Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Apparition Poems in Jacket 31, etc.

I have some new Apparition Poems up in Jacket #31.

Also in Dusie and OtolithsMany thanks to the editors.

More new work from Beams in Nth Position.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Pigs and Planes

I don't believe in poetry.
It's a slant that wavers
around different patches
of sky, or mud chucked
on slats of a sty, or it
could be the pig, or the
plane, farmer or pilot,
pork-chop industrialist, air-
traffic controller. The one
thing it isn't is itself.
To say poetry is poetry
is a rank offence, post-
misdemeanor, sub-felony,
the sort of sin credulous
people pray against. Pigs
you can believe in, & sties.
Planes you can believe in, & skies.
I don't believe in poetry.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

why america is a sham democracy

It's simple: NO FREEDOM WITHOUT HEALTH. If you're not healthy, you can't be free. The fact that millions of Americans get sick, stay sick & die because they have no health insurance makes America a sham democracy. We're the only civilized nation in the world that doesn't offer some kind of coverage for everyone. I'm ashamed of this. If I can find something to do about this, I will. It's a joke & it ain't funny.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Baudrillard's Conspiracy

Got around to reading Baudrillard's Conspiracy of Art. Baudrillard's main thrust is that after Duchamp, the banal got tangled up into art, creating what he calls a "transaesthetic" society; a society where everything could possibly be art. Warhol then took this to the extreme by turning "art" into a mechanized routine, taking out everything transcendent in art and replacing it with plain quotidian artifacts, or the simulacra of these. Baudrillard claims, staying on the surface of things, and accepting surface-level narratives of art history without inquiry or objection, that this influx of banality has destroyed art as we know it, and that art has reached an advanced stage of "nullity," with the art community frantically trying to pretend that this hasn't happened.

Significantly, Baudrillard never mentions poetry, so it's clear his critique is aimed at visual art and visual artists. Nevertheless, I took his rather vulgarized critique somewhat personally. In Language/ post-avant circles, there is a somewhat prevailing ethos that "anything can be poetry/make a poem." Certain experimental poets have used this as an excuse to substitute banality for transcendence, nullity for depth, simulation for authenticity. Authenticity, of course, is a dicey issue here; we get back to the lyric "I" and long-standing quandaries inhering in it experimental poets are trying to avoid; I mean authenticity in a sense that is meant to imply a certain seriousness, a commitment to aesthetically and not merely conceptually or politically valid poetics; an approach not wholly ironic. And irony not used, as it often is by Conceptualists, as an excuse to abase, belittle, and sanitize an art-form.

Pursuant to this reading of Baudrillard, I've come to the conclusion that the bravest thing a poet can do now, paradoxical as it seems, is to "warp" backwards. Towards form and narrative. Warping back per se is the bete noir of post-avantists in general; but, as Baudrillard noted, going forward into even more vapid banality is not much of an option either. A brave retreat towards formalism and narrativity is a valid move because, as you cannot step in the same river twice, a narrative-thematic movement backwards/forwards would have to create new forms to reflect new circumstances and contexts. We wouldn't be going back in a merely imitative or Centrist sense; we'd be warped forwards/backwards by our emphasis, our preoccupation with content, specifically as regards crafting a poetics out of an engagement with the most serious issues poetry and philosophy can address, the primordial ones. Philosophy in poetry, dialectic or not, nullifies whatever the transaesthetic impulse might be. It also nullifies irony, when irony is employed to emasculate.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Diana Magallon: A New Poem




2.- I’m a lonely man
The eyes of the forest
The leaves of the forest
The knees of the forest

I’m a lonely man

I’m a lonely man

( milks

I’m a lonely man


More Diana Magallon on PFS Post.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ode On Jazz

Physical beauty, Formal Rigor of God—
spiritual beauty, Economy of God—
Natural Will, Transcendent Will,
Facile Will in all its’ dismal “there-ness”—

Piano broken chords breaking down space
like watching bits of paper collect,
contained in a 12-bar blues; root
notes you tend to lean on,
or maybe a honking minor third,
a harmonic multi-colored sharp…

Follow your compulsion into flurries,
clusters of connecting phrases,
then a pause to sanctify as the progression
resolves after lingering on the fifth
for the appointed time—
pentatonics mainly w/ some suspensions,
sheets of sound, there it is...trademark leaps
only found in Coltrane,
like watching a rainbow erupt
out of the placid bowels of street-lakes,
sparrows in the gutters,
Eliot-esque alienation syncopated
impossibly high & mighty…

Repeat the repetition now into major scale—
Ionian gold, major-third suspensions again,
almost midnight for tremulous trees,
also hipsters, flights of birds, rabbis
in the wilderness as blues ends; here’s a quicker
quirkier jarring bit to cut
your teeth on…

Base bottom notes natural like ferns,
ride the ride cymbal like musical fellatio,
roll w/ rolls & kick-drum ejaculations,
what Hart Crane heard in bridges,
only blues (so bridge seldom comes),
stasis achieved nicely replicates movements,
bowel, kidney, heart-beat, daring snare of lip-ness,
thickness, quickness,
get it all out for all of us into the brick-laden city,
mutter of exhausted midnight buses
as vibrato notes shiver, miniature
solos on the toms creates energy
of emptiness among the weird abundance,
concluding w/ roll on the snare, now bass
also investigates metaphysical space,
not so much implacable as inexhaustible
eruptions; spring of autumn,
autumn of spring…

Seasons of balance, compromise,
away from extremes; Middle Path exteriorized,
oh piano on a minor seventh which bespeaks
longing for a more ethereal world,
elegiac as the last apple of October, eaten
by a Halloween camp-fire, beyond blues
of Earth into cadence, dying fall of pure moon,
ravaged, torn from the throat of persistence,
mute existence destroyed completely
and on fire, a universe of fingers & mouths,
looking down the tide of Death into eternity,
square-shouldered & erect,
freezing into whims of Ultimate “there-ness”,
beyond ordinary notions of quotidian abyss
in one long sitting pow-wow peace-pipe corn-cob
wholesome dinner of Voidness,
but insinuated only to drive away singularity….

Jazz is plural,
they give you a space, show you its’ contours,
allow you to move around & drown
if you want over hilltops of remorse, created
by Love or dolorous longing & especially
Central Parks of the soul & intellectual Bordello
life cut & pasting its’ bleak outline over rooftops
& bluebirds


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