Sunday, December 28, 2008

Michael Kelleher reading through his library is def. one of my favorite things going right now.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A's to Thom's Q's

Hi Thom,
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to answer. Today is Dec 17, exactly a month since the reading which prompted your questions; as you know, it was in part the accident of calendar dates---the Nov 17th reading being symmetric with the still-upcoming Jan 17 reading---that suggested the ultimate performance to me, so I thought I’d answer by marking the midway point.

What is communication?
This is a good question but is so huge I feel it requires me to either give a complete disquisition, or else be reductive & clever. So it is very hard to answer. In order to get timely to the rest of the questions, let’s say that for the duration of this Q&A (as into the future for all our expanding conversation), communication is a thing we hold open between us, for the sake of an as-yet undefined exchange. It’s both threatening and gentle. You would like to know something, but I’m not certain the complete scope of what it is you want to know. I’m going to proceed based on your cues (signals), which are questions, and send cues & signals back to you, in the form of answers and further questions.

What is the relationship shared between communication and art?
I think it might be the possibility of artifice.

What is the relationship shared between your work and 70s “Live Art” (or performance-based art)? Participatory art? Tactical Media? Procedure-based art and writing? Land Art?
I don’t think about a shared relationship so much. ( I have to think about “participatory art” right now a lot at work, & feel really exhausted and irritated by the phrase. It’s too broad.) Elise Ficarra suggested to me about my own work a long time ago its distinctly ‘relational’ qualities. But I’m a poet, not a performance artist, or a visual artist, or a “social-practice” artist, I don’t think of my work under those terms, I think under the terms of poetry. I don’t think of my work as ‘procedural’ either.

To what extent do you feel you are extending the problems of New York poets such as Vito Acconci, Bernadette Mayer and Hannah Weiner? To what extent would you like to or feel you do complicate these practices?
I wish I were my idea of the Vito Acconci of Seedbed, my idea of the Bernadette Mayer of Studying Hunger, my idea of the Hannah Weiner of Code of Signals. But I am myself. I don’t think of myself as complicating those practices, I think of my work as extending its own problems and complicating its own practices. My work probably has more to do with Bas Jan Ader’s falling pieces and his ultimate disappearance and with Walter Abish’s 99: The New Meaning than it has to do with any of the artists you suggest above. I’ve been thinking about Bas Jan Ader for about 15 years and about 99: The New Meaning for about two weeks.

Where does poetry currently stand in relation to visual art?
Poetry is indigent and visual art is corporatized. POETS and ARTISTS seem to have very little exchange (“communication”) between them. Contemporary poetry and contemporary art seem to me both largely risk-averse pursuits. POETS and ARTISTS risk very little. I think ARTISTS take slightly greater RISKS than POETS because the gamble can win them MONEY. Which is ridiculous! POETS are nothing but risk if they are properly attending to poetry. Plus they have NOTHING to LOSE! Don’t you think?

With the rise of “social networking” tools such as Facebook and MySpace, as well as life-simulators such as Second Life, how should or could we, as culture workers/artists/thinkers, reenvision communication and participation as problems for our work?
I appreciate this question but, presented as a problem, it is not one I keep in front of me as part of my work. Also, I am not interested in making prescriptions for other people’s practice. What does interest me is the way I find myself using these tools as further sites or playpens for poetry. What do the 140 characters of the Facebook status update make possible for me as a poetic? More direct: what kinds of poems do I get to write now that I have the 140 characters of the Facebook status update as the site, and can surreptitiously and intravenously feed my colleagues, & my cousins I haven't seen in twenty years, little eyedroppers of poetry via my "status" update output. An invisible antidote to the surreptitious and invisible intravenous extracting and amassing of personal information that is the FB ethos? (LET YOUR LIFE BE A COUNTER FRICTION TO STOP THE MACHINE - Henry David Thoreau) What do other people do with their tools? That interests me a lot.

But Thom, what do you think? I'm maybe lazy, & I don’t want to think/write about how or if to take this on as a problem or responsibility of the poet. But I do want very much to know what you think about this.

You have referred to both TAXT books and your reading performances as "site-specific". How do you understand the term "site-specific" in relation to your work?
I’ve asked the poets who do chapbooks for TAXT to conform their work to the physical site—24 pages, 8.5 x 5.5, including title and end page and plus cover (always blank). Some of the writers have manipulated the terms of the space to suit their work (Michael Nicoloff’s text was only 20 pages, so we added a double cover) and some of the writers have conformed their text to the demand of the site (Eleni Stecopoulos cut many pages of her original text to fit, and we added the single black-out page to re-assert the darkening of the room she’d employed when reading the text in performance). IE, I commission a work for the space, and then wonder what will the person do with that space. Whether or not anyone has REALLY thought about what they’ve done there as specific to the TAXT site (ie, something that could not exactly be done elsewhere or in any other way) I don’t know. Let’s ask them: TAXT poets?

My reading performances have often but not always been direct responses to specific physical spaces, specific social groups, and specific kinds of institutional demand. I do also sometimes just carry in writing and read it. But I’m very interested in thinking through questions of space and audience, live space, and live audience, and expectation, requirement, demand.

You are asking me these questions because of what I did at the Poetry Project on November 17 2008.  I thought for quite a number of months about what to do for a New York audience. My performance work has been relational and specific.What could I possibly do for the New York poets? I hadn’t been in New York in more than ten years, and I had never been to the Poetry Project. I’m even embarrassed to say that I didn’t know it was in a church for actual (I think I thought this was metaphor) until someone wrote to me the week before and said, do you know how to get to the church and then described a fucking church to me!

At any rate, I spent many weeks thinking about what I should do. For a long time, for New York, I was writing ‘a talk’ about my job, which I took on last year in my own mind as an extension of a poetic, an opportunity to put my ‘paper architecture’---I said this in the interview and I can't believe they still hired me---into actual practice. So for awhile I was writing this talk, describing my job and how it was a (failing?) poetic. I was going to be talking about how no one can see that it's poetry once it becomes a cause & effect of my day labor, but that it was actually a very specific kind of poem, very considered, as form, and as content, & as measured out in space and over time; I wanted to say I was attempting many new forms, all the time, in most cases textless, because this is what I was doing, quite consciously, in the day job. I was calling this talk “You went to the conference speculating on the expanded field of writing, and I went to work”.

But the more I thought about this, and kept writing it, the more I realized I should not WRITE it at all, I should just try to SAY it, extemporanously, something I am very bad at doing, as that would more actively reflect the fragile, invisible, always-fucking-up-ness of my job-as-poem, and also the absence of a tangible, containable product commonly called “poetry”; it would also demonstrate the kinds of questions I’d been asking of poetry, via performance, here in my west coast town, where my community is quite generous with allowing me space & time to consider these questions publicly.


What (if anything) do the terms “virtual” and “actual” mean to you? "Possibility"? "Potential"?
When I am working at home and I come up against some kind of wall or block, I take a shower, often multiple showers in a single day. I have just stepped out of the shower.

In what ways do you imagine any current artistic practices to be effectively social and/or political?
I’m less interested in artistic practices as effectively social and/or political than I am interested in persons (who might be artists or poets) and how they are effectively social or political. An artistic practice that does not extend to a personal one is valueless. And possibly vice-versa.

In what ways can participatory and extemporaneous performance practices be considered more ethical/emancipatory than object-based ones?
I wouldn’t claim in either direction. Although I described above at too much length my own performance at the Poetry Project, you haven’t asked after it specifically in your questions; by not asking after the specifics, but by asking after an ethics, I am concerned you state for me that by having done what I did, I make a universal ethical (or emancipatory) claim. What I did was make the most ethical decision for my own work. Also, I gave what amounts to, for me, an object-based performance. I was invited to read at the Poetry Project, which means, to me, that I was invited to bring the work that I do, and the questions that I consider in my practice, and ask them in the presence of and together with the good and attentive audience who might be there. Is that not what we all do, and wish for, under the best and most ethical circumstance? I have been for a number of years asking what is the form and benefit of (and yes, the ethics of) the poetry reading, but well beyond that I have been asking what it might mean to respond to the site and the situation I find myself asked to enter. I have asked myself what it means to read ‘my writing’ and then I have asked myself, of course, under these terms, what ‘my writing’ is.

I certainly don’t feel everyone should get up and make an ass of themselves doing something they are bad at in order to prove the case of an alternative object. My aim was to test myself, to again test the limits of “a reading” and to try a new form. I had an opportunity to make something, in this case, to write two site-specific readings at one time (but of course then neither of them quite happening at or in their own “time”). I was investigating other things that are of greater interest to me than emancipating the poetry reading or audience or inviting audience participation, ie I wanted to think about: time, space, audience, confession, disclosure, accident, presence, absence, performance, exchange, intimacy, fear, vulnerability, ineptitude, honesty, artifice…

Why, in the past decade, do you think (re)enactment has become such a popular art form across the arts, but especially in visual art? Why not so much in poetry/conceptual writing (Kenneth Goldsmith's Day and Rob Fitterman's reenactments of the Grand Piano project aside)?
Thom, I am so sorry, I am really unsuited to making grand statements of why, or why not, especially in fields I know almost nothing about (all fields). A curator I work with said recently he thinks re-enactment is a method of truth-finding. You turn it over and over and over and over in order to know the truth of the thing, to feel it, to demonstrate its real truth, which might be separate from an original understanding of its own truth. (Something in me killed it in me, it wasn’t me. Re-enacted, was it me?) But I think I disagree, except in terms of an aggregative truth, as in what more can be added to the truth of that? This afternoon an aging self-described Bay Area conceptual artist told me he thought Chris Burden was absolutely right to refuse even to discuss Marina Abramovic’s request to re-enact one of his early performances, as reenactment is nothing but spectacle and theater.

My own work has taken up re-enactment often, but I have never thought of it as ‘re-enactment’. I’ve thought of it as metonymy exploded to maximum view.

If this is a meme, I think this means I’m to pass it along to others. Thom will you answer these questions? I also ask Joseph Mosconi.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

x is like y...........x is not like y...........x is the same as y

x is more than y..........x is less than y ..........x does y; so does z

x is similar to y ..........x resembles y......... x is as y as z

x is y like z .........x is more y than z .........x is less y than z

x does y the way z does a

the internet's a weird freaking place to spend your time

Hi, suzanne stein.

Barack Obama (BarackObama) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Check out Barack Obama's profile here:


Turn off these emails at:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ogden translation Pears/McGuinness translation
1. The world is everything that is the case. The world is all that is the case.
2. What is the case, the fact, is the existence of atomic facts. What is the case — a fact — is the existence of states of affairs.
3. The logical picture of the facts is the thought. A logical picture of facts is a thought.
4. The thought is the significant proposition. A thought is a proposition with sense.
5. Propositions are truth-functions of elementary propositions. A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions.

(An elementary proposition is a truth function of itself.) (An elementary proposition is a truth function of itself.)
6. The general form of truth-function is [p, ξ, N(ξ)]. The general form of a truth-function is [p, ξ, N(ξ)].

This is the general form of proposition. This is the general form of a proposition.
7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just so you know

A salary of $50,000 in Oakland, California could decrease to $28,350 in Cincinnati, Ohio
A salary of $50,000 in Oakland, California could decrease to $38,760 in Portland, Oregon
A salary of $50,000 in Oakland, California could decrease to $43,315 in East LA, California
A salary of $50,000 in Oakland, California could decrease to $33,316 in Durham, North Carolina
A salary of $50,000 in Oakland, California could decrease to $29,875 in Bisbee, Arizona

But they have Killer Bees in Bisbee

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I don't.

Pisces Horoscopes

(Feb 19 - Mar 20)

Saturday, Oct 11th, 2008 -- The Moon in your sign allows you to wear your heart on your sleeve without appearing to be overly emotional. You don't need to say much; others just "sense" your inner feelings before you even open your mouth. And when you finally start to talk, your poetic speech can mesmerize everyone before they even know what hit them. Use your intuition wisely; don't squander your gift on meaningless chatter.

Get Your Complete Cosmic Profile -- It's Free!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Progress Report

I made a lot of grand claims here a few weeks back, and so I am posting in properly with an update on our advancement:

1. Brandon Brown's TAXT chapbook CAMELS! will be ready TUESDAY NIGHT! Published! Check! Jasper's DESEQUENCER is next. Brazil's SPY WEDNESDAY next next! John, can we talk? I don't know what to do about all those color pages. Alli? Geneva?

2. I bought a ticket to NEW YORK. When I told Brandon Brown I wanted to Skype in to my I agreed to give a reading at the Poetry Project, he looked at me with horror and disgust, and since Brandon Brown has fully supported every ass-backwards escapade I ever tried out on him or anyone, I knew it was time to cut the bullshit and show up. 2a. I sent the paperwork back. Today. I mean tomorrow, when it's Monday.

3. Chapbook promise #1, Passenger Ship, long-delayed (by me) for Carrie Hunter's Ypolita press: SENT! DONE! READY! (This is a kind of portable doll's house of almost-dirty stories. The first 'poems' I ever wrote. At age thirty. In a fiction workshop, with Dodie. It feels weird to publish them, can I preemptively disown/abandon? They're the violence and pornography latent in the childhood suite of pleather-bound Lousia May Alcott novels my grandparents gave to me. Or was the pornography latent in me.)

4. Listen for word re: TAXT reading/fundraiser in early December. Location TBD; suggestions welcome. Public space, not private home, please. If you've agreed to read/perform/participate, THANK YOU. More on this soon.

5. My job still requires the work of nine people 46 hours a day. I've put drinking, socializing, and sleeping on hold this month in order to accommodate.

In other news, I've been mainlining Hard Candy. Thanks, as ever, to Stephanie Young.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

For my friends far away

"I also discovered that writing is a total extravagance because people can read each other's MINDS"
--Dana Ward

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Facebook Super-Poke now offers a bailout package. Need I say more?
Daily HoroscopePisces Daily Horoscope
Go to: Yesterday | Today | Tomorrow
Pisces Saturday, September 27
You will be pulling information out of the ether today. Your psychic and intuitive talents are amazing right now. You may have a profound religious, spiritual or psychic experience today that greatly enhances your life and well being.

Friday, September 26, 2008

anon the plaintive messages I send her, Alli pens a lyric for me:

suzanne stein is like the american economy
she has been unable to function properly
if at all

Thursday, September 25, 2008

after 10 months of nonstop production for my institution, and a perfectly disorganizing weekend of poetry and conversation production and rattling around apartments and institutions with white wine glasses in hand, and lacy underthings under the things no one took off, I am now on what appears to be steadfast mental re-evaluation vacation. all i want to do is lie in the park and read poetry, or fall asleep on the BART listening to poetry, or perch in the airconditioned cubicle arena reading poetry, and poetry blogs and poetry feeds and news feeds and news blogs and economy news and professional-marxist economy-evaluating news-poetry blogs, thinking about sex and grass and money and poetry (all of the kind you lie in), it's a mess over here/ I'm unraveling, which makes me feel steadfast and resolute in my perching against the machine warbling in a cubicle box thing warbling

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Anything the sun can do, I can do it for you.
General Daily Horoscope for everyone
Mixed messages of dark and light blow in from the cosmos as beautiful Venus enters shadowy Scorpio to intensify our desires. Mental Mercury turns retrograde, turning our thoughts inward and increasing the chances for misunderstanding. To the contrary, the Moon enters demonstrative Leo at 5:13 am EDT, encouraging us to express the brighter side of love. A magical quintile between Venus and jovial Jupiter raises our spirits, helping us be more positive.

Pisces Horoscopes

(Feb 19 - Mar 20)

Wednesday, Sep 24th, 2008 -- You have a bit of investigative work to do because all the facts are not on the table. Someone may expect you to make a decision, but don't succumb to the pressure until you know what's really happening. Be patient and dig wherever your intuition suggests. Remember, even the tiniest detail can be a clue to what you need to learn.

Get Your Complete Cosmic Profile -- It's Free!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008


the dead object collided with the live one and as in, "if you meet your anti-self don't shake hands!" : immediate vaporization of the image.
nothing's left of the structure of the fantasy. i'm in new neurological space.
can i status update?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm on the internet

making use of the internet

help friends

I've said yes to everything. Three chapbook-sized projects of my own. I herewith announce the printing of at least four of the TAXT upcoming chapbooks (so if you're writing one, FINISH UP). I am going to send work to every magazine and journal and blog who ever asked (thank you). I am going to finish the book THAT PARTICULARLY GREAT and infinitely patient PRESS is still waiting for. I am going to drag my weary ass to New York and give "a reading". All by the end of the year. Finally. I say this on the internet so you can shame me if I fuck up and spend the next four months cleaning my apartment or forget to get a plane ticket or plug in the printer or whatever.

Words of support, words of kindness, words of money, ass-kicking, cheerleading, massage, likker, lakewalks, did I say massage? all welcome/required. Honey you know I give it all back to you in spades.

Also I am going to do all this while tending the giant man-eating drooling motherfucking cute ass baby-monster my job is.

I love you, I love poetry, puppy pile it on me.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I'm in bed with books and movies of a hot August sunday. The Lake today abundantly Oakland/Lake Merritt-like. I woke up thinking, what's the opposite of absence makes the heart grow fonder? Familiarity breeds Contempt. I felt some of that in a sequence of recent hours.

The books I'm in bed with: The Golden Bowl, Alcools, Donald Judd's Complete Writings, Marxism & Poetry, The Voice Impersonator. The movies are The Pianist, Andrei Rublev, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant. I'd rather have the first few episodes of Weeds, but this is what Netflix has deemed for my hot August-in-Sunday. The windows are open. Once I was diagnosed with an 18th c. malaise, Exhaustion, and sentenced to my bed for five days no leaving. Elise Ficarra brought me fruit. This afternoon I am self-sentencing: of the bed, and no leaving.

I read about the 700 pound man who was once the 1200 pound man; he has recently taken a vacation.

Someday a church more massive than the Vatican. I've been to the top of St. Peter's, friends.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Subject: Suzanne, your strengths and weaknesses, as voted by your friends
Date: May 29, 2008 12:46:54 AM PDT

This email was sent by Compare People. You can disable emails here.
Your friends have voted on your strengths and weaknesses:


most dateable
best shopping companion


most tech-savvy

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two (unrelated) observations

California has always been burning.

In other news: a reminder to blog readers everywhere: you are not anonymous on the Internet. For those of you who haven't learned it yet, you are identifiable by your IP address. Well, you aren't, necessarily, but your computer is. However: Let's say your computer is used to leave comments on blogs, some of which you sign your name to, and some of which you don't. Let's say also that your computer travels the same paths over and over again, from blog X to blog Y, say, every single day, several times a day even, and at some point you left comments on blog X and now you are leaving comments on blog Y. Let's say that these are multiple blogs operated by the same person, and that same person has site-metering devices installed on all her blogs, because this person is interested, for various reasons, like most people, in watching the traffic on blogs she operates. Let's just say that, after several years of watching her sitemeters and watching her traffic and reading her comments in her comment boxes, and noting a particular single IP address traveling the same paths over and over, and leaving comments on blog X and then later on blog Y, and some of those comments you've signed your name to, and some of those comments you think you are leaving anonymously? THINK AGAIN. You've left a bread-crumb trail that's like the Great Fucking Wall of China.

On the other hand, people with normal internet habits (what the hell are those anyway and does craigslist have anything to do with it?) are in the clear. I have no idea who you are. I fantasize day AND night about who might be reading my blogs, and only wish to god I knew who you were. And if you're browsing by cell phone? Hoo-yah. Sitemeter don't track that. That I can tell, anyway.

This has been a public service announcement.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

advice for the 'lorn.2

The Q:

I find it hard to distinguish if a person is jogging or running away from something.
How can you tell?

The A:

It is not the speed but the direction that should concern you.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

advice for the 'lorn

Someone suggested LWC/LWK should undertake the writing of an advice column. I said I would be glad to take questions, and that possibly I've missed my calling, and that this is it. Here is the first question:

1) I read this in Wittgenstein yesterday: "I am not interested in constructing a building so much as having a perspicuous view of the foundation of possible buildings." What about you, do you want a real building? and 2) If you are going to, you know, construct a building, is it better to build in some fluttering and give (e.g., retrofitting) or build as solid and secure as a fucking rock? I don't mean to speak in binaries.

Having a lucid view of the foundation of possible buildings' pretty much the same thing as having built one, or rather, having simultaneously built them all. Real Life, and Reality, sadly, is more complicated. Even the structures built with give and sway with enough Shock and Awe themselves give way. Sadly, we know this to be true. Solid and secure? Show me the one and I'll cleave to it myself.

I hope that answers the question.

The Dr. is In.

Friday, June 6, 2008

in the day & night job

my body IS the collision course

you wouldn't believe the streams of misfit language pouring in and out of there.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I find it necessary to make brief interruptive gesture in the course of the on-going non-narrative narrative exposition of the LWC blog:

Like most of us, my text and my personal life do not exactly coincide. Resolutely you can always not quite find me here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


dear everyone,
yesterday I posted an oblique reference, and a link, to the SFMOMA blog, where I'd just made a long invitation to all to come out for a month of Berlin Alexanderplatz screenings, and after-talk-and-drinking, a reading-group-style film club Brandon Brown & Dominic Willsdon & I have worked up for the duration

it occurs to me that, given the grace (or sin) of Netflix, you could watch (the newly remastered version) along with us from Philly or DC, or, you know, Antioch or Durham or Brooklyn or Chico or Providence or San Diego or hello to whoever's reading this blog in the Netherlands I love you

Anyway, reposting in entirety here, and please post & repost at whim



But some of us have strange pleasures---how about fifteen and half hours of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's legendary BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ?

Beginning this Thursday and continuing each week the month of June, we're showing (in collaboration with the PFA & the Goethe Institut-SF) the West Coast premiere of the remastered, brand-new 35mm version of Fassbinder's retelling of Alfred Döblin's 1929 novel: optimistic but explosive criminal Franz Biberkopf leaves a prison stint with a hope for making the straight life, and with 'an absurd faith in love.' The dark epic serial of Berlin Alexanderplatz chronicles the destruction of that hope and that faith.

Called the "Mount Everest of modern cinema" by Andrew Sarris, Dominic Willsdon & I have been saying that the 15-and-a-half-hour endurance test of Berlin Alexanderplatz will be fun in the way mountain-climbing is fun: grueling, terrifying, emotional, and exhausting; but also fantastic, exhilarating, & great for a chat with your cohorts once you're done. So, together with my friend the poet Brandon Brown, we've been working on getting a group together for a Berlin Alexanderplatz film-club for the duration. We'll watch the four-hour program each Thursday night and then head out from 'the literal and moral darkness' (that's Dominic) for the well-deserved drink. And we'll see if we can follow up Friday afternoons with a group discussion here on the blog.

Would you like to join us?

If you can't turn out every Thursday, the programs repeat on following Saturday afternoons, and you can still keep on with the conversation.

Program One, this Thursday June 5 at 6:30pm in the Wattis Theater, and again on Saturday at 2pm: Part 1 —The Punishment Begins — Part 2 — How Is One to Live If One Doesn't Want to Die? — Part 3 — A Hammer Blow on the Head Can Injure the Soul — Part 4 — A Handful of People in the Depths of Silence

More detailed info on Fassbinder and on the film below. We're looking forward to seeing/meeting/watching with you---



There's a shortish piece on Fassbinder's life & work here; here's A.O. Scott's NYTimes piece on the film; and if you don't mind a plot spoiler, there's a discussion, and lengthy synopsis, here.

Here's the PFA's description of the film:

"Restored in 2006, Berlin Alexanderplatz is the summa of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's art, and the culmination of his lifelong relationship to Alfred Döblin's monumental novel of Berlin in the 1920s-a book the filmmaker said was "embedded in my mind, my flesh, my body as a whole, and my soul." Fassbinder pours knowing tenderness into the characterization of Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht), an unemployed lumpen worker who earns his living as a thief and pimp following a stint in jail for murdering his mistress. Franz is a jovial if explosive figure in the Alexanderplatz district of Berlin, a man with optimistic dreams, a determination to "go straight," and an absurd faith in love. Berlin Alexanderplatz chronicles the destruction of this faith, amid the poverty, hypocrisy, and violence of Berlin in the years just before Nazism took full hold. Unable to find work, Franz takes up with the hustler Reinhold (Gottfried John), who becomes his "best friend" and then betrays him in a number of important ways. Franz is also involved with several women during the course of the drama, but when he meets the young prostitute Mieze (Barbara Sukowa), he declares her "his most beloved in all the world." It is upon losing her that Franz succumbs to despair-and allows himself to be transformed into a "useful member of society." The film's famous epilogue is Fassbinder's comment on that.

With a hundred leading and supporting actors, including members of Fassbinder's excellent stock company (along with Lamprecht, John, and Sukowa, Hanna Schygulla is featured as Franz's friend Eva and Volker Spengler as the gang leader Pums), Berlin Alexanderplatz is filled with the characters and stories of Döblin's Berlin. And at fifteen and a half hours, it comes closer than most film experiences to the engagement that a good novel offers. The beauty, richness, and cohesion of Fassbinder's style can here be fully appreciated as it links one chapter to the next."

&, Fassbinder on politics and Berlin Alexanderplatz:

Friday, May 30, 2008

maggie's sisters are firm supporters.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

i kid you not

So, I'm coming up out of the bart station tonight at around 7pm, it is still beautifully light, and I'm listening to the iPod and reflecting on my day. I had to speak briefly in a programming meeting this afternoon, and if you know me well, you know that the seminar-size table of people strikes terrible fear into my trembling and speechless heart. But today I was sitting between my two bosses, and I like them both, they are both men my age but they are both very much taller than me, they are kind to me, I like having two of them, and I felt very protected sitting between them, and that made the having to speak up a little bit easier. One is dark, and one is fair. This caused me to think about being in yoga the other day, it was a crowded class, and, somewhat unusually, there was a man on either side of me, one was dark and one was fair, and the whole practice, I felt sort of sweetly protected by them--just their scale alone--and companionable. I have two brothers, one dark, one fair; I had two fathers, one dark, one fair. Then I thought, you know, perhaps I should have two husbands! At that VERY MOMENT I was ASSAULTED AND ROBBED by two (male) assailants, one dark, one fair.

What say ye, friends and foes, to finish this luckless lady's fable?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

endless weekend

it's been blissful. I didn't intend to leave the house at all yesterday, but david brazil just half an hour before the artifact reading was supposed to start, sent me an email saying only

you know that poiesis is more than a single thing. for of anything whatever that passes from not being into being the whole cause is composing or poetry; so that the production of all arts are kinds of poetry, and their craftsmen are all poets

-symposium 205b

and receiving this message, just when i was feeling isolated and weird, moved me so much to appreciation of my friends and fellows I got right into the shower and then went to the reading. And if you weren't there, you are sorry. David Larsen's never not compelling, but last night's reading---billed as his last before leaving for a post doc at Yale---was incredible. The names of the lion and the hyena and the wolf, splendid as they were (are), were yet the least of it. There was an essay on the sheisterism of the Oracle at Delphi and then there was the first section of a long poem claiming a thousand lines (not yet extant), which every single line apparently is going to be brilliant but of course the only one I remembered this morning is "If this is stupid, I hate smart". Brent in his introduction rightly described LRSN 's always operating outside of the langpo/not-langpo binary and thus giving lots of other poets permission to, basically, say, fuck all y'all as well. The whole reading was THE THORN exploded and DAVID LARSEN times ten thousand. It was great.

Then Wendy Kramer gave the SWEETEST introduction to Michael Basinski, saying some very funny and smart things about how we have this poetry community and we most of us have these day jobs, where we're all working all the time, and then we take the poetry so seriously and have so little time for it, and in our time that we have for it we are usually so EARNEST and forget to play and have fun, and I thought that was so funny and dead on.

and Michael Basinski. all I can say at this juncture about that is WOW and, I kept thinking, while he was doing his thing, that man has to take that mind to the grocery store for eggs, just like everybody else. The checkout girl has NO FUCKING IDEA. Michael, I've looked at a lot of O's today but although I keep thinking about the seals swimming up out of them, I'm not actually seeing it.

The show up right now at the Oakland Art Gallery isn't bad either.

There was one off-note last night, which was Taylor Brady claiming the nonsite collective is comprised almost entirely of people w/o academic affiliation--say wha? I guess if 'academic affiliation' only means 'tenure-track faculty' that could be true, but hey there are a LOT of advanced degrees and a lot of adjuncting self-organizing the 'locationless' collective. I support the nonsite endeavor but not only is it an erroneous claim, it's a really weird inside-out self-aggrandization, ie, what's he saying exactly? we act like academics but we're not? it's bad to be called academics so I'll say we're not? our methods and frameworks (panel discussions, reading lists, curricula ) LOOK hella institutional, but, really, they're not? You can take the plowhorse out of the harness but...

Anyway. I spent the morning making the muxtape and the afternoon doing nothing much and now I'm reading the symposium. I close this post, in plea, to my friends, by further symposium quotation, however untrue it might be about lovers and their honour:

"And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their loves, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Seeking A Full Bush - 39 (San Francisco)
Reply to:
Date: 2008-05-22, 2:29PM PDT

What happened to real women? In the 70's everyone had a full bush, now, every girl I go out with over the last few years seems to have shaved everything "down there." I am single, good looking, fit, 6 feet tall, never married, no kids, no drama, a successful business owner, good personality,and in need of that one special beautiful woman who has what I desire. Are you out there? As far as a platform from which to go on, being a non-smoking, non-Republican with a full bush is an excellent start.

I refuse to mention I like big boobs ( .) ( . ) - 38

Reply to:
Date: 2008-05-22, 6:53PM PDT

I refuse to mention that I like women with huge knockers. Yes I am a tit man and I am coming out of the closet. I go nuttier than a squirl for a big of pair of bazookas. The problem is, if I mention I am looking for a women with big boobies, well she is just going to think I am a we bit of a perv. So whats a man to do, How do you subtly mention I am on a quest for a big pair of juggs. Now what self respecting women with the huge love guns would write to me. I mean you just can't go around saying you looking for a big pair of titties now can you,? What would people think? yes I want a date with your jiggly wigglies and you can come too!

Since I can't mention ( . ) ( . ), I will just have to write something like this. Handsome single 38, fun, white gent. tall, sexy blue eyes and all the other bits and pieces. Looking for love and a real girlfriend. Just don't forget to bring the sisters and a tight sweater :)LOL.

Don't all you big bosomed ladies write at once:)

Teach me how to cook, I'll teach you how to golf well... - 39 (SOMA / south beach)

Are friends with benefits pase - 38

Married male seeking a friendship, warm relationship and more.... - 42 (the (415) zone)

Handsome man seeking romance NSA - 38 (sunset / parkside)
Reply to:
Date: 2008-05-22, 8:38AM PDT

When choosing a man to have a casual sexual relationship with, you as a woman have many choices but it's very important that the you make the right choice and pick the right guy. There are many guys out there who will give you drama you don't want - such as calling you too much, being too needy or too controlling of you. There are guys who have std's from sleeping around too much. Then there are the guys who are bad in bed or average at best.

I am a man who won't give you the drama you don't want, won't get too clingy or controlling, have no std's and best of all: I am GREAT in bed.

Let me tell you a little more about myself. I have been married for 12 years to the same woman. I have a good marriage for the most part but my wife's interest in sex has diminished greatly over the years and despite tremendous efforts on my part to restore her interest, I have been left mostly sexually frustrated most of the time. I therefore decided that the best thing for me to do is to find a discreet casual "friend" - a woman who can keep a secret and not jeopardize my marriage.

I offer you an opportunity to be with someone who is safe - safe not only as in being disease-free but safe as in knowing that I am a married man who doesn't have the time to be out sleeping with multiple women. Unlike a single guy who has the time to sleep around, a married man has responsibilities to be home with his wife every night. This should make you feel more comfortable since std's are much easier to pick up than most single people realize. Condoms don't even offer 100% protection - regardless of what people think. Being in a monogomous sexual relationship with a married man gives you the best of both worlds - great sexual experiences with the maximum amount of safety.

In addition, I offer you the opportunity to be in a casual relationship with a man who is good-looking and physically fit - a man who really takes care of his body. Most men - single and married - do not really take care of themselves. They smoke, drink, and don't exercise. As for me, I don't smoke, drink very little, and I exercise every day including on weekends. My body looks and feels great and you will be happy to be with a man who takes care of himself like I do.

I am looking for only one woman to enter into a casual relationship with and here are my requirements:

First, I require that you are a woman between the ages of 21-48. Second, I require that you are a non-smoker. Third, I require that you are std-free. Fourth, I require that you are discreet - meaning that you aren't going to do anything to jeopardize my marriage. Fifth, I require that you are interested in meeting up with me for fun times and pleasure at least a couple of times a month on a regular basis. I'm not looking for a one-night stand so if a one-night stand is what you're looking for, move on to the next ad or try looking in "casual encounters". This pretty much sums up my requirements.

Now you'll notice that I didn't mention anything at all about your looks. Yes, it is important that the two of us be physically attracted to one another if we're going to be involved sexually with one another. But I'm the type of guy who doesn't have a "type" so I don't know the type of woman who I'll be attracted to until I actually meet her in person. Yes, a picture helps but sometimes people look better or worse than they do in their pictures.

In my life, I've been attracted to women who were thin, women who were average, and women who were very thick (and some would say FAT). I've been attracted to women of all races and colors as well. So if you are a woman who is reading my posting and you are feeling a little insecure about your looks and wondering if I'll be interested in you or not, stop wondering about it! There's only one way for you to find out and that's by sending me an email to say "hi". It costs nothing to write to me - absolultely free of charge! And when I write you back with my email address, I'll want you to take a chance by sending me a picture of yourself. I might really like you and you have no way of knowing if I'd be interested in you or not unless you send your picture.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

dreams, they can come true

So sings Gabrielle.

Last night's dream merits a public telling. First I should say that I walked several miles yesterday, worked a full day, and then went to an intense yoga class. I've had an ongoing issue with my left knee; knee problems in yoga are often in fact HIP problems; the hips and the pelvis are the site of the second chakra, according to that system all kinds of messy stuff gets stored there. Your darkest terror, your emotional and sexual trauma, your relational sorrow. I walked home. I fell asleep exactly at 10pm. I dreamt I was in a shallow pool and being treated for ailments of the spirit by a team of two or more curers, and the method, by the language of the dream, was 'homeopathy' but seemed to be by practice more like acupuncture or acupressure. Each of my two hands and each of my feet were being leeched--but there weren't any slug-like creatures to be seen or felt--by either a hands-on pressure, or a "drawing-out" by needle. On the tops of hands and feet, not the palms and not the soles, and it felt exactly like acupuncture: that tense, vibrating, drawing-out feeling when the needle is in intense relation to energy. Stephanie was there, and seemed to be guiding or soothing one part of the healing. I had trouble moving, the process was paralyzing. Throughout I was being petted and soothed, this process was good for me. The implements or hands were removed, but something wasn't finished. I heard someone say, it's too late, she'll be waking up soon, we can't finish, and I answered, no, it's good for me, it's okay, let's continue. Stephanie agreed. I was no longer in the pool, I was in something more like a hospital bed. A nursery bed. The nurse took a flattened metal hook from the wall; it was a long curving half-U shape, and at the base was a flat metal point, somewhat dull. They used this implement to pierce the top of my left foot, at the point just above where the toes join the foot, where the skin is thinnest, between the tendons. There was blood everywhere. I woke up. It took me a moment to come to. I'd been dead asleep on my back, I usually sleep on my belly. It was exactly midnight. Was I scared? YOU BET I WAS.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

How often do YOU find yourself in a room full of people who can drop fifty grand---AND SO MUCH MORE---in between the dim sum and the tart? There was at least one dress in the room the cost of which would cover the rent on my apartment---for a year. I was at the bar (where else?) when a woman about my age brushed past me: money buys the softest skin you've ever felt. And children with strong teeth, and genius. I felt sad watching them auction the Rauschenberg. A whole life up on the block? It went for almost double the estimate.

Then again, my only REAL problem with four hundred dollar handbags is that I can't afford them. Prove to me you don't feel the same.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One knows for a fact one is not really supposed to speak.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Was that really a flock of Pelicans i saw from the carshare window this morning, flying over the new half-formed east bay span of the Bay Bridge? Pelicans? Do Pelicans flock and fly? at that height?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Look, in other news, I went all dressed and tidy and keys and bags in hand to my garage/carriage house this morning, opened the barn doors and wow! NO CAR. Yeah. I LEFT IT AT THE BART STATION ON WEDNESDAY. And forgot it there. For three days.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I spend my days talking to sane people. Do you have any idea how crazy this will make you?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yeah, thanks for asking. I conducted a group discussion on labor and community ethics from the bed of Sara Larsen on Friday night. Thanks to all for participating. This was following Lauren Shufran's quite stunning reading of her complicated new work which is not not about labor and community ethics. A nice pairing, if I do say so. Two ends of the broad scope of what is currency in poetic form. xoxox to all

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I've developed a Britney Spears obsession (thanks to Stephanie), and a tan. Best line of the night last night? "How can I get this blog drunk and into bed?"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

sfmoma BLOG is live

Friday, April 11, 2008


and this video is just awful!

[addendum. because my JOB has TEMPORARILY made off with my MIND, & because I was dazzled by the sudden arrival of a HOT SPRING DAY, I failed yesterday to recognize that the dreadfulness of this video is a send-up of the CHOOSE LIFE version of 80s George Michael pop. I just thought it "sucked". Storm the palace gates, and quick, before I rot.]

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Homeopathy is a practice of Like cures Like; you treat the ailment with the substance that in a healthy person would create the ailment. I'm crazy for that kind of remote symmetry. Slash poison.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Something terrible is happening, has happened, which is, sans an unsuitable object it seems I have nothing to write for. How did this happen? I didn't know I was so lyric. I feel depressed. Not at the lack of, but at the apparent fact of. It can't be true. My eros is bored, is sleepy. I'm bored. I'm so busy I can't think, and I'm calling it bored? I like my mind, it must be that which I miss---my not-too-distant, not-too-available mind has vanished in the crush of ridiculous detail. I can't think, therefore I can't love, therefore I can't write, therefore I can't love! not inappropriately, or excessively, or abusively, or goodly, or crushingly, covertly, overtly, wonderfully, fully, adverbially, slowly, embarrassedly, endlessly. I'm fucked. I'm status quo'd. I'm dead.

Kiss me, wake me

Friday, March 28, 2008

grapheme: lending a hand
phoneme: "i will help you"
morpheme: 'i am free and i am bound to you'

Monday, March 24, 2008

i've never wanted more

to smoking.

the Brass taxes.

fuck me, teenage internet, moué

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

dear everyone,

I KNOW, I'm sorry. I just tried to use my SFMOMA keycard to get in to my apartment.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

"This volunteering to let one's self be undone--not dissimilar to Judith Butler's notion of precarious life--leads Spahr's figures to a condition in which "they" come to terms with their writing bodies' extension of their political environments."

Friday, February 22, 2008

The example and being of Laura Moriarty helps me think it is possible to survive the vicissitudes of surviving as poets outside academia. Thanks, Laura.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Problems are not reducible to their solvable individual components, finally, no matter what the Facebook philosophers say. I-paradox. Generosity of the spirit starts when you address it to your corporeal self. I have a headache the beautiful size and shape of the Weimar cabaret.

One-way colour tunnel

Thursday, February 14, 2008

and here i thought

my days of the disco nap were over
"i saw something important i can not remember"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

it feels like i'm living in a bed-and-breakfast; but there's no laundry service and no breakfast and weirdly if i go looking for it all my stuff is there

Monday, February 11, 2008

oh february how we adore you and the temperate weeks of early spring you lavish on us every year in northern california

Saturday, February 9, 2008

good lord. mobile blogging straight from my pda to the internet? the world as I once hoped to know it is now definitively over. welcome to the on the other hand LE LIVRE as we once hoped to know it! infinitely reducible and mobile, kiss me internet, moue

Friday, February 8, 2008

I've given myself over to thinking energy comes from cereal.
Hello suzanne stein,

Feb 10, 2008
Transiting Venus Trine Natal Pluto

Mental toughness and persistence make you feel as if you can conquer the world. This intense period will provide all the confidence you need in order to go after what you want. Just work hard to curtail a tendency toward jealousy and possessiveness. You're likely to develop a flair for fashion, and you definitely have the panache to pursue a theatrical career or try anything else that is related to the performing arts.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Peter Fischli / David Weiss
Snowman, 1990Photograph.
Study for Kunstprojekte Heizkraftwerk Romerbrucke, Saarbrucken

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If you're not paying attention to starry rift, you're not paying attention.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

some fantastic things my friends have said

"Ninety percent of all conversation is just verbal petting"

"Everyone looks better on the internet than they do in person"

"The retail flirt is a long-term commitment"

"Suzanne, there are 9 million forces in the world you can blame besides yourself"

"The internet hurt me"

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

this. and note presence of book-bags.