Poets and Critics

2011-2014 CALENDAR


February 4-5 EILEEN MYLES > + Feb. 4 poetry reading


December 14-15 FRED MOTEN > + Dec. 14 poetry reading


December 15-16 ANN LAUTERBACH > + Dec. 15, 8pm poetry reading

May 12-13 ANNE WALDMAN > + May 12 Poetry Reading, 8pm, Maison de la poésie de Paris : Anne Waldman & Patrick Beurard-Valdoye


FINAL SYMPOSIUM Dec. 11-12 COLE SWENSEN > + Dec 11 Poetry Reading, 8pm, Maison de la poésie de Paris : Cole Swensen & Nicolas Pesquès

Sept. 26-27 CLARK COOLIDGE> + Sept. 26, 8 pm Poetry/Music Reading, CLARK COOLIDGE & THURSTON MOORE, Maison de la poésie de Paris

April 11-12 MARJORIE WELISH > + April 11, 7:30 pm Poetry Reading MARJORIE WELISH & JACQUES ROUBAUD, Galerie éof, Paris


December 13 & 14 LISA ROBERTSON> Thursday December 13 7:30pm poetry reading with Lisa Robertson, Anne Parian and Pascal Poyet, galerie éof, Paris.

September 27 & 28 REDELL OLSEN

May 29 & 30 PETER GIZZI



September 29-30 VANESSA PLACE at Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée

June 30 July 1 CAROLINE BERGVALL at Université Paris Est Créteil

June 15 DAVID ANTIN at Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée

Flash Labels by NBT

Monday, December 24, 2012

Present:An Index (Looking for characters) -- Pascal Poyet

"Present: An Index (Looking for characters)" is a text written by Pascal Poyet and read by Sarah Riggs on 13 December 2012 during the symposium on Lisa Robertson's work. It is based on and written from Lisa Robertson's "Cinema of the Present" which Pascal Poyet is currently translating.

Pascal Poyet, Sarah Riggs, Abigail Lang
(c) UPEC/Nicolas Darphin

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Robertson’s « Aye » Writ in Water -- Sarah Riggs

Sarah Riggs (c)UPEC/Nicolas Darphin

Sarah Riggs, from texts of Alan Halsey, Pascal Poyet, and Lisa Robertson

When the writer’s ‘I’ only appears alphabetically, what we have is a revolution. For what is implicit in this choice of structure is an acceptance of how the text exceeds the control of the indivudual.  There is an excess of motion beyond what a text declares to know. The words go into orbit.  The letter « I » will come around again, by dint of the text’s alphabetic circulation, whether the writer is there or not.
The text, in the case of Alan Halsey’s «Towards an Index of Shelley’s Death » as announced in Revolution : A Reader, edited and reread-by-marginalia by Lisa Robertson and Matthew Stadler, is a variorum composed of  various accounts of Shelley’s « ending », including Trelawaney’s, Mary Shelley’s and Byron’s. It is necessarily plural in its sources, and plural in its directionality. Its relationship to ending is one of continuing, of ever-shifting.
Who is it who writes, when the I comes around, in « Towards an Index of Shelley’s Death » (are the answers important ? why have you even asked the question ?) ?

I am but as the shade of her
I dreaded not the tempest
I float down
Into a sea profound
Invulnerable nothings

The authors of a revolution are readers.  Revolution=a reader.  Alan Halsey is a reader of multiple accounts that filter through him.  In this sense he is as a medium. He writes (is it he ?) : « The teller is bound to the endless repetition of an evershifting story. »
In her currently unpublished Cinema of the Present, Lisa Robertson’s text reads :

You became strange, you became my eyes.
I put my studies at your disposition.
You see small mammals fighting in trees.
I see it on your face.
Periodically a building will produce an exoskeleton of great vulnerability.
I see it on your face.
Is this the surface where expression converts to love ?
I, Byronic, you said, fucked my way forward.
You were reading the city wrecklessly.

The writing surface might as well be water, for all that it is solid, who is « I » and who is « you. »  The text is structured in one part, and not stubbornly consistently alphabetically, and repeatingly, interspliced with lines. The lines of a conversation ?  Must the questions be so two-dimensional when the conversations are deeply dialogic ?  Stars and sun and moon look to each other differently from each angle, at the various moments of revolution.
Then there are lists. Sometimes, often, of three. Pascal Poyet finds them in Cinema of the Present, clusters them together, into a present which is its own index.  An index to a revolving book. Some, many, most, of the clusters are his.  Some are hers : « University, swimming pool, botanical park .»
The list is like the alphabet in that it equalizes, and renders liquid,  the playing field. Renders plural.  Each word resounds so particularly, is particulate, there is no reckless accumulation.  « I, Byronic, you »   Indeed we are fucked, and also in the most literal, pleasurable way.  A moving forward is a moving backward and around, in and out. A marginal note by LR to « Shelley’s Death » (by Edward John Trelawney, from « Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author ») reads :

The corpse evades identity ; only
its remnant accessories assist the
ritual of identification. The 24-year-
old Keats, whose book helped to
confirm Shelley’s identity, had died a
year earlier of consumption in Rome ;
first he had chosen his own epitaph :
« Here lies One Whose Name is writ
in Water. » The statement is usually
interpreted as an avowal of Keats’s
extreme bitterness over his lack of
recognition as a poet ; Shelley himself
believed that vicious criticism caused
the turn in Keats’s illness that quickly
lead to his death. But for me the epi-
taph points to Davenport’s time-like
sea again—the indifferent inevitabil-
ity of the dissolution of self. Reading
it I feel a relief.

Reading the dissolution of self as relief. How were they able to identify Shelley’s body, wrecked as it was by a literally watery dissolution ?  (Always this wish to identify, to pin down ?)  In evidence, a volume of Keats’ poems opened in the corpse’s breast pocket. Somewhere the revolution/reader tells us, I can’t remember where or who. There is a constellation of texts, three of them, I won’t list them for you, in this book  (revolution) which is not meant to circulate by the accustomed means, relating to Shelley’s dissolution.
Whether it was Shelley’s heart or liver which survived the ocean-side cremation. LR delights in the liver. Whatever organ it was, so the text goes, Mary Shelley wrapped it in Shelley’s poetry and kept it in her desk.
The body of the text is inscrutable. No « eye » sees retinally ; no one « I » can be identified. Yes. This is a relief.

With thanks to Vincent Broqua and Olivier Brossard.

Detail from L. E. Fournier's Funeral of Shelley, 1889