Tuesday, July 31, 2007


As we enter August it signals the end of the summer and the beginning of fall. When August arrives I always think of fall at College that sense of wonder and possibility that Thomas Merton called the scent of October.

I have been fortunate to know many great intellectuals, Brian Clements, Robert Creeley, Simone Muench, and Elizabeth Willis and what makes these people different from us mere mortals is that their minds are vexed and question while remaining open to what could be.

I was watching recently a show on Mark Rothko and here again do we see this openness. It is this openness that challenges and also causes revilement from the society. Our society hates thinkers we love money men and in the end we
stop listening.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

America's Violent Temper

America celebrates its birthday tomorrow. You know "We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident that all men are created equal".

The other night went to a reading at a really cool loft- lina vitkauskas read- she is so great a real poet's poet. before her some blonde woman read some syrupy-didactic poetry- it was dreadfully banal the kind of soft mushy liberal poetry that I hate with no snap and no tension just sweet mushy bread pudding. Get thee to a workshop immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was thinking about what she said however about "peace" and "love" (YUK) and I kept thinking that is really not what America is about. America is about violently creative people who are self destructive and who in the end force our society to change. Violence not Peace is what has made America, America.

This is central to our national character. Think about it- Faulkner, Hemingway, Pollock, Plath, Sexton, Merton, Dean, Brando, and on and on they represent a violent self destruction that makes America- America.

Got some Brazilian relatives staying with me this month and I always like to compare Brazil with the USA. Both big countries with histories of slavery and immigration. Brazilians are huge nationalists like Americans but the difference is the creative violence. There is lots of senseless violence in both the USA and Brazil- but creative violence is really an American thing.

It is not PC today to talk this way- most of our academic types have bought into a kind of mediocre multi-culturalism that thinks about feelings and forgets about deep meaning. But would you rather go in your bed? Or in a speeding car like Jackson Pollock- 200% alive?