Saturday, August 26, 2006

Now that I've started writing, at least for the moment, books rather than collocations of poems (the now-dominant mode of writing about which I'm deeply ambivalent and glad to see refused), it has twice happened that, past the mid-point of the project, I encounter a writer so close to the expression I've imagined for myself that she will rather than would become, or have already become, we have no tense for this in english, the point-of-departure for my own writing, recasting everything I've done and setting it in motion around a far-away center. And isn't this the story with all origins, after the fact, like fate? With _Stars-Down_, my LA book, that writer was Lisa Robertson. With the genetics poem I'm now writing, it's Michel Houellebecq, whose signposts marked "this way Fascism," "this way a totally biological reification, an absolute foreclosure" indicate the spot at which I have, for the moment, planted my feet. It's this belonging to a community and to a historical moment that makes the polite and well-meaning letters from editors who like, but will not be publishing, my manuscript irrelevant, or almost.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Simple. Ubiquitous. Viral

These Alternumerics--part constellation, part font--are amazing. Much more enjoyable than the do-it-yourself Humument on the Verse website. Thanks to the estimable and eloquent Berkeleyan Chris Chen--whose experiments with these fonts in 1913:1, now available as a PDF here, are really brilliant-- for pointing this out. It's too rare that post-conceptual art actually delivers on the democratizing promises it made us in the late 60s, without losing sight of fun. Chris Chan's website is a very fine delivering. I hope I soon get a chance to see one of his installations.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Stone Angel Nightvision

So, what's the inexplicably multiplying image of the 2000s? What do we have that is comparable to the angels of the late 1980s/early 1990s and the dread, portent-freighted "stones" of the 70s, and what if anything do these kind of viral tropes do/mean? I'm voting fornight-vision goggles or night-vision green. . . What do you think? Jordan?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And, of course, this:


Henry's pelt was put on sundry walls
where it did much resemble Henry and
them persons was delighted.
Especially his long & glowing tail
by all them was admired, and visitors.
They whistled: This is it!

Golden, whilst your frozen daiquiris
whir at midnight, gleams on you his fur
& silky & black.
Mission accomplished, pal!
My molten yellow & moonless bag,
drained, hangs at rest.

Collect in the cold depths barracuda. Ay,
in Sealdah Station some possessionless
children survive to die.
The Chinese communes hum. Two daiquiris
withdrew into a corner of the gorgeous room
and one told the other a lie.

Organs without Bodies

A few quotes for those who do, and those who do not, think that Marx's terminology is too antiquated for the terrors of today. Don't miss your chance to watch primitive accumulation in action!

"About 260 workers in Dalian process about 30 bodies a year. The workers, who generally earn $200 to $400 a month, first dissect the bodies and remove skin and fat, then put the bodies into machines that replace human fluids with soft chemical polymers."

"He who was previously the money-owner now strides out in front as a capitalist; the possessor of labour-power follows as his worker. The one smirks self-importantly and is intent on business; the other is timid and holds back, like someone who has brought his own hide to market and now has nothing else to expect but--a tanning" (280, Capital).

"Living labour must seize on these things, awaken them from the dead, change them from merely possible into real and effective use-values. Bathed in the fire of labour, appropriated as part of is organism, and infused with vital energy for the performance of the functions appropriate to their concept and to their vocation in the process, they are indeed consumed, but to some purpose, as elements in the formation of new use-values, new products, which are capable of entering individual consumption as means of subsistence or into a new labour process as means of production" (289-90, Capital)