Monday, November 12, 2007

Tofu Stir-fry

I'm posting today because I haven't posted for ages. I've seem to have had things to say, but my sluggish brain has not been ready to follow through. I'm still not certain how successful this post will be, so you might as well lower your expectations. Regular visitors to this blog already know that the posts that have meat in them are Robert's. Yeah, this is a tofu post. Tofu stir-fry.

Wanted to post this link to an interview Zack Rogow did with Bob Hass. (I feel obligated to my fellow po groupers, to wave their flags, having been one who started our workshop way back. Way back. Yes, once upon a time we even met in John's studio across from the ball park when the ball park wasn't even a gleam in anyone's eyes and the neighborhood was dumpsterville. Way back Bob Hass came to our group too -- only once, and it was on his side of the Bay, in Orinda. I remember the poem he brought. I remember the poem I brought.)

We are sick, sick, sick about the oil spill in the Bay! How can you crash into the Bay Bridge? Isn't it big enough? Oh, it was foggy. Well, duh. I am so upset about this, my brain starts to sputter when I think about it. I cannot look at the wildlife-coated-in-oil photos.

I am off from work today, thank you, veterans. As a pacifist, that's about the extent of my gratitude. I know most people think some wars are necessary or inevitable, but I don't understand how you solve anything by killing X number of people.

I have not been writing a lot. I don't want to make excuses. Even my reading has been sporadic. But I read a very interesting essay on Creeley by Charles Simic, published in NY Review of Books, October 25. Now Creeley never really did much for me, was just sort of on the periphery of my vision. But Simic totally impresses me as a poet who can talk about poetry in a way that is more interested in substance than in impressing you with his erudition -- a rare and totally welcome breath of fresh air -- and yet who doesn't look to get extra points for folksy ways, like some other poets laureate. (Not talking about BH. Bob is the best!) Anyway, what he said, by way of preamble, was "Unless one is an inmate serving a life sentence in a state penetentiary, a book of a thousand poems is nearly impossible to read... More to the point, there are not many poets, even among our best ones, who are likely to have more than eighty pages worth reading."

I personally, don't want to argue the point -- it is the emperor's-no-clothes attitude of the statement that impresses me. He also said -- and here I'd like to get input, if you have any opinions on the matter -- that "They [Creeley's early poems] were almost all about love, a subect of considerable interest to a vast number of human beings that for some curious reason is absent from the work of many of our poets today, who, unlike poets in other cultures, generally stay away from any overt expression of erotic feelings, as if love and sex were of little concern to them."

Do you think this is so? Not whether or not love and sex were Creeley's early subjects, but that many of our poets today shy away from this?


KATE EVANS said...

Re: the Rushdie quote at the top of the blog. Did you get to the Rushdie event in San Jose? (see my blog for the low-down)

I was in Santa Cruz the other day, and there were oily, struggling birds on the beach all the way down there. Makes me heart-sick.

Diane K. Martin said...

Kate, I just read about your Rushdie event on your blog. How exciting! I'm afraid I haven't done much but go to work and come home these days. I do admire him immensely.

The oil spill -- don't get me started.