October 25, 2009

Deborah Meadows


Deborah Meadows [USA]
1956

Born in Buffalo, New York, Deborah Meadows' father—and others in her family—were ironworkers, and she grew up in a working class neighborhood. But Buffalo is also hope to notable cultural institutions such as the Albright-Knox Art gallery, where she spent many hours as a young girl. In high school she traveled to Stratford, Canada for the Shakespeare festival and attended concerts of the Buffalo Philharmonic, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, while working at the Buffalo Paper Stock factory. Meadows attended the State University of New York, Buffalo, where she studied literature under figures such as the postmodern critic and novelist Raymond Federman and professor Myles Slatin.

Leaving Buffalo, Meadows continued her education at the California State University in Los Angeles, where she studied philosophy and literature, graduating in 1986. Soon after, she began teaching at California Polytechnic University in Pomona. Her first book of poetry, The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick,” was published by Tinfish Press in 2003. Green Integer published her Representing Absence in 2004; in the same year Krupskaya press published her Itinerant Men.
     More recently, Meadows has written plays, published by BlazeBOX as Three Plays in 2015.

In recent years, Meadows has been active in international cultural affairs, traveling twice to Cuba to work to work with Cuban writers such as Reina María Rodríguez and Antonio José Ponte and she has traveled to and worked with poets in Buenos Aires. She has also been active with her faculty union and various issues involving access and equity in public higher education.

With her lover, Howard Stover, Meadows lives in the Los Angeles area. They spend part of each year in a house they built in the Piute Mountains.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick” (Kāne’ohe, Hawaii: Tinfish Press, 2003); Representing Absence (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2004); Itinerant Men (San Francisco: Krupskaya, 2004); Thin Gloves (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2006); The Draped Universe (New York: Belladonna Books, 2007); Involutia (Exeter, United Kingdom: Shearsman Books, 2007); Goodbye Tisssues (Exeter, United Kingdom: Shearsman Books); Depleted Burden Down (New York: Factory School, 2009); How, the Means (Los Angeles: Mindmade Books, 2010); Saccade Patterns (Buffalo, New York: BlazeVOX, 2011); Translation--the bass accompaniment: Selected Poems (Bristol, England: Shearsman Books, 2013); The Demotion of Pluto (New York: BlazeVox, 2016)



Chapter 61

Sightings, basis for portent specimen.

My body. The power to sway
in playfulness upon a vacant sea.

A sore of voices come back to life,
[touted regularly as carved
[by invisible, gracious water:
[the body, itself.

A match, only start her, assault
the female fish, obliquely.
In place of an enormous head,
[raise the buried taken.

Turns were taken, it jetted up
[and passed round that point
wherein the event rushed a steady finger.

The process:
—red tide
—“slanting sun… sent back its reflection
[into every face, so that they all glowed
[to each other like red men”

The ideological slip:
—killed or killers, the Pequod/Pequod again

The poetic process:
—each puff from whale spout matched
puff from Stubb’s pipe
—penetrating in search of gold watch,
“His heart had burst.”

The slip in Time
—expense of moral capital to acquire it

The process of exposé:
—death agony, a witnessed
tragedy of corporeal Body

The national slip:
—casual equation, large death
and small goods use us up


(from The 60’s and 70’s, 2003)



Chapter 2

Reaching
inhaled reaching, followed by or tucked
in as most stop at this place.

A place of departure where headrests, sleep,
originals are required: cement
banisters merge public and private lives,
how can order disguise the bows, bowsprits, etc.

Frost lay. I said to myself, as towards
identity and self-naming, lower your bag
and cover the darkness toward
expensive pavements and pumice the
secret inwardness. It’s all self, all
society, dreary streets and buses on from
here and hereafter. Moving
absorbs many of the works in public, so
encased in ashes, in poor boxes.

A common place. I muttered bathetic
entertainment by the weeping negro church.
I suppose I might look enough, seem
sufficient that tenting indoors, that judgment
more than ever divides. Matchless
is the miracle on the outside where the
window frosts only one-way. Northern
lights raise the dead man within, silken his
pillow lengthwise.
Now fiery, more of this scrape and plenty.


(from Representing Absence, 2004)


We’ve held subject positions


We’ve held subject positions beyond
the grave, experts claim.
A breakwall against sea surge
and psychological reduction, somebody
[or other coined it spectacular.

Too busy participating, we had no idea
how it resolved into a “scene,” and
we had no idea, and we had.

Official declarations that this
is the time for it were many places,
yet few of us felt implicated or even addressed,

[so we admired defacers:
This is the time for the foibles of logic
meant, alone, a long sentence
without appeal.
[The absurdities
of our shared rhetoric
omit how the body knows
[to do body things.

To bring out the shine, as a goal,
meant parental jingles extracting loyalty
[on whose behalves Our nation
[engages in it.

Sometimes you need a rock
to weigh something down.


(from Representing Absence, 2004)

Faux translation of Charles Baudelaire’s “To the Reader”

The sot, his error or fishing lens
lives in our spirits, works in our bodies,
so we eliminate our friendly notes
like mendicants nourishing our vermin.

Our fish are heady, our repentance milky.
We do ourselves gross injustice by what we have
and lease happiness in a scarlet shirt.
Known for its dye that runs when washed, we touch it.

On the topic of bad birds, there’s thirteen
who longs for our impress, our service,
whose baton will vaporize all our freedom
like a suave atomic scientist.

It’s the bull who has our reconstructed son!
About the repulsive objects we work on, we joke
about the day the flames of our descendants are not about here
we joke without bleakness in order to cross the sills that leak.

The poor debauched sot who lowers his mouth and eats
the martyred river from an antique cupboard
we go together along a passage of pleasure and secrecy
that is hard pressed like our agent’s orange.

Zig-zag yet still being formed by millions of hemoglobin donors
is the cut womb of the townspeople
and when we breathe death itself into our lungs,
we breathe the invisible flowers very deeply of our sad songs.

If Viola, poison, flowery painters, and revolutionaries
are not brooding again and again over their demented pleasures,
then the everyday canvas of our pitiful destiny
is our friend like a hell that can’t be hardy.

But the old images in the canyons, the mountain lions and bugs,
the chanters, scorpions, and biting snakes
are all monstrous exaggerations of those that are merchandized
at ramparts of our notorious zoo of cruelty and vice.

It is more laid, more sold, more unworldly
than anything else that can be a large gesture or big cry.
It volunteers the garbage of the land
and lowers all our attempts in this world.

The eye of the bored person involuntarily blinks
because it dreams of the sot high from smoking.
You know it’s true, that monstrous delicacy,
that drug of hypocrisy, like me, like you.



(from Representing Absence, 2004)

____


“Chapter 61,” reprinted from
The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick"(Kāne’ohe, Hawaii: Tinfish Press, 2003). ©2003 by Deborah Meadows. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Chapter 2,” “We’ve Held Subject Positions,” and “Faux Translation of Charles Baudelaire’s ‘To the Reader’” reprinted from
Representing Absence (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2004). ©2004 by Deborah Meadows. Reprinted by permission of Green Integer.




Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2006-2007

Midnight in Our Motivated

Right here, an alternate reading or despair our conditions?
Suggestion of foul play makes us experimental partners tentative

in keeping beat as nationalist pulse that races,
arranged in steps. But then coming down, erratic

words in mold and stale bread, informational or distilled
story, no unturned example, unpermitted dumping

altogether-now when most attacked historically –
At reading, our meter for conditioned signs now bypassed,

valid signature, worked valve, slick-faced
interference, rolled up welcome mats, suspicion –

now that's another story: hopped up percussionists
hum of air tankers on return circuit ‘til it's out

emphasizing old taints and favors, impediments
liked for charting counterintuitive voting patterns

believers are no longer pulled inward to its great
or sundown, whichever comes first. A new science,

a sort of confusion using bad foot to drag good
as two ends reach across states' suspension.

Hadn't you hoped for a change adding fire,
telling-knots addressed to mind by hand, but the music

acquired measure runs its blood circuit, what's there
after midnight in our motivated glacial moraine. None.

No software adequate to discern delusion, an error
behind favoring the favored, never happens

yet how little we know of the world's composition
in just societies even in legislative form

or social constraint, those forces holding power of refusal
to natural domination, ill-gotten releases.

Products from agricultural regions compete for last:
feathers drop after double barrier, world becomes wide.

Irresistible volume to pattern desire, define equally
as mystify, knowing deferral works well –

boulder and drag-marks behind the car's embankment.
The means already upon us completes
our education by vanishing, tools stuck with range:

limits embellish mortal compass with blurred sides, so true

_____
Reprinted from Shearsman, No. 67/68 (2006)

Guy Bennett

Guy Bennet [USA]
1960

Guy Bennett was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in the suburb of Gardena. As a young child, his father left the family, and Bennett and his younger brother—a sickly child who died at the early age of 29—were raised by his mother and grandmother, both of whom spoke a dialect of Italian, the grandmother’s native language. In the late 1980s and early 1990s Bennett attended the University of California and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In 1993, he graduated from that institution, with a PhD in French literature. His interest in Futurism also led him to master Russian and Italian.

Soon after graduation, Bennett met Douglas Messerli at an Italian Futurist conference, and—after showing the publisher some translations he had done of Marinetti, for which he had recreated the original typefaces—came to work as typographer for Sun & Moon Press.

Simultaneously, Bennett taught French language and literature at UCLA and other local community colleges. He also began to translate books from French and other languuages, many of which were published by Sun & Moon and Green Integer. Previous to the publication of his own first book of poetry, Last Words, Bennett began his own press, Seeing Eye Books (in 1997) which continues to publish four books, available by subscription, annually.

In 1999 he became Associate Professor of Liberal Studies and Communication at Otis College of Art & Design. The year before he married French scholar and writer Béatrice Mousli, and together they now split their time between Los Angeles and her native Paris.

In 2000, Bennett published The Row, and in 2001 his chapbook 100 Famous Views was published by 108.93 press. The Italian publishing house ML & NLF published a bilingual collection of his poems, Drive to Cluster (with art by Ron Giffin), in 2003.

Bennett has continued to translate and to typeset books for several local and national publishers. With Standard Schaefer, Bruno Franklin and Chris Reiner, he organized a poetry reading series at a local café. And he has been active in several poetic ventures throughout the city. With his wife, Bennett organized an exhibit and conference on “French and American Poetry in Translation” at the University of Southern California, the Autry Museum, and Otis College of Art & Design in 2003.

Bennett’s writing, like his personality, is witty, urbane, and highly focused. His writing often has formal systems quietly embedded in it, but the poetry itself in influenced by a wide range of interests: music (for several years he played bass in a local musical group), photography, film, architecture, and, as one might expect, the languages and literatures of other countries.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Last Words (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1998); The Row (Los Angeles: Seeing Eye Books, 2000); One Hundred Famous Views (Atlanta: 108.93, 2001); Drive to Cluster (Piacenza, Italy: ML & NLF, 2003); 32 Snapshots of Marseilles (Corvallis, Oregon: Sacrifice Press, 2010); Self-Evident Poems (Los Angeles: Otis Books/Sesimicity Editions, 2011)




from Self-Evident Poems



Preliminary Poem


This poem is self-contained
and self-sufficient.
It does not require critical commentary
or explanations of any kind
to convey its meaning,
which is self-evident.

It does not exceed a single page,
and is thus appropriate
for publication in magazines
and anthologies.

It can be read in a single sitting,
and will not unduly tax the reader or listener
as it neither necessitates nor benefits from
excessive post-reading reflexion.


Literal Poem


This poem
means exactly what it says
and nothing more.
It was intended
to be taken literally,
thus no figurative language
was used,
and no symbolic meaning
can be infered.
For this reason
I feel confident in asserting
that it is not possible
to not understand
this poem.


Poem Based on a Comparison


This poem
is not unlike a small animal
living, imperceptibly,
on the periphery of the human world,
hiding in bushes,
crawling through tall grass,
or cruising silently
in water so turbid
that no one will ever see it.


Conceptual Poem


Aesthetically speaking,
this is not a conceptual poem.

Linguistically speaking,
it is.



Palindromic Poem


A palindromic poem
reads the same way
from beginning to end
as from end to beginning.


Poem Written to Be Read


This poem
was written to be read,
whether silently or aloud,
to oneself or others,
as frequently or infrequently
as one might like.

In that respect,
it is no different
than any other poem.

In other respects
it is.


Poem with Rhyme


Everyone knows
that poems don’t rhyme
anymore.


Enigmatic Metaphorical Poem


This poem is something else!



Elliptical Poem


This poem

.


Poem on the Death of The Author


This poem was written
prior to the death of the author,
obviously.


Socially-Relevant Poem


I had never written one
before this.








Elitist Poem


The paradigmatic shift
implicit in the title of this poem
may well elude the common man.








Populist Poem


I couldn’t think of one.








Anti-Intellectual Poem


This poem is against intellectualism
in all its forms.
It rejects the results
of abstract reasoning and analysis,
which often contradict the simple home-truths
held since birth by the majority.
It is deeply suspicious
of anyone and anything
not immediately and transparently
understandable,
and is acutely wary of explanations,
elucidations, and demonstrations
of any kind.
It prefers home-schooling to education,
faith to knowledge,
opinion to evidence,
entertainment to information,
shooting first to asking questions,
cowboys to indians,
Oprah to opera,
ketchup to kimchi,
and us to them.
In its blithe self-centeredness
and baseless confidence,
it bitterly opposes anything
not as patently self-evident
as this poem.


________


(c) 2010 by Guy Bennett