Amy Gin Pome

I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.

I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.

I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
I will not drink Clay’s gin.
except maybe one small shot in a glass with lime with Shannon on a Thursday night.

Addendum (from Amy): I will drink Clay’s gin on a Tuesday night will making a flux box with Julia and Shannon and John and Kristin and Clay and … and then we’ll open my gin and drink that with ginger (the root, not the dog).

now is the new never-never

onlyreal

Alan Badiou insists that the artist is faced with a cruel decision, “to do nothing rather than contribute to the invention of formal ways of rendering visible that which the Empire already recognizes as existent,” and I think his perspicacity is not to be under-valued. This strikes me as the question of the hour, and I don’t think I–nor Only Real–can answer it. Several ideas come to mind: 1. Does history yield a pattern, wherein failing empires fail to heed the warning cries elicited from the crow’s nest? 2. Is it nobler to throw oneself overboard or descend to the lower decks and commence a rigorous nail-pulling, a staving-out of the hull (if we’re to exhaust this marine metaphor completely)? These seem the only options extant in this Late hour. 3. What effective polemic has emerged in the face of globalization? 4. Does not such a polemic necessarily include the tragic arc of insurgency? And what about this Only Real? 5. What relevance can the artist claim who does not grapple with these great problems? 6. Tomato, si; Tomayo, no. 7. Solzhenitsyn notes, in …Ivan Denisovich, that we either work or die. To apply this to the artist’s case, one either toils by the light of visions or falls by darkened wayside. There’s little choice in this function. 8. Ernest Becker urges us on to fashion something, an object or ourselves, in the furnaces of creation, and, emboldened by such transformation, we may somehow transform others and the world. 9. “8.” is unfortunately inseparable from the misappropriated-Nietzchean “Will to Power,” the “Superman,” etc. and we can still see clearly down such blood-soaked cul-des-sac. 10. Something. As in St. Augustine’s City of God (less ‘original sin’ and ‘a just war’) yet modeled after a collapsing classis Mammalia rather than merely the failings of the Catholic church. 11. Yes, but ONLY REAL?!!!!!!!!

This discussion brings to mind the 1967 film, Don’t Look Back, and the sub-textual dynamic between Bob “Only Real” Dylan and his manager, Albert Grossman. In this example, we’ll readily agree Dylan plays the artist and Grossman the businessman. But is this an accurate maquette of Only Real society? Where is the Only state in the Real film? Is it Only Only Real the otherness presented by the Real Real Only Real estate streets of London, seen through the limo windows? Is it the hotel manager who comes up to the Only Only Only OnlyOnly OnlyOnly OnlyOnly OnlyOnly OnlyOnly OnlyOnly OnlyOnly OnlyOnly Only
…………………………………………..REEEEEEE-al
only, really,
one lonely Reel
in an own-shun of lone
rheeeeeel own’s only

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!
Oh. Robert E. Own LEE
and the consequences of really lasooing the Confederate generals at Big Sur in a late-night party Dylan and his gang the crime of throwing
real garbage into the only street below?
Is the real state merely a Hobbesian masse in audiencio,
filling en thrall the real only awkward Albert Hall?
Or is Dylan a?
and?
?vanguard?
a new sort of state?
One in which corporations meet in the Versailles tennis courts and Bretton Woods and, for whom, Dylan is merely a pleasing entrechat?

Oh, Christ, repeatedly framing events in the mundane, the tedious!
only real art can save the banal
–by which reverse alchemy Dylan=Earth.
Dylan, shmillen.

real is amphetamino-ecstasis!?
up all night composing “To Ramona” a nursery rhyme,
while the Marines only mass for S.E. Asia.

Dylan is an interesting light. o
Northrop Frye necks with Bruce Springsteen!
“Bob freed your only real mind the way
Elvis freed the slave’s music for capitalism?!?

your body.

“just because music was innately physical did not mean that it was anti-intellectual.”
Perhaps, but if the artist “may owe a cocaine limo to his own discipline,” before a bungee jump to society at large (as Frye suggests),
it seems barely only real.

again.

The lives of the saints still ring in our ears, and if we sense their visions were phantasmagoric, we’ve also gotten more than our share of industrial light and magic of late.

We want authentic visions, but we want them serialized, we want apotheosis from Patti Smith, but we also want the t-shirt that replicates such fuguery.

We want someone to die for their art–something we feel keenly that we could never do–but not while they are at their most productive, maybe later, in their inevitable “Blue Period”

We want, most of all, product. We’re no strangers to fetishizing cultural output–in fact, we who work in the symbolic salt mines of the academy are masters of it. It is the age of mass humanity and finding something authentic (read: untainted by greed or whatever it was with which the devil tried to seduce Jesus Christ atop the world’s first ski resort) is more likely to be a discovery which leads to interpolation and deconstruction rather than social change.

All is permissible in the shadow of the Metropole, for all invariably serves to buttress the Empire–and the Empire as we know it tod
ay is O N L y…

Weast of Eden


careful with that apple!

the other speaks: “I think people tend to put researchers up into the political categories—or any form of academics up into that category. Here’s someone who’s got maybe the power or the intellect to do something but they’re not doing anything about it. All you want to do is research us.” (from Cameron & Gibson’s “Participatory action research in a poststructuralist vein” 2005. Geoforum 36: 315-331)

1. Custodial,
Chancellor, catering, waste management,
President & Vice-Chancellor, Rector, Principal,
pizza and alcohol delivery drivers,
Provost, TAs, Vice-provost,
housing, house-cleaning,
faculty,
esteemed drifters & servers,
students,
sessional instructors,
tutors,
Presidents and Vice-presidents Academic,
Security, Parking,
leaders of the sundry academies,
Research Services,
receptionists, secretaries,
Deans, Assistant Deans, Tim Horton’s,
Starbucks, Department Heads,
Counsellors, friends:
it is an honour to speak with you today.

2.
i would sing the academy, bills attendant,
laid green eternal, sunshiny bright,
cross-cut lawns stretching to the fence-line,
a place of mind.
let us be mindful of place.
a place, for example,
which has no agreement
with the first nations peoples,
upon whose land this
global-thinking place
does its thinking,
its globalizing.
Let us be mindful, then,
of where we step.

I would sing
so the private
might be made public,
so industries of knowledge
might find a modern home
–for in the postmodern,
where nothing is fixed,
but the game seems rigged,
we have seen the decentering of ethics,
of morality,
the privatization of the academy,
of thought itself,
so even Nancy Olivieri*
would think twice
about another university gig.

3.
i speak of imaginings.
do not imagine that we are not distracted,
that what is spoken here, advocated here, thought of here
is spoken almost only here
and not loudly here,
not enough spoken of this place.

do not imagine that here is not connected so greatly
to out there,
that there could even be a here
without all the world which makes this place
shapes it, pays for it in tributes forced,
in taxes torn from the oppressed,
whom we have sworn to guide,
to lead out of the morass;

do not imagine we are not purposefully distracted,
that our endless running for awards and honours,
our ceaseless scribblings and debates
are not, in part, designed to contain us,
to fix the gaze in such a manner that the misery
and war, the real chaos, lies(check usage here) cloaked in periphery;

do not imagine that all we do is good,
or that the millions of academics
have yet to stem the tide of starving billions;
do not imagine the halls themselves
are above scrutiny,
rather, under it,
with their cafeterias,
exercise yards
and cells—we penal colonists;
so, too, the suburbs,
the condos
moreso;

do not imagine the pay, the office, the gowns, the silly hats
will in any way compensate for the growing mass
of troubled and confused,
nor will such honours
ease conscience vainglorious,
as, on that fateful day, even we are stopped at the check-point,
taken from coteries, epaulettes removed, very like a Beria**;

do not imagine the state—the very one we help to build—
do not imagine it will love you,
for in any great upheaval the learned,
too, are washed away, down Gulag drains,
Treblinka trains, anonymous, vanished, forgot;

do not imagine the state will mourn you;
and, please, do not imagine any passing over
a great honour, for if, in it’s heated threshing,
the state does not erase our papers, our lecture notes,
our very faces from the faculty photos,
why, then, our tenure is guaranteed
—we will have long since failed to matter
as bearers of the light of knowledge,
and complicit be in torture, the snuffing of the light.

4.
i speak as i was taught.
we gather in such places
for this very purpose—we are the risk
power takes each September:

will we be swayed by position, money,
office? or lacking these, swayed by desperation?
or are we the moment when the wager falters,
when the lettered women and men
begin to piecemeal construct a different sort of machine;

imagine your art, your gifts, your very heart
set to tasks fulfilling, embarked upon a bloodless reversal,
speaking truth to power,
advocating evidence-based policy,
accountable government,
the nurturing of community,
filling the sky with hopeful light;
imagine the power in metaphor,
what must be
if we are not to prove ourselves
lesser re-runs
of the falling empire;

imagine, please, not our tenure-track,
our corner office with the indoor,
flourishing tree;
imagine not emeritus, for in such stripped and impoverished soils
such imaginings seem fruitless;

imagine the brutish, ignorant wheel
bearing down upon the child;
your hand, staying such tragics;
imagine the terror in the single mother, the aged,
the infirmed, and the torch you bear to light their way;

imagine our own academy, flayed of pseudo-science,
rid of untruth and horseshit;
imagine, if you can, beyond the fear of deadlines
and rules, a place so mindful
you are not breathless with anxiety
but with joy.

5. I was overjoyed when someone said,
“go…
and join work parties,
record worker songs, poetry,
seek and find the heart of Saturday night
—that mythic dream of lust, Death,
creation, performance,
collapse, bliss, worry,
sorrow,
plenty, scarcity, amity and enmity—
wherein much is revealed;
attend festivals, funerals,
help build sculptures out of trash,
erect communities with yon epistemic partners,
live with them, as they live, brew kombucha, bake bread,
babysit the kids,
hike into the high alpine,
cultivate roomsfull of nervous college kids,
grow your data sets, eyeless in Gaza,
repeat a million hubric flaws,
read your poems rigor mortis,
hand in assignments, empty pages,
plug parking meters,
form a student strike,
plant trees to ‘make light’
get the everlasting ink stains under your nails,
these are your salad days,
drive the mountain pass with the grandkids of rum-runners,
wreck a marriage,
break your arm, swallow ayahuashca, lies, and half-truths,
get arrested,
fall in love (again),
fall in love.”

I was overjoyed when someone told me all this
because I recognized in this voice many voices:
among them the academy, the lay,
the forgone and forgot.

I was overjoyed, as I say, for the voice was ours.
It is a pleasure to
speak/with you//today………. Thank you.

* Dr. Nancy Olivieri: The case of University of Toronto clinician, Dr. Nancy Olivieri, gained attention when her research at the Hospital for Sick Children led her to believe that a new drug treatment posed dangers to some patients. It is alleged that the hospital and the university failed to come to her defence when Apotex, co-sponsor of the research, objected to her publishing her findings. It is further alleged that hospital and university officials and representatives of Apotex variously subjected her to workplace and other harassment.
The case was reviewed by CAUT’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure which concluded that the issues raised are serious and that many questions remain unanswered by reviews conducted by other bodies. In addition to matters affecting Dr. Olivieri, broad institutional policy issues exist. Accordingly, the AF&T committee has appointed an independent committee of inquiry. (http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=199).
** Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (29 March 1899 – 23 December 1953) was a Georgian Soviet politician and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years (1946–1953). During the coup d’etat led by Nikita Khrushchev and assisted by the military forces of the Marshal Georgy Zhukov, they formed an alliance to remove and kill Beria. In that same year, he was arrested on trumped-up charges of treason by Zhukov’s soldiers during a meeting in which the full Politburo condemned him. The compliance of the NKVD was ensured by Zhukov’s troops, and after interrogation Beria was taken to the basement of the Lubyanka and shot by General Pavel Batitsky along with his most trusted associates.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavrentiy_Beria)

this side of Thunderdome


Remember him… when you look at the night sky.
………………………………- the Toe-cutter

You are the Night Rider,
a fuel-injected suicide machine,
a rocker, a roller,
no controller,
yer a cop killer,
the mighty weird hand of vengeance
come to smite the un-roadworthy.

You, Night Rider,
clearly unaffected
by the state’s urgences
to “yield” and, perhaps,
“soft shoulder”.

You are the Night Rider,
sleeping in on a Tuesday,
performing your masculinity
in unshowered, unshaved machissmo.

Night Rider,
won’t you come to your senses?
Nobody enjoys maniacal laughter
anymore.
It makes us think of meth,
covered in fleas, scabies,
whiskey shit,
or Janis,
and the last moments of an American Saigon.

Ahh… Night Rider,
we share your machine lust,
your fetish,
your hard-on for the muscle-bitch,
the suped-up hot rod,
the last of the V-8 Interceptors.
(1973 Australian Ford XB Falcon GT)
We, too, like a nitrous kit,
a roof and tail spoiler,
we likes our flat black:
………our murderous speed
………has driven daddy to drinkin’.

We ride!

Night Rider, we understand.
We get the infatuation
but, shit, yer a hick-weed,
all these roads lead to jail
–how have you not grasped this simple truth?
The highway is not freedom,
but a circular slave song.

Oh, Rider of Night,
why all the re-runs of Seinfeld?
And cheese bread?
You’ve grown a belly, N.R.,
and while it might be glam
to be young, dumb
and full of cum,
or all muscle
in butt-less chaps at 21,
you’re 45, and Night Rider,
no-one cares anymore
about your straight-line revolution,
about your road to freedom,
about it,
about what kind of future
you and Floosie would’a made.

The kids are alright
but
they ain’t never heard
of you
nor your last,
wild-eyed flight.

As Lord Humungous has indicated,
no one gets out
alive.

nevermind the Pollocks


song of the legless marine

of course i’m terrified
–the scud, the scray–
i can’t forget, am forgot,
memory sped on feather feet

oh, love, you’ve strange new pulses
which tear, which sleep
(the pity.
walk away, girls)
tear and sleep

this house will fall:
we beggars of the VA hospital
we bugbears of the desert camo
the chug-a-lug nightmares
a candle

oh, love, you’ve wild new horses
yet to be broken,
who’ve yet to be broke
(the Misfits)

i ran.

(enlist)
……………..oh, love,
……………..you’ve fallen
……………..down
……………..the
……………..well:
i pushed as i held as i pushed
……………..and
……………..you
……………..fell

i wrack.

i was ordered
to place a thin bullet
in the sweet old man’s head.

i was ordered
to make the dreams
of the woman
the dreams of the dead

i was ordered
to open fire
into a crowd of children

but that’s just the oil,
the voice in the oil,
whose teeth
took my ankles and feet

i ran.

when my mother came to visit

we ate out
every time
there was nothing to do.

she hunched.

i said
“Straighten up!”
walked winding rail
tracks smelling creosote
she said
“I’ve had it,”
and back to the car
slow.

we spoke little.

the ghost in her reproach,
squalls of shame:
night coming on
for her.

i held her off
in embrace.
the lines in her face
wide.
her lipstick,
smear.

she couldn’t sleep
so i promised not to drink.
that way
she wouldn’t have to stay up
and wait for me.

she will always wait for me
—i imagine—
she will wait for me
as she lies dying.
i don’t know why,
i don’t know why.

she cleaned up the place,
scolded the cats,
watered all the plants,
except for two smaller ones
that died in the sun of August
—inches apart,
inches from the hose.

don’t go to Acapulco

Where are we going, where have we been? Crossroads. Cross-thread, stitched to the past. This material wears thin. Light pierces the raiment. Kind spirit, tell me, who are these beings I see before me?
“These are merely shadows of your past–these things cannot be altered.”
Ceaselessly, the tailor’s fingers pass the thimble, needle. Illuminated!
The garment, inside of which we find ourselves, time and time again, trapped like flies in a milk bottle.
Much is to be learned.
We’ll come by here once more.
I shan’t speak these words.
We’ll never be this way again.
I’ll always be this way.
Blinking in the dusty sunlight, nostalgia attached to the place of changes. The airplane approaches, North by North-West.