Friday, July 29, 2005

thinking of entering a vanity fair essay contest, but the trouble is, the topic is: "what is on the minds of America's youth today?" if somebody doesn't tell me pretty quick, i'll have to make something up. any takers?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

am taking a breather on my project, which now has fifty-two short verse link poems, more than the total number of states, more even (barely) than my age, but unfortunately, i have several from certain midwestern states (ahem) with which i've had more than ample experience, and none from certain others. i've had the central time zone all to myself for years, at least amongst my siblings and immediate family, but now have filled it up with a new generation of immediate relatives, and have a little too much to say. maybe another volume?

and, am glad that a couple of my old favorites turn out to be 5-7-5 also. here's one from greg brown:

walkin beans, walkin
beans, gonna walk all the way
down to new orleans

it has a season, even tells where it is, but it's not clear which state (actually, being greg brown, it's probably iowa, but that's not clear from the see the dilemmas I've fallen into. see below.

or this one from an old friend randy heuring, many years ago...

there's not much to see
in these small towns, but what you
hear makes up for it

no place, no state, just 5-7-5 verse. excellent! i guess they call that tanka-(?)...but i'm just learning the japanese words...

don't know if these folks intended to be short-form poets at all; but too bad, now it's immortal, it's graffiti, it's tagged, as i like to say.

one of my favorites is this:

clear skies at st. jo-
but the river keeps rising
right over the road

but it refers to a time i was in kansas city, and the river was basically flowing backward after being blocked by the dams downstream.

i can link it (has a season, has a state clue) but can't quite put it to see my dilemma. thought i'd share a little of the poet's experience...

may have to scrape the bottom of the memory to get states like delaware or oregon, that i scarcely set a foot in. but i'll think of something. meanwhile a few that just don't fit are going into the misc bin. that's right, i have two poetry blogs, and two others just for blogging, not to mention two new ones, one for web design and the the other for people, all kinds-a-people. it's all part of my effort to get my stuff "out here" i don't have to put floating mouse-over templates on it...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

hey! here's a cool animation, done by my's nice being related to genius! it rubs off on ya...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

did a unit with my class on celebrities: first we studied their weblogs, then we looked into the movie paparazzi and some clips about princess di. though it was esl all the way, i thought i'd put my observations here, because they're personal. first, one side of me has always been a kind of celebrity, enjoying fame, living in a small town and all, using the media as i am. and these guys get big by using the media. a fascination with power is realized by a fascination with using and manipulating people's attention. so, the paparazzi are right when they say, you're big now, you should expect it. second, when it scares them and they back off, withdrawing from public life (as m. jackson is trying to do as we speak)- it doesn't work- the rumors double, the cameras have to pile up at the few public places that they grace. it's interesting.

and there, but for the grace of god, go i...

Friday, July 15, 2005

my daughter's done me proud; i should have known that link poetry, and especially link haiku, would catch on like wildfire. and she made not only a link haiku, but almost a total one (technically a total link haiku is seventeen syllables, seventeen links)...she's only the third person that i know of who has done link poetry; the second is a friend of mine here in town. the first is yers truly. i'm sure there will be more, and i'm sure lots of it will be better than mine.

i've made a new site to collect 50-state poetry...i'm missing a few of the best ones (Iowa, for example) but there's plenty of time. some of these states will surely have volumes in one spot alone, before it's over. it's addictive, and pretty soon it'll spread to public transit.

by the way i'm not the one who invented the 'rules' for haiku (season word, no pronouns, present tense, no metaphors, you name it, somebody says you shouldn't do it) but sometimes i find myself searching for ways to actually limit myself, make it more spare, stay within seventeen pure syllables (what about words like field?), and one more: make the links straightforward, with the state or the season always in the url...(but here i am, making up another rule!) cool thing about link poetry is that you become a connesseur (sp?) of google images (if not a collector of your own), which is not a bad thing. linking all over the globe is good for your page rank, if not your reputation with the copyright lawyer...

mad about ohio comments? no way. but being put in the same link haiku as the dub? i don't know if i like being that kind of crazy...

here's greetings from some -a- yer
land-a-linkin' bo- bos!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

soon after i mentioned my idea (see below), of 50-state haiku, I started the project, with ohio (what better state?), then, came up with a title for the project, knowing that, for reasons also mentioned below, i don't really want to call all of them (i plan many more) 'haiku' yet...there's a good chance it will be link haiku...but very simple: one link to 'winter' (or whatever)...another to 'ohio' (or wherever)...and an entire series like this, not just 50, but many more.

thirty years ago i travelled these states, some (like ohio) many times...lots of memories in there. and, what's really bugging me about ohio is this: my younger brother and sister were born there, but scarcely remember it. my own children have very little concept (with the exception of the oldest, and possibly her younger brother) i've got a responsibility here. i'm a buckeye...time to step up to the plate!

Monday, July 11, 2005

more thoughts on haiku, but first a word for doctor your blog, but ohio is in the midwest...i'll explain later. i have to dig in my e-mail for the great pictures of cleveland you sent. it's not that the map below proves that ohio's the midwest. the pictures of cleveland prove it. and toledo is the same, only more so.

been thinking of haiku. have two plans: first one tentatively entitled counting boxcars: carbondale haiku...many of these i've already put a href, my poetry blog, but haven't sorted in any way. also haven't been thorough about venues to cover: longbranch, u-haul, kroger west, that kind of stuff. too busy living life i guess.

my other project is a little more extensive. it turns out that classic haiku has season words, it's complicated, but not too complicated. everyone seems to follow this rule. well i have some variations on the rule i'd like to explore.

the first is to make fifty state haiku but with state kigo or words which tell which state, somewhat bluntly, perhaps, but perhaps deftly too. give it a try. don't worry about the seasons, just let the word suggest the place in the same way kigo suggest the season. i've been in forty-eight of 'em, mostly walking, so it should be within my grasp...

the second is this. these kigo are obvious to most readers...cherry blossoms, for example, are spring; icicles-winter, etc. but some, like firecrackers, are pretty obviously summer in this culture but not necessarily in others...well, ambiguity is currency of the writer...why not embrace ambiguity?? why must we always be so clear...?

i have this related problem with coder haiku...also on my site. what seasons can you experience, in view source html caves? perhaps one has to make up one's own coder kigo...don't know where this is going. i have, however, come up with some rules to live by, for short poetry in general...

1) don't worry about 'haiku', 'senryu' etc., don't even call it that. just using these words can make you feel like a beginner. it's short poetry; just write it. let others worry about the rules & how you've applied them.
2) read the masters regularly; even if you're in a completely different universe. choose your own masters. the cream will rise to the top.
3) short poetry comes from everywhere...and should be put back where you got it.
4) scrape the bottom of the barrel that holds your soul- use every last drop.
5) you break it, you buy it. don't know what that means exactly, but it has to do with taking responsibility for the stuff you pick up. i've adopted it as a rule to live by, at least for the moment.

end haliburton's war...
more coming, chou

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Friday, July 08, 2005

looking forward to going to new mexico in august to see my family...

gonna get back to my



visit with the whole crowd. i have a sister in new york whose birthday is in early september, and a brother in london who spends a lot of time on public transit, because he's an environmentalist (or for many other reasons)...does it sound like we live dangerously? i can say i think of them often. and here i am, just having too many kids...

meanwhile my daughter has become a blogger, but she says things like "ohio is not in the midwest" just to see if i'm still reading it...and they're living on the edge i think...but her husband derek (he took the picture above) is finding his niche in animation & i'm going to read his too...

my father wrote the book.

i'm looking forward to seeing everyone again...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

finally got a clear break in the weather, and, spent another day at the lake. i've written some cedar lake poetry, but that's about all i have to show for my time, besides a couple of babies who know who their father is. a number of things are happening professionally; it keeps me busy. but sometimes one has to do with one hand, as the other is occupied, and that tends to limit activities...

here's where i swim; i'll stick it right on here as soon as i find out who took the photo. nice weather, huh?

it's back to work soon; there's nothin' for it, as they say, but i'll take what's left of the holiday first. my idea of patriotism is doing what i usually do, which is:

-working on a play about wwII (should shut up & just do it);
-trying to keep my tomatos & beans from frying in the drought;
-getting my add treated, so i don't kill my kids from being distracted;
-methodically changing all cesl webpages to the new template, 'nuf said;
-investigating the history of SNAP, support network for those abused by priests, as a favor to my wife;
-learning more about haiku, though the more i learn, the more i resolve my philosophy, which is: stop calling it haiku; stop worrying about rules; let others worry about what it is & what to call it; make more; do carbondale; catch the moments of my life, as they are, with an eye that finds magic & poetry.
-stay away from the fireworks, as apparently they are not until 9:30 this year, which is too late for a 3-mo.-old and a 3-yr.-old, not to mention me, and remember, drinking & explosives don't mix; neither do drinking & cars, or explosives & cars. Fiddling & patriotism, however, are a good mix. Summer & barbeque, now yer talkin.