concrete & abstract at the same time, unlike the wounded wooden gate hanging on on one hinge, we have the second corporeal, shoulders & arms, especially stomach muscles getting a workout. Breath in use for this labor removing tons of snow in the darkest of dark light. Hello, we might manage through layers of scarves, better than the gym or treadmill. When we take a breather, big oak tree seems to hold sky up, & darkness at bay, while under it eerie, spectral light draws us together for later speculation over cups of coffee, as if alone out there our mutual activity sparked hints of others readying to usher winter in.

Robert Gibbons: Hints of Others

It was dark. Dark, dark, can’t accentuate it enough. Especially when on opposite sides of the house battling snow from the overnight storm. Bundled up, yup, thankful for the humble home even with flat roof needs ladder, needs raking, needs the aging man (not her, please) to tramp on & shovel. Darkness early in the morning 3 days away from a 12:11 p.m. Saturday Solstice, is somehow still tinged in an eerie, spectral December light. Especially when paths cross or meet up at some halfway midpoint of the driveway. Nothing much to say, although language remains one hinge, concrete & abstract at the same time, unlike the wounded wooden gate hanging on on one hinge, we have the second corporeal, shoulders & arms, especially stomach muscles getting a workout. Breath in use for this labor removing tons of snow in the darkest of dark light. Hello, we might manage through layers of scarves, better than the gym or treadmill. When we take a breather, big oak tree seems to hold sky up, & darkness at bay, while under it eerie, spectral light draws us together for later speculation over cups of coffee, as if alone out there our mutual activity sparked hints of others readying to usher winter in.

Dec 4, 2013 11:51pm
Rainer Maria Rilke: Lament Everything is far and long gone by. I think that the star glittering above me has been dead for a million years. I think there were tears in the car I heard pass and something terrible was said. A clock has stopped striking in the house across the road… When did it start?… I would like to step out of my heart and go walking beneath the enormous sky. I would like to pray. And surely of all the stars that perished long ago, one still exists. I think that I know which one it is – which one, at the end of its beam in the sky, stands like a white city…
(trans. Stephen Mitchell)

Rainer Maria Rilke: Lament

Everything is far
and long gone by.
I think that the star
glittering above me
has been dead for a million years.
I think there were tears
in the car I heard pass
and something terrible was said.
A clock has stopped striking in the house
across the road…
When did it start?…
I would like to step out of my heart
and go walking beneath the enormous sky.
I would like to pray.
And surely of all the stars that perished
long ago,
one still exists.
I think that I know
which one it is –
which one, at the end of its beam in the sky,
stands like a white city…

(trans. Stephen Mitchell)

Nov 19, 2013 9:57pm
Joanne Kyger: The Crystal in Tamalpais
   In Tamalpais is a big crystal. An acquaintance told  me the story. A Miwok was giving his grandfather’s medicine bag to the Kroeber Museum in Berkeley. He said this man took him over the mountain Tamalpais, at a certain time in the year. I believe it was about the time of the Winter Solstice, because then the tides are really low. They stopped and gathered a certain plant on the way over the mountain. On their way to the Bolinas Beach clam patch, where there is a big rock way out there.                                                                Go out to the rock. Take out of the medicine bag the crystal that matches the crystal in Tamalpais. And                                         if your heart is not true                                         if your heart is not true when you tap the rock in the clam patch                                                  a little piece of it will fly off                                         and strike you in the heart                              and strike you dead. And that’s the first story I ever heard about Bolinas.
——
Joanne Kyger reading guidebook on wall overlooking Himalayan Peaks, we were on Pilgrimage with Gary Snyder her husband, and Peter Orlovsky, visiting Buddhist sites, here in Almora visiting Lama Govinda, March 1962. (Allen Ginsberg Photo & Caption)

Joanne Kyger: The Crystal in Tamalpais

   In Tamalpais is a big crystal. An acquaintance told
me the story. A Miwok was giving his grandfather’s medicine
bag to the Kroeber Museum in Berkeley. He said this man
took him over the mountain Tamalpais, at a certain time
in the year. I believe it was about the time of the
Winter Solstice, because then the tides are really low.
They stopped and gathered a certain plant on the way over
the mountain. On their way to the Bolinas Beach clam patch,
where there is a big rock way out there.

                                                                Go out to
the rock. Take out of the medicine bag the crystal
that matches the crystal in Tamalpais. And
                                         if your heart is not true
                                         if your heart is not true
when you tap the rock in the clam patch
                                                  a little piece of it will fly off
                                         and strike you in the heart
                              and strike you dead.

And that’s the first story I ever heard about Bolinas.

——

Joanne Kyger reading guidebook on wall overlooking Himalayan Peaks, we were on Pilgrimage with Gary Snyder her husband, and Peter Orlovsky, visiting Buddhist sites, here in Almora visiting Lama Govinda, March 1962. (Allen Ginsberg Photo & Caption)

Nov 9, 2013 1:50am
Alice Notley: 30th Birthday
May I never be afraid                   especially of myself                                                  but Muhammed Ali are you telling the truth?         Well you’re being true aren’t you and you talk so wonderfully in your body         that protects you with physique of voice    raps within dance                       May I never be afraid rocked and quaked                          the mantilla is lace                          whose black is oak But if I’m dark I’m strong                                 as my own darkness my strength the universe                                 whose blackness is air                                 only starry                                 lace But if I’m alive I’m strong                                    as life Strong as the violets in Marlon Brando’s fist                       his dissemblance flourished into truth                                                                            She took them I’d take me too                      I do               and my Ali I see you                                          a hard bright speck of me the savage formalist                           authentic deed of gossip               a kind body
——
Source: Alice Ordered Me To Be Made (1976)
Photo: Bent Sørensen, Brussels, Nov. 8 (Alice Notleys 68th birthday)

Alice Notley: 30th Birthday

May I never be afraid
                   especially of myself
                                                  but
Muhammed Ali are you telling
the truth?
         Well you’re being true aren’t you and
you talk so wonderfully in your body
         that protects you with physique of voice
    raps within dance
                       May I never be afraid

rocked and quaked
                          the mantilla is lace
                          whose black is oak
But if I’m dark I’m strong
                                 as my own darkness
my strength the universe
                                 whose blackness is air
                                 only starry
                                 lace
But if I’m alive I’m strong
                                    as life
Strong as the violets
in Marlon Brando’s fist
                       his dissemblance flourished into truth
                                                                            She
took them
I’d take me too
                      I do
               and my Ali I see you
                                          a hard bright speck of me
the savage formalist
                           authentic deed of gossip
               a kind body

——

Source: Alice Ordered Me To Be Made (1976)

Photo: Bent Sørensen, Brussels, Nov. 8 (Alice Notleys 68th birthday)

Oct 4, 2013 12:21pm
Three Faces The child laughs: “My wisdom and love is play!” The young man sings: “My play and wisdom is love!” The old man is silent: “My love and play is wisdom.” (Lucian Blaga, from Poems of Light – trans. Bent Sørensen for Robert Gibbons’ 67th birthday)

Three Faces

The child laughs:
“My wisdom and love is play!”

The young man sings:
“My play and wisdom is love!”

The old man is silent:
“My love and play is wisdom.”

(Lucian Blaga, from Poems of Light
– trans. Bent Sørensen for Robert Gibbons’ 67th birthday)

Oct 3, 2013 11:32pm

Jack Kerouac: October in the Railroad Earth - from The Jack Kerouac Collection - Poetry for the Beat Generation

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