|wood s lot january 1 - 15, 2008|
Theory is so incredibly attractive and enticing that when I feel it pulled from me I immediately retort: "in substance, nature is philosophy." Or: "the awkwardness of this dress is the most wonderful thing."(...)
The great American statesman Benjamin Franklin, a Deist, said, "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absented myself from Christian Assemblies." President Thomas Jefferson, also a Deist, was even more anti-Christian: "The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious." President Abraham Lincoln said, "The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
From the origin of societies, the spirit of man, confined and enveloped by the theologico-political system, shut up in a hermetically closed box, of which Government is the bottom and Religion the top, has taken the limits of this narrow horizon for the limits of a rational society. God and King, Church and State, twisted in every way, worked over to infinity, have been his Universe. For a long time he has known nothing, imagined nothing beyond. At last, the circle has been traversed; the excitement of the systems suggested by this has exhausted him; philosophy, history, political economy, have completed the triangulation of this inner world; the map of it has been drawn; and it is known that the supernatural scheme which humanity contemplates as its horizon, and its limit, is but itself; that, far as humanity may look into the depths of its consciousness, it sees but itself; that this God, source of all power, origin of all causality, of which humanity makes its sun, is a lamp in a cavern, and all these governments made in his image are but grains of sand that reflect the faint light.
Thing of Beauty differs from Representative Works in some important ways beyond its generous representation of material from the last two decades of Mac Low’s life. Its selection from the early years, literally 48 years of writing, is necessarily 100 pages shorter than the earlier book. But even more important, Tardos has done a much better job than Mac Low himself in organizing these materials to create a coherent path through one of the largest & most ambitious oeuvres ever. Perhaps Jackson was just too close to his own projects – one can sense the level of anxiety he often felt about pieces from his lengthy performance instructions & even some of the more elaborate copyright notices he insisted upon over the years. (Alternately, I can imagine some reader kvetching that TofB lacks the inherent messiness that was a characteristic feature of everything Mac Low seemed to produce.)
Asymmetries are nonstanzaic chance-generated poems of which the printed formats are notations for solo or group performances. They are asymmetrical in that they have no regularly repeating stanzaic or other patterns. They are notations in that most aspects of their format can be translated into aspects of performance. Notably, the lengths of blank space before, between, & after single words or word strings, & between lines, stand for temporal holes -- durations in which readers keep silent or produce single prolonged tones on instruments that can sustain tones evenly (e.g., winds; bowed strings; reed, pipe, or electronic organs; or other mechanical or electronic sound producers).Aspen
a multimedia magazine of the arts published by Phyllis Johnson from 1965 to 1971. Each issue came in a customized box filled with booklets, phonograph recordings, posters, postcards — one issue even included a spool of Super-8 movie film. It's all here.
9 Light Poems1st Light Poem: For Iris -- 10 June 1962 The light of a student-lamp sapphire light shimmer the light of a smoking-lamp Light from the Magellanic Clouds the light of a Nernst lamp the light of a naphtha-lamp light from meteorites Evanescent light ether the light of an electric lamp extra light Citrine light kineographic light the light of a Kitson lamp kindly light Ice light irradiation ignition altar light The light of a spotlight a sunbeam sunrise solar light Mustard-oil light maroon light the light of a magnesium flare light from a meteor Evanescent light ether light from an electric lamp an extra light Light from a student-lamp sapphire light a shimmer smoking-lamp light Ordinary light orgone lumination light from a lamp burning olive oil opal light Actinism atom-bomb light the light of an alcohol lamp the light of a lamp burning anda-oil
late night snow light
th wintr peopul ar responding 2 th green hous effekt evree few yeers they find it 2 warm n go furthr north 4 comfort toronto is now 2 cozee 4 them th sault n thundr bay r far 2 summree they feel th warmth 2 b frivolous it makes them un eezee 7 yeers ago aftr having found nu liskeard 2 mediterranean th wintr peopul discovr church hill falls 2 b mor balmee thn they wud want n ar hedding tord th artik circul evn ther they bcame restless th artik was warming up if it heets up evree wher wher will th wintr peopul go full uv needs 4 snow n icikul pellets flying in th freezing rain n snow hills n mountains mooving around th elk n polar bears th sun glayzlng on th ice fields th hallucinating cold n steem from theyr wishes 4 th souls fire not distraktid by anee gud wethr Bill Bissett
in the whirlwing
Vocality is lost in silence, and yet it is also always potentially present. This silence is both nothing more than a single moment and also infinite. We lose our voice in an equivocity that reminds us of the simultaneity of our singularity and plurality. It reminds us that it is possible to be together. Serres summarizes the position as follows:There is a path from the local to the global, even if our weakness forever prevents us from following it. Better yet, noise, sound, discord--those of music, voices, or hatred--are simple local effects. Noise, cries and war, has the same extent of meaning, but symmetrically to harmony, song and peace . . . . Chaos, noise, nausea are together, but thrown together in a crypt that resembles repression and unconsciousness known as appreciation. We often drown in such small puddles of confusion.The locality of the self, of the vocalic body reflecting both the subjecthood of the self and itself as subject, divides us once more. It becomes a noisy place as localities compete on the path to the global, to the dream of equivocity. But univocity is often the menacing reality. Walking this path successfully is not easy. We cannot simply talk it through. Reinvigorated by silence, I can begin to communicate its existence and then later its special turns and snares. I lose my voice well as I remember how to listen to silence.
Bridge over Cedar Creek
One is born with forces that one did not contrive. One lives by giving form to these forces. The forms one gets from the others.lphonso Lingis is well-known in the Anglophone world for his transla- tions. We continental philosophers have all read his renderings of Levinas' Totality and Infinity and Merleau-Ponty's The Visible and the Invisible. He has also gained an admirable following with his philosophical travelogues, books like Excesses, Abuses, and Trust. In a way, even these texts offer us translations: of unfamiliar customs and peoples, of technical concepts and slippery philosophical jargon. In the travelogues, readers witness phenom- enological descriptions of individuals and cultures which are laced with the thinking of alterity familiar to Levinas' readers, and the phenomenology of the lived body that Merleau-Ponty has handed down to the continental tradition. Set either between or beyond these two notions--alterity and the lived body--is Lingis himself, a philosopher who not only builds a bridge between American and continental thought, but who is the literal embodiment of a synthetic brand of American continental philosophy. As if William James and Emmanuel Levinas were co-opted to author all of the guide books in the Lonely Planet series, many of Lingis' hybrid books read like reports from the field. His missives from Latin and North America, the Far East, Antarctica, Africa, and Europe set Lingis apart from the rest of the American philosophers working in Husserl's wake. His (inter)continental approach spans the globe and reaches beyond the technical skirmishes of academic philosophy.
Janus Head 10.1
John Felstiner's translations of Pablo Neruda [PDF]from
Video Works compilation
exploring correlations between sounded oralities and the perverse as a possible point of departure for 'womens' experimental/ innovative/ecriture/language frames, that 'allow' just that bit extra
Pettman reminds us that whatever being is the mode of 'coming community' and the coming community is based on an 'inessential commonality.' His elaboration of the point is valuable:this entails a fundamental revision of what it means to be a person: to declare that uncoded existence precedes the modern circumscriptions of citizenship, family, religion, ethnicity, and other blood-soaked calls to an essential identity.Whatever beings don't consist in anything in particular, anything essential. Their associations don't presuppose bases in anything typically associated with essential human being. The coming community, then, is not an association of citizens. Nor is it a tribe or religion. I would guess that common history is also out as a basis, insofar as the problem is with the need to establish a basis for commonality. So, what then, is whatever being? Can we glimpse it? Will we know it when we see it? Or, if we use the notion as a way of thinking about forms of being and becoming in the present, might it help us imagine the present and possible futures differently?
The 100th birthday of Simone de Beauvoir, philosopher, writer and feminist, has sparked a resurgence of interest in her writing -- independently of Sartre.
Katy Grannan Is Everywhere
Silence is an effect, specifically, a technological and architectural effect, a hyperquiet that perhaps can trace its lineage to the invention of masonry walls, i.e. walls composed of solid planes and thus impermeable to the sounds that might creep in through a mesh of leaves or the gaps in bundled saplings. Silence as a fantasy or an act of imagination will thus be linked to a certain stage of civilization. For we can imagine the difference between death in the jungle and death in the polis. In the former situation, one imagines that the cessation of movement on the part of the deceased may lead to a heightened sensitivity to the surrounding activity of the place--the animal sounds, the wind in the foliage; in other words, all that may have been tuned out when giving attention to another would uncannily return to the foreground. By contrast, city death implies the silence of the tomb, prepared somewhat by the echoey sonorousness of the temple. Thus silence can be linked to a certain stony sense of enclosure, interiority, and ultimately--implosion.
co-founder of the Institute for Social Ecology
Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable ChasmIn our own time we have seen domination spread over the social landscape to a point where it is beyond all human control. . . . Compared to this stupendous mobilization of materials, of wealth, of human intellect, of human labor for the single goal of domination, all other recent human achievements pale to almost trivial significance. Our art, science, medicine, literature, music and “charitable” acts seem like mere droppings from a table on which gory feasts on the spoils of conquest have engaged the attention of a system whose appetite for rule is utterly unrestrained.
Shanty in the woods
edited extract from Alphaville by Chris Darke (London, IB Tauris, 2005)
Seven and a half miles from the heart of São Paulo there is a gated community which houses 30,000 of the city’s richest and most security conscious residents, many of whom travel by helicopter to work among the 17 million other inhabitants of the world’s third largest city. According to the Washington Post, ‘at night, on “TV Alphaville,” residents can view their maids going home for the evening, when all exiting employees are patted down and searched in front of a live video feed.’ In his account of ‘a walled city where the privileged live behind electrified fences patrolled by a private army of 1,100,' the Post’s correspondent failed to discover which keen ironist had named the development after the film by Jean-Luc Godard. Nor, I suppose, would it have been much appreciated had the reporter, as he flew low over the teeming favelas, the prisons and choked highways, casually asked his host, a CEO and Alphaville resident, ‘You do realise you’re living in a movie, don’t you?’(...)Visions of the City
Vol 1 Issue 1
Everything has been said, provided words do not change their meanings, and meanings their words.
It has long been my contention, or suspicion, or just unverified hunch, that John Ashbery (like Gertrude Stein) has had some relation to William James and American pragmatism. Ashbery's reluctance to make any statement or declaration that does not appear to arrive and disappear on the heels of his miraculous syntax seems to me evidence of the kind of conceptual relativity that James first enunciated in the early years of the twentieth century. Ashbery's joyous investment in a present reality as being inimical to what James called "copying" is further evidence: Ashberian poetics insists on the multidimensionality of time-space duration, as opposed to either pictorial mimesis or the cause-and-effect order of conventional, developmental narration: reality, for Ashbery, has neither linearity nor replica. Connections among thinking and feeling, knowing and doing are always in flux.The light that was shadowed then
The surface is dark. From every shadow that encircles and surrounds it with the pressure of black dahlias against green windowpanes, palates emerge to taste the light of the world. Issuing from every umbral mouth that presses against the surface with the passion of inflamed lips, a multitude of tongues pronounces reality and savors the seasonings that take the form of accidents and facts, of data and chilly encyclopedias.
How It Begins
What’s gone wrong here? Why, as a nation, are we so obsessed with competition, so indifferent to cooperation? For starters, competition really is as American as apple pie. America has always been deeply individualistic, and individualism has presumed the insularity and autonomy of persons and, thus, a natural rivalry among them. Capitalism also embraces competition as its animus, and America is nothing if not capitalistic. Even the American understanding of democracy, which emphasizes representation and the collision of interests, puts the focus on division and partisanship. There are, of course, democratic alternatives. Systems of proportional representation, for example, aim to ensure fair representation of all parties and views no matter how numerous. But our system, with its single-member districts and “first past the post” elections, is winner take all and damn the hindmost, a setup in which winners govern while losers look balefully on, preparing themselves for the next battle.
When William James retired from Harvard in 1907, after 35 years on the school’s faculty, it felt like the beginning of a new life. As Professor James, he once confessed to his brother, Henry, “I always felt myself a sham, with its chief duties of being a walking encyclopedia of erudition. I am now at liberty to be a reality.” Perhaps no retirement has ever begun more productively than James’s.
A large body of theoretical work has focused on the delocalizing or deterritorializing effects of real time technologies. They are often regarded as having contributed to the evacuation of geographical space, overriding the specifics of place and distance. Virilio, for example, has often suggested that real time technologies and their accompanying dimension of "liveness" have prompted the disappearance of physical space -- in other words, that "real time" has superceded "real space." For him, such deterritorialization can only lead to inertia.
The reason the United States gave for invading Afghanistan in October 2001 was “to destroy the infrastructure of al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11". The women of RAWA say this is false. In a rare statement on 4 December that went unreported in Britain, they said: “By experience, [we have found] that the US does not want to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda, because then they will have no excuse to stay in Afghanistan and work towards the realization of their economic, political and strategic interests in the region.”
When politicians offer nothing, and the people demand nothing, then the powers-that-be are free to continue doing whatever they choose. The death knell of participatory politics can often be a very noisy, celebratory affair - such as we have witnessed in the call-and-response ritual of “Change!” “Hope!” and other exuberant but insubstantial campaign exercises. Finally, the most accomplished slickster in presidential history, Bill Clinton, was compelled to expose Barack Obama’s “fairy tale” anti-war history - some truth for a “change.” Black Agenda Report knows the story very well, after more than four years of observing Obama’s descent from vaguely progressive rhetoric to shameless pandering (to whites) and vapid “Change!” mantra nonsense. Only the rich can win this game.
A selection of Philip Metres poetry is available here"Obedient To A Gypsy Itch..."
Poetry Philip also maintains Behind the Lines: Poetry, War, & Peacemaking
Words without Borders Forum is currently discussing Hebert.from Elegy for the Departure by Zbigniew Herbert, translated by John Carpenter and Bogdana CarpenterAn Answer by Zbigniew Herbert Translated by John Carpenter and Bogdana Carpenter This will be a night in deep snow which has the power to muffle steps in deep shadow transforming bodies to two puddles of darkness we lie holding our breath and even the slightest whisper of thought if we are not tracked down by wolves and the man in a Russian sheepskin who swings quick-firing death on his chest we must spring and run in the clapping of short dry salvos to that other longed-for shore the earth is the same everywhere wisdom teaches everywhere the man weeps with white tears mothers rock their children the moon rises and builds a white house for us this will be night after hard reality a conspiracy of the imagination it has a taste of bread and lightness of vodka but the choice to remain here is confirmed by every dream about palm trees the dream is interrupted suddenly by the arrival of three tall men of rubber and iron they will check your name your fear order you to go downstairs they won’t allow you to take anything but the compassionate face of the janitor Hellenic Roman Medieval East Indian Elizabethan Italian perhaps above all French a bit of Weimar and Versailles we carry so many homelands on the shoulders of a single earth but the only one guarded by the most singular number is here where they will trample you into the ground or with boldly ringing spade make a large pit for your longing
Zbigniew Herbert: An Introduction
I have spent thirty years in science dealing with such controversial topics as evolution, creationism, global warming, Holocaust denial, racial differences in I.Q., racial differences in sports, gender differences in cognitive abilities, conspiracy theories ranging from Pearl Harbor and 9/11 to the JFK, RFK, and MLK assassinations, alternative and complimentary medicine, reincarnation and the afterlife, and even God and religion. Yet, it has been my experience that as ruffled feathers go, economics is second to none in emotive volatility. If ever we need impartiality in our assessment of the facts — especially when the facts do not just speak for themselves — it is in economics. We must study the laws of human behavior in economies as the physicist, chemist, or biologist studies the laws of nature; and when we do so, because we are dealing with a subject to which most people are emotionally invested, we must make a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, bewail, or scorn human actions, but to understand them. Allow me to explain how I came to this subject.
... postcolonial critique operates on several levels. On the one hand, like Edward Said in Orientalism, it deconstructs colonial prose: that is to say the mental set-up, the symbolic forms and representations underpinning the imperial project. It also unmasks the potential of this prose for falsification – in a word, the stock of falsehoods and the weight of fantasizing functions without which colonialism as a historical power-system could not have worked. In this way it reveals how what passed for European humanism manifested itself in the colonies as duplicity, double-talk and a travesty of reality.
The Religion of Fear: Conservative Evangelicals, Identity, and Antiliberal Pop [PDF]
The sensibility underlying these iterations of piety is ripe with references to hellfire and damnation, none of which will surprise even a casual observer of American religion: these festoon many a book cover, church sign ("Church on Fire!" or "Church Aflame!"), and newsletter; they embellish web pages and DVDs; they are both convention and curiosity. Each instantiation of this rhetoric or imagery draws from a common symbolic pool one which partakes equally of the thunder of prophetic religion and of America's love affair with spectacular violence yet there exists no country road which links them all together. Further, there seems to be no overt politics in these flashes of evangelical resistance. Nonetheless, these general impulses and images can be manipulable for political purposes. The fearful and the demonic have surfaced regularly in American evangelicalism, each time in a "fear regime" that has its own politics. A "fear regime" refers to the intersection of these political engagements with emotional registers of interpretation and perception. It is due largely to the sense of urgency conveyed in the emotional registers of these narratives that their political dimensions can be so effectively transmitted and appropriated by audiences and consumers. A "fear regime" thus functions closely to the "episteme" in Michel Foucault's The Order of Things, a culturally- or politically-produced conception of "truth" which ties together and grounds other social discourses. It also resembles William Reddy's "emotional regime," which he defines as a "set of normative emotions and the official rituals, practices, and emotives that express and inculcate them; a necessary underpinning of any stable political regime."Measure and Democracy in the Age of Politics of Fright [PDF]
The politics of fright is the politics of continuing with the violent, colonial project of reducing the irreducible plurality of human civilization to the mandates of certain cultural beliefs and values--namely, fundamentalist religiosity (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism). I call it "fundamentalist" stricto senso: the politics of fright dwells in a monolithic and unchanging reading of religious edicts as "fundaments." It intends to retrieve and salvage what is deemed as essential and foundational out of the later, modern, and baffling mishmash of diversity and plurality of moral codes--prevalent in liberal democracies--that have in recent decades covered over those elemental moral codes associated with religion. As such, while fundamentalism itself involves an inescapable interpretive act, it steps away and condemns the interpretive acts that arise out of the recognition of today's cultural plurality that permeates every society on earth. The politics of fright, accordingly, amounts to a politics against consensus and public debate and instead asserts itself through unilateralism.
Ultimately, what seems to distinguish sacred violence from other acts of aggression is not its form but its intensity.What’s "Sacred" about Violence in Early America?
Killing, and dying, in the name of God in the New World
Broadway and 103rd Street
Three from Banalitiesfrom
Translated by Elizabeta Zargi and Timothy Liu
3. Collage, Or, The Splice Of LifeRosmarie Waldrop at Electronic Poetry Center
Horn & Hardart
Words too can be wrung from us like a cry from that space which doesn’t seem to be the body nor a metaphor curving into perspective. Rather the thickness silence gains when pressed. The ghosts of grammar veer toward shape while my hopes still lie embedded in a quiet myopia from which they don’t want to arise. The mistake is to look for explanations where we should just watch the slow fuse burning. Nerve of confession. What we let go we let go.(...)
quoted inTo keep photographing the same ice
Written and Rewritten to Order
The Gift of Generative Possibility in the Work of David Shapiro
Noah Eli Gordon
Canadian PoetryfromFive poems
Language Acts: Anglo-Québec Poetry, 1976 to the 21st Century
Editors: Jason Camlot & Todd Swift
Mark Scroggins’s Zukofsky biography, The Poem of a Life carries one along, willing and avid, between the ongoing weekend chores, the post-charivari (only, I suppose, in the sense that the seasonal excess, that marriage of brute commerce and easy sentiment, is headache-making) mop-up ops. I love its structure of chronological flow interrupt’d by pause—the “interchapters”: “unnumbered discussions of topics in Zukofsky’s writing and thought: figures who influenced him, ideas and images that obsessed him, compositional techniques to which he frequently turned.” It’s rather as if the structure mimics two opposing and inseparable human models of time: a Spinozan duratio (“indefinite continuation of existing”) wherein the one moment collects another in overlay, an unclockable synthesis unlock’d by the reader reading versus Shakespearean everyday “Devouring time,” precipitous time timing away inutterably, unstoppable. (Something of that being what Scroggins explores in the second interchapter, the one titled “Duration, ‘Liveforever’: Time.”) There’s a satisfying rhythm of chronos and topos, travel and pause, to the book, a thing nigh novelistic—I think of the Flaubertian rhythms of scene and summary.
Notes on Jean Vengua’s PrauThe Colloquy
The Aching VicinitiesPrau sets forth on its courageous voyage through time and spirit with a meditation on the year 1911, the date of the author's mother's birth, that sails us through the worlds of Mahler, Marie Curie, Moses Browning (who invented the M-1911 Colt 45 to kill intransigent Filipino "moros" in Mindanao), the H - Bomb, Matta, the polymath Rizal, Dapitan and the migratory routes of her father's wandering ukulele. Vengua's poems gently yet firmly navigate us towards yet to be explored spheres of psychological and lyrical revelation where "by turns and in rounds we are angry, indifferent and in love" and "without ghosts, the obscurity of night becomes real." This is page-turner, addictive poetry that never falters in its gaze at the integrity of dream and the dream of integrity. --Nick Piombino, author of Fait Accompli
Jean blogs at okir
I don’t have a clear sense of my poetics, other than what I discover from the conversation of poetry that I’m engaged in. I’m constantly escaping my own grasp. Maybe the names of the crossroads are the One and the Other, in the sense that, when I write, I can sometimes thankfully shed my own skin and become other. Who am I today? What road will I take? And whose road is it? Is it a private, or a public road, and do I feel like trespassing today?
When you think of Filipino or Filipino American musicians, what comes to mind? Julie Plug? Eraserheads? Joey Ayala? DJ QBert? A kulintang ensemble, or a rondalla orchestra? How about Filipinos playing banjo and slide guitar in a traveling tent show in Iowa, circa 1920? Filipino musicians performed in the Redpath Chautauqua traveling tent circuit in the American Midwest dating back at least as far as 1917.
Five PoemsFor the Evening Land David Shapiro "What causes a death rattle?"--The New York Times If there is a sound before death in America What causes that sound Asks the newspaper For most there is no sound Only a dream of two words: White black Irreversible or the dream without words There is no voice in America Only the finite Reading the voices But let me die singing, like the forefathers Lightning never hits the obtrusive pole, But the animals shrivel in the field. And the obscure observer takes a note. And what is that sound before death-- They have banished the death rattle, the rhonchi, the rales. We die elsewhere, of something else. And what is that last sound my mother made Softly made: archaic breathing. And do not call it a dream. Nor is it a game: The child says infinity is a small word We have done away with noise and have left only The agonal respiration like war material. You will paint the Americans but is it The father in a grain of dust, heroic androgyne with honeysuckle Man in a skirt, woman in a flower, faithless but free The child thinks the god's birthday must be every day: He is that old. Fool's gold folly. Crystals slouch out of matrix. While the spider illuminates his influence with a film Of joy, the fly develops his refuge in a shattered theme The dead sunflower almost blocks the sun Like an old poet, an empty eve coerces us Like an old fate, the gods are dipped in water and predict Man is red dust, let there be flesh. There is no sound before death in America You do not see the charred soldier, only pleasure. We have done away with all noise, but the agony of respiration. And autumn will be the flag of that new nation.
David Shapiro’s ‘Possibilist’ Poetry
Nostalgia of Space
There is of course a long lineage of slave ships that date back probably as far as the birth of ancient civilization, but in more recent histories the prison boat (something different, though a seemingly natural progression) really started to evolve during the colonial era; and, not to our surprise, they served as a solution to the overpopulated modern prison systems that were falling apart, (not that different from today’s prison crisis or the similarly bursting detention facilities that hold scores of intercepted migrants, refugees and other global transients.) With that, it is hardly shocking that the construct of a floating prison continues to develop today.(...)
Adam Zagajewski - PoemsThe Poppies’ Fragile Glory
Those were the long afternoons when poetry left me. The river flowed patiently, nudging lazy boats to sea Long afternoons, the coast of ivory Shadows lounged in the streets, haugty manikins in shopfronts stared at me with bold and hostile eyes. Professors left their school with vacant faces as if the Illiad had finally done them in. Evening papers brought disturbing news, but nothing happened, no one hurried. There was no one in the windows, you weren't there; even nuns seemed ashamed of their lives. Those were the long afternoons when poetry vanished and I was left with the city's opaque demon, like a poor traveller stranded outside the Gare du Nord with his bulging suitcase wrapped in twine and September's black rain falling. Oh, tell me how to cure myself of irony, the gaze that sees but doesn't penetrate; tell me how to cure myself of silence.
People who write poetry sometimes find themselves busy conducting a “defense of poetry” on the sidelines of their primary occupation. With all due respect for this genre (I’ve practiced it myself), I’d like to pose the following question: do these subtle, at times inspiring treatises inadvertently damage poetry instead of strengthening it?
Martha Ronk — Three poemsIn a landscape of having to repeatIn a landscape of having to repeat
Wittgenstein did not argue; he merely thought himself into subtler and deeper problems The record which three of his students have made of his lectures and conversations at Cambridge discloses a man tragically honest and wonderfully, astoundingly absurd. In every memoir of him we meet a man we are hungry to know more about, for even if his every sentence remains opaque to us, it is clear that the archaic transparency of his thought is like nothing that philosophy has seen for thousands of years. It is also clear that he was trying to be wise and to make others wise. He lived in the world, and for the world. He came to believe that a normal, honest human being could not be a professor. It is the academy that gave him his reputation of impenetrable abstruseness; never has a man deserved a reputation less. Disciples who came to him expecting to find a man of incredibly deep learning found a man who saw mankind held together by suffering alone, and he invariably advised them to be as kind as possible to others. He read, like all inquisitive men, to multiply his experiences. He read Tolstoy (always getting bogged down) and the Gospels and bales of detective stories. He shook his head over Freud. When he died, he was reading Black Beauty. His last words were: "Tell them I've had a wonderful life."
driven to distraction
There are moments when history is flexible, and that is when we must put ourselves inside to move the works. But when the atomic bomb is dropped, it is no longer the moment to attach a parachute to it. It's all over. I don't believe in a permanent determinism, in the inexorable course of nature. Fate operates when people give up; when the structures of and the relationships between groups, special interests, coalitions, and ideologies are not yet rigid; when new facts appear that change the rules of the game; then at these moments we can make decisions that direct history, but very quickly everything becomes rigid and mechanical, and then nothing more can be done. One of my greatest disappointments is the extreme incapacity of Christians to intervene when situations are fluid and their habit of passionately taking sides when it is too late for anything but fate to operate. They are pushing the wheel of a vehicle that is already rolling downhill by itself.
... contrasts postmodernism's canonization with critical constructions of modernism, and moves through contemporary painting to reflect on intersections between the violence of recent history and postmodernism, as the postwar world lived "in the ruins of our own civilization, if only in our imaginations."
thanks to Peter Culley
Why I Am The Author of Sound Poetry and Free Poetry
It is impossible, one cannot continue with the allpowerful Word, the Word that reigns over all. One cannot continue to admit it to every house, and listen to it everywhere describe us and describe events, tell us how to vote, and whom we should obey.Henri Chopin Films
via Pierre Joris
We have come in this country to tolerate many such fixed opinions, or national pieties, each with its own baffles of invective and counterinvective, of euphemism and downright misstatement, its own screen that slides into place whenever actual discussion threatens to surface. We have for example allowed American biological research to fall behind that in countries where stem cell programs are not confused with "cloning" and "abortion on demand," countries in other words where rationality is not held hostage to the posturing of the political process. We have allowed all rhetorical stops to be pulled out on non-issues, for example when the federal appeals court's Ninth Circuit ruled the words "under God" an unconstitutional addition to the Pledge of Allegiance. (...)
Jeff and Mary by Long Hungry Creek
... when "normalization" has come to seem a fact, questions need to be asked. Why was the word "normal" so close to the hearts of eastern Europeans? How does its meaning in the context of eastern European transition compare to other historical usages of the word? Were there any hidden contradictions in this "normalization" programme? A conceptual history (Begriffsgeschichte) of the words "normal" and "normality" is one possible tool for answering such questions. (...)Normality or normalities?
From one transition to the next
no place for little lyric (PoemTalk #2)Wait
Gracq strikes one as a man unlikely to suffer the foolishness of fools, no matter whose fool fool be. He’s capable of delicious severity, point’d here (and often) at Paul Valéry:Valéry’s reflections on literature are those of a writer in whom the pleasure of reading is at its minimum, the concern for professional verification at its maximum. This natural frostiness in the matter makes it so that each time he attacks a novel, it is in the manner of a leader of ancient gymnastics criticizing a lack of economy in the motions of coitus: he takes offense at wasted energy, the stakes of which he does not wish to consider.He unfolds the limitations of cinema with a novelist’s palpable sense of the word’s—any word’s—deep nuance, its shimmer, the furriness of its edge, noting that—seeing a story “screen’d”—“what is clearest . . . is that the images, unlike those born of words and sentences, are never given coefficients of value or intensity: centered and circumscribed by the screen so the rays of light they emit strike the eye perpendicularly, the rule that presides over their sensory distribution is strictly egalitarian.” And continues:To grasp this singularity, just imagine a cinema where, alongside a scene unfolding right in the optical field, other scenes or landscapes, related or different, would be vaguely and simultaneously perceived, in secret or in lost profile, from the corner of the eye . . . This domain of margins distractedly but effectively perceived, this domain of the corner of the eye—in order to compensate for other inferiorities, such as less direct dramatic efficiency, less of a sense of the present, the elastic vagueness proper to images born of literature—accounts for almost all the superiority of written fiction. The screen knows neither the plus sign nor the minus sign; it only uses the elsewhere sign, awkwardly, through abrupt ruptures in cameras angles, and is less skilled than literature at weighting the images it unfolds with the sign of infinity.
I am not a "political philosopher." I do not believe generally in the "divisions" of philosophy. Nor do I believe in localising philosophy within some division of knowledges and discourses. For me, philosophy consists of singular nodes of thought which are opened by undoing the established divisions between disciplines. Indeed, against these divisions, I have continued to wander into literature, social history, politics, and aesthetics. And I have continued to do so because of problems and objects of thought thrown up by "non-philosophical" events. So, in the wake of '68 and the thwarting of the hoped-for union of students' and workers' movements, I set out to reconsider the history of relations between workers' movements and utopias or theories of social transformation. I tried to understand the history of workers' emancipation from its beginning, to show its originary complexity, and the complexity of its relations with those utopias and theories.(...)
It is a very queer thing this not agreeing with any one. It would seem that where we are each of us always telling and repeating and explaining and doing it again and again that some one would really understand what the other one is always repeating. But in loving, in working, in everything it is always the same thing. In loving some one is jealous, really jealous and it would seem an impossible thing to the one not understanding that the other one could have about such a thing a jealous feeling and they have it and they suffer and they weep and sorrow in it and the other one cannot believe it, they cannot believe the other on can really mean it and sometime the other one perhaps comes to realise it that the other one can really suffer in it and then later that one tries to reassure the other one the one that is then suffering about that thing and the other one the one that is receiving such reassuring says then, did you think I ever could believe this thing, no I have no fear of such a thing, and I’d is all puzzling.......
Perth town hall and bandshell
If tonight's Iowa results prove anything, it's that religion isn't leaving the public square when W. rides home to Texas.
God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed.
"This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I do what it says I can do," and building to an oddly colorful climax: "I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of God, and I will never be the same. Never, never, never. I will never be the same. In Jesus' name. Amen."
Two Poems from DisobedienceWE SHOULD ALL LIVE LIKE ROCKS IN A FLAT FIELD in the caves today the pistil of a calla lily may be speaking: . . .THE ROOF IS FALLING The caves are membranes breathing, huge petals the sun breaks through soft skin greenhouse. Must I experience total collapse of psychic hierarchy? Will the caves stop being caves? Leveling. Everything's leveling.
Yucatan Mirror Displacement
Where Is The Babylonian Meter With Its Lovely Caesura? from Disobedience by Alice Notley "biggest problem in the world now is unity" ...lovely? Internet, business, the English language, no nature beautiful...you're in charge, you member you of the elite educated class it's all up to you to what you choose to buy--the job you have (what nearly lost culture are you fucking over today?...) And I assisting in this gruesome unification by emigrating from America to France. -------------------------- Perhaps Hardwood will take me on a tour of Our Loss--later? The soul's confidante as vital to her as I am to you dear.
For a long time I've seen my job as bound up with the necessity of noncompliance with pressures, dictates, atmospheres of, variously, poetic factions, society at large, my own past practices as well. For a long time--well in fact since the beginning, since I learned how to be a poet inside the more rebellious wing of poetry; though learning itself meant a kind of disobedience, so like most words the Dis word, the Dis form, cannot be worshipped either--and that would be an obedience anyway. I've spoken in other places of the problems, too, of subjects that hadn't been broached much in poetry and of how it seemed one had to disobey the past and the practices of literary males in order to talk about what was going on most literarily around one, the pregnant body, and babies for example. There were no babies in poetry then. How could that have been? What are we leaving out now? Usually what's exactly in front of the eyes ears nose and mouth, in front of the mind, but it seems as if one must disobey everyone else in order to see at all. This is a persistent feeling in a poet but staying alert to all the ways one is coerced into denying experience, sense and reason is a huge task. I recently completed a very long poem called Disobedience but I didn't realize that disobeying was what I was doing, what perhaps I'd always been doing until the beginning of the end of it, though the tone throughout was one of rejection of everything I was supposed to be or to affirm, all the poetries all the groups the clothes the gangs the governments the feelings and reasons.
TYPOHappy Workers pledge themselvesfrom
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By the time most Canadians roll up their sleeves to begin a new year of work, Canada's best paid 100 CEOs will already be having a good year: They'll pocket the national average wage of $38,998 by 10:33 am January 2nd.The Great CEO Pay Race: Over Before it Begins - PDF via Theoria: Blog
Alex also contributes to Savage Minds
Thanks for the years of your idiosyncratic distillations Steve.
136 Vietnamese figures of speech and proverbs translated from the Vietnamese
The master narrative that encompasses us despises the flesh and blood body. More precisely, it despises the body when it can’t market the body.(...)
no man's landwinged with wrath / necrologist with discipline Anna Hoffmann translated by Catherine Hales born with a fall into the collective grammar hammered deep into the hypothalamus every I a we that was dreaming venus-anus-vanitas mine is the outcast the culled cattle that bellows beneath the bloated moon that pulses in the candied peel of barren suns my day has no place no year & every we just an I torn out / papered on a story without a story psychosomatically we cut open our arteries after barely sleeping through our resurrection of course there are ineradicable connections between my throat & your hands as long as we hold on to each other you play first violin in the wrath of god (everything conceivable) COMMON SENSE IS A LIE like any other word and woman a safety valve archaeology today: an old man a child- hood friend an outsider three witnesses of future force groaning I show it the way to the country of origins that's wetter than euphrates & tigris where the traces of the latest sacrifice are bloodier than the hands of the hun how many epochs per centimetre & THAT too sinks in the silence of tonguesWorking together with Berlin's cult literary magazine lauter niemand, no man's land features first-ever translations of fiction and poetry by some of the finest young writers working in German today.via Absinthe: New European Writing
The Ship of Fools