Sunday, August 28, 2011

4's -- Three Four Line Repeated Poems




"burst brain spasm lover" (17th of September 1967) is probably the first of the 4's I experienced and at the time of writing these one-word-per-line items wanted to repeat as the accordion shape allows . . .

"cross pitch . . .' came 1st of October 1967 & "hung nursery . . ." the next day.

these are the first of many more up through the years . . .

part of archiving is rediscovering this stuff and wondering what the hell to do with it and as when I wrote it not knowing what to do with it . . . so I'm putting these vestiges here for someone to enjoy . . . larry goodell

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Focal Point, for the Six Directions, by larry goodell

    cover of the 7 cards that make up "Focal Point"

    1. Put this card on the outside of a door.
    2. Inside, put the 6 cards on walls, ceiling & floor.)

(North Wall)

(East Wall)

(South Wall)

(West Wall)



Procedure: Place these 6" by 1 1/2" cards at eye level on the appropriate 4 walls and center of the ceiling and center of the floor. Ideally it will be an empty room and the cards can stay there as in a gallery setting with the "title" on the outside of the entry door. For reading them simply go to the North wall, read, go to the East wall, read, South wall, West wall. Then stand in the middle of the room read Ceiling (Up) then kneel and read Floor (Down). Anyone wandering into the room reads at will.

I performed "Focal Point" in the late 60's & early 70's various places including Keller Hall at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. I did one other 6 Directions poem-installation over a year earlier in December of '67,  and it is here: A Bag for the 6 Directions

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Poetry & Etiquette

       The first thing you do in a book of etiquette is ask yourself "Is it permissible?" and when you answer yourself that it is, you go ahead & do it anyway. Of course it is. It is okay to send money to a person in lieu of a gift if you are unable to buy a gift & send it. It's cheaper to send money than packages anyway. Go ahead & do it. If someone serves you a knife a fork a spoon pointed toward you go ahead & turn them back the way they’re supposed to be. Your host may be some Sufi-Sikh witch doctor who was raised in Lower Slobovia, New York, & is trying to influence you. Laugh & eat, & get out of the situation.

       If you get there too late & all the food is gone think that you might have been poisoned anyway, & when they’re out of beer don’t drink the tap water, it will make you sick. Think of your planning not to drink & how awful it is once you’re all geared up to drinking. Everything ends & the day comes anyway.

"On the Wings of Song," dropped by them onto the earth.

Will absurdities ever
end yes they
will yes they
when you
  come back
down to

       Dare to think it is possible to do what you are going to do, and do it. A bulwark was never spent by a theft. Three cheers for the function & one for the category. Think your head through, & back to the other side.

       Poetry is an exercise in thinking thoughts, music in the ears. You walk down the passage of your ear canal & back out again. You bless your wife your son your daughter your house your ideal construction looking out on a volcanic stem like an upside down mushroom, and when you see the rainbow is no longer there hard rock reality gets to you.

       Etiquette is the carrying on of the mind. It gets to where it's going & passes through space. Do what is right no matter what. Etiquette is harder than poetry. Carrying yourself without demanding that you dominate everything, unless of course you deserve to, dominating it anyway. That's the opposite of poetry. Poetry is when you don’t care, etiquette is when you care but don’t give a damn. Poetry is a wall that's breaking through. Etiquette is a dam held back. Amy & Emily handed you a bejeweled hand with long polished fingernails. Now you put on your kid glove & handle things carefully. Don’t let not knowing something stop you, but admit your ignorance without going too far. There's a stepping stone anywhere as long as it's on your property, and if you don’t have any property you can still walk.

       Go ahead & do what you thought you couldn’t do, by doing it. Bit by piece, a lot. Bite off a huge chunk every day & don’t give anything away, until you have reached where you’re going & are there.

       That's the difference between etiquette & poetry –  one's coming and one's going. Do you really live on such a pint-sized shelf that you cant listen to something odd. Have you ever been startled by anything? Of course you have, you just cant remember.

       What's wrong with the public schools? The only poetry in them is under the desk. That is, if poetry bit her between the legs she'd probably scratch her ear. Most teachers are just so much wet soap. There are younger ones,  just as there are younger doctors & lawyers, but they wont speak of poetry & etiquette in one breath. Perhaps they never will. I will go on and do what is present to do. Today we have a list.

Write San Diego.
Write Ecuador.
Write the insurance company.
Run off postcards announcing your radio show.
Send them.

       Be friendlier all the way around. Perhaps that will help. Think of others as your mind boggles, work solidly without interruption. Work & play, etiquette & poetry. Poetry is so easy, it's the aftermath that's questionable. Poetry should he called afterbirth. By constantly beginning you are constantly ending your former task. That way, truthfully, you can reach your way out & still be a family unit. Stepping apart, & then everybody wins.

       Doing something gracefully, falling, gracefully into bed, or say, standing up, walking. Dancing. Poets should dance, all the time, set them to dancing. Be kind & truthful. Why not. Because you’re a perfect devil?

       Language will teach you things you never knew, & why not? Sex guides the words, home. Or accepts them, at an emotional pitch, or tosses them back. But ride with the day.

       I am Emily Post's vacuum system. Actually I'm making fun. I hope I entertain, but if I don’t call me Arbuthnot, or some old thing. Still dinner was wonderful & took so much preparing. Our garden passes through our mouths & down into the empty canals there. Generously we help each other with our selves through our lives. The evening learned something from it.

/August 14, 1977
                                                                        Larry Goodell / Placitas, New Mexico

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Poetry and Pleasure

covers of 2 homemade Japanese bound notebooks.
poem is from the kirsten flagstad one, NB 26, 1978

  Is poetry pleasure

Or pain.
Is life anything at all.
Yes, it's arguments
And catching the ball
And then winning.
The heart beats
The dog runs
How the adverbs cluster
Around the nouns
In the absence of verbs.
A verb is to be
Or not to be
If I may repeat
The question
What do you do after the soap opera
Is over.
These are rarefied airs
They wont get you nowhere
Except another addiction.
How to make prayer not work.
How to not do anything at all.
How to trust and yet be separate —
The beginner's fall.
The peach trees are blooming
The cherries Just popped out
The bees are amazing
The smell stuns the nose.
Is poetry anything at all
Except a nosegay for improper poets.
Poets who do things under the table
While they talk of God.
Or preachers who clap their hands
And besmirch the patio
Calling on their dreams
To be cone all night.
When I say prayer I mean
Calling on the rivers to be mountains
To be beams
To hang over your head
And stay there.
I mean calling on your dreams
To mean something
Which they wont except
Keeping afloat in a boat
While your dream drives through.
And there is tomorrow
And today is a windy day.
March comes in staring like a bull at September.
Advice has lost her consent.
Troubles send their messages to God
He answers I clapped my hands
Send up a toy.
They send up
He dies
They lift their skirts
They oogle and dance
And call it the Oogle Dance.
Night people
Hangin out
Make it day.
Day people
Workin out
Make it night.
And so the fight begins
Between night and day
Poetry and song
Which is here to stay?
Green tea.
You don’t know the swamp unless you
Fall in it.
No matter how many years
Youve microscoped it
And teethed on It.
You may make it to Paradise
In a boat
But dont tell me what
Youve got caught in your throat.
 Your past history
 All those sexual flings
 Youve covered up
 Those honest little secrecies
 You hide in your purse.
But to stay there
Is the time of day
A day in which it stretches on
Long enough to stay.
The light like some bold attack
Launches up in the sky overhead
And stays there revealing all
And to all alike.
The lopsided hill
Becomes a bulging spine
A lake turned to bone
To live on
A sense of history
Running back and forth
And getting trapped
Getting so high
You fell on your back.
You didnt know poetry could
Go so far to please
Or what it's all about
Would be such a shout
A door slammed in your face
A box full of jeans
A lifetime supply
Of raffle coupons
A chance to win you won!
You crazy son of a gun.
A quiet way to come up
And give someone a boost
Exacting nothing more than what is given.
The creative act
A Venus Fly Trap
All hinged open
Ready for the food that feeds it
A Passion Flower
I have never seen
Friendship in unison
Sings a tune —
After-work talk to
Rounds of beer.
Im outside the harmonies
I hear —
A slap on the back when
The back Isnt there.
The creative set is a rack to hook your dreams on
That disappear and arent part
Of somebody
But palpable fruit setting.
On the last leg
Of the day
On the last limb
Of the tree
Or anywhere
For that matter
Where there’s a you and a me.

larry goodell / placitas, new mexico / 5th of April 1978

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Garbage Poets

poet reading Garbage Poets, 
photo by Lenore Goodell        


 (pull black garbage bag  over head  — hole cut for mouth)

I am being disposed of
Do you think I like it?
They threw the poets out with the garbage!
And we dont
Like it.
It's getting crowded in here
With all these poets—
Poets and garbage and poets and garbage
Or as somebody said recently

They threw us out with the wash!

Their radioactive lust cannot reduce me to dust.
I'm a lump on the landscape.
Poets in the garbage poets in the garden—
Bean pole poets, broccoli poets
And now
Rotten tomato poets.
Poets in the garbage forever! Wait a minute!
I want to get out of here
I am out of here.
(take off garbage bag revealing shirt  with garden peas)
A ragged world's record pea poet.                                          
A pea    poet yes    a    pea poet.
Larry Goodell the world's record pea poet.

larry goodell / placitas, new mexico / december 1978

Larry reading Garbage Poets in Austin, Texas, February 1982 - Photo by Gene Fowler