Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Cope (ed.)

Attention Span 2009 – Jennifer Scappettone

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Some works that rocked my taxonomies this twelvemonth:

Hélène Cixous | Ex-Cities | Slought Books | 2006

On cities & revenance, the struggle of the year. “I have known for a long time that one does not go anywhere. It is the cities or the countries that come or do not come to you. Cities are fateful letters. They only arrive lost.”

Manfredo Tafuri | The Sphere and the Labyrinth, read for the second time | MIT | 1987

His books keep blowing me away. Once one has clarified the assumptions, nearly every sentence delivers a mordant perception. “The change wrought by Canaletto upon the urban context of Venice attests to the profound reality of this city for the eighteenth century; to the fact…that the most devastating manipulations are legitimate on an urban organism that has become merely an object at the disposal of the fantasy of a tourist elite.”

Roberto Saviano | Gomorrah | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | 2007

Anyone who wears clothes or deposits trash should read it. Matteo Garrone’s adaptation onto film is equally recommended for the dialect and the architecture. Creepier than neorealism (appropriately, as we’re headed the other way politically).

AES+F (Tatyana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky, Vladimir Fridkes) | The Feast of Trimalchio | Biennale di Venezia | Video | 2009

Tableaux surrounding the Roman plutocrat from the standpoint of Moscow could have been easy high jinks, like Fellini’s. But assumption of the day’s affect of sacral conversation (of videogames that is) makes them mesmerizing. Best viewed against backdrop of live cruise ships hastening the demise of a sinking cosmopolis: this was perhaps unconsciously the festival’s most site-specific work.

Jia Zhangke | The World | Office Kitano | 2004

Makes fateful cinematic diptych with the above, from Beijing.

George Oppen, ed. Stephen Cope | Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers | University of California | 2007

If only Pound could get the message in heaven: “You should have talked / To women”—& much more. Can’t wait to teach Oppen again.

Rob Halpern | Disaster Suites | Palm Press | 2009

Keeps making lyric gutsy. Timely, down to the afterword which wishes the work’s own ephemerality.

David Larsen, ed. and trans. | Names of the Lion by al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khalawayh | Atticus/Finch | 2009
David Larsen | neo-benshi performance of the 2004 Wolfgang Petersen film Troy at Flarf Video Festival | May 2009

500 odd epithets for the creature, including “‘Who Destroys Capital’ (?)”64 Want all my history like this, as serial translation.

Rob Fitterman & Vanessa Place | Notes on Conceptualisms | Ugly Duckling | 2009

When two wits like these team up for “thinkership” a primer’s bound to be implosive. A pocketbook that begs for more such pocketbooks.

Tan Lin | Reading from | Segue Series |  http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Segue-BPC.html | April 2009

Tons more feed for thought, after filing a piece for boundary 2.

Walter Benjamin & Theodor Adorno | The Complete Correspondence, 1928-1940 | Harvard | 2001

Resisted for a long time, out of loathing for fetishization of biographical being—then torn through in a day, destroyed. The intimate content of research drives its criticality tumultuously home.

Plus several conversation circuits:

Al Filreis, ed. | PoemTalk | Poetry Foundation, PennSound & Kelly Writers House podcast | http://poemtalkatkwh.blogspot.com/ (subscribable through iTunes) | 2008-, monthly

You get the writer uttering and writers that read disagreeing live. Amazing for modeling close reading, & makes even the dreariest commutes curious.

Herman Melville | “A Utilitarian View of the Monitor’s Fight” & other poems | annotations brought on by Wild Orchids, a new review, Ed. Sean Reynolds

Incredible that only specialists (i.e. “Americanists”) seem to read Melville’s body of verse. The journal, out of Buffalo, will be reintroducing glorious pages to consciousness.

Belladonna | Elders Series | Belladonna | 2008-09

#1: E. Tracy Grinnell/Leslie Scalapino; #2: Rachel Levitsky/Erica Kaufman/Sarah Schulman/Bob Gluck; #3: Tisa Bryant/Chris Kraus; #4: Emma Bee Bernstein/Susan Bee/Marjorie Perloff; #6: Kate Eichorn/M. NourbeSe Philip/Gail Scott; #7: Cara Benson/Jayne Cortez/Anne Waldman; #8: Jane Sprague/Diane Ward/Tina Darragh. I edited the number left out here.

Despite my discomfort with the name (about which see Eichorn’s analysis in the preface to #6); my year’s most delirious cycle of discoveries, revisitations, reflections on the nature of dialogue, calls for more.

More Jennifer Scappettone here.

Attention Span – Thomas Devaney

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Dan Machlin | Dear Body | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2007

A book I continue to read and recommend.

George Oppen, ed. Stephen Cope | George Oppen: Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers | California | 2007

“Lay it on the line—” (page 203).

Bill Berkson & Colter Jacobsen | Bill | Gallery 16 Editions | 2008

Bill feels like a lost classic. Jacobsen’s drawings are beautiful. The book reads like a dream. Berkson culled the text from a juvenile detective novel. From Bill: “War broke out the following day, as agreed.”

Prageeta Sharma | Infamous Landscapes | Fence | 2007

“And I still remain difficult when it is advantageous.” No doubt—Sharma has found her register: it’s daring, brutal, and always, a pleasure. Infamous Landscapes breaks new ground for Sharma and clears the air a bit.

Alan Filreis | Counter-Revolution of the Word: The Conservative Attack on Modern Poetry, 1945-1960 |  North Carolina | 2008

Yes, it’s a serious historical book, a major book, but Filreis’s personal voice and deep connections to mid-century modernism show how many formal concerns of the work were linked to progressive politics; it is an untold history of the so-called language/nature problem (and the reactions to it) that continue into our moment.

Sharon Mesmer | The Virgin Formica | Hanging Loose | 2008

I read Francis Picabia’s I Am a Beautiful Monster (MIT Press, 2007) and Mesmer’s Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo Books, 2007) during the same one week period. It was an uncanny pairing. Now I’m reading Mesmer’s The Virgin Formica, which is relentless and fearless, and except for Picabia’s book, may be peerless.

Christina Davis | Forth A Raven | Alice James | 2006

These are spare and unsparing poems. Davis writes: “In the history of language/ the first obscenity was silence.” There is a God.

Brandon Downing |  Dark Brandon | Grievous Pictures | 2007

B. Downing’s prowling, humour noir DVD Dark Brandon is not an intervention, but more of a break-in. These deep cultural cullings are an unsettling reflection of Downing’s one way mirror. The mirror is our age’s “own face” as Clark Coolidge might say.

Pierre Reverdy, trans. Ron Padgett | Pierre Reverdy: Prose Poems | Black Square / Brooklyn Rail | 2007

Both Reverdy and Padgett adorn the unadorned. Here is a masterful and open-hearted poet translating a kindred soul. From the poem “Waiting Room” Reverdy writes: “And the trees, telegraph poles, and houses will take on the shape of our age.”

Kevin Killian | Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow | Belladonna 117 | 2008

“Read my lips, ‘I’m into you,’ the virus seems to wriggle / through plate glass.” Is Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow the first chapbook in the Belladonna series written by a man? Bravo to Rachel Levitsky and Erica Kaufman on the series overall, and bravo to Kevin Killian on Wow.

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Noteworthy, other books and poems from the hubbub include: Peter Gizzi’s The Outernationale, anything translated by Sawako Nakayasu; Serge Fauchereau’s Complete Fiction translated by John Ashbery & Ron Padgett; Joseph Massey’s Within Hours; Joel Lewis’s on-the-level every day Learning from New Jersey; Steve Dickinson’s up-tempo Disposed; Jennifer Moxley’s The Line; The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen, edited by Michael Rothenberg; David Trinidad’s loving The Late Show. “Some of These Daze” from Charles Bernstein’s Girly Man. The Route, a capacious investigation by Jen Hofer and Patrick Durgin: “We want to say something in another language which is also ours” (page 120).

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More Tom Devaney here.

Attention Span – Michael Scharf

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Arun Kolatkar | Kala Ghoda Poems | Pras Prakashan | 2004

Two or three things he knows about the capital of Maharashtra.

Barbara Guest | The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest | Wesleyan | 2008

Esp. the hilarious The Countess from Minneapolis and the they-get-better-ever-year Rocks on a Platter and Miniatures.

Brandon Downing | Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics | Grievous Pictures | 2007

Isolates the individual compulsion, or drive, toward forming and maintaining identities from the inherited concepts and media through which one is forced to do it. Separates out the focal power that images draw from their original contexts, and, at 10x and 100x, sets fire to the frog, freeing princess from the chrysalis. Visual intelligence that makes gallery work (like, say, Isaac Julien’s WESTERN UNION: Small Boats) look at once commercial and provincial. A kiss like that.

C.S. Giscombe | Prairie Style | Dalkey Archive | 2008

The phenomenology of driving during adult life.

Gennady Aygi, trans. by Peter France | Field – Russia | New Directions | 2007

Tarkovsky and Sokurov track the same maternal grasses. Stripped down to the wind.

George Oppen, ed. Stephen Cope | Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers | California | 2008

“But taking as a whole the phase of the world’s history which we have reached, it has become a commonplace remark to say that we have crossed the threshold of the Apocalypse.”

Kevin Davies | The Golden Age of Paraphernalia | Edge | 2008

Lovers of late JA meanderings through pre-code detritus who look to counter other lovers’ complaints about cut & pasteability will find, here, that reading each section ‘in order’, or continuously across the breaks and gaps, makes the book lose part of its meaning. The obsessive superfineries of the arrangement, shorn against undoing, and the intricate intactness of “Lateral Argument” underscore the point perfectly: within a supersaturate, none of the pieces fit. The author also wishes to inform you that Stephane was wrong about the book/bombe; the blank page 68 is a comment on the French.

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih and Robin S Ngangom, eds. | Anthology of Contemporary Poetry from the Northeast | NEHU | 2003

Revised edition due shortly from Penguin. Until then, greetings from Shillong.

Miles Champion | Eventually | The Rest | 2008

Read “Colour in Huysmans” slowly, with the right column as a kind of gloss on or completion of the left, and then see how inadequate that is.

Peter Culley | The Age of Briggs & Stratton | New Star | 2008

Plowing on Sunday. Plowing North America.

Vivek Narayanan | Mr. Subramanian | unpublished ms. | 2008

Stephen Dedalus, in Madras at 35.