Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Philip Whalen

Attention Span 2011 | Melanie Neilson

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Rae Armantrout | Versed | Wesleyan | 2009

Anne Boyer | The Romance of Happy Workers | Coffee House | 2008

Rod Smith | Deed | Iowa | 2007

CA Conrad | The Book of Frank | Chax | 2009

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood | 2009

Steve Farmer | Glowball | Theenk | 2010

Eileen Myles | The Importance of Being Iceland | Semiotext(e) | 2009

Sianne Ngai | Ugly Feelings | Harvard | 2005

Jerry Lewis | The Total Film-Maker | Random | 1971

Kevin Killian | Impossible Princess | City Lights | 2009

Monica de la Torre | Public Domain | Roof | 2008

Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009

Gertrude Stein | Lucy Church Amiably | Something Else | 1930 reissued 1969

Jack Spicer, ed. Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian | My Vocabulary Did This to Me | Wesleyan | 2008

Philip Whalen, ed. Michael Rothenberg | The Collected Poems | Wesleyan | 2007

Lew Welch, ed. Donald Allen | Ring of Bone: Collected 1950-1970 | Grey Fox | 1979

Donald Bogle | Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters | Harper Collins | 2011

Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. | Race Music | California |2003

Bern Porter | Found Poems | Nightboat | 2011

Jessica B. Harris | High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America | Bloomsbury | 2011

James Lee Burke | Detective Dave Robicheaux series of 18 thrillers set in Louisiana: The Neon Rain to The Glass Rainbow | Pocket | 1989-2010

Lewis Klahr, Engram Sepals | Melodramas (sequence of seven 16mm films, 75 minutes) | 1994-2000

Elvis Presley | The Country Side of Elvis | RCA | 2001

Raymond Chandler, performed by Elliott Gould | Red Wind (1938) | New Millennium Audio | 2002


More Melanie Neilson here.

Neilson’s Attention Span for 2009. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2011 | C.E. Putnam

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In September 2010, I relocated to Singapore. So, my attention has been influenced both by my geo-location as well as the financial and physical limits on what I can get my hands on.

 Sam Lohmann, ed. | Peaches and Bats 7 | Peaches and Bats | 2011

“Ten thousands of feet of yellow intestine / uncoil to corral billowing barrels. / 37 hundred yellow barrels of boom.”—Jen Coleman

Phillip Whalen | The Collected Poems of Phillip Whalen | Wesleyan | 2007

“When did the dumb-bunny bomb first hit U.S.A?”

Brendan Lorber , ed. | Lungfull! 19 | Lungfull! | 2011

“To work as a fedayeen artist require that you recuse yourself from society. The term dropout is derogatory—I prefer to think of it as dropping in on the divine within yourself. The bravery of being a fedayeen artist is not in the work you create but in the sacrificial act of turning down the social benefits of jobs, relationships, surfing media, getting overly drunk—even of a successful art career — in order to have more time for ‘indolence and grace.’” —from the Editor’s Editorial.

Clark Coolidge | The Book of During | The Figures | 1991

“Do we piss spice, naming such laps of bulk? Do you potato on a pin snooze? I could like her hair from here. I could light up and press in the belly there, whatever further cancels couched.”

Judith Barndel and Tina Turbeville | Tiger Balm Gardens: A Chinese Billionaire’s Fantasy Environments | Aw Boon Haw Foundation | 1998

“As we understand it, the Chinese are good at creating respites. Centuries of invented gardens have provided escape from a society held together by a rigid social order. The rich always had this escape. What makes the Tiger Balm Gardens different is that they were opened to everyone. It is a novel concept: providing areas of escape to the masses—for free. In the 1930s when these gardens were built, theme parks mere nonexistent. The unlimited resources that went into building these environments make them singular in fantasy environments. Not until the mid-1950s with the advent of Disneyland did anything match them. And Disneyland was far from free.”

Nicolette Yeo | Old Wives’ Tales: Fascinating tales, beliefs and superstitions of Singapore and Malaysia | Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited | 2004

“The Toyol is believed to be a demon child that is kept in a glass jar filled with a special liquid to preserve it. It has the appearance of a deformed overgrown foetus. Rumour has it that its skin is a sickly-green colour.”

“When the Toyol steals from you it leaves behind white ants.”

Leslie Umberger (Author); Erika Doss, Ruth Kohler, and Lisa Stone (Contributors) | Sublime Spaces and Visionary Worlds: Built Environments of Vernacular Artists | Princeton Architectural P | 2007

“Despite the common perception that Wisconsin is among the zanier Midwestern states, known for its nonconformist characters and claiming to be the birthplace of the American circus, artists who edged beyond the standard norms of “yard-improvement projects,” into fervent realms of creativity were often seen as oddballs and eccentrics.”

Chee-Kiong Tong | Chinese Death Rituals in Singapore | RoutledgeCurzon | 2004

“The rituals to rescue ‘bloodied souls’ are similar to those conducted for drowned souls except for two major differences. Unlike many drowning victims, the bodies of persons who die bloody deaths are retrievable. In this sense, it is less dangerous than when the body is lost. Unlike drowning, the main color symbol used in the ritual is not white, but red, symbolizing the release of blood. Thus a red strip of paper is used to cover the bamboo pen. The water is also dyed red to represent the bloody pool. The structure protruding above the bamboo pen is also made of red papier mâché.”

James Higbie and Snea thinsan | Thai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken Thai | Orchid | 2003

La may also be included to create a pause after bringing up a topic (first sentence), when a situation has changed (second), to express a strong feeling (third), and to soften a command (fourth).”

“Don’t forget to feed the bird, la.”

Amon Tobin | ISAM | Ninja Tune | 2011

A lush chaotic intricately orchestrated dose of fragmented electro beat ambient lightbulb scratching Musique concrete for ears on the head of the future.

Andy Harbutt, dir. | Stone | na | 1974

100% Aussie exploitation counterculture biker flick! “They live in a fortress by the sea.” Some have called it Australia’s “Easy Rider.” Cool soundtrack. Trippy camera work. Features real Sydney Hell’s Angels.

Trailer here.


More C.E. Putnam here.

Putnam’s Attention Span for 201020092008. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2009 – Benjamin Friedlander

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Ludovico Ariosto, trans. Barbara Reynolds | Orlando Furioso, Parts One and Two | Penguin | 1975 and 1977

Lit up by rare flashes of gunfire, a hundred characters fly every which way in the twilight of the middle ages, in stories as ragged as the back of a tapestry. It’s ridiculous fun—The Faerie Queene as told by Rabelais—made perfect for bedtime by the rhymed translation, which aims to be as rubbery as Don Juan. Making me wish Byron had been born in the Renaissance.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Harold Bloom and Paul Kane | Collected Poems and Translations | Library of America | 1994

What finally won me over is the pulse of composition: an engendering rhythm urged forward by rhyme, lifting the flower out of its seed, delivering into consciousness what gets delivered into script. No other poet of the nineteenth century gives me the same sense of scribble as bioproduct. To be sure, the poems I like best are much more than that, but it’s the bioproduction that defines the overall experience, a fitting expression of Emerson’s commitment to nature.

Flarf and Conceptual Poetry | various websites and presses | 2008-2009

Perhaps the one indisputable achievement of conceptual poetry is its radicalizing of the old truism that being is inferior to becoming, that one should prize thoughts less highly than thinking. In works like Kenneth Goldsmith’s Fidget (a list of every body movement made over thirteen hours), it’s the completeness with which the initial inspiration is carried out that matters, not the result. The heft of the book matters more than anything said in it. Even a project as magnificently crafted as Christian Bok’s Eunoia (a set of lipograms, each highlighting a different vowel) is of little interest in what it says; what we admire, finally, is the fact that anything gets said at all. The being of such projects is not simply inferior to becoming; it makes us yearn for a dissipation of being, for a conceptual project that would free us from the burdens of consumption altogether; a project that could marshal all the obsessiveness of Fidget, all the ingenuity of Eunoia, but in pursuit of nothing tangible…of nothing at all. Wait. I think I just discovered the death drive.

Flarf is the opposite. It cares not a whit for becoming, though it responds to change, and reproduces. Like an amoeba, growing and splitting, splitting and growing. Except that flarf is hardly single-celled. It’s a whole culture, decaying matter newly charged with life, responding to stimulus. In flarf, any stray word or phrase can become an organ of feeling, obeying the pleasure principle, luxuriating in its being. Which is why consciousness ripples through it so confusingly: with consciousness comes intention, reflection, concern for becoming. Ripples, however, are unavoidable: consciousness, or its influence, is irrepressible, except through the rigorous application of a method. Which is really a conceptual thing.

Rob Halpern | Disaster Suites | Palm | 2009

In which the lyric I is a materialist project and language the flood setting the wreckage adrift. Flood, however, is not the disaster, only its means of becoming manifest. Transcendance? A survey of the wreckage from above.

Rachel Loden | Dick of the Dead | Asahta | 2009

Pleasure and disgust are modes of understanding. Humor, a pedagogy that relies on them. Which is why Rachel Loden’s history is so effective. Its lesson? A reawakening of sensation. Call it proprioception, but of the mind.

Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009

Flickers of happiness like red lights from tapped brakes, driving into northern Virginia, immersed in music and the passing view. It all made so much sense when I learned that Mel Nichols used to live on the same road toward which I careened nearly every day. A historic city split open by highways, bandaged with strip malls, unexpectedly hospitable to foreign substances. “I kiss you city // and melt into your dangerous tongue.” Or drip into you, as through a feeding tube. However evoked, a very particular experience of place. Which these poems reproduce, in calming flashes.

Kit Robinson | The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems 1976-2003 | Adventures in Poetry | 2008

If craft, poetics, and experience form a triangle, the area they enclose is ruled by artifice. And no poet has succumbed to that rule as winningly or knowingly as Robinson, who appreciates with cheerful horror the larger mandate: to remake the world in our own image.

Susan Schultz | Dementia Blog | Singing Horse | 2008

Family and caretakers, bent by love or duty toward the ultimate abjection: cognition after twilight. According to Susan Schultz, all of us are likewise bent relative to authority, making this six-month report essential reading.

Jonathan Skinner | With Naked Foot | Little Scratch Pad | 2009

It’s waaaay better than slow poetry. It’s Skinner! (With apologies to Wendy’s.)

Peter Weiss | Auschwitz auf der Bühne: “Die Ermittlung” in Ost und West [Auschwitz on Stage: “The Investigation” East and West] | Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung | 2008 | DVD and DVD-ROM

Like Charles Reznikoff’s Holocaust, The Investigation is based on trial transcripts. In this case, the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials of 1963-65, which Weiss briefly attended, breaking away from the rehearsals of Marat/Sade to hear the testimony of the victims and perpetrators. Subtitled “an oratorio in eleven cantos,” the resulting text is an exhumation of the past, not a reconstruction of the trial; it moves didactically from ramp to camp to gas chamber and ovens. Overshadowed now by other exhumations, most notably the film Shoah, Weiss’s play deserves to be remembered. On October 19, 1965, it was performed simultaneously in fifteen German cities, including both parts of Berlin, no small feat in the Cold War. Coming twenty years after Hitler’s defeat, and twenty years before the West German president pronounced that defeat a liberation, the performances marked a turning point in Germany’s coming to terms with its National Socialist past. Really, one of the great moments in political art ever, documented on these DVDs.

Philip Whalen, ed. Michael Rothenberg | The Collected Poems | Wesleyan | 2007

The skills needed to read a poem are specialized enough that acquiring them was at one time what people meant by acquiring an education. In the twentieth century, the old skills became curiously inapt; what was needed instead was a reeducation. The modernists approached this problem with a ruler-to-knuckles kind of fanaticism. With Philip Whalen, we arrive at the public schools of my childhood: the ruler is used to make straight lines, and there are penmanship classes, and sleepy moments in the afternoon when we study ancient dynasties. And recess, and lunch, and doodles, and the joy of the bell, and dispersal home.

More Benjamin Friedlander here.

American Plimsoles

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Written by Steve Evans

June 22, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Attention Span – Rodney Koeneke

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K. Silem Mohammad & Anne Boyer, eds. | Abraham Lincoln issues 1-3 | NA | 2007-2008

Nascent American sensibility change in easy-to-staple trading card form.

Hannah Weiner | Hannah Weiner’s Open House, ed. Patrick Durgin | Kenning | 2006

Each room has many mansions. More doors, please, soon.

Gary Sullivan | PPL in a Depot | Roof | 2008

Brecht shutting cell phone to mustachio Mozart with Caucasian circle chalk. “Between the dark and the thyme soufflé … mmmm …”

Philip Whalen | The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen, ed. Michael Rothenberg | Wesleyan | 2007

New eyes for old wineskin yclept “Beat.”

Sharon Mesmer | Annoying Diabetic Bitch | Combo | 2008

Dear Poetry: Please can you be like this sometimes always?

Kevin Killian | Selected Amazon Reviews, ed. Brent Cunningham | Hooke | 2006

The nation speaks through its stars—Reviewer #80 is America’s Most Wanted detourniste.

Maryrose Larkin | The Book of Ocean | i.e. | 2007

Newton’s apple fallen and washed to Eve’s, sent into re-orbit: poems for a world like that.

Benjamin Friedlander | The Missing Occasion of Saying Yes | subpress | 2007

Transatlantic two-step for treated Bösendorfer. My feet slip over at ends of lines, like when you trip in dreams. Your catching yourself’s the poem.

Alicia Cohen | Debt and Obligations | ms | forthcoming, 2008

To make Temecula and connected earth systems versus all reason sweet and green. “Actual people breathe the ghost.”

K. Silem Mohammad | Breathalyzer | Edge | 2008

That thing Greil Marcus said about buying an album of Dylan breathing hard? That. Esp. when breath moves like this. “There’s no way we’re not going to start a ruckus in a country town.”

Jules Boykoff & Kaia Sand | Landscapes of Dissent: Guerilla Poetry and Public Space | Palm | 2008

Field manual for the practice of not sitting on hands, pitched against “the almost imperceptible social octave known as normality.”


More Koeneke here.