wood s lot

Some Blogs

A Bad Guide
A Fool in the Forest
A Journey Round My Skull
A la recherche
A Piece of Monologue
an eudaemonist
Acephalous
ads without products
akma
Al Filreis
american street
An und für sich
Anecdotal Evidence
As/Is

Behind the Lines
Beyond the Pale
BibliOdyssey
blah-feme
blivet
Blckdgrd

Brad Zellar
Brian Lamb
Burningbird
Buzzwords -3:AM

Cassandra Pages
consumptive
Crag Hill

dangerousmeta!
David Neiwert
Departure Delayed
Dialogic
Doug Alder
dumbmonkey

Easily Distracted
Eileen Tabios
enantiodromia
e·ratio
elegant variation
Equanimity

fait accompli
feuilleton
Follow Me Here
Forgottenness
FRAG/MENTS
Frank Paynter
Free Space Comix

gamma ways
Gift Hub
gmtPlus9(-15)
Goblin Mercantile
Golden Rule Jones
gordon coale
Green Hill
Grundlegung

Haquelebac
Harlequin Knights
Heading East
HG Poetics
hiding in plain sight
Hoarded Ordinaries
I cite
idiotic hat
if:book
IMproPRieTies
In a Dark Time ...
Incoming Signals
infinite thought
Infocult
Inspector Lohmann
Invisible Notes
ionarts
Isola di Rifiuti

Jacob Russell
James Laxer
Jerome Rothenberg
jessamyn
Jim Johnson
Joe Bageant
John Crowley
Junk for Code
Justin E. H. Smith

k-punk
Kiko's House

landscape suicide
language hat
language log
Larval Subjects
Laughing Knees
lemon hound
lenin's tomb
LensCulture
lime tree
Limited, Inc.
Lit Kicks
Literacy Weblog
Literary Saloon
little brown mushroom
Long story; short pier.
Lumpy pudding

Mappemunde
Marja-Leena Rathje
Maud Newton
Metastable Equilibrium
mirabile dictu
Mnemosyne's Memes
Mobylives
mosses from an old manse
Mountain*7
muse-ings

NarcissusWorks
negative wingspan
Neue Kunstspaziergange
New Verse News
NewPages
No Caption Needed
Nomadics
Not if but when

Ordinary finds
Out of the Woodwork

Pantaloons
paperpools
Parking lot
pas au-dela
Passages
Paula's House of Toast
Phil Rockstroh
Philosophy's Other
Piccolo
Phosphene
Pinocchio Theory
Poemas del rio Wang
Posthegemony
pseudopodium

ReadySteady
rebecca's pocket
Return of the Reluctant
Rhys Tranter
Richard Hoffman
riley dog
RiZoMa
rob mclennan
Robert Gibbons
robot wisdom
Rogue Embryo
rough theory

Savage Minds
Sharp Sand
Sheila Lennon
Side Effects
Silliman's Blog
Sit Down Man
Skookum
slacktivist
space and culture
Spurious
Stephen Vincent
Supervalent Thought
synthetic zero

tasting rhubarb
tawny grammar
textimagepoem
the accursed share
The Daily Growler
The Little Professor
The Page
The Reading Experience
The Solitary Walker
the space in between
The Valve
theoria
Third Factory
this Public Address
This Space
Three Percent
Time Capsule
Tom Raworth
tony tost's america
Twiglog

vanitas
venepoetics
Via Negativa

Waggish
Weimar
whiskey river
with hidden noise
Witold Riedel
Wittgenstein Jr
50-Watts
February 05, 2016

February
from
Book of Hours: Labours of the Months
1979
Alex Colville
1920 -2013

_______________________


Certainties [pdf]
The Maxims Of Martin Traubenritter
revised and enlarged
Robert Kelly

(....)

6.

We look at children playing in a world of things, sensations, perceptions. We try to teach them language. Language estranges them from what is to be known. Do we do it because we envy their total immersion in this actual world? Or do we yearn to give them language so they can talk to us, tell us, remind us of what we lost, forgot? And the cost to them of such messages we receive, it’s terrible but scarcely noticed in the busyness of things: the loss of their own immersion.

7.

Language is the real baptism—the enrolment of the newborn into a world made up almost entirely of conventions—religion is not the only religion, alas.

(....)

Metambesen

_______________________


“Pacific”
Alex Colville
1967

_______________________


The Pacific Wall of Kienholz/Lyotard
David Cook

Perhaps it is just what happens when one reaches the West coast of America--the Pacific Wall as Jean-François Lyotard calls it in a rather obscure and obscured text written in the nineteen seventies. Perhaps a similar sensation confronted Hitler when, facing the Atlantic, he is turned back towards the immolation of the ground war. Backs to a wall and the scene turns nasty. Backs to the wall and the catastrophe strikes. This will be played out, as we will see, in the fascism and racism all too well known in the binary twin of Amerika/Europe or, if you prefer, Lyotard/Kienholz.

Lyotard, like many of his French colleagues, went to the coast as a visiting professor. Sitting in the Geisel Library of the San Diego campus, evidently named after Dr. Seuss, one enters the fantasy world of make believe and children's rhymes for Geisel and for Lyotard, as well as rather fanciful stories. In an odd way this is reflected in the library itself, which is unique by being the first library to embrace Google and in having a phantom third floor and with a wall of glass facing the Pacific--the virtual coming to rest in the labyrinth and in the gaze over the Pacific, two themes that occupy Lyotard.

And Lyotard is not alone in his fascination for the view. Take for example, the Canadian artist Alex Colville's haunting work Pacific 1967. Picture the back of a shirtless man looking out of the glass window on to the ocean, a revolver on a table in the foreground. Painted in 1967 this work catches that period of the paroxysms of violence in the US.

_______________________


Man on Verandah
Alex Colville
1953

_______________________


The Society of the Spectacle Reconsidered: Good Marx or Bad Marx?
John Clark

There are now three translations of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle in print, and the work has penetrated intellectual popular culture to a certain degree. Ironically, you can now find ads all over the internet that mindlessly repeat the same clichés to market this scathing critique of consumer capitalism. A long blurb begins by touting it as “the Das Kapital of the 20th century.” By some strange coincidence, Amazon, Walmart, Powell’s Books, Abe Books and Google Books all agree totalistically with every last word of the long spiel. Even the “Book Depository” couldn’t find anything in it to shoot down. On a more serious note, Ken Knabb claims that it is “arguably the most important radical book of the twentieth century”—a rather grandiose claim, and I’d hate to get assigned this side of the argument in a debate. Nevertheless, it’s somewhere up there with the most influential works, and one might certainly wish that it had actually left Lenin’s What Is To Be Done?, Mao’s Little Red Book, and Guevara’s Guerilla Warfare in the dust.

One reason why this is an auspicious time to reconsider Debord's Society of the Spectacle is the t that a revised editionof Knabb's translation has just appeared (Bureau of Public Secrets, 2014). It will be a very valuable resource for the studyof Debord and the Situationists. Knabb has not only improved his already very competent and readable translation, but also added extensive and very useful notes. Debord was sometimes vague about his sources, so Knabb has tracked them down, and often adds helpful comments on their significance. Furthermore, he has added notes that provide extensive background and bibliographical information on radical and revolutionary history. He also cites other Situationist texts onvarious topics, which is extremely useful, since there is an unfortunate tendency to equate all Situationist ideas with those of Debord.

Situationists reached many impasses, as will be discussed shortly, yet made a huge contribution to the development of radical thought. It still has crucial lessons for the left, and the libertarian left in particular. If the Situationists had done nothing else, it would be enough that they showed the fecundity of the encounter between Marxism and anarchism, and the folly of being naively and reactively "against Marx" in the name of anarchism. They show us why we need to be for Marx for the sake of anarchism, and against Marx for the sake of Marx.

(....)


The Society of the Spectacle
Guy Debord
(New Annotated Translation by Ken Knabb

Bureau of Public Secrets

_______________________


Swimmer
Alex Colville
1962

_______________________


e-flux 70 - February 2016

The Vectoralist Class, Part Two
McKenzie Wark

What if history can be neither negated nor accelerated? Perhaps second and third nature have been built so broad and so deep that there's no getting around this infrastructure. Thus while the commodity economy keep plodding along, at its own relentless pace, it forms agents of any class in its own image and obliges them to work in the forms it determines. What if even the vectoral class had little power anymore over its own creation?
_______________________


The Horror of Materialism
Larval Subjects

(....)

The dream of an identity of being and thinking is also a dream of emancipation; for where presence reigns there is also no need for an alienation in the sovereign. The sovereign rules because we believe him to have knowledge, wisdom, to lead us to flourishing. Where we have this knowledge we no longer need him. Today that dream lies in ruins. No one can master it all; no one is an expert. It’s turtles or authorities all the way down. None of the scientists at CERN really understand what the others are doing, but must trust what the others are doing, that they know, to do what they’re doing. The presence called for by the tradition of epistemology is no longer sustainable. Everywhere we just encounter citation. And at that point, I wonder, what becomes of the dream of philosophy? How must we conceive of knowledge, and knowledge as it relates to emancipation, today?



February 03, 2016



_______________________


Stephen Burt on C.D. Wright

When C.D. Wright died Jan. 12, American poetry lost one of the great ones, one of the figures who changed what the language can do, one of the writers whose lines and titles, sentences and similes are going to last at least as long as American English. That’s something I believe, but it’s also something that seems inappropriate, even rude, to say, because Wright’s artistic powers cannot be separated from her deep sense of democracy, her work against boundaries, rankings and exclusions, her insistence that poetry, and society, should become, not a hierarchy or a star system or a way to exalt a singular self, but a way to be generous, to share the powers we get, to give of oneself, to let everybody come in.


From “The Obscure Lives of Poets”
C. D. Wright
How is it that you live, and what is it you do?
— William Wordsworth, to the leech-gatherer
Three, no, four, that I know, married women
of means and brains. One grew moss on her tongue, waking from dreams that smelled
of mildew or hoary socks on a smothering train.
One turned to falconry and the construction of seed bombs to be dropped from three-
story houses. One burned her burka upon being released
from prison for the fourth time shamed so down deep in her molested self, washed
henceforth in formal darkness, another burned
her wedding dress in a fire pot while house finches splashed in the birdbath. [how one
moment touches on another moment and a thought flickers on and off
]
One poet, obsessed with vulvae, son of a butcher,
displayed a large bezoar on his coffee table, and slept in the bear nests in the d’Ardèche,
obsessed. One poet, adopted shortly after birth
by a levee builder on the St. Francis, shot himself with a target pistol on a beautiful
afternoon in early June. One lay across the tracks
on the brink of the Tiananmen uprising. One picked up her manuscript, a block of ash,
from the embers of her Oakland home. Bakhtin, as we know,
smoked his very best pages in prison. The poems of Radnóti were found by his widow in
his overcoat, in a mass grave. ...
_______________________


Beckett on Film: PLAY
(Dir. Anthony Minghella, 2001)


PLAY
A play in one act by Samuel Beckett

(....)

W1: Yes strange    darkness best     and the darker    the worse
W2: Yes perhaps    a shade gone    I suppose    some might say
M: Yes peace    one assumed    all out    all the pain

W1:till all dark    then all well    for the time    but it will come
W2: poor thing    a shade gone    just a shade    in the head
M: all as if    never been    it will come   Hiccup. Pardon

W1: the time will come    the thing is there    you'll see it
W2: Laugh . . .    just a shade    but I doubt it
M: no sense in this    oh I know    none the less

W1: get off me    keep off me    all dark    all still
W2: I doubt it    not really    I'm all right    still all right
M: one assumed    peace I mean    not merely    all over

W1: all over    wiped out   --
W2: do my best    all I can --
M: but as if    never been --



_______________________




_______________________


The hurts of wanting the impossible
A review of 'Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners'
Matt Longabucco

(....)

It’s fun to sit on the subway in New York and read this new Wieners collection with its one-word title, black on cream: Supplication. Wave Books’s austere design suits poems that have been sacred to me since I was handed them as talismans, years ago, by poet friends. How much recognition do we want someone whose true home is “underground” to get? Underground because he chose Boston, lyricism, and a courtly remove. And more, because he chooses perdition: “Damned and cursed before the world / That is what I want to be.” Poet and critic Andrea Brady, in her work on the poet’s archive, quotes Foye: “Nobody had ever seen anyone throw themselves into the abyss the way John did.” Why does a person throw himself into the abyss? Why does a person take heroin? And then write of it, “But I don’t advise it for the young, or for / anyone but me. My eyes are blue”. Two lines that manage to be all at once knowing, greedy, arrogant, assertive of a special power and also, to my ear, aware of the hollowness of that assertion (it’s arbitrary and comes too readily to hand). Drugs are for escape, they’re for posturing, they’re for denaturing the visible. But in the case of this poet of loneliness, they are also a way to “collapse in a heap on the bed of the world”. Denied our lives, we seek oblivion, and hope that beyond or through it we might be permitted to alter the order that foreclosed our true existence from the outset. Collapsing, dissolving: we have been taught to act, but Wieners knows it’s better, instead, to beg — to be convincing, under extreme pressure, by manifesting preferable alternatives with the allure of a mirage. He chooses supplication.



February 02, 2016

The Problem with History
(2010)
Ryan Mosley

1       2

Ryan Mosley: interview

_______________________


Carnival Theory
Jennifer Higgie on the bewildered mystics, mournful minstrels and mysterious rituals of Ryan Mosley’s paintings

I’m not convinced that you need me to explain Ryan Mosley’s paintings. Everything you need to know about them is right there, humming on the surface: trippy, funny and melancholy, these are virtuoso hallucinations in a high-keyed palette – hot pinks, fluorescent orange and wild flashes of cerulean blue. Mosley’s canvases are populated by merry turncoats, bewildered mystics and mournful minstrels, all coming or going or mutating into something or someone else: dancing, smoking, fleeing or wrestling, making music, performing enigmatic rituals or just sitting, staring into space. Many of them appear to be searching for something, be it salvation, a god or a good time. Bodies sprout limbs in unexpected places; tops hats commingle with topiary; an avalanche of umbrellas, pipes, skulls, cacti and caps, birds, banjos, beans and boots tumble from painting to painting. Like out-takes from fairy tales, the works have a narrative thread buried deep beneath their surfaces, but if you’re after a beginning, a middle and an end, then you’re bound for disappointment: nothing so straightforward exists here.

The head – the source of all thinking and dreaming – and what contains and covers it, is a recurring theme. Mosley – and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say so – is haunted by hats: towering top hats, floppy brown caps and huge hair that may as well be a hat. As in life, faces are complicated: like mad flowers sprouting from the same stem, there are often more than one on a single neck or lots of them embedded in someone’s hair (Oak Maiden, 2008); they also have a tendency to morph into masks. Beards are popular not, I assume, because they’re fashionable, but because in Mosley’s world there is no time to shave and, anyway, in these eccentric lands I suspect barbers are thin on the ground. Dead heads, like a chorus of tipsy memento mori, also occasionally make an appearance, but they’re not particularly gloomy. In Dance of the Nobleman (2010–11), for example, skulls float about a dancing man like dreamy girls at a party, while an audience of blank, uniform heads watches them.

via Synthetic_zero

_______________________


Smoking Pilgrimage
Ryan Mosley
2014

_______________________


translation
Maja Haderlap
Transled by Tess Lewis

is there a zone of darkness between all languages,
a black river, that swallows words
and stories and transforms them?
here sentences must disrobe,
begin to roam, learn to swim,
not lose the memory that nests in
their bodies, a secret nucleus.
will the columbine’s blue be a shade of violet
when it reaches the other side,
and the red bee balm become a pear, cinnamon-
sweet? will my tench be missing a fin
in the light of the new language? will it have to learn
to crawl or to walk upright?
does language know how to draw another language towards it
or only how to turn the other language away? can each word,
then, risk the transit, believe itself
invulnerable, dipped in pitch and hard as steel?
The Reverberations of History: Contemporary Austrian Literature
Words without Borders - February 2016

_______________________


Saying Nothing and hearing Everything
Ryan Mosley
2013

_______________________


On Rae Armantrout's 'Just Saying'
Matthew Gagnon

Rae Armantrout’s 2013 book Just Saying, a phrase that calls into question the veracity of what we say, think, and feel to be the case, or a phrase used to offload the force of an insult, suggests a motif of our inability or refusal to render our systems of thinking and believing in convincing terms. To be sure, the poems are varied in their address, circling around domestic concerns, mortality, social codes, product placement, forms of transactions, and systems of belief. One of the moves that Armantrout makes so well is to channel the many-tongued voicings of the clichéd-chorus. In the cacophonous, hyper-mediated Internet age, in the postrecession capitalism of America, in the images reflected back to us from the culture industry, Armantrout’s poems take on the bricolage of heterogeneous language acts and recast them to render new systems of meaning. It is in this recasting that poetry can be thought of as an instrument to not only document our present conditions on the ground, but to refigure those conditions, to see them anew.

_______________________


The Thirsty Scholar
Ryan Mosley
2010-2011

_______________________


Anti-Birthday Poem
Ya Shi
translated by Nick Admussen

Using vague pronouns to indicate the needle in the cottonball,
he, she, it....
If the sentence is nothing but subjective, then please cross it out.
Thick violet medicine is installing a tiny propeller
between half-dream and half-wake, carrying the hum call of bees,
indistinct but steady—
in my city's red-orange outpatient medical tower,
my discovery is: the noun of central authority,
aided by monkey doctors whose white hands reek of Lysol,
has sprinkled its syrup more or less everywhere.
Of course, what I am saying, it is a kind of memory.
If you are a nurse, please cross it out with a red pen.
(the subject awakens; being collapses like an edifice of sand)
Today, an early morning dripping with cicada song,
my old mother calls, says it's my lunar calendar
birthday, she will celebrate me with steamed pork.
But the isolated god sinks too deeply into his stage drama,
aloneness can be more than the last act...
Even at a play, it's no good to laugh too loud.
Pah, what I mean is: a simpler sentence
has complexity that you cannot control.
When it pierces the vein, will our vanity get crossed out too?

Drunken Boat 22
_______________________


Piano Tuners
Ryan Mosley
2011



February 01, 2016

Porte d'Arcueil
Tsugoharu Foujita
1886-1968

_______________________


Arguments from a Winter’s Walk
Thomas Bernhard
translated by Adam Siegel

Translator’s Note “It seemed to come out of nowhere”—Thomas Bernhard’s first novel, Frost, published by Insel Verlag in 1963. The work that preceded this bombshell gave no indication of the breakthrough to come—a neat caesura from the “routine” lyricism of Bernhard’s poetry (On Earth and in Hell, In hora mortis) to the “verbal fury” of the painter Strauch. But the true breakthrough—what one German critic called “the birth of the coroner, the invective hurler, the egomaniac, the conjurer of catastrophes”—has been rediscovered. “Arguments from a Winter’s Walk” was published in 2013 by Suhrkamp as “Argumente eines Winterspaziergängers,” together with a companion work, “Leichtlebig.” Both were written in the winter and spring of 1962. While the earlier fragment, “Leichtlebig,” is similar in style and tone to Bernhard’s apprentice prose work (the abandoned novels Schwarzach Sankt Veit and Der Wald auf der Strasse), “Arguments,” written for publication in the Austrian literary journal Wort und Zeit, is Frost in nuce: It strips away the latter’s narrative interludes, devoting itself solely to the monologues of the unnamed doctor (several of these monologues appear, with slight variation in wording and placement, in Frost). “Arguments” is both dry run and distillation, a palm-of-the-hand version of the work to come, and the closest look we have of the Bernhard laboratory at zero hour.
(....)

Out here are peculiar valleys, said the doctor, and in these valleys are castles … one goes into them and there is nothing more in the world to seek out, the world whence one came … doors open, and behind them, enthroned, sit people in expensive clothes, as though drawn from nonexistent portraits, unheeding … one enters … one is addressed, seemingly without ever hearing a voice or language … having always been untutored in this art … I know nothing of words … nothing of answers … one doesn’t speak, one just listens—everything has a serviceable name, a label, none of it applied in error, you should know … they say simple things that float above you like a cloudless blue sky … nothing fantastic though it all stems from fantasy … nature—the greatest simplicity, opulence, amiability, nary a trace of sin … not even a hint of discord … a perpetual honeymoon, you should know, just cool reason and the innateness of concepts … all our days and all our nights—comely faces for now and for always … sleeping and waking … the air wrought so clear … my God—how apt! … the slow effect of ideas, feelings, climaxes, feigned amazement … laws that lack the punitive element have a certain validity, mind and temperament united in human nature—logic set to music … old age capable of beauty, youth rising like foothills … in the afternoon the shadows fall … truth lies in the bed of the river, they say, the inscrutable as realization … this is, said the doctor, more like a revelation from a dream, but truer than most means of contemplation …

(....)

_______________________


Five Prose Poems
John Olson
The Shine of Eternity in a Postcard Rack

Language is shaped by abstraction. Which isn’t saying much. But it’s true. The luminous roots of a ripe truth blossom into similes. A mouth is like a spout and a tornado endorses the airport spoons. The structures endure. Envy hurls its descriptions of wealth at a single wool glove and unemployment is ghostly. Anyone will tell you that. A dazzling evocation is longer than a murky sensation and the day convulses with parody. I’m not joking. The travel agent dialed the wrong number and got Kierkegaard rather than Socrates. This is how we ended up in Corsica rather than the Canary Islands. The sculpture in the corner startled us with its exhalation. A small stone condensed the ocean into a hard inscrutable wrinkle. This is how perceptions happen. They begin as a stimulus in the nerves and travel to a place in the brain where paper lanterns float in the river Oi and images crash among the ganglion attracting mosquitos and flies. As soon as you begin writing poetry you find yourself in a foreign country. It may be the country of your origin, but it will soon enter your eyes and skull as a foreign country. That’s pretty much the whole point. The reason for the endeavor.

_______________________


Tsugoharu Foujita



_______________________


"To rule forever," continues the Chinaman, later, "it is necessary only to create, among the people one would rule, what we call...Bad History. Nothing will produce Bad History more directly nor brutally, than drawing a Line, in particular a Right Line, the very Shape of Contempt, through the midst of a People,-- to create thus a Distinction betwixt 'em,-- 'tis the first stroke.-- All else will follow as if predestin'd, unto War and Devastation."
      - Pynchon, Mason & Dixon
_______________________


Otoliths Issue forty


Three Prose Pieces
Martin Edmond
Le bateau ivre
      in the Timor Sea

The boat they gave me was a small wooden shell, a coracle, without a sail or oars: half a coconut lacking the meat. There was just enough room in it to recline. I didn’t care. I drifted down the estuary, indifferent to my fate as to the world around me. The current took us out into the fuming tides where, lighter than a cork, we danced upon the waves. I ate, I drank. I slept. I tried not to think. Days passed, and nights, and I saw nothing but the waves rolling eternally over the graves of the dead. After not so many days my food ran out and I began to hunger; lying sick in the bottom of the boat. Sometimes it rained and then I drank from the sky. I must have fallen into a delirium. When the sea rose and salt water washed over the edges of the hull I counted it a blessing: a douche of blue wine washing us clean. I was spattered with shit and vomit, on the outside, and on the inside gathered the grimy accretions of thought and all that it produces. Regrets, second guesses, ifs and buts, all the rest of that contaminated crew. So the sea’s blue wine washed over us and then it seemed I bathed in some oceanic unauthored poem, azure, lactescent, infused with stars that I sometimes glimpsed, like promises, far above; a pale scrap of flotsam, a dreaming, drowning man, sinking towards death; yet voyaging on.
_______________________






January 28, 2016

The Skirts of a Wood
1825
Samuel Palmer
b. January 27, 1805

_______________________


Doubts and a Hesitation
Garous Abdolmalekian
translated from the Persian by Ahmad Nadalizadeh and Idra Novey

Even your name
I have doubts about
and about the trees
about their branches, if perhaps
they are roots
and we have been living
all these years underground.

(....)

I am
a captive man’s conjectures
about the seasons behind the wall.

Guernica
_______________________


Rilke's Russian Poems
translated by Philip Nikolayev

"On returning from his first trip to Russia, full of deep impressions and planning to move there permanently (a dream that never came true), Rilke suddenly found himself writing poems in Russian. As he noted in his diary, the first of them “unexpectedly occurred” to him in the Schmargendorf forest near Berlin in late November 1900. By early December he had written six Russian poems. He dedicated them to Salomé, who found them “grammatically off” yet poetic. He revised those and added another two in April 1901. In the fall of 1900 Rilke met his future wife, Clara Westhoff, and his life changed. He never returned to Russia but retained his love of it and his ties with Russian poetry, namely, with Marina Tsvetaeva and Boris Pasternak.

My translations of Rilke’s Russian poems are intended as an experiment in bringing to light their substance, form and implied tone as faithfully as I could manage, while stripping away the infelicities of the originals."
      —Philip Nikolayev

[Two Poems of April 1901]

I’m so tired of trials by morbid days.
An empty night, windless across the fields,
lies plain above the silence of my eyes.
My heart began like a nightingale begins,
but could not finish the telling of its words,
and all I hear now is its very silence
swelling up in the dark like a nightmare
and darkening like the last gasp of air
by an unlamented child past all remembrance.

*

I’m so alone: nobody understands
the silence that is the voice of my long days,
there being out there no such wind as opens
wide the ample heavens of my eyes.
Outside my window an enormous day stands
on the city’s strange edge, a large man lies,
awaiting. Is this I, I ask myself,
awaiting what? And where’s my soul?
The Battersea Review
_______________________


Blue Poles
1952
Jackson Pollock
b. January 28, 1912

_______________________


The Mind of the Modern: An Interview with Gabriel Josipovici
Victoria Best

(....)

VB: Looking over your collected works and the experience I’ve had reading them, I’m reminded of Barthes and his comment that some of his best reading occurs with the book face down on his lap, staring into the middle distance. There is something so potent that happens when your writing comes into contact with my imagination. There’s a concept you may have heard of – the ‘unthought known’ – created by psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas. It refers to the immense store of knowledge that we own unwittingly, having never put it into words because we became aware of it in a wordless fashion. Bollas says: ‘There is in each of us a fundamental split between what we think we know and what we know but may never be able to think.’ Some of it will never be articulated and so, he says it’s important to ‘form a relationship to the mysterious unavailablity of much of our knowledge.’ And somehow, this is how I feel reading you. You take me towards the unthought places without ever speaking them yourself. It’s the spirit of the Between, if you like, who has his own chapter in Goldberg. Does that make any sense to you?

GJ: Yes, it makes a lot of sense. It’s what I look for in my writing, what I want to read and can’t find in the writing of others. I’ve never read Bollas, but what he says makes perfect sense to me. I wouldn’t even call it a ‘fundamental split’ – I think rather that our bodies know more than we do and that the task of art is to find forms and words that will allow the body to speak.

_______________________


Waiting

Marcel Mariën
1945

_______________________


Marcel Mariën
(1920-1993)
McKenzie Wark

Marcel Mariën (1920-1993) is not the best known of the surrealists – it doesn’t help that he was Belgian. But he has a few claims on our attention. For one, he invented his own version of what is now called object oriented ontology in 1944. For another, he had a theory of the society of the spectacle that pre-dates Debord’s by nearly a decade. And for a third, he was a fine aphorist in the style of Lautréamont.

(....)

he Belgian surrealism of Magritte and the more hard-core Belgian poet Paul Nougé, was a poetics of producing disturbing encounters. The Belgians were opposed to André Breton’s surrealism of automatic writing and contemplation of the marvelous. They were closer to Paul Eluard’s maxim that “the poet is one who inspires far more than he is inspired.” Mariën took from Nougé a poetics of producing disturbing encounters in the moment of reception.

Mariën’s ‘Nonscientific Treatise on the Fourth Dimension’ of 1944 has recently been translated for the Surrealism Reader (Tate 2015). It begins: “Every object, thing and body has four dimensions. A pear, a house or a woman have their height, width, depth and image (or surface). There fore the eye always perceives only the fourth, the image-dimension, which is also mind, thought, dream, memory and that of which we speak… Touch cannot reach the true depth of objects any better than the eye can. The universe is hermetic to them both.” Perhaps we could think of object oriented ontology, of which this might pass as a basic statement, as a late version of surrealism.

_______________________


beech and oak
Samuel Palmer

_______________________


Three
Darin Ciccotelli
Honeysuckle

Our lives no longer feel
attared. The grand pronouncements
feel fine, like how discs of blood
disperse themselves throughout

the body, like how the bloodworm
swells to move. I accept the life.
I accept belatedness.

Then rain comes on without trajectory.
It is simply crowds. On the car, silver enamel.
In one sentence, the automobile festoons
toward certain

death and is freed from it, the miss,
the child’s backseat fright,
happenstance.

That night, absently flossing one’s teeth close
to the mirror, this mouth all skull.

Temple, bungalow, the merchandise
of ships beside trees—
most confusing still are the
conditions for attraction.
I don’t know if I want it, the sun
lice-infested. The lime in her burgeoning thought.

_______________________


Replicant Futures: Nick Land and Alien Capitalism S.C. Hickman

“I have not once had the least idea who or what I am,” says the Gray Bard of America. The nihilist undertones ringing out in that last dark hinterland of “ironical laughter” of the unknown “real Me” who outside our thinking, our intentional directedness stands in the unconscious libidinal matrix of the impossible Real, the indelible stamp of the withdrawn and “mocking me with mock-congratulatory signs and bows,” pointing in silence to old Walt’s “songs, and then to the sand beneath”. A dark vision indeed. Most think of Walt as the happy camper, the wild and free poet of optimism, democracy, and sunshine. But under it all is this moody and terrible being of pessimism and nihilistic despair who believed that all his vein striving, all the metaphoric display, the grand gesture of the Leaves of Grass were but the spume and spray of rolling sand flecks on the edge of the Mother, the Ocean. Necessity, Ananke, Fate: the triune power of the ebb and flow of life bound within the circular motion of the death drives that move among the impersonal and indifferent stars and galaxies like a blind god, mindless and alone. But there is no mind in the universe of death, only the endless entropic madness of the Real.

Nick Land in his essay Machinic Desire remarks “In the near future the replicants — having escaped from the off-planet exile of private madness – emerge from their camouflage to overthrow the human security system. Deadly orphans from beyond reproduction, they are intelligent weaponry of machinic desire virally infiltrated into the final-phase organic order; invaders from an artificial death.”