All Sleek and Skimming
Authors will include Sheila Heti, Derek McCormack, Lee Henderson, Gary Barwin, Tim Wynne-Jones, and Arthur Slade.
* The title is from a story by Susannah M. Smith.
Blah blah blog
Tread on me.
"That's fresh string,"
crooned Kenny Rogers
on that ol' shanty from
the sea, you know
the one about photocopiers?
I think it might be called
'AND architecture,' or
'if silver wants to be gold
will it turn green?'
Or maybe it was
and the Pirates' Cove.'
Bustle up and hustle a russ
the thistle that takes is a dance
bushward for cosmetics, free us
or let us die an original cake before
a farewell fleet of copies
is as fizzy does, a bear on the other
side of the mountain, bitterly disappointed.
I'm not convinced these candidates exist,
let alone deserve Secret Service protection.
Long way to go. Just flip coins at forks in the road,
You Big Dope. Yeah, I've kept your promise right here.
Candidate sexist. Marmalade delicious. "Marmaduke"
still in the papers! Years later! Still stupid!
Not as good as "The Lockhorns," also
You have taken all the fun from statistical
analysis with your constant harping upon the feral
children of Oregon. None of this gore will satisfy the audience
nor will this goon know what's good for it, feeding ore
unceasingly into the machine that refines it into equilateral
triangles. Grit and pluck will get you to Cleveland. Leave enough
fruit on the ground for the elves to survive another
purge. Peg the president hard, cover him with jelly, remove
the eyes and candy them for company. Pay up, no, mop more,
these linoleum floors are where our ancestors perished
so that we might be entertained. Train the pups to want you.
Hey, make mine thistle and strawberry, hold the sprinkles.
Know your trick's kink by the cut of his seersucker. Reek
of the wrong food. You will want to do good,
will want to help the world be all that it can
Be, an army of one big onion soup mix suddenly
available through the agency of World Bank-sponsored micro-loans.
In the symmetrical environment of the 70-foot long cylindrical Architectural Body entitled Ubiquitous Site (1992-1994), now an essential part of the Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan, the central notion, once again, is the possibility for the proprioperceptive self to supplant identity (189) as the visitor who enters the symmetrically organized cylindrical building--having lost its balance and traditional bearings--is invited to cast the little that remains of its identity as a person, outside itself, thereby coordinating with an architectural body that seems to exist both within and outside the bounds of subjectivity (since for Arakawa and Gins the body of a visitor cannot be separated from the space occupied by it). Such a notion becomes directed towards the blurring of boundaries between traditional divisions between past, present and future, as well as between self and community ('Beginning,' 'past,' 'future,' 'I,' 'me,' and 'you,' the artists write, are all words that have no place in this process. They are superfluous ) and, ultimately, life and death as the avowed desire of the artists is to escape the mortal condition [LINEBREAK interview]).
"The line is the means to focus, ... says 'how' we are to weight the various things we are told." Thought voiced and/or in the mind.
Creeley quoted in Eigner, "Arrowhead of Meaning" (emphasis in original)
Those who get enough of [the education necessary to read an organic poem, i.e., a poem in which all of the parts are subordinated to the whole] by luck or diligence or fortunate class position (a few people are still privileged enough to get genuine liberal arts educations in this country) might then be satisfied with the pleasure they are able to obtain from organic poems whose range of reference (or again context or whatever) they are now equipped to interact with. It's a smaller minority still who continue their education into the greater difficulties (and more sophisticated pleasures) of the nonorganic, and who have the corresponding willingness to "be modern," which means to accede to their limited and limiting position in a culture which marginalizes and represses any practice capable of putting that culture's values into serious question.
I see an incredible and wide-ranging effort from Silliman on down to disseminate the education of desire, to teach, to turn against all odds their privately obtained education back into the public thing, the res publica, that it was always meant to be. That's why there's such a strong emphasis on community among post-avant writers and that's why poets-as-teachers* is a positive good and not something to be lamented. And that's why I celebrate blogging as a means not only of providing more direct access to writers for more people than has ever been possible before, but as means of narrowing the gap between "reader" (one who passively receives) and "writer" (who thinks/creates). As I've said before, my utopia of poetry is a world where EVERYONE is a poet, in which all voluntarily assume the pains and pleasures that come with the highest possible sensitivity to language.
spirited tars brawl sunward
one holds a reptile egg
who is too pretty to smack
holds the egg to the sun's
Now in the Egyptian language, this sole relic of a primitive world, there are a fair number of words with two meanings, one of which is the exact opposite of the other. Let us suppose, if such an obvious piece of nonsense can be imagined, that in German the word “strong” meant both “strong” and “weak”; that in Berlin the noun “light” was used to mean both “light,” and "darkness"; that one Munich citizen called beer “beer,” while another used the same word to speak of water.
But Egypt was anything but a home of nonsense. On the contrary, it was one of the cradles of the development of human reason.
grow up seeds & bloodweed
and spring up rude new.
Awe beats after lamb
lewd after calf cow
bull starts up; buckfart.
Movie song cuckoo
Newsweek is never new.
My strategy for reviewing is to perceive the book in as precise a way as possible rather than to praise or dispraise. The praise or dispraise, such as it is, should arise organically out of the perception.
1. I will try to discover the book's terms (i.e., its understanding or vision of what poetry is and how it can function) and discuss it in light of them.
2. I will remember that a review is not an entry in a consumer's guide but a discussion that hopes to contribute to understanding.
3. I will resist the impulse to use often empty terms like "good,""bad" and "well-written" and I will ensure that valuative judgments are accompanied by an explanation of the assumptions on which they are based and a justification of the appropriateness of these assumptions given the text under hand.
(Nothing lasts forever, sure thing, or for ages, and it's a question how much can or should anything last or occupy attention. A single line can register as a poem, monostich, the line "break" take effect from the practice of poetry.)
There doesn't have to be anything like padding anywhere at all, when there's no metre or regular rhyme, and a piece of language in verse, measured, deliberated, can really be a stretch, process of thinking, one thought really attained, in a second or longer time, leading to another, a math of everyday life, penetrating or anyway evaluative, the line (/)- or stanza (//)-break providing a means of assessment, the stress it can give in the absence of obscuring metre, a regular beat. The line is a typographical device as much as a comma or colon, after all, as is indentation, lacuna too. A thing can be overemphasized, made too much of, yet it seems that, ultimately, one is as important as any other, there's no hierarchy, so evaluation or assessment amounts to realization.
Larry Eigner, "not/forever/serious," quoted in Robert Grenier, "Realizing Things"