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the essential uselessness of some things

An onion, a bowl, a spoon. Useful things, the distance say between a potter and a poet, though one may be, at times, the other.

Some people eat poems, as instructed by William Carlos Williams.

Everything pictured here has a point to its life, a meaning. The bowl is especially beautiful, made by a woman skilled in both the making of bowls and of good food, the spoon a necessary accessory.

Blessed also are the ones who empty the bowl.

I've always liked what Gary Player, the great golfer, said when asked what he'd learned after spending nearly a lifetime in golf: 'that I know a whole lot about nothing.'

Now that's the spirit.


lyrica, a preview

Yesterday at the San Francisco Institute of Art, poet Michael Hannon was filmed reading poems for a documentary film being made on his and artist William Wiley's long and fruitful collaboration, "My Mother Walked Out."

Art students had made cardboard posters of Hannon's lyrica poems in shadowy arial type.

No arrests were made.

ifsfpublishing is said to be bringing out an edition of Hannon's lyrica poems, 'insects gathered at a crack of sap, blood, trail of crumbs' as one savant called them, in the not very distant future.


glorious filler

David Ferry won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and $100,000 dollars. If you click to the link you'll find a poem of his. I'd not heard of him before the announcement that he'd won the world's richest poetry prize--not that my not hearing of him means much--and he seems worthwhile; to judge by the poem posted, solid, but not lightning.

Chelsey Minnis, who has not yet won the Ruth Lilly Prize, is another story altogether.

Tired of poetry, I entered the SF Public Library, Presidio branch. As I was searching the Fiction stacks, looking for a novel, I wanted to call someone and ask 'what should I read?' or 'is there anything good to read?' but resisted the temptation. I borrowed Defoe's "Moll Flanders" (wanting "Robinson Crusoe"), "Whatever" by the Frenchman Michel Houellebecq, "How to Read the Air" by Dinaw Mengestu, and "Almost No Memory", stories by Lydia Davis.

I like reading a little Lydia Davis here and there; she makes me want to write.

Her author picture has her looking a little like a young Hillary Clinton. The book was published in 1997 when, I presume, the picture of her was taken. I assume she looks differently now.

I'll read Lydia Davis first, then Defoe, and take up the other two as the mood strikes.


Inventions, patents pending


the iPodiPhoneiPad, multi-tasking communications device, comes with Thai food.

iCellpal, phoneservice that makes pretend calls to otherwise uncalled cell phones, comes in male or female voices.

iFood, gourmet meals reconstituted from their molecular origins, comes in Italian, French, and South American cuisines (vegan optional).


Eleusinian mysteries

"How is it that Cate Blanchett Remains So Elusive" asks The New York Times Style Magazine (April 17, 2011).

Elusive no more, as she's on the cover of the thing.

The Los Angeles Lakers (No. 1 seed) were beaten yesterday on their home floor in the first game of the first round of the NBA Western Conference playoffs by The New Orleans Hornets (No.8 seed).

There's so much not to understand that it's overwhelming.

A cult in ancient Greece celebrated mysteries, though it's only mentioned twice by Werner Jaeger in his 3-volume masterpiece "Paideia, The Ideals of Greek Culture", as The Eleusinian Mysteries.