So Nietzsche dreamed of becoming Bart Simpson, is what it boils down to. And balloons become car-sized anemones and quivering beasts. And ‘Bang Bang Boom,’ whose fleshy follicled tubes descend from giant booms in the trees. A single candle burns in the Merz Barn. The slide shows a blue-black darkness sprinkled with tiny lights. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been sent to the gulag. One thousand, nine hundred and ten. Twelve thousand, seven hundred and ninety three. Five. Five hundred. Three hundred and forty thousand. One hundred thousand. Six eight thousand. Four point seven percent. One point two percent. Three point eight percent. Three thousand one hundred and forty. Thirty one thousand. Fifty nine thousand. Six billion, eight hundred and eleven million. Seven hundred and eleven billion, four hundred and twenty one million. Eight hundred and seventy eight million. “I’m not really a super amper … I just started grad school so I was really overwhelmed with quantum mechanics and organic chemistry and … it was really heavy. Michael says ride the lightning! … I just want to calmly ride the lightning.” For every free coffee beauty privilege gets you, it also gets you a guy following you down the steps on the subway, saying he wants to work his tongue into your ass. I mean, I can’t decide whether to be more baffled at G. A. Kelly’s (outrageously unclear) paper on Hegel’s Master and Slave Dialectic or at the ending of the Adventure Time season finale right now. As I’m typing, I’m thinking about this: I accept that my interiority is culturally forged, and not very well forged. It’ll shift, alter, mutate. At the same time, I do experience my self as real, central, devouring, needy, and needful. I don’t believe in progress, but I do believe things happen. I’d love to upend the patriarchy, but I can’t guarantee anything better (whatever that means) would follow in the immediate aftermath. I’m a breeder who revolts against the body-as-property equations of state and love. Gloria Anzaldúa tells us to develop (or that some of us in that third space will necessarily develop) a “tolerance for ambiguity.” I say, let’s go further. Let’s develop a predilection for ambiguity. Let’s elect it. Let’s become especially skilled at occupying our conflicted terrain, at describing the negative space of the ambiguous by filling in everything around it. This is feminist, which is synonymous with existential or ontological. This is an ontological option that I’m pursuing. Failure abounds. Alexander Graham Bell wanted to call his daughter Photophone. Yes I certainly did. And King Philip sayeth unto me, re “the” Gagosian: “Far behind the artists’ assistants and the dealer’s minions are a slew of people who are employed to keep up appearances and therefore must remain especially invisible. Should they finally be seen, after all, buyers risk remembering that this is just a shopping mall like any other; that unwanted objects always gather dust after a while; that people earning minimum wage do in fact interact with priceless things; that people are not always white like gallery walls; and that walruses are not in fact ever pink.” But bloodlust, in its excess, is dull. Get out of here if you don’t know how to raise a child, how to save a child. And “swarm” is key. It’s a “frenzy mantic mania” (“Invincible Birth”) lexical field of energy, just now a magnet of living juice has been whirling the mental-affective plume. The other key characteristic of the poems of Meadowlark West is their use of allusions and references. It’s a big-time parade of allusions, and to use just a few examples from but one of the poems, they range from the familiar (Sor Juana and John Donne), to those that can be unlocked with a bit of research (“the massacres at Humboldt Bay in the nineteenth century,” “the red obsidian light of Church’s Cotopoxi,” and “Gilak in the Pomo legend,” for example), to a few which seem destined to remain mysteries (try “the collini lombardini,” and “the Canadian octophagic”). Sirens at doorways on rocks in place of gutted rooms … rollicking maypoles of imaginary Canaans forgotten in redwood dust … motorific cyclones a bridge of garnet almost granite … the bronze raindrop … the flocculent chance of onyx leaves … No one’s emotions are their own.
[Note: Sources: JBR, FB comment appended to Benjamin Noys FB post, 23 Oct 012 (Noys’ post: ‘Eternal recurrence is the punishment of being held back in school, projected onto the cosmic sphere: humanity has to copy out its text in endless repetitions.’ Walter Benjamin); Brian Merchant, “Like Alien Organs: A Chat With Jason Hackenwerth”, at Vice, 23 Oct 012; Charlotte Higgins, “Merz Barn faces closure: Lake District shrine to modern art where Kurt Schwitters worked on his last great dadaist project under threat after losing grant”, at The Guardian, 19 Oct 012 (“In a room of the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, there is a hint of what Schwitters did to scrape together a living: alongside the display of his avant-garde collages are figurative portraits he made (according to Hunter, he posted ads in the local shops – "portrait, one guinea, hands 10 shillings extra"). There is even a flower painting (he is the only major modernist, it transpires, to have won the Ambleside Flower Painting Competition). He sang dada songs in the White Lion in Kendal for pennies to pay for beer.”); Rachel Pastan, “Negotiating Utter Darnkess: What Is Contemporary?”, at ICA Miranda, 15 Oct 012 (Re Yayoi Kusama’s “Fireflies on the Water”); Miriam Elder, “Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps”, at The Guardian, 22 Oct 012; Juliana Spahr, “Index for ‘Under Under …’”, at Swoonrocket, 23 Oct 012 (“Participants wrote the numbers by jumping up as high as they could. And they wrote them as large as they could. Attention was paid to the jump, not the writing.”); “a chemistry professor speaking about her first time surfing a 25-foot high or so wave, two miles out off the coast, and about an hour out of Santa Cruz. It was also the first time any woman surfed Mavericks”, as quoted in Sam Reiss, “Hi Shredability – Mavericks”, at Vice, 23 Oct 012; “vicemag: For every free coffee …”, at Stoya, 23 Oct 012; JBR; David Winters, “My mind can’t …”, at Dinu Lipatti’s Bones, 23 Oct 012; Danielle Pafunda, as quoted in H L Hix, “Danielle Pafunda on Occupying Our Conflicted Terrain”, at In Quire, 23 Oct 012; Garrett Caples, “Ordinary History America”, at Poetry Foundation; JBR, but see next; “1simulacrum1: The Gagosian Doesn’t Want you to See this Image”, at fakedaniels, 23 Oct 012; Ariana Reines, Coeur de Lion, and Johannes Göransson, Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate, as quoted in Gene Tanta, “Lost and Found: American Hipster Poets as Urban Excess”, at The The, 23 Oct 012; Steven Fama, and Philip Lamantia, as quoted in Fama’s “¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ Viva Lamantia ! ! ! ! !”, at the glade of theoric ornithic hermetica, 23 Oct 012; JBR]