it's been blissful. I didn't intend to leave the house at all yesterday, but david brazil just half an hour before the artifact reading was supposed to start, sent me an email saying only
you know that poiesis is more than a single thing. for of anything whatever that passes from not being into being the whole cause is composing or poetry; so that the production of all arts are kinds of poetry, and their craftsmen are all poets
and receiving this message, just when i was feeling isolated and weird, moved me so much to appreciation of my friends and fellows I got right into the shower and then went to the reading. And if you weren't there, you are sorry. David Larsen's never not compelling, but last night's reading---billed as his last before leaving for a post doc at Yale---was incredible. The names of the lion and the hyena and the wolf, splendid as they were (are), were yet the least of it. There was an essay on the sheisterism of the Oracle at Delphi and then there was the first section of a long poem claiming a thousand lines (not yet extant), which every single line apparently is going to be brilliant but of course the only one I remembered this morning is "If this is stupid, I hate smart". Brent in his introduction rightly described LRSN 's always operating outside of the langpo/not-langpo binary and thus giving lots of other poets permission to, basically, say, fuck all y'all as well. The whole reading was THE THORN exploded and DAVID LARSEN times ten thousand. It was great.
Then Wendy Kramer gave the SWEETEST introduction to Michael Basinski, saying some very funny and smart things about how we have this poetry community and we most of us have these day jobs, where we're all working all the time, and then we take the poetry so seriously and have so little time for it, and in our time that we have for it we are usually so EARNEST and forget to play and have fun, and I thought that was so funny and dead on.
and Michael Basinski. all I can say at this juncture about that is WOW and, I kept thinking, while he was doing his thing, that man has to take that mind to the grocery store for eggs, just like everybody else. The checkout girl has NO FUCKING IDEA. Michael, I've looked at a lot of O's today but although I keep thinking about the seals swimming up out of them, I'm not actually seeing it.
The show up right now at the Oakland Art Gallery isn't bad either.
There was one off-note last night, which was Taylor Brady claiming the nonsite collective is comprised almost entirely of people w/o academic affiliation--say wha? I guess if 'academic affiliation' only means 'tenure-track faculty' that could be true, but hey there are a LOT of advanced degrees and a lot of adjuncting self-organizing the 'locationless' collective. I support the nonsite endeavor but not only is it an erroneous claim, it's a really weird inside-out self-aggrandization, ie, what's he saying exactly? we act like academics but we're not? it's bad to be called academics so I'll say we're not? our methods and frameworks (panel discussions, reading lists, curricula ) LOOK hella institutional, but, really, they're not? You can take the plowhorse out of the harness but...
Anyway. I spent the morning making the muxtape and the afternoon doing nothing much and now I'm reading the symposium. I close this post, in plea, to my friends, by further symposium quotation, however untrue it might be about lovers and their honour:
"And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their loves, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world."