Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Frank Stanford Diary, Part 2

The Chief

So the Chief ended up being so great. If I drove by this place at night and Edward Hopper were riding shotgun with me, he'd almost decide to paint it. "Dude, slow down . . aw, never mind," he'd say. They had shampoo packets, too, which was a bonus, because I had to wash my hair with tiny bar soap at the Motel 6 the night before.

The rest of my diary, then:

9:05 Atlanta Bakery

When there is a table of retired men sitting in a bakery where there are no pancakes, one of them will do all the talking. He is the large one. He will talk to his smaller, fellow retirees about other men they might know, and who have heart trouble and are looking for part-time jobs in their retirement. It is always this way.

9:15 Atlanta Bakery

I want to know, in The Savage Detectives, what happens to Juan Garcia Madero, but the book is not telling me and I am getting distracted. I almost put tea in my coffee just now.

Mathew Henriksen giving directions before the marathon reading of The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You. In the background, you can see trucker hat guy.

9:44 in the upstairs loft at Night Bird Books in Fayetteville, where I have just discovered a new book of Chris Ware sketches that is beautiful but too expensive.

Before I left school yesterday, my friend Wendy said to me "Have fun on your trip! I hope you get to meet your poet-guy." "He's dead," I said. Then she laughed.

10:30 Farmers' market at Fayetteville town square .

Half of the citizenry of Arkansas is dogs. And yet it is still a red state. Not enough dogs.

If you see a three-legged dog, it is good luck. Especially if you have a leg and are looking for a dog.

12:50 Fayetteville public library, first panel discussion.

This guy in a baseball hat on the panel just said the exact same thing I have been thinking about Aime Cesaire and Frank Stanford but assumed I was wrong about. Now I think it's a good idea.
I will write it.

Matt again.

9:30 pm Marathon reading for Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You

We are 100 pages into Battlefield, and I have never read this much of it at one time and it's just too crazy. It's the only way this thing should be read. There are about thirty people listening in here and whenever the door opens to the hall outside, you can hear another twenty or so clinking beer bottles and talking about the poor market for PhD's.

I just got to get up on stage and read two pages. They included the part where the circus performer's cat is doused in cognac and lit on fire. I tried to rise to the occasion.

11:17 Getting tired already.

This guy in a trucker cap just got up there. I can't tell if the trucker cap is ironic hipster or sincere, but I wish I could wear hats the way he does. He gave the reading of the night. He sang it almost, in a voice like, I don't know, Michael Stipe or something if he were a public-access TV preacher. He was phenomenal, and a perfect note to end my night on. I'm not doing this all-nighter thing, though I might have if I brought a sleeping bag.


Irv Broughton, film-maker

And that's all I wrote! The travel and lack of decent breakfast was wearing me down, I think. I spent the whole trip home reading The Savage Detectives, but slowly. In the photo above is the guy who made the film that was one of the centerpieces of the conference this weekend. Before I took this picture, we talked IU basketball and Kelvin Sampson and the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons for a while. Super guy. Here's to hoping he can get a good version of It Wasn't a Dream, It Was a Flood released in the near future. It's stunning--I keep remembering the looped, hacking laughter of the figure that keeps coming in and out of focus at the beginning. Crazy.
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7 comments:

nathan_fisher said...

Battlefield Where... sounds rather interesting. I might try to pick it up, since I now feel uncultured for not having heard of it.

Actually, this whole thing just reminds me I need to read more. How depressing.

Dawn Potter said...

Well, I never even heard of Frank Stanford before, and I make my so-called living as a poet. Maybe Mr. Hill will give us a tutorial.

Mr. Hill said...

That's all well and good, Nathan, but I don't want to hear that book-learnin' is getting in the way of your seeing shows and making earnest student films on shoe-string budgets.

Mr. Hill said...

Oh, you're putting me on the spot now, Dawn.

Mr. Hill said...

Plus, no mere tutorial will work in this case; when you are ready, Frank Stanford will come to you.

Dawn Potter said...

Will I see him in my dreams? Or perhaps, to attract his interest, I'll need to sacrifice a snow-white lamb and two fat cows in front of his altar.

Mr. Hill said...

Dreams would be a good place to look. From "Singing Knives":

I dreamed I stepped over a log
And there was fire in my foot
I dreamed I saw a turkey and two wildcats
Jumped on me at the same time
I dreamed Jimmy was pouring ice water
Over my head at noon
I dreamed I heard somebody
Singing in the outhouse
I dreamed the mad dog bit the Gypsy
And they tied him to a tree
I dreamed I was buried in the Indian mound
And moon Lake rose up
I dreamed my father was wading the river of death
With his heart in his hand
I dreamed Jimmy rowed out the front door
With a hawk on his shoulder
And I was in the bow kneeling down
I dreamed the blacksnake rode the guitar
Down the river
I dreamed the clouds went by
The moon like dead fish...