Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

art is autonomous

Attention Span – Pam Brown

with one comment

Maggie Nelson | Women, The New York School and Other True Abstractions | Iowa | 2007

Brilliant revisionist analytical critique of women poets Barbara Guest, Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, Eileen Myles and the painter Joan Mitchell and their relationship / connections with the ‘New York School’ and including consideration of the role of the feminine ‘true abstraction’ in the poetry and art criticism of ‘gay’ writers John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara and James Schuyler.

Hope Mirrlees | Paris : A Poem | Hogarth | 1919

I have only just discovered Hope Mirrlees’ long poem, via Melissa Boyde’s presentation at the Poetry and the Trace conference in Melbourne, July 2008. A wonderful, post-war, modernist, fragmentary flâneuse’ view of Paris , published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf in 1919. Available online as a pdf via google .

Alice Notley | Above the Leaders | Veer | 2008

Poems from Paris, 2006, reading like long one long poem surfacing from something like a pupa formed in the underground layers of the City of Light, the ‘city of Pentecostal girls in white tulle dresses’ where ‘…The dimensions were in tatters, the weather/provoked and bitter: You’ve already had your good times, it whispers.’

Rachel Blau DuPlessis | Torques : Draft 58-76 | Salt | 2008

Continuing her 22 year-long project Drafts, Rachel B du Plessis assembles numbers 58-76 here as ‘Torques’—energised twists, swoops, turns, drifts, folds of language that analyse the way ‘we’ live, write, work, hope, think, demonstrate, play—everything. Charles Bernstein’s advice on reading Torques—’Begin anywhere. Begin now.’

Julia Leigh | Disquiet | Faber | 2008

This book gives much pleasure, and pleasure of thought: brilliant artifice, exact contrivance, it is self-consciously mannered and filled with wit. It’s a strange tale of the return of an Australian woman and her two children to her home and family in a French chateau, and it seems to have sent reviewers scurrying after a category. Some settled for ‘Gothic’—I don’t think so. I see the book as sliding through various ‘categories’ like German Romanticism, French nouveau roman (Michel Butor, shades of Nathalie Sarraute) and mystery. More on my blog.

Chris McAuliffe | Jon Cattapan : Possible Histories | Miegunyah | 2008

A beautifully designed monograph tracing Australian artist Jon Cattapan’s art from his student days until the present—Dadaist grotesqueries, surrealist erotica of the Melbourne 1970’s punk scene, tracing the themes of isolation and longing into later explorations of global information flow and postmodern cities.

Michael Farrell | a raiders guide | Giramondo | 2008

Not T.S. Eliot’s ‘raid on the inarticulate’, Michael Farrell raids and liberates language from within itself. Smart, adveturous language play and close to graphic poetry. Also funny.

Christine Wertheim and Matias Viegebner | The noulipian Analects | Les Figues | 2007

An alphabetical survey of constraint-based writing. Contributors include Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök, Bernadette Mayer, Harryette Mullen, Johanna Drucker and more. Plus theoretical notes—‘Gender and constraint-based literature’, ‘Litteral Poetics’, ‘Materiality!’, ‘OULIPIAN ethics: Writing, the Group, and Pedagogy’ and so on.

Ouyang Yu | Reality Dreams | Picaro | 2008

These unsettling, breezily imaginative poems are reminiscent of deep-night jottings in an analysand’s bedside notebook. In Reality Dreams Ouyang Yu cooks up something much more complex than a simple surrealist recipe. Once you enter Ouyang’s dreamworld his stunning imagery never lets you drift off. This poetry is perplexing, comical, sometimes elegiac, sometimes mysterious and also often frankly visceral, sexy and sensual. Here, in one world-weary reverie, Australia is ‘so deadly boring, so boringly dead’ that we can only hope that a fearsome Chinese phantom might suddenly awaken the entire place by shouting thunderously loudly—‘Onya Ouyang!’

Eileen Myles | Sorry, Tree | Wave | 2007

Eileen says ‘I don’t mind today, but the everyday makes me barf’. Another anti-quotidianist (like Alice Notley) Eileen Myles writes from ‘today’ nonetheless. Terrific, clear, discursive, lesbian, american, female, INSIDER, clever and definitely POETIC. These big-talent, short-line poems affirm Eileen Myles’ commitment to the ‘total fucking gas’ school of US poetry.

Bob Dylan | Tarantula | Harper Perennial | 2005

I owned a copy of the 1966 edition and 42 years later I discover that it’s absent from my bookshelves (another unsolved mystery—where did my Velvet Underground LPs go?). Tarantula was reprinted in 2005. What a wit Bobby D was. ‘I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now’ and it kept me chuckling. Very funny and, now, nicely nostalgic. I read it on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney and recommend it for the short run.

*

More Pam Brown here.

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Pam Brown here. Her Attention Span for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003. Back to […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: