June 30, 2005 6:47 PM “You punch a keyword or keywords or phrase into Google and work directly with the result text (…) stripping stuff away until what’s left is interesting (…) then (…) start meticulously chipping away at and fussing with that.” K. Silem Mohammed interviewed by Tom Beckett (N) (via Mark Young (N)). Note also my post on June 28, and the interviewees Sestina (N) in the Google Poem Anthology.

June 29, 2005 1:10 PM Again, a link I – for obvious reasons (N) – cannot resist putting up (tough the author himself may see this as being in it’s test phase still…). Brian Kim Stefans (blog: Free Space Comics (N), and also see his arras.net (N)) has been experimenting with this intriguing concept of “one letter a time”. One of his earlier implementations is “Howl” by Ginsberg (N); now its ULYSSES (N, and make sure to get the sound too).

June 28, 2005 2:10 PM More Google Poetry. Claude le Monde: thou who hast (N); Tommi Nuopponen: american excrement pound iliad (N).

June 28, 2005 9:15 AM What is it? Who am I? Now, “imagine (…) a culture where these questions just never came up. (…) And just as the good doctor is the one who seeks his own obsolescence, so too are poets and philosophers forever striving for the culture I am describing.” This recent post by Thomas Basbøll, of Copenhagen, connects to a chain of exchanges that begun, possibly, by Ron Silliman’s answers to Fulcrum’s questions, and then proceeded to include, a.o., Kasey Silem Mohammad’s responses to these, Jonathan Mayhew’s new (very good!) questions, Ron’s and Kasey’s answers to these, as well as Kasey’s earlier meditation on “What is poetry“, where he came to weight the relative values of the two expressions “apples on the couch” and “fruit [or: the fruit] on futon”, and to which – triggered by Laura Carter’s response, in one of Thomas’ posts, that she prefers the former, because “I’ve eaten an apple, but I’ve never eaten a fruit.” – I cannot resist appending my translation of “A Logical Story”, a poem by Eeva-Liisa Manner (1921-1995) that I came to include in my February 2005 Philadelphia anthology of Finnish poetry.

June 26, 2005 3:17 PM New in Google Poem Anthology: “Fountain” by R. Mutt (N).

June 26, 2005 11:37 PM We’re not exactly swimming in Material anymore. A Google poem by Debby Florence (N).

June 26, 2005 0:28 AM The best piece on poetry-in-context I’ve read for some time now: Douglas Messerli in conversation with Charles Bernstein (N) (and, to modify the joke in one of Charles’ questions, with himself) in the issue(-in-coming) 28 (N) of Jacket (N).

June 25, 2005 3:25 PM Announcing Search Engine 2. Debby Florence has put out a new anthology of Google-inspired images and poetry (N), including work by Brandon Shimoda, Jason Weiner, Weldon Gardner Hunter, Matt Holdaway, Michael Sawyer, herself – and myself. I’m honored.

June 24, 2005 9:48 AM My comments on translating Joyce (F), from Kerberos (N,F) 2/2005. The theme of the current issue is “Translation”, and there’s also a witty piece by Antti Nylén: “Translation equals writing other people’s books. This definition is exhaustive.” Agreed.

June 23, 2005 5:10 PM “Denna ‘språkpoetiska’ strömning som i dag dominerar vår poesi.” In Svenska Dagbladet today, Jan Olov Úllen writes (N,S) about Jesper Olsson’s dissertation Alfabetets användning (N,S), on concret poetry in Sweden. A good presentation of an important work and tradition – & also see Paal Bjelke Andersen’s comment (N,No).

June 23, 2005 10:28 AM Searching for some other old scrap of paper (as seems to be my habit on sunny summer days) I came across a draft for a Finnish translation of “Golem” by Jorge Luis Borges. After some additional polish, I decided to put it up here. The draft is from 1995, a time of my initial interest in computer-generated writing. At least I cannot say I wasn’t forewarned.

June 22, 2005 9:30 AM Helsinki Poetics Conference (N) is part of Runokuu (Poetry Moon) (N,F) is part of the Helsinki Festival (N).

June 21, 2005 8:53 AM Google Art Audio. It is of course hopelessly late now, but the net artist Christophe Bruno at least tried to awaken the French to the complexity of the Yes/No question with “Jérôme Piques v1.0, the first Human Browser”, experimented on Sunday, May 29, 2005, nearby a Parisian polling station. As the artist “enter[ed] keywords in a Wi-Fi pda, to briefly describe the actor’s context, a program on a laptop use[d] these keywords as search strings in Google. Then the laptop sen[t] a text-to-speech audio of the search to [the] actor who then repeat[ed] what he [was] getting via the headphones.” For a video documentation, go www.christophebruno.com (or, without English subtitles, Le Monde.fr). Other Bruno sites: www.iterature.com, www.unbehagen.com, www.wifi-art.com.

June 21, 2005 8:27 AM Mark’s piece on Jukka-Pekka in English original.

June 20, 2005 1:07 PM The present issue of Parnasso (3/2005) features fine poems-as-images-as-poems by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, together with a sympathetic memoir-essay by Mark Young in my Finnish translation, now to be found here as well.

June 19, 2005 2:32 PM I Must confess I cannot, once again, get myself interested in what the Lahti International Writers’ Reunion (N) has to offer. And I doubt if the evident decline of this once-important gathering can simply be attributed to “détente’s expansion into globality”, which is how the poet Pentti Holappa seems to explain it in today’s HS. Perhaps literature itself (or the organizers conception of it) has “expanded” as well (and then beyond limits…). Anyway, my friend Make Copies got an assignment to translate a few pieces by Theo Hakola (N), one of the intellectual luminaries debating “Writing As an Act Of Love” on the famous Mukkula greens now. Being a pseudonym, Make strongly suspects he was chosen to the task because the quality of the writing prevented the organizers from relying on any of our “real”, respected translators. I take the risk of publishing one of Make’s versions – well aware that its classifying cadences just may not do justice to the subtle ironies of the original (compare “Love on a roof top – our cups running over / as the rain makes us older and bolder and bolder and bolder…” with “Katolla lemmitään – kun malja onkin vuo / Ja sade tekee aikuiseksi, rohkeutta suo…”)

June 18, 2005 11:36 AM Check out the expanded more stuff page – with a couple of new additions, like “I Love Me, Vol I” (F), my essay from 2002, on palindromic poetry by Esa Hirvonen and Simo Frangén & Pasi Heikura.

June 17, 2005 12:54 AM Working to improve the site’s navigability and the availability of stuff – try the above bar.

June 16, 2005 9:05 AM Bloomsday. You may now take a look at my draft for the Penelope episode of Ulysses in Finnish.

June 15, 2005 7:15 AM Hubert van den Berg (The Netherlands), Klaus Brax, Pauliina Haasjoki, Fredrik Hertzberg, Anna Hollsten, Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen, Timo Hännikäinen, J. K. Ihalainen, Teemu Ikonen, Siru Kainulainen, Janna Kantola, Sakari Katajamäki, Jarkko Laine, Markku Lehtinen, Stefan Moster, Riikka Pelo, Lars Mikael Raattamaa (Sweden), Aki Salmela, Eino Santanen, Olli Sinivaara, Ilpo Tiihonen, Miia Toivio, Jarkko Tontti, Elo Viiding (Estonia), Auli Viikari. You’ll meet them all, and others (incl. me), at the Helsinki Poetics Conference (N), August 22, 2005, Old Student House, Helsinki.

June 14, 2005 10:55 AM TAITE (N,F), former Finnish “magazine for poetry”, has shifted its focus a bit: it’s now “a cultural magazine with a special emphasis on poetry” (the current issue is 2/2005). Mechanically transposing Ron Silliman’s (N) standards, the old TAITE would be characterized as a mouthpiece (hmmm) for the local School of Quietude. My experimental tastes never prevented me from appreciating it, though (and I specifically salute its work in presenting the work of various forgotten or little noticed poets). Still, the light ecdysis (nahanluonti) seems a wise decision, too. Nice to read about silent poetry in a more voiced context. And I was glad to see the memoirs on Arto Kytöhonka, who’d turn 60 this year. Kytöhonka has for a long time been very high on my (long) list of unduly neglected Finnish poets (and my Ääninen (1997) is dedicated to his memory). I took the liberty of reproducing – in scanned image – a short section of Kytöhonka’s wonderful, almost samizdat, 175 page Venetsialainen sarja. Nagauta 32-71, from around mid-80’s: a work that, in all its Anhavasque wordings, is a harbinger of Finnish digital poetry, among other things: “IF ‘vedet’ / THEN ‘kalat kompastuvat marmorikuuliin’ / ELSE ‘saalis’.” Nagauta should – and will – be read alongside Saarikoski’s Tiarnia Suite.

June 13, 2005 5:39 PM “The 2nd Congress of Ethnic Maris of the Republic of Mari El was held in the forest in fear of persecution.” During the spring, there have been several reports of incidents of persecution and oppression – apparently backed by the local administration – against the Maris and their minority nation in Russian Federation. The European Parliament and the Finnish Writers Union are among those now voicing their support for the Maris. The above conference expressively declared any accusations of “nationalism” as ill-founded and provocative. “We demand that our constitutional rights in our own republic be observed, without restraining the rights and interests of the whole population irrespective of ethnic origin.” For more, visit the Information Centre of the Finno-Ugric People (Soome-Ugri Rahvaste Infokeskus, N).

June 10, 2005 12:50 AM Now available from Green Integer: Shadowtime. Charles Bernstein’s libretto to Brian Ferneyhough’s opera: ISBN: 1-933382-007, 4¼ x 6, 132 pages, Trade Paperback: $11.95, in stock now if you order now direct from Green Integer, 6022 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (add $2 for shipping), or order from Green Integer on the web. Shadowtime will have its US Premiere at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York on July 21 and 22, with a concert performance in London at the English National Opera on July 9. “Brian Ferneyhough’s opera is an apex of modern operatic artistry.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).”Bernstein’s libretto, plain and simple, is the finest contemporary libretto that I know of.” (Music and Vision).

June 9, 2005 11:59 AM Starting yesterday: ISBN 91-974478-9-7 (RGB / BTJ / GBG), an exhibition (N) with really color-full works, by Cecilia Grönberg & Jonas (J) Magnusson, at Galleria Huuto. Same kinds of fabulous understatements to be found also in Marko Niemi’s new blog, Nurotus (N,F: but non-Finns will just need a standard Finnish dictionary…).

June 9, 2005 9:20 AM I Love Apples. A lovely new Google poem (N) by Helle Christensen.

June 8, 2005 3:20 PM Varjot korvissamme (Shadows in the Ear) is my essay on translating poetry, published yesterday in Suom.huom., WSOY, ed. by Kristiina Rikman, and with contributions by thirteen Finnish translators.

June 6, 2005 9:42 AM Put up a personal calendar with a few upcoming events (for permalink, see sidebar).

June 4, 2005 11:47 AM Some mainstream media coverage for two publishing ventures I’m somewhat involved with: In Helsingin Sanomat, the near-monopolistic “Times” of Finland, Mervi Kantokorpi writes about Tuli&Savu (N,F), praising it as “the number one in poetry”. At Kiiltomato.net, Niina Hakalahti reviews (N,F) Pauliina Haasjoki’s and Reetta Niemelä’s Kolmosten talo (poEsia (N,F)), saying it to represent “the marginal of the marginal”. Two honorary positions that, in my view, are each other’s prerequisites.

June 2, 2005 8:59 AM The End of Ubu. Yes, it’s sadly official. The great avant-garde reservoir (N) run out of, hmmm, server space, and will not be updated any more. Other places will grow up to replace it, but can anything replace Ubu’s true originator (N), Kenny Goldsmith (N), the archiver of genius? That is to say, let’s hope he finds other things to do as incredible as Ubu. As he most certainly will.