Thursday, June 30, 2011

Counterfeit lineages

I wrote a post about the aesthetics of homelessness, the avant-garde and the pesky immigrants.

here's how the post begins:

As I always say: the most famous definition of poetry in US culture is Robert Frost’s quip that poetry is what is lost in translation. (It’s so famous it’s even the title of a blockbuster movie, “Lost in Translation” – which notably is about “poetic effect,” not poetry proper, see my post about McQueen.) And almost as famous is his quip that writing free verse is like playing tennis without a net. The two are of course related: at the core is the idea of poetry as something disciplined and authentic, and that it must be protected against the fake, the lazy, the chaotic, the cheaters, the foreign.

Despite various changes, it seems translation still is kept at the margins of American poetry. Translation is inherently a challenge to the dominant idea of “lineage” (perhaps lineage is inherently “dominant”) in US poetry: poetry is authentic, to write real poetry you have to know the true version of US literary history. Poetry has to be defended against the fake, against kitsch (“hipster poetry” or “soft surrealism” or whatever). You have to have a “good ear” to write poetry – it must come to you naturally..."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Excessive Beauty": McQueen, Minnis, Kitsch etc

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

On Perloff, Decadence, Taste

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sci-Fi Decadence: China Miéville, Aase Berg and Alexander McQueen

Monday, June 06, 2011

Interview on HTML Giant

Blake Butler interviewed me in HTML Giant here.


"BB: What are you working on now?

JG: A murder mystery novel/poem/notebook about Images and infection, atrocity kitsch and The Law. A Starlet has been murdered, terrorist attacks happen, children are born and get pregnant in mysterious fashion (constantly multiplying), the son is locked in a tower with his favorite horse toy, the penis is a death prong through which – on the ouiji board – the murdered children of the Vietnam War finally gets to “speak,” they talk about the mall and the law, there are twitter feeds about motorcyclists who come from the castle outside of town, terror suspects who are given rubber gloves and led through the mirror, “Kingdom of Rats” it says above the mirror, it’s all about photography, hares, the body in snow, the body covered by a plastic bag, Art as Death. Etc. It’s always a staging, a pageantry, a b-movie. I hope that gives you some idea. I’m calling it The Sugar Book.

I’m also working on a staging of The Duchess of Malfi. Back in the day a girlfriend and I made a video version of The Duchess of Malfi which we shot at a shooting range (she was into guns and knew the manager). “The Ouch-Ouch” we called it. I want to go back into that space – the shooting range, the wax sculptures – but I want to pay even more attention to the clothes, the seams. I want the movements to be more exact this time."

[I'm just now taking a break from this writing.]

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol