Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘M.I.A.

Attention Span – Joshua Clover

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Giovanni Arrighi | Adam Smith in Beijing | Verso | 2008

As a view of the future, with at least a partial hope that the next global regime might be less exploitation-based, it seems strangely optimistic. As a description of the now, and of the relation between interstate and intercapitalist developments, it’s clear-minded and ambitious. As an account of the jagged decline of the United States as global hegemon, it’s a blitz.

Kevin Davies | The Golden Age of Paraphernalia | Edge | 2008
M.I.A. | Kala | Interscope | 2007

The benefit of Edge being a little shambling in their publication schedule is that I have gotten to put some version of this book on the Attention Span list for eleven consecutive years. For all the magnificent of the parts (with Lateral Argument still magnificentest), the book is the thing: an overlapping structure which asks you ceaselessly to reevaluate the scale of parts and wholes, to read every passage as an ambiguous instance shifting within a structure within a circuit. In this sense it’s a triumph of thinking globalization/late capitalism/the lives within it, comparable only to the markedly different Kala, M.I.A.’s album which nonetheless takes up very much the same problem, about the representability of part and whole in the world-system. Or: it’s basically the soundtrack for Mike Davis’s World of Slums. In making a mystified situation experienceable —in this case the circuits of economy, terror, epidemic, and culture that form what we call globalization—it stands with any work of art this millennium.

David Harvey | graduate seminar podcast on Marx’s Capital | davidharvey.org | 2008

Also available from iTunes. So I guess this is pop culture.  It feels that way, which is nice.

Bhanu Khapil | Incubation: A Space for Monsters | Leon Works | 2006

A reminder—lifesaving—that even the problem sets that don’t compel you (I mean me, in this case) might compel someone else toward something fantastic and surprising and compelling, so might be truly useful.

Naomi Klein | The Shock Doctrine | Metropolitan Books | 2007

A hybrid of a book: history, journalism, theory. These are coordinated to secure the claim that the structural similarities of torture strategies and Chicago School restructuring policies are neither incidental nor abstract. It’s the political economy, stupid.

Donald MacKenzie | various essays | current

Researcher at University of Edinburgh, he works on “the sociology of financial markets,” which means among other things that he’s pretty good at explaining “the new economy” to people like myself without much aptitude. Many of his papers are available from his faculty website, above.

Chris Nealon | Plummet | unpublished manuscript | 2008

It pains me to say it but no, I don’t think modern dance redeemed the industrial landscape

—unless you count that last audition scene in Flashdance

Ecstasy instead of classicism: every generation feeling it

Classicism: build your buildings so that even conquering hordes will be like, No way

Mark Ovenden | Transit Maps of the World | Penguin | 2007

A good introduction to some basic problems in system mapping, from the confrontation between topographic and diagrammatic to the placement of names. Also a good occasion to smoke pot and wonder what might cause some cities to have by far the coolest transit maps: Montreal, Rio, St. Petersburg. The 1977 Moscow map is one of the most striking graphicalizations ever. The book thinks it’s “Like knitting needles spearing a ball of yarn.” I think it’s a primitive picture of overdetermination.

George Stanley | Vancouver | New Star | 2008

…knowing
it’s this time, no other, this transparent
collision of times, of times flowing through each other,

times with their inside stories (p.120)

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni | 2008

when is speech that          and not just in a bubble
when art thou?                 acted upon

by another’s       resolution
and where?

*
More Joshua Clover here.

Attention Span – John Wilkinson

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Keston Sutherland | Hot White Andy | Barque | 2007

The most astonishing poetic performance in English of the century so far. My review uh effusion is on Jacket so I’ll leave it at that.

Rob Halpern | Rumored Place | Krupskaya | 2004

So everyone knew about this but me, and I can’t wait for new work by Halpern. A densely-implicated (in all the history of that word) poetic work, while passionately driven. That’s its affinity with Keston’s.

Barbara Guest | The Blue Stairs | Corinth | 1968

How dumb! Only in typing this have I realised that The Red Gaze is a little joke on The Blue Stairs. Anyhow, Guest has been my obsession through the year, and I am sitting in England hoping the Collected Poems will reach me soon. This choice is a bit arbitrary, but I found a signed copy for almost nothing.

Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007

The acme of chick-lit.

D.S. Marriott | Hoodoo Voodoo | Shearsman | 2008

Morally, philosophically and politically complex meditations on black history and culture in clear language and regular syntax (the complex language is reserved for Marriott’s critical writing, see Haunted Life, Rutgers 2007). Untouched by any present fashion; fearless integrity.

Robert Kaufman | Various essays | NA | NA

Writing about Barbara Guest, I discovered Kaufman’s ‘A Future for Modernism’ published in American Poetry Review in 2000. After acres of dreariness, here was reading worth reading. I’ve been collecting Kaufman since.

Edward Gibbon, ed. David P. Womersley | The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire | Penguin | 1995

An unabridged copy was on the shelves of the Chicago apartment we sublet a couple of years ago. I started at the beginning. Then I asked for the unabridged Womersley edition for a birthday present, seeing the hardback set at a go-for-it-or-regret-it-forever price. Should keep me going for a decade and generate mordant comparisons with another empire’s decline and fall.

Cy Twombly | Various works | Tate Modern

The most bothersomely enigmatic of twentieth-century artists. Back I go, time and again, scratching my head. If I scratch it enough, my scalp too will streak and splodge.

Lorraine Ellison | Soul Sister: The Warner Brother Recordings | Rhino Handmade | 2006

At last the problem of vinyl and deck on one continent and CD collection on another is solved (yes, I ripped my Ellison albums onto iPod, but she needs a vaulted ceiling, not earbuds).

M.I.A. | Kala | Interscope | 2007

I stole from ‘Paper Planes’ (as well as Duke Ellington) for my new book. But this is joy in a mash-up (and on a running machine, let me advise).