Commentaries

John Bloomberg-Rissman

from 'With the Noose Around My Neck,' 139, a poem and multivocal collage in progress

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a further installment of John Bloomberg-Rissman’s ongoing collage epic, composed, as with much of his writing, (almost) entirely from words or sounds appropriated from other writers.

An introduction to 'Discordance'

Two high-arched club feet in neon socks, one pink and one yellow, interlock.

Disability is often perceived as deviance from some encoded norm; I know this as a disabled person who is regularly referred to as “weird.” Perhaps some people mean my large hair or loud clothing, but many are employing a euphemism to refer to my purple wheelchair or stumbling gait. Dear reader, I have used a disabled “I” so soon so you might know that this series is committed to the disability rights mantra “Nothing about us without us!” even as the “I” and “us” and “you” in this series are unstable (literally … you should see the scabs on my legs). 

Bodies, like poems, always mean what they ceaselessly say: that even if they could speak — and they can — we would not understand them. — Craig Dworkin, “The Stutter of Form”

Kharis

Pt. 11

“Pandora Attired,” engraving by William Blake after a drawing by John Flaxman.
“Pandora Attired,” engraving by William Blake after a drawing by John Flaxman.

In his impressively exhaustive study on gift exchange and market economy, The Price of Truth: Gift, Money, and Philosophy, Marcel Hénaff puts pressure on the gift (dosis) / countergift (antidosis) coupling by making the provocative claim that there’s no such thing as a “gift economy.” According to Hénaff the gift is built on “symbolic” rather than “market” exchange, and as a result, its purpose is “not to acquire or accumulate goods but to use them to establish bonds of recognition between persons or groups.”[1]

Locus Solus

Locus Solus, issue III-IV.
Locus Solus, issue III-IV.

Now to look at Locus Solus, a magazine of poetry and prose edited by John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler from 1961–’62, and published by Harry Mathews in Lans-en-Vercors, France. All five issues of the publication are part of The Little Magazine Collection at DU.

Jeffrey C. Robinson

Remaking the world: Poetry of the Homeless Library

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Homeless Library (2014–17) is “the first history of British homelessness. A collection of books handmade by homeless people, reflecting on their lives and how they connect with the wider, previously unwritten heritage of homelessness. The books describe lived experience in interviews, poetry, art.” It was created by poet Philip Davenport and artist Lois Blackburn under their experimental arts organization arthur+martha, based in Manchester, UK.