Speaking of recidivism, I’m never sure what color navy blue is but then again I’m opposed to military shit. I tend to support pacifist colors, like brick red. I wish the sky was brick red. It’s a beginning, unless we cut it out or move it. Then it’s nothing, or it’s something else. Like “the mastodon’s revenge.” Wait. I don’t see a semi colon. What happened to my semi colon. Do you know who Gaitana of the Paez is? Or Granny Nanny? Or Nehanda Nyakasikana? Or Ani Pachen? I know I’ve been awake for five days because when I went out onto my balcony this morning all the buildings in the city collapsed. This seemed to me to be something of a cause for concern, so I sat down to write my will. Here goes. My coffee cups and typewriter I leave to, I dunno, whoever can scream the loudest. My collection of empty beer bottles I leave to my landlord. My library I leave to the homeless of Kottbusser Tor. My credit card likewise. My sexual uncertainty I keep to myself. My love I leave to the suicided. My drug habit I leave to cops, let them wither, mutate and die. My hatred I keep close to my heart. My heart I leave to the centre of the earth. My grief. Gah. My grief which is the size of the tiny racist island on which I was born, I compress it, I transmute it into something like the wild and collectively inhuman joy of the swifts that circle the city with a frenzy wilder than. Oh whatever. The heart is such a lame metaphor. And so pathetic, the idea of burying it in the earth, when I could just as easily fire it into the centre of the red spot of Jupiter. For example. So if someone calls me and says they are thinking of killing themselves I will never say “Sorry, I don’t have time to talk! I’m going to the spa!” Which is why I remember asking him once if, as it appeared, he only played on the top two strings. He said, ‘Yes, why bother with the others, there’s nothing down there.’ I said, ‘Do you never play them?’ He said, ‘If I played them they would sound terrible, haven’t changed them in years.’ But George could work anywhere because of his busking abilities. Don’t believe me? Click on the link, ye Mighty, and despair! Don’t believe me? The pronoun “he” introduces some 40 lines of statements. One Trump supporter prays to a 6’ cardboard cut-out of his hero each morning as he leaves for work. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material. So
the sky is dark
dense with them.
Which is to say that everyone has something they’re really good at. Some people are just really good at spilling food on themselves. Walking around all day like gahhhhhh. The odds of spilling when wearing new clothes go up to 100%. But then all generations die, that’s what they do. Nevertheless, and although of course we are all often genuinely at a loss for words, it’s odd to be caught saying it again and again. The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books. Now, though, there’s no longer wind or even an inkling of wind, the air eerily, ominously unmoving. It’s what, especially farther north, they call earthquake weather. The air and the sky have a burning, bright but oddly muted intensity to them, it’s as though the five leftover days at the end of the Mayan year, the five dangling or dateless or stray, orphaned or unlucky, rogue days at the end of the year that are not really, in a sense, a part of the year, had arrived early, ahead of themselves. Brightness or light, possessed of a darkling wish.
But that’s not the end but a beginning like when
you can’t turn the key any further in the sardine can
or open the little bottles of CBD ...
Engels & Merleau-Ponty &, Christ almighty ...
some little weirdnesses by Kabalevsky ...
and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES.
So yes, some of these characters, like Delilah Jones, are persons, some allegorical fictions, like The Homosexual Agenda, The Woman in the Burka, and The Maple Tree, over which a noose is thrown by a suicidal teenage boy. But this is America, right? Red states and blue states. What sand it is. The pineal literally excretes mystery. Even Dr Gonzo wouldn’t touch the stuff. “One whiff of that shit would turn you into something out of a goddamn medical encyclopedia! Man, your head would swell up like a watermelon, you’d probably gain about a hundred pounds in two hours ... claws, bleeding warts, then you’d notice about six huge hairy tits swelling up on your back.” For Rick Strassman, on the other hand, the “blinding light of pineal DMT” enables transit of the life-force from this life to the next. Parsing the character and role of endogenous DMT through Buddhist-influenced metaphysics, the idea of the “spirit molecule” was born, and now it’s an insectoid meme. How, therefore, is this identity of non-vision and vision in vision possible? Let us reread our text carefully. In the course of the questions classical economics asked about the ‘value of labour’ something very special has happened. Classical political economy ‘produced’ (just as Engels will say, in the Preface to Volume Two, that phlogistic chemistry ‘produced’ oxygen and classical economics ‘produced’ surplus-value) a correct answer: the value of ‘labour’ is equal to the value of the subsistence goods necessary for the reproduction of ‘labour’. A correct answer is a correct answer. “Any reader in the ‘first manner’ will give Smith and Ricardo a good mark and pass on to other observations. Not Marx. For what we shall call his eye has been attracted by a remarkable property of this answer; it is the correct answer to a question that has just one failing: it was never posed. The original question as the classical economic text formulated it was: what is the value of labour? Reduced to the content that can be rigorously defended in the text where classical economics produced it, the answer should be written as follows: ‘The value of labour (...) is equal to the value of the subsistence goods necessary for the maintenance and reproduction of labour (...)’. There are two blanks, two absences in the text of the answer. Thus Marx makes us see blanks in the text of classical economics’ answer; but that is merely to make us see what the classical text itself says while not saying it, does not say while saying it. Hence it is not Marx who says what the classical text does not say, it is not Marx who intervenes to impose from without on the classical text a discourse which reveals its silence — it is the classical text itself which tells us that it is silent: its silence is its own words. In fact, if we suppress our ‘suspension points’, our blanks, we still have the same discourse, the same apparently ‘full’ sentence: ‘the value of labour is equal to the value of the subsistence goods necessary for the maintenance and reproduction of labour’. But this sentence means nothing: what is the maintenance of ‘labour’? what is the reproduction of ‘labour’? The substitution of one word for another at the end of the answer: ‘labourer’ for ‘labour’, might seem to settle the question. ‘The value of labour is equal to the value of the subsistence goods necessary for the maintenance and reproduction of the labourer.’ But as the labourer is not the labour, the term at the end of the sentence now clashes with the term at the beginning: they do not have the same content and the equation cannot be made, for it is not the labourer who is bought for the wages, but his ‘labour’. And how are we to situate the first labour in the second term: ‘labourer’? In even uttering this sentence, therefore, precisely at the level of the term ‘labour’, at the beginning and end of the answer, there is something lacking, and this lack is strictly designated by the function of the terms themselves in the whole sentence. If we suppress our suspension points – our blanks – we are merely reconstituting a sentence which, if it is taken literally, itself designates in itself these points of emptiness, restores these suspension points as the marks of an omission produced by the ‘fullness’ of the utterance itself. But we are also calling this collection A Megaphone as in the megaphoned chant “I am confused [pause] I’m I’m I’m confused [short pause]” from Ultra-red’s 2007 performance “Untitled (for small ensemble).”<
[Pause] I’m frustrated [breath] grieeeved [long pause]
disappointed [long pause] overwhelmed [long pause]
saddened [long pause] by the silence that still existssss
[long pause] in our communities [pause]
I heard something very disturbing on the news, um
When I listen to the silence ... I heard behind it [short
pause] an anger [breath]
I guess I hope ... some of my input is useful ... to your
While what we are talking about in is in no way analogous, as we worked on this project we too have said “I’m I’m I’m confused” to each other all the time; we too have said “I heard something disturbing on the news, um”; we too have dumped 88 pounds of shit on the front steps of the museum to protest the showing of the work of the butterfly murderer Damien Hirst. The cause for this caca fracas, tho, is Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, Hirst’s much-anticipated body of work apparently 10 years in the making. Opening on April 9, it also marks his first major solo show in Italy in over a decade. Not much is known about it aside from two obnoxious, incredibly brief promotional videos that flash underwater scenes. Speaking with those who have seen parts of it, the New York Times reported that the project “resembles jeweled buried treasure covered with coral as if just pulled out of the ocean, like relics from Atlantis or the Nautilus.” So yes, we know that “we are / small”, either in the rain or out of it as here. Knowing, as we do, the length of the planet’s radius, however, along with a sense of other properties, such as the Earth’s mass, can allow us to calculate figures for the gravitational force that is exerted on objects standing on its surface. But “tacks” also suggests a joining together, as the forward slash used later (twice) mimics the tacking stitch: a little field of terms concerning fastening or mending, or healing, is inaugurated, with the proviso that these are only temporary solutions to problems of structural weakness or advanced wear and tear. What looks like an imperative, in the next sentence, introduces what looks like a non-sequitur. A new stage of abstraction is located at what sounds like an apex of meaningful relation: there is no finally determinable referent for “the child.” It might simultaneously or separately be the thought of a dead child, of a sleeping child or of a future child. (“And so, then ...”) Note that we are led through this first section by alternating steps of F and S sounds, like some old steam engine, reiterated fricatives, lulling/alarming slownesses, skin sounds culminating on their own emblem, until the entire sonority suddenly changes. then Bruckner on the radio ... The sound changes like a train coming out of a tunnel. Big U, big A, big broad A. The word is more rarely used to mean electrum, which helps (conjoining two failed histories of currency) but we need the resin: it is magnetic, attracts particles when rubbed, and we need the amber routes, major prehistoric trade routes from the Baltic down to the Adriatic and the Aegean, bringing amber to Mycenae and the whole “ancient world,” probably forming boundaries decisive in the formation of European territorial divisions, creating islands such as Lithuania, enterprise and desperation, another dangling the. But we normally use a colon for that, not a decimal point. I wish this, I wish that, if this then that, if, iff, iffy, if only, what if, what if Erasmus Darwin, not Rommel, had led — “monster, I do smell all horse wish” — at any rate, “the world is everything that is been the case.”
[Note: The last bit written using the web etc in Claremont. Today, the 15th, is moving day, and as of midnite last nite, our connection was gone. Sources: JBR; P.E. Garcia, “plzplztalk2me: Elizabeth Schmuhl”, at HTMLGIANT, 13 Mar 017; JBR; Nathaniel Mackey, Late Arcade, quoted in David Hobbs, “Play On”, at BOMB, 13 Mar 017; JBR; Sean Bonney, “Our Death 2 / From Deep Darkness”, at Abandoned Buildings, 9 Jul 016; JBR; Elizabeth Schmuhl, quoted in P.E. Garcia, “plzplztalk2me: Elizabeth Schmuhl”, at HTMLGIANT, 13 Mar 017; JBR; Derek Bailey, quoted in Ben Watson, Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation; JBR; “Poetry & Archeology Collide”, at Harriet, 13 Mar 017; JBR; Susan M Schultz, “13 March 2017”, at Tinfish Editor’s Blog, 13 Mar 017; Lunatic Outpost Conspiracy Forum, General Discussion > Home Sweet Home, quoted in Rob Kovitz, The Sweets of Home, at treyf books; JBR; Kay Ryan, “Home to Roost”, quoted in Rob Kovitz, The Sweets of Home, at treyf books; JBR; Joanna Borns, “For Everyone Who Constantly Spills Food On Themselves”, at BuzzFeed, 9 Oct 013; Michael Wood, “Viscounts Swapping Stories”, and text at end of all the LRB makes available online to nonsubscribers, at London Review of Books, vol.23, no.21; Nathaniel Mackey, “Dear Angel of Dust”, at Detroit Metro Times, 17 May 00; John James, quoted in John Wilkinson, “Maybe / Rather Than: The Writing of John James in the 1970s”, in The Salt Companion to John James (ed. Simon Perril); John James, and Frank O’Hara, “Why I Am Not a Painter”, quoted in Peter Cartwright, “‘art is a balm to the brain / & gives a certain resolution’: The Impact of, and Engagement With, the Visual Arts in John James’ Writing”, in The Salt Companion to John James (ed. Simon Perril); JBR; blurb for Timothy Dyke, Atoms of Muses, quoted in Tinfish Press, “Welcome to Tinfish Press”, email rec’d 14 Mar 017, approx. 1:58pm PDT; Dawn Lundy Martin, quoted in “DAWN LUNDY MARTIN with Anne Waldman”, at The Brooklyn Rail, 6 Apr 016; Jeroen Nieuwland, “failing nothing & fog , to marty”, at A Poetics of Confusions, 14 Mar 017; Graham St John, “The DMT Gland: The Pineal, The Spirit Molecule, and Popular Culture”, at Academia.edu; Louis Althusser, “From Capital to Marx’s Philosophy”, in Louis Althusser, Étienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Jacques Rancière And Pierre Macherey, Reading Capital: The Complete Edition (trs. Ben Brewster and David Fernbach); Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young, “Against Numbers” (introduction to A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism), at Academia.edu; JBR; Claire Voon, “Animal Rights Activists Protest Damien Hirst Show in Venice with 88 Pounds of Dung”, at Hyperallergic, 14 Mar 017; JBR; Alizon Brunning and Robin Purves, “‘Smaller Than The Radius Of The Planet’”, at Quid 17; Peter Riley, “‘Sun Set 4·56’”, at Quid 17; Jow Lindsay, “Excerpt from AN OPEN LETTER TO J. H. PRYNNE”, at Quid 17; JH Prynne, quoted in Peter Manson, “‘BIRCH BIRCH BIRCH…’”, at Quid 17]