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Showing posts from July, 2007

From "Legends"

Kazzer says capital killed all the crofters + Kazzer says capital killed all the crofters + Kazzer says capital killed all the crofters

From "Lines in Space"

trowel - render - hazchem - wrecking, bar


trowel - render - hazchem - wrecking bar
ducting - bolster - spatula - vent
and agency
agency - enthusiasm - transcedence, then - negation
WELCOME TO THE UNITED KINGDOM gather your writing materials together and advance
piazza - loggia - calle - portico
the square sloping elegantly in a place they called siena the
leaning towers of subjective experience of note # 3056, bologna, the red do you remember, subject pinion term “darling”?
the roman palace in humid nights of split (in moonlight, athwart the buffed paving)
versus
the venetian arsenale in relcutant hvar (where we first…)
how we travel vs. how they do did

You arrive alone in dover at 3 am what next? You have the name of someone in the city can they help you? We cannot help you. They can? Good. Europe is a big place that has such wanderers in it. During
these close nights of imminence then I got to thinking of all those blissed-out beatnik losers and crazy-eyed ayes-theetes like roussel like trocchi …

Lines in Space

Lines in Space represents the last five years of my poetry activity. I somehow, being a slow starter, only reached maturity in my thirties even though I have been writing since my mid-twenties. As the title suggests the work is an investigation of the semiotic presence of material, written poetry in pagespace. As such many of these do not transpose easily if at all into HTML, certainly not in Blogger but those that do will appear here for a time.

A large number of these are under consideration and some have been published already. Still, while the copyright remains exclusively mine will post selections and leave them up until I have to take them away. I may also post my thoughts on how the work turned out the way it did. Why not, poets never do that. We'll see if I have the energy.

From "Lines out of Space"

a word in your shell is like

we entered freely into the nautilus
shell which is diminishing
for some of them the sea’s suspiration
was until that point as yet unheard
that point of our diminishing
from the shell there was no escaping

from the monolith gleaned the megalith
which I admit are no more than words to me
words with meanings not like the ones
the proper poets opt to use there
was or is no choice but to pace the crouching spiral
and adopt a stance which the others might pursue

for the confusion of the labyrinth
comes not from a mazey complexity of
options turns deadends and blank walls
it is rather a perpetual scaling down of the world
both familiar and upsetting is the park of dolls
and miniatures will disturb those who recuperate slowly

little by littler by littler still
we exited the nautilus from the
tiny horn which announced us to the
single grain of beach which they had
left to us and the monolith gleamed while the
megalith didn’t and the water’s urged words
got smaller and smaller and smaller

Lines out of Space

For the past 5 years have been working on what I hope to be my first published collection, Lines in Space. Many pieces were written during this period which I value but just didn't fit into Lines in Space. This blog seems the ideal location to publish them under the title Lines out of Space. They will appear in alphabetical order.

Forthcoming: August is Poetry Month

I have been posting rather a lot of academic material so have decided August 2007 should instead be poetry month.

I will post extracts from my, hopefully, forthcoming collection Lines in Space. I will also post poems which didn't make it into the final selection for that. Finally will finish posting from the four part sequence called Moths. Have posted part 1, "Ip" already.

There are also some other miscellaneous projects and experiments which I never typed up so will endeavour to do so and post them as well.

The Process of Avant-Garde Practice (end)

The Practice of Everyday, Everybody, Everything

At one point Lefebvre declares, “the true critique of everyday life will have as its prime objective the separation between the human (real and possible) and bourgeois decadence, and will imply a rehabilitation of everyday life” (Lefebvre, Critique 127). The right of each individual to a rehabilitated everyday life, that is one divested of bourgeois categorisation, returns us back to the predicament of David Antin’s mother. Denied access to the everyday, her world becomes increasingly confusing and hostile to her, her own world hostile to her, in a manner Lefebvre calls alienation.

Undoubtedly, he does not see the rehabilitation of the everyday coming from the avant-garde, quite the opposite in fact, but his comment does raise a radical issue in relation to the perceived gap between art and life which is, that removal of this gap as much requires a radicalisation of the everyday as it does the processes of artistic creation. If this is to …

The Process of Avant-Garde Practice (6)

In the Event of Avant-Garde Practice…

For Lyotard, the sense of practice as the site for a radical challenge to the totalising dominance of bourgeois art is equally as strong as in Burger and Kristeva. However, because he comes from a critical, essentially Kantian, philosophical tradition, rather than a dialectical, Hegelian, tradition, his sense of practice is somewhat different. For Kant, the practical realm is the realm of understanding whose adherence to natural laws is called into the pleasure/pain realm of the sublime, by the demands of infinite reason on its finite limits. His schema is as predominant within the category of art as the dialectical schema, and, traditionally, it has relegated the practical realm to a pedestrian and secondary function. However, Lyotard looks to rehabilitate it through his use of the sublime event.

The event is the representative and temporal incommensurability of the moment, which is doubly sublime: the experience of the “it happens,” proof of the i…

The Process of Avant-Garde Practice (5)

The Practice of the Avant-Garde

Kristeva is in agreement with Burger, that the aim of the avant-garde from the epistemological break onwards has been to return the fetishised, autonomous art “object” or “book,” back to the realm of social practice. However, she moves beyond the somewhat simplified, and metaphysically predictable, dichotomy success/failure that dominates Burger’s work, and leaves him ultimately within the realm of reifying criticism. Burger presents us with a central avant-garde intention, which is readable, is conveyed through work, and which, because he says it failed, could also be conceived of as succeeding. This is the main difference between his idea of the sublation of art/life-praxis, and Kristeva’s formulation of signifying practice, a difference as radical again, as that between the practice of work and art/life-praxis that Burger maps out. Kristeva defines practice as something which is, somehow, a utilisation of the experience of heterogeneous contradiction …

The Process of Avant-Garde Practice (4)

The Praxis of the Avant-Garde

At the root of these three critical theories of the avant-garde is the theory of practice and, indeed, it may be said that when one talks of the avant-garde, one is always, by implication, talking about the practice of the avant-garde. This conception of practice takes on special resonance only when considered in terms of work. It is more usual when analysing any movement to consider the work of that movement, and whether you are a hermeneutic or materialist critic, it is with work and works that you are finally concerned. This is necessitated by the retrospective temporal category which is criticism, which must, in almost all cases, make art forms into fetishised objects treated in a quasi-archaeological fashion. In calling the avant-garde a practice, one is not saying therefore that there are no avant-garde works of art, rather one is saying that the avant-garde confronts the category of “work” with the category of “practice” and, at least for a period,…

The Process of Avant-Garde Practice (3)

Lyotard’s “sublime”

Lyotard’s conception of what is essentially not the sublime but the Kantian sublime, is not initially posited in Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime as a development of his earlier work on the sublime and the postmodern and the sublime and the avant-garde. Rather, it is an attempt to read the sublime as a “tautegorical” sensation of pleasure and pain which marks the point where Kant’s critical schema is cut across by the manner of his text. This manner is the way in which we linger over the beautiful, the way in which tautegorical sensation causes us to linger rather than rationally follow through Kant’s heuristic schema, which he lays out for the third Kritik. However, away from the “letter” of Lyotard’s text, which itself purports to stray from the “letter” of Kant’s text, we can find a vital addition to critical theory of the avant-garde. Earlier work has, of course, provided useful clues as to how we might carry out such a reading. “Answering the Question Wha…

The Process of Avant-Garde Practice (2)

Kristeva’s Subject En Procès

As much as it is necessary to understand the historicisation of bourgeois art categories to comprehend Burger’s theory of the historical avant-garde, it is necessary to understand Kristeva’s conception of signifying practice to comprehend her concept of the avant-garde and its ability to put the subject en procès (on trial). I will not summarise the whole of her argument in Revolution in Poetic Language,[i] rather I will restrict myself to a brief outline of her concept of signifying practice, and then go on in more detail to look at its implications for the avant-garde.

Strictly speaking, Revolution in Poetic Language is not a theory of the avant-garde, but of the manner in which revolution within social structures can find an equivalent through linguistic structures, in the subject.[ii] Subjective “revolution,” further, is not actuated especially by what Burger would identify as the historical avant-garde, and indeed the second part of the work which is th…

The Process of Avant-Garde Practice

This article was originally a chapter in my PhD thesis that did not make it into In the Process of Poetry.


I write because it is natural like I piss like I’m ill...We are looking for a straightforward pure sober unique force we are looking for NOTHING we affirm the VITALITY of every instant...
Tzara, “Unpretentious Proclamation”

The word leads a double life. Sometimes it simply grows like a plant whose fruit is a geode of sonorous stones clustering around it; in this case the sound element lives a self-sufficient life, while the particle of sense named by the word stands in shadow. At other times the word is subservient to sense...sound becomes merely a “name” and humbly carries out the commands of sense...
Khlebnikov, “On Contemporary Poetry”

Only the unsyntactical poet who unlinks his words can penetrate the essence of matter and destroy the dumb hostility that separates it from us.
Marinetti, “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature”

After you have settled yourself in a place as favora…