San Diego Poetry Guild

notes on guild, poetry, and San Diego



The obvious analogy is with music


(Micro) Weather Report

words began to push worlds from my mouth
an unconscious and transoceanic plagiarism [ontology]
foolish youth of long ago [then] birdsong!
[mom and sister author(it)s abounding in creases, those missing photos a.k.a. sonnets (hand)]
that childhood condition of surprise endings
dressing room... larger theater [cribbing sky-writing]
my plagiarist's study... time served... space taken
bodies and their interconnections became both more desperately scarce and more easily substitutable
dry goods
gender reassignment surgery [get bent] [seeking resisting]
enmeshment in the grid
like watching a slinky
surveillance documents [like watching a slinky]
documentary scrutiny
the trace of recent history
a synthetic pastoral [a fake scenography, a fraud]
on the far side of construction
inside an outside that was my interior
coming work... a clearing... an empty room
private arcana all equally bad
'context' often means devastation
be crude: 'crude thinking' (Brecht) [raw material]
architectural destiny and invariable structure [think Bucky balls and bubbles]
auto-ethnographic consciousness
Apostrophe... a case of mistaken identity
a concrete box that housed a single room
enclosure [see note]
a paper cut rather than useful knowledge
[habit all the way through]

--except for stuff in brackets, from Taylor Brady's Microclimates

--on deck: Kasey's Deerhead


Excential Texts 7

[from P. and P. Goodman's Communitas]

A chief cause of the absurdity of industrial work is that each machine worker is acquainted with only a few processes, not the whole order of production. And the thousands of products are distributed [one] knows not how or where. Efficiency is organized from above by expert managers who first analyze production into its simple processes, then synthesize these into combinations built into the machines, then arrange the logistics of supplies, etc., and then assign the jobs.

As against this efficiency organized from above, we must try to give this function to the workers. This is feasible only if the workers have a total grasp of all the operations. There must be a school of industry, academic and not immediately productive, connected with the factory. Now let us distinguish apprentices and graduates. To the apprentices, along with their schooling, is assigned the more monotonous work; to the graduates, the executive and coordinating work, the fine work, the finishing touches. The masterpiece that graduates an apprentice is a new invention, method, or other practical contribution advancing the industry. The masters are teachers, and as part of their job hold free discussions looking to basic changes.

Such a setup detracts greatly from the schedule of continuous production; but it is a question whether it would not prove more efficient in the long run to have the [workers] working for themselves and having a say in the distribution. By this we do not mean merely economic democracy or socialist ownership. These are necessary checks but are not the political meaning of industrialism as such. What is needed is the organization of economic democracy on the basis of the productive units, where each unit, relying on its own expertness and the bargaining power of what it has to offer, cooperates with the whole of society. This is syndicalism, simply an industrial town meeting....

[from Chapter Six: "A New Community: The Elimination of the Difference Between Production and Consumption"]



This blog looks like crap in Netscape -- apologies.


K. Silem Mohommad on "the near-inadequacy of trying to have not quite caught up," which covers it for me too.


'Desperanto' and the Use of Kinesthetic Translation in Scholarly Performance

Adapting Brecht's notion of the learning play, this presentation takes critical and activist discourse and works it into a kinesthetic theatrical showcase that both entertains and instructs. We are interested in challenging the categorical distinctions that sometimes separate media production, scholarly performance, and social theory in the field of communication. Part poetry, part theoretical explication, part improvised jam session, this performance tutorial continues an experiment that began with recombining poetic texts into a more publicly accessible hip-hop influenced gestural dance.

In a two-part performance, we redesign traditional academic settings in the likeness of the Vaudeville stage. Continuing a long tradition that questions and challenges typical modes of critical scholarly presentation, we adapt new forms of communicative activity—such as the spontaneous gestures and narratives of the electronic dance hall—for the academic stage. Working from a stylized gesturo-haptic lexicon borrowed in part from hip-hop, we construct a mix of real-time broken word poetry and body-based critical explication. The mood of the presentation is both angry and hopeful, its context historical and political. We hope to entertain the audience with an interactive game of language and translation while using our performance as an opportunity to share our methodologies for possible further application.


Joe Amato on Blogs

[from the Poetics List, posted here with Joe's permission -- this is NOT a plagiarism file]

on the one hand, as alan sondheim suggests, blogs are simply part of a growing online suite---lists, irc, moos, muds, and so forth... and we'll each be free to pick and choose on the basis of what we like, technical difficulties notwithstanding... i've never myself much liked moos/muds, for instance, and i've always gone online primarily with the intention of seeking out dialogue (as opposed, e.g., to role-playing, which puts me somewhat at odds with the gaming communities, and at odds with more performative engagements, and at odds even with argument as such, though i imagine that all true dialogue presupposes some degree of conflict, and though i love a good debate)...

times have changed---quickly... the web itself changed the internet irrevocably... while giving us the archive, it seems also to have given us the ability to archive our lives (i'll set aside the matter of whether this is symptomatic of other cultural-social-regionalizing trends)...

now: just as some people will be better at dialogue, others will prove better at archiving, and blogging, and so forth... to be candid, i don't want to read all of the blogs written by the folks on this list, not least (and this is one reason why i hesitate to post on this thread) b/c you all don't express yourselves with equal aplomb (i am trying to be nice)... but also b/c what you all have to say, and how you enact/demonstrate what you have to say, doesn't really interest me...

this is ok, though, right?---b/c this is what it means to say that each is free to pick and choose, as above...

but to zero in a bit: in point of fact---and again, i'm trying not to be harsh---i'm much less interested in what ron silliman has to say about bertolucci (re which i think i can offer up some comments that are at least as provocative) than in what he has to say about berkeley and brautigan and the 60s... since i wasn't in berkeley in the 60s, i find this to be of historical interest to me as a poet... but there may be another issue at stake here too---i.e., as to why i'm reading ron on berkeley side-by-side with his remarks on bertolucci...

now i'm on the verge of saying something about the current state of poetry and poetics, but i'll leave that for a book, b/c that's how much space i need to say it... i certainly don't mean to beat up on ron---and what's more, even if i DID beat up on ron (sorry for dragging you into this ron!), he'd still have those 100,000 hits, right?... which is an odd, or at least different, form of assessment than we're accustomed to making, when you think about it...

still, there is one rather elementary observation i'd like to make here: and this is that, in part b/c of spam, but also as a consequence of the larger and larger number of typing anthropoids who are making their way online, things are getting, well, just a bit overwhelming, yes?---whether in terms of blogs or in terms of lists or whatever... one alan sondheim was one thing, ten alan sondheims is another thing altogether (and here again, not everyone can do what alan does, so---)... my way of saying, if i may, that attention span may be a nonrenewable resource, and that quantitative differences can have qualitative effects... one poetry blog is one thing, 400 poetry blogs is another thing altogether, and 4000 poetry blogs may be a sign that we think we're more different (or, uhm, articulate) than we are...

i have an argument about this that goes something like: more readers turned writers (which has historical precedent)... for another time maybe...

to be candid, i think we're reaching something of a breakpoint (or, another breakpoint, as the web has ushered in several already, it seems to me) in terms of attention span---which as i see it assumes only that many of us would like to spend a few hours a day OFFline... will exploiting new technologies of communication/expression in and of itself foster a more dialogic poetry/poetics reality?... not anymore than will this list automatically foster dialogue...

just look around...

and there may in fact be limits at work here---functional limits... i know it's not popular, generally, to discuss limits on this list, but that the human eye can't see a single frame at 24 frames/second might prompt us to give some thought as to what a dialogic limit might be, properly speaking and in terms of something approaching a community...

anyway... i take it as axiomatic that dialogue is vital to sustaining a healthy arts environs... i certainly don't mean to suggest that we shouldn't be exploiting our new technologies---i mean to say that we would probably do well to bring to our exploits a working sense of what we hope to achieve vis-a-vis other typing anthropoids...

and from where i'm sitting, we're coming up a bit short, collectively speaking... i mean, if only to judge by kari edwards's stated concerns re the planet (*this* planet)---which may not be the datum we would want to use on a daily basis, of course, but which does seem to me a reasonable way of situating our concerns---the online world as currently articulated is managing, if not to intensify, then certainly not to mitigate the divide e.g. between art and commerce (which to my way of thinking ought to be mutually and beneficially dependent)... and if the commercial, profit-driven possibilities of the web, say, are permitted to run roughshod over art, well: i don't think this bodes well for art OR commerce, never mind whether distribution of poetry profits in the meantime (b/c as we all know, just about nobody is getting rich off of poetry---which poets ought not to use as an excuse for dropping off into a dogmatic slumber)...

so apologies for putting it this way, but: attention to the quality [term used advisedly] of what we're expressing/communicating may be the only way to offset what i see as these encroaching numbers... by "quality" i don't necessarily mean stylistic nuance, if that too... if all i can do here is make an appeal---and all i can do here IS make an appeal---i would ask, as presumptuous as it may be OF me to ask, that those of you who imagine your work as bloggers, discussants, what have you, work even harder to make your words matter...

now, you see why i didn't want to post in?... thanks for listening, at any rate...



* * *

one final thought for now, and i'm done for the day: perhaps blogs would work best in fact were they to be constructed around the "cabinets of wonder" idea (i'm thinking of lawrence weschler's book on same)... i.e., were they to intensify the very boutique quality that alan finds problematic, in order to create, or approximate, a sense of wonder...

which we can always stand more of...

just a thought, and maybe i'm entirely off-base here... btw, and just for instance, i'm finding *this* discussion provocative and engaging if only b/c we've managed, what, a dozen or more posts together in less than 24 hrs. on a single topic or topic set, and w/o a meltdown...



[there was an equally keen follow-up to this post, but i'll defer to the Poetics List archive for that one]



Happy birthday (yesterday) to Thedor Geisel -- Seussentennial...

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