2002 – 2003 Readings and Talks

Vanguards in American Letters

March 20, 2003

Seminar 5:30 PM | 462 ICC
Reading 8:00 PM | ICC Auditorium

The Pointless Nether Plow

— Will Alexander
It is farming in an inclement sun system
like a powerless nether beast
fallen amidst random stellar debris

fruit changes form
light then quavers across distorted mural relics

the farmer then living as a clarified adder
his land forms compressed
his wheat suspended & flaring
his unstable forms
carving his soil with volcanic blue seeds

Read more about Will Alexander

Prose 31

— Michael Palmer
The Logic of Contradictions

A logical principle is said to be an empty
or formal proposition because it can add
nothing to the premises of the argument it
governs. This leads to the logic of contra-
dictions. It is an anacoluthon to say that
a proposition is impossible because it is
self-contradictory. (It is also ambiguous.)
The definition of the possible as that which
in a given state of information (real or
pretended) we do not know not to be true
conceals another anacoluthon.

Read more about Michael Palmer

Talking Poetics, Naming Identities

November 5, 2002

Seminar 5:30 PM | ICC Galleria
Reading 8:00 PM | ICC Auditorium

Real Estate

— David Antin

while i believe that what i’m doing depends essentially upon
&nbsp&nbsp&nbspthe event here&nbsp&nbspgoing here coming here and&nbsp&nbspmaking
&nbspwhat my idea of what a poem is&nbsp&nbspor&nbsp&nbspmaking my idea of
&nbsp&nbspwhat a valuable talk is&nbsp&nbspif thats what poetry is&nbsp&nbspthere is a
life problem&nbsp&nbspa kind of running down of ones life&nbsp&nbspi may
&nbsp&nbspnot be facing it very gravely now&nbsp&nbspalthough&nbsp&nbspwhen i came
&nbsp&nbsp&nbspto california&nbsp&nbspi started running on the beaches&nbsp&nbspthey have
beaches and you can run on them&nbsp&nbspand i twisted an ankle
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbspwhile running on the beach&nbsp&nbspand it took a damned long
&nbsp&nbsptime for my ankle to heal&nbsp&nbspand having played football and
baseball at various times in my childhood i always healed very
&nbspquickly and this was the damnably longest healing that ever

Continue reading “Real Estate.”

Read more about David Antin

Confessions Of A Recycled Shopping Bag

— John Yau

I used to be a plastic bottle

I used to be scads of masticated wattle

I used to be epic spittle, aka septic piddle

I used to be a pleasant colleague

I used to be a radiant ingredient

I used to be a purple polyethylene pony

I used to be a phony upload project

I used to be a stony blue inhalant

I used to be a family-size turquoise bottle

I used to be a domesticated pink bubble

I used to be a pleasant red colleague

I used to be a beaming cobalt emollient

I used to be a convenient chartreuse antidepressant

Read more about John Yau

Oppositionality as Social Value

October 17, 2002

Seminar 5:30 PM | ICC Galleria
Reading 8:00 PM | ICC Auditorium

In A Restless World Like This Is

— Charles Bernstein
Not long ago, or maybe I dreamt it
Or made it up, or have suddenly lost
Track of its train in the hocus pocus
Of the dissolving days; no, if I bend
The turn around the corner, come at it
From all three sides at once, or bounce the ball
Against all manner of bleary-eyed fortune
Tellers—well, you can see for yourselves there’s
Nothing up my sleeves, or notice even
Rocks occasionally break if enough
Pressure is applied. As far as you go
In one direction, all the further you’ll
Have to go on before the way back has
Become totally indivisible.

Read more about Charles Bernstein

What I Know Now

— Erica Hunt
procrastination is a signal
to attend to the scent
earth unhinges,
to fall into the step
desire ungrids,
to write in blue ink and commit
to gesture
a map
match unknown
to its incognito.

I know now
when you think
the weather’s turning
it is inner
unstopped heart moves
stones as if clouds blown
across the sky, unstopped
eyes notice food lines’ length
unstopped attention notes
pavements filled with sleepers,
how the brutal war startles
even statues into panic,
losing the power to wake up
the future, its urgent

I know now
to vote for sense
even if the tongue
risks blisters
through direct speech,
threatens barbwire,
to commit to motion always
my Black woman body’s
a spice cabinet,
a space ship,
my thick vessel
a perfect work.

Read more about Erica Hunt