Saturday, 9 August 2008

architecture for cartography (3/8)

Their criticisms must be understood as newly-recruited to this speculative parallel history, and their tone as a products of their times. In the A4 Moleskine which I typed them from, there also exist:

(1) c.11 pages of pupal, shrill and heartfelt “ideas” re. possible solutions to long-solved or long-dissolved problems of poetics and aesthetics, viz. the relationship of politics and poetry, the death of the author, the purpose of syntactic disruption, the limit conditions of the poem or of art, questions of “meaning” and “aboutness,” &c.;

(2) c.9 pages of fragments of, & notes towards, the never-quite-abandoned Tragedy of Beyonce Knowles, 90% innocuous despite fusty pop allusions (Razorlight, Asterix and Obelix, David Blaine). In one erotic scene having lost his erection the hero restores it by smoking a Marlborough. Another episode is enlivened by the antics of a gypsy thiefess. A sub-plot is outlined involving a comely barmaid who goes too takes her teasing of the novel’s protagonist and his side-kick too far, and gets what she both deserves and really wants. There is one casual reference to a character who uses a wheelchair as a big gay roller-skate;

(3) c.3 pages of broken Youtube embeds;

(4) c.10 pages + scattered marginalia comprising never-used and entirely lifeless conceits, each containing some recognisable ingenuity or manoeuvre, or if not recognisable then recallable, or if not that, then obscurely traceable as a whiff, a faint acridity from linguistic frictions: “military equipment seeks like,” “save on preparation time, cook your tongue,” “too gagged to shag,” “death is driving second,” “bowling ball cut,” “not the sharpest stool in the bucket,” including many exploratory and only tentatively meaningless metaphors: “throat tastes like a blowpipe,” “a womb like a clogged outbox,” “a death the size of a stomach,” “sandbags under the eyes,” &c.;

(5) c.12 pages consisting of the first two-thirds of a political essay which begins, “The negro suffrage movement has now gone too far to be disposed of by the overthrow of its arguments, and by a mere indication of those which could be advanced on the other side. The situation demands the bringing forward of the case against negro’s suffrage ; and it must be the full and quite unexpurgated case,” which was ultimately published under the moniker “Helen Bridwell” as the pamphlet “THE SUFFRAGE QUESTION AND THE ARGUMENT FROM CUSTOM”;

(6) c.3 pages outlining the screenplay Totalled, an early MS of which would later end up on the desk of J.H. Prynne to be plagiarized by him as “Plant Time Manifold Transcripts”;

(7) c.5 pages comprising c.3.5 merry tales, each revolving around an instance of acute falseness by a woman, which I recall intending to complement with about seven others, the design of the set being to illustrate completely the typically female equipment of impulses. Thankfully I stopped there, and the 3.5 are as yet unpublished.

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