Some of the most extreme acts of writing now being composed in the capitalist Anthropocene are being performed by petrochemicals. What does it look like to write in response to this writing? How do we “make oil a more conceptually powerful part of our knowing,” as Imre Szeman suggests must happen as part of any larger political activism?
Last Wednesday night, the Poetry Project of St. Mark's Church, NY, presented a tribute to Stacy Doris. Lee Ann Brown and I presented the films from the Cake Part, by Lee Ann And Tony Torn and by Felix Bernstein. In honor of Stacy, I have added to her EPC page the fantastic feature she did on French poetry for an issue of boundary 2 I edited. And below, the two filsm
French poetry feature with Pierre Alferi, Olivier Cadiot, Katalin Molnár, Christophe Tarkos, EmmanuelHocquard, Christian Prigent, Stacy Doris and Ray Federman in boundary 2, Vol. 26, No. 1, 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium(Spring, 1999), ed. Charles Bernstein: pdf
Note also Doris's first French anthology: The Violence of the White Page, ed. Stacy Doris, Philip Foss, Emmanuel Hocquard; Tyuonyi 9/10, 1991: pdf
I met Stacy in the mid-1980s, when I taught for a semester at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was my student, as was her future husband, Chet Weiner. The three of us formed a kind of molecule, moving across the snowy Iowa City landscape and into the spring. My sister Jennifer had died the year before, and I was still shaken; their company felt like a kind of blessing.
Stacy was smart, curious, and had a knack for appreciation and effortless kindness; she was beautiful, with an uncanny voice, subtly muted and musical; her intensity created an aura of exotic mystery. Her poems were all phenomenology and oblique shift. She seemed to want to write the wind. We watched Breathless. We were in thrall to the poems of Michael Palmer.From Connecticut, but already traveled, already on a quest, she seemed to be in the process of self-invention. This took will, and wit, and love, and a kind of radical intransigence, all of which she had in quantity. And something else was already in place; an essential joyful appetite, free from acquisitiveness. Objects did not move her; they got in the way of her senses. Her fine intelligence was deeply embedded in a creaturely connection to the natural world; taste, touch, sight.
The Perfume Recordist scents herself into sounding and sounds herself in scenting.
The Perfume Recordist is an encounter between Lisa Robertson and Stacy Doris across countries (Canada, USA, France), across senses and perceptions, across technological devices, across kitchen tables.
The Perfume Recordist field records, manifests, performs.
The Perfume Recordist is not interested in the fallacies of origins and the intrinsic essence of things but in the layered odour of momentous existence, in the whiff of an ear, in the noisy bouquet of a city’s undergarments.
Stacy Doris's new book, The Cake Part, is being released with a set of video adaptions, avaialble on Vimeo. Here's the part that Felix made, with Susan Bee and me. Read more about the book via the Poetry Foundation.
I’ll begin with a playlist of PennSound recordings having to do with letters. While listening to this playlist on repeat, I was interested in the ways the tracks expanded, derailed, parodied, critiqued, or otherwise complicated the idea of intimate address. The addressees include imagined ancestors, public figures, an owl, various abstractions and inanimate objects, as well as the workings of language itself. Recently I’ve been listening to this playlist on random and I keep noticing new connections and contrasts between tracks.