Sunday, February 28, 2010

I think I'm going to call this piece "Revulsion in Poetic Language".

I find puns too funny for my own good.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

First Semester Research Proposal: Ariana Reines

I propose to write on Ariana Reines’ appropriations, weaponisation and redeployment of a hybrid of confessional and language-writing techniques against the semiotic and epistemological constructions of what Mark Fisher calls “Capitalist Realism”; largely dealing with inter-related questions of gender, selfhood, the body and power.

Several things should be noted here. Firstly the political deployment of confessionalism (indeed the politicality of confessionalism itself, a la Plath) is nothing new, and also maintains a strong presence in pop music (and this is often complicated by either anti-realism or anti-naturalism: cf the Smiths, SWANS etc). Like poetry (until recently – though it could be argued that this is discursively still the case) , however, this is largely male-dominated. In this context a discussion of the function of SWANS’ misogyny as means of abjection of the male body, anti-masculinism, and capitalist critique would be pertinent, and the exploitative nature of this. Lydia Lunch would also be a useful touchstone. Secondly the similar treatment of langpo, and subversion of Perloff’s ‘indeterminacy’ and the project’s selfconcious ‘high art’ aspirations (or the academic estalishment’s territorialisation of langpo though interpretation and high art designation). On this point I would like to cite Johannes Göransson on kitch, aestheticism, and the hipster. Also worth mentioning here is the concept of the hybrid (through Göransson review of the recent American Hybrid anthology) and the differnect conceptions of this, and their relation to the political content of the work. I propose a difference between the Grotesque (and politically effective) hybrid and the Hybridization that occurs when the subversive is co-opted by the capitalist machine and rendered impotent (cf New Wave, what has (largely) happened recently with hip hop, ‘alternative rock’ etc).

I would also write on the context and state of the avant-garde impulse/project in this context, and its relationship to both popular and high culture, especially in light of the growing currency of the term ‘post-avant’, and what this means, both in terms of Reines’ work, and the wider poetic community.

The kind of socio-political project Reines pursues is shared by many younger contemporary poets, a large number of whom are active participants in the online poetics community and blogosphere (including Göransson, Lara Glenum and James Pate at Exoskeleton; Nada Gordon, Kate Durbin, Anne Boyer, Kate Zambreno, Danielle Pafunda, Sina Queyras etc), and there is a large network of cultural studies bloggers doing interesting work in aesthetics that is also applicable (Fisher being one, also Dominick Fox (whose Cold World I wish to use as a theoretical text for this essay), and Ben Woodward).

Further writing would be done of the relationship between Reine’s work and the aesthetico-political framwork thus explored and the body (largely feminine). This would involve the intersection of the body and the text, and the violence within, the relationship between violence, sex and childbirth; and the interaction between these, the creative process, and collage. I would also like to look at Reines in Performance, and the way this is linked to the presentation of her books.

Finally I would like to draw conclusions about semiotic warfare.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wild Boys!

Now that I have your attention, who was it out there who wanted my Raymond Carver?

Leaving Party (of sorts) and other stuff)

As I am flying out for Auckland on next wed (24th), there will be festivities at Goodbye Blue Monday sat (20th) eve, followed by the Tiger Tones (who are leaving too - it's their do I'm highjacking) playing at midnight (i think).

I've got a b-day barbecue in the arvo, but will endeavour to be there 8-9ish.

These organisational skills are why I'm an academic, not an engineer or surgeon.

On another note, I'm on a radio show tomorrow night (all things being equal); The Dark, Camp and evil ATROCITY EXHIBITION, where I'll be poeticising and spinning tracks of wierdness. 1-3am fri morning (or thurs eve if you're anything like me) of RDU98.5.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lady Gaga, Lady Lazarus

another reading of Bad Romance, to supliment Steve Halle's (link courtesy of Johannes).

This one starts near the end, or my idea of it does, with Gaga in the bedroom with a the guy on the bed, obscured by her advancing, dragging a train of polar bear fir behind her. She disrobes, and fire engulfs the bed (and presumably the guy), then the shot cuts to Gaga in profile, emenating power and glory, her head sillioetted against the rising flames.

My immediate thought:

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

(Sylvia Plath, "Lady Lazarus")

And then a line earlier, which resonates with the posthuman construction that is (my conception of) Gaga:

You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

And Gaga's continual mantra of the competing pultions "I want your love ... I want your revenge" and "I don't want to be friends" ... If i may be permitted to project myself, this is the lack of self - the desire for complete posthuman trancenence of the "I", to become-other, reach out and touch the body without organs. "friends" is not enough, love has to be augmented with "revenge", "ugly", "dis(-)ease" (not that the negative aesthectic is neccessary in this specular world of fashion, striptease, etc - the oversize eyes of Gaga's 'baby' incarnation, the reptilian spine, the masks.... it is the excessive hypersaturation that is neccessary here - the symbolic regime of the Real must fall, and the "I" must be deterritorialized into a specular multiplicity (though that may be the Triazalam speaking - cures for one ailment (insomnia) cause others (hysteria in the writing of critical prose(and paretheses in parentheses in parentheses)))).

And with the continual statement of the specular, there is always the spectacle, and the image, and the concentration on the Gaze. And the Audience. The "peanut crunching crowd". Us.

(I've (still, I think) got an essay I wrote on Plath's LL for a 100 level paper - with a rewrite, I might post it here. What do y'all think?)

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Female Body is a Semiotic War Zone

Australia is insane. Via Boing Boing: "Australian Classification Board (ACB) is now banning depictions of small-breasted women in adult publications and films. They banned mainstream pornography from showing women with A-cup breasts, apparently on the grounds that they encourage paedophilia, and in spite of the fact this is a normal breast size for many adult women. Presumably small breasted women taking photographs of themselves will now be guilty of creating simulated child pornography, to say nothing of the message this sends to women with modestly sized chests or those who favour them."

The fascism of "Normality". This pathologises women for not adhering to 'morally' dictated codes over biology, and what is worse, pathologises both these women and those who love them.

I'm not pro- or anti- porn, as I don't have a strong understanding of the theoretical discourse surrounding it (and it tends to be mechanical to the point of farce), but this imposes even more stringency from the signifying regime that already governs value imposed on the female form from outside.

Late Resolutions / Aspirations or somesuch

In addition to my earlier post on awesome books people should buy, trade or at least read, I was thinking about stuff I'd like to write on. Reviewing Square Root was a great experience (I'd love to write more on the vehicle for the text as part of the text - because it is), and I'd love the opportunity to write more on vispo, as well as sound work, fringe/fluxus publications and basically anything that doesn't get the attention/respect it deserves (I'm thinking respect might be the wrong word there).

As with the Beaulieu, so with the Russell essay collection (review coming)- I want more theory books. I want to review stuff that will cha(lle)nge my thinking while i am thinking about it - dialogic criticism.

And, as many while by now know, I'm a pop-culture fiend. There may be posts coming on stupid big-budget horror films, sci-fi, hip hop and the like.

I want dialogue as well. Chip in. And if you know anyone who is publishing any of the stuff I've mentioned, email me, or get them to.

Unrelated note - who was it out there who wanted my Carver books? 'cause they're yours if you want them.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Poem at Flowers of Sulphur

I've found a lot of work scribbled on pieces of paper while cleaning / packing for the move.

I'm not sure what to do with them.

Some I'll stick over at FoS, the first is there now.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Recent Books I Love.

I didn't do a "best of 2009" or any such thing, so here's something informal.
I love all these books massively, and highly recommend them to anyone.

Alan Loney - Day's Eye (Rubicon Press)
Susana Gardner - [Lapsed Insel Weary] (the tangent press)
Sandy Florian - The Tree of No (Action Books)
Brandon Downing - Lake Antiquity (Fence Books)
Myung Mi Kim - Penury (Omnidawn)
Bruce Russell - Left Handed Blows: Writing on Sound (Clouds)
Michael Steven - Bartering Lines (Kilmog Press)
Joyelle McSweeney - Nylund the Sarcographer (Tarpaulin Sky)
Lara Glenum - Maximum Gaga (Action Books)

I am currently reading, and loving, The Plot Genie by By Gillian Conoley (Omnidawn) and The Black Automaton by Douglas Kearney (Fence). Both are awesome.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kate Durbin at Delerious Hem

Delerious Hem once again has it's "this is what a feminist [poet] looks like" forum up and running. Kate Durbin's contribution is especially good. "It is kind of this post-femme-something vomit of the medusa" ([she] brings in Plath and why she has to be dismissed: she is not disinterested enough. This is also related to why kitsch has to be dismissed: it is everywhere" (Johannes Göransson).

"Say melodrama is the gaudy arena in which teenage girls perform their angst—often in the garb of flamboyant (“aggressive”) and/or over-revealing fashions, and histrionic poetry—which is dismissed by society and the church, including, as these girls turn into women, the church of the academy. However, like Plath’s much-maligned insistences that her despair was on par with the Holocaust, melodrama is the teenage girl’s sadness on steroids.

Say nothing is more melodramatic—and pisses off Mom and Dad more—than claiming to be possessed by the Devil himself.

WHISPER: And the Ouija spells: A T T E N T I O N (Is not all feminist writing some form of noisy attention?)

Say, like the demon, the teenage girl’s body is unearned—and therefore claimed by everyone around her. Stigmata, lipstick mark of Cain’s slutty girlfriend, branded by parents, the government, Urban Outfitters and Teen Vogue. Is there any wonder that her body must turn itself inside out, must vomit upon the world in revolt?"



Hola and howdy, readers and friends,

During the month of February we will be reading submissions for the next paper edition of Tarpaulin Sky. We hope you'll give it a go, and send your best, as this is the only submission period for the magazine this year.

We're trying something new, too--well, new to us--the online submission manager. So you'll be able to keep tabs on the status of your submission throughout the process.

Also new this year are many of the journal's editors: Blake Butler and Joanna Howard editing Fiction; Laynie Browne and Karla Kelsey editing Poetry; and Sandy Florian and Lily Hoang editing "Other"; presided over by Editor in Chief Colie Collen, with all submissions shepherded through the process by Associate Editors Duncan B. Barlow, Jamey Dunham, and Christine Wertheim, as well as Assistant Editors Michael Tod Edgerton and Brian Mihok.

Please visit our guidelines for all the deets.


We hope so. TSky authors and editors will be reading from new books and selling them as well, and we'll be joining our favorite presses for various kickass events: readings with Action Books, Apostrophe Books, Astrophil Press, Black Ocean, Featherproof Books, and Slope Editions, just to name a few. Events Coordinators Michelle Puckett and Megan DiBello invite you to keep on top of our events blog for forthcoming details.


We can fix that. Subscriptions to Tarpaulin Sky Press's forthcoming Spring titles are still available--as are huge savings on forthcoming titles. If you're looking for some of the most exciting literature being published today, you may want to have a look at our catalog, or take a look at some of our forthcoming Spring 2010 titles: Traci O Connor's Recipes for Endangered Species, a book of short fictions that Brian Evenson calls "a marvelous debut. . . . moving fast enough that you could end up anywhere, Connor’s thought about every single word, every gesture, and she can turn each story on a dime" or Kim Gek Lin Short's The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits, book of interlocking short fictions / prose poems that Joyelle McSweeney deems "twisted," and Norma Cole calls "Irresistible.... with its incantations of quantum teleology, its footnotes & sources.... it is a magnificent work." Also on the way, Joanna Ruocco's book of short fictions, Man's Companions; Shelly Taylor's book of interlocking short fictions / prose poems, Black-Eyed Heifer; and Emily Toder's poetry chapbook, Brushes With.

& Let us not forget the three chapbooks we just picked from the last reading period: Lara Glenum's The Hotling Chronicles: A Horror in Trans; Sarah Goldstein's Fables; and James Haug's Scratch. Plus forthcoming full-lengths-with-really-long-titles, Jenny Boully's not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, and Johannes Göransson's Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate


We can help. We have Advanced Reader Copies of all Tarpaulin Sky Press's Spring full-length titles, and we have hundreds of review copies from other publishers, from Ahsahta to Vagabond. Want to review a brand new title from Fence Books? We got 'em. Burning Deck, City Lights, Dalkey Archive, FC2, Graywolf, Salt, Sarabande, Shearsman, Ugly Duckling? No problem. Or how about Counterpath, Dusie, Ellipsis Press, Essay Press, Subito? Or Canada's positively stellar BookThug?

Our Reviews Editors Ross Brighton and Jared Schickling read review and interview submissions all year long. Writers whose work is accepted for publication receive any two Tarpaulin Sky Press trade paperbacks of their choice. Send a brief cover letter and your previously unpublished review to reviews[AT]tarpaulinsky[DOT]com, and be sure to include "Attn: Review Editors" in the subject line. Click here for a list of review copies currently available. Publishers may send review copies to Book Reviews ~ Tarpaulin Sky Press ~ PO Box 189 ~ Grafton, VT 05146

Write some reviews, yo. Get paid. In books.


If you have something to say about a new journal, new book, new press, new reading series; and if said newness will be of interest to the people who read TSky Press's books or journal, or--better yet!--includes TSky Press authors or journal contributors; and if you'd like to share this newness and can do so in a way that includes some chewy content and few superlatives, then please send your brief shoutout, sidebar, or feature article to our News Editor Amish Trivedi at news[AT]tarpaulinsky[DOT]com


We're probably forgetting as much as we're including, but we hope you'll forgive us.

Send some work!


Christian Peet, Publisher
Colie Collen, Editor in Chief
& Editors, Tarpaulin Sky Press

Monday, February 1, 2010

Catalyst Open Mic

Catalyst's Poetry Open Mic Nights are returning in February 2010.

The first one is a little unusual with a slightly different date - for this month only we'll be on the first Thursday of the month (normally it's Wednesday). That means the date and details are as follows:

First Catalyst Open Mic for 2010
Thursday 4th February, 8pm entry is free
Al's Bar, 31 Dundas St Christchurch (behind Pak n' Save Moorhouse)

I'll try and make it this time, I've been slack/busy as all hell. And it'll be my last, as late feb it's Auckland bound for me!

Otoliths 16

Thanks to Mark Young:

Carlyle Baker

Otoliths rounds out its fourth year with another issue that maintains the journal's reputation for excellent offerings across a variety of disciplines & styles. Included in issue sixteen, the southern summer 2010 issue, is work from Thomas Fink, Satu Kaikkonen, Nate Pritts, Jane A. Lewty, Craig Foltz, Michael Basinski, Stephen C. Middleton, Márton Koppány, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Raymond Farr, Jeff Crouch & Sheila E. Murphy, Joel Chace, Caleb Puckett, Philip Byron Oakes, Ed Baker, Tom Beckett interviewing William Allegrezza, William Allegrezza, dan raphael, Alyson Torns, Jeff Harrison, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Michele Leggott, PD Mallamo, Ray Craig, Mark Cunningham, Cecelia Chapman, David-Baptiste Chirot, Vernon Frazer, Helen White & Jeff Crouch, James Yeary, Robert Lee Brewer, Michael Brandonisio, J. D. Nelson, Scott Metz, Geof Huth, Corey Wakeling, John M. Bennett & Thomas M. Cassidy, Sheila E. Murphy & John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett, Rebecca Mertz, Felino Soriano, Cath Vidler, David Wolach, Carlyle Baker, Stu Hatton, Jenny Enochsson, Robert Gauldie, Rebecca Eddy, Joe Balaz, Bobbi Lurie, Andrew Topel & Márton Koppány, Hugh Tribbey, John Martone, J. Gordon Faylor, Evan Harrison, A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz, Bob Heman, Guillermo Castro, & sean burn.