25 November 2011

Wave's STATE OF THE UNION: Mathias Svalina


There are two
problems: the problem
of human to human
forgiveness & the problem
of a dead blue jay
in the drainpipe.

During his trial
Saddam Hussein
addressed the problems thus:
When Heidegger defeated
the Neo-Kantians at the Conference
he was wearing worn
ski pants & ski pants
became a new invention
that we call "the microphone,
the photograph & the

This is why credit cards
mail you photographs
of yourself & why water
bubbles over the gutters.

There is no history
that passes for history.
Everyone knows the definition
of Darfur & yet in a
random poll of 200 Americans
only 12% would reach
their hands into the drainpipe
& pull the rotting
blue jay out.

This is a lesson on
forgiveness: the scar
forgives the knife
through its pink &
a bomb forgives the
trigger with its blood.

If you see a photograph
of a murdered girl
you will forever after
wear her teeth as a
necklace for your throat.
This is not forgiveness.
It is forgiveness
when you eat
with her teeth.

22 November 2011

Old Review I wrote about Neveragainland

The confluence of body and poem, or flesh and word, is a primary concern in MC Hyland’s book Neveragainland. In the opening poem “Diegetic,” the speaker says: “This is / a sheet of paper, with a memory of skin // it clothed”; the fact that “paper,” or the page, contains “a memory of skin,” as opposed to skin itself, I think, offer s bit of insight into the complexities of the body-poem dyad, at least to the extent that “paper” is the sight of the poem and “memory” is a trace (in the Dierridian sense?) of the body: almost as if the blank page presupposes the poetic embodiment. Of course, once the poem becomes body, or the body is realized in the poem, the relation remains influx or curious, as in the poem “Bird, How Beautifully You Sing!” when the speaker claims: “This other world on you, your body fits you strange.” In many ways, “This other world,” which is word, does “fit” the body, but “fits” it strangely; and within this strange fitting the tragic resides, most notably voiced in the “Ballet Méchanique” series, wherein we find the speaker “had lost interest in the body” because or due to the fact that the “body is an emptiness bruised by sound.” But, it would appear, such “emptiness” created by “sound” is not permanent or irredeemable. In fact, if we wait “all night,” perhaps the “body” will “rise again” if we “allow the air to come toward” us. Or, perhaps stated differently, if we allow the air to come into us, via the mouth (i.e. the voice), and to be vocalize through the language of the poem, a cry toward the heavens wherein we are “calling our names / up to the oranged night sky” can be articulated. Might this cry be a symbolic (or real) gesture upward toward the infinite poem, which is the “emphatic expletive / of indefinite meaning” as we “rise / always into language”? By the very nature of the poem and its “indefinite meaning,” one cannot say for sure; it will always remain, to some extent, ineffable. But what we can be certain of is that the communion of body and word is always prescient, as in “Dear ________,” when we find that: “By the time I finished writing, you had disappeared inside me.” Is “you” the writer? The poem? Some imagine other? All of these? It probably matters little, but what is important is “you’s” entrance into and eventual indecipherable union with the body. In the end, the mingling of the body and the word, very literally makes “your mouth / a round word,” which is an instance of “Using your body as a well,” or using your body well. All this, of course, says nothing of the poem “Residential, As In,” which further conflates the word and body with the trope of the house or building, so much so that one finds an “abandoned text of the front / door” that is “syntactic & wooden,” while simultaneously “the body” as “residential” “responds to this homing and light”: another way to say that “the body's turning / in on itself” are “these stanzas. / little rooms”: body, poem, and house as one.

15 November 2011

Etymological derivation of the word “gymnasium”—in all likelihood I am going to the “gymnasium” tomorrow

A gymnasium, or gym for short, is a place to exercise. In Ancient Greece, a gymnasium was a training ground for men to exercise physically as well as to socialize and exercise their minds by engaging in philosophical discussion. When men would exercise in Ancient Greece, they would do so naked to honor the Gods for creating man's body. The Greek adjective for "naked" is "gymnos". The Greek verb gymnazien means "to exercise". When Latin and English developed, they took the Greek roots and came up with "gymnasion", which eventually became the modern English "gymnasium".

14 November 2011

Surprisingly, NBA Labor Talks Once Again Stall

Carmelo Anthony attempted to save the 2011-2012 NBA season by wearing this dashing scarf and eyeglass combination to the player's meeting and subsequent address to the media this morning. Everyone, including me, thought it would work. I mean, how couldn't his stylish garb prevent owners and players from coming to a consensus on the variety of "system issues" and the division of "Basketball Related Income" that have been hampering negotiations since the 2010-2011 season concluded? We need a thorough investigation, folks.

10 November 2011

Be there or be square

On the abrupt firing of Pennsylvania State football coach Joe Paterno and the subsequent student riot that occurred in downtown State College, PA

Kevin Goff, 19, a freshman studying film, did not protest Mr. Paterno’s firing. He came out just to see the show.

“My friends were like, ‘I don’t want to get maced,’ ” he said. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to miss seeing this, so I guess that means I do kind of want to get maced.’

08 November 2011

On the playing of the flute (please read because it took forevs to type out)

“When [Alcibiades] came to study, he was fairly obedient to most of his teachers, but refused to learn the flute, which he regarded as an ignoble accomplishment and quite unsuitable for a free citizen. He argued that to use a plectrum and play the lyre does not disfigure a gentleman’s bearing or appearance, but once a man starts blowing into a flute, his own friends can scarcely recognize his features. Besides, the lyre accompanies and creates a harmony for the words or the song of its performer, but the flute seals and barricades his mouth and deprives him both of voice and of speech. ‘Leave the flute to the sons of Thebes,’ he concluded, ‘for they have no idea of conversation. We Athenians, as our fathers say, have Athena for our foundress and Apollo for our patron, one of whom threw away the flute in disgust, while the other stripped the skin off the man who played it!’ In this way, half in jest and half in earnest, he not only avoided learning the instrument himself, but induced the other boys to do the same. The word soon went round that Alcibiades detested flute-playing and made fun of everybody who learned it, and with good reason, too. In consequence the flute disappeared from the number of so-called liberal accomplishments and came to be utterly despised.”

—Plutarch—The Rise and Fall of Athens

07 November 2011

Baron "The Real Deal" Davis


Yes, this blog's namesake is Shawn Kemp, and, thus, one would assume that the contributor's of this blog hold The Rain Man in high-regard. But every now and then, an NBA player comes along who out-classes everybody with their "I just don't give a fuck" attitude. Baron Davis, my friends, is just one of those players (Click through the link attached to his name for his amazing official website). As the above image clearly shows, Davis, indeed, doesn't give a fuck. At a labor negotiation and public address, almost all of his peers came dressed in designer suits (many with ties). Not Davis. Sure, you may say: "Neither did Carmelo." You would be correct. But let's break-down the general aesthetics of Davis and Anthony a bit more. Yes, they are both wearing brightly-colored plaid shirts, but Davis goes hard by buttoning his shirt all the way up to and including the top button, is rocking a black winter's cap, has a full beard, and black-rimmed nerd glasses. If you mistook him for a member of TV On The Radio, you cannot be faulted. In fact, I'm pretty sure TVOTR recently made him an honorary member.

03 November 2011

Nick Courtright Interview

My bearded friend and past teammate on The Bad Mother Faulkners, TX State's MFA softball team, was interviewed by a snazzy new Austin website that is serializing excerpts from his forthcoming book, Punchline. He drops many truth bombs, but look closely for the one lie. An additional truth he failed to mention: in his final softball game, Nick, our pitcher, hit a home run.

01 November 2011


In honor of our impending trip to WI, in honor of Jorsch's whining, and in honor of my home state, which makes me so proud: