Monday, March 13, 2017

13 March 2017

Accept your failure . . . you'll discover that you melt like water. The dog darts to catch lizards on lava rock and I pull her back with my left hand. My student claims Language poets (contra manifesto) use the first person pronoun, but I suggest that it stands in for "put pronoun here." What the “I” does in poems, it does. It's a minor obstacle, but all too frequent. “It's nice outside” differs from “it's mine” as a state does from desire. What matter the agent, when there's an act to be performed? The point of her tail is white, the rest gray; half her head is gray, the other half brown. Rep. Steve King claims we can't save civilization with “other people's babies.” Mine are Asian-American. In Ashbery's poem, the pronoun “he” introduces some 40 lines of statements, as if “he” were manifold. One Trump supporter prays to a 6' cardboard cut-out of his hero each morning as he leaves the house. No one can pinpoint when this happened. They are hyphenated anti-Americans.

--13 March 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

12 March 2017

Try covering them [certain memories] with a thick cloud of forgetting. I hadn't thought forgetting a thick thing, more like a balloon lost to the green screen of mountains. In Hiroshima at the bottom of the 7th, everyone filled a balloon with smoky air, then let it go. I was surprised to be surprised to see a modern city, thinking it had been forgotten. Memory inhabits air, whose invisibility cloak hides it from the field, where the balloons fell. I remember I have two hands, one student wrote. And I that walking stands in for adrenaline and bad dreams, because after so many decades I can't face what it was I felt. Rick Ankiel threw five wild pitches in one game, before he was pulled. Why that hurts so to watch, when West Virginia coal miners will die for lack of health care, and the nurse's brother died of kidney cancer at 25. The ER told him twice he was ok. The difference between pain and anger, between what we sense and what we see, is thin. Contractors have been advised to plan the wall with good aesthetics in mind.

--12 March 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

11 March 2017

My point is—don't judge. He imagined a Valentine's day card, himself ascending to heaven on wings, leaving his lover earth-bound. Scared himself so he walked to the store, bought a card and a STAY CALM mug. In class, we talked about the difference between “mug” as signifier and signified. My mug melds into lug and luggage and engage and wage and always at the end there's war. Steve Bannon wants to “deconstruct the administrative state” and, while I want to say Derrida didn't use the word that way, I figure it's trivial, such mid-course correction. If we use them, we're “enemies of the state,” the one that's imploding like a building sinking into its own dust. The children love it, confusing dump trucks with one that killed a major league pitcher, he who sang so sweetly on the mound. They release pigeons, don't they? She wonders how to listen to Trump supporters without judgment, declares she can't. Tim says they tried back, suggesting he join the Log Cabin Republicans. Our former president paints portraits of the wounded, tells us how important it is to talk things through. The sergeant's face frames one dark eye, one aquamarine.

--11 March 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

Resources for thinking about Kevin Varrone's BOX SCORE

I'm working toward a talk on Kevin Varrone's Box Score: An Autobiography, finding video clips to go with some of the significant moments alluded to in the book. Some of these videos I find I can't watch--there's Ankiel throwing five wild pitches in the 2000 post-season for my Cards, and there's Andres Galarraga losing his perfect game to the umpire, Jim Joyce--neither of which I can bear. It's like baseball error porn, especially when you add on some of baseball's other world-historical errors, either inside or outside the game.

Eephus: Ted Williams hits homer off Rip Sewell in 1946 All Star game:

Eephus: Bill Lee to Tony Perez:

Eephus: Clayton Kershaw:

Steve Blass, the yips:

Mackey Sasser, the yips:

Rick Ankiel, the yips, 2000:

Rick Ankiel from center field in 2012:

NYer article on the yips from 2014:

3/24/01: Randy Johnson kills bird with pitch:

Andres Galarraga loses his perfect game to Jim Joyce:

Galarraga and Joyce the day after:

Box Score of the game Varrone weaves through the whole:

1997 game between Padres and Cardinals at Aloha Stadium:

Box score of game six, 2011 World Series:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

7 March 2017

Why does it have to be so hard? A grad student perched several floors up, threatening to jump in the courtyard. “Suicidal ideation” means you have a plan. She said there are guns in her house, but she won't let him use one. I remember having a plan to have a plan. My friend stood on the other side of the railing at the Golden Gate Bridge, but failed to jump. What we call failure is an inability to die. To survive suicide is not to be the person who tried. My mother had a plan to have a plan when she was pregnant with me. Later, when I developed plans to have plans, she wrote in spidery handwriting on a now faded legal sheet the names and effects of medications. The boys who killed at Columbine were on anti-depressants, the softball coach dressed as a gypsy told me. Later, he sent me evidence off the internet with a finely penned post-it note, “Glad they worked for you.”

--7 March 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Basil Bunting reading in Honolulu, March 2017

Some photographs of the reading.

Daphne Barbee-Wooten and Andre Wooten. Daphne is Bunting's grand-daughter.

Rustam Barbee, grandson to Bunting.

Members of the audience at Native Books.


Jonathan Morse, English professor at UHM.

Tim Dyke, Punahou teacher and poet/fictionist.

Janna Plant, poet.

Wing Tek Lum & Daphne

Daphne's book bag.