02 January 2007

random holiday notes

a holiday in limbo, i.e. we were headed to Oklahoma, got caught in New Mexico in a huge storm, and couldn't go east. turned south to come back to Tucson, spun out (a 180 degree turn, definitely uncontrolled) and landed against the interstate guard rail, but everything was intact & all right, so we continued home uneventfully. ended up spending new year's eve at home with family, just glad to all be here.

new mexico green & red chile cuisine is so marvelous!! why is it more possible to get good middle eastern food here in Tucson than to get new mexico red & green??

i can't help resenting it, at least slightly, in the holiday period when it becomes so obvious, due to the mla preparations & proceedings & post-conference reports, that the buffalo poetics list is, after all, an academic list. i get it that this year's mla, thanks to the marvelous marjorie perloff, was truly "an event" for post avant poetry, but still, for those of us who are not academics and who do not consider poetry primarily to be an academic activity, it's a little depressing to be reminded that, at times, it is an intensely academic activity. give me tim peterson, elizabeth treadwell, ron silliman, brenda iijima, & my other nonacademic cohorts, any day, every day . . .

reading Immanuel Kant on Ethics, i.e. his Lectures on Ethics (Harper Torchbooks, 1963 edition). I love his insistence that acts are not moral, but dispositions leading to acts (but not always leading to acts) are. And even though I don't share his belief in god, I like it that he believes acts are moral not because they are enabled or endorsed by God, but that God enables or endorses them because they are moral. So, in a sense, virtue and morality are prior to God. This gets very tricky, though, because he also believes that the disposition to do good in man is something that springs from God (I capitalize it when using Kant's sense of it, lower-case it when using my own).

just purchased the debut disk from the Neil Young Archive Performance Series, live music from a 1970 concert at Bill Graham's Filmore East. The music is terrific, but another really exciting aspect is knowing that Young & Crazy Horse performed that night as part of a double bill, the other part being Miles Davis & his band. I remember music being mixed like that, i.e. audiences liking rock, jazz, rhythm & blues, soul, even a bit of country. And some radio stations playing it all. was it really more exciting and wondrously mixed then, or am I deceiving myself? In 1970 I was just 16, and I certainly remember listening, in those days, to Neil Young and Miles Davis and not feeling like these were different worlds, although certainly different parts of the one I inhabited.

most grateful in this still new year that Frank Parker, poet & friend, is out of a care center & back home. welcome back to health, Frank!