Friday, February 24, 2012


Thanks for including me in *, Luke McMullan and Sophie Seita. A brilliant new journal!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Someplace other than what he read (@ J2)

Here is a little write-up I did about David Buuck's performance this past weekend at the Bowery Poetry Club, for Segue Series.

"As David also commented to me afterward during an extensive conversation about his involvement in the Oakland occupation, where his performance may have seemed to attempt to reenact scenes from the occupation, it instead foregrounded the impossibility of successful reenactment, the bodies that produced its context being withdrawn from us, the social conditions that produced that context someplace other than what he read and the video he showed. It reminded me of something Adorno says in Aesthetic Theory, that we reenact what could not be felt the first time around. Through his use of bodily and textual constraint, and through tactical remediation and recontextualization, David touches an affective content that we might otherwise not feel through the representation of political and social traumas, traumas which for many have become deeply personal through their involvement with the occupy movement."

Recipe for writing a New York School poem

at J2

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ode to Blue Ivy

--after Tyrone and Dana

The poem of your life together reads like a trademark,
Jay and Beyonce, on the Gucci bags and Marc Jacobs bags
We all know are fake, and that we of course love
Not in spite of this fact but because the circle
Of authentication and signifying is broken, when you
Rhyme I often think of this Chris Rock skit from
Saturday Night Live, he is singing 90s R&B with a band
Rhyming "pank" (which is to say pink) with the phrase
"so your breath don't stank," cultural products conform
To us as we conform to them, this makes for an
Artificial environment where our despair can be enjoyed,
Where like commodities or brands it should be named.

Baby Blue Ivy's name sparkles like others in your poems--
Cristal, Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Gucci--in your raps I mean,
Which if not for cash moves should be taken for poems,
Hymns to the object becoming subject, to a past of other
Kinds of branding and the futures in your songs uncontained,
No equal signs in this, just a difference E Flat makes,
Just a difference primitive accumulation makes on the skin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


--for Dottie

There are ideas I have but don’t consider mine
Like there are images of your tiny hands I have
There are images of your eyes when I have kissed them
There is the notion of kissing that is culturally specific
And really I didn't kiss your eyes because that would be gross
Your eyeballs, I mean, I kissed your eyelashes while you slept
And didn't dream of men with eyes also kissing you
Of other women with hands made of flame
The role of substitution in poetry and life being of interest to us both

If I bite your style or if younger poets bite your style
Does that mean we are in love with you or that we want to be you?
What's the Shakespeare line, "number there was slain"?
If you be phoenix, I'll be turtle trudging through identity's paradox
Mistaken for Platonic yet wholly on fire our avatars and animus obtain
Some principle of the divine only a semblance of speech can recall,
That kissing on our devices we recall actually, the phanopoeia of our eyelashes meet

Like grief we might say they flutter, that they kiss vulgar notions of eternity,
Does this mean we are living or that we affirm our despair at death?
Recall the love of things we first bat with flame.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Frank Sherlock Presents (at Moonstone Arts Center, Philly)

Frank Sherlock Presents
Anne Waldman & Thom Donovan

Tuesday February 28, 7pm

Moonstone Arts Center
110A S. 13th Street,
Phila., PA 19107

Hannah Weiner and Intense Autobiography (@ J2)

Here is the full version of the talk I gave at Rex Regina gallery last fall.

"Basically, I want to use intense autobiography to describe self-life-writing practices (the literal translation of auto-bio-graphy) that stray from the genre of autobiography, in which one provides the facts of their life, from birth until present, usually late in life. While intense autobiography exists in relation to these forms of self- or person- writing, it is different. And where it differs largely are in two respects: 1. That writing is not a transparent, narrative means of making self or person appear retroactively, but the very means through which the person/self comes into being in relation to a social milieu; 2. Through intense autobiography the “body”— that container demarcating human personhood and rights — becomes a site of experience and experimentation where the limits of the self are related, if not often contested, in relation to a public, community, and/or social discourse."

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice with Claire Pentecost

Five questions with the heroic Claire Pentecost...

"In many ways my need to know and explore how the world works is my art. I think this is partly why I have developed the idea of the public amateur: the artist as someone who learns in public, putting the production of knowledge itself up for scrutiny. Why is the production of knowledge so important? It’s not only because knowledge is partly what determines one’s position in relation to risk, but... also because the expertise of authorities has for the most part failed to manage the risks of a technological society (part of the Occupy movement derives from this recognition). It becomes increasingly clear that no one is going to save us and we have to work together to experiment with new ways of being in the world. For this we have to return knowledge to the realm of the social by producing knowledge collectively. We have to start with 'I don’t know,' and proceed to think across disciplines to propose alternatives to a system founded on violence against life."

Talking with Tyrone Williams (at Flying Object)

Thanks to Nathaniel Otting I will be talking with Tyrone Williams at Flying Object in a couple weeks (Sunday, February 12th).

Really excited to discuss Tyrone's Howell, which is a dense and demanding book, and to my mind his opus.