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Entry 31: Generation

Generation n. 1 All of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively; ‘one of his generation’s finest songwriters.’ 1.1 The average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, in which children grow up, become adults, and have children of their own; ‘the same families have lived here for generations.’ 1.2 A set of members of a family regarded as a single step or stage in descent; as modifier, in combination ‘a third-generation Canadian.’ 1.3 A group of people of similar age involved in a particular activity; ‘a new generation of actors and directors.’ 1.4 A single stage in the development of a type of product or technology; ‘a new generation of rear-engined sports cars.’ 2 mass noun The production or creation of something; ‘methods of electricity generation’; ‘the generation of wealth.’ 2.1 The propagation of living organisms; procreation. Origin Middle English: via Old French from Latin generatio(n-), from the verb generare (see generate).

Oxford Living Dictionaries

Introduction to “The Face Gone:
Generation in Presentist Poetics”

presented at ASAP 9, 27 October 2017
“Generation and the Arts of the Present”
with Lawrence Rinder and James Smethurst;
chaired by C.D. Blanton; Rita Raley, respondent

In critical and creative terms, “generation” is a blindspot in the discourse of the arts of the present. My essay starts by questioning the reliance on art historical, literary, and critical paradigms of periodization as assumed across the disciplines: from Foucault’s “epistemic shift” to Jameson’s “cultural logic of late capitalism” to periodizing notions of the literary, artistic, or cultural succession of one movement, school, style, or group to the next. Rather, I see “generation” as a cultural logic is negotiated at every moment in poetic practice: for instance, Language writing does not simply succeed and overturn the “presentness” of the New American poets, nor is it simply overturned by conceptualism or new activist poetries—rather, a complex negotiation of generation takes place at each moment, which may be seen both within the details of the work or movement’s construction or self-understanding, and externally in terms of its aesthetic positioning. … More

Document 66: The Bungalows

[In memory of John Ashbery]

ashbery collage 01

THE BUNGALOWS

Impatient as we were for all of them to join us,
The land had not yet risen into view: gulls had swept the gray steel towers away
So that it profited less to go searching, away over the humming earth
Than to stay in immediate relation to these other things—boxes, store parts, whatever you wanted to call them—
Whose installedness was the price of further revolutions, so you knew this combat was the last.
And still the relationship waxed, billowed like scenery on the breeze.

They are the same aren’t they,
The presumed landscape and the dream of home
Because the people are all homesick today or desperately sleeping,
Trying to remember how those rectangular shapes
Became so extraneous and so near
To create a foreground of quiet knowledge
In which youth had grown old, chanting and singing wise hymns that
Will sign for old age
And so lift up the past to be persuaded, and be put down again.

… More

from “The Trouble with Occupy:
Materialism, Transvaluation, and the Symbolic”

Occupy was, and continues to be, an event; we speak of “the event of Occupy” much as we refer to the “event of 9/11.” Occupy poets both participated in the event of Occupy but also continued it as an event through their work, which to a degree anticipated the event in providing terms drawn from poetry. At the center of the Occupy movement was a poetics, one that is not merely represented by its poets or reflected in their work. The spontaneity of decision making, the refusal of hierarchical structures, the advocacy of a “transvaluation of all values” without concrete political goals, the temporal and spatial forms of the movement, its self-understanding as exemplary as much as practical—all point toward a constructivist poetics in which there are no prior givens or certain grounds. My writing on Occupy poetry, too, has had an evental character; what follows develops a sequence of paradigms over several conference presentations and publications as political events continued to unfold. It has not been sufficiently noted that a shift in the register of politics as “event” from Occupy in 2011 to the 2012 reelection of Barack Obama effectively ended the active phase of the movement; since that time, it has persisted as a political imaginary that has been both absorbed into political developments like the Sanders campaign and preserved in an ongoing articulation of poetics and political theory. … More

Georgette Fleischer is a scholar of modernist studies and, until recently, adjunct faculty at Barnard College, where she taught in the First Year Foundations and the English Department for 17 years. She is a vociferous advocate for union organizing of contingent labor and was instrumental in organizing Barnard Contingent Faculty, local 2110 of the UAW/United Auto Workers. Clearly in connection with her organizing activities, she has been terminated by Barnard College, using a concession in the very contract she negotiated to do so.

The situation of adjunct faculty nationwide is a scandal that has affected academia at every level and is a major factor in the continuing decline of higher education. We must broadly support the right of contingent faculty to organize; to earn a living not a subsistence wage; to be fairly evaluated and not subjected to arbitrary procedures; to have access to security of employment; to achieve professional dignity in otherwise increasingly hierarchical institutions; and finally to participate fully and openly in academic inquiry and public advocacy without risk of censorship or punishment.

Georgette Fleischer is a courageous advocate for all these rights, and her case touches on all of them. She was instrumental in organizing contingent faculty at Barnard after having endured a decade and a half of substandard wages, lack of opportunities for advancement or security, lack of recognition for the intellectual and pedagogical contribution she has made, and exposure to arbitrary procedures. It is obvious from the history of her teaching and organizing at Barnard that she has been singled out as a “squeaky wheel,” a voice that refused to be silenced, a gadfly that kept returning to the struggle.

Her union organizing history has been summarized in detail in online articles, and there is now a Facebook page for BCF-UAW, with numerous support letters. See the following:

“An Inconvenient Adjunct,” by Colleen Flaherty. Inside Higher Education, 9 June 2017; click here.

BCF-UAW 2110 Facebook page, with numerous supporting posts; click here.

Barnard Contingent Faculty, letter to the President of Barnard College; click here.

“When Unfair Labor Relations Reify, It’s Time to Strike” by Georgette Fleischer. The Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) Contingent Faculty Blog, 25 September 2016; click here.

… More

Document 53: Reprobate

William_Blake's_Cain_and_Abel

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

reprobate n. M16 1 A person rejected by God; a person who has fallen from grace. M16. b collect. pl. The people rejected by God and thus denied salvation. M16. 2 An unprincipled person; a person of loose or immoral character. L16. 2 S. O’Casey Gimme money, y’oul’ reprobate!

reprobate a. L15. 1 Rejected by God; hardened in sin. L15. b Lacking religious or moral obligation; condemned as worthless, inferior, or impure. M17. 2 Rejected or condemned as worthless, inferior, or impure. Now rare. M16. 3 Depraved, degraded, morally corrupt. Also foll. by to. M16–M18. 4 Deserving of condemnation or reproof; appropriate to reprobates. E17–L18. 2 J. Spencer A great deal of reprobate Silver which . . . looks like Sterling.

reprobate v.t. LME. 1 Disapprove of, censure, condemn. LME. 2 Of God: reject or condemn (a person); exclude from salvation. L15. 3 Reject, refuse, put aside. E17. b Law (chiefly Sc.). Reject (an instrument or deed) as not binding. E18. 1 H. L. Wilson Especially reprobated by the matrons of the correct set. G. Gorer Whether premarital experience is advocated or reprobated. 2 G. Lavington Look upon themselves as reprobated, and forsaken of God. 3b approbate and reprobate: see APPROBATE 2.

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Document 52: Plan B

Plan B is Poem of the Week!

plan b broadside 1

plan b broadside 2

Mark Olival-Bartley has published the first 22 (of 101) tercets of “Plan B,” my poem refusing normalization after the 2016 election, in his Poem of the Week series in Munich. I will read it, and Franziska Ruprecht will perform the poem in German translation, along with other work, on Thursday, July 6, 7:30 PM, at the JYM in Munich. Click here for more information.

Support for Profs. Stephen Ratcliffe and Roscoe Mitchell

Like many in academia and the arts, I am concerned—even outraged—at the news that eleven tenured or ranked faculty are being considered for dismissal at Mills College. Wayne State University, where I teach, had a recent experience with expedient budget solutions that affect tenure, and condemnation and reputational damage were swift—and had the administration gone through with its plans, severe. Wayne State would have lost credentials, grants, students, and in the long run would have jeopardized accreditation. I can see similar negative outcomes for Mills College should you proceed with this action—already, the news has been widely disseminated.

… More

Entry 30: The New Blast IV

notmypresident

 

The New Blast (final 25)

Blast the Incarnation of Greed!

Blast the Body without Organs!

Blast the Monetization of Pain!

Blast the Nation off its Borders!

Blast the Tyranny of Dichotomy!

Blast Disappearance of the Other!

Blast final Monotony of the Same!

Blast Psychic Fantasy of Destruction!

Blast the Triumph of Anamorphosis!

Blast whomever is Not Listening!

Blast whomever Does Not Get It!

Blast Core Values of Individuation!

Blast the Blindness of Self-Interest!

Blast Regression Analysis of Fact!

Blast the Obscuration of Predictors!

Blast our Total Amnesia of the Past!

Blast our Presentism of Hate Speech!

Blast our Incomprehensible Futurity!

Blast Past, Present, and Future then!

Blast Action and Nonaction from Fear!

Blast Fear making Good People Quiet!

Blast Fear undoing Logical Inference!

Blast Fear perverting Common Sense!

Blast Fear returning us to Barbarism!

Blast Fear the Seducer of the People!

[after Wyndham Lewis; return to part I]

Entry 29: The New Blast III

notmypresident

 

The New Blast (third 25)

Blast the Corruption of Language!

Blast the Purification of Language!

Blast their Misuses of Metaphor!

Blast our Mediation of Metonymy!

Blast all Originality of Authorship!

Blast endless Recycling of Copies!

Blast the News as Election Cycle!

Blast the Construction of Discourse!

Blast the Eternal Return of the Same!

Blast any Illusion of Transcendence!

Blast a Seething Snakepit of Tropes!

Blast the Apotheosis of Zarathustra!

Blast that Dawn over the Rockies!

Blast that Sunset of Verbal Debris!

Blast your Life as a Dumpster Fire!

Blast repeating Tidal Waves of Shock!

Blast needing to Get Through This!

Blast your Republican Uncle in 1960.

Blast your Democratic Father in 1968.

Blast even the Great Chain of Being!

Blast Trust Funds of Popular Culture!

Blast Hedge Funds of High Culture!

Blast the Banking System entirely!

Blast the Inertia of the Art Market!

Blast the Perpetuation of Ideology!

[after Wyndham Lewis; to be contd.]