Campbell’s Soup I

William S. Bur­roughs used to say (via Brion Gysin) that writ­ing was fifty years behind paint­ing.

I’ve been test­ing that.

A half cen­tu­ry ago, Pop Art framed the visu­al media envi­ron­ment.

Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup I” port­fo­lio of silkscreens was print­ed in 1968.

Fifty years lat­er, edi­tor John Tre­fry selects an abridged ver­sion of my “Campbell’s Soup I” for Burn­ing House Press.

The Kurt Cobain Game

Sui­cide is tricky. For the indi­vid­ual, it promis­es an absolute end to a cer­tain kind of tem­po­ral pain, sure — but then, just as quick­ly, it trans­fers that pain onto oth­ers. And accord­ing to its alge­bra, the mul­ti­pli­ers can be huge.

In the absence of Mr. Cobain there’s a lit­tle game I’ve played, The Kurt Cobain Game. I wrote about it for Hobart today: “Kurt Cobain Doesn’t Know Much Of Any­thing.”

Midsummer Threnody

New poem, “Mid­sum­mer Thren­ody,” in the lat­est Hawk & Whip­poor­will.

This is, more cor­rect­ly, a very old poem — writ­ten a decade ago, sub­mit­ted nine years ago, moments before H&W went on long-term hia­tus.

The hia­tus is over. And so is my old approach to poet­ry. Free verse is tol­er­a­ble, and can even be occa­sion­al­ly good, if you look at it as not poet­ry but prose — lazy prose.

It’s the sol­stice, and I know that gen­res are shift­ing their bear­ing.

Talking out loud to the net

I saw Twit­ter from near­ly the begin­ning — and cyn­i­cal­ly ignored it.* In the begin­ning, I may have had good rea­sons. At the time, I was com­plete­ly offline, amass­ing mil­lions of words in man­u­script.

Even­tu­al­ly I got on @michaelstutz, but retained my ambiva­lence.

Some­thing has recent­ly changed all that — a sure, sub­tle change in the air, that you can feel, that means this is a time for being and cre­at­ing online and shar­ing ideas. And the way Twitter’s evolved in recent years, espe­cial­ly with longer char­ac­ter counts and the addi­tion of threads, it brings new & excit­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties for writ­ing. Orig­i­nal Twit­ter, or “Old Twit­ter,” is almost entire­ly a long bor­ing stream of ‘sta­tus updates.’ Not any­more. There’s no doubt that the whole thing’s sud­den­ly com­pelling.

And now it took me no time at all to get blocked by my favorite sto­ry-thread­ing Inter­net kook — who crossed the line of dece­ny by doxxing inno­cents as part of one of his rants.

* Well, not entire­ly true. I’ve run a sta­ble of char­ac­ters, as an exper­i­ment in online fic­tion, since the begin­ning.