Here uninterr'd suspends, though not to save Surviving Friends th'Expences of a Grave, Felton's dead Earth; which to the World will be Its own sad Monument, his Elegie: As large as Fame, which whether Bad or Good I say not; by himself 'twas wrote in Blood; For which his Body is intomb'd in Air, Arch'd o're with Heaven, set with a thousand fair And glorious Stars; a Noble Sepulcher, Which Time it self can't ruinate; and where Th'impartial Worm (that is not brib'd to spare Princes corrupt in Marble) cannot share His Flesh; which oft the charitable Skies Imbalm with Tears; daining those Obsequies Belong to Men shall last, till pitying Fowl Contend to reach his Body to his Soul.
Thursday, May 15, 8:00pm, The Old Kitchens, Queens' College, Silver Street, Cambridge, GRASP, Redell Olsen, John Matthias and A.S.J. Ellis. ALSO that day THE BLUE BUS at THE LAMB in LONDON. Not sure who's on, but possibly Christine Wertheim? - who is certainly reading Thurs May 29, at CPRC @ Birkbeck - 2 pm. Also Openned Foundry London Wednesday Maggie Charlie et al.
... there were some very good poems said. A Conduit of Lambs. Jeff Hilson and Giles Goodland launched a new reading series, which is called the Blue Bus. See note 1. It bears an as-yet inchoate relation to the Crossing the Line series. And inside that launch there was another launch, of Giles’ book Capital.
One trope which comes up a lot in Jeff’s Bird Bird is a kind of outraged or confused return to some subject as its object; I mean “subject” and “object” very loosely and in a kind of syntactical way: “the thing about x is that it’s so x!” or “when x is feeling a bit y, it goes and xs!” Two pseudo-hypotheses tend to dog this trope: (1) someone doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is running out of language so finishes up lamely where he started; (2) someone tries to draw out protocols from the thing she just mentioned, through which to extend it into a narrative, relations, qualifications, predications etc., but is almost immediately overwhelmed with regret and rushes back on herself to insist on the originary language (see note 2).
Much of Giles’ Capital is staked on the assertions made across the breaks between bits of found texts, e.g. “[...] the New York Times headlined / / with its blood serving as paint [...]”. Making too much of this obvious and widespread practice is trivial taxanonymising; Capital is conspicuous, though, in its fastidious avowal of each bit’s dual context (where it was found, and where it was put). For every bit of found text a source is cited. The bits fuse standoffishly, encysted in separate stanzas. One advantage is that it makes it difficult to collapse the manifold of dockings among discourses and subject positions and so on into a single channel of oncoming comic incongruities.
Note 1: The venue was a pretty standard Pub Upstairs, and I think it was asking £30. We had our own bar. The format was Giles / Jeff / break / Giles / Jeff. I think both readers made the same good choice to read quite briefly in the first half. I’m pretty sure the ticket conductors are David Miller, Alyson Torns and Keith Jebb. It’s going to be an occasional event TOOT TOOT! ALL ABOARD THE BLUE BUS! TOOT TOOT! £5 slash £3 concessions slash Oyster Card.
Note 2: But maybe tropes aren’t that interesting: I don’t think there’s much held in common among the contents of these sort-of-out-of-control claims.
Note 3: Are you also from Scotland, he said. No, no, I'm only from England, Jeff said. The other half of my family's from England, he said. Are they, said Jeff, where are they from. Well it's been two hundred years, he said, but Wales. And
[...] recent studies suggest that smokers require less frequent repeated revascularization after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). [...] Risk of ulcerative colitis has been frequently shown to be reduced by smokers on a dose-dependent basis; the effect is eliminated if the individual stops smoking [...] Smoking appears to interfere with development of Kaposi's sarcoma, [...] breast cancer among women carrying the very high risk BRCA gene, [...] preeclampsia, [...] and atopic disorders such as allergic asthma [...] A plausible mechanism of action in these cases may be the nicotine in tobacco smoke acting as an anti-inflammatory agent and interfering with the disease process. [...]
In mice, studies have shown nicotine can reduce the amount of DOI-induced head twitches (meant to model tics) related to Tourette's Syndrome. A large body of evidence suggests that the risks of neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease might be twice as high for non-smokers than for smokers. [...] Many such papers regarding Alzheimer's disease [...] and Parkinson's Disease [...] have been published. A plausible explanation for these cases may be the effect of nicotine, a cholinergic stimulant, decreasing the levels of acetylcholine in the smoker's brain; Parkinson's disease occurs when the effect of dopamine is less than that of acetylcholine. Opponents counter by noting that consumption of pure nicotine may be as beneficial as smoking without the risk. Other Alzheimer's studies, however, challenge these epidemiological studies on methodological grounds [...] A prospective Rotterdam Study found that the incidence of Alzheimer's disease is more than double for smokers as compared to non-smokers [...] and the Honolulu Heart Program (a longitudinal cohort study) also found more than twice the risk for Alzheimer's disease among medium and heavy smokers as compared to non-smokers. [...] Though the negative correlation between smoking and Parkinson's disease is recognized, the causality has not been established. The relationship may be artifact (observational) based on clusters of behavioral and personality differences in the pre-Parkinsonian population versus the smoking population. [...] Considering the high rates of physical sickness and deaths among persons suffering from schizophrenia [...] one of smoking's most burdensome short term benefits is its temporary effect to improve alertness and cognitive functioning in that disease [...] It has been postulated that the mechanism of this effect is that schizophrenics have a disturbance of nicotinic receptor functioning [...]
I think I made Goddamn clear my position on Flash poetry on the O'Reilly Factor in the Fall – roughly that it's the mean hiss of tripe, and the tripe who hiss it fail to notice far more complicated and interesting aesthetic objects already occupying their rhetorics, precisely because computer games tower waaay above their tripey eye-level? Sophie Robinson's Modern Edith is no exception. But its petty affront is ameliorated in two petty ways:
(a) The parody is blob-on i.e. it is what it parodies plus ooze over the edge. Edith is a carefully-amateurishly-implemented retro-siren wet-dreamt up by corporate-porners (with the irony screen affixed, the boyish suck for tottery gash can be pandered to with normally-taboo ferocity exempted as a kind of bucking-knowing-nodding to How Far We’ve Come; cf. the Lads’ Mag’s “de-sexualising”ly (not REALLY, see?) mocking captions to its glamour shots). Equally importantly (in fact, I think I regard it as the same point), the technologies which underlie Edith are quite similar to those underlying, say, these dolls. The petty affront thus ameliorated: Edith jostles among digital cultural artefacts – timewasters, games – and cuts it or not, without recourse to the habitual excuses invoked by poetry or even art. I’ve gone too far.
(b) After only six and a half hours of dressing and undressing Edith, you begin to think about gender? Teeny advice columnist channelling queer and feminist reworkings of Freud and Lacan. If you think your dad might cut off your penis if you try to sleep with your mum, you should confront him and say how you feel. In particular, ask him what tacit alternatives to objectification are available in Modern Edith’s critique of objectification. Surely not intersubjectification? Men (just as a handy baseline) don’t intersubjectify do they? – systematised mutual bodysnatching is hardly guffawing in a cocksure club. As well as kind, thinking myself into your shoes could be a form of self-regard (“how do I look?”), of cold thriftiness (“in thinking like you, I switch off conceptual resources I could have given you”) and of creepy invasion (“I want to feel you from the inside”). So whither contra-objectification commandoileys? Interactivity, usually just despised as a fetish object substituting for unreified social relations, may be one of Modern Edith ’s answers. “Respect” as it is constituted in hip-hop discourse is also worth a look, and maybe a recuperation as critical rationality; as an English gentleman the closest translation with which I feel any affinity is “fear.” “You people are gonna [fear] me; I bet I make you [fear] me” (Ditzee Rascal). Modern Edith is terrifying.
Coming soon: attacks on every membrane in John Cayley.
Unfinished sequences. Currently include those about Andrew Duncan's, Emily Critchley's, & Simon Jarvis's things. Caveat on quotations. (1) The Blogger architecture collapses tabs & multiple spaces; it's possible to get around this – (& if you’re nice to him John Sparrow might tell you how?) – but it’s friction, I hardly ever bother with it. Quotations which have lost indents or other formatting are labelled “not sic” unless I’ve forgotten. (2) Stuff filed under 1999 is kinda my personal commonplace book for a POLITIX course, a.k.a. BUCKBUCK Courier Point (Hill House): 799999, so. (3) I often don’t proof what I type / paste in. Gotta dash for snax. Avant garde British poetry.Peter Philpott holds the answers.