Wednesday, January 28, 2009

At last! My copy of Fence arrives today (due to the wonderful Belgian postal system it was sent back undelivered before Christmas).

Three lovely poems by Daniel Kane from his volume Ostentation of Peacocks. I tracked it down here ...

and you can even read an extract - 'Bird Leaf and Couplets'.

Friday, January 23, 2009

4:30 pm. Rain.


Thanks to the generosity of Martians, I now have Rodefer's Four Lectures.

Thank you Martians!


In the house, brick dust has been replaced by woodshavings. Floorboards are going down.

The entire process is available to all sorts of metaphoric constructions.


If I had a bit more spare time for reading & thinking, I'd be drawing together ideas on Tim Atkins' Horace, Rodefer's Villon, and Spicer's After Lorca.

Also exploring what Rodefer might mean by "And it continues Blakean. It's the only place to be."

Unfortunately, at the moment, I feel as though I'm walking up the down escalator.


Inauguration Day for Obama

Me: Today is one of those historic days you'll look back on when you're older.
Lara: When I decided I liked Marmite on brown bread, you mean?



It's still raining.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009









Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"So you try to read everything, but obviously you don't. The independent is his own eccentric."

(Stephen Rodefer, interview in the Chicago Review)


hippocamp upped the ante
I leant on his voice
& broke the ice
fun but a damned ear busted up
o I slide I say
the sack of the knot in the rush
see shadows
but think the sun
drop needles in the dark
that dream didn't last long
not so really


- & with apologies to Stephen Rodefer

Walls being knocked down, dust in the air & settling over the piles of books. The computer under wraps.


(Sort of) normal service should be resumed soon.


The Chicago Review arrived yesterday - special feature on Stephen Rodefer plus a kind of interview with Martin Corless-Smith. Should keep me going for a while.


Thanks to Luc Fierens for posting Comments.



(Blake. Spicer. Berman.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

... listening to Now We Are Ten a Jonny Trunk anthology ... track 14: Sketches of Israel by Michael Garrick is a gem. It comes off the reissued Moonscape album (

It's really worth tracking down.

Now if Jonny Trunk would reissue White Horses ...

Home is where the heart is
there’s the work you do
there’s the work you should do
& there’s the work you’re paid to do
& there’s the work you say you’d do
there’s the work that’s work to do
or there’s playing at work to do
for always there’s work you know you should do
the work you know you know how to do
& the work you work without a clue how to do
the work in the now you ought to do
the words that would work if allowed so to do
so work the words – for the work is to do


that gets today's state of mind about right. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

... and that's the cover. Earlier Blogger didn't want to upload the jpeg.

Coming soon: Luc Fierens - Belgian collagist, mail artist, Fluxus activist. How come I didn't know about him until today?

Just back from a quick jaunt into Brussels - a couple of hours in the Posada art bookshop. It's the first time I've actually gone in. Usually it's closed when I'm walking past and so I just get to look in the window.

A very pleasant lady asks me if there's anything I'm particularly looking for & I say "livres d"artistes" without much hope. She gives me a knowing look and leads me upstairs - a Piranesi tour of spiralling staircases and passageways. There's a little room on the fifth floor and a large cupboard with a small compartment at the bottom. She explains that this is where they keep the artists' books (is that where the apostrophe should come?) and I'm at liberty to rifle through them all. I ask if she wants to take my bag? No, no need. Just call if you want any help.

So I get down on hands and knees and start to pore through a couple of hundred little volumes - most which don't do much for me but this one does -

33 euros ... well, why not? And, in fact, an equally pleasant chap downstairs lets me have it for 30 euros.

So, I'm very impressed by Posada books.

Off now to eat moules & frites.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

tinkle bell rings
it’s sweet time
a fine flock of exquisite perceptions
like rhythmic nimble jism
or eyebrow gusto and satyr jack
on the banks of the Nile
hot wire the psyche
fry my circuits
wattle welt & wrinkle
ouch is right
it’s the rust that accretes


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Did it really happen like this? ...

Watching the Ed Harris Pollock ...

Here's one from Tim Atkins' Horace that I particularly like.

The range of reference & clash of historical period is dazzling & dizzying. "Jordan's rugged jugs" is fab. And there's plenty more where that came from - as The Goons used to say. 


Owing to a shortage of cocaine,
I turned my back on public life
And live in Market Harborough
With Robert Lowell’s widow, Caroline

50 Gauloises after Ezra
A pound of lip up fatty
And an anecdote featuring
Mein Kampf

What is more uxurious than
The waiting jar dating from
Bibulus: nightcable praised in
Appropriate song?

Young, I was diagnosed as diastic,
In middle age I accept
The green hair and
Oasis to come

Seeking the unpeopled world
Past the castle of Prudence,
Drowning my crew upon
Jordan’s rugged jugs –

I joined the school of quietude
& ended up with a beard
Scones, towelling, and the flying day fixed.
Jeremy, we could have done worse.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Opening the curtains on Monday morning the snow was a surprise. By Tuesday morning it was seriously hazardous. By this morning simply a bore (& grubby, too). Snow's great if you don't have to drive in it.

Routines have been knocked out of kilter. I get to work late. Free periods have been even more 'on the hoof' than usual. Snatched time scarce. Writing suffers (of course).

Last night I went into Brussels to see Aida Kazarian's small-scale exhibition of artist's books (a term she doesn't particularly like). For her, each book is an 'occasion' directly related to a person or event - a 'placing between'. She works directly with her hand onto the page - thumb prints, palm impressions, rubs, smears, blotches, dots.  I love it. And much as I enjoyed being able to leaf through these volumes they really demand a different kind of reading: leisurely, at home, picked up now and again. The simple act of page turning acquires a new meaning. (More on this later.)


The first chapter of Difference & Repetition seems to make a lot more sense. Reading it in tandem with Gertrude Stein helps: one text throws light onto the other. 

Yesterday, Tim Atkins' Horace arrived in the post - and his approach to translation might owe more than a little to Deleuze's ideas of repetition. I see very little evidence of any simple one-to-one - or representational - relation between Atkins' Odes and Horace's 'originals'. And that seems fundamental to the exercise. Their filiations are of the orchid:wasp model - and exciting for this very reason. What a dull game trying to spot echoes anyway. Better to 'take a line' and take flight. 

As Atkins states in The Chicago Review: The only way I could make it enjoyable was to mess around with the tight Latin structures & cut chunks. ... Poundian? Versions? Intralingual (certainly). Most of them come from reading the poems in English in various translations and then going at them. Others homophonic too. ... When I knew less I could imagine more. ... Appropriation, Approximation, Association, Clarification ... through Evaporation, Negation, Resurrection (etc.). ... Stole lines from Robert Lowell, P.G. Wodehouse, Cockney, all etc. Willfully misunderstood. ... " 

This takes me back to some discussions about Celan & translation (during the summer was it?). 

Anyway, I've plenty to keep me occupied with Atkins, Deleuze, Stein, & Spicer's After Lorca. An interesting constellation taking shape. And, of course, no distractions ... 

Sunday, January 04, 2009

as those winter evenings draw in ... 
So, my New Year's Resolutions* as Twenty Verbs -






















* Resolution in the particular senses of (i) making the separate parts of an object distinguishable by the eye, (ii) conversion to a fluid state

Saturday, January 03, 2009

gertrude buttons alice
palpable alphabet
I am language to my finger tips
let the nouns speak for themselves
substance is a cushion
sudden slice changes the plate
the wisdom of necessary distances
bound sequiturs swerve words
rounding corners of sense
rhythmically propelling
wriggly boxed-in logics
the quotidian waltz


Friday, January 02, 2009


Constructivism, George Rickey

Gertrude Stein Selections, Joan Retallack (the Melanctha extract)

buy chocolate at Zaabar (

go to see my 3-month old goddaughter Tsilla


pork & lentils


that's today

. Driving into work the other morning with 'Village of the Sun' playing & humming & drumming along  & think...