Friday, December 25, 2009

Nine: A Little Shake Shake After Christmas

Is there no limit to the imagination. See, all you have to do is sort of think your mother is a sexy version of Sophia Loren then you'll get over all this Freud stuff and your mother will be just one of the women who are women. (Go for the substantial object). Man looking for a film, sounds familiar. Love Fellini references, not too keen on musicals that aren't Meet Me in St. Louis. Older couple sitting next to me almost trampled me near the exit; I think they wanted to go home to have sex. Muse vs. Artist. Do you want to be the man or the woman. The old man wondered if this film is a bit sexist, but I didn't, fully, oddly. Why didn't I. (Can't a woman sing a song without wearing next to nothing or dancing with a chair kind of like a prostitute. Can't a woman not be an object. What does everything always have to be at a height). A strange role for Daniel Day-Lewis, who sings like The Count. I secretly like it when the stars of musicals can't sing all that well. It started to snow outside while I was in the movie theatre. All women are sex kittens! When women throw their hair about it's sexy! Women are wild! People only think about themselves. The experience is something experiencing. The experience is not the same as what you experience. Watch out for jazz hands. Cut to black and white. When they weren't singing, I secretly hoped the next song would begin soon. Are these the lead-in lines. Why couldn't I be in my thirties in Rome in the '60's. What are you thinking about all the time anyway. What is a role and is anyone really playing a role or just some version of themselves over and over again in different costumes. Finally, a movie that praises the beauty of older women. Are you who you are or who you think you are. Some people make you want to lie down. It was hard getting through Christmas without crying for my sister.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fantasy Feature No. 4

Nothing bothers you. See this heart? It's made of steel eating steel. Nothing "gets to you." A Friendly Frank, that's what you are. A regular. Everyone leaves you alone while you knit at the strip bar. Just kidding. You don't go to strip bars, but it wouldn't bother you if you did.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Machine, It Just Doesn't Stop

Clamoring in my brain was the voice of my very own president who said we have to go to war for democracy (i.e. in support of oil and the military industrial complex) and kill others to be free--the night the old man and I began the BBC's The Private Life of a Masterpiece series. In each episode, one piece of art is analyzed, discussed, and extensive historical background is provided for the piece, how it reached its current housing, along with some biographical background of the artist if any exists.

The first one we watched was centered around Francisco Goya's "May 3, 1808," which depicts the execution of those thought to be involved in an uprising against Napolean's army. (I say "those thought to be involved" because any man with a weapon was rounded up and executed). In the painting, the men are shot and also stabbed to be sure they died. During the episode, a really interesting discussion about the soldiers ensues. They are described as a machine and x-rays of the painting shows how they were sort of "stroked" together as one, particularly hard and fast brushstrokes given to their guns. The soldiers' faceless posture, their boxy yet triangular stance, pushing forward yet hiding behind their weapons, hiding behind some form of democracy they were supposed to represent made me kind of wonder where everyone's descendants are. Where are the children of those who died? What are they doing now? What happened to those soldiers?

One of the talking heads is Leon Golub, I'll admit, an artist I'm not very familiar with. He said so many powerful things and I know I'm going to butcher what he said that struck me the most. Our leaders do terrible things that hurt so many people, all in the name of freedom and democracy, and they don't understand why no one thanks them. It made me think about former president's Bush's visit to Iraq, how no one thanked him for what he'd done and in fact, a shoe was thrown at him. How could someone who is trying so hard to follow in Bush's footsteps receive the Peace Prize? To quote my friend Walter: "As president, it is Mr. Obama's prerogative to keep the war machine going, whether or not that is what he truly believes is best for the nation."

I Like It The Other Way

This is a hand-knitted "Tiny Thing Conversion Factory: From Pandas to Gnomes." I wish it were eating the gnomes and shitting out pandas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fantasy Feature No. 18

No more dreams about bullfighting. At some point this week you saw two images of the running of the bull, but you have only dreamt of bull fighting. The bull took forever to die. It gored the bullfighter (it's fighter? weird) against a wall for a long time. Then the bullfighter hit it against the wall until it died. Someone gave the bullfighter the ears and tail. (Which is weird. Why not just give him the balls?) Why did you dream about this. You once watched a Bruce Connor collage film (a form of assemblage art) of a bull being brought down, among other things, as president Kennedy was assassinated and declared dead--presented by Peter Gizzi during a traveling lecture on Jack Spicer. You watched an Italian and Spanish film about the dispersed body of a bull. It becomes dog biscuits that an actress tries to sell in a grocery store and something weird happens to its heart or eyes. You couldn't find a record of that movie anywhere, which is really weird.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holy shit. Claire Hero.

I first heard about Claire Hero through Ross and we both agree that she is a damn fine poet of the body. (We've been emailing back and forth about her this week--more on that later--so please know that many of my comments here have surfaced from these emails). Saying "of the body" always seems a little weird to me, but she's really onto to something physically, more than physically, the bodily nature of everything. She's attune to animal-ness, the meat of it all, the violence of being so bodily body--the sexuality therein, caregiving, killing, the fluids of all that. "I knit a sheep house, I knit // a sheep house for my body..." She's so brilliant at combining something natural, something animal, something made from animal, and animal making. (Ross says this makes him think of "the wonderful opening to Lyotard's Libidinal Economy"). Doors come up quite often in Claire Hero's poetry and it's this sheep house, this animal world, this acknowledgement of being an animal that will be entered again and again. "Animals he takes apart" : "He knows what the meat wants".

In her poem, "The Night Was Animal," Hero wordbuilds through word splices: "owlmaw," "preyclaw," "meatbeasts". She addresses "Crackbone," a cowboyishness on the range, out in the woods type, a force of death and dismemberment. What gets established, what killers we all are, even in our night doings, even though these doings don't stop just because of night: "& still the forest continues, the linespeed never slows". The carcasses keep coming and coming. In Ross's words, it's the carnivorous grotesquerie--so beautiful and so gross that we can't look away--repulsed and attracted to what we are, animals and death, both yarn and kitty. We need this poet.

Have a listen to [The Night Was Animal], which you can find in her book Sing, Mongrel and her chapbook, afterpastures. Claire Hero is going to be reading here in Brooklyn this weekend for Yardmeter. You should come.