Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Nathalie Stephens

Attention Span 2010 – Jennifer Scappettone

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Leslie Scalapino | The Dihedrons Gazelle Dihedrals Zoom | ms developed out of sound-based routes through a new dictionary; video of reading by Konrad Steiner available here | 2010

“[T]heir whole as bodies in the underground petroleum…holes spurting here and there, and the sky turned indigo, as did the ocean, now petroleum.”

As recorded on 2/14/10. Enough said. Leslie, we miss you.

Etel Adnan | The Arab Apocalypse (reprinted with a foreword by Jalal Toufic) | Post-Apollo | 2007

The illegible substance of the language of childhood persists through the blasts of civil war. To be read alongside “To Write in a Foreign Language,” available here.

Tonya Foster | mss in progress including “A Swarm of Bees in High Court” (forthcoming from Belladonna/Futurepoem in 2010), “Monkey Talk,” and “A Mathematics of Chaos: Pay Attention to Where You At/From” | extracts can be heard here | ongoing/forthcoming

“Geography can be transformative—the way a bullet to the body can be transformed.”

Edouard Glissant, trans. Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël) | Poetic Intention | Nightboat | 2010

“Whence, for the individual, this simple obligation: to open and to ravish the body of knowledge.”

“The work of a poet appears…derisory: it is only ever the foam of that ocean from which he wants to extract a cathedral, a definite architecture.”

“Yes: we are each in this drama the overseas of others.”

I could go on. But that would be to abstract tracts of a text so urgent in contextual detail, or what Glissant calls (& Stephens translates as) the “thrashed truth of one’s materiality.” This book, published as L’intention poétique in 1969, needs to change the way “we” understand modernism, the sixties, postwar theory, etc.

Bhanu Kapil | Humanimal: A Project for Future Children | Kelsey St. | 2009

Because it’s the latest which is bound, but everything, and latest on color. See also “Was Jack Kerouac a Punjabi?” and the posts preceding her choice to defect from the now defunct Harriet. On reading: “I read in order to be a writer in the time I am in, which is a closed time. I read to open myself to time, which is the time that opens in turn to writing. I read to flee taut death; to embrace wet or sinking deaths instead.”

Henri Meschonnic, trans. Lisa Robertson & Avra Spector | “The Rhythm Manifesto” | ms, they tell me it’s available here | 2010

“Against all poeticizations, I say there is a poem only if a shape of life transforms a shape of language and if reciprocally a shape of language transforms a shape of life. I say that it is only in this way that poetry, as the activity of poems, can live in society, can do what only a poem can do for people who, without poems, wouldn’t even realize that they were undoing their subjectivity and their historicity to become nothing other than products in the market of ideas, the market of feelings, and the market of manners.” Much-needed antidote to what’s modish—in poetry, I mean. Feeding a steadily-becoming-obsession of mine with a focus on rhythm and meter in the postwar epos (early 1960s, against semiotics). Further resonance with Daria Fain & Robert Kocik’s Phoneme Choir, ongoing & described at http://www.brooklynrail.org/2009/04/dance/choir-praxis.

Judd Morrissey | RC_AI | http://www.judisdaid.com/rcai.php | 2010

Text—recombinatory speakings out of Robert Coover’s Pinocchio in Venice—as panorama, 380,000 pixels—or 422 feet—long. Ends with bubbly digital schmaltz, delightsome.

Pier Paolo Pasolini | La Ricotta | part of Ro.Go.Pa.G., & supplementary material on Criterion Collection edition of Mamma Roma | 1962

I searched for this film for over a decade and recovered it accidentally when permitting myself to watch Mamma Roma for the nth time. Stracci (“rags”) is enjoined to play Christ in a restaging of the Passion directed by a Pasolini figure played by Orson Welles. Couldn’t be more of a corrective to Gibson far before the fact; censored “for insulting the religion of the state,” so that he had to remove Welles’s final line, “dropping dead was his only means of revolution.” Hypercitational: poetry, philosophy, music, film, painting of others punctures the half-hour. At one point a tableau vivant of Rosso Fiorentino’s and Pontormo’s magisterially weird Depositions, typifying this short’s neorealist mannerism or mannerist neorealism.

M. Nourbese Philip | Zong! | Wesleyan | 2008

Hauntological, as Philip notes, ululating effort to identify, localize the murdered Africans reduced by the illogic of law to cargo aboard the Zong, at the apex of Enlightenment. Alters “reading”: drowns the eye. Taught following Kamau Brathwaite’s 2005 Wesleyan title Born to Slow Horses, which also insists that the Atlantic is alive and history—despite all other proclamations and appearances—undead.

Lauren Shufran | The Birds | self-published chapbook | 2010

Riddled with antient rid-’ems: “Prior to this tryst my debt was pretty damn van- / Illa; kinkless, even—like interject- / Ing damns between my speech to impound flavors, or / Jouncing into fountains up in Rome in / Simplex Latin:.…” Just received, still trying to divine the architectonics of this padded echo chamber. “Ery spoken word performance hankers for its pri- / Vate Melos to corroborate that Venuses / De Milo and Baghdadi artifacts can still / Be looted—I mean, disinhumed—from loci all / Entombed by massacres your gifted homeboys mount- / Ed.” Close kin to Brandon Brown’s amazing translations of Catullus, another one for my short-list: but where are they? Shelves are a chaos and I can’t find ‘em. The awkward encrustations of tempo in this work—the making, the deriving—rebuke the voiding of historicity that is such the rage at present. Taking a cue from Mallarmé via Meschonnic via Robertson/Spector: “to mysteriously work toward lateness or neverness.”

Emilio Villa, ed. Claudio Parmiggiani | Emilio Villa: poeta e scrittore | Edizioni Mazzotta | 2008

Catalog of a retrospective of poetry, criticism, and artworks surrounding this crucial but elusive-by-choice border-crosser. Includes some of the poet’s concrete and visual poems, multilingual texts, collaborations with artists such as Alberto Burri, translations from various ancients, and notes toward an etymological dictionary of Italian that would do away with “positivist linguistics” and the “Romance fervor” by plumbing the roots of words in the archaic zones of Mesopotamia, the Syro-Babylonian coasts, and the pre- and protohistoric Mediterranean. So much food for thought and further work.

More Jennifer Scappettone here. Her Attention Span for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Eric Baus

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Fred Moten | B Jenkins | Duke | 2010

“come from some of everywhere, somewhere so deep that some of everywhere come with you. to become for our occult belongings, // worldly in that other way”

Dorothea Lasky | Black Life | Wave | 2010

“You are reading the work of a great poet, possibly one of the greatest ones of your time. If I am standing in from of you right now, you are listening to the voice of one of the greatest poets of your time.”

Bhanu Kapil | Humanimal: A Project For Future Children | Kelsey St. | 2009

“I am not interested in animals. Return to the work as memory. Say it is a wolf becoming a girl, the action in reverse.”

Tan Lin | Seven Controlled Vocabularies | Wesleyan | 2010

“People are basically animals that know how to read.”

Steven Zultanski | Pad | Book Thug | 2010

“My dick cannot lift the walls. My dick cannot lift the ceiling. My dick cannot lift the floor.”

Will Alexander | The Sri Lankan Loxodrome | New Directions | 2010

“such swans / staggered by microbial reasoning / their aggressive nests / anatomical with anomaly”

Paul Killebrew | Flowers | Canarium | 2010

“It’s better than Atlanta, where they treat people like cars / in a city that combines the rustic elegance of Newark / with the quiet dignity of a beer bong.”

Edouard Glissant, trans. Nathalie Stephens | Poetic Intention | Nightboat | 2010

“When the poet travels to the ends where there is no country, he opens with the more deserved relation, in that space of an absolute elsewhere in which each can attempt to reach him.”

Lisa Robertson | R’s Boat | California | 2010

“Say I’m a beautiful animal who has mastered laziness / In reddened clearing in the occidental forest / In the album / Purse of goddess clicking / I long to see how it will continue to behave”

Norma Cole | Where Shadows Will | City Lights | 2009

“Here the subject thinks ‘there could be flowers’ or ‘the water was a bit disturbed when the ring fell in.’ All that, painted from said things, pleases it.”

More Eric Baus here. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2009 – Leonard Schwartz

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Joseph Donahue | Terra Lucida | Talisman House | 2009

Donahue’s long running and much awaited serial poem is now gathered in one place. Extraordinary in its richness of thought, perception, imagination…

Jacqueline Risset, trans. Jennifer Moxley | Sleep’s Powers | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2008

This was one of the most engaging books I have read in a long time. In this book of short essays poet and translator Jacqueline Risset asks us to go beyond dream, which is image and narrative, into sleep, which is a different form of thought altogether.

Andrew Zawacki | Petals of Zero, Petals of One | Talisman House| 2008

This philosophically engaging poet follows out both the logic of the arrow and the logic of the arrow’s shadow in this arresting book.

Nathanael (Nathalie Stephens) | Absence Where As: (Claude Cahun And The Unopened Book) | Nightboat Books | 2009

A philosophical prose that suggests the possibility of an autonomous art…

Anne Waldman | Manatee/Humanity | Penguin | 2009

Surely as poets we must strive to speak not only to humanity but to animality and divinity too. Anne Waldman does so…

Brian Henry | The Stripping Point | Counterpath Press | 2007

Brian Henry contributes mightily to a poetics of citationality.

Stacy Szymaszek | Hyperglossia | Litmus Books | 2009

Elizabeth Robinson says it best: “part dissonance, part song.” The fragmented can also bespeak the possibility of continuing.

Rene Char, trans. Gustaf Sobin | The Brittle Age and Returning Upland | Counterpoint Press | 2009

Great to have this translation of the great French poet by the recently passed away great American poet finally in print…

Danill Kharms, trans. Matvei Yankelevich | Today I Wrote Nothing | Overlook | 2007

Matvei Yankelevich has done an extraordinary thing in resucitating in English translation this nearly forgotten Russian absurdist (“Oberiu”) poet (1904-1942).

Barbara Guest | Complete Poems | Wesleyan University Press | 2008

All of Guests’s poems in one big edition…

Caty Sporleder | Flay: a book of mu | Blazevox | 2009

A new writer to watch…

More Leonard Schwartz here.

Attention Span – Leonard Schwartz

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Nathalie Stephens | The Sorrow And The Fast Of It | Nightboat | 2008

This Canadian writer is new to me. Andrew Zawacki describes her as “the son-daughter of Helene Cixous and Jean Genet,” and that sounds right. A poem in prose, its sentences echo and refine.

Charles Baudelaire, trans. Keith Waldrop | The Flowers of Evil | Wesleyan | 2007

This is the best translation of Baudelaire I have ever read. Waldrop translates the poems into “versets”, which he defines this way: “a measured prose that allows the sentence to dominate, as in prose, checked by a sense of line that restricts it.”

Rikki Ducornet | Desirous | Pierre Menard Gallery | 2007

Lush images, fictions, essays by and about this luminous writer.

Takashi Hiraide, trans. Sawako Nakayasu | For The Fighting Spirit Of The Walnut | New Directions |  2008

A master of the Japanse prose poem, impeccably translated by Sawako Nakaysu.

Fanny Howe | The Lives of a Spirit / Glasstown | Nightboat | 2008

Nightboat Books has brought these two major texts by Howe back into print.

Francis Ponge, trans. Lee Fahnestock | Mute Objects Of Expression | Archipelago | 2008

From my own blurb for this book: “Ponge’s prose accepts the truth that things themselves defy our language. The writing accepts this, but is not resigned to it….  Being holds out against its every nemesis, and both Being and Non-Being offer themselves to our dream of silence.”

Zhang Er and Chen Dongdong, eds. | Another Kind Of Nation: an Anthology of Contemporary Poetry | Talisman | 2007

A big anthology of a very important contemporary poetry.

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More Leonard Schwartz here.

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