Attention Span 2010 – Jennifer Scappettone
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.