Thursday, February 28, 2008

brians brain p4

Friday 08DEC00 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Saturday 09DEC00 - Today I participated in a locked-building age-grouped psychological study investigating the relationships of personality traits and the formulating, setting, and achieving of goals. Characteristically, I was too slow to complete all the study's sections on time, and so had to bring some home in an envelope for mailing them back. Now finished and sealed in, they will be returned on Monday. Three years ago I would have answered many of the questions quite differently. Then my view of myself, while not good, was consid- erably more positive than it presently is. Oh, if I am alive, I will go on; but if the wounds I inflicted on my spirit heal, I will go on revivified/ and intensely grateful. For being a human--even amid odious difficulties--is an experience which is unfathomably beautiful. It is only that a melancholic such as I am often does not see it so. Go ask the suicides. Sunday 10DEC00 - Due to an interesting link on a FlipDog page, arrived at and spent several hours reading and thinking about the 12 free workshops there on how to write a powerful, proven-to-work resume. While I was impressed by what was presented, including the need for most job seekers to have their self-esteem and self-confidence strengthened, my feelings about myself barely changed. I'm afraid my age, physical ailments, financial condition, and general feelings of separation are going to be formidable barriers for some while yet, if not from now on. I know I need to heal my traumatized self-image, and I know such valuable persons as Regina may well be an integral part of that healing. Certain saints and the Blessed Virgin and Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit are--and more intensely so than ever--in my life. (I ought to have communicated deeply with them all my aware hours.) Tomorrow is going to be a signal day. It may not be a pleasant day, however. If I am here then, I will write of it. Monday 11DEC00 - Life changes. My working at the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging appears to be coming to an end, and my working at Chick-fil-A appears to be about to begin. I did see the attorney today. It was definitely educational, but even though I have no other choice but to C7, I have a feeling that even that is not going to save me. I simply tried to master a skill I was not up to mastering, and my failure is yet likely to impede what I now must do. Tonight I will have a conversation with one of my angels. I do not think that angel will in the least be pleased. Yet we will talk and perhaps reach an equitable decision. Here, I, a Capricorn, am supposed to be clear-headed and pragmatic. I may have been born under the sign of the goat, but I mostly do not fit there except for my stupid stubbornness. - - - Had the conversation with my angel, and we did settle on what move I should make next. It is not one I relish making, but just as with the C7/ there seems to be no other option. So I will be going to a higher angel, and only God knows what is going to occur then. Tuesday 12DEC00 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Thank you, most holy Mother of Miracle. Thank you, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Katharine Drexler, St. Alphonsus Rodriquez. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Almighty Father. Thank you, Holy Spirit. Even if what the higher angel told me does not come to pass, thank you. Fools such as I have been deserve nothing. Therefore, I ask only that I be allowed the grace to live those moments remaining to me as they ought to be lived/ in faith and hope and charity. - - - This afternoon at the Center for Aging Resources of the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging, my boss being out ill, I--with guidance from another employee--created seven interlocking Access 2000 databases. They are each fairly simple, and may get changed, but my boss will be pleased they exist. Tomorrow, their Christmas party day, is likely to be my last day there. Thursday morning I expect to be starting my job at Chick-fil-A. I will miss the Center and all the good people at I shall try to visit them. 4 Rho00038

Monday, February 25, 2008

brians brain p3

Saturday 02DEC00 - How does one keep from losing one's spirit? How does one strengthen one's spirit? Does one say: Begone, darkness. To my left sunlight bright against my cold window. I here rocking, wearing a sweatshirt with a winter jacket over it. I drink some water and feel all cold, as if I have no warm blood. Pianist/singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby and his group were just on NBC in the chilly plaza/ playing "That's the Way It Is"--thank you. More and more life is becoming a moment-to-moment journey for me. My Sister sister said: "At least you are hanging in there, even if it is by a thread." Magical as our being is, it is ever/ tenuous. ~ Sunday 03DEC00 - Despair here. Despair here. Get your red-hot despair here. - - - I do not know. - - - PRAYER FOR THE SICK. PRAYER FOR EMPLOYMENT. - - - Saint of the Day: St. Francis Xavier, a scholarly man brought into the infant Jesuit Order by his friend St. Ignatius of Loyola, traveled to the Orient to reveal Jesus, where he sacrificed greatly but was filled with joy. - - - Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit, I today come to You to ask You to deign--if that is the word to use-- to heal my downcast spirit, to imbue this delicate sickly fool I am/ with grace enough to know even a slight amount of the joy St. Francis Xavier knew. I am not as he, nor could ever be. Direct me, who cannot seem to direct himself, toward that which is pleasing to You and will benefit all of us who struggle to make of our human conditions passages of lasting value. ~ Monday 04DEC00 - Last night I found myself thinking that since the part-time employment I presently have at a non-profit organization is both educational and enjoyable/ I would like to full-time employment at a non-profit. Tonight I went to FlipDog with that in mind, selecting Virginia and Florida as places I would prefer to be. It is likely to take time for me to fashion a proper resume/ as seeking such work would constitute a career change. Volunteering, gathering information, and networking may be my only way in--if I can convince myself I am really serious about being employed at a non-profit. - - - Deep truth is I know what I really want to do, and I am doing it; but for me there is no money in it, and the odds are there never will be. ~ Tuesday 05DEC00 - If you "plan" to attempt a difficult task, ask: "Must I?" If the answer is yes, assess yourself deeply. Ask yourself not only if you really have the ability to succeed, but also how you will judge yourself if you fail. If you determine you have a reasonable chance of succeeding, assess the task deeply from the moment you begin it, and do not hesitate to truncate your efforts if your original thinking is proven inadequate. I proffer this because of what has happened in my life. The psychic harm to yourself and others because of an irrational "I-can-do-it" attitude/// is not worth it. I have made an ash of myself. I have. I have. [ 02/25/08: Here is a verse from the memoir I wrote about it. * Some will call Many will send But in the end You are all So if you attend Attend with care Let not befall Conditions where No one is there * And here are some present thoughts. 1) Although some have done so and fared well, never chance more than you can afford to lose. 2) Identify those opportunities which have the most positive long-term potential. A solid base thwarts worry. 3) Still, keep abreast of events. Even a solid base can crack. 4) Beware of all/ that might dash your efforts, especially your own emotions. 5) Identify those opportunities which have the most positive short-term potential. Timing is crucial here. 6) These thoughts have universal relevance. However, there are circumstances where they do not apply. ] ~ Wednesday 06DEC00 - Today is St. Nicholas Day. * For me it was a busy, strange day, especially with phone calls. After my hours out at the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging's Center for Aging Resources, I drove over to Chick-fil-A for an orientation session with one of the lead managers, and to pick up a possible uniform. On Monday, however, I must get a written approval from my doctor regarding my ability to perform the job I will be expected to do. I hope she okays it/ as that job will pay me twice what I am making now, and I surely need it. - - - Just as this morning was, tomorrow morning will be busy with this and that and phone calls. My brain is buzzing. I hope that means it is out for nectar, not out to saw limbs off. ~ Thursday 07DEC00 - Dreams, dreams, dreams, dreams, dreams. Who in the hell is Brian (Arthur) Salchert anyway? Does he know? Does he have the slightest tittle? I just came from a web site which seriously questions whether creative writers should look to technical writing as a viable profession. I didn't read much of it, and so I will be going back to it. I have it AOL FP'd. I did read enough however to once again encounter "the what is your passion" question. Dreams, dreams, dreams. Is it better to do that which I am moved to do, even if I cannot secure a living by means of doing it, even if few or none care why or what I write; or should I just seek to put my passion to sleep/ as is often done with a horse with a broken leg? Dreams. How do I know if mine are true? So what if I can write this or that. So what if I try my best to make what I write excellent. Should I--if I am honestly passionate about making poems and crafting letters and deliberating over journal entries--even be asking such "lack-of-self-confidence" questions? Also went to the Songwriters Guild site. Who in the hell is this BAS guy anyway? - - - Wasted space. That is how I feel right now: like wasted space. 3 Rho00037

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

brians brain p2

Monday 27NOV00 - Today's saint: Francesco Antonio Fasani. The first sentence in the "Comment" about him reads: "Eventually we become what we choose." On Thanksgiving I wrote a small prayer to God in which I said: Be for each each given moment what each most needs. Months ago I had a notion in my head that I would open a business in BizLand. So I tried this and that approach, at last settling on a strange idea (much of which I now plan to share here); but I was never able to get myself to open that business, nor do I--from the vantage of this moment--ever expect to open a business anywhere. Hopefully, later today I will be back to enter here the essentials from my Ring: Atrium III misadventure. * * * The following is Atrium III. 08/01/04, thinking lizard * o-ib WELL? > > > > ! ! ! > > > COME. Come/ into the Mad Man's Message Mine. It's dark. ~ 1) From Ibnar's Journals (a certain meandering) 2) Hear a Word (odd occurrences like fireflies) 3) Just a Few Gatherings (things stumbeld upon) 4) Klick/ Wip/ Vink (you're in you're out/ cave) 5) Inside the Shell (by the hummingbird's wings) ~ Though this be a cave, a dark place where a mad man mutters, it is yet in a realm, a kingdom, a domain, which is Atrium III of, a meeting space where light enters, clear and warm. > from ibnar's journals (a certain meandering) ~ Hello! Did you see my wall paintings? Oh, I'm sorry, my lantern's not lit. Stay though. Have you ever been in a place where it seemed there would never again be anyone else but you? Out in the vling/ vling/ vling/ zingo, time swooms while the neon dances hold our eyes; but if we're players in that flux, we glance at our watches and hurry on. Yet here where one's aloneness becomes more obvious, or there where one's aloneness is easily hid, reflection speaks. And what does it say? To the hermit it says: You do need others, but do not let your spirit crack. To the lit-in-the-dance it interrupts: You are alone, but do not let your spirit flag. > hear a word (odd occurrences like fireflies) - It must have happened that a word so sparked your grey brain/ you drifted from your usual outer awareness to a charged unusual inner awareness. Example: doodad. Now, keying on the sound of the first syllable, how many meanings can you uncover that are different from the primary one: gadget: when presented with the question: What is a doo/dad? Pause. Of course this is silly; yet that doesn't mean it is without value. Many of the "silly" creations of humans are not only valuable, they are also necessary. Sanity is not for humans what it is for purely cyber beings. > just a few gatherings (things stumbled upon) - In this long, sharp-cornered tunnel, I have stumbled into/ over/upon many curious & catching things. One "day" I found a crow's feather; one other "night" I found a diamond stud; and one other "time" I found an hourglass/ with no sand in it. So long ago/ now/ it was/ I can't remember the whole of it, but there was a book I then there had/ named Maps of the Mind/ in which one map divided the brain of Homo sapiens into three-from-evolution ascending parts. Perhaps I will conjure them up one "while". Da Vinci, Du Cange, de Chardin. That conjuring, sadly, did not work. No matter. If nature or aliens or we ourselves don't destroy us, the brain of Homo sapiens will not far off/ and through the surge of creativity from its highest part/ open a yet higher part. Let angels abound. * Tuesday 28NOV00 - The first entry here is from my final BizLand page. It is a vision of sorts--a short weird vision. ** ** Everyone went to Hell But at the tolling of a bell Everybody came back out To have a cup of sauerkraut ** ** The last entry here is the final entry of an aborted journal. I have several such journals. Happened upon it a couple hours ago, and decided to reveal it because it fits the moment. There are certain thought patterns of mine which, I have found, recur and recur. Still, coming upon them usually--even while darkening my dim pride--surprises me. * 7-15-86 Lord, I have not the brilliance I would like to have, for you have not blessed me with such brilliance; and I have not the stamina I would like to have, for you have not blessed me with such stamina; and I definitely do not have the calm nature I would like to have. Would I like to complain? I suppose I would, but what good would it do? Lord, just move me to do the best I can with what little I have, and please teach me to be at peace ------ whenever I suddenly must ride rough waves of frustration. I am not a Jose-Antonio Alvarado. * ~ Wednesday 29NOV00 - Today I was blessed with emails from two extraordinary humans, Tom Montag and Aleta Pippin. Tom I first met, if I recall rightly, in 1972. It was in November of that year his Monday Morning Press published my Rooted Sky volume. Aleta is a new acquaintance. I am getting a newsletter she writes. If you aren't already reading it, I recommend it. ~ Thursday 30NOV00 - Just finished reading the J. M. Spalding and Guy Shahar Philip Levine interview in The Cortland Review. Do spend some time with it and interviews with other poets. - - In the 1980's I attended a reading Philip Levine gave at the University of Florida when I was a student under Donald Justice. Mr. Levine is a strong, earthy, yet tender poet. Toward the end of the interview he recounts his telling a young poet to avoid getting caught up in the literary networking, the push, push, push, encouraging him to learn and write as well as he can, but not to hurry into getting published, to possibly wait until he is about 35. He did, however, also say that being with other serious writers in a workshop setting can be energizing, can accelerate one's progress by several years. ~ Friday 01DEC00 - Because I enjoy writing, so long as I am able to write, I will do so. Whether it comes to nothing or not--though I will always try to use language in ways which resonate in the spirits of others, is beyond consideration. Perhaps I will not survive to 65, but retiring (early or late) was never an event I wanted, nor do I now want it. Verdi. - - Two statements by Chas Melichar in an Chat: "As a writer, you write because you can't do anything else." "Never give up on your passion." 2 Rho00035

Friday, February 22, 2008

brians brain p1

An autobiographical journal originally named Brian's Brain / Daily Log began on Thanksgiving Day in 2000 and ended in 2006 at a Tripod site. I am reposting that journal here. During those years I kept a like endeavor at ThirdAge. Have begun reposting it in my AOL blog. * Thanksgiving Day (23NOV00) - If no one ever reads this log I will not be surprised, nor will I be further saddened. Given the way I now feel, there is already enough sadness in me to fill our galaxy. And don't go "Oh, poor baby"; for a goodly portion of this sadness in could easily have been avoided, but I made a series of grave errors because I failed to do that which Solomon did: pray first for wisdom, and because I failed to do that which Socrates urged: to care to know myself, and because I failed to do that which all the great prophets and teachers catechize: seek to fill each moment with the wondrous light of that peace which is godly love. Am I a horrid person? No: not all-in-all, though certainly from time-to-time. Do I fear my future as a human being may well be more and more difficult? Yes. Have you ever felt insufficient, of little or no current value? Each of is, of course, valuable; but value in the mind of God is far different, often enough, from value in the mind of a crowd of humans. Why am I bothering to write this? I need to. Remember "he's a loser, but he still keeps on trying"? Hmm. In one sense every human is a loser, even those who are afforded fame by other humans. In another sense every human is a winner, even those upon whom infamy is cast by other humans. Jesus said: "You have heard it said you should love you neighbor as youself. I say you also love your enemy." Let me interject here a warning: Trekking with me, while it may be instructive, may also be highly dangerous, especially for one who is not adept at negotiating abnormal interior realms. Let me present some touchstone revela- tions. I have always been fascinated by the wind, by loneliness, by vast spaces, by whatever brings tears of joy, by words. At times the reality of being human/ is excruciating. ~ Friday 24NOV00: - I am such a riddled result! I did not dream it would be so. I even dreamed excessively beyond any potential I would reasonably be capable of. How do you define insanity? Is allowing a failure, however dire, to cause one to drop the shield of hope, more insane; or is clasping the shield of hope inordinately tight against one's heart when it no longer can protect one from failure/ more insane? Were it not for human insanity, where, pray tell, would humanity be? If that isn't a double-edged question, I do not know what is. But, in fact, what is striving anyway, if not a form of insanity. Obviously, those "insane" acts which produce results of value, which enhance human lives, lose then whatever layers of "insanity" opinions had given them. Examples abound. Nonetheless, opinions do matter in the here-and-now, and it takes an uncanny self- confidence to do that which the doer knows will not be appreciated in the doer's life. Stendahl comes to mind. Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind. And then there is Confucius. Others? You know there are: thousands of others. My core temperament is melancholic: a bane, and yet a spur. Doing that which is of artistic and/or investigative merit gives me the deepest pleasure. Do I wish my creations would also deeply please you? Yes. Will I have wasted my life if nothing I create is deemed to be of merit? ~ Saturday 25NOV00 - There were years during which whenever a goodly chance came for it, I would respond: Smile, you're on Kik the Kam'ra. There were other like negatives I also/ frequently voiced. I was not born a physically healthy human. Neither was I born mentally healthy. That is why/ now nearly 60 full years later/ while I am not "disabled" I am disabled just the same. That is why I wrote A Special Thank You on my Ring: Atrium IV Homepage, a thank you which now is on the page linked to here. Let every pulsing of your cursor/ a heartbeat be. Let each such remind you--especially so at those moments your spirit is anguishing-- you are a being of intricate beauties and transformational energies. If I no longer am able to/ save myself, perhaps you, reading this, are yet able to save yourself, and will. ~ Sunday 26NOV00 - Yesterday--I am not sure why--I decided to find out who the Saint of The Day for today would be. It is St. Leonard of Port Maurice, a Friar who gave retreats and promoted The Stations of the Cross devotion. The last sentence in the "Comments" section: "When was the last time you prayed The Stations of the Cross?": moved me to think back and say to myself: I believe it was during those days in 1960-62 when I was a Jesuit Novice. Leaving the story of Friar St. Leonard, I went to my iwon searcher and did a Stations of the Cross search, quickly finding station.html - - - Yesterday I prayed The Stations of the Cross and several other prayers. Today I have done so again. I found that I had not clearly remembered the "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary" but that the words did return to me. Enlightenment. Divine intervention. My life has not been a storied one. Perhaps that is because I have not had the wisdom to make it so, but it has been one of many minor triumphs; and it has been one punctuated by mysterious events I prefer not to attribute to chance or coinci- dence, events my actions did play a significant part in but which actions would have come to naught had it not been for what I see as divine intervention. Do I therefore expect divine intervention to ever save me when I am in need? No. Certainly I have never deserved such wondrous aid, and even though my need for such today is greater than it has ever been, I feel I now deserve it less: that is how grave I count the errors I have made. Remember I told you trekking with me might be exceedingly dangerous. There is a chance you might be privy to the dissolution of a human psyche, though I do pray that won't be so. [ Peace and light. ] 1 Rho00034

Friday, February 15, 2008

Corey's Post-Mainstream

One could, if one cared to, construct a map of 2008 poetry aesthetics. Approaches to poem-making these days are nearly as varied as are those who make poems. There are, however, fields of interest. Examples: Simon DeDeo has defined an anarchist poetics. Visual poet, David-Baptiste Chirot, labels himself an Anarkeyologist. Joshua Clover (a/k/a Jane Dark), in an interview, forwarded a possible totality poetics. John Latta has developed an engaging centrist aesthetic which uses its own lingo--note, for instance, the contractions in his poems and prose--and easily accommodates whatever is blinking in his brainbox at that time. Tight forms. Loose forms. Accessible. Impenetrable--without special knowledge. A formalist's poem can be as easy or as difficult to grasp as a non-formalist's poem. ~ But read Corey's post, and do not skip or zip over the quote from a Ron Silliman post/ inserted near the essay's conclusion. The word "secret" in that quote reminded me of Andrew Shields' translation of an essay by Durs Grünbein which was printed in the January 2007 issue of Poetry: "The Poem and Its Secret"--an essay that awards reading and rereading. Here is one sentence: "For me, what makes up the constituency of poetry's secret is twofold: a mix of love of this world with curiosity about metaphysics." Most of my poems are rooted in silence, and I see I wrote in the white space beneath this translation: 01/26/07 If you cannot understand my silences, you cannot understand my words. - In recent months my aesthetic has become poem-centered rather than centered in a preconceived aesthetic. Therefore, I prefer to "engage with a poem on its own terms"-- see Katy Evans-Bush's response to the first set of 10 Questions at Nic Sebastian's Very Like a Whale. - Anyone for/ leaping off the margin's edge? Given that we live in a world riddled with the incessant intersectings of seeming happenstance, one could see forms of poetry aesthetics based on chance as being the dominant forms, but I wouldn't guarantee it. Rho00033

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wordsworth on Fancy and Imagination

Had been reading through a selected version of William Wordsworth's The Prelude but have broken off to read selections from his prose. In the "Fancy and Imagination" one I came upon three sentences of high (to me) interest. Fancy does not require that the materials which she makes use of should be susceptible of change in their constitution, from her touch; and, where they admit of modification, it is enough for her purpose if it be slight, limited, and evanescent. Directly, the reverse of these, are the desires and demands of the Imagination. She recoils from everything but the plastic, the pliant, and the indefinite. These words should make connection bells ring in your brain. They did in mine. - Source: p. 437 The Selected Poetry and Prose of Wordsworth edited by Geoffrey H. Hartman Copyright © 1970 A Signet Classic 451-CJ854 The Signet Classic Poetry Series General Editor: John Hollander New American Library, Inc. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 74-126353 Rho00032

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

3 sonnet notes

Several months ago Stan Apps posted two of his sonnets on his blogspot blog. In my comment about them one of my remarks was: the essence of a sonnet is the presentation of a difficulty and a resolution. - While reading his sonnets it also occurred to me that the resolution did not need to follow the difficulty but could (through the use of some device) be intertwined with the difficulty. However, I did not mention that thought. On Monday February 04, 2008, Ron Silliman shared and wrote about on his blog several sonnets from Geoffrey Young's The Riot Act. After the last of those: "Why I Don't Write Novels": his first words were: "There is a calculated austerity here--. . . ." Indeed. And my thought because of it is: Although a sonnet may have deeper meanings, its content can be quite plain on its surface. Rho00031