Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alligator Zine: Levinson, Alexander

Stochastic Model of X-Ray Emission from Interstellar Winds

Woke up this morning. Woke up this afternoon to my daily ritual: meditate, read a little bit if not for shits and giggles then in order to fully use my prefrontal cortex for whatever lifting needs get done, get down to work. Work for awhile, feel the unusual fatigue of sickness, blog. Return to work. Nowadays I'm lucky to get four, five hours in. It's why, in part, I'm so slow with everything--would like to say it's a matter of taking care, but it's not entirely that, sometimes not at all. I dislike that it gets dark out so early. The dark is only good insofar as there is something to contrast it to. Anyhow, I woke this morning. Woke up this afternoon and checked my email (dreaded, hardly ever do that), and the first thing occurring after the requisite penis enlargement, big-breasted, British lotto correspondence w/pics, was a kind email from Wheelhouse contributor Heller Levinson saying hello, sending me a link to Alligator Zine, which has just lately published a collaboration between Levinson and artist Linda Lynch (see front page). The term "underrated" came to mind as I read slash took in the work, this very dreamlike and sort of magical poetry--laden with movement via sonic play--echoing the dancerly whirring of the sketches. Then I thought that that term was awful and wondered why anyone would use it for anything. Does anyone truly want to be "correctly rated" or "appropriately rated"? Rated? "Underrepresented," ? no, that's a term that should be reserved for humans and human communities and requires impersonal wrongs and their acknowledgment, and it says things about this interior that either term would be tried out as the caboose for reflection summary after reading. Unlike for Heller or for Elizabeth--she's reading The Book of Frank in bed right now in prep for a collaborative review discussion, I just poked my head in after relieving myself and checking on the coffee (full)--these my recesses (strikethru possessive but not now) they must be shaped by rationalistic taxonomy, drawn to reductionisms, perhaps conditioned by years of baseball and later, Goodreads. Stars, checks, Xs out some finite number of each. Usually 3, 4 or 5. "Levinson's work is often a 5 but he doesn't get the credit for it." "Levinson's work is underrepresented." What could this knee-jerk shorthand-shopping mean? One's vocabulary has higher stakes than a 70s open classroom, not-what-you-think-but-how-you think pedagogy discloses--cf. how the speaker is either pushed into or absorbed by taxonomic and also racial connotation, the combination sick?... upon... reflection. Will Alexander is one of the editors of this exciting virtual international hub Alligator Zine. Will Alexander's work is under-read (spell check says this term is unfamiliar enough to need a hyphen). Is what upon reflection I believe I figured. His Above the Human Nerve Domain from Pavement Saw (1998) was one of the first contemporary poetry books--like, having just come out shortly before reading it--that got me excited in the way Emily Dickinson had, or WW, or whoever had electrified me in the Detroit public library during the gas shortage and for several years after until leaving it back there. I was writing my first poems back there and I wanted to find a way out of this skin and into that one or that one. I was also studying for neuroscience in college, and physics, in college, which is a kind of alchemy, and here was a book that dreamed up new languages using these long lines, so long they'd have to spill over after reaching the lip of the extra-long book, using alchemical recipes this creole vocab--physics/magic/philosophy/English/Politics with a small p American Standard English--metaphor heavy and elliptical and with a precision that balled all it up, made a pin-like thing which got under your skin like a pin can, just beneath the first two layers no pain but a nervy sensation and an effect of self-surgery, feeling of accomplishment of discovery and limber accessorizing. In 2006 when I started in earnest on writing Occultations, one of the sections I was working on at the time was Your Nerve Center Taxonomy, and although I wouldn't expect anyone to assume it, the title for that section, that series of poems and procedures I hoped would empty me of taxonomic systems-scientism and decenter me, marginalize the me-me directorate choking off other parts (hands? liver?) not-numb to the material horrors such enactments were confronting (by leaks, many now terroristic), that section's title was lovingly referencing (as way, perhaps, of saying "here is a movement beyond but not forgetful of a kind of monological tyranny") and yet also critiquing (are these automatisms, Alexander's book or these poems here, inert bi-products of an ill-timed, ill-conceived strategy set? And anyhow rationalistic besides--one decides to dream, no?) Alexander's Above the Human Nerve Domain. Elizabeth has gotten up and break's almost over--time to get back to the other fictions. I was, long point made, quite distracted by Levinson and Lynch's new, beautiful work, and Will Alexander's, and the figuring that both should be read, or anyhow maybe written on, more than they are.

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