In continuing to clean up office/desk mode...
Jalal Toufic's Ashura: This Blood Spilled My Veins. I'm so adoring his work right now. Really finding it helpful for not thinking about genre. And instead thinking about idea.
Then couldn't stop reading last week the first volume of The Grand Piano. What to make of first volume of a 10 volume project? Or it feels too early to say much of meaning. Struck by insularity. Almost no one from outside gets in. And how black people show up around sexuality only. As with all collective projects, parts of it really moving (I confess to adoring descriptions of how poetry scenes change people's lives), parts of it frightening. Also struck by how many class issues show up but how they are not coded as such. Very different from how NY School writing deals with class issues. Because children show up several times, kept thinking of how differently they show up in Notley and Mayer writing. Interested also in how For Love keeps rearing its head. (This volume is all about "love," as in love for one's friends; again, not sure what to make of this beyond a certain fascination that I guess is also respect for willingness to use that term.) And was interested most in how Carla Harryman read this work kindly and yet managed to also acknowledge how it isn't just "for love" in an easy sense.
Which reminds that I had a few weeks about half a month ago where I sat down and read in the Collected Creeley that just came out. And it was rereading For Love, a book I have always thought was amazing, that struck me. Was struck by how I had forgotten that the candle poem is in there. And how I had rewritten this book in my mind as something much easier to digest than it actually is. And then of course, I had been underestimating the prickliness of Creeley's work. Which is its strength.
Also sometime in last month found Jeff Derksen's Transnational Muscle Car in C's office. He had stolen it from me after I bought it. Wondering if Jclo has read this and having fantasy of an anthology of poems addressed to capital. From "Someone Like You," "Dear Capitalism, please / give me a reason / to believe." And then the next poem, "Sly Consumption Side Sentence," "Dear neoliberalism I / just want to thank you / for letting me / be a mobile / self-reflexive / commodity with agency..."
Going slowly through huge overview collection Land and Environmental Art, ed Jeffery Kastner and Brian Wallis, for class next semester.