Cid Corman

Cid Corman’s The fabric

downstairs as
I look in
from the street

I can catch
the loom and
can sense the

strengthen the
night coming

“Cid Corman” sounds like a character out of some noir vision of Brooklyn, New York City, New York. “Cid Corman” sounds like the image you see when you Google him. Cid Corman, something of and out of the 20th Century.

“Corman is the poet of quiet” writes Lorine Niedecker, who also sounds like poet of the 20th century, “Lorine”, especially when we read her poem You are my friend, which we are introduced to, along with Cid Corman, in ModPo. On Coursera.

Notes On Smell


William Carlos Williams, 1883 – 1963

Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed
nose of mine! what will you not be smelling?
What tactless asses we are, you and I, boney nose,
always indiscriminate, always unashamed,
and now it is the souring flowers of the bedraggled
poplars: a festering pulp on the wet earth
beneath them. With what deep thirst
we quicken our desires
to that rank odor of a passing springtime!
Can you not be decent? Can you not reserve your ardors
for something less unlovely? What girl will care
for us, do you think, if we continue in these ways?
Must you taste everything? Must you know everything?
Must you have a part in everything?

And she asked me, what words come to mind, when you stick that snozola of yours into the basil, as you just did?

But darling (which sounds so much better than it reads, darlin’), no words come to mind.

If pressed I might say peppery, piquant, herbaceous. But really what basil smells like is Caprese salad, is the sight of you in june at the market sticking your head in a bunch of green leaves, is even the way it yellows and sadly scraggled as I pick off the last leaves from our plant in November.

One might as well ask a dog what the ass of his doggy friend smells like; he might give as Williams might: An answer in a grin.

The Olympics In September


A couple spots of snow
survived this summer
despite how hot it seemed
– of course they’re not spots
but vast fields
of scree-studded ice
cut by flowing arroyos
way up on Mt. Constance

Bay Area Belle Époque


The Bay Area in the 2010s is Paris in the 1890s. Center of the universe. Where you must come to do your art, if you want to make art that informs as much as it celebrates: This is how to live, now.

The differences are in the mediums. Code instead of paint. Pixels instead of plaster. 140 characters instead of novels.

Sex is the commonality: not physical sex but the heady musk of ideas and of pushing beyond what was thought possible.