Thursday, July 28, 2016

141. Poppet show } shadow play.


Poppet’s silver shadow waits in an invisible box, tucked against trash.

A gold dress and a veil, Poppet’s shuffle and mourn; Poppet carries a swaddled golden face to the stage. Wherever her bare feet embroider a path, Poppet writes herself.

Arms above keys; breaths and: Poppet sings into herself. A spotlight lights her face through her veil.

Shadow reaches and bows—extends empty hands. The veil—sing the golden dress free! Shadow guides, shapes, retreats to the trash; now Shadow observes. Shadow opposes, imposes, Shadow mimics and leads and Shadow enacts violently on behalf of Poppet who casts.

Draw a string from. “If you’re looking for ribbons to tie over / your tired head / I’d wear this instead.”

Shadow bows beneath. Shadow retreats. Returns—no longer a shadow but a limb. It wants to cover itself but it wears Poppet and Poppet is fickle—a quivering hand along the seat of an unfolded folding chair.

Poppet’s limb fights with Poppet. A collaboration of horns. Poppet’s eyes are shut; her limb’s eyes wide.

Paper bird, will you still love me if I cover the fact and whisper?

Hooded Poppet stands center stage; her limb plays—she puts on the gold face.

Not silent it’s movement. “I am a shadow / But I am not your ghost / No I am not your shadow.”

[ Poppet is Molly Raney. Shadow / Poppet’s limb is Nina Joly. Quoted lyrics from “Fabricated Hearts” and “Rattle Coins My Bones” by Molly Raney. Photo of Poppet and Shadow.]

Thursday, June 2, 2016

140. littletell issue four } missing children.

Read from—

the littletell aesthetic. Issue four full’v children “As they get older, it becomes harder to abandon a child and get away with it.” [Jaime Fountaine] “our daughter tells what to draw. ‘Our other daughter.’” [myself] and ageing and death (thots triggered by children} “Like children dancing around a maypole, when I look at one death, I look at all possible deaths.” [Sara Sheiner] and child’s play (psychology of) “in sand play, a scene is made from figures and objects placed in a box of sand in sand play, a scene is made from figures and objects places in a box of sand.” [Kim-Anh Schreiber]. View, also, intimate furniture “Back Board” [Jordana Loeb], acrylic abstraction w/ oil-like depth “acrylic #99” [Nazifa Islam]. 

littletell issue four ought to be read, listened to, viewed in a single sitting—and can be, easily.

My contribution are two from The Rescue; to read more visit THROG SLUDGE.

[ image: "Databend III" by Jordana Loeb. ]

Sunday, May 15, 2016

139. David Lynch’s } The Darkened Room.

My friend sits in the dark in the room.

“Do you see her? I cannot see my friend.”

An object that’s not ordinary to me because I have no use for it is ordinary to you because you use it all the time.

“Don’t look at her.”

A slip, for instance,

“You haven’t been listening.”

or Tokyo.

Friday, May 13, 2016

138. To get weird in Daniel Mills’ } Lord.

Mills’ collection begins with a tree, spoiled by M. Wayne Miller’s illustration (it gives away the turn in the tale), and Mills’ collection ends with a tree, the Saint Martin’s Oak, “burned to a standing cinder.”

Tree destroyed, Muelenberg loses faith and turns to debasement; out of the bacchanal, a theater is built, where sins are performed as mystery plays (the history of theater, at least from Roman times to the early Renaissance, is here). For a time, a halt is put on the performances in preparation for a great performance, scheduled for Midsummer. Who will be the mason and who the ass?

Friedrich, a monk in the monastery where the narrator lives, understands the tree to be “the embodiment of all that we could never know.” While the story “The Lord Comes at Twilight” is “after Thomas Ligotti,” it’s informed by Catholicism, not atheism, and maybe a little evangelical Christianity—the Lord was in Muelenberg, but corruption, embodied by the leprous, masked Count, holds Muelenberg’s people in its thrall. They are, so-to-speak, “left behind.”

A little ahead of the collection’s midpoint, Mills experiments; “Whistler’s Gore” is told via grave markers and a sermon. That formal break marks a point in the collection where the stories become more complex—when they get weird. All the stories in The Lord Came at Twilight are, in terms of genre, weird—by weird, I mean, unpredictable. When Mills gets weird his stories become interesting, buttressed by his solid prose. When Mills gets weird his stories are very good.

Perhaps the best way to get weird is to break from the communities from which you seek admiration.

[Daniel Mills’ collection, The Lord Came at Twilight, is available from Dark Renaissance Books.]

Monday, May 9, 2016

137. Thirtieth anniversary } Blue Velvet.


cable car
            May 4, 2016


…audience member explains (to his son?) what D. Lynch does (in Blue Velvet or in general?): “what’s underneath. It’s like everyplace.” Patently untrue. Conventional read of Blue Velvet / Twin Peaks. Repeated by the un-thoughtful. Awful-ness reveals itself, be it the awfulness of a downtown with nothing but chain jewelers and chain coffee shops and a furrier or a rt. X strip of lighting and appliance stores and car dealerships and donut shops or the floor of a valley fitted with box stores. The phrase “Blue Velvet is about.” …audience member sets up Blue Velvet (to his friend? “I’m just glad you were able to come out. I thought I was going to go alone” ) “…on VHS. A long time ago. My brother… an actor… the theater… I was 16, you can imagine, completely mind-blowing… it really started me being interested in film… a big ginger ale... to have that experience… I’ve seen it a few times since… it’s just, like, crazy. No, I’m psyched.”

A frosty-blond woman with a leopard-print coat will pass in front of me four times.

A crush of beetles crackles.

Bored rock toss.

Father weeps in his hospital bed.

Jeffrey Beaumont “When he discovers a severed ear in an abandoned field” and ants instead the world abruptly revealed the torso of Karina Holmer in a dumpster. Jeffrey Beaumont wears an earring. Jeffrey: I found an ear. Detective Williams: Yes, that’s a human ear alright.

Sandy Williams emerges from shadow pink and blond. “I just know that’s all” and “It sounds like a good daydream but actually doing it is dangerous.” The wind and the trees, the long sidewalk. An environment meant for daytime at night.

The sounds stairs make when left all alone.

How the hall must smell; “it’s this new stuff, there’s no smell”; like ash cans and industrial carpet.

Television set in Dorothy Vallens’ apartment is “encased in wood” (29,  Nieland).

Horror of, “Do you like me?” I thought I was involved, that something important was happening to me; instead, the situation revealed: I am  stupid, ignorant, and weak.

The light is Sandy’s dream. Theater’s speakers buzz fire.

Red roses, red shirts and suspenders, red drapes, pink and purple neon Slow Club, pink neon This Is It, red carpet, red walls, Jeffrey’s red car, hot pursuit, prostitute’s pink mini skirt, Dorothy’s red lips, ruby slippers, Isabella Rossellini and David Lynch at Cannes on the red carpet and David Lynch’s red box, red-brown robins.

I know what it's like to unlock doors that lead someplace forbidden.

Monday, May 2, 2016

136. DIAGRAM 16.2 } “Notes on” fig wood, etc.

Read from—

even the details have details = "a thing so small / the shapeliest mind / can't fix its density" Katherine Williams

(Elisa Gabbert and I once performed together in her apt. She read from a sequence of poems she posted to the blog Even the Details Have Details; I read the poems I wrote in the comments field of said blog…

—so, Elisa read,

“There’s an injured marsupial in front of my tire.  / Would you be interested in a happy ending? // Technically, it’s still spring. / Would you be interested in a happy ending? // Stop honking. I’m trying to think. …”

and I read,

“Koala never caused no ruckus / not no how not at all + / Koala say yes t'bookish, so / step th'back up fish fragile. // This is SERIOUS. Koala courts /honk-trouble + girls aplenty. / Koala say "brings on brunettes /they red-headed brainy."

…and now we perform in public together once more in DIAGRAM 16.2).

Read from—

"...only the boss, who / disappears into / the carbon field and rises / into the knots of language" Matt Sadler

"fig wood, little sun" Geoffrey Detrani

My contribution is more from “Notes on”; to see more visit Word for/Word 27.

[ image: "Notes on 12," a variant of "Notes on 12b" ]

Friday, April 22, 2016

135. “The man in the mack” } a ferryman.

Ringo boards the Magic Christian; George “on holiday.” John returns to London with “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” calls on Paul at Paul’s and the two work it out: “John was in an impatient mood,” said Paul, “I was happy to help.” At Abbey Road (studio three, 2pm – 11, April 14, 1969), John sings lead, Paul sings harmony; John’s guitars (lead and acoustic), Paul’s rhythm and piano; eleven takes—“Take ten was the ‘best’ basic track."

“John recorded these sorts of songs with his new group, the Plastic Ono Band,” wrote Mark Lewisohn in The Beatles Recording Sessions, “and had the band existed at this time “The Ballad of John and Yoko” would probably have been theirs.” Paul’s presence brightens John’s song, brings to it a depth that, musically, it lacked. John’s solo record, “New York City”—another account of John and Yoko’s doings—gives a sense of what “The Ballad of John and Yoko” might’ve sounded like if John hadn’t made it Beatles. John’s guitar and Stan Bronstein’s sax on “New York City” attempt to fill it up—it’s manic; “New York City” is aggressive, “The Ballad of John and Yoko” is sly. Paul’s bass, maracas, hand claps, fun! but, “Christ, you know it ain’t easy… the way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me”—isn’t it that sneaky desperation that so startles on Smiths records? “New York City’s” jabs—policemen who shove, “God’s a red herring in a drag”—are hidden in the mix.

Prince died yesterday. Yesterday, coincidentally, I stopped at Rhode Island Historical Cemetery no. 41—a plot surrounded by industrial debris—where’s buried Edwin L. Green, died April 21, 1946, alongside his wife, Marion, who died in 1911, and their unnamed, infant daughter (“our only child”). I like to think about John and Paul in the studio together, in the midst of no little legal acrimony, in the midst of John’s heroin use, days after John’s marriage to Yoko, a month after Paul’s to Linda, at work. At work and able to enjoy the pleasure they found in work and in working together.

Two days later George, Ringo, Paul, and John recorded Harrison’s “Old Brown Shoe.” Philip Norman wrote (John Lennon: The Life), “…an indifferent George Harrison song ‘Old Brown Shoe’.” Indifferent? Christ! What about that song is indifferent? Listen to the way George pronounces his lyric—the blunt “shoe,” the way his delivery pushes and pulls.

“The Ballad of John and Yoko” single, b-side “Old Brown Shoe,” a neat pivot into the Abbey Road sessions, begun that day with “Something.”