Sunday, May 24, 2015


I just drank a beer.....and this isn't a new feeling--but...I am suspicious of Queer epistemology.
It strikes me as, for many--not all, never all--a great way to avoid coming out, to ever fully confront
difference and its insane glorious pain and isolation.  I think it's through Queerness that Heterosexuality will succeed in, again, subsuming all sexuality such that it's status as baseline, normative, unmarked, never fritzes.  As far as I can tell, queer wants to erode boundaries twixt Homo and Hetero.  I certainly see how abrading a major binary has appeal--but I think this is the wrong tactic in service of an appealing ideal.  My, arguably, number one beef with Heterosexuality is that it's un-marked--there's no need to declare it unless one's in a scenario where there's any risk of being identified as otherwise.  This un-marked status wreaks hell for Homos, puts the potential stress of coming out on them and them only (though them only never makes complete sense), thus any episteme which wants to contribute to further un-marking Heterosexuality (by positing that Hetero and Homo limn rather than separate, that they should not be distinguished, be seen as operating with radically different power valences) seems dubious to me.  In somewhat redundant conclusion--via Queerness I have a hunch Hetero-Hegemony's perpetuity will be guaranteed, as there's no greater power than maximally un-marked dynamics: there is no questionable power rigging, only element as necessary as thoroughly oxygenated air.   However, if one is willing to abandon, in all "real world" instances,  genitals defining biological sex, then I am so cool with Queer: no more demographic tallies asking M/F; no more being born a sex rather than a human--as currently one more often than not has to have a sex to qualify as human.  So my revamped conclusion is--Queer epistemes are awesome if they're willing to be as radical as their implications already are...but blah to those strains that seem mostly to locate salvation through evasion. 

Warrant for the above: Judith Butler's claim, in Gender Trouble, that Heterosexuality predicates sex distinctions.

Note: I don't think it's practical to wholly disavow Queer as world-view, and I don't believe it will always engine what I suggest are its likely results.  Hopefully I'm really wrong--Homosexuals won't go extinct as recognizable demographic and Queer epistemes will brilliantly retard its ebbing wholly outside legibility. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another Viewpoint on MG, Blah To This

Naizgroth 1 day ago
"This is the reason why men tend not to respect women... decades of dumb slutty shit like this, that has indoctrinated good women into materialistic whores.. She's basically calling herself a prostitute.. Buy her shit, than she'll fuck you... Stupid.. I feel bad for those who live by this creed, always seeking out men with money to fulfill that never ending void via materialism which never works... WHy couldn't she have died young (preferably before this song) like all the other dumb artists.."
I am too lazy to respond to all the points raised here except for the final musing: "WHy couldn't she have died young (preferably before this song) like all the other dumb artists.."  My response to this is--because she's so smart she's lived and lived and lived on.


This is a comment I posted on Youtube for a Material Girl video--this view it totally old-hat for many friends who have heard a version of this in person; and it may be repeating a prior non re-paste post from way back whenever:

           5 months ago             
"This song is brilliant; it may be the best political pop song of the past twenty five years.  This may seem counterintuitive; here's a reason or two: if it's truly pop, the politics should not stand out, just totally be there; if you hear a message it's protest not pop.  This song gets this: the girl, the shallow blond, becomes emblematic of the world at large, or at-least the USA, and its materialism; one can't dismiss the girl as vapid etc because in fact she's ground zero for where some of the world is totally at--to dismiss her is to dismiss real politics.  Put colloquially: Bitch (finger points at dude), you think I mean nothing but I'm really at the very pulse of what your world means."
On a different, but related, note: I love the word-play happening in the title "Like a Virgin"--which, too, is a great song; isn't a Madonna a virgin mother?  So like a virgin like a virgin mother--lol.
OK, back to MG: I like the video--apparently it's the official one: M on a staggered/stair-like stage, in a long pink dress, with lots of cute guys in suits--but think this would extend the politics wonderfully:
M is overseeing an assembly-line chute chockfull of packages containing man dolls, and tossing the packages with damage...and scrutinizing how they should be displayed at toy stores....and doing other things clearly linking male bodies to Capitalist profit.  As it stands in the video, M is still a consumer--but she doesn't control the means of production.  With my fantasy version, girl does have this control.  Hmm, and then to play with cultural cliché of girl on stage being "bid for," we could have male execs fight to bid to buy her man-doll company!  My acedimazation of this song feels like such a no-brainer to me, so hopefully someone, or manyone, has made a version of this hypothetical video.
Oops, Blogger did not maintain GN's lines.  It's testament to the poem's quality that Blogger's prose-poem looking version is much inferior.  Here's, hopefully, restoration:


Geoffrey Nutter

Remote controlled substation no. 10,
a utilitarian structure down by the tracks
that run past the ruined marina,
was built in 1931, and is now being
renovated. Scaffolding has been erecte
dall along its sides. A big coil
of damp rope is lying in a pile
of broken concrete, brick, and plaster.
The topmost row of the chain-link fence
that runs along the river
is twisted into barbs, and shredded
plastic sacks are snagged in the barbs
as far as the eye can see: dirty gray
and shredded, flapping in the wind.
A candy box, once green, has been
bleached out to light blue by the sun.
Silent gray boulders are lapped at
by waves. What’s that
in the mud where the tide is going out?
Buttons; bottle caps; small bits
of styrofoam that look like shells or coral;
a few dead crabs; a cracked porcelain
vessel from the Victorian era
for containing the tears shed by those
who have survived the death of loved ones.
Signs are posted to warn against
the consumption of eels by children.

Poem from Gulf Coast

I bumped into this poem when looking up whether Gulf Coast is accepting submissions, which it isn't--which is a-ok.  I've read Nutter's poems here and there.  I sometimes semi like them.  Starting this one, I thought I wouldn't be jazzed, but I totally am: this poem is so saturated in the work of Elizabeth Bishop--not via direct allusion, but through overall echo and approach to observation.  In Lachrymatory, I do perhaps hear "The Bight" more than her other poems, particularly in the end, whose "Signs are posted to warn against/the consumption of eels by children" reminds me a bit of the "awful but cheerful" "untidy activity" of that poem's concluding lines.  And, in a hazily specific sort of way, I hear the end of Moore's "The Steeple-Jack."   I suppose one could take points off for a poem where its goodness stems from its resemblance to someone else's greatness, but I don't feel this way: it's lovely to feel like I'm reading a rivulet of Bishop, and though I can't conceive of GN being anything like great, this poem makes me far more optimistic about other poems of his


Geoffrey Nutter

Remote controlled substation no. 10,
a utilitarian structure down by the tracksthat run past the ruined marina,was built in 1931, and is now beingrenovated. Scaffolding has been erectedall along its sides. A big coilof damp rope is lying in a pileof broken concrete, brick, and plaster.The topmost row of the chain-link fencethat runs along the riveris twisted into barbs, and shreddedplastic sacks are snagged in the barbsas far as the eye can see: dirty grayand shredded, flapping in the wind.A candy box, once green, has beenbleached out to light blue by the sun.Silent gray boulders are lapped atby waves. What’s thatin the mud where the tide is going out?Buttons; bottle caps; small bitsof styrofoam that look like shells or coral;a few dead crabs; a cracked porcelainvessel from the Victorian erafor containing the tears shed by thosewho have survived the death of loved ones.Signs are posted to warn againstthe consumption of eels by children.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Brief Reactions to "High Wire Acts"

   [I thought I'd lost this post; it was written before the one just before this one; and I was sort of glad for its disappearance; but I'm happy too to see it still exists and have added a bit more] 

     For the most part, I find this roundtable dull/repeating the same old mid 20th to 21st century truisms about the sonnet.  I have a hard time taking seriously discussions of sonnets that don't involve rhyme whatsoever.  From 1350 to 1950, sonnets largely rhymed--so the form lived and, inevitably, changed, morphed, for those 600 years, but rhyme wasn't tossed.  For around sixty years it's been, in America, tossed.  The sonnet has died and been replaced by 14 lines.  Or a few more or less depending: Gerald Stern, etc.   Why, why, why won't poets just embrace that they write 14-line poems but that they're not sonnets!  Poets--shuck the residual glamour/cultural capital of centuries past!
     Sure, someone could do some extremely sophisticated alluding to sonnets without end-rhyme--I agree.  But I can't think of any poem/poet in the past thirty-plus years who has.  I guess this would constitute the topos of the almost dead but still being revitalized stage of the sonnet, not its for sure death-----OMG, I am so dumb: Karen Volkman's Nomina is so sonnety, as in end-rhymed, and with Petrarchan schemes, but totally 21st century!  
     I do like this bit from Michael Robbins: "The sonnet is as adaptable as capitalism."  This partly sings/zings me, but also seems a bit off: in all its adaptations, Capitalism never seems to get lost, only scrimmed.  The sonnet is now so lost it will never be regularly found.  And I feel bad for largely dissing this exchange: I think Sandra Simonds is terrific--as electronic correspondent and POET!  And her Sonnets have inspired me to write Noncenets: 14-liners which are decidedly not sonnets.

Note: from around 1960 to the present, there's a clearly demonstrable tradition of the unrhymed sonnet.  At this point, it is very much its own deal, a mode (form doesn't quite strike me as the right term) which whether I dig or gripe at totally exists and is very much more alive than what I believe sonnets are.  My beef is totally losing.  I am cheerleading corpse form not living nerves.      


I suppose posting poems is dumb--who wants to read other than prose (aside quotations) on a blog?
Oh well--I feel so much more comfortable posting poems--whether they're bad or not doesn't bother me.  But I'm more than less scared to post prose many may deem stupid.  I mean I kind of want to gripe about poem rejections, post stats for how many Submishmash rejections I have amassed--but yah I also really don't want to go there because I already so thoroughly am.  Well here's a poem I wrote yesterday, which is not part of any manuscript.  Often I write poems having a sense that they do make a manuscript, but I also crank out floaters:

Short Lines

By that time we
Were out of
Seconds.  Silver
Throats.  Camellias
Bloom.  Arsenic
Studs stems
Spindle length of
Deck.  Depth
Deceives.  Wreck
Recalls initial
Slip.  Lips purse
Ripping apart
Imperfect and
Necessary witness.
For every
Split there are
Orbit astute
Skips smooth
Favoring fen where
Once one
Learns to do
Without air
Breath comes
Read my
Hips.  Screen its
Blips.  Lean
In or
Let go.  Forget
Going that
Gong may
One scorcher day
Set snowing.