Thursday, March 25, 2010

after Rimbaud

early 2012. the latest news is
political flashes superimposed on our rooftops
it is thin, our cynicism, the latest distinct word
sometimes, when a specific distortion in the vowels is achieved
we can hear heaven. it is a kind of wall
all of our clear, musical nouns
the morality of our achievments, singing on the scaffold
& the riot squad have denied everything
our laws and our tastes, this is harmony
every possible combination of peoples and phantoms
our sobriety and victims, this is our alphabet
sometimes, we get sick of our pious barbarism
we leap screeching into hell
our immense, unquestionable affluence

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reading List 1 // Revolutionary Poetics

chapters on Pythagoras and Philolaus // Kirk et al THE PRESOCRATIC PHILOSOHPERS (2nd Ed)
Brecht: German Satires
MAYAKOVSKY // RIMBAUD at the same time
passages on Circulation & Production Time, GRUNDRISSE (Marx, yeh)
Amiri Baraka // Blues People / Black Music / The Dead Lecturer
Luigi Nono: como una ola de fuerza y luz // non consumiamo marx
BLACK FIRE: 1968. Edited by Amiri Baraka & Larry Neal
William Rowe: The Earth Has Been Destroyed
Lenin's Notebooks on Heraclitus & Hegel's History of Philosophy (passages on musical tones, electrons)
rockabilly etc // Iancu Dumitrescu // Bud Powell
Walter Benjamin: Epistemo-Critical Prologue ORIGIN OF GERMAN TRAGIC DRAMA
Pasolini : Heretical Empiricism
PAUL CELAN / CESAR VALLEJO at the same time
CLR James: The Black Jacobins
Everybody Talks About the Weather . . . We Don't: ULRIKE MEINHOFF


Solidarity with the Sussex Occupations, the UBS Cleaners, BA Cabin Crew . . . .

Friday, March 05, 2010

Working notes on political poetry // I don't talk to cops

Poetry aims at difficult meanings - Amiri Baraka

Neither abstract or descriptive, but to grasp what is collective within isolated images. Several will be working together at any one time, contrapuntally, in overlaying dimensions, tones, moods and shapes. Within these tensions the poem becomes an essay under pressure, on the cusp of several discourses with their differing relations, repulsions, attractions, contaminations.

An engagement, also, with ideas that have been erased from official discourse, but can still be activated. If it is incomprehensible, it is because certain ideas seem eclipsed in an epoch that cannot see them. Imagine a period when not only is, say, revolution impossible, but even the thought of revolution. On the other hand, most poetry is mimetic of incomprehensibility, rather than an engagement with it.

A tracking of eclipses in the constellations of ideas: Milton’s “visible darkness”, Shelley’s Prometheus and Demagorgon. Or is it too much to claim poetic thought moves counterclockwise to the irreality of our own historical period, which is papered over with a bourgeois myth that, though long dead, is still active and still fundamentally real in that it knows how to kill, and always acts from just that basis.

But if poetry might speed up a dialectical ‘continuity in discontinuity’, & thus detourne whatever is forced to be invisible via realistic speech (in a Brechtian sense), and where the lyric I is (1) an interrupter and (2) a collective, and where direct speech & incomprehensibility are only possible as a synthesis that bends ideas into and out of the limits of insurrectionism and illegalism, the obvious danger is that disappeared ideas will only turn up ‘dead’, or reanimated as zombies: the terrorist as damaged manifestation of utopianism, when all of the elements, including those eclipsed by bourgeois thought are still absolutely occupied by that same bourgeoisie.

The problem I have is how to make it talk back, how to make whatever it is that is trapped in aesthetics, idealism and in history learn to speak.