Descriptions of an Imaginary Univercity begins appearing in the ...30 oct. 2012 ... Question C-2 : Sachant que les pièces 3 et 4 sont de révolution, dessiner en
perspective isométrique et à main levée les pièces 1, 3 et 4.
part of the document
to subscribers via listserver. All issues of DIU were immediately archived on the World Wide Web (WWW) at the Electronic Poetry Center, where each volume remains available via http://epc.buffalo.edu/ezines/DIU. In all, forty-five transmissions were dispatched in twenty-eight months. The final two issues, nearly identical in copy as the penultimate (for reasons explained below), happened in November 1996. DIUs listing in The 1995 Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists, published by the Association of Research Libraries, reads:
Title: Descriptions of an Imaginary Univercity (DIU)
Description: Compiled because of The Logic of Snowflakes, this
poetry/poetics 'zine began as a weekly on 4 July 1994. Maintained
sporadically out of Albany, NY, DIU features writing from around the world,
circulated pseudonymously or in an initialized manner (i.e. writing is not attached to
'real' names). Past issues have featured work by Marianne Moore and Kimberley
Filbee, and regular features include a Reading List for the Last Days of the White
Race, bi-coastal radio playlists, and words to the wise by someone who calls
themselves 'Thus, Albert or Hubert.'
DIU was produced during a transitional phase of Internet/online publishing. The infrastructure for what we now know as the WWW was in place but had not yet come into vogue as the broadly used, convenient, and versatile publishing device that it is today. DIU was circulated via email, the easiest and most immediate method of preparing and distributing text-based publications on the network; as the number of subscribers increased, a listserv(er) was implemented in order to facilitate swift circulation of the magazine. As DIU concluded its run the WWW was beginning its wild popularity and online publications developed that contained visual images and multimedia work. DIUthough it benefits from the WWWs archival abilities (as it had on the Usenet)never made it to this state, because it had an effective design in place, and because the publication ceased to exist by late 1996.
In late 1994 I created a briefly annotated list of Poetry on the Net for Mark Nowaks North American Ideophonics Annual, is a bibliography of poetry resources on the Internet at the time (see Appendix I). Considering the tens of thousands of poetry related sites on the Internet in 2002, serving every purpose imaginable (publishing poems, magazines, criticism, poetics, and so on), it is astonishing to realize that less than a decade ago merely a few dozen were available. When DIU began, less than ten sites existed for the purpose of discussing and offering criticism of contemporary poetry. Foremost among them were the Electronic Poetry Center, the Poetics listserv, RIF/T (all based at SUNY-Buffalo), CORE, Grist, and Taproot (also published in print). RIF/T, CORE, Grist, and Taproot primarily functioned as online sites that emulated the mechanics of print journals, such as operating around a table of contents and not utilizing hypertext to non-linearize the readers experience. These were strong, if conventional, publications that along with the Electronic Poetry Center also served as archival sites. The Poetics listserv, also an archive of sorts, was (and is, ideally) a multi-author generative community, though it always functioned more as a type of bulletin board where people post their views and enter a discussion with others, rather than as a formalized publication. Additional literary communities and discussion groups were available through America Online and various Usenet newsgroups (such as rec.arts.poems) but these, too, were sites of completely conventional interaction. MOOs, the Internets text-based virtual reality system were not much explored for their literary capacities, either.
At this juncture in the mid-1990s, the Internet had not yet proven itself or been discovered as a worthwhile forum for the dissemination of poetry and poetics. In fact, many communities and individuals still resist the idea (and practice) of using computers and networks to create and distribute poetry. Why was it considered a challenge to the printed page? Only a few editors, publishers, and writers had taken it upon themselves to learn how to operate the systems to the extent it took to present online documents. DIU set out to show that the Internet was ripe to stage an alternative poetics, that more could be done to serve the purposes and art of poetry with the technological systems at our fingertips.
DIU manifested out of a dissatisfaction of online poetics, that a medium of such high-speed and raw space was being underutilized. DIU, made in the imperfect, hybridized, do-it-yourself tradition of zine culture, was part discussion group, part classroom, part literary arts journal. In a unique way it exploited most of the Internets functionality, including MOO, whereas most other poetry resources on the network were narrower in scope, approach to subject, and projection of the form. Ben Friedlander, discussing DIU in his title Simulcast: Four Experiments in Criticism (University of Alabama Press, 2002) writes: DIUs most useful contribution to Internet culture may have been its initiation of an uncertain, even hostile readership of poets into the pleasures and possibilities of the virtual, something the journal accomplished by exaggerating the Internets most often noted qualities (anonymity; self-creation of identity and community; erasure of geographic distance; occlusion of gender; ethnic and age differences) within a quasi-fictional frame that at once highlighted and rendered safe the alienating strangeness of the medium itself. (40)
I had first experimented with electronic literary publishing using e-mail and Usenet to circulate We Magazine Issue 17 in 1993. In 1993-94 I was also an intern and Managing Editor of EJournal, one of the first online academic journals in the Humanities. Through We 17, which appeared in a daily serialized format in the spring of 1993 (one poem issued per day), I learned that poets could grow to appreciate and would participate in the instantaneous response communication system that the Internet upholds. For instance, in Volume 3 of We 17 Robert Kellys contribution is, answering the quick thought of Lee Ann Brown, hello. Browns poem Discontinuous Autoharp had appeared in We 17, Volume 2 the day before. This method of textual exchangethat could easily and directly include elements of the larger network it was a part ofwas fresh and exciting. At first the constant conveyances were criticized by some, though the complaints ceased about halfway through the eighteen volume series. Editing We 17 and EJournal I learned how to manage networks and online text editors. With this foundation, I was prepared to publish formatted documents to the Internet. A collaborative, expansive, hybrid-minded transmission that addressed the chaotic makeup of poetry and the world could be freely manufactured.
My original intention was to produce an online music magazine generated by writers, musicians, and other artists. In the spring of 1994 I drafted a call-for-work and a solicitation letter that proposed a new journal, which I showed to Don Byrd (my academic advisor and anxious accomplice in new media publishing schemes). He frowned on the idea because it was too narrow in its scope. Putting the concept in the context of the growing range of the Internet, Byrd believed new magazines should be inventive and did not see any purpose in limiting the scope of an arts publication to just one form or angle. I also recognized several advantages a wilder, freewheeling project could have, and proceeded without a specified or finite plan. The call-for-work consisted of the following statement, which appeared in DIU 1 and morphed with each issue: Please forward initialized or pseudonymed passages of lucid hallucinatory visions cultural recipes reading lists memos or to email@example.com (see Appendix IV). Few models existed for online literary/arts/poetics discussions and there were no particular influences to adhere to, which helped to keep unfettered the production of DIU.
With We Press and in other publishing endeavors, I had put together magazines and publications without direct author acknowledgement. I have been interested in the practice of anonymous writing for many years; DIU would give me a chance to further explore this curiosity. Writing, when not attached to the identity of its author or the ego-connection (or other connection) between reader and author, may be read with a type of objectivity that the revelation of identity does not permit. Anonymity allows for expression and opinion that might otherwise be self-censored. I am usually (and quickly) reminded, of course, that anonymity creates another set of biases, especially if what is being said is provocative. DIU could be fearlessly unconventional because there were no electronic publishing standards; we had the liberty to operate without orthodoxy. At the magazines outset, my coursework at SUNY had just been completed, I moved into a new house and began collecting miscellaneous writings from friends near and afar who knew something was cooking. Several editions came together quickly and smoothly. The spirit and practice of improvisation, where forces spontaneously conjoining create unique expression (even if clangorously), became activated in DIU. Word of the new, somewhat unusual, and irreverent publication was spread on the Poetics listserv and other channels. The first issues quickly led to others built on discourse underway. Since no predisposed plan was under effect, the content was spontaneously invented, advanced, and then reinvented within the magazine itself. This is exhibited in exchanges between Patriarchal Poetry, Black Hole Sun, Marianne Moore and others in the early volumes and numerous other points throughout the DIU narrative. Editorial intervention was practically non-existent: I did the technical work, compiling and reformatting materials that accumulated, occasionally inserting miscellaneous information discovered while conducting research on the Internet.
An archived email message from a subscribe now reminds me:
On Fri, 25 Nov 1994, Robert Salasin wrote (to the Realpoetik newsgroup):
> I highly recommend "d.I.U."--.Descriptions of the Imaginary
> University, sometimes known as Di U or Die You, unclear whether
> it is named after the British Princess or is grammatically
> imperative or what...
> You can get you weekly copy by emailing Chris Funkhauser
A quirky imprecision was presented in the nomenclature and pronunciation of the magazine was extended further by slippage in its title, and by the other peculiarities in DIUs production. Unpremeditatedly, DIUwith a group of sympathetic contributors extending course announcements and descriptions as well as other regularly featuresbecame an ongoing jam session focusing on and creatively supplementing literary discourse and the subculture it both involves and excludes. DIU presented a different angle on the aesthetics of contemporary poetics, and some people were clearly offended by it (see Appendix II). DIU was an effort to use network technology to generate and circulate enlivened, imaginative discussion on the subjects at hand, which grew as suggestions arose. In DIU 22b (1 March 1995), Doctor P. Semiconductor wrote, The internet as a medium dominated by ASCII is interesting almost exclusively for its speed and savings of trees--an evolutionary throw-back. DIU was a high-speed electronic newsletter that hinted that possibilities did exist for developing alternative, trans-continental, shared ideas and aesthetic paths.
For everyone involved, DIU was extracurricular activity, something beyond what they were supposed to be doing. Though the contents of DIU came from many sources, it is a fact that graduate students diverting attention away from official studies generated a large portion of work. In an early promotional letter addressed to Steve Evans on the Poetics List I proposed, We all have our peeves regarding university curriculae, here is a place for I or I to begin again
. On certain registers the endeavor is every bit as intellectualized as academic studies, while offering more creative independence and chaos than academia generally allows. For some of us, DIU became part of the formal scholarship, and not merely in a flippant or provisional sense. The contributors are dedicated artists and instigators, and what emerges in a shaping of the dialog is a spontaneous discourse worthy of consideration in any classroom of late twentieth century literature. The breadth of DIUs cumulative agenda, its unique (in certain respects random) editorial stance and approach to publication and discussion of poetics is an example lesson on what can be done with common literary, artistic, or philosophical knowledge in such a forum. It is a prime example of early online cybernetic discourse.
Several moments and instances in the course of publishing DIU illustrate unforeseen occurences that arose from the electronic profile of the publication. The process of creating one of the first online poetics journals was full of sudden circumstance and a range of difficulties. As an experimental occasion to all, we expected and welcomed the techno-social twists, turns, glitches, misunderstandings, and appreciated how they help to define and shape DIU and reflect of the instability of its medium. DIU began and grew in the era before the World Wide Web became the primary venue for electronic publishing. As a publication spread from e-mail account to e-mail account, and then to e-mailing lists and online bulletin boards from there, compromises in formatting were inevitable. I noticed this had happened on Joe Amatos e-mail group, Nous Refuse. When I contacted him about it, he was apologetic, writing back, I remain amazed at how these systems can jerk one around
but in any case, sorry it came out to you altered
. Gives me some idea that wysiNwyg
(i.e. what you see is Not what you get). (archived email) Another e-mail subscriber, Walter Taylor at University of Colorado, claimed to receive Vol. 3, about 35 times. Some software glitch? (archived email)
In November 1994, a subscriber named Alexis Bhagat, though meaning no offense by it, usurped DIUs mailing list in order to promote his own POETRY STRIKE, sending to all persons on the DIU mailing list a dogmatic manifesto urging them to forsake writing poetry. At least two readers, Thus, Albert or Hubert and MC, responded directly to the tactic used to promote this type of Strike (and to a lesser degree the proposal of the strike itself) in the pages of DIU (see DIU xx online). Another byproduct of this particular event arose when a subscribersomeone I did not know but received DIU mailbecame annoyed that so many large pieces of unsolicited mail were arriving in their e-mailbox. This person complained to the SUNY-Albany systems manager, who without questioning me shut down all of my online access due to the report that I had sent a mailbomb and was spamming the Internet. The misunderstanding was quickly resolved, with my accounts restated, but the incident revealed how reliant one is on hierarchies of online administrators and systems beyond ones control. Publications and exchanges on the Internet do and will continue to exist in a tenuous space. Anyones access and control has limitations.
Another noteworthy exchange developed out of DIU 33 1/3 (January 1996), in which an installment of Edgar Allen Poes THE LITERATI OF SAN FRANCISCO: Some Honest Opinions at Random Respecting Their Authorial Merits, with Occasional Words of Personality profiled the writer Dodie Bellamy. A few days after it was published Bellamys partner, Kevin Killian, called me on the telephone to say that the piece had upset them greatly and insisted that we have it removed from the Internet or he would destroy me. The issue had already been posted at the Electronic Poetry Center, which I have no control over, so I contacted EPC Webmaster Loss Pequeño Glazier about the matter. He initially resisted the idea of purging it but eventually agreed to remove it from the record; to this day it is one of the very few items that has ever been removed from that archive.
As DIU progressed, issues were often loosely constructed around two regularly appearing features: Radio Playlists and a section called Readlist, The Last Days of the White Race. Thirty-five issues of DIU included playlists of artists work broadcast on real or conceptual radio programs. In all, transcripts from three California, two upstate New York and two imaginary radio stations appear. When DIU began, Stephen Cope and I were radio programmers (at KZSC in Santa Cruz and WRPI in Troy, New York). It was intrinsic that we would include when possible the surface documents of our radio transmissions in DIU from the very beginning. At the time I was a subscriber to SATURN, the Sun Ra listserv, where I encountered DJ Cats work with Glen Solomon at KZSU (Stanford University). Charlotte Pressler was part of the Buffalo Poetics community and sent lists from WRUB (and other posts) once she became aware of DIU. Nate Mackeys work at KUSP in Santa Cruz has been a major inspiration and influence for Stephen and I. Mackeys concept of a discrepant engagementwhere subjects not ordinarily associated with one another are connectedalso strongly informed DIU, so Cope noted the works transmitted during one of Mackeys weekly broadcasts of Tanganyika Strut. For the present compendium I asked Cope, now a programmer at the online station World Music Radio ( HYPERLINK http://worldmusicradio.org http://worldmusicradio.org), to curate an assortment of DIU playlists; his unadulterated selections are included in this book. These lists show amazing range and diversity of expressive forms: poetry, spiritual blends of word / chanting and sound, global jazz and contemporary fringe music of all sorts. The following excerpt of one of the Playlists clearly illustrates the multi-continental profile of these indexes:
Aresenio Rodriguez/ Quien Soy/ Los 24 Exitos Origionales de Arsenio Rodriguez
Djosinha/ Xandinha/ Simpatia
Teta Lando/ Sonho de um Campones/ Esperancas Idosas
Gererd H. Guamaguay/ Leve Souk/ Hurricane Zouk
Stella Chiweshe/ Chipindura/ Ambuya
Dumisani Moraire/ Chaminuka/ African Odyssey
The radio programming here significantly veers from the mainstream radio content in ways comparable to the way DIUs poetics stance sought to invite a more broadened perspective to discussions at hand. We insisted on introducing new characters and formal considerations to our idioms. The sets of music, both as broadcast and their representation in DIU, are clearly meant as contemplative, yet intentional assertions to draw together an uncommon web of voices and approaches to cultural expression. We present another area of our research as broadcast artists, using radio (in addition to the Internet and other platforms) as a medium to educate and move an audience. Individuals working together, even if at great distances apart, were able to build a profound curriculum. Besides the performers listed in each program represented, artists whose work was played on radio transcripts in DIU who are not recognized elsewhere in this volume are included in Appendix V (A.) of this book.
Ben Friedlander and I initiated the Readlist, The Last Days of the White Race section a month or so after DIU started. We were co-writing a review of From the Other Side of the Century: A New American Poetry 1960-1990 (see NOTES ON S&M) when we realized that we needed to do more than critique exclusivity in our article. We wanted to invent another mechanism that could actively, effectively insert other references and voices into the dialog; this became our way of doing so. Instead of writing some sort of standard dogmatic academic response, we wished to impart a space where authors words spoke for themselves. Here is an excerpt from one of the Readlists:
Readlist, Last Days of the White Race
Radio Free North America, 25 September '94
Beverly Dahlen / "Five" / *A Reading 1-7*
Margaret Danner / "The Convert" / *Impressions of African Art
Judith Johnson / "Miranda's Birthspell" / *The Ice Lizard*
Rosario Murillo / "La Vida No Tiene Calma" ("Life Without Peace") /
*Angel In The Deluge*
Pam Rehm / "Matters Of Relation" / *The Garment In Which No One
Nazik al-Mala'ika, "New Year" / *Modern Poetry of the Arab World"*
it was hell and I walked down the steps
But I find myself still framing word sketches
of how much these blazing forms ascending the
in their muted sheens, matter to me. MD
Friedlander, who recalled the title-phrase from an XX novel, and I created (collaboratively and separately) most installments of the Readlists; Charlotte Pressler created at least one edition, and at least one was taken from a Usenet newsgroup. Printed collections (anthologies, journals, books) and artists sampled in Readlist, The Last Days of the White Race that are not included in this volume are also listed in Appendix V (B.).
Recollecting these aspects of DIU, it must be acknowledged that the magazine would not and could not have come in to existence without the camaraderie I have had the fortune to share with colleagues and teachers over the years. Don Byrd, Ben Friedlander, Belle Gironda, and Stephen Cope directly and particularly provided momentum for the initiation and continuation of DIU. Connections within my local community (Pierre Joris, Sandy Baldwin, Beth Russell, Chris Stroffolino, Ando Arike) along with various elements (institutional, social) of my past and present strongly informed and permitted the project. For instance, The Logic of Snowflakes, which appears in the production credits of nearly every DIU, is the title of an H.D. Moe book. Moe was a collaborator and inspiration of mine in California. I liked the phrase, and felt it applied to the impromptu and random sensibility of the publication. The contributions by these friends and partners in support of this imaginary project are deep. Certainly DIU grew through their company, as I did by conspiring with them. Complete strangers who share similar intentions or creative presuppositions could produce unregulated publications, but that is not the case here. We could be a renegade faction because we had each others unflinching support.
Don Byrd, whose influence and reputation lured me to Albany in 1992 (and with whom I have collaborated in other areas), wrote Posthuman Nation / Knowledge and Noise in 1995 (see p. XX). DIU had grown strongly, gaining readership and notoriety. Byrd, a steady contributor as Thus, Albert or Hubert, was encouraged by the proliferation of the project. His editoriala clear outline of some of DIUs foundationswas written in response to the seemingly constant criticisms being levied (publicly and privately) against the legitimacy of our form (/forum) of review. Byrds insight and energy unquestionably propelled this universe; we were all deeply pleased by his involvement and attention. Posthuman Nation / Knowledge and Noise celebrates the punkish principles behind DIU, virtually announcing that we would say as much as we want however we want to, and that the concerns expressed and questions raised were and are worthy of attention. Even if our virtual and anonymous means of delivery could be questioned, technology was there to be used advantageously in the pursuit of building a transformational, multi-faceted dialog, and resonant thinking that should be considered accordingly.
In 1993, after noticing that we shared similar concerns, Nate Mackey suggested that I get in touch with Ben Friedlander. Soon thereafter, Friedlander and I metvia Lee Ann Brownat the Poetics of the New Coast conference in Buffalo. At the conference his smart commentary, especially the assertion that everyone needed to drop his or her xenophobia, impressed me. Sharing various interests, we have met well in subsequent collaborations. Friedlander, also a champion of anonymous writing, was a critical factor in the trajectory of DIU, has been closely involved with most aspects of the production of both DIU and this collection. He wrote under more than a dozen pseudonyms for the publication, and used the magazine as the initial venue for the literary criticism he created under the moniker of Edgar Allen Poe. The Introduction to his collection Simulcast: Four Experiments in Criticism explains the gist of DIU. Friedlander describes DIU as, an anarchic compendium of improvised poetry, in-jokes and dada manifestos. Much of the writing was silly or sloppy, and much was of little interest to outsiders
. But an undeniable vitality ran through all of it.
DIU fixed its sights on the imaginary. Poems, letters, syllabi, notes, reviews and essays were intermixed in no particular order, with no distinction drawn between fact and fantasy. (34) While appropriately recognizing DIUs identity as a makeshift and transitory venture, Friedlander also identifies and acknowledges the publications poignancy:
Maddening in its erasure of context, the work in DIU often came across as ephemera floated back in time from an unrealized future, an alternative cultures debris rather than its finest achievements. This was, in fact, precisely the point, but the point was frequently disguised by the magazines reliance on anonymity, a big obstacle for readers who were used to ordinary poetry journals, where the matching of style or stance to author (and the subsequent placing of author on literary map) often takes the place of reading
. But there were reasons for this cavalier disregard for the niceties of attribution. We were trying to confuse the difference between documentary and science fiction, and this required both a defamiliarizing of the given and a naming of the possible. Thus, what appeared, at first glance, to be improvised poetry was often an elaborate fantasy of how poets in the future might improvise. Likewise, what appeared to be an in-joke was sometimes an attempt to create a community out of thin air with a joke. And when one looked closely, the dada manifestos often turned out to be Heideggerian, or feminist, or multicultural, or cybernetic.
the world disappeared in favor of an idea, but here the idea in question was precisely the worlds disappearance. To chart this disappearancewhile filling the resulting void with something other than nostalgiawas our ultimate aim, and the justification of our labor. (35)
Edgar Allen Poes Exordium to Imaginary Universes (p. XX) also offers a useful perspective on DIU, especially where Poe makes the important proclamation:
we at I U have eschewed the use of signatures--not out of hatred for identity, but out of respect for identity's power. (114) Friedlanders insights on the function of DIU provide crucial context for reading the materials collected in this book.
Clearly, both the content and context of DIU would not be what it is without the input of Friedlander and Byrd. Yet my collaborative history and connections with Stephen Cope and Belle Gironda are equally profound and an important aspect to the configuration of DIU. Cope and I began to work together as artists in a poetry / music / performance ensemble known as thelemonade in 1989. Within a few months, Cope became an active partner in We Press, a literary arts publishing group I co-founded in 1986. Between 1989 and 1993, while living together in Santa Cruz, we co-produced dozens of magazines, broadsides, books, compact discs, and videos in addition to our work as performers and as sponsors of poetry events. Again, he and I shared many common viewpoints and interests and always work well together. Belle Gironda and I met as new graduate students at SUNY-Albany in 1992. Neither of us had used the computer for anything beyond word processing before then. Between 1992 and 1996 we learned multiple techniques digital publishing together: using line editing systems, writing multimedia code (we co-edited The Little Magazine Volume 21 an early poetry cd-rom in 94-95), and eventually html. Gironda and I worked closely together, along with Sandy Baldwin, in the improvisational digital writing and performance group Purkinge during this time, and co-produced a number of digital recordings. She contributes writing to two issues and was completely supportive of the publication on all fronts: DIU was, to a significant degree, the online extension and integration of our milieu, the conversations and activities we were experiencing.
DIUs Days Last
DIU faced continuous scrutiny because the publication eschewed real names; critics insisted that we were afraid of something by promoting such an approach and even made strange accusations of slander. Some of these exchanges were conducted in private, unrecorded offline discussions. Others took place in public view, online, in forums such as the Poetics List (see Appendix II). DIU 36.99, the last issue, was nearly identical to DIU 36.9; the only difference being the inclusion of the real names of the authors. A review of a popular young poet included in 36.9 was assailed on the grounds that the composer of the critique was hiding behind their initials and somehow shirking accountability and authority by doing so. As a gesture of illustrating that that was not the case, or relevant to the issue at hand (i.e. the book under review), I re-versioned the issue with names. And, since I was tiring of such struggles and no longer had much time to devote to the project (completing a dissertation and degree was my main point of focus), this was the final DIU broadcast.
During the past six years, I have aspired to re-present in print the material generated by DIU. An abundance of writing and information was published online, more than 83,000 words. To present all of the original DIU content in the present rendering of the materials would be unwieldy and foolish. In 2001 and 2002 I revisited the materials on several occasions with Ben Friedlander. Reviewing the content, we decided that selections for the printed iteration should be based on how the materialin whatever formrelates with the predominant dialogical strains that developed throughout the course of the magazine. We then decided to excerpt, or take samples from excised pieces that also embodied DIUs contemplative wandering and embattled spirit. About sixty-five fragments are included as, to borrow a phrase from Michael Joyces Of Two Minds: Hypertext Pedagogy and Poetics, interstitial texts, often to demarcate issues of the magazine but also to note breaks or indicate interconnections within DIU itself. Writings by Edgar Allen Poe now published in Friedlanders Simulcast that originally appeared in DIU have been removed. Publication information and mastheads, unique in each issue, are removed (some are included in Appendix IV). Other content now seen as historically or aesthetically fleeting has been removed, and only selected Radio Playlists and installments of Readlist, The Last Days of the White Race are included. About one-third of DIUs online content is reproduced here, while all of the original material remains available online.
Since authors are not directly credited, and the email system on which the writing originally arrived is long defunct, I am unable to positively identify the source of some of the materials in DIU. For this volume I have created an index of contributors and their pseudonyms, giving credit as hindsight permits (Appendix III). The decision to include this information now is not of particular significance. Nobody involved with DIU ever strictly sought anonymity; it was just an implicit aspect of the experimentation. Giving the known authors an opportunity to review and edit their contributions, none have asked to be excluded, even though their identities will be known. DIU was not about the erasure of identity, though in the moment it played a role by emphasizing the power of alternative naming in online discourse. As a matter of fact, it was clear in some instances that the mode of anonymity interfered with the dialog by placing issues of authorship in the spotlight instead of the actual topicpoeticsbeing put forth by whomever was writing in the first place.
Though we have yet to see specific standards for electronic publications and communications, this lack has not prevented the development of countless poetry resources and communities hosted on the WWW today. The WWW has presented a consistently shifting platform for publishers to work with; digital poetry is still incubating in all regards. Certain conventions and accessible tools may exist, but none are firmly established methods or necessities. In this instance of online writing, purveyors of DIU, a group loose-knit poet/writer/critics, took what the Internet and digital technology enabled and used it to create Descriptions of an Imaginary Universe. DIU is a collaboratively constructed map or delineation of creative energy that offered a surface guide to uncharted areas of poetics. The material in the printed volume aspires to maintain, hone, and promote the methods of improvised projection for analog readers, and students of the form. This particular construction provides a plausible starting point for making discovery about a temporal place, a kind of electronic Black Mountain College that now does not exist. The spontaneous imaginative thought put into DIU is reflected in the immediate remains of this unique and unusual assemblage. Will its slant and discourse among writers be validated by time? Containing a poetics relevant to the printed page, DIU documents an early computerized effort by writers to outline and practice vibrant artistic verve. In text form, the discourse is preserved anew, and makes public, again, the issues of dissent.
Staten Island, NY
Frelinghuysen Township, NJ
Note on the arrangement of texts:
With the exception of materials in the Appendices, all of the documents that follow were presented as part of the online Descriptions of an Imaginary Universe (/Univercity, DIU) project, 1994-1996. None of the 45 editions of DIU are presented intact in this collection, though work from each issue is included. DIU transmissions shown without edits are sequenced in chronological order. Fragments of other DIU materials are placed between issues and at other points here; these fragments appear in bold type, the issue number of their publication follows the authors name, and they retain their approximate order of issuance. Posthuman Nation / Knowledge and Noise was written in 1995, and published on the DIU page at the Electronic Poetry Center, HYPERLINK http://epc.buffalo.edu/ezines/diu http://epc.buffalo.edu/ezines/diu.
Posthuman Nation / Knowledge and Noise
The function of the traditional university is conservative. It collects, archives, judges, and redistributes the culture hoard. In times of stability, it works well. It keeps track of every hint of innovation and tests it brutally. Even most of the good ideas are found lacking.
In times of dramatic change, however, the traditional university is worthless or worse than worthless, because first it rejects precisely the new ideas and new knowledges that are required, and then, after change is unavoidable, it opens itself more or less uncritically to every fad. Once its tradition of wisdom is in question, it has no grounds for judgment. In an important document from the 1960s, On the Poverty of Student Life, an anonymous essay by members of the Situationist International and students of the University of Strasbourg, we read:
Once upon a time the universities had a certain prestige; the students persist in the belief that they are lucky to be there. But they came too late. Their mechanical, specialized education is as profoundly degraded (in relation to the former level of general bourgeois culture) as their own intellectual level, because the modern economic system demands a mass production of uneducated students who have been rendered incapable of thinking. The university has become an institutional organization of the ignorance; high culture itself is being degraded in the assembly-line production of professors, all of whom are cretins and most of whom would get the bird from any audience of highschoolers.
Since that time, students have come increasingly to doubt that they are privileged. They have lost the sense of themselves as the producers of education and think they are consumers as they are consumers of everything else in their world. The institution accommodates them or even encourages their misconception. Rather than teaching how to think, it offers an array of finished thoughts from which the students choose, as they choose from shoes.
The rapacious prosperity of the 50s and 60s was generated by the production of the immoral equivalent war and time in the world economy (the World War that began in 1914 never ended). The arms race had the dual effect of generating widespread prosperity in the West and eventually bankrupting the Soviet Union, now leaving the filthy rich in unopposed control of the world.
the worlds 358 billionaires have a combined net worth of $760 billion, equal to that of the bottom 45 percent of the worlds population (Richard J. Barnet). With the fear of a worldwide communist movement whipping up class hatred removed, the liberal concessions to the working-class and the poor are revoked. The masses are controlled by an organized assault on the attentions by the media, drugs, fear of difference packaged as religion, misdirected education, and random law enforcement. The focus of consciousness is dulled and its continuity disrupted. It is thus not possible for the exploited even to recognize their exploitation or to have a language in which their dissatisfaction can be articulated. Their self-expression, like every thing else, is sold to them in the form of talk radio, gangsta rap, grunge rock, escapist movies, as well as all of the merchandise in the shopping mall. Underwear and chocolates are forms of self-expression. Consumption is the only sanctioned mode of identity.
The world is now organized to serve the immortality of the billionaires or their children and grandchildren. The scenarios are numerous, most of them, like most sci-fi scenarios, no doubt too probable.
Consider: a century hence, when the earth is so polluted that the working stiffs of the world will be groggy with bad air and contaminated food and water, and the great artificial environments of the billionaires will be in danger of breaking-down beyond the abilities of the impaired maintenance crews to fix them, the space ships of our cosmic imperialism will lift off, carrying the human genome as its pay-load; the billionaires will take off for the stars, leaving the rest of us the planet they have despoiled. (See Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God, and the Resurrection of the Dead , New York, 1994. Tipler is a widely respected physicist, and his argument is posed as serious science.)
Or consider: a century hence, certain patents will confer rights of paternity, and Bill Gates will be declared the great-grandfather of a new super computer with a self-aware brain a hundred times more complex than the brains of its human progenitors. It will become the billionaire and take charge of the future of the evolution of complexity in the cosmos. The ecological needs of systems based on silicon are much less troublesome than the ecology of hydrocarbons. (See Hans Moravec, Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence, Cambridge, 1988. Moravec is the director of the robotics lab at Carnegie-Mellon University. He argues that we are at a crisis moment in the evolution of cosmic complexity and that humans will become obsolete within the next century.)
These extrapolated futures are in the great western tradition of migration and despoilation that began some time before 1000 BC. All of the fresh starts on earth, all of the fresh starts for humans, have been squandered. This is our advantage. We have lost our innocence. We are not Adam and Eve. The Imaginary University exists because those who matriculate produce it. The students write all of the books in its library, plan the syllabi of the courses. We examine ourselves, we confer our own certificates and degrees.
Now those who educate themselves as posthumans begin to produce a nation. The course of study is difficult, the chances for graduation nil. If you want to study and act, you will be welcome. Otherwise, please, stay at home and watch MTV. You should know, however, that our Nation of Noise and Knowledge is at war with the United Nations and all of its members. You will be required to undertake dangerous missions. The stakes could not be higher.
A Student, IU, 1995
I have the same
birthday as John
you know that?
So I don't have to
write long poems about
heaven & hell--everything's
been lost in my lifetime
Everything lost. We have the advantage of worldlessness & more. Even nothing is lost. DIU celebrates the emptiness. We don't have an idea. We don't have time or space. I or I cannot say it, but we don't have a noun. And I or I say it any way.
We cannot make a _thing_. Everything could be lost because there never was any thing (you can lose only illusions). The man said, "No ideas but in things," and we laughed our heads off. There are no ideas, there are no things.
We disprove Zeno's paradox that demonstrates the impossibility of motion by moving. We may be able to move so fast, like the bird in the cartoon, that we appear to appear along a length of dusty road that is time and space. The man said, "Go in fear of abstraction," and we are nothing but abstraction. Thus, we have destroyed everything.
The lost everything was made of self-loathing. What a relief to be rid of it. The unconscious is empty. It was a boil Wordsworth and Coleridge lanced in 1798 and that kept spewing pus for nearly two centuries. The hidden topologies of the soul are revealed. Now the task is consciousness.
Time is that which is always not itself. Time is nothing. We are time. We make events--not things--measuring by rhythms. This is how events happen, though there is nothing.
We do not know the first thing. We do not know how to live without destroying the earth.
You don't get to be somewhere just by showing up. The place must be constructed, and its compositions and concepts and correlations and technologies must be made up, not out of need (we do not need any thing we do not already have) but out of love of life.
Our ignorance is of epic proportion, and it can be overcome only with an epic. The epic of the single body, however, will not suffice--the epic of Joyce, Pound, Olson, the epic of Whitehead, Lacan, Althusser, epics of single bodies. Homer was many (we can now know this for certain). No matter how I or I manage these events of knowing you are always another actor of my act.
Exercise for today: rewrite the above paragraphs, substituting verbs for nouns.
Thus, Albert or Hubert
Proposals toward a syllabus for the required course at the
Imaginary University, First Knowledges 100: Constructing the Earth.
This course will undertake an in depth examination of John Ruskin's
dictum, "There is no wealth but life." (Propose other readings and
other dictums by email.)
George Spencer-Brown, LAWS OF FORM.
Heinz von Foerster, OBSERVING SYSTEMS.
Gregory Bateson, STEPS TO AN ECOLOGY OF THE MIND.
Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela, AUTOPOIESIS
AND COGNITION: THE REALIZATION OF THE LIVING.
Robert Rosen, LIFE ITSELF: A COMPREHENSIVE INQUIRY INTO
THE NATURE, ORIGIN, AND FABRICATION OF LIFE.
Herman E. Daly and Kenneth N. Townsend, VALUING THE
EARTH: ECONOMICS, ECOLOGY, ETHICS.
Donna Haraway, SIMIANS, CYBORGS, AND WOMEN: THE
REINVENTION OF NATURE.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
Gene Youngblood, EXPANDED CINEMA.
Bruno Latour, WE HAVE NEVER BEEN MODERN
Robert Smithson, THE WRITINGS OF ROBERT SMITHSON.
Arakawa and Madelaine Gins, TO NOT TO DIE.
Charles Stein, ed., BEING = SPACE X ACTION: SEARCHES FOR
FREEDOM OF MIND THROUGH MATHEMATICS, ART, AND
Nathaniel Mackey, DJBOT BAGHOSTUS'S RUN.
Jed Rasula, THE AMERICAN POETRY WAX MUSEUM: REALITY
EFFECTS, 1940-1990 (forthcoming).
Alice Notley, "Introduction," THE SCARLET CABINET.
John Clarke, FROM FEATHERS TO IRON.
FOUND POEM 4/26/94 TIMES UNION
It is the key to
matter and the universe
The finding isn't likely to
make a difference to
Reggie Workman, Rashid Bakr
At the Village Vanguard 6/24
"This is not a question, then, of 'freedom' as opposed to
'nonfreedom' but rather a question of recognizing different
ideas and expressions of order."
WATCHing Cecil Taylor's hands flutter over the 96 key runway of his
Bosendorfer is like witnesSING the exorcism of a crab on speed.
Stonewall withSTANDing, it seemed the elastic on New York's panties might snap before it could expand to take in one more umlaut of energy, then Taylor et al transformed the Vanguard into a microcosmic rewrite of the script of systems:
Controlled convulsion might be the phrase to describe the epileptic
precision with which Taylor lead the chase round Escher staircases of SOUND, with Workman sliding down banisters and Bakr grabbing an elevator to catch PACE.
For an hour and a half without pause on the spider web line at the edge of an orgasm where numerical clarity and tumbling ecstasy tug at each other in antinomy & equilibrium.
Its music as /secret physics of the blood/more so/waterfall running backwards fish spawn streaks of traffic light, this, you understand, is ORDER/auto-da-fe.
Study, study the mind of man--
to break a leg or stake a heart is not enough;
you must flint the net & spark a lake of flame
to BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS: O for the web
to glow its own--a tome of objectivity!
Yet we row, row, row the only boat we know--
sense of real, joy of blowing out the hatches.
Please forward initialized or pseudonymed passages of
lucid hallucinatory visions
cultural recipes reading lists memos or to
HYPERLINK mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
selected poems, 1935
frederico garcia lorca
poeta en nueva york
behind the state capital or cincinnati pike
the wonderful focus of you
what does it mean to be an american? & once we think we discover this meaning, what to do with it? for if poetry arises in the gap, not between sense and nonsense, but sense and PURPOSELESSNESS (this will be our first thesis), then the TASK of poetry will be a confrontation with nonsense, in the hope that purpose lies that side of the continuum (this will be our second thesis).
what to do with what we know (not to mention, how to act given what we DON'T know) is poetry's preeminent question.
we begin with war; pause to consider the pleasures and discoveries of the imperial eye, the grace our language attained when it gave in--without blinking--to the intellectual grandeur of the I, a sure center sure of its own morality; we'll then study--without blinking--the aftereffects of this assumption of power, the poverity and madness which the center always deposits at its margins; and we'll conclude by considering america's prospects in the coming ante-time
"Look down fair moon and bathe this scene, / pour softly down night's nimbus floods on faces ghastly, swollen, purple..."
"Slow / To remark the steep, too strict proportion / Of your throne, you'll see the wrenched distortion / Of suicidal dreams / Go / Staggering toward itself and with its bill / Attack its own identity, until / Foe seems friend and friend seems / Foe"
"Porque ya no hay quien reparta el pan ni el vino / ni quien cultive
hierbas en la boca del muerto" ("For see: there is none to apportion the bread and the wine / or cultivate grass in the mouths of the dead")
"If I tread the straight and narrow / I should no trouble, do what's /
expected of me, realize my friends / are not my enemies, and get rid of // them both..."
"The seemingly inexhaustible / sophistication of awareness becomes
relentless and horrible, / trapped. How am I ever going to learn enough to get out"
black hole sun
The utopian schemes that have informed us of our possibilities-- Brook Farm, the Marxist stateless state and even the endlessly progressing capitalist economy, guided by an invisible hand or by liberal bureacracies--were equally predicated not upon the order of foundational knowledge but upon an order of minds in the thrall of the sublime. The profound moment of insight, enlightenment, revolution is not vision but the catastrophe of the imagination. It is the shattering of the image, of the old style, of the conventional view, of _ancien regime_, and so forth that leaves one unsettled but grasping a profound point of a knowledge. The site of the revelation is not directly open to inspection, and especially not available for a second look, but, as it--whatever it is--recedes from view, it confirms the confidence in the utopian possibility, and it can be brought back to the edge of view by the next careful negotiation of imagination into spectacular collapse.
For nearly two hundred years, art had been a matter of tearing through the surface of rationality, convention, and social stultification in order to maintain access to the surprise of life as such. For the generation of artists born of the World War II and after, however, everything they'd learned was wrong. The techniques of the artists who had interested them in art in the first place, whom they had admired and thought to imitate, turned out to be inappropriate to this new condition. Dadaism lives: it is taught at in the Harvard M.B.A. program. Surrealism lives: it is taught to computer programmers at M.I.T. (some might say, mathematics has proven so strange, that it is taught even in the math department). Our architects, our lawyers are modernist purveyors of chaos (to say nothing, of course, of the faceless committees which generate what we call the media).
There is no point, in the face of unbridled growth economies, to recall wild nature in tranquility, to practice nihilistic techniques of art and thought, to do automatic writing, or to create chance generated art. Chaos no longer needs the help of art. The techniques that delivered fresh air in 1810 or 1910 contributed (though contributed insignificantly) by 1970 to a proliferation of incomprehensible energy. The Dadaists never managed to exhibit the degree of chaos that Robert Smithson records in his photographs of Passaic, New Jersey.
If the task of the artists is to right the balance between consciousness and unconsciousness, they must now cast their lot with consciousness. It is the unconscious itself which is manifesting as uncontrolled production. If the task of the artists is to right the balance between order and chaos, they must now cast their lot with order-- with construction, not deconstruction. This involves large scale reordering of the practice of art, in order to serve the same function.
Thus, Albert or Hubert
Wasn't that a time--the empire throwing itself up everywhere one turned, and the end of the world as we know it, and nothing the way it was when one was oneself a child. Holding onto the small things in lyrics, and railing in satires against the super nova.
-XXXX OOOO EH, DIU 3
It is, I fear, the presumption of the living that the dead waive
all rights to self-defense, but here in the realm of ghosts--what
you young people so quaintly call "virtual reality"--I see only
the teething of ghouls, the visages of men and women who profess
to live but whose words are incapable of fogging a mirror, and so
I beg leave to respond to the misrepresentations of one of your
(Not that I feel at home in these environs. I, too, dislike "virtual
reality." Participating, however, with perfect contempt, one
discovers after all a place for the genuine. But I stray from
Black Hole Sun badly misunderstands the morality of vision which
my poetry insists on when he (or she, but no doubt he) confuses my
"imperial eye" for the "intellectual grandeur of the I." (In
my day it was not "I" but "we" which poets approvingly or
disapprovingly considered imperial, but no matter.)
'Tis the weakness of young minds to believe a pun or homonym or
weak rhyme could ever replace the vigorous pleasures of a well-
crafted thought. Or to put myself more plainly, "I" is not "eye,"
though the Individual may indeed stand in awe of the world.
Awe, in any case, is what I care about. The "grandeur" Black
Hole Sun speaks of is thus not mine (whoever I may be), but the
(And perhaps you children should _play_ in the sun instead of
naming yourselves after it.)
The dark is good to dream in, but to dream in the light is better still.
-Black Hole Sun, DIU 4
"Albert or Hubert" assumes at the end of his piece a homology between a set of binary terms that it isn't clear to me _are_ homologous.
consciousness the unconscious
There are some who say the unconscious _is_ ordered--"like a language" I believe is how the saying goes, though Lyotard has done his best to sink this conceit--and there are some who say humankind's propensity for construction is precisely what is leading us to (ecological) crisis. Of course, there are some who say that crises are only moments of reorder.
It's not far from this position to one that would maintain order is chaos and chaos order; that consciousness can never know itself and that the unconscious is not the "un" of anything, but simply (but of course, _not_ simply) another register of being; that constructions always fall and that deconstruction always makes another thing...
But then, perhaps I am too much the deconstructionist to believe in the possibility of a choice unencumbered by the possibility that the choice is not _between_ two terms, but of how to exist in this very space of "between."
Between sleep and waking, a slowly forgotten dream stretches the distance of the quickly brightening sky. Our lives rebegin in this light, in this moment of forgetting.
Playlist, Conference of the Birds, KZSC, Santa Cruz 7-4-94
Francisco X. Alarcon/ Letter to America/ We Magazine 14
Milton Cardona/ Ogun/ Bembe
Jerry Gonzales and the Fort Apache Band/ Obatala/ Obatala
(anonymous) / Amengon Horns/ Bresil- Musiques de haut Xingu
Etoile de Dakar/ N'Guiro Na/ Absu Gueye
Dueto de Comachuen/ Male Amelita/ Pure Purepecheca
Orchestra Septentrional/ Belle Haiti/ Belle Haiti
Lily White/ Mompou II/ Somewhere Between Truth and Fiction
Rashan Roland Kirk/ Black Diamond/ Rip, Rig, and Panic
Lily White/ Mompou/ Somewhere Between Truth and Fiction
Sam Rivers/ Afflatus/ Dimensions and Extensions
Les Musicians de Nil/ Ya Faraoule/ Egypte
Khalifa Ould Eide and Dimi Mint Abba/ Hassaniya Love Poem
Medhi hassan/ Urz-e-Nyal- Ishq- Ke-Qabil-Nahin-Raha/ New
Musical heights of...
Will Alexander/ A National Day in Bangledesh/(unreleased cassette)
Hedi Habboubba/ (in arabic)/ (in arabic)
Milford Graves/ Bi/ babi
(anon.)/ Song to Orisha Chango/ Cult Music of Cuba
Henry Threadgill Sextet/ My Rock/ Easily Slip Into Another World
Steve Lacy/ Prayer/ Anthem
Caetano y Gil/ Dada/ Tropical
Elis Regina/ Sumbosa Maloca/ Transversal do Tempo
Africando/ Sama Thiel/ Tierra Tradicional
Youssou N' Dour/ Africa Remembers/ Eyes Open
Pierre Akendengue/ Ewaka/ Mando
Abdel Gadir Salim All-Stars/ Bassama/ The Merdoum Kings Play Songs of Love
Abdel Aziz El Mubarek/ Tarimni Mulak/ Border Crossings
CJ Chernier/ Don't Cry/ I Ain't No Playboy
Revolutionary Ensemble/ Chicago/ Revolutionary Ensemble
Let us say, with Wallace Stevens, emphatically:
ART MUST BE ABSTRACT.
ABSTRACTION IS NO MORE
WHAT ABSTRACTION WAS.
Reenter your world. And reenter the world you have reentered. Reenter your minds(z). (This is the new abstraction.)
The World Watch Foundation in 1990 estimated the earth has forty years on its present course before it does irreversible damage to the ozone. Reenter the world. There are only thirty-six years left.
Thus, Albert or Hubert
*** ANNOUNCEMENT ***
The Departments of Archaeology and Classical American Literature
are pleased to announce a virtual symposium on the "politan"
As many of you know, the "politan" fragment was unearthed last
year in the rubble of old Los Angeles, a single torn page that
survived for centuries under one of the keys of a prepared piano.
Hecuba Whimsy, a philologist who has studied the fragment, now
suggests that "politan" is the work of llen Ginsbe, author of "dish," a
portion of a poem excavated 25 years ago at the site of a bombed
out public library in Kansas. Given the extreme rarity of poetic
works from the period in question, the suggestion that "politan" and
"dish" were composed by a single author warrants careful
consideration and even debate. Was llen Ginsbe a major figure
whose works were widely disseminated, or is the discovery of two
separate fragments by this poet a coincidence?
Brief position papers (100 words) are invited. These should be
circulated prior to the symposium, which will be held at the DIU
moo July 31st at midnight. Send all papers to by July 24th
at midnight so that we can post them in advance of the gathering.
Dept. Classic. Am. Lit.
p against govern
ly what we know
tes are coercion.
e is absolute.
ry mind includes et
e what's vivid.
what you notice.
ness is self-selecting.
e don't show anyone, we're
mber the future.
k yourself to death.
les clanking against each
me scientific data.
menal world after Einste
my neck in ba
er and extra
t he was
gent, "the first do
are blackouts--I s
go in there, second
closed my bedroom
hem through, I strained,
e and woke under
East Twelfth Street,
poets, Museum of Modern
May 6, 1986, 3:10
politan reconstruction by Dien Bien Phu
The children were lured by beauty--forms that were available to
the senses, not crumbling between a lost origin and an
infinitely receding goal.
-Thus, Albert or Hubert, DIU 4
*** REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ***
For a study on the "objectivist poets" in preparation for DIU
Press I would appreciate any anecdotal information (including
letters, photographs, first person accounts or copies of memoirs)
that would shed light on the brief marriage of Lorine Niedecker
and William Carlos Williams. I am also seeking information on
Joyce Hopkins, in particular the circumstances that brought her
to reveal "Louis Zukofsky," "Charles Reznikoff" and "George
Oppen" as Niedecker's pseudonyms. Lastly, if anyone knows the
whereabouts of Robert Creeley, I have been trying to track him
down. I understand he is the last living member of the original
"objectivist conspiracy," and that he went into hiding shortly
after the coup but remained within the borders of the old United States.
from: SLICES OF KNOWLEDGE
Never despair. Let macerate longer.
An inn of soft muds for fish who spend the night out of the
A beggar, but he governs a beggar's cup.
Mornings, if one is a bee, no mucking about, one has to pilfer.
Funerals should take place in swamps. Wouldn't it be just that
the living, who follow the dead, should also be in difficulty?
The birds' delirium does not interest the trees.
It is not the crocodile's job to yell: "Watch out for the crocodile!"
He who hides his madman, dies voiceless.
Even if it is true, it is false.
- What would a distillation of the whole world be like? - asked
a man in amazement, drunk for the first time.
The caravans want respect.
There is no proof that the flee, which lives on the mouse, is
afraid of the cat.
The blood of the ox, put into a tiger, would give the latter
Evil traces, good floods.
That one uses his vice to jerk off his virtue.
HM translated by PJ
And let the vomit in the sink
Go down the American drain.
For running water is how we think
The stink we think our thoughts remain.
Kimberly Filbee, DIU 5
It has come to my or my attention that scholarly or literary hoaxes may have been perpetrated at IU. Indeed there is reason to believe that the letter that purports to be from Marianne Moore in DIU 3 may be a forgery. Even the hint of suspicion of such unreliability can, and legitemately does, undermine the greatest institutions. Such vile disregard for the machinery of truth production must be vigorously sought out and exposed.
It has been reported at other universities that researchers have tampered with their results in scientific experiments in order to make it appear that cures for cancer and other dread diseases may be at hand. I or I myself have proven that since 1981 as many as five hundred professors of literature have made references to the works of Jacques Derrida on the basis of no more knowledge than a casual reading of Gayatri Spivak's introduction to _Grammatology_. I or I am afraid that Cliff's notes scholarship is widespread.
Only last year at the MLA convention, as I was on my way to a hear a panel on the prederite conjunctive in Slavic oral poetry, I overheard an illustrious Marxist-feminist scholar on the elevator opine that she was amazed at how many conferees failed to understand that the only purpose of such gatherings was to get laid. I or I was so upset that I couldn't pay attention to the panel.
It is the policy of IU that all bogus scholarship will be rooted out and its perpetrators will be suspended from international conferences for two years. The crime is grave; the punishment is fitting.
Thus, Albert or Hubert
History is a perversion of experience, a drug which turns all understanding into sham speech.
-Patriarchal Poetry, DIU 5
THE MU-MOSAIC INTERDE-DISCIPLINARY FREE RESEARCH ORCHESTRA
waking up again for the first time
into an explosive dawn of fire"
Revived by the breath of ghosts, charting the flight of angels,
the Mu-Mosaic Interde-disciplinary Free Research Orchestra
announces its first gig since its now well documented break
from the Lost Soul's Black Hole Sun Ship Orchestra (no relation):
"space is a knot. If we're to have space we must first untie it."
i.e. "what thou freest well will remain"
Only in the opening of space does place become. The Mu-Mosaic Interde-disciplinary Free Research Orchestra recognizes the last opening ofnew space to be populated en masse (ca. Hiroshima) to be drastically inadequate. The Mu-Mosaic Interde-disciplinary Free Research Orchestra acknowledges the threat (and promise) of another space only just now becoming apparent (a space, perhaps, cultivated in the absence made evident by the by-now cliche post-atomic fall-out.) Not that we're interested in fall-out. Or cliche (the endless regurgitation of forms). Obviously. But that what declares itself be heard (thus,
(the first DIU assignment to be recommended by the as-of-yet undescribed student body is to finish the above paragraph using one word.)
Only when Kent State ceases its existence as the murder of four bystanders, a show of force performed before some imaginary public, and becomes instead the murder of youth itself, a river of fire poured on youth's imagination, only then will the aesthetic stand condemned, judged by the aesthetics's truest followers, we daughter destroyers of the vision.
-Patriarchal Poetry, DIU 5
To the Editor:
Accusations of duplicity from a man with two names need a grain
of salt in order to go down. Thus, Albert or Hubert's diatribe [DIU 5],
though small potatoes, could definitely use some salt.
If Albert or Hubert doubts my existence, that's his business.
The fathers of our country granted freedom of belief _and_
disbelief. But why he links my words, which certainly do exist,
to the brazen ignorance of a college teacher escapes me. I
thought I was criticizing just such an animal myself.
I fail to see how clarification of the context and intention of
my work falls under the category of "bogus scholarship." Please
Grave crimes? Fitting punishments? People who eavesdrop on conversations in elevators--and don't have the good grace to keep what they hear to themselves--are beneath contempt.
Very Truly Yours,
---Are we monkeys?
We are not monkeys.
-JA, DIU 5
Loopy history. "They've closed the New York State Thruway," says the voice, and then the announcer, with the intonation of embodied events: "It's not like Woodstock, it is Woodstock." Ah, the difference. The money-back guarantee of the dialectic was that everything in the future would be like the past, like, that is, with a difference. The accumulated interest of dialectical difference was the possibility of completion, of an absolute music. The inherent danger of repeating history was in fact the very promise and possibility contained in the kernel of difference, of pure time, held in every event. We are now out of time, and the stutter of the radio commercial collapsed twenty-five years into pure repetition, into the sequence of album releases, into the Warner Brothers music catalog. Pure repetition is death: this is indeed the space of absolute music, of pure dirge. The being of history, of event, of returning, can only be our silence, stasis, our end. Rather, the return of Woodstock is a haunting, for we are already dead. The audio and visual records, the careful return to Yasgur's farm: we haunt the original site, we play with its bones, to remember that it once occurred, and thus that we were once alive. Even for those born after Woodstock, its memory ensures that there once was an event, and the recreation allows their ongoing ghostliness.
Does this mean that we have to go through Watergate again? No, or at least hopefully no; we selectively haunt sites that both existed as events and seemed at the same time to portend a different history, neither dialectical nor eschatalogical We now live not on the promise of history to come, but on the nostalgia of golden oldies and instant classics, the promise that there once was history. The radio advertisement condenses the sounds of the 1969 event with the ticket sales of the 1994 concert. The broadcast pulls them both into a space where history takes second place to wavelength. Where the difference is spaced on the radio (and in our lives) as consecutive cuts off a single greatest hits album, nobody much cares.
* The saturday of the original Woodstock marked the professional debut of O.J. Simpson. Coincidence?
air.txt wrpi 91.5 fm troy, ny 4 august 94 0820-1200
Purkinge--Lollapalooza soundtrack (4 track)
Camper Van Beethoven--"Happiness Is A Porpoise Mouth"/The View From Here
Trio Hurricane--"North"/Suite of Winds
Morton Feldman--"Rothko Chapel 2"/Rothko Chapel
MC Solaar--"Prose Combat"/Prose Combat
Sun Ra & his Solararkestra--"Other Plane of There"/Other Planes of
Jason Martin--"Fussy Loud Bear Ornament"/cassette
Bongwater--"Love to You|Reaganation|Double Birth|Bruce|Pool|Rain|Havana|
morton feldman--"Rothko Chapel 4"/Rothko Chapel
Julius Hemphill Sextet--"Flush"/Five Chord Stud
Jemeel Moondoc Sextet--"Changing the Mood|High Rise"/Konstanze's
Fred Ho & the Afro-Asian Music Ensemble--"An Bayanko"/The
Underground Railroad to my Heart
morton feldman--"Rothko Chapel 3"/Rothko Chapel
Fred Ho & the Afro-Asian Music Ensemble--"Caravan"/The
Underground Railroad to my Heart
Ornette Coleman/Gregory Gelman Ensemble--"Prime Design/Time
Purkinge--finale Lollapalooza 8-2-94
Julius Hemphill Sextet--"Mirrors"
Julius Hemphill Sextet--"Mr. Critical"/Five Chord Stud
Trio Hurricane--"East|West"/Suite of Winds
Sheila Chandra--"Speaking in Tongues IV"/The Zen Kiss
>>Ultraviolet_Guest says, "Oh, DIU... Does that have something to do with drunken driving?"From the mountains of cyberspace.
Insurgent Subcommander Guantanamo Bey.
March of 1995, in the Time Terminal
P.S. Our language, in celebration, laffs. I zone out with my inky dinky walkman. I love those pop Zapatistas of Northamerica, Sly and the Family Stone ... especially the one that goes:
when of a sudden my clone comes running, tells me: It looks like you got your way...
- Could it be the NEA has already fallen? - I ask with hope.
- No way! ... They caught you - says my clone.
- Me! When? Where? - I ask while I access my hard drive to see what I've written and what I've deleted.
- Today, in a system crash ... but they don't say just where -, s/he responds. - Oh, good! ... And did I end up badly refuted, or utterly silenced?
- I insist.
- Completely silent.. that's what the news says - says my clone and leaves. A narcisistic sob competes with the clickety clack of nervous fingers at the keys of the laptop.
- Why are you crying? - asks Thus, Albert or Hubert, staring away at the TV and the closing minutes of a basketball game.
- Because I can't be present for my own absence. I, who enjoyed sneaking up on myself so much ...
P.S.: That tells the story of Thus, Albert on the 12th day of the withdrawal of sympathy, of the mysteries of the Cave of Caffeine, and of other unfortunate events that today inspire, but at the time portended writer's block, and the end of the AHP.
- And if they unsubscribe us? - asked Thus, Albert on the early morning of the 12th day of the withdrawal of sympathy. ("What kind of withdrawal, a dry heave," says Thus, Albert.) It's hot. A damp breeze dumps fat drops from a cloud like a dog's tongue red as the eyes of our enemies. I'm not sleeping, in solitude the humidity hurts twice as much. Nevertheless I keep quiet. Thus, Albert comes out from his sheltering graphic and climbs atop me, like a basset hound. To wake me up, he starts tickling my nose. I sneeze with such emphasis that Thus, Albert ends up, tumbling over himself, on my Air Jordans. He recovers and gets back to my face.
- What's up? - I ask him before he tickles me again.
- And if they cut off our accounts? - he insists.
- Yes ... well ... well ... we'll look for a cave or something like that to hide ourselves in ... or we'll climb in a little cpu ... or cup ... or we'll see what to do -, I say with annoyance, and look at my watch to insinuate that it isn't the hour to be worrying about bounced mail.
- I won't have any problems. I can go anywhere. But you, with those Air Jordans and those coke-bottle spectacles ... I doubt that you'll find a safe place -, says Thus, Albert as he covers himself again with a .sig file graphic.
- Psychology of boredom -, I think, about the apparent indifference of Thus, Albert regarding our fate ...
- Our fate? He's right! He won't have problems, but me ... - I think, I get up and speak to Thus, Albert: - Psst ... Psst ... Albert!
- I'm sleeping -, he says from under his .sig file. I ignore his sleep and begin talking:
- Yesterday I heard Scope and my clone saying that there are a lot of caves around here. Scope says he knows most of them. There are small ones, where a haiku would barely fit. And there are big ones like Northamerican longpoems. But he says there is one no one dares to enter. He says there is an ugly story about that cave. The cave of caffeine, he says they call it. Thus, Albert seems to get interested, his passion for unsolved Eleusynian mysteries will be his ruin.
- And what is the story of that cave? - Well ... It's a very long story. I've heard it myself, but that was years ago now ... I don't remember it well-, I said, making it interesting.
- Fine, go on, tell it - says Albert, more and more interested.
I sip my beer. From within the pissy aftertaste comes the memory, and with it ...
The Cave of Caffeine.
It happened many years ago, a story of a poem that was not, that was abandoned without a second thought. A sad story... and terrible - says Scope sitting on one side, with his beer between his thighs, to cool his sweaty legs. He peels the label with a nail, and looking at the ascii mountain towering above, continues: "A Word came from far away. It came, or was already there. No one knows. It was back in other texts long past, before spell-check and trade paperbacks, and however that may be, in these texts people lived and died just the same, without hope and forgotten. No one knows if it was noun or verb, that Word. Few are those who heard the Word the first time. Some say the Word was the bird, and sang out in an adolescent cackle. Everyone agreed that the Word was extremely ugly. Just to hear it produced dread in men and revulsion in women. What was it that made the Word so unpleasant? I don't know, the concepts of beauty and ugliness change so much from one genre to another and from one culture to another ... In this case, the people native to these texts avoided the Word, as did the foreigners who were the owners of books, rhymes, and master narratives. The indigenous people called it the Kvetch or Sacred Whine; the foreigners called it the Complaint.
The Word went into the mountains, far from the ears of all, and set to work there. It made itself a little pushcart library, next to one of the many caves that were there. It made the literature produce, planted connotation and allusion, and hunting meanings in theforestforthetrees gave the Word enough to get by. Every so often it went down to Lethe, a stream near the New Coast. There it had arranged, with one of the older members of the community, to get punctuation, diplomas, or whatever else the Word, the Sacred Whine, didn't obtain in the mountains. The Whine exchanged connotations and tissues of lies for what it needed. The Whine arrived at the stream at the time when smiles began to darken and the shadows of heads advanced droopily over the page. The old muse was sick in her eyes and couldn't see well, so that, with the logic of sense and her retro virus, she couldn't make out the letters of the Word which had caused so much revulsion in the clear light. One evening the old muse didn't arrive. The Sacred Whine thought that maybe the hour was slow, and so pored over itself to hurry the dusk. To make no mistake, the next time the Word made sure to arrive earlier, before the time when smiles turn down. The shadows still had some paragraphs to go before wrapping the text completely in darkness, when the Whine came near the stream. A wurlitzer of laughter and voices grew as it approached. The Whine slowed its steps and came silently near. Among the curbs and hydrants it made out the pool formed by the waters of the stream. The daughters of enthusiasm were reading and copying manuscripts. They were laughing. The Whine looked and stayed quiet. Its heart became wide as the rim of a coffee cup, its eyes thick and rich like coffee. The daughters had gone for a while but the Whine stayed on, looking ... Now the dandruff rained down on the page like non-dairy creamer as the Word returned to the mountains, leaving the muse text in sleep. Maybe it was the sight, or imagined sight, or maybe the false impression that formed on the eye, like a scum of milk atop the surface of yestermorn's coffee, left by what the Whine imagined under the influence of caffeine, whatever it was, the Whine fell in love or thought it fell in love. And its love was not something platonic or neoplatonic, but quite earthy, and the call of the wild feelings borne by the Whine was like a war drum, like a slow drip that breaks through a filter. Adrenaline took the Whine by the hand and began a letter, a love letter, lettered percolation that filled an family-sized thermos of feeling.
And the Whine wrote, for example, "Oh, muse of the free refill! Caffeine becomes an agitated dachsund. Leash of a thousand kennels is the yearning of my thirst for thy foam, sweeter than schnapps, and in vain bends the corners of a thousand pages, dog-eared, panting to stay cranked and keep up with a brisk mistress. One grace, long sleeplessness! One sip I ask thee, muse, failed repose of my sugarless existence! Let me pour steam in thy hot almond milk. Yes, I wish to drink, to quaff the quim of inspiration. To stir thee, with sighs, in the mug that hands and lips desire. Within the cup, you brown and I like cinnamon, to read with a gulp your giant mochaccino. In the double shot of my baby's love stare to drool longingly and study, with a single leg raised in salute to your beautiful meanings, sturdy as a red bullit monument to fire. Awaken, O cluster of moans that in you hide, siempre con leche! To march to the rim and take prisoner with a swallow, burning now the skin of the tongue, brilliant blackness announcing the night sops my croissant. To trace, diligent and skillful, the M-grain of abstinence promised by your Apex of addiction. To give thee a tremor of cold heat and arrive, whole, to the moist stirring of caffeine. One slow first sip, a deep guzzle next. After that the runaway ride of liquid and caffeine. To reach Olympus, and then fall.
One grace, promised insomnia! One grace I ask thee, muse of the restless sigh! Let me come to thy margin! In it I am saved, far off I die." One night of storms, like a thirst burning the Whine's throat, a bolt of lightning burnt down the little pushcart library. Wet and shivering, it took refuge in a neighboring cave. With a hot plate to light the way the Whine found little figures of poets giving and receiving Mr. Coffee, the nervous excitement worked in stone and clay. There was a can of Maxwell House, and little jars that smelled of terrors and marvels already passed and yet to be. The Whine could not or would not leave the cave. There, desire filled its hands once more and wrote, a trail of Folger crystals leading nowhere ...
"A dog dish am I now, muse of the longed-for sniffathon. Tomorrow, a gun at war. Today, a dog dish lost between breakfast and dindin. The prop-plane of caffeine starts its propellers. A continual moaning, all whizzing and wanting, leads the plane between rival aces and storms.
I Lightman illuminates the flickering sugar bowl of desperation. A wet packet of sweet 'n' low takes the controls. Pure carcinogen, cancer alone, we navigate seeking thee, among sighs and panting, seeking the precise place the leash takes thee. Caffeine, muse of storms to come, is a knot hidden somewhere beneath the skin of hardened milk. Find it I must, and muttering spells, untie it. Free then shall be thy longings, feminine spillings, and they will fill thy kidneys and bladder, thy womb and innards. One last and ferocious sip of sweet caffeine hurls us to a cafe where a bottomless cup arrives. A dog dish am I now, muse of tender buttons. Don't await my assault, come to it! The cave of caffeine! The horizon clouds over with black liquid, now we are arriving, now we go ..."
So it happened, they say. And they say that the Whine never again left the cave. No one knows whether the muse existed in truth or was a product of the cave, the Cave of Caffeine. What they say is that the Whine still lives there, and whoever comes close becomes sick with the same addiction, with poetry ...
Thus, Albert has followed the whole story attentively. When he sees I have finished, he says: We have to go.
- Go? - I ask, surprised - Of course! - says Albert -. I need to check the score on the Kansas-Virginia game.
- You're crazy! - I protest.
- Are you afraid? - asks Albert ironically.
- Well ... afraid, really afraid ... no ... but it's very hot ... and it looks like static is on the way ... and ... yes, I'm afraid.
- Bah! Don't worry. I'll go with you and I'll be telling you where. I think I know where the Cave of Caffeine is -, says Albert with certainty.
- All right -, I say, giving in. - You'll be in charge of the expedition-.
- Great! My first order is that you march in the avant garde, in the center we'll have nobody, to disconcert the enemy, and I will go in the extreme rearguard, indicates Albert.
- I? In the vanguard? I protest! - Protest denied! - says Albert with firmness.
- O.K., a poet to the end, I'll go along.
- Good, that's what I like. Attention! This is the plan of attack: First: No ideas but in things.
Second: You can't step in the same river twice.
Third: Raid Kills Bugs Dead.
For a war plan it seemed too cautious, but Albert was now chief of our little collective, and given the circumstances, I had no reason to object to prudence marching in the vanguard.
Above, the stars started to be timed out ...
- It looks like it's going to static-, I said to Albert, excuse me, to the Chief.
- We're Poets! - shouts Albert, with the screech of an angry Canadian.
A gust of burning e-mail and the first screenfuls of static ...
- Haaalt! - orders Albert.
The static starts to multiply ...
- I forgot to mention the fourth point of the plan of attack ... says Albert with doubt.
- Oh yeah? And what is it? - I ask insidiously.
- Good fences make good neighbors! - The last words are said by Albert now in an open run back to camp.
I ran behind him. It was useless. We got shorted, and sweating, we reached the little hidden node in the archive. The static flew as if caffeine had, at last, been unleashed ...
Go on again. Health, and that the hunger for tomorrow be a desire to struggle ... today.
The Sip, inside, far inside, of the Cave of Caffeine.
It's March, it's early morning, and for being silenced, I feel verrry noisy.
translated by Hecuba Whimsy
please advise of errors.
I propose that nonverbal telepathy [teleprosy] is needed as a derailment for the products of the programs now being pursued by ARPA _et al_ to render speech machine readable so that the fly-by FTIR snapshot of your skin's tattling tale will, added vectorially in psi-space to your effluviogram from the GC/MS batbot and the neuroelectrotelemetery of your implanted fink-chip, tend to confirm a VDiagnosis of treasonable behavior from the voiced.
-Ficus, DIU 24a
Playlist, Conference of the Birds, KZSC, Santa Cruz 4-6-95
Carmen Linares/ En El Tribunal de Dios/ Contaora
Pedro Bacan/ En Pinta Un Muje/ Noches Gitanes
Odilio Gonzales/ De Borinquen Flores/ Ni De Madera Son Buenas
Amalia Rodriquez/ Cansaco/ Enlightenment
Cesaria Evora/ Mar Azul/ Mar Azul
Anouar Brahem/ Ain Ghazel/ Khomsa
Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory/ The Far East Blues/
This Dance is for Steve McCall
Joseph Jarman/ Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City/ Song For
anonymous/ Seruun Sainan Hangai/ Vocal Music of Mongolia
Grup Tanjidor Kembang Ros/ Jali-Jali Bunga Siantan/
Betawi and Sundanese Music of the North Coast of Java
World Saxophone Quartet/ Connections/ W.S.Q.
Julius Hemphill Quartet/ Rites/ Dogon A.D.
Tim Berne/ Rites/ Diminutive Mysteries (Mostly Hemphill)
Charles Brackeen Quartet/ Attainment/ Attainment
Adalberto Alvarez y su Son/ Y Borracho Me Case/ la Salsa Caliente
Meher Ali and Sheher Ali/ Maro Nara Haideri "Ya Ali!"/
Quawwali, the Essence of Desire
The Last Days of the White Race
Radio Free North America, 9 April '95
quotations taken at
27th conference of the African Heritage Studies Association
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 3/30/95
"_God Wore A Bowtie_"
"How do you end a short speech
which has not yet started?"
"All organized religions are man-made,
brought to our continent by conquerors,
and are instances of mind-control and oppression."
"Make your own religion to free yourself."
"It takes a long time
It takes a lot of lonely hours
It takes a lot of shoe leather
It takes a lot of paper
It takes a lot of correction
to write a good book."
"Man pronounced there is god,
woman would never be that stupid..."
"What's African is sacred."
"Academia means nothing...just another means to an end."
"Am I an angry man? Damn right!
You've got to be stupid not to be angry."
all dinosaurs are created equal, any god could have told you that...
-signed, the replacements, DIU 24b
This is 'quote' - different. It's an - off the shelfish language, whose essence cannot not ruthlessly speak.
- "Look at all that baggage!" (Behaving salted from the so-culled voiced)
To the e-Co-poetry CNNetwork:
29 March 1995 - "there there" appears to be an outbreak of fleeting Net pets. Seriously, treat the whole family, immediately. Preparations are available from your pharmacy. Please follow these instructions, carefully and accurately.
Let these lights between loves letters lie. Letter the light flow inter
rip tide through your slurried vines.
FROM the mountains of cyberspace to the dilating headlice of discerning officionardos, lute the urgent tones "go well":
- Today, crashed silent?
into The Craving of abandoned thought.
p.s. An undergraduquote poetry and a driftword style to match is the only true secret. It baffles the more ambisonic harbinger of blinds. "NOW take dictation".
Rose - Withers - Against - Mediocrity
I like the idea of reforming "she language" but who writes this stuff and why all the pseudonyms? It angles the whole thing in a pseudo direction. No actualities only virtualities? So a "real" name should be pseudo enough.
Steven_Taylor@BROWN.edu, DIU 24b
from MACHINE LANGUAGE
what is to be determined
is signal-to-noise ratio
- the dream: being
that which exists through meaning,
necessary as fiction,
in the waking
(like: having the same
body or shape, meaning
That radical need, as
The pleasure of the E-motion, physical expression of
the hidden integration. Culture-active simultaneous organism,
living information system. Inter/change and relate,
smoothed to a gesture
Dear syllogism of Snow Flake (Hey! Flake, that's
a good one!)
I think I'll get in a fetal position
and watch teevee. I think I'll have a glass of milk and
nurse my altzheimer's... I think I won't. I think I won't won't.
Well... if you, no, don't... someone hid my Prozax.
albert 'r hubert, the pathetic, DIU 25
Playlist, Conference of the Birds, KZSC, Santa Cruz, 4-27-95
Farida Khalum / Allah Allah / Pakistan: Volume 2
Jahawarlal Jah / Shiva, Comment Traverser l'Ocean du Monde? / Inde du Nord:
Mithila (Chants d'amour de Vidyapati)
Marika Papagika / Ti Se Meli Esanane / Marika Papagika
Rosa Eskanazi / Trava Re Alani / Greek Oriental Songs and Dances
Billy Bang Quartet / Lonnie's Lament / Valve #10
Taarab All-Stars / Pakistani / Orient de Luxe
Orquestra Baobab / Mahamadou Bamba / Bamba
Carlos Lomas & Pepe de Malaga / Malaguena /
Andalusian Flamenco Song and Dance
Marco Eneidi Quintet/La Chica Con Los Toros/Final Disconnect Notice
Tim Berne's Bloodcount / Refelctions, Lyric, Skin 1 /
Lowlife- The Paris Concert
Fairuz / Bayyi Rah Mah Mal Askar / Dabke 2
Dennis Gonzales Sextet / Johnny-Johnny / Namesake
Gnawa Halwa / Mouhy Abdellah Ben Hussain; Moullay Brahim /
Peregoyo y Su Combo Vacana / Asi Mi Tierra / Tropicalismo
Super Sweet Talks / Awe No / The Lord's Prayer
To live in a "present" that finds itself haunted by the spectre of the past and the frigthening hobgoblin of the future is or is not an appropriate summation of the present that some diagnose as post modern? (as if such a diagnosis is the only way to implicate the solitary self in an always-already social role).
An immersion into the academic theoretical discourses of our time seems to be increasingly becoming an economic necessity for those who wish to "labour in the mind". This emphasis is no doubt driven by market demands (disguised as "community"): There are more people writing academically today; thus the competition is feirce. To make more room for all this new writing it must be hailed as "NEW KNOWLEDGES" that render (IF NOT MAKE) books of dead writers obsolete. The whole academic situation becomes more and more transparently a marketplace, a fashion show. One could ask if it was ever anything other than that. Does the skepticism of the "age" we find ourselves in attest to the loss of some "imago mundi" that held the world of words together, or merely to a nostalgia to the days when intellectual and/or artistic activity did not seem like forced and alienated labour (thanks to the increased ACADEMICIZATION of reality)?
One may very well applaud the "genre blurring" tendencies that are considered such a significant aspect of recent academic trends. There is something exciting in riding the crest of the wave that is crashing against that is separating "creative writing" from "critique", that is breaking down boundaries with its notions of "hybridity" and "inter-disciplinary activity." Yet rather than doing away with the distinctions and the specialized disciplines themselves, we are confronted with an embarrassed longing to maintain the integrity of the disciplines in a compromise move in which each academic professional is suppossed to serve the community through a strategy of "breadth" rather than "depth." This denies the possibility and realizability of the maxim "Each according to his needs; each according to his abilities" in its attempt to create a "generalist" middle ground we can all meet in, not all that dissimilar from the "objectivist" stance of reporters. It is currently fashionable to marginalize the level on which we make or find our own subjectivist heirarchies for the sake of centralizing the level on which we're "social relativists." This is not to say that there are not strong stances being taken, only that there is such a proliferation of them that even the fiercest Dionysian, who's decided not to decide, begins to look towards Apollo even if such hopes to limit the tyranny of heteroglossic indeterminancy are ultimately futile. We look towards Apollo even if ultimately FOR THE SAKE of Dionysus....Meanwhile deconstruction still has not become dada yet....no west for the reary...
You can call me Sue Doe, my maiden name, or you can use my
married name (though i just HATE being referred to as my
husband's property!), which is Sue Doe-Nim.
alluring attar of dried pissecretions
-fic, DIU 26
To The Bloodless Refugees Of Emptiness
Through the suburbs sleepless people stagger,
as though just delivered from a shipwreck
-Garcia Lorca, The Dawn
What now exists as palpable global destiny? What are its markers,
its sculpted crimson signs?
The psychic atmosphere implies a return to troubled fiefdoms,
to monarchies trebeled by ferocious glints of bloody erosion. The
sun continues to burn, the tides swarm across their shores with their
sulphurs, while human continuity appears and disappears, like a
netling grimness of ghosts. What arises from this startling anti-
mass is the progressive neutering of the species. During this con-
tinuing dearth of higher foci even lightning is misconstrued as
mere electrical theatrics. World citizenry now progresses as an
artificial epitath, as a spotted hyena starving on kelp, in an
atmosphere of plight, hovering in balanced enigma. A spoiled voltage,
a principle lacking in cohesion, where horizons disintegrate,
where ideographs explode into darkness.
Humanity, like generic refugees, profanely strewn across a
dome of exploded heliographs. The politicians crave for momentary
incisions, for influential poison, much like staggered antelopes
searching for sublime direction. For instance, a once dependant
compass, now a locust eaten crystal. The collective path, a roving
generation of hatchlings, devolving in sullen mental savannahs.
We've witnessed many centuries of emigres, of disruptive holocaust
phantoms. Now, all the fiestas and dieties somatically crippled,
maundering like leaves across sudden hurricane waters, with their
destinies entangled in a liminal brushfire pyroclastic.
At present, the shadow of our phylum wafting through an un-
remitting mime osmotics. The linear goal, the abstracted referent,
now remains increasingly hidden in tumultuous occlusion. And what
is engendered by the latter, is the bloodless wake for uni-direc-
After all the rancid colonial murders, after all the wrenching
cortical spills, after the falsified wars between Saxon systems
and anti-systems, we have come to intolerable deficits, howling
with negated stochastics. The embrangled heads of state implanting
pyres on the death shores, accruing impasse models, sickened hybrid
potions. The inner cuisine at present exists as a phrenic lake
where poison fish are eaten. The bones are then dissected by mental
nomad rifles, by bizarre involuntary lexical slaughter. What
increasingly subsists is a ruthless fatality of emptiness, mistaken
risk having crossed into the zone of "the hereafter."
What now occurs in the West are circumstantial remnants,
listless mastications, like a metropolis of haunted rivets, exchang-
ing commands through a violent anorexia. Acuity now transpires
within a blank and ennervated interval. All the emotions are
mimicked as though there existed a belief, a magnetic resin which
once found succour in the decisive circumstantials of a Kutosov or
a Patton. Since the ramparts no longer dazzle, how can the use of
blades defend against shadows? We've come to the bickering of
monads, which expire and resurrect on a scope, soaked in a blood-
less skeletal haze. Moments are now defined by sussurant equivical
rotation, by kinetics poised beside the lamp of surcease. The
general mood, reflexive, at penultimate extremis in limbo.
This anxiety goes back to the dawn of the 1440's with the
European quest for foreign acquisition, for external perfection,
with the Northern integument given outranking status. Human
quality was put under seige; and in the Southern climates this
quality became a radical sorcery to be brutally subdued. Then
this latter world was divided into seas and enclaves, by the
Portugese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the English. This resulted in
the successive exterminations of peoples of colour over the span
of the five following centuries. And from the fruits of this labour
there has come to exist a general epic of nothingness. A halluci-
nogenic baseness, surrounded by a strange day to day quotidian
disruption. The human physiology now languishing in a gulf, its
dynamical particulars intensively seized with increasing strength
from the forces of extinction. As if forces of bacteria had opened
themselves to an unconfined momentum, explorational in their horror.
What presently smoulders is a desperate search for mathematical
shamans to re-populate expression with re-assuring rigidity, so as
to give the functioning of matter the static procedure of paradise.
Because the eucharist is now a phlegm wracked body, tainted by
opium and murder. The colour of its eyes has revealed the wrangling
scent of bestial enervation. In the zones of Manhattan, in the
pyretical confines of The City of the Angels, live wayward popula-
tions, performing a staggered ballet of estranged and explo-
ded spiders. Their dialogue scattered between immolation and leak-
age, with its recent heritage clustered around the old Nagasakian
chronicles, the dense memoirs of the Solzhenitsyn gulags, the
Hitlerian propositions conjoined by x-rays and voltage.
Such is the cruelty we inhabit, distorted as tran-
sitional bipeds, with our tenuous salvo of ethics, disastrously
routed along fractures of separation and antimony.
Leadership is now called for directed along the lines of a
Nepalese thought practitioner. Persons, whose dynamical gifts
rise above emptied chariots whose hydrogen has gone bad. Such
oblique leaders are capable of transmuting action from the
catacombs of ruin, with a wise and circular gospel of magic.
Such are the leaders of a true alchemical amnesty.
When the vertical disciplines were slaughtered, such insight
was destroyed. Now it attempts to rise once more above the shadows
of material fallacy. Such are the beings who've magically held the
human zone intact throughout a series of phantom standoffs with
nothingness. To picture these great magicians of the cells, one
will have to forgo the personality as seen from outward directional
gathering, with its poisoned myth of status. An image cleansed of
particulates, of measurable tyrannical denseness, yet charged with
the jottings of a new transitional body. And from such daring
evolvement, an enriched new genus of blankness registers beyond the
old a-tonic canonical eras, as they've been plotted within a maze,
and governed by the harsh enclitics of reason. Yes, bold neoteric
practitioners, like dark amphibians rising into anti-carnivorous
lunations, casting vibrations by means of dazzling seminal
methodics, producing rays of invisible greeness, which magically
mix the visible measure with the post-mortem helix. Such is the
carrier of vertical phasmas, of the prototype of drift. Then the
summons to runic green bastions, to heights of philosophical
eaglets, with conduct ceasing to flair as outer fragmentary poise.
From this, wisdom becomes circuitously increscent, as from the bla-
zing root of ghosts, they, who transmute the glyphs from anti-tur-
pentine monarchs, so that each remarkable act is taken as a sigill,
the afore-mentioned nothingness, discussed as indecisive homage,
verbally coined in Greek and liminal vulture.
Within the deadly waters of the Western temporal end, such
utopian balletics are seemingly endowed with cryptographic fatigue,
yet inscrutably kindled by a telepathic ozone. This latter being
the essence which hones the galaxies to a pitch of internal
luminosity. A utopia which thrives throughout transitional suspen-
sion, with its voice of vicarious crystal extending and retreating,
between eternity and terra firma, so that there exists, the cryptic
motif, the transpersonal scarob, comprising an index of hierarchi-
In Nepal, such conveyance is the natural practice of the "gurava,"
capable of bringing forth life out of dearth. Saying such, I am
thinking of the magical "puja ceremony," by which the great "Bengal
tiger" is conjured out of emptiness. Not "pointless agitation," but
impalpable power operant at a piercing transparency, absolutely non-
aligned with "baseless fantasy" and error. Even in concerns mundane,
the "gurava," is able to result, the purest concentration through
the powers of the anti-persona. Of course, this is seen by many
moderns as perjorative, as obscene juggling of reality. But what
concerns us here is the supra-rational realia, the electrical
unification, the rising above matter in its mode as dyslexic inter-
val. The personality then taking on a life as trans-functional
kinetic, uranian, and motionless as oration.
But the human structuring axis remains the Roman world model,
pursued with poisonous momentum, like a negated Flavian centaur.
A life which forcefully questions the riddle, which ignites by its
disasters a prolonged and fragmentary gossip. This is not the cir-
cumstance we seek, with its scarred and despicable motives, its
plain spoken gargantua, lisping, now post-mortem in calumny, passed
forward blindly, into cold reductive laws and contusions. Condoned
magistrates, corrupted political leaders, are elected by surrep-
titious mandate, to fluctuate within the motion of their disabled
missives. For instance, filth ridden judgements against the prin-
cipled use of homeopathic medicinals, against enforced financial
sanctions for the tribe of the powerful, with their obscenely
wealthy cohorts, strutting through electrically decorative
corridors, empowered by the genes of voracious hyenas. Then one
arrives at the barrier of broken social mobility, where the
destitute unrelentingly peer, into a profane focus, into the
illusive and transsonic reason of the general political dialectic.
For the common constituent, this means the confused rapidity
of individual opinion, momentarily accepted as prevailing mental
logic, the voter as such, swayed by a virulent and transitory
"verbalism", the politician aggressively sculpting a partisan
priority, attempting to evolve a fate, which, on the night of
election will become the victorious voice of official pronounce-
ment. The press will announce the candidate's personal apogee,
which will one day be chronicled in accord with lifeless memorials.
This, the glossary of an encompassing mundane, with its chronic
flaws, with its institutional hepatitis. The commentators
chattering like plutonic egrets, mimicking their own flight in
reversal. A circumstance conditioned to a prime complicity with
the tragedy of a hateful criteria, as competition proceeds by means
of flameless radium farming.
These are the seizures by which the post-colonial is staggered.
The Western vulgus now invaded by a rhymeless dessicated wander-
ing through a maze of sunless hectographs, thirsting for amazement
or fever. Yet the masses remain annulled, looking for brutish
approval, or reclaiming their worth around a fractious allegiance
to some cold ancestral murdering well. The social cells consumed
by assault from habitual rivalry. Thus, true insight is shattered,
real living is averted.
In contra-distinction, the Nepalese "gurava", calling through
preternatural rites, to kindle electrical stars in the blood, by
having contingents of people break apart and drift, and regather
by telepathy. This, the true arcana, the life above vulcanian
zones. It is the orbit where the bodiless is trusted, where the
proto-solar living world exists, as a sacred electrical drama,
as a codex of fire, as a magical agamas of roses.
"Quack Goes duh Yo Yo"
behold: The Berfuh duh Fool
Om razzy saxa Poe!
-EC, DIU 27.1
Conference of the Birds KZSC Santa Cruz 5-11-95
Archie Shepp/ On This Night (If That Great Day Would
Come)/ On This Night
Marilyn Crispell & Irene Schweitzer/ Segement 4/
Overlapping Hands: Eight Segments
Mauricia Kagel/ Largo (from Variete)/ Variete
Astor Piazzolla/ Milonga del Angel/ Lausanne Concert
Arsenio Rodriguez/ Santa Cecilia/ Los 24 Exitos
Originales de Arsenio Rodriguez
Cesaria Evora/ Direito di Nasce/ Miss Perfumado
Sonora Poncena/ Si La Ven/ Determination
Don Byron/ That Sucking Sound/ Music for Eight
Peregoyo y Su Combo Vacana/ Descarga Vacana/
Beltun/ Ancient Chant of Kabul/ Afghanistan
Monks of Monestary Rumtek, Sikkim/ Evening Song/
Morton Feldman/ Rothko Chapel/ Rothko Chapel and
Fadhila Dziriya/ Ya Qalbi Kialli Ellal/ Musique Populaire
Butch Morris/ Lia Talciona/ Dust to Dust
Sona Diabate/ Kinikiniko/ Sons de la Savane
Les Amazones de Guinea/ I Tele Ke/ Au Coeur de Paris
i would point readers toward amiri baraka/leroi jones's writing on the arkestra and sun ra. from his book BLACK MUSIC to his first hand experiences with ra and the arkestra during the BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT revolution in 60's Harlem. amiri has many poems and fiction written during that period which mention ra + arkestra. additionally he recounts some of his encounters with them in his autobiography (i remember vaguely a story about a BLACKS ARTS Parade featuring the arkestra.) also there is BLACK MASS, a play by amiri with music by the ra + the arkestra. there are tapes of floating around. try first _the amiri baraka/leroi jones reader_ or better yet take the day off from work (or the week) find a university library with a massive AFRICAN-AMERICAN aka BLACK ARTS/HISTORY section (like our fine University of Pittsburgh's Hillman) and read away for free even. (optional: with the change u find on the street on the way, xerox favorite amiri writings and give to friends.)(hopefully you'll skip his mid sixties ones in which he whines on about world-ruinous 'faggots' and 'jews.' despite some occasional lapses in humanity, amiri baraka is a damn fine poet, writer, listener, thinker, teacher and politico.)
And my guess is we should not underestimate the power of a really difficult problem to inspire outrageous and wonderful solutions.
So let us get to work.
-LF, VCA, DIU 27.2
Once upon a schoolday dreary one plus one
was written clearly "what's the answer to
quoth the student, "I don't know"
Ah, distinctly I remember it was science in
September when the teacher said "Remember?"
quoth the student, "I don't know"
And the weary, sad, uncertain social students
listened while the teacher lectured like a preacher
"Name a demographic feature"
quoth the student, "I don't know"
And in English never flitting always sitting
as she teaches she asked the correct
position of the words in a composition
quoth the student, "I don't know"
Of these words, approximately 10,000 are useful or amusing.
-djd, DIU 28
EXORDIUM TO IMAGINARY UNIVERSES
by Edgar Allen
In commencing, with the New Academic Year, a New
Volume, we shall be permitted to say a very few words by way of
_exordium_ to our usual chapter of Critical Notices, or, as we
should prefer calling them, Descriptions of an Imaginary
Universe. Yet we speak _not_ for the sake of the _exordium_, but
because we have really something to say, and know not when or
where better to say it.
That the public attention, in Cyberspace, has, of late
days, been more than usually directed to the matter of critical
thinking, is plainly apparent. Our lists and newsgroups are
beginning to acknowledge the importance of the art (shall we so
term it?) and to disdain the flippant _opinion_ which so long has
been made its substitute.
Time was when we imported our critical decisions from
the real world, from real universities. For many years we
enacted a perfect farce of subserviency to the _dicta_ of our
institutions of higher learning. At last a revulsion of feeling,
with self-disgust, necessarily ensued. Urged by these, we
plunged into the opposite extreme. In throwing _totally_ off
that "authority," whose voice had so long been so sacred, we even
surpassed, and by much, our original folly. But the watchword
now was, "a virtual literature!"--as if any true literature
_could be_ "virtual"--as if the real world were not the only
proper stage for the literary _histrio_--as if the virtual and
imaginary could ever be other than mutually suspicious
acquaintances. We became, suddenly, the merest and maddest
_partizans_ in letters. Our papers spoke of "home pages" and
"listservs." Our journals had habitual passages about that
"truly hypertextual novelist, Mr. Joyce," or that "staunch
virtual genius, Miss Haraway." Unmindful of the spirit of the
axioms that "a prophet has no honor in her own land" and that "a
hero is never a hero to his _valet-de-chambre_"--axioms founded
in reason and in truth--our booksellers urged the propriety--our
reviews the necessity, of strictly "cyber" themes. A real
subject, at this epoch, was a weight more than enough to drag
down into the very depths of critical damnation the finest writer
owning nativity in the age of mechanical reproduction; while, on
the reverse, we found ourselves daily in the paradoxical dilemma
of liking, or pretending to like, a stupid book the better
because (sure enough) its stupidity was of our own fragmented
condition, and belabored our own future shock.
It is, in fact, but very lately that this anomalous
state of feeling has shown any signs of subsidence. Still it
_is_ subsiding. Our views of thinking in general having
expanded, we begin to demand the use--to inquire into the offices
and provinces of criticism--to regard it more as an art based
immoveably in imagination, less as a mere system of fluctuating
and conventional technocratic dogmas. And, with the prevalence
of these ideas, has arrived a distaste even to the home-page-
spectacles of the cyberspace-_coteries_. If our students of the
future are not as yet _all_ independent of the will of a
programmer, the majority of them scruple, at least, _to confess_
a subservience, and enter into no positive combinations against
the minority who despise and discard it. And this is a _very_
great improvement of exceedingly late date.
Escaping these quicksands, our criticism is
nevertheless in some danger--some very little danger--of falling
into the pit of a most detestable species of cant--the cant of
_poetics_. This tendency has been given it, in the first
instance, by the onward and tumultuous spirit of the age. With
more bandwidths of thinking-material comes the desire, if not the
necessity, of ditching generous specifics for self-serving
generalities. In our individual case, and despite every
precaution, we seem to have absorbed this bias directly from the
poetry journals of the day, upon which our poetic e-culture is so
slavishly and pertinaciously modelled. In the poetry journal,
the review or criticism properly so called, has gradually yet
steadily degenerated into what we see at present--that is to say
into anything but criticism. Originally a "review," was not so
called as _lucus a non lucendo_. Its name conveyed a just idea
of its design. It reviewed, or surveyed the book whose title
formed its text, and, giving an analysis of its contents, passed
judgment upon its merits or defects. But, through the
promulgation of that sub-genre of b.s. called poetics, this
natural process lost ground from day to day. As poets came more
and more to fulfill the function of the critic, the nature of
criticism underwent a not-so-subtle change. This was due partly
to the busyness of poets, who in most instances are obliged to
work day jobs, but partly also to another, more pernicious cause.
The name of a poet being attached to the review, and thus known
to all, it became a commodity not to be risked against the
possible ire of the author under consideration, authors being a
class of beast whose thin skin is legendary. The result was
clear enough. For most critical compositions there is required a
deliberate perusal, with notes, and subsequent generalization.
An easy substitute for this labor was found in stray comments
upon such passages as accidentally met the eye of the critic,
with copious extracts--or a still easier, in freewheeling
improvisations based upon key phrases. The mode of reviewing
most in favor, however, because carrying with it the greatest
_semblance_ of care, was that of diffuse essay upon ideas
suggested by the work's title, the reviewer (?) using the book's
own blurbs as a guide, and adding for good measure some reference
to theory, the sole concern, bearing, and excuse for which, is
either a superficial coincidence of vocabulary, or a random
juxtaposition of citations. Such protocols came at length to be
understood and habitually practised as the customary or
convetional _fashions_ of review; and although the nobler order
of intellects did not fall into the full heresy of these
fashions--we may still assert that even Clark Coolidge's nearest
approach to criticism in its legitimate sense, is to be found in
his recent article upon Kerouac--an article in which the whole
strength of the reviewer is put forth _to whine_ about a single
fact--the unfair treatment of a native genius at the hand of the
critics--which the book under discussion is said to exemplify.
Even now, with the sorry state of poetics a matter of common
knowledge, a statement that falls short of utter approbation
comes immediately under suspicion, unless (as in the case of Lew
Daly) an aura of nonsense surrounds the fearful opinion, allowing
readers to write it all off as youthful indiscretion.
Now, while we do not mean to deny that a positive
notice is a positive thing, we yet assert that these blurbs (for
that's what they are) have nothing whatever to do with that
_criticism_ which their evil example has nevertheless infected
_in se_. Because these dogmatising paragraphs, which _were once_
"Reviews," have lapsed from their original faith, it does not
follow that the faith itself is extinct--that "there shall be no
more cakes and ale"--that criticism, in its old acceptation, does
not exist. But we complain of a growing inclination on the part
of our lighter journals to believe, on such grounds, that such is
the fact--that because the print journals, through supineness,
and the e-culture, through a degrading imitation, have come to
merge all varieties of vague generalization in the one title of
"Poetics," it therefore results that criticism, being everything
in the imaginary universe, is, consequently, nothing whatever in
fact. For to this end, and to none other conceivable, is the
tendency of such propositions, for example, as we find in a late
number of that very clever magazine, _O-blek_. Steve Evans, a
brilliant young critic himself, there seemed to predict the
current trend (exemplified in D I U) toward anonymous and
pseudonymous writing. Citing an epithet from Yeats, "the only
movements on which literature can found itself . . . hate great
and lasting things," he introduced a collection of some of the
most pernicious examples of poetics with the following claim:
"It is my contention, in the following remarks, that
such a hatred as Yeats speaks of does animate the present
generation, though it is a hatred so thoroughgoing, so pervasive
and unremitting as to make the articulation of it seem
gratuitous, even falsifying. It is the hatred of Identity.
Mistake this hatred and I believe you mistake the entire
constellation that is emergent in these pages. Mistake it and
you are left with no more than incidental and furtive
convergences, faint patterns, weak signals. But recognize it,
recognize the multitude of forms it takes--from the most
abstract to the most concrete--and you will see that few
generations have chosen a greater or more lasting thing to
oppose, and in the process risked such consequences, such
contradictions, as this one has in its opening move."*
We respect the talents of Mr. Evans, but must dissent
from nearly all that he here says. The hatred whose
"articulation" he calls "gratuitous" resists formulation
precisely because it doesn't exist, save in the critic's own
fervid imagination. (He offers not a single line in proof of his
contention!) Reading the statements collected in _O-blek_ 12,
and notwithstanding the introduction's rhetorical warning, we
_do_ take this generation's leading trait as something other than
hatred of identity--we take it for _love_, an _attachment_ to
identity far stronger than the attachment to art or criticism.
We mistake this hatred, and yet do not, we think, mistake the
constellation nonetheless emergent. Indeed, we find in the
critic's own words this constellation's the truest description--
it is, in our eyes, an incidental and furtive convergence, a
faint pattern, a weak signal. Here, however, an innate honesty
leads Mr. Evans to sense that his articulation is "falsifying."
And it is; all that our critic describes these poetics to be, is
all which we sturdily maintain they _are not_. These poetics do
_not_, we think, insist "that things could be different," do not
"demand that they be made so," are not "a means of rescuing the
kernel of _emergence_ at the core of our emergency." But if they
were all that Mr. Evans imagines, it is not very clear how this
"kernel of _emergence_" differs from "the 'promise' of identity."
But that these poetics fail in both their own pursuits, and those
Mr. Evans ascribes to them, cannot be doubted.
It is against this frantic spirit of _ascription_ that
we protest. We have a word, "poetics," whose import is
sufficiently distinct, through long usage, at least; and we have
an art of high importance and clearly-ascertained limit, which
this word is quite well enough understood to represent. Of that
political science to which Mr. Evans so eloquently alludes, and
of which we are instructed that it is "the labor of discerning
the given, in order to negate and transform it"--of this science
we know nothing, and really wish to know less; but we object to
our contemporary's appropriation in its behalf, of a term to
which we, in common with a large majority of mankind, have been
accustomed to attach a certain and very definitive idea. Is
there no word but "poetics" which may be made to serve the
purposes of Mr. Evans? Has he any objection to Obliquity, or
Impercipientism, or Sillimanism, or any other pregnant compound
indicative of confusion worse confounded?
Still, we must not pretend a total misapprehension of
the ideas of Mr. Evans, and we should be sorry that he
misunderstood _us_. It may be granted that we differ only in
terms--although the difference will yet be found not unimportant
in effect. Following the highest authority, we would wish, in a
word, to limit poetics to comment upon _Poetry_. A poem is
written--and it is only _as the poem_ that we subject it to
consideration. With the opinions of the work, considered
otherwise than in their relation to the work itself, the critic
has really nothing to do. It is his or her part simply to decide
upon _the mode_ in which these opinions are brought to bear. The
development of _new_ modes is the chief virtue of this new medium
called the Internet. I note in passing that in the interests of
such development, we at I U have eschewed the use of signatures--
not out of hatred for identity, but out of respect for identity's
power. Moreover, in our search for a poetics proper to this
shabby era of shabby thought and shabbier writing, we may, along
the way, _discern the given, in order to negate and transform
it_--but this has never been our principal goal, and if we fail
in such endeavor, we will shed no tears. Poetics, we mean to
say, is no litmus test of political opinion. For this test, the
work, divested of its pretensions as an _art-product_, is turned
over for discussion to the world at large. In this, the only
true and intelligible sense, it will be seen that poetics, the
test or analysis of _Poetry_, (_not_ opinion,) is only properly
employed upon productions which have their basis in poetry
itself, and although the subscriber to poetics journals and
poetics lists (whose duties and objects are multiform) may turn
aside, at pleasure, from the _mode_ or vehicle of opinion to
discussion of the opinion conveyed--it is still clear that such
discussants are "_critical_" only in so much as they deviate from
the true province not at all.
And of the person of the critic, what shall we say?--
for as yet we have spoken only the _proem_ to the true _epopea_.
What _can_ we better say than, with Jabes, "the transcribed word,
which we naively thought we had arrested and handcuffed, keeps
its freedom for the space of its perennial night. Dazzled
freedom which frightens and worries us." The true task of
criticism! Let us add, only, that the transcribed word must
probe this darkness, and stir night's dwellers to anger.
* _O-blek_, no. 12, Spring/Fall 1993, _Writing from the
New Coast: Technique_, edited by Peter Gizzi and
Juliana Spahr, introduction by Steve Evans.
"first thought, next thought..."
-DIU 29 & 30
NIGHT IN TUNISIA
"I will not make that break again."
I will not make that break (any break) again.
I will not be back in Tunisia that night.
The music moves because I move towards it
in Tunisia, as a whispered shimmer. The music,
the music does not make that break again:
time is the trait of things and flows,
of breath and mind, music in Tunisia,
an indication leaking through itself
to be itself, be... be... beyond itself
to be itself. It is going nowhere. It.
It... it... it stutters, utters, vibrating,
Is there any thing here to notice but time?
The be-bop revolution continues,
not because Winton Marsalis has copped everyones chops,
because Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet could speak English--
not because this savvy second generation
rings the cash register
or because a computer chip plays 16th notes
at a rate that would confound Charlie Parker.
It's Epistrophy--knowledge turning.
Thus, Albert or Hubert
July 4, 1995
Long live the bebop Revolution!
The recent "Unabom" or postal bomber, "dedicated to destruction of the worldwide industrial system" (NY Times) threatens terrorism if his manifesto is not published. "Going Postal" is the newly popular term for irrational rage. The gun stashed in the mail bag: we know the dangers of the postal employee. The exteriority of the post office produces psychosis, an exteriority consisting in the distribution of documents as literalities (as letters), texts entirely materialized by government stamp, without meaning outside of the network of postal relays. There are many repetitive jobs, but it is here that the subjective investment in private writing is explicitly converted into the subjection of institutional forms and meanings. The post office is a paranoid structure. To mail a letter is to accept that it will be handled. From 1500 on, the British post office maintained a Secret or Inner Office for the opening, deciphering, and reading of letters; anyone was subject to this police action, and its abolishment in 1844 merely meant that the activity was more covert. (The coincidence of the end of the Secret Office and the rise of the telegraph is keyed to the ability of the postal telegraph operator to have know the coding of all messages passed along the line.) The American post office has always had this ability. As alternatives arise, so the institutional saturation of physical space increases, the space of the letter descreasing as the structure of the address is formalized. The history of street addresses: it allows the post to find us. The NSA now keys the encoding of all telecommunication space. As our e-mail address correlates with our existence in this space, so the institutionally-sanctioned metaphor of the "interior" of our epistles becomes even slimmer. As with the Clipper chip debate, in acceding to stage our communications in an already encrypted domain, our interiors become a question of computation time, that is, we communicate through metaphors of speed and connectivity. Our syntax is determined (every possible message is already encoded) and it is the rate of our (re)combination that (post)marks us. We are all postal workers.
the colors mixing and becoming
one always white always black
-Wa-Ben, 29 & 30
The Last Days of the White Race
Radiofree NorthAmerica, 4 July 1995
** Warning: The polemical force of these questions has been measured at 8.4 on a scale of 1-10. Readers are advised. **
How do I just sort of skip past Amiri Baraka's repeated references to "faggots"? The same way I'm supposed not to notice Randy "Duke" Cunningham's reference to "homos"? The way Barney Frank's not supposed to mind if he's called "Barney Fag"? ("Oops, just a slip of the tongue.")
Is it the way I shouldn't take it personally when gay elected officials invited to a White House meeting are frisked by Secret Service agents wearing latex gloves? (Lest one of the cops get AIDS from patting a gay man down, you know.) Nor should I mind when it takes Clinton (who ducked out of the meeting) a week to apologize for the incident.
I suppose I shouldn't seem to notice the passages in Fanon's writings that inscribe homophobia in post-colonial discourse.
And no doubt I should be much more understanding about the Cuban revolution's problems. If that hope of the poor still puts men in jail for having sex with each other, well, that just shows that a certain traditionalism in Cuban society has not yet been overcome.
Sorry, but I do notice if a place/list/gathering/readinglist/revolution is not dealing with its homophobia, and I've tended to stay away from such. I called it being apolitical. Others might have called it by other names.
But this morning I feel more inclined to critique. Just about any contemporary political movement I could name treats lesbigay people as somehow expendable. Or, as a post-Clinton comment that's been making the rounds lately has it: "At least with Republicans, we know where we stand."
I'm proposing that when homophobia is glossed over, it's a warning signal: "Danger -- Politics As Usual Ahead." Politics as usual means that we'll get the usual results. Me, I'd like to end up with something better than that, for once. And I'd suggest that people who are not lesbigay - identified could also have an interest in making that happen.
conspiracy marks the literal version of enlightenment, and to believe in the metaphor of the Internet is to accept its paranoid structure, its conspiratorial excess.
-CB, DIU 29 & 30
THESES FOR A *NEO-LUDDITE MILITIA
(if possible, try to listen to Nirvana's
Nevermind while reading text)
Ok, it's 1995 and this is the deal people: if
we love the earth we will realize that it is
diseased and that this is draining us,
psychologically. We are becoming more and
more psychotic, we want to recite the
dictionaries and memorize the T-cell counts in
our arterial streams, we have a neurotic (and
at times, contradictory) compulsion to eat
certain foods: meat and its by-products, salt
and sugar. We crave things that we think will
enable us to view/feel reality. _Reality_,
here, seen as a notion of _help_/self-help
and that what we need is macrobiotic,
molecular bouncing (and language-smashing) in
a huge way. We are/were partially destroyed by
religious wars and emotional earthquakes. We
are/were completely devastated by witch-hunt
inquisition/conversions. We were/are affected
by torture and attempted genocidal hatred,
fear and more hatred. We continue to live in
negative molecular movement, felt, still, from
centuries ago. We could agree with the
Creation Spiritualists--hiding out in their
little huts nationwide--in that, hate has
become our worst enemy and biggest roadblock
towards (please do not gasp) _peace_ and
_love_. Why is it that the sixties-to-early-
seventies era is usually touted as some crazed
love/drug/orgy-fest that served no purpose?
Why is it that this particular era is given a
sense of degradation because people actually
said words, _peace_ and _love_? Often,
these words are considered juvenile or un-
intellectual. Hatred begins with the language
and what we decide to include as the sacred
and the profane within language. Music seems
(only seems/a chimera) to perpetuate the
illusion of embracing the feelings of un-
intellectuality, i.e. peace, love, women,
_poetry_ (in many forms), challenging
communities, or many manifestations of these.
It (the hate-language) attempts to aid in
music's perpetuation of illusory _positive-
language_, however, only through controlled
sound/visual image bites. It lies within
controlled hearing/seeing/frequency space,
i.e. the car, on the radio at work, on stereos
at home, headphones on personal stereos,
computers, and more. Sure, there is _live_ or
_presence-music_, i.e. concerts, gatherings,
instrument circles--these could be
examples of the _positive-language_ and could
very well be angelic instances of _reality_
(or understanding necessary psychosis), and
yet these too fall under (or are forced under)
the mantle of hate-control. Perhaps we rely on
this control to help us forget _peace_ and
_love_. We/I?/It? believe that if we dismantle
parts of language, such as omitting all
vowels, nouns, pronouns, parts of grammar,
that we have in some way affected/effected a
meaning or a result. Perhaps on the surface
this has happened, for in classroom grammar,
we are given a set of surfacia rulings or
language legislation from which to determine
experience. *(This diatribe however
dictatorial it may appear is not a manifesto,
as such, nor a militant militia statement, nor
an ideological contruct to rear one's children
by, nor a bomb threat, by any stretch of the
grammatical, theorectical, or physiological
imagination). But let us get back to
psychosis--via language, and hence, the
A psychosis, according to our American
dictionary, is "a severe mental _dis-order_,
characterized by (the) deterioration of normal
intellectual functioning and by partial
withdrawal from reality" (American Heritage
second college ed.). Now, the problems or
enlightening aspects, of this definition:
notice that psychosis can only be
_characterized_. Psychosis is also prefigured
as a _dis-order_, seeming to elicit an "a
priori" Cartesian sense of innate _order_ in
one's brain--which has been disrupted
(apparently, disruption is not innate?).
Another problem: how have we
testing/technology/statistics) determined a
basis for _normal intellectual functioning_?
What is quite surprising, and all contained
within a juicy defintion, is that we have
somehow accepted the facialized (fascile-ized)
implications of a basis and a
_meaning_--inherent, albeit, within this
world. How did this happen? Or how does this
continue? It certainly makes the idea of hate
within language seem all too accessible and
understandable in its perpetuation--cheaply
followed. In reading about Hitler in the May
1, 1995 issue of _The New Yorker_, we realize
that we must work hard at understanding the
seemingly un-explainable hatred and evil of
the Fuhrer and all of his horrific deeds. Many
theories abound, as to the hows, the whys; the
politics of baby-killing, attempts at
genocide, and more. Is this hate-phenomenon
really difficult to explain or occluded when
we read the definition of _psychosis_? We have
set up a language that in turn has made it
significantly easier for the dictatorial
spirit to float around the minds of the
populace. When we realize the _poetics_
(_poetics_ should be taken with a grain of
reductio ad absurdum salt, here) within
language we can begin to rend the dichotomous
position of _a priori normalcy_. Hitler
certainly was a product of the very hate-
language of his own mind via schools, culture,
the world and perhaps even Charlie Chaplin.
The populace continues to live within Hitler's
same chimeraic language-existence but we
should realize the implications and the
_importance_ we have (only) _placed_ upon
language. There is nothing behind, above or
beyond the term _normal_; nothing lies beneath
the grammatical grave of _characterized_; for
_characterized_ is dead, it is the ghost of
language-hate or non-presence. We cannot
continue to enjoy watching this specter's
performances upon the necrotized stages of our
Sega Genesis constructions. These stages may
be destroyed, as in the case of the machine
some time ago, and yet, it will be much easier
to eliminate these curtains of chimera versus
a ton of steel.
Gotham's buried earth, buried in Ed Sanders save-the-frog-t shirt
-ejr, DIU 31
Playlist, WDIU (Imaginary Radio), Sandy Rock, 27 July 1995
Cesaria Evora / "Xandinha" / Cesaria Evora
Maria Da Fe / "Ai Jesus" / Fados
Leroy Jenkins / "Monkey on the Dragon" / Themes and
Improvisations on the Blues
Giuseppi Logan / "Rechid Saturday" / More
Hadj M'Hamed Elanka/"Ya Ahl Ezzine Elfassi"/Le Chaabi Vol. V
Barry Guy and the Now Orchestra / "Witch Gone Game 11/10" / Study - Witch Gong
The Hsaing Waing Orchestra / "Hsaing Waing" / Birmanie: Musique d'art
Parker - Guy - Lytton / "Identity" / Imaginary Values
Charles Gayle Quartet / "Always Born" / Always Born
The Reggie Workman Ensemble / "Ballad for silf" / Altered Spaces
Never read your own shit, because it stinks--
the recipe is too involved for it
to flow so easily whene'er we sit
intent on hatching answers for the Sphinx
like butterflies cocoonless from the knit
brow of a carpet-bagger's errant moth
or Cretans lying in a Theban broth
innoculated by Harmachis's spit.
But O! the stylus beak of distant Thoth
pecks grains of hunted gold from chaffless script
in vain; and from the ravenous crypt quoth
"Never mind" the courteous cobalt-blue-
haired Averill, armed with lettering chipped
from a cookbook dry Van Wettering knew.
This entity wishes contact with like-minded poetically inclined
human or machine intelligences. Click on *this* if so enhanced.
Otherways, representative sample follows:
-The Alterran Poetry Assemblage, DIU 31
THESES FOR A **NEO-LUDDITE @UNION
"'The Book of History has many missing pages'
murmurs the Madonna of the Middle Ages
but in between her cracks you can read
between the lines/she'd love nothing better than
to rob the Louvre blind
Baroque and complicated/her lovers never stay
it looks like Mona Lisa is having a bad day
so please, just go away"
"Perhaps the immobility of the things that
surround us is forced upon them by our conviction
that they are themselves, and not
anything else, and by the immobility of our
conceptions of them."
M. Proust _Swann's Way_
We wish to propose here, the beginning of a
dialectic surrounding the issue of the un-
voice or the un-realized or the un-heard. What
remains of this proposition and its accepted
terms has yet to be established simply because
it has never had a _presence-music chance_ to
be developed--in a utilitarian sense. Thinking
back to the first installment of the these
_Theses_, we remember the idea of _witch-hunt
conversions and inquisitions_. This scarred
and centuried event seems wiped away; as if
it were a glop of stain on the kitchen
counter-top, sopped up by an absorbent towel,
never to return, for it has been _thrown-
away_, yet transmogrified into blind
acceptance. This un-realized/sub-realized glop
or blob of refuse material seems to have
seeped, however, into the crevices of our
grammatical formica consciousness. The
inquisition-conversion continues on many
levels: even within the seemingly liberated
confines of our neo-post-posthumous-composted
1995 cybergasmic entertainment-ladened
craniums. We see that women, in particular,
have entered this cyber-spectacle, again as
manacled and tortured objects of instant
gratification and mindless/body-less
entertainment; currently, as in the past,
these objects of instant cyber-gratification
(children, shield your eyes) are silent, un-
heard and un-realized. Sure, these objects can
_talk dirty_ to you, through the screen and
straight to your neo-Platonic pants, yet,
these are solely images without realization
and are, essentially, missing or spectral
pages (ill communication) within a hate-
language text. We also see that _pater-asts_
or _mater-asts_ have entered the on-line arena
as well. This is also an un-realized,
incestuous, formative-years-love, page of
history--but with an aberrant/_normal_ twist.
For, these _cyber-paters_ and _maters_
(essentially, over 18 yrs old) rely mainly on
non-presence-grammar (or, hate-cyberlingus)--
via the electronic post-office--to communicate
their surfacia-amour offerings. **This tract
has no intentions of ameliorating gender
relations, socially constructed images,
therefrom, nor the sexual _dystopia_ of hate-
language culture. It _does_ wish to examine
the whereabouts of _missing_, squelched and
seeping language/ideas and specializations as
a counterdevice in aiding the militia and its
union against non-presence or hate-language
When we think of the hot pokers, branding
irons, emotional manacles, and royalty
cultivating its "jollies" over torture, from
the thirteenth through the twentieth century
(we must settle on the sofa of a centenary
time-frame, here, because we cannot begin to
encompass the Pantagruelean legacy of torture,
wars-in-the-name-of-religion, burnings and
drownings in this space. Not to mention the
presence of past and present
internment/concentration camps) we wonder how
this was/is/could be justified and accepted by
a general/emotionally delayed populace.
Certainly, the language and politics of fear
and hatred, perpetuated by the absence of
discoveries and new knowledge within the
secular-vernacular contributed to a
linguistically spoon-fed, attention-deficit
peasantry. The separation and delaying of the
classes and the guarding of seemingly
_specialized_ knowledge, certainly
contributed, as well, to the continuation,
perpetuation, and acceptance of a blueprint
for death-cult/ure. For separation,
essentially, a specter in and of itself,
perpetuates an idea (incongruously) of
wholeness; therefore believable, in its game-
of-wholeness. Wholeness--or completion--does
exist, perhaps, but on a purely molecular and
micro-biological level--and, only in the sense
that moving parts "bump" into each other, is
this micro level to be considered "wholeness".
We believe, that one cannot begin to
incorporate the chimera of language within the
realm of _wholeness_-through-separation. The
problem that arises, when we begin to think of
language as whole, or completed "bouncing" or
"bumping", or as a micro-biological/molecular
(finished) entity, is that this falsification
continues the separation spectacle, and hence,
hate-delusion (We think of our first
installment of the _Theses_ and the
_definition_ of _psychosis_). And, this is
where, we believe, women have fallen/were
pushed (long ago and times on times) into the
clutches of fetishistic, chimeric language
contributes to the perpetuation of the death-
rattle (inquisition/conversion) culture. The
Union believes that, although clothing should
not necessarily _matter_ or be affected by
non-presence language, that the facialized,
chiaroscuro-ed image of clothing impacts our
conception of what is _real_ or _meaningful_
(absurdum, again). The pushing of the hem-
line/shoe-heel control buttons further a
-construction of psychotic hate/fear-language.
These ghosts of the _fetish_ are difficult to
exorcise (ask Linda Blair), for, like the
cyber-gasmic men and women on our monitors,
they _appear_ to function at the micro-
bio/molecular level. We believe that high-
heels, hem-lines or waist-lines have no
molecular meaning (or, fully realized
molecular _meaning_) and that hairless women
and men are a continuation of a ritual
separation within the philosophy of the
inquisition-conversion over-mind. Of course,
this is simply a thesis and we, at the Union,
believe that _the clothes certainly do not
make the woman/man/household pet_, for, this
would, certainly be, yet another, ritual hate-
separation within the very borders we wish to
dissolve, overcome, or re-conceptualize, with
the assistance of our resident therapists.
This is why, within these tracts (we like to
think of "tract" in the anatomical sense
versus a separationist religious or political
pamphlet sense: "a system of organs and
tissues that together perform one specialized
function"), the reader will find mutated or
changed language; words that may not be words,
by standard dictionaries. This is done in
hopes of raising the spectral consciousness of
a _presence-music-language_. It is at this
point in the Third Installment that the Union
must reconvene and gather fresh energy,
vegetables and ideas for perhaps, a
continuation of our exploration into the
problems and potential solutions of our
@The Union has amended its name (viz.
_Militia_) due to the current hate-language
ministrations within some political/national
arenas that have associated with such a term.
Yet, the very usage of such a term, as may be
done at any time during the installments, in
conjunction w/_Union_, exposes the very
spectacled incongruity of the term itself. The
Union, as well, will continue to embrace the
_elan vital_ of a non-violent _standing army_;
_reserves_ that _further_ the exploration of
re-conceptualized (or, re-constituted)
linguistic, philosophic, and at times,
Gens. Nedd Ludd and
(sit in for the Capt.
As you read this, ~The Seven by Nine Squares~ have already begun to dissolve; documents and references are daily being crippled or erased until the site has disappeared.
This document has come to us from afar. Its
contents, though well known in some circles,
are still relatively obscure, and their references
even more so. Due to the elliptical nature of
the text, and the fact that scholarship and trans-
lations have only recently begun and are still
underway, we've chosen to present the text
in installments. The reader should be aware
that the first fragment (here translated by a host
of our finest professors) does by no stretch of
the imagination yet constitute an "official
document." The names have been left intact, and
despite the apparent correspondences, we've
found little evidence to suggest that they refer
to previously known figures (alive or dead). The
date of the fragment is not yet certain, but we
believe it's composition to have been collective,
and to have transpired in the years immediately
following the collapse of the Oceanic state Phthongos.
All quotations, in the following fragment, are
believed to have been taken from a book entitled
"Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Post-
modernism, and The Poetics of Place," by George
Lipsitz. The title is provisional.
From THE ANNALS OF MULTIKULTI
Once upon an age, while wandering, we came
upon a book. This group of us, nestled in among
the rocks and detritus of centuries (this once man-
made cave now rife with unacknowledged, in-
ordinately veral spirits -- animals and other noises
whose names, both taboo and tumescent (so
much so that we'd chant them secretly, at night,
when they'd force themselves upon us, and when
we'd knew there'd be nobody alive to listen)) we
found a book. Not easy was it to unearth --
clinging to it's pages like barnacles were ancient
(indeed so ancient) musics whose ever insistent
voices we recognized as those of, if not our own,
then others we knew and could tell had plodded
with troubling thirst through deserts and the
war-torn environs we'd come to call (if only
ironically) our home. No, we dug it out with
fury this book, flinging to the side our sisters
and brothers so hungry were we for words. And
we read it (though we scarcely understood), we
poured desperately over its pages, hour after hour,
tirelessly, seeking to divine the meaning behind
what we knew (or what I need say now we assumed)
to be its veil of trivia, it's careful (because we
knew it'd been written in a time when people
still believed the apocalypse impossible) and
discriminate sidestepping of potentially volatile --
indeed potentially explosive -- potholes and pre-
And yet we were foiled. All attempts proved
futile. Indeed, such statements as:
Long histories of avant-garde art
and vanguard politics demonstrate
the overwhelming failure of
efforts to transform society by imagining
that we can stand outside it, by seeking
transcendent critiques untainted by domi-
nant ideologies and interests...
made with no irony other than that the subject matter
we knew it to be embracing (those very songs which
kept us warm in exile) referenced such "long histories"
of "imagining," such "outsides" the bitterness of which
we ourselves continually tasted (though we knew better
than to equate bitterness with failure), served preliminary
notice that we were dealing not with kin (as we had
previously hoped), but rather with artifactual politics,
what we knew, as we struggled to keep warm, to be a
document of precisely that academic fashion (peculiar
to the late twentieth century) we'd come to know as post-
Not yet convinced, still hungry (if only because
our appetite for sober and learned thought, coupled
with a dearth of information in any of our sources'
known libraries regarding 'Bhangramuffin,' 'Reggae,
' Parisian Rai,' and 'Chicano Punk,' intrigued us) we
read on, in hopes that among the ruins of what we
now knew to be a circumstantial (and somewhat
arbitrary) application of once-trendy politics, we could
find a kernel of knowledge sufficient to forward our
own prolific (if unpublished) musings in the phenom-
onology of music.
"Here, listen to this!" shouted one attendant
with excitement. Having stumbled upon a quote,
the opinionated yet reserved gentleman who we'd
come to know as Cricket, began to read out loud:
The rhythm was very militant to me
because it was like marching, the sound
of an army on the move. We lost Malcolm,
we lost King and they thought they had
blotted out everybody. But all of a sudden
this new art form arises and the militancy
is there in the music.
"Max Roach!" Cricket revealed. "He's one of us!" We
read it again and again. "He's talking about L.L. Cool J."
We read on:
"L.L. Cool J. doesn't seem to like political
music," (Roach) later explained... "but the
politics was in the drums."
"Same as it always was," exclaimed a misanthropic
Robert Browning, referencing a chapter we'd
skimmed that dealt with the appropriations of
"other" cultures by the once popular David Byrne, a
"Talking Head." We laughed. "Same," replied Cricket,
as it ever will be."
We continued, inspired by what we thought
might be an inroad to the obscure and esoteric logic
at work behind the banal surface of this estranged
document. We thumbed through page after page of
explanatory drivel, generalized sociology, and
poor sentence structure, our urge towards knowledge
growing more desperate and more hopeless with each
word. "What the hell happened to Max Roach?," ex-
claimed Black Hole Sun finally (he'd busied himself
during the more obviously silly parts of the text
thumbing through the cassettes we'd discarded
earlier, mumbling to seemingly no-one in particular
the words on their labels: "Tanganyika Strut," "The
Stratospheric Canticles," "Outside, My Strange Attractor..."
... to be continued...
The Ain'thropology Dept.
from THE ANNALS OF MULTIKULTI
"Que Se Rinda Tu Madre!" exclaimed Nicolai (the
bastard son of our beloved late comrade Kabulia,
lovely Kabulia, whose distant voice seemed still
to awaken snakes in our veins and to set our thoughts
to dancing). His life had been troubled: we knew
it was neither easy (O! how we knew!), nor indeed
often possible, to survive such conditions. At such
an early age, at that very moment when investigation
and investment coincide to a create the epiphanic vision
of both what one is and what one wants to become
(though he had, as we had, no way of knowing that
such coincidence -- like two stars colliding and failing
to produce a more magnificent light -- often takes one
to a placer for which neither that which one had studied
nor that one thought one could add to what one had
studied is adequate preparation), he realized: He was
not up to such a task. Or at least, if he was, he was not
up to talking the world out of its expectations that he,
like the other boys and girls, become one of what
the world thought of as "us" (though we know now
what "us" is really the "them"that was meant when
No system is worthwhile that doesn't
contain the the principle of one's otherness.
(editor's note: the parenthetical statement with which
this passage concludes is not closed. We can find nothing
in the original text that suggests a complimentary, closing
parenthesis, and thus, against the better judgment of a
number of our finest professors, we've chosen to offer here,
in our preliminary translation, the textual innovation (com-
mon, as far as we know, only to vanguard poets and other
malcontents) of an open parenthesis.)
Nicolai had shattered the silence with his pronouncement.
"Whose mother?" answered Cricket, "What the hell are you
talking about, man?" We hadn't noticed Nicolai's private
conversation, his consternate stare, the fact that during our
readings of what we now knew to be a document of less than
profound (if occasionally knowledgeable) fiction, he'd been
sitting almost motionless, away from the group, confronting
what it seemed were the demons Cricket released when,
recognizing the authenticity of the tapes we unearthed, began
to hum melodies from what we confirmed (though only much
later), were the recordings there embedded.
"Que se rinda tu Madre!" Nicolai repeated, with renewed
enthusiasm, adding, "The Earth... is not a satellite... of the moon,
but rather... a...a... the product of a double-star system," then,
with a pronounced severity we knew he reserved for only the
most decisive of proclamations: "The moon is our mother and
we've failed to tame her."
We'd heard of a people who assumed the existence of a
single earth, and that moths died in their lamps, and that even
the larvae of moths could be found crawling across the ceilings
of their homes, drawn to the vibrant light in their kitchens.
We'd heard of both satellites and sunships, of spaceships and
the autopsies of aliens on national TV. We knew of Roswell,
Fresno, Providence, Spokane, Ottowa, The Bronx. But it had
been some time since we'd heard of Managua, and those
maddened bands of poet warriors dancing through the
mountains, afraid of nothing less than mediocrity. "Who is it,
Nicki?" asked Robert Browning, "and why have they come?"
>to be continued<
The Ain'thropology Dept.
For your present it shall be enough for you to wonder at the
possibility that all of you are also here with me, and to begin to
employ creative imagination to acclimate yourselves to the idea
that you are always in at least two places at once.
-Harpo, DIU 33
THESES FOR A POST-**LUDDITE-THOUGH-STILL-IN
(attempting to explain GOD when, puzzlingly,
it may also mean "Guaranteed Overnight
"It is by no means rare" said Voltaire, "for
a person under strong emotional stress to see
something that does not exist."
* * *
"St. Gregory the Great reports that the devil
turned himself into a head of lettuce one day,
and that a young nun ate him in her salad."
**dedicated to Noam Chomsky & Lenny Bruce**
What we wish to further and unregrettably
elaborate upon here, is the continuance
of a dialogic (though the chorus has not
yet spoken) involving the un-seen or the
un-realized in language. We wish to become
conscious of the stratification (not to be
confused w/stratificational grammar--though
this is related) of language and how
it perpetuates general and specific
misunderstandings [as stated in other
installments]. The Union's desire here
being, to dis/cover and expose hate-language
phenomena. We have a critical need now, at our
cyclical-time-luddite union--(**keeping in
mind that we use "luddite" here as a red poppy
of remembrance to those who fought/smashed
to save their agrarian/craftspeople jobs, due
to the power of the machine. It is in this
sense [versus an anti-technological sense] of
the "luddite" that the continual smashing of
certain linguistic constructions may come into
play)--to expose these constructions of
violence--through non-violent means-to-
invisible-ends. For We temporarily believe
that these constructions *have* been used as
violent-means-to-ends. We feel that if the
layering of language purports to convey a
positiveness and seemingly gilded edge--then,
in a _sutra-sense_ [that is, via teachings]
there must be a flip-side to this structural
lingua; that this karmic condition is
something that could be dangerous (or useful)
within the sphere of animism. (*btw--the
Union, having voted on the subject, decides
that it does not wish to adhere to _singular_
notions of quasi-religious iconography, via
its use of such terms as _souls_, etc. and
that the use of such terms, can be seen as
points of seeming reference; the reader is
encouraged to spin off into her/his own
independent linguistic or spiritual space)--if
not recognized/realized. Of course, we see
that a tract such as this may also appear to
perpetuate the very philosophy that We wish to
expose (_influence_ and the problem of memory
perhaps, impossible to "do away with")...that
this may be unavoidable...remembering, that
the long-term goal is _awareness_,
_right-mindfulness_ and most importantly,
_reverse causality_. Implicit within this
embrace is an understanding of the perpetual
_suffering_ (the Sacred
Heart/Kerouac/grandmothers wielding rosaries),
within the universe (imaginary or otherwise)
and the need to come to terms with its
existence & transitoriness. Language--via the
church, bureaucratic organizational
structures, and land-ownership (modern and
postmodern manifestations) --attempts to rid
us of these structural shadowings, relayed to
the populace via the commercial chanting of
its charlatans. The 4th (international)
installment will therefore be devoted to a
reversed structural construction of sorts,
involving the rearrangement of words and
names. It is hoped that through this
dissection and the reversal of letters,
that the Union may better come to terms with
the potential violence of chimera and
shadow..of lightness and darkness. The method
can be seen as a usage of the *empirical* but
only in a sense that this use of the empirical
may be a reverse empiricism: reversed but not
necessarily *proving* a particular knowledge.
We, at the Union/Militia could agree with the
Buddhists (many threads), in that, the path to
a greater language awakening lies within an
understanding of its _right-cognition_ and an
_awakeness_ to the capability of _awakeness_:
--a [not exemplary] list of rhyming/other
words,names, palindromic constructions, and
what this could possibly mean
for a culture desiring to couch/hide its
beneficence; resonance being a *Law of
rock dock/gen. brock/lock/ticktock
.....the list goes on..simply..the point of
the matter be: to _think_ of the layers and
the potentially deadly _imp_ of implication
[think of this while watching your next
nationally televised political address or Tom
Brokaw's haircut] and to see the point of
non-implication in the words,the letters, the
names, the kabbalistic forms, the
music/non-music of IT...hear or see the
warp and woof of language's looms/the smoke
and mirrors/the magical enterprise. We do
not wish to get caught up in divinity's (or, a
demon's) web, nor to _use_ language as a right
or a wrong (though some have attempted to
prove the existence of "Laws"). We wish to
re-cognize the spinning of such webs as
important, but only as they _further_ an
understanding of _right mindfulness_ or
enlightened engagement. We wish to realize or
recognize the _capability_ or the impotence of
this hobgoblin called "language".
until our next meeting,
Rep. Collin de Plancy,
guest speaker & author of
Dictionary of Demonology
This feedback or loop (pelican klinebottle) of thought into action , action into thought supports Doris Lessings dictum that idealism & nominalism or spirituality & materialism are at one in the sense that they come out of each other & that both contain the other (somewhat/partially).
-to be continued, DIU 33
I was in an old private library or the office
of a retired academic and on a top shelf found
a dictionary of modern Arabic quotations--except
the book was well over a hundred
years old. Looked up something Olson says in one
of his essays, which I couldn't figure out and didn't
expect to find, and there it was!--"d'ur waaguntknett"
(except that wasn't it, but it was _like_ that,
some variation of Wagenknecht, who wrote the
the book on John
Greenleaf Whittier I almost
bought at the Old
Curiosity Shop yesterday). The
dictionary gave the phrase in Greek and in German
English translation (no
Arabic) and an illustration that made no sense,
_b'gottendragtooth_ (or something)
and a strange
nonsense attribution. The book was green
with a gold palm
tree embossed on cover. I was happy.
--Greta W.F. Hegel
Subject: chemical dust
Last evening I huddled near the heater to do battle with the -20 chill we're suffering here, and listened to NPR for some fragment or juicy tidbit concerning the DuPont murder case, anything the papers may've ignored, a quote or reminiscence, a speck of retrospective dust, some sunlit mote of truth amongst the weirdness. Why this story would titillate me so, I haven't the slightest, but its reverberations outside its own journalistic limit are worth thinking about: overseer of a napalm/dishsoap fortune, patron of upper division wrestling program (some half-million per year, evidently), loose nut of a boss who'd launch into tirades without provocation at anyone within reach, details like hairline fractures in the skull between US and the FAMOUS. A wrestler in DuPont's circle spoke the other day (post-murder, but pre-capture, whilst DuP. was still hiding in his house) of DuP. taking him aside once, to ask if he (the wrestler) heard the voices in the wall, saw the figures there. Some sunlit mote of truth. If I use the abbreviation "DuP." enough, doesn't it eventually become "Duppy"? What then? The fascination, for me, is the language of course, but also the variegations (bon mot?) of our breathing. One thinks of latticed air, how a certain class of deep oceanic sponges are simply conjoined specks of glass blowin' in the wind from settlement to settlement. There is so much of this matter in the air that we must be, to some extent (and the extension's upper limit is imaginary) made of glass. Breakable cyborgs, if you wish, without the worry of electronics. That's a sideline issue, tho (as I implied in last posting: the most outlandish thing we can comprehend is merely biology's lower limit): what I've really been thinking is much more mundane. What was the poor man breathing all his life? He was a DuPont! A child, no doubt, potentially exposed to more specialized toxins than we care to enumerate, witness to a society of laboratories, heir perhaps to more than the family fortune. Heir, perhaps, to an extra chromosome. It sounds silly, I know, but what doesn't anymore? Ed Sanders says in the intro to The Family that his book began with a dissatisfaction , a want of information outside the orbit of the case itself, that is: the cells that conjoin to cause a killer. Who was the weird spiculed man who heard voices who saw namesake duppies in the wall who finally shattered and slayed an Olympic goldmedal wrestler and hid in his chemical house til the Man finally shut off his boiler and when he stepped outside to fix it nabbed him?
yr duppy conqueror,
Mary did not fully realize her tokenism until she was
interviewed before flying out of Oregon, she may not have
wasted time at the college, Mary learned the "moral of the
story" experiencing the problem of nebulous "total dispersal"
taking note of how it becomes clearer through the fog,
warming the fur and wetting the skin....
- par, )(..)()()()()..()e()..()()()(..(j
)(..)()()(..()(r)()..()(())()()(), DIU 33 1/3
A POETICS OF CRITICISM
by Edgar Allen Poe
_A Poetics of Criticism_, edited by Juliana Spahr, Mark
Wallace, Kristin Prevallet & Pam Rehm. Buffalo: Leave Books,
This hefty book is a curiosity in its way. Indeed,
there is something so very singular about it that we have
been led to read it through deliberately and thoughtfully,
with the view of solving the mystery which envelops it. It
is from the press which has produced Nick Piombino's Two
Essays, and Tom Beckett's Economies of Pure Expenditure:
A Notebook, two volumes we warmly commend.
In regard to _A Poetics of Criticism_, the informed
reader, who takes it up, will, of course, be inclined to
wince with embarrasment, upon perceiving the title, and
recalling Mr. Bernstein's recent volume of similar name. This
will be the reader's _first_ impulse. If he proceed so far,
however, as to skim the Introduction, his eye will be
arrested by a certain air of _literature-ism_ (we must be
permitted to coin an odd word for an odd occasion) which
pervades and invigorates the pages. Regarding with surprise
this discrepancy--between the apparent polish of the one,
and the horribly _ad captandum_ character of the other--he
will be induced to finish the perusal of the book, and, we
answer for it, will be thoroughly mystified before he gets
well to the end. _Second_, then, he will find an exceeding
difficulty, nearly amounting to impossibility, in making up
his mind in regard to the merit or demerit of the work. If,
however, he be somewhat in a hurry, there can be little
doubt that he will terminate his examination with a hearty,
perhaps even an enthusiastic, approval.
The truth is that the volume abounds in good things.
We may safely say that, in a gathering of like randomness,
we never before met with an equal radiancy of fine wit, so
well commingled with scholar-like observation and profound
thought--thought sometimes luminously and logically, and
always poetically, expressed. The first difficulty arising in
the mind of the critic is that these good things are
suspiciously _super_-abundant. He will now pass on to the
observation of some inaccuracies of _adaptation_. He will
then call to mind certain _niaseries_ of sentiment
altogether at warfare with the prevailing tone of the
book--and, finally, he will perceive, although with somewhat
greater difficulty, the evidence of a radical alteration and
bepatching of the language--the traces of an excessive
_limae labor_. He will thus take offence at the
disingenuousness which has entrapped him into momentary
applause; and, while he cannot deny that the work, such as
the world sees it, has merit, he will still pronounce it, in
almost every instance, the excessively-elaborated
production of some partially-educated party, possessed with
a rabid ambition for the reputation of a wit and _savant_,
and who, somewhat unscrupulous in the mode of attaining
such reputation, has consented to clip, cut, and most
assiduously intersperse throughout each entry, wholesale,
the wit, the wisdom, and the form, of Gertrude Stein, of
Wittgenstein, of Benjamin, of Barthes, of Blanchot, and of
Levinas--even of Howe and of Hejinian,--with occasional
draughts (perhaps at second-hand) from the rich coffers of
Cage or Mac Low-- of Darragh, of Andrews, of the author
of _Jack the Modernist_, or of Dahlberg, the friend of
Olson who wrote with such delightful bombast _The Flea of
Sodom_." We may be pardoned also for an allusion--which is
enough--to such wealthy storehouses as _The
L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book_, the "Alchemical Journal" of Kelly,
_Maldorer_, of Tedlock and Rothenberg, and the _Glas_ of
The construction here given is the most obvious, and
indeed the only one, which can be put upon the volume now
before us, and upon the other efforts of the same pens.
They betray the hand of the diligent adaptor of others'
wit, rather than the really full mind of the educated and
studious man or woman of general letters. True erudition--
by which term we here mean simply to imply much diversified
reading--is certainly discoverable--is positively indicated-
-only in its ultimate and total _results_. The mere
grouping together of fine things from the greatest
multiplicity of the rarest works, or even the apparently
natural interweaving into any composition, of the
sentiments and manner of these works, is an attainment
within the reach of every moderately-informed, ingenious,
and not indolent man, having access to any ordinary
collection of good books. The only available objection to
what we have urged will be based upon the polish of the
style. But we have already alluded to traces of the _limae
labor_--and this labor has been skilfully applied. Beyond
doubt, the volume has undergone a minute supervision and
correction by persons whose habits and education have
rendered them very thoroughly competent to the task.
We have spoken somewhat at length of the
_authorship_ of _A Poetics of Criticism_, because
ingenuities of this species are by no means very common.
Few men and women are found weak enough to perpetrate
them to any extent. We have said little, however, in
respect to the book itself, _as it stands_--and this little
has been in its favor. The publication will be read with
interest, and may be read, generally speaking, with profit.
Some of the _niaiseries_ to which we alluded just now are
sufficiently droll--being even oddly at variance with the
assumed spirit of the whole work. We are told, among other
things, that writing "is a way to reach imagination, that
place outside order and reason," is also "a way of staying
open to the flux,"--that "It is by resisting grammar ["the
study of the structure of language"] that the poem rises
from the inside of gramarye ["occult knowledge and
learning"],"--that "The act of writing is the enactment of
desire,"--that "a flaring forth from within the
interdependence of signs necessarily singes the limits of
language,"--that "Nostalgia, like hysteria, once commonly
treated as a feminine pathology, must now be claimed as a
method,"--that "Sex is a nightmare of effects: narrative
discontinuity, abrupt changes in position and lighting,
unexplained losses, confused duration--a writing with the
primitivism of a stag film,"*--that there is no better way
to examine a system than to look at what it expels."
The effect of such fine advice can be readily
conceived. It will be taken by contraries, as sure as
_artistes_ have brains. No one of that much-injured race
will now venture to stay "open to the flux," lest he or she
be suspected of having derived his or her style from no
better source than _A Poetics of Criticism_. We shall have
a revolution in such matters--a revolution to be remedied
only by another similar volume. As for its editors--should
they compile it--we wish them no worse fate than to be
condemned to its perpetual perusal until such time as they
shall succeed in following their own "flaring forth" beyond
"order and reason," the better to examine the nostalgic
"gramarye" of their own "system."
* The logic of the metaphor bears further comment,
being indicative of the quality of thought this _Poetics_
habitually relies on: Sex, obeying no rule, serves here as a
model for writing--a writing whose peculiar quality is
further explained by comparison to the "primitivism of a
stag film." Are we then to presume that stag films give an
accurate representation of sex? Or could it be that this
critic knows as little about sex as writing?
the touching idea of living, that _we_ are
the key to the encryption. Or, that _I_ am
- elytra, DIU 33 2/3
Subject: the amerikan diet
apparently, in the 1950s, a certain pharmaceutical company developed a diet pill which was IMPLANTED with tapeworm eggs. I didn't ask which company. My instinct says Lilly (linking such a conspiracy squarely with the Quayle family), but my imagination says... DuPont.
The tapeworm, barely cephalic, but brutal as anything in Maldoror, can cause a 500-lb human to die of starvation without losing much weight. My point? Go to school, kiddies, for there await you many wonders, most of which you never realized you'd need to know.
I'm out. & I mean that.
Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.
-Davos, Switzerland, DIU 34
Keynote Address, NYC Talks
Experimental Poetry Society of America
New York City Friday, March 29, 1996
Let me add my words of welcome to new work, and to this unconventional gathering.
As the saying goes--a funny thing happened on the way to language. Or, more accurately, a wonderful thing happened on the way to beating one's brains apart about what next to write. We have so stirred the interests of young experimentalists that we have the largest unconvention in this generation's history.
That will cause some inconveniences and some crowding, but we will do everything possible to make this generation the vital and historic event it will be--marking a rebirth of the avant-garde movement in America.
It is good to be back reading new work--which is my resting place--and which in fact and in spirit, in many of the most important ways, is also the homeland of the American experimental movement.
Here my life as an EPSA member and cheerleader began. And I come here today determined that this movement will grow stronger and regain its rightful place as the people's tribune in the places of government power-- and in the face of corporate power.
Brothers and sisters, we have come to New York City for one fundamental purpose, and that is to set the course for the future of the federation, for the revival of America's working experimentalists, and for the restoration of America as the leading avant-garde power in the world.
We are here on behalf of 130 working poets who believe in something as general as an oppositional poetics, in its power to transform the American poem, and in its role as a proud, powerful and humanizing force for a better aesthetic standard.
We believe in what this great movement has accomplished in the past century and in what it can accomplish as we approach the next one.
130 strong. Poets of at least several colors and creeds. Women and men who make common cause because they know what it is to labor in obscurity for the good of the language, because they know what it means to fight hard among themselves and because, in today's savage economy, they know that's the only way you get a job, or keep a job, or secure _le me'tal riche_ of literary prestige.
This week on behalf of the scores of American poets who want and need jobs . . .
Let us, together, resolve to grow in number.
Let us, together, resolve to save experimental poetry's agenda from the cold iron fist of the conservative mainstream.
Let us, together, resolve to have this federation seen and understood as it is--as the champion of the most important writing in America--the men and women whose hard work makes American readers work hard every day.
And let us, together, resolve to open up our leadership so that the face of the avant-garde movement truly will be the face of America.
Let no one question our determination. The fundamental fact is that poetic associations are absolutely essential to economic and social progress. Without them, the poets of this nation will never obtain their rightful measure of dignity and respect, and their fair share of the imaginative wealth they produce. America cannot prosper and cannot shine as a beacon of hope for the world without a strong multicultural experimental movement that brings us back to the defining truth of our national being--the ideal of formal freedom for all.
The vast majority of Americans know that values like risk-taking and impenetrability do not flourish naturally in the climate of the literary economic jungle. They know that these values are not handed down from on high--that most publishers do not give a better deal to poets out of the goodness of their hearts. It is only when poets themselves band together and demand what is rightfully theirs that the wealth they produce gets converted into royalties and not remainders.
So above all else, let solidarity be our pledge.
It's true that we come here today divided on the issue of who will lead us into the next millenium. But let there be no question that when we leave this place to carry on our work, we must do so with our divisions healed or at least exacerbated, our strength enhanced, and our federation more united, by force or proxy, than ever before.
No matter what your feelings about this gathering--no matter how you intend to vote on the leadership question--let us always remember that our adversaries are not here in this room. They are out there--in the smug, anti- intellectual editorial suites of publishers and department lounges of universities that are increasingly hiring idiot versifiers for good jobs that you and I will never get.
Our enemies are the tastemakers who intimidate the weak thinkers among us--who force poet-teachers to adjunct hither and yon in search of a living wage. Our real enemies are the legions of journalists and mandarin reviewers whose stock in trade is showing readers how they need never bother with the task of reading poetry.
Backing up all of them are the reactionaries who--for the time being and for the time being only--have taken control of the MFA workshops and are hell-bent on destroying all that our movement has fought and struggled for across the generations.
The members of this "mean team" know exactly which side they are on. They are on the side that wants to keep working poets out of the limelight in order to push their own stock up. And they have an agenda to do just that-- by returning us to the dark days of so-called new-critical formalism, when conservative poetics ruled unchecked in this country and the literary royalists could do whatever they pleased.
We will not let them have their selfish way. We will not tolerate their campaign of contempt for working experimentalists.
We will not let them enact the ban on constructivist forms. We will not let them repeal the new sentence. We will not let them repeal the tenets of projective verse. We will not let them snuff out the Segue Foundation. We will not let them belittle prizes and awards such as the Sun and Moon Poetry Contest, which give a modest boost to younger poets.
As our movement grows, we must also address another major challenge, and that is the question of how we can become an increasingly powerful engine of progressive change in our society.
In an era when gossip tidbits have a way of becoming front-line issues-- when readers' anger toward self-aware writing is on the rise, and when race-, gender-, and class-based polarization among readers looms--this aesthetic movement must refocus our membership on the critical economic issues--on jobs and readings and book distribution and reviews. Let's not let them get lost in the present wilderness of hype, backlash and abstruse politics. I firmly believe that we can restore the faith of America's readers in the new American writing by showing them not what divides them, but what unites them--and what unites them is the fight for a better read.
We simply have to reach our readers, educate them, help them discover the commonality of their linguistic inheritance, and help them focus on the coming publication season and on buying books that will buzz the synapses of the hard-working majority.
Nineteen-ninety-six is a time when the decisions of our readership will set the course of our movement for a new century.
But this is a time of decision for the oppositional poetics movement, as well.
To be sure, on the critical poetic issues of the day, we know where we stand, we know which side we are on and we know who our friends are. On the goals and aims of this federation, on our vision for American poetry, there is no real dispute.
But the time has come to decide where this movement is headed and how our federation will inspire and lead poetry's renewal in the 21st Century. How do we change this movement so that vigorous manifestoes once again are seen and heard as the authentic voice of poetics? How do we change so that the avant-garde is winning again?
Winning the allegiance of America's poetry readers, so that we can grow and flourish and better shape them. Winning the support of the public at large, so that we can bring constructive change to our arts funding mechanisms. Winning teaching jobs and aesthetic battles in the press-- these are our purposes and priorities. On these great questions, we will not retreat, excuse, pause, or equivocate.
But to restore this federation to its rightful place at the center of poetic vitality, we must make the right choice today.
We must build a movement that is broadly reflective of the aesthetic spectrum of the contemporary avant-garde, and serves its interests always.
The struggles of 10 and 20 years ago--the great talks series and the residencies, the publications and readings--are shining moments in poetic history. But I tell you we are living in a fool's paradise if we think for a moment that we can simply tear a page out of that book and use it to set the course for the remainder of the 1990s and beyond.
The avant-garde rhetoric of old is comforting and stirring. For us and for critic-activists, it makes the pulse beat faster and raises our spirits.
But for scores of writers who want progress and improvement in their lives without increasing the amount of struggle they already feel, it's too often a call to arms they cannot and will not answer.
Raising the decibel level--without exercising the mind and without building the political muscle to show that we know what we mean and we mean what we say--is a prescription for disaster. We have to think and target before we organize events, magazines, contests, junkets. Otherwise, we will marginalize this movement and consign it to the fringes of literary production for generations to come.
We must worry less about blocking bridges such as "narrative," "lyric," "absorbency" and so on, and worry more about building bridges to the rest of poetry's readers. We must enlist the support of members of the reading public, not inconvenience as many of them as possible. Our purpose, as I see it, is not to break down the literary system, but to make it work for working experimentalists.
To prevail in this cause, we must do what is right, even when it is hard; but we must not decide to engage in a fight simply for the sake of having one.
This federation can lead, innovate and inspire. This federation can win. This federation can summon the collective insight of its best and brightest-- and forge dynamic approaches to our greatest challenges.
It can and it must find the means to support every writer locked in the struggle to stretch the mind, and it must ensure that no alternative poet is ever left unreviewed and that no fellow-traveler remains unenlisted. It can and must devote every resource to the fulfillment of its oldest bedrock principle--solidarity--without which we are nothing.
But this movement cannot move forward as long as Language Poetry is viewed by some as the cause of every problem that afflicts writing today and, at the same time, as the theoretical wall beyond which no passage is possible.
This, my brothers and sisters, is the path of least resistance, and we will pay a steep price if we choose to take it. To survive and succeed, we must spend less time talking and listening to heroic elders and more time talking and listening to ourselves.
If this movement is to be rebuilt, it will be rebuilt from the ground up-- by creating the broadest possible support behind a program of progressive change, and not by allowing a few to don the mantle of "cutting-edge experimentalism," proclaim the way forward, and expect others to follow.
The essential strength of this federation has always been with its journeymen and journey-women. There is no savior waiting in the wings. There is no plumed knight who will shatter the literary power structure with the force of words alone. There is only a great deal of work to do--tough, gritty work like providing theoretical umbrellas for seemingly irreconcilable poetic projects, writing manifestoes that aim high and swing low, and forging, as the much-vilified Pound taught us, an effective role for poetry in the political culture of our country--a role for poetry and of poetry, making our own considered judgments about which ideas may be worthy of our appropriation.
I suggest we get down to it.
Hundreds depend on us, whether they know it or not, to help build a better small-press community, with better venues, in a better, more decent and more truly human literary marketplace.
If we don't do it, no one else will.
We--you, me and 130 others--are the strongest moral force in this nation of writers, arguing every day for the rights of all to write with dignity and live in decency.
If we don't do it, no one else will.
We can and will, through our organizing efforts, lift up the conditions of work for the hundreds who join our ranks--and we will, thereby, as we have in the past, improve the lives and conditions of many hundreds more as they move to the higher standards we build.
If we don't do it, no one else will.
We can and will, through our political struggles and our unacknowledged legislative action, reform this nation of nothing but poetry and make it one in which the successful will join hands with the newly emerging, and the uncertain and the neglected and the past their prime will be cared about and cared for.
If we don't do it, no one else will.
Together--you, me and 130 others--let's lift up poetry and give it back its strength. Let's lift up this nation and give it back its soul. Thank you.
Subject: by way of (the shapers, or was that...?)
_from_ The Figures
are a kind of fixation, supernumerary entity
of an impure mathematics, the whirl
into which distinction this very being
is elided, resides. Their colours coded,
spelt through the leaves of a late autumn day
or, funnily enough, lips shaded to a rainbow
series of consumer demand and prefabricated
need. The absolute mass of inertia doubled
over in laughter at those lineaments of sublimated
desire and the realization of the correlation.
Here a flag flags, there an encrypted call is heard.
The answer _dances_, is that it is
processed as a bouncing chorus line
of mimes. The swift numbers running from
the sculpted air each configures. This confabulation
guided by a sublimed expression of an argument I cannot
remember. The wave forms (and) slip(s) away a way
the human mind can remain.
In the powers of light, exponential, the raised
surface of that formulation, this
book of changes.
The Alterran Poetry Assemblage
With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand miles closer to globular cluster 13 in the constellation Hercules, and still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no such thing as progress.
-RKF, DIU 35
Subject: expanding matrices
Dream 11 Feb 96
"..walls of its cell grow larger/as in an outrageous dream.."
Sat down in large lecture hall to take Biology exam, for which I'd prepared meticulously. So much so it seemed I could see thru my own skin, identify the multitudes within. Knowledge= transluscence. I ran my finger along organs, nerves, tissues, cell walls. Fingers came out covered in glyphs, which were mesodermally-derived answers. The body itself a bioencyclopedia. Graze anatomy. I was practically weightless with the ejection or rejection of disproved hypotheses. Knowledge= serial thinning. Walked an infinite bloodpath to the palace, the Tower, yellow brick road pseudopodially navigated. I'd lost my eyes. Who needs 'em? Not the earthworm I'd become. A burrower is all the scholar need be.
But when the exam was set in front of me, I knew something had gone horribly askew. It wasn't the multiple-choice footrace we'd been led to expect. In fact, there were only blank spaces to be filled with the answers to questions we'd be provided in a moment, via the ominous overhead/screen (what it meant, I realized now, to be "screened"). The good doctor explained that we'd be shown a series of slides, the organisms or animals upon which we'd be asked to identify by phyla, &c. Still the fear did not come: tho this would be a considerable challenge, close study had prepared me for a good stab at such identification. I could see thru skin. Let the games begin. He clicked on the machine & light shot thru the first image. It was a simple enough beast we saw, & began to log our answer. No sooner than we began, however, the still picture developed a perceivable pulse. Tho the room itself was still, one sensed the warning signs of a temblor. As I struggled to keep the image at rest in my mind, it commenced to undergo a startling series of biomorphisms. Pseudopodia became recognizable human arms became hooves became the lining of a gut wall, all the while the organism maintaining a smiling "face". At the front, the good doctor's voice a distant but shrill metronome. "Remember taxonomic hierarchy." Even the word remember became re : member, itself undergoing a sort of peristalsis, sick pulse, intermediate leprosy ending in nightmarish reformation. My finger was no more on the pulse, no more in the pie, no more on the trigger. It was itself severing. The images kept morphing, kept on truckin' like the invisible world was meant to do. What should it care for the student, for the taxa set in stone? He'd change the slide at reasonable intervals, leaving us to identify the last image of the organism left in our memory. The exam continued for hours but seemed to move backward & forward in time, as if we were witness to past & present simultaneously (or the simultanaeity of past/present), to the process by which the Pre-Cambrian points a bony finger at the Post-Atomic. Its smiling "face". Look out yer window to see the flukes swimming past. We visited black lakes, visited Chernobyl, visited space, spores, & the cradle of creation. Visited the world so fast, in fact, it became nonsensical to write a journal, which is what this "exam" had so clearly become an exhortation to do. The last instruction may indeed have been to identify the phylum of the Creator. It didn't much matter: we'd all dissolved.
Playlist, Tanganyika Strut, KUSP-Santa Cruz, 3-7-96
David Murray Big Band/ Istanbul/ David Murray Big Band Conducted by
Lawrence "Butch" Morris
Andre Jaume/ Ballade/ Musique Por 8: L'OC
M'Mah Sylla (Le Rossignol de Guinee)/ Loukhore/ Au Coeur de Paris
Adama Diabate/ Dunwolo Lalou/ Jako Baye
Cameron w/ Paco de Lucia/ Que Desgraciaitos Son/ Soy Caminante
Dimi Mint Abba/ Chaviou Elwara: El Barm/ Musique et Chants de Mauritanie
Cesaria Evora/ Nha Cancera Ka Tem Medida/ Cesaria Evora
Carlos Ward Quartet/ Pettiford Bridge/ Carlos Ward Quartet
Orquestra Reve/ Rumberos Latino Americanos/ Rumberos Latino Americanos
Maria Bethania/ Alibi/ Minha Historia
Djavan/ Agua/ Djavan
Roscoe Mitchell Creative Orchestra/ Sketches from Bamboo/ Sketches from Bamboo Salamat Ali Khan/ Raga Kanada/ Salamat Ali Khan
Alemayehu Eshete/ Ambassel/ Aleymayehu Eshete
The diurnal fiction spinning inside the heads of
the participants guides us to certain conclusions
concerning the viability of the lifeform beyond
this sporting coil, including the earthly regime
of signs and the internal wor(l)ds being dictated.
-djd, DIU 35
Your country is safe. Actual radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations October 10, 1995.
#1: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.
#2: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
#1: This is the Captain of a U.S. Navy vessel. I say again, divert your course.
#2: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
#1: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER ENTERPRISE, WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!
#2: This is a lighthouse. It's your call. hmmm....
To curse in numerous languages to
Enumerate numerous to whip
Elephants over Alps to proclaim
Victory the triumph of science
Is history. Penguins rule!
--The Penguin Poet (cf. Poetic Penguins by Wm Boyd), DIU 36
The most important thing
in the programming language
is the name. A language
will not succeed
without a good name.
I have recently invented
a very good name
and now I am looking
for a suitable language.
"We mere men of the world, with no principle
a very old-fashioned and cumbersome thing
should be on our guard lest,
fancying him on his last legs, we insult,
or otherwise maltreat some poor devil
of a genius at the very instant of his putting
his foot on the top round
of his ladder of triumph.
It is a common trick with these fellows,
when on the point of attaining some long-cherished end,
to sink themselves into the deepest
possible abyss of seeming despair,
for no other purpose than that of
increasing the space of success
through which they have made up their minds
immediately to soar." Edgar AllAn Poe,
KDIU, June, 1996:
Slimane Azem/ Aoui-Kid Yeran Asimoh-Ohmend/ Chants Immortelles de Kabylie
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi/ Tartil du Koran & Taqsim Nay en Bayyati/ Takasim & Sufi Chants from Damascus
Marion Brown/ Djinji's Corner/ Afternoon of a Georgia Faun
Marilyn Crispell/ Enterences of Light/ Santuerio
Pedro Bacan & Ines Bacan/ Nana/ De Viva Voz
Kurdsi Erguner et al/ Solea/ L'Orient de l'Occident: Hommage a Ibn
Arabi, Sufi de Andalucia
Hamid/ El Marsam/ L'Historie Des Chioukh aux Cheb (Anthologie du Rai)
Sonny Sharrock/ Variations on a Theme by Kate Buch/ High Life
Jahawarlal Jah/ O Gange.../ Inde Du Nord: Mithila (Chants d'amour de
Sabri Brothers/ Roona Ach-Cha Lagta Hai (That I May Love So That I Weep)/ Sufi Music Volume 3 (Kawwali Musicians From Pakistan)
Gato Barbieri/ In Search of the Mystery/ In Search of the Mystery ...
Ellis Regina/ Nova Estacao/ Vento de Maio
Billie Holliday/ Don't Explain/ The Legend Of...
Duo Hermanas Marti/ Aqella Boca/ Aquellos Tiempos
Cassandra Wilson/ Until/ New Moon Daughter
Two far from innocent examples are
appended for your kindest consideration:
Welcome to the Haiku Extravaganza
Today's subject is the Unabomber. Please, all posts here should adhere to the demands of the haiku format: that's five syllables, followed by seven syllables, followed by five syllables. Okay?
Those damned dials and knobs
Have measured our lives to death
Talk at a party:
"Let's do the 'Unabomber'"
Now he is bitter
Montana: big sky
No speed limit on highway
Been reading too much Pynchon
Package for you, dear
fun, easy going
single, white Unabomber
seeks same for love, laughs.
Perhaps I'll send a letter
To myself in jail
For contrast, let's get scientific, all so scientific, and of course to contrast the pseudo-Japanese element of the above, these are as all-American as they can get, viz: the frontier, the border, the boundary... just a selection.
Items Authored by: Kaczynski, T. J.
 40 #1591 Kaczynski, T. J. The set of curvilinear convergence of a continuous function defined in the interior of a cube. Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 23 1969 323-327. (Reviewer: J. E. McMillan) 30.62
 39 #4402 Kaczynski, T. J. Boundary functions and sets of curvilinear convergence for continuous functions. Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 141 1969 107-125. (Reviewer: J. E. McMillan) 30.62
 38 #4689 Kaczynski, T. J. Boundary functions for bounded harmonic functions. Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 137 1969 203-209. (Reviewer: J. E. McMillan) 30.62 (31.00)
 37 #3990 Kaczynski, T. J. Note on a problem of Alan Sutcliffe. Math. Mag. 41 1968 84--86. (Reviewer: B. M. Stewart) 10.05
 35 #1785 Kaczynski, T. J. On a boundary property of continuous functions. Michigan Math. J. 13 1966 313-320. (Reviewer: D. C. Rung) 30.62
 31 #355 Kaczynski, T. J. Boundary functions for function defined in a disk. J. Math. Mech. 14 1965 589-612. (Reviewer: C. Tanaka) 30.62
Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes
hurling down the highway
So many that claim to be creators sit watching life beside everyone else as if they were on a sofa viewing an incidental screen over which they admittedly have no influence, feeling the distance, feeling the powerlessness, and accepting it in their minds.
-D.A.G., DIU 36.9
New England Without Emerson
Analysis of an International Poetry Conference
If one walked, even for yards, into the woods sewn about The New England Center like an ancient chrysalis, one would have seen a "true" assemblage of alternatives. Not far from our self-interred minds, gasping for innovation, there lay a forest where trees made way for boulders to rest, ferns to multiply; that moved with the wind, and invited the sun to sit, as he wished, on its floor. Nearby, a stream somehow too in balance, maintained uncountable life forms with juxtaposing needs, functions, and modes of expression. Perhaps if we had convened _there_, instead of in the artificial cool and fluorescence of a lecture hall, there would have been no doubt that the "International Poetry Conference" held in Durham, NH, August 29 through September 2 under the sobriquet "Assembling Alternatives" was, although expertly organized, merely one brush stroke on a work in need of far more progress.
The creative consciousness formed by this brilliant gathering of (predominantly) Language Poets from Canada, Ireland, the United States, and United Kingdom was a commanding event but justifiably criticized by some as only a narrow representation of contemporary poetic expression. Throughout the event there breathed, with due respect of course, an appeal to the esteemed, white academic poetry hierarchy to acknowledge the body of writers represented not as "the" voice of contemporary poetic culture, but merely "a" voice in a much greater chorus, rich with contrapuntal harmonies yet to be explored. Others complained that the power brokers assembled were reprehensibly not using the machine they had created to its greatest advantage.
The value of BW's and BP's intellectual commitment, for example, is indisputable, but need not necessarily lead to creative blindness, and devouring of itself in indwelling, exclusive thought. Many would love to share investment brokers with BW, but if participation in life remains at a level of superficiality, there too will words die.
With great genius in hand, we have expanded minds beyond the realm of traditional language use. Now, many chided, in semi-silence, we must extend our minds outside the normal parameters of "that" life; those forms and the type of existence that harboured them, before the work itself becomes nothing but unread epitaphs of dead souls. This discourse ended with a well supported parting call to openly acknowledge all past and present works of ingenuity as part of the preparatory work for future unfoldments in poetry, and to offer no support of close to fanatic proponents, with their lack of intelligent synthesis, who participate in a subtle process of elimination of contrary approaches in order to arrive at the vital and "true" contribution _they_ have to make.
Beyond most unilateral criticisms, there are equally as valid correlative points to be made. As such, in a parallel analysis of the conference, there were those that agreed it stood unrivaled in terms of the number of poets in attendance and the notable quality of their participation. They were far more accepting of the canonical nature of the group, accepting _any_ group as separative and exclusionary when viewed from the angle of the whole. But they believed the eventual outcome of constructive participation in such group events would be an inevitable movement away from the consciousness of the isolated personality, from narrow to broader acceptance and perhaps even the readiness for alternatives. They hoped that even if the participants were learning gradually, to think in wider, more inclusive, terms their desire for alternatives, for understanding what was before unknowable, would grow contemporaneously. In this movement, they felt certain, were the seeds of innovation, and there was enough creative power demonstrated at the conference, when not turned convolutely in on itself, to confirm the potential for such progress.
CB (US), with energy running through his body like a serpent, masterfully displayed the broadest landscape of poetic insight at the conference. NB's closing reading confirmed her authority in using words to connect minds and hearts at a higher level of awareness, a void left gaping by almost every other poet. PJ's reading of "Long After Dreaming of a Flounder" also proved he had been, at least once, to the vortex of all creation, for my mind in listening lost the words where dreams resound, and found instead a sea of deeper consciousness.
On podium performance, I will only say that there was a distinct lifelessness and sterility that characterized most of the American poets' readings. This unfortunate cast was dramatically dispelled at one point, however, by the work of CF, who filled the performance space with candle light, dance, chanted sound, and a markedly freer milieu for expression. This alone does not define poetic greatness, but it was enlivening, amidst so much repression and angst which is merely an aggressive attempt to escape repression without a key.
Though still dominated by conscious deliberation and mental intentions, large fragments of illumination did rear up in the more experimental applications of language & sound and on-line poetry using various cybertextual modes of expression. Working through two or more dimensions simultaneously has, at its most advanced level, the potential of bringing the soul and the mind into a closer and more established relationship. Thus, great departures from traditional works can be forseen to evolve out of these areas of creative focus.
Participants in the conference witnessed varying degrees of advancement in sound poetics. All of the sound poets used their voices with trained instrumental percision, and through the creative reverberation of sound and sounded text caused emotions, thoughts and sensations to appear and disappear as a testimony of response.
PD, whose experience allows him to draw upon diverse styles and approaches, used the voice to imitate authentic environmental and natural sounds which became like photographs or paintings of experiences too often lost in a world of dense soundscapes and visually dominant perceptions. He combined these with more visceral, animalized sound expressions of pure emotion that were complete without any need whatsoever for textual references. CB's (CAN) operatic sound poetry employed nonsense syllables with a classic sense of musicality and vocal technique that was in keeping with an elaborate, more balanced form of art. As with all classical contexts, this work is to be valued for its present contribution as well as the more radical forms that may later be derived from it. Still further advanced was the work of CC, who used improvisational tones to extend the vibration of the spoken word and evolved this into an interplay of sound and word images that recreated more surrealist renderings of life.
As in the case of works in pure text that will someday enjoin the mind with higher levels of consciousness translating for man that which is now unseen, the current work of sound poets must be encouraged as a step toward still deeper esoteric explanation of sound and the spoken word. Someday such artists will develop a language of sound-word forms, knowing exactly where harmony and dissonance are found and can be recreated; which sound brings absorption, and which release, etc. _This_ will be a time to celebrate innovation.
Lastly I must share my deep respect for the pioneering efforts and complex sensitivity of the electronic poets present at the conference, the value of whose work I fear was greatly underestimated by non-cyber poets. JC and JR seem untouched however, by the still prevalent lack of understanding, as they endeavor to create a soul within the seemingly dimensionless body of cyberspace. Driven by the medium like sculptors to clay, they are transfiguring a tool designed for enhanced productivity into a source of inspiration and illumination. They are among the few, but hopefully growing number of artists who realize that if the computer is to become a focal point of future existence, a separate on-line plane of reality, then some opportunity for balance should exist within it, as in any other dimension. (i.e. should offer the means to confront the expanses of man's emotions and soul -- as well as his mind.)
The electronic poets are enticed and challenged by a world where text no longer has form limitations, where it moves and breathes in endless cycles, and the audience or user, as JR so beautifully facilitates in his layered works, can participate not only as reader but as collaborative creator.
In returning to the whole of what transpired at this landmark event, I will once more echo the position that no writer, even one comfortably illuded by a long list of published works and permanent tenure, can ever afford to propogate the appearance of a closed consciousness.
"New" poetic ground may not technically have been broken in our midst, but waves of self-perpetuation may have been parted long enough for light to come, as through the trees, to rest upon our minds. Such progress is, in and of itself, profound.
Five New England Days
Cloistered in a woodland retreat
Worshipping poetic thought,
Mental ecstasy, physical exhaustion
The next day we bombed Iraq, Again.
an invisible hairdoo
toppling over in the unseen because it had to.
--EC (in Korea), DIU 36.9
THE RABBIT, THE FOX AND THE WOLF -- A FABLE
One sunny day a rabbit came out of her hole in the ground to enjoy the weather.
The day was so nice that the rabbit became careless, so a fox sneaked up to her and caught her.
"I am going to eat you for lunch!," said the fox.
"Wait!" replied the rabbit, "You should at least wait a few days"
"Oh yeah? Why should I wait?"
"Well, I am just finishing writing my Ph.D. thesis."
"Hah! That's a stupid excuse. What is the title of your thesis any way?"
"I am writing my thesis on 'The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.'"
"Are you crazy? I should eat you up right now! Everybody knows that a fox will always win over a rabbit." "Not really, not according to my research. If you like, you can come to my hole and read it for yourself. If you are not convinced you can go ahead and have me for lunch."
"You are really crazy!" But since the fox was curious and had nothing to lose, it went with the rabbit into its hole. The fox never came back out.
A few days latter the rabbit was again taking a break from writing and, sure enough, a wolf came out of the bushes and was ready to eat her.
"Wait!", yelled the rabbit, "you cannot eat me right now."
"And why might that be, you fuzzy appetizer?"
"I am almost finished writing my Ph.D. thesis on 'The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves'."
The wolf laughed so hard that it almost lost its hold on the rabbit. "Maybe I shouldn't eat you, you are really sick in your head, you might have something contagious," the wolf opined.
"Come read for yourself, you can eat me after that if you disagree with my conclusions." So the wolf went to the rabbit's hole and never came out.
The rabbit finished writing her thesis and was out celebrating in the lettuce fields. Another rabbit came by and asked, "What's up? You seem to be very happy."
"Yup, I just finished writing up my dissertation."
"Congratulations! What is it about?"
"It is titled 'The superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.'"
"Are you sure? That doesn't sound right."
"Oh yes, you should come over and read for yourself."
So they went together to the rabbit's hole. As they went in, the friend saw the typical graduate student abode, albeit a rather messy one after writing a thesis. The computer with the controversial dissertation was in one corner, on the right there was a pile of fox bones, on the left was a pile of wolf bones, and in the middle was a lion.
The moral of the story is: The title of your dissertation doesn't matter, all that matters is who your thesis advisor is.
"To fill the hour,- that is happiness; to fill the hour, and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval. We live amid surfaces and the true art of life is to skate well upon them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
an invisible hairdoo
toppling over in the unseen because it had to.
-Eric Curkendall (in Korea), DIU 36.99
I. Technopoetics 4: Poetry on the Net, December 1994
II. 1996 DIU Poetics Listserve Exchanges
Index of DIU Contributors
IV. Selected Publication Announcements / Calls-for-Work from DIU Transmissions
V. Index of artists whose work appears on Radio Playlists and Readlist, The Last Days of the White Race not included in this volume
Technopoetics 4: Poetry on the Net, December 1994
In the recent newsletter of the Poetry Project (St. Marks Church, NYC), Bob Holman, writing a review of We Presss video magazine, makes the first mention in print of diu (descriptions of an imaginary university), a renegade (if erratic and irresponsible) poetry/poetics conglomeration which has been making its way around the internet since July. Two other articles (or gossip columns, depending on how you look at it) in the same St. Marks newsletter -- year-in-review type pieces -- reflecting on the poetry of 1994 do not mention a thing about electronically published writing. More a sign of a certain lack of awareness or looking or accessibility than of availability.
I work with computers and other electronically based poetry mediums, engage with networked methods of composing texts, interact with students on-line, communicate with friends across oceans and continents, locate information & otherwise have explored cyberspace for the past two years. There is no argument to be made against the verification of the existence of a much more developed poetry and/or poetic discourse occurring on the networks now than just two years ago. The technology has begun to find its way to aspects of culture beyond the corporate, military, governmental complex. There is evidence to support, however, that a Vaster Wasteland potential which on-line poetry could become is immense, and perhaps detrimental to the purpose and whatever functionality poetry might have left. At the same time, it is inconceivable that the medium has established itself as more than a trend. It is here to be accessed and managed observantly. It is necessary to make distinctions between publications, and discuss their methodologies and/or quality precisely because there are, just as in print, radical inconsistencies in the sophistication of writing available on-line. However, that is not the purpose of this presentation. The following compilation of resources is most certainly incomplete, yet offers a more comprehensive index of on-line poetry resources than you will find anywhere else in print (including those fancy internet guide books at your local mega-bookstore). If possible, Enjoy!
On-line poetry resources, late 1994
* rec.arts.poems: a usenet (rn) bulletin board; like an on-line poetry workshop. mostly desperate undergraduates only, thus far. could be a valuable textual meeting-place if an organized effort were made by a use this forum for whatever defined poetics reasons -- to educate, inform, discuss.
* RIF/T: A sophisticated poetry/poetics journal edited by Ken Sherwood and Loss Glazier, provides a forum for poets who are conversant with the medium of electronic communication... Very Worthwhile. (E-POETRY@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU)
* Electronic Poetry Center: The most valuable & wide resource for contemporary poetry on the Internet so far, & still in the beginning stages of collecting journals, essays, and information. Actively pursues innovative writing to archive. A must visit. (gopher wings.buffalo.edu follow library resources, then Electronic Journals, then E-Journals ...)
* Real Poetik: Seeks new, lively, witty and exciting in vernacular English. Poems from a wide span of locations arrive with brief introduction in the e-mailbox regularly. Quality varies. Worth checking out, though.
(firstname.lastname@example.org / subscribe rpoetik yourname)
* inter\face: a forum for the publication and distribution of creative work, mostly poetry, eclectic and open, out of SUNY-Albany, edited by Ben Henry (email@example.com), whose poem School Pictures (sch_pict.txt) is archived at the University of Michigans expansive gopher archive of electronic writing.
* POETICS List: a private listserv moderated by Charles Bernstein. A mix of older and younger writers rhapsodizing, sometimes dysfunctionally, in a predominantly academic discourse on various aspects of postmodern poetry. Recently over 50 messages in less than two days, including insightful exchanges between the likes of such heavies as Ron Silliman, Don Byrd, James Sherry and Tom Mandel. (firstname.lastname@example.org / subscribe poetics)
* Taproot: a crucial poetry networking publication circulated by Clevelands Luigi Bob Drake. Hundreds of reviews of poetry chapbooks and magazines. A must for those on-line & offline (it comes in print version too, which contains articles). (email@example.com)
* CORE: publishes fiction, poetry and essays. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
* Dogwood Blossoms: Emphasis on haiku. Huge volumes of little writings. Recommended for those interested in this form. (email@example.com)
* The Morpo Review: unhinged poetry, prose and essay contemplations (firstname.lastname@example.org)
* Grist: A journal of electronic network poetry, art and culture: eclectic; committed to bringing out new material. Edited by John Fowler (email@example.com)
* RUNE HUNTER: Preference will be given to shorter, lyric poetry of power & insight... (firstname.lastname@example.org)
* ALT-X: ...where contemporary writers, readers and cybersurfers use their *altered* writing forms to connect, communicate... (X@marketplace.com)
* CAPA: the Contemporary American Poetry Archive/An internet Archive for Out-of Print Books. Poets or their executors who hold copyright to books may place them in the archive; titles by Battin, Charles O. Hartman, William Dubie, Colin Morton, Robert Pinsky; once a volume is archived, it may be read on-screen, searched electronically or downloaded freely. (email@example.com)
* Internet Poetry Archive: The archive will include the work of living poets from around the world. The initial unit...will feature...Seamus Heaney and Czeslaw Milosz. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
* gopher etext.archive.umich.edu: Archives many electronic publications, including the poetry journals RedSea, Reinhardt, Sand.River.Journal,
Ygdrasil; the gophers at Brown University and The Well also archive a wide variety of electronic publications; for a directory of Electronic Journals and Newsletters, gopher://arl.cni.org:70/11/scomm/edir
There is poetry of sorts available on America Online, though it isnt easy to locate, even once youre there. (i.e.: Keyword PDA; select Palmtop Paperbacks; select Ezine libraries; select Writing; select More Writing). Other on-line literary resources: Ashley Parker Owens ; Dream World BBS writing project, dialup 718-849-3232;N-8-1; 2400
Supposed (but unconfirmed) electronic poetry publications: Atmospherics: Quarterly journal of poetry and short stories (email@example.com); Body Electric: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literary criticism (firstname.lastname@example.org/subscribe body-l); Cyberkind: a World Wide Web magazine of net-related fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art (http://sunsite.unc.edu/ckind/title.html); Undiscovered Country: poetry and short stories (email@example.com)
* Sonic Net: A dialup service in NYC (212-941-5912), recently hosted what was billed as the worlds first cyberslam, an approximation of a poetry slam on-line. An unusual & chaotic event. Not an ideal medium for a slam.
* We Magazine & diu are available by subscription (firstname.lastname@example.org) and via the Electronic Poetry Center. If you have supplements to this list, or find errors in it, please contact me at the above address. Thanks!
Poetics Listserve Exchanges
From its very beginning DIU made use of the Poetics Listserv, founded and directed by Charles Bernstein at SUNY-Buffalo, to promote itself, publish issues, and instigate discussion. Related projectsincluding The Anti-Hegemony Project and alt.fan.sillimanwere also transmitted via this listserv during this period. Such a space for dialogwhere we could bounce our concerns off of the listswe hoped could be generative and expansive. Some of the readers of Poetics were our peers and associates, and others complete strangers. Introducing atypical and under-examined voices into the mix was an effort to subvert what we saw as a general homogeneity and narrow view of poetics under exploration in that online forum. It was as if other cultures, modalities of thought beyond the eurocentric modernist/postmodernist realm remotely existed if at all. Despite the fact that it was obvious that computers were having a tremendous impact on everything, the impact of digital technology was not on this supposedly contemporary collectives agenda. The tumult that DIU experienced as a satellite of Poetics came to a peak in April 1996, when Mark Wallace posted the following reply to DIU 34 to Poetics:
I hope some of you have seen the hilarious satire on the intentions of
the recent NYC Poetry Talks conference that was just released on Chris
Funkhouser's Description of Imaginary Universe's listserve.
It's an incredibly subtle move--now, the avant garde is free to
endlessly satirize its own intentions, while the rest of the world goes
about its business, completely oblivious to our existence. And rightly
so, since we're an amazing bunch of pompous windbags who have no business
getting involved in serious matters. Thank goodness someone finally is
speaking up about the incredible pointlessness of taking avant garde
poetry seriously. And thank god we realize now that there are so few of
us, since it saves us the trouble of thinking we might have some sort of
positive effect on anybody's life.
What I want is to be locked forever in a room (like in the
original Star Trek episode) with the writer of the DIU satire. The two
of us could undermine our own pretensions for all eternity, without fear of
intervention, or any stupid stuff about how to balance the need to
survive with the desire to behave ethically.
Here's an idea--let's go to Newt Gingrich's office and do a
sit-in protest where we'll prove to him the irrelevance of all literature
and humanistic activity, especially that of the avant garde. We could even
wear funny hats while we mock ourselves! And maybe, while we're at it,
we could get a few Republicans to mock us too. Wouldn't that be really
radical and satirical? Wouldn't that really screw things up? We'll make
plenty sure that no one ever takes us seriously again, you can bet!
I feel so free.
Wallaces posting generated numerous responses, both denouncing and supporting the contents and techniques of DIU. Because moments in the exchange pointedly address the criticisms and issues encountered by DIU throughout its existence, a few extracts from the discussion are included below finely illuminate its dynamics. Joe Amato, in a series of responses, offered the following observations:
so my problem with the diu piece
is not that they ask for a sense of humor
but that they ask for a sense of cynicism.. which in fact, right now, is all too
ubiquitous... and i say this w/o any rancor, and certainly not to demean...
but it's the reason i stopped reading that piece in particular after about
the third para... and in all fairness to diu, the general drift of that
ezine would seem at times to be to indicate the relative futility of
various poetic agenda in the face of more global desperations... and yet in
doing so, it seems to me that diu occasionally merely adds to despair...
esp. wrt the political climate we're, many of us, experiencing...
my comments about diu, as much as i enjoy aspects of this latter, have primarily
to do with an implicit sense i get at times that someone is being one-upped...
ironically, i guess i wish that this were in fact more explicit... and
whereas you can one-up me till the cows come home (in minnesota or in
upstate new york) i yet question the value same has in communities that are
only too good at ripping each other (forgive me this male-ism, puh-leez)
i mean, simply to say that the innovation was the medium, and the voices
pulled together... and methinks this was a good thing, all said and done,
in the same way as diu (or poetics) is a good thing b/c it pulls together
(certainly not w/o criteek) different voices in this medium and provides
some glue w/solvent for wide(r) consideration...
so no (w)holier-than-thou stuff going down here, and i mean my remarks to
contribute, in fact (optimist that i hope to be), to an even better
glue/solvent... but as with nous [refuse, Amatos early online discussion group],
my sense is that we need to continue to ask what we're doing with these our
voice/voices (to paraphrase patricia hill collins)...
it's not quite fair for me simply to slam diu w/o giving some
indication that i like it, of what i like... i *do* like the odd blend of
extracts from hither & thither, the music pics, the idea that it's being
distributed for free to so many folks... it's a provocative zine, in part
b/c it doesn't appear to be taking one side...
Others offered comments building on Amatos views. Luigi Bob Drake replied:
joe, one of th valuable points the poe pieces/persona makes (to me) is
exactly how little has changed re womens roles, dominant discourse style,
etc... i'm pessimistic that those qualities are "reintroduced" by the
posts into the dialoge, rather that they continue & poe's satire points
that out... always the difference between re-presenting a stance and
advocating it... which line, in diu generally, i believe is straddled,
transited & transgressed in ways i find useful, as (self)critique &
gentle poking fun...
Bob Harrison adds:
About DIU, I'd like to add my two cents. I think its basically pretty much a
waste of time, all due respect to the editors/authors. I never get the sense
from it that it goes beyond any sort of deadening cynicism, which seems to me
common enough. I don't ever find it funny in the least. Quite different than
something like say, EXHILE, which I think is often hilarious. And, speaking
as a Panamanian-American, English my second language, and wanting as much as
anyone for there to be more space for difference, I don't quite see the point
in ending every issue with acknowledging "the final days of the white race."
Seems to me that race based reasoning is what needs to finalized, not any
Wallace rejoins the dialog with additional observations:
I have no objection to the fact that the DIU piece
was satire, or that it was satire of the NYC Poetry Talks, which I'm sure
could be effectively satirized in a thousand ways, although quite frankly
I thought it was a very good conference, on the whole. Rather, the
problem is with the implications of the satire--its underlying suggestion
that ironical hopelessness is the only proper stance of the avant garde
poet--and, also, its failure to evaluate with any accuracy what were
the real limitations of the NYC conference.
First, a point of info: I'm not sure it's absolutely established
that Poe and the writer of the DIU satire are the same person. The Poe
satires are stylistically complex, whatever one thinks of their critical
implications, whereas the DIU satire is a much cruder hatchetjob (to
which, in my initial post on this subject, I thought it best to respond
in kind) that approximates the manifesto form of various social movements
as the basis of its critique. Perhaps the DIU was a rush job by Poe--in
any case, it was certainly not meant to approximate Poe's style.
So I would argue that the DIU satire, with its position of
hopelessness, anti-audience development, and satirical insularity was far
more of a dominant trend than it was some incisive marginalized commentary.
Thankfully, I don't think it was finally THE dominant trend--there were
too many great people there expressing too many varied positions to be
generalized either in the way of the DIU satire or in the way I'm
speaking here. But I think it's pretty clear that it is quietism rather
than messianic avant-gardism that represents a significant danger for the
poets at the conference--our tendency to the simultaneously wounded and
smug notion that no one besides us could possibly care about what we're
doing. The fact is that such a notion simply is not true--more people are
interested in "experimental" poetry in the U.S. (and I believe worldwide)
than ever before.
In fact, I did find the DIU piece quite funny, in its way, and
simply meant to treat it with the rough satire with which it was treating
me. So, I do understand when Chris Funkhouser says "Mark, maybe that's
the world you're living in already" but in fact I think that's not so. My
"community", or more specifically the group of people who care about my
writing practice, simply is NOT limited to the people at the DIU
conference. The assumption that we are a clearly defined group, or that
we're the only ones who care about what we do, leads to a sort of social
inwardness that is not only unnecessary, but also is based on an
incorrect evaluation of the circumstances that many of us are in.
And thanks as well to the DIU
satirist for raising some key issues, and for giving me and others a
chance to refute those arguments.
with mark, i'll have to go on record as saying that discussion of/critique
of diu/poe (and i must admit to having conflated these latter, though i
hear them similarly at times) is meant as constructive and is helped muchly
by chris f.'s (and others') willingness to enter into said exchange
Joel Kuszai, who later became the moderator of the Poetics List, joined in with his own polemical view:
I'm not sure there is a controversy surrounding the "Poe"
essays or the DIU pieces, as much as Chris Funkhouser
would have us believe. But given his tendency to advance
the condition of anonymous speech, we might look at that a
little more closely--what does the desire for anonymity
mean given the current space of literature and discussion
about literature--which is finally what this is all about,
despite the reactionary last-minute claims for a need for
social commitment (something which I find disingenuous,
given that author's need to remain exempt from a
Carla Billitieri, Stephen Cope, Ben Friedlander, Chris
Funkhouser, Belle Gironda, Nick Lawrence, and a few others,
are all parties involved in the wave of anonymous postings
which began a little over a year ago and continue today in
different forms. As has been asserted before, we can't know
who the exact author is of a certain post. These writings ask
that we read what is offered: satire, critique, analysis,
valuation of literature--without the authorial identity that
would limit the cause expressed. Indeed, a scattering of
responsibility means that the author can evade personal
responsibility--which is great if you're going on the job
market in a few years and want what Ben Friedlander once
described as "plausible deniability". But with such deniability
comes a certain amount of tacit consent. By "forwarding" the
posts from what Gary Sullivan called the "Auntie
Hegemony" last year, each of the above persons may be able
to deny having written the posts, but by being involved in
such an _acephale_ literary communion, they implicate
themselves in the entire activity. They wish to dispose with
a certain limiting sense of the author, but the limited scope
of the author is a small-fry compared to the cowardly
activism of hiding behind "deniability".
It might be worth looking at why this kind of ski-mask
poetics exists, why some of the smartest poets (and some of
the dumbest!) find it necessary to lob little grenades into
the compound of a supposed avant garde (and what a useful
purpose that term serves!)--a "scene" (not a community)
that has served all of them well. Will Poe write a blurb for
Ben Friedlander's Collected? Will Nick Lawrence give
Auntie-Hegemony her own section in the upcoming
anthology "Chloroform: a esthetic of criticism"? And why
does Chris Funkhouser have reason to gripe? It would seem
that all of the people involved would do better to include
themselves in the dialog rather than send little
pseudonymous ambassadors of ideologies for some reason
they're afraid to express in public.
Maria Damon, a poetics and cultural studies scholar at the University of Minnesota added to this her perspective:
joel kuzai: with all due respect (and that's true), when you say:
why [do] some of the smartest poets (and some of
the dumbest!) find it necessary to lob little grenades into
the compound of a supposed avant garde (and what a useful
purpose that term serves!)--a "scene" (not a community)
that has served all of them well[?]
the answer comes to me resoundingly:
CUZ IT'S FUN, IMAGINATIVE, CONTESTATORY, etc.
hey, when i started receiving the anti-hegemony posts my first thought was,
this is cute but totally self-enclosed --no one beyond this handful of
avantgardists would even care, so whose hegemony is really being antied?
however, now tht i know the "scene" a little better, i think it's fun that
some folks are having fun with it. i still don't think waves are being made
beyond the shores of this tiny pond (as i've told you, chris, by using the
phrase "a bit precious" to describe the diu project and wondering who a wider
audience wd be), but within that scene, it's lively, fun, and creative.
what's wrong w/ that? the mark of a true scene is if it can handle
contestation. lighten up, everyone.
Bob Harrison, returning to the discussion with further ideas, writes:
about anonymity and its tie to the zapatista movement, i have no problem with
subcommander marcos and the zapatistas using ski masks. THEY DO LOSE THEIR
LIVES if recognized. diu has absolutely nothing to do with the spirit of the
zapatista movement, though their tactics, at least on the surface, seem
similar. first, the zapatistas reveal truths with their satire, about
political corruption, about human dignity. diu does not do this. i get no
sense of striving towards or revealing human dignity from the diu project,
nor even of revealing corruption. subcommander marcos' humor DOES reveal the
resiliancy of an amazing spirit under the worst possible circumstances. my
main argument with the diu project is not their use of anonymity, or of
satire, it is the sense i get that their focus, in this project, is political
on the smallest scale. it'd be one thing if their lives were at risk, or
their souls, and if they were making a stand for these. but, even though they
claim to be anonymous, my bet is that diu is bent more toward publication, job
getting, and recognition through the diu project than not.
Another critical voice joins this mix:
On Fri, 12 Apr 1996, Robert A Harrison wrote:
> I don't quite see the point
> in ending every issue with acknowledging "the final days of the white race."
> Seems to me that race based reasoning is what needs to finalized, not any
> particular race.
> Bob Harrison
Exactly. That sort of rhetoric and reasoning is simply divisive,
reactionary and uninteresting.
While it's likely that the "White Race" (as if there aren't different
etnicities within it) as a cultural force will see some changes in its
position in the world, calling that an "end" is about as interesting as
the death of man.
Amato, Damon, and Wallace continue to extend the dialog. Amato writes:
>the mark of a true scene is if it can handle
>contestation. lighten up, everyone.
maria, i can't exactly disagree with you here, yknow... but on the other
hand, being as how i'm not really a part of any specific community 'cept
this one, poetically speaking (which means i'm overlapping, again, in so
many ways, in so many communities), there's this annoying sort of
outsider-insider innuendo in the allEn poe stuff, and diu at times, that
grates on me... there's a presumption in it, that is, that the 'joke' is
understood as such, and in specific way... which (1) it may not be---as a
joke, i mean, and (2) even if it is, tends to be exclusive, given my
marginal status... it's not being excluded that i find annoying, either...
it's that there's clearly no regard for the effect it produces outside
perhaps of a relatively small circle, and i'm not certain it's appreciated
within this latter... and the anonymous quality don't help things any...
i s'pose it's time to hear from *somebody* who's been roasted by allEn
poe... or perhaps to ask why (correct me if i'm mistaken here) nobody who
has been roasted has posted in re their feelings... who knows?---mebbe i've
got my head up my ass, and nobody's feelings are being hurt, and the vast
majority enjoys the parody, or whatever (not that i'm necessarily with the
majority, but if what i have to say is *that* idiosyncratic, i can't see as
how i'm doing much good bothering mself and others so)...
anyway, i've always thought i had some hard bark on me, but i have to
resist advocating same for everybody... still, i believe there's simply
gotta be some feelings at stake in alla this critique, someplace...
okay joe it's true, as an easily hurt person, i can sympathize w/ yr protest
of DIU's satire. but then let's have some discussion about that, rather than
attacking them on principle and insinuating (not you, but some others have)
that everything is careerist-oriented. diu's authorship is, it seems, a kind
of open secret, a fun, sometimes insightful, sometimes silly, sometimes
obnoxious epiphenomenon of the POETRICKS scene. maybe i just haven't been
roasted yet...i'll let you know about my hurt feelings when it happens, you
can bet on that...
Mark Wallace, who began the conversation on the subject, concludes this chapter of the discussion with yet more points for consideration:
While I can see Maria D.'s point about "lightening up" regarding the DIU
debate so we can actually discuss it, it seems to me that we've been
doing that all along--discussing it, that is. I suppose each of us has
the choice to lighten up or not, as makes sense to us. As for those "who
DIU have satired" I think it's a lot of us, actually--I know that my own
presentation at the NYC Poetry Talks conference was positing the notion
that "avant garde" (if you will) writing is experiencing at the present
time an expanding audience, not perhaps on a mass scale but enough so
that the work is reaching a lot of people in a lot of different countries
and contexts. It's my belief that that is true (and verifiable) that
makes me contest that implication of the DIU satire that the people at
that conference composed some recognizable and self-important "inside
group" that is really all there is to experimental poetries. But those of
us at the conference did NOT represent such an inside group--rather, we
were a gathering of writers of various affiliations and situations, some
of whom had closer or looser connections to anything that might be
described as an "inside" crowd. What is one to make of the presence of
Alex Cigale, for instance, editor of the magazine Synaesthetic which has
sometimes printed avant garde writers, but is equally committed to poetry
by a variety of Russian emigree authors and others--Alex drops in on the
"avant garde scene" but has more significant ties elsewhere.
I have a lot of sympathy for Bob Harrison's annoyance--he wasn't at the
conference (so much for the idea that "all of us who mattered" were
there) and certainly has a right to feel annoyed at any implication that
the DIU satire was aimed at "everyone." I don't think Bob's quite right
about the careerism of the DIU crowd--knowing them to various degrees, I
also know that they mean what they're doing in very serious and complex
intellectual ways. But in that sense I have to agree with Joel Kuszai's
forthright and specific critique of the group in question, and his
directness in naming names. The group means their dive bombing very
seriously, and it's often very funny, but that doesn't mean their satire
is above being criticized--and I think Joel hits, quite specifically, at
some of the weaknesses of what they're doing. So while I agree with Maria
D. that they have a right to do what they're doing, and that it's often
funny, I also think they can be criticized too. After all, if it's okay
for avant gardists to satirize the avant garde, isn't it also okay for
avant gardists to satirize those avant gardists who satirize the avant
Jeffrey Timmons brought Thoreau's name up in another context, and
I think his work is relevant here. But Jeffrey, to see Thoreau's ideas as
suggesting either that one should bomb people, or go off into the
wilderness to die, is to miss what Thoreau was really about. Thoreau's
work was ALWAYS about social critique, and about pacifism too--it was
never either about blowing anybody up or running away. In his
Massachusetts address, Thoreau puts forward the idea that if one
person--just one person--refuses to participate in a society that
condones slave holding, then the slaveholding system has already ended.
Before one jumps on the supposed naivete of that, one has to recognize
that what he means is that mass political movements are based on
specific individual choices--we choose, one at a time, to be part of this
or part of that, and those choices have ethical dimensions that can
sometimes cause whole systems to fall or change.
Is the avant garde, at this time, changing the sort of "mass
culture" that Bill Howe critiques so well in his recent post? No. Does that
mean that the avant garde is therefore a worthless inside group endlessly
puffed-up about its own importance? No. Rather, I think that the
situation is that we are a variety of individuals who are part of a
variety of groups that intersect with a variety of social and political
activities, to greater or lesser extents--and one of those groups is the
network of avant garde poetry. Some of us may have more political
efficacy than others, and some of us may be more specifically interested
in aesthetic rather than overtly political matters. Is that a problem? I
don't think so.
Brecht was once asked by Benjamin whether he thought his work was
"serious"--that is, directly political all the time. And Brecht thought
about it and finally said, "well, no, I guess I'm finally too wrapped up
in aesthetic matters to be serious--I worry too much about the
theatre." But Brecht also said "but I think the important thing is that
my attitude is PERMISSABLE--I should have a right to worry about these
things if I want to." And I think that's a key point--that one of the key
values of avant garde work is to consistently make the point that people
have a right to take philosophical and artistic matters seriously, and
that to say so is political in a world where people are denied the right
to take such matters seriously, along with being denied the right in many
cases to make a living or even eat. Or as Rod Smith once told me "I write
poetry because it's a pleasure, and I act politically because I believe
that I, and others, have a right to engage in that pleasure."
Obviously, these exchanges illustrate that a lot can be said about what happened within the realm of DIU, and the issues that were (and remain) raised by its content.
Let the matters be left on the table for the reader to consider, as they will.
DIU Contributors and other Acknowledgements
Where possible (and permitted), the names of DIU contributors are provided here. I have done my best to remember and contact persons known to have contribute to the magazine and obtain their permission to publish this work (offering them the opportunity to make edits to their work). Not all authorial identities can be pin-pointed, thus some work included in this volume remains improperly credited. We offer sincere appreciation to all whose work in included in this collection.
Steve Abbott: SA
Will Alexander: WA
Joe Amato: JA
Ando Arike: pop-apocalyptic productions
Charles (Sandy) Baldwin: Rocketmensch; Maxwells Demon; CB:
Stacey Benoit: Wa-Ben
Brad Brace: bb
Don Byrd: A Student, IU 1995; Thus, Albert or Hubert; The Poetry Work Chop Advisor; Doctor P. Semiconductor
M. Christiansen: MC
Lucille Clifton: LC
Jose Edinson Aedo Cobo: Der Musensohn
Stephen Cope: Scope; The As-Of-Yet Undescribed Student Body; The As-Of-Yet Undescribed Student Nebula; as of yet dis-integrated student body; The Ain'thropology Dept.
Dennis Cullinane: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eric Curkendall: EC
David Dowker: djd; The Alterran Poetry Assemblage
Ben Friedlander: Black Hole Sun; Marianne Moore; Patriarchal Poetry; Kimberly Filbee; Amerikkka Online; Superunknown; Captain Bee-fart; Plainclothes Black Policeman; Monotonous Ghandi; John Denver; I, Robot (A Feminist Collective); Edgar Allen Poe; Greta W.F. Hegel
Ben Friedlander, Chris Funkhouser: Guantanamo Bey; translated by Hecuba Whimsy
Ben Friedlander, Belle Gironda, Carla Billetteri, Chris Funkhouser, Nick Lawrence: BaFeBiGoCuByCaFeNiL
Allen Ginsberg: AG
Belle Gironda: BG; Pebbles
Deborah Goudreault: The Interpreter
Hacsi Horvath: HH
Fanny Howe: FH
Elizabeth Hull: XXXX OOOO EH
Richard Loranger: RL
Pierre Joris: PJ; HM (Henri Michaux) translated by PJ
Greg Keith: GK
Nick Lawrence: Cartesia Jones; Braveheart
Nathaniel Mackey: NM
Andrew Maxwell: outside my strange attractor
H. D. Moe: to be continued
Mark Nowak: MANOWAK
Roddy Potter: RP
Sun Ra: SR
Forrest Richey: Ficus strangulensis; fagagaga
Beth Russell: ER; Capt. Swing; ejr; Gens. Nedd Ludd and Gracchus Babeuf; Rep. Collin de Plancy
John Shiurba: Finney
Chris Stroffolino: Claudia; the replacements; DE; Xc; Sue Doe
Cecil Taylor: CT
Unknown Authors: PH; BAX (from Usenet); Winnetou Olde (Nick? Ask); LF, VCA (from Usenet); edumbucholtzzz; a student: (unknown SUNY-Albany undergraduate); Harpo; Davos, Switzerland (manifesto issued at a conference there); RKF; D.E.K;
Michael Weaver: Weave
The following individuals offered invaluable sustenance to DIU along the way, and the electronic proliferation of DIU could not have happened without guidence and promotion by the following resources: Mike Ramundo (Postmaster, SUNY-Albany), Ted Jennings (Editor, EJournal), John Labowitz (online e-zine archive), Loss Pequeño Glazier/Ken Sherwood/Charles Bernstein (Electronic Poetry Center) and countless other unknown entities along the network. The essential co-presence and support of close friends who collaborated to make DIU are hopefully adequately indicated in the Introduction. Carla Billetteri and Amy Hufnagel are also eternal sources of sustenance who have supported this publication in many ways.
Playlists by station:
KZSC, KDIU: Stephen Cope
WRPI: Chris Funkhouser
KUSP: Nathaniel Mackey
WRUB: Charlotte Pressler
KZSU: DJ Cat/Glen Solomon
The Last Days of the White Race was primarily compiled by Ben Friedlander and Chris Funkhouser; Charlotte Pressler created one edition.
Selected Publication Announcements / Calls-for-Work
from original DIU transmissions
Please forward initialized or pseudonymed passages of
lucid hallucinatory visions
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D I U is presented weekly from email@example.com
& the Logic of Snowflakes
we welcome input to output
All persons interested in text-based virtual realities:
Describers of an Imaginary Univercity will meet
in the living room on lambda-MOO, Monday August 1st 10 pm
east coast time. To accompany: telnet lambda.xerox.com 8888
If you are unfamiliar with this medium, you might experiment before-hand, and obtain a "Character" if possible. C you there.
please send thought pleasures & correspondence to
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DIU is an open weekly (c)irculated by the logic of snowflakes & wepress
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please! c/o the logic of snowflakes
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D I U 28
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Imaginary Universe WWW Poet of the Week http://cnsvax.albany.edu/~poetry/iu.html
c/o the logic of snowflakes
(no matter what)
Artists whose work appears on Radio Playlists not included in this volume:
Jimi Hendrix, R.E.M., Miekal And, Elliot Sharp, Mo Boma, Acting Trio, Cusco, Black Uhuru, Positive Dub, Beres Hammond, Deconstruction, Hieronymus Firebrain, African Head Charge, The Jam, Weba World, Baka Forest People, Friesen / Moore / Pepper / Priester / Waldron, Salt-n-Pepa, Cedella Booker Marley, Stefan Said, Diamanda Galas, Randy Weston Sextet, Curtis Mayfield, George Quasha / Charles Stein, Eric Dolphy, Public Enemy, Chico Freeman, Mutabaruka, Diedre Murray / Fred Hopkins, Mission of Burma, John's Black Dirt, Lisa Germano, Bheki Mselku, Michael Lally, Silvio Rodriguez, Mercedes Sosa, Ketama, Ismael Miranda, Ed Blackwell / Roland Alphonso, Songhai, Seleshe Damissae, Hrant Kenkulian, Salim Halali, Oppong, Franklin Kiermyer, Jimmy Lyons, Jeanne Lee, The Tahitian Choir, Rabab, Khaled, Nasida Ria, Thelonius Monk, James Booker, Celia Cruz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Saozinha, Maria Bethania, Toto La Momposina, Dody Satya Ekagustidiman, Ken McIntyre, Trio 2 (A. Davis, J. Newton, A. Wadud), Mendes Brothers, Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mozambique, Massenet, George Lewis, Michele Rosewoman, Claudia Villela, Simapatia, Saozinha, I Wayan Sadra, Pete Condo, Nicolas Vivas y Su Conjunto Caney, Odilio Gonzales, Abu Griesha, Last Exit, Human Feel, Metallica, Sonny Sharrock, Albert Ayler, Sheila Jordon, Laibach, The Insect Trust, Joe Simon, Johnny Dyani, Hot Chocolate, The Descendants, PJ Harvey, The Clash, James Blood Ulmer, Michael Hurley, Slade, Serge Chaloff, Van Morrison, Horace Tapscott, Sidney Poitier, World Bass Violin Ensemble, Claude Debussy, Maria Bethania, Lilly Tchiumba, Bonga, Les Grandes Visages de Cynadier, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Fanta Damba, Euis Komariah, New York Composer's Orchestra, MS Gopalakrishnan, Muddy Waters, Yosefa, Syli Authentic, Ginger Baker Trio, Stanley Turrentine, Wssell Anderson, Freddie Redd Quartet, Charlie Kohlhase Quintet, George Russell Sextet, Boubacar Traore, Agepe, Maria Bethania, Ritmo Oriental, Duo Cubano, Leadbelly, Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, Eight Bold Souls, Hukwe Ubi Zawose, Pierre Dorge and the New Jungle Orchestra, Evan Ziporyn, Nyoman Windha, Strata Institute, Mal Waldron, The Last Poets, Grachan Moncur III, Beaver Harris, 360 Degree Music Experience, Music Revelation, John Carter, Bud Powell, Charlie Haden, Praxis, Tina Brooks, Junko Onishi, Abbey Lincoln, Ethnic Heritage, Fred Houn, Bobby Hutcherson, Michael Benita Quartet, Di Meola / McLaughlin / Frevo Rasgado, Kahil El' Zabar, Arthur Blythe, Ran Blake, Eddie Prevost, Don Pullen, John Jang, Steve Coleman, Kurt Schwitters, Nurse With Wound, Christian Marclay, Asmus Tietchens, Joseph Kasinskas, Hafler Trio, David Dunn, P16.D4, Adam Plack, PBK, Ben Johnston, Arcane Device, David Myers, Gary Barwin / Stuart Ross, Henry Cowell, John M. Bennett / Jim Wiese, East Buffalo Media Association, Ellen Fullman, Les Go de Koteba, Kapere Jazz Band, Houria Aichi, Achmed Wahby, Ile Aiye, Abelardo Barroso, Noah Howard Quartet, Alfredo Rodriguez, Ivan Cuesta y Sus Baltimore Vallenatos, Viejo, Antonio Sanchez & Tchota Suari, Jafar Husayn Khan, Juan Pena el Lebrijano, Manzanita, Hector Lavoe, Ali Hassan Kuban, Mohammed Khaznadji, Dahmane el Harrache, Groupe Musical du Kurdistan, L'Ensemble de Moukhadrami, Saozinha, Antonino Travadinha, Louis Moholo, Djemba Koita, Detty Kurnia, Joe McPhee and PO Music, Ibro Diabate, Franco and Sam Mangwana, Duke Ellington, Igd el Djilad, Mohamed Ibn Fares, Hoang-Yuy, Ritmo Oriental, Maria Bethania, Max Roach, Tau Fa Linare, Teofilo Chantre, Abelardo Barroso, Abu Griesha, Salamat, the Firespitters, William Parker, Manju Gupta, Nagara ga Sisa Ensemble, Horoya, Sekou Conde, Thomas Mapfumo, Hukwe Ubi Zawose, Sonny Rollins, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon w/ Hector Lavoe, Sexteto Criollo Puertoriquennno, Edwin Colon Zayas w/ Emma Zayas, Nina de Antequera, Ikwane Safaa Musical Club, Myra Melford Trio, Detty Kurnia, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Gurweet Bawa, Maria Alice / D'Zemcontre, Super Rail Band, Igd El Djilad, Mohammed Wardi, Larry Ochs, Rene Lussier & the Now Orchestra, Jose Reyes e Los Reyes, Omar Pene, Oum Koultsum, Isabel Tello Mexia, Mauricia Kagel, Dennis Warner's Full Metal Revolutionary Ensemble, Abyssinia Band, Melhem, El-Hachemi Geurouabi, Cheb Nasro, Orchestre Baobab, Thomas Chapin & Borah Bergman, Bernd Alois Zimmerman
Printed collections (anthologies, journals, books), and individual artists featured in the Readlists for The Last Days of the White Race that are not included in this volume:
Modern Arab Poets 1950-1975, trans. and ed. by Issa J. Boullata; Twilight, Anna Deavere Smith; The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, Arnold Rampersad, ed.; La Poesie Negro-Americaine, Langston Hughes, ed.; 'sophie, lola lemire tostevin; What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics, Adrienne Rich; Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In, Ed Roberson; American Negro Poetry, Arna Bontemps, ed.; Poems For The Millennium, Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris, eds.; Callaloo 18.2 (1995); In the Grass, Horace Coleman; Gorilla, My Love, Toni Cade Bambara; HAMBONE No. 12 (1995); Nazik al-Mala'ika, Yusuf Al-Khal, Kamal Abu Dib, Adonis, Mahmud Darwish, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, LeRoi Jones, Bob Kaufman, Ted Joans, Gloria Oden, Marilyn Nelson Waniek, AI, Rita Dove, Countee Cullen, Margaret Walker, Helen Morgan Brooks, Jay Wright, June Jordan, Suzanne Gardinier, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Angeline W. Grimke, Anne Spencer, Effie Lee Newsome, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Ursula Le Guin, Helene Johnson, Muriel Rukeyser, Edith Sodergran, Anna Akhmatova, Laura Riding, Lorine Niedecker, Ralph Ellison, Rachel Elizabeth Harding, Jill Battson, Andrena Zawinski, Marilene Phipps, and Reetika Vazirani.
Run an indexing program (software) on the text to create an Index.
Printed DIU broadsides in appendices
Translating the jargon in this paragraph: a listserver is a type of online mass-mailing list people subscribe to by sending the proper commands to the lists server (DIU-Ls address was firstname.lastname@example.org); VAX and UNIX are computer systems that support e-mail; bps means bauds per second and refers to the speed of transmission (todays standard 56K modem is more than twenty times faster than the modem used to produce DIU); Usenet was a hypertextual system that allowed information (text, image and sound files) to be posted to the Internet; gopher was the command used to locate, obtain, and display digital documents on the network.
An anthology of Poetics listserv postings, edited by Joel Kuszai, are published in a printed volume, HYPERLINK mailto:Poetics@: Poetics@ (New York: Roof Books, 199X).
A collection I have recently completed, Whereis Mineral: Adventures in MOO, and a few other titles do explore this area.
EJournal was published out of SUNY-Albany from 19XX-19XX. It is archived at http://xxx.
We Magazine Issue 17 is archived at http://xxx.