>> Documents <<

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.

… More

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 28: The New Blast II

notmypresident

 

The New Blast (second 25)

Blast your Existential Threats!

Blast being Painted into a Corner!

Blast your need for Boundaries!

Blast all Boundaries whatsoever!

Blast the Line, the Fence, the Wall!

Blast dichotomy of Spatial Regions!

Blast anything Red, Blue, and Purple!

Blast the Undermining of Gray Areas!

Blast the Destruction of the Zone!

Blast the Silence of the Majority!

Blast the Rule of Enforced Quietude!

Blast any Liquidation of Avant-Gardes!

Blast not Talking in the Workplace!

Blast the Denial of Public Discourse!

Blast the Truth of Perpetual Distortion!

Blast our Perverse Triumph of the Will!

Blast our Regime of Monumentality!

Blast the New Sinking of the Titanic!

Blast the Engineers of False Hope!

Blast any Mention of Hope Altogether!

Blast the Stasis of Nonexistent Change!

Blast you Pimps of Hope and Change!

Blast Progressivism and its Illusions!

Blast the Rule of Regressive Psyches!

Blast the Ruse of Cynical Reason!

[after Wyndham Lewis; to be contd.]

Entry 27: The New Blast

notmypresident

 

The New Blast (first 25)

Blast the Brutalitarians!

Blast the New Barbarians!

Blast the use of Brute Force!

Blast the poetics of Domination!

Blast the Six Million Nonactors!

Blast the end of Moral Scruples!

Blast the guiles of Mendacity!

Blast the flipping of the Rust Belt!

Blast surplus of Data Analytics!

Blast ruse of Informed Judgment!

Blast all False Prognosticators!

Blast the Primal Horde of Bros!

Blast Little People Talking Big!

Blast Big People Talking Down!

Blast the rise of Family Dynasties!

Blast fascination of Filthy Lucre!

Blast the servitude of Denial!

Blast empty places to Fill In!

Blast the Reality TV of Choice!

Blast the choice of Reality TV!

Blast endless receding Horizons!

Blast the Abyss of every Ground!

Blast all forms of Normalization!

Blast containments of Narrative!

Blast _____ fill in the Blanks!

[after Wyndham Lewis; to be contd.]

Announcing Questions of Poetics:
Language Writing and Consequences

in a numbered and signed limited edition.

questions-of-poetics-hd

Both paperback and hardcover editions are available directly from the author; the paperback edition may be purchased from University of Iowa Press, which is offering a 35% discount for six months, and as well as at Amazon.com and other online suppliers.

See linked page for ordering information. Friends may purchase the paperback edition at author’s cost plus postage; the hardcover edition (limited to 75 copies) is available to friends for $50 and to institutions and collectors for $75.

images

Free Speech Movement
Ansel Adams
Allen Ginsberg
Black Panther Party
Robert Duncan
W.S. Merwin
Denise Levertov
Robert Creeley
Robert Grenier
1–10: “Non-Events”
… More