Commentaries - November 2013

'(Untitled) Bridge'

(Untitled) Bridge (detail; painting)
(Untitled) Bridge (detail)

“(Untitled) Bridge,” the banner image for my collection of (Un)lived/experience Commentaries, is from a series of works by visual artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and I am grateful that she allowed me to share her paintings here. “(Untitled) Bridge” and the details from “A Question on the Way to the Continent,” below, are not only emblematic of what I want to explore over the next few months, but they also inspire my thinking about processes of mediating experience, both lived and imagined. Perhaps Ogunji's work is a way to talk about instinct, or to understand the sinews of relation as psychic and material. Perhaps Ogunji's work allows us to understand cellular memory or genetic inheritance as an influence on how we dream. The grounds where we work ourselves out. Her choice of medium is deliberate: architectural tissue paper, usually discarded with preliminary sketches. With it, Ogunji insists on a delicate endurance: painted upon, drawn through, built up, kept.

A unified eye

On Jake Pam Dick's 'Lens (a translit)'

St. Light Bulb, drawing by Pam Dick (

Transcribed From A Conversation in Bryant Park Near the Noisy and Annoying Appearing of A Skating Rink

It’s hermetic!

JK2: 48 postulates: “I am my world: the homocosm.”

It’s this really strong assertion that there are no politics.

But Jake Pam Dick is a philosopher.

Spliced biographies and fantasies of people hilariously standing in, posturing, as philosophy (as critique, celebration, correction, of those people, and philosophy).

Those particular people: 

Then the issue of the whole, how to become it. The beautiful doesn’t have to be beautiful. Sublimity gave moral freedom or freedom of the aspect.  Cf. Kant (heard by Jakob), Spinoza (read by Georg), or the German Romantics (read by Jake/James). 

Outsider poems, a mini-anthology in progress (58): Armand Schwerner’s translation of Canto XV from Dante's 'Inferno'

[In the construction of an assemblage of outside & subterranean poetry the question looms of whether to include in the composition some of those who in the aftermath are celebrated & canonized as the ultimate & necessary insiders.  For Dante the outsidering came in his 37th year, when he was banished from Florence into what came to be a lifetime of exile from his native city.

Jerome Rothenberg, with Arie Galles: From 'Twenty Cloud Poems,' 1–8

Jerome Rothenberg & Arie Galles: A Double-Headed Portrait with Clouds
Jerome Rothenberg & Arie Galles: A Double-Headed Portrait with Clouds

But none of them paused,
none of them wanted to be a cloud

F.G. Lorca 



among the clouds

one face appears

Mrs. Porter's: A history of a woman's art salon in four acts, 2004-2013

by Teresa Carmody

Mrs. Porter's at Occupy LA
Mrs. Porter's at Occupy LA

Act 1: Description and Content

Yes, we were at a party for Amy Schroeder, in her parents’ backyard in Hancock Park. We were talking to other women, Susan McCabe and Kate Chandler, definitely, and maybe Elena Karina Byrne. We said we wanted to start a literary art salon for women. Give us your address and we will make an invitation. We decided on mandatory participation. From the beginning, we had rules.

Yes, rules. It was 2004 and the rules went like this: 1) if you attend the salon, you must bring something to share; 2) each attendee will have 5 minutes to present her work, though she may use less; 3) the order will be determined randomly, through bingo chips.