At the Zinc bar launch for All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems, Kenneth Goldsmith read "Lift Off" – a poem he also write about in Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age. The poem, which was originally published in Poetic Justice (Baltimore: Pod Books, 1979), is a transcription from the correction tape of an IBM Selectric typewriter.
Here is Kenny's script –– pdf & here is Kenny's reading: (7:20): MP3
[»»] Introduction: by Alan Gilbert and Daron Mueller From the Introduction: The essays included in this Anne Waldman feature were selected from presentations given at a symposium honoring the University of Michigan Special Collections Library’s acquisition of Anne Waldman’s archive. Entitled “Makeup on Empty Space: A Celebration of Anne Waldman,” the symposium was held at the University of Michigan from March 13–15, 2002. It included over twenty poets, scholars, publishers, and artists participating in both panels and poetry readings. Andrei Codrescu’s “Who’s Afraid of Anne Waldman?” served as the keynote speech for the symposium. [»»] Maria Damon: Making the World Safe for Poetry (or, How Is Anne Waldman Different from Woodrow Wilson?) [»»] Rachel Blau DuPlessis: Anne Waldman: Standing Corporeally in One’s Time [»»] Alan Gilbert: Anne Waldman Changing the Frequency
A bit further in Blanchot and his step outside time, I arrive at sentences that sound like the translator at work. At work, yes, inside the “I” or subjectivity of a writer who has already written in another language, a translator enters “in vain” that space where writing speaks to its interlocutor: “J'essaierai en vain de me le représenter, celui que je n'étais pas et qui, sans le vouloir, commençait d'écrire, écrivant (et alors le sachant) de telle manière que par là le pur produit de ne rien faire s'introduisait dans le monde et dans son monde.” (my emphasis, for the translator, to many, brings “nothing” into the world—the consequence of the common belief that the translated work is written by the original writer.
(Thus writers continue to write beyond the grave. And translators, alive, are thus always already dead to what they write. Zombie me!)
Here is Lycette Nelson in the published English : "I will try in vain to represent him to myself, he who I was not and who, without wanting to, began to write, writing (and knowing it then), in such a way that the pure product of doing nothing was introduced into the world and into his world."
Or as my mind wants to read it: “I’ll struggle to represent to myself this person who I was not and, and who, without wanting to, started writing, writing (and thus knew it then) in such a way that, through writing, the pure product of doing nothing introduced itself into the world, and into ‘my’ world.”