Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I'm Unsure

if it's Lowe or Low; I've read it both ways--but am guessing it's Low?  Purposefully unfixed?
I don't want to disrespect her through incorrect spelling.

T Low

 I like her Hunting Season performance that I just watched at Jacket2.  I don't think I would
want to read it, but it's delicious to watch.  The only bit that fell flat for me is the end--which
makes perfect sense: it's in many ways very much a continuous present mode, so any ending
is bound to ring dully.  It's very artifice-laden, but it does what performance modes almost
never achieve--to register as actual event/eructation, sans script; I didn't know the start was
the start: I thought it was her introductory remarks!  Too often, when I see people read writing,
they seem to act like they're following how they think performance should come off and what one
gets, for me, seems like an imitation of performance rather than performance; hmm, or am I
just detailing how shitty acting ends up?  Anyways, Low's performance doesn't follow this
dynamic.  And Yah, I seem to be privileging reading performance which actually seems like
someone speaking in a way that could even remotely plausibly occur outside that particular
stage scenario.

Friday, October 9, 2015

What I Have Read This Past Hour or So

Frequently, I find author/artist's statements/explanations of their creations tedious/grandiose/self-serving, obfuscating/misleading and, most devastatingly---boring! This is not the case with Monica Youn's essay which regards her poem "Blackacre" which I read a few months ago while at the Barnes and Noble on US 1 in Fort Lauderdale, FL (I love going there for coffee so I can read magazines while I wake up).  I immediately felt/thought the poem terrific: I love thinking of Milton as a poet who makes other major poets look comically minor (in other words, I love thinking of him in rather cartoonish figurations) and "Blackacre" writes not through nor over  but rather with Milton's sonnet "On His Blindness," a poem I'm not even an idolater of.  And now having just read Youn's exegesis, I know what Blackacre means, and that the poem stems/circles around the fact that she was infertile.  This makes amazing sense once she's written to me, but I totally never imagined that subject when I was happily going through/with it at B and N.

I also read #Actual Asian Poets, a collocation of homages up at Literary Hub.  I find this to be exciting in terms of the general cultural contours it creates, but not (with a few exceptions) cognitively engaging in any specific way: mostly it reads to me like an anthology of blurbs.  Perhaps quite contradictorily, I ADORE blurbs, so don't mean to cast undue aspersion.

Finally, I read Mia You's essay-at the Poetry Foundation blog--regarding her pregnancy and specifically her attempt to establish what constitutes being in labor--what timeline most accurately contours the experience.  I love this piece.  Most notable, for me, is that it is--though ultimately the work documents markedly difficult realities--quite funny in places, and I sense that I as reader have been led to carry this response due to You's fully intended effort.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Quoting a Plum--or Perhaps Chestnut--by Joshua Corey

Here's a funny allusion to F O'Hara by Joshua Corey in his poem "The Barons":

"I think I’ll buy a malted for the writers in Ghana these days"

--New World Writing indeed, lol.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cynthia Cruz

Below is a response I just posted regarding a poignant sentence in Cynthia Cruz's essay "On 'Amy' and 'Ex Machina' up at Hyperallergic:

adam strauss
This registers to me as terribly accurate: "At this point in our culture, in order to simply enter the conversation, a woman must pass certain basic aesthetic standards." For me, the crucial term here is "basic"; it's great to read someone who recognizes that aesthetic enfranchisement more overwhelmingly exists at this basic requirement level rather than the rarefied hyper conventionally attractive strata. My question is--can this reality be other than dead-end? If there are basic aesthetic requirements to enter public discourse (hello to the fact that so many public feminists are totes normatively attractive), then women have to be complicit--and so this theoretically means that resistance--refusing to do the unmarked and assumed labor of intensely grooming ones' self and in the process reproducing the notion that a natural woman is hairless in all the "right" places, etc--is rendered ineffective. My unrealistic answer is this: the more humans embrace the human part of the identity human--and not the infinitely more powerful male/female pinch-hits--then the more likely it is that world-views produce more parity in terms of minimal aesthetic requirements. If there is no freakishly sedimented notion of men to embody contrast to via the hellaciously sedimented notion of women, then hopefully the humans formerly bonded by being women (I am working via the warrant that women and men are linguistic realities that should not be seen as identical to human organisms and their chromosomal characteristics) could relax the physical self-disciplining. Or of course everyone could just end-up having to meet new crazy high aesthetic standards for what it takes to be a public human.