Commentaries - November 2008

A man named David Thorne attempts to be his overdue utility bill with his drawing of a spider, which he values at a dollar figure exactly equal to the money he owes. Jane Gilles of the utility company engages him in an email dialogue about this. Read the entire exchange.

“The means to gain happiness,” wrote Tolstoy, “is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes.” As you get about halfway through the dialogue, you realize that the delinquent bill-payer is half-hoping this will work, but just half. He does seem somewhat to believe that he is throwing his spider in all directions, hoping that it — his modest little art — lands safely somewhere. (Maybe I’m a sap, but I think he wants her to like it.)

Thanks to Malka Fleischman for pointing this out.

1) Get your daily Al.
2) Check out the new Zukofsky page on PennSound.
3) Listen to the Creeley-Zukofsky conversation.

Today PennSound proudly unveils the new Louis Zukofsky page, edited by Danny Snelson and done with the permission of Paul Zukofsky. Amazing. Simply amazing. Go there and download some favorites to your iPod. Do it now! Holy cow.

Here’s a poem a particularly admire: from the early 1960s by LeRoi Jones (later Amiri Baraka), “Kenyata Listening to Mozart.” And here’s a link to a better view of the text. And here’s a link to a recording of Jones reading the poem in California in December 1964.

My short piece on George Oppen’s poem “Myth of the Blaze” is currently appearing in Jacket 36: here. Thanks to Tom Devaney and John Tranter.

The short essay was written to be read aloud/performed at this occasion.