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What was venerated as style was nothing more than an imperfection or flaw that revealed the guilty hand.

Orhan Pamuk

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Thursday, July 12th, 2012

🦋 Peter's Voice

I haven't really written much narrative (that I can recall) in the first person voice. Let's give this a try. Peter seems like a good place to start with the first person, being as he is at least roughly modeled after myself.

(The plan as it now stands is, write fragments as they come to me. Revise and post at READIN those that seem worth while. Wait and see, see if anything is coming together. And if not, well, I'm having fun with the fragments and the revisions...)

posted evening of July 12th, 2012: 11 responses
➳ More posts about This Silent House

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

🦋 Descending a staircase

...Not sure quite how many times of looking in passing at the cover of La universidad desconocida it took me, before it clicked what the picture I am looking at is...

For more Bolaño/Duchamp pairing, check out part 2 of Savage Detectives.

Loving the poems certainly. I need to read them more closely and repeatedly before I will have anything worthwhile to write about them though.

posted morning of July 21st, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Roberto Bolaño

🦋 Notas breves y crípticas sobre la lluvia

por J Osner

(las que lea con disculpas a Roberto Bolaño: directed freewrite based on some references to rain in La universidad desconocida)

Mientras llueve sobre la extraña carretera
En donde te encuentras
Créeme que estoy
En el centro de mi habitación esperando
Que llueva. Está lloviendo:
Corriendo las aguas sobre
Los huecos vitreos, ventanas
Mis mejillas abajo
Y otras partes
Menos delicadas.
Tengo miedo
Créeme que tus huellas tan mojadas
Pulsan inquietante
     (And fade.)

posted evening of July 21st, 2012: 1 response
➳ More posts about Readings

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

🦋 Communion

(written to a prompt from La universidad desconocida)

Entre estos árboles que he inventado
y que no son árboles
estoy yo.

If all the ink were wine and all the paper host
communion of the literate commences
when the printing presses close.

Beneath the trees that are not trees you sleep
and dream of average Joes and trains that are not trains

inhuman people, playing god, write out their epitaphs and fortunes:

your pen like silly putty printing mirrored verses
mocking poets' codes of conduct, bylaws
written waist-high on the wall.

The transubstantiation catches you off-guard,
you dip your pen once more to find
Our Savior's life-blood dripping from the
letters of your scrawl;

and senselessness transmutes your text
to whitespace, letters crawl away
like ants, it's time, don't miss your chance --

the Walrus beckons you behind his hanky.
Come and take a walk, we'll have a pleasant chat,
we'll have some oysters.

Carpenter, who's running late, will meet us at the dance.

posted evening of July 22nd, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Poetry

Friday, August third, 2012

🦋 Peter, dropping names

(This post is a continuation of the earlier Peter's Voice thread -- I am trying among other things to make my reading of La universidad desconocida be Peter's reading, trying to get in his head and read through his eyes and hope to fully realize his character. Hope that anybody's going to be interested in reading about this guy and the books he is reading and translating; but of course this hope has always been intrinsic to the READIN project...)

Walking down Partition Street in the light summer rain and watching the lightning across the river past Rhinebeck. A really impressive storm but it's far enough off, the air's not moving here. You have to strain to make out the thunder. Nice -- I'm glad to fantasize the soundtrack and just watch the show, glad to get a little wet, glad to get home and inside and dry off.

Laura's a little spacey tonight. Dale and them had a gig down at Tierney's, we smoked some grass on the way over there and she really got into it --the intoxication goes very nicely with Megan's chops on the washboard, with Dale singing "Rag Mama Rag," it must be said... a lovely time but all too short as they only had a half-hour set. The other acts? Nothing really that interesting, so here we are back home and Laura's prowling catlike by the bookcase. I'm smiling and asking her what she's reading.

-- Eh, nothing's really grabbed my attention much since Snow.

I grin, and flash on the "Love and Happiness" scene and Al Green singing, and feel the little twinge of uncertainty that's always present around Pamuk, like I'm not really getting it or am getting the wrong thing. (And hm, I should really mention that song to Dale...) -- Want to check out some poetry I've been working on? I found these pretty intense old Chilean poems over at Calixto's blog... and don't mention, or perhaps it goes without saying in this context, these poems from Ávala seem to me like good trip material -- but I've mentioned Chile, and Laura would rather listen to Bolaño. Nice --I open The Unknown University at random and hit on "El dinero"; and it seems to me like this is the perfect poem for today, being as I am in receipt of a check from the Reality Fusion job, feeling confident about our rent for the next few months, even about a shopping trip over to Amazon...

Still not much headway on the literary translation thing. But I remain hopeful; how could I not be, with Laura snuggled against me here on the couch as I read to her.

posted evening of August third, 2012: 7 responses
➳ More posts about Writing Projects

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

🦋 Mataderos

(another poem written to a prompt from La universidad desconocida...)

Poesía que tal vez abogue
por mi sombra
en días venideros
cuando yo sólo sea un nombre
y no el hombre
que con los bolsillas vacillos vagabundeó
y trabajó
en los mataderos del viejo y
del nuevo continente
Mis sueños no tan fáciles
   que tengan como antecedente
   alguna trauma desconocida
   alguna pesadilla anterior
los dejo y caen
   no soportados de ninguna
   referencia exterior, no enlentecidos
   abajo de mi paracaidas, y
   ¿a dónde? y ¿cuándo
   pararán, cuándo van a poder

Caen sueños del viejo
   y del nuevo continente,
   sin término caen;
sueños de amistad
   masculino: rough homoerotic self-
   sufficiency, soledad publicada. Que en los
mataderos norteamericanos
   no trabajen sueños
    sino sombras

posted evening of September 6th, 2012: 1 response
➳ More posts about Projects

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

🦋 El pasaje del tiempo es lo que muere

(en que me hago sin objetivo fanfarroneas. Might as well, I don't see anyone else about to give me a rave rev)

Morir al final de un día cualquiera
Imposible escapar de la violencia.
Imposible pensar en otra cosa.

-- La universidad desconocida

I find this statement of Bolaño's strangely comforting, strangely reassuring. Me demasiado preocupo sobre el valor de mi obra, de mis intentos a poesía y a trabajo. El cuento que tengo en progreso, soy convencido de que ese cuento va a hacer una lectura convincente, fascinante, se hace en verdad ya casi completo. Y lo mismo los poemas que componía usando los de Bolaño como provocaciones...

El pasaje del tiempo es lo que muere
se mueren
los amigos de la infancia
envenenados por tiempo en los pueblos y las colinas de Nueva York

posted morning of September 26th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Language

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

🦋 The Unknown University

Wow! Laura Healy's translation of The Unknown University has been published! Go buy it and read it, everybody!

posted evening of July 10th, 2013: Respond

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

🦋 Otras notas breves y crípticas sobre la lluvia

por J Osner


ahora estoy en mi habitation
que se termine de llover
mientras suena
el teléfono.
contesto y me dices
que eres furiosa
pero no se me importa
ni un carajo.

ya largo tiempo
estoy de pie en la calle
enfrente del teatro
esperando que se termine
esta acción tanto larga
pero no apenas
ha empezao.

posted evening of July 27th, 2013: Respond

Monday, February third, 2014

🦋 Brooklyn: La Uni. Desconocida

Very exciting: a school of Spanish-language writing and literature is being launched in Brooklyn under the compelling name of Bolaño's book of poetry. Go to their launch party on Saturday! (I can't make it because I'm going to a poetry workshop at Medicine Show Theater, about which more anon.) I am planning to enroll in the poetry workshop led by Isabel Cadenas Cañon, and maybe also the writing workshop led by Lina Meruane. Can't wait!

posted evening of February third, 2014: Respond

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