Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Attention Span 2012 | Brian Ang

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Bruce Andrews | The Millennium Project | Eclipse | 2002

Scantly remarked upon and likely the final horizon for his readers by its length, it is Andrews’ best work. Faster attacking than Shut Up and more socially encyclopedic than the focused gender investigation of Lip Service, it is an onslaught of brilliance on each of its thousand pages. There are lengthy readings from it on PennSound: PhillyTalks, 1998; Radio Readings Project, 1999; and Mills College, 2006.

Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein, eds. | L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E | Eclipse | 1978-1982

Read serially in preparation of “Language Writing and the Present” presented at the Poetry and Poetics of the 1980s conference in June, a richer read than the synchronic and incomplete presentation in the well-known The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book for presenting the contextual developments of theorizations and the ephemeral materials not admitted into poetics collections. Highlights include the magazine’s own “Attention Span” calling for non-poetry books, the “Pacifica Interview on Politics” (recording on PennSound), a rare Bruce Boone essay, and a violent Marxist comic. The non-poetry books feature produced lively polemics between Jackson Mac Low and Ron Silliman (1, 2, 3, 4), with Silliman’s rejoinder in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E 9/10 printed adjacent to his “If By ‘Writing’ We Mean Literature…” reprinted in The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book, forming an illuminatingly prosaic complement to the similar points being made in the better known and polished piece.

A White Hunter | Various recordings | | 2011-present

In addition to being the title of a Gertrude Stein piece, a San Francisco Bay Area noise project I have collaborated with. They demonstrate the structural humor and mayhem I utmost value in aesthetic experience: if you can, they are best experienced at an out-of-control house show. See especially Singles Tape #1 and The Beach Boys avant-cover “Would Not It Be Nice.”

for the oakland commune: an unfinished compilation of misses and hits (vol. I) | 2012

A compilation of journalistic and theoretical writings primarily concerning Occupy Oakland from its inception on October 10, 2011 to the West Coast Port Shutdown on December 12, 2011: an attempt to capture the excitement of that period’s textual explosion’s resources, themselves practical struggles to contribute to their volatile moments toward their next possible developments, for present and future praxis; to “get this shit down, otherwise no one will believe it… get it on the record” (Amiri Baraka, “Against Bourgeois Art”).

Kenneth Goldsmith | Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age | Columbia | 2011

Read in preparation of “Language Writing and the Present,” which drew from Language writing’s methodological constructions through Conceptual writing’s for the purpose of present poetic praxis, Goldsmith’s provocations and wide-ranging knowledge of experimental resources offer much to consider and be made aware of. Along with Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing, Conceptual writing’s significant propositions of diminished reading and uncreativity are now thoroughly emphasized: hopefully Conceptual writers and the interested will shift energies from re-presentative publicizing to renewed theorizing soon.

Lyn Hejinian | from “Positions of the Sun” | 2009-present

Hejinian’s current project’s intricately textured prose makes palpable wide-ranging textual   history playfully woven with the present’s imaginative and social particulars: textual self-consciousness. Excerpts have appeared in Belladonna Elders Series 5, Floor 1, and ARMED CELL 3.

Graham Lock | Forces in Motion: Anthony Braxton and the Meta-Reality of Creative Music: Interviews and Tour Notes, England, 1985 | Quartet | 1988

Revisited in preparation of “Trance Sequence: On Anthony Braxton and Method,” an integrated presentation and reading on the music of Anthony Braxton and its relation to my poetry, presented at the Berkeley Art Museum in March, Lock’s classic is the rarest combination of being eminently entertaining and profoundly reflective upon Braxton’s work and the notion of creativity itself. Additionally recommended are (Coventry) 1985, which includes recordings of a concert from the tour and interviews transcribed in the book, and Stuart Broomer’s 2009 Time and Anthony Braxton, which concisely overviews Braxton’s oeuvre.

Glen Lowry, ed. | West Coast Line 72 | 2012

Much of my favorite contemporary politicized poetry is coming from Canada, including, represented in this issue, Stephen Collis, Roger Farr, and especially Jeff Derksen, whose current project “The Vestiges,” a secret history of social irruption, is excerpted from in this issue; another excerpt is available in ARMED CELL 3.

Mayakov+sky | Various videos | | 2011-present

Mayakov+sky (Nicholas Komodore)’s short videos are austere takes on the present’s imposed austerity. See especially “Oakland Commune” featuring footage of Occupy Oakland’s tumultuous attempted building takeover action on January 28, 2012 as well as Komodore’s poetry.

Jean-Luc Nancy | The Inoperative Community | Minnesota | 1986, trans. 1991

Worked through for writing my “Anti-Community Poetics” and subsequent presentations of it at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Poetry Project’s events on “community” in May, to conclude to decline Nancy’s approach of metaphysical resistance in community for a more materialist approach in the present’s potentials of militant agency. In the capacity of poetry, the cornerstone for a materialist approach to social (community) composition is Ron Silliman’s “The Political Economy of Poetry.” In potential future moments of diminished social temperature, Nancy’s classic may increase again in use.

Maya Weeks | IT BEGINS AND ENDS WITH WANTING | self-published | 2012

Palm-sized pamphlet of Xeroxed photos and minimal lyrics: elegantly various social minimalism. As the pamphlet is hard to obtain, see Weeks’ style in ARMED CELL 3.


Brian Ang is the author of Pre-Symbolic, Communism, Paradise Now, and the poetry generator THEORY ARSENAL. His current poetic project is The Totality Cantos, an investigation of epistemological totality. Recent criticism and theorizing have appeared in The Claudius App, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion, Rethinking Marxism, and a commentary series in Jacket2, “PennSound & Politics.” He edits ARMED CELL in Oakland, California.

Brian Ang’s Attention Span for 2011. Back to 2012 directory.

Written by Steve Evans

September 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

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