Friday, May 27, 2011

Spotlight on ... Tim Dlugos 'A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos' (2011)


Tim Dlugos in front of my bookshelf in Los Angeles, 1980.


Tim Dlugos was one of my closest friends and remains one of my very favorite poets ever. We became friends in the late 70s when I solicited work from him for my magazine Little Caesar. I went on to publish two books by him, Je Suis Ein Americano (1979) and Entre Nous (1981), and he and I co-edited Coming Attractions, anthology of new American poets under the age of 30. His poetry influenced mine vastly, and, thanks to his companionship and kindness and extraordinary social skills, I was introduced to many of my lifelong dearest friends and writer comrades and a serious boyfriend or two. It would take ages to begin to describe what a star and shining light Tim was in late 70s and early 80s, as a poet and as a person. He seemed to be friends with every interesting person in the world, and to move within his circle of friends was a non-stop heady and enlightening experience. If there was ever an ideal subject for an oral biography, it's Tim, and some enterprising someone should really get on that. Tim kind of crashed out in the mid-80s when depression and alcohol and hedonism became his enemies for a while, and, although he evened himself out and wrote the best poetry of his life, the timing couldn't have been worse as he'd contracted HIV and finally died of AIDS-related causes about a billion years too soon at the age of 40. Since his poetry books were published by small presses that are long gone, his work has been really hard to come by until now thanks to the poet David Trinidad who has edited a new book of Tim's Collected Poems and to the press Nightboat Books, who has published it. Tim is an absolutely extraordinary poet, and I hope you will devote time to reading this post about him and the work of his that I've included and that you will be inspired to buy the book. -- DC

'Tim Dlugos is still under-read, in part because contemporary poetry is still just catching up to his Pop-Art poems, his eclectic palette of cultural references and tones. I did hear Joan Larkin singing Dlugos’s praises to students at New England College two summers ago, and I think that Trinidad’s loving restoration of so many heretofore unpublished gems will help to bring these poems—both intimate and public, wistful and acerbic—to a wider audience.' -- DA Powell

'Tim Dlugos’s masterpiece is the poem “G-9,” named after the AIDS ward at Roosevelt Hospital in NYC. I’m not an expert in the literature to come out of the AIDS epidemic, but it’s hard to believe there is anything in that body of work more vivid and powerful than this poem (here's the text of "G-9"). In November of 1989, Tim sent me a fat envelope of poems—“Here are the fruits of my hospital stay and my first week out.” I was blown away the contents, which included “Powerless” and “G-9.” He was doing his best work in his final year of life. “G-9” was accepted by the Paris Review not long before Tim died, of complications from AIDS on December 3, 1990, at age 40. He never lived to see the issue (#115) come out, but he was delighted to know that it would be in the magazine.' -- Terence Winch

'The Frank O’Hara of his generation. -- Ted Berrigan


Tim Dlugos @ Wikipedia
Audio: Tim Dlugos reading his poetry in 1978 @ Pennsound
About Tim Dlugos and Philip Monaghan's ‘At Moments Like These He Feels Farthest Away’
Tribute to Tim Dlugos by Terence Winch @ The Best American Poetry
'Hiddden History (including Essex Hemphill, Tim Dlugos and “Poets and Pornographers”)'
2 poems by Tim Dlugos @ epoetry
5 poems by Tim Dlugos @ Clementine Magazine
Tim Dlugos books @ goodreads
Tim Dlugos Page @ Facebook
Guide to the Tim Dlugos Papers @ Fales Library
Buy 'A Fast Life' @ Nightboat Books


'At Moments Like These He Feels Farthest Away is the culmination of a collaboration between painter Philip Monaghan and poet Tim Dlugos based on Dlugos' poem "Gilligan's Island" (read the poem below). The series, originally commissioned in 1983 — but left unfinished when Dlugos died of AIDS in 1990 — was revisited by Monaghan in 2007. The show includes 54 works of oil, watercolor, and digital prints on canvas as well as a graphic depiction of Dlugos' poem on the gallery walls. In addition to being stylistically captivating, the works are compelling in that they explore the subliminal psychosexual undercurrent embodied in this elemental piece of 1970s pop culture. This is "Gilligan's Island" like you've never seen it before.”' -- flavorpill

'At Moments Like These He Feels Furthest Away' by Philip Monaghan


Tim Dlugos A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos
Nightboat Books

'A Fast Life establishes Tim Dlugos—the witty and innovative poet at the heart of the New York literary scene in the late 1970s and 1980s and seminal poet of the AIDS epidemic—as one of the most distinctive and energetic poets of our time. This definitive volume contains all of the poems Dlugos published in his lifetime, a wealth of previously unpublished poems, and an informative introduction, chronology, and notes assembled by the volume’s editor, poet David Trinidad.

'Born in 1950, TIM DLUGOS was involved in the Mass Transit poetry scene in Washington, D.C., and later, in New York City, in the downtown literary scene. His books include Je Suis Ein Americano, Entre Nous, Strong Place, and Powerless. Dlugos died of AIDS at the age of forty. DAVID TRINIDAD's most recent collection of poetry is the The Late Show. He teaches at Columbia College in Chicago.' -- Nightboat Books


The Truth

Every time I use
my language, I tell
the truth. A cat
in a white collar,
like a priest with calico
fur, walks across the dead
grass of the yard, and out
through the white fence. The sun’s
strong, but the colors of the lawn
were washed out by the winter, not the light.
February. Stained glass window of the house
next door takes the sun’s full brunt.
It must look spectacular
to the neighbor in my head,
a white-haired woman with an air
of dignity and grace, who
through pools of the intensest
colors climbs the flight of stairs.
I’ve never seen it,
but I know it’s there.

Shelley Winters

Shelley Winters you’re such a pig I love you
Not “even though” you’re ugly and never shut up
--and dress like the wife of a cabbie who won
--the Lottery, but because of it!
I think you’re a miserable actress, and didn’t
--even care when you drowned in The Poseidon
, it was a terrible movie and you
--were just wretched all the way through.
I agree with Neal Freeman that, objectively, you
--are ALWAYS unsatisfactory
And incredibly tacky: I know someone who
--saw you stinking drunk and stumbling down a
--corridor in the Traymore, now you always
--remind me of Atlantic City, and that’s dreary.
Every time you’re on Dick Cavett I get embarrassed
--for him just watching you talk.
You never answer the questions. You never remotely
--answer the questions.
Shelley, sometimes I don’t think I can take it you
--depress me so, but you fascinate the hell out of
--me just the same
And I say with a sigh, “It’s okay, it’s just the
--way Shelley is.”
I’m so young, you’re so dumb, it never could work
--still I watch you every chance I get and love
--you, you’re such a mess

Great Art
for Donald Grace

Underneath your skin, your heart
moves. Your chest
rises at its touch. A small bump
appears, every
second. We watch for what appears
to be hours.

Our hands log the time: the soft
light, darkness
underneath your eyes. Our bodies
intersect like highways
with limitless access and perfect spans
of attention.

We pay for this later. I pay
for breakfast. We
can't stay long. We take off
to the museum
and watch the individual colors
as they surface

in the late works of Matisse.
They move the way
your heart moves, the way we breathe.
You draw your own
breath, then I draw mine. This is
truly great art.


Barry Davison is finishing Remembrance of Things Past.
A hustler's hair and eyes blow Dennis Cooper away.
Bo Huston comes into his inheritance.
John Craig seems pretty stoned.
Lanny Richman's working overtime.

Sam Cross and Janet Campbell watch "The Thorn Birds."
Cheri Fein is getting ready for her wedding.
Steve Hamilton goes to the poetry reading.
Mark Butler is waiting for a phone call from New York.
Michael Szceziak isn't home.

Steven Abbott's somewhere in the Moslem world.
Michael Friedman's torn between two lovers.
Emily McKoane has dreams of empire.
Joe Brainard feels the dope kick in.
Rob Dickerson is getting used to living on his own.

Diane Ward rehearses her performance.
A shopclerk's hair and eyes blow Donald Britton away.
Morris Golde goes to the ballet.
Darragh Park drinks Perrier.
Doug Milford isn't home.

Brian Foster's living in the world of fashion.
Philip Monaghan thinks he'll go to bed with a friend.
Bobby Thompson stands behind the front desk.
Chris Lemmerhirt feels the dope kick in.
Alex Vachon's working on his resume.

Randy Russell hits the books.
Mary Spring is getting ready for her wedding.
Christopher Cox goes to the opera.
Charles Shockley seems pretty stoned.
Edmund Sutton isn't home.

Michael Lally and Dennis Christopher rehearse a play.
The Changing Light at Sandover blows Tim Dlugos away.
Jane DeLynn goes to est.
Teddy Dawson drinks a Lite beer.
John Bernd isn't home.

Frank Holliday paints.
Michael Bilunas eats out with a man who has a famous last name.
David Craig's not part of the picture yet.
Henry Spring is dying of emphysema.
Kenward Elmslie's working on his musical.

Kevin Bacon's onstage in Slab Boys for the final time.
Edmund White is on a "boy's night out."
Brad Gooch makes copies.
David Hinchman feels the dope kick in.
Keith Milow isn't home.

Diane Benson's living in the world of fashion.
A sequence of strong drinks blows Ed Brzezinski away.
Tor Seidler goes to the ballet.
Eileen Myles is on the wagon.
Patrick Fox is getting used to living on his own.

May 12, 1983

Gilligan's Island

The Professor and Ginger are standing in the space in front
of the Skipper’s cabin. The Professor is wearing deck shoes,
brushed denim jeans, and a white shirt open at the throat.
Ginger is wearing spike heels, false eyelashes, and a white
satin kimono. The Professor looks at her with veiled lust
in his eyes. He raises an articulate eyebrow and addresses
her as Cio-Cio-San. Ginger blanches and falls on her knife.

* * *

Meanwhile it is raining in northern California. In a tiny
village on the coast, Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren are totally
concerned. They realize that something terrible is happening.
Each has been savagely attacked by a wild songbird within
the last twenty-four hours. Outside their window thousands
of birds have gathered in anticipation of the famous school-
yard scene. Tippi Hedren is wearing a colorful lipstick.

* * *

Ginger stares back at the Professor. His sullen good looks
are the perfect foil for her radiant smile. The Skipper and
Gilligan come into sight. The Skipper has been chasing
Gilligan around the lagoon for a long time now. Gilligan
holds onto his hat in the stupid way he has of doing things
like that. The Professor’s lips part in a sneer of perfect
contempt. Ginger bares her teeth, as if in appreciation.

* * *

Jackie Kennedy bares her teeth. Behind and above her, the
muzzle of a high-powered rifle protrudes from a window. A little
man is aiming at Jackie Kennedy’s husband. The man is wearing
bluejeans and a white T-shirt. There isn’t a bird to be seen.
As he squeezes the trigger, the little man mutters between
clenched teeth, “Certs is a candy mint.” The hands of Jackie
Kennedy’s husband jerk automatically toward his head.

* * *

The Professor is noticing Ginger’s breasts. He thinks of
the wife he left at home, who probably thinks he’s dead.
He thinks of his mother, and all of the women he has ever
known. Mr. and Mrs. Howell are asleep in their hut, secure
in their little lives as character actors. Ginger shifts her
weight to the other foot. The intensity of the moment reminds
the Professor of a Japanese city before the end of the war.

* * *

In his mind he goes down each aisle in his government class,
focusing on each face, each body. He is lying on his bed
with his white shirt off and his trousers open. Dorothy
Kirsten’s voice fills the room. He settles on a boy who sits
two desks behind him. He begins to masturbate, his body moving
in time with the sad music. At moments like these he feels
farthest away. As he shoots, his lips part and he bares his teeth.

* * *

The Professor and Ginger are watching each other across the
narrow space. The Skipper and Gilligan have disappeared down
the beach. The Howells are quietly snoring. The Professor
and Ginger are alone. From the woods comes the sound of
strange birds. From the water comes a thick and eerie
tropical silence. The famous conversation scene is about
to start. Clouds appear in the sky, and it begins to snow.

It Used to Be More Fun

It used to be more fun to be a poet

start the day with coffee and a sense

of bowling over people in a public space

with words that tell how I’m bowled over

this minute by the light

that pours across the city and its various shoes

and uniforms of occupation

troops whose ways of life I’d never share

but for the spaces

we separately passed through

I thought that I was different as I filled

those yellow pads with words

written in the styles of heroes

I wanted to be famous as, but younger,

the New York Ingenue School

of poetry and life but now I know

that saying that I’m different

from the rest because I make a poem

instead of shoes and uniforms

is how I drove my car toward death

too long—it wasn’t sloth

or lust or self-absorption

that put me where I ended up,

I was a poet, the same excuse

and boast my heroes used—the one

who was too drunk to see

the headlights coming, the one

who never left his bed, the connoisseur

of cure and re-addiction, the messed-up

child it used to be more fun before I knew

that what I thought I was and wanted

was death and my embroidery a shroud.

Say it loud, I’m not proud

of handiwork like that. I used to think

that poetry could serve the revolution

and that the revolution would transform

the world because the only way

that I could see things ever

changing was from outside

so I hitched my fortune to a threadbare star.

It was more fun to write against the war

when we thought the gifts our heroes

the downtrodden of the world

bore were truth and justice

instead of one more scam in Vietnam

my poems and self-righteous voice

helped give birth to boat people in Cambodia

to unspeakable crimes and now

my “US Out of Nicaragua” rap gives succor

to another ominous bunch of agrarian

reformers, this one with a top cop

whose first name is “Lenin,” a touch

straight out of a darkly funny novel

by Naipaul or Evelyn Waugh

It used to be more fun when other places

seemed better and more noble than America

even the obsessive money-grubbing swamp

of sanctimony that’s America these days

it used to be more fun when poetry

didn’t cost so much and when I didn’t need

the government to give me money to write poems

I liked what poetry could do

to street life, even and especially

when it came from the streets I liked

the poise and energy and grace

of black poets and gay poets and Dadaists

and unschooled natural artists

who fell into the workshops through the open doors

it was more fun before the mass

of canny grant recipients of many hues

took over it was more fun in my director’s chair

writing poems in an attic

than as a director, hurting friends

regretfully in the service of collective goals

it was more fun before I knew

my poetry could never be a spaceship

to speed me far away, or that I’d always be

outside it, like a parent,

seeing its resemblance to

my old intentions but unable

to make it work

and trusting it less

for the truths it told

than for the lies it didn’t


p.s. Hey. ** Alter Clef Records, Greetings, Nick. Very glad you liked the Marker Day, natch, and, no, I haven't read that Catherine Lipton book. I'm going to a place that will likely have it on the shelves, so I'll peek at it and see what happens. In fact, I got 'My Antique Son' just last night when Yury, who is in charge of our single mailbox key, returned from work with it in his paw, so I'm gearing up for an awesome first listen. I don't seem to have gotten 'A Day Without Comfort' though, or at least not yet. I like some of Greenaway a lot, especially the early films 'A Zed and Two Naughts' and 'Draughtsman's Contract'. I'm a bit hit or miss with the later stuff. I do like 'The Pillow Book'. My favorite Greenaways are his documentaries, particularly a series of great short ones he made about weather. Definitely a sharp, valuable cookie. Ah, the record is real enough that everyone can have one! Everyone, the new album by brilliant musical artist Nick Hudson aka d.l. Alter Clef Records, titled 'My Antique Son' and courtesy of the fine UK label Norman Records, is out aka yours for a click and a very affordable price, so may I suggest that you poke that blue word back there and snag a copy? Yes, I may. Very excited to dig in, man. Love to you. ** David Ehrenstein, Yeah, Marker is super, right? I actually laid my own eyes on him at a museum here about four or so years ago by accident, and, as physically old as he is now, he looks pretty much exactly like he does in that surreptitious photo. Everyone, David E dug up a totally rare, snuck shot of the mysterious Chris Marker on the set of Tarkovsky's 'The Sacrifice', and, to quote DE, 'here he is'. I fear for those guys taking on the gay-hating Moscow higher ups 'cos anything evil goes over there in that regard, but big props to them. ** Empty Frame, Hey. Oh, man, thanks a lot! 'Gods and Men' ... no, I haven't seen it, in fact. Strange. I will. Dude, of course I agree far more than 100% that that kind of study can help your writing. Or let's say that most of what I do in own my is stuff I learned from other mediums, at least. No, I haven't seen Seidel's work yet. I'm making a fresh note and pinning it to my frontal lobe. You sound good and like you're doing the really right thing. ** Bollo, Hi, J. Well, I'll try to coerce you re: the festival when the time comes and their/our line-up gets firmed. Museum birthday must means drinks and nibbles and some record spinning, godawful dj, no? Could be a cheap thrill. Hope so. ** MANCY, Hey. Oh, cool news that you guys might meet up. Hope you made it through school/work in the veritable one piece. ** Alan, Montreal? What's that about? Have fun, man. ** L@rstonovich, Discipline is such a moody bitch, ha ha. It's true, though. You take your eye off its wheel for a minute, and it goes into hibernation. But then it'll pop back and smiling and shit like it never left. Weird stuff. What's the coolest thing or two on that playlist? ** Bill, You're already here or almost here, here being this giant chunk of land they call Europe. Trippy. What are you doing in Oslo again? Welcome to the hood, man. Oh, wait, I just saw your second comment moments before I launched this. London, eh? Nice. July 4th, got it. I'll have to try to find some illegal fireworks or something. Cool. ** Wolf, Hey, Laureate! There's some kind of pretty good joke about the virtues of denial, but I can't remember it. Yeah, I used to think Chris Marker was ... British, I guess, 'cos of the name. He looks French though, when you can actually see him, that is. ** Posing at the Louvre, Thanks, J. When do you head off to ...Switzerland (right?) You good and all that? ** Steevee, Hey. That last Marker is his newest film, I think. I think it's only shown/exhibited in museums. That's where I saw it anyway. ** Statictick, You're moving? Like to a new building or to a different pad in the same building? I'm guessing the former. I'm not surprised that Costello was ace. He usually is, right? I haven't seen him live since a Costello/Bacharach gig they did to promote that album they made together, a sublime and very underrated album in my opinion. Best of luck with the move, and tomorrow is you-know-what courtesy of you, so I'll see you especially then. ** Sypha, Yeah, you should definitely hold on to those 'Grimoire' copies. If I'd been wiser and kept a bunch of copies of my early books and Little Caesar issues, I would have had a lot fewer periods of poverty. Well, I'm glad the Gaga pleased you. Being pleased is a good thing. ** Ken Baumann, Ken! I will do my best to do the book at least a smidgen of justice. Found a lot of great stuff by Leidner while I was assembling the post that I'd never read/seen before. Making blog posts is better than going to university. Very happy about you being content and quiet and good. As it should be. Luxuriate, my friend. ** Chilly Jay Chill, Hi, Jeff. Really pleased that the Marker post hit the spot. Yeah, he's so great. Shouldn't be a problem on the 'J/TTT' thing barring postal bizarreness. I would say 'Tree of Life' is definitely one of Malick's best. I'll need to see it again to decide if it is his best. I think it could be his best. It's definitely his most ambitious film, and possibly the most imperfect because of the film's vast intent, but the imperfections were only fascinating and admirably brave to me. The editing is different because the film's structure is much more hallucinogenic -- the frequent comparisons to '2001' make a lot of sense in a certain sense, although that comparison is a red herring too. He's doing fast cuts more frequently, and the rhythm of the edit is more various, and the speed of the film shifts more often than it does in his other films. It's very, very him, but at a grander scale. I don't know. It just completely knocked my head off, and I know, for instance, that whatever I write next, novel-wise, will have 'ToL's' mark all over it in some way. Anyway, see what you think. ** Chris Cochrane, I wrote to you this morning about the situation at hand. Never have heard the Fripp/Darryl Hall thing. Didn't know such a thing existed. I've never been too into Hall, no surprise, other than thinking 'She's Gone' is kind of a great song of its type and having 'Did It in a Minute' as a guilty pleasure. I guess those two would count as strange likes. Does being crazy for a short time about crap pop like Britney's 'Hold It Against Me' or Jedward's 'Lipstick' count? I have a strange fondness for this stupid country hit of years back called 'Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)'. Does that count? I can talk in the early evening my time on Monday if that works. I meet with Serge on Tuesday. ** Andrew, Hey. Yeah, there are definitely exceptions. Wire has broken up a couple of times in their long 'career' and come back as great as ever. It's rare, though. Mostly it's more like one or two of the original members of, oh, Flock of Seagulls working the House of Blues circuit under that famous name. Right, old rockers seem to flock into reality rehab shows, especially. I think I met Greer Lankton once, but only a hello type of thing. I have friends who were somewhat close to her in Chicago. Her stuff is interesting, yeah. It seems like doll making is a really good idea. I mean, obviously, Gisele and I work with dolls all the time. ** Alistair/TIM, Hey, Alistair! I'm doing okay. How are you, man? Sucks about the computer crash. How is the novel going? How is everything? 'The Outsiders' is great! I totally agree. I love SE Hinton's books. 'Rumble Fish' is my very favorite of hers. One of the experiments I did to make the different voices in my novel 'Closer' was do cut ups of different writers' work, and 'Rumble Fish' was one of the texts I cut-up. I read her kind of late, I think. In the early 80, I believe. Yeah, I'm a real fan of Hinton's books. Man, really nice to see you. I would love a catch up, your time and computer access willing. ** Brendan, Hey. Today is the day I open your email and put together the post, so I'm at the dawn of my awakening on your new work at this very moment, yum. Metal shows can work miracles. They're a very underrated cure for depression. If I was a doctor, I would prescribe them liberally. How was it? ** Inthemostpeculiarway, Hey. Yeah, I can totally see this year as the time when the spiders make their world domination move what with us being all distracted by apocalypse predictions and tornado swarms and wondering if the American X-Factor is going to be a big hit and all that. I'll probably do something on Iceage, but they're new -- one full album; average member age 17 -- so there might only be enough out there for a Varioso slot. What made the face in your dream horrible? Wait, you don't have to tell me if the memory is spooky. That was kind of a quiet day you had there. You made it sound lustrous though, so it wasn't wasted. I read somewhere that 'Dark Tower' is probably dead 'cos I forget what studio dropped it and I guess it's so expensive to do that it's unlikely that another studio will pick it up something? Does that make sense? My day wasn't eventful either. I can hardly remember it. Let me see ... worked on that zine thing, which went a little better. My sister called to talk about a bunch of current family drama that is annoying but isn't worth explaining. Read a little. Agreed to give two interviews in the next week or so, both in-person ones, I think, and both for French magazines. Found out that a Swedish poet who is apparently very well known and respected in Europe is staying at the Recollets and giving a reading here tonight in Swedish and English, and I decided to go see that. Bought food, cigarettes, and the new issues of The Wire and Mojo. Talked on the phone to Gisele about the Pompidou festival stuff, which we need to organize as much as possible before we have a big meeting with the Pompidou higher-ups on Tuesday. Wished I had an XBox so I could play 'LA Noire' because I read a bunch of rave reviews on that game yesterday. Watched a documentary on the Arte channel about the making 'A Clockwork Orange', and that was pretty interesting. Then they showed 'ACO' itself, but the dubbed into French thing was too annoying, so I turned it off. After I went to sleep, my cell phone pinged, but I was too sleepy to wake up and check it, so I did this morning, and it was a friend in NYC texting me to say that my pal Eileen Myles won Best Lesbian Novel at the Lambda Literary Awards last night, so that's good. Anyway, since I already told you I was asleep, I guess that means my report on yesterday is over. I hope you're unsleepy today and that you'll tell me what happened whether you were or not. ** Paradigm, Hey, Scott! Great to see you, man! Yeah, Marker is sill doing a lot of work, and what I've seen is really good. Man, how are you? What have you been doing? What's going on? I'm fine. 'The Marbled Swarm' is finished, and it comes out in November, so I'm past the writing phase and into the worrying phase, ha ha. Anyway, yeah, I'd love to know how you are. Great of you to visit. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. I'm a Lakers fan, obviously, due to hometown loyalty and all that, but I'm also someone who doesn't follow basketball until the playoffs start. Yeah, they didn't do good. I think maybe Phil Jackson stayed a year too long or something. I love Shaq. He's like an eighth wonder of the world or something. Oh, okay, I guess I can spare a few of Bill's bones in return. Maybe we can pretend they're light sabers and have a fun joust. ** We're done. Tim Dlugos is great. You don't have to take my word for it. Some of the proof is right up there above this p.s. Get to know him, if you don't already, and I will return as soon as today turns into Saturday.


DavidEhrenstein said...

A beautiful day for a lovely writer and a lovely man.

So many died of AIDS at 40 -- or far younger. A whole geneation has vanished and we have no idea of the whole that carves out of the universe -- to get very Terence Malick about it. (Actually, Dennis, the more I think of The Tree of Life the more I love it.)

Met a Russian woman who's a friend of Crhis Marker's last night at UCLA at a screenig of Godard's Film Socialisme Forget her name, but she was in The Last Bolshevick. She says Marker is 95!

DavidEhrenstein said...

See if you can get Yury to summarize this, there are no subtitles (It's a televised deabte about Gay Rights in Moscow.)

Empty Frame said...

Beautiful poems, " G-9", " The Truth", " It Used To Be More Fun", " Tonight". Seems like a sweet soul and a big loss.
On a lighter note, Jesus, Dennis, just how MUCH speed and/or cocaine were you were doing then??!! Ha ha! Talk about totally wired! Your eyeballs look like two black marbles rolling around in distant caverns!

So " Uncle Boonmee Recalls His Past Lives" is very odd indeed, more like an impressionist poem than anything else. It's weirdly charming, and just seems to come out of an amazingly different culture. I don't quite see why lots of critics totally lost their shit about it, but it's unique, seemingly driven by emotional tones rather than anything else. Yeah, interesting. I'm getting impatient waiting for Wenders' " Pina" and the Malick to open over here...

I'm in one of those stages where I'm just devouring a book a day at the moment, and the rest of the time bombarding my brain with films and looking at paintings on the web. Everything and everyone else just seems like a distraction, or minor irritation, you know? I have to keep reminding myself other people/eating/sleeping etc are also important and even necessary. I LOVE this kind of incubation stage. I've pretty much sold off the last four years worth of work, so it's like Year Zero, blank paper, blank canvas. Empty frames. My antennae are waving wildly about my head, snail-like, sniffing the wind, waiting for what's next. What rough beast'll come slouching toward me this time. So yeah, it's good, it's exciting...
Love to you, Viva Dada, and glorious weekends to all.

Christopher/Mark said...

Thinking of Tim...sitting in a bar in the West Village with him and Dennis...having a good time...

l@rstonovich said...


Look forward to checking out your friend Dlugos. Great a collected poems came out.

Bill Haley and the Comets played at my dad's HS so Rock around the Clock is a must. It's weird growing up in the 70's as a little kid with Grease and Happy Days cuz my parents graduated HS in '57 and I saw such a dumb slick candy coated version of their times. But I did love the music from the start. Really getting into The Platters and other sappy doo-op. And my dad is a huge Neil Diamond fan and my favorite Neil D song is Porcupine Pie.
Thanks for asking!

Read the 33 1/3rd Nation of Millions last night. Highly recommended.


Posing at the Louvre: said...

Hi Dennis, yeah things are good. Just moved into a new house, which is great, but now I'm exhausted... I leave for Switzerland early Wednesday. Can I get you some chocolate, or watch, or a nice prompt train schedule (those are the swiss cliches that come to mind)?

Listening to the radio, which I never do... and Beyonce is followed by Buddy Holiday for like the eighth time today... who are they playing this mix for exactly?

Frank Jaffe said...

hey dennis!!
How's everything been????
everything in tallahassee has been cool so far. I'm so so excited that it looks like i'll be going to NYC for Ms. martin's art opening. So i get to see Mr. Cook and the whole NYC gang!
So obviously i'm really excited and just so looking forward to all the good food and stuff. Plus i get to bring my boyfriend! Which is gonna be super exciting!
I guess you can tell i'm really bubbly about the whole situation!
the zine is going really well. Finished the interview with Koes and waiting on some other stuff. Crossing my fingers that when I turn in the zine to the printers that they don't reject it because of dicks in mouths :)
But yeah just wanted to say hi, hope that the nachos at Hard Rock have been delicious (oh man now i'm soooo craving nachos!!!) and I'll talk to you soon!

Chilly Jay Chill said...

Hey Dennis,
So many good poets have slipped past my barely existent radar and Tim Dlugos was one of them. Spent the morning reading and marveling over these pieces and G-9. Surprising and interesting how he integrated his spiritual beliefs into that last one. Seamless and unobtrusive, but present. That typical of him?
Anyhow, his book is now at the top of my list to purchase as soon as money rolls in. Thanks for the intro here, one of the many reasons I love the blog.
Your enthusiasm for Tree of Life has me even more excited to see it. But it won't open here for another few weeks, so unless I can wrangle a press screening it'll be a while before I can check it out. Any more concrete inklings about how ToL might affect the new work? Are things starting to stir for you on the novel front?

Polter said...

I was to say hi some days ago and I started but then I thought no.. This isn't going anywhere.. Stop it, so I did. Lots of things to do, and I do all the wrong ones. Which isn't really wrong, but not what I'm supposed to do. Like reading for exams. I don't. And that’s bad. But I do them and that's good. I told my friend I hadn't really studied and her friend was like why not? And my mind got all blank. I think I got blank after that as well. Back to the strings. Small questions get to me. The big ones I know how to avoid.
I'm in to a kind of witch house thing now. As in the music genre. And I think it expands the blanks, but then everything else does as well so I don't know. It's like walking into something dark. And you go this is a tunnel, I'll be out soon. But they go it's not turn around. And you think, don't know where to turn to go back. The walls are soft and you go through. I think too much I know, but I can't stop it. It's ok for me. But it confuses them. Sometimes that's kind of unnice.
One day on the tram a man got on and I almost got sick because he had these really bad vibes. He looked all right but he made me sick. Couldn't breathe till he got off. When I got off I saw some boys fighting in a grave yard, about 12 years old I guess. It's close to a school so it was during school time. Cause they're allowed to go outside the school. And this kindergarten teacher was standing there just watching them. And though not here responsibility I thought: shouldn't you make them stop. But she didn't. She just stood there. Then looked over to where the school teachers stood, and looked back at the boys and left. It was winter still then and all I pitied the boy on the ground, whose shirt was way up his back. Making him all goosed bumped against the snow. But he was fighting so I guess he might not have noticed. I got on a bus and these black clad happy men were talking real loud. They seemed so wrong. They went off at my stop and up to another church and I realized they were all going to a funeral. And my day ended without it being night because nothing fit where it was supposed to. That was a long time ago, but it sticks.
I think I might like this boy that I shouldn't. Not because he is unkind or anything, he just does all the wrong things. As in if you're on an escalator going down and you're walking up it, you'll go nowhere. But he's standing still, and I'll stand still with him. Down is scary because it's dark down there.
But I'm a knight, a secret one. I'll fight every monster that comes along.
Ok I think the thing is. I make people like me without really knowing how, and then they like me too much and it hurts them. And that hurts. Their eyes get so bright and their actions so soft. So I run as it feels bad not to feel what they want me too.
Sometimes I think you fly just to get away from the ground.
Is all well there? What are you up to?
I was to say I love the voice of the tokio hotel vocalist as well. Always have. And your gig was nice. :)
Happy times spring nights.

Alter Clef Records said...

Thanks, Dennis, for posting a link to 'My Antique Son' - very kind indeed. I hope you'll enjoy the debut airing at least as much as subsequent ones. I'd urge you - if you haven't yet thus aired - to play it really fucking loud - it's designed that way... And I look forward to your thoughts. Two years since I recorded the first note. Feels good.

Speaking of casual aeons, looking forward so much to seeing you on 10th - how long you in London for? I'm gonna be there from 8th - 11th for various things so we'll defo/certo get a chance to actually catch-up I reckon/hope.

I'm gonna check out 'A Zed And Two Noughts' - thanks for the heads-up. I just watched the opening of 'Prospero's Books' and am somewhat mindblown - it's an utterly self-contained aesthetic he seems to have conjured.

Have you seen his 'Four American Composers'? The one on Meredith Monk is fantabulous for sure.

I'll re-send 'A Day Wihtout Comfort' this week, once I've doctored the sequencing a little.

Is there a paperback edition of 'The Marbled Swarm' scheduled for release as yet? I'm very excited to read your new transmission, friend.



Ken Baumann said...

"Making blog posts is better than going to university." I firmly agree. :)

Another wonderful day. Sad about Tim's too early passing, but the poems here are beautiful and lasting. Thanks for sharing him and his work.

Ken Baumann said...

Also: seeing The Tree of Life at The Dome. It's a special screening at 10am on Sunday. Cinemachurch. I will go be devout for Malick.

And let me offer a dissenting/lust-mitigating opinion on LA Noire: there, just did it. It's alright. Red Dead Redemption was amazing and emotional. LA Noire feels a bit lazy; I bet they rushed development, and that Team Bondi had more to do with its production than Rockstar. It has the Rockstar story prerequisites (hero with a dark past, moral ambiguity, corrupt systems), but the way it's all looped together is pretty shoddy, I think. So, yeah, don't sweat this one.

Patrick deWitt said...

Excellent Dlugos Day. And I love seeing pics of new wave Dennis.

Sypha said...

Well, there was a part of me that worried that the new Gaga album would be a pretentious mess, but it didn't turn out that way. In any event, it's still a thousand times more interesting than anything that Ke$ha or Katy Perry are doing.

Today I was going through some old boxes seeking out records related to major events in my Catholic upbringing (such as my First Communion and my Confirmation). Man, my parents saved EVERYTHING: I found almost every old report card I've ever had, all my birthday cards, perfect attendance records from school, science fair ribbons, and, best of all, two examples of my early writing: a poem related to Halloween, and a short story I wrote about my pet lizard that won me a young author's award in the sixth grade. I might post some of this stuff on my Onyx Glossary blog soon.

Hell, they even had a few of my summer reading lists. In 1992 it appears I was reading such esteemed works of literature as "The Escape of the Plants That Ate Dirty Socks" and "Steve Urkel's Super-Cool Guide to Success." Six years later I'd be reading "Naked Lunch," ha ha.

Schlix said...

Hey Dennis,
thanks for this Tim Dlugos post. For me it was the first time to read about him. But I liked very much what I could see here and will sure search for the book. A short glance on amazon germany showed an old book for 600€. Must be very rare.

I was also surprised yesterday cause I really love the work of Chris Marker. Man, I can remember when I first saw sans soleil. I went to the cinema and I did not know what to expect and I was blown away. By the way I had always very good experiences when I saw movies without knowing anything about.

We are really doing fine at the moment here in Berlin. Both on vacation and time for us or for doing things and stuff we want or have to do.

In the new wire mag is a good review of the new grouper lps. beside grouper there are some very interesting thoughts about "listening" and music in the article. It really inspired me.

see you!

Chris Cochrane said...

Guess it's time to drop the email.
Just saw tree of life for some reason that I cannot figure out, it reminded me of Pasolini's first film - though I have not scene that film in decades, it would be curious to see know, I just thought I'd mention that - anyway the scene with DDT truck - what a fucking memory that was - yes all those obsessions sound about right - why don't you call me Monday about 7pm your time that works for me. I've begun compiling the liner notes, maybe you could edit or something - we will talk - have a great weekend

Brendan said...

I'm going to see Tree of Life on Sunday. It's official. Can't wait.

Yes, metal shows work wonders. All Shall Perish were great. I used to see them in the Bay Area before they made it (relatively) big. It was great to see them killing on the big stage. I don't think they are as sublime as say, Baroness, Meshuggah or Cult of Luna, for example, but they seriously get the job done.

Maybe I can put together a metal day for the blog at some point.

Man, this new show is so different from my previous stuff. I am nervous all over again about people's reaction. One of my old Stanford profs walked into the gallery today, not knowing it was my show, checked it out, said he liked it, and then was really surprised when he found out it was me. I got the story from Walter afterward. I really liked this guy, so it made me very happy.
But yeah, I'm very interested to hear what you think, even if you aren't thrilled. I can take it.

I've never read Dlugos, not surprisingly, but G-9 is seriously beautiful, so I'm turned on and interested in more. Thanks,


steevee said...

RIP Gil Scott-Heron.

Andrew said...

This is very sad. It's things like this which make me feel guilty about the constant existential crises, and death anxiety. But in all honesty I'll probably always want to experience everything there ever will be, or at least the good things.
This poetry is intriguing, poetry is something I was never able to latch onto, it confuses me because of the structures. Order in art bothers me, art should be chaotic.
The dolls which interest me the most are balljointed dolls. Comercially they would be the Super Dollfie dolls from Japan. But the best example in art are the dolls of Hans Bellmer. Of course, I have no clue how you could go about making those dolls from scratch.

Bernard Welt said...

Obviously, I have no idea whatsoever what to say about Tim. I've had the opportunity to read his poems at readings sometimes--including G-9--and it's an amazing experience. At a time when a lot of people I knew were dying, his death sort of came from behind and kicked me in the back of the head. He did have an amazing O'Hara-like ability to find the key to a poem and bang it out. I don't think I like anyone else's poems as much as his--maybe Shakespeare's. Weirdly, of course, I remember his early readings and revelations of a lot of the poems, including Gilligan's Island.
And of course, he introduced me to you--he was always discovering people, but you were his biggest find.

I haven't had much time to look at all the great Chris Marker stuff--this class is the whole evening and I spend most of the day working on it. But it's a pretty awesome list of films. Showed 8 1/2 tonight.
I am also waiting for the Pina Bausch doc. Just scored a copy of Uncle Boonmee so I hope I get a chance to watch it soon. (Also got a copy of Police, Adjective, which was about the most interesting and undeniably strange movies I saw last year.

inthemostpeculiarway said...

I really like today. I like all of the poems, maybe Tonight the best.

Hey Dennis,

Oh, a spider apocalypse. We'll need William Shatner to save us.

All I could really remember about the face was that the eyes had giant drooping sockets and there was a giant jagged gash from the mouth to the forehead. It sounds either awful or like a Halloween mask, depending on how you look at it. I can't remember all of it, though, thank God.

Yeah, that makes sense about The Dark Tower. I read that they delayed it, but I'd be surprised if the project goes all the way through. It seems too ambitious. I imagine if they do it they'll make one movie, and maybe the TV series if they're lucky, but the numbers for the series will gradually fall off and they'll give up.

Wow, more interviews. You always do so many and I always say the same thing after hearing about one. But still. It's impressive.

How was the reading?

Oh, I just read something about LA Noire in Entertainment Weekly. They really liked it. I know nothing about games, so if this question is retarded I apologize in advance, but do they make it for another game system?

My friend really loves A Clockwork Orange, and so she decided to watch more Kubrick, but after each one (she watched three) she'd watch A Clockwork Orange after and decided she liked it more than all of the others so she stopped.

Yay! for Eileen Meyers. That's really great.

Well, today wasn't much better but oh well:


Wake up.

Went to have my customary 'hello world' cigarette, and after a few flicks, saw that my dying lighter had officially given up, but kept trying. After about a minute or so I ripped the cigarette out of my mouth, taking a little bit of my lip with it (that's what it felt like anyway) and angrily muttered while searching for another one. The next one didn't work either, but then I found one of those cheap clear ones that has a tiny flame that I'm always convinced is going to creep into the lighter fluid somehow and explode, but it finally worked. So that was nice, until I got the hiccups.


Watched the first three hours of Angels in America, and I really like it so far. I almost cried when Justin Kirk's dancing with his ex boyfriend to Moon River, so I'm pretty sure when I finish it after I get off here I'm going to cry. During it I smoked my last cigarette, which I realized when I actually looked into the pack and saw that horrible whiteness, so I spent the last hour or so constantly chewing on mints. The container I have is small and kind of hard to open, so I would always squeeze my fingers against it and then push the top to avoid an explosion. It worked and I found a nice kind of comfort in the sound of the top squeezing against the box, though.

Finished, wanted to talk to people but there were a few that if I text them they'll call, so I deleted a few texts after thinking 'not right now' and chose to talk to other people longer than I normally would, and I realized why the longer the conversation went, and I stopped, thinking I probably should've just endured the potential phone call and feeling kind of cheated.

inthemostpeculiarway said...

Got cigarettes, finally. The cashier had this strange laugh that sounded like a cross between a honk and gargling, and she thought I was really funny, or something, because she did it a lot. Went outside, couldn't wait so I packed them and had one halfway out before I remembered, back in and smiling said "lighter", causing the laugh again. So that was unfortunate.

Went outside, lit it, and look up and briefly make eye contact with a businessman who did a double take and then purposefully looked away. The laughing woman came outside with her own cigarettes, and she smiled and joined me and we talked for a little while. After she said something, she'd run her hands over the parts of her grey hair that were held together by her pony tail and then slam her hand down, but when I told her what I'd done today it went to her hip and she asked:

"Why'd you want to watch something so sad?"
"Because it's good! But it is sad, it's really sad. For some reason I always end up watching sad things. It just happens. Well, that's not true. Most of the time I know they'll be sad."
"I hate sad things, I hate them. I like happy endings, thos're the best ones."
"I like happy endings too, but my stuff just is sad. I end up liking the sad ones more."
"I don't get that. When I see something sad I cry for days. Sometimes even here I'll cry over something sad I saw three days prior."
"Aw, I'm sorry. Yeah, I'm not like that. It makes me sad and when I think about it, then too, but not like that. What happy movies do you like?"

Mostly romance movies, then she leaves, so do I, come back here. For some reason I kept eating the mints, and I am now, too. The granules on the edge of my tongue/behind my teeth satisfy me, I think.

Texted people, had some nice conversations, with no phone calls, so that made me feel, I don't know, relieved and kind of stupid, at the same time.

Ate dinner, read some more of Democracy, and yeah. That's all. So before you have a wonderful weekend, how was your Friday, Dennis?

postitbreakup said...


hey how are you?

today i woke up, went to lunch with mother at a chinese buffet, accompanied her to bank and grocery store in preparation of she and my father leaving til monday (i am alone in the house).

had a discussion with my mother about my interest in taking some kind of web development classes for my resume in the job interim. expressed how if only i had not graduated earlier i maybe would have a) applied to better schools and b) never met the guy who totally broke my heart after taking advantage of me for 5 years but still has left me devastated.

came home and shot myself. no, no, just looked at job listings etc, and a legend of zelda video, and checked the usual sites for job listings. dad came home and parents left for their trip (they will be back monday).

i held off as much as i could, watching jimmy fallon clips, but ultimately drank. ended up having terrible horror movies on in the background (bits of jeepers creepers and trick'r'treat) and a documentary about comedians (i am comic) as i drank and prepared bizarre concoctions to eat which i just vomited part but not enough of.

hoping to sleep now, but feel a second wind coming. watching the view.

postitbreakup said...

and twin peaks. god, twin peaks.

Misanthrope said...

Dennis, Wow. I have a million things to say about this. But I'll limit it to 999,999 or so.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of some of Tim's collected poems from Bernard. I believe you wrote the foreword to that. As I've expressed before, I loved it. I'll have to get this one myself.

I started to think about this day after perusing it and I welled up. I'm so happy that his friends keep his memory and his work -which does it itself anyway- alive.

I'm glad to have been able to hear you and Bernard talk about him in person. And I'm sad that you guys lost him as a friend. I'm also sad that he died so young and I never got to meet him, which I probably would have at some point if he'd been able to live longer.

But his work remains. And that's just great.

Oh yeah, I don't watch much NBA until the playoffs myself. And yes, I love Shaq too. He's so fucking funny. I like that he can be so dry in his humor, then do something like this.

When we joust with the Kaulitz bones, I hope it doesn't turn out like this!

Colin said...

Hey Dennis, thanks for this Dlugos day, which I've really enjoyed but it's only making me more hungry for my copy of the book which must be delayed. Nightboat Books are incredible, bringing Bruce Boone's Century of Clouds back into print last year, & now doing the Dlugos collected and I think they're bringing out Bern Porter's Found Poems too, plus a bunch of great new poetry etc..

I keep trying and not really succeeding to make a start on an article about Dlugos and this book (once I get it) and my plan is to chance my luck sending it to PN Review once I'm done. Anyway, thanks so much for this day, Dennis, really, really great. Thanks by the way for what you said the other day about coming to my reading in Paris on the 28th June, if you can. Any firm travel plans yet?

slatted light said...

Coop: Hey man. Oh wow, I had no idea a collected Dlugos was out! This is going straight into my shopping cart for next fortnight's book purchase. What he does with elegy is incredible. How he totally eschews elegy's depositing of profundity in quotable segments of aphoristic citability, to make poems that demand their entire poetic context, can't be unlatched from its mise-en-scene, to strike their brilliant tone, that are, basically, montages of their referents, but nonetheless achieves that sort of epic condensation and reach and crystal aeonic incision and infinitude of elegaic insight: a true star. Coincidentally, Dennis, I was just thinking not many days back that this line from your new book was very hilariously and wonderfully Dlugosian: "Truth is, my wealth is psychological as well as moneyed, and, in order to spare you some crushing verbiage, I’ll ask you to witness my cruel-in-quotes decision for yourself and trust me when I say the bitch just simply had to die." Compare to "Shelley Winters you’re such a pig I love you" and I think you might see what I mean.

I noticed you metioned LA Noire. I played that recently: I'm not hugely into video games but my brother is and he convinced me to play it. Dude, it's fantastic. It has this really great mix of live action sequences and more old-school painstaking problem solving narrative. Interestingly, though, it's less about cracking mysteries per se than about the assembly and accrual of proof, which I really like. It's an oddly and very heavily structured game, actually, in that it directs you toward things in many ways and resists derailing you from the evidence trail, at least in its earlier and most of its middle stages, but surprisingly that doesn't detract from its pleasures and charms at all, seeing as it's about forensic exploration of postwar discontents before it's about perfect scores or dexterity with the controls. What it reminds me of is a sort of fictional-historical version of a newsgame.

I read a really amazing book recently, really great, which I think you'd love, called Night by Vedrana Rudan, who's a Croatian writer . It's published by Dalkey. I really think you should check this out, dude. What she does with the narratorial voice is right down your alley and, mixing as it has for me with your book, it's provided a really fascinating comparison in styles. Though I wouldn't want to mislead you by suggesting the two voices are in any way the same. It's more like their subsumption of a persona in which they orchestrate manipulations and presdigitations of emotion while elaborating buried latticeworks of their respective narrators' emotion logic is as eerily involved as one another and offer really amazing feats of literary enunciation via their respective subverting ventriloquisms. You should really check it out.

Right, well. Better go do whatever it is exactly that I do. A fine Paris weekend to you, sir.

syreearmwellion said...

i'll admit i just cried reading g-9. i was transmigrated to the time he spoke of. thanks.