Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ross Brighton on New Quarantine...

Ross Brighton has a fine analysis of my book A New Quarantine Will Take My Place over at his blog, excerpted apparently from a long report on contemporary American Poetry covering Gurlesque, Flarf and Conceptual writing:

"The phenomenon of grotesquery as a means of questioning gender norms and identity isn’t confined to women. Johannes Göransson is a male poet working in this field. He relies on the Julia Kristeva’s framework of the Abject, which centres on the othering, fracturing, exploding and mutilating the speaker’s body and consciousness through a regime of continual violence and transgression:

My girlfriend is gasping for air; she’s going catatonic
in this bargain bin of a winter, she’s scared of pigeons.
I own a shoddy collection of pigeon skeletons.
I never thought I would be able to fit so many
disparate parts in my mouth at once. (35")

[it goes on]


Ross mentions the use of title in the book. This has caused some confusion among readers.Sometimes they are title of poems but sometimes the titles interrupt poems. Ross is basically correct in his description:

"Such titles appear as interruptions to the flow of a longer poem reading like catch-phrases or shouted announcements as a result of their large, bold typeface, all-caps formatting or pop-up ads announcing what’s coming next on the network."

The way I meant the titles to work would be a little like intertitles in silent movies, but more still like the way Godard uses intertitles in Weekend (and several other movies) to make announcements. That is why the titles break up poems at the end of the page - as if the page was a frame of film or some such. So I'm glad Ross called attention to that.


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