Thursday, April 03, 2008

Alone With the Alone

I am afraid
You are afraid
I am afraid not of this voice
You are afraid not of this voice
I am afraid of the voice inside the voice
You are afraid of the voice inside the voice
This voice pauses
This voice having paused has paused
I am afraid of chronos and kleisis alike
You are afraid for all time
As what I do gets in front of me and in back of me
As what you do can not be regained
Or numbered as such what I do
What you do will not be numerary as the stars are made from numbers
The stars are a disaster—operative
And yet steered by them we brighten worlds
Is there anything you haven't seen
I haven't seen nothing, not yet
You have seen too many somethings
All somethings being alike
And not alike
Like stars disastered by their source
Like night saved from these same stars
We are starlight
Chosen to no particular end
But the end itself neither near or far
And everywhere in between divided
But never fatal
You are afraid of that light that leaves you alone at night
I am afraid it taunts me to climb it
It taunts you to descend
And wear the masks I always was
The things you pretended to be
Daylight and noontide coterminous
Our actual midnight
There is no our here
Only stars
Only our night saved from stars
Yours and mine
Yours and mine and nowhere
A concretion indeed
A pause in the heart
The deepest pause a heart ever did feel
The shudder of all beings
Hearing themselves
Hearing themselves hearing

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

*Undeserving Lebanon* Review in Modern Painters

I have reviewed Jalal Toufic's *Undeserving Lebanon* (Forthcoming Books, 2007) for the recent "Art and War" issue of Modern Painters (April, 2008)...

"The stakes of Toufic’s newest book are immense and emphatically stated, as the thinker identifies the task of a present and future Middle-Eastern culture to think beyond justice, commemoration, historicization and reparation towards the creation of original works of art, experiment, and concepts that may confront events which befell Lebanon during its civil war. For Toufic, to leave these ‘basic tasks’ to others might preserve in Lebanon’s Event the ‘conditions of possibility’ for a memory anterior to both psychological memory (the “working through” of individual and collective traumas) and collective-historical memory (reparations, commemoration of the dead, “settling of accounts”). This anarchic memory presents what Toufic recognizes as the ‘invocation of the Redeemer’—an ability to imagine the forthcoming of the Messiah as the event of a virtual existence in relation to social fact, actuality..."

To download *Undeserving Lebanon* as a PDF link here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Richard Foreman's Deep Trance Behavior in Potato Land (Review)

Here's a review I wrote of Richard Foreman's latest...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Oppen Centennial at Poets House (Ad)

Tuesday, April 8, 3:00-9:00pm
The Shape of Disclosure: George Oppen Centennial Symposium

On the occasion of George Oppen's centennial and the publication of his Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers, poets and scholars gather to honor the life and work of this spare, powerful and original poet. Co-sponsored by Poets House, Tribeca Performing Arts Center at BMCC and University of California Press. Funded in part by the New York Council for the Humanities.

3:00pm Panel: Biographical-Historical Continuum
Moderated by Michael Heller
Featuring Stephen Cope on Oppen's diaries and journals, Norman Finkelstein on the late poems, Eric Hoffman on Oppen’s political identity and Kristin Prevallet on Oppen's response to World War II.

5:00pm Panel: Literary-Philosophical Spectrum
Moderated by Thom Donovan
Featuring Romana Huk on Oppen's relationship to metaphysics and Judeo-Christian philosophy, Burt Kimmelman on Oppen and Heidegger, Peter O'Leary on Whitman's influence on Oppen and John Taggart on Oppen's poetry as "a process of thought."

7:30pm George Oppen Centennial Reading
Stephen Cope, Thom Donovan, Norman Finkelstein, Peter Gizzi, E. Tracy Grinnell, Michael Heller, Erica Hunt, Burt Kimmelman, Geoffrey O’Brien, Peter O’Leary, Kristin Prevallet, Anthony Rudolf, Hugh Seidman, Harvey Shapiro, Lee Spinks, Stacy Szymaszek & John Taggart

George Oppen was born April 24, 1908 in New Rochelle, New York, and died in San Francisco in 1984. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Of Being Numerous (1968), Oppen was also the author of Discrete Series (1934), The Materials (1962), This in Which (1965) and Primitive (1978).

@ Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street
$10/Free to Students and Poets House Members
Audiences may attend individual events or the entire symposium