riots and/or poetics [6/2022]

  Nathalie Quintane | TOMATOES + Why doesn’t the far left read literature? (Kenning Editions) a poetic of montage + détournements. the piecing together of heterogeneous elements to arrive at new connections. to destabilise habits. to blur the boundaries of different genres. illuminating public discussions from remote, radical angles. the attention to new forms of coexistence. of social uprisings + a linguistic dissent. collective voices. the words + banners of political movements, the pamphlets. the minorities [who are constantly in the majority]. the restless revenants. an apparent continuity of uprisings. l’affair de tarnac, la ‘jungle’ de calais + notre-dame-des-landes. instead…

Vanessa Place | VENTOUSES

  A small iron chair on a small iron platform, the chair, and some surrounding air, encased in a cupping glass. This is the image of home. This is the image of summary justice. Note that there is no image. The theme of the 2007 Venice Biennale was “Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind.” Embroidering upon this oddly Cartesian notion, director Robert Storr explained that the year’s art was about the “immediacy of sensation in relation to questioning the nature and meaning of that sensation, intimate affect in relation to engagement in public life, belonging and dislocation, the…

Jack Spicer | After Lorca & A Fake Novel About The Life of Arthur Rimbaud

  AFTER LORCA   Dear Lorca, These letters are to be as temporary as our poetry is to be permanent. They will establish the bulk, the wastage that my sour-stomached contemporaries demand to help them swallow and digest the pure word. We will use up our rhetoric here so that it will not appear in our poems. Let it be consumed paragraph by paragraph, day by day, until nothing of it is left in our poetry and nothing of our poetry is left in it. It is precisely because these letters are unnecessary that they must be written. In my…

dreaming of one thing [subversive chronicle]

  i said endurance has its limits people are made of flesh and bone / i spoke about the stalinists and the method of executing the very best as traitors / who died screaming long live the party! / sifis said / the statement is only the beginning. then they will ask who are your friends. / then where do they live.    katerina gogou   i believe at heart that one must not be an accomplice to lies and compromise, the contemporary artist must scream out their revolt and make understood that we live in an unbearable, cruel, and…

ACTION #5 [THE POET AS PRODUCER] & ACTION #6 [THE BUSINESS OF MR JULIUS CAESAR AFTER BRECHT OR THE MIGRANTS OF REGGIO CALABRIA]

  “Poetry has to be made by everyone, not just one.” [Lautréamont]   The “interruption” is a process of shaping, i.e. the political function of separating causalities [certainties of everyday life / political life] from one another. Like Brecht’s theory of the alienation effect, which is used in epic theatre [non-Aristotelian, because empathy is a suggestion]. How assembly in the Arcades Project is not only used as a turning point, but also as a construction principle. In 1934 Benjamin wrote the essay “The Author as Producer” for the anti-fascist writers’ conference at the “Institut pour l’étude du fascisme” [the text…

Georges Didi-Huberman | Hells? (On Pier Paolo Pasolini)

  Well before he described the great light of Paradise shining out in all its eschatological glory, Dante decided to reserve a quiet but significant fate, in the twenty-sixth canto of the Inferno, for the “tiny light” of those glowing worms, the fireflies. The poet is observing the eighth bolgia of hell, a political bolgia if ever there was one, since we can recognize a few eminent citizens of Florence gathered there, among others, all under the same condemnation as evil counselors. The entire space is scattered—constellated, infested—with small flames that look like fireflies, just like those that people see…

Comte de Lautréamont | Poésies

  I replace melancholy with courage, doubt with certainty, despair with hope, evil with good, lamentations with duty, scepticism with faith, sophistry with the indifference of calm, and pride with modesty.     I THE POETIC whimperings of this century are nothing but sophistry. First principles should be beyond argument. I accept Euripides and Sophocles; but I do not accept Aeschylus. Do not manifest toward the Creator a lack of the most elementary conventions and good taste. Cast aside disbelief: you will make me happy. Only two kinds of poetry exist; there is only one. A far from tacit convention…

Michael Löwy | Incandescent Flame: Surrealism as a Romantic Revolutionary Movement

  What is romanticism? Often it is reduced to a nineteenth century literary school, or to a traditionalist reaction against the French Revolution—two propositions found in countless works by eminent specialists in literary history and the history of political thought. This is too simple a formulation. Rather, Romanticism is a form of sensibility nourishing all fields of culture, a worldview which extends from the second half of the eighteenth century to today, a comet whose flaming “core” is revolt directed against modern industrial civilization, in the name of some of the social and cultural values of the past. Nostalgic for…

Michel Leiris | Jean-Arthur Rimbaud’s Adventurous Life

  I cannot imagine what poetry might be, if not a manifestation of a person’s essential revolt against the absurd laws of this universe he finds himself thrust into despite himself. Some people will exhaust themselves in jeremiads over the sadness of life, but this is not true revolt: the melancholy that gnaws at them does not bring with it any desire for destruction. Others will make a systematic attempt to destroy every notion in their minds that might push them to act: since any action, they believe, presupposes a minimum of optimism, a certain pragmatism by which a thing…

Sergei Tret’iakov | Art in the Revolution and the Revolution in Art (Aesthetic Consumption and Production)

  Tret’iakov published the following essay in the Proletkul’t journal Gorn [The Forge] during a period of close collaboration with the mass organization’s Moscow group, where he held leading positions in both its theatrical and literary divisions. The text explores a variant of Lef production art that has been reconjugated using the theories of one of Proletkul’t’s founders, the scientist, author, and cultural theoretician Aleksandr Bogdanov. Even though Bogdanov had been forced from the political stage by the early 1920s and consequently could not be mentioned by name in Tret’iakov’s “Art in the Revolution,” the 1923 essay is nevertheless Bogdanovite…

der traum von einer sache [subversive chronik]

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Furio Jesi | The Suspension of Historical Time

  Andrea Cavalletti The text we are presenting here, “The Suspension of Historical Time,” is drawn from the book Spartakus: Simbologia della rivolta, which Furio Jesi wrote between 1968 and 1969. Jesi was born into a partly Jewish family in Turin in 1941 and died in Genoa in 1980; despite this early demise, he was one of twentieth-century Italy’s most important and original thinkers and essayists. A true enfant prodige, he got his start as an Egyptologist when he was barely fifteen. In the early 1960s, he turned to the study of mythology and the science of myth, or rather,…

AFTER THE DEATH OF NANNI BALESTRINI [by Raúl Sánchez Cedillo]

  Nanni Balestrini passed away on 20 May 2019, at the age of almost 84. Writer and poet, revolutionary activist, visual artist, publisher. Now the necessary task begins of collecting and publishing a vast and varied body of work, hardly known to the wide majority of people who follow literature, poetry, design and performance art. More than simply being Italian, Balestrini was a Milanese character. It will be difficult for us to understand his trajectory if we do not take into consideration the importance of Milan during the republican postwar period, the city we see in Antonioni’s The Night, industrial…

Nanni Balestrini | No Tears for the Roses

  1. halfway in the dark i n the dense fores the tree pre fers the cal m but the wind doesn’t let up the struggle of the revolutionary is to eliminate the of the class system it’s an ob jective fact it’s in dependent of the will of mankin overthrown the ideo logical power of the bourgeoisie the situation is peace ful in Turin after the sixteen h ours of guerilla warfare yes terday today everything must be subordinate to the trees make a lot of noise at the definition o f a strateg fiat did not invent a…

Katerina Gogou | AND THAT’S HOW I’LL GO AWAY

  I walk. I walk. I walk. With the pockets on my wooden overcoat all stitched-up. I walk repeatedly. Repeatedly I walk. I carry nothing. I have nothing to hide I have nothing to stick my hands in I walk with my hands in the rain on a silken rope — an umbilical cord — that connects heaven and earth what’s above with what’s below. I go on with short-circuited searchlights with no safety net under me. I walk absurdly in inverted logic but righteous and decisive to put into practice all I have thought about to put into practice…

riots and/or poetics [5/2021]

Thus ’77 saw a flaring up, a quotidian generalization of a political and cultural conflict with ramifications for every part of society, exemplifying a conflict that had taken place throughout the 1970s, a fierce conflict both between classes and within the class, perhaps the fiercest seen since the Unification of Italy. Forty thousand criminal charges, 15,000 arrests, 4,000 people sentenced to a thousand years of prison—and then there were the deaths and the hundreds of wounded on both sides. There is no doubt that these figures cannot be considered merely the result of some risky, crazy plan dreamt up by…

Carla Lonzi’s Self-Portrait | A conversation with Allison Grimaldi Donahue & Teresa Kittler

  In 1969, the Italian art critic and feminist Carla Lonzi (1931-1982) authored Autoritratto (Self-Portrait) using the transcripts of interviews conducted with fourteen prominent artists living in Italy: Carla Accardi, Getulio Alviani, Enrico Castellani, Pietro Consagra, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Nigro, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Mimmo Rotella, Salvatore Scarpitta, Giulio Turcato and Cy Twombly. Overlooked for many years, Autoritratto’sexperimental unravelling of traditional art criticism has garnered increasing attention since its republication by Et al./Edizioni in 2010. It was, however, Lonzi’s final work as an art critic; after its publication she renounced the art world, co-founded the collective Rivolta femminileand wrote a…

Mark Nowak | Social Poetics (An Introduction)

    Langston Hughes, no doubt reflecting on his own wide-ranging political activities in and beyond Jim Crow America during the first half of the twentieth century, once described what he felt to be a central difference between the “social poet” and those poets who were more exclusively concerned with aesthetics and craft: “I have never known the police of any country to show an interest in lyric poetry as such. But when poems stop talking about the moon and begin to mention poverty, trade unions, color lines, and colonies, somebody tells the police.” Hughes’s crucial essay, published in W….

Joshua Clover and Chris Nealon | The Other Minimal Demand

    Chris Nealon I thought I’d begin with some thoughts about our original proposal for this volume. I was thinking about our overlapping but non- identical points of entry to the question of poetry and politics. I mean I’m basically a humanist, and you’re pretty committed to a version of anti- humanism. But when it comes to poetry, neither one of us really believes in an a priori politics of poetic form, where radical juxtaposition, or parataxis, or deliberately damaged fluency necessarily translates into solidarity or action. Neither one of us believes in a special leadership role for poets…

Anna Mendelssohn | the fourteenth flight

  two secs for vera tolstoya   if this holds & goes no further could belief be a fine sudden reading jam each other wasps and needing what in others proven letters, papers, microfiche, secretaries, maids, mansions and a bulldog mourning nureyev, and would not take his spirit for a scathing word or two on his not dancing for the colonels where culture leads us to can we care or is that too a dangerous interview i despair & in the world preferring to scribble pieces of sapphire utterly irresponsible to all political programmatists uncaring of who but a heap…

riots and/or poetics [1/2021]

A Reading List Galina Rymbu | Life in Space (Ugly Duckling Presse). Can poetry be a revolutionary practice? Under what conditions can poetry trigger change? In All The King’s Men, Guy Debord states: “The point is not to put poetry at the service of revolution, but to put revolution at the service of poetry.” As a political activist, Rymbu participated in the 2011-12 protests for fair elections during her time at the Moscow Gorky Literature Institute. The street is still the place where the anti-capitalist fights, the struggles for a better life take place. The poems of the cycle White…

Keston Sutherland | The poetics of ‘Capital’

  A year before the first English edition of Capital was published under his supervision in 1886, Engels issued a brief polemic against the pretensions of anyone reckless enough to think that this great work could be translated into English by a mere amateur man of letters. The target of the polemic is Henry Mayers Hyndman, identified in the essay by his pseudonym John Broadhouse. After reading the French translation of Capital in 1880, Hyndman had published in 1881 a short book, England for All, two chapters of which were so thoroughly plagiarized from Marx’s work that they in effect…

ANNOUNCING TRIPWIRE PAMPHLET #8: PETER BOUSCHELJONG | THE PROCESSES, A FACTOGRAPHICAL PROEM

Announcing Tripwire Pamphlet #8: The Processes, a factographical proem, by Peter Bouscheljong, translated by David Vichnar, Louis Armand & Tim König. A dialectical poetics of radical history that asks what kind of resistance and poetry is possible under conditions of capitalist repression, if we do not simply want to return to everyday life? Synthesizing documentary poetics (the lives of George Jackson, Luxemburg, Verlaine, Pasolini, Anna Mendelssohn, Dalton, Vallejo, and others) with the capitalist alchemy of surveillance and repression, the long “proem” tracks the processes with which those in power react to the social struggles of political movements and the works of revolutionary poets, who strike back into a…

Esther Leslie | Elective Affinities: The Hunched Man, the Old Man and B.B.

  Meshwork The relationship between Benjamin and Brecht has often been assessed, including, most notoriously, the charge from both Adorno and Scholem that Brecht’s »exotic« influence was »disastrous« or »catastrophic« for Benjamin’s theorizing. Somewhat more rarely have Trotsky and Benjamin been brought together. Victor Serge in ‘Memoirs of a Revolutionary’, written in Mexico in 1942-1943, brings the two names into a constellation, suggesting the connection between Trotsky and Benjamin to be something more than coincidence, and rather more epochal: »… the poets Walter Hasenclever and Walter Benjamin commit suicide. Rudolf Hilferding and Breitscheid are carried off out of our midst…

Nathalie Wourm | Poetic Sabotage and the Control Society: Christophe Hanna, Nathalie Quintane, Jean-Marie Gleize

Parallels can be drawn between Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of “minor literature” and the artistic practice of a number of contemporary French writers, whose works do not only represent the voicing of their political contentions, but also act as verbal objects designed to undermine the mainstream idea of what literature is and should be. [..] Christophe Hanna, Nathalie Quintane, and Jean-Marie Gleize are three authors who share a number of theoretical ideas and political references and have been expressing their opposition to the system in this way.

Raoul Vaneigem | Isidore Ducasse and the Count of Lautréamont in the “Poésies”

  Lautréamont entered literary history by means of Maldoror, and, with the mastery of Isidore Ducasse, the author of the Poésies, he is almost indebted to it for not being excluded from that history.1 Of the judgments made by critics, how many manage to prove their innocence – through embarrassment or the casualness with which they open the “Préface à un livre futur” with a tacit disavowal – an unconfessed disapproval of the Poésies? None, no doubt, as it is true that their disaffection still appears in their will to subject the delicate processes by which multiple aspects of a…

Vladimir Mayakovsky | Revolution | A Poetichronicle

  Revolution A Poetichronicle   26 February. A drunken mix, police and soldiers, opened fire on the people. 27th. Spilled brilliance on barrel and blade – daybreak. Light crimson and prolonged. In a musty barracks sober severe the Volynsky Regiment prayed. Severely they swear to the soldiers’ god, kow-tow each hefty mono-brow. Blood kindled, surging through temple. With malice aforethought hands grip iron. And the first, he who ordered “Shoot the hungry!” – A bullet shut his mouth. Another’s ‘Ten–hut!” was cut short. Yet not at a loss the troops stormed into the city. 9 o’clock. In our usual spot…

Sean Bonney | Anna Mendelssohn—”Minds do exist to agitate and provoke / this is the reason I do not conform”

  If you want to find good poetry written in Britain, you have to go looking for it: with very few exceptions, it is hidden away behind a poetry of more or less genteel self-expression, metrical sentimentalities and easily digested liberal homilies that are essentially reports on police reality. But there is a vast seem of artistically and politically complex poetry also being written here, and Anna Mendelssohn, who sometimes also published under the name Grace Lake, wrote some of the best. It is chaotic, at times manic and compulsive, by turns mocking and playful, hurt and exasperated, and always…

Julian Murphet | “Wide as Targes Let Them Be,” or, How a Poem Is a Barricade

  The commons are what capitalism has always been committed to enclosing within its apparatus of accumulation.1 On their violently vacated place arise the motley privacies of individual contracts, rents, factories, banks, police, and all the interrelated paraphernalia of capital’s machinery of valuation and surplus. The commons themselves cannot be valued—they are beyond, prior to, value. Common land, common air, common water; but also, horticulture, animal husbandry, grain storage. The collective practices developed over millennia to harness the resources of our planet, and maximize human potentiality, form a sometimes vicious, sometimes virtuous feedback loop with the commons and dynamize their…

Amiri Baraka | STOP KILLER COPS

Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) During the Newark Riots, July 14-1967 [by Fred W. McDarrah]     Shortly after the 1965 publication of his novel The System of Dante’s Hell, Amiri Baraka – then still named LeRoi Jones – wondered in an interview whether the energies he had put into writing it might not have been better used to ‘devise a method for blowing up the White House’.  Sean Bonney     STOP KILLER COPS Gun flash beats the child’s head in, maniac teeth dance in a bloody grin blue lies, badge confessions, yng dude dead just beyond his mama’s arms, In…

GWENDOLYN BROOKS | RIOT

    RIOT A riot is the language of the unheard. —MARTIN LUTHER KING   John Cabot, out of Wilma, once a Wycliffe, all whitebluerose below his golden hair, wrapped richly in right linen and right wool, almost forgot his Jaguar and Lake Bluff; almost forgot Grandtully (which is The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Scotch); almost forgot the sculpture at the Richard Gray and Distelheim; the kidney pie at Maxim’s, the Grenadine de Boeuf at Maison Henri. Because the Negroes were coming down the street. Because the Poor were sweaty and unpretty (not like Two Dainty Negroes in…

Nanni Balestrini | “I write to you opposite the balcony from whence I contemplate the eternal light whose radiant fire slowly fades on the distant horizon”

At one point in ‘Blackout’, Balestrini writes, “This poem should not be published because it is a political manifesto.” The historical events with which ‘Blackout’ is concerned and toward which it is critical began with the wave of conflicts in 1968 at the universities and factories and eventually spread throughout the West. The protests culminated in the “troubled autumn” of 1969, eventually involving the entire Italian working class in strikes, demonstrations, and acts of sabotage.

M. NourbeSe Philip | from ‘ZONG!’

Zong! attempts to not-tell the story that must be told yet can’t be told – the story of the Zong massacre in 1781 in which the captain of the eponymous slave ship throws overboard some 150 enslaved Africans in order to collect payment of insurance monies. Through fragments of words and phrases a contrapuntal rhythm of word and silence is created as the story untells itself. Multilingual, multiethnic and multiracial, the globalised universe of the slave ship is a space of extreme contraction and restriction, it is rule-bound and closely girded and guarded by the law and religion. It is…

Katerina Gougou | A new translation of her book “Three Clicks Left”

Three Clicks Left: first appeared as Τρία κλικ αριστερά (Kastaniotis Editions, 1978); translated from the Greek by ΔT and JC. Here: Free May Day Book #9: Cherish x Abolish     Wage-labor capital and imperialism as the ultimate stage of capitalism betrayed revolutions Hey, comrade, we miss you so much . . . Time is worm-ridden nuclear tests, popular fronts, brothels (the Portuguese regime has fallen too) hyperproductive Catholics and the mafia have become multinationals, they forbid love, comrade. Like dogs on soccer fields agents climb our stairs anytime they want they can yank down our pants and fuck us peace…

Carla Lonzi (Part One)

Karolin Meunier ON VAI PURE BY CARLA LONZI   READING SESSION 1 AND 2. EDIT 2 How to introduce a book that I hardly know, written in a language that I do not speak? The following text is the product of two translation sessions, one with Paolo Caffoni and one with Federica Bueti, as we started to read Vai Pure (Now You Can Go), a conversation between the Italian feminist, writer, and art historian Carla Lonzi and her partner Pietro Consagra, conducted in Lonzi’s apartment in Rome 1980 before they broke up their relationship. Lonzi had used this method—that is…

Carla Lonzi (Part Two)

FINDING RESONANCES WITH CARLA LONZI Giovanna Zapperi with Federica Bueti   I am not quite sure when or how I came across Carla Lonzi’s writing. It happened in the casual manner in which sometimes one’s life changes in unexpected ways. Lonzi’s writing did not change my life, but it offered me an opportunity to reflect upon it. Lonzi’s feminist practice is a work of unearthing, undoing, and undressing that shakes up the foundation of our culture and beings. What has society made of me? Who am I? Lonzi ceaselessly questions her sense of self, the place society had assigned to…

[ACTION #3] BRITISH SOUNDS | NACH ANNA MENDELSSOHN

indem man [nämlich] aufdeckte, dass die Geschichte der Menschen, wie sie in den BÜCHERN zu finden ist, eben doch kein Text ist, welcher auf den Seiten eines BUCHES geschrieben steht; indem man nämlich entdeckte, dass die Wahrheit der Geschichte sich nicht aus ihrem manifesten Diskurs herauslesen lässt, weil der Text der Geschichte eben kein Text ist, in dem eine Stimme [der LOGOS] sprechen würde, sondern die [als solche] gänzlich unhörbare und unlesbare Notation der Auswirkungen einer Struktur von Strukturen Louis Althusser | Das Kapital lesen     Diese Fähigkeit sich durch Literatur zu verwandeln Während du mitten im Gespräch den…

Pier Paolo Pasolini | Poetry [from “Transhumanize and Organize”]

    Job Request Poetry made to order is a device. The device maker can produce many (only tiring himself out from the manual labor). The subject can, at times, be ironic: the device always is. Gone are the days when I, a voracious economizer, would spend everything, investing my money (a lot of it, since semen was my currency, and I always had an erection) buying up greatly undervalued sectors that would turn a profit some two or three centuries hence. I was Ptolemaic (being just a kid) and counted eternity, you guessed it, in centuries. I considered the…

Tom Raworth | West Wind

  the moon is blacker than the sky memories move in abandoned armour corridors of such interest of mirrors and cut glass night a few lights outlining motion a city’s blue glow spikes from shadows fanned by airbrushed fingers restarting ink with a thumb ink dried on the pen distant as walking anywhere having your own body or the thought of imagination an unlimited closed system a flooded market only intellect between you and the image past dreams a different real with body an experience there a yellow building waits description fear’s tidy lines memory’s distance you know so you…

Keston Sutherland | Free Dissociation/Logic

    pladd. (you who say either) nothing can be clear when knowing the associations are read by unread people, exposées, exposures. new poems for old. groovy. associations and world societies of interactive growth. groan. a place full of untrained actors absorbing dimensions of cradling pain securing test periods of temperature change. sewing elbes to harare, scratch luck. nothing matches the theoretical tuck. nutmeg. primus stove. raised eyebrows. work sharing. retreat into the forest. the silver conifers. the crumbs. chums. biceps & musical hairs. plaesthetics. planna vanne. plin plor plon pladverbially plodding along with a net in sturdy boots, add…

[ACTION #2] PASOLINI L’ENRAGÉ

  Dieser Film ist auf brennendes Papier geschrieben, wird Pasolini über LA RABBIA sagen / die Verknüpfung politischer Vernunft mittels poetischen Gefühls [das ein entschieden marxistisches ist]. Während sein Zorn sich gegen die täglich gelebte Normalität des Notstands [stato d’emergenza] richtet, die vermessene Ausgestaltung & Verteilung des Mangels [eines dystopischen Beschleunigungsapparates], inmitten neu aufgeputzter Mumifizierungen [Details in rosa Schaumbildung], entdeckt er die Synthese von Politik & Dichtung, also Marx & Rimbaud in der Montage einiger Bilder aus dem Afrika des »Sehers« [zeitweise ein gedanklicher Rückzugsort], der politischen Kartographie Patrice Lumumbas. Die Aufteilung des Menschen in Herr und Knecht [in der…

[ACTION #1] HEINER MÜLLERS INSZENIERUNG DES ‘DER UNTERGANG DES EGOISTEN JOHANN FATZER’ VON BRECHT

  Ich mache keinen Krieg mehr, sondern ich gehe jetzt heim gradewegs, ich scheiße auf die Ordnung der Welt. Schwarmstrategien [Smart Mobs] unterhalb des Radars. Die Geschichte von vier Deserteuren im Jahr 1918 [der abgerissene Sehnerv der in seinem Versteck von Revolution träumt]. Etwas das sich innerhalb der Mauern ansammelt, sprechende Wände im »Toten Trakt« / ein diffuses Glühen. Projektion: Liebknecht Luxemburg Meinhof. Jetzt kehrt sich das Leben gegen die alten Gewohnheiten. Niemand sieht jetzt / niemand kehrt zurück / als wäre der Sinn nie entfernt worden / das Gefühl die Schädeldecke müßte eigentlich zerreissen. Die bösartige Leugnung eines Virus…

Bertolt Brecht | A lesson in sabotage

    A lesson in sabotage Modifying a machine After the machine so that it won’t work without you So far improve it that you alone are good enough for it Give it a secret fault that you alone can repair Yes, alter it so that any other man will destroy it If the works it without you That’s what we call: modifying a machine. Modify your machine, saboteur!       A lesson in sabotage Sabotage, mother of the factory Just as a mother knows what she has given birth to Wakes in the night at the baby’s slightest…

artaud-theatre-du-vieux-colombier*.com

  Die wahre Geschichte von Artaud-Mômo, tête-à-tête. Als würde man ein Bild unterhalb des Augenlids verschliessen. Gewisse Dispositionen zu entziffern, die ausschliesslich Teil eines poetischen Feldes sind [weil Poesie immer Opposition ist]. Abrechnung mit denen, die ihn 9 Jahre in einer geschlossenen Anstalt einsperren //3 Jahre davon in Einzelhaft// während der Zeit seiner Internierung in Sotteville-lès-Rouen [Oktober 1937 – März 1938] systematische Versuche der Intoxikation [vergessen die 40.000 Toten //ein Index verschämter Skelette// der psychiatrischen Anstalten Frankreichs während der deutschen Besatzung]. Sozialer Vampirismus, willkürlich konstruierte Diagnosen, Elektro- & Insulinschocks, weil er sich einer Logik entzieht, die von einzelnen Elementen auf…

Sean Bonney | Notes on Baudelaire

      “I will get a map of London to see where Hackney is” – Ed Dorn “. . . left the ruins, climbed out from under the white stones” – Amiri Baraka     (((1))) — think ghost shit as a set of rooftops imposed on other systems of twitching in public. our language is also that debased. think cancer as radical nostalgia for legitimate ruins like the letter I.     (((2))) — or put it this way – the coiled voice interferes, & by the fourth day colonies of brightly flourescent cells can be seen gathering…

Sean Bonney | Cancer: Poems after Katerina Gogou

        Dear Katerina, Yes I know, things are bad for us all these days. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve disappeared over the past few months. There’s an uneasy nausea settled into the basic awareness of, well, everything. Its not even the news or the weather. Even the raw evidence of our senses – sounds of machinery outside the window, smell of diesel and gas, the elevated railway, bird-song etc – has become sinister. The sunset is a warning. The ticking of the clock a threat. Everything has combined into a pitched malevolent force…

Tongo Eisen-Martin

    Faceless A tour guide through your robbery He also is Cigarette saying, “look what I did about your silence.” Ransom water and box spring gold –This decade is only for accent grooming, I guess Ransom water and box spring gold –The corner store must die War games, I guess All these tongues rummage junk The start of mass destruction Begins and ends In restaurant bathrooms That some people use And other people clean “you telling me there’s a rag in the sky?” -waiting for you. yes- we’ve written we’ve set a stage We should have fit in. warehouse…

Alberto Toscano | Mayakovsky at Mirafiori: Operaismo and the Negation of Poetry

  Though many of the watchwords and guiding axioms of Italian operaismo and its successors have percolated into critical discourse on aesthetic production, and multiple analyses of its intersections with visual art and architecture in the 1960 and 1970s have been advanced, little has been made of its specific approach to the question of poetics. This chapter aims partially to correct this tendency by exploring the arguments about the unhappy marriage between avant-garde poetry and communist politics sketched out in some interventions by the key literary critic and historian in the collective of militant intellectuals that made up ‘classic’ operaismo,…

Fred Moten | resistances, impromptu

    resistances, impromptu with Tania Bruguera and Fernando Zalamea’n’em   When we reverse engineered the movement, we found the moment it became the movement was the moment we stopped moving. A body politic for newly born political bodies in the drawing of one last breath by one. Pear trees full of rivers all tied up in sugar ditch; pulpit gutbucket molasses still in still, strong and good, but gone. I was born in friction, alabama. I voted for drone chalkline. I died in fraction, california. I remain a posthumous citizen. So, resist the reduction of non-meaning. Resistance in poetry…

Bhanu Kapil

    What is Ban? Ban is a mixture of dog shit and bitumen (ash) scraped off the soles of running shoes: Puma, Reebok, Adidas. Looping the city, Ban is a warp of smoke. To summarize, she is the parts of something re-mixed as air: integral, rigid air, circa 1972-1979.  She’s a girl. A black girl in an era when, in solidarity, Caribbean and Asia Brits self-defined as black. A black (brown) girl encountered in the earliest hour of a race riot, or what will become one by nightfall. April 23rd, 1979: by morning, ant-Nazi campaigner, Black Peach, will be…

Lisa Robertson

  go Venus go vernal go turning go darling by folding sky by buoyant kiss by plenty (I lie in bed and read Marx) by secret breezes twisting, contriving by boulevards by cattle by springle a springald a springet rise agile from water, go down modern to the natal turn by rapacious meetings by luminous flowers – take with you the eagerness of my submission to the proliferate material discipline also called speech as the political feeling lusts for public light by engorged rivers by populated foliage by veering campus the cry of desire a morning blackbird in the city…

José Revueltas | So that Mayakovsky’s Suicide not be Repeated

  While in Havana for a period of six months in 1961, working at a worthy task at the Cinematography Institute alongside the best youth of Cuba’s film industry, I once suggested to a small group of young intellectuals that we form a club or literary circle to debate the problems a writer must face under socialism. The circle, club, or whatever would develop from that idea, would have the following theme – theme and program at the same time: “so that Mayakovsky’s suicide not be repeated.” The idea did not prosper, although not for any weighty reason. That is,…

‘JEDE REVOLUTION IST EIN WÜRFELWURF’ / EVERY REVOLUTION IS A THROW OF DICE

  ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY DAVID VICHNAR ALIENIST 7   1   Die Geschichte eines Typen der Kassiber für Pierre Goldman, Ulrike Meinhof und Toni Negri schmuggelt 2   Kein Schibboleth, das ihm nicht über die Lippen käme, ein linguistisches Chamäleon, mal Jude, dann wieder Anarchist 3   Von den ersten Gesetzen der Könige und Propheten (sowie der Gefängnisinsassen) bis in die Gegenwart sind Mauern und Wände das Fundament politischer Botschaften 4   Er glaubt an die Dichtung, aber die Dichtung ist unzulässig Im übrigen gibt es sie nicht 5   Der Text ist ohne Geheimnis Chaotisch und delirant 6  Eine…

Velimir Khlebnikov | The Law of Generations

    Autobiographical Note   I was born on October 28, 1885, in the camp of Mongolian Buddhist nomads—Khanate Headquarters in the steppe—the dried bottom of a vanished part of the Caspian (the sea of 40 names). During Peter the Great’s travels on the Volga, an ancestor of mine presented him with a goblet of coins gotten by brigandage. I have Armenian blood i my veins (the Alabors), also Cossack blood (the Verbitskys), whose special nature is evident in the fact that Przhewalski, Mikluktha-Maklai and other explorers were descendants of the children of the Sech. I belong to the place…

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Philippe Sollers | What is the Meaning of the Avant-garde’s Death?

FIRST PUBLISHED: DIAPHANES How could Dante be avant-garde? Mehdi Belhaj Kacem: Mr. Sollers, for 23 years you were the editor of Tel Quel, doubtless the very last important literary review that can be considered “avant-garde.” It published some of the biggest “avant-garde” writers of its time, like Pierre Guyotat, Maurice Roche, Jean-Jacques Schuhl and yourself, as well as still-unknown academics like Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Gérard Genette. You also published Pierre Boulez and Jean-Luc Godard, who, like the writers and thinkers I just mentioned, were the leading avant-garde figures in their respective fields. In 1983 you left Les Éditions du Seuil,…

Nanni Balestrini | Wer das hier liest, braucht sich vor nichts mehr zu fürchten (Interview)

  Der 1935 in Mailand geborene Schriftsteller Nanni Balestrini gehört zu den wenigen, die, obwohl sie im normalen Literaturbetrieb anerkannt sind, weiterhin über die revolutionäre Bewegung der 60er und 70er schreiben. Selbst Aktivist der sozialen und Klassenkämpfe der Jahre 1968-80 in Italien, hat Balestrini alle seine Romane über die Geschichte der radikalen Linken geschrieben. Seine Bücher handeln von den Arbeiterkämpfen bei FIAT, von den Ursprüngen des bewaffneten Kampfs oder von der Jugendbewegung (Autonomia) Mitte der 70er. Sein Standpunkt bleibt dabei klar, an der subjektiven Sicht der Rebellierenden rüttelt Balestrini nicht. Ihm geht es, auch wenn er nach eigenem Bekunden, „keine…

D.S. Marriott | Response to Race and the Poetic Avant-Garde + Poems

  What is “avant-garde poetry”? is a question long on answers, if short on consensus. On the one hand, the notion of the avant-garde is invariably seen as a historical category. The history of modernism and the authority of certain authors converge here in a kind of hermeneutic presumption, as if the meanings and values of both constituted readymades. The avant-garde poet emerges as a figure (invariably male, invariably white) that history and culture no longer need to put in question. But on the other hand, those European and American avant-gardes posed a question about the relation between the reading…

Walter Benjamin | The Author as Producer

    II s’agit de gagner les intellectuels “la classe ouvriere, en leur faisant prendre conscience de l’identité de leurs de-marches spirituelles et de leurs conditions de producteur. – Ramon Fernandez   You recall how Plato treats the poets in his projected State. In the interest of the community, he does not allow them to live there. He had a high idea of the power of poetry. But he considered it destructive, superfluous – in a perfect community, needless to say. Since then, the question of the poet’s right to exist has not often been stated with the same insistence;…

Pier Paolo Pasolini | A Desperate Vitality

  I (Draft, in a cursus in present-day jargon, of what has just transpired: Fiumicino, the old castle, and a first real idea of death.) As in a film by Godard: alone in a car speeding down the motorways of Latin neo-capitalism — returning from the airport — [where Moravia stayed behind, a pure soul with his bags] alone, “racing his Alfa Romeo“ in sunlight so heavenly it cannot be put into rhymes not elegiac — the finest sun we’ve had all year — as in a film by Godard: under a sun bleeding motionless unique, the canal of the…

Danielle Collobert | It Then

      I met Danielle Collobert in a cafe on the boulevard Saint-Germain in March or April 1958, at which time she was not yet eighteen. We immediately spoke of the essentials: writing, death. Theses two things—or is it one single thing—seemed to occupy her exclusively and with such rigor that one felt from the outset she would proceed in this single and unique direction, that no one could divert her or deceive her as to its end. At most, out of love for her, one could hope, idiotically of course, that sooner or later she would lose track, that her…

Jerome Rothenberg | Revolutionary Propositions & A Personal Manifesto

1) I will change your mind;
2) any means (=methods) to that end;
3) to oppose the “devourers” = bureaucrats, system-makers, priests, etc (W. Blake);
4) “& if thou wdst understand that wch is me, know this: all that I have sd I have uttered playfully—& I was by no means ashamed of it.” (J. C. to disciples, The Acts of St. John)

Notes on Events ((Lamentation))

  Published by: Burning House Press (Guest Editor: Johannes Göransson)   “The language of tragedy for the Greeks is lethally factive, because the body it seizes hold of does really kill” — Friedrich Hölderlin   Without a doubt this is the most repulsive of repulsive moments :: it’s no longer enough to say :: the goal is the abolition of capitalist realism or to hammer verses on the door of a cell the way you drive a nail into a wall / when disinhibition is rampant among the elite / they engineer new humiliations daily/ & the crumbs left over…

Jazra Khaleed | Poems (“Smashing Fascist Heads”)

    REFRAIN My name is J-A-Z-R-A Here I’m illegal, in spite of the Left I was born in the dusk of the West And this evening is just splendid For smashing fascist heads TRANSLATED BY SARAH MCCANN       SOMEWHERE IN ATHENS Somewhere in Athens December the Sixth The kid will kill the cop before sunup Somewhere in Athens December the Seventh On the streets the banks are burnt one by one Somewhere in Athens December the Eighth Let’s cut a rug in Parliament’s rubble Somewhere in Athens December the Ninth The poets in the streets eulogize fires…

riots and/or poetics [10/2019]

TRILCE XXVII    That flood frightens me, / good memory, strong sir, implacable / cruel sweetness. It frightens me. / This house does me complete good, complete / place for this not knowing where to be. // Let’s not go in. It frightens me, this favour / of returning by minutes, by blown up bridges. / I’m not going ahead, sweet sir, / brave memory, sad / singing skeleton. // What content, of this haunted house, / gives me deaths by mercury, and blocks / with lead my conduits / to sheer reality. // The flood that doesn’t know how…

Antonin Artaud | Van Gogh the man suicided by society

Apropos of Van Gogh, magic and spells: all the people who, for two months now, went to see the exhibition of his works at the Musée de l’Orangerie, are they really sure they remember everything they did and all that happened to them every evening of the months of February, March, April and May 1946? Was there not a certain evening when the atmosphere of the air and the streets became liquid, gelatinous, unstable, and when the light from the stars and the heavenly vault disappeared? And Van Gogh who painted the café in Arles was not there. But I…

Miyó Vestrini | It’s a Good Machine

    THE TRIP I’ll tell you how I know what I am: they say that I was conceived without sin my cries were answered with other cries people went on vacation and left me gave away my New Year’s clothes disowned the shame when I was absent I had no mourners for my trespasses threw breadcrumbs at watery graves placated my own desires held the ground between myself and the penumbra bought a dog and let it out paid César Vallejo to love me passed without glory or pain beneath the Mirabeau Bridge I don’t have a single friend…

Etel Adnan | MAYAKOVSKY

  1 Mayakovsky, where are you? I can go to the train station and pick you up. we can speak of the weather on the way back, and if you’re coming by bus I can wait for you at the terminal and in case that you found enough money to have taken the plane I will get up early and wait for you. Don’t tell me dear Vladimir that you lost my address, and that you won’t come, not tomorrow, not ever, I still wait for you because we’re feeling miserable here, and elsewhere, in Europe or in California. We…

Karen Brodine | Woman Sitting at the Machine, Thinking

  Karen Brodine: Feminist Poet and Revolutionary KAREN BRODINE was barely 40 years old when she died of cancer on October 18, 1987. Her death was a shock, a misery, an abrupt and unwarranted end to an exceptionally dynamic and productive life. The horrible thing is that Karen’s death was unnecessary. Cancer killed her because the medical profession was too profit-motivated, too sexist, to catch it in time, when they could and should have. And she was mad as hell at the medical automatons who prescribed the massive doses of poison known as chemotherapy when an ounce of prevention could have saved…

Jerome Rothenberg | Autobiography 1977 The First One Hundred

     1  Archipelago of the wandering dream    2  A castle with two bodies    3  The figure of Rosa Luxemburg among the animals in cages    4  Midnight forest    5  Trains circling below the icy waters    6  A meeting in the bourse    7  The men come into the small locker room & order drinks    8  Picasso wears a hat with roses    9  He has shoes aglow with little lights 10  Electricity runs along the floor & in between the tables 11  Picasso & Rosa Luxemburg converse 12  Her face is the face of our…

César Vallejo | From “Art and Revolution”

    THE REVOLUTIONARY FUNCTION OF THOUGHT Confusion is a phenomenon with a permanent, organic character in bourgeois society. Confusion grows ever thicker when it is addressed as already confusing problems by the very historical terms of its utterance. The latter occurs with the brand new and, at once, very old problem of the intellectual’s obligations with regard to revolution. As posed by historical materialists, this problem is already a tangle. When formulated or simply outlined by bourgeois intellectuals, it acquires the aspect of insoluble chaos. *** “The philosophers,” Marx says, “have only interpreted the world in various ways. The…

Two Poets — Marion Bell & Jasmine Gibson

  Marion Bell   You’re one of the only poets I know who dropped out of a prominent MFA program. Why? Ok, so I’ll try to answer as candidly as possible. I will have to travel back in time to 24/25 year old me. (I’m in this position a lot lately – I’m working with my past, my younger self in writing – the self I like to think is more fucked up and vulnerable than my present self. What is that relationship – how can I be accountable for the choices I’ve made even when they seem like the…

Sergio Raimondi | Poems

  When the world changes, literature must as well. This is the credo motivating the thinking and writing of Argentine poet Sergio Raimondi, born in 1968 in Bahia Blanca. A somewhat gruff genius loci inhabits this place: the nearby port of Ingeniero White is one of Argentina’s main seaports; the nation’s most important petrochemical complexes is also located here. But Sergio Raimondi draws his very inspiration from this genius loci: even in his early work Poesía civil (published in German as Zivilpoesie in 2005), Raimondi—who teaches contemporary literature at the Universidad del Sur in Bahia Blanca—examines in depth Argentina’s changing…