September 25, 2008
Here’s a productivity tip that I found on 43 folders: lunch-poems.
The story is that Frank worked at ArtNews in New York, and during his lunch time, he would walk into the Olivetti typewriter show room and type out a poem from his mind at that moment. It is one of the reason that I own an Olivetti. It had the immediacy which makes me think of blogs and emails. I think that Frank would have been a great emailler, blogger, micro blogger texting in his updates through a Blackberry. Sadly, he died at 40. His death was even mythic. I remember my friend from High School telling me about the Dune Buggy accident on Fire Island. I learn about the New York art Scene and artists through Frank’s writings.
Franks poems are genre crossing (to use a buzz word). They are also diaries, letters, dedications and notes to friends. He made poetry accessible. He had a philosphy about life and writing call Personism, A Manifesto. Personism, I recall from a long ago reading of it is this: Frank said that if some one is chasing you down the street, you don’t stop and pull out your diploma from Harvard and say I’m better then you, no you run and use your cunning to win over an opponent, you prove yourself at that moment instead of being defended by your past title etc. This was inspiring. His basic aesthetic meter was also less intellectual. He had a metaphor of a pair of jean, is it sexy and tight and will it get you into bed? I never heard of anyone spoke about poetry in that way. He made it more appealing without letting the technical aspects of a poem get in the way of the enjoyment. You can read about it here: poetspath.com/transmissions/messages/ohara.html
Gus Powell picked up on this idea of Lunch Poem in photography.
September 24, 2008
Last weekend, I happen to catch Rick Steves radio show call Travels With Rick Steves based in Seattle, Washington. The guest is David Sedaris. It was fascinating to listen to them talk while the floor I had mopped was drying. I just sat down and listen and found myself amused even smiled to myself. Maybe it’s the way David talks or the way he thinks. I’ve not read much of his works but know his voice both literary and tone of voice through the various radio shows and interviews. In fact, he was first discovered through this medium of radio. He’s an interesting character. He moved to France to pursue his smoking habit in peace because the French are allowed to smoke every where that is until the recent ban on smoking in restaurants. Then he decided to go to Japan to quit smoking after thirty years of smoking. In Japan, people smoke in restuarants but not out in the streets. So it’s no surprise that David is on a radio show about travels. Then it occur to me why I and most people like myself identify with David. Here’s a guy that was discovered by Ira Glass for his “SantaLand Diariest”. He kept a diary since the Seventies. He has a favorite notebook that he carries around with him at all times. I believe I saw it once some where on the web. I’ll have to look it up. Here’s a man in his early fifties going to a foreign country for six or so months and tries to learn Japanese.
September 15, 2008
September 3, 2008
The Underwood No. 5 has been restored by Matt at Ace Machines. It’s been back for several weeks now. Matt worked on it for about a week.
I like driving over the St. Johns Bridge. It’s a small three lane bridge and the speed limit is 35mph. I like going over small bridges slowly. Portland has several bridges. It is sometimes call Bridge Town or Stump Town.
When I was in Budapest, there are several bridges that cross the Danube. All of the bridges are small and pedestrian friendly.
I remember going over the Hawthorne on a daily commute and writing my impressions of it in one of my old journals.
If I can use an analogy of crossing this slow bridge instead of the information super highway, it is like that journey across that slow and beautiful St. John’s bridge which is like typing, a slowness. I cross over into that world to retrieve my Underwood. At the moment I didn’t make this connection. I had to speed through the 205 super highway to get to an area of industrial town and then to the bridge and a beginning of a presence. I was on a surface but a bridge is a connection that is different from the road, a continuation that is endless it seems. But a bridge signals something, a crossing over into something that I’m still trying to work out the meaning, and the symbolism.
It is something like that when one is typing. There is the bell which celebrates the reaching point of a page. One sets these limits and margins of course. It is different from what seems like an endless text wrap. I guess that is what typing on a machine is like. And it is entering into another era and experiencing the gears making something as light as a word on a page and feeling something important being said. It’s like a coughing out of word which actually moves minutely on the surface of the table.
jonathan smith photography bridges