Ruth Jennison | “A Whole New Set of Stars”: Poetics and Revolutionary Consciousness

  Current political conditions and conjunctures are making possible a serious reconsideration of the histories, forms, and political urgencies of twentieth and twenty-first century, left anti-capitalist poetry. The end of the Cold War has been registered in transformations of poetry and the scholarly work that attends to it at what can only be described as a glacial pace. Part of this is generational—Marxists are only beginning to repopulate the universities from which they were expelled during the McCarthyism that has re-branded itself as liberal hegemony. Likewise, poetry, so long kept restricted to the hermeticism of New Criticism, and taught largely…

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 | 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…

Best Books of 2019

    Miyó Vestrini | Grenade in Mouth Those who write are not even of a race. Nor a caste. Nor a class. Nor are they one. They ruin the point of living, like women in a world of science. Behind thick lenses, the court is never dull. They have all privileges: from philosophy up to anger, passing through conjugal relations, and the length of the paragraphs. Between the rights of man it is figured that the writer should write largely for himself first, then for the others, with a purpose well or poorly defined: to flood the window displays,…

Sean Bonney | Heroes

  Heroes 1. Mustapha Khayati, I got a question. When you were writing your dictionary, did you have any sense which words might be snitches and which might be scabs. While the Eiffel Tower continues to mean what it does, sending out signals no-one could ever translate, these questions continue to matter. Mustapha Khayati, say something. Fascism does what it does without a need for language. 2. Jean Genet, if alive today, would be somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, entwined with all the other human bones. No-one would say his name. His fingerprints would be stored in an…

Lyn Hejinian | From ‘Positions of the Sun’

The book pivots around the disorientation of the “aesthetics of minutiae, with their promise of infinitude”; a pointed and inconclusive protest against an “awareness of orders of magnitude that include atrocity, war, capitalism , and perhaps—though it may be mortality’s saving grade—death.”

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…