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The Currency of Fashions
My favorite font is Goudy Old Style. My favorite whiskey is Jameson’s, on the rocks, though I’m off the sauce. My favorite facial expression on others is the slightly astonished smirk. My favorite memory is my father saying “gimme five” upon discovering I’d saved $1.35 by asking for money to buy candy a few times and just pocketing the change, then borrowing the money. My favorite reading experience is Harryette Mullen reading “Muse & Drudge” at the late New College in San Fran in 1995, tied with Philip Lamantia reading for ninety minutes at the Poetry Project in 1999 from his whole body of work and remarking to Ted Joans after the reading that “I could feel Breton standing next to me the entire time!” My favorite mugging was the one that happened when I was fourteen in Manhattan, NY when this guy took my five bucks and we had a long conversation about life and drugs and sex and music and poverty once he realized I wasn’t rich despite my clean (then) sneakers. He was totally high, truly frightening, and made a long speech that involved getting out of jail and hunting down me and my family. And breaking my glasses. My favorite poem today is “G-9” by Tim Dlugos, which I can’t get through without slightly breaking down, and which always leaves me in awe of its ability to do even-tones via short lines in the face of utter heartbreak and personal doom while casting friendship as the poem’s star. My favorite book of poems at the moment is Hoa Nguyen’s Hecate Lochia, especially after hearing her read from it at a house party in Brooklyn a few weeks ago – readings during parties at someone’s house or apartment are my favorite kind of readings by the way, other than the ones you might do in the dead of night to yourself when you’re wondering if it’s any good and the only thing you can do is get it done. My favorite front page from the New York Post this year so far was the cover of the June 5 edition: color photo of two guys from Hamas, black face masks on, machine guns in laps, watching Obama’s Cairo speech on a television-with-dvr in a little grey room with the phrase ‘Let’s be friends’ in big type above the tv and the lines “Hamas thugs/watch Bam/woo Muslims” in smaller underlined type under the tv. And underneath that box of information were the words, in giant thick black letters, “HUNG FU!” in reference to David Carradine’s death. My favorite bird is an ugly pigeon. My favorite image of a bird is any heron in Doug Oliver’s writings. My favorite putdown is Reggie Jackson remarking in the late seventies that Oscar Gamble hit like he was worth his million-dollar contract but played the outfield as if the whole amount was stuffed inside his uniform. My favorite concept is the peanut butter fold (spread peanut butter on single piece of bread/fold), followed closely by the wall painting and maybe Robert Smithson’s statement that serious artists can be divided into those who watch sci-fi movies and those who watch horror movies. My favorite putdown of poets was hearing one American critic/translator at an independent so-called conference state that poets got the government they deserve (referring to first-term GWB). My favorite terrible line from a bad movie is in Doom, when, in reference to a room full of slaughtered scientists, the soldier played by the guy who played an abandoned Viking in some other movie monotonally inquired “If they were so smart how come they’re so dead?” My favorite mode of consciousness at the moment is digression. My favorite poetic line containing the word ‘politics’: “All politics the same crux: to define humankind richly,” – the opening line of Doug Oliver’s long satirical poem Penniless Politics. My favorite recent sentence: “I place no value on my life, I value only the lives of others, and nonetheless I love life, but I love it only because I hope it will give me the opportunity to throw it away in some respectable fashion.” That being spoken by the Simon character in Robert Walser’s The Tanners which I just started reading the other night and haven’t been able to put down. I couldn’t read novels other than this or that piece of trash for a good fifteen years until this past spring when the dam finally broke and I can read novels and it’s totally great, but I can’t watch movies anymore, so that’s my current favorite non-activity, that and brooding, which I’m writing this particular post in order to avoid. My favorite weather is neon reflecting on wet streets during the first moments of no sun.