Saturday, November 5, 2011

More to Say McSweeney

I suppose engagement with the necropastoral is something chronic: like hours of playing Snood the connections, implausible, become sustained even when you close your eyes.

Link to Joyelle McSweeney's latest, wonderful, post on bug-life and the poet. What I got most out of this was that our poetry is like the generations of bugs: die 150 plus times a year. Echos of Hugo: "we build our prison and earn parole each poem." In a hyperextended world (link : everything) our corpses may be everywhere, and with each new reading we are in a way animated only to die again. Who are you who got to this question mark -- ?

So why not write everywhere. Walls are for graffiti, threads can be tied onto thread. What it is is zombie-ness, but I think there's more optimism than just that. Not the world as dead and rotting (it is) but the world in language dead and reborn (it is).

Put economically, language of communication -- dead already. Language simply to communicate dies at the moment it communicates: self-destructing messages Chief Quimby can never get out of his coat in time. This kind of language eventually burns. Cynics say the new-speak begins and language rots. The poet plants eggs on the rot and is reborn a thousand times. The poet says new-speak and thinks up twenty nouns that are now verbs. (I'm roading it, I tonicked by gin, I Ricola'd my throat.)


"I reject the so-called economy of corporate time, capitalist time, so called ‘linear’ time, triumphalist time, which is a golden lie anyway, and instead I recognize this tide of shit and waste, I recognize that that is where I live, if I live, on bug time, on bug time; in Indiana, in the necropastoral; I have no interest in myths of posterity, in a secured future, in the supposed future of literature or humans or anything else; the way I’m writing now is disposable; in disposible media and unsturdy genres; but it’s the most important thing in my milisecond life; that’s why I want to be wear my grave clothes now, ceremental, distressed, and yes, bug-eaten, moths in my hair, Miss Death-in-life, like PJ Harvey in her Mercury clothes, mercury poisoned, one part Miss Havisham, one part Gregor Samsa, with chitinous extensions shoving out from her brain through her cranium, her dura mater (tough mother), her pia mater (her little mother), her arachnoid mater (spider mother). Stabat, mater, my black pincers stabbed you in the eye, and now I’ll plant my eggs there, time flowing backwards, you carry the eggs again for me."

Take a text message, say "lets meet @4 Egan's."

Take a text message, say "sidled, slid, billiard boys I'm wasting my life."

Language slips back into the pocket of the reader, one way or the other. What happens in the world outside the language has always been anybody's guess but well known it is that you got to the end of this sentence and may turn around and read it again. Or hyperlink.

But that is urban. Go out to the pastoral and bring your urbanity with you, yes. Speak your new verbs to the plains, or hills. Or mountains. The only thing dead is the sound you just let carry. Nature isn't in a caring mood. Hyperlinks are not in place. Mountain time has no concept of linear, it is metamorphic or basalt. We know our searches inform the advertisements on the margins of our screen, we have been profiled by corporations and are a profile with a picture. This isn't about consuming, it is about producing on the consumption, and when we die of consumption (pun is there and I keep it there) we are born out of it again.