Saturday, December 31, 2011

In Actu

--for Daria Fain, composed 11/2011

So expressed was a lung inside your throat
The way it microphoned the world

Like blood cleansed, leavened into dirt
The holocausts inside us, the heat on the air

No metaphors here but things seen
See us for what we are, we sing, we sing

Into the microphone called throat
Called air, another blue song

You put into a horizon note,
Splits where your dress was a difference

Where your hands splay the air
There is an animal poise

Called verse notwithstanding
Actual amplification,

Notwithstanding the world
Illuminated until it disappears.

Who will the living be
In robes of white terrycloth
And ribs like wings
Billow when breath
Is obscenely material?

Captioned like our angel names
Don’t become truly like
Our names until we’ve been
Will you be
In this robe with me

Will you be in this skin with me
Flawed, not a metaphor for things seen?
What will we be in talking, in walking?
What will we be in pointing?
The extent to which a world is formed.

Revenants, Remains

--for Rob Halpern, composed 8/2011

The history of this movement
Like soldiers on spec
Don’t know they are dead
Fucked by a global content

No one wants, abjected in-
sight of things, eyes that would
Make a difference if not for
Disaster’s sense, I feel it in

My veins this blood being spilt
Far away, while violent mourning
Transfigures our present
Coverts thanatos to eros

Almost becomes a public
I could kiss because it can’t
Come back this broken
Revenant moment

Only silence comes back
What it touches we call
A demilitarized music
Who sings a blocked world?

A Thousand Levels

Like sites write
‘Me’ little micro

-cosm this body renders
A thousand levels, boundaries

Where toxins structure us
Is ‘holy’?, of milk

Winds steady in this
Breast remembrance

Through daylight the rap
Song of our lives and life

Escapes, no allegory,
No metaphor, just allergy

Just conviviality in lyric
Rhythm samples my heart

Thresholds where earth dreams
Mind into cognizance

Awake to this scented
Word called “cell,” called

“Pathogen,” a book
We will be buried in.

--composed 8/2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

CA Conrad's 2011 Sexiest Poem Award

I couldn't be any more pleased than to share this year's "Sexiest Poem of the Year" prize with Samantha Giles, awarded annually by CA Conrad. Thank you, Conrad! "2011 was an impossible year for keeping up with the amazing poetry being published. To those studying the dead 'masters,' oh how will you ever catch up to the present?" You took the words right out of my mouth!

Live interview with Catherine Sullivan (Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior)

A few weeks ago I interviewed the artist Catherine Sullivan for the video archive I curate with Sreshta Rit Premnath, Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior. Here is the video of Sullivan presenting clips from her work, followed by the interview and Q&A with audience.

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice with Sreshta Rit Premnath

The latest 5 Questions for Contemporary Practice is with Sreshta Rit Premnath.

"2. Do you feel there is a need for the work that you are doing given the larger field of visual art and the ways that aesthetic practices may be able to shape public space, civic responsibility, and political action? Why or why not?

No, I do not feel that there is a need for the work I do. Rather, to restate myself, I feel the need to do my work. If I respond to an external need, then it is the result of internalizing it, and once it is internalized it is felt as an impulse rather than a need. Although my sense of civic responsibility and my political motivations are reflected in my artwork, I do not see my artwork as a means of political action. Politics as a means of social change is fully grounded in the ontic register. It requires an ethical clarity and a contingent certainty. However, to apply Wittgenstein’s words on philosophy to art, “Lack of clarity in [art] is tormenting. It is felt as shameful. We feel: we do not know our way about where we should know our way about. And nevertheless it isn’t so. We can get along very well without… knowing our way about here.”

However, every human being is a political being and how we act in the world is the embodiment of our politics. Although in this sense all our actions in the world are political, they are in most cases not particularly good politics or effective politics. While we could expand the word art to include politics or conversely expand the notion of politics to talk about its aesthetics, I find the two categories to function in different modalities within my practice. When the political enters my artwork it becomes the ontic ground for various formal procedures as well as the concrete ground for philosophical speculation.

There are crucial political imperatives grounded in the ethical urgency of what ought to be done that cannot be effectively dealt with in my art practice. However, I don’t think this makes my artwork less important, rather it reveals that there are multiple modes of discourse and some are more effective in “shaping public space, civic responsibility, and political action” than others."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where it proceeds to the rupture

--after some phrases from Brian Holmes

Is ‘experimental’ where it proceeds to the rupture

of the cultural model, lights were struck
and bitter coffee served, interrupted

every half hour for feedback how to share
an experience that produced

such profound changes in one’s self?
Art making, an ambiguous expression

of personal and collective desires
A glance or tear, a media intervention,

the modulation of affect in the face of that threat

Seattle happened here then was foreclosed
What’s the use of aesthetics if you don’t have eyes to see?

They drank the bitter coffee, interrupted the projections to bear witness
The affective modulations that won’t be represented

without eyes to see them with

Who drank out of empathy the affective modulation
Of our ambiguous desires, neither personal nor collective,

Yet political all of them before any of this was subjective
Or in a white cube

Because these tears turn to ______ no one will see

Things you heard, you are trying to remember them hard
No one will know the things you heard

When what we remain are powers

Post-expectant, the heart at work,
what should we name its book, lovingly?

Messianic aspect of a place from which to begin,
actual birds drenched, withdrawn from post-expectant

springtimes somewhere else there are worlds,
somewhere other than ______

Which like William James’ polyhedral turns
thousands of miles above our infancy, blue and rarefied

Subtle like a conversation, the world does not
actually begin, it begins and ends suspended

by friendship, by enmity announcing the proximity
of end times, where it proceeds to the rupture of the cultural model