September 28, 2008

1. Got up early and made coffe at home for the first time in months. It was nice to have the place smell like coffee.
2. Watched an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century online. I hope that people wear disco lycra outfits in the future. Wondering if people really thought Gil Gerard was good looking in 1979.
3. Got envelopes ready for a mass WORK mailing tomorrow.
4. Rode my bike around the docks in West Oakland.
5. Rode my bike to Issues to drop off WORK no. 9. If you live in Oakland, you should go there and buy something. They are wonderful people and it's a good store.
6. Since I was already kinda in the neighborhood, dropped by to visit Eric King & Sylvia. They introduced me to cucumber water (cucumber, water, lemon juice & a sprig or two of mint).
7. Rode from Eric's towards downtown via Webster at Eric's suggestion. It was much more pleasant than MLK (ie, less traffic & more neighborhoody).
8. Dropped by 21 Grand and chatted with Darren Jenkins a little. The new show is up. I won't say anything about it, but I'm wondering how the First Friday crowd will react/process it.
9. Read a few short stories in Sembene Ousmane's Tribal Scars.
10. Wondering if I have jury duty tomorrow.


September 26, 2008

Hot off the long stapler: WORK no. 9, featuring material by Stephen Ratcliffe, Brian Strang, Catherine Meng, and Jack Morgan.

WORK is available at Issues in Oakland and at Quimby's in Chicago: no.9 will be there as quickly as the mail carriers get it there. It is also available for $3 or trade (preferred) via:

dhh / 230 Wayne Ave #311 / Oakland CA 94606

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September 26, 2008

from Dan Godston:

You are invited to attend the Third Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival!

CCAF3 takes place October 1-12, 2008, featuring Chicago-based artists collaborating in performances and projects with artists living in other locations -- both here in the U.S. and abroad. These collaborations will be prepared or improvised, and some performances will involve live feeds between Chicago and elsewhere.

Among the scheduled projects are: a Chicago-based musician/composer collaborating with a composer from the Philippines, Chicago-based poets connecting over the radio with poets from Hawaii, and a Chicago-based musician collaborating with a British visual artist. Venues for CCAF3 will include Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery, The Velvet Lounge, Black Rock Pub & Kitchen, Heaven Gallery, Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, WNUR (Northwestern University), Peter Jones Gallery, 32nd&Urban Gallery, AV-aerie, Café Mestizo, and other locations.


September 25, 2008

Was hanging out with Chad & got to discussing the abums we first ever bought with our own scatch as kids.

Mine was Kiss, Double Platinum. At this point, I already had both 8 tracks that were Kiss Alive II. Given to me by my babysitter when I was 8, and still in my top 10 albums. It's an awesome rock album. I think my sitter was into disco or somesuch, and just cdn't see past the makeup.

I bought the Kiss Double Platinum album for $3.98 at the local KMart back in the day. I vaguely remember my mom asking if I was sure. Albums then were usually a buck & change.

Later on, High School, when I was learning to play guitar and playing music with my more metalhead friends, I found myself reverting to what would Ace Frehley do? I didn't phrase it like that, but I tried to stay in key & rock out. On purpose dissonance wd come later.


September 22, 2008

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (McGraw-Hill, 1964).

I've been slowly re-reading this, chapter by chapter. I read it as an undergrad, but don't think I got how forward-thinking McLuhan actually was being looking backwards, coming up to the present [1964]:
"The new media and technologies by which we amplify and extend ourselves constitute huge collective surgery carried out on the social body with complete disregard for antiseptics. If the operations are needed, the inevitability of infecting the whole system during the operation has to be considered. For in operating on society with a new technology, it is not the incised area that is most affected. The area of impact and incision is numb. It is the entire system that is changed" (64).
If we consider that most of the day-to-day "technological advances" have their roots in the military industrial complex &/or NASA (ie, the military), this plays out to McLuhan's cue: cell phones, the internet, the microwave oven . . . . Military technological advances have completely changed the way that damnear most Americans function in the world, and this is the unintended by-product: workers on call literally 24/7, the invisible labor of checking emails after work hours, the demise of the actual lunch HOUR, near ubiquitous (and for the most part accepted) visual, audio, internet, & telephonic surveillance, et cetera et cetera.
Thanks, I'd rather do without TANG.



September 20, 2008

Barbara Lee presents a Conversation with Robert Reich. September 20, 2008. Oakland Museum of Art.
Hopefully, Reich's speech will soon be up on youtube or otherwise accessible.
Reich argued straightforwardly & clearly that "the ideology of deregulation [. . . ] has failed." He argued that four things needed to be implemented or clarified in regards to Wall Street:
1. Full and transparent disclosure. A company's actual assets and their actual risks need to be made transparent.
2. Capital requirements. That is, revenues in place need to be sufficient to back risks.
3. Rules against conflicts of interest. The companies that rate investment companies are now paid by the investment companies they are rating for their services. This is inherently flawed.
4. Guards against market manipulation. Namely, regulating short sellers.
Strings he would like to see attached to what will surely end up a blank check bailout: Better unemployment coverage (less than 40% of those who lose their jobs are now eligible for umemployment benefits). Universal healthcare. Better mortgage insurance. Better pension insurance.
I've been a fan of Reich's since his essay "Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer," which among other things foreshadowed the out-sourcing of industrial jobs crisis now heavily felt in Michigan (where they are bleeding jobs) and elsewhere.
He explained that we are socializing the financial industry on the down turn; whereby, those reaping the wild market gone crazy upswing have already benefitted and cashed in & now that things have gone South, we the public get to shoulder the skids of bad decisions made by very wealthy people.
I liked his & Lee's repeated use of the phrase "working men & women," harkening the conversation back to a time when the Democrats actually represented labor, the working class & the poor.
It made me misty for a real national labor-based party.


September 16, 2008

Deep Oakland Editions is proud to announce the release of Barbara Jane Reyes' West Oakland Sutra for the AK-47 Shooter at 3:00 AM and other Oakland poems.

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September 16, 2008

I just scored a nearly full box of carbon paper from the recesses of the office supplies closet at work. My current project is slowly taking shape.

September 16, 2008

Ariel Goldberg, Chad Lietz, and Judith Goldman
September 20, 2008
8 PM

Spoken word or performance art? How do you raise a poem from the page to the stage? Rock star poets Ariel Goldberg, Chad Lietz, and Judith Goldman make like modern troubadours and perform their poetics at this third edition of the Canessa Gallery reading series.

Ariel Goldberg works with text, performance, and photography-based projects, examining ways of communicating and receiving information. She is currently inspired by impractical manifestations of letter writing, a proliferating cell phone industry, and the hot bed of tension between language and photography found in the act of captioning.

Chad Lietz cottoned to his studies in International Phonetic Alphabet and 20th-c. avant-garde compositional theory while pursuing an opera performance degree. Years later, these influences converged with visual and aural poetics as text-scores in various forms. Such scores appear in Work, Word for/Word, Interim, There and Lament. Lietz lives in Oakland, where he co-edits Cricket Online Review.

Judith Goldman is the author of Vocoder (Roof Books 2001) and DeathStar/Rico-chet (O Books 2006). Her work appears in recent issues of 580 Split, onedit, model homes, and cannot exist. She was a co-editor in the Krupskaya Collective from 2002 through 2004 and co-edits the annual anthology War and Peace with Leslie Scalapino. She currently teaches in the inter-arts humanities core at the University of Chicago as a Harper Schmidt Fellow.

Canessa Gallery
708 Montgomery Street, San Francisco

Open to the public ($3 suggested donation at the door)


September 15, 2008

from Sarah Lockhart at 21 Grand:


I am working on an art project about bureaucracy in Oakland
as it relates to engaging in organized (or semi-organized)
artistic activity. As part of this project I have created
a survey, and am looking for as many responses aspossible,
serious or not.

I am sending this to you because you either have had
experience in this area or you might be interested
in what I'm up to.

The link to the survey is here.

Feel free to circulate widely.



September 15, 2008

Karen Weiser & Dana Ward
Sunday, September 21, 2008
LIVE at 21 Grand
3 bucks
reading at 6:30 p.m. sharp, reception to follow (BYOB y'all)
plus Anselm Berrigan spinning his iPod for your listening pleasure...

KAREN WEISER is a poet and doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center in English now writing her dissertation on early American novels. Her chapbooks include Eight Positive Trees (Pressed Wafer, 2002), Placefullness (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2004), and Pitching Woo (Cy Press, 2006). She has had poems appear in The Chicago Review, The Hat, The Germ, The Brooklyn Rail, The Recluse and other journals and zines not beginning with "The." She teaches at Barnard College when not caring for her baby daughter.

DANA WARD lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where he edits Magazine Cy Press and publishes chapbooks under the Cy Press imprint. He has a recent chapbook, "Goodnight Voice" from House Press.


September 14, 2008

Friday: Cassie Smith took me to her Philomath before the play (Farley's for tea). Then Kevin's play, which was a giant cast romp. Still processing what it says about our current celebrity culture. Also the use of un-Mametan repetition in dialogue.

Saturday: Saw Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n Roll at ACT. Was really unsure of it, given every preview I've read mentions banalities like nostalgia. This play did 3 things for me:

1. It delineated in one of the clearest and most coherent explanations I've seen why the different schools of Marxism failed in Europe in the 70s.
2. It gave a good lesson of Czechoslovakian history from 1968 to roughly 1990.
3. It demonstrated how art, here represented by the Plastic People of the Universe, can be an agent of change/revolt whether or not the artist/s want it [heads up, PPU plays Slim's on Oct. 9th].

Bought Hesse's Magister Ludi at Goodwill for $1.29 even though I have 10 books in front of it, not including the 5 I'm currently reading & I like Tina Fey as Sarah Palin; although, I hope she can retire this character soon.

Sunday so far: Lunch with Chad and JD in the neighborhood. I've been in this neighborhood for a year and don't know the neighborhood restaurants: I usually just eat at the taco truck or walk into Chinatown. I spent mid-afternoon looking for examples of how the advent of photography made it easier for the elite to frame and rewrite history for my Chomsky/Berger unit. Some football (mainly as background noise) & grading stuff. Shatner as Robert Wilson in The Twilight Zone's "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (the one with the monkey/gremlin on the airplane wing). I spent what I saw of the episode thinking about his later over-acting method of stressing damnear every syllable. I am beginning to think about this for performance: his later (Star Trek era) delivery emphasizes the fact that each word is important, even the prepositions. There is something to that.


September 13, 2008

NPR gives some love to Oakland's Scraper Bikes.


September 11, 2008

This week started out mighty shitily. But in the last two days, I'm having an extremely good string of luck in randomly running into wonderful people.

I ran into Mark Bartscher (Miba) yesterday morning around the lake as I was going home from the gym and he was running round the lake before a job interview to calm himself & whatnot; last night, I ran into John Ingle at the Mills concert (while I'm not totally surprised, he always makes me happy when I see him, he's one of the few always positive people I know); and tonight coming home from work, I ran into Heather Jovanelli who informed me that someone defaced Sarah Palin's Time magazine cover (pirate patch, prison teardrop under the good eye, etc . . . ) on Brooklyn, which isn't too far of a diversion from my walk home. I checked it out. It was a gradeschool defacement, which made me happy. Whoever did it put it up on a telephone pole in a decently traveled area, which also made me happy.

2 days, running into 3 awesome folk unexpectedly. This week has shifted its character.



September 8, 2008

from SPT:


a new play by Kevin Killian & Wayne Smith

Friday, September 12, 7:30 p.m

Please arrive early; all seats $10 as a benefit for Small Press Traffic.

Please join us for refreshments prior to the event.

We hope to see you here!

The small town of Geyser, Oregon was once the setting for a television series that attempted to combine elements of family drama and science education. The show was in its second season in 1978 when a tragedy on set caused it to shut down midseason, and now that it’s been released on DVD, Geyser! has found new fans to join the tiny cult audience it’s known since its untimely cancellation—and they’re all flocking to Oregon this summer, as the brave little town welcomes back members of the original cast and the worldwide fan club at a Geyser! festival. But the town has secrets. Mayor Constance Strode, struggling with her own family drama, tries to promote tourism while fending off the attentions of Bobo, leader of a radical clown collective on the outskirts of town. Screen actor Dennis Quaid, who first sprang to national attention as the young hero of Geyser! returns to the scene of the series with the bewildering knowledge that all of his female recent co-stars, from Reese Witherspoon to Ellen Barkin, have been swept away to sea. Rival TV talk show hosts Rick Penny and Kitty Potter return to wring every scrap of drama and nostalgia to the airwaves, while Marjorie Cantrell, the first lady of the American theater and star of the lamented TV show, Geyser!, emerges from a 30 year retirement in grand Sunset Boulevard fashion with her loyal butler, Crimmins. As excited fans gather from round the world, the hot water coursing through the deep underground caverns below them gurgles, groans and steams to the surface. It’s all in a town—and a show—called Geyser!

Kevin Killian is a poet, novelist, critic and playwright whose recent work includes “Kiki: The Proof Is in the Pudding,” a retrospective exhibition at Ratio 3, a book of reviews Selected Amazon Reviews (2006), a collection of poetry, Argento Series (2001), two novels, Shy (1989) and Arctic Summer (1997), a book of memoirs, Bedrooms Have Windows (1989), and two books of stories, Little Men (1996) and I Cry Like a Baby (2001). He has also edited a collection of short stories by the late Sam D’Allesandro, The Wild Creatures (2005). For the San Francisco Poets Theater Killian has written over thirty plays, including Stone Marmalade (1996, with Leslie Scalapino) and Often (2001, with Barbara Guest).

Wayne Smith is a visual and sound artist who lives and works in San Francisco. He collaborated with Berlin-based artist D-L Alvarez on a sound and video installation shown at the Derek Eller Gallery, New York, in April 2007. New work will be shown at 2nd Floor Projects, San Francisco, in November 2008. Recording as Aero Mic’d, he has released four CDS, the latest being “I Think You’re Great.” In August 2008, joined by Cliff Hengst and Scott Hewicker, Aero Mic’d performed at the Schindler House in Los Angeles as part of the “sound.” series, organized by SASSAS (The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound).

Kevin Killian’s plays are annual favorites here at SPT—Geyser! is an experience you won’t want
to miss!

September 8, 2008

Toyoji Tomita Memorial Concert @ Mills College
Date: September 10, 2008
Time: 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm Toyoji Tomita Memorial Concert
Occurence: Sep 10, 2008

Location: Lisser - Main Theatre
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94613

Description: Presented by the Deep Listening Institute and the Mills College Music Department

Toyoji's Song: a tree planting ceremony with Andy Strain, Scot Gresham-Lancaster and the Didjeridu Ensemble directed by Stuart Dempster. Traditional shakuhachi solo performed by Philip Gelb outside Lisser Hall.

Tending the Fire: poetry reading by Wendy Burch with harp accompaniment by Marianne Tomita McDonald
Pauline Oliveros: The World Wide Tuning Meditation a Sonic Gesture of Peace, presented by Tom Bickley with the Cardew Choir and the audience.
The Ghost Dance Trio: Pauline Oliveros, accordion; Shoko Hikage-koto and Stuart Dempster, trombone
Pauline Oliveros: For Toyoji Expanded Instrument System and Roscoe Mitchell, multi-instruments

$20 donation

Free to Mills students, faculty, and staff
Proceeds for the Deep Listening Institute Tomita Fund.

September 8, 2008

Abraham Lincoln #3 (2008). K. Silem Mohammad & Anne Boyer, eds.

I've been reading & rereading this on the bus over the weekend. I especially keep coming back to Dodie Bellamy's "Ladies Who Poetry" where she sets up a catalog of sorts of traits that makes these women poets highly educated (class marker?), socially adept & sexually trangressive (31-2). Among these traits are that they read Wittigenstein, lecture on Stein, still read H.D., sleep with students. . . and yet even these strong, secure women whipser to themselves, "Stay away from Dodie, she's trouble" (32).


September 4, 2008

"That Dr Robert Oppenheimer's optimism fell/ At the first hurdle"
--Billy Bragg

If we would have went nuclear back in the 50s in the way that Oppenheimer wanted us to after the Atom Bomb, we wouldn't be dependent on any kind of oil, foreign, domestic or vegetable. Or coal, clean or not.
Detractors point at bad nuclear events, but I counter that if we (USA, scientific community, every country that wd benefit from nuclear power) had wrapped our collective noggins together and not focused on fossil fuel from the mid-50s onward, the things that make nuclear energy frightening (beyond the politics) would have been collectively worked out by now. 50 years of hyper-advanced, focused science. I'm fairly sure they would have worked a fair amount of the kinks out.
The Republican, near Francoesque cries of "drill baby drill" would have sounded even more stupid than they are, but only because they would have been obsolete.
Oil in this age is outmoded: it's the whale blubber of the 21st century. The sooner we junk it entirely, the better off we are.


September 1, 2008

I had planned on biking to the beach in Alameda this Labor Day, but a vague urgent email from Michael Carreira led me to Albany. It was a false emergency, but I did get to see Mr. Carreira, Mr. King, Mr. Manlio & Mr. Prischmann.
Getting to Albany (a terrible & longish bus ride from my digs in Oakland) allowed me to read a good chunk of Geof Huth's Longfellow Memoranda (Otoliths, 2008). Otoliths makes beautiful books. In my pile of things to review is Spencer Selby's exquisite book of full color plated visual poems Flush Contour (2007).
Huth's book began as process by material.
He bought a 1917 diary book that also had a Longfellow snippet for each day of the year. The 1917 days apparently reckoned equal to 2007 days, and he planned on using it as a diary of sort, but the previous owner used it to record births, birthdays etc. . . He even gives us a facsimile page of the original document to the start of each month to see how he boils down or reacts to the Longfellow: the process is laid bare.
But all the entries read through are far from a modern (mis)translation of the text they purport to derive from. Each poem is a minamilist piece that works towards a minimalist whole.
When I go downtown on the bus, I always stop at the Goodwill to look through their books:
Osvald Siren, The Chinese Art of Painting (Schocken, 1963).
Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping eds, The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry: From Ancient to Contemporary, the Full 3000-Year Tradition (Anchor, 2005).
While it may be a little early to know who are the successors of the Misty Poets, it must be said that the Misty Poets are not the contemporaries of the poets currently working in China.