Write Stuff response

This week’s Write Stuff piece brought the following comments.

“Wow! Something to think about . . .”–Michèle

“I love the taste and feel of words on my tongue and in my head. I love it when they come out when I am writing with feeling and I come “out of it” to read what I have written and I can’t believe that I have written what is on the screen or paper. It is a passion, a deep feeling of love for writing and the written word. I am only half way following my calling half way. I needed this kick in the butt, thank you very much.”–Shelli

“This is beautiful … I am twisting and turning but I’m afraid that my student loan payment has tasted more of my writing efforts than I have.”–Tammi

The column begins: “I used to think I needed a job that allows me to be a poet and writer. I think a lot of people believe this. I don’t think much of it anymore.”

After making that statement I explore, in brief, some practices of distinguished poets like Anthony Hecht, W.S. Merwin, Ezra Pound and John Ashbery. It was meant to be a challenge more to myself than readers. However, if it got Michèle to “think about” it and gave Shelli a “kick in the butt” then I would consider that a bonus.

Notes and Quotes: Ezra Pound


Ezra Pound

It challenges me to read about poets and their work. I read with notebook in hand. Here are notes and quotes from Ezra Pound: The Voice of Silence by Alan Levy

Pound was a “political prisoner” of the U.S. from 1945 to 1958 for comments made “on his wartime broadcasts for the fascist radio in Rome.” Interesting in light of current events and policies. I doubt he’d even be noticed.

Peter Russell on Pound’s silence: “He can say yes and no with so many shades of inflection that it becomes a language in itself. The rest … is that he’s entered a period of meditation and contemplation.”

Pound’s “official” wife was Dorothy Shakespear though his companion was Olga Rudge. Olga, who remained with him until his death, explained why she was so protective of Pound: “We get hippies … They have embraced the wisdom of Ezra Pound, but they haven’t read him.”
Further she said: “Others come to read him their poetry. They don’t know his poetry, but they want him to praise theirs. And their craftsmanship is so poor. There is no oral tradition anymore. It’s all publicity.”

Among the hippies was Allen Ginsberg whose ‘first question to Pound was … bourgeois: “Do you people need any money?’”

“Olga Rudge was appalled to read an interview in which Ginsberg chided Pound for his bourgeois background and values–and told of his own good deeds, including buying Pound $75 to $85 worth of Dylan records. ‘It was all about money, not about time or poetry,’ Olga Rudge observed.”

Ezra “didn’t enjoy” the Bob Dylan recordings.

Pound’s stay in Venice in 1908 allowed him to “publish, at his own expense, his first collection of poems, A Lume Spento.”

From Thomas Lask’s obit.: “‘Make it new’ was his cry as he went into battle. He sought tautness, compactness, the hard image that both conveyed and, in a sense, was the meaning the poet was after. Every word that was not functional in the line was eliminated. His poetry … had a lyrical and delicate talent, a skillful sense of rhythm and music and a nervous energy that give the poetry a propulsive vigor.”

Pound from P’atria Mia: “With the real artist there is always a residue, there is always something in the man which does not get into his work. There is always some reason why the man is always more worth knowing than his books are. In the long run nothing else counts.”

Pound in a letter to William Carlos Williams he lists his creative goals:
“1 To paint the thing as I see it.
“2 Beauty
“3 Freedom from didacticism
“4 It is only good manners if you repeat a few other men to at least do it better or more briefly.”

Richard H. Rovere: “He believed with Whitman that American experience was fit and even glorious material for poetry, and what he was at war with when he left this country was that spirit that denied this … ‘Make it new’ Pound kept saying, from his colloquial rendering of Confucius, and ‘Make it American,’ as if he were a booster of home manufactures at a trade fair.”

Pound on Walt Whitman from Selected Prose: “I see him America’s poet….
“He is America. His crudity is an exceeding great stench, but it is America. He is the hollow place in the rock that echoes with his time….
“Mentally I am a Walt Whitman who has learned to wear a collar and a dress shirt … Whitman is to my fatherland … what Dante is to Italy …”

“Tching prayed on the mountain and
wrote MAKE IT NEW
on his bath tub
Day by day make it new.”
–From Canto LIII

As iBook lay dying

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been expecting the death of my iBook’s hard drive. After consulting with experts at home and abroad I realized it would be wise to purchase a new hard drive before I lose full use of the machine. The new hard drive arrived moments before I rushed out the door to attend last night’s Blind Date with Poetry event.

Here is a visual essay with brief comments.


So many screws; I hope I can put them back in the same place


Oh, like these instructions help


I know the hard drive is somewhere around here


Ah, that’s where the drive lay dying

Now that a new hard drive is installed I have to reload OS X Tiger and get back to the business of designing a magazine.

Blind Date with Poetry

Tonight Blind Date with Poetry, hosted by Matt Moon featured poets published by Rapid River magazine. Featured poets included: Jillian Foster Knight, Corrie Woods, Britt Kaufmann, Joanna Knowles, Dahn Shaulis, Cheri L. Jones Wendy Kochenthal and myself.

Without exception, the poets presented over an hour of well crafted material from diverse perspectives. The open mic that followed was equally inspiring though a few of the regular open mic poets seemed absent.

My wife accompanied me tonight which is a special occasion for both of us. She enjoyed the night’s poetry and we were able to meet new friends, kindred spirits after the event.

The only regret I recall is that one open mic poet seemed to hang back from the congregation of poets. I caught her figure out of the corner of my eye as she stared at a book shelf. I’ve experienced that glazed look myself. Not sure how to introduce myself to other poets and equally intimidated by them. I think she said she was a student from ABTech. She wore a pink camisole and read a couple poems during the open mic portion of the event. I wanted to thank her for bravely sharing her work, but I got caught up in a discussion about Ezra Pound’s poetry and essays that I neglected such an important opportunity to include and encourage a young poet. My wife noticed her as well and advised me to encourage her if I see her again at another open mic. It is such a small gesture, but also so important.

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Overheard at Everyday Gourmet

As I prepared for tonight’s poetry reading, I thought I’d try to organize my thoughts at a downtown cafe.

One woman tells a guy: “Yeah, when I used to do illegal drugs I used to really look down on people who didn’t. That was so immature–don’t you know. Now I’m into herbal teas.”

One woman says to second woman: “I am like so not into teaching any more. I used to be like into the teaching thing but I’ve beyond that now. You know what I’m saying?”

A man at a table behind me throws a newspaper on a table and says: “I wish someone would just kill [name withheld].”

I withheld the name from the last quote because the person is an elected government official and I’m not sure if the man in the cafe was simply expressing an opinion or an intent. After hearing the man’s comment I was shaken by the violence of it and could not concentrate on my goal of preparing for tonight’s reading. So I left.

The First Annual BlogAsheville Awards–plus nominations

The First Annual BlogAsheville Awards

Nominate up to three BlogAsheville blogs in each category … Anyone may nominate blogs in this competition, so please post about it at your blogs and email me the results. Only bloggers on the BlogAsheville blogroll are eligible for nominations. Nominations will close Friday, June 15 at 11:59 pm.

1000 Black Lines has been nominated for:
- Best Writing (twice)
- Best Design (twice)
- Best Local Happenings

1000 Black Lines has NOT been nominated for:
- Blogger you’d most like to see naked
- Blogger I’d Most Like to Have a Beer With

So, take a look at the categories and email your NOMINATIONS to: scrutinyhooligans[AT]yahoo[DOT]com

Nominate 1000 Black Lines before midnight tonight!

Update: 2006 BlogAsheville Award Winners list.

Overheard on the ATS

If you haven’t used the Asheville Transit System (i.e. the bus), you don’t know what you’re missing. Here’s what I overheard today on the bus.

First man: “There’s a Chevrolet truck for sale for five hundred dollars. I told the man I’d give him two hundred dollars cash right there on the spot. He wouldn’t have it.”
Second man: “Damn motherf___er.”

One guy tells another guy: “I left California because there’s too many damn Mexicans.”
(At least a half dozen people of Hispanic descent sit near him.)

One African-American woman trying to get the attention of second African-American woman who is on a cell phone and moves away from the first woman: “I hate blacks trying to act white.”
(This is said in front of me, a person of Dutch/Irish descent, to a third African-American woman.)

One woman says to second woman: “I’m so stressed I smoked two packs today.”

A young woman says into her cell phone: “No, he’s Irish and speaks English.”
(She speaks with a distinct Romanian accent.)
Two African-American women seated next to me on the bus overhear this and speak.
First woman: “Am I like that?”
Second woman: “Nah. You ain’t that loud.”

Imagine what I’ll overhear on the way home tonight.

Measurable, meaningful, attainable

For this week’s Write Stuff column I cannibalized this post in order to offer Go Deep. It is something I have been considering all week.

If you are not familiar with Write Stuff, Karen offers a great column on the importance of establishing writing goals. For accountability, she lists Write Stuff contributors’ goals here.

I scanned the goals of the other writers and I am amazed with their organization. I’m a little jealous too. I submitted one item in my own ambiguous fashion but also to provide a “measurable, meaningful, and attainable” goal. I wish I could offer more goals, but simply have limited time and resources.

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