Wednesday, March 31, 2010

from Introduction to A Stein Reader

Ed. Ulla Dydo

No time, no space, no center, standard, or authority. Stein wrote in a world changed by Einstein and even more by Heisenberg and Schrodinger. She knew she was one of them, constructing for words what they had constructed for quantum mechanics. On 25 May 1928 Dorothy Dudley Harvey wrote to stein from New York...Harvey described Stein with a quotation from Russell ["Physics and Metaphysics"] as a visionary in the world of the new physics.

"Nowadays, physicists, the most hard-headed of mankind...have embodied in their technique this insubstantiality which some of the metaphysicians have so long urged in vain."
In connection with grammar I thought at once of you, and wondered, knowing little about them, if you have not been one of the metaphysicians as an artist, with whom the physicists have just caught up.

Friday, March 26, 2010

from "Things to Do Today"

by Joe Wenderoth

1. thaw the wounded

7. decrease the drama to the point of gesture, phrase, a weathered and weathering yard

10. organize and dispense an imperceptible the

19. determine the cause of the cause

22. set the famous criminals free

26. make the beautiful go to work

37. prepare the eyes for the oncoming absence of voices

42. produce a striking likeness of any one unproductive moment

53. clarify a morning posture

59. insist on the sad waste at the heart of all honest work

70. control the urge to farm

75. rehabilitate the truth tellers

77. practice saying something

79. try to fluster the bulk of language with the idea of buried faces

80. discontinue the breadth of the applicable horizon

87. mimic the open area

90. post signs indicating relevant battlefields

92. make the faithful look at us

93. weep new syllables
"54. sing of eyes freezing, thighs giving birth, what have you"
--Joe Wenderoth, "Things to Do Today"

have not into cold
a flash of cutting crisp
in the dead
of terror
shivers what freezing
birth white frost
giving new
slide screech shatter
lengthen scratch a
formidable horizon falls
into disrepair regard
silences in flesh
composed sweet
notes ring

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

from Don't Let Me Be Lonely

by Claudia Rankine

Define loneliness?


It’s what we can’t do for each other.

What do we mean to each other?

What does a life mean?

Why are we here if not for each other? (62)


“Of this kind is the distinction betwixt figure
and the body figur’d; motion and the body mov’d.”

--David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

your marble sphere my box
the words laid one on top
broken letters
an articulation of history through space
on the page
who was defeated
whose artifacts

kiss me present tense against shining marble
does not move
its form holding together
how much means
across letters objects
viewed from every direction
will not simply show and tell
stories without verbs

punctuation wasted

linoleum can you bend

all the way

against yesterday

scheduled mishaps unruly

confined progress still

each hair meticulously

nails hammered into steel

without structure

in accordance with

dreams, textured

in the gaps tangle

wine, peppermint, cardboard

sustain sun in through the window unexpected listening masks a visual sensation narrates the lines set against her, can you tell me how and in what manner? not angry but potential, under the surface, bare tree branches of the inconceivable. hope has feathers you know, little else. concrete array of vocabulary intoned against, detour instead, storms lingering. grey orange mix with silent refrain—repeat and hold back—the coloring texture noisy scattered maneuvering. the body impulse, intoxication, monologues of manic silence.

Friday, March 05, 2010

from "Poetry is Not a Luxury"

by Audre Lorde

If what we need to dream, to move our spirits most deeply and directly toward and through promise, is discounted as a luxury, then we give up the core--the fountain--of our power, our womanness; we give up the future of our worlds.

For there are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt--of examining what those ideas feel like being lived on Sunday morning at 7am, after brunch, during wild love, making war, giving birth, mourning our dead--while we suffer the old longings, battle the old warnings and fears of being silent and impotent and alone, while we taste new possibilities and strengths.