Friday, May 9, 2008

Philip Whalen on Penn Sound, 3by3by3, & a Master's Birthday

The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory

A terrific resource that you'll find on the sidebar to the right is Penn Sound. It is a growing archive of live poetry recordings. I was reminded of this site in a recent post by Jessa Crispin on Blog of a Bookslut, when she mentioned some recordings of Philip Whalen. They are a great way to punctuate a rainy Sunday afternoon.

If you're stuck in a writing rut ... writer's block or same old, same old ... one thing you might take a flyer at is 3by3by3; I did. Here's their submission recipe:

Pick 3 stories from Google News.
Using only words that occur in the first 3 paragraphs of each story, make a poem with 3 stanzas, 3 lines each, no more than 60 characters per line. The 3-word title should use a word from each story.

On the same newsday that your 3 stories were published, send your poem to 3by3by3blog (at) gmail (dot) com. Include links to your 3 stories.

I gave it a go and here is the result. It definitely got the brain waves crackling.

As part of the little Issa section down along the sidebar, there is a link to a .pdf of Robert Hass's 52 page manuscript, Kobayashi Issa: Poems. Here's the poem he opens with, the last poem Issa composed on his deathbed:

a bath when you're born,
a bath when you die,
how stupid.

Finally, speaking of births and deaths, I would be remiss not to mention the birth date of the master of art and shell game purveyor extraordinaire, Salvador Dali. Without him, Freud would have lost his finest envisioner; without him, the fine art of the flim-flam would have been set back half a century; without him that first hit of acid would have been so, uh, normal.

The list of near perfect books of poetry will be in Thursday's regular post.




Ed Coletti said...


Why do the Whelan poems play like Mickey Mouse's voice? Too fast a speed. Please let me know if this gets repaired, and I'll share with my close friend Michael Rothenberg who has edited the collected works.


Ed Coletti

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Hi, Ed:

Thanks for the note. Checked first thing this morning (5:30) and all's well.

Wonder if they were doing maintenance on the overnight? Give it another try.