Saturday, February 28, 2015

119. Readings } 8 Anthology.

Sandra Doller read “where did you get that hammer” and Oliver Strand asked if I was—“are you?”—Adam Golaski and we went to hear Forrest Gander read “…colorless bath mat with its frayed, dirty edge folded up.” I said, “Yes.”

Oliver Strand and Katy Mongeau, MFA candidates, co-host Anthology, a series that features “readings, performances and visual works,” mainly by Brown University and RISD graduate students. Last month I was most impressed by the work of Maggie Hazen.

Next week, I’m in Anthology 8.

Among the readers is Rachel May, author of “The Vermont Studio Center Experiments.” When last we spoke she told me about Quilting with a Modern Slant; I misunderstood everything she said. The book is an art anthology of 70+ modern quilters. What I heard, what I thot she told me, was that she wrote a book that hybridized her writing and her stitching, something like “The Vermont Studio Center Experiments,” but more extreme, with the text stitched, possibly into paper. I dunno. Clearly, I am not a good listener. I will try harder.  As for grad students, I’m interested to hear Leah Rafaela Ceriello. Her “Durational Performance” photographs I like.

Anthology 8: Bridget Brewer, Leah Rafaela Ceriello, Adam Golaski, Felix Green, Rachel May, Kristen Mueller, Kelsey Wakefield, & Kelly Walters. Wednesday, March 4th at 7pm. The Granoff Center (see photo above), Studio 1, 154 Angell St, Providence RI 02906. Wine, other refreshments provided.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

118. Re } introductions (pt. 2).

[ What follows is the Dream Coda of the introduction to New Genre #7. ]

At a conference, invited to speak on a panel about an essay I wrote, the subject—. The panel sat behind a table set on a raised platform. My boss, uninvited, sat beside me and opened the discussion. He told the audience that he never wrote horror fiction, in spite of successfully placing work in well-known horror magazines. He said, “To avoid writing horror, I take a close look at what is horrible and absorb the details so I can relay its character free of the limitations of the horror genre.”

I was about to respond when a member of the audience stood, joined us behind the table, and began to attack my boss’s statement. The audience member’s argument was completely undermined by his manner and his need to make the audience laugh. Meanwhile, I articulated a reply in my head: my boss, I thought, did write horror fiction—horror is a very broad category that freely bleeds into every other genre. “Even realism,” I said (in my mind), “gets weird, especially when realism writes death. See A Simple Heart. See The Death of Ivan Ilyich.”

The audience member’s blather was without cease. My boss exited via a series of ladders and by scrambling over a peaked roof. Still eager to make my point to him, I attempted to follow.

Without the transition typical of conscious narrative, I was in a brothel. The women there knew about horror fiction, but didn’t want to discuss horror fiction. They asked me if I planned to stay. From the brothel was a view of a dam, water high behind it.

[ Image: cover of New Genre #7, designed by Jeremy Withers. ]

Friday, February 6, 2015

117. Flac Draft } 7.30 humanity.

Listening thru Autechre’s late output. This morning quit Quaristice (2007) for Draft 7.30 (2003). At the start of the album (compact disk) is 20 seconds of what I remembered as silent lead-in before the beat and squelch of “Xylin Room.” Lamp off, sunrise, near-full moon visible behind clouds, snow and ice. An inexpensive Sony boombox CD / cassette combo—but I felt the sound, about 5 seconds in: to arrive.

Not the vent, not the snow on the sloped metal roof outside my window. I restarted the album and raised the volume. Within the first 20 seconds, a loop, it sparks, bright but wet static——

[ Click Autechre link under “My involvement varies.” & watch Little Stories undergo an L-Event. ]

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

116. Stars laid in the night sky } like so much particle board.

In spite of what the critics say, “Satellite’s Call”—the latest video from the Holy Komodo—is about eyes. Hideous! horrible! adorable! eyes. Ask the eyes: is it the heart’s beating that controls the mind?

Eyes never answer, but nonetheless ask—eyes will betray the truth, because eyes are duplicitous.

Let’s examine the evidence: cheap furniture (“I may have lost it this time”), blankets (“this planet’s not my home”), photographs of the electromagnetic spectrum (“the fire’s never ending”), oversized sport coats (“I can’t escape”), lamps (“I feel the fear receding touched by the light”), a wall socket (“I felt it shatter my mind”), raw lumber (“It fills my brain”), and cabinets (“I’ve been played for so damn long”).

Watch. Eyes are self-evident.

[ Photo of Holy Komodo: Kyle Gibson, Zak Hosmer-Dillard, Joel Skardahl, Nina Joly, & Justin Nijssen. ]

Saturday, January 17, 2015

115. More video lies } from the Unfinished House.

The following is an excerpt from the column Video Lies, a regular feature in the 1990s ‘zine Kraken Farmer, edited by Lucy Kurtz, available at Tower Records and Flyrabbit.

House IV. Dir. Lewis Abernathy. Perf. Terri Treas, William Katt, Scott Burkholder, Melissa Clayton. Republic Pictures, 1993. Videocassette.


Roger Cobb fiddles with a film projector ostensibly to screen home movies, says, “A little twist here, a little tightening there…” —impatient stepbrother: “Great, Rog. You know they have a new invention it’s called video tape.”

The Great Spirit knows a) the house houses a portal to Hell and b) the car accident is no accident. Crispy Roger Cobb dies in a burn ward; his wife grieves and worries about their daughter’s ruined stems. Most unexpected: Mrs. Cobb inherits the house and won’t sell “You don’t want that it’s broken” Al the plumber’s weak heart: no foul ooze here—he washes his hands at the kitchen sink and

I long to use that sink myself, to be in that kitchen. I write in the fog on the mirror.

The Great Spirit orders pizza. “Don’t forget to eat your favorite pizza, man.” Mrs. Cobb don’t eat anything with a face on it, but grinds the pie in the disposal’s teeth after the pizza serenades and bites the hand it feeds.

Films about houses are home movies.

Two goons face off, faces transformed by The Great Spirit / Satan. Goon one faces a fly; goon two a lizard. This portal to hell is a manhole cover. The goons shoot, burdened by their oversized heads. Only The Great Spirit knows what’s so important about the house. The Cobb family yard sale slows time: two little girls with a jump rope skip so slow the rope goes.

Larry’s wife asks, “Larry, what are you fooling around with that piece of junk for?”
To which he replies, “Piece of junk? This is just like the one my dad used to have.”
His wife is not convinced. “It’s really ugly.”
Impatience shades Larry’s face. “Look, I’ve got all these home movies and I think it would be great if I could get this running.” He asks Mrs. Cobb “How much is it?”
Mrs. Cobb has home movies too. “You don’t want that. It’s broken.”
Larry wants to buy it, if only to annoy his wife. “No, I’m real good with my hands. I can fix it.”
“It’s not for sale,” Mrs. Cobb says, clutching the old projector.
He growls. You promised to solve my toxic waste problem. He says, “Fine. Fine. Fine.” Larry and his wife head for their car, and for an exasperating argument, resolved over an adequate meal. Later, they will watch a movie on Betamax.

While Mrs. Cobb will watch herself and her husband watch their daughter walk projected on a white sheet that haunts her house.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

114. Interview dope } ho ho fools.

Dear Merry New Year’s Eve, Alexis Orgera wrote a very smart interview / essay with me and Paul Hannigan. Paul participated via his corpus. I participated by answering questions—Orgera said (here, her words from an April email exchange), “In all of these questions is the inherent question: Why did you decide to take on this project?  I'd love it if you were interested in engaging in the book with me from that perspective. I want to understand why Hannigan is important for you as editor/publisher.” What followed were ten questions that revealed Orgera to be insightful and to’ve read UP. Most impressed. We took our time. She moved: “I’ve been so busy moving / being without my things”—busy being without things? What kind of busyness? Is it chasing things? Eliminating things? Zapping furniture to goodwill on exoplanets? The end result of our back ‘n’ forth is, “Pity the Fool: An Interview with Adam Golaski, Co-Founder of Flim Forum Press, about Paul Hannigan's The Problem of Boredom in Paradise: Selected Poems, by Alexis Orgera,” published in Drunken Boat 20. Thanks to Shira Dentz for editorial assistance. Read.

[ The image is a scan of a drawing & text by Paul Hannigan, undated. ]

Thursday, November 6, 2014

113. A bedtime story } housed.

Before bed my youngest asked me if I would tell her a story from when I was a boy. I said, “Indeed:

“Along the streets in my neighborhood were trees covered by a purple bark.”

My eldest asked how old was I. “Five,” I said.

“A long ago the streets were lined with trees that grew a purple bark. Those trees made me dizzy. I dared myself to touch a trunk with my tongue and I did. My nose so close to the purpleit smelled of hot asphalt. The streets in my neighborhood as yet unpaved. Lickety-split the tree-sap stuck to my tongue. I dropped and uttered the following poem:

Et wildflower root
to right a bad
phrase-chain ingestion.

Vomited dandy
patent leather.

“My sister carried a real lion on her bicycle handlebars that she roared to get my parents’ attention.”

My eldest assured my youngest that none of this was true but my youngest wasn’t so sure and neither, I could tell, was my eldest. “Obviously,” I said, “it’s all true.”