Tearing out Pages:
The spines are more or less pliable. The Hunger Artist, for instance, detached like a lizard’s tail. Its fragility is a marker of flimsy construction—mass consumability—the perfect bound industrialized imperfection. It lifted, it felt like a clean break.
Barthes crusted away, tore just at the spot I wanted to preserve it—the fixity of “Like a shop window which shows only one illuminated piece of jewelry, it is completely constituted by the presentation of only one thing: sex.: no secondary, untimely object ever manages to half conceal.”
Desire—a hoarding desire—to keep these pages. A matter of ownership: these are mine. And a matter of unresolved blurriness between need and desire: “I may NEED this later…”
How many things do we neglect until they are on the brink of non-existence—“half concealed”? A life subsumed by things that eclipse and are eclipsed, but in the meantime are completely obscured by this eternal present.
And to think that these things are MASS PRODUCED. The sense: “my desire may not be as strong later as now, and so I will fail to purchase this book again.” Or: “I’m too poor to need this, so I must WANT it.” Strange conflation magnified now.
The dictation gives me nothing –save for the knowledge my hand already possessed, its increasing weakness, that its nerves are up to something that won’t end well.
--eating parts of wrapper part of fast food experience
--wet promotion flyposted to the wall of a Big Mac
--nights at Denny’s sharing one burger the night a week out, this after welfare cheese accumulates in the fridge threatens to take it over what was my father doing all those nights?—
--Northwest paper inc, subsidiary of cant remember now, where 75 percent of our 8 by 11 paper comes from, countless unfair labor practices—hired, & still do, thugs to beat union organizers middle of the night, smash in car windows, a reported rape-as-intimidation tactic, at least one—the very paper used to report abuses, fill out ULPs, thousands of pages of discovery—was paper made by Northwest paper Inc.-- ULP filing literally PAYING FOR ULP costs—im complicit, neck up in it & for poetry’s sake,,?
The flesh of your precious
Carnage drapes over my molar
“3 days central booking
Bread brake back to bulk
Forming lax max interior
Null by Sat morning”
A piece of the hunger artist caught
the air area my empower ment
“The work of fart in the age of mechanistic
The life of a bean’s skin
The life of unwitting linoleum
“The alienated American kitchen”
My throat is a shelf for your so-called
Secret life, & that’s the bulk of it
One’s done in the mess hall
One’s hungry for more
The two of us who fast
I saw me eat “you”
To make out words beyond
Rounded vowels in a necessarily
Balls up moist we are just this much
Reptile, yr margins go into me
These short lived interrogations: chew,
Sense the wreck, the oncoming
Rot the now-sickened & say anything, take
Note of bowels & how these bracketed one-
Way conversations are rests in some-
Body’s song, or: redacted life, image of the
Archive cant help but wonder
How could you not
Wonder if whats brackets is the center of the
Word “Importance” or “Universe” & yr aha sense--
Making header the grinding the coming
Up of it—
My colon’s a holocaust memorial, ill
Product for this re-
Cycling could you how could you
Not know all this jammed-in
Me as conveyor of, it’s broke--
A secret for you to chew on
The 2 phrases (filters) I got from my friend to my left were "how could you not" and "bulk." Both from her prized Star Trek books (???). Here is the document that we used for this particular ritual - many of these are allegorizing moves in relation to leaked documents & their phenomena. A now well-known leaked 2002 memo by a CIA op. outlining how he has, and plans to continue, to torture a detainee. The letter is written by then-associate AG Bybee.
And, finally, here are then notes for this section (occurring at end of the book with the rest of the notes, citations, etc.):
Your Nerve Center Taxonomy is a series of “staged” occultations, where, owing to somatic practices a la CA Conrad and others, work here uses both filters—repeating phrases or, in this case, conceptual frames—and rituals—predetermined activities/procedures—in order to be(come). In contrast to some of Conrad’s (soma)tics, which belongs to a hugely important lineage of embodiment writing practices most profoundly felt, I think, in Hannah Weiner’s work, these poems desire to be occulted (punished?) along with/as extensions of their bodily environments, to be partially drowned out by their rituals (or vise versa?), rather than to emerge from their rituals. They seek to remain partially occulted, and the poetic writing is part of the ritual itself—where the ritual, or activity, divides the poem-space’s attention, such that one does not write from notes afterwards, but one’s notes are the poem, and the poems are the notes of the body signing in space and time. Unlike the transcription practices of Williamson or Goldsmith, these “notes” are not jottings, descriptions, or pure dictation, but are rather staged writing acts in which the body seeks articulation thru a poetic mode from the outset, the transcriber attempting to write the poem on the spot, to, in a sense, claim itself, as mediated by and contiguous with its environment, thru a sort of lyric. This is to say that though the poems in this section are transcriptions, the object was to create an environment, a “distraction zone in miniature,” part of which would be the “subject-body” attempting to “voice” thru signing, thru lyric, thru direct address, its struggle to “enunciate” or “speak” or “articulate” its fractures, multiples, and constrictions, not to compile or to shape what has been compiled.
These poems struggle to map and articulate the body’s position within a zone of pre-established discomfort, distraction, “noise,” indicative of the surveillance-industrial complex, allegorizing and modeling larger or more systemic zones of distraction which always (and in often hidden ways) mediate experience and construct the subject, in which necessarily, more thorough apprehension, re-narration, or articulation of that zone and its effects is precluded by the establishment of the zone itself (the increasing difficulty of voicing anything as distress presses down). How might one see, or hear, for instance, the logic of privatized militarism, and in what ways does that logic construct (constrict) how we see or hear? In what ways can the “distraction zone in miniature” make visible such occulted phenomena, or at least make visible the traces or imprints of such phenomena on the poem (body)? Such a “staging” is akin to building a model of what one is trying to picture, but better, an experiment that allows the poem to serve as trace, or as material imprinted by such phenomena. Such stages owe much to the work of David Buuck. Though in contrast to Buuck’s work, whose temporality and physicality (its detours) are (un)grounded in the “poetic tense,” this section is more simplistic and domestic—it asks not what will have been, but what if, and then carries out the experiment, stages the occulting “distraction zone in miniature” and archives itself here. Though it is the first time I’ve worked on a project of covering, occluding, etc. (in amplifying already constricted conditions for the aesthetic, such a project is, in a sense, a contradistinction to dissensus), rather than attempting to make a space conducive for poetry amidst countervailing forces, for a poem-life (making room for-), this work owes much to such re-claimation projects/rituals performed by Buuck and Conrad, and to Poets Theater generally.