|b l o g|
I have some explaining to do.
Thursday-Saturday. Princeton. Reunions weekend, for reunions 5th through 70th+. Stayed at Oscar & Sarah's. Fifteen USD bought me weekend-long drinks and two meals. Tents and fences surrounded throngs & a unique bar for each reunion group. Reputedly, it's one of the largest drinking events on this coast, which is possible when one accounts for 18,000 Princetonians (and any interested, of-age cicadas) going at a rate of x drinks/day, times 4 days and 3 nights. On Friday, Oscar, James, & I had a metrosexual day out clothes shopping & napping, a new American tradition. Later, I had a huge incident involving a stuck zipper & horseradish sauce. For the main event, somehow, I wound up being given a sign and marching in the P-rade, one of those tigerish, old Princeton traditions that obviously wouldn't include graduate students but for the inconvenient fact that the university has graduate alumni. On Saturday night, it was so cold that we all actually had to buy Princeton apparel & walk around in it, which is incompatible with current definitions of unheimlich. 5 claws/5.
Sunday. Brooklyn. At a Memorial Day party with a clamor of gays who evidently learned English at a concentration camp on Long Island. 2 winks/5.
We actually do love ourselves, you know.
If I have to read one more piece of obnoxious, hyperbolic, faddish, fantastical, phenom-sucking drivel like this (and from Princeton, too!?) I will personally push to completion the publishing industry's equivalent of Superstar USA.
At Sunday's fabulous Monaco Grand Prix, Jaguar ran their cars with flawless 200K USD diamonds on the nosecones, thanks to sponsorship tie-ins with a diamond company and a heist movie. On the first lap, Christian Klien went into the wall at Grand Hotel. When the car was brought back to the pitlane at the end of the race, no diamond. I thought it was as amazing as anyone, but in retrospect putting a diamond on a racing car is pretty hard to explain.
If you thought my trying to name all the New Jersey county seats was great, you should have seen me today as I tried to get a stopwatch as close to 30 seconds as possible without looking, relying solely on my internal clock. Someone give me something to do.
You deserve it. In the interest of creating a response-generating monster, and as a tasty morsel for grad students, the graduate-bound, and the covetous alike, I give you the vital things I have learned from a year of graduate study in a top English program. I'm perfectly cheery, if you can't tell.
- Departments with cohesive identities do not include people from other departments in those identities.
- Everyone claims to drink more than he/she does.
- The worse a poem, story, novel, or play is, the more 'interesting' people will find it.
- If you can't fathom why, it will be a fad.
- Theory doesn't cut it as literature.
- Declaiming poetry is a joy forever.
- I am a fraud.
- A poem & a paper should kill each other.
- I am the only man of my generation who reads the poetry of my generation.
- Grad students somehow have more money than you think they do.
- There is a serious problem in the terminology if what both CPR and Representations do is called 'criticism.'
- The great new American poetry (and there is such a thing) should be called post-American.
- No matter what anyone says, the closest thing to poetry will always be music.
- Oh, bloodbelly comb jelly!
- Every so often, I think of W. B. Stanford's book, Enemies of Poetry.
- a [guess] reading Handguns magazine
- the reason women are not writing novels that certain people (#1, #2) care about: they write poetry; they live in Brooklyn
- a turkey
I just had a cod salad sandwich. I see why the British use 80% mayonnaise.
This will be my address this summer. The apartment is beyond ridiculous. 1000 sq ft, at Gare de l'Est, grand piano, 6000 books, two (gay?) bars downstairs open 24 hrs, 1500 Euros/month. Divide by three & add glee.
According to Aaron, I'm a 'right twat.' According to Ian, I'm continually 'expected.' Actually, I'm just disillusioned.
In other news, Mexico has an air force.
At Secaucus Junction today, I wondered how much man-time I have put into cities I've been to. What follows is a selective list of world cities (selective because I'm not sure how to define 'world city') ranked by how much estimated time I've spent in them.
1. New York
6. Colorado Springs
13. Washington, D.C.
15. Los Angeles
And here I stopped. If Secaucus counted, it would probably be about 12th or 13th. Oh no.
Seen on the bathroom wall at Dbar: 'Erik Kennedy, your days are numbered.' Ha.
Blurbing: '[X's] poems evade and persuade us of the perils and fleshed restitutions of the imaging, mortal life. Again and again, their language inhabits the cusp between gaming and cri de coeur so we are torn, reading, between consolation and alarm.' That is some serious hocus pocus.
I saw The Double Life of Zefirino tonight, a one-man 'masque' (with dancers) about a castrato performed by a male soprano. The costumes were by James Ivory, and the choreography by Karole Armitage. The sets were from Milan. It was a fusion of theater, dance, and opera; or, as John puts it, 'it takes three art forms no one goes to see & creates a new one that no one goes to see.'
I would quote juicy bits from the program, but I burned it.
Amy won the Pen of the Day on Z100 this morning for her conversation about 'why calculus is sexy.'
I borrowed a random unlocked bicycle for half-an-hour this morning & went tooling around on it. Contrary to the old saw about bicycles and never forgetting, I found it not all that easy to ride, esp. in traffic, in intersections, and when trying to look behind me. It's the only thing I've driven in more than a year; I had to remind myself that the racing line is mostly for racing, not so much for Nassau Street.
Today, as for the past week-and-a-half, I woke congested. I coughed something into the book I was reading. It might be time to accept that I have allergies.
The Composers' Ensemble concert last night featured a setting of a Sarah Manguso poem, read live by Sarah Manguso. Oh no. Hearing a poem recited is always uncomfortable, even when I know it (I did); more so when it's paralyzingly slow & broken up against the syntax; more so when it goes on over a series of bleeps; more so when the poet's voice is distorted with a celeste-like warble; more so when the poem is then 'randomized' and rapped (or something) by the composer.
For those who've demanded more drink-blogging, I bought a bottle of Balvenie 12. It's just down the hill from the Glenfiddich distillery, yet it's utterly different. It's a unique one, in fact. The bouquet is a little cloying at first, not peaty or smoky, plenty of honey & vanilla, but a deep sniff yields aggressive fruits at the tops of your nostrils, maybe, hopefully, orange. The body is described as 'huge' (almost sour). As you swallow there's a hard moment of disappointment as you think it has no finish whatever. Then it warms your mouth with sherry and some riddle of pleasantness. Let your mouth hang open. It's a nice, summery whisky, not as sweet as I worried it might be, with a lingering, if not exquisite, body.