Commentaries - July 2014

Toward and through the 'natural'

Rivera's and Russo's elsewheres ...

Elena Rivera, On the Nature of Position and Tone (Fields Press, 2012), 35 pp.; Linda Russo, picturing everything closer visible (Projective Industries, 2013), 15 pp.—Rivera and Russo unearth and re-investigate the culture/nature problem in distinct but similar ways. And this has to do with the ways that nature is constructed in these two chapbooks. In both, the natural comes into existence as an object of knowledge (however defined) only in relation to artifice—first and foremost, to their writings but also to their places of residence — and to the artificial structures of culture. Rivera, who lives in New York City, wrote her chapbook as a kind of “sensual response” to her one-month residency at Djerassi, a multi-disciplinary artist commune southeast of San Francisco.

The negative, risk, and responsibility

Jack Frost on actvism

Jackqueline Frost, The Antidote (Compline), 81 pp.—The spelling of the author’s name is “right,” that is, editorially, [sic], a disavowal of an intervention into the current norms governing given names. And the given is, in this articulation of a participant in the Oakland/San Francisco commune, a pre- Nonsite Collective, post-Occupy coalition of activists, compulsion and responsibility.

'In truth the subtle web of thought / is like the weaver's fabric wrought'

Image from a 1987 French-English Visual Dictionary, courtesy of Matthew Baird
Image from a 1987 French-English Visual Dictionary, courtesy of Matthew Baird

“Both science and art form in the course of the centuries a human language by which we can speak about the more remote parts of reality, and the coherent sets of concepts as well as the different styles of art are different words or groups of words in this language.” – Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy (1958)

Poetry and quantum mechanics do indeed seem to speak to the more remote parts of reality as Werner Heisenberg suggests, and, as a result, both systems invite new ways of speaking, furthering what language is capable of within and outside of human experience.

Robert Creeley in conversation with his mother, 1970 (MP3 oral history)

photos by Jan Erik Vold, Bolinas, Spring 1972

Creeley in conversation with his mother on her first visit to Gloucester, probably summer 1970: 
audio file courtesy PennSound: (32:32):  MP3
(Sidney Goldfarb comes into the conversation at the end.)



For My Mother: Genevieve Jules Creeley 
April 8, 1887 - October 7, 1972

BIG SENSIBLE, introductory remarks on Hannah Weiner's Clairvoyant Journal by Patrick Durgin

for new Bat editions publication

photo by Nelson Howe, c. 1975

Hannah Weiner's Clairvoyant Journal is the last in a series of autobiographical texts. The Fast, Country Girl, Pictures and Early Words, and BIG WORDS precede it. This series begins with her first written account of visionary experiences that would develop over the 1970s, years during which Weiner invented a unique literary form to portray them. The series culminates in this invention.