Sunday, December 31, 2000


brief biographies
Information Please: David Ignatow
Encyclopedia Brittanica: David Ignatow

Poems on Web Del Sol
"Approaching Eighty"
"And No Death"
"The Man Who Attracts Bullets"
"Simultaneously" and "The Bagel"
"It's a Sick Life"
"I Was an Angry Man"
"I Have Already Written You Off"
Excerpts from Living Is What I Wanted

"A Tribute by Harvey Shapiro"

of At My Ease, in by Nick Bozanic in The ForeWord Online
of At My Ease, by Joseph Duemer

Against the Evidence : Selected Poems...
At My Ease : Uncollected Poems of the Fifties and Sixties
Rescue the Dead
Living Is What I Wanted : Last Poems...
I Have a Name (Wesleyan Poetry)
Shadowing the Ground
Leaving the Door Open : Poems

Not a Peep!

(Marshmallow) Peep Research
The Bunnies Strike Back
Salon Travel and Food: Where Do Peeps Come From?

Advertisements for Myself
or: Watch It With That Brand Placement, Will You?

a) When you think of high-quality middlebrow intellectual fodder think of Baslow's Electric OmniumGatherum!
b) Baslow's -- The only really effective OmniumGatherum is an Electric OmniumGatherum!
c) Baslow's Electric OmnimuGatherum, where the elite meet to be defeatist!

DAVID ISAY'S SOUND (documenting a hidden america)

David Isay is an independent radio producer whose documentary work appears on public radio. It also appears on the web. You should give it a listen. Try Ghetto Life 101, say, or The Sunshine Hotel, maybe, or My Grandmother Was a Slave (part of the American Talkers series, a co-production with CityLore).
Alistair Cooke's Letter From America

Alistair Cooke has been issuing his Letter From America over the BBC for 64 years. The BBC's website archives transcripts and recordings of his weekly broadcast. The earliest one I could find online dates from Friday, October 9, 1998. It is broadcast number 2,590. The most recent broadcast online, as of this writing, is dated December 25, 2000. It is broadcast number 2,705.

Nick Clarke, a BBC Radio 4 presenter (who has written a biography of Cooke) says: "the Letter is not just the longest running radio broadcast in human history, it is still now what it always was: one man's lifelong crusade to slay misconceptions and prejudice, in a quest for the Holy Grail of Anglo-American harmony."

Here is the main page for Letter From America

Here are several recent transcripts (and audio recordings) pertaining to (what else?) the elections:

The Day of Judgement
Paralysis By Analysis
A Legal Artichoke
It's a Nine Ring Circus and You'll Never Be Bored
Bedazzled and Bewildered
An Embarrassing Relic of Authoritarianism
How Wrong We've Been, From Madison to Roosevelt

Shakespeare Is Dead, by Michael Bogdanov
Second in the series of lectures Shakespeare For The Millennium,
organized by BBC Radio 3 and the literature department of the Royal Festival Hall.

From the lecture:

"Quote: 'Discuss the nature of justice in Measure For Measure'. Students are side-tracked away from the political implications of the Duke's action into an abstract debate. No marks for saying you'd rather discuss how the scum bag Duke gets the girl. Macbeth is about evil, no marks for saying evil is an abstract concept and that the play is more about existential choice, the nature of power, and the appropriation of Scotland, etc. ... ... for speculating on what deal Malcolm did with the English to get the loan of 10,000 troops. And if Duncan was such a good King, why has he got two Scottish clans, the Irish, the Western Isles, and a Norwegian army up his arse?

"Romeo And Juliet is about destiny, the fates, star-crossed lovers, argh, what a lovely story. No marks for saying the play is about social irresponsibility of the adult world, the deaths of the kids, the result of an unthinking callous society that barters women to the highest bidders"

An audio recording of the broadcast lecture (along with others in the series) can be found here:
BBC ONLINE - Radio 3 - Speech - Shakespeare


Krazy Kat : The Comic Art of George Herriman
Krazy Kat: The Coconino County Home Page
George Herriman, A Salute to Pioneering Cartoonists of Color
A selection of daily strips
Another selection
George Herriman
THE SEVEN LIVELY ARTS -- The Krazy Kat That Walks By Himself -- by Gilbert Seldes
Bouzu: Krazy Kat links
Beau Jest: Krazy Kat
American Treasures of the Library of Congress [Imagination]: Krazy Kat
Library of Congress: Krazy Kat and Other Cartoon Characters (animation)
Krazy Kat and the Anatomy of Love
Krazy Kat on the Radiant Planet
"Some Say it With A Brick": George Herriman's Krazy Kat

Saturday, December 30, 2000


(as told to Spike Jones)

A new day, an ordinary haven, is drowning
the darkness in extensive winds. Clouds
above the White House recur
as they recur.

Let beers be, finally, steam.
The only ice cream is the ice cream of emperors...
and a parking island full of grease
and cars.

Like decorations at your bigger seminaries,
the jarring hills roll wildly
like nothing else in

What Exactly Is Your Point?

You're not supposed to just come out and say
what you're trying to say, in a poem. You're supposed
to spend the whole poem trying. When you get to the end,
what you're trying to say should remain unsaid.
There should only be tracks that maybe lead
in some direction. There should be nice spots along the way
and maybe some noises that suggest
that you're not alone. When the poem is leading
it should make sounds that reassure you
that you're on the trail and then
it should stop leading and you and the poem
should trail off into the place beyond the words.

It's like: I didn't know the word,
so when she said "ineffable"
I'm like: "You mean UNeffable, right?"
because I think, you know, she means
the eff-word. But she's like: "What
are you talking about".
And it was kinda strange
that she'd start talking about it
right in the middle of talking
about God. It just didn't fit.
But I'm like, you know: lately,
lots of things don't fit.


I am walking down the street fast, which is how I usually walk when I'm all wrapped up in what I'm thinking about, and I notice this two-year-old in a stroller being wheeled toward me and I look at the kid and it's giving me a knowing look and I have to laugh.
The kid is knowing and I am not.
I am sitting, eating my frozen yogurt with semifresh fruit, staring out the window onto the street and this couple walks in. I think what startles me about them is that they seem to have taken pains to develop together a real slovenly look: fat in the same places, messy in the same ways. Tandem decrepitude, you know, like it was some kind of fashion.Then I notice that they're wearing matching, cheap sunglasses and I have to laugh.
They're a couple and I am not.
Someone is giving out little, gift-wrapped boxes at the corner. It's my instinct to regard her as a danger, as a test I might fail. I think of just whizzing past her, or even of crossing the street. But I'm making a conscious effort these days not to do things like that so I just walk up to her and accept my little powder-blue box. I make myself smile and ask "What's in it?". And she smiles an effortless toothpaste smile and says "Plutonium" and I have to laugh.
She is effortless and I am not.
I am walking down the street that runs by the river, having just passed the turn where the panoramic view is suddenly revealed to the traveler heading south. There's a wire mesh trash basket in my path up ahead and I can see that there's something different about it. When I get a little closer I can see that a sequined belt has been draped over the top and that someone has stuck two silver, high-heeled shoes into holes in the side of the basket. They just hang there, like memorials to the night before, and I have to laugh.
They are just there and I am not.