knuckling down LOS ANGELES
WAY: S A GRIFFIN'S SUTTRANIC VERSES:
THE NUMBSKULL SUTTRA
PURVIEW BY FDW, ula
REPUBLISHED WITHOUT RESERVATIONS
FROM CHRISTOPHER ROBIN'S "ZEN BABY' --NUMERO 19
SAGriffin. Numbskull Sutra, Rank Stranger Press; Mount Olive, North Carolina
300pp. Folio soft cover, perfect-bound. John Dorsey and David Smith, eds.
w/ intro. by Carter Monroe; preface by SA Griffin. 25.00 US
First things first, one was numbstruck by the chance to discover thumbing through the SUTRA the marvelous eye, nose, and throat candy-- and brain candy too why not-- of the multifarious flier and poster art duplicated -- and broadsides too and pics-- throughout that advertised and promoted the readings/spoken word events that SA featured in or was associated nearly with and the places and span and scope these public notices embrace.
Public and invitational recitals mounted by SA Griffin over the years especially that still and will in the far flung future matter to fans and followers.
This book representing now twenty- five years of poetry lived and shared , a legacy and vasty missive not about just so much entertainment and expressive relief-- affects consigned by the surface dwelling middle management to the shallows -- but always and ever more a rough housing of truth and beauty and everyday relevance and redemption through Poetry, while the state of poetry in America may at the same time become clogged and choked with imitators mouthing and bad mouthing the very outwards and outlaw idols being imitated. Still here we have it the illumination of the progenitor going about his working and breaking off pieces to sustain us on our way no matter what in the fall and spring of American. If we are poets deep rooted and down and dirty scrappers with a dog patch shanty in our cosmic-politan harks. Is LA a shanty, for better or for not why not if the words turned such raise the image in the poets eyes all the better to see to the play and the measure of the great city’s parlance. This exactly where SA Griffin stands in mastery of himself and his shadow as the super-beatified bearer of the true news.
Many in the compendium of the NUMBSKULL SUTRA is there an instant where the poems in themselves may not “cross the line” going gone beyond words to a definite savor or a hard stark ambience forebodes the readers and listeners own recollection but it is the line and his facility and welding and wielding the line where SA’s genius resides, genuinely necessary where they go and into and score the page even when those lines are single words especial in compact concise likewise measured stanzaic thought/breath units as one who knows as one must also be reading as if carried along rapids and white water of a current with an unopposed heart. At the same instant in time “reading” and “listening” to the spaces and silences of the white page that caps these necessary lines and their attending measures.
That is to get Griffin’s drift and experience the poetry as one’s own life is experienced as he does equally but uniquely. To the extent not just as a remembrance you are left with but as a pleasure that leads you to another fully engaged in life experience. In the meantime there’s another great poem to get with and plenty available in this husky big-hearted book. Valid even when you may imagine in that moment that you’re on the verge of a west Hollywood intersection left holding the bag but when you open that bag there is THE present. SA Griffin’s soul is bigger than life totally with it and with the reader besides. So then like Bukowski or Micheline on his best behavior so is it with Griffin immersed in soundly in the significant rush of American poetry/spoken word toward not so much simplicity for no proscribed purpose is hereabouts but mystical directness like with d. a. levy and the opening jaw and the unfolding hand. Like Bobby Kauffman too.
All is not lost on the pursuit of us, nor on the others’, no matter what sorry ass state of affairs or crisis even poverty and metaphysical despair, SA Griffin provides for. His poems his raves operate as universal handles on reality. Political and beautiful, since beauty which is just integrity across the board no difference how ugly or “common”, is the most political thing of all.
While politics is personal when looked at in a practical way, unobstructed from relationship makes the whole concept and utility of politics moot and ridiculous. “Weapons Of Mass Destruction” , p. 29; the short and sweet, “Legacy to the poor of LA”, p. 47. ;“I Choose Not To Believe In War Holy Or Not”, [ on a billboard at Hillhurst Ave., a photo of which is in the book] p.85; “American Poem”, pp. 198-200, all bear this out. Humor and the pleasure of swinging surrealism are infinitely more where it’s at for Griffin.
For example, “Kisses In The Wind”, p.224
[From: S.A. Griffin
Subject: Re: SA Griffin's soul is bigger than life totally with it and with the reader besides.
To: email@example.com [i.e., Christopher "Zen Baby" Robin]
Date: Friday, July 4, 2008, 11:02 AM
don't know if you've gone to print with this yet or not, but if it's possible, at the end of the review he has got the title of the poem on 224 as "Kisses To The Wind"... no such critter. the title is "12 Kisses To The Universe". ]
is endowed with the Taoist crazy wisdom regarding the common and the profane and therefore sacred in turn when read silently or out loud to ourselves that becomes clear and present and recollects love as the first cause a if we needed one.
But there is more here in NUMBSKULL SUTRA almost more than can be dreamed of, so at 25 bucks this book is worth more than a barrel of diesel.
SA. pict by complements of Mike Grover @ 2008
KANSAS CITY BBQ poets gatheringTHIS PAST JUNE
cf. Mike's report and selected picture coming up next
on the ULACritique
[S.A. Griffin to me show details Jul 4 Reply
Just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for the damned nice review, very much appreciated! The book came out this time last year, so it's a helluva nice way to flash back. Last July I was flying east to N. Carolina to meet the publisher, feast on some damned good bbq and party with some world class single malts. All in the name of poetry. The single malts were at this bar in Raleigh where a Carolina film maker was having a party for his first feature which had a poet as the lead character. They asked me to lay some words on them so I obliged. Turned out the owner of the bar travels around the globe collecting single malts. He found out my penchant for the stuff and was giving me shots of world class scotch the balance of the night. Not a bad exchange for a few minutes of poetry. Not bad at all.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>
IN THE PAST FEW YEARS OR ACTUAL EVER SINCE ONE BECAME AN ACTIVE ULA MEMBER BACK IN 2003 I'VE BEEN PROGRESSIVELY SICKENED AND REPULSED FANTASIZING WHAT KING OF PERSONALITY LIE BEHIND THE STYLE OF WRITING THAT DOMINATES MC SWEENEY'S MAGAZINES AND EFFECTS AND THEN THE DOMINANT CYNICAL PURPLE PROSE SICKENING SWEET AND NASTY THAT DOMINATED THE LOCAL PSEUDO LIT CRIT RAG THE INDEPENDENT OF PHILADELPHIA BRIEFLY THAT SOME GUY BLEW HIS MONEY ON JUST TO GET IN ON GOOD, DAVE EGGERS AND MOODY ASS KISSED SIDE. WELL HERE'S AN EXAMPLE FROM A MONTH AGO THAT WAS IN THE TIMES UNION OF JACKSONVILLE FL. THAT CONFIRMS MORE WORSE OPINION....
... TWO SNOT NOSE JERK OFFS FROM WHERE ELSE, LIKE NEW ENGLAND TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY DEFACING SACRED LITERATE AMERICAN FOLK ARTEFACTUAL WRITING IN STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS DEFACING THOSE AND JUSTIFYING IT WITH MFA FACTORY MILL PROSPECTIVE ENGLISH GRAMMAR ONCE THE CULTURAL BILLY CLUB WELL RATHER ABIT LIKE TODAY BESIDES OF DEAD ENGLISH KINGS AND SLAVE MASTERS.
WHAT REALLY TAKES THE CAKE AND EATS IT TOO IS THAT THESE BLACKGUARDS ARE ACTUALLY TOUTED AS "MODERN DAY KEROUAC'S" BY NOTHINGLESS THAN NPR AND OR THE SHOCKAGO TRIBUNE (DOES EITHER OR MATTER WHEN EVERY MASS MEDIUM IS A HEIDEGGER ?). ALL A ULAER CAN SAY IS, WELL THAT IS ALSO CONSISTENT WITH THE BS OF THE OVERDAWGS AND AND THEIR MINIONS OF DEMI-PUPPETS IN EVEN THE GOVERNMENTAL SO CALLED PUBLIC BROADCASTING ELITES MASS MEDIA MADE MUSH BY NEO-LIBERAL ELITES.
FREAKING INSULTING TO THE SPIRIT OF JACK AND HIS COMRADE UNDERGROUNDERS........
here's another crackpot who was no doubt an idealist about how noble white neo liberals might thru sacrefice of course to someone they thought below themselves in otherwds THEIR equal
if they allowed it-- how white of them---
Let's pick a fight with the Academy Of American Poets (and by association/conflict of interest, the Poets House and the NEA) by exposing one of the most ridiculous of their propagandists Hattie Jones pictured here above in this small PDF collage
however one really needs to briefly research the propaganda arm -- the speaking tour SS--of the corrupt American Poetry Foundation and begin to connect the names besides Hattie Jones' to get at what this clearly means.
''How I Became Hattie Jones'' follows in the tradition of some other distaff Beats who attempted to tell it like it was from their side of the mattress, not unintentionally claiming a place in the group history.
NEW YORK TIMES, today, Sunday edition.
She published later than other writers in the Beat movement because of the dominating force of men in the group. The female writers who became famous within the movement—DiPrima and Johnson, among them—were, Jones believes, similar in style to the Beats. DiPrima, for one, “wrote like the boys.”
The usual New School privileged clap trap but what else is new "its" so called intellectuals preying off/playing up the neo- liberal reactionary elitism while bashing
for other ulterior corporate publishing industrial complexions, real people of the People, in this case The Beats and in the main for her meal ticket and a place at the trough Amiri Baraka specific, smearing him on the bandwagon with the State of NJ (XXX Governor McGreevy who was blowing an Israeli spy at the time having placed that spy in a high position in NJ's Home Land Security!) and windbag hacks like Gerald Stern supposssedly all over Baraka's anti-Semitism (some how mixed up conveniently with earlier poetry of Amiri's "hatred" of white scumbag slumlords in the context of the poet's founding and involvement in not actually "just" the Black Power Movement per se but something more serious and therefore threatening to the Establishment of which Hattie Jones is a willing servitor, the Black Cultural Movement) and the truth and the especially the American parlance-- to speak most to young people FDW believes-- of the transgessing but great Masterpiece, "SOMEBODY BLEW UP AMERICA",.
subtext: Baraka is been published [along with Mike Grover, besides] in the current Citizen 32 with RACE theme
by eds. Toomer and John Hall for a pict cf. the ULAManifest post featuring John Hall concrete poems selection: