Friday, April 29, 2011

Plain Jane Jane Eyre Press

I saw the movie Jane Eyre last evening on Date Night. I liked it. I didn't even mind the flashbacks. Then we ate Indian food & had the most upbeat waiter in the world. The world.

I'm not wearing socks today. Deal with it.

I think my hair might be long enough for PIGTAILS. How do you feel about that? Tell me about your feelings. Please.


quotations I like from Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

What’s at stake:
“I shall prove that imagination augments the values of reality.”-3

“…can we isolate an intimate, concrete essence that would be justification of the uncommon value of all of our images protected from intimacy? This, then, is the main problem.”-3

“…the primary virtues, those that reveal an attachment that is native in some way to the primary function of inhabiting.”-4

“…the real beginnings of images, if we stuffy them phenomenologically, will give concrete evidence of the values of inhabited space, of the non-I that protects the I.”-5

“…all really inhabited space bears the essence of the notion of home. In the course of those work, we shall see that the imagination functions in this direction whenever the human being has found the slightest shelter…”-5

“Now my aim is clear: I must show that the house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories, and dreams of mankind. The binding principle in this integration is the daydream.”-6

“We are unable to live duration that has been destroyed. We can only think of it, in the line of an abstract time that is deprived of all thickness.”-9

-can we have an intimacy that is not isolating???

On poetry/the poet:
“The house, the bedroom, the garret in which we were alone, furnished the framework for an interminable dream, one that poetry alone, through the creation of poetic work, could succeed in achieving completely. If we give their function of shelter for dreams to all of these places of retreat, we may say, as I pointed out in my earlier work, that there exists for each one of us an oneiric house, a house of dream-memory, that is lost in the shadow of a beyond of the real past.”-9

“Poetry gives not so much a nostalgia for the expressions of youth, which would be vulgar, as a nostalgia for the expressions of youth.”-33

“In the tiniest of hatreds, there is a little, live, animal filament. And the poet-psychologist—or the psychologist-poet, if such a one exists—cannot go wrong in marking the different types of aggressions with an animal cry. It is also a terrible trait of men that they should be incapable of understanding the forces of the universe intuitively, otherwise than in terms of psychology of wrath.”-44

“When the poet unfolds [the image of the house] and spreads it out, it presents a very pure phenomenological aspect. Consciousness becomes ‘uplifted’ in contact with an image that, ordinarily, is ‘in repose.’ The image is no longer descriptive, but resolutely inspirational.”-53

“In reality, however, the poet has given concrete form to a very general psychological theme, namely, that there will always be more things in a closed, than in an open, box. To verify images kills them, and it is always more enriching to imagine than to experience.”88

“And yet I receive the message of this extraordinary image, and for a brief instant, by detaching me from my life, it transforms me into an imagining being. It is in such moments of reading as this that, little by little, I have come to doubt not only the psychoanalytical origin of the image, but all psychological causality of the poetic image as well. Poetry, in its paradoxes, may be counter-causal, which is yet another way of being of the world, of being engaged in the dialectics of the passions. But when poetry attains its autonomy, we can say that it is a-causal. In order to receive directly the virtue of an isolated image—and an image in isolation has all its virtue—phenomenology now seems to me to be more favorable than psychoanalysis, for the precise reason that phenomenology requires us to assume this image ourselves, uncritically and with enthusiasm.”168

On images, imagination, dreams and memory:
“…real images are engravings, for it is the imagination that engraves them on our memories. They deepen the recollections we have experienced, which they replace, this becoming imagined recollections

“Great images have both a history and a prehistory; they are always a blend of memory and legend, with the result that we never experience an image directly. Indeed, every great image has an unfathomable oneiric depth to which the personal past adds specific color. Consequently it is not until late in life that we really revere an image, when we discover that its roots plunge well beyond the history that is fixed in our memories. In the real of absolute imagination, we remain young late in life. But we must lose our earthly Paradise in order actually to live in it, to experience it in the reality of its images.”-33

“…images are never capable of repose. Poetic reverie, unlike somnolent reverie, never falls asleep. Starting with the simplest of images, it must always set the waves of the imagination radiating.”-36

“Here, however, the image does not come from a nostalgia for childhood, but is given in its actuality of protection. Here, too, in addition to community of affection, there is community of forces, the concentrated courage and resistance of both house and man. And what an image of concentrated being were are given with this house that ‘clings’ to its inhabitants and comes the cell of a body with its walls close together….from having been a refuge it becomes a redoubt…such a dwelling has an educative value…”46

“But can this transposition of the being of a house into human values be considered as an activity of metaphor? Isn’t this merely a matter of linguistic imagery? As metaphors, a literary critic would certainly find them exaggerated. On the other hand, a positivist psychologist would immediately reduce this language to the psychological reality of the dear felt by a man immured in his solitude, far from all human assistance. But phenomenology of the imagination cannot be content with a reduction which would make the image a subordinate means of expression: it demands, on the contrary, that images be lived directly, that they be taken as sudden events in life. When the image is new, the world, is new.”-47

“the image is created through co-operation between the real and the unreal, with the help of the functions of the real and the unreal. To use the implements of dialectical logic for studying, not this alternative, but this fusion, of opposites, would be quite useless, for they would produce the anatomy of a living thing. But if a house is a living value, it must integrate an element of unreality. All values must remain vulnerable, and those that do not are dead.”--59

“The pure recollection, the image that belongs to us alone, we do not want to communicate; we only give its picturesque details. Its very core, however, is our own, and we should never want to tell all there is to tell about it. This in no way resembles unconscious repression, which is an awkward form of dynamism, with symbols that are conspicuous. But every secret has its little casket, and this absolute, well-guarded secret is independent of all dynamism. Here the intimate life achieves a synthesis of Memory and Will.”-85

“In this case, the animal is merely a pretext fro multiplying the images of ‘emerging.’ Man lives by images. Like all important verbs, to emerge from would demand considerable research in the course of which, besides concrete examples, one would collect the hardly perceptible movement of certain abstractions….only images can set verbs in motion again.”-109

“We want to see and yet we are afraid to see. This is the perceptible threshold of all knowledge, the threshold upon which interest wavers, falters, then returns.”-110

“To live alone; there’s a great dream! The most lifeless, the most physically absurd image, such as that of living in a shell, can serve as origin of such a dream. For it is a dream that, in life’s moments of great sadness, is shared by everybody, both weak and strong, in revolt against the injustices of men and of fate.”-123

“Here one sense clearly that this is a mixed problem of imagination and observation. I have simply wanted to show that whenever life seeks to shelter, protect, cover or hide itself, the imagination sympathizes with the being that inhabits the protected space. The imagination experiences protection in all its nuances of security, from life in the most material of shells, to more subtle concealment through imitation of surfaces.”-132

“Consciousness of being at peace in one’s corner produces a sense of immobility, and this, in turn, radiates immobility. An imaginary room rises up around our bodies, which think that they are well hidden when we take refuge in a corner. Already, the shadows are walls, a piece of furniture constitutes a barrier, hangings are a roof. But all of these images are over-imagined. So we have to designate the space of our immobility by making it the space of our being.”-137

“For great dreamers of corners and holes nothing is ever empty, the dialectics of full and empty only correspond to two geometrical non-realities. The function of inhabiting constitutes the link between full and empty. A living creature fills an empty refuge, images inhabit….”-140

“If we were to give the imagination its due philosophical systems of the universe, we should find, at their source, an adjective. Indeed, to those who want to find the essence of a world philosophy, one could give the following advice—look for its adjectives.”-144

“In such imagination as this, there exists total inversion as regards the spirit of observation. Here the mind that imagines follows the opposite path of the mind that observes, the imagination does not to end in a diagram that summaries acquired learning. It seeks a pretext to multiple images, and as soon as the imagination is interested by an image, this increases its value.”-151-152

“This warm intimacy is the root of all images.”154

“I myself consider literary documents as realities of the imagination, pure products of the imagination. And why should the action of the imagination not be as real as those of perception?”-158

“But in this poetic life of images there is more than a mere game of dimensions. Daydream is not geometrical. The dreamer commits himself absolutely.”-167

On forms of enclosure/shelter:
“The hut can receive none of the riches “of this world.” It possesses the felicity of intense poverty; indeed, it is one of the glories of poverty, as destitution increases it gives us access to absolute refuge.”-32

“But however cosmic the isolated house lighted by the stars of its lamp may become, it will always symbolize solitude.”-36

“Objects that are cherished in this way really are born of intimate light, and they attain a higher degree of reality than indifferent objects, or those that are defined by geometric reality. For they produce a new reality of being, and they take their place not only in an order but in a community of order, from one object in a room to another, housewifely care weaves the ties that unite a very ancient past to the new epoch.”-68

“Wardrobes with their shelves, desks with their drawers, and chests with their false bottoms are veritable organs of the secret psychological life. Indeed, without these ‘objects’ and a few others in equally high favor, our intimate life would lack a model of intimacy. They are hybrid objects, subject objects. Like us, through us and for us, they have a quality of intimacy.”-78

“The lock doesn’t exist that could resist absolute violence, and all locks are invitation to thieves. A lock is a psychological threshold. And how it defies indiscretion when it is covered with ornament!”-81

“but in order to make so gentle a comparison between house and nest, one must have lost the house that stood for happiness, so there is also an alas in this song of tenderness, if we return to the old home as to a nest, it is because memories are dreams, because the home of other days has become a great image of lost intimacy.”-100

“If we go deeper into daydreaming of nests, we soon encounter a sort of paradox of sensibility. A nest—and this we understand right away—is a precarious thing, and yet it sets us to daydreaming of security. Why does this obvious precariousness not arrest daydreams of this kind? The answer to this paradox is simple: when we dream, we are phenomenologists without realizing it.”-103

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bottle Press

Houses made of class bottles!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Baby Baby Press

What do Super Mario Land and Frank Sinatra have in common with The Bible, platelets, Mickey Mouse, friendly fire, Elvis’ still born twin, Bristol, a wife named Rohini, a prayer, and a cloud? These objects, people, places sway together and swarm Richard Froude's first novel, Fabric. They fuse and dissolve in stunning alinear symmetries to ask the reader, “What is night? What is silence? What is transition? In place of logic, can I offer you these trinkets? Will we meet ghosts on our journey? What did I bring to the occasion?” Richard brings to us the proximity where stillness and movement meet. A collapsing of distance that renders our world expansive and real.

I spent a good chunk of Saturday reading this book and I think you need to read it if you haven't already:
FABRIC by Richard Froude
from Horse Less Press

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Knee Deep in Light Press

I've been reading Swensen's Such Rich Hour.
And have been thinking about the polarized purposes of the book(s) of hours. On the one hand, they undermine the hierarchy of the church because believers can conduct religious rituals in their own homes. In this way, these books re-appropriate authority to the household, they allow for individuals to interpret and reshape rites to fit each person’s needs. To develop familial customs, to create meaningful interaction beyond the confines of the pew. On the other hand, these books serve as an extension of the church: the church infiltrates and permeates the boundaries outside of its gates, it becomes infused in daily rituals. Then, there is no room in the house or occasion to which the church does not gain access. To me, this is terrifying. The false relinquishing of control in order to influence and guide all aspects of one’s life. You think you are appropriating but in fact, you are being appropriated. And the question I have is, what happens to the women? Always, how are the women happening? I don’t think this question is ever anachronistic, out of place, inappropriate.

In the Roald Dahl book, Witches, witches have the power to take children and stick them in paintings. The child keeps on living though, stuck inside the painting, free to move around the landscape of the image but never to escape. Often these paintings sit in the parents’ house, and while the parents are busy dealing with the police, looking for robbers or kidnappers, they ignore their children, captured within the bounds of a wooden or metal frame that hangs on their living room wall. The child glides across the canvas, his or her shouting and pounding on the glass completely muted. The child will grow old here. This terrified me when I was younger, I was afraid I might disappear in a strange way and my parents wouldn’t know how to look for me.

In Such Rich Hour, Swensen has cracked this glass and wispy sighs, blistering secrets, honest observations kept silent for centuries are suddenly rippling toward the reader. She has opened the trapdoor, unlatched the memory box, dug up the “grave just large enough for the face” (19) and performed CPR. I think the term “remediate” is an interesting one, because it means the action of remedying, and remedying as we know, offers treatment or a means of counteracting or eliminating something. Is Swensen fixing something? Counteracting? What about the women? To me, this text voices women, it moves them. To animate. Who were these women? We can’t see them, but we could guess that in these paintings, women are relinquished to the roles of nuns, mothers, wives, pious virgins, or (virginal) saints. In this collection of poems, I see the women shifting around, seeping outwards to the reader, stretching their vocal cords into 3Dness, into histories no one knew they had. Melusine says, “what // are you doing in my sky?,” Mary says, “What are you doing in my house / What am I doing in my house? /What am I doing? and what am I incapable of doing?,” and “every woman given thus thus said / Pardon me.” For what? For not fearing to ask questions. For claiming. These poems re-evaluate all space as female-dominated, the space to ask questions and deserve consideration. And as Marie says, for wanting “the extravagant promise of an imminent earth”

Monday, April 18, 2011

So much dust between me & the light Press

I have 6 collab poems with an English poet, Frances Presley, up at Like Starlings. I hope you like them, it was incredibly fun writing with someone I've never met and being given the opportunity to do so.

Can you tell who wrote what?


Word for/word has a new issue: www.wordforword.infowith poetry by:
* Mónica Gomery
* Stephen Ratcliffe
* Anhvu Buchanan
* Gracie Leavitt
* Ian Seed
* Jim Berger
* Kara Imre
* Sara Michas-Martin
* Serena M. Tome
* Karen Lepri
* Kate Dougherty
* Lily Ladewig
* Elizabeth Sanger
* Laura Kochman

And lots of vis-po to boot.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Heart without Authority Press

on concerns of the Body/Language/Book, from Cixous' The Book of Promethea::

“doing the one thing that now seems urgent and right to her: shouting her loud hymn of ecstatic pleasure, breaching the hide of the old tongue’s hard blare.”-6
“The boom that follows is inside [Promethea]. It is maybe even her womb itself.”-9
“There are words with obligations. There are sentences that carry the person who spoke them galloping away in a foaming race to the edge of the earth. There, if one has lied, the sentences turn back into wind, the words are reduced to ashes, and one falls into the void, without being able to utter a cry.”-23

“Luckily, Promethea is untranslatable. That is my one consolation; she races on in an out-of-breath language that is, for me, unbearable. Everytime she tosses something out it is so impassioned and so sudden, it so naked, that each time I shudder as if she has handed me a heart taken fresh from someone’s breast…”-23

“Her vocabulary comes always from the guts, hers or the earth’s.”-23

“No, we do not speak at all the same language, things she lets bubble up in a shower of sparks, I would like to collect and bind. She burns and I want to write out the fire! Luckily, I’ll never succeed.”-24

“[Promethea] frightens me because she can knock me down with a word. Because she does not know that writing is walking on a dizzying silence setting one word after the other on emptiness. Writing is miraculous and terrifying like the flight of a bird who has no wings but flings itself out and only gets wings by flying. She doesn’t know how I tremble with terror and certainty. Because to write is to work with a certainty that is demoniacal, solely, shakily, demoniacal, and yet to work with absolute confidence. / I am just as sure as I am uncertain.”-27

“There are still three or four small chambers I want to take you through in my labyrinth, and then there will be only the great treasure room. Entirely present. Entirely pure and clear. In the first stark, dark chamber, seventy-five feet down, I announce: This is raw eternity shining at the end of the gallery. It is a sort of luminous book, perhaps, not the slightest need for my circumlocutions.”-30

“I am in the next small chamber…and it is the same sort of questions, the same ordeal, the same agony. The question of birth, of nonbirth, of Noluck. How close I came to not being alive. To not being born…a bit of luck…That is why I still tell what is, with the astonishment of any little girl who exlores.”-32

“We are innocent. That is all I have to say. I know, it was a long time coming. I would have liked to begin our book with this phase but was afraid that by exposing it like this to the first glance I might alter the transparency of our innocence.”-39

“Everything that happens in this book has a pure violence. Everything, at least, is just being born or else dying.”-39

“This book can kill me. I am not spontaneous enough…Instead of leaping in with whinnies of joy, I start counting sparks: I mean—I slow down to listen to the words crackling in my heart; that is why I groan in pain. There is nothing to be done: I am incapable of simply enjoying fire. I want to understand its tongue, I want to grasp its words…”-40

“Sometimes where you hide is inside me, I have to search myself to drive you out of hiding. And that is the cause of our drama. The book opening behind this page is the journal of that drama. Our drama is that we live in a state of mutual invasion.”-53

“The most beautiful things cannot be written, unfortunately. Fortunately. We would have to be able to write with our eyes, with wild eyes, with the tears of our eyes, with the frenzy of a glaze, with the skin if our hands.”-53

“But it is a book of changes….This is a book of raw flesh.”-63

“No one had ever yet written on my heart. And now I am the one asking: ‘Come in Promethea, please come in. Write yourself on me, I want you to cover my organs with your great signs of life. The truth is, therefore, I am not writing: I am exposing myself to impressions as faithfully as I can. This takes guts.”-93

“Thing written so freely are made of blood and will and living phrases that need not communicate any knowledge but that cast enough of a glow to light our separate ways.”-99
“Yes. Sometimes I think a moment is so beautiful. I want to toss it handfuls of delicious words so gluttony will keep it there. Sometimes it makes me want to weep words, to pour all my eye’s words on her face. (if you don’t understand my contradictions I won’t be hurt.”-112

“I press on my breasts, I press against my heart. Sometimes words spurt out…”121

“You put your mark on me: because I don’t run away from you. You leave traces in me. You write me. You crowd me. You populate me. I recognize you: you are one of my people. You are my people. I don’t comprehend you. I contain you. No longer am I anything more than all your sensing space.”134

“But Promethea cares carnally about what she says. Watch out for words with her! Because Promethea is the person who has not cut the cord binding words to her bidy. Everything she says is absolutely fresh.”-154
-is that how we stay in the present? By not cutting the cord between our body and writing? How can that be done non-metaphorically?

“…in the darkest eroticism, I mean in a burning and painful obscurity of soul, with the soul in a state of raw nerves so that every word, every thought that brushed past me made me cry out in pain.”-174

“…her ecstasy is such that she is unable to murmur a single word.”-193

“But with you, Promethea, I am ready and willing to leap out of the Book, even to go visit some emaciated people, even if I don’t forget all my beautiful shoes, each of which is worth more than a bag of rice.”-198

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Clan of the Cave Bra Press

on love, from Cixous' The Book of Promethea:

on concerns of LOVE:
“I am a little afraid of this book. Because it is a book of love. A burning bush. Best to plunge in. Once in the fire one is bathed in sweetness. Honestly: here I am, in it.”-page 4
--confront fear, violence (plunge) of entering love. Love is a location, a place of fiery sweetness.

“Because it is a book of love. Sometimes I call it the Book of Rages. It is a raging book…Because it is a book about now…. This book is composed of first pages.”-13/15
-“I am armed with love and care. Which is not enough. Sometimes I need to add writing as well”-14

“Because it is easy to love and sing one’s love. That is something I am extremely good at doing. Indeed, that is my art. But to be loved, that is true greatness. Being loved, letting oneself be loved, entering the magic and dreadful circle of generosity, receiving gifts, finding the right thank-you’s, that is love’s real work.”-20

-showing/telling how internal chambers as an open structure that people can enter. “Come, I am going to show you where you can get through. There’s the way. Through love.”-35

“I am living now beyond my power, I have to conquer every moment of my life, which has become immense and fre ad wild, and altogether new. This life, I do not know how to live it. No one taught me. No one told me about its turbulence. I think I thought ‘loving’ was the sweetest, easiest thing in the world. Which is not at all what it is….neer could I have imagined the terrors there are in joys. Wanting to scream for mercy. Joy is unbearable. And I never suspected it. I am exhausted. What happiness!”-42

“Sometimes spasms of desperate wrath shake our history: because when the hands of one tremble just a little, the idea that one of us might drop the other shoots through our heart (and then we have only one heart, one is inside the other, one is the other, each of us is herself, terror, the other, the arrow, the scream tearing through one another’s womb.”—52

“Things I would have condemned in the name of caution, proper limits and temperance, delight me. When Promethea tells me: “I want to be your slave,” it doesn’t frighten me, o don’t reproach her for wanting to give up her most precious possession…We have already given each other so much that what do we have left to give? Almost nothing. So now we give ourselves away.”-56

“That is why sometimes I want to go to the market the same way I want to reread Les Illuminations. Or the same way I want to see a dream of a Hindu palace, which rarely happens to me. In the market things to eat are so alive, so meaningful, so eloquent and young, that one starts loving the things one will end up devouring. It is a love story that is both magic and absolutely real; it is our history. The story of love.”-58

“Never am I you. That is what is astonishing. That is what is reassuring. That is what is too much for my love. I lick your soul right down to the bone, I know the taste of every inch of your nerves, but I do not know you I do not know.”-65

“Because in love not all is love. But also: injustice, anger, hunger, delicate hunger and raging hunger, innocent hungers and cruel hungers proud of being so and ashamed of being so and even prouder.”-67

“Everything she wanted to tell her, was unable to tell her because she was afraid of hearing her own voice come out of her heart and be covered with blood, and then she poured all her blood into these syllables, and she offered it to her to drink like this: “You have it.”-68

“‘What I wanted was that you be smitten,’ and the word fell dead center onto the other’s breast, she was smitten, a word so keen and so charged, which took a long, long time to plunge dead center through the breast toward the heart, and finally, touch it. Finally found the heart and there slowly buried itself, blade into the soul.”-69

“We are in the process of descending into the depths of the heart. To where bodies communicate with each other.”-70

“—Why do you love me?
--Because, your throat distorts your voice when you say,
‘why do you love me?’
Because even if I did not love you, you love me.”-75

“to drug herself with love, to get drunk on god”-81
-so can love be equated with god?

“It is a matter of our human inability to adapt to our own possibilities for growth. We go beyond ourselves with love’s help. Sometimes we leap over our own limits…but sometimes the leap is not magical enough, we have forgotten a word, a heartbeat, and we stay put with a heavy shudder. That is a bad sign: that means there is bad faith, unwillingness, and especially: separation. That means: go without me. Because sometimes there are unforeseen, often imperceptible, breaks in love…but if such a break happens in the midst of a leap, then something that is only space with no gravity suddenly can deepen into an abyss. But it is a matter also of how difficult it normally is for us to bear the infinite. Nothing would distress us more than continual happiness, other than the discovery that our much cherished happiness would eventually suffer from not being threatened.”-87

“I am infiltrated. I am loved. It is a new feeling.”-103

Diff between love of another adult and love of a child:
“To the child she wants to swear the way a mother lies and yet does not lie: ‘I will always be there.’ But only to a child. Because to the woman she loves, whom she wants to make tremble she cannot say—‘always’”-117

“All my energy is employed in the great maneuvers of my desires. That is where everything happens.”-131
So how is love different from desire?

“That is how Promethea won H’s soul, without taking it, by not taking it, giving herself boundlessly. Does not consider the powers of her humility because she is truly so humble that she does not know she is humble. So much more power than herself. Survivor. Survivor from divine times.”154

“The enigma of this love, this rage: it is because Promethea gives herself so truly wholly that I want her even more: I want everything she gives me, but it is not enough. I want to take also. And so how can one take when all is given?..”181

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eliot Log Jam Press

These are quotes I like from Susan Howe's The Nonnconformist Memorial that I've been reading:

Actual world nothing ideal

We plural are the speaker

A question of overthrowing

Love may be a stumbling //
Out on the great meadows

The motif of searching

She has a voice to cry out//
No community can accompany her

I stray to stray

Or break its boundedness

Arranges and utters
words to themselves
Of how and first she
was possibly body

Confessions implode into otherness

Love is the orbed circle

I will cross the frontiers

It is the Word to whom she turns
True submission and subjugation

Any trajectory is dense
outside the threshold

who is the transgressor

I’m free and I’m famished//
…Please feel my arms open

the issue of legitimation

turn your face to what told me
love grazed here at least
mutinous predominant unapparent

theme theme heart fury
all is mutiny

strange always strange

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Walk of Shame Hall of Fame Press

I'm in Colorado Springs right now.

Snowy mountains. We drove by so many mountains.

I'm writing a letter to myself. I'm drinking orange juice out of a pickle jar.

Ish Klein has a new poetry podcast. Check it out here:

I love Dan Beachy-Quick's note on poetics at Evening Will Come: