Thursday, December 16, 2010, 6:30 pm
535 West 22nd St.
New York City
Charles Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and Harvard University from which he graduated in 1972. He is the author of 40 books, ranging from large-scale collections of poetry and essays to pamphlets, libretti, translations, and collaborations. Recent works include: All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010); Girly Man (University of Chicago Press, 2006); With Strings (University of Chicago Press, 2001); and Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Sun & Moon Press, 2000). He has published two books of essays: A Poetics (Harvard University Press, 1992); Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (Sun & Moon Press, 1986, 1994; reprinted by Northwestern University Press, 2001); and one essay/poem collection: My Way: Speeches and Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1999). In spring 2011 Bernstein will publishThe Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays & Inventions (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
Autonomy Is Jeopardy
I hate artifice. All these
contraptions so many barriers
against what otherwise can't
be contested, so much seeming
sameness in a jello of
squirms. Poetry scares me. I
mean its virtual (or ventriloquized)
anonymity – no protection, no
bulwark to accompany its pervasive
purposivelessness, its accretive
acceleration into what may or
may not swell. Eyes demand
counting, the nowhere seen everywhere
behaved voicelessness everyone is clawing
to get a piece of. Shudder
all you want it won't
make it come any faster
last any longer: the pump
that cannot be dumped.
from Charles Bernstein's All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010)
Tim Peterson (Trace)
Tim Peterson (Trace) is a poet, critic, editor, curator, and octopus. The author of Since I Moved In (Chax Press), Peterson also has a new chapbook, VIOLET SPEECH, forthcoming from 2nd Avenue Poetry this fall. Peterson editsEOAGH: A Journal of the Arts and curates a number of events in the NYC area including the talk series Quips & Cranks (with Vincent Katz) at The School of Visual Arts, the Zinc Bar poetry series, and the TENDENCIES: Poetics & Practice talks series on queer theory and the manifesto at CUNY Graduate Center.
from VIOLET SPEECH
At this stage, total estimate for poem construction is $9,800 plus tax. Installation of the Rothko paintings may cost extra due to shipping-related precautions. Importation of specific breeds of violets adds possible embodied energy, with additional costs anticipated for continued maintenance as spring impinges on us, opening the poem like a bloom that only appears fictitious.
In order to proceed, we need to have 30 percent of the allegory provided up front. We look forward to working with you and helping you take your poem to the next level, loosening up that frame which could have doomed you to a tragic metaphor: Orpheus, Electra, Pandora, et al. Once the initial design phase has been completed, installation of poem on stainless steel or concrete requires an additional two months but installation on wind and running water is negligible.
Strategic alternation of metaphors of artistic genius and altruistic service allows us to speak through you, actually providing impetus for the poems but not, you’d argue, making the real design decisions. Have you been subordinated to the engineering process at this point, your you being written like an accident? Are you a factory poet? As long as you contribute an appropriately large deposit up front, we won’t need to answer that question. Sincerely, War of the Worlds Design Systems.