Friday, November 12, 2010

LEMON HOUND: Pulled off my Shelves #8: "All Work and No Play Ma...

LEMON HOUND: Pulled off my Shelves #8: "All Work and No Play Ma...: "In All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy, Phil Buehler attempts to document, assemble and continue Jack Torrance’s manuscript from Stan..."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In which Vanessa Place addresses

A few of the questions people had about her Statement Of Facts piece which she read from recently in Montreal.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Conceptual Writing, sure, but what is Flarf?

Flarf plays Dionysus to Conceptual Writing’s Apollo. Flarf uses traditional poetic tropes (“taste” and “subjectivity”) and forms (stanza and verse) to turn these conventions inside out. Conceptual Writing rarely “looks” like poetry and uses its own subjectivity to construct a linguistic machine that words may be poured into; it cares little for the outcome. Flarf is hilarious. Conceptual Writing is dry. Flarf is the Land O’Lakes butter squaw; Conceptual Writing is the government’s nutritional label on the box. Flarf is Larry Rivers. Conceptual Writing is Andy Warhol. No matter. They’re two sides of the same coin. Choose your poison and embrace your guilty pleasure.Kenny G .
Also, here's a flarf poem from Katie Degentesh. For a reading of Degentesh's poem see Ryan Fitzpatrick here.


when Serbs get mad, they talk
about a small town like Grace

Stop laughing; I’m serious
Grace is all I can afford on my nursing home wages

I pity her for the thankless job of building
A nation of Americans conceived in petri dishes.

Whores are disposable.
They get strangled, beaten, tortured, raped ...

in old motels, diners, train stations, or whatever,
and I think about Capri Sun bags when it happens.

As he unzips his pants I realize that I’m
what happens to us when the curtain goes down

no one cares much for the body parts
murderer creeping up behind her

Look, poetry, painting, writing ...
People don’t get it like they should.

But it exists because it’s a link to what we can
accomplish through our Academic Plan

no mattter how public it all seems
there’s a forced casualness to this conversation

I’ve been out here shooting long snough
I know even a public toilet will net you jail time

Because when it comes to that word, “nigger,”
- I know that this is illegal -

it’s like the emergence of yet another guilty, white Southern male
as the fat lady continues to sing

“when they were first created the thing
was to make them as white as possible”

as long as we are laughing
at Rush Limbaugh’s addiction

remember that Mt. Rushmore was itself
the creation of an ardent member of the Ku Klux Klan

from The Anger Scale

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kenneth Goldsmith: Always Almost Obsolete, Always Almost New

Conceptual Writing is automatic. It operates most efficiently when machines perpetuate it subconsciously. Conceptual Writing is infinitely flexible. It is obvious yet discreet, insidious yet desirable, powerful yet pathetic. It is despised, yet sought after. It is ubiquitous yet specific. It is both centralized and dispersed. The medium for Conceptual Writing is information, which is a mere receptacle for quantification — a domain within which information is both extracted and deployed. It is the grid again — the return of the Cartesian, but with a vengeance. This time, roving crosshairs — not unlike those of missile guidance systems — have been included. Conceptual Writing doesn’t have the pretense to find poetry all that important; in subsuming literature to the statistical, it announces the obsolescence of expression.

Vanessa Place: Notes on why Conceptualism is Better than Flarf

1. Conceptualism asks what is poetry?
1. Flarf says sez you!
2. Flarf is never about anything other than poetry itself.
2. Conceptualism is allegorical. It is about things other than poetry itself.
3. Flarf is the court jester. As such, it is still a member of the court.
3. Conceptualism courts jest, but is not the king’s dog.
4. Flarf is composition.
4. Conceptualism is composed.

Mayer/ Bernstein Writing Experiments

* Systematically eliminate the use of certain kinds of words or phrases from
a piece of writing: eliminate all adjectives from a poem of your own, or
take out all words beginning with 's' in Shakespeare's sonnets.
* Rewrite someone else's writing. Experiment with theft and plagiarism.
* Systematically derange the language: write a work consisting only of
prepositional phrases, or, add a gerund to every line of an already existing
* Get a group of words, either randomly selected or thought up, then form
these words (only) into a piece of writing-whatever the words allow. Let
them demand their own form, or, use some words in a predetermined way.
Design words.

* Pick a word or phrase at random, let mind play freely around it until a
few ideas have come up, then seize on one and begin to write. Try this with
a non- connotative word, like "so" etc.
* Eliminate material systematically from a piece of your own writing until
it is "ultimately" reduced, or, read or write it backwards, line by line or
word by word. Read a novel backwards.

Restructuring well-known works of literature

Wind the with Gone
Novelist and Conceptual poet Vanessa Place is in the middle of tweeting the entirety of Magaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. Of course, because she enters the text in 140 character increments, and because Twitter places the most recent posts at the top of the page, the text is being reversed. For example, the two most recent posts have been:
e of the Confederacy, for final victory was at hand. Stonewall Jackson’s triumphs in the Valley and the defeat of the Yankees in the Seven D
need be, and bear their loss as proudly as the men bore their battle flags. It was high tide of devotion and pride in their hearts, high tid
 via Poetry Foundation

follow Vanessa Place on Twitter. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jen Bervin

When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

An excerpt of Bervin's Nets online. Philip Metres has a review of Nets on Jacket

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How To Do Silence: A conversation on Erasure with Vanessa Place

What is she reading? More than two minutes of silence, well, near silence, filled up the auditorium as Vanessa Place scanned the page in front of her, one hand moving from page to body and back, occasionally looking up, making eye contact. I started our brief conversation about the performance she gave at the University of Greenwich earlier this month by asking what the title was--she didn't say prior.

VP:"Gone with the Wind by Vanessa Place"

LH: You offer no apparatus for the audience/reader to receive the work, which makes for a powerful, and somewhat uncomfortable experience. How would you describe the piece?