blast not from the past
I have a paper due tomorrow and a lot of things to do as a function in sosighety. We all know what this means. Yes, it is time to go on the internet and not do the work. It is time to spew into a friendly void the digital bolus soaked in invisible bile from the shallow depths of my soul.
Mmhm, the gravity of my thoughts must affect smaller bodies. A tiny blip of an insight here, with The Lost Lunar Baedeker before me, a relic from my lazy venture as an undergraduate lit major, poorly appreciated by my slightly less acute mind, now jazzed and re-mixed with new enthusiasm and perspective…
Ok, I’ll stop with the stilted fun. But I do remember disliking the work of Mina Loy, and resenting having to write a term paper about her poetry. Now I kiss her dead feet. Now I am re-reading it and am amazed yet not surprised by this woman’s incredible poetic precociousness. Everyone of the Now Party is concerned with feminine excess and Deleuzian concepts of art. I’m reading “Parturition” and this little poem from decades ago already enacts/expresses the idea of territorialization and positive psychosis (in relation to motherhood and the female body). “I am the centre / Of a circle of pain / Exceeding its boundaries in every direction… Something in the delirium of night-hours / Confuses while intensifying sensibility / Blurring spatial contours / So aiding elusion of the circumscribed / That the gurgling of a crucified wild beast / Comes from so far away / And the foam on the stretched muscles of a mouth / Is no part of myself / There is climax in sensibility / When pain surpassing itself / Becomes Exotic…”
Ars poetica hooray. Joyelle McSweeney says some interesting things about motherhood and the “future” of poetry here: http://exoskeleton-johannes.blogspot.com/2009/12/future-of-poetry-by-joyelle-mcsweeney.html
I have been hearing a lot about membranes and chaos, media and architecture, rhythm and vibration… the questions that all these things are hung on is what does it mean to become other? Art is intensifying, making a perimeter or territory around/within chaos. In other words, frame-making. It requires life. Grosz says it is haunted by the animal, by the primal love-call, carnal consummation. Deleuze says it is situated in the body but is not to be confused with sensation itself. He talks about the desiring-machine. The obvious outcome is reproduction. And that is a complicated word.
In “Parturition”, “Impression of a cat / With blind kittens / Among her legs / Same undulating life-stir / I am that cat / Rises from the sub-conscious / Impression of small animal carcass / Covered with blue-bottles / –Epicurean– / And through the insects / Waves that same undulation of living / Death / Life / I am knowing / All about / Unfolding…”
Juxtapose that with McSweeney’s:
“5. The present tense, rejecting posterity and art’s endurance, insists on the artifice of creation and proposes children not as units of the future but as vulnerable portals between death and life. Children are death in life, their numeration and nomination the place where text happens.
In his late Fragmentations, the cuntphobic Antonin Artaud renders himself an ultra mother, without lineage: “Out of the motherless cunt I shall make an obscure, total, obtuse and absolute soul.” Artaud’s vision is of daughters whose bodies are a portal on violence and death—a portal which makes the body present and which becomes a kind if infinite catalog, life and death’s indeterminate co-extension:
“I saw the meningeal syphilis of my daughter Catherine’s legs, and the 2 hideous sweet-potatoes of the vats of her inflated kneecaps, I saw the onions of her toes blistered like her sex […] I saw a skullburst like Annie of the ‘holy’ throat, and I saw her blood’s crown of intestinal thorns flowing from her on the days she wasn’t menstruating…
[Trans. David Rattray]” (McSweeney)
What kind of framing is motherhood? McSweeney said that becoming a mother made her goth. What kind of territorialization occurs during labor? Why is poetry obsessed with infanticide?
From this article, Aase Berg on Motherhood: “The mother’s relationship to the baby is the root of language, madness and complexity. None of the great serious works would have seen the light of day without the tracks that were inscribed in the early mother-and-child relationships. Life is based on the irrational and noisy language of this little crazy symbiosis.
The symbiosis is a positive psychosis between the mother and child (or father and child in the few instances where the dads dare to take time off to raise the kids). It’s a lesson in love. The world is no longer simply one devouring infant, it grows into an infant through interactions. In order for love to develop, there has to be distance. To feel love is only possible if one realizes that the symbiosis consists of two people. Love is an automatic split into you and me. You + me = we. If one is involved in the traditional, patriarchal psychosis there is no we, I am the world. In the great, self-righteous male despair there is no we, just one bloated I that swallows everything that moves…” (Berg)
Poetry of the “future” seems to sense that the body has been poisoned. What if the body really does recognize the fetus as an other, a foreign body, a parasite? Too much recognition is murder. In poetries of excess, reproduction is not a miracle of life but a complicated miscarriage, a gothic love story. Perhaps this can be read as a rebellion against the necessary history of natural fertilization, against love-childs, the products of great, self-righteous male despair that is the tradition of Poetry.
Without melancholy, without guilt
I want to get rid of Kanoko in Tokyo
Congratulations on your destruction
Congratulations on your destruction
Congratulations on your abortion…
” (Hiromi Ito, Killing Kanoko)