Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Notes on Andrei Codrescu's Reading: The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess

I mistakenly went to Andrei Condrescu's reading at the Menil last night. While some might call doodling during a lecture rude, I say I was keeping it real yo.

This sketch is called "The Throwing Up of One's Hands"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The right is so long

come more rings
the bees blue/reflective
barely sees
these pews

Tax-Dollar Super-Sonnet

Nicole Mauro's Tax-Dollar Super-Sonnet is in mailboxes now. I have lived it and breathed it for the last 2 weeks and now I'm stepping back to admire my badassery. This is just one of many chapbooks made for the annual Dusie Collective, but damn it, it's ALMOST DONE and I'm celebrating! I cleaned out two Joanne's stores for the fabric and pending the next shipment, I've still got about 30 to go.

This one (& all others) took about 25 minutes to sew.

This is the little sewing machine that could.

This is satisfaction.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reasons Why Corn

How surprised was I last Saturday when I came across this little storefront on my way to an antique/folkart store in the Houston Heights? I was on the phone with Jimmy at the time and exclaimed suddenly: "Corn!" Not a bad thing to shout on a Saturday morning.

The installation was called "Angles of Repose" by Allison Wiese. It was simply a storefront filled with corn. Not much to say about it except that I was delighted to see it. I wish more artists would try non-gallery spaces like this to do something fun.

Life is short. Go corn.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Objectification of Things

I can't help but smile when I think about the performance I saw at DiverseWorks on Friday night. Michelle Ellsworth and two sidekicks performed "The Objectification of Things," a snarky little romp about the thing-ness of the hamburger. And snarky it definitely was. The piece began with the Unveiling of the Hamburger which took quite a while because the poor thing was hidden, Russian-doll-style, beneath in a variety of weird textures: velvet curtains, chicken wire domes, a leather and twizzler corset, etc. Many of these textile concoctions already had me snorting (quietly, I was trying to be quiet).

Once into the show, all three performers broke out in song about the scientific makeup of the hamburger (it is made of carbon, we are made of carbon). A song about the sociological and historical implications of the hamburger, the people that brought the hamburger to the masses, etc. Ellsworth's two sidekicks were a bizarre mix of go-go dancers and queen's attendants, usually in sync, moving thru a haphazard set of gestures. I do wish their choreography were a little better, but it was no matter because Ellsworth's performance was the focal point. Once I got used to her rushed, almost caffeinated, delivery; I really enjoyed it. While "lecturing" us, she rapidly changed the slides on the screen by snapping her fingers (really

Late in the show, she took a different approach to these lectures. Sidekicks brought out 5 wheels with different words written on them: god's will, greenhouse effect, food, sex, who's to blame, etc. After spinning all the wheels, Michelle would lecture on the topic. While the spontaneity of this kind of performance should be interesting, and Ellsworth certainly pulled it off, I'm a bit tired of things like this. The whole chance-operation performance shtick gets old. I guess I'm more interested in smaller acts of spontaneity, not headliners that scream performance art art art art art!

The highlight of the dance was a long monologue that Michelle performed with the hamburger. If other parts of the dance were about the hamburger's history and biology; this part was about the sexual hamburger: the desire for a hamburger. The choreography itself wasn't spectacular, but the monologue delivery (and the writing) were. Also, the use of the hamburger in the dance. She danced (while speaking) for about ten minutes, caressing the hamburger in her hand, balancing the hamburger on her head, placing the hamburger on the bottom of her feet, and so on. The hamburger truly transformed.

Subsequently a plaster image was made of the hamburger. After the hamburger was ritualistically killed, it's likeness was resurrected. While certainly the snarkiest part of the show, the whole thing was pulled off in a certain conversational style ("I used white plaster because it's prettier") so there was no grand "Statement" thank goodness. In all, the performance was a breath of fresh air for the Houston scene and form of slapstick irony that I could actually enjoy without feeling guilty or mean. Certainly a step up from the Joe Goode performance that I actually walked out on earlier this month. Yay Michelle! Glad you came!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Portrait of a Mustache

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I will take a broom to mine duplex and put everything away. One box per item, neat. One piece of lettuce per box. Each box is a bell with one dangler. I will with the will of an orangutan, what a spelling, and with this ticket I do will the geraniums and perennials. I will the ever-present azalea rot. An egret collapses again the periphery. A beautician falls asleep. The river is red and white and unfolds.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Today I remembered I am 28 and you were 28 when we met.
What a terrible age to be. Terribly lonely to be in class
reading footnotes. But then I was not 28, so I saved you.
I wore a white dress on the breezeway. I was fixed
and smoking on the breezeway. I was so close to you
I was against you. I was against you but I read you
and wrote to you. I ate late and drank with you. I missed
spanish class entirely. I could have used that spanish
in Mexico City last year. I was sorely missed.

Friday, March 13, 2009


is n
I re

Thursday, March 12, 2009


cry me river
red blood river
the engine driver
What Can I Do
mine Honeyslide
the details when I look down
big river
down of goldenmain yellow sees
ohio riverboat
in a river
driver find thee
the world river depo-
sition men re-
pose of rivers

"Positive Art and Positive Healing" A lecture by Richard Tuttle

Richard Tuttle, what a puddle a greenhouse you sound like a piece of putty you talk to plants the opening of ears is green the rain is green way too understudied way home way

I loved Richard Tuttle's lecture Tuesday night at the Menil. He didn’t really lecture as much as he just said some sentences.

…There is no opposite to the word health…

Tuttle spent lots of time on this. That the absence of a suitable opposite meant that it was outside of regular experience or maybe it contains experience. It's hard to pinpoint the exact statement that he was making, but I'm not sure there was an exact statement made.

…Wellness = the flow of love/light…
….Art is the absence of disease…
…"Health" is free…
…anti-love is life…
…Illness picks an art like itself…

During a certain section of his talk, notions of health (healthiness) and art became conflated. I was confused about the correlation between wellness and art.

…Are health and no-health connected? …
…Does undesirability = illness? …
…Is all medication about translation? …

Much of Tuttle's talk included questions sort of tossed out into the cosmos. These, esp. the last, caught my attention. I can’t really picture what I need to in order to make that question make sense.

…Art is a portrait of its characteristics…
…Form produces too much content, we can't keep up…

While I really really want to beleive that understanding these little nuggets will take me closer to Tuttle's work I know that's sort of a lie. Tuttle's art has so little to do with what Tuttle thinks about art, even tho the opposite seems to be the case. How can I explain this?... I don't think I can.

…Health should begin in the farthest point of the body…

These kinds of statements were very important to Tuttle's talk. Health is a context, not individuated. The immune system (and I think the word ‘system’ is important here) precedes health. To quote him "Health is a material that isn't materialized."

He would say things like: " We often talk as individuals and never talk as 'health beings.'" Nevermind exactly what a 'health being' is. We are the crust of the earth. He kept insisting we are the crust of the earth. That health is categorically outside us, beyond us, bigger than us; but since health contains us WE ARE ALSO OUTSIDE. Therefore we should embrace our outsideness. To summarize his call to action: 'Go outside and find something undiscovered and convert it into freedom.' What a great thing to say.

Tuttles comments on being “outside” seemed connected to his thoughts on ambiguity.

…Unless we have an idea of what something is, we can't get out of bed in the morning…
…How long can we go before we are forced to destroy the ambiguity that we are? …
… Perfection is a symptom of something…
…Perfection destroys ambiguity…
…craftsmanship isn't about perfection, it's about losing yourself…

Oh Tuttle, I am the one that understands everything you say but I sneak out of my understanding. I am out of the window, down and on the lawn. Here is me and here is the fence. Here are acorns and then, opossum. Lists of cows I understand with no way in. Cow in my lane. Cow, cow earings, talking to plants, cow knows plants, stamping the ground, toe to lead, the weeds for weeks lay out there, ringing, has this bell, under where

…You can build an environment. It's like a health practice…

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Eggplant Happy Day

DaDaDa by Catherine Daly

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hello Catherine. I tried and failed to compare you to an eggplant today. You and the eggplant are neither too similar nor too different. The comparison was like soup and getting bloated so I tossed it and decided your proper foil was probably lettuce. I watched you eat a salad once and that was really something. But I wanted the eggplant to work so badly because I have a little painting of one on my desk. Everytime I look at it I become a little less motivated. I think of you and your space shuttles and capacitive touch. I visualized my feelings as little machines traveling to and fro. I saw my feelings become little beetles and buzzards and then the buzzing of the air conditioner and into the main shaft where they were (swisssssh) infrastructure. You are a system analyst and I say that with a really weird look on my face because I've got no feelings about it.

View all my reviews.

Monday, March 9, 2009

will he still be chilly?

Upcycled khakis with schoolboy embroidered. Soon to be the property of misty and jimmy.

Do not end

Do not end with the word “hollow.” Or “so many Christians into it.” Do not come back to anything, point to anything and do not use the end as an opportunity to punch any holes. The holes will look prepunched, buddy. You will be defeated by the end but you must be strong. By strong I mean weak. Weak, but not poignant or sorrowful. Be in there. It’s yours, work it, but do not sing it. It should have already been sung. And if it was bad, the end will only make it worse. It was bad and best left bad. However, if it was decent or good or ok: you need endings. a few endlings. little earings in english. peices peirced. You can cough. You end off rhyming. You can use a exclamation point, as terrifying as that might be, and being terrified is a good sign. But not so terrified that you do not end it. It is nigh. neigh. It is true. horses skirt the feild in and feild out. it is not the year of the horse.


Neigh neigh

out like cypressbranches
at breakfasttime

how coo
is this coat


and is
an equation
to me

Jeremy said
I was being

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This is Which by George Oppen

Oppen This Is Which by G OPPEN
rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hello G. I oppenned your book yesterday and what did I find? I find you in united states of telling us about it. I fancy you view the street scene and see yourself in there and then fasten your beliefs to a folding chair. Hold on to your hats. This will be a very bold statement... At it categorically is. I do like you G. I like the arrangement of poems. I like anything about machines. I like the one in which and one where and how I see Steve Orlen probably liking you. Me and Steve Orlen. Imagine that.

View all my reviews.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The sponge

sponge sown home grown quagmire
a souflee it sucks
light it is and plush, a little rubber
betwix befalling planes
like astroturf yeah like astroturf

The Swan of Elegance

how to play the trumpet point it
into the trees, trees, bags they wave,
we pretend not to exist as they tell their story,
sorry story, diminutive spaghetti

my ears are anointed orange they are lima beans, puddles
puddles in my gutters
telling me every time, every evening even
when the dirt is cool, bland,
I’m shaking. this
is a gumball tree.

(affluent muttering halo.) hello
swan. it scissors in, blasting
that, spit, twit, error. flanked by pterodactyls, picnic tables,
Trumpeteer, cover me with lichen. you cover me.

imp ire

bread island

wet sponge you grow rank at the wheel
of your discoveries.

Tie a tie in
we whip it up, bursts, we are pirates, primates, squash