Monday, August 31, 2009

TC: Zidane


As a child, I had a running commentary in my head when I was playing. It wasn't really my voice... When you step on the field, you can hear the presence of the crowd. There is sound--the sound of noise. When you are immersed in the game you don't really hear the crowd. You can almost decide for yourself what you want to hear. You are never alone. I can hear someone shift around in their chair. I can hear someone coughing. I can hear someone whispering in the ear of someone next to them. I can imagine that I hear the ticking of a watch.

File:Zinedine zidane wcf 2006-edit.jpg

Text: from Zidane: A Twenty-First Century Portrait, 2006
Zidane and Cannavaro: Tom Clark, 2000
Zinedine Zidane, World Cup final, July 9, 2006: photo by David Ruddell, 2006

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TC: Brainards


Joe’s red poppies
on black
have presence

and when I look
at them I know
presence is energy

on a cool surface
a big hot process
inside steady eyes

Flower Painting IV
: Joe Brainard, 1967

Blossom: Joe Brainard, 1977

Friday, August 21, 2009

TC: "Like musical instruments..."


Like musical instruments

Abandoned in a field

The parts of your feelings

Are starting to know a quiet

The pure conversion of your

Life into art seems destined

Never to occur

You don’t mind

You feel spiritual and alert

As the air must feel

Turning into sky aloft and blue

You feel like

You’ll never feel like touching anything or anyone


And then you do


Cirrus clouds: photo by Toubib, 2004

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TC: Persistence of Memory


File:Ocelot 01.jpg

I think he's saying it's quite easily caught.
I'm not hearing as well as once I was.
Did he say the yen is advancing against
The flower? What flower? A yen for what
Was that again? Starting to forget things
Changes one's mind. The not remembering
Is not so bad, it's the resurgences of not
Forgetting that ruin everything. Yesterday's
Papers landing at the door with a soft
Lamenting thud, though one had not subscribed,
The shouting silence of the midnight hour,
The soft footfalls of the ocelot through the house.

: photo by Danleo, 2006.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TC: Day Detail -- Low Light of Afternoon



Pleasant northeast wind, two monarch
butterflies being idly blown
through the ivy -- airplane sounds,
traffic sounds, sounds of someone
hammering. Being, idly blown
from star to star on a spore
makes it across all that nothing
just to have a home, like the boll
weevil in the Leadbelly song,
just to keep from lying down alone.

File:Butterflies UFmuseum.jpg

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
: photo by Richiebits, 2007
Queen butterfly and Monarch butterfly feeding on Tithonia rotundifolia: photo by Ironman 11, 2007

TC: All Thought


File:Monarch flock.jpg

What's all this commotion, as of
king-wings in migration
a strange fluttering in the boughs
in the great night of souls

In the little oak grove
out back the dying
plum is choked out
by the young oak

Above, the vast blue
climbed by a cloud-wall
suggests all thought's

Monarch flock: photo by Jeremy Kemp, 2005
Monarch butterfly spring migration: photo by Adriane Grimaldi, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

TC: Poetic Encounters



When Robert Lowell's Life Studies came out in 1959 it became for me not so much the occasion of a life study (I was too young for that)
as a growth-stunting life-changer. I bent myself out of shape ransacking every nook and cranny of my limited personal experiential materium for sources of jagged discomfort to inflate along Lowellian lines, and ambled slowly past the house where old man Hemingway (Ernie's dad) had committed suicide, reciting to myself in my tender unformed mind Lowell's poem about his dad's deathbed bathos. "I don't feel so good," was not that the classic anticlimax of all time?

Hung with him as a faithful follower through Imitations. Baudelaire, Montale, Rimbaud, Pasternak Heine, who didn't sound exactly like Lowell in Lowell's brilliant waspish hands? Fell away sometime around For the Union Dead...


Happened at the height of my Lowell devotion to encounter Robert Frost, who told of a recent meeting with Cal. Keep in mind to RF Lowell appeared a part of a Yankee lineage that involved a burden and a responsibility. RF did not believe that In dreams begin responsibilities, he saw it 'tother way round. If that.

The snowy haired elder spoke with great disgust. "I saw Cal last week. Awfully drunk, hmm. He was lying on his back on the floor weeping, talking about his stigmata. Balderdash! I told him to get up and he did. And he grabbed my necktie and pinned me against the wall and said, 'Who's a better poet, Dick Wilbur or me?!'"

RF asked me what poet interested me. I said Pound. He said, "I'll bet you can't tell me one line he ever wrote!"

I said The apparition of these faces in the crowd, petals on a wet black bough. (Two for the price of one.)

The crusty old coot exploded, "Haarumph!"

File:Ezra Pound 1945 May 26 mug shot.jpg

He then said, "When I went to London Ezra Pound was sitting in his bathtub. All the Americans who had just got off the boat from home, they were all sitting in a circle around the bathtub. Ezra would dictate their poems to them. Hah! That's what they called Imagism!"

Robert Frost
: U.S. stamp, issued 26 March 1974
Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV: photo from Harvard Square Library
Ezra Pound
: mug shot taken by U.S. armed forces in Italy, 26 May, 1945

TC: Baseball & Classicism


File:Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Orphée.jpg

Every day I peruse the box scores for hours
Sometimes I wonder why I do it
Since I am not going to take a test on it
And no one is going to give me money

The pleasure’s something like that of codes
Of deciphering an ancient alphabet say
So as brightly to picturize Eurydice
In the Elysian Fields on her perfect day

The day she went 5 for 5 against Vic Raschi

Orphée ramenant Eurydice des enfers
: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1861 (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

Vic Raschi: 1951 Bowman baseball card

This post is dedicated to Isaac and Oliver

Thursday, August 6, 2009

TC: Reverdy: "Sur chaque ardoise..."


File:Slate Macro 1.JPG

On each slate
that slipped
from the roof
had written
a poem

The gutter's lined with diamonds
the birds sip them

File:St Fagans Tannery 7.jpg

from Reverdy en Amérique: John Ashbery, Mercure de France Numéro 1181, Janvier 1962:

Dans The Waste Land d'Eliot, le monde réel apparâit avec les rêves qui lui sont propre, mais il est toujours artificiellement lié à une signification allegorique--l'usine à gaz et le <> par exemple. Tandis que chez Reverdy un canal ou une usine sont des phénomènes vivants, ils font partie du monde qui nous entoure, dont le souffle cru se fait sentir partout dans sa poesie. C'est comme si un voyait pour le premiere fois un paysage naturel, n'ayant vu jusque la que des paysages peints.

J'ai toujours regretté que les rhythmes sombres d'Eliot et de Yeats, par exemple, soient a la service d'une signification précise, et que leurs élans poétiques--différents, en cela, du faucon de Yeats--soient comme un cerf-volant dont le fil est fermement tenu par le poète rivé à sa terre. Ce qui nous enchante chez Reverdy, c'est la pureté de sa poésie, faite de changements, fluctuations, archetypes d'evénements, situations idéales, mouvements de formes transparentes, aussi naturels et variés que les vagues de la mer, C'est l'étoffe même de la poésie, sa matière pure de toute arrière-pensée métaphysique.

Toujours l'Autre:

The voice of Pierre Reverdy @ 2.34

Frank O'Hara: A Step Away From Them

It's my lunch hour, so I go
for a walk among the hum-colored

cabs. First, down the sidewalk
where laborers feed their dirty
glistening torsos sandwiches
and Coca-Cola, with yellow helmets
frank on the phone on. They protect them from falling
bricks, I guess. Then onto the
avenue where skirts are flipping
above heels and blow up over
grates. The sun is hot, but the
cabs stir up the air. I look
at bargains in wristwatches. There
are cats playing in sawdust.

to Times Square, where the sign
blows smoke over my head, and higher
the waterfall pours lightly. A
Negro stands in a doorway with a
toothpick, languorously agitating
A blonde chorus girl clicks: he
smiles and rubs his chin. Everything
suddenly honks: it is 12:40 of
a Thursday.

Neon in daylight is a
great pleasure, as Edwin Denby would
write, as are light bulbs in daylight.
I stop for a cheeseburger at JULIET'S
CORNER. Giulietta Masina, wife of
Federico Fellini, bell' attrice.
And chocolate malted. A lady in
foxes on such a day puts her poodle
in a cab.

There are several Puerto
Ricans on the avenue today, which
makes it beautiful and warm. First
Bunny died, then John Latouche,
then Jackson Pollock. But is the
earth as full of life was full, of them?
And one has eaten and one walks,
past the magazines with nudes
and the posters for BULLFIGHT and
the Manhattan Storage Warehouse,
which they'll soon tear down. I
used to think they had the Armory
Show there.

A glass of papaya juice
and back to work. My heart is in my
pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.

File:Egon Schiele 019.jpg

"Sur chaque ardoise..."
: from Pierre Reverdy: Les Ardoises du Toit (1918), trans. TC

A piece of slate: photo by Jon Zander, 2007
Slate roof, Tannery, St. Fagans (Wales National Museum, Cardiff): photo by Zureks, 2007

Reverdy portrait photos from Famous poets and poems and La Periodica Revisión Dominical
Frank O'Hara
: photo from The poets' page
Windows: Egon Schiele, 1914 (Österreichische Galerie, Wien)

Monday, August 3, 2009

TC: Antiquarian


It is only mourning
For the mind's
Lost moment
That has
Like an echo of time
In these rustlings from the past
A touch of fabric
Of metal
Or of wood
A presence
The living moment
Continues to miss

The power of time
Imposes itself
In the materiality
Of the objects
And textures

This infinitely specific
World which
Will begin to decay
The moment
We look away

File:The Ambassadors, detail of globe, lute, and books, by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg of Death, by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg

The Ambassadors (details): Hans Holbein, 1533 (National Gallery, London)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

TC: One More Saturday Night (for Reverdy's Ghost)


File:Père-Lachaise avenue fog.jpg

Through the night

It snows on the

Sierras as it does

On the grave of

Apollinaire in the

Cemetery of Père


And on

The radio I get

Truck music from

San Jose:

“Want to make it to

Amarillo by



Because you ask me to.”

The green oak

Burns weakly

In the grate

And as I write

In the window

Of the loft

The light

Turns blue.

File:Snow Scene at Shipka Pass 1.JPG

Cimetière du Père Lachaise, avenue in fog: photo by Lothar Streidle, 2004

Winter scene, Shipka Pass, Bulgaria: photo by psy guy, 2006