Sunday, 30 December 2007

From "The Bitter Withy"

“And which one of you three rich young lords
Will play at the ball with me?”
“Ah, we're all lords' and ladies' sons
Born in a bower and hall
And you are nought but a poor maid's child
Born in an ox's stall”
“If I am nought but a poor maid's child
Born in a ox's stall
I'll make you believe at your latter end
I'm an angel above you all”
So he made a bridge of beams of the sun
And over the river ran he
And after him ran these rich young lords
And drowned they all three.
Then it's up the hill, and it's down the hill
Three rich young mothers run
Crying “Mary Mild, fetch home her child
For ours he's drowned each one.”
So Mary Mild fetched home her child
And laid him across her knee
And with a handful of withy twigs
She gave him lashes three.
And the withy shall be very first tree
To perish at the heart.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Quit merking my merkin

"[...] Twiddling your thumbs looking for something to do in the new year? Why don't you submit a play / short film / idea for a new devised piece for the second HighTide Festival, May 1st - 5th 2008?

Text / Devised submission deadline: January 4th
Film submission deadline: February 1st

We've already secured some world-class practitioners to lead workshops and masterclasses throughout the 2008 Festival. We'll keep [...]

Warmest wishes and happy new year,

The HighTide Company"

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

The Vine

By Robert Herrick.

I DREAM'D this mortal part of mine
Was Metamorphoz'd to a Vine;
Which crawling one and every way,
Enthrall'd my dainty Lucia.
Me thought, her long small legs & thighs
I with my Tendrils did surprize;
Her Belly, Buttocks, and her Waste
By my soft Nerv'lits were embrac'd:
About her head I writhing hung,
And with rich clusters (hid among
The leaves) her temples I behung:
So that my Lucia seem'd to me
Young Bacchus ravished by his tree.
My curles about her neck did craule,
And armes and hands they did enthrall:
So that she could not freely stir,
(All parts there made one prisoner.)
But when I crept with leaves to hide
Those parts, which maids keep unespy'd,
Such fleeting pleasures there I took,
That with the fancie I awook;
And found (Ah me!) this flesh of mine
More like a Stock then like a Vine.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

From "Poetry Without Organs"

By Craig Dworkin.

[...] "sixpack's relationship to Peter André's abdomen is metaphoric; to mine is metonymic" [...] Even with foods, the body in Adjunct only ever seems to drink. With little need for chewing, the foods mentioned are almost always liquid (soup, puree, yoghurt, fondue, "meat extract or homemade meat tea"), melted (butter and chocolate), or softened (enzymatic and mouldering cheeses, a banana forgotten in a coat pocket for three days until "it's black and soft") [...] Many are already "partly digested" (pap, minces, rissoles, patés) [...] The bodies in Adjunct not only take in all this liquid, but they excrete fluids at an equally impressive pace [...] The body as it appears in this book is a site of "hemorrage," "excrement," "discharge," and "excavations" of all kinds [...] If one of the sentences seems to accuse Manson by rebuking "you don't surface expressively in your poems," the poem itself is quite literally "expressive": "weeping," "leaking" and "expectrating" [...] Indeed, Adjunct details not only the expected "blood" "sweat" and "tears" (including the blood of bruises and slit wrists, spontateous hemorrhaging and nosebleeds, blisters and poisoning and donations), but the full spectrum of fluid bodily products: "urine," "pus," "phlegm" (both "snot" and "spit"), "bile," "gall," "mucous," "milk," "sperm" and "semen" [...] Characters are constantly "sick on" their surroundings ("We are such stuff as pukes are made on," one entry riffs). Another confesses that "it would be great to vomit," and after discovering a "strange burp in vomit," a "burp turns into vomit," escalating to "projectile vomiting at the dinner table" and ultimately "faecal vomiting" -- "an undigest" that links regurgitation to the many mentions of "waste" and "sewage": "shit" and "crap," "caca" and "merde," "guano," "manure," "droppings," "dung," and all tending to the extreme ("bowel too long"), the softened ("laxatives," whipped excrement), and the liquefied: infant soiling and "diarrhoea."

[...] Manson includes all manner of unhealthy retentions and emissions. The body is repeatedly subject to fluid swellings, and it further endures a wart and a wen, "watery cysts," a blister as big as a matchbox and another that bursts, the suppuration of several boils (one "persistent" and another that "bursts all over distant ;"), and a particularly gruesome "explosive pustule." [...]

Filling, swelling, leaking, bursting -- the body in Adjunct liquefies and overflows. Subcutaneous reservoirs of blood expand alarmingly, fluid spouts from unexpected sites, and the entire self, if not necessarily the actual body, is reduced to blood or excrement: "that man of blood"; "I am shit at my job"; "Dear Sir I'm shit, Love Peter" [...] However figural those expressions might be, the focus on the emollient pulps and spongy parts of the body are quite literal; Adjunct pointedly specifies the reservoirs of the spleen, bladder, kidney, liver, adenoids, as well as the lipids of "suet" and "lard," and the ominous trio of "gelatine, tallow, and semen." [...] Leaving only "grease and dead skin," the body in Adjunct continually sloughs off solid tissues [...] One finds a surprising number of depilations and exfoliations; hair balds prematurely or is shorn, nails are clipped, skin peels and flakes off with alarming insistence: "skin loosens on face"; "pieces of skin keep flaking off my leg"; "back of leg rips"; "two years later and bits of skin still keep flaking off my leg and not healing"; "Four years later and the leg is no better." [...] Or worse: "your skin goes hard and you die." [...] Or worse still: "reconstruct a Victorian shcoolgirl from fragments of skin"; "unfortunately the ears were attached to the hair"; "a band of human hair and skin was left 1.5 metres up the wall. Other human body parts, such as eye-balls, were scattered on the floor" [...] My point is not that the text can be morbid, but that the solid body in Adjunct is relentlessly disarticulated, repeatedly "broken," "irretrievably shattered," and even threatening to dematerialise completely [...] "Earless" and "headless," castrated or having "no genitals," the body's skeletal structure and extremities are unfailingly failing: brittle, disarticulated, or removed [...] Lungs collapse and are lost entirely; sections of the liver are "cut out"; legs and arms break or are amputated, leaving people "crutched" and "crippled"; toes "bruise or break"; spines are broken; digits are cut, cut off, and replaced with prosthetics; elbows are fractured, knees capped, other joints grow arthritic or become dislocated, limbs are "dismembered" or "dead" [...] Teeth are similarly at risk in Adjunct; missing, removable, decaying, toxic, blocked, no longer fitting together, artificial, and so essentially unstable that they actually define "insecurity" and "precarious" [...] And although the motivation for the sentence is comically paranomastic, even the hard encrustation of plaque is figured as soft, swollen and tender: "bubonic plaque" [...]

With its structures dissolving and its anatomy remade, the liquefying body in Adjunct resembles Antonin Artaud's "body without organs" [...]

Monday, 24 December 2007

Narrator of NBC’s To Catch A Predator’s tone subtly mocking of the half-heartedness of stitched-up would-be Internet paedophile’s attempt to kill himself by stabbing himself with the arresting officer's pen.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

From "The Cultivation of Christmas Trees"

By T. S. Eliot.

There are several attitudes towards Christmas,
Some of which we may disregard

Saturday, 22 December 2007

From the "Post-Marginal Positions" forum

[...] We’d like to start this conversation outside the U.S. We’re looking for co-editors for different regions to gather brief statements from local writers about feminism. We’d like to learn more about what it’s like to be a woman poet in other places of the globe, about living and working conditions of women poets in other locations, what others think can be done, if there might be anything to be done together.


If you’re interested in being a co-editor, know someone who might be, or have a suggestion or idea, we’d love to hear:

Friday, 21 December 2007

From "Jenna Bush's Book-Tour Diary of Hope"

By Steve Almond.

Diane Sawyer asks me if I feel a calling. Given all the stories in my past about being a "party girl," why am I now touring the country to raise awareness about the crisis of children excluded because they are HIV-positive? I gaze at her face—open, devout, with lips perhaps too swollen for a woman her age—and feel a lancing pity. Federico García Lorca whispers to me:

I have sung through the world
with my mouth of seven petals.
My galleys of amaranth
have gone without ropes or oars.

I have lived in the lands
of others, My secrets
round my throat,
without my realizing it, were open!

I think this is true of Diane Sawyer as well. I think the secrets around her throat are open. But I don't think she realizes it.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

From "New York City in 1979"

By Kathy Acker.

LESBIANS prefer the convoluting halls of sensuality to direct goal-pursuing mores.

Monday, 17 December 2007

This Thursday, 20 December: Opening night of Cross Kings Klinker. Terry Edwards + Plakka + Fuck Off Batman + Sir Gideon Vein + Chris Goode. Downstairs at Cross Kings pub, 126 York Way, London N1 0AX. Map / travel. Doors open 8pm, ends midnight. £5 / £3 concs.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

From "New York City in 1979"

By Kathy Acker.

Johnny like all other New York inhabitants doesn't want anything to do with sex. He hates sex because the air's hot, because feelings are dull, and because humans are repulsive.

Like all the other New Yorkers he's telling females he's strictly gay and males all faggots ought to burn in hell and they are. He's doing this because when he was sixteen years old his parents who wanted him to die stuck him in the Merchant Marines and all the marines cause this is what they do raped his ass off with many doses of coke.

Baudelaire doesn't go directly toward self-satisfaction cause of the following mechanism: X wants Y and, for whatever reasons reasons, thinks it shouldn't want Y. X thinks it is BAD because it wants Y. What X wants is Y and to be GOOD.

Baudelaire does the following to solve this dilemma: He understands that some agency (his parents, society, his mistress, etc.) is saying that wanting Y is BAD. The agency is authority is right. The authority will punish him because he's BAD. The authority will punish him as much as possible, punish me punish me, more than is necessary till it has to be obvious to everyone that the punishment is unjust. Punishers are unjust. All authority right now stinks to hell. Therefore there is no GOOD and BAD. X cannot be BAD.

It's necessary to go to as many extremes as possible.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

From "Epithalamion"

By Edmund Spenser.

[...] That all the sences they doe rauish quite,
The whyles the boyes run vp and downe the street,
Crying aloud with strong confused noyce,
As if it were one voyce.
Hymen io Hymen, Hymen they do shout,
That euen to the heauens theyr shouting shrill
Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill,
To which the people standing all about,
As in approuance doe thereto applaud
And loud aduaunce her laud,
And euermore they Hymen Hymen sing,
that al the woods them answer and theyr eccho ring.

Friday, 14 December 2007


By John Wieners.

O poetry, visit this house often,
imbue my life with success,
leave me not alone,
give me a wife and home.

Take this curse off
of early death and drugs,
make me a friend among peers,
lend me love, and timeliness.

Return me to the men who teach
and above all, cure the
hurts of wanting the impossible
through this suspended vacuum.

From "The Field of Cultural Production"

By Pierre Bourdieu.

[...] the economy of practices is based, as in a generalised game of 'loser wins', on a systematic inversion of the fundamental principles of all ordinary economies [...]

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

From the makers . . . of Frances Kruk . . . & Sophie Robinson . . . comes . . . the etc.

Royal Holloway Poetic Pricktease MA at The Foundry, near Old Street, tomorrow (Thurs 13th).

Saturday, 8 December 2007

From "Adjunct Travesty"

By Peter Manson et. al.

The great this otter's Gerald Theriault began to commemory of Adjunct. I don't have fall. Back of small undulation. It come to grip now. United a sing a god. A mallow Neville. Boredom results. Lager slush-puppy. The police word 'fractal' in the 90s. Longueur stands composition of A Void. STILL MAKING EXCUSES: Peter Manson Crater, under too small girls since 1990. Obscene runic inscription examination of her husband's smile.

Friday, 7 December 2007

From "Crown"

By J. H. Prynne.

[...] oh why as the
hours pass and are drawn off, do the
shoulders break, down to their possessions,
when at moments and for days the city
is achieved as a glance -- inwards, across,
the Interior Mountain with its cliffs
pale under frost [...]

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The Materialist

By Ann Yearsley.

Behold yon wretch with silent horror fill'd,
And sullen in extreme! His doubts are hell,
Whilst each discordant pow'r of his dark soul,
Performs its office but to yield him woe.
Vile ravager of Order! who shall hold
Thy line of false Morality? Who boast
Of Virtues which exist without a cause?

Perfection, be it trifling as the mote
Which revels in the Sun-beam, cannot own
Its essence self-originating. Vain
Are all thy pleas to social rules of Man!
Vain are thy toils in Science! Vain the web
Hoary Philosophy shall ever spin,
If, in thy future views, thou ne'er canst form
Some good to hope for!

Monday, 3 December 2007

From "The Social Contract"

By Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Grotius denies that all human power is instituted for the benefit of the governed. He cites slavery as an example; his commonest mode of reasoning is to base a right on a fact. A more logical method could be employed, but not one that is more favourable to tyrants.

It is therefore doubtful, following Grotius, whether the human race belongs to a hundred or so men, or whether these hundred men belong to the human race, and he seems inclined, throughout his book, towards the former opinion [...]