We see this most clearly, I think, in the title poem, "Life of Riley," a short run of articulated lineated constructions that bear out, among other things, a generalized critique of the American Left: each is claiming material conditions / for the analytical framework there won’t be proof / of what is really happening if I’m not there / may I still care whether you COME OR NOT / the real movement of history is also at and has / also been, i.e. “She Drives the Buick” where topical banquets of know-how launched tungsten. Well I’m scared!) — like Maleficent, then, we toss each other heaps of appropriated shade. And after Hot White Andy, what poem written in English today can deploy the word “tungsten” without immediately alluding to Keston Sutherland? The desire to be, at one and the same time, "Miss Manning and the witch" is an expression of utopian longing but without the crippling expectation of an impossible utopia. I wish I knew more about maths, or algebra, so I could explain to you exactly what I mean. So instead of that I’ll give you a small thesis on the nature of rhythm - (1) They had banged his head on the floor and they were giving him punches. (2) He was already handcuffed and he was restrained when I saw him. (3) He was shouting, “Help me, help me”. (4) He wasn’t coherent. (5) I went to speak to his mum. (6) He couldn’t even stand up after they hit him with the batons. (7) They knocked on her door three hours later and told her “your son’s died”. I can’t remember exactly where I read that. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in a literary magazine, but I guess you’ll have to agree it outlines a fairly conventional metrical system. In her sixth Playback [6:45 to 8:00] of the reverberation of the recording has been reinforced so that its sound vibrations as overdriven harmonics of the speaking voice and modulate. From the ninth playback loop [12:18 to 13:38] superimposes the resonance of the room the sound of the voice. While a human speech remains vaguely identifiable, but his words became unintelligible. After about 24 of the 32 repetitions [33:23-34:46], the voice has dissolved into bell-like sounds. Its frequency spectrum levels itself further in the last eight playback loops so that they almost appear to be on an oscilloscope sine tones. Because in addition to the frequencies and the amplitudes of the sounds lose selectivity, and the rhythm is barely identifiable as such. Now come three smaller canvases, all with the title Dead, and with no numbers attached to differentiate them. All three are versions of exactly the same image: the head and shoulders of a woman who is lying on her back, eyes closed, chin thrust upward, pale and delicate-looking, with a darker strand of rope or cloth or perhaps simply a bruise circling her white neck. It’s either one long number or buckets of sequence subsumed as they say in the trade off. Off is the on’s eye feigning& to wait for all possibilities to soften the surface clouds as dense as free-tailed bats.
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The Furies keep the sun in place, says Heraclitus. Old-fashioned house, very big garden. Scene: interior, slow camera movement towards a small, square, darkish space in the wall. It could be water, or a window. As the camera moves nearer a small dresser appears – the space is a mirror – with a small, brightly-coloured native weaving. Then the camera turns away from the mirror to the room. The objects aren’t in the right position, the director’s got it wrong. Maybe on purpose. Or. Something falls out of the sky. It looks like a lunar landing vehicle. I wait for the parachute which doesn’t appear. What does land is a black box, made of cardboard, inside it there’s a baby. The brain: semi-independent circuits.
[Note: Richard Owens, and Samuel Solomon, “Life of Riley”, “She Drives the Buick”, as quoted in Owens’ “Samuel Solomon His Life of Riley”, at Damn the Caesars, 11 Oct 012; Sean Bonney, “Letter on Silence”, at Abandoned Buildings, 30 Aug 011; Florian Cramer, “With perhaps the exception of rhythm : speech, stuttering and loops in Alvin Lucier, I am sitting in a room” (tr. Google), at Florian Cramer; Wendy Lesser, “Richter’s Masterpiece”, at Threepenny Review, Fall 012; Jack Kimball, “Rats in ‘84”, at Pantaloons, 11 Oct 012; Simon Reynolds, “Retromania tour Germany / Austria / Switzerland / Luxembourg”, at BLISSBLOG, 11 Oct 012, but not as it appeared there, as it appeared in my Google Reader; Will Rowe, “The Year Book (A year book)”, at Great Works; JBR]