Thursday, March 31, 2005

by Robert Creeley

J.M. Spalding: Very often a poem is dead as it is being written, or, simply put, despite substance, the poem just isn't good. Every poet has a different theory as to why that is. What is your theory?

Robert Creeley: Williams puts it best in Paterson: "Because it's there to be written...." If one only wrote "good" poems, what a dreary world it would be. "Writing writing" is the point. It's a process, like they say, not a production line. I love the story of Neal Cassidy writing on the bus with Ken Kesey, simply tossing the pages out the window as he finished each one. "I wonder if it was any good," I can hear someone saying. Did you ever go swimming without a place you were necessarily swimming to—the dock, say, or the lighthouse, the moored boat, the drowning woman? Did you always swim well, enter the water cleanly, proceed with efficient strokes and a steady flutter kick? I wonder if this "good" poem business is finally some echo of trying to get mother to pay attention.

J.M. Spalding: If you were stuck on a remote desert island and could only have three books (excluding anthologies) and three music records, what would they be?

Robert Creeley: I think I'd play it like Robinson Crusoe, from the beginning. I can't make choices of such kind.



Now I recognize
it was always me
like a camera
set to expose

itself to a picture
or a pipe
through which the water
might run

or a chicken
dead for dinner
or a plan
inside the head

of a dead man.
Nothing so wrong
when one considered
how it all began.

It was Zukofsky's
"Born very young into a world
already very old..."
The century was well along

when I came in
and now that it's ending,
I realize it won't
be long.

But couldn't it all have been
a little nicer,
as my mother'd say. Did it
have to kill everything in sight,

did right always have to be so wrong?
I know this body is impatient.
I know I constitute only a meager voice and mind.
Yet I loved, I love.

I want no sentimentality.
I want no more than home.

Monday, March 28, 2005

the Lakers always loved liquor

blog of the week

I'm Stuck In Rehab With Pat O'Brien

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What I Have Been Doing

I just posted this on the Silver Jews Bulletin Board so I thought I'd post it here too - plus I'm tired of looking at that goddam picture of Ashley Judd:

Wow, a blast from the past here. I've always lurked around here reading but hardly ever posting because I thought I'd just get a lot of shut ups and nobody really wants that. So instead of polluting with my posts I just happily read - until recently. Now I read but not so happily.

I am big stoked for Tanglewood Numbers and I'm even big stoked for Face The Truth. I've heard a bit and it is Good. These boys are turning into respectable founding fathers. It feels nice to think that I have been around to hear them from the "start."

I was in Nashville a few weeks ago

because my Dad was having surgery at Vanderbilt. One night in the hotel I looked up DCB's address in the phonebook and there it was (I swear I'm not a stalker - I was actually once at a new year's party at his house - which doesn't prove anything). So the next day when I was out getting lunch for Mom and I, the hospital food being even worse than the bad I knew it would be, I drove by his house knowing that the street was close to the hospital. Sitting in the driveway of their suburban bohemia bungalow was a sleek black SUV, looking waxed and urgent.

I just got back from Burbank, CA on a "business" trip

and now I'm sitting in the dark of my living room watching afternoon golf.

I also recently had a "business" trip to Turner Studios in Atlanta.

So anyway I wanted to contribute something and voice my support for Karl telling whoever the hell he wants to to shut up. There is a force behind this board and it will not be denied no matter who you are.

Keep up the good work and please keep up writing sentences.