Friday, December 13, 2013

Coolest Book Club in the World

I bumped into the coolest book club in the world yesterday.  I asked if I could join and in the nicest way, they promised that they would put me on the top of the waiting list.

Check out the article and video on AskaNewYorker.com

Link: http://www.askanewyorker.com/garrett-robinson/cirque-eloize-bookclub/

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A fun little poem for the day






Street Performer

Talk about peculiar, but there is
a guy who sits all day on the curb
at the world’s busiest corner.
As people dash to avoid each other
the rush of the mob will often converge
and mash against him with frumpy faces.

As the crowd stands captivated by the light,
he entices them with a country smile
and opens a divertimento piece
with the little lyric he recites.
Extending this gentle gift he sings,
the melody in the song he breathes,
he charms the crowd until the changing light
releases the winged poems into flight.

****

A fun little piece I made up yesterday on a rainy day.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The National Writers Union

People are writing more now than ever.  There are more open mic poetry readings than ever before.  MFA programs are popping up everywhere.  Some people believe the market is over-saturated   I disagree.  As our means of communication increase, there is a greater need for people to express themselves with greater clarity and precision.  Most conflicts arise through misunderstanding.  The better we communicate, the more benevolently and productively we may interact as a species.  

On a regular basis, people approach me and ask how they can start their writing career. The answer is easy: join the National Writers Union.  

The publishing industry is going through a radical transformation and the National Writer's Union is more important than ever.  

In the past, the exclusive means for a writer to address the public was through the main publishing houses.  With the establishment of Print On Demand (POD) companies and the marketing tools at the public's disposal, this is changing dramatically.  The stigma for self-publishing is vanishing.  

The industry’s transformation will impact human culture with an equivalence to the invention of the Gutenberg Press.  Just as the movable type press allowed the dissemination of literary works through the general population, our current communication networks are providing writers with direct means to reach the general public in unprecedented ways.  

This presents two major challenges: how writers will use the media for self-promotion and how writers can protect their work.  

This is how the National Writers Union is perfectly positioned.  The local branch in New York has a legal team that can advise members about the negotiation of contracts.  They provide counsel for copyright protection.  They also conduct numerous presentations focused on developing marketing platforms.  The Union also has a presence at literary festivals where members may display their books.  

Some people believe this transformation will spell the doom for the major publishing houses.  I disagree.  In a similar vein, the introduction of cable television did not end broadcast networks.  The major broadcasters remained, but the public is also able to access more channels that offered greater variety.  

Everyone can benefit in the new developments in the publishing world.  The public will gain more literature, the writers will have more control over their work, and the major publishing companies will have the opportunity to sign authors who have demonstrated public appeal.  This is also an excellent opportunity for the unions to strengthen through the transitions in this field by performing their designated tasks, that is protecting and promoting individual workers and artists.  

I am a firm believer in the free market, and the unions provide an invaluable service to preserve the free market by ensuring that workers and artists are not exploited.  

New Posts on AskaNewYorker.com

Quite a number of new reviews I posted on AskaNewYorker.com

Here are the links:

Review of the play, Becoming Dr. Ruth  http://www.askanewyorker.com/garrett-robinson/becoming-dr-ruth-review/

Post for "Move It! with Marcella": http://www.askanewyorker.com/garrett-robinson/move-marcella/

Review for SISTAS: a Musicalhttp://www.askanewyorker.com/garrett-robinson/sistas-music-heart-soul/

Post "The Span of Poetry": http://www.askanewyorker.com/garrett-robinson/span-poetry/

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Möbius Sphere, reissued

Reissued from 2004, my first publication of poetry, Möbius Sphere.  This is a short book composed of 23 poems with my own illustrations.  I have also included a concrete poem that was not included in the original edition.  Currently available on Amazon:  Möbius Sphere



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mentalese and Music: A Harmonic Correspondence

The other day, I had a fascinating conversation with a wonderful family where one member was a musician, another an actor and a third a linguist/artist.  The conversation touched upon an broad range of topics, as one may imagine, but I had an opportunity to explain one of my theories and I was pleased to find them thoroughly intrigued.

The theory I mentioned is presented in my novel Nunatak.  I admit without hesitation that I simply use the story line as a thread upon which I string a number of beads of ideas.  This is typical for all of my stories, particularly my novels.  Among the numerous ideas I present through the character Tuesday Paz, this family found one particularly interesting.

For most of my life I have been intrigued by the means of communication, both in humanity and other organisms.  Regarding humanity, I have enjoyed clarifying for people that our spoken and written language is the second most important means through which we exchange information.  The first being the genetic code which is exchanged principally through sexuality, although technology is allowing us to exchange this information through other means.

In Nunatak, I present what I propose will be the successor for the second most important means of communication between human beings, and this successor will be music.

There is a mystery as to why instrumental music is one of our most powerful means of evoking emotions.  Neurologist, psychologist and cognitive theorist have not been able to pin-point a reason for this.  I have long proposed that the reason for this is because instrumental music has the closest resemblance to the processes of thought which occur in the neurological network of our brains.

The rhythms of music correspond with the oscillating activities of neurological processes.  The harmonics of music correspond with the simultaneous and synchronous activities of numerous specialized regions of the brain.

In this, when we are "listening" to music, we are actually sharing the process of thought with the composer and musician through one of the most direct means.  Most of our means of communication are actually symbolic referencing system.  In fact, even the genetic code is a type of symbolic referencing system which we do not completely understand.  The information represented in the code provides the instruction for the performing of various physiological processes.  Music is in fact a means of directly sharing physiological processes between human beings, and other organisms, as they occur in the most complex systems of interaction between energy and matter in the known universe, that is our brains.

In time, we will be able to refine and develop our abilities to compose music which will allow us to increase the complexity of our interactions so that they more closely resemble the complexity of activity that is occurring in every individual mind.  Then through this, there will be a continuity of the processes of thought from one individual to another, not only facilitating greater understanding, but also facilitating greater complexities which will allow us to increase our understandings of the boggling complexities of the universe in which we exist.

Of course formulating this type of music would not be easy.  A comparison that I could draw upon is considering the complexities and dynamics of harmonic correspondence which Bach composed for his Fugues.  Then multiply this by at least a billion, and then we will be beginning to reach the complexity which will allow us to achieve this in a sophisticated basis which will not only evoke primordial emotions, but also the subtle and intricate sensations of thought which allow some of the highest abstractions and arrangemetns such as those capable by people such as Einstein, Mozart, Euler, Marie Curie or countless others.  In fact, every single one of us are capable of some of the most astonishing complex activities within our own minds that our simple day to day activities confound our greatest technologies.

Some of the implications of this are truly astounding too.  By bypassing the symbolic systems of most of our languages and directly communicating through a continuity of the processes of thought, we would achieve a more universal comprehension of thought.  That means, not only would we able to directly communicate with every person of every culture without need of a translator, we would be able to communicate with every living organism on the planet, and quite possibly other planets as well.

There are many other implications of this, which I have explained to some extent in the novel, and illustrated through various events of the story.  There are countless others which I have not mentioned as of yet in either.  But I thought some people may find it interesting to consider.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Envision This, Atom Slice Precise

New visual poem I made up yesterday.




This poem was inspired in part by my recent reading of Craig Dworkin's No Medium.  The book is an extensive scholarly study on "nothing".  Really a great book too.  My only disappointment was there was no mention of Paul Taylor's famous Seven New Dances, where the dancers stood perfectly still through the entire performance.

Among a number of fascinating insights, the book offers a great approach for considering the expectations of the audience when approaching a work of art and how that encounter is most drastically confounded when the audience actually encounters nothing in the presentation.  It is a dramatic leap beyond the "Open Expression" employed in countless imaginative ways by the New York School of Poets.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Morning Sketch with [warning] a free association ramble

More than the patterns, the linking interstices,
the fibrous threads of connection, shimmering, transforming
to the atomic in the rhythms of Brownian movement,
there is the sensation where I can place my hands
on the stone and feel the resonance,
the distillation of the past performances,
the keen concentration of attention,
the enthusiasm of reception seething beneath the surface
and permeating through the structure
with the vast possibilities of expectations
humming through the spacious chambers
of the Lincoln Center.


Gearing myself up for my next work.  I must admit that this was actually not sketched on the subway, but in the library this morning while I was waiting to use one of the computers and check my email.

Although I am not yet certain how I will structure the composition, I am becoming convinced it will be formulated upon the Lincoln Center and will most probably be an episodic, lyrical narrative.  Ultimately though, we will have to wait and see.  I have long since learned that the more I allow the production to deviate from my original intentions and notions, the more fully the work develops itself.  As Tuesday Paz says in Nunatak, "Logic is an extremely important tool for effectiveness within society, but one must not limit oneself to it."

Many comments in even this little sketch will require extensive elaboration and clarification, especially the comment upon Brownian Motion, which will actually become an illustration of the quality of clarity and resolution in perception, in addition to the musical realities which permeates our entire being.  From this, I tend to think of one of Rilke's images where he describes the activities of our lives maturing fruit in another dimension where this fruit is gathered by angels.  I will have to search to find this illustration again though, perhaps it is in his New Poems.

For the time being, I am waiting for the rain to pass, so I can set up my little book stand outside and continue reading poetry to the passing crowds.

As odd as it may sound, this is actually a realistic depiction of the sensations I have often felt at the performance center.  And this is when I am not attending a performance.  When I am attending  performances, it is different.  As I described to a friend in a past email, when I attend a performance of the New York City Ballet, I feel like I am sitting directly at the face of the sun and the whole production fills me with light and heat so I feel I could burst into flames and rise like a Firebird.  But then again perhaps I listen to a little too much Stravinsky and read too many Russian folk tales, not to mention suffering from some severe cases of "delusions of grandeur."

Anyway, enough of this rambling this morning.  I typically keep such free association compositions, or perhaps more accurately described as bricolages, in my private journals, but due to my current transitional period, I have to expose myself, because I can't stop writing.  It has become as important of a part of my existence as breathing, sleeping and dreaming.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reading at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park

Clip of a video of me reading from Martha at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park.  Great event. I want to extend my thanks to the legendary Angela P for hosting the event and inviting me as a featured poet and also thanks to Steven Speliotis for providing the video footage.

I am reading from the beginning of Martha's professional career as a dancer.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Orpheus and the Dancing Elms

Ever seen trees dance.  Check out this video.  



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Who's ready to reinvent the wheel?

For the past 17 years, my preferred mode of transportation is walking, although I definitely consider myself more Peripatetic than pedestrian.  Still, I remain a proponent for bicycles.  As I have said before, bicycles have to be one of the greatest inventions of human civilization.  What is more ingenious than inventing a means which allow people to run while sitting down?  Not to mention that bicycles may be the most efficient means of transportation on the ground.  

Still, there remain some complications with bike commuting and traffic laws.  Perhaps one can blame this on the fact that traffic laws were devised with little more than automobiles in mind.  Still,one of the most dangerous instances is watching bicyclist racing through red lights and completely disregarding stop signs.  

I am reasonably sympathetic with this.  After all, it must be extremely annoying to have expended the energy to achieve a breezy cruising speed, only to have that energy lost through abrasion, heat and that odd moan that the brake pads make on the bicycle's wheel rims.  Then after coming to a complete stop, the light turns green again, and the bicyclist has to laboriously crank the pedals to regain that cruising speed.  

Perhaps I can offer a solution - someone needs to reinvent the wheel.  

Instead of simply dissipating that energy through the brakes, why not devise a wheel that slows the bicycle by capturing the energy.  Then when the bicycle has slowed, or comes to a complete rest, that energy can be slowly released again to regain that cool cruising speed?  

Admittedly, I am not the most mechanically inclined person.  But I was considering some options.  Of course many electric cars do this with electric motors.  But this would probably be too heavy for a bicycle.  

The most practical solution would be the use of some type of light weight elastic material.  Through the braking, they would stretch and store the energy.  Then when needed, the stretched elastic could unravel and the energy released would propel the bike to effortlessly regain that carefree cruising speed.  

Of course even a contraption such as this would add weight to the bicycles, but I am not talking about using this on bicycles for the Tour de France.  I am thinking of simple cruisers that people would use for commuting and recreation.  

In time though, I am eagerly anticipating the inevitable day when an entire avenue in Manhattan is closed for only bicycle and pedestrian traffic.  And I truly believe that day is quickly approaching.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Subway Poem

As I am in a transition right now, I don't have the opportunity to sit and compose any serious pieces.  It is typical for me to overextend myself beyond my resources.  Still my marketing venture is going well, people are enjoying my books and I have time to compose some light verse while riding in the subway.

For My Friend, Perseverance

They thought they could trap her like a bird,
slam shut the window they used to lure her
then batter her to the deck, stand on her neck
and pluck every single feather from her.

But she bounced around like a bullet,
riddled their lies till they were heaped in piles
then hovered like a buzzing hummingbird
before shooting through the roof.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Potted Plants

A thought
of a title
for a book
of poems:

Potted Plants

tiny islands
of life
with obscene flowers,
quilled cacti
and glowing peppers
filled with fire.

7/12/13
Another Subway Poem

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

John Ashbery's poetry, a reflection

Reading John Ashbery's poetry is like chasing a fox through a forest.
I can see the delicate and nimble flash darting and dashing through the lush vegetation and majestic stands, but I can never catch it.  If I remain intensely attentive, I can follow it through the turns, till suddenly at the end of the last line, the fox abruptly vanishes.  Then lifting my eyes from the page, I find myself in a completely different place.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Circuit of the Sun

Through the past year, I have made the most monumental achievement of my life.
I have been communicating with the public through my literature.
Sitting in the parks of New York City nearly every day,
even in the snow and subfreezing temperatures,
I have cordially greeted the throngs of people passing.
Countless times, I have asked the blur of traffic,
“Would you like to hear some poetry?”
and on some rare occasions,
a person will step out
of the bustling crowd
and say,
“Yes.”


Garrett Buhl Robinson
Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Future of Libraries and the Libraries of the Future


The public library system in the United States is one of the greatest institutions in the history of humanity.  This public service, which was established to ensure the preservation and access of information for the public, has no comparison.  As society continues to develop into the information age, the services and information that the public library provides will continue to increase in importance and value. 

"Liquidating the library branches ... would be like selling the gold mine to buy picks and shovels."


Through the centuries, books have been invaluable for the storage and dissemination of information.  As we work more exclusively on digital platforms, books are becoming obsolete.  Libraries, however, are not becoming obsolete. 

Library is derived from liber, which means book.  However, to consider literature as books is like considering theater as only a stage.  The stage is simply the platform upon which dramatics are performed.  Ultimately, libraries do not preserve books.  They preserve information.

At the current rate that we are propagating information, and our increased reliance upon this information, we must have places where this information may be preserved and accessed.  Digital information is extremely volatile and easily lost, and as our reliance upon digital information increases, our reliance upon the library system to preserve and archive this information will become more important. 

New York City is perfectly positioned to lead in the transformation of the library system.  In fact, the New York Public Library could become the principal source of research information for the entire human population. Unfortunately, some municipal decisions concerning the public libraries seem to be moving more toward disassembling the system, rather than ensuring that it has the support needed to continue evolving to meet the public’s needs. 

"The New York Public Library could become the principal source of research information for the entire human population"


With the construction of the new Roosevelt Island Tech Center the library will be an invaluable resource for ever elaborating information technologies.  Liquidating the library branches and renovating the Schwartzman Building so that it becomes more of a museum of the library sciences rather than a functioning research facility is like selling the gold mine to buy picks and shovels. 

Instead of liquidating historic library buildings and converting the Schwartzman Building into a museum, the city should take close consideration of how the library system may evolve to continue serving the population as we develop into the information age.

Although there are countless ways through which people interact and communicate, the literary language remains an invaluable means of exchanging information and is second in complexity and consequence only to the genetic code.  The library system must continue to evolve to ensure that the integrity of literary information and communication is preserved.

In addition to living in the information age, we also live in the misinformation age.  Our access to information must be from unbiased sources that provide every available means of verifying the legitimacy of the information.  This access must also be independent from the economic market.  The public library must continue to provide this service. 

With the availability of the information in the library system, universities and the Roosevelt Island Tech Center can begin developing systems for restructuring and organizing the information to improve access through ingenious new means of data architecture and indexing.  This would increase the public’s ability to apply information effectively to the unforeseeable developments of the future. 

"The best-informed public is the most stable, productive and innovative public."


Instead of closing historic library facilities, the city should modify them into education centers that instruct the public in the effective use of new information technology.  This would enable the public to employ these tools for the greatest benefit for themselves and society.  The best-informed public is the most stable, productive and innovative public. 

As the information we generate increases exponentially, we must rely upon the library system for the preservation and archival of this information.  Although it is easy to dismiss the electronic chatter that is incessantly buzzing through our lives, this buzzing is the development of new means of interaction that we are only beginning to understand.  Never before has the entire population of humanity had instant access to one another, and this means of communication is integrating our collective intelligence in ways that are unprecedented.  These developments have profound ramifications for humanity and life on Earth.  We must preserve this information that is recording a nascent era of our species so that it would be available for study. 

Also, the archives of the New York Public Library are already the most accessible of any literary archives in the world.  The new technology that is developing could make these archives even more accessible.  As we record these archives on digital formats, anyone in the world could directly access them.  This would allow the entire human population to converge upon the New York Public Library as a primary resource and point of referral for information on the human species and the universe. 

Not only would this convergence allow the New York Public Library to gain and engage the attention of the  world’s population, it could establish the library system as an invaluable source of information from which people may continue to develop their understanding of one other and us all.  Then, as we continue to develop our understanding of one another, we may decrease the number of conflicts from disagreement. 

Although printed books are becoming a novelty, literary language and the information preserved and transferred through it is not.  We cannot abandon our library system, instead we must ensure that it will evolve to serve our increasing need for information. 

Garrett Buhl Robinson is a poet and novelist.  He lives in Brooklyn.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Infinite Answer

Pausing for a moment, curious,
the simple man watches
others trampling a field
playing rankling
games of elimination
then resumes his furrowing journey
turning the earth
while life rises behind him,
opening in flowers
disrobing their petals
swelling into fruit
sweetly encasing sleeping seeds
dreaming into being, while thinking:
"The answer must be everyone."

Garrett Buhl Robinson
2/20/13

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Sonnet for the Sonnet

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!


A Sonnet for the Sonnet

As a sonneteer, I am enamored
by sonnets, but today to my delight
serendipity favored me to find
a university class that explored
the passionate history of the form. 
The lecture described this frame tumbling through lives,
uniting affections through centuries of time. 
There is no language that it scorns;
there is no culture it cannot adorn.
This delicate and vigorous design
turns eternal in awakening minds
and endures with the desires it records. 
I swear with my life and the lute I strum,
as long as we love sonnets will be sung. 

(1-27-2013)
Garrett Buhl Robinson


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Les Ballets de Faile


This was more than a performance.  This was an extraordinary event.  Forget what you may consider to be the stiff, formalities at a Gala.  This was a first class Soiree.  Congratulations to Peter Martin and New York City Ballet for hosting a truly spectacular evening.  

Last night’s show was a feast for the senses. The art presented by Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller filled the Koch Theater with a fresh vibrancy and vitality.  Their mixed media work brought a fusion of paint, screen printing and sculpture together with allusions ranging from the classical to pop culture which certainly suggested the influence of Warhol and Litchtenstein, while still speaking with a voice of their own.  

Then, as would only be expected of the New York City Ballet, the dancing was amazing.  Peter Martin made an excellent selection of pieces that demonstrated the fact that this company has no limits.  These dancers can do anything and always in the most breathtaking ways. The performances ranged from the comic, to the sensual, to the spectacular.  

The whole evening seemed to suggest that this was not your mother’s ballet, but to me it said much more.  It demonstrated a fine art that has continued through centuries, a form of exquisite and passionate grace that has both remained true to its origins while continuing to evolve and excite new audiences in tour jetes that bound through every culture spanning the world.  For me, last night was another unique opportunity to once again fall in love with ballet.  

Than after watching the Seraphs perform on the stage, Sébastien Marcovici DJ’ed, and everyone danced.  What a night!

And if you missed the show, don’t fret.  There is another performance on May 29, but buy your tickets quick.  This event sold out fast.  

Check out the posting on the New York City Ballet page:  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

From Pollution to Prosperity: Converting Carbon Dioxide into a Commodity

A couple of my friends generously offered their valuable time to provide some insight into some of the technical issues of this paper.  Any other comments would be greatly appreciated.  I am not certain of the energy investment required for the production of Lithium Nitrate, but I cannot imagine it exceeding that which is produced in the exothermal chemical reaction when it is combined with Carbon Dioxide.  If anything, I am hoping that this may direct some interest toward the work of Dr. Yun Hang Hu and his research team at Michigan Technological University.  These ideas offer a plausible solution to many of the issues regarding pollution, energy and the stagnant manufacturing industry.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l9wzaVhRp4gsEkAULffoaR2Zfu7Z6nSMkdgS83HXcFQ/edit

Friday, January 11, 2013

Radio Interview

Here is a link to a radio interview where I was able to discus  a few points about myself and my recent poem Martha.   I would like to express my gratitude to Susan Brender for having me on her show. She has a number of wonderfully interviews on her site. 


Photo by Jerry James