Friday, December 07, 2007


The semester is almost over and I am tired.

Joshua Clover has written a fine review of Rod Smith's new book, Deed.

Joshua Clover's review of Rod Smith's new book Deed includes the following quotation from Stéphane Mallarmé: "There is only one man who has the right to be an anarchist" me, the Poet, because I alone create a product that society does not want, in exchange for which society does not give me enough to live on."

There is a magazine available at my local Borders called Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed.

I have been reading an advance reader's copy of Caroline Knox's new book, Quaker Guns, due out next spring from Wave Books.

"Quaker guns" are guns carved out of wood that merchants used to carry to scare off pirates and privateers.

Caroline Knox is a restless and delighting formal innovator.

"Caroline Knox" sounds like its own statement, reminiscent of the Raven at my chamber door.

Certain people have challenged things I've written on this blog recently and I've let those challenges go by, as it were, unchallenged.

"Sentences are not emotional but paragraphs are," Gertrude Stein said.

I finished Roberto Bolano's novel The Savage Detectives, the reading of which thrilled me, the finishing of which saddened me.

A novel about the lives of poets that's not insufferably precious seems scarcely possible, but this is what Roberto Bolano has achieved.

From what I understand Roberto Bolano began writing fiction because he was in poor health and wanted to make some money to help support his family before he died at the age of fifty.

It would appear that Roberto Bolano achieved what he wanted to achieve.

For a Haunakah present my wife gave me a copy of Junot Diaz's new novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao about an overweight young Dominican man from New Jersey obsessed with J.R.R. Tolkien.

It could be my autobiography except for the fact that I was never overweight, or Dominican.

Our as yet unnamed baby moves around a lot in my wife's belly in the evenings.

If I press on my wife's belly I can feel unnameable parts of the baby beneath my hand, this baby with at present two last names but no first name.

The first or "Christian" name is the only name in which gender resides.

Though my wife's last name, and the baby's middle name, is Grayson.

I am also reading Jeffrey Jullich's new book Thine Instead Thank, a new book which, however, tells us that it was completed in 1987.

Jeffrey Jullich's new book Thine Instead Thank begins with an excerpt from a conversation he once had with Bruce Andrews in which the two poets speculate that the genre of poetry in book form is always already defeated as "political outreach."

It would seem to be the presumption of Jeffrey Jullich and Bruce Andrews that political outreach is a desirable goal for poetry.

One has to ask if the pleasure derived from reading these often very funny poems, which can read like flarf avant la lettre, is therefore detachable and separate from political outreach, or if that pleasure is even achieved by the very detachment of language from any such instrumental goal.

The alternative would be that political outreach in itself is a pleasure.

Although a close relative works in the campaign of Hillary Clinton, I find myself attracted to Barack Obama, who is after all now my senator just as Hillary Clinton was precedingly my senator.

There is an undeniable pleasure to be taken from Barack Obama's efforts at political outreach, which include the pleasures of rhetoric and the pleasure of being offered membership in an entity larger than oneself.

A candidate who leads a movement promises this; a candidate who becomes a movement promises this.

We are all a little afraid of disappointment and more afraid of yielding to others' more bitter disappointment.

I am a little afraid of Mike Huckabee's likeability.

There is no necessary end to a succession of statements: one can continue to issue reports, a word that echoes retorts, that echoes echoes.

There may be further blogging, further retort.

There may be a baby who will take up writing someday.

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