Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I'm afraid to insert the javascript, I'm not sure how to upload mp3s here, and you already know about this, but: It's Gray Tuesday.

Thanks to Jeff, Nate, and MM for yet more dialogue. Jeff's "Return of the White Noise Supremacists" was in the Bay Guardian, not SF Weekly. Oliver Wang has not posted much on this directly; but he's in the mix, and he's worth reading on related matters, and on general principle.

Only just connected L.A. Carnival's Nebraska homebase with the extreme racial tensions in that state. Wish I had Ron Padgett's "Radio" handy. It's a strange and not obviously characteristic poem -- the first section is a fairly easy, nostalgic recollection of pop-culture from the poet's childhood; the second recounts the 1921 race riot in Tulsa (Padgett/T. Berrigan/Brainard's hometown). All in a flatly reported style as much like Reznikoff as anything else I can come up with. I don't have a good explanation of the power of the juxtaposition; all I can say that it seems like a poem put together, in a way that neither section would alone. (The Tulsa riot is apparently still an unreckoned-with episode in the city's collective consciousness; something similar happened in Omaha in 1919, but I haven't looked it up.)

Fence, at least the current issue, has a knack for including weak work by good writers. Lydia Davis' "Kafka Cooks Dinner" is adept, of course, but it's one-joke compared to her high standards.* An interview between Alice Notley and Edmund Berrigan is embarassing, indulgent, and self-serving. What Notley says about longer work is interesting, but this should have been severely edited. I'm pleased to learn, though, that she's editing a collected (complete?) Ted Berrigan for UC. Diane Williams' stories are Diane Williams stories; but Romance Erector was at an altogether higher level. $8 is too much for the two pages of Peter Blegvad drawings I wanted.

*I take it that it isn't just a pastiche of Kafka, but of a certain way of translating him. There could be something here I'm missing, but it didn't feel so.

I thought my ideas for band names were bad (State-Owned Department Store, Totally Rosicrucian!, Close Parens). In a few weeks, John Vanderslice shares a bill in Iowa City with the sure-to-be-huge:

Make Way For The Uno Champion Of The World

Cf. Charizma/Peanut Butter Wolf, "Devotion": "She reversed it on me like a game of Uno." (PBW released the L.A. Carnival record -- I'm amazed when these entries turn out to be tiny economies.)

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