Archive for the ‘Objectivist Poets’ Category

There's Nothing Straighter Than True Plumb, Bob

19 Aug


The Friendship Wars


Originally published Aug 19, 1997. Italics Steve Taylor, plain text mine.

Damn. I just clicked on an iMote page, and it is all twisted. Wrong graphics in the wrong places, and another graphic skewed. Gotta go investigate. Maybe Bob's right. My life ain't life. Maybe he'll let me join in his weekly WWII strategy board game, or watch his stockpile of Japanese anime videos. Now that's life. I know I'm just being petty here, but it really burns the bone that among friends and neighbors every choice one makes is shit, and Bob has always done that to me. My poetry is bad. My writing makes no sense. My web work is not life. Even after all the GT vs. SET fires belching in the belly, and that most recent flamewar certainly left scars, I can at least say that you have always encouraged me in my struggle to express my loneliness and insights through writing and creative images and with the technical additions of web producing, you've been my only true visitor. I don't know what that says about you, but thanks anyway. And again, congratulations on your new aspirations. You are indeed cock of the walk when it comes to nailing job interviews.

You are quite welcome. And thanks for letting me know. It does mean much to me to have some positive impact out there—and it is nice to keep in contact from here in the PA void. I'm glad that I now have had time to read, write (a bit, anyway), surf, relax...and actually think about what works, what matters, what the hell...I kept busy and manic enough in DC to keep myself from realizing how unhappy I was—AOL caught me on the downside for a while, so I just kept fighting at Howrey, thinking that I could make well-enough work into something great. Hah! Oh well, looking back on the last few jobs I had—ones for which I've been envied by more than one person, I see that I was fooling myself to ever accept them. I had forgotten that I could do more than be a lackey for underskilled, Peter Principle poster children who didn't care about the product but had just chosen a career and insisted on sticking with it without truly caring about what they were doing.

They simply become too easy too soon and don’t allow room for the type of growth and development that we need to keep breathing. iMote and Scenewash (and others projects of past and future) can give you that. I’m hoping that I will end up webmastering Fox Chase Cancer Center, and that the job will have enough challenges to keep me interested, honest, and sane. For now I wait for the call from Philly. Right now, I mow the lawn.
But each time I made the mistake of falling into jobs when I needed the money and was able to rationalize my way into accepting what I knew would wear out soon. Then I was able to add something to the job to make it seemingly great for a while. Then they didn't want a star, just a good team player. Well, I can be a good team player, but when I'm being asked to wash the uniforms and the team truly needs me in another position...enough sports metaphors...As I'm feeling some of that DC-bound bitterness resurfacing, let me bend this back to a less combative reality: I made some terrible judgement calls. But at the time, there weren't any better options I could have seen. I was too blinded by my defense mechanisms. And, even with the confidence I was often able to exude, for a period of time there, I didn't truly believe in myself and my abilities to do anything and do it damned well. I know that I can put together any web site, any magazine, any promotional campaign or technical budget. I just might have to work at it.

And that's what these McTech/McMedia jobs I've had have not given me (and would not give you or anyone else with vision and drive). They simply become too easy too soon and don't allow room for the type of growth and development that we need to keep breathing. iMote and Scenewash (and others projects of past and future) can give you that. I'm hoping that I will end up webmastering Fox Chase Cancer Center, and that the job will have enough challenges to keep me interested, honest, and sane. For now I wait for the call from Philly. Right now, I mow the lawn.

But now, I've gotta attend to those pesky HTML brats. Keep it clean, and the dirt will follow anyway. Busy with beaver and loaded for bear...strange how those epiphrases just jot themselves down along with the mustard and relish of a personality mirage. Lynn has not responded, although I certainly had no idea the phrase was anything but a toss-off. Tell me how it goes. I presume, it's like the "playing it by ear" and "that's my story and I'm stickin' to it" SET tune of the month. I can hear it already reverberating off the whispering pines of friendly Pennsylvanian platitudinal grace. Look forward to the update, but frankly, I think you and I are the only ones who "get" most of our poetic hucksterism. Occasionally Bob in good mood is generous with a Boblike compliment with adjectives like hip, post-modern, whacky, subterranean sprinkled in to authenticate a true Bob true grit compliment, and they certainly have increased over the years, but like Bracken, most often he's just a little quick to dismiss and a little slow to hammer out the dots, plumb the heights, and probe the depths but like all of us, prefers to hear his own voice than those of his neighbors.


Those imps of HTML will need some reintroducing to me—it's been a while since I've actually dug into code. Gotta go back to the basics a bit—save that source, localize those graphics, and start
playing with other folks' designs. Tables, frames, imagemaps,'ll take me a while, but I'll get back there.

Peace. Love. Digital Neighbors.



18 May

Means Of Production

Means Of Production


Originally posted Sun 18 May 1997

The next day fallout...

[ootmop = owner of the means of production]

"recalcitrant (adj.) 1. Marked by stubborn resistance to and defiance of
authority or guidance."

I have to deal with recalcitrant support staff on a daily basis, and I don't expect it from a fellow billing professional. Yes, you own the means of production. I own the means of producing the potential of work and, thus, money. No love lost over your inability and/or /unwillingness to conform to my schedule yesterday; however, don't criticize your client or his middleman. Sure, there's a time for criticism, but contract negotation is *not* the time. Understood? Are we still in this together?[SET]

We are "still in this together" as far as my word has taken me, and as of this writing, that translates into one thing and one thing only: I am waiting to hear from you on the status of the IAG job. That job and that deal. Beyond that, we have nothing but the same quarrel I observe between us, as stated in Saturday's memos. And that is all I have to say on the matter at this time, in order to ... oops, you just called and want to come over to play, and as a weak link or a good leader (a polemic no doubt open to debate), I said okay... [GT]

Why Do Writers Need Editors But Painters Do Not

17 Sep

Alledgedly Landry

Alledgedly Landry


Date: Sep 17 1996 14:55:12

Sorry more words than you called for. Guess that in and of itself supports the subject of this little piece. Was that your ploy all along? To mock the amateur wordsmith? Now, if I could have just emailed you a painting, that would have said it all in a flash.

Painters can make an honest (or lazy) attempt to pass ANYTHING as art. They don't have to worry about the confines of structure in the way that a composer or a writer must. Let's face it, I can squat down on a canvas, smear a big corn filled turd around on a spatula, glue on a crucifix, and immediately get a reaction from born again christeeeans, derelicts, intellectual bull shit artists and the like who don't even have to be literate. But, if I write a story about blowing a big chocolate corn stuffed stain on a piece of fabric and shoving a cross on top, first, I must construct a sentence in some grammatical form that even people who can read can understand. Then, I have to get people to read it. Since most people, even with some college education, refuse to read on principle, only a small percentage of the population will read it. Out of this group, most people will read it just to fill up some time on the john, some won't get through it because they will be bored, some will laugh but forget it immediately. . .basically only a smidgen of people will care—some whacko born again Christeeean who will want to make sure the piece will be censored, a few people who think anything that couples shit and Christ in the same piece to be important, a zealous ACLU lawyer, and the writer (maybe on this one).

And, in order to be taken seriously as a writer (whether you need it or not) you are REQUIRED to have an editor and your writing is only worth something if SOMEONE ELSE (in particular a BIG PUBLISHER) likes it and prints it and sells it. Quite different from celebrating independent artists, filmmakers and musicians who can gain credibility precisely IF they shun the BIG GUYS.

Now to address the points:

1. Painters as a demographic rarely stop working on a piece until they are finished.

If they do stop before they are finished they lie and say they ARE finished. If I turn in a manuscript finished or not, people can put their two cents in and change shit. How come I can't go up to a painting and blot on a hint o#196# yellow here and there? Hunh???

2. Writers are a driven but inherently lazy bunch, and are inclined to need a proper correcting of their pomposity since word manipulation rules are finite.

OH, does this hit the mark. Does this mean that a writer who paints is also a lazy painter? My painting and writing instructors both said "Miss Landry, you are very talented, but very lazy!" No fair that a writer can't use words like paint, layering and layering for effect. Well, you can do it, but who would read it?

3. Wordlovers are a different crowd from artlovers with slightly different motives and therefore require a middleman.

Yes Yes Yes. Sort of like a conductor in an orchestra. Otherwise, chaos.

8. It's easier to dismiss a single canvas than a truckload of books in boxes.

#8 True, in a way. But, I think the modern computer/internet age is presenting a dilemma for old school visual artists. Electronic visual art is now on the same intangible level as the written word or music. Think about it. I am an artist (alive or dead). I sit in my studio drinking, fucking young boys and going insane from syphilis. I buy paint and drugs from my so-called friends, have a vision and do a painting. Since I am well known in my village or on the left bank of pareeeeeee, a few bored no-talent rich people bid for my painting. The painting. The only one. Mr. Booger wins and buys it for $3 million and takes it home to hang it over the fireplace in his boudoir and whacks off to it every night. No one else sees it until his death. Then, his lover gives it to some museum and the only way you can see the actual painting is if you spend lots of money to go to the city that contains the museum that houses the painting.

But, if I'm, say, Emily Dickinson, I write, I die, and years later all these people read my books. At the most, they spend, what, $10 on a collection. After a certain time, the more valuable the words become (named "classic") the easier it is to buy a piece of paper with the words on it. (I'm at work, so I apologize for how disjointed this is). In a nutshell, writing was and is always existing in a virtual world. You can't own the writing in the same way you can own a piece of art. But, with the Internet, I can do some visual art, scan it in my computer (or do it on the computer), put it on the Internet and it becomes just as unreal and intangible as words. Everyone can own it. Everyone can borrow bits and pieces of it. This will do more damage to the artist's ego than STDs. Writers have always known this and that is why a writer embraces the modern world before a visual artist.

This reminds me of an argument I had with my friend Brad who is a painter. He said that painting is art and writing is craft. What do you think?



11 Jun

Sitting around on high
discussing bankruptcy plans, we are paralyzed
by high-priced beauty battering us in piles of magazines.
Loosely kept secrets and cleavages strike the pose
just like the cowboy song says—there's no other way. Our kingdom
crumbles the same way burnt toast, virtual memory,
and a livid lion's den melting with envy
struggles to remain in vogue,
new foci vain and too hip but in a well-measured pain,
the American struggles of hard work and meritocracy
(resonating in quicksand of the celebrity crush)
shortcircuiting the way we're taught to reign.

And as the familiar bell of gasoline slips into the morning
welcoming me skewed and priceless, no longer the surveyor
with chains and maps and plans and rods,
or fine instruments bound to the circle,
straight lines, or schools of sweat,

I dig into the vision light scatters across the wallpaper,
a pastel Monet, and irises rising into profile
like soldiers guarding the soul, where the only death
here is imaginary and immune to the newspaper
or the streets where yet another rape is spun
(where details are withheld as purposes)
of business because I don't own a gun
and this ain't no comic caper
of the shapes we're in.

Victims are a dollar a dozen. Inflation stealthly bites
into our proverbs, but have you noticed how well dressed
the common poor are these days? Fine cars, fine threads,
fine guns, fine beds, fat to the gills, but still no ease comes
to our revoltutionary heads still hung in dry nooses
conjured up by witch doctors of the dead,
mouthing words no longer built
but retrogressed.

The spies are elder foils for demons of hatred and pith,
luring a whole generation, maybe more, ever down
the path thermotaxis where juice scales weighted
(baby don't wanna be no social experiment)
are meant for no one, not even these
heavy-laden with rubbery myth
of the thirteenth generation—

Fall out! Fall in! The message the same,
eating into the muscle life buried within our name
under cheap shelter shaping the unknown,
until we give the victorious word, undressing
with dowried care of an innocent Brahmin calf
the issues done especially for us, inspecting, undressing
the fevers, draining off the pus infecting, suspecting
keen the trajectory our souls must make
without claim

and finding the circle of fate is God cubed,
we erase mere tangency with yet another claim
of superiority complexes, the tangent, and the fake
inferior rugs our interior has scrubbed.

[ 1993, Washington, DC ]


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""