My goodness I’ve been in such a STUPOR, partly because of all the HEAT, partly because of a robust teaching schedule (robust for summer, I mean), partly because of a feeling of immobility and sadness due to a number of factors I can’t or shouldn’t write about since that’s just “wallowing” –
and to be honest, much of my “free” time over the past few weeks has been spent watching for the second time the first four seasons of Mad Men, to the extent that I’m more involved in the lives and problems of Don, Betty, Peggy, and Joan than I am with my own, which I suppose is the point. I even found that I had to put up my hair Mad Men style although it of course doesn’t work with my kind of hair. I just had to do something to enter that world even more completely (looking moody here, yes, amongst the bangles, in Mad Men dress with my grandmother’s blue pearl set)
but the fact is that I quite miss blogging, and on my to-do list has been the desire to at least acknowledge all the wonderful books on my nightstand – some of them new, some just new to me such as…
Susana Gardner’s HERSO: An Airship in Waves, so sonically lush and lacily lettristic, overlapping, anagrammatic & enigmatic:
Her her her. Clutter amongst clutter. Starhewn dreamdustSo much piled and saved, or to be saved – causing its ownform of distraction. Mid-flight, she looked out to the sea.Its astonishment held her.
Suzanne Stein’s tout va bien, rigorously furnished with doubt, critique, art discourse, Optima, Berkeley, American Typewriter, Optima
What’s a useful transcendentalist anti-telos in poetry and why? Or, what is the form of a “useful transcendentalist anti-telos” in poetry and why?If cumulative behavior defines the construction, and that construction’s accretionary (aleatory) behaviors are its manifest tactics and actions, a building, or a body, as a meaning-free map, redrawn to make of itself the a priori object: the poem. Framed for right action.I’d like to begin.
Toni Simon’s freaky-dreamy Earth After Earth – surreal new-sentence prescient-sci-fi psychedelia
There are radiation loops that drift through space and cause us to blink. I see an armored car inside a glass house. The outer coating’s invisible lens peels away the disguise. We are inherently evil negotiators in an outside world.
Dana Ward’s rambly-ecstatic This Can’t Be Life
I want to tear the heartfrom refused convalescence& feed it those long frondsof river bed grass. I want totear the heart out of style& put it betweenutter thrall & the infancyof all things impure
Steven G. Ridgely’s Japanese Counterculture: The Antiestablishment Art of Terayama Shuji – a perceptive account of the life and exploits of the brilliant Terayama – the original multimodal appropriator!
That we are all already plagiarists is the gist of a short essay called “Tosaku-byo” (Literary kleptomania) that Terayama would write in 1961: “The first symptom of the diease is showing interest in what other people are doing.” As the condition grows more serious, the individual starts to be conceived as a part of broader society and (gasp) bgins interacting with it. Terayama notes that since wer are the authors of our own everyday lives, it follows that brushing one’s teeth in the morning, reading the newspaper, eating food in a particular way, walking with a certain gait, and choosing appropriate clothing are all plagiarized from a set of notions of normal behavior.
and the extraordinary Advice for Lovers by Julian Talamantez Brolaski – about which I can think of nothing even constructively negative to say since every poem is a stunner. Only perhaps that there is too much hard fucking in the book? Which I don’t myself so much care for (I’m delicate)? But that reflects not on the poems:
Stellar sea cows, svelte manatees embraceAnd lob their salty aloes each to eachWhile we graze greenly on the filtered raysFanned from their froth. I beg for you to teachMe all the ways the Romans fucked, and howJuventius, with honeyed eyes, would sitIn Catulle’s lap, and lick his salty brow.Of all the wooing words that ere were writDid Bernadette choose want for witor skylark for a skylark’s fond embrace?
It’s possibly some of the best and sexiest verse since Brandon Brown’s The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus, which, OK, is admittedly not all that old (just last year!), but truly glorious:
I’ll undo the seashore from your door’s lock, unbutton the forest. I’ll lug plenty of lubricant and witticisms. I’ll fuck you once, but it will feel like nine fucks. When you want to get away, writing feels you. It’s always wandering; it’s always error in the other’s stupid mouth.
Each of these volumes deserves its own post, really, but it’s taken me this long just to eke out this list with its quotations, so I don’t imagine I’ll get to this task anytime soon. Do know though that if you were to be twiddling your thumbs and were to ask me, what should I read?, I would leap to recommend all of these volumes. Get on it! So little time; so much to read…