I’m so glad that writing and publishing are different things. I try to write every day, though there are often stretches of roaring silence. I only share the parts that deliver their cargo. Some ships sink.
In Gender Trouble, Judith Butler argues that sex, gender, and sexuality—categories that are normally seen as “coherent” and “natural”—are all culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized acts in time.
I have worn my mustache in public a total of eleven times since the first on October 31, 2012.
Great interview at Another Chicago Magazine. Was impressed by the parallels Cassandra and Kathleen were able to make with Poems While You Wait to things like marketing and internet poetry.
CG: I think that sort of feedback is what sustains a lot of the internet-centric literary community right now–capacity to comment/respond. A lot of writers depend on it. Do you think this sort of rapid response has notable downsides? I feel like the “ego-boost” of a successful piece has led a lot of the writers I adore into weird places.
KR: Great comparison. And yes, I think sometimes–both in person and online–“interactivity” becomes interruptivity, for better and for worse. Whether it’s ego, per se, or just a desire to please/make people happy or make people like “you”/your writing, that immediacy of response can become an obstruction like any other. And that obstruction can be “good” like the obstruction of writing a sonnet, or “bad” like pandering-bad.
There are on the night sky three mushrooms, which are the moon. As abruptly as sings the cuckoo from a clock, they rearrange themselves each month at midnight. There are in the garden some rare flowers which are little men at rest that wake up every morning. There is in my dark room a luminous shuttle that roves, then two … phosphorescent aerostats, they’re the reflections of a mirror. There is in my head a bee that talks.
–Translated by Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney via
Every monster is a little bit cute. Could cliché be the best way of getting at truth? Epistemology of kidding on the square?
In the early 14th Century, “monster” meant “a malformed animal or human, a creature afflicted with a birth defect,” and came from a root word meaning “to warn.” I’m arming you with knowledge to lessen your fear, but I’m scared myself.
There’s a tendency to confuse the speaker of a poem with the author of the poem. And there’s a tendency to believe that a poem is ‘true'—whatever that means to the reader—instead of seeing it as framed language or storytelling. I’m not immune to the confusion either. Painting is a way to commit to imagination without being called a liar.
Lying Next to You in Bed, Reading Art History, I Come Across Fun Facts That Reflect on You, on Me
Ingres stuck an extra vertebra in the neck of his Odalisque.
Stepped back, said, “Such are the risks we take
for love.” You start every sentence lately with, “You
know what would be sexy, is if…” Pontormo, in his later years, was so
scared of— He refused to hear the word
spoken. His diaries show him neurotically obsessed
with his own body. I try hard to be pretty. Genet
said “Beauty has no other origin than the wound.”
I know how simply this thrust to re-form,
to improve the flesh ends up de-forming. “You know what would be sexy, is if
you slipped your clothes off, dirty like a stripper?” Giacometti was an assiduous frequenter of bordellos. Those purveyors of the sex you think you want, always work against nature. Always push towards death. Cezanne once screamed at a sitter, “You wretch! You should hold yourself like an apple.
Do apples move? Do they? You are disturbing the pose.”