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« The Knights of the Round Table (Part Two) | Main | We are not amused -- yet! (by Mitch Sisskind) »

April 18, 2008


Thanks for a week of great posts!

Thanks for posting this! My piece on Latino/a poetry was picked up and reprinted on line by a new journal, the Latino Poetry Review (, and has already sparked, alas, a certain amount of controversy. There's a fine letter to the editor in response to it already up at the LPR; my answering letter will be posted later this week. I've written about the responses, with links to most of them, over at my own blog, Say Something Wonderful (

All the best,

it's got to be a good return from the mists having something on robert duncan. parnassus and avalon redux.
here's what i wrote abt robert some years ago on the bookstore site at stacey's where i work:

Selected Poems
by Robert Duncan

"I met George Oppen in 1970 -- he was the grand old man of poets on the West Coast then, having received a Pulitzer after returning to the U.S. after exile and working in Mexico as a cabinet maker since the 50s -- and he said 'Robert Duncan is the last of the great Romantic poets' and 'We'll never see another after Robert. He's almost a throwback.' And this was about this great modern poet who there never was another like perhaps because he was so, not mainly learned, but deep and strange. Not really 'strange' strange, but esoteric, deep, almost charmed. And it's true -- he is so unique that he has no followers, can't be imitated, and can't be counterfeited."

now here's a piece of my own in robert's memory, and in jess's memory.


Back to San Francisco to my world be a string to hitch me
nightly knit me singer of paint blue carver diamond drinker pull me in swim sweet surprises maker of sunrooms weaver
weaving boots let my finches sing old lover hold my hand.

Edward Mycue


Gone will be the natural world perhaps but old nature tv reels will remain?
Whistle clean. To forget is to abet. Cost Price Value. Explore Explain Examine Experiment -- Most pretentious: Least alive. Trapped in the melting pot beyond the source muddy on the horizon Root Route and Range: will song never return/ muddy on horizons. Then comes the pong, the pong is strong, festering lilies and dreams. To some the stench of peanuts and/or of old banana skins in a garbage pail is sickening as days old pong of an unwashed person. (Tourmaline, jasper and opal are the stones of the living; Obsidian, chalcedony, flint are the stones of the dead; Herbs of the dead are pepper, oregano, and tar—wrote the poet Howard McCord p.113, Selected Poems, 1978,Crossing Press). “Still and all” a phrase I used means now and then maybe again. Allene was from Arkansas or Oklahoma and worked in schools in San Francisco a janitor loved by the teachers she helped
This writing is an art of appropriation “a series of refined filtering systems” said Robert Rauschenberg—part core sample of an era and part personal diary—of his 1970 drawings; also “combines” says the painter & scholar Richard Steger whose sense of connection made me realize we all live in an assisted living society if lucky. “Oublieux” wrote Ned Rorem in Wings of Friendship about a great
composer we gays referred to as “Aunt Aaron” Copeland saying he was “very, very famous, and happy, but a wee bit ‘oublieux’”. We must keep watch over absent meaning said Maurice Blanchot. Chateau Graville-Lacoste a Pujols sur Caron, Gironde, France. Albert Ellis, Provoker of Change in Psychotherapy is dead at 93 said the obituary headline in The New York Times July 25, 2007
(most therapy makes you feel better, but you don’t get better: you have to back it up with action; & neurosis is high-class for whining). Oyvind aka Irving Gottesman/ Molbach wrote at his end “I believe in a future life. I’m ready for my next job. It’s goodbye-time (to his cave). Dr Albert Ellis believed people sabotage a need for happiness; he developed “rational emotive behavioral therapy” concentrating on irrational ideas leading to self-destructive feeling and behavior. Wonder what happens to the world and if reduced when we die?

Edward Mycue


…AND bicker, wide heart, tired all times, I hate that he died

Some people are brands when packaging blooms into lifestyles

Hester Prynne wore her scarlet letter for chastisement not sales

later less fashionable then, a brand is a middle-aged millstone

They moved to Paradise, CA where Maryann’s mom had a home

Ray’d married the 16yr old Burk girl when he was 19 (b.1938)

He graduated in 1963 from Humbolt State, Arcata, CA

Maryann graduated in 1970 from San Jose State, CA

Christina La Rae was born Dec 1957, Vance Lindsay born 1958

Ray had one brother James Franklin Carver born 1943

Ray was born in Clatskanie, OR; grew up in Yakima, WA

He died a long time ago when he was about 50 and Maryann (

who he’d divorced; later married Tess) wrote a book in 2006

called What It used To Be Like: A Portrait Of My Marriage

To Raymond Carver. (one in every four books is about someone?)

Edward Mycue
p.o.bx 640543
San Francisco
CA 94164-0543

[email protected]

1. lawrence fixel used to joke about distinctions between writers of poetry and drama & prose: one difference being the imaginary carrot & stick vs the real carrot & stick with payoff of mucho moola perhaps coming for the successful playwright or storyteller (though then only if very lucky) while the poet has this fantasy carrot dangling from a fantasy stick often held by and in front of himself, poor donkey, whose illusions marry delusions in a fog of self-valorized agile progressions/ depressions/ devolutions. it often seems a concussive life for those needing a payoff or at least a give&take in a jungian sense.
there’s another interesting take on this in the book THE GIFT IMAGINATIONS AND THE EROTIC LIFE OF POETRY by lewis hyde and the idea of gift he connects with the n.w.american haida peoples and the potlatch ceremony.
it’s a good idea to enjoy/enjoin thinking about these phantoms every so often. as if only to come out of a troubled sleep. or reverie.
these you get from the fellini films.
what the wide world requires/
how you must proceed/
how guarded you must be: PMP, and ‘don’t push the river’.
but the poet drinks from the tragic eyes of the clown woman of NIGHTS OF CABIRIA: her eyes are
the seed of the universe.
gaston bachelard’s books include THE POETICS OF REVERIE and THE POETICS OF SPACE. poetry isn’t fantasy nor is it commerce. it is more beautiful than a thing because it is experience dreamed into being, BEING dreamed into life. the image of fragrance. an opening blossom and nothing less. soft spreading nipples breasting an afternoon’s dream. let the rain be hard and the snow be wet.
the breath is tender behind the slanted shutters.
there is nothing more important for me than poetry and everything is poetry and nothing matters and the value amounts to much more than a vending machine of a life, which is no venue–and the poet no vendor. the whole race is a poet is true. we have been shortchanged. and we will die for want of it if our dreams are only vacuums lacking fire.
bachelard spoke of psychoanalyzing that fire.
you feel what i mean, joseph. that is why those conferences are so empty to you. a dry mouth. the negative space between living beings is charged. that is where poetry abides pressing the pillows.
edward mycue


On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 6:04 PM, edward mycue wrote:

i look at a few posts maybe not every day but often and am rewarded indeed. often i go back and something that i passed by in a ho-hum (mine) on a later visit comes up a shin-licker
or a thigh-surpriser because my attention(s) drift off with my lazy and wonky mind-eyes. then these poems swing from behind my left ear or left of my solar plexus and start my pleasing into focus. it's amazing all the good writers who are out there.
elena karina byrne is one, larissa shmailo another. nico vassilakis i knew before. ivy alvarez
is new.
but good things when my exhaustions lift and my mind has no age and my body is insisting on no organ recitations and my feet just friendly helpers.

you have the gift now anny. revel in it.

post by lanny quarles of portland or fetches my attention
Saturday, October 18, 2008 1:59 AM
To:"anny ballardini" [email protected]

never heard of this poet who has plenty going on there full of vim vigor & joy of llfe
great site this fiealingue of yours is--quite an anthology to dive into and get surprised
and so is definitely a tongue fair where the tongue some days is like a flame that
shoots up as in those little plastic statues of saint jude with the tongue of flame
coming out of the top of his head

keep it up, anny it's quite a resource
abt janet mccann (& joseph duemer): examples
Sunday, October 19, 2008 10:20 AM
From: "edward mycue"
To: "anny ballardini" [email protected]

just to get this off while still an insight while looking again at janet mccann's poems i thought this is REAL stuff and then thinking a lot of poems are full of real stuff but why this works SO WELL is because there is no bad writing here to interfere with the poetry and that a skilled poet is a better channel for what wells-up. skill can be learned. (and can also sadly become a end.) that poem of hers abt the 7 dwarves and multiple perspectives and the idea of resurrection of something/one outside the frame being impeded is called 'restructuring the poem's arguement' is really complex and presented i suppose as simply as it can be done. its a masterwork. i dont claim to really understand it but i feel its power it poetry. (she may have many such.) my eyes lit on that one this morning. and it's an exception for me of my aversion to writing about writing. i suppose the narrative permits a kinesis that along with physicality of the presences of the students and the poet/teacher as well (that helps as george oppen instructed to have the readed understand who is speaking here) enlivens and lifts it into a lived more than merely a perceived reality.

of course many poets w/even elevated poetics and years of study and thought can't come up with any real poetry because their wells are dry. with others there is an oozing from below and w/o a channel just makes a muddy mess. (but even a muddy mess is better than a polished hardpan.)

thus the what and the how. but even if you are hamhanded and are able to write your poem however imperfectly you are much better off --AND A POET--than some really fine theorizers of poems who have no 'what' and are all abt how/SHOULD and so end up with sometimes i must admit a really attractive paper pinata varnished to a licking spit or a swollen nipple. but no poem. something else perhaps. maybe a 'treatment'. bless em: at least sometimes i feel they value the 'game' of it, and even get a good living from it.

just consider this morning blather. i do that. ed

p.s. that piece of joseph duemer's on the autumn magazine abt rainstorm--thats so naked true not a shocker it doesnt have to be. the poetry wells-up, and as a skilled and also in his case educated writer (and i suppose it helps to teach for years as does janet mccann) he takes and doesnt misshape the angel of breath that emerges..

this is not to say much isnt lost in the process. it's the nature of the beast, writing, how you destroy a lot to discover a little (or is it you are only --of a cosmos--left with a handful of stars. a handful is nice). i think you can see that with so many good posts on your fieralingue site and the autumn magazine also. i havent made a point to look at all of it yet. but i'll get around to it. without forcing. or not. life is short and breakfast beckons. besides i dont 'KNOW'. but i know i dont know and as the kid said in justification "my mother never told me". and try not to be a gusher with all that gravel and dirt mixed in with the surface straw and animan dung. as much as i try to get out of the frame! so it goes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 12:08 PM
From: "edward mycue"
To: "Anny Ballardini" [email protected]

thanks anny for helping to tack up my quilt. it seems like a quilt doesnt it? when i look at it that way. but not arranged but more discrete series maybe in a scattershot pattern. i never had a career. just dribbled pissing into the wind pressing on not necessarily forward becoming invented by existing and unfolding in time etched and shaped by emerging and surging even when i didnt know it: i have persisted and absorbed and attempted to understand what was and had happened without stopping being the being i am still becoming. that quote from v wolfes jacobs room in front of my book mindwalking 1937-2007
is a saying totem. have you ever read the swede wilhelm ekelund? 1880-1949. agenda is the only thing in english i've seen (trans 1976 by lennart bruce & publ by cloud marauder press in berkeley a poet friend long dead now himself) ekelund was the one who wrote:

to read fast is as bad as to eat in a hurry.

and: wanting to needle, hurt, annoy--that's the inspiration of the know-it-all.

and: the day is like a stranger of divine origin, wishing to pay you his visit. you're fortunate, if he finds you at home.

and lastly (w/ref to nietsches idea that only those thoughts which have proven themselves in ones life are of value): the same goes for thought as for art: it is only the necessary that cannot be refuted. this is precisely referred to as: 'die ergangenen Gedanken.' and therefore only ONE disease is sickness to death for the thinker: the one that comes from having evaded necessitys love.--the systems do die, but never the inviolably effective thought.

well, now how did i get here. must go and meet marty at the chicken coop for lunch at 1pm and its now twelve oh eight noon. and im still in my skivvies.

dan waber's float into fire in the autumn gathering is just grand
Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:44 AM
From:"edward mycue"
To:"anny ballardini" [email protected]

how lucky i am to read that poem. thank you anny for being there to post it. ed

my mother would call me an 'itch' when i'd keep going on
Thursday, October 16, 2008 9:26 AM
From: "edward mycue"
To: "Anny Ballardini" [email protected]

itch was not as bad as being designated a 'pill' a term she didn't use abt her kids--well at least not as PERMaNANT pills. thank you. but you don't have to feel you should act on my 'compulsions" (i guess that what itch referred to--when a kid keeps on with a thing and it begins to become annoying: the parent says 'cut that out' until the moonfaced little moron--a sibling's term for the vacent creature-- tilts its surprised face up into the mother's consciousness and surprised perhaps into awareness, stops).
so i'm stopping the itching or working the itch. soon. just let me send these that you may not have seen. and you don't have to use them. just or not just squirrel them away. for maybe another day when your mind's like liquid paper setting into a new project of a topic.
it's the gift that lewis hyde wrote about that wants to stream.


Edward Mycue TALKING TO ANNY from Oct. 16-19, 2008 email about where Anny Ballardini the editor/publisher includes
poets and their poetry under the designation “Poets” and a seasonal magazine
under the designation (within that list of “poets”) ‘Autumn’

Edward Mycue is a listed at website in London, England
with a personal email [email protected] in San Francisco, California

Anny Ballardini’s email is [email protected] in Bolzano, Italy

To read an in depth discussion by Jack Foley, KPFA-FM, Berkeley, California
of a single volume of Mycue's poems, Because We Speak The Same Language,
go to

Edward Mycue, P.O. Box 640543, San Francisco, CA 94164-543
(415) 922-0395

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