Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day Five: Over and Out

12:40 PM - 24 August 2008

"I'd like to thank all the people who call themselves part of KSW, and all the people who don't but are." —(?)

Laura Elrick's Stalk last night: A video projection of the poet herself, hooded and handcuffed, dressed in the orange jumpsuit of a Guantanamo detainee, shuffling between baffled pedestrians on the Kenneth-Cole/HSBC/W.W.Norton blocks of Fifth Avenue. Obviously, the daily (con)text of New York, here repurposed, takes on new ugliness ("Forever 21", "ShoeMania!") when paired with the detainee image (when paired with the image of an artist in action?). As the film plays, Elrick reads the reactions she overheard, or snippets of dialog between herself and the camera person, or phrases from an interrogation transcript called "Secret Orcon Interrogation Log."* "Continued silence while the evidence builds against you will not be tolerated." All components are in balance—real elegance (in the string-theory sense of the word). (Again, apologies for simplifying).

"I am poetry, hear me mingle." —(?)

"What I suck, I happily fund." —Catriona Strang

"Doubtless there are still people who experience things personally..." —Judy Radul

So, Poetry Camp 2008 ended at around 3 AM this morning with 6 pitchers and 30-odd pints of Canadian Beer (read: global-warming run-off ). Mark Wallace did a performance piece called Who Hasn’t Paid Their Part of the Bill? which explored the nature of sudden and total silence among poets in re-appropriated social space. I experienced small feelings of feeling. Lorraine Graham discussed the problem / absence of literary reviews in post-printed-matter America. Per usual, someone confessed that they had hated me initially, but then had a change of heart. Tom Orange gave a little context for some of the KPC performances, starting with an analysis of each poet’s past readings and working back to Hegel.

And now (taking Célan’s assertion that all poets are Jews): diaspora.

“What was scattered gathers / what was gathered blows apart.” —Heraclitus

"The farce is finished / glass is made of sand." —Laura Elrick

*I originally wrote that the interrogation dialog was fictional, but Elrick pointed me to the original (very real) document.


Laura Elrick said...

Hi Max,
I'm glad poetry camp was good to you. Me too.
One point that's important in considering the piece you described: the interrogation log is not imagined, but real. (Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that someone imagined it, but not me). It was leaked from the inside of Guantanamo and is called the "Secret Orcon Interrogation Log."

Maxwell said...

Hey Laura—As I posted my description, I hesitated about the word "imagined"! In the Guantanamo context, everything sounds fictional... but I couldn't remember if... I'm going to note that up front.

tmorange said...

i hereby deny any and all delineations beginning ending or in any way invoking hegel! max i think that was the 1am chinese food talking...


Maxwell said...

You can't take Hegel back. We don't have to associate any of the readers with Hegel, but you can't take him back.