Monday, October 29, 2007

neo-hippie tangent

Anyway, read the neo-hippie article, because it's lol. And obviously written by hippies. Like, the word "hippie" is occasionally misspelled.

Mildly-amusing quote:

With the death of the electric car, the reeling in of social freedoms and the various attempts to ban LGBT relationships; coupled with the growing religious impact within the government, the neo-hippie was born.

Electric cars :D Dig the inappropriate use of the semicolon. But correct punctuation is probably just a way for The Man to keep people down, so hey.

Another quote:

In holding to the past, neo-hippies remain pure-earth. [whatever the fuck that is. I'm skeptical about the degree to which someone living in an industrialized society can completely avoid attributing to non-biodegradable waste products.] They forgo many comforts to protect and save the planet for future generations. They live waste-free; recycling, reusing, and composting most, if not all of their discarded materials. They hold the belief that all that has been made can be unmade.

I'm a level five vegan; I don't eat anything that casts a shadow.

In the United States, some hippies refer to themselves as "Rainbows," a name derived from their tie-dyed T-shirts, and for some, from their participation in the hippie group, "Rainbow Family of Living Light".

This may just be proof of my cynicism, but, ahaha. I don't think I could be part of a rainbow family of living light, because that would make me gag.

Anyway, I am SO having neo-hippies in my novel. Maybe I can get travel grant money to go to Eugene or something. Or go to Asheville with K, as apparently that is also a hippie center!

And I'm having transhumanists. LOL, transhumanism.

the form that dare not speak its name

I wrote some more on my retarded novel. It's kind of "bad" right now for the most part, but I basically have the plot arc, and after that's done, it's time for shitloads of digression. I think I will have a manifesto somewhere in the middle. What other random things should I include? Perhaps recipes. I want it to be fractacular (fractal-like and spectacular. Okay, maybe it's not actually that fractal-like, since I don't really comprehend fractals, but fractals are so cool.)

And apparently fractals appear on "neo-hippie" shirts. I'm not sure what a "neo-hippie" is, although I will soon find out thanks to Wikipedia, but I'm pretty sure they have to make an appearance in my novel.

Oh god, why didn't I think of that before? The connection is so obvious!!!

Oh, and there's my other "novel" which in my head has characters, a plot, complex interpersonal relationships, hilarity, etc., but in practice pretty much all I've written is snippets of inane dialogue that might be amusing to no one but me.

Anyway, it amuses me, and that's what's important, right? My goal is 2,000 words a day on it, which will give me over 50,000 words in a month, which is... I dunno. But I think that's "novel length." That ought to be enough to get across the gist of the plot.

I sat next to B today at a reading, and she had some poetry. She secretly writes poetry. I secretly write fiction. Okay, it's not so "secret," but bah, we get shunted into our little genres.

The reading was great. But at the end the guy read a poem (also great) which he refused to call a poem. It was a "verbal thingamajig" or something. Ahhh, the form that dare not speak its name!

I also came up with a horrible/brilliant opening title for a book:

It was the best of mimes, it was the worst of mimes.

If you steal this and write a novel let me know.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I was pretty grumpy today and still sort of am. I went to a bubble tea place and ended up working on this story I'd totally forgotten about. I about doubled the word count. Go me. I think I could finish it in a month, yeah? Why not. It's silly and I like it. How many words of prose are there per page, on average?

It starts out normal and pastoral and gradually gets crazy.

Waterhobo: Ever diligent, ever watching.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hopkins and prosody

I did a presentation for my prosody class on Hopkins and I think that went well; I scanned it first according to his own prosody, or at least I tried to, and then according to how I thought it ought to be scanned. I'm down with the idea of feet of 1, 2, 3, or 4 syllables, but it just does not make sense to me to always break the feet so that the stressed syllable is first in the foot. He apparently chose that in part because music is scored that way, but I don't think it accurately represents language, and you have to do some weird stuff to even scan it like that.

I struggle with how to break feet. My way makes sense to *me,* but I'm not sure how much of a priority pauses and clause-breaks and stuff are, in traditional scansion, and I do end up with some sort of weird feet that are based more on old Latin quantitative stuff than they are on English, which is accentual.

Maybe we need something new, for English. The 2 and 3 syllable, 1 stress per foot thing is not quite cutting it for me. I will have to work this out well though and make sure it's really better than traditional scansion, and not confusing or overly complex. I am still a noob now, though. A young upstart in the wide, controversial world of scansion. :P

I also read the poem, of course (The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo; such a wonderful poem). K said it was the best reading of Hopkins he'd ever heard. So that was very flattering of course. He said if there was a way to make a living reading Hopkins, I should do it.

Is there a way? Because if so I totally would (originally typed "wood").

I am thinking of trying to make street-money off of poetry. Writing poems from my little table for a dollar a line, or reciting Hopkins poems for 50 cents until my voice wears out or something. I could hand out a sheet so people could follow along, and then they could keep the sheet, so they'd feel like they were getting something besides just my reading.

I did the typical "So let's scan the poem, guys!" thing, and everyone was like "Uhhh," and shook their heads no. Hopkins' prosody isn't *that* scary, is it? I mean, sure, there are a lot of stresses. Just make them one syllable feet like he did :D Or make them spondees next to regular feet.

I just read some Hopkins poems I hadn't before. Some really amazing lines, and also a good deal of "not really sure what you're talking about there." Knowing that would help (out loud) reading. And comprehension/enjoyment, obviously.

I did for the first time wish that his poems weren't all so Christian. Not just Christian, because plenty of other poems/poets were, but like... it seems like the 2nd stanza of like every poem sort of diverges off onto God, and it seems overall relatively uniform in form and content in that respect. Not that he didn't struggle with his own religious beliefs, and not that his beliefs/portrayal of God and so on weren't nuanced at all, but I guess I wonder about the range of thoughts and sentiments and ideas and implications that he *could* have expressed, or rather, perhaps, that a different poet with such remarkable skills could have expressed. He is so unique that it's almost a bit hard for me to separate the poet as an idea-maker from the poet as a language-user, here. But my god, that could be breathtaking.

He is so amazing, all the same. Oh Gerard. *sigh*

Soaring sighs deliver, etc. But to his poetry, rather than to God--sorry GMH.

Oh, I also felt a bit of Auden's whole problem with the beautiful poetic untruth. Like Hopkins' work can affect me emotionally and I can feel/imagine a bit of those religious sentiments, even though I don't actually believe them. So yeah, there's an example of that for me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Khomeini's "Little Green Book"

This is some crazy shit and I think I'm going to write about it.

"What songbirds, dancing, and knot-tying can tell us about why we speak."

this article is really fascinating and i need to write more about it and also read that book "the singing neanderthal." but i am going to bed now.

It reminds me of that south american civilization where they have those rope-things that some people think are recordings of language.

evo. psych and the 6 most terrifying foods in the world

Ahaha: Belief in Evolutionary Psychology May Be Hardwired, Study Says. (It's fake, of course. And I'm not saying there's nothing whatsoever to evolutionary psychology, but there IS the unfortunate tendency, as there always is every time we try to study our own selves scientifically, for us to project our own little beliefs and desires about humanity onto things. Hence a lot of really iffy retarded crap, especially gender-related. I expect the people coming up with it are not great scientists, or at least they aren't playing great scientists at the time.)

Also: The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World.

The escamoles doesn't sound that bad to me, maybe because i've long been tempted by insectophagy. If anything, it just seems like an awful lot of effort to collect the eggs. Not optimal.

The worst to me is casu marzu. D: And I also feel bad for the boiled-alive duck fetuses. Gross is one thing but gross + cruel is another entirely. I wonder how humane it is to freeze or refrigerate bird eggs. Freezing is a very humane method of euthanasia for arthropods, but I seem to recall that this is not the case for, say, reptiles. And birds aren't even cold-blooded. So it's probably a no-go.

I totally buy Harris's arguments in Good to Eat, but I swear that some things must just be eccentricity. Due to their lack of optimality under optimal foraging theory. But perhaps there are bizarre nutritional benefits to some of these more obscure things, and/or socioeconomic status things. Like, so-and-so is so posh, they can afford the baby mouse wine. Which is clearly not a very economical use of either protein or alcohol. The food equivalent of really really long sleeves, or shoes with the curly bits at the toes. Why? Because we can, and the poor plebes can't.

Anyway, I have heard of *way* more horrifying foods than these. Like ones involving cruelty to animals. I hope a lot of those are apocryphal, or at least not routine culinary practices.

Links fixed and post edited 10/25.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My new favorite site: FFFFOUND!

I wish I could register :(

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cockatoo dancing

to the Backstreet Boys. He does some really high kicks, and he sort of headbangs at the end. This bird kicks ass. His crest looks like some kind of lettuce I don't know the name of.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Oh, and also, apparently ostriches are big enough to ride on. Mind blown, world rocked, desire to get ostriches increased even more. And I've always liked bison, too. I have to visit Bisonlandia.

finding money in coat pockets

Met with my professor today and showed her some random poems that I sort of dug up off my hard drive, as the idea was to show her stuff that we wouldn't be workshopping. And she was incredibly positive and encouraging, to the point of suggesting only very minor revisions and talking about publication o_o

So that was pretty good for the self esteem.

And then I was looking back thru my notebook today and found some other stuff I'd forgotten about. Like she said, it's like finding money in the pocket of your old coat or something. Or rediscovering an item of clothing in your closet that maybe you didn't like much before, or that didn't work before, but that is now awesome. It's somehow better, in ways, than getting something new, because there's both the novelty and the rediscovery/recovery.

Read Gombrowicz these last couple of days, who is awesome. Must find more.

Oh, and last night I was reading Auden--I have this book, some selected poems or other thing, which is basically his non-revised versions of earlier poems. God, they are so good, and I pretty much do prefer them to the revised ones. What is it about young voices when they're still a bit raw? Not so smoothed over. Sleater-Kinney, The Clash, Wordsworth, and Auden too. Of course he like retroactively forced this weird moral poetics back on himself. Don't know much about that... I can kind of see where he's coming from, and YET. Beauty is truth. That's what he was afraid of, I think, the lie that seems true because it is so beautiful. And what with propaganda one does have reason to fear that, and in many ways I do admire the integrity of his position. And yet. I'm a sucker for beauty.

I dunno, reading my students' poems, realizing that I'm really a sucker for sound. If it's sounding good to me I'm not so worried about what it means or whether the meaning is clear, or the image. And thinking, too, that I am grooving on and accepting weirder images/combos/associations than I might have at some earlier point. I don't know why that would be. But loosening up, grooving on the weird.

But anyway, I am reappreciating Auden and also his really interesting line breaks and enjambment. I think he'd be a really good person to study for that. Oh Auden <3

People keep asking me who I read and I sort of feel like I'm going back over and over the same dead white guys that I've already loved for years, and that makes me feel ignorant and narrow and insufficient. And yet I feel that I'm reappreciating them in new ways and on deeper levels, soooo.

And I have good suggestions for people to look at next. My professor lent me what I think will be an amazing book, by a poet who seems to sort of have my sensibility in some ways. Language has to sound/feel good! Otherwise you may as well be wearing a shirt with no pants. (Okay, that is probably not a very apt metaphor). But in any case, the sounds will carry you when the meaning and images aren't doing their full work, and vice versa. You can't just rely on the richness of *imagery.* Phanopoeia + melopoeia.

I'm thinking a bunch about logopoeia too, but I have this suspicion that my mental idea of what logopoeia is is a lot different from Pound's, and also that mine might be more complex or specified. But I think my mental version of logopoeia is pretty cool, so...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

*looks at some of her writing*

I rule.

Oh, did I mention I really want an ostrich? Because I know now that I want one. One day! *sigh* Ostrich. I wish they were big enough to ride on.

Also, lmao.
Did I mention I'm really into writing ghazals now? Cuz I am.

I realized that I want poetry criticism to reduplicate or recapitulate in some way the experience of the poem.

I am digging up some older stuff I'd forgotten about, and it's pretty good. Some of it I'm not sure what to do with, and/or if fully fleshed out it could be pretty long.