Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Herman's Humpback: A Miscellany

My Lord! The month finds itself scrieving by as if on steroids. I confess to being caught up in the nets of neglect and remorsefully re-appear here with best wishes and good cheer.

First off, Melville celebrated his 188 birthday anniversary on the first of August: hail, Herman! I share a birthday with the publication of MOBY DICK (November 14, 1851; date of book's publication, not my d.o.b.). On August 11, there is a celebration of the man and his work down at Hudson River Park in Manhattan. Look up the info and pick up your harpoon...

On other fronts, poet Burt Kimmelman just gave a wonderful reading a few weeks ago at Morningside Bookstore up near Columbia; the new work was radiant...Samuel Menashe is reading here and there over the next few months, details to follow....Michael Heller is out in Colorado as a poet-in-residence to the mountains and visitors like Norman Finkelstein...Zach Barocas is about to update the cultural society. Chris Leo is moving to Florence...

The new slew of big-time lit mags are mediocre to the say the best....and, as I read WITTGENSTEIN'S MISTRESS by David Markson (marvelous!) I realize that glibness need not be a trademark of experimental writing. A brilliant tome and greatly outshines the prolix palaver of David Foster Wallace and many of the other Polyanderthals...

Where are you, Reader? And what are you up to?

j. curley

Friday, August 03, 2007

The mission

You can expect a full report; it will be left
in code, in case it should fall into the hand of agents,
or of thieves, or witches. The glyphs will run thus –
two suns setting mean “Mission Accomplished”.
An archway followed by a pigeon, if drawn in my own blood
stands for “Progress Delayed; I’ve Met a Girl”.
If you find a pound sign anywhere, invert the meaning
of the next two signs. A feather is bad enough, a feather
and an eye mean “Cyanide Capsules All Around”.

Keep your fingers crossed, we all know
how this whole thing could go down.

I will get the message to you, in chalk
on the alley wall. I will, if they have
taken my fingers, I will just pay that homeless guy
to draw it. If I have no tongue,
it will not matter. If you have no eyes to read with
or ears, if they have gotten to you,
I will lend you new senses and transmit this to you.
I can hook right into your veins and sing you
the weeping, red song of all I’ve learned here.
I will do it. I’m that committed
to the mission.

Mark Aiello