Monday, November 30, 2015

Cheltenham Elegies, more on YUDU analogue...



The following analogue mp3 pages are featured on YUDU: Cheltenham Elegies, Dancing With Myself, Apparition Poems 1 and 2, from Beams, from Equations, Opera BufaPosit, ReturnsWhen You Bit...TrishChimes, Canyons Lined In Blue WatersLive In BrooklynShe Disowned My LifeEris Temple EP, Ardent. Cheers.

Lyricism and Deconstruction


Whether Deconstructionism happened to be a cohesive, authentic intellectual juggernaut movement or not is up for debate. What is not up for debate is that the central tenets of Deconstructionism— the evanescence and arbitrary nature of language, and the dichotomous push-pull both away from and towards the text and textuality— inform Posit to a very significant extent. That Deconstructionism can also apply to painting— that there is also, proverbially, nothing outside the image— makes Deconstructionist thought relevant also to the Philly Free School and Neo-Romanticism in totem. What Posit seems to signal, as a literary talisman initiating the Neo-Romantic endeavor (encompassing also, what Abby had already painted), was the reemergence of non-arbitrary language, of a kind of lyricism-within-Deconstruction, one that attempted (and attempts) to make aesthetic its own contradictions:

“I” must climb up
from a whirlpool
swirling down,
but sans belief
in signification.

“I” must say I
w/out knowing
how or why
this can happen
in language.

“I” must believe
in my own
existence,
droplets stopping
my mouth—

alone, derelict,
“I” must come back,
again, again,
‘til this emptiness
is known, and shown.

To what extent can form and formality (lyricism) redeem the arbitrary nature of the signifier? Is the lyrical signifier arbitrary? An empirical answer would have to put the truth in the middle of things— that, for instance, with “known” and “shown” in the poem’s concluding line, the sonority of the two words together (that they rhyme) makes for an effect meant to engender pleasure, and not to be arbitrary; yet, why k-n-o-w-n and s-h-o-w-n mean what they mean, rather then meaning something else, is as arbitrary as any other word, or words, meaning what they mean. Bring in, or draft, so to speak, the issue of subjectivity-in-text, the first person singular, and you see how lyricism drafts Deconstructionism, also, away from corrosive nihilism and towards some discrete affirmations: of form and formality in art as redemptive, of formal effects as meaningful against the arbitrary, and of the first person singular as a potential textual meeting place or median point around which all these imperatives assemble.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Neo-Romanticism and Lyrical Ballads



The sound recording I have circulating now called Live In Brooklyn features Amy King, in her introduction, mentioning the imminent release of my chapbook Posit. Its official release date, when I mailed out the first copies, was June 9, 2007. Just the mention of Posit, for me, makes Live in Brooklyn more important than the video taped at Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick in August 2009, of me reading some When You Bit… sonnets. The reason is simple: for Neo-Romanticism, for the Philly Free School, Posit has prescience in it which can effectively make it our Lyrical Ballads. It provides an intellectual spine and framework which supports the entire Neo-Romantic endeavor: from defining Neo-Romantic subjectivity, establishing an engagement with Deconstructionism and other forms of philosophy, re-affirming, past the English Romantics, the power of the personal, the first-person singular in art, and also incising into our gestalt sensibility a warm, humanistic approach to human sexuality, in defiance of English Romanticism’s wonted frigidity and more in line with Neo-Classicist painters Ingres and David, Posit stands as a document which leaps past 2007 and establishes what the twenty-first century might hold for high art, from Philadelphia on out. For me, Posit is the most seminal text with my name on it until Apparition Poems and the Cheltenham Elegies. The likability factor, huge in work like the Dancing With Myself Sonnets and Chimes, may not be as omnipresent, but Posit was not channeled specifically to be likable: it is there, as Lyrical Ballads was, to lay the groundwork for a revolution in consciousness, away from the vacuity of previous American art and towards creating representative American work which could stand comparison with anything produced in Europe in the last thousand years. The dialogues with Wordsworth, specifically, have continued into the present day.