Monday, November 24, 2008




“we got trinaural hearing”
—Larry Eigner, “Do it yrself,”
Look at the Park

Now I’ve got—three “ears”

The front one—the back one

The one—coming down the street

Spontaneous thing

“when you search the
spontaneous thing”
—Larry Eigner, “The Fine Life,”
On My Eyes

When I search for—the thing
The spontaneous thing—already there
It becomes even more—spontaneous
Do it yourself—try it & see

What blooms—in drought
Isn’t you or me—it’s intuition
The other radio—the Red Sox one
The Orphée one—just ask Cocteau

Heurtebise—your chauffeur
Eurydice—your wife
María Casares—La princesse
The Land of Dis—Spontaneous now

Words—your Rolls Royce
Language—your motorcycle escort
Writing—thru the liquid mirror
Runtime—Saturday matinee

The more—you read
The more—you write
The more—you cleave
The more—you see

Letter to Ina Forester

2338 McGee Avenue
Berkeley CA USA
Wednesday Feb 11 87

You can—want
try to do—something
too much—or too little
and the question—how much
is enough—there's never much
of an answer—but enough
at times—and anyway
the question—it’s always there
is maybe useful—one way
or another—if not anyhow
something—in itself

Rosemarie W.. gave a talk
abt Claude Royet-Journoud and Anne-Marie Albiach in Paris

Except nowadays—often
things get—plentiful or routine
frequent—and you expect more
you don't think—“Lady Luck"
And I don't—come across
outstanding things—in daily life so often
things I put down—are likely dull or almost
relatively dull—like I used to
"hope against hope"—as a child
during exercises—physiotherapy
and other times—I'm inclined to
see if I can—make use of anything
taking comfort—from toeholds

[In margin:]

Since coming—to Berkeley
at the end—of August '78
frm W. Massachusetts—whre I lived
on a short street—in a small closed-in
neighborhood—I'm on a long street
and sleep—in a front corner rm
with 6 wndows—and I go out more
my life is more—various and diffuse

a long childhood—in a way

everything’s not—wholly repetitious
derivative—within the human ear or
eye's spectrum—all kinds of
high and low—frequencies
high-powered things—and otherwise
wavelengths—short and long
get to seem ok—you don't want
too few pitches—or colors or keys

Well, there's—both effort & luck, ah!
Before I read—"energy construct"
Charles Olson's—"Projective Verse"
in the early '50s—in Poetry New York
I thought—that immediacy and
force took precedence—over clarity
in reaction to—my mother’s advice
though I tried—wd've liked to follow
agreed with her insistence—to be clear
and about the same time—there was
Wm Carlos WIlliams!—"A poem is a
machine made of words"—medical doctor
ein Arzt?—but he said "machine"

not "organism"—a piece of language
that "works"—and functions
I "played by ear"—felt my way along
I was—(and am rather)
puzzled how theory—is relevant
How to apply—it anyway
I'm a primitive—when writing
doing what I can—when reading
the likelihood—I'm not getting much
at all of what's there—seems large
if I'd gotten wheels—and explored

more before age 10—fewer things
beyond—or nearly beyond
sight or hearing—my curiosity
might have been less—I might
not have tried so to speak—to see
through the walls—of factories
we walked—or rode past
although come to—think of it
there was some—yiddish spoken
by my parents—with theirs
and the Italian—spoken by neighbors
the italian too fast—for me to learn

any words—except "1, 2, 3,"
and loud—and far away
Until age 22—when I responded
to Cid Corman's—"This Is Poetry"
over a Boston MA—radio station
I lived abt 12 miles—north of Boston
till I moved to Berkeley—Aug 31 '78
a couple of miles—from my brother
got me into Dr Williams—and Pound
and Stevens—and Hart Crane
my idea of poetry—picked up
from public school—teachers to my
house after—I had 2-1/2 yrs
Mass. Hospital School—south of Boston
5th-7th grades—then correspondence
courses—from the U.. of Chicago
was limited enough—thinking rhyme
or at least meter—as essential
or must
although at same time—curious about
what "free verse" (vers libre)—really was

“there was some or after all more than a little of it in the high school/college textbook which my brother, a college freshman then, brought home during his first Xmas vacation (yes, I did, sure), along with e.e. cummings' Selected Poems. Around then (December '49), before he returned to school, he happened on Corman's program and called me over to listen. Up through the '50s and '60s I'd keep on the lookout constantly for poems, trying to keep what came to me in my head if out in the car till I got to the typewriter, successfully, trying to extend what I got (if incomplete) once I started writing (like in school years, as I vaguely remember, I used to go around all day memorizing or remembering the lessons--school or anything was a vacation compared to physiotherapy, frustrating and sometimes scary as it was). I recall the idea of the set or assigned (like in school) poem, of writing about a certain thing or subject, and at any moment (all times) there's the attempt, difficult or easy or taking only a millisecond, say, immediately done with; but if you can't do it, sometime's there'll be something else”

so the poem—does become
a thought process—or arc
or course of thought—trace
artifact of the same—maybe
more than—just a machine made of words…

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