DAVID LYNCH’S DESTABILISING AFFECT

by Impossible Mike

gooddayGOOD DAY TODAY: David Lynch Destabilises the Spectator
By Daniel Neofetou
Zero Books, 2012
93 Pages, $14.95 (buy it at Amazon)

The initial conceit of Neofetou’s Good Day Today is one that I inherently agree with, and one that I think should be considered in larger terms of not only film studies, but an understanding of how to watch movies in general. As a theoretical construct it was first introduced to me in Cinema and Sensation: French Film and the Art of Transgression by Martine Beugnet, a brilliant study of affect found in the mileu of the “new french extremity,” the art house mavericks Bruno Dumont, Philippe Grandrieux, Catherine Breillet, and so on. While Beugnet’s book does lose itself to a final chapter devoted to a Deleuzean study of film & embodiment that, in my opinion, adds nothing to the first two-thirds of the study, overall the book presents and articulates, with careful, pointed examples, what cinema can do for the spectator. Continue reading

Six Questions for the Line Assembly Poets

by Kyle Minor

tumblr_static_line_assembly_logo_31. What is Line Assembly?

Line Assembly is a celebration and an argument and a summer. It’s a rough draft. It’s a big, fat friendship with a delightful number of tessellations. A conversation. A possibility. A community, one of many such. A poetry movie sans Franco (but you never know). It’s six poets’ first fun, messy attempt to answer the question “Do people still care about poetry?” with a glass-shattering YES. Continue reading

The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson

by Joe Sacksteder

lost-episodes-revie-bryson-bryan-furuness-paperback-cover-artThe Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson
by Bryan Furuness
Black Lawrence Press, March 2013
309 pages / $18  Buy from SPD or Black Lawrence Press

Bryan Furuness’s first novel, just out from Black Lawrence Press, takes on taboo territory – both the taboos of polite society (parental separation, suicide, rape, incest, abortion), and the taboos of impolite contemporary fiction (namely, Jesus). By which I mean Jesus as a good guy, Jesus as possibly ourlordandsavior. The volatile tension that results when you mix the unspeakable with the overspoken complicates what could otherwise be a well-written but conventional coming-of-age novel. Its subtle moralizing threatens didacticism but is consistently surprising and complex enough that it will at least goad readers into remembering how daunting it was as child to observe so much of the adult world invested in the Bible – a kid’s story of good and evil, impetuous gods and walking dead. Continue reading

I DON’T “GET” POETRY READINGS

by Bethany Prosseda

I’m a soon-to-be graduate of an M.F.A. program in creative writing. All I have left to do is teach a few classes, defend my thesis, and read a few books. Oh. And I’ve also been tasked to write a report on a poetry reading. This last point is why I’m writing to you now.

Let me backtrack for a moment though to tell you that before I was an M.F.A. student, I was an undergraduate working my way towards a B.A. in creative writing and a B.S. in advertising. Before that, I was a teenager that lived with my father, who was a professor, and my mother, who was an English major. My mother took her major very seriously, and as a result I began reading Poe, Melville, Plath, Tennyson, and other “canonical” writers at a very young age.

In short, I’m no stranger to poetry.

However, after going to the Hoa Nguyen reading at the University of Colorado at Boulder on February 21st, I realized that I don’t really “get” poetry. Or rather, I kind of “get” poetry, as much as it’s possible to be “gotten,” but I don’t “get” poetry readings.

After the reading, I confronted a friend about my dilemma: having to write a piece on something I don’t really understand. He recommended I read the VICE article by Glen Coco titled: “I Don’t ‘Get’ Art.” I ripped off the title, but what choice did I have when Coco said it so well the first time? Coco’s title is modest. It blames no one but Coco himself for his inability to “get” art.

There are others, however, who are more hostile towards poetry and its various, associated artifacts.

1 Continue reading

Gabe Durham’s FUN CAMP: “Anything that doesn’t send you to the showers isn’t worth laughing at.”

 

by Mike Young

Fun Camp has the skinniest low voice. Fun Camp has the most earnest eye width. Fun Camp is tall and kind and stalwart and genuinely funny, sweetly so, like the difference between a blackberry and corn syrup. If I could compare Fun Camp to a season, it would be early May, which is a problem, because most summer camps take place after that, and Gabe Durham wrote a novel about summer camp. It’s called Fun Camp. Continue reading

Dressing Up Maya Angelou

by Seth Oelbaum

BirdInCage

There was a rather large period in which I basically refused to utter Maya Angelou’s name, let alone read her books. For quite a bit, I associated Maya with Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and other guardians of the white race. In one of my classroom’s Maya’s poster was hung right next to Clinton’s. Why would I wander around in the text of someone that’s in such close proximity (even if it’s just in poster form) to William Jefferson Clinton? He, like white race icon Allen Ginsberg, was a pervert, and prevents are preponderantly narrow-minded since all they really care about is the human body.

But then, a couple of months ago, while I was sipping a berry Juicy Juice box and surfing the web I ran into a video of Fiona Apple’s 1997 VMA acceptance speech. Fiona is not a follower of middle class principles. “I’ve been a bad bad girl,” sings Fiona, in her hit single “Criminal.” “I’ve been careless with a delicate man.” Unlike Betty F, Sheryl Sandberg, Andrea Dworkin, &c, Fiona doesn’t believe that girls behaving like Capitalists is beneficial. What’s wonderful to her is mistreating men, not striving to emulate their trajectory. Rather than devote her earth time to working 9-5, saying things that no one needs to hear while touching commodities that are as cute as Ginsberg’s beard (not cute in any way whatsoever), Fiona hides in closets and rolls on the floor in sassy outfits. Hope is trivial to Fiona — what she sports is massively more marvelous: prettiness and pugnacity.

So… In Fiona’s 97 VMA acceptance speech, in addition to issuing the true declaration (“this world is bullshit”), she quotes Maya Angelou — “We, at our best, can only create opportunities.” While I’m not certain that I concur with this quote, Fiona’s embrace of Maya still caused me to reevaluate her.  Maybe Maya did deviate from the morals of Community Organizer B.O., Clinton, Marc Rubio, Rob Portman, &c. Maybe Maya was concerned with more than allowing everyone to take part in the white race system of consumption, copulation, and contentment.

To find out, I read Maya’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and concluded that Maya was commendable. Instead of spending her Sundays scrolling an iPad, Maya attends church, where some members (Sister Monroe) get so much spirit that they chase the preacher around and around the chapel. Does Maya mingle with humans holding plain white race names like John Kerry, Jon Tester, John Thune, John McCain? No. When she moves to St. Louis to live with her mother, Maya’s surrounded by action-packed appellations — Wild West Brooks, Hard-hitting Jimmy, Two Gun. Then my eyeballs feasted (thought not actually; my eyeballs aren’t my mouth, so they can’t do that) on this passage:

 

To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity.

As with Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and all other outstanding boys, Maya (though a girl) wages war against what Nietzsche describes as the “heard.” A Barack bosom buddy who bellows for federal benefits and health insurance Maya is not. Uh uh, Maya bleeds thought (she reads a lot of books), adventure (she drives her daddy’s car from Mexico to California), and tons of other admirable attributes that absolutely warrant a quality wardrobe.

Like I just stated, Maya reads a lot of books. She reads Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Poe, and Kipling. But none of these boys are as awe-inspiring as William Shakespeare. “I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare,” proclaims Maya. She declares that the boy who brought us Iago (who’s only evil if you support gay rights) “was my first white love.” Maya relates to the first line of William’s 29th sonnet — “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes.” “It was a state with which I felt myself most familiar,” she says. Yes, it’s humungously hard to be graceful in men’s eyes, especially since what’s graceful to men — producing products nonstop, having sex nonstop, and speaking nonstop — isn’t considered graceful to anyone who is actually graceful.  For instance, Ginsberg wouldn’t consider Emily Dickinson graceful because she never composed a poem entitled “Done, Finished with the Biggest Cock You Ever Saw.” But Maya isn’t a pervert. She’s has more in common with Dickinson than beatnik hippies. Maya has actual grace, which is why she should sport this white, lacy Jenny Packham outfit. White is graceful since its pure and God likes that, and lace is graceful because it’s delicate, and God likes delicacy.

Jenny Packham Spring 12

Jenny Packham Spring 12

According to Maya, “powhitetrash caused me the most painful and confusing experience I had ever had with my grandmother.” Maya’s grandma owned a general goods store — the kind of shop that today would maybe be turned into a CVS. One day, some of the destitute white girls visited the store. “The dirt of the girls’ cotton dresses continued on their legs, feet, arms, and faces to make them all one piece,” says Maya. “Their greasy uncolored hair hung down, uncombed, with a grim finality.” Maya, sensing trouble, contemplates grabbing the family’s sawed-off shotgun, but she doesn’t since it’s locked in a box and only her Uncle Willie has the key. If Maya had been able to get the shotgun then she either could’ve killed them or scared them away, and then her grandmother wouldn’t have had to watch one of the girls do a hand stand in order to flash her putrid private parts. Obviously, not much has altered since this took place. The white race still swoons for sex (Xtube, Free Tube Porn, gay people, &c)  In lieu of a shotgun, what Maya (and her grandmother) really need is this Tory Burch ensemble. What they can do is pull the orange hood all the way down over their eyes so that they don’t have to witness a thing (also, blue is a really remarkable color and I want those boots).

Tory Burch Fall 10

Tory Burch Fall 10

Near the conclusion of the book, Maya has a row with her daddy’s girlfriend. “Why don’t you go back to your mother?” her daddy’s girlfriend sneers. “I’ve got one and she’s worlds better than you, prettier too. Maya, being a composed and collected girl, replies nicely, “I don’t mean to come between you and Dad. I wish you’d believe me.” But the girlfriend, as with about 99% of “literary” community people, can’t comprehend considered speech. She attacks Maya and chases after her with a hammer. Maya, though, unlike about 99% of “literary” community people, is prepared for battle. She brawls back by slapping the girlfriend and pushing her into the sofa.  What to wear for a fight? This Karen Walker outfit fits. A skullcap, a sweater with a clenched fist, pants — all these items sort of say: “Don’t mess with me.”

Karen Walker Fall 11

Karen Walker Fall 11