January 2010

for Carl Solomon

Brian Stefans What’s the name of the Ashbery essay in Reported Sightings in which he talks about the artist who left an art opening in tears, muttering the words “He stole my burnt dolls”? Could you type out the passage for me?
          Willa Carroll and Sarah Sarai like this.
Brian Stefans is still recovering from the annihilating genius of Andrew Maxwell’s coinage: “Twitter cruft.”
Brian Stefans is doing it* so it feels like hell. *a) writing grant proposals b) writing paper proposals c) writing session proposals for MLA 2011 d) writing student/friend recommendations for graduate school e) writing Maureen Dowd-like editorials about the LA poetry scene for Lungfull f) writing a status update (duh), his fourth of the day. (Extra credit: name that allusion!)
Brian Stefans is 196 lbs. young.
Brian Stefans is living in an enlightened muscle beach.
               Evan Kindley and Scott Oliver like this.
Brian Stefans I’m with ya: most digital art blows.
               Brooke Bocast and Lysette Elizabeth Simmons like this.
Brian Stefans , Andrew Maxwell and Maggie Nelson are making Barbara Guest and official member of the Los Angeles School of Poetry. Jack Spicer has an open invitation, should he decide to move back to L.A. after giving those lectures in Vancouver.
               Scott Oliver and Sam Solomon like this.
Brian Stefans made a mistake (in 1999 or so) in one of my widely reproduced essays — “allusive truths of colonialism” — meaning “elusive,” duh, and now see that Google (and now Facebook, because I’m masochistic) is rendering this mistake semi-permanent on the world stage. I mean, the entire phrase is stupid (I would never write it now), and I’m so embarrassed (embraced) about/by it that I decided to post it here. I miss the 90s.
               Joseph Mosconi, Ben Friedlander, Zachary Laymon Scott-Sedlaçko, Scott Oliver and Alli Warren like this.
Brian Stefans Haha, I still have three hours of this shit (i.e. 2009).
Brian Stefans We call this Just In Time Cooking (JITC). Happy New Year.

Brian Stefans Survey question: Free Blackberry Curve 8310, $200 iPhone or wait a few weeks for the gazillion dollar Google uber-phone? (Keeping in mind that I’m on the broke side, but feel a terrible obligation to keep up with the gadgets.)
Brian Stefans I can’t remember if I posted this one before. It’s almost as good as the new Bob Dylan Christmas Song.

               Fiona Templeton likes this.
Brian Stefans Will change your life:

               Carolina Beltrán and reece pacheco like this.
Brian Stefans thoughts they was singing “shingles bells.”
               Jeanie Roy Collins Manson and Lysette Elizabeth Simmons like this.
Brian Stefans Morrissey concert: kind of great, kind of sucked. Did send me back to Youtube tonight to revel in the glory. You should try it.
Brian Stefans is seeing Morrissey tonight at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City. Last time I saw this man on stage was in Jones Beach, New York, in 1986. Think he’ll remember me?
               Willa Carroll, Arthur Rodriguez, Scott Oliver, Allyssa Wolf, Jessica Díaz, Timothy Yu and Blue Montakhab like this.
Brian Stefans Reading about Sister Mary Corita (and ordering my copy of Damn Everything But the Circus), came upon this Youtube video speculating what the Star Wars credits would have looked like had they been created by Saul Bass:

               Lysette Elizabeth Simmons likes this.
Brian Stefans A poem by George Carlin, not to mention singing and swallowing:

               Joseph Mosconi and C.E. Putnam like this.
Brian Stefans is emigrating to Minneapolis solely on the basis of the food.
               Julia Bloch and Roxanne Carter like this.
Brian Stefans is driving to San Francisco tomorrow for the Area Sneaks launch. Anyone need a ride? Also, I need a place to stay…
Brian Stefans had lunch with Kim Rosenfield’s mother today in Long Beach and got the scoop on how awesomely precocious she (Kim) was back in her Beyond Baroque days hanging with Dennis Cooper and Bob Flanagan… thanks to Les Figues for the great auction item… and am about to settle down to watching the Klaus Nomi documentary.
Brian Stefans asks: I leant someone my copy of “The Dream of the Audience,” a catalogue of a Theresa Cha exhibition from some years back… do you have it?
Brian Stefans …spent the afternoon rummaging around a used bookstore in North Hollywood… bought a copy of Charles Bukowski’s first book of poems published in the year of my birth when he was a wee lad of 49… spent the evening in Hermosa Beach watching “the ultimate Smiths tribute band,” the Sweet and Tender Hooligans, with a bunch of drunk Latinos… echt Los Angeles! (“Echt,” btw, means “real” in German — I’m not gagging.)
               Allyssa Wolf, Willa Carroll and Ben Friedlander like this.
Brian Stefans notes: there are a number of “Theresa Cha”s on Facebook. We have no mutual friends.
               Heidi Ruffler, Nada Gordon and K. Lorraine Graham like this.
Brian Stefans Allen Ginsberg with The Clash in Times Square…

Brian Stefans is pulling for Ashbery to win the Nobel this year.
               Román Luján and Lysette Elizabeth Simmons like this.
Brian Stefans is Nelson Ned.

               Román Luján, Drew Kunz and Joseph Massey like this.
Brian Stefans : One year in Los Angeles… Still breathing… Gongula…
               Heather LaGarde, Timothy Yu and Scott Oliver like this.
Brian Stefans knows a poet is writing their own Wikipedia page when there is a block quote in the sidebar with an endorsement of the poet’s work from Robert Creeley.
               Spuyten Duyvil Press likes this.
Brian Stefans 3 out of 5 patrons at Psychobabble (Los Feliz) writing screenplays… the other 2 (incl. myself) on Facebook… more reports soon as I make the rounds. “This place is on a mission.”
Brian Stefans strange, visceral, butterflies-in-the-chest, downright loony pleasure in hearing Blue Oyster Cult’s “I’m Burning for You” in LA coffee shop as I procrastinate, wondering whether Maggie is right about the healthcare bill, whether I really was checked out by this model-looking woman just a half-second ago (she’s not so into the BOC, I think), whether my hands are shaking because I’m still detoxing from Mexico City…
               Allyssa Wolf likes this.
Brian Stefans Recorded on September 9, 2009. Con Luis Alberto Arellano, Karen Plata, Roman Lujan y Gabriela Jauregui.

Brian Stefans just heard another tour bus driving by his window, with the guide pointing out his apartment and saying with a megaphone that un muy famoso Coreano-Mexicano poet — “more Mexican than D.H. Lawrence” — lived there, and that groupy autograph seekers should simply not think about it, he’s taken, but look hard (holding binoculars with two hands) and you might catch him updating his Facebook status. Fame is wearying.
               Brooke Bocast likes this.
Brian Stefans is back in Los Angeles feeling more Mexican than Antonin Artaud and Eliot Weinberger combined, after a radio interview, poetry reading, digital presentation en La Casa del Poeta, swallowing the worm in Garibaldi with genuine car thieves, plenty of rain, pyramids y tortas, nuevos amigos y amigas, and playing conga drums… with the napkin holder. Luckily, there are a few Mexicans living in LA so I won’t feel homesick.
               Román Luján, Lynn Xu, La Doncella Dilatada, Augus Ta and Ben Friedlander like this.
Brian Stefans is sitting in a hotel restaurant in Mexico City waiting for Slovenian amiga and Roman to return while hurricane what’s-iz-name roars overhead, wondering how to accurately respond to Emily Critchley’s hilarious wall post without sounding like I’m making fun of Koreans; and, observing the only other Asian guy I’ve seen in Mexico smoking a cigarette in the other room and wondering if, indeed, I should bum one.
               Anna Guercio, Roxanne Carter and Sianne Ngai like this.
Brian Stefans is in Queretaro at a cafe internet with Roman and two Slovenian amigas who are giggling over a suggestive email they are writing to a Mexican boy in I don’t know where because I don’t speak Slovenian or Spanish. But I can say: Que me ves?
               Karen Randall likes this.
Brian Stefans is going to Mexico City tomorrow…
               Joseph Mosconi, Sianne Ngai, K. Lorraine Graham, Luis Alberto Arellano, Matthew Faccenda, Heriberto Yepez and Román Luján like this.
Brian Stefans has been reading Facebook status updates for a half hour and is only up to “10 hours ago.” What this means for the future of memory…?
               Nodd Ingdonkey likes this.
Brian Stefans Repeat after me: Ryan Trecartin: http://www.ubu.com/film/trecartin.html. Sorry I missed meeting this strange, talented man when I lived in Philadelphia.
                Joseph Mosconi and Lisa Sanditz like this.
Brian Stefans “What’s the matter, don’t you think I can?”
Brian Stefans In Grandma’s Mercedes.
               Lysette Elizabeth Simmons likes this.
Brian Stefans Kim Eno
Brian Stefans experienced his first earthquake today… and wasn’t impressed. Bring it on, he says.
Brian Stefans is chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added; salt (for binding, flavor, and firmness); water (to help in mixing); sugar (for flavor); sodium Nitrite (for color and as a preservative); back page interview of TimeOut NY (for personality); cotton und [… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …].
               Brooke Bocast likes this.
Brian Stefans is still getting over the phenomenal success of his last status update.
               Teresa Carmody, Jessica Fields Dunlap, Brandon Brown and Lysette Elizabeth Simmons like this.
Brian Stefans met a nice guy on the bus who told me his life story: that he was singer for 80s hair band Hurricane, retired in 1984 at 26, got his start in music at 15 because great-aunt was dating Elvis Presley, that he wrote the song Whitney Houston sang at the ’84 O [… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …].
               Lysette Elizabeth Simmons, Jeanie Roy Collins Manson, Tara Brochon and Scott Oliver like this.
Brian Stefans [… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … ].
               Karen Randall, Scott Oliver and Lee Montgomery like this.
Brian Stefans I’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea. I’m going in to be fitted with a CPAP machine today. Maybe, then, I can sleep.
Brian Stefans Brian Brian, why don’t you ever write me back?
Brian Stefans and Natalia are playing with her John McCain pop-up book.

Brian Stefans is sitting in Pete’s Bar and Cafe in downtown Los Angeles listening to art jabber from the table next to him.


Brian Stefans is all packed up for the move to Los Angeles. Is in boxes on the floor.

10 seconds ago
Saturday, January 9, 2010

Note: […] symbolizes characters not able to be retrieved from the site. One ellipsis equals a character up to the 420 maximum text length for a Status Update.

Has anyone ever charted the phenomenon of things being more expensive on eBay?

We’ve always known that Abe gets a few things wrong:


January 7, 2010, 7:30 pm

Broad Art Center
240 Charles E. Young Drive, Room 1250
Los Angeles, CA 90095

An informal screening of experimental works of abstract film and video, followed by discussion and observation. The theme of this salon: Strategies of Abstraction. Abstraction ranges from the intangible to the geometric. Often it includes representational objects within a realm of abstraction. Sometimes a process exists wherein a concrete concept or image is abstracted. Concepts range from mathematical to spiritual, rhythm is ordained by musical, biological or poetic forces.

The theme for this salon is TEXT AND SPEECH. We will be examining works that explore the confluence of abstraction and language. What choices do artists make when using text in abstraction? How do speech and poetry compliment or complicate visuals? The lineup of films (subject to change) currently includes:
Screening on 16mm as part of the historic film segment:

The Critic (1963) – Ernie Pintoff
Silence (1968) – Jules Engel
Dear Janice (1972) – Adam Beckett
Screening on video for the contemporary segment:
The Alphabet (1968) – David Lynch
Primiti Too Ta (1988) – Colin Morton and Ed Ackerman
The Dreamlife of Letters (2006) – Brian Kim Stefans
Oli’s Dream (2008) – Jaroslaw Kapuscinski (Text by Camille Norton)
Karatchi Scramble (2009) – Chris Casady
Floating Point (2009) – Audri Phillips
Civil War (2009) – Jean Detheaux

Rate My Professors seems to be dead, so I figure it’s about time I publish on my blog the collected comments about me from former students in New Jersey. It gets pretty good at the end (what does “Nop” mean?):

This professor is a really laid back kind of guy. He gives a few papers here and there but the work is not that difficult. If you pay attention and speak up in class I’m sure you’ll do good (grade-wise)

Great guy and a great teacher. If you do the work and put in the effort, you’ll be just fine. He knows his stuff and is more than happy to talk to or help you about anything. The class discussions can go a little off-track sometimes, but if you’re remotely awake, it shouldn’t matter. Definitely would take him again.

Great professor – very friendly and communicates well – will answer all questions quickly if you e-mail him. Gets frustrated with students who don’t try or who try to just skate by. As long as you do your work and participate,you will do well. Very fair with grades; learned a lot and thought the course was fun.

Probably the worst teacher I’ve ever had. Maybe the second worst. This is a LITERATURE class. What are we doing? Listening to horrible “plunderphonics” on the internet. The class has nothing to do with literature. I thought it was going to able about people publishing their writings on the internet…hence “Internet Writing and Society”. Nop

I wrote this in Philadelphia when I was in a heavy Morrissey phase. I never got around to recording it, but if you’d like to, please do! Send me the royalties.

Notice the way “grease cannoli” echoes the “grease tea” in “Everyday is Like Sunday”? Ok, I’m a nerd. Actually, I just couldn’t think of anything better, and didn’t want the extra syllable–“greasy”–in there. Sister, I’m a poet.

Here’s the original video for the song for those of you not lucky enough to have heard and been obsessed by it. Morrissey, unlike the artist formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, understands the importance of Youtube to maintaining a career.

“You Have Killed Me”

The panini is green
The gnocchi obscene
I entered this place
And something entered me
That I claim is diseased
And you did your best but

As I try to breathe
You have killed me, you have killed me
Though I’m off the ground somehow
You have killed me, you have killed me

That pasta I bore
I taste it once more

The cappucino was cheap
But my Euros you’ll never see
I entered healthy
But now I’ve number three
When you came with a tray
Of your grease cannoli

Though I try to leave
You will bill me, you will bill me
With my credit card somehow
You have killed me, you have killed me

Where am I to find
Something to eat

As I try to breathe
You have killed me, you have killed me
And I didn’t see a skull
Or Surgeon General on the menu

There is no point saying this again
Because you’re not American
But I will sue you, I will sue you
Oh, I will pursue you

So there I am, checking out a possible new apartment building in Google Maps, and I think I see some exploding rays of white light — you know, like a UFO — emerging from the second floor.

I move a few clicks down the street to get a better angle, and notice the rays of light have not changed their position relative to my own change of position… because, in fact, the rays are bird poop.

I guess it’s not as interesting as catching a drug deal or seeing your mom on Google maps, but it does in its way reveal the machinations behind these absorptive, seemingly omniscient technologies.

If you want to visit the poop, type in “hyde park apartments los angeles” in the search field at Google Maps. When you get there, go to street view, click left to get on Lexington Ave, then click forward to move down Lexington (actually, backwards works, too). Swing the camera up and to the right — UFO! (Poop.)

Today was one of those fugged up days when you sit around and go through your Abe.com and Amazon.com shopping carts, prune them (“save for later”), go back and forth between the sites looking for the best prices, and buy a shite load of stuff, some of which costs all of $0.01 (shipping: $3.99). That’s what it’s like to be a poet–and a poet researching the writing of Los Angeles is bound to get some good deals!

So this is what I bought today, just FYI (content for this blog rarely comes from deep insights from the author, but from the capriciousness of his actions):

L.A. Exile: A Guide To Los Angeles Writing 1932-1998
Evan Calbi, Paul Vangelisti, editors

Place as Purpose: Poetry from the Western States
Martha Ronk, Paul Vangelisti, editors

Last Words
Guy Bennett

Alphabets: 1986-1996
Paul Vangelisti

Lee Sr. Falls to the Floor
Leland Hickman

Fine Printing: The Los Angeles Tradition
Ward Ritchie

Mavericks: Nine Independent Publishers
Richard Peabody

Robert Crosson

Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond
Peter Selz

Abandoned Latitudes: New Writing by Three Los Angeles Poets
John Thomas, Robert Crosson, Paul Vangelisti

Stand Up Poetry: The Anthology
Charles Harper Webb

La Medusa
Vanessa Place

Musical Metropolis: Los Angeles and the Creation of a Music Culture, 1880-1940
Kenneth Marcus

Grand Passion: The Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond
Charles Harper Webb

North America Book Of Verse, Volume Three
C. F. MacIntyre

The Garden Prospect: Selected Poems
Peter Yates

Specimen 73 : a catalog of poets for the season 1973-74
Paul Vangelisti

Footnotes & Headlines: a Play-Pray Book
Sister Corita

John Thomas

Remote Control: Power, Cultures, and the World of Appearances
Barbara Kruger

Invocation L.A.: Urban Multicultural Poetry
Michelle T. Clinton, Sesshu Foster, Naomi Quinonez

Bohemian Los Angeles: and the Making of Modern Politics
Daniel Hurewitz

Selected Fiction/ Collected Later Poems/ Selected Criticism and Essays
James Boyer May

This last one, a boxed set, is far and away the most expensive, but the books are really beautiful, and I don’t think more than 100 copies were created. I’ll have to write some serious criticism about May to bring the price up!

Most of these are books that 1) I couldn’t get in the UCLA library, 2) were so cheap that, even if I could find copies, I just wanted one, 3) were selling for a lot less than it appeared they were worth based on competing prices, or 4) in my twisted mind were just so cool I wanted one for myself.

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