Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Love, toilet poems, and why everyone's an artist (the other A-word)

This just in: Simply pasting a "toilet poem" at the eye level of a person seated in the cubicle can help cut toilet paper use by up to 20 percent, a study by the research center Japan Toilet Labo showed.

Also: "The art instinct proper is not a single genetically driven impulse similar to the liking for sweetness but a complicated ensemble of impulses - sub-instincts, we might say - that involve responses to the natural environment, to life's likely threats and opportunities, the sheer appeal of colors or sounds, social status, intellectual puzzles, extreme technical difficulty, erotic interests, and even costliness. There is no reason to hope that this haphazard concatenation of impulses, pleasures, and capacities can be made to form a pristine rational system."

Re no-reason-to-hope-for-a-pristine-rational-system: "What makes flarf different from Anne Coulter?"

Drew Gardiner: I deal in expression, opposition and paradox etc. Sentences matter in this poem. It's hyposyntactic. I think you're not accounting for actual dynamic of the poem at all, which doesn't empty meaning. It just doesn't present a typical valorized persona.

Michael Robbins: There is no critical concept lazier than that of the valorized bourgeois ego, whatever its value & genuine functionality might once have been. It's a cipher, a way of saying: I'm not writing from the perspective of a phenomenological agent because that would be reactionary. In fact, people who fall back on this lame excuse have no persona worth valorizing in the first place. As I've said ad nauseum, to seal yourself off from fully half the tradition is an insane act of self-limitation. I can't imagine not wanting to read both Robert Lowell & J. H. Prynne. Half a reading life is no reading life at all.

Video clip via Fred Sasaki.


Lemon Hound said...

Dare I say "love it."

The tension between everyone's an artist, art does nothing, and art changes lives, reminds me of earlier moments of poetry, before all the professionalization occurred. When poets were more in line with social movements, and hanging out was protesting, and being a poet was certainly not a way of making money and avoiding the realities of the world.

Lemon Hound said...

Oops! That last comment was in progress...didn't quite mean to submit yet. But now I'll wait to see what I said and perhaps expand.