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The age in its cage: a note to Mr. Mendelssohn on the social allegory of literature and the deformation of the canonymous.

 If you're visible, you're not a good ADVANCE GUARD. If you become
 visible, you're soon dead ADVANCE GUARD. If the enemy see you, they
 shoot you. And your COMRADES will have to proceed without the
 information you were sent out to send back. What were you tracking,
 what were you dispatched to scout, before you died? The cannon of the
 enemy.

 A(n) ... artist or writer is in the position of a PHILOSOPHER: the
 text he writes, the work he produces are not in principle governed by
 pre-established RULES & they cannot be judged according to a
 determining judgment.... The work & the WRITTEN TEXT are working
 without rules in order to mark that which will have been done. Hence,
 the fact that the work & text have the character of an EVENT; hence
 also, they always come too late, for their author, or what amounts to
 the same thing, their eventual happening always begins too soon.* But
 the work is still exact and just, in TIME, insofar as it inhabits the
 eternal MIDDLE of the fiendishly continuing and, at the same time,
 passing MOMENTUM of presentation.


[Ahem. Evening. Recent reading has included PIERRE BORDIEU'S writing around questions of a sociology of judgment; JOHN GUILLORY'S investigation of canon spotting in his book CULTURAL CAPITAL, noting especially its breakdown of the social institution or system we formally call the UNIVERSITY; J-F LYOTARD'S lecture on THE PO-MO CONDITION*; AVITAL RONAL'S ruminations on the subject of stupidity; and CHARLES OLSON'S LETTER TO THE MELVILLE SOCIETY.]

SOMEONE WE KNOW, an avant-garde and experimental writer--well, not really altogether avant-garde and experimental--also, as it happens, the publisher of a well-known but small house of avant-garde and experimental writing, one known to many in this very hall at U POETRY, where there is perhaps more avant-garde and experimental genius [most of it A.G. & E. they say] gathered together at one time since GERTRUDE STEIN introduced POUND to JOYCE to CHANCE, or since CHARLES OLSON, C[O.sub.2] now as TOM RAWORTH has observed, danced sitting down at BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE to some notational stuff put together by CUNNINGHAM to TINKER to CAGE. Perhaps even, dare we propose, since THOMAS JEFFERSON and JOEL BARLOW, SR. sat down to their hasty pudding with BEN FRANKLIN and ROBESPIERRE somewhere outside PARIS [RAMBOUILLET, AUXERRE?] before the TENNIS COURT OATH and way before NAPOLEON and NAPOLEON II and all the later NAPOLEON IIIs. They called themselves the ANGLOMANIACS and shared their papers and their smoke, forming the first international [well EURO-AMERICAN at least] group of avant-garde and experimental types ever to have danced sitting down.

BUT I WAS REMEMBERING my acquaintance, the poet and publisher of the A.G. & E. and her press THE SUN, THE MOON, & THE STARS, started so that we might have the best shot at getting the ground-breaking position we deserve, i.e. to have canonized, as they religiously call it, if only in a small press or university way, our avant-garde and experimental suggestions, conclusions, porches, and verse. We won't of course be around to see the stuff really canonized, as at the VATICAN--C.A.G. & E.'d, as it were--but maybe our children or our children's children like they say, or those of our friends or of our enemies, or perhaps their children after that, will get to hear about it somewhere ages and ages hence, as is appropriate, after all, to any SPHINXY utterance.

AT THE LAST A.G. & E. campfest we went to--I mean many of us in this bar at U. POETRY did go there--you met the professor who has poets down to her U for drinks and a class visit on a shoe string, i.e. you get fifty bucks and a chance to explode in the air before her mouth, and she gets an article on how you wrote your MONGOLIAN NOTEBOOK or that famous text in which each line is a mistaken answer to an unasked question--with the inside story on the avant-garde and experimental parts. [Some ABSINTHE for PROFESSOR MCANNE.] You probably know her, she comes to these deals from afar, sometimes three or four times a year, dangling her absent predicates around you endlessly. In the symbiotic writer/academic sherry dance.

Well AVITAL, fuck her, she just lives inside her own head. This work reveals a growing concern over the finite figures who come up and share their experience with us.

So [well then there now] ... At the last A.G. & E. confab she announced how she and a colleague [whom she was thinking of marrying after they had co-taught the POUND course so successfully, and J was going to do the book] and a few others--she didn't say friends because there were a couple of famous FRENCHIES in the room--but she and a few of her others, I mean select representations of the OTHER, were beginning amongst themselves to ask around, after, and about the condition of knowledge and what it must now be becoming. It was time to re-deconstruct it, or "de-reconceptualize it" I think was a rival term. [A wee dram of JAMESON over here for FRED.] What could knowledge signify now, after the collapse of COMMUNISM, reaching the end of yet another millennium, in the midst of one of the later stages of advanced capitalism [or at least on one of its seams] and of course before the last AMERICAN presidential election of the earlier millennium.

So DIXIT, there was the frigging rub: If knowledge were unspeakably in question, how were they ever going to carry it all off? Besides, wasn't it already in the works at the previous A.G. & E. conf last year at OCONOMOWOC, when the chosen ones had first been tapped, as it were, into the canon? How, with all of knowledge now in question, could they possibly cement the identification of BOB, SUE, CHUCK, and possibly CAROLYN as, you know, the next inductees, or were they conscripts [at any rate they would be impressed], into the turgid end of the canon. Perhaps you can guess the gender, race, and class here. Or should we call it better: SEX, COLOR, and MONEY.

IT FELT as though one of the neo, or perhaps even the first of the post-neo, revelations might be at hand--one of the most advanced of the penultimate a priori reflections of PLATO'S original scrim of the C.A.G. & E. Envisioned, perceived, and projected after he had stopped writing poetry of course. But no matter, the plate could still give good tongue, or at least fab conference. Hadn't everyone roared at the line Tenure Is the Night and listened enraptured to the paper on the MARBLELIZATION of the A.G. & E. by the new DIRECTOR of CREATIVE WRITING at PU? But the symposia still held sway and still could [and still would] in their own inimitable, soi disant, sui-generis way. And there was another plenary scheduled later on the ineluctable modalities of the new digital intricacies.

Time for the bar. Can I buy you a drink or do you prefer the cash?

THIS PROF HELD SOME canon chair of A.G. & E. upholstery, without adequate start-up nap perhaps but some funding, i.e. several sacks of beads on the future. Even now, Manhattan could be bought with a surplus of clanking doodads. That was the way it went with the A.G. & E., how it had gone before in the great modernist paradigm: You kick in the back door while I knock at the front. Butter reviewers, hire the profs for shills, and even the nut at U DUNDASS would crack. Though, long ago, the ball had already been dropped--TINKER to EVERS to CHANCE--and some quick unknown was safe at First. Who was the third baseman fielding beside them, who was the fourth guy crouching always beside them. And who is that at First? Oh, MR BLUE, MR PINK or that STROFFY dog standing in at the bleeding reservoir of his own band. He was so fast he probably could steal First. And after the extra innings the scoreboard would show the errors.

BUT BACK TO THE LATEST box score. Some till-then unknowns--except for the cognoscenti, who had been sent from their own A.G. & E. departments to cover the story--were about to get pre-bid, blacklisted, pre-sold, or red-shirted if need be, and the supporting home office [that walking grove of bats] well, they were about to bring in and baptize by caterred immersion some of the new shadows of their own agency. Induct into the inner sanctum of the canon factory, or at least to the edge of one of its outer circles, the hottest candidates literally batting away in the CAGE as we proof the scorecard.

AND BEHOLD THE ENVELOPE is opened by a star. The CROWD exhales into its peanut mulch and the seventh-inning stretch shines in its own delay. A non-entity, or a new star, or even sometimes an actual entity if they get lucky, was about to be anointed, just as at COOPERSTOWN, CLEVELAND, or HOLLYWOOD, And but for the prewashed, pre-stressed Levi's [this year's Mod Lang Con to be held in New Orleans], the sleeveless black-leather vests of ACADEME replacing the scarlet robes, it was the bi-annual or at least the diurnal ceremony of the C.A.G. & E., pushing its little puffs of smoke [red or blue] from the top of U ST PETER'S, disclosing the announcement or election of one of the latest POPES. With the figures of NAKED COURTIERS in attendance behind HIM, discrete and erect in their eponymous new clothes. Now they lay before him like a pasha in waiting, or a harem girl with an aura [you couldn't tell which], the sacred sword of DAMOCLES hanging by a sewn thread over the hot tub of their melting butter, about to be dubbed Princeps Contraclosurae. A chilled slice of canon placed delicately on the increased brow of the knelt. Where were the words, the indefinite articles, and the job.

It was a little like in NEW ENGLAND, in the nineteenth century, going to one of those conferences on the FIRESIDE POETS they used to have down the road hereabouts. Regular phaetons coming out from BOSTON, CONCORD, LOWELL, PROVIDENCE, and environs [some of the early shuttles] and if you were fortunate enough someone a little cockeyed [maybe WHITMAN] or a damoiselle slightly pallid & enigmatic [THE WOMAN FROM AMHJERST] or perhaps somebody a bit unpalatable [that BALTIMORE guy] or I dunno, that grouch from NEW YORK Customs in the back row [HERMAN who?] might be present and make an intervention of the panel of WHITTIER to HOLMES to LONGFELLOW [with DOCTOR KLOPSTOCK fielding the Q & A]. But unlikely. Probably not. The future of memory backing into Benjamin's wingless angel backing away from HISTORY, its rear to the morrow.

Which way the future of memory is facing is still uncertain, like Wilde's real physical preference. Or anyone's. But check out HOLMES'S table talk "THE PHYSIOLOGY OF VERSIFICATION" as a pretext of OLSON'S "PROJECTIVE VERSE."

CUT!

A letter addressed to THE HARVARD ENGLISH DEPARTMENT attention: HELEN VENDLER--
I read in your journal that the Harvard English Department has held a
memorial service for Philip Larkin. It might seem churlish to raise any
question about this, since one wants to honor the dead, and Philip
Larkin is a good poet, as good as all but the 500 best American poets.
Still, I feel I must have missed the memorial services for Delmore
Schwartz, Charles Olson, and Frank O'Hara, all of whom were much better
poets than Philip Larkin, and all of whom had long and close connections
with Harvard, with which Philip Larkin, so far as I know, had no
connection whatsoever. I can only infer that once again, as in my own
time, Harvard has chosen to exhibit elective colonialism: that is,
though we won the Revolutionary War, it has chosen to act as though we
had lost it.
Very sincerely,
Albert Cook, class of'47


QUESTION: Does canonymousation go against, with, or beyond history? Does anyone care beside the boiling shades, begging the KESTION of course.

It does, off LOUSE POINT or CAPE MCANNE, feel as though the COLONIES had never won some revolution. [ODE TO THE COALTION OF THE WILLING DEAD.] But now, in the post-colonial arena, they were cunning enough to see the opportunity for a not so subtle selective, or perhaps elective [just to keep the ecclesiastical idiom] manoeuver back to ENGELSLAND, for the new postcolonial, antiestablishment, or was it antidisestablishmentarian, colonization of the new elective affinities. As COOK predicted after another voyage.

It felt as though HENRY JAMES, TOM ELIOT, WYSTAN AUDEN [who else?] had kept the ship of boat people at sea, just off CAPE FEAR [ROBERT MITCHUM wrote poetry] or FIRE ISLAND, with those commas, that religiosity, and its EPISCOPALIAN cadences, incensing the missed celebration of dives Thomas, Lorca, or Mayakovsky may have sensed nearby TIMES SQUARE. Excelling, empty, lying vessels all. As though to sidetrack the grandchildren of the grandchildren of the grandchildren of the founding fathers, who had thought about it long ago for several modernist generations since the eighteenth century. Thanks also to MR. LARKIN'S billywagging his little hull up north in the isle, as well as the previous poet laureate's supposed stuffing [thirty-five some tears ago now] of the next woman-without-a-room, his teddy bear, into a gaseous bell jar of her own, at the same time, on the same emerald isle.

It hardly helped, along the way, that the American A.G. & E. chorus in the 60s & 70s had inadvertantly furthered this elective colonization of appearances and the disappeared [and into the bargain doused our knowledge of what was happening in BRITAIN in the 60s, 70s, and 80s] by continuing to mouth TOM RAWORTH, TOM RAWORTH & then, a bit baffled, JEREMY PRYNNE, JHP, are the two to watch in ENGLAND now. Jumping JEHOSOPHAT watchmen, what of the other knights? This proscription came principally from the late TED BERRIGAN and the later ROBERT CREELEY--and was misleading, if well-intended, as there was of course lots else, as we now know. As we might always have, if we had just looked for ourselves

The QUESTION is not exactly: What is literature? And I would press this notion no matter who was asking that at the other end of the apostrophe of this symposium. [Is this note not an indirect, though not serious enough, attempt to address, from another direction, if not answer directly, such a high-wattage, profound, aesthetical, historical-comico, philosophical question?] But we know what it is: Obviously, at the other end of future HISTORY'S (1) stomach problem, it remains the remaining cultural material smashed or leaked through the ab-dominating conduit of constant and everlasting textual poesis--i.e., SEMPER FIDEL, the REAL GOLDEN SHIT.

Not what's Lit, but whither LANGUAGE?

ALLEN [and all you others A.G.s], come out of the EC and take your time-lapse medicinals. Next TIME'S assign: Re-read Plotinus's treatise on HOROLOGICS and CHRONOMETRICS. Like objects, ideas are best found, not though--by and not by HM.

Yor're just late-twentieth-century metaphysicals, as R.H. PEARCE said to me and MICHAEL DAVIDSON, twenty years ago in LA JOLLA, before the prostitutes came.

OK not a bad shot, But I'd rather be an alchemist, turning discjockeying into samples every morning. SPECIMEN BOOKS. Not an easy calling, but occasionally a noisy, an exhilarating, and a crowded one, with the clinking of ice, laughter, hooting, applause, hysteria, diversion, prepossession, incomprehension, frustration, the NEW COHERENCE, [the new sentience] breaking ground on the side.

What more really could one want.

But don't forget to go to bed, sleep with another or with each other or with ourselves alone. To prefer the swimming pool of our penultimate DAZE in the WOODS to all this. Or are we all just mumbling idiots, too dumb to worry that it doesn't mean anything, and too smart to miss that it does.

The question might IMAGO MUNDI be Why language? OR just what is literary life? CO-DEPENDENCY reading-groups away from the addicted writers, as EAP once wondered outloud. OK, I'm there.

Just yesterday on the INTERNET, I was shown a publication in which GEORGE BOWERING or RACHEL LODEN [or both] in a virtual three-way got to suck the weenie of CHARLES BERNSTEIN, and by extended fantasy of PIERRE JORIS, by impersonating ANN LARTERBACH in a wild night [ED] at the EBB TIDE MOTEL, somewhere in the POCONOS, or was it the PEEKSKILL [ADORE RON DAKS, anyone?].

Now, I'm not against this sort of thing, neither the imagination of it nor the possible behavior. It's a bit like CINDY SHERMAN'S movie stills [the films never made] but without the technique or the sincerity. It's just amusing drivel. It takes a baby to drool, it takes a poet to truly drivel.

Poet, you should get a poem. Take a breather or a breathalizer. Get yourself some eye-liner or at least a GLASS. Come out of the WC and chuck your avant-garde and experimental aspergum. Take that windy A.G. & E. organ out of your as and pump some iron ore there as of yores.

This'll all get decided later. But, like babies in the back seat of the new MODERNISM HDiSR [With MOM'S urging, DAD finally decided we needed a new car] on our parents' idea of a vaction, we can't wait. When do we get there POP? [Can I call you POPS, asked J's grandkid at the farm in CONNECTICUT? Honored, replied EZRS.] So we continue rolling, little stones unable to kiss our KATE'S round poesie, with the bodies & the kids. THE PLAN IS THE BODY THANKS A LOT.

Our only function, after looking out where we're going [darkness does not surround us yet] is to keep on the road. AND DREAMING. To maintain desier--to keep the poetic function functioning. To write what we take to our lids and to the spectacles beyond the windscreen--and to find what remains can be seen there. [ROUTE 66 and TRADITION as road-kill trip.] To remain outside the realm of any central or any centralizing discourse, that's the only job for a writer. The rest [the dross and the endurances, all those negligible repair bills] will be disclosed later, then later reconfigured still later, still.

That way--as the SHOOTIST said, way back off now--it will become clear whether one has written one's own writing or merely practiced perseveringly in the art. There is the ever-tinkering chance, the repressed ecstasy EVER'S made real, to re-embody liberty=equivalence=pitch=turnaround=double play=error=fragility=the tone leading of vowels=phoneme sex--which no office, mate, can convert to canon fodder with a false alchemy--meretricious, nugatory, vulgar, and jejune. Those national tendencies.

This world is full of writers whose main idea of what to do with the act of writink is to sell it or get it noticed, gazing at their reflection in the storefront window of Lit-Life LITE, as PROF GIZZI would have it. Mirroring, at best, a passing jaxial celebrity in the unnoticed, eternal chillean field, instead of unbuckling to the private, tentative prepossession of an expanding or a shrinking universe, when PEN is then made public, enjoining the battle with a new tapestry. That's the only fit aspect of the job the poet gets. That and to deny on the ROCK HILL ROAD, deny absolutely en route [214] the traditional hi-ho American pragmatism [not that easy a task with so much burm-shaved memory] which masks the basic xenophobia and chauvinism of the race, as DR EVANS has added.

Hence mediocrity is everywhere celebrated. It helps to concoct something to notice.

The reason there is so much second-rate poetry around is simply that it's SO damned hard to write it well, STEVE FARMER ad-libbed brilliantly on target and startling the entire room of NEW COASTERS at NYU with the shocking obviousness of his observation.

MY ACQUAINTANCES, THE PUBlishers of avant-garde and experimental writing, much of it A.G. & E., sometimes ask their authors [as you read] to fork up a few hundred, or sometimes more, for the color cover, the special paper, or the extra signature the wide leading you insist on leads to. Or really just because the NEA GRANT'S gone on the house payments, the shrink, or the car. But that's, you know, nearly always been the case.

Still, it's a cautionary tale.

I FEEL LIKE IKE

Warning the POST-MCCARTHY ERA [may the poet/politician EUGENE MCCARTHY rest in peace] of the military/industrial complex. Is there an academic/literary complex equivalent, or at least similar, to that earlier one? Why are we not more uneasy with this cozy arrangement? Because it's bringing in money, jobs, new careers, and a refurbishable pre-sold cannon. [A prophylactic infused with herbal viagra-laced cognac for MR BLOOM there, against the blazes to come.]

If there were something like an academic/literary complex--as inert-wined, entrenched, and embedded as its EISENHOWITZER paradigm--does it not threaten to extend or intrude even here, especially here, where we are now, at the alternative N.S.A. of U POETRY, in its central strategy and planning room? Where the move to become more accessible and to unveil new forms, is roughly the equivalent of PENTAGON STRATEGY and smart, heat-seeking missiles [GENERAL POET indeed]. The power figures, their lackeys and aspirants standing around in casual dress at the midnight-swim cash bar of the new BOHEMIAN GROVE, bartering for unrefurbished prices the arms of the latest writing.

OR variously: Are we not treading precariously close to a kind of avant-garde VANITY F'AIR? Ist A.G. & E. writing not coming comically--or is it cynically--close to VANITY LIT? Somewhere between cottage industry, force feeding, or government WHITH PAPER.

For what other group except lobbyists, politicians, stars, and BOHEMIAN GROVERS, what community can you imagine of graphic artists, musicians, writers, dancers, or other virtual maneuverers, except this self-anointed elect THE AVANT-GARDE, could get so many applicants to cough up a few THOU to gather these few days [in the ACORN or the WOODS, or at HILTONS around the nation] at the new N.S.A. Close to the sea or the bar, in case the panels get boring. To mull over their overlooked courtly importance, their previously hilly but now happily recuperated position, in a newly operable and now profitable community. And then [BAM!] UNVEIL the new HARDWARE.

Pre LENT, ergo proctor lent, unlearnt. From the MARGIN in a College Avenue living room to U CENTER in less than a decade. If LIT HISTORY were fully know, all would be minutely changed utterly.

Another pre-sold avant-garde--like the surrealists or the Romantics, the original prefigured occasion of prescribed history. The new Originals.

Oh the sleep trouble, if the classics or history got their wide computation.

The security people and the young recruits, the minions and their myrmidons, have spoken of the move afoot to get ALLEN GINSBERG a NOBLEL several years ago, though he may not have written anything really A.G. & E. since before WALES VISITATION [1967]--a great, straight-ahead, old-fashioned poem.

Dynamite NOBEL literature, is that not what we must strive to subvert? In the U.S., what is it potentially? TONI MORRISON, JOYCE CAROL OATES? CYNTHIA OZICK? SUSAN SONTAG [R.I.P.], LITTLE J.A.? [We went along to his celebration party at LES DEUX MAGOTS a few years back] or most tellingly, HENRY KISSINGER. Was not the bombing of Cambodia a bonafide, prize-winning text in AMERICAN cultural studies? Well, we abjure NOBEL LITERATURE. Though Pinter's speech still rocks, and rolls its horse.

Many suppose the globe is finished in less than 200 years, hence the opportunity of VIRGIN GALACTIC'S million-dollar offer to Mars. Of course its destruction was scientifically, if fairly undramatically, predicted 100 years ago now, with those three Dasein Stein papers in 1905. Odd [or great?] that that should be roughly concurrent with TENDER BUTTONS [the first Language Poem]. And fairly [disastrously] horribly reconfirmed forty years later, by the president Charles Olson reluctantly worked for briefly, before striking out for Gloucester, stopping on the way for Professor Matthiesen's absent typewriter.

But not impossible for Celan to write poetry after Auschwitz, only Adorno.

Lit'ry life pales in the procession of that destiny, like a pall bearer without the strength to uphold a sixth of the poeticized world casket. There is the temptation to shelve literature for corpses, and fight some good fight. Trouble is, there may be none that survives inspection. We have backed ourselves into being inevitably wrong.

Hence, this here ornery conflation, with INFORMED attitude, of hegemonic dogma and cynical literary careerism, merely inscribes the all too human 'power struggle' world-wide, unfolding forevers and anon--and soon enough gone.

Though the word is and lives [we think]. Nothing is but thinking makes it so.

But writing at least inhabits and rules its own country, so we suppose. Though it could be more borderless. And less impoverished. And further afield. But let us admit we have failed to become the unacknowleged legislators of this race.

To be bookstore product or to be LIT? That is the question.

To be tortured as readers or to be knowledged?

And the limited protection of being indifferent.

Belief was its nadir discount at the end of that perhaps last of all literary centuries. At the AMTRAK STATION. On the beach in MD'S DEL MAR. It was not even ours, but it was, still, since we were its, before it was the end. Before the prostitutes came.

John, congratulations. Such silliness is social life. Gosh, what are we going to do, buy another house? More shrubbery to trim, I guess.

QUOTE: "This is the twenty-first book of DENISE LEVERTOV published by NEWD ERECTIONS [sic]." One more, I guess, than the number of centuries since JECSU knew. Well, what can you say to that? The first two or three were great. Of course, with a habit for community this could be more than twenty THOU a year. Time to rob FORT KNO'--or get appointed to the BARBRA STREISAND CHAIR of CREATIVE WRITING at the U of SOUTHERN CALIFORN-I-A.

You might think the rest of the world did not exist: THE ugly AMERICAN DELUSION.

Oh well, why not, offer the lordly and isolate satyrs. Life is a waste of money anyway. Might as well spend it at some vanity fair. As ROD MENGHAM said to me at the bar, "If you've got it, spend it. If you don't got it, spend it." Bit like HAL to FALSTAFF, or BACCHUS to DIONYSIUS in another play. But that seems to me what we're doing here this weekend, this year, this life. And may we all live forever and anon, and be read after we die. Better and than dead. But best, dead and read. It's all a fairly good malicious joke. The plan is the body thanks alot--out own and the body of work.

On both counts, thanks a lot.

OR: as KEVIN DAVIES is fond of repeating, amused but forboding, almost embarassed, in his best BRANDO mumble: "Ah the travesty. The travesty."

To recoin PIERRE ALFERI'S elective gillette version, proctoring the gamble of PAPA OCKHAM'S double-edged razor, Is it not time at last to multiply the essential once again out of necessity? So that we need never settle for the inessential again.

AS EDOUARD, FRAN, and GUSTAF [and now KATRINA] get canned explode, thrash the coast or "peter out" langsammer in their nomination for oceanic turbulence--invitably, scandalously, but somehow honorably [as with BECKETT'S goal to fail better], the only path for a writer is to write beyond the imperfect storm of his or her age, the cage of the avant-garde and the anonymity of the premature canon.
 Same with any New Orliner.
 Publish and perish. Live free and die.


for Steve, Kit, Bruce, Ladislas, Olivier, Michaels K & D, Omar, Sean, Paul Auster, Jean Day, Ben Friedlander, Denis Roche, Jesse Rodefer, Tom Raworth, Jennifer Moxley, Bill Luoma, Rod Mengham, Pierre Alferi, Brian Kim Stefans, Kevin Davies, Ian Patterson, Olivier Cadiot, Geoff Ward, Andrew Maxwell, John Wilkinson, Andrea Brady, Geoff Bennington, Keith Tuma, Jeffrey Eugenides, Miles Champion, Geoff Gilbert, Anselm Berrigan, San Ladkin, Don DeLillo, Keston Sutherland, Drew Milne, Martin Richet, Kurt Ozment, Andrew Crozier, Lisa Jarnot, Grace Lake, Abigail Lang, Muriel Spark, Olivia, Dewey, and everyone else

S12/30/05R

An earlier version of this attempt was presented at the Assembling Alternatives Conference at the U of New Hampshire, 1997, ena bled by Romana Huk, and at Birkbeck College, U of London, 2005 sponsored by Robert Hampson, Del Olsen, & Will Rowe. It was original ly titled Let's Have Another Blast for Wyndham.

1/ What is an attempt at a life or an essai without a footnote? So one notes in passing that PUNK is roughly contemporary in USUK culture with LANGUAGE POETRY. Historically, artistic developments often occur unconsciously, perhaps inadvertently, in parallel meridians: cubism/film/cars; Dada/Freud/surrealism: confessional poetry/McCarthy-era anticommunism/"apolitical" rock'n'roll/abstract expressionism; the New American Poetry/"the 60s"/"political" rock'n'roll/Pop Art; the Viet Nam War and "post Viet Nam" period/Langpo/punk/conceptual art; etcetera, etc. Might this historical coefficient, accidental or not, "translate" into something like Bruce Andrew's texts getting foregrounded [or culturally "rhymed"] by virtue of content and popular resonance? One hopes, and does not hope, so--as with anything [all suggestions tentative now, if not risk-adverse]. But there it is.

It was differently published in the Prague Literary Review [PLR] in 2004, edited by Travis Jeppesen, and was first presented at a reading associated with the MLA conference in San Francisco in 1998 produced by Kevin Killian.
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Author:Rodefer, Stephen
Publication:Chicago Review
Date:Dec 22, 2005
Words:4917
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