Monday, April 20, 2009

John Giorno, The Watchmen and the goddamned heat.

A little ways back when I was pondering whether or not to start a blog, I was hesitant because I had a feeling I would not have much of interest to report on a regular basis, and for the moment it seems my concerns were somewhat merited. It looks like I will be blogging in fits and starts. So be it.

Last week Anise had a much deserved week off for spring break. We spent a fair amount of time walking around the city. Took a few walks through Golden Gate park and one to Mt. Davidson, which is the highest point in the city, or so City Hikers or some similarly titled website tells me. Anise took a lot of photos of the flora and fauna. She knows a lot about flowers, plants and nature in general. I just think it's all very pretty. Here are a few pictures.

Last Thursday we went to see poet John Giorno read. I've been a fan of his stuff for a while and was pretty excited when I saw a flier for a reading here in SF. He's in his seventies now, and doesn't do a lot of readings. He’s a pretty fascinating guy who should probably be more well known than he is.

He was a friend/lover of Andy Warhol's in the early sixties, and starred in his film, Sleep. He never neatly fit into any school or style of poetry, but was on the fringes of the Beat, and, later on, the punk movements. He helped pioneer the concept of a multimedia poetry performance and recorded a lot of work in the eighties with the likes of Laurie Anderson and William Burroughs. Anyways, blah, blah, blah. It was cool to see him.

When he read his last poem he left the stage to strong applause, then came back up a few moments later to do an encore poem. I do believe that's the first poetry reading I've attended where the reader came back to read an encore poem. I think that was pretty rockstar of him. I think poetry readings in general should be more like rock shows, with all the good and bad that that statement possibly entails.

What else? I'm working on a few new poems, but working at a bit more of a leisurely pace than usual, and it feels nice to be taking a bit of a break.

I have a short story that I think would make a cool short film, so I'm working at turning it into a screenplay. When it’s finished I'm gonna see if a few of my friends wanna help me try and make something out of it. Nothing grand, just a silly little video to post on here and youtube.

I should be getting the proofs for my upcoming book in the mail sometime this week. Looking forward to seeing it. It’s due out late summer and will be my first full length book of new poetry since the last one I did w/sunnyoutside in 2006.

Finally got around to seeing the Watchmen movie. I thought it was as a good a movie as could be made from the source. Does that sound like I’m damning it with faint praise? I don’t mean it to. I actually really liked it and wouldn’t mind seeing it again while it’s still on the big screen.

It was 84 degrees today in San Francisco. That's pretty hot for this little city by the bay. My apartment feels like an oven and I'm sitting here sweating in my underwear. I don't have a fan or anything, cos who needs that shit in San Francisco, right? Sigh.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Sometimes life is okay.

I had a pretty good weekend. Friday night I did a reading with a bunch of good people and had a really nice time. Lots of good feeling and many glasses of free wine. A poet friend of mine who was there told me that she doesn't like the readings that take place in bars. Too many drunk people there who don't give a shit about poetry and just want to be entertained, she says. Me, I'm okay with that. If you can't entertain the drunks, get off the stage. All art is entertainment. If you're up there on a stage in front of people you should be doing something to make them laugh, or cry or feel like they've been kicked in the gut..something. Reading poetry is not unlike juggling or telling jokes while wearing a clown nose. I don't know. I wish more of my readings were in bars. It's nice when I don't have to sneak my booze in. Hell, I don't like reading or listening to poetry when sober myself. But I can understand how it's not every reader's ideal situation. A bookstore that supplies wine is a happy medium. (You rock, Bird & Beckett!)

Though perhaps my ideal poetry reading would be in a crowded bar with the audience sufficiently liquored up, and at the back of the room would be a big gong, and Jaimee Farr, Rip Taylor and Jaye P. Morgan will all be there, waiting.

And my abnormally(for me) social weekend continued on into Saturday. Met a bunch of friends in Dolores park to celebrate a friend's (un)birthday. It was a wonderful day, much sun and blue sky. More wine and good people. It's good to be reminded that there are actually people I call my friends whose occasional company I truly enjoy. Met some good new people as well. I sometimes forget that such things can happen.

In spite of my general distaste for large crowds, I must confess to a love of Delores park on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Just a sea of people chilling out as far as the eye can see. Drinking, smoking, eating. Kids. Dogs. Hippies on giant unicycles. People wandering around selling everything from tamales to cotton candy to snack items laced with various illegal substances. And the assholes and the cops always seem to stay away, as if there were some magic circle of protection around the area. It's always just a nice vibe.

And I had a moment, when I was opening a second bottle of wine and looking out upon the sea of humanity sprawled across the park, and I was filled with a pure and simple little feeling of joy. I was just thinking, you know, here I am in San Francisco on a lovely day drinking wine with people I like, discussing the finer points of comic books, videogames, Dostoyevski and Werner Herzog, among other things. Who would have imagined life could be so good? It's important to understand these moments from time to time and appreciate them for what they are.

Because life will become shitty again before you know it. But the darkness doesn't cancel out the light. The beautiful moments are there, etched into the fabric of the universe, and the fuckers can't take them away from us. Ever.

That's all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This Friday, April 3rd I will be reading at the Knockout in San Francisco with a lot of cool ass people. It starts at 6:30, it's free and there is booze. Come on by, I'd love to see ya.

More info. here.

No Words Needed