Archive for November, 2011
by Johannes Goransson on Nov.30, 2011
[Warning: I don’t know much about the Rolling Stones so if somebody wants to clue me into any background errors etc, please feel free.]
The other day Joyelle and I were in Pittsburgh talking about the necropastoral at a conference called ASAP. Joyelle went to a panel that talked about how “Star Star” by the Rolling Stones was actually addressed to Candy Darling and evidence of Mick Jagger having been drawn into “Andy Warhol’s orbit.” Apparently, upon entering into this “orbit,” Jagger began to model his look and appearance on Andy’s transvestite “superhuman crew” (Bob Dylan had been pulled into the Warhol orbit some five-ten years earlier). In other words, he was a superstar who became a “superstar.”
I think “orbit” and especially Raggedy Andy’s “orbit” of super saturating art/life is an interesting way of thinking about an alternative to influence/lineage and all that: “a zone where interesting things happen.” A necropastoral “strange meeting.”
First, here’s the song and the lyrics:
Songwriters: Keith Richards;Mick Jagger
Baby, baby, I’ve been so sad since you’ve been gone
Way back to New York City
Where you do belong
Honey, I missed your two tongue kisses
Legs wrapped around me tight
If I ever get back to Fun City, girl
I’m gonna make you scream all night
Continue reading “Star Fuckers – Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, James Pate, Nick Demske and Old Dirty Bastard” »
by Daniel Borzutzky on Nov.29, 2011
This is the first post for all the posts that I would write if I had time to write what I actually wanted to write. I don’t have time to write what I actually want to write which is really about all these things I am reading and also about the collapsing world and writing and writing about time and now and history and economies and money. There’s lots to say about all these things I’m reading but I’m not going to say that much I’ll just say first that I was really struck by a statement a really nice guy in a warehouse in Berkeley recently said to me. Speaking of the General Strike in Oakland at the beginning of November he said something like: “it felt so good, physically, to shut down the port. Just imagine how good an actual revolution would feel.” He said something like this and I was struck by the connection he made between physical, sensual pleasure and political revolt. Which gets me to:
Cecilia Vicuña’s Saborami! Holy hell! Holy hell! Just published by Chain Links, this gem, this historical gem, this amazing document of life and poetry and art and history and of what it means to be alive at the most dramatic and hopeful and horrid moments and of what it means to write under and through and in response to and because of oppressive governments that destroy individuals and communities and imaginations. There’s a history to this book. It’s a re-issue of a book that was published in England in 1973 by Felipe Ehrenberg’s Beau-Geste Press; they made 250 artists books and as Vicuña writes in the afterword “the work you now have in your hands is a distant relative, a semi-facsimile of that first fragile SABORAMI which was constructed with the poorest materials.” And in it’s new form it’s really a beautifully constructed publication with some full-color reproductions of the collages and drawings that were in the original. I am supposed to write a full essay on this this book for another publication so stop me now. Stop me now. Okay. I’ll go on, Continue reading “IT TASTES LIKE ME – NEW WORDS FOR THE NOW THE NOW THE NOW!” »
by James Pate on Nov.28, 2011
In the past few months, there have been some comments, both on this blog and in other places, that montevidayo is nihilistic, even quasi-fascist. It has even been called “satanic” by one commentator. And one of the frequent reasons for this has, I think, been the “no future” ethos taken up by some of the writers on this blog. Doesn’t skepticism toward the future imply lack of hope and a lack of political will? Doesn’t it imply a fashionable fatalism?
But the problems that arise with “future” thinking are the same problems that arises from utopian thinking: 1) they both imply an essentialist notion of human nature, since any utopia is premised on the idea that in the near or far future the “true” elements of human nature will be able to be brought forth, in all their supposed unwavering immediacy and transparency, and 2) they frequently don’t realize one person’s utopia is another person’s hell, and that what might seem humanly essential to X or Z might seem unbearable to F or E.
Contrary to the future, I would side with Foucault, who argued for a constant move toward liberation, but with no end point in sight, no grand totalizing synthesis. And with an emphasis not on the liberation of some notion of “human nature” but on the creation of new ways of thinking, new forms of experience, new ways of moving through the world.
Along these lines, I recently came upon an essay by The International Necronautical Society called “The Declaration on the Notion of ‘The Future.’” It was published in The Believer late last year. Here’s an excerpt.
5. The INS rejects the Enlightenment’s version of time: of time as progress, a line growing stronger and clearer as it runs from past to future. This version is tied into a narrative of transcendence: in the Hegelian system, of Aufhebung, in which thought and matter ascend to the realm of spirit as the projects of philosophy and art perfect themselves. Against this totalizing (we would say, totalitarian) idealist vision, we pit counter-Hegelians like Georges Bataille, who inverts this upward movement, miring spirit in the trough of base materialism. Or Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus, who, hearing the moronic poet Russel claim that “art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences,” pictures Platonists crawling through Blake’s buttocks to eternity, and silently retorts: “Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.”
6. To phrase it in more directly political terms: the INS rejects the idea of the future, which is always the ultimate trump card of dominant socioeconomic narratives of progress. As our Chief Philosopher Simon Critchley has recently argued, the neoliberal versions of capitalism and democracy present themselves as an inevitability, a destiny to whom the future belongs. We resist this ideology of the future, in the name of the sheer radical potentiality of the past, and of the way the past can shape the creative impulses and imaginative landscape of the present. The future of thinking is its past, a thinking which turns its back on the future.
7. As Walter Benjamin correctly notes in “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” contemplating Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus—a floating figure who stares intently at something he’s moving away from—the angel of history faces backward. “Where we perceive a chain of events,” writes Benjamin, “he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet.” What we call progress, Benjamin calls “the storm.”
by Joyelle McSweeney on Nov.28, 2011
I am a techno-mystic poet and I love mystic poets, even when the content of their mysticism (Humanity; Humanism; God) contrasts with mine (Non- or Ab-humanity; the Inhuman;Art). I feel like we are driving towards the same thing: revelation: the point at which the medium of the poem, the cave we have built with language and image in order to spelunk through, goes suddenly convex, bursts back at us with an unsurvivable strafing content. For me that content is Art, mediumicity itself, dark matter; for nicer people, it’s God, compassion, etc.
In the case of Alice Notley’s Culture of One, that relevatory force is Mercy, though I think her Merc y is of such multiply positive and negative valences that she goes in both categories. The Sublime, it seems to me, goes in my camp: it’s just Pow’r, Pow’r itself, and like a horifically high dose of radiation, it has no message of healing for us at all.
The translator Sarah Valentine and Wave Books have made it possible for we Anglophones to finally read Into the Snow: Selected Poems of Gennady Aygi (tho’ Aygi poems are all over the internet on blogs etcs as well as in several indie press editions). Valentine’s very engaging introduction makes Aygi’s eminence clear, as well as the drama of his 20th century life; one of the greatest avant garde poets of the former Soviet Union, he stopped writing in his native Chuvash language because to do so earned it the label of ‘hostile poetry’; at the same time, he changed his name to a typically Chuvash surname, in order that his minority identity would not be eradicated, even as he went on to write in Russian and publish outside the country in smuggled and samizdat editions.
I enjoyed the breathless texture and brevity of these poems– as if they could barely bear themselves– but most of all I liked the light and limbic and almost chitininous mysticism of the earlier poems in the book. My favorite is “Dream: Flight of the Dragonfly.” This poem starts out in a radiant nowhere, alight on the confused and desperate drafts of catastrophe. It begins: Continue reading “Chuvash Poet of the Week: Gennady Aygi” »
by Joyelle McSweeney on Nov.26, 2011
“And in her natural state, she is always full of potential glory, never getting stuck in a look the designer might tire of. But of course, that has been part of the Virgin Mary’s success as a subject of artistic inspiration. She is the supermodel of all who worship her. ”
by Lucas de Lima on Nov.25, 2011
To practice queer poetics, for me, is to approach writing as a totally convivial and cannibalist act. Conviviality, as Jasbir Puar puts it, is the opposite of “resistance, oppositionality, subversion, and trangression.” While the impulse “to queer” might very well be antagonistic and disobedient to society, it ultimately emphasizes the collective and consumptive practice of living and dying-with. In this sense, the truly provocative thing about queerness is not that it speaks on behalf of a certain non-normative body, but that it enacts, appeals to, and dares to commingle and consume all bodies and things.
I think queer writing bypasses the typical shortcomings of language when it adopts the cannibalistic drive of the Ouroboros: it becomes what it eats, which are the referents (or ingredients) of its words. Far from merely denoting and delimiting experience, this writing unleashes sensation. As a hunger and force, sensation is indiscriminatory and undifferentiating. It is a deviating flow that transfers itself from body to object and back again, refusing to rest. Unlike identificatory labels such as “LGBTQI” and “Boyesque”/”Gurlesque,” queer writing gets so hungry that it unravels identity by devouring and collapsing categorical opposites like woman, man, animal, insect, vegetable, commodity, and corpse. You, too, risk turning into a faceless potato through the all-consuming queer text.
Because queerness, in my mind, is not limited to non-normative sexuality or humanity or any fixed subjectivity, it must take ecological and bodily instability as ground. By inhabiting states of violence, mutation, and abhumanity as the very landscape of their writing, Bhanu Kapil, Kim Hyesoon, and Raúl Zurita engage this model much more than self-identified gay writers such as Mark Doty and John Ashbery.
In contemporary American poetics, you might say that the Necropastoral and Somatic Poetics are bedmates of our potatoesque. An older forerunner, of course, is the Cannibalist movement of Brazilian modernism, in which Oswald de Andrade called for the voracity and promiscuity, as well as the porosity, of embodied writing:
What results is not a sublimation of the sexual instinct. It is the thermometrical scale of the cannibal instinct. Carnal at first, this instinct becomes elective and creates friendship. When it is affective, it creates love.
by Johannes Goransson on Nov.25, 2011
My Natality Is Your Fatality
I was sangfroid and so I sang Freud and dragged out joints of cliché—say we, may we accept sherry? Manegg was born innately. Let me put an end to son envy and colonialism with natalism—that was my intention, ambition. Nevertheless, I stand up to urinate and wave hello in my halo of amniotic trance. Ugly egg, chicken-sized, and natally late. At any rate, you have one (or several). It’s not so much that it preexists or comes ready-made, although in certain respects it is preexistent.
In typography, a ligature is the conjunction of two or more letters into a single glyph.
In typography, an index is a punctuation mark indicating an important part of the text with a pointing hand.
Margaret Rhee’s Yellow/ Yellow and Kim Koga’s Ligature Strain meet in a typographical terrain of conjugation and decomposition, where fists appear in the margins. These texts saturate their pages to such a degree that I wish these words could stain my fingers—pink, brown, yellow.
These works are first chapbooks for both Koga and Rhee, and are #5 and #6 in Tinfish Press‘ yearlong Retro Series. Since April 2011, one chapbook has been released per month, each designed by Eric Butler.
In Ligature Strain it’s winter; in Yellow / Yellow I want to believe it’s spring. In the way that Koga lays down planks of text and then proceeds to gnaw, Rhee threads Tila Tequila and her father’s ashes, nectarines and arithmetic with critical discourse on race and gender to index the margins.
by Joyelle McSweeney on Nov.23, 2011
[In response to Derek’s comment below, I want to pre-empt my own review with this summary: this is a radically positive review. This movie killed me. I am dead. Sublime, people. Sublime.]
I will begin this mini-account of my murder by Melancholia with the usual spoiler alert–
I have no idea what elements of this movie a normal mind may have detected from the press buzz or the trailer. I have an abnormal mind, like a revived Poe bride my eye glitters with abnormal Enthusiasm, and I received the trailer and buzz as so many occult messages intended only for myself, to rise from my coffin or burn down my attic that I might meet Melancholia on the creekbank for infernal conversation, my gown parted, and my raven locks each lifting under her electric attention like so many tongues regurgitating flame.
That is to say: Melancholia is neither utopic nor dystopic but ectopic—a burgeoning malignancy distributed across the body of the film. The justly praised opening sequence provides the most decadent train of images—a bride floating in a creek or running in slowmotion enreathed by roots and vines, a mother clutching a child sinking into an unnatural expanse of green, birds and white light falling from the sky like divination in overdrive, refulgence and overcapacity fluxing into one another, a riddle that keeps reciting its own terms like a killer sphinx, supersaturation so romantically Sublime that it seems to invert before our eyes from height to depth and back again. The sequence finishes with the collision of a celestial body into a planet—but ends again with the title, “Lars Von Trier Melancholia”. One term colliding with another again and again, oversaturating each other, never equalizing with each other—an erratically distributed impact, spasm, rebound, repetition, until there is no after or before, and all we can think is ‘event’, ‘event’—
Beware: Beware: Art arrives: Event. Continue reading “My Death by (Lars Von Trier's) Melancholia” »
by Lucas de Lima on Nov.22, 2011
MOTHER MARY, CUM TO ME. I DO NOT FIT INTO THE ANTHOLOGY. I AM A FLITTING, FLAMING BIRD WITH A PREGNANT THROAT. I EAT NUBILE WORMS AND STROKE FEATHERY BREASTS.
I am a dirty potato. My body touches the worms you pull up through the geosmin smeared earth. Mr Potato Head is my lover. I pull out his arms and his plastic penis and put it in my eye socket.
THE GUSH OF THE EYE AND THE CHILDREN YOU SEE. I AM A WORM-BALLOONED BODY WAITING TO POP WHILE YOU BLIND YOURSELF WITH POTATO FAITH. YOU IN THE GROUND, ME HERE UP HIGH, TOGETHER WE BLEED OUT A RAINBOW.
Baby bird engorged with rice worms. A bird sacrifices itself so I can harvest its shiny sharp beak. I stick the beak into my lover’s nose hole. Lover, hover over you. The blind liver of the potato makes clear worm blood. The blood in you strains for the blood in him.
YES. I SPILL AIDS IN THE SKY, AND THEN PEE-COCKS TAKE FLIGHT WITH WING-DICKS. THEN I BLESS YOUR POTATO AS AN UNDIFFERENTIATING MASS OF INFANT FLESH. I ALWAYS LONGED TO SPROUT IN DARK CLOSETS.
Dodo Christ, you are so fat you are sinking into potato darkness. My potato uterus feels your undulating belly mass, barely protected from the beak of my lover. Your belly is also your face and your back. Dorsal vulnerability invites the horror film of thanksgiving to the earth table.
O, I AM THE WALRUS IN STRAWBERRY FIELDS. I FLOP ON LAND INSTEAD OF CRUISING TWIN CHEEKS. WHEN MY FAMILY STABS ME, I LOOK TO YOUR POTATO UTERUS AND KISS YOUR BIG CHEEK. YOU AND I MASH BY SHARING A SIDELONG GAZE. I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU ONE OF MY BIRD BALLS.
My dirty potato eyeless eyes seep wormy tears as my lover pokes a hole in your back. O now you are a whale, an earthen, breached, stuffed, urthen wail. I hold you in my nonexistent compost arms. A compacted bird ball falls out of the whole. Now you can breath. I wait for the ball to roll towards me. I hope my gravity is strong enough, the small gravity of a starch tot.
MARY YOU ARE SO STRONG YOU ARE THE DICK TO MY MOBY. Continue reading “Moby to my Dick: a potatoesque of a thousand tiny sexes” »
by Joyelle McSweeney on Nov.21, 2011
Reading over Seth’s post below and the intensely negative reaction it’s garnered, a few thoughts come to mind.
1. The Boyesque is Real
I grew up with two brothers and a sister, and watched a lot of cartoons with my little brother because I didn’t have any interest in the girl ones. Those cartoons are a steady diet of violence. The models of embodiment they offer young boys are either human-animal hybrid, robot-truck hybrid, or superhuman (He-man). These figures are themselves media for sexy violence, shown to each other or to the single female character on the show, generally wearing a bustier and generally tied up and shot with a laser of some kind. Whether Thundercats, He-men, or Transformers, these male cartoonish violent avatars all walked around in a glamorous nimbus of sex and firepower. The violence children are exposed to through these cartoons is real, it does a violence to them. Male identified children are supposed to perpetrate the violence, and females to receive it. The Boyesque and Gurlesque, respectively, seem to me to seize hold of these glamorous nimbuses of violence and force it to do unauthorized things. Continue reading “Six (or Seven!)Theses in Favor of a Boyesque” »
by Johannes Goransson on Nov.20, 2011
[This article was written by Seth Oelbaum, a Notre Dame MFA candidate and very talented poet. I asked him to write something about this issue after he raised it in a discussion with Alice Notley:]
The Right To Be a Monster : Boys, Girls, and the Stay Puft Marshamallow Man
As a 25-year-old boy composer of poetry I am infatuated with war and am concerned that my interest in violence subjects me to discrimination from the 21st-century poetry populous. It appears to me that boys are expected to abandon violent representations in their poems. Boys have had their turn. We can’t continue the aesthetic of poets like Baudelaire, Verlaine, and Rimbaud. To do so would be sexist and misogynistic. Much of their malice was directed at members of the opposite gender. This is wrong. Girls are humans too! They’re people and you should treat them like everybody else. That’s the just, fair thing to do. “Respect and equality for all!” is a refrain that is constantly penetrating my ears in my present Theories of Justice class. This is claptrap. Poets are not the 99%: they’re the 1%. They’re seers: they’re special: they can do what they want. “Human law,” says the murderous sphinx John Milton, “is the vilest of all.” I don’t want to follow them. Why should I? The girl poets don’t. They commit all sorts of crimes in their poetry and are widely published, anthologized, and blogged about. Shouldn’t boy poets be able to do the same? Where is the boyesque anthology? Why the violence inequality? Does contemporary poetry reward girl violence and condemn boy violence because boys have penises (bad penis!) and girls have vaginas (good vagina!)? Let’s see.
Continue reading “The Right To Be A Monster : Boys, Girls, and the Stay Puft Marshamallow Man” »
by Johannes Goransson on Nov.19, 2011
Just stumbled across this interesting review of Jenny Boully’s not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them in the journal Diagram:
You know you’re afraid of becoming old when you can’t figure out what genre you’re reading. Or, you know you’re afraid of becoming old when you care to figure it out. Or, if you want to play at Peter Pan and pretend you aren’t becoming old at all, you can let the pages wash over you like white and never hook into the project at all. I am afraid that I am old enough that it took me awhile to get into Jenny Boully’s, Not Merely Because of the Unknown that was Stalking Toward Them. I wanted character development if this was fiction. I wanted consistent voice if this was nonfiction. I wanted line-breaks, damnit, if this was poetry. How do you measure something without the parameters of convention? I didn’t care if she was uprooting genre conventions, I just wanted to know which genre she was putting her shovel to. But the moment I turned the book over and saw the categorization fiction/poetry, I, finally, after pretending to youth and pretending to study cross genre, understood what crossing genres meant. Not using one genre to disturb the other, but to use the conventions of all the genres, all the time…
by Dan Hoy on Nov.17, 2011
There are helicopters hovering in place above downtown Manhattan. I’m staring at them right now. They’re staring at this:
Watch it live: http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution
1) A common criticism of OWS is its lack of focus around a clear objective. But it is precisely this lack of definition that “defines” OWS. The quickest way to diffuse its potential is to play into the state’s strategy of categorization. Definition is a mechanism of control. And to the state, anything outside its mechanisms of control does not exist. This means there are always those who are present but not counted, who “represent” nothing. These are the remainders of the system. You could argue that any revolutionary potential belongs to them. Were they to spontaneously assert their existence and somehow remain undefined it would break the system. As Mao might say approvingly: People are the disaster.
Continue reading “CRASH THE HEAVENS: Part 2” »