Friday, October 24, 2008

Tribute Gun

The John Wayne Tribute Gun $2495

(see next post down for more details.....)

John Wayne Tribute Gun-- Racks

As I'm sure is the case every month, the last 15 or 20 pages of the November issue of Field and Stream are filled with advertisements small and large.

Here besides the usual male-enhancement product choices (Size does matter, etc, etc) you can find axes, pen knives, knife sharpeners,

A deer-hunting board game called “white-tail opoly”

Calendars called “Racks” highlighting full-busted young women in bikinis holding racks of antlers still attached to snow-white skulls.

And much, much more….

What interested me most, though, was the full page devoted to the sale of the John Wayne Tribute rifle:

“John Wayne stood larger than life on the silver screen, and just as tall in real life. During his long career, he appeared in more than 150 films, and audiences around the world recognized him as the one man who best represented the spirit of America.

… … …

Now, with authorization from Wayne Enterprises we are proud to announce the John Wayne Tribute Rifle, a handsomely decorated firearm issued in remembrance and tribute to this distinguished American and legendary Western film star.”

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ron Silliman Dreams (and one vision)


A little while back Ron Silliman started appearing in my dreams. At first this bothered me. Then I took it in stride. Whatever the case, for a week or so the dreams kept coming. They have now subsided.

(on a different note: last night I dreamed that I went to the 4th Obama/McCain debate. When I arrived I was notified that McCain couldn't take part and that I'd be taking his place...I shook Obama's hand and we walked on stage...From a center seat in the front row McCain flashed me a smile and gave me his cute little thumbs up...)

I'm not sure why this happened (the Silliman dreams), but they did start up just after the whole's Issue #1 release and excitement.

One thing that really amazed me about that whole thing is that on his blog Ron Silliman suggested that legal action was possible. And even, it seems, encouraged it.

To follow, then, are accounts of these dreams (and one breakfast vision).
(and in some instances, "Illustrations."

Ron Silliman Dream #1: I am Going to Bury You!


My wife tells me there’s a call for me.

“This is Ron Silliman"-- and, before I can say anything: “Where do you get off making fun of my weight?”

He's really upset and I’m afraid.

“What are you talking about?” I manage.

“On your blog and in your posts you’re labeling me as “The Big Man.”

“O, God,” I reply, laughing.

But Ron’s not amused:

“Listen here, you little punk. I am going to bury you. I am going to fcking bury you!”

I want to say that I’m referring to his internet presence. His on-line stature.

Want to say that I’ve never met or seen him. Not even a photo of anything but his face. But he’s in a zone and he just keeps on at me.

I was afraid before, but now my anxiety's through the roof.

And, so, while Ron rants on (like a fire, really) a vision comes to me:

A big lumbering man’s carrying my lifeless body into a clearing. He tosses me off like a bag of concrete and goes down at the ground, digging. He looks so strong, muscled and beautiful——and I think to myself. “He’s not fat at all.”

Ron Silliman Dream #2: A Brain Shot

George Orwell, Ron Silliman and I are walking into a village that looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane. Silliman suddenly chirps up in a kind of screech: “There it is! There it is!” and he’s jumping up and down like a boy at his first circus.

And, yes, he's spotted the elephant--off to the side, grazing quite peacefully. It looks so relaxed and so wise.

A lackey steps forward with a gun.

Silliman grabs it. I try to wrestle it away from him, and we fall, locked, to the ground. As we struggle, panting and groaning, I notice Orwell’s sitting down, drawing.

He's drawing the elephant and he's drawing it all in blue, except for the eyes for which he's using a kind of intense emerald green.

Silliman gets the upper hand and knees me in the nuts.

I’m next to the Big-Man in a helicopter and we’re coming down at a herd of elephants.

Silliman smacks the pilot’s back and shouts out “lower! Lower!” and he leans out and he’s firing.

A baby elephant, perhaps 6 months old, slides right down into the dirt. Red dust flares up.

Silliman’s screaming:

“Did you see that? A brain shot. A perfect brain shot.”

Ron Silliman Dream #3: Sorry


George Orwell and Ron Silliman are walking me through tall, dry grass.

Orwell says “You know it really hurts me to do this.”

Silliman says nothing.

In the distance a crude gallows has been erected and I can see people getting out of smart cars.

“Look,” I say, “I’m not really sure what I’ve done but couldn’t I just write a couple of poems, or a short symphony, and we’ll just call it even.”

Silliman snaps out a quick “No!” and bounds on through the grass like a dog.

Orwell puts his hands on my shoulders, looks deep into my eyes and tells me:

“I am really sorry, my little bird. I am really sorry.”

Ron Silliman Dream #4: (a vision, actually)


To follow is a draft of a poem I’ve never submitted anywhere because, frankly, I think you’d have to be a complete fool and idiot to publish it:

The parrot I bought from a fat man in Laredo may well be retarded. All he grinds out is “Cunt!” “Cunt! Cunt! Cunt!” All night, even, that's all he grinds out: “Cunt! Cunt! Cunt!” One night I was drunk, really drunk, and the girl I was with wanted it in the ass: “In the ass!” she urged, “In the ass!” and I had no idea where I was, the whole scene covered in fog, and all I’m sure of’s she kept screaming “No, Pussy! No, Pussy!”

Well, for some reason while having breakfast this morning I thought of this poem (maybe it has something to with my wife asking me if wanted some sugar on my cereal and my answer--“No, Honey.”)

Anyways, it’s strange how the mind works but for some reason, staring down at my cereal there, I had a vision of Ron Silliman, The Big Man, laboring at an exquisite young creature, down on her hands and knees, and screaming--

“No, Langpo. No, Langpo.”

Thinking about this now I guess he must have been hitting her SOQ.

Ron Silliman Dream #5: A Beautiful Conversation

I enjoy birding. But I am definitely not a "birder." I also have birds in cages. My friend Raoul, a serious Buddhist, doesn’t like cages.

"But they’re happy," I tell him. These are big cages, you see, and my birds eat really well. And they have plenty of toys. Some of them even build nests and lay eggs. But Raoul is not won over, so I try a different tack:

“Raoul, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll let the birds go free if I can put you in a cage for a year.”

Anyways, this is all just foreplay to the next dream:

I walk downstairs and Lord!——there’s Ron Silliman, naked, in a cage. Without missing a beat, though, I call out to him. “How’s it going, Ron?” “Beautiful, beautiful,” he twitters. “I’ve never been so happy.”

And, really, he does look radiant.

So, I pull up a chair and we start talking-- and I think to myself that is the most civil and satisfying conversation I’ve had in my entire life. Some of the details are fuzzy now but here are some impressions and details I remember about this conversation:

Ron is extremely well-fed. I order him Chinese, Thai, Italian, etc. On certain Sundays the cooks from the local restaurant, La Cucaracha, take over the kitchen here and prepare treats for Ron to sample.

Ron is still writing and blogging. And it doesn’t bother him in the slightest that everything he writes and blogs has to go through me. “O, what does it matter,” he says, “when you’re so damned happy.”

Ron has had many epiphanies here in this cage by my turtles. But the "Everest" of these epiphanies, he tells me, is that “Freedom and flying are way overrated.”

Ron Silliman Dream #6: In Court


I’m in court with Ron Silliman. He’s cross-examining me.

“Where were you, Rauan M. Klassnik,” on March, 2nd 2003, he asks-- winking at me, and then, again and again, all around the room.

“I have no idea,” I answer. “I’m sorry but I don’t have one of those calendar memories.”

The judge gives me a bad look.

“Then I’ll give you an easier one,” Silliman says. “A slow-pitch softball. A watermelon.”

I’m starting to feel uncomfortable. Silliman pauses for effect and then launches out again:

“Where were you on March 2nd, 1932,”

“Ha!” I exclaim right away. “I wasn’t even born then.”

Ron jumps right back at me: “It is well known, and time-stamped too, that you were at your computer using the handle ‘monkey-face’ to slander me. Slander me horribly.”

He pauses again, and then:

“And, so, do you deny this?”

I look over at the judge, and when he gives me a really nasty look I notice he’s wearing a cap that says Langpo.”

On recess, and this is all feeling very Law-&-Order, Silliman approaches me:

“you know we can settle this all very simply.” And he winks at me again.

The next thing I know I’m in a hospital room. In the bed next to me’s a young woman in a suit. She’s got a small purple bruise on her right cheek.

“We should sue,” she says.

Ron Silliman Dream #7: In a Boat

I'm treading water far out at sea and just starting to really panic when a boat appears. It’s not very big and The Big Man, Ron Silliman, is on it.

“What’s going on, buddy?” he asks me and, after I tell him how happy I am to see him, he tells me he’d love (and he draws the word “love” out for just a bit too long) “love” to help me on board and give me a ride back to shore——but, first, I need to recite ten poems that mean absolutely nothing.

“Ten poems,” he explains, “that are complete nonsense.”

I’m kind of tired out here in the middle of the ocean, so I start reciting, but he quickly interrupts me: “C’mon, man. You know better. That just a mangled version of one of Berrigan’s Sonnets.”

So, I try a nursery rhyme and of course that won’t do.

But then I a moment of great inspiration I start barking and he breaks out into a huge grin and, leaning over the side of the boat, begins to pat my head: “There’s a good boy. There’s a good boy.”

The sad thing’s I don’t remember getting out of the water. I’m just there in the blue waves barking and Silliman’s patting my head: “There’s a good boy. There’s a good boy.”

Ron Silliman Dream #8: Hello, I'm Ron Silliman

My little Pekingnese, Chuy (from Pikachu not Jesus—Spanish pronounciation “Hey, Soose”), starts talking.

I’m in the bath and he’s stretching up against the side so it’s only his little head peering over the edge:

“I’m Ron Silliman,” he says, “and it’s nice to meet you.”

Well, usually I like to take my baths in peace (and think great and peaceful thoughts——ha ha) but this has my attention.

“Chuy,” I stutter. “You’re breaking my heart.”

“I’m not Chuy,” Chuy(or Ron) replies. “But, it’s okay and if you want I will be your Chuy for you.”

After I get out of the bath (I make Chuy/Ron look the other way, his dark-brown bulging eyes making me a little self-conscious), the dog-man and I have a heart to heart, while I’m rubbing its stomach with my feet.

Chuy/Ron tells me that Ron Silliman died yesterday (out in his garden planting radishes) and this really upsets me because I don’t like it when any one or thing dies.

“But now I’m here,” Ron says, “and I’ll be a good boy. I promise you. A very good boy.”

I really miss Chuy. But I suppose we can make this work.

“Fair enough,” I tell him, “but I have one condition.”

“Shoot,” he says.

“No poetry talk. Deal?”

Ron cocks his head to the left. Then looks straight at me and sitting back on his ass, offers his right paw up to me.

(this, by the way, is a trick Chuy’s never learned.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

All the Messiahs

Woke up in a beautiful mood this morning.
--Drew this.

more of my drawings at--
Stupid Drawings

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Portrait of the man who's been haunting my dreams lately:

The Big Man
(Ron Silliman)


My knee was sore this afternoon. I took a painkiller, looked down at my ruined garden (too much rain. a collapsed garden, really) and slumped into a really-hot bath.

In the bath lately, I've been reading bits and pieces of the 2007 mortality themed Caesura journal.

This time I was really moved by two poems.

In the first, "My Mother's Clock," by Ellen Bass, the speaker's listening to a clock in the hospital room in which her mother lies dying. Here's roughly the 2nd half of this poem:

"I cannot help but think the volume's
increasing, as if to call attention
to the passage of time,
as if each moment were being
announced the way elegant guests
are heralded at balls in English
novels: the Duke and Duchess
of This, the Earl and Lady of That.
Each second a grand couple
arriving at the palace of her life.
Soon the company
will fill the hall, waltzing
in their black tuxedos, their twilit
gowns twirling under the candelabra.
And the great doors close."

I found the 2nd poem, John Bradley's "Story with Blue and Green," in a review of the book in which it appears: Terrestrial Music.

"He saw it, watched it as it got bigger, watched as it came nearer, the falling bomb taking on the shape of a falling bomb. His legs knew what to do. Crayon blue and crayon green, they moved through the blue green field. With each step he was more sure that he could do it. He stretched his arms out to catch it, the way he would catch a baby, falling out of the sky."

O, my poor garden: I will bring you
back to life!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Black Dinosaur

Before reading this post you might want to read the following two blog entries (and the comment streams) at Johannes Göransson's Exo-Skeleton.

this one and this one also

Watching the most recent presidential debate (a treat indeed) I was mostly bored——or enraptured by CNN’s green and orange lines indicating male and female feedback.

But when either candidate talked about America being The Greatest Nation on Earth (or even, The Greatest Nation in the History of the World) I sprang to attention. Like a teenager opening his first Playboy. Or just a few moments into his first “slow” dance.

What “America” are we talking about? The America here and now? The all-of-it here-and-now America?

I remember Bly saying (in some interview or essay, and this must be 30-plus years ago) that America could like Rome turn into a black dinosaur.

And what does this have to do with American Poetry or Literature in general? Of our view of foreign literature? Of our view of works in translation?... O, it’s been a long morning already and my breakfast’s so soggy.

(note: my attention was also roused by characterizations of the American Worker: the greatest worker on earth, etc, etc, blah, blah. All I’ll say about that is that for 15 years I ran my own business and we had many employees, and they were mostly American.

turning my back

i am turning back on poetry to concentrate on a career in the more lucrative representational Arts (ha ha):

if you'd like to see some of my childish efforts go to my other blog

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bell Tower across the River from Me

A few times a week I am going to try to use my considerable artist's talents (ha ha ha)---- and draw while lounging on my porch. On this blog, bad and very-bad and worse-even pictures of parrots, turtles, and more palm trees, mountains, and rivers, etc, may follow.

note: these "pieces" of Art are NOT for sale.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Before reading the rest of this post please check out this new on-line journal:

and then please check out Ron Silliman's blog for his coverage and comments that are streaming in.

The first question about something this monstrous is whether it's worthy of our attention. If the answer to the first question is "yes" then the second question is "why?"

To the first question the answer for me and many others (judging from the comment stream at and Ron Silliman's post and the comment-threads associated with his blog) is clearly yes.

Then why?

1) I think it's funny. Or "amusing" as the Big-Man (Silliman) puts it.

2) I also admire the work that went into it. Its scope. Its audacity. Its bad attitude.

But I can see that others would be outraged. And by "others" I mean people who have no sense of humor. People for whom everything is sacred. (I'm talking here of Agelastes. "Agelaste", Kundera explains in The Torn Curtain, is a term Rabelais "coined from the Greek to describe people who are incapable of laughter...It is because of them, he said, that he came closer to never writing another word...")

But if in this instance you are outraged wouldn't it be best to remain quiet rather than fueling the fire of attention. Well, many are outraged about this and are letting everyone else know about it.

But where, really (I ask myself) is Ron Silliman, the Big-Man, on this? Maybe it's because i'm retarded and/or the fact that I don't know the Big-Man well (or at all, in fact) but I can't quite get his tone. He doesn't seem to really play his hand here. Or does he?

If he was really upset you think he'd take a big knife to the party. And he does seem to have a respect and admiration for the enterprise. (or am i just projecting?)

Is his posting just part of his duty as the Big-Man?

Again (I scratch my head): he doesn't bring a knife to the party. Or does he?

He does bring up the possibility (for others) of legal action. But is this just a friendly warning to the creators of "Issue"? Or is he really trying to prompt legal action. The concluding sentence of Silliman's post ("Play with other people’s reps at your own risk") is very hard to take seriously. I can't decide if Silliman was smiling as he typed those words in, or whether he is an Agelaste.

The pathetic thing is that some people might sue. Pathetic actually that people would be outraged. I mean, c'mon--what reputations are actually being messed with?? ha ha ha.

If you think "Issue" is funny, then laugh. If you're impressed with its scope, creativity, audacity-- then admire it. Talk about it. Shout about it.

If, dear Agelastes, you are indeed outraged, then the smart thing to do would be to shut the hell up. Crying, whining and scolding will only make you look like idiots an add fuel to the fire.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Housewives into Poets

On Sunday September 21st I was one of the readers in the Dirty Water Reading Series. It was great. Great readers. (I was one of four.) Great crowd. And it was a great Writer's Center: Grub Street.

I guess "great" is my word tonight. Maybe I'm a cereal-box tiger. G-r-r-r-Great!! (or however that goes)

Anyways, on the walls they had great quotes framed up. (And page excerpts from stories with written critique notes.)

One quote in particular caught my eye:

"Turning housewives into poets."

Fair enough. But I think we should also be turning poets into housewives!
Housewives who buy books of poetry. And attend poetry readings that is.

Maybe it's just me but it sure seems like we have a whole lot of poets.

(and i'm not being sexist here. "husbands" works just as well instead of "wives." except that it sounds bizarre. house-husbands!!)