Tag: remainders

Time Is a Mouth: Elaine Kahn's Voluptuous Dream

by on Apr.24, 2013

kahn

I’ve got a short piece up at the City Lights Blog on SF poet Elaine Kahn:

There’s a thread of disfiguring throughout that’s benign enough to be ominous — “I am cutting myself / out of a piece of paper”, “when I am cutting your hair in my mind” — but all of it comes back to time, which in Kahn’s work becomes the material and subject of human life: “Time is a mouth.” “It happens on you”, she says, referring to puberty and her indoctrination into the global system of lascivious, gendered control (“& the whole world stares / how the world does stare”), but she’s also referring to time as a condition from which we all suffer. As she sardonically puts it elsewhere, “You think beauty / is a good thing / to forgive,” with beauty reduced here to a cruel reminder (remainder) of what time does to it. But it’s also a reminder that human beings are defined on Earth by their intrinsic timeness — not just in their mortality but in their technology of language, which above all else is a means of communicating with the future. No other creature has access to history as a kind of virtual genetic code on which to build empires.

Her latest collection, A Voluptuous Dream During an Eclipse, is from Poor Claudia but sold out (Amy Lawless lent me her copy — thanks Amy!).

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CRASH THE HEAVENS: Part 2

by 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.
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