Attention Span 2010 – Suzanne Stein
Jean-Luc Nancy, trans. Charlotte Mandell | The Fall of Sleep | Fordham | 2009
“But whatever one’s age, no one enters sleep without some sort of lullaby. No one can do without being led along by a cadence one does not even perceive, since it is precisely the cadence of absence that penetrates presence, sometimes in one single movement—in one single push that suddenly sends the present floating alongside itself—sometimes at several times—in several successive waves, like a tide licking the sand and impregnating it a little further each time, depositing flakes of sleepy foam. Rocking movements put us to sleep because sleep in its essence is itself a rocking, not a stable, motionless state. Lullaby: one charms, one enchants, one puts mistrust to sleep before putting wakefulness itself to sleep, one gently guides to nowhere—”
Kevin Davies | Pause Button | Tsunami | 1992
What would it have been to have been myself and to have already have known this?
Franco “Bifo” Berardi, trans. Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina Mecchia | The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy | Semiotext(e) | 2009
Bifo prescribes: more time for talking, traveling, reading, thinking, loving, eating, and dreaming, and less time spent killing ourselves and each other with overproduction and that horrible farce of the contemporary age: “connectivity”. Thumbs up.
Dana Ward | Typing “Wild Speech” | Summer BF Press | 2010
the tender way is wilder than
Robert Glück | reading from About Ed (ms) | The (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand | October 18, 2009
Audiences never give standing ovations at poetry readings, not in the Bay Area anyway that I’ve ever seen, but on this evening Bob received the energetic equivalent of that just walking up to the mic. He read two pieces from a manuscript in progress, About Ed. The first piece would be very short, he let us know, as the second was to be very long. The short piece was called “Ed’s First Sexual Experience (Not Counting His Dad)”, and it involved Ed, Ed’s older lover, an acid (mushroom?) trip, a tree house, and an unexpected bit of coprophilia. This story from the first line had the crowded room laughing—not a little bit laughing, but kind of convulsively, hysterically laughing, embarrassedly laughing, laughing a lot, sweating with laughter, laughing ourselves to tears. The room felt warm, open, rowdy, and there were so many of us in it. What I recall is that the second part, “The Moon is Brighter than the Sun”, was about the death of Ed, and also about the breakup of Bob and Ed. The detail I remember best is that there’s an apartment that Ed moves in to, in the adjacent-to-Castro area, and Bob describes the location of the apartment extensively, what the neighborhood was like then and what it is like to drive past it now, and in the story he and Ed paint the walls of that apartment together, in the middle of their break-up, and maybe they fought a lot or didn’t fight a lot while doing that? Why do breakups so often also involve extreme acts of domesticity? During the breakup, in the story, we’re also in the middle of Ed’s death, the death which occurs much later, and Bob describes the loss of Ed’s death as also the intolerable revisiting of the loss of breaking up. As giddy as the room was during the first story, it was motionless during the second. That piece did go on a very long time, I remember, there was a part about Bob driving out to the beach in the story, or to the Golden Gate Bridge? to scatter Ed’s ashes? Am I misremembering? I want it to be that Bob drove to the Sutro Baths, where I’ve spent a lot of time living & mourning, but I don’t think that’s what happened. I really want to recount something else here too, and this is the way we, the audience, a community of friends and lovers, exes, enemies, “frenemies”, were held so entirely in the palm of the hand of this story of Bob’s. A lot of us were crying in the room that night. Is that stupid to relate? People I’ve been brutal or bitter enough to think had no capacity left for tears or sorrow were weeping openly. We’ve all lost someone, and reliving that loss, or projecting yourself into the inescapable future and feeling it, fucking awful. But being alive and feeling it while breathing and listening, in a room full of others, to Bob Glück—
Brandon Brown | Tooth Fairy; The Orgy; Your Mom’s a Falconress & Other Poems | all self-published | 2009-2010
Trapped in a humanitarian corridor, ordering
the end of the orgy. Ids in their
ordure. Hair odor in
the hallway. My heart struggles.
It’s big as a chard, but it never learns.
Blood makes us pet in the alley
behind the petting gallery. I love
sleep. I love eat. I love the perpendicular
orgy that makes my fingers (…etc)
Chris Kraus | I LOVE DICK | Semiotext(e) | 1997
“Dear Dick, I’m wondering why every act that narrated female lived experience in the 70s has been read only as ‘collaborative’ and ‘feminist’. The Zurich Dadaists worked together too but they were geniuses + had names.”
“I realized the only thing I had to offer was my specificity”
Plus, what’s that bit about how can a straight woman achieve every bit of outness as out, articulated gay pride? Thanks to Stephanie Young for running home after the mani/pedi to fetch the book and bring it back to me as a loan. And thanks again to Chris Kraus & I Love Dick for, on top of everything else, the introduction to the artist Hannah Wilke.
Erika Staiti | Erika has title anxiety until finished and these are unfinished writings | 2009-2010
I love a work, a practice, a thought held open as long as possible, and yet patient and persistent, and these atmospheric performative drafts enact that.
T.J. Clark | The Sight of Death: An Experiment in Art Writing | Yale | 2006
Clark spent two months at the Getty looking at two works by 17c painter Nicolas Poussin: Landscape with a Calm and Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake. The subtitle of the book is sort of an egregious caveat: it seems to mean mainly that if you’re a famous art historian you can assert a pass on publishing your diary as crit and your colleagues have to swallow it, but who cares what they think? This was the greatest pleasure of my winter furlough from work, and I was grateful for so attentive a tour of just two paintings. The reproductions are wonderful, and multiple, and the opportunity to listen in on an extended meditation not only on the physical, visual, textual, historic, and metaphoric but also the locally atmospheric and the personally intimate and socially reflective (to the contemporary) felt rare. The writer begins this meditation quoting Poussin: “I who make a profession of mute things”
YouTube | has been | my primary text | of FY10