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Preview: Experiments In Text :The Literature That Organisms Demand

Experiments In Text :The Literature That Organisms Demand

text / politik / germination / monstrare

Updated: 2018-03-05T08:31:23.075-08:00


Quick On-the-Road One-Handed Note: The Rumpus for My Birthday


Learning to write lefty.And to peckat the keys likea poet.The political consequences of the shift. Minutely felt as they are...Many thanks to The Rumpus editors, as well as poet and reviewer David Peak, for publishing a kind, insightful review of Occultations. I was alerted to the review by friends, and reading it offered me new insight into what the hell I was or was not doing. The close reading is gracious and welcomed. Thank you!Such wonderful poets have new books out. I will now have to wait till teaching in New York is over to see these new works (each of which I've read parts of, and have deeply been affected by):--Susana Gardner's Herso - Black Radish Books // finally Gardner puts down her amazing book arts talents, others' manuscripts, and releases this difficult, spectral, book of poems.--Sarah Mangold's An Antennae Called the Body - Little Red Leaves Textile Editions // I love LRL, the work they publish and the time they put in curating works. I also love Mangold's work, have for several years ever since reading Household Mechanics. Can't wait to read this book.--C.J Martin's Two Books - Compline // Speaking of LRL editors, Martin's work has had an enormous impact on my thinking and writing. One of the most well kept secrets in contemporary poetry (well, not for much longer). And to wit, Michael Cross's new press (hot damn!) has published the book. That's celebratory.--Carlos Soto-Roman's Philadelphia's Notebooks - Otoliths // I'm super excited about this. Speaking of well-kept secrets. At least here in the US. Whereas in Chile and elsewhere, Carlos Soto-Roman's work has been widely circulating. This work is bound to be....Philadelphia's Notebooks (book)Print: $14.95Carlos Soto-Román writes from the center of Empire with a sense of play (game pieces included) and clinical examination. His book is the work of an artist/world citizen who critiques the daily interrogations that come with being a new immigrant. The fun fact that Ellis Island was greatly expanded with landfill in the late 19th -early 20th century provides a basis for Soto-Román's signage marking poetry's place in a disposable culture. There are workbook exercises that encourage creative ways to answer the calls for loyalty oaths with a demand for radical possibility the host country includes in its PR material. This work also includes what the USA brand doesn't advertise—isolation and moments of utter despair. It is a truly American poem in that it's internationally inflected, from George Perec to German cinema to self-immolators from all over the world. "Philadelphia's Notebooks" could not be a more artful and timely reminder that “Every heart is a revolutionary cell.”—Frank Sherlock--Oh, and here's a photo of my grandparents Alimelech and Tzivia (Kazakhstani). According to my aunt, they were active leftist revolutionaries, until one or both were swept up in one of the region's pogrom's.[...]

Two: 2


Recommended, two in-depth interviews with two fabulous poets/editors:

--the intrepid rob mclennan asks 12 or 20 questions of Marthe Reed's work. Her Black Radish title Gaze was the press's first. The book continues to stun me whenever I read it or part of it, disrupting my sententially mediated life.

--Jennifer Bartlett, a poet and editor I've long admired, is interviewed by Michael Northern for the current issue of Word Gathering. Among her other work, Bartlett and Northern discuss Beauty Is A Verb, a wonderful, diverse anthology of disability culture/post-abelist-related poetry they plus Sheila Black have edited, and which is forthcoming from Cinco Puntos in September.

Carrie Hunter's The Incompossible


From SPD, so you can if you desire go back to the site and order, below is info on the release of Carrie Hunter's long-awaited The Incompossible. Another incompossible title from Black Radish Books, turning out beautiful works at a remarkably steady pace. I had the pleasure of proofreading/editing an early draft of this book, and I agree with Conrad (below): the work is haunting, language made strange and close reading made procedural -- where procedural here is redacted by the reading's output: short prose poems linked by the theoretical magic of the senses, and by a dystopianism that one can revel in and "reverse."The IncompossibleCarrie HunterPublisher: Black Radish BooksPubDate: 6/7/2011ISBN: 9780982573136Binding: PAPERBACKPrice: $15.00Quantity Available: 44Pages: 120 Add to CartPoetry. "Every once in a while there's a collection of poems that cancels my way of thinking for a better way. Carrie Hunter's THE INCOMPOSSIBLE divines 'The decapitated head of Lack.' Over and over she does this, 'To say we are reversed now.' She admits, 'I can see you and see through you' and those superpowers are invoked by the reader only through the reading, a gouged track in the soil of our minds for the trickling, soon rushing images renewing our senses. Thank you for the superpowers, thank you for the poems of the new mind"—CAConrad.Author Hometown: SAN FRANCISCO, CA USAAbout the author: Carrie Hunter received her MFA/MA in the now defunct Poetics program at New College of California and edits the small chapbook press ypolita press. She is the author of several chapbooks, including Vorticells (Cy Gist Press), Kine(sta)sis (Dusie), The Unicorns(Dusie), A Musics (Arrow as Aarow), and Diary (Dusie). She lives in San Francisco. Reviews:ypolita press[...]

Scrawl: Hospitalogy from TSKY in 2012, updates, thank you


Been quiet here, here I mean.

Reason: lost function of my hands, or "these hands" -- so, more walking, less writing.

But much has happened in here (let alone simpliciter) since my last post. It's gotten to the point at which I need peck at the keys:

--Woke up a couple days ago to find that Tarpaulin Sky Press selected Hospitalogy and Claire Donato's Burial (I'm keen on this title combo) as their Fall 2012 titles. I'm thrilled to work with Christian Peet and all at TSKY, and am honored to have had this title selected, especially as situated among such beautiful books & authors as company (see the shortlist). Thank you, TSKY eds!

--Great to see CA Conrad when he came out here for a short reading tour. Spent the day eating chocolate  and various organic chips. The reading at SPLAB (Seattle) was spectacular. Conrad's new poems, book forthcoming, are gorgeous. And would like to point folks to the Jupiter 88 Special edition, commemorating Allen Ginsberg for his birthday, with several poets discussing their first interactions with Ginsberg or his work.

--Also many thanks to Conrad for doing a Jupiter 88 issue of me reading from Hopsitalogy. I love that Planet!

--Just got the complimentary issue of the new Aufgabe (10) in the mail. As usual: big, beautiful, awesome poetry, art, and review--with a special section of French poetry in translation, edited by Cole Swenson. Awesome. Huge thanks to E. Tracey Grinnell, Julian Brolaski, & Paul Foster Johnson for putting together a must-read.

---Wonderful time on the road, teaming up with Eleni Stecopoulos at Evergreen (where she read with the amazing David Abel - awesome night, packed room), then to Philly, reading and doing a performative "interview" for the new c/c reading series curated by Nicholas DeBoer & Jamie Townsend. It was very much like (as it always is) coming home. Great to see CA Conrad, Debrah Morkun, Carlos Soto-Roman, and many other wonderful human creatures... Eleni read from some beautiful new work--spare and jagged--and from Armies of Compassion (Palm Press), one of my favorite books of all time...

--Read a week later with Sam Truitt and Maryrose Larkin at the KSW. Many thanks to kind, fantastic Jordan Scott, Kim Duff, and Cris Costa. And to those who participated in the evening. Too short a stay, as usual, but left feeling sure about returning soon. Sam read in Seattle for an Evergreen/Seattle Poetry team-up, via poet/curator Will Owen, and we had a lovely evening.

--Discovered Rob Halpern's forth. Music for Porn now has a page at Dartmouth's Press. Exciting. Soon. Nearly imminent!

At Last...


Wax Buffet: Double Book Launch
Robert Mittenthal   *   Wax World  *  Chax Press
Donato Mancini    *   Buffet World   *  New Star Books

with film from 
Brandon Downing
Tuesday 3 May 8pm
Gallery 1412
1412 18th Ave (just north of Union)

@ Harriet: Donovan Talks With Halpern & Stecopoulos on "Somatics?"


First, many thanks to Rob Halpern, Thom Donovan, and Eleni Stecopoulos--whose poetries and critical writings, social engagement and radical pedagogies a la participation in Nonsite Collective--I am deeply indebted to. Indebted in the sense of communis--the reciprocal gift, i.e., receiving and giving care--that perhaps needs occur for an ethical sociality, a common body to emerge from, and as alternative to, the rubble of neoliberalism. Rob and Eleni respond to Thom Donovan's questions as part of Donovan's ongoing series at Harriet regarding a poetry of/from "somatics." Rob and Eleni give several of us--among countless others they note can be named--mention with respect to the question of what somatics might mean as set of practices, as set of common and yet importantly overlapping investigations and collaborations. Thom's work here, like the engagements I've been part of, perhaps, is shaped by critical interaction and participation in other media, as well as broader social concern. For me, from labor organizing alongside participating in auditory and acoustic live performance, gestural and live art--and from years of living with "disability" as defined by an ableist culture. For Thom, I suspect, and related--thru his engagement with dance and the visual arts, contemporary conceptual and land artists. And I think Thom and I probably both felt that Rob's opening remarks (followed by other gorgeous ruminations by he and Eleni) registered deeply. From Rob:To be honest, Thom, I don’t know what “somatics” means. And if “somatics” means something to me and my work, this can only be because it has some collective resonance, if only as a provisional frame of loose reference for investigating together the relationships between body, language, and social space. Somatics seems to be about working collaboratively in a range of areas to link very different practices by way of some shared concerns around embodiment: from poetics to choreography, psycho-geography to medicine, body work to translation, community history to political militancy.Prior to publication of the interview with Rob, I emailed Thom about, I believe, his first post at Harriet regarding somatics, what I too take to be a constellation of becoming social relations and direct and indirect collaborations, not a term or field--an emergent set of rather diverse responses to what amounts to a crisis of the living: aesthetic practices that nonetheless all house within them the poison seeds of disembodiment, erasure, obsolescence, and violence upon this construction called the body. I emailed Thom thanking Thom for what I felt he was crucially getting to as part of these Harriet posts, and importantly thru interview, problems of discourse somatics begins to confront, or come into tension with, discourse in the sense of sedimentation, fixity, taxonomy, expertise, locality, and potential devaluation, via, rather than "return" to the body in CAConrad's sense (which is a finding of infinite excess and a social relation), a referent for something like a universal singular--something, as Stecopoulos notes, could resonate as replacement for or analog of "voice," hence, enclosure.Related, lurking here is always (for me) a blurring of the important distinction between "a body" and "the body." I've wondered also about those of us who seek to articulate that heteronormative blurring, deconstruct it, and then reconstruct it on other terms--a project of gender negation. At what point does "somatics"--as term denoting a multitude of practices, as it stands--potentialize that blurring but also potentialize  occluding or precluding it, making of "a body" a sort of tradable good, an articulated (even designated) membrane beginning to harden contra lived relations and their unavoidable contradictions (and high stakes)? Thom, Rob, and Eleni, I felt, help address for me the complications and contradictions of bodies in searching contact in this r[...]

Vincent in NY


This is truly exciting. Many of us have loved and been fascinated by Stephen Vincent's "haptics," drawn energy grids of event cum hand & body, and in May Stephen's work will open in New York. The details are below, stolen from Stephen's blog. A congrats. And a thanks again for his two haptics he sent me, from readings/discussions in the Bay the past couple times I was out there. Check out the blog, too. Especially if you are not in/around NYC in May.

I am pleased to announce a new May show of my drawings and unique accordion fold books at the Jack Hanley Gallery in New York. If you are in the City during May, I will be delighted if you can check out the works! I will be there for the opening weekend and Reception. 
Gallery Details:
Friday, May 06 – Saturday, May 28 2011
Reception, Sunday, May 08,
6 – 8 pm
(Gallery will be open both Saturday & Sunday, 11 – 5; it is Gallery Week in Tribeca!)
Jack Hanley Gallery, 136 Watts, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)
(For directions to the Gallery, etc.)

DiPietra & Leto's Waveform


Please check out the new addition to Thom Donovan's Others Letters. DiPietra and Leto's collaboration is fascinating, gorgeous. I love the intersection of collage, epistolary poem (lyrical and terse), private and public here, body and repetition, body and struggle, body and machine. From Thom's announcement of the installment:

"When you have a chance, please check out this excerpt from Amber DiPietra's and Denise Leto's wonderful "epistolary poem,"Waveform, now up at Others Letters:

Others Letters publishes the correspondences of contemporaries--especially those articulating problems in contemporary practice--on an ongoing basis. 

If you have letters or email you'd like to share, by all means do so! I would love to hear from you....

Hope all are well,

Review of The Arakaki Permutations


Richard Lopez contributes a generous review-close reading of James Maughn's startling The Arakaki Permutations, now out from Black Radish Books. Check out the book and review HERE.

Galatea Resurrects & BR Books


As usual, Eileen Tabios has curated a veritable tapas of book reviews for Galatea Resurrects. Among the books reviewed are James Maughn's newly released Arakaki Permutations and Kathrin Schaeppi's Sonja Sekula: Grace in a cow's EYE: A Memoir, which garnered two reviews, one from Tabios. Also featured are new poems from Marthe Reed, author of the BR book Gaze. Enjoy the issue. And many thanks to Tabios.

CAConrad & Halinen, End of April


Courtesy of Greg Bem of SPLAB. Please join CAConrad for a special (soma)tic poetry workshop or a reading. But why not both? Click on the image to enlarge for full details. I'm personally very excited to see Conrad again. He's reading and workshopping on my mother's birthday. In the skin.

Synchronous Excesses


Synchronicity, thinking of KPrevallet's notion of. It just so happened that... Or did it?

At Michael Cross's The Disinhibitor blog == a set of translations, encirclements by Brandon Brown. Of Baudelaire's "Obsession." Did not close that window,

instead (as the week of searing labor rallies reaches its dangerous pitch--"dangerous" because I still fear mistaking non-immediacy for non-effect) "minimized" it. And opened onto Bhanu Kapil's this:

I want to think about performances that stem from a text, where a text has reached the limits of a verbal capacity.  The scene that exceeds the book, or cannot, in the book, be redistributed [re-dreamed]  ...

I take this out of context. But think even so this moment of reaching (jumping? as in: with eyes closed?) is worth the meditative operations of B.B's B's Ocean. So as to.

Since also I have so far gone inverse, from the gestural deep into the text. As deep as the seam will let me.

Beauty Is A Verb Cover



I love it. The cover for the forthcoming anthology (post describing it below) of poetry & essay on/of disability & post-abelism, Beauty Is A Verb. I'm not sure who designed the cover, so no attribution yet--until I email lovely editor-human beings Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northern. Which I will do today.  

Week of Action & Solidarity - Workers in Oregon, WA, and BC, Canada Rally for Worker Rights


Mark your calendars. And please join us. In response to increasing attacks against state workers, and workers generally, by unfettered corporations and/or legislators. April 2nd marks the beginning of a week of actions. Schedule below.   SATURDAY, APRIL 2 -- 2 p.m. at Peace Arch Park in Blaine -- This international rally will bring together unionists, students, activists from Canada,Washington State and Oregon to extend hands across the border in solidarity with all workers. This event will be co-sponsored by the British Columbia Federation of Labour; the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and the Oregon AFL-CIO. Please email Lori Province from the WSLC about mobilization efforts.    MONDAY, APRIL 4 -- 5:30 - 7 p.m. at MLK Memorial Park in Seattle -- The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at 6:01 p.m. in Memphis, Tenn., where he was standing with sanitation workers demanding their dream of a better life. Today, the right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a middle-class life are under attack as never before. Join in this National Call to Action on April 4 and stand with other civil and human rights activists, union members and supporters, Latinos, Asians and immigrants, religious supporters, environmental, student and women's groups -- as we stand together across the country against a political agenda that is attacking working families, their human rights and their dignity. This event, sponsored by theCommunications Workers of America, will be at 2200 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Seattle.    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 -- 12pm/Capitol -- Washington Community Action Network will bring hundreds of community activists and students to Olympia in an attempt to find the sacrifices that the Legislature will make the bankers and billionaires pay to get us out of the economic crisis.    THURSDAY, APRIL 7 -- Time/precise location TBA -- Health care unions, led by SEIU District 1199NW, will mobilize health care workers in Olympia to demand that the Legislature fix the deficit problems and to look into the faces of the victims.    FRIDAY, APRIL 8 -- Noon at the Capitol Steps, OLYMPIA -- This is the big one! All union members and supporters of public employees and quality state services will rally in Olympia to demand answers on how the Legislature will share the sacrifice by extracting a price from the bankers, billionaires and CEOs that got us into this mess, and how will they create jobs. In our state we will not allow workers' rights to be stripped away![...]

Roy & Heavy Chemicals


I believe it is possible to have one identity in your thumb and another in your neck. I think identities can travel between persons who have an unusual mutual sympathy. -- Camille Roy

<-----This resonates, as does the rest of Camille Roy's "Experimentalism. Why." as re-published by Michael Cross over on Cross's blog The Disinhibitor.

I come late to the hoopla (can hoopla be used to denote an exciting to-do without sarcasm? I hope so) -- above/later on Michael's blog is Part 1 of Roy & Cross corresponding (also deeply worthwhile), the interview marking the pre-engagement to Roy's forthcoming book of poems. That series of essays, from Narrativity, is on the whole eye-opening. Pieces by edwards, Roy, Gladman, and Halpern, and others, I've assigned in my poetry/poetics courses, each time spurring surprising seminar discussions. So, thank you Michael & Roy. For your giving instigation at the sound of the opening bell (computer turning on), which would involve, as the evening progressed, needing to work on the second semester of my course on poetry, poetics, and resistance to neoliberal enclosures. The Disinhibitor dis-inhibited once again, proving (proving? No. Something else, something something) that a smidge of online procrastination is potentially generative, this post, e.g., allowing me after reading it to engage in a comparatively articulate conversation with myself about "succinctness" in relation to writing evaluations of student work, an end of semester activity I long-windedly participate in three times a year as part of teaching at Evergreen. A pep-talk for the inevitable tremendous and indulgent failure that would ensue. I had fun.


[ I looked in the mirror when I got up and said aloud: "you are a motor vehicle today." Then began looking at the face, so-called. ]

Action Alert: More Union Busting Legislation


We've just received word – anti-worker legislators in the House are about to make it much more difficult for railway and airline employees to form unions.House Transportation Chairman John Mica – who has taken more than $620,000 in campaign contributions from the airline industry – quietly slipped a provision into FAA reauthorization legislation that would count non-voters as "no" voters in union elections. So even if there are more "yes" votes than "no" votes, the "yeses" could still lose. Can you think of any other election that works that way? It's as outrageous as it is shamefully undemocratic.Congress could vote on the provision as soon as WEDNESDAY – we need to make sure they know Americans are actually paying attention!Tell your representative: The only votes that should count are votes that are actually cast!Last year, the National Mediation Board established rules based on fundamental fairness and democratic principles for workers in the rail and airline industry. Now, those workers have the right to vote "yes" for a union or "no" against it. [...]

Beauty Is A Verb


Many thanks to Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northern for bringing several of us together,  who are interested in discourses around "disability," and then spending much of this year editing our collected contributions of poetry and essay to the forthcoming anthology, Beauty Is A Verb: An Anthology of Poetry, Poetics, and Disability. Of course I've yet to see most of the specific contributions herein, but knowing many of the current contributors' work more generally, I think it safe to say that this anthology will, as Jennifer notes below, be wide-ranging within the largely contested bounds of disability studies as examined poetically. Many thanks too to those who contributed to Nonsite Collective's curricula on somatic practices, the commons, and disability/post-abelism. The curricula span the years 2008-present and each suite, as intersecting with the others, has influenced my thinking/writing thru "disability" -- perhaps more than any other one transitory locus of activity. (See the curriculum pages for past talks/discussions/performances etc.)More on the book as it takes shape. For now, below is Bartlett's note:Great news! The anthology I have spent the last year co-editing with Sheila Black and Michael Northen, Beauty is a Verb, is coming out in September from Cinco Puntos. It's a collection of poetry and poetics by/on poets with disabilities including Norma Cole, Brian Teare, Dannielle Pufunda, Michael Davidson, Jim Ferris, Larry Eigner, Josephine Miles, Cynthia Hogue, Denise Leto, Hal Sirowitz, and so on. Please help us spread the word. We believe this is the first such collection, and it crosses the genres of Language poetry, narrative poetry, New York School, Disability Poetics, and so on. If you know anyone who might be interested in reviewing the anthology or having a reading or university visit - please by all means, let us know.[...]



Mazen Kerbaj: Notebook 2.1
Rob Halpern & Taylor Brady: Snow Sensitive Skin, forth. from Displaced Press (expanded from Atticus Finch chapbook, 2007).
Stephen Vincent: Haptic of Halpern/Brady reading from Snow Sensitive Skin

Pairs of pairs. Try them
at once.

Cannot Exist Chapbooks! & Cannot Exist 7!


Difficult to contain my excitement about this news. A new CA Conrad (soma)tic chapbook--on the heels of having read The Book of Frank and worked with Conrad's (soma)tics in my class the last 3 weeks. A new issue of Cannot Exist (a wonderful mag edited by Andy Gricevich, of one of my favorite troupes The Nonsense Company), and Sara Larsen's new chap, poems of which I've read and LOVE. Beautiful. The details, from the Cannot Exist blog:

special pre-order deals on new CANNOT EXIST CHAPBOOKS and CANNOT EXIST no.7

We are overjoyed to announce the first four volumes in the new series ofCannot Exist chapbooks, helped into being by editors Andy Gricevich and Lewis Freedman:

MUGGED Into Poetry by CAConrad
Bridge of the World by Roberto Harrison
The Hallucinated by Sara Larsen
How's the Cows by Jess Mynes

and also the imminent appearance of Cannot Exist no.7, featuring astonishing work by:
John Coletti
Corrina Copp
Beverly Dahlen
Connie Deanovich
Laura Elrick
Mike Hauser
Hailey Higdon
Sara Larsen
Kit Robinson
Ron Silliman
Dana Ward

All this will be coming in APRIL!

Seeds in Cars & Houses


for Brenda IijimaFrame|d milk on brownOval ply|wood o monuMeant.  Pour moi poorMoi pic’d the doorsJam|ed the hole|dSpaces in me say andSay for stay|edWood.                         Ward.                         Ave.Cars enshrine|d the yearly The early drive slow|edTo see the grammar of enginesPost-Fordian             low hum names aTime|d for skill|ed death theseScratches            [escratches]Never snapp|ed shotsLike the eye this is, Drinks some re verbsThis statue|d can I talkTo a 74 chevy novasImagine|d registersThe monetary valueOf my mother saidStead.                        Read.                        DrinkUp before the sunComes unhinge|dFor strong bonesTo with|stand to cupThe shear of HistoryPavements a bust of preThe ave|s sponsorsIn|stalled a deadhouse After house says xe says Frame|d how eachMile we drove weDrive stands inFor a future             WORDSpeed  ometer reads usCrystalline, milk|ed still.              Sill.                        Steel.Comp inThe margins  Log of names a chasseWhat writes itself A question comes apartSlows as pour|ed us may Be back fires burnOuts in wait for shows:            whatRises to the surface is All ways has been            a             hasBeen in the interval?[...]

Keep the Pressure On: Wisc. Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Anti-Worker Legislation, Rallies Continue


This is a cross post from the Wisconsin State Journal

A Dane County judge Friday issued a temporary order blocking implementation of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial measure limiting collective bargaining rights for public employees, saying a legislative committee likely violated the state Open Meetings Law when it rushed passage of the bill March 9.
Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued the order around 10:30 a.m. in a lawsuit brought by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.
The ruling bars Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, the last step before it can take effect. La Follette had planned to publish the law on March 25, which would cause it to take effect the following day.
Walker, who signed the bill last week, had asked La Follette to publish it sooner. But La Follette said he saw no urgency to move the law ahead and wanted to give legal challenges a chance to run their course.
The crowd kept growing today as thousands marched on the Wisconsin state capitol to support the right of workers to bargain for a good life. 

from Occultations @ Greg Bem's Stale Attitude, Plus Heroldo de Campos


Greg Bem (co-curator of The Bredline Performance Series, to the left), I've discovered, is another person who seems to have an endless well of energy, and more importantly, a desire to start trouble in the best ways here amid the growing Seattle poetry communities. He's curating many things, helping out with others, and got his sleeves generally rolled up when it comes to making stuff. After we met and talked at the Hedreed Gallery reading awhile back, he emailed me the devastating de Campos poem "Transient Servitude." And asked if I would send him the poem I read from Occultations, "song for neighborhood watches," first published in Elective Affinities....Greg has kindly published it here. Regarding the limitations of the body: I think we don't know what the body as a body desires. Or, maybe: "the body" is an empty picture frame. Only certain people can hold it up or hook it with an "=". Corporate persons, mirrors, ghosts. I am curious about the functional substrates of the marionette. What can't we do?//Charles Bernstein has written of de Campos that unlike the latter's concrete poetry, the lineated work and prose poems can't be translated other than radically, due to their multicultural/syncretic and citational "thickness." Properties which come from de Campos's particular practices of radical translation: an appropriation that resists export (hence commodified reduction thru translation) and also a notion of import that is tied to fidelity and autonomy (where translation bows in citational exactitude to its source material, its found authors, as "greater than" rather than for the love of...).  Since I do not read Portuguese (or speak it), really since I don't know de Campos's work very well either, I would not know what to think of this claim in relation to others that can be made of the poet's poetics and politics viz. translation and appropriation. So I think, instantly, of translator-poet Chris Daniels as one source for enlightenment here, someone who I need contact to hear more. Regardless of "accuracy" tho, I can see why Bem moves from de Campos to the talk we had, and the couple poems I read as part of that talk, but more so to the body and its status as pain-sensor and refractive collage conscious of its own desires, the consciousness dependent on social triggering and long-term administration (Grosz, "Bodies and Cities"). Questions about limit, sovereignty, and share-ability (perhaps what can only be translatability) of senses, desires, and the constative-performative polyglot aspects of utterance heard in shared vs unshared context. Under what conditions is that Poundian prima facie violence of rending--radical translating--not a kind of expropriation or subsumption of voice? In both Pound and in de Campos, and also in Zukofsky and in (my mind wanders) Cage, and early 20th cent. American and European composers such as Krenek, the ethos of radical translation is made possible, perhaps, by building these appropriational structures on a foundation of intimacy, i.e., solidarity, with that source. And by solidarity I mean to muddy the waters: I'd hope that to avoid expropriation or subsumption there would need be an affinity with people whose works one mines, but clearly with Pound that's not so tout court. His lack of solidarity with some of the people whose work he cites might be matched only by his solidarity with their poetries--which, however contradictory that may be, is also a typical position for modernist authors convinced tha[...]

Exciting Read O The Day: Williams on Toscano on Williams on CPT


[I cannot watch the news any longer. The images are too much. Panic attack earlier I think precipitated by them. On in background as I heard first in the morn about the traveling radiation. Selfishly thought about my mother. Went back to bed. Then: The death toll, as of my return tonight to this, the afternoon break-from-work post, is at 13,000 and rising in Japan. And the discussion over the numbers and images is what this means for the American and global economies, which is to say the stock market... Panic does you no good my grandpa used to say in the showers before going in his retiree complex pool... afraid not of the pool but the showers, toxic I used to know they were toxic to us.]///Doing my once-a-day break n read, then write, I came across new responses to the Labor Day 2010 event now on that event's blog, which as I write this, "event's blog" feels productively problematic in relation to the conversation that had me getting up from my chair and pacing several times in a row (first time that's happened this week). I've only read one response, the others later, but the Williams-Toscano piece is a deeply exciting one. I suspect Alli Warren, Suzanne Stein, Brandon Brown, David Brazil, and Sara Larsen (and contributors to) will not mind me excerpting what I take to be one of the disappearing axes of Tyrone Williams' piece on Toscano (or Toscano's on Williams, or the two as they morph thru each other):CPT (even the small part I witnessed at Miami University, Ohio in early 2009) relentlessly puts forth the dilemma of articulating positions for resistance, if not opposition, and the seemingly impossibility (or difficulty) of locating positions for resistance, and yet the radical non-site of CPT suggests that this indeterminate (in space and time) resistance might be more potent than any kind of localized/specified politics of opposition since the “opposite” itself has been annexed by capitalism/imperialism and the historical failure of a Marxism contorted into “premature” states—a prematurity that resulted in totalitarianism. Would these histories serve as warnings for what is posed at the outset of CPT, that “premature truncation into social discourse in general”? Would poetic discourse, here, serve as a kind of anti-absorptive obstacle and reserve for a culture and economics founded on the innovation/obsolescence dyad?Rodrigo Toscano from (New Resistant Subjects [Bot to Bot]} part 4 of Conditions of Poetic Production and ReceptionOne way that [kari] edwards invited the precariousness that we‘re talking about (―not an avant-garde that must think itself in relation to an ‗outside‘…or one that plays in sandboxes of semiotics forever either‖) was by incorporating biological-physical death as an inbuilt limit to key life-making processes (labor, art, sex); and by extension, the ―freedoms‖ that these processes suggest, that they must be embraced as completely as possible. But I would suggest too that these same ―life-making processes,‖ – that they too, be understood as constrictions to yet other life-making processes, ones that are as yet unidentified. This would suggest a rather strange embrace of anti-―purpose‖ (even as voluntary degradation!) so that we have to make curiosity, make the chimerical, make the evanescent even, that is, in contrast to ―research.There is not only translation of a poetics into a space there is only translation of the body into the body in another space even if[...]

The Future of Working


Yesterday I read Juliana Spahr's thoughtful blog post/talk (and loving challenge to each of us), "The Future of Writing," on the increased privatization of poetry landscapes, many she has helped build and nurture, landscapes that are made up of readings of various stripes, conferences, presses, collaborations, ephemera, political engagements, friendships, books, blogs, coteries, various and varying commodity forms and institutional systems of patronage--an increasingly virtual landscape made up of what Spahr aptly calls "psychosocialsexual poetry scenes." Not that I necessarily experience poetry communities this way, but the potential for things to feel or become increasingly privatized, notes Spahr, is out there. And for Spahr, who has done a lot more poetic traveling than I, does feel an increasing fragmentation and dispersal...READ THE REST HERE.

Catching Trains 2: After Blindness


That part of us
That has no name

Is who we are.


After the dogs
Take over.

After the dogs
Have taken shelter
Inside our skin.
Inside our skin, they eat

A vaulted darkness.
The roof is smooth, the
Marrow inside bones
A stucco arch.

The dogs they say
Can smell the after

--Math of crisis.


Sacks hang light
What lanterns
That we are

And are read from.

The grammar of death
Makes our names

Turn pink
In snowdrifts  [I didn't do nothing. I watched hir hang from the stars. I watched them hoist hir up. I sat on the steps of the old railyard where in the time of other wars

a Wobblie lay draped like a rag. A book says he had his throat slit there, and that the cause was. Infectious

For us.]


(No huddled
Forms us.)


Xe is powerlines someone said. Xe is the undertow of the Detroit. After this time of dogs I will walk to the river for you. But not nothing. A necessary condition of doing nothing

is the realization of utopia.


Who would have known
The rain would make us

Weep, wander into dead
Streets, into dead
Houses, into washed


The pulse they say
Has no heat. "Come in. Come in!  This is your home now! Come in. Come. I can hear the dogs. They're getting closer. I can hear them in the absence of cars. In the mono-rail's function as a wrecking ball. I can hear them in cyclone fences. I can hear them on the news. In the groundwater. Come."