Friday, February 27, 2009

Alli Warren and Brandon Brown's Reading in Ashland

...was fuckin' cool as shit. They are two bad ass motherfuckers. After the reading we went to pizza and then had dance shenanigans. It was good shit.

Also: I think I'm abandoning Blogger. I think I'm going to get a Wordpress acct. and then host it at Rain Fade. You've been warned. Willie just informed me that we recently had 5 hits at for "conical tits." Okay. I need to send some of the poems I've been writing to some places. I need to start submitting again.

Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits. Conical tits.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


in an effort to rid this blog of the boring non sequiturs and vague political theories involving burritos and screenshots of possible google searches, i have started*

i hope to post all future inconsequential minutiae at this address in order to free this space up for more serious discussions. like the significance of butts in poetry

*i don't fucking know how much more language can possibly deteriorate. i mean, "tumblog?" what the fuck? just saying it makes my tongue feel like it's trying to gallop through a field of peanut butter.

update: the term tumblog is not in the url, but it still exists.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My name is Bryan Coffelt and I can not open my mouth wide enough to swallow the universe. I just tried it in the bathroom using the mirror.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not @ AWP: Day 4

8:56 AM --

I am still not at AWP in Chicago where a lot of friends are. Good news: new Sonic Youth album drops in early June.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not @ AWP: Day 3 - The Reckoning

12:28 PM --

Not @ AWP: Day 3

10:03 AM --

I am looking at a Minneola tangelo. Alex and Kasey and Lacey are delayed several hours. They will arrive at AWP around midnight. Alex has instructions to punch Daniel Bailey in the face at my behest. I also told them to print a picture of my face so people could punch it, but I doubt they did.

I must have been dehydrated yesterday because I had a dream that my face was connected to a garden hose and no matter how much water I drank I couldn't quench my thirst.

I'm going to peel and eat my Minneola tangelo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not @ AWP: Day 2 - In Closing

I watched the rest of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. I am now trying to watch something else. Here are a few post-metaphysical, post-dunderhead, post-fucktorial travel beard trimming kit words that I have found in the past week or so (all of these are from o-blēk 12: Technique.):

"One principle of literary history maintains that when a new awareness of writing appears it must destroy the standards and accomplishments of the existing or antecendent writing. Progress, or at least change, must be destructive first and assertive second." -- Robert Bertholf

I myself don't think I've ever wanted to write for Poetry or any other single cause, save, perhaps for Gnosis. But, as I was pointedly reminded by the gnostic anti-gnostic Seung Sahn, "understanding cannot help you." -- Jessee Abbot

For me, the fire of poetry emerges from a well-strung arrangement of words, words that are orchestrated, words that are stolen, words that are sharp. I have occasionally been accused of being a romantic (in the sense that I am obsesses with extravagantly archaic doctrines of poetry), and in truth, poetry for me very much hinges on elements which I do not necessarily understand and which I cannot define rationally. (Here I mean dreams, ghosts, collective thought, and language as a somewhat animate creature.) I do not say this out of some sense of righteousness. I would rather have it that poetry was a curiosity than a religion — a game as opposed to a quest." -- Lisa Jarnot

Okay. There are scary faces on my other computer monitor. There are scary faces about you all floating through my optic nerves now, too. Tomorrow I may bring around the Pound that I was considering earlier. I will simply quote it and maybe not put any kind of critical response up next to it.

Not @ AWP: Day 2

9:25 AM --

From zee zeitgeist:
I just drank a 20 oz americano and on my break I will be going to get another one. I just read "Bank-Rescue Plans May Reach $2 Trillion" and couldn't interpret what that really means and felt like I'd like to have a piece of chocolate -- something tasty in my mouth that I could relate to on a very small, intimate level.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not @ AWP: Day 1 - In Closing

11:08 PM -- I am following the "drama" of Chris Brown's alleged (low-speed) chase on Twitter. ( It's a white Bentley going like, 40 mph, obeying most traffic laws.

I'm drinking some red wine (merlot) trying to be conscious of all the things that are happening around me. The news just said that FBI agents are "on the scene" at the peanut processing plant that apparently gave people salmonella. FBI agents. Are at a peanut processing plant.

I just watched the trailer for Coraline and I think I want to watch it because apparently 1.) they used real sets/clay models or something 2.) the setting is based, partly, on Ashland, OR.

My girlfriend just asked me what I was blogging about and giggled when I told her I was doing a blog about not being @ AWP. This concludes Day 1 of Not @ AWP. (Even though it's not until Wednesday or whatever. Concludes Day 1 of Pre-Not @ AWP.)

My last post, cont'd.

My good friend and expert poemer Alex Burford left this thought-provoking comment on my last post:

So poetry&prayer are bros now?

I really like the notion of the poem as carapace, and I'd like to insert that the other half of that coin is the reader filling the carapace (poem) with life (meaning, connotation, symbol etc.)

And while I like what you're saying, I think the last line is exactly what someone like Dale Smith is afraid of: language being stripped of any signified meaning whatsoever, as if language becomes a prayer that is completely between you and a (fictional) higher power. At that point wouldn't the poem become completely self-indulgent? And I don't think that's what you are rallying for. I would put poetry that people write in a journal and never show anyone in that category of prayer maybe. I don't know... it's not very clear to me what you were getting at.

I think your first sentence best represents how poetry engages an audience/community: "Poetry is an imagined successful conversation (perfect conveyance of ideas) to "the Other." And how it can still be a model for social change/responsibility. We are constantly reacting to social stimulus through our writing.

Great post. Keep it up.

I started responding in the comments section, but my comment got long so I'll just post it here:

When I posited that poem and prayer exist in the same spectrum of language I only meant that in both cases they seek to engage in perfect conversation with something (in this case, I'm becoming more and more certain that the only person who can possibly be on the receiving end of such a communication is the person who originates it. i.e. the poet is poeming to her/himself the pray-er is praying to her/himself.) I think there is something lost (maybe not "lost" but not present) in the written poem -- like a filter exists between the poem's origins in the poet's mind and it's eventual migration to the page.

I'd go one step further, actually, and suggest that everything done to sustain one's own life is "self-indulgent" -- that every utterance made during a person's lifetime is inherently "self-indulgent." Not self-indulgent in a pejorative sense, but rather in the sense of "exertion of one's self on one's surroundings in an attempt to connect with something -- the exertion of oneself on one's surroundings in search of existential affirmation (i.e. if I interact with this thing and it interacts back with me, then I exist.)"

I think people like Dale Smith use words like "self-indulgent" just because they are readily available and exist with certain connotations attached -- I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with a poem being self-indulgent. I also don't think that a written poem shared with other people can be 100% self-indulgent because someone who reads the poem will interact with it in some way -- so I guess I'm saying the original thought in the poet is a self-indulgent one and then once it's on the page it's out of our hands.

Plus, I think Dale was trying to imply the notion behind something like Flarf was the self-indulgent thing. I don't think he's talking about the poetry at all -- rather, he's attacking the pre-poem.

Not @ AWP: Day 1

AWP starts this week. I have several friends who will all be in Chicago for it. I will not be there. This is preemptive live blogging of N@AWP -- Day 1.

Day 1:

10:45 AM --

Thinking about things. Last night after an interesting metaphysical discussion with my roommate about narcissism and communication and signifier/signified, I had this thought about poetry:

Poetry is an imagined successful conversation (perfect conveyance of ideas) to "the Other" -- a subversion of signifier/signified (a conversation where only signifiers are required) -- only the carapace or skeleton of which (the written poem on the page) is shared with the reader. As such, it could be in the same "spectrum of language" as prayer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Glass

An axis of many lights. The three on the base.
Turning inward to base and then up -- halfway
to the line and then three more. The sadness
of the ocean surrounds the rectangles on its
face. The spilling of air upward and out of it --
the jailing of a liquid. The only escape, light,
through solids cannot take a passenger. Unapproachable
at right angles. While existing for and because
of wrists. A feverish doubling of the background.
Springing forward from its particles. Once in millions.
Whose millions were in millions. Now temporarily
situated -- to be returned to its millions.
And to relinquish.