Sunday, November 20, 2011

i knew that i needed you (watching j.edgar)

for the first time in a while i watched a movie, at the movie theatre - i do enjoy this, but it tends to be so expensive (compared to reading books etc) that i hardly do it. also, there are rarely any "offerings" that seem worth the approximately 10 bucks or more a visit to the cinema usually costs.

t and i went to see "j. edgar" and i can only recommend it. not only was it worth the money, but leonardo di caprio has finally redeemed himself (imho) as an actor. where, in romeo and juliet, he was constantly either shirtless or wet (think wet-tshirt-contest for boys), he now keeps his clothes on and actually plays his character.

i remember reading that the real-life fbi were not too thrilled with clint eastwood's looking to get more information on hoover's sexual orientation and relationships, but the movie eastwood delivers here is tastefully done and, because it is a MOVIE, not a bio-pic or a documentary, i think it's fully acceptable in the ways it develops the characters.

finally, i have to admit that i was moved to tears - the asexual relationship between these two men is so delicately, respectfully and convincingly portrayed that i honestly don't care if it (or anything like it) ever really happened. this is good movie-making. go see it.

in my list it ranks high, right up there with "frost/nixon" and "good night and good luck" - and this is coming from someone who hated history in school. :)

if you still want to get your facts right... read about j. edgar hoover here:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

analyse von m.d. zellmers "ebendar"

Blasphemie und peripher
schizophren und nekrophil
postneutral und Profanie
elegiös und etabliert

dergestalt und ebendar
Rizinus und Ratiopharm
Sakrileg und pedophil
homogen und Integral

Polynom und Division
Argument und Diskussion
erogen und trivial
paranorm und Diphterie

Ergonom und Anatom
indiskret und raffiniert
intravenös ☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹
☹☹☹☹☹☹☹ und ☹☹☹☹☹☹al
das ist mir doch

max d. zellmer's "ebendar" ( ) ist ein frühwerk, ohne jeden zweifel. zwar spricht die intertextualität diese lyrischen werkes für ein populärliterarisches bewusstsein, - der rhytmische sprechgesang der 1990er hat hier offensichtlich pate gestanden, - doch eine genauere betrachtung des textes verdeutlicht, daß dies das machwerk eines adoleszenten geistes ist.

zellmer nutzt hier eine einfache chiffrierung, bei der jede zeile für (x, y) steht, und die initiallettern der wortpaare jeweils den zahlenwert des jeweiligen buchstaben haben. so ergibt sich folgende grafische darstellung:

das gedicht, im reinen betrachtet, ist nichts weiter als ein primitiv gezeichneter lyrischer phallus. der subversive jungkünstler hat also hier das bewusstsein des lesers zur schultoilettenwand gemacht. wahrlich, ein erguss infantilen genies.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

new poem in barely south review

just a quick note to let y'all know the september issue of barely south review just went live, and one of my poems is in it. you can read it here:

i'd love to hear your thoughts / comments!

Monday, September 12, 2011

when you wish upon a book...

so i ordered this book for a class i am taking this semester. i used to find the best rate and found a good copy at the tacoma book center, WA, via AbeBooks. for whatever reason i filled out the "special instructions to bookseller" box on the order form: 

you probably can't quite read this, but it says, "Please could you draw me a unicorn on the invoice?"

well the book arrived today. it was very neatly wrapped (better than any other bookseller i've bought from online so far!) and when i freed the book from its protective cellophane wrapper and looked at the invoice, this is what i found:

thank you, MS / mysterious unicorn artist, this made my day! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

we have touch down

store front, downtown hattiesburg

i made it to mississippi in one piece, safe and sound, with two pieces of luggage and a bottle of sun screen.  the heat is not as bad as people have been telling me, - though i'm not saying it's not hot or not too hot. then again, supposedly we're having a cool spell here right now. :)

the best part about the new place: built-in bookshelves. lots of room for books!!!

the sign in the photo above was delightfully puzzling to me. if you want to know (kill the mystery) click here, at your own risk:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

composition and all that jazz

so i just got home from a little excursion into jazz-land, which on my map still has a bunch of "here there be dragons" warnings as well as lots of blank space.

apparently, every thursday from 9pm there is a free jazz concert in the "film bar" upstairs in essen's lovely "lichtburg" cinema, organized by a group called JOE - jazz offensive essen ("offensive" here being a noun, in german, and meaning offense, as in taking action). how did i even find out about this, since i don't read the newspaper, you ask? well... one of the musicians stopped me in the street a few days ago and invited me. :)

lichtburg, essen (image source)

tonight's performance was by the marc brenken / jean-yves braun quartet (their myspace page is here: albeit with a different bass player. it was good! :) here's an example:

A Great First Year With Agusia (this will take you to myspace, to that particular song)

there were a bunch of titles i really enjoyed but they are not online, or i'd share. there was a camera at the concert, so maybe it's just a matter of time. if they become available as videos, i'll update here. :)

now, this was instrumental music, and the "voices" of the two composers (brenken and braun) were quite different from each other, with braun's pieces more dreamy and melodic ("a great first year", see link above) and brenken's more percussion-driven, energetic and experimental (for example, parts of "the long-nosed magician"). this may or may not be a representative overview of their repertoire but i thought it was interesting.

music is something that has fascinated me for as long as i can think, and while i can "understand" how a painter or a sculptor or a writer may come up with new work, how people can imagine / create new music is beyond me. i have no musical imagination - i have never woken up with a new melody in my head, or a motif for a composition. i have, however, woken up with words and images. i wonder how much like or unlike writing the musical creation process is.

also, music is much more subject to time than any of the other arts (except performance / dance, of course, but that's connected). music is time / marks time / needs time. it is a process. one day, when i was studying at reading uni (in england), a friend came back from one of her typography lectures and was thrilled with the realization that time is to music as blank space is to print. i just had to think of that.

and, while i already knew i like piano music, and from the open mic nights at the windsor girls' house in salt lake knew that a bass could be very cool, sitting on the floor i got a good view of the drummer and his many tricks, and i do like percussion too! mind you, this guy knew what he was doing. :)

an evening well spent.

Monday, June 6, 2011

rosemarie johnen: offenes atelier / a painter's open house

"natürlicher einklang" (natural harmony)

hier einige impressionen von rosemarie johnens "offenem atelier" letzte woche. rosi ist malerin und experimentiert mit verschiedenen techniken und materialien. zur zeit interessiert sie sich für in holzplatten verborgene bilder und figuren, die sie mit farbe und stift herauslockt.

zum genaueren hinsehen einfach auf die bilder klicken für eine größere version.

some impressions from rosemarie johnen's open house last week. rosi paints and enjoys experimenting with different techniques and materials. at the moment, she is particularly interested in images that hide in the texture of pieces processed wood. these, she teases out of the material with the help of paint and pen.

want to take a closer look? click on the picture for a larger version.

"lebensraum" (habitat)

das schöne an solch einem offenen atelier ist, daß man - wenn man glück hat - einen weiteren überblick über die arbeit bekommt. rosi zeigte sowohl ältere als auch neue arbeiten, vom aquarell über acryl bis zur zeichnung. selbst unfertige arbeiten waren zu sehen. diese hier hat es mir besonders angetan:

the nice thing about an artist's open house is that, if you're lucky, you get a broader view of the artist's work. rosi shared older as well as new works, from watercolours (her first paintings) and acrylic paint to drawings. even unfinished projects were on display, in the workshop. this one is a particular favorite of mine:

noch in arbeit, ohne titel
(unfinished, untitled)
ein weiteres lieblingsbild muss dieses hier sein - "mohn-tage", ein großformatiges gemälde mit echten riesenmohnblättern (siehe zb rechte obere ecke):

another favorite has to be this one - poppy days - a large painting with real poppy petals (see top right corner for example):

"mohn-tage" (poppy days)

pablo picassos motto, nicht zu suchen sondern zu finden hat sich die malerin zu herzen genommen. alles in allem war ich von der bandbreite der verschiedenen techniken überrascht (im positiven sinne!)

in her work, rosi took pablo picasso's suggestion to find, not search, to heart. overall, i was surprised and impressed by the variety of styles in this exhibit. 

"Verbundenheit" (connectedness)
"grenz-nah 2" (near the borders/limits)

Friday, April 22, 2011

D.O.O.M and dragonslayers!

i'm doing something different today - meet some of my friends!

the mollies - a fun, talented bunch from salt lake - recently released their new album, dragonslayer. fourteen tracks of vocal harmony, cello, violin, and a plethora of other devices, combined with the lyrical whimsy of becky jean's songwriting - it's well worth checking out. it's a bit calmer than the first album, yours around the rosies, but lovely, - the dreamy "don't kiss me" and the clever "one to ten" and "fancies are fiends" - the mollies are as charming as ever. 

what i like about the mollies is that they have fun with their music. you can hear it, and, if you catch them live, you can see it too (re: video, i rest my case).

what i also really really like is their lyrics. some lines, some turns of phrase, and the stories the songs tell - i like music, but i don't like brainless music. well, now and then a bit of brainless music is nice, but i do like to listen to stuff that tickles my braincells. that creates interesting pictures in my head. that uses interesting words in interesting orders. the mollies songs do that. :)

here's an example from: i'm sorry but this is a love song (also on the new album)
Toasted muse, I’m happy without you.
He’s packing up all my crazy.
He licks a stamp, sticks it on my face;
and I’ve a glad taste in my mouth for days.
you can listen to more of their songs on their myspace page and, if you like what you hear, buy their music via cdbaby (cd or mp3) or iTunes (mp3). they also recorded a very fun music video for "float my boat" (from yours around the rosies):

now, if you're still not curious about them, then i can't help it. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

my first contact with w. forsythe

image found here:

thanks to my dear friend h i had my first contact with w. forsythe's choreographic work this evening. now, i will be perfectly honest and say that ballet is not something i usually enjoy - classical ballet that is. but this... was different. 

a bunch of us went to the opernhaus dortmund to see a public rehearsal for “Körper.Tanzen.Formen” which - when it is performed "for real" as of march 26th - consists of three parts, one choreographed by g. balanchine, b. millepied, and w. forsythe, respectively, in that order. in the rehearsal - at least in the public part of it - the dancers performed sequences from the first and third parts.

the first was nice - i guess the fact that all dancers were in their own clothes, not in full costume, so all looked different and, well, fairly natural and normal, really helped me enjoy this part. there were also some moves that were so expressive they just made me chuckle. lots of exaggerated femininity and several instances of exaggerated masculinity in the moves. still, it was fairly close to what first comes to my mind when i hear the world "ballet" - a certain degree of artificiality, lots of tippy-toes, and this seemingly effortless lightness. 

the other part, forsythe's choreography that is, or at least the part of it we got to see, was utterly different. the title of the piece is "the second detail." the music was interesting and intense, the movements fluid yet exact, and the part i liked best was the female lead dancer in that sequence. powerful, yet undeniably womanly. her movements showed untamed energy, something organic, natural, something innately strong. she wasn't wearing tights so you could actually see those muscles in her legs working, a perfectly tuned machinery of sinews and fibers and bones. but none of this made her appear masculine.

i thoroughly enjoyed the lack of hyper-feminine gestures and positions in this part of the performance. woman's body does not have to be all fair and fluttery and melty and bendy in a male dancer's arms. she doesn't have to tip-toe and twirl like a pink lollipop in a tutu. 

anyway. i had a great time. and i made first contact with something new to me. how much better could you spend the day? 

btw i should have big news soon, as the responses to my ph.d. applications are coming in now. watch this space. :) if you like. feel free to watch other spaces if you prefer. i'm just saying. :D

Monday, January 31, 2011

elimae link & candy from strangers

just to let you know, the february / 15th anniversary issue of elimae is now online, and it contains two of my fragment poems: (taken from my forthcoming five parts of love chapbook)

not much other news - still waiting to hear from the schools i applied to, so keep those fingers crossed!

i am currently reading anne carson's if not, winter (again!) and lee ann roripaugh's beyond heart mountain. the other night when i came home i found two poetry books and some chocolate in my mail box, with no note or name to them - die schönsten gedichte von heinrich heine and liebesgedichte von frauen, so i guess i know what i'll be reading next. :D

i did figure out who the gifts were from, eventually. i wonder, however, which is worse: taking candy from strangers, or taking poetry from strangers? in any case, they were not from a stranger.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 - duracell tomcat passes on

felix the cat
1993 - 2011

2011 - going well so far!

so i heard from dancing girl press this morning. they want to publish "the five parts of love: confabulating sappho"! this will be my first chapbook, so i am extra-excited about it. this should be available as of march 2012. of course i will keep you posted on that. :-)