Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two Thoughts for the Voices

Denver Prediction

I rarely believe something strongly enough to state it as a principle, but I do this, that the line of cities with Denver at the center and with Ft. Collins to the north and Colorado Springs to the south will, in the future, be talked about in the way that we talk about Black Mountain. And I think it’s currently in its heroic phase. Denver is where I would live if I could live anywhere, though Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs would also do.

Letterism Adagia

--Muses only flirt.

--Originality is less important than a good blender.

--The best metaphor is one you’ll never think of.

--There are always other choices that would work, so whatever you’re thinking isn’t the point.

--The term “avant garde” is a publicity stunt.

--Poetry is aware of genitalia, just not yours.

--Because the political situations in the past that created situations from which the art of that time was produced are not the same as our current political situation, we must not think we are them.

--Transubstantiation does not occur in words.

--Everything is always a kind of something else. We must get over it.

--The only possibility there is is somewhere else: X does not mark a spot.

--Messages are permitted. As are voices.

--Entertainment is also permitted as something to distract them with while the work continues.

--Every surface is a surface.

--Passing over in silence is also a form of critical engagement.

--There are two sides to the river, named Sound and Mental Image. We’re in a boat on the river, sitting back to back looking at different banks, trying to describe water.

--Poems are like jokes in that they are always on you.

--Poems are a way of looking at wealth.

--The voices know that there is always someone who will do what you do more cheaply.

--You are not in control.

--All voices lose volume as distance increases.

--Everything you build is between yourself and the voices.

--The voices don’t care what you think of them.

--If you don’t hear the voices you’re sitting in silence.

--If you empty yourself completely, there’s nothing there for the voices to write on.

--An imbalance is contextual.

--There is no unconscious to leap into. It’s just you napping.

--Riding the horns of a bull can become comfortable as well, if you’re built for it, and then stops being dangerous.

--The pure avant garde is an infomercial.

--All conceptions of things are more wrong than right, but they are both wrong and right.

--If everyone agrees something is good, then it’s a failure.

--There are only ever hints.

--Handedness is also a gender.

--Poetry does not relieve back pain unless you’re lying on it just right.

--What good is standing on the diving board if you can’t imagine jumping?

--You can be sincere or not, it makes little difference to the voices.

--Everyone gets something to carry, but not everyone gets to know what it is.

--Your lifestyle and your vocabulary are one.

--Sleight of hand is called magic.

--Any community that upends a poetry community creates a poetry community, and all communities act like communities.

--Very few artists who are successful are successful.

--Art is a sex act.

--Letterism is alphabetical, but in numerical order.

--All manifestos are worth $1.98 each.

--The voices are not interested in dialogue.

--The voices come from the world.

--Poets are part of the world.

--The voices don’t care if you listen.


At 3/27/2011 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martians need women, but they only flirt.

Art is a sex act--the great lay of the impersonal.

The unconscious is structured like a virus from outer space.

There is no cure for a room full of Art Van furniture.

My lifestyle did this to me.

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery — celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to."-- Jim Jarmusch

At 3/27/2011 5:55 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Yeah, I was thinking of Spicer's "My vocabulary did this to me" when I wrote that one.

The virus thing, though, I prefer to think of it as a virus that escaped from an industrial pig farm. Kind of keeps us humble, even if it doesn't sound s good sung.

Art is a one-way trip.

This bit:

"It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to."

I really, really like.

At 3/27/2011 8:48 AM, Blogger Steven D. Schroeder said...

Aww, this makes me wistful that I left Colorado Springs. Even more wistful, I should say.

At 3/27/2011 2:00 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Denver is a strange city, but it's also very cheap. The trick, and I think this applies to all of Colorado, is finding a job.

I do miss living five minute from the Rocky Mountains.

At 3/27/2011 3:07 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

When I was there in 2007, I snitched a rock from the Poudre. Just between us.

At 3/28/2011 2:40 AM, Blogger MASchiavo said...

Who are some of the Colorado poets you think are doing extraordinary work? What's the general thrust/aesthetic, if it's possible to define?

At 3/28/2011 10:23 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I wish I had the time to really answer this, but I'm between things all day. Here's the very short version:

Colorado Review
Denver Quarterly
Copper Nickel

I know that's way too short, and inconclusive, as it's journals, not people, but I thought it might give you something of an idea what the energy there is like.

At 3/28/2011 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Massachusetts--Black Ocean Books, Rose Metal Press, Madras Press, Adventures in Poetry, Pressed Wafer, Jubilat, Handsome, 6th Finch, Memorious, Boston Review, Bateau Press--plus Providence is closer to Boston than CSprings is to Denver.

At 3/28/2011 12:38 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Massachusetts, sure, absolutely, as well. There are several hubs of really interesting energy right now. Like San Fran / Black Mountain, back then. I didn't mean to take anything away from other places by targeting the Colorado line.

Part of my writing this is a reaction to New York City and various Californias continually being talked about. They are great places, full of great things, etc, but Colorado does as well. I guess it's not really a large point I'm making. Some talk about poetry, as well, in a post-geography way, whcih is also fine, but there's a lot of energy in Colorado right now . . .

At 3/28/2011 12:42 PM, Blogger MASchiavo said...

That's a great point, John. There's lots of great poetry being written in between the coasts (or away from the centers of even regional power, like Vermont and Maine), plus great poetry audiences all over. Peter Davis and I are doing a Midwest Tour this May. We'll be in Louisville, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Kalamazoo, and Indianapolis.

At 3/29/2011 1:17 PM, Blogger Neil Kelly said...

John, moving to Denver from Chicago was probably the best decision I've ever made (personally & artistically). However, Colorado Springs is kind of creepy, in my opinion. Too much military and religion down there.

Come on out. We'd love to have you!

At 3/30/2011 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!


At 3/30/2011 12:09 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Spam for cailis on this post is really quite beautiful.

Neil! Any time. Any time.


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