Saturday, October 29, 2011

OccupyLanguage (@Facebook)

Writers stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

OccupyLanguage is a working group that encourages the staging of readings in public spaces, and especially via public transportation.

What works/text would you wish a public to hear read aloud? Which may overturn or redistribute a common sense? Which may lead to argument, debate, provocation?

OccupyLanguage meetings are held Sunday evenings at 8pm at 60 Wall St., after the Poetry Assembly general meeting. Each week, a new project proposed by a member of the collective will be performed based on a set of guidelines.

We will reconvene weekly to consider the effectiveness of the texts read aloud, and the kinds of interactions the readings open up in different public spaces. Treat it like a workshop. What worked and what didn’t? What did people find interesting, and why? What led to dialogue, emotional response, enjoyment? We want to invite a certain kind of cooperation in "reading," avoiding traditional styles of unidirectional address which lead to distracted listening and/or echolalia. We might also consider if the readings act as a kind of public service announcement. Not soapbox-style diatribe, but the limited broadcasting of texts that have been carefully considered in advance as something you would want a stranger to attend.

The committed citizens occupying Zuccotti have made us believe again that public space so-called is worth occupying: putting our bodies into it, holding conversation and symposia there. And that such gatherings in the spirit of commons—to be among one another in debate, discourse, and struggle—are a good unto themselves.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


--after Jennifer Scappettone

There are dumps
And then there are dumps
Violent like sunlight
Hides in methane
Like a heathen/eden of capital
Literally farting up a storm
Of paradise, a kind of last frontier
Of our thingness
Last men do it all night long
Until we all become subject

Methane, last bastion
Of property relations
Called pollution erstwhile
Profitability is our fatal
Enclosure threats of extinction
Literally fart carbon
Cash rules nothing moves
But the money
Out of the island Staten
Home of the Wu Tang Clan
And retired police of course
They closed the schools around
The dump for capital

For methane, the most absurd
Thing was these dumps were made
At all, now a profitable farting
Shitting us our common fiction
Of ecology & capital
Coexist these are the levels
We are dealing with
The unthinkability of waste
While endgames take place.

Shadow speaks with me

Shadow speaks with me
Is this the scarcity
We were dreaming of
The people we were
Inside the people
Light outside
In the trees no repeat
Performance is this singing
Like praise they rise
Up singing
Speaking not knowing
Where body ends pre-dawn
In the park somnolence
Gives us reason.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice with Maureen Connor (@Art21)

Check out my 5 Questions for Contemporary Practice feature with CUNY Queens professor, artist, and activist, Maureen Connor.

In the works of Personnel Connor explores a tension between the work environment as a kind of ruin—a place inhabited by future’s past—and as a site begging for revivification, to which one can give new life while not abandoning its history. Working with limited means, Connor has been resourceful in exploring these problems, which anticipate her most extensive project to date. The Institute for Wishful Thinking, which she founded with Gregory Sholette and others in 2008 and discusses below, moves beyond the criticism and practical design problems of her former projects into problems of legal and non-governmental mediation. Soliciting proposals from individuals, and making possible residencies for artists and art groups, IWT attempts to mediate between governmental and non-governmental sectors on behalf of artists who believe their work can benefit the public good.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

LRL's zero profit model

The editors of LRL e-editions are thrilled to announce the launch of SIX new books! This time around, we’re changing things up a bit:

In the past, we’ve only ever charged $2-3 over cost for our print-on-demand books. We’re now ready to commit to making exactly $0 from this series: FROM NOW ON, ALL PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF PRINT-ON-DEMAND BOOKS IN THIS SERIES WILL BE DONATED TO A DIFFERENT SMALL PRESS EACH YEAR. First up: Chax Press. So, any purchase of a print-on-demand title from this series during 2011-2012 will have the added benefit of helping to support the efforts of Chax!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll launch one or two titles at a time, beginning with a book-length review of Michael Cross’s Haecceities (Cuneiform, 2010), which is now available for download/purchase.

Please stay tuned for new books from David Brazil, Sarah Mangold, Hugo García Manríquez, and Pattie McCarthy–as well as one monumental reprint from Beverly Dahlen!

Find out more on our newly redesigned e-editions site:

Somatic Poetics

The following is part essay, part proposition, part thinking in motion (provisional, unfinished, disruptive). It is a response to Patrick Durgin’s generous invitation in spring 2010 to address “somatics” in regards to recent writing practices and poetics. Through the following text I take excursions with various contemporaries. These excursions are not meant to be representative by any means (the following is not meant to be a definitive mapping of a field, manifesto, polemic, or ‘last word’) but the continuation of a discourse that has become visible to me in the past few years. All the propositions here are hopefully extendable. To many of them I owe my conversations with the Nonsite Collective — and to Rob Halpern, Eleni Stecopoulos, Amber DiPietra, David Wolach, Taylor Brady, and Robert Kocik in particular. And also to Daria Fain, CAConrad, Dorothea Lasky, Brenda Iijima, David Buuck, and Bhanu Kapil.

I dreamt we were susceptive to language

that care might be agency’s complement

and form never more than condition
passing as body

— Eleni Stecopoulos

Monday, October 17, 2011

Etel Adnan Tribute at Small Press Traffic

Lindsey Boldt and Small Press Traffic have put together a tribute to the contemporary Lebanese-American poet and artist, Etel Adnan. Thanks to Lindsey in particular for inviting me to participate in this incredible bouquet of writings.

Contributors include Ammiel Alcalay, Anne Waldman, Ben Hollander, Robert Grenier, Brandon Shimoda, Cole Swenson, Csaba Polony, David Buuck, Fawwaz Traboulsi, Jen Benka, Joanne Kyger, Lynne Tillman, Megan Pruiett, Michael McClure, Nancy Peters, Roger Snell, Sharon Doubiago, Simone Fattal, Stacy Szymaszek, Stephen Motika, Steve Dickison, and Thom Donovan.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Occupy the MTA: a Proposal

The struggle to claim Zuccotti park as strategic and symbolic ground for the commons is not over yet, but one can imagine that Bloomberg will be successful in forcibly removing the occupiers. The committed citizens occupying Zuccotti have made us believe again that public space so-called is worth occupying: putting our bodies into it, holding conversation and symposia there. And that such gatherings in the spirit of commons—to be among one another in debate, discourse, and struggle—are a good unto themselves. Poetry and art have played a role in this, however minor, inasmuch as the “human microphone” reading format may revivify the poetry reading as a democratic and dialogic mode of assembly. To repeat someone else’s words not only bears a religious function, but is a way of feeling words move within you, to make others’ words inhabit your own vocal chords and nervous system. It is in other words to incorporate and understand. That names were drawn from a hat—no curation, no hierarchy—was also remarkable and unlike most poetry readings, with the exception of that most humiliated of formats, the “open mic.”

The events of Zuccotti Park this past month have set the practical imagination ablaze, and made us imagine anew what is possible in public space supplemented by social media, video, digital photography, etc. I propose that a working group form to consider giving readings in public spaces, and especially via public transportation. What works/text would you wish a public to hear read aloud? Which stand out as revolutionary? Which may overturn or redistribute a common sense? Which may lead to argument, debate, provocation? Groups of 5 or more may board trains and buses to read agreed upon texts aloud. 5 or more so as to bear witness in the case of police intervention, but also so that the readers will feel supported, not alone in their deliberate action. Read a text and then disperse. Or remain if the public engages the reader and wants to discuss. Reconvene regularly to consider the effectiveness of the texts read aloud, and what texts to read in the future. Treat it like a workshop. What worked and what didn’t? What did people find interesting, and why? What led to dialogue, emotional response, enjoyment? If the human megaphone/microphone amplifies cooperatively we might think of the MTA occupation similarly. As inviting a certain kind of cooperation, if only through distracted listening and not echolalia. We might also consider if the readings act as a kind of public service announcement. Not soapbox-style diatribe, but the limited broadcasting of texts that have been carefully considered in advance as something you would want a stranger to attend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Talk at CRS with Jenn Joy

This Saturday, at the invitation of choreographer Daria Fain, I will be giving a talk with Jenn Joy about my experiences as a dance writer, with special attention to confluences between poetry and movement-based practices. Please join us!

October 15 10:00am to 1:00pm
@Center for Remembering and Sharing
123 4th Ave. At Union Square

Monday, October 10, 2011

People are Making Shitloads

--after phrases by Ben Kinmont

People are making shitloads
This disconnect
The advantage of the absorption
Making shitloads
To close the system
To close the system not
To open, disclose
Shitloads, people are making
Is a service
Is a service when this not being
It is clearly an invitation
This sense of loss
To close the system
Is towards the beginning of ideas
People making shitloads
Devastate quality
As a response to absorption
Is a service
This disconnect
Is a service
This sense of loss less as ephemeral
Than a failure
To close the system
The people make
Making shitloads
To open, to disclose

But it is not 2008
That constitutes a lag
In advance of witnessing
The system collapse
Of witnessing
The system from within
This sense of loss
People are making unamplified
Inside the people
Less as an ephemera than
A need to surround buildings
Produces the world one
Is hearing beyond control

Give me a mic check and
I'll give you the world
People being made the
People being made
While the mic's not on
Are you hearing the sound
Of the world
Surrounding buildings
Whose murmurs were control

Up in this city finally plausible
Beyond control
Give us the world
And we won't divide it
Like the pie divides what
Do you hear
People making shitloads
Now they are heard
Pie charts now they are
Ripples in the middle of
The people
Intoning the air inside me

So what we simulate
Is indivisible
From the sounds we make
Like Stein
Says explanation people making
What do you hear
The people being made
While we hear
Where a process begins
Beyond control
A people swells
Inside the ear.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

New PennSound recordings

PennSound just put up quite a few new materials at my page there, including readings with CA Conrad at Zebulon Cafe, Joseph Bradshaw and Dana Ward at Con/Crescent in Philly, Steve Farmer for Poetic Research Bureau in LA, Catherine Meng for 21 Grand, and at the Kootenay School of Writing in Vancouver.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

16 Beaver on Occupy Wall Street

Tuesday -- 10.04.11 Ð Liberty Plaza and its Conflicts
1. About this Tuesday
2. Some questions on the General Assembly
3. Questions on Conflict
4. Suggested Readings
5. Links
1. About this Tuesday

What: Discussion
When: Tuesday -- 10.04.11 @ 7:00PM
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
Who: Free and open to all

A discussion on the "Occupy Wall Street" action, which has resulted in the occupation of nearby Zuccotti Park since Saturday September 17th, andcongoing.

We would like to ask those who receive our emails, attend events, or will attend this one, whether or not you've been to the park and assemblies, what you think is missing, what you would like to add to the process, how this could be done, and explore any critiques of tactics, attitudes, dispositions, and politics you've seen thus far.

The composition and dynamic of the park changes week to week, even day to day. From the 80 arrests on September 24th to the 700 arrests of October 1st, things are escalating at a rate in which neither the media nor manipulators nor bureaucrats can make any sense, create any narrative, or stabilize any position. A march has been called for Wednesday October 5th at 4:30 outside City Hall (260 Broadway) featuring organized labor, community organizations, and in connection with a call for a national student walkout.

2. Some questions on the General Assembly

What is the General Assembly? What should a New York General Assembly look like? How can there be not one but many assemblies? How can outside assemblies, borough or neighborhood assemblies, relate to the occupation? What was the need for Adbusters’ call? What is the process of the General Assembly, its working and thematic groups? Is the General Assembly itself an action, by simply being in the square, and activating our relationships and ways of living together? What effect will the union has on the General Assembly and Occupation?

3. Questions on Conflict

How does a General Assembly, its constituents parts, working and thematic groups, dialog with conflict? Conflict maybe described as an animus, or drive to utter and engender a hostility which results from the contradictions waged in everyday life. When prioritizing scheduling, messages, and social media, how do the groups relate to internal and external conflict? Is it amplified or dissipated? What and who gets excluded by the new vocabularies and modes of communication within the assembly? Does a simplistic affirmation of pacifism, for instance, overrule discussions on non-violence in a society grounded on violence? When we hear “respect the process”, what assumptions are made, and how does the process become a means of control or self censorship? How can our tactics subvert modes of representation that do not affirm uncompromising disobedience to authority in its open and subtle forms?

4. Suggested Readings

--Principles of Solidarity (working draft):
--Declaration of the Occupation of New York City:

--The Carcass in Our Heads: A Mic Check - More of the Same, September
--Preliminary Notes Towards an Account of the "Movement of Popular
Assemblies" - TPTG, July 2011:
--Fire Extinguishers and Fire Starters: Anarchist Interventions in the
#Spanish Revolution - CWC, June 2011:
--Early Spring for the Badger - Politics is Not a Banana, May 2011:
--Against Pacifist Linearity - Tom Nomad, 2009:
--How Nonviolence Protects the State - Peter Gelderloos, 2005:
--Neither Democrats, nor Dictators: Anarchists - Errico Malatesta, 1926:

5. Links

This follows a few recent discussions we’ve hosted in the last months:
--August 18th-20th: Beyond Good and Evil Commons: Debt, Economic Crisis
and the Production of Commons:
--July 31st: For General Assemblies in Every Part of the World:
--April 13th: From Wisconsin to New York: Crisis, Austerity and

Global Revolution:
NYC General Assembly:
NYC People’s Law Collective:
Occupy Wall Street:
The Wall Street Occupennial:

16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.
New York, NY 10004

Monday, October 03, 2011

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City*

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

*Drafted and published originally by the New York City General Assembly.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Three for Austerity

Peopleless I didn't want
Of anything but freedom ripped

From life after austerity policed
Full employment Whitman

Never predicated this synthesis
Yet for a different kind

Of totality do we spray
The will within population

Saying what won't be defended
Because natural rights aren't given

We risk losing the whole periphery
To be in this sea writing


Hedges grow like deficits
Inflation does more work breed
What you see but do not know
What you are doing and know too well
Concrete like money, like the air is heard

Abstract like a surface and
A surface just beneath
The visor called finance
Visualize a difference
These markets make on the skin
Visualize the end of the world
Then stop it since these
Distributions form a name


I know these waves don't shelter me
No shelter was their song
They gave to me American
A kind of islander in a divine

Wind, its exceptional breath
When we take our last whole worlds collapse
Whole markets collapse proletarianizing

What we touch, even ourselves,
Immune to this gift no longer.

--composed August, 2011

Poetry@Occupy Wall Street

An update, for all who would like to organize a reading, or otherwise get involved:

Update: The protests were large and electric yesterday. We stand with all those arrested against their right of free speech and public assembly. If you were arrested, please contact Occupy Wall Street's Legal Sub-Committee through the National Lawyers Guild at 212-679-6018 ASAP. The National Lawyers Guild is a progessive alternative to the Bar. Secondly, a message from the Culture and Arts Sub-Committee to us: "We believe we are at the brink of a new art movement, a new school of thought. To catalyze that, we are creating collectives inside our Arts and Culture to advance our movement and society aesthetically, towards a new paradigm. We have already a collective on performance art, one is music, and hopefully you will join us with poetry." We have been asked by the Culture and Arts Sub-Committee to hold Poetry Assembly every Friday night. This is a leaderless event and we're looking for new organizers, facilitators, and promoters for every Poetry Assembly. If you are interested in facilitating a democratic assembly, please go on our event page at FridayNightPoetryAssembly@OccupyWallStreet and send a message to the event organizer. Finally, we have been asked to be more present on-site. We would like to be present daily at the library, including a representative/sign to let people know about poetry and the arts at Occupy Wall Street. We also need representatives of our group to attend Culture and Arts committee meetings. Can you let us know if you can help?

Creative Time, Living as Form (Pics)

Occupy Wall Street, October 1st March (Pics)