Monday, June 26, 2006

Interesting to be working on poems without titles. I really like titles and the various spins they can put on a piece, so much so that I feel it's a good idea to jettison them for a while and see how poems move and shake without them.

Tracy Hamon once blogged nicely about titles.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Last Lex

As is fitting, there was little in the way of closure to Lex last night (though I did have to leave early, so I may have missed something that had this effect). It was all a little messy, with young poet Alixandra Bamford (a potential member of the Lex community if there ever was one) taking part in the open michelle for the first and last time, and a number of people who seemed to be there as a stop on the open mic circuit doing their thing, and Lex regulars and irregulars saying goodbye and thanks. I think Lex was a site more than some kind of show or forum for presentation (though it was of course a little of each of those too). I know that's how I experienced it when I, a disillusioned lyric poet, happened upon it in February 2002. Lex was a series where you could show up for the first time, hang out in the background for a few months, find yourself recognized and greeted by the hosts within that period, try a few things out on the open michelle a little later, get to know others around you and strike up friendships, be a featured reader, and then feel like a crusty and entirely comfortable oldtimer, all within a span of four years. Lex was the place where I found a community of writers and readers to teach and challenge me. Lex was as close as anything I've found to a third place writing-wise.

Angela and Bill also had the uncanny ability to know when and how to renew the series. There were monthly featured collaborations, guest curators, and theme nights. They tended the series like a garden, and it grew. They also, I think, knew when the growing season was coming to a close and made a difficult but wise decision to call it quits. I'm not sure what changed, but I noticed that while most of the readers late in the series were great, there was a certain energy missing this past while. Bill and Angela were likely tired, and I suspect that the community Lex nurtured had changed.

There are many cases where I, individual I am, would have made different decisions from Angela and Bill's, and I didn't love everything about Lex, but I loved a hell of a lot of it and I think it's difficult to deny the contribution to the community that it has made. (I think, by the way, that community is a problematic term when used as if it has inherently positive value, but more on that later.) Bill and Angela set up their tent and invited everyone to stop in and stay a while. Some left and went on, some dropped in from time to time on their journeys elsewhere, and some hung around. But it was a good place to be. It could be a kind of home if you wanted. Congrats, guys. And thank you. And thanks to everyone who showed up. You are bright stars.

By the way, ditto on Angela's call for a series for Alixandra and Lisa.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A couple quotes that have been sticking in my mind:

"Aesthetics and ethics are one." (Wittgenstein)

"When the man [writing] is frightened by a word, he may have started." (George Oppen as quoted in Rosmarie Waldrop's Dissonance (if you are interested))

Friday, June 09, 2006

On the paucity of posts lately: I seem to be very much in mull mode these days. Maybe I'll have something to say before long.

How's it going with you?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Best song lyrics ever?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sound files are up.