Commentaries

Bodies-cities part 1: Queering geographic information

What are the normative units of urban space? For residents, among them are the neighborhood and the block, the street and the school catchment. For planners, they include the census tract and the district, the zip code and the precinct. In a recent article in Area, “Crossing Over into Neighbourhoods of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City,” geographer Jen Jack Gieseking borrows Gloria Anzaldúa’s usage of “borders” and “crossing over” to push against the existing containers for sorting urban space and the bodies that use it. Gieseking writes: “‘Crossing over’ then queers the geographic imagination of cities; when queered, urban territories ebb and flow and are not fixed to boundaries defined by the elite and/or propertied” (Gieseking 263).

George Quasha: from 'Poetry in Principle' being a mind-degradable manifesto with some thoughts on Mac Low, Antin, and others

Mind-degradable Manifesto

I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to issue a manifesto like in the good old days, but any such assertion nowadays always seems to splinter into its ambiguities, leaving the motivating impulse unmanifest. The burden of poetic process is how easily it spoils even the finest dogma. However, if one located a principle that exists outside as well as inside art, stating it would not be a manifesto but a poignant observation.

The lives of the experimental poets 7–9

McKenzie, Edwards, Fogarty

The tension between sentence fragment, sententia, long line, short line, and break is bravura. Also cura,” with a certain care with language, following Rachel Blau DuPlessis in Blue Studies: Poetry and Its Cultural Work (2006). Address. Discussing the work of McKenzie with Pam Brown recently she recounted a seminar at UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) organized by Peter Minter around 2005, where McKenzie performed her poems, all memorized, no script to read off. 

7. Geraldine McKenzie (born 1954)

In Geraldine McKenzie’s poem “Full Bore,” included in her collection Duty, a stanzaic pattern emerges. Here’s how it begins:

                         Full bore. As at. The statement should be the clearest possible

                                      sentence, if it could be

First reading of Basil Bunting's performance of Thomas Wyatt's 'Blame not my lute' (4)

Jeroen van den Heuvel

The first time I listen to Basil Bunting perform Thomas Wyatt’s “Blame not my lute,” I am unable to follow it. The sixteenth-century English certainly does not help. I hear the word “desart“ and don’t know what it means. I hear the word “change” that is familiar to me but it is used in a way that I am not accustomed to. I listen to it a few more times. The repetition radiates a kind of pleasure. But why should I, in 2017, bother to listen to one dead guy reciting a poem four decades ago that another dead guy wrote five centuries ago?

With Jeroen van den Heuvel’s short essay responding to the experience of hearing Basil Bunting’s performance of Thomas Wyatt’s “Blame not my lute,” the three coeditors of the “First Readings” series offer the fourth of five takes on this cover. The recording is linked here and is also available at PennSound’s Bunting

Elegy after Allison Cobb's 'After We All Died'

Debates on the much-disputed moniker of the Anthropocene often focus on the implied “we” of the term. That humans have remade the planet in their image is not in doubt, but naming this geological age after anthropos in general obscures the very different individual and national levels of carbon output, resource extraction, and exploitation of some humans by other humans. Some have argued that the “we” claimed by the Anthropocene covers over a number of antagonisms and dominances and serves to diffuse political dissensus and differential responsibilities.