Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I was so bored with my old life;
I was so bored with decent odds.
My new roommate left her debit card:
some sort of test for me. It's too hard.
Try to run an errand. Nervous sweat.
I rush back home and if I win I'll give her half. (I bet.)
Online casinos in the Caymans;
Legal disclaimer writ for layman's.
I moved back into New Canaan;
babysit my sister's kids; it's rainin'.
They fuss a bit while I put them to bed,
and grumpy, sitting on the couch, I get it in my head:
take Metro North. A silver candlestick.
To Aquaduct on LIRR. Pick.
I was so bored with my new life.
I felt like I knew all the odds.
I bet 'gainst myself I wouldn't wager
my boyfriend's mother's mansion (nothing major).
I stole the deed one night when she was drunk.
I drove onto the reservation with it in my trunk.
Sensors beep the threshold when I crossed it;
thirty thousand marker soon I lost it.
Baltimore inner harbor (sports) zone:
being courted. He's talking on his cell phone.
"Let me tell you why I think I love her:
She knows you always take the bye week dome home team to cover."
Go up to Pimlico and I choose.
It's no fun if it's fine when you lose.
I was so tired with all the angles;
I was so bored with losin' easy
So I gambled on going further a-field.
So I flew to Sydney and then to Bali and then to Jakarta
and called on my step-father's ex-business partner
Major Timmy Sastrosatomo
and he set me up as a silver smith/batik dabber
in a house once owned by the Princes of Mataran.
And he told me all his troubles.
We bribed a CFO at Semen Cibinong
to get them to buy a 40% stake
and we got a 5 million dollar order from Nieman Marcus,
which we filled about 10%;
but I did sell them my children's book
which I said was a South Sumatran
folk tale—which went like this:
I played cards for seven days straight,
was up $47 dollars late
evening as the sun went down I saw
the ace of diamonds up his sleeve—black velvet on his paw.
I fold, say goodbye politely.
They bark, you don't get off that lightly.
I dreamed of a casino way up in the hills of Borneo
where I lost with the giant flying squirrels and orangutans and great morman
butterflies all day long.
'Til the bulldozers turned us into Whole Fruit Fruit Bar sticks and china markers.
I saw some music reviewer compare the Friedbergers' lyrics to Kenneth Koch, and that reviewer mentioned another reviewer who compared them to John Ashbery. Maybe, sometimes. I don't know, those reviewers might have just picked those names because they were music reviewers not necessarily acquainted with as many poets as poetry reviewers might be. I don't know who I would compare them to.
Semen Cibinong is a real company by the way. Apparently they are "one of Indonesia’s largest cement manufacturers".
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
9:03 PM me: dude what is with all this CANNONFIRE in Harlem right now???
9:04 PM i swear to god it sounds like cannons
big, booming battleship guns
i have no idea what it is
9:06 PM i don't hear screams, so i guess it's nothing to worry about
i can't see any out the window
9:07 PM and it's way louder
[my friend]: i don't know
me: it's like the friggin spanish armada out there!!
9:09 PM this is insane. it's still going on. it's not even a holiday
i swear it sounds exactly like a world war two movie
i've never heard such booms before
9:11 PM it's like the bloody blitz over here
me: it's like freakin gettysburg, jeez louise
ok it stopped
9:13 PM man that was weird
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Perfect weather pisses me off because no matter what I do I feel like I'm wasting it. The picture above is a picture of perfect weather. It's too hard to decide what to do, because you feel pressure to get it right. After taking this picture I used the bathroom at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble (cleanest one in town) and while I was there decided to see if there were any new poetry books that didn't suck and which I didn't know about. There was. It's called Rogue Hemlocks, and it's written by a person whose name is Carl Martin. It's his third book. It is a book I will buy if and when I see it at a decent bookstore. Ahem. So no, I didn't buy it, but I skimmed a couple of poems and felt pretty much like I'd read something I'd never read before, which is something that happens to me only once a month or so. That's a wild guess, but still.
I'm going to this thing at Unnameable tomorrow that should be fun and interesting.
I'm almost done with the third chapter of Sentimental Education.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
"After 9/11, some pious nitwits, suffering from an America-centrism akin to the medieval belief that the Earth was the center of the universe, intoned that "irony was dead." Seven years later, they've been proven right -- but not in the way they intended. Irony may have been killed, but not by sincerity -- it's been killed by cynicism. Vast swaths of the left have apparently been so traumatized by the Big Lie techniques employed by the Bush administration, its media lickspittles like Fox News, and the right-wing attack machine that they have come to regard all images or texts that contain negative stereotypes as too politically dangerous to run. If you satirically depict Obama as an Islamist terrorist, in this view, you are only reinforcing and giving broader currency to right-wing smears."
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
As you've undoubtedly surmised, the severely adumbrated parallelogram above is the famous final page of the twelfth chapter of the first volume of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne. Actually, it's the final two pages, back-to-back sides of the same leaf. I should also say that I spent a good half an hour trying to decide if it's appropriate to use the word "adumbrate" in the way I have just now. I couldn't decide; it probably isn't. I also had to look up parallelogram. Although, I really shouldn't say had to, since it's good to look up words if you need to (and even if you don't need to—you still might learn something). I got to look up parallelogram. That's better. As I was saying, or rather was about to say, Tristram Shandy is, unlike many classic novels I have attempted, a book with which I became wholeheartedly and enthusiastically devoted to from the very first page. It has been a constant (okay, intermittent) companion since October 2005, a few months after I commenced my short-lived dishwashing career in Bloomington, and it has followed me to New York, all the way to my desk here at...uh, the place where I work. This morning on the train I finished the ninth chapter of the second volume (out of nine volumes), which puts me about 90 pages into a 600+ page book. My goal is to finish it before the end of the world in December 2012. I might have to pick up the pace. Anyway, this is another book that I think would go over well with high school kids, better at least than The Scarlet Letter, a probably irrational hatred for which I cannot seem to get over. We would do well to keep in mind that when I express certain feelings about The Scarlet Letter, I am expressing the feelings of a 14-year-old, specifically the 14-year-old self of mine who read it. None of my subsequent selves has read The Scarlet Letter. But I still think it would not be a bad thing if someone were to sneak into a high school library late at night and replace every copy of The Scarlet Letter with a copy of Tristram Shandy.
In other news, I have just been informed that Australian composer Percy Grainger, "avowed racist" and "Duke Ellington fan", had a collection of 70 whips. More on that later, perhaps.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
"By the way, to put to rest Kent Johnson’s folderol about who wrote 'A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island,' that poem was salient among the poems Kenneth and I discovered—'Hey, look at this!' I distinctly recall Kenneth saying—as we sorted through Frank’s manuscript files at the copy machine."
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Every thought I have is something I stole from a seemingly wise grown-up. (I'll believe anything.) Therefore some of what I "know" must be wrong. I realize this. That's why I'm reluctant to have opinions, much less express them.