Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Dissonance in the Valence of Uranium

Day Four
Desparate to get some Paterson footage, even if it is ersatz Paterson, I convince Max Goldfarb to be the next special guest, even though our main objective was to explore a Wal*Mart parking lot in Hudson, NY for wormholes into another dimension. We ride out to the site in a red step van, M-49, a mobile unit once used by the fire department in Stockbridge, now a mobile vehicle for radio experimentation, but maybe also literally still a "fire" truck, since the heat from the metal floor is melting my flip-flops and it only gets worse outside where the air is dead from heat. Fire, tar, dead grasses, Queen Anne's lace, rotted palettes, birds, and (somewhere, like the angels) money: where is Paterson in it all? Again, we are nowhere near Paterson, but closer to an idea of ruins that might be more mid-industrial, Pennsylvanian, quaint. The Patersons proliferate: loose copies of the Platonic mess; yes it is a paradox, since the inner city and this particular poem are in general considered the opposite of the luminous form. But there is an ideal even in a mess. Radio mics give out, hypotheses fail. The real Paterson shames our senses.
Max will be broadcasting an evening of live talks and performances from his van on August 4 in Hudson, NY. (Among others, I'll be giving a talk/tour called "The Theogony of the Parking Lot"). Email for more information.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Missed Encounter

"The poet is one who can tolerate the missed encounter
and end up writing of it--overcoming his disaffection."
--Barrett Watten, correlation of Paterson, Book 1

Well, I knew there was some wisdom to be gained from waiting for my next special guest for an hour after driving two hours in the heatwave, then driving back after he no-showed. But I am still not completely convinced it is wisdom. Coming soon, another discorrelated replacement for the very city, which again we missed stepping foot upon. Is it always the power of the falls that sweeps us away? The powers of the false might get us closer. I really am trying. The wisdom of the graffiti found the next day tells us that it is difficult to fail, that one has to try at that too. Sadly, though, mulling over the genius on the wall, I think it is a product of faulty grammar (genius produced by its reverse) . . . to its left and right are other more unschooled evocations of something gone awry, without the hint of the spiritual exuberance of El Ghazali ("you possess what cannot be lost in a shipwreck") or the Buddha, so that, one can only conclude that she means "I try so hard and lose it all." I still think I'm in the world of this "and."

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