Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Orono was so much fun even if I felt ornery occasionally because in the 1970s the coffee is extraordinarily weak and the panels started at 9:00 a.m. and the readings ended at 1:30 or 2:30 a.m., history doesn't work like that, and I don't drink alcohol and it was difficult to fill my body with enough sleep and food and caffeine to reproduce my labor power every day and I didn't know who I was working for maybe Barrett Watten who in his plenary speech talked himself right into a corner, O good antinomy, O parallax, claiming both that language poetry had technical, direct effects, constructivism, its formal antagonisms de facto politics, rubbing blood on the fragments and chanting the magical words which, as we learned from Lytle Shaw's talk on Amiri Baraka were "up against the wall, motherfucker" but then also claiming that langpo reproduced intentionally, through allegory, with its liberalization of the signifier, the liberalization of capitals in the 1970s, which story got told many times, David Harvey was a favorite, and therefore the guilty passive subject of Adornian melancholy climbing in through the window to print THIS on the same machine that printed TELOS, voila, a kind of rationalist Blake, guilt by association, a kind of reverse red-baiting, I had a terrible headache, but what an amazing poem he could write climbing into the computer's window to turn the X into a T, into time, which he kept trying to abolish in 2008, byte by byte, like Case in Neuromancer, the dates are close, Watten comes first, thank god for Progress, which disrupts such genealogical manias and eternizing heroics, I think, but comes many centuries after Anne Boyer, history doesn't work like that, have you read her book, it is like a new NATURE without nature, it has stories and workers and liberation and sex and no telos only a tendency for the rate of affect to rise contra exploitation, and who I could only talk to for like five minutes last time we met and who is even more charming in person than on the internet and so we skipped some things and sat outside with Sandra Simonds and David Lau talking about feckless unions and the casualization of academic labor and parents and also gossip which is what gets left out of the internet, where was Tim Kreiner, where was Sophia, and so wells up as violent emotion coursing through the channels eventually Joshua showed up and Chris Nealon and then, in the bathroom, Rod Smith said nice talk and I didn't know who he was but then he introduced himself and it seemed like the right place to meet Rod Smith, a bathroom, he has an excellent deadpan sitting in the back of the auditorium while Tom Raworth blitzed for twenty five minutes without pause line after line measured to the micron and Clark Coolidge bobbed in front of the mike all twisty phrases, spelunking horns, topologies, vanishings and floaters I met Bernadette Mayer who showed up to read at the Colby College museum in the midst of Alex Katz's profoundly boring paintings, against which her exuberance shone, the sound was muddy, I had to stand up to see her reading sitting down, and there was so much critical attention devoted to Bernadette and now I realize I have to try and get those books back in print and get a copy of the digital installation of Memory, the photographs were surprisingly good, a chill ran through me both times when the pictures of the second WTC tower going up flashed on the screen, urban renewal, the building raised up and moved, the empty lots, the whalebone steel exoskeleton, twins of twins of twins, I want to do a real installation of Memory, just like it was the first time, maybe a fortieth year anniversary edition maybe the BAM will let me do it or even SFMoMA, Stan Apps and I exchanged books, a kind of peace offering, he seems like a nice guy with whom I could disagree or maybe even agree sometimes in peace, Kasey and Rodney were our roommates, a real mensch, Rodney, a real mensch, Kasey, so likeable in person and together and Kasey's book which I brought half-read and read no more of on the trip because I was being stuffed by living poetry, Kasey's book is so amazing, it doesn't work to talk about in the ways that flarf stuff gets talked about usually, there's a self-organizing autopoetic subject in there, in the materials, like Rod Smith's spiders, I want to say it's like Hardt and Negri's multitude and maybe I will some day, Anne Boyer doesn't like Ashbery, what do you say to that except uh-huh and I think maybe we'll play Debord's kriegspiel online and I will be Ashbery crossed with Brecht and she will be Machiavelli crossed with Rosa Luxemburg and who will win, where was Tim Kreiner, he was in his room finishing his paper, which was awesome when he spoke it and provoked an actual real honest-to-god discussion about language poetry, which somebody claimed doesn't exist, like Lacan, his dissertation's gonna rock, friends are great, it's easy to forget that sometimes when you live with books, which are not your friends, really, maybe I'm a humanist, what else, we got a ride back with Patrick Pritchett, Linda Russo, Tim and Chris Nealon and I, we were on the same plane to Dulles, all three of us, to dullness, leaving all out including all, I barely got to talk to Franklin Bruno which reminds me to buy his chapbook, but then on 95 at the rest stop we ran into Dodie and Kevin, it was like San Francisco had gotten collaged into Maine for a second, there were millions of poets on the interstate, trying to live the whole decade in a few days, it's called real subsumption, it's called neoliberalism, Reagan and Bush and Clinton and Bush, fuck that, we stopped at a restaurant called Silly's where the food was good and we had our first real cup of coffee, it was father's day, I had to bring Noah something back but I had barely even been into town so I went to the Asian market and bought him a bag of cream candies from China, and in the airport a pair of lobster socks which I couldn't give him, the candies not the socks, because I was being absent-minded and forgetting about his cavities and Tim said it was like a poem by Joshua or Frank O'Hara or a poem by Joshua about Frank O'Hara and globalization, not the cavities, what great conversations, so many things to read and think about, Jennifer Moxley told me I looked like her brother, Marjorie Perloff said the NPF conference had turned corporate which is like Warren Buffett complaining about market deregulation, it was the 21st century again, history doesn't work like that


estaiti said...


hyperpoesia said...

terrific summary. fun smart n dynamic.