Thursday, January 09, 2014

Sorry not to write you back sooner...

Sorry not to write you back sooner
I have been a bit spaced-out
I saw a picture of you and Marianne on FB recently—
You look great together!
Ugh, not looking forward to breaking this news to a triple Scorpio
At the castle now it is weird to have time to do anything I want
Sort of freaks me out, though I guess I should enjoy it

How is everyone? Are we still feeling this?
Just wanted to make sure I didn't lose track of you
I have been in Europe and not in New York
Lovely picture of the girls
Let's take a walk when I get back... long overdue! 
Glad you are finding a little time to relax with Mel,
And hopefully some poetry

This looks great!
I can't believe my time is already up at the castle
I think this will definitely up the ante...
I hope the holidays have been grand in Greece!
Things were pretty quiet here.
A bunch of us cooked followed by karaoke.
I can't remember the last time I karaoked.

We will Skype
Just in case you were wondering what you missed while you were
Away from the castle... 
I was using the site in English and also using Google
Maps with the address you gave
Me, so I really don't know what
I could have been doing wrong

It is a missed opportunity for sure
Send word from the motherland when you can...
I hope you guys won't hate me
I have been completely out-to-lunch
Holed up in the castle. Take a bus? A cab?
I'm looking forward to seeing you
And to having a little adventure...

Late to rise this dreariest of mornings...
Great moves on the dance floor last night!
I would happily attempt to produce my famous chowder
If everyone contributes a bottle of wine and a dessert
Fruit and a flight of cheeses for hors d'oeuvres
And maybe a single malt for aperitif
I will bring the hip-hop mix...

However quahogs may be difficult to come by 
Sorry for being 'complicated'!
Just wanted to check in about plans to visit
I'm sorry for my ambivalence; I bend too easily sometimes
I thought I would wake up and regret what I wrote
In fact, I woke up feeling less angry
But still a little angry at what he wrote

Today's a day I have been putting off for awhile
Wishing it was colder and snowier here
Not the weather I was expecting
Really could use an ocean right now
A forest just isn’t the same
Last night I wrote a poem about seeing The Hunger Games
In German… how that felt.

I just took a big fat shit
I hope this is OK
Typical manager...
Sometimes I feel that if I never hear another word
In German it will be too soon
I tend to agree with you
That we shouldn't let these works go so easily

I want to respect her input.
I am going to follow your lead,
which is basically what I just did in an email
I am a little frustrated that we cannot talk
At this point all I can do is point to the fact
That I feel totally in the dark
All I can do not to lose my temper 

I'm sorry, my brain is warped
I am, in a word, cranky
Will write you a real letter soon
Just had to withdraw from all communication
You will have to tell me about it in person
Regardless, the book will be grand!
Is there something I missed? In understanding,

Got momentarily swallowed up by the castle!
I think this would be a better way to proceed
Everything is very murky right now 
Maybe subtlizing 
I feel really out of the loop
It is totally abstract to me
I just tried calling but your mailbox is full 

I'm very sorry I couldn't visit
A missed opportunity!
I would like to donate
I am in the castle, yes!
Listening to Chopin's Nocturnes and drinking coffee
While I try to write this poem
Which I don't like writing

I started sharing some of these on Facebook
Working through the complicated feelings
I'm attaching that, in case you are interested
I wrote it in like two hours
I also really love the forest
Where I have been jogging
God, every track is so good!

Thinking of you guys from afar
Gosh, I hope it is not too soon to send you this
Since you expressed a curiosity in how I might start
I feel compelled to share
I hope I have not wrongfully depicted you!
I have some notes for how it might continue and expand
I'm home for the evening and will have Skype

Quasi-slavery and male pregnancy—perfect combo!
I had forgotten that he connects us
Very rare in my current life
I can't believe that much time has passed
I also would love to read more
If there is any you'd be willing to to share
The reading you gave at the Poetry Project was extraordinarily moving! 

I have a lot to say,
But am holding my tongue
That a place be reserved for them
As a kind of placeholder
If only their names suspended over a blank page
Here is the initial letter
Hope all is going well with life

I'm quite happy to not be working
I wanted to run an idea past you
Which I hope you will feel
Especially around ideas of "friendship" and "community,"
To play with the idea of how the book emerges
What I would like to do is invite nearly everyone
I've always wanted to collaborate on something

I miss our conversation!
Never mind that last email
Uploading to Facebook
It was super depressing the last time I popped in there
Very few books on the shelf
I actually don't know a word of German
(imagine a lot of pointing and apologizing)

Good to talk about vintage clothing, I Love Dick, teaching, and other
Subjects tonight... I hope you are surviving the endless party!
I let a few things go to waste
I also really would prefer apples, pears, grapes, and bananas
I hope I am not being too picky!
If there is any way to also get something leafy, like some spinach or lettuce, I would really 
Appreciate that

I hope I am not making too many demands on you!
Thank you for your many efforts.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


--after Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno

All these penguins just chilling out

It’s so dark and all the ice is melting under our feet
The feet of the transcendental subject

Now that there is only horizon and inside and outside this drone
In my ear not even mine, but not yours either

What they are gathered for, the penguins
They love being together and warm each other
While another world ends, the world that is our only one

Machines talk to one another, adjust the thermostat
Inside this earth

A moon rises but it is not the moon after all,

Nor is it the sun either, this light source
But a suddenness of places we can’t gather

Far away the birds dream a fog machine in Central Park
The anti-moonlight of their minds eye teleporting damp

Light sources that are only lights, glissando lights

Dry ice communicated between objects
As if just any moon could rise.


The wall moves without you
But this isn’t so strange,
And the lights flicker and go out
But this isn’t so strange,
And the posters on the wall glow in the dark
But this isn’t so strange,
And there are robots which
Reproduce Marilyn Monroe’s
Handwriting on hotel stationary,
But this isn’t so strange either

And it isn’t so strange that the sound
Of a dog rustling in the grass
Or of insects buzzing is amplified,
Or that an anime character is speaking to me
And that she has a live body double
Played by a teenage girl,
Nor that a balloon rises over the houses
And looks like a moon at this scale,
Nor that the room can contain a microclimate
Or that penguins gather around a light source,
Or that a piano plays by itself while an
Ash-like substance falls to it
Dusting its lacquered surfaces—no

What is strange is that we are here at all
And that your face is lit-up suddenly
In a building that seems like a ruin but
Has recently been renovated,
And this feeling of having lost you
While we wait for the orgy scene
And that the cops have to break up the marching
Band as they play “Hava Nagila” in tandem with
A-ha’s “Take on Me,” the crowd booing the police
As we queue up outside the Centre Pompidou,
And that your Paris apartment is so similar to
Your New York apartment, and that one would
Eat a plank of cheeses for dessert.


And then we realize that we were the aliens
And then we realize that we are the monsters
And we never did understand why they created us
And we never will understand why they want to destroy us
And so it must be something that we didn’t know we did
How would we ever even know the intentions of an alien?

If a machine could talk what would it say
I don’t think these pianos are playing for us
I’m pretty sure this wall wouldn’t care if it crushed us
When we lose our faith in Marilyn we have lost our faith of humanity
Listening to the world like I was Christopher Knowles
They were building an arsenal against their only world
They were tracking a message because they didn’t know who sent it

Buffy’s Two Bodies

What to do with the bodies of a girl
I wonder, how the girl

Becomes an idea
Of power and dispossession

Simultaneously, like in Spring
Breakers when they stick

Two guns in Franco’s mouth
And he starts sucking on

The barrels (double penetration?)
How the ski masks anticipate

Pussy Riot, and how Pussy
Riot antecedes all martyrs,

Every concept of the messianic
Because there is really only one

So that when they dance
To Britney this is an ironic

Choreography of (female) power
Two remain as if

To evoke the doubleness
Of (feminine) violence

The girl’s two bodies
As they lay waste to the world

I heard Pussy Riot is being freed
And watched videos

Of Voina today, whose art
Pranks landed them in prison,

The video where they shoplift
By secreting poultry

In their vaginas, the video
Where they pretend to

Hang immigrants in a
Department store.

Machine Writing Questionnaire Part II at TCR

Here is the second part of my "machine writing" questionnaire, posted at The Capilano Review's blog.

I also think that the idea of ‘the body’ being a negative limitation is ableist, in the sense that disability reveals absolutely the limits of what a body can do determined within a social field. Something I will often do in my classes is ask the students to first identify a way that they feel “enabled” by their environment, then to produce an exercise that will intentionally defacilitate them in relation to this environment. Conversely, I ask them to identify a way that they feel “disabled,” and to attempt to use this disability to make art. In other versions of the exercise I also ask them to use art and/or writing to frame ways that their environment is disabling, or the source of a disability they have identified. Many of CA Conrad’s Somatic Exercises are good to assign in this context; because they are so much about mediating ourselves and our writing practices in relation to larger social and political problems. I also look at writers who identify with disability communities or as disabled, such as Jordan Scott, David Buuck, Robert Kocik, Amber Di Pietra, and Denise Leto. It is especially useful to think of the ways all of these writers respond to disability with new forms, no doubt because their experiences of embodiment demand this. In some cases, living with disability in a world inhospitable to people with disabilities seems the most profound art, an art that puts most other performance practices to shame, because what is at stake is so much more—sometimes it is a matter of life and death and always it is a matter of quality of life. As Eleni Stecopoulos has noted: “disability founds aesthetics.”

"Did the Lights Just Go Out?" PoemTalk

Tyrone Williams, Patrick Durgin, and I did a PoemTalk with Al Filreis about Steve Benson's poem, "Did the Lights Just Go Out," as performed by Benson at the SEGUE series and Kelly Writers House in February, 2003.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Power List

Or by hugging the cops
Or by posing with them in photos
Or by cooking them a hot meal

Or by standing beside them and farting
Or by pining away for W. Bush publicly
Or by kissing a bust of him and serenading him with a guitar

Or by blocking the way of traffic
Or by standing in front of the cops hurling insults, maybe bottles, maybe rocks, maybe Molotov cocktails
Or by wearing a handkerchief for the tear gas and throwing the canisters back at the cops

Or by writing a song and playing it for the others
Or by writing a poem and reading it for the others
Or by dancing with or for others 

Or by linking arms and marching (as though this were a dance you had choreographed)
Or by holding meetings, studying together, discussing strategy
Or by starting to plan

Or by stockpiling arms
Or by forming an alliance
Or by splintering into sects

Or by branching into affinity groups
Or by exposing your own body to harm in hopes that this will produce an image of unjustified cruelty, of the law not acting as it should
Or by inspiring pathos and empathy in whoever may see the photograph or the video of your body being harmed

Or by touching another’s body, a body the larger society would not like you to touch in that way
Or by refusing to work
Or in the body itself refusing to work

Or by going to work but destroying the tools
Or by going to work but not doing the things you’re supposed to, instead maybe writing a poem
Or by going to work and writing email and chating on Gchat and reposting links on Facebook

Or by disseminating internal memos among your friends
Or by leaking sensitive information
Or by finding out everyone’s email passwords and reading their email

Or by napping
Or by taking drugs while on the clock
Or by changing the structure form ‘within’ laying claim to power so as to alter its expression

Or by trying to gain a position in government
Or by having a town hall meeting 
Or by starting a petition

Or by writing a letter
Or by starting a blog
Or by placing an ad

Or by calling a referendum
Or by assembling a team of lawyers
Or by finding a loophole in the law

Or by making art that tries to dramatize a legal anomaly or capitalizes upon a legal anomaly
Or by manufacturing passports
Or by founding a charity

Or by chanting a slogan
Or by marching
Or by beating a drum

Or by giving a free concert
Or by fundraising
Or by performing charitable acts

Or by working on behalf of the disenfranchised or an oppressed minority
Or by working pro bono for a legal cause
Or by occupying buildings

Or by taking over the entire city, erecting barricades around the perimeter
Or by raising a militia
Or by publicly shaming one’s leaders when they have committed crimes against humanity

Or by hacking an organization’s or a private individual’s source of funding
Or by stealing from the rich or well-off
Or by robbing a bank

Or by taking from what is commonly shared
Or by squatting
Or by refusing to use one’s legal name

Or by avoiding all use of credit cards or other means by which the state and corporations might track one
Or by replacing the name given to your ancestors when they were slaves with another
Or by boycotting the businesses that would not serve your people, the people with your same identifying features

Or by refusing to leave when they tell you to leave
Or by not resisting when they attempt to move your body
Or by packing a weapon

Or through assassination
Or through bombing
Or through car bombing

Or through suicide bombing
Or by organizing a union
Or by forming a network among global laborers and labor organizations

Or by refusing to sign a contract
Or through contractual ownership asserting the rights to how your music is distributed
Or by owning the masters

Or through conspicuous consumption
Or by rearranging those works of art on display
Or through reformatting

Or by removing a work outside the museum or other sanctioned cultural location
Or by defacing or erasing a work of art representing a cultural regime currently in power
Or by toppling a statue

Or through looting
Or by refusing to show
Or by refusing to play

Or by refusing to read
Or by only making your art with others and never giving your name to it
Or by refusing to take credit

Or through plagiarism
Or through reappropriation
Or through sampling

Or through detournement
Or through the derive
Or through intertextuality

Or through preservation
Or through the creation of an archive
Or by regulating access

Or by interacting with an audience differently
Or by reading your poem or playing your song in the street
Or through street theatre

Or by organizing an event
Or by creating a carnivalesque atmosphere
Or by making people feel they can speak or move more freely

Or by reminding everyone of those who are not free to speak or move
Or by caricaturing a political leader or someone else in a position of power
Or by ‘roasting’ the president

Or by speaking ‘truth to power’
Or by laying claim to the popular media
Or by making information more widely available

Or through education
Or by making sure there is wider access
Or by being willing to go to jail

Or by providing prisoners with educational resources and other basic human rights
Or by breaking out of prison
Or by breaking out others from prison

Or by enacting legislation
Or by making sure a neighborhood is protected from gentrification
Or by holding out

Or by creating strong community networks
Or by appropriating agency for one’s community or for communities in need of resources
Or by opposing developers legally and extra-legally

Or by boycotting strike breakers
Or by not eating meat produced by the industrial-agricultural complex
Or by not eating meat that is produced inhumanely

Or by not eating meat
Or by not using certain gender pronouns
Or replacing certain gender pronouns with others

Or by giving a stranger a swipe
Or by refusing to specialize
Or by giving up art

Or by refusing to show one’s work in certain institutions
Or by constructing the built environment differently
Or by founding the institutions you would want to be a part of, the businesses you
would want to participate in

Or by dropping out
Or by committing suicide
Or by committing Facebook suicide

Or by holding hands in public
Or by kissing in public
Or by baring one’s breasts in public

Or by loving too intensely
Or by stealing
Or by being lazy

Or by refusing to produce any art this year
Or by refusing to consume
Or by volunteering to distribute food and medicine and rebuild homes

Or by refusing to vote
Or by voting
Or by not paying your taxes

Or by dumping one’s trash in public
Or by appearing naked in public
Or by performing bodily functions in public

Or by just showing up
Or by pitching a tent
Or by refusing to act violently no matter what

Or by refusing to attend the popular media
Or by recycling or composting
Or through the avoidance of nouns

Or through the use of heteronyms and collective names
Or by refusing to participate in certain representation practices
Or by organizing a revolt

Or by storming the palaces
Or by breaking through the phalanx of cops
Or by saying what you shouldn’t

Or by throwing a party
Or by taking drugs
Or by presenting your work publicly

Or by making public statements
Or by filling your purse with ketchup
Or by chaining one’s self to a bank vault, or an old growth tree, or a building slated
for demolitions

Or through infiltration
Or through spying
Or by refusing to invest in oil and coal

Or through divestment
Or by sharing a meal
Or through a hunger-strike

Or by embracing another culture, taking on their customs and habits
Or by posing questions
Or by talking back

Or by paying attention
Or through devotion
Or by considering everything in relation

Or by not paying attention
Or by shifting the balance of power
Or by parenting differently

Or by forming alternative affiliations
Or through the withdrawal of tradition
Or through the embrace of traditions

Or in allowing others to make decisions
Or by giving up power
Or by stepping down

Or by building consensus
Or through the establishment of solidarity
Or through the elimination of the ego

Or through a de-emphasis or displacement of 'the self'
Or through depersonalization
Or through collectivization

Or through participation
Or by refusing to participate
Or through skepticism

Or through dissensus
Or through reprinting
Or through diplomacy

Or by staying alive
Or by reproducing
Or through the transmitting of cultural memory

Or through comedy
Or by becoming vulnerable
Or through the providing of care

Or through the forgiving of debt
Or through donation
Or by setting up a trust

Or by preventing further exploitation
Or through fucking
Or through reparation

Or through forgiveness
Or through forgetting
Or through reciprocation

Or through symbolization
Or through patience
Or through anger

Or through sorrow
Or through joy