Headlong

Let me smack the sun, bash the wind, for I would fill my heart with rain until the smiling end of time.  Just to hear that pat on the roof and crack on the panes makes my body warm, charged electric and ready for life.  How I long for it.  I need it!  I am doing a rain dance with every breath, I gather the water, beckon cloud, dismiss occlusion and bring it all in – we will stand face-up in the spray, the pour, come lover, we will stretch out our arms in the drench, come love, we will leap all pores open and drink you, and you will drink us, and we will become the stream that we are, and pour onward in joy over rocks and shame and into the churning basin of stars.

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ANNOUNCE  ::  For the first time in quite a while, there are a few NEW things on this site, and a couple of them are pretty special.  In additional to the usual (or mostly usual) new work on the Fresh Words page, and all this ga-ga right here, I’ve added downloadable pdf’s of two early chapbooks, both out of print, so you can read ’em right here and now!  The first is Influx Blinklists, a giddy study in random-wordology (or is it), that led eventually to the big colored word art that you can view on the Visual & Text Art page.  These early pieces, though, were composed in my early 20’s via typewriter, hormones, and amphetamines.  Nothin’ else like ’em on sale today!  And even better, I’ve scanned and posted the original pages of Haiku from Hell, a very rare handwritten chapbook of seventeen haiku by myself, James Finn Garner, and Dave Riley, which was “issued” in an edition of seventeen.  And yes, they have seventeen syllables each, so you do the math.  Or don’t.  TO VIEW THEM, go to the Books & Chapbooks page, and click on either title at the top (or scroll down), and you’ll find a link next to each book cover.  Go pdf!

ANNOUNCE  ::  I’ll be featured on a supercool podcast, Poetiscape with Rich Ferguson, on Sunday, February 9 at 2 pm Pacific time (that’s 5 pm in New York and 22:00 in London, for all you time zone challenged folks).  Rich has been talking with poets and writers every Sunday for a few years now about everything from music to counterculture to white-water rafting to, you guessed it, words and their place in the world.  I’m plain giddy to be included on a show that’s featured folks like Bob Holman, Terry Wolverton, Aimee Bender, Jane Ormerod, and ballad-loads of others.  Click here or on the show name above to listen in, and to check it out later as well.

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From Online Etymology Dictionary:

precipitate (v.) – “to hurl or fling down,” 1520s, a back formation from “precipitation” or else from Latin praecipitatus, past participle of praecipitare “to throw or dive headlong,” from praeceps “steep, headlong, headfirst” (see precipice).  Meaning “to cause to happen, hurry the beginning of” is recorded from 1620s. Chemical sense is from 1620s; meteorological sense first attested 1863.

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ANNOUNCE  ::  I rarely mention the Hyde business part of my life here, but as some of you know I provide freelance naming services these days to keep the spaghetti coming in.  This month I was featured in a brief interview on a branding blog called Brandscape, put out by the agency LevinsonBlock.  How nice to be called an expert in something.  And if that tickles your curiosity enough to wonder what the heck I really do, you can check out my biz site at lorangerNAMES.com.

REFLECT  ::  Had a smashing debut party and read in January for the new Joie Cook collections that I edited for Zeitgeist Press.  Scores of folks came all the way out to Readers Books and Cafe at Fort Mason in San Francisco, right at the edge of the earth.  Better yet, a great cadre of Joie’s friends and fans lined up to read her work in a brilliant tribute.  Big heartfelt thanks from myself and Bruce Isaacson at Zeitgeist to everyone who came, and especially the readers, who were, in full:  Dave Picariello (Joie’s husband), Jack Hirschman, Richard Stone, Julia Vinograd, David Gollub, Kathleen Wood, Nicole Henares, Tom Stolmar, Deborah Fruchey, Deirdre Trian, Chris Trian, Justice Morrighan, May Garsson, Cara Vida, and Jamie Erfurdt.  You are  most passionate and generous souls.

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Walk up to the edge of sea and throw a stone.  Throw an old beer can.  Throw yourself.  And as you’re sailing, grab the strand and take it with you, rip it off the earth in a giant sheet of sand, rocks, grass, roots and all, those shrubs and reeds, the path to the road, the road itself and the marsh across, the concessionaire down the road and the little village further on, the hills to the north, and what the hell, the whole county and the river and its factories and the city beyond, and if you’ve got the wrist for it, if you’ve got the grip, keep pulling and peel the whole continent off and trail it behind you and with you as you plunge into sea, fold it all in.

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REVIEW  ::  I’m not sure I can say just how refreshing, how damnably life-affirming I can find a heady dose of unadulterated, genius cynicism.  The kidz these days think they have the market cornered, but their limp-wristed snark cannot hold a candle – nay, a wick – to the acerbic splendor of George Bernard Shaw.  I was treated this month, and I mean Candy Mountain treated to an ACT performance of Major Barbara by my dear friend Susan Pedrick, a brilliant and talented development associate who’s been jobhunting for far too long (READ: hire her hire her hire her).  Social justice tangents aside, if such a thing is possible with Shaw, I’ve seen ACT blow, dilute, even trainwreck a few productions, and this was NOT one of them.  Can Shaw in fact be f’d up?  Yes!  Watching him is to witness a rivulet of wit, then another, then another and more weave and tangle and gather force until they’re a giddy whitecapped ideology torrent rushing irreversibly toward the dark heart of humanity.  At least most certainly Major Barbara fits that bill.  And it can be fucked up by any less than skilled, articulate Thespianship guided thoughtfully and fearlessly, lest any idiotic slip or coal-hearted quip be missed.  And better yet, it can be fucked up by an audience as well, since it takes a sharp shot ear and top-of-game brain to catch each drift and ride those rapids gistfully.  Which is the best thing about Shaw: he makes everybody work to catch the wave, then hold on for the fullest fun of the ride. Go George!  And go ACT, cause this gang caught it and rode it, and brought us all with.  Who in their right mind in this day and age can resist the joy of watching a well-wrought innocent corrupted molecule by molecule by the blackest heart of Capital, before our very eyes, and ears, and breath?  The pulled it off to the very tee, to the final twist where Barbara turns and…oh, go read it yourselves.  Or see it if it’s still in town.  The production left us breathless and grinning, and made going home and turning on CNN feel like a faded echo of a long-told tale.

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My heart’s a snowball rolling downhill and holy shit what a tumble.  It’s a mudslide, a runaway train, a blast furnace off its struts.  It flips and scatters everywhere, through and around, and keeps on flipping.  It gobbles forests and gnaws the foundations of this city.  It cracks the infrastructure, it laughs to topple towers.  It’s splitting hairs, it chases the tail off a goose, it’s walking into your parlor with a gate-cracking grin.  It says, Hello, I’m a comet, and tears your house away.  It’s voracious, it’s a goddamn glutton for everything, it’s a shrike, a kamikaze cannibal, a metamorph tsunami and it’s breaking on February with a mouth of flame.

Sincerely,
Richard

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