Farmer's Market, Winter Park, FL

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New York to Florida Top Ten

Saturday, May 30, 2009

1.  Service dog-- a golden retriever-- who stood in the aisle for part of the flight.  He barked at intervals, as if to alert his owner to something.  They were seated in the first non-first-class row, and the dog did not respect the first-class/coach boundary.  He enjoyed being pet by a few people in coach.  No one in first class pet him. 

2.  Why do so many people (often men) like to stand in my personal space in lines?  And why do I think it's so funny to say, "Crawling up my ass will cost you extra" (in my head)? 

3.  Lady across the aisle had a special edition People magazine-- all celebrity crossword puzzles.  She stared at the Paul Newman one for a while, but didn't fill anything in.  Then she turned to the J. Lo puzzle (entitled "J. Lo and Behold") and did that one. 

4.  Earplugs

5.  Later, noise-reducing headphones and music.  TC Mix #1.  Good traveling music. 

6.  I liked the clash of accents on the first flight.  One guy sounded exactly like Al Gore.  When we landed, an extremely loud woman with a New York accent called someone and shouted into her phone, "We've landed!"  Some of the people around me chuckled and looked bemused. 

7.  Bruce Nauman article in the New Yorker.  I enjoyed it, but it made me want to read one about Susan Rothenberg, his partner.  

8.  In line for flight #2: Little girl in my space as we boarded.  Thinking, "If you want to crawl up my butt, little girl . . ." 

9.  Guy with grayish-brownish mullet and backward Yamaha hat in the row ahead of me.  He had his forehead pressed to the back of the seat in front of him for a long while, and he was slowly shaking his head "No." 

10.  Old woman beside me who kept flipping through a magazine with a brusque, almost petulant gesture.  She didn't stay on any page for more than five seconds.  (I counted.)  She did this for half an hour straight and bugged the shit out of me.  Then she asked if I wanted to look at the magazine (Woman's Day).  I looked at the cover for a second and said no thanks.  Felt a little guilty.  (She was probably just nervous.  I would have taken it from her if it had been a People.)  Then she started loudly flipping the pages again.   

[Bonus: First thing my mom said to me when picking me up was, "Your hair has wings.  You look like a goldfish."  Thanks.]

Movie night with Brother

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I was all like, "Make me a snack plate."  Then Brother was all like, "Here's your snack plate, Crazy.  Why are you so crazy?"

New Madrid

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

They start clapping, but then they stop again.  Then they start.  Then they stop.   

"Come on do what you did,/ Roll me under your mattress," is what I used to think he was saying.

What in the world

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I like this song.  Gogol Bordello. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Simple harmonic oscillator

In the New York Times today

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Romeo and Juliet behave like simple harmonic oscillators.

Alice Notley

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Of two poems one sentimental and one not
I choose both."  

--A. Notley

Tips for the Conservation and Renewal of Vital Energies

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(after Ron Padgett)

1.  Don’t worry about the dream you had that you bought a new pair of suede boots and they got ruined the same day.  You never actually bought the boots. 

2. “Don’t ponder others.”

3. Ponder the email from your grandmother in which she wrote, “Went to the closet in the back bedroom to find my tennis shoes for the summer. And saw a plastic bag on the floor.  Lo  !!!   it was the pics I have looked for for a few years.  The ones from the box we used to keep in the dining rm and look at when you all came home.  How strange.”

4.  Eat as many as fruits and vegetables as possible.  Eat a cookie if you want.

5.  Go out into the leaves.

6.  Collect cartoons and other drawings from friends.

7.  You may have been taken out on a sailboat on a very large lake more than once by someone kind, someone who liked you.  Let your mind touch lightly upon the rocking motion and the sound of water lapping. 

8.  Iced berry tea, agave nectar.  Some mint would be nice.

9.  You may consider a morning practice of Dragon’s Breath, standing with legs slightly bent, slightly apart, then swinging the torso forward toward the legs with a loud HA!  You may want to do this 12 times fast, until you are dizzy and laughing and stumbling around your bedroom.

10.  Gratitude for subway drivers.  (Engineers?)  Especially that one who gave you that funny smile that time as he pulled away from 215th Street.    

11.  Collect piquant impressions, but don’t be too acquisitive about it.  Very few need actually be recorded.

12.  Use words like “piquant” and “acquisitive.”  But use them sparingly.  

George Schneeman tribute reading

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tonight I went to the George Schneeman tribute reading at the Poetry Project.  Here are some notes made at the reading by my friend, artist-poet Sara "Ethel-flower" Lefsyk.  

My new book with the bird cover

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"What about your friend?  Will he shoot flames from his nostrils
as he hurls you across the lawn?  Or will he fall on his knees and 
adopt you as his one and only god?  Somewhere in between." 

--Ron Padgett, "The Question Bus" 


Monday, May 25, 2009

From this remove, I see us slant, 
evergreens, the lake out there, the rich around,

huddled.  I'll say my heart was a cargo
of wondering that broke the cool, 

the white of your room.  Floated there
a while we did, until the needed jettison.  


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Many students of social history have thought that fear of WOMAN is a powerful cause of the seemingly illogical behaviour of human beings in groups, but this fear is seldom traced to its root.  Traced to its root in the history of each individual, this fear of WOMAN turns out to be a fear of recognizing the fact of dependence. 

--D. W. Winnicott, "The Mother's Contribution to Society"


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday at the MoMA

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Am Pleased to Introduce My Brand: A Prose Poem

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sometimes you can help someone else through with a fake ritual in which you pluck at the air around them until they feel revived. The final step, though, is yours alone. You may discover that no one appreciates the grace of a skateboarder quite like you do. That your secret desire is to appear in a poster in the subway wearing green sequined underpants and own it. We all need time alone before returning to the marketplace with words and gestures that others mirror back to us. Some need more time than others, which is both blessing and curse. Think Spiderman. Witch of Blackbird Pond.  Most things happen at dusk. Sometimes the trees will draw you up a hill, particles slowing then turning counter-clockwise. One. Two. Three. When you let the drawing happen, there’s your brand right there. Literal woods. Literal dusk. A voice in your head like from a creepy ‘70s movie about kids who might be possessed or maybe were born that way. La-la-la-la . . . . laa . . . laaa.

Shaky tenderness

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"When you feel that something is wrong, let the story line go and touch in on what's underneath.  You may notice that when you let the words go, when you stop talking to yourself, there's something left, and that something tends to be very soft.  At first it may seem intense and vivid, but if you don't recoil from that and you keep opening your heart, you find that underneath all of the fear is what has been called shaky tenderness."  
--Pema Chödrön, Buddhist nun

Wild beak

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mom, 1971

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The year I was born.  Featuring weird reflections from window.  I kind of like the effect, but I need a scanner. 

The Modern Lovers

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What I'm Listening To

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

carpingtongue: What I Feel Like Listening To

Found poem

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Think of the best surprise
that could possibly happen to you.  

Two-line poem

Monday, May 18, 2009

(found in a notebook from last year)

What strange singing made-up
animals we are, feathers in our hair. 

Tim Buckley

Monday, May 18, 2009

(with thanks to Douglas)


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lately I'm all pidgin French and mystery doodles.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How I Plan to Spend My Summer: A Ten-Point Working Plan (for tjc)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Draft submitted 5/17/09
by Joanna Penn Cooper, 
JPC Systems, Inc. 
For internal review by subject-matter experts and co-contractors only

Goals/methods/timeline/desired outcomes:

1.  Where is this light you speak of, head on the table, ecstatic then?
2.  Running shoes. 
3.  I have always enjoyed reading:  Voice, syntax, music, lexicon.  Evidence of other minds.
4.  How to take yourself seriously:  Take yourself seriously.  Why is anyone else so much greater than you?  They aren't.  Or they are.  Do your thing.  Your thing.  
5.  A certain loosening.  A certain rigor.  
6.  Breath + movement + observation.  Going away to come back. 
7.  Who do you report to?  Yourself.  No one cares if you make art. 
8.  Community. 
9.  Wake up early-ish. 
10.  Work three hours.  

I'm off sugar.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Little Chrissy

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I had forgotten what a Little Chrissy my brother is.  (Did you ever see that John Waters movie Pecker?  Little Chrissy is a sugar addict.  So is my brother.  For real.)  

Friday with Little Chrissy

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Today was little brother's last day in NYC, so we went to an Indian buffet, people-watched in Central Park and walked around the reservoir, saw a cool exhibit at the MoMA, went to the Jack Spicer reading at the Poetry Project, stopped by St. Mark's Bookshop, and then went to a Japanese convenience store and ate sushi and Japanese ice cream and candy.  

Thursday Top Ten

Friday, May 15, 2009

1. Finishing grades
2. Messages from friends, including notification about
this blog post 
3. Star Trek
4. Non-karaoke karaoke ("Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera and "Desperado")
5. Thai food  
6. Nerve in my back calming down & being able to walk
7. Short, good talk with a dear friend
8. "The real game is not to mask the subject but to mask the playing itself."--Roland Barthes
9.  The Last Picture Show
10. Having little brother around to say bratty things like, "If anyone finds out that the secret to poetry is leaving out a period, you're going to be in trouble."   

Day seemed three days long.

Brother drawings

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Metallic Sandals

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

[poem was here]


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Stick

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Moment of gap

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I was being driven in a car one day, when a horn honked loudly from behind.  A car comes up by my window and the driver's face is purple and he's shaking his fist at me-- my window is rolled down and so is his-- and he yells, "Get a job!"  That one still stops my mind.

The instruction is that when something stops your mind, catch that moment of gap, that moment of big space, that moment of bewilderment, that moment of total astonishment, and let yourself rest in it a little longer than you ordinarily might.  
. . . . 

When your aspiration is to lighten up, you begin to have a sense of humor.  Things just keep popping your serious state of mind.  In addition to a sense of humor, a basic support for a joyful mind is curiosity, paying attention, taking an interest in the world around you.  You don't actually have to be happy.  But being curious without a heavy judgmental attitude helps.  If you are judgmental, you can even be curious about that.  

--Pema Chödrön, Buddhist nun

[She and Ginsberg had the same teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche]

Father Death

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Joshua Beckman

Saturday, May 09, 2009

"Financially/ I'm made of music.  Spiritually, I'm all full of cookies."

Three stanzas

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I remember the night we camped out
     and I heard her whisper
"think of me as a place" from her sleeping bag
     with the centaur print.

I remember being in her father's basement workshop
when we picked up an unknown man sobbing 
over the shortwave radio

and the night we got so high we convinced ourselves
that the road was a hologram projected by the headlight beams.  

--from "Classic Water," David Berman

New Math

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"[. . . .] No matter how ample or empty 
The house, you can always find

Slaphappy and stricken at the same table, sharing a wet bit of bread."  

--Paula McLain, "New Math"

Little brother

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Little brother is coming to see me next week.  Last time he visited, we just hung around the house.  

Ballad of a Thin Man

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Part of Pip's fight with the pale young gentleman

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

  "Come and fight," said the pale young gentelman. 
     What could I do but follow him?  I have often asked myself the question since: but, what else could I do?  His manner was so final and I was so astonished, that I followed where he led, as if I had been under a spell.
  "Stop a minute, though," he said, wheeling round before we had gone many paces.  "I ought to give you a reason for fighting, too.  There it is!"  In a most irritating manner he instantly slapped his hands against one another, daintily flung one of his legs up behind him, pulled my hair, slapped his hands again, dipped his head, and butted it into my stomach.  
[. . . .]
  "Laws of the game!" said he.  Here, he skipped from his left leg on to his right.  "Regular rules!"  Here, he skipped from his right leg to his left.  "Come to the ground, and go through the preliminaries!"  Here, he dodged backwards and forwards, and did all sorts of things while I looked helplessly at him.

--Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

Pema Chödrön

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

"[T]he main instruction is simply to lighten up.  By taking that attitude toward one's practice and one's life, by taking that more gentle and appreciative attitude toward oneself and others, the sense of burden that all of us carry around begins to decrease." 

--Pema Chödrön, Buddhist nun

The Spirit of the Beehive

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Thanks, TC.  

Inwood Hill Park

Sunday, May 03, 2009

He stood and then quieted

Saturday, May 02, 2009

He stood and then quieted, and to my surprise did not leave again.  I was expected to know which way was out and through and stepped on some acorn hats and helicopters, oak tags.  (What’s an oak tag?)  We will be at our best here, outside the city.  Hear that?  That hoo-hoo-hoo?  That’s a turtle-dove, dove-colored, taupe-like and tapered, with sad, knowing eyes.  Or a mourning dove maybe.  I forget.  And that’s a maple.  And that’s . . .  a tree with bright fuchsia blossoms.  Crepe myrtle?  India myrtle?  India crepe myrtle.  Something.  And look below your feet at the macadam.  I think that’s macadam.  The word sounds weird now.  More black road, blue sky, green trees.  That’s all there is from here on out.  Wait until we get to the barn.  You’ll love it there.  You can set up your typewriter on an old crate and scratch your beard and look picturesque.  Look how faded and vintagey everything looks around here.  That huge old steering wheel.  Your Levi’s.  The way our hands look together on our old quilt in the hayloft.  Don’t give me that look.  You’ll love it here.  I’m going out to pick some wildflowers.  When I get back, be handling those old bridles and things.  Scratch your beard.  Turn to me with that sad-eyed half-smile I like so much.  

The Misfits

Saturday, May 02, 2009

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