Thursday, November 03, 2011

Hannah Weiner and "intense autobiography"

Help me write a talk for next wkend, on Hannah Weiner and what I'm calling "intense autobiography." How does autobiography figure in your own writing and/or art practice? How specifically in ways that may be considered counterintuitive to or innovating upon the genre of autobiography? How, likewise, someone who you admire, or with whom you share affinities? Email me at wildhorsesoffire [at] gmail [dot] com.

Two Dances for Leavening

--for Chase Granoff


Your mention of making bread
Makes me think of leavening
A leavening for change is a leaving
It takes time and is kneaded

And is needed this is a pre-
political thing, this is a post-
political thing, this is most of all
A political thing, this ingestion

Through the mouth or the hearth
That surrounds the mouth makes us
A domestic scene whose worth is
Measured by the public, floating

Upon the heat of the air, in this sense
Of seeing or being in the dance
For a polis we can partake of
We are down below, all, we are all

Animal down here, and this con-
sumption is too large to fit coffinlike
In the tomb our planet has become
Conviviality and nourishing substance

Must do their work that surrounds
That surrounds the mouth a res
Publica so-called this bread
Until it is held in common, until

Sense levels us we are left to leaven
The leave-taking of our senses
Must be plain, made by dance
So becoming becomes a heaven

Presupposing time and justice are one.


The ingestion of one substance
We are making
That we are making
The world up as we are also
Movement and we are built
To move in waste our ways otherwise
Than being what you have to say
When breath becomes bread
And there seems no other way
But in this dance other forces sway us
We are persuaded like the world twists
The way it depends on bread
Everyday to sustain
The simplest things
It is the simplest things that are
Easiest to forget
If we ever remembered them at all
I am using the line as a continuous breath
Not a metaphor for things seen
Like we can breathe our way out of this immiseration
Pivot and pirouette our way out of debt
Out of the pollution of everything
To assert the fourth dimension
Betrays our sympathy
And not merely our power over, as Pound claimed,
Every being
To leaven this sense of awe again
The power of things over words, that would
Be bread
Making the world up as we move
These built lines of song
These step-like tones
When time and justice should be one.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Review of Rachid Ouramdane's Ordinary Witnesses (@ The Brooklyn Rail)

Here is a review I wrote of Rachid Ouramdane's incredible Ordinary Witnesses.

"In this place—zero or nil—the dancers move low to the floor. They are grounded—literally. And it is from the floor that they will rise, and writhe, and continually fall again. As if gravity itself were complicit with the violence committed against them. As if it were also a force of resistance embodying the harm that had been done to the violated and tortured. Gravity becomes an active and visible material through Ouramdane’s choreograph[y], propelling the body/subject (back) into being."