The following is an occassional dialogue composed for this occassion. Derek Beaulieu and Natalia Fedorova may not have met apart from the artifice of this conversation. Nonetheless, there is a conceit of some commonality of interest and points of divergence. This is part two of the series.
Derek Beaulieu Both my concrete poetry and my conceptual writing focus on distancing myself from subjective representation. I am fascinated by Place and Fitterman’s idea of the Sobject and by Goldsmith’s proclamation that “I am interested in subjectivity, just not my own.” Goldsmith argues that Conceptual writing is only the 2nd truly international writing movement, coming approximately 50 years after the formulation of Concrete Poetry.
Natalia FedorovaSobjectivity translated into the post-soviet reality will read: “re-politicization of the form” as a key tendency in reanimating conceptualist ostranenie of the language from the official propaganda. History is recycling itself in the absurd Kafka-esque Pussy Riot trial that calls for the same methods today as in the Soviet times.
London, Aug. 10 (AHP2 News Service) –– The Interlocal Poetry Olympics Committee (IPOC) announced today the eagerly anticipated rules for the first Poetry Octathlon Event (POE), which will be played at the Fall 2012 Olympics in Rangoon. Salvage Holding, Olympic Poetry Commissioner (OPC), said that those wishing to enter the qualifying trials should submit their entries on-line at http://where-the-sun-don’t-shine-&-the-moon’s-just-another-word-for-fading-memory.com. All fully completed entries will be compensated with a check for $100, paid for by the universal poetry tax (UPT).
“The Octathlon must be performed at a single sitting, with one hour devoted to each plank, for an overall 8-hour time limit,” Holding explained. Since this will be a Massive On-line Poetry Event (MOPE), time constraints will be self-governing. Rollweck: the Watch-that-Comes-with-a-Kimmelweck bun® is an official sponsor of IPOC and many MOPE competitors will be using Rollweck® stopwatches. A stopwatch is an increasingly necessary tool for contemporary on-the-go poets who use timed sequences as prosodic devices. “The Rollweck® Olympics Poetry Initiative (ROPI) is an international philanthropic program,” Holding explained, “created to assist average, disappointed poets to become somebodies instead of the nobodies that they are, let’s face it.”
Typically when I teach William Carlos Williams’s sequence of improvisations Kora in Hell, we spend a lot of time on the name in the title: Kora, or Persephone, the mythological figure Williams takes up as a kind of avatar for his own struggle to break free of “the traditionalists of plagiarism” and come up to the surface of the new. As he says in I Wanted to Write a Poem: “I am indebted to Pound for the title. We had talked about Kora, the Greek parallel of Persephone, the legend of Springtime captured and taken to Hades.