Friday, July 01, 2016

Stuffed Cat

After David Hammons

In this world anterior
To where you have been
What you will become
The drum is a reminder
Of another world
Extant but not recoverable
Still hidden by its being revealed
An open secret or prophecy in reverse
Of all lost things they tried to destroy
The sun as it shines on dead things playing alive
Uncanny because we think any moment they might wake

Awaken cat! Where there is only the sunlight of recognition
And the refusal of the life-like dead to be recognized
Your snow globe is not a ghost
The coverings on these mirrors only obscure who you’re not
A relation of objects begetting objects
Readymade for the fall of Amerikkka
Armed as it were by your right
To opacity and enigma
What is and what ain’t.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

For Julius Eastman

For the basic
For the base not the super-structure
There is this structure

There is a motive to song
Dissonant and aswarm
Like killer bees or simply

Bees riled collectively
These refrains increase
We are their surcease

The reason for this ante-
anthem other pronouns
Don’t like othering

Real basic like a feeling
Or a feeling of a feeling

Without a season or
Stars to guide you
There is this structure

Not anarchy
This end of theme
Of fugue

Against Cage’s silence
Meaning being in
The closet

Beyond Reich’s bruised blood
His drumming
There is a motive

Actual refusal and not a semblance
In dissonance
He makes a plan

Picks the right instrument
To kill whitey
Tear it up

Controlled bellowing
Let the rest balloon
Until all masters are dead

Or this isn’t antagonism
After 400 years
But stasis sustained by noise

By swarms erring
Until the End of the world
Composition carries this

Of the post-expectant
Of redress or what counts

As redress counting-off
Gives Bach a reason
To do evil

To do evil against evil
Be crazier than the craziest
Grammar of suffering

Because you had to act sane
In this sea of whiteness
Martyring a piano

An instrumentation
To alchemize voice

Mackey’s wear and tear
Of too much heaven
Coming up for air

In hell’s sub-basement
Its sub-sub-basement
Smoking with all the lights on.

The Art of Withdrawal

The following audio recording presents two parts of a longer work I have been writing about "artist withdrawals," presented for Patrick F. Durgin's "Poetics of Agony" MFA workshop last fall at the Art Institute of Chicago. In it I look at the correspondences between the work of Lee Lozano and Ben Kinmont as a means of considering more broadly the problem of "withdrawal" in art discourse, a topic that has interested me for some time, and which seems more timely than ever given the increasing importance of art practices that refuse and/or problematize participation with institutions and marketplaces.