Something’s gotta get us out of this hell, even if it won’t. Jennifer writes, “I had a terrible experience last night and I want to write about it here: I’m shy, but here goes. I went to see the movie Wolf of Wall Street with my husband. There is a scene where DiCaprio takes a bunch of Quaaludes and says “I hit the cerebral palsy stage.” While he’s writhing on the floor acting like he has CP, the audience of about 400 erupted into hysterical laughter. We left. I felt so ugly and horrible. [Jennifer has CP] I thought that that is how everyone looks at me? My body is just a joke? There is nothing I can do about this. I can’t write Scorcese a letter or DiCaprio, I have no agency. It was truly awful to see someone who others regard as “good looking” act like they were “gross”. How does poetry negotiate this outrage? [Whenever you see “how does poetry” in this text read: how do we.] And to what extent does this require that the poem itself incarnate such outrage: both by externalising the rage in question (literally: out-rage) and through a rhetorics which embraces the ‘outrageous’? On the one hand, it is an individual expression of an individual outrage: ‘The lyric I — yeh, that thing’. And yet, [it is not:] the politics this poetry aims to incarnate [the politics that we aim to incarnate] is one of collectivity — not just as the basis for socio-economic organisation, but also as a metaphysical claim about human freedom. [How do we end this alienation shit? How do we ALL become whole? You got something better to do with your time? Really? Yes, I’m furious; Jennifer’s my friend] “All poetry that does not testify to an awareness of the radical falsity of the established forms (of life) is faulty. Understand prosody via black bloc tactics.* *Archaic reference, unexplained. (Bonney 2005, 87). “It is impossible to fully grasp Rimbaud’s work, and especially Une Saison en Enfer, if you have not studied through and understood the whole of Marx’s Capital. And this is why no English speaking poet has ever understood Rimbaud. Poetry is stupid, but then again, stupidity is not the absence of intellectual ability but rather the scar of its mutilation. Rimbaud hammered out his poetic programme in May 1871, the week before the Paris Communards were slaughtered. He wanted to be there, he kept saying it. The ‘long systematic derangement of the senses’, the ‘I is an other’, he’s talking about the destruction of bourgeois subjectivity, yeh? That’s clear, yeh? That’s his claim for the poetic imagination, that’s his idea of what poetic labour is. Like, I just took some speed, then smoked a joint and now I’m gonna have a pepsi, but that’s not why I’m writing this and it’s not what it’s about. The ‘systematic derangement of the senses’ is the social senses, ok, and the ‘I’ becomes an ‘other’ as in the transformation of the individual into the collective when it all kicks off.’ The
cold night fog brings ocean
to crack open lips
& heart, to flood
in & out. beauty. Fuck
tonguemusk. more clouds?
just buy some ketamine,
swim down 3rd Avenue,
the shore-line, clamber
up into London, aquatic mammals. Serenade
the tube and grin unhumour,
cold and green.
But how could what we were experiencing be simply down to police tactics — seriously, try thinking about the first letter of the alphabet. For thirty minutes just do it.
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They’d look weird and bumpy and naked from a distance. You know? ... but I think we ought to forego the antlers, if you make pantyhose scarecrows … if WE make pantyhose scarecrows. Not the kind of endeavor one should pursue alone. The hair fetishist guy feels like barking in English / I wouldn’t be this torch or a squash or vegan shaman / Please don’t have a morbid curiosity about the honk toy / or rustling gold tongues hung on the balcony to dry / I don’t really have to know your coded glom! / Those most amazing eel birds / Pages 175 to 295 are a blue-colored butterfly gland / Guess I’ll just give someone a lost yarmulke / The cats watch Gone with the Wind / and the problematic Teahouse of the Beasts Boy again / I’m serious, I’m going to emit us. Narrow streets in the heart of District V, and no way to escape or alter the fate that hovered over my greasy hair like a magic djellaba. Words that drift away from one another. Urban games played from time immemorial … I’m my own bewitchment. My hands move over a mural in which someone, 8 inches taller than me, stands in the shadows, hands in the pockets of his jacket, preparing for transparency. They’re in the trees and on the ground, bunched together on wooden fence posts and hanging from clotheslines like laundry left to dry. Their dead eyes stare at you from half empty sockets, their dirty hair hangs like cobwebs. Their skin is scabbed and peeling away, and their plump limbs are scattered everywhere — arms and legs strewn about haphazardly, decapitated heads impaled on stakes. This is not a nightmare. It’s La Isla de las Muñecas. It was once the property of Don Julián Santana, a local farmer. In 1950, he saw a little girl drown in the canal and her spirit began to haunt the place. Terrified, Don Julián started collecting dolls to protect himself from her ghost. He gathered them from trash heaps and hung them around the island. The oldest is still there, hanging in a shed by the entrance. At night they come alive. “They will move their heads and whisper to each other. It’s very spooky, but I have gotten used to it.” “Dismembered” in Bardo comas by battalions of hungry ghosts, he returned, semi-reinvented, with a new language, consisting of nearly incomprehensible sound-syllables and brilliant-ish arguments. He used the block of wood Dr. Delmas placed in his room at Ivry-sur-Seine during his final years like a drum. He also had a “bridge” which he wrote was located between his anus and his sex (an area Tantric Buddhism identifies as the Muladhara Chakra, the seat of a novice’s spiritual potential). In “Artaud the Mômo” he reported that he was murdered on this “bridge” by God. In “To Have Done with the Judgment of God” he envisioned the true human body as one that was organless. Such a body remained an unsolvable problem because the “lightning” that destroyed “the old Artaud” (burying him in his own toothless gum) did not provide new quartz organs. Who’s the murderer, then? The boy miraculously keeps singing, despite being nearly decapitated, but only until he tells the monk where to find the kill switch. Having killed, the monk falls as if bound to the floor. “One scene is fantastic, when waves of blood pushes through the elevator doors in a flood and drowns the hotel corridor.” I mean, “An earlier version of this article incorrectly described imagery from The Shining. The gentleman seen with the weird guy in the bear suit is wearing a tuxedo, but not a top hat.” This finding is important for the field of epigenetics because Tet enzymes chemically modify DNA, changing signposts that tell the cell’s machinery “this gene is shut off” into other signs that say “ready for a change.” “& then le tigre came along, & at first i was excited, & i bought the record & i saw the band when they played the meow meow in portland, oregon sometime in 2000 or so. they performed “bang! bang!” from their EP, which is a song about amadou diallo being shot 42 times by cops in new york city. there’s a “breakdown” where kathleen leads the crowd in counting to 42. i was at the show with a friend, who happens to be a woman of color born & raised in a new york city borough. she became increasingly uncomfortable as the song progressed & eventually had to leave. i took a walk with her & she explained that it felt sickening to her to be in a room full of white people (because portland is mostly white, & let’s face facts: bikini kill / le tigre / kathleen hanna fans in general are mostly white) counting down how many times an unarmed black immigrant was shot by white cops. the song is supposed to be about police brutality & raising awareness of that issue among white kids, but … it did feel weird. the counting got louder & louder & became almost anthemic, like the kids were celebrating. it was creepy & i always skipped that song when i listened to the EP.”
[Note: Sources: JBR; Jennifer Bartlett, FB post, 29 Dec 013; bits from David Nowell Smith, and Sean Bonney, quoted in Smith’s “‘An Interrupter, a Collective’: Sean Bonney’s Lyric Outrage”, at Études britanniques contemporaines 45 (except for the stuff in brackets, which is by JBR); result of an attempt to cutnpaste a bit from Leopoldine Core’s “Hush Robot” from The Portable Boog Reader 7, at Boog City; Lynn Behrendt, FB comments, 29 Dec 013; Nada Gordon, “A POEM THAT SWELLS UP”, at Ululations, 28 Dec 013; Roberto Bolaño, “People Walking Away”, in The Unknown University (tr. Laura Healy), quoted in Ariana Reines, “I’M MY OWN BEWITCHMENT”, at Ariana Reines, 28 Dec 013; Jan-Albert Hootsen, “Welcome to the Island of the Dolls, the Creepiest Place in Mexico”, at Vocativ, 26 Dec 013; Clayton Eshleman, “Nancy Meets the Mômo – Clayton Eshleman”, at The Fiend, 16 Apr 0122, via Johannes Göransson, FB post, 29 Dec 013; Karl Steel, “Withdrawing the grain”, at In the Middle, 29 Dec 013; Lars Norén, quoted in Johannes Göransson, FB post, 29 Dec 013, and Alice Boone, appended comment; JBR; “Epigenetics Enigma Resolved”, at Science Daily, 26 Dec 013; Crabigail Adams, “on relating to kathleen hanna”, at if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit here by me, 27 Feb 010]