Lisa Robertson talks with me about her new book; the form of Cinema of the Present; rethinking lyric and epic poetry through feminism; experimentation and/or subjectivity; prose versus verse; the persistence of beauty, pleasure, and the aesthetic; early connections to the Kootenay School of Writing; living bilingually in France and the bubble of monolingualism; soft architecture; writing essays for visual arts publications,;and seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. Close Listening is produced for Clocktower Radio in association with PennSound.
Bio-artist, cybernetician, and assembleur Roy Ascott refers to “a moistmedia substrate where digital systems, telematics, and genetic engineering” all meet. This fertile matrix, in his imagining, is a haven for “cultural traditions previously banished from materialist discourse as esoteric and shamanic.” This esoteric tendency poetically and noetically questions the very bases of upper-case Form and Object-hood.
Will Alexander talks with me about his early immersion in the work of John Coltrane and its abiding connection to his own jazz-process / Surrealist poetry, discusses his “constellation" of mythological and scientific sources, the influence of Aimé Césaire on his work, the politics of his poetic form via resistance to colonization, the role of the black poet in America, the necessity of performance, and his aim bring the reader into a state of “supra-mind.”
Listen to the 30-minute program, prodcued for Clocktower Radio in association with PennSound:
Conditions change so fast on the ground and yet we are walking receivers of traditions that defy objective temporal markers. Poems mark an intersection of the new, the news, and something outside that pressure of reality, something that resists such presence. The more resistant they are to the present, the more a perfect voicelessness emerges.
I wrote the Foreword to this anthology, just published by Diálogos Books of Lavender Ink ISBN: 978-1-935084-08-6 // 7"x10", 560 pages: $29.95 ••• We come old into a world newly born.
Many scriptural traditions promise a “living word” or some variation on a “word made flesh,” and new developments in genetic art also engage in an organismic language. DNA’s four-letter alphabet of ATCG is a tetragram like the names of gods ranging from Zeus to Jove to Deus to Gott to Odin to Lord, but one that rearranges at will like a protein’s palimpsest, forever half-erasing and rewriting itself. Bio-poetics can now forge new DNA molecules able to pass a cell’s reading test, in acts of virtuosic 5,000-bit spelling, placing codes inside of codes and (in the case of the very first synthetic organism) scratching Richard Feynman’s “What I cannot create, I do not understand” as a piece of defiant graffiti inside of a cell.