What’s so great about art?

Joseph Kosuth, "One and Three Chairs" (1965)
Joseph Kosuth, “One and Three Chairs” (1965)

[Update 4 October 2014: See the bottom of this post for a bit more.]

This is a response to Dianna Dragonetti’s recent post here, which is itself a response to Janey Smith’s “Fuck List,” originally published at this site. It’s also a response to the numerous comments on Dragonetti’s post. Because it seemed to me that, as of this writing, a lot of the debate over Smith’s post, and the book that’s apparently resulted from it (which I’ve not seen), has taken the form, “Is what Smith did art?” Mind you, I doubt this post will settle that debate, but I hope it provides

  1. some historical context I think relevant to Smith’s post;
  2. plus an argument why, at the end of the day, I don’t think that it really matters whether Smith was making art.

I guess I should also note, in passing, that my name was the first name on Smith’s “Fuck List” (thanks to the magic of alphabetization). Since I find myself (along with numerous others) the object of some obscure desire, perhaps I can offer a few thoughts on the subject.

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Alexandra Naughton’s SUMMER READS

meAs part of Summer Reads, Alexandra Naughton shares what she’s looking forward to reading this summer.

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Summer to me feels like chapbooks and graphic novels, which are good to read on the train and on a stoop while drinking iced tea.

1) Dystopian’s Codependent Syndrome by Paul Murufas

dystopian

Drugs, tarot readings, loneliness, and wayward traveling comprise some of the themes of this poetry chapbook from Mess Editions. This book feels like Oakland and summer and it’s killing me again.

2) Sadmess by Ana Carrete

sadmess

I really like Carrete’s online writing and I am excited to leaf through Sadmess, handmade by Carrete herself. Sadmess is such a perfect title for a book of poems and I wish I had thought it up first.

3) Never Ending Summer by Allison Cole

NeverEndingSummer

A graphic novel from Alternative Comics that Amy Berkowitz loaned me when I was feeling heartbroken and it helped me to get over it. Rereading this book feels like stale sunbaked emptiness and wanting to take a midnight bike ride.

4) Terror Matrix by Zoe Tuck

terror-matrix

This is a beautiful little book from Timeless Infinite Light full of stabbing lines like “the bagel and sweaty glass carafe are here for me in ways they’re not for you” and “lake for bloody grace i said fill me a scrip for this to raise the dead.”

5) 18 Levels of Hell by Teppei Ando

18LevelsSmall

Go to hell with the second illustrated book on this list based on Chinese mythology, published by Murder Dollhouse. Fantastically morbid drawings depicting the kind of suffering we can only hope to endure specifically designed for the sins we’ve committed.

POEM-A-DAY from THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN LUNATICS (#13)

poem a day alexandra
poem a day alexandra about

tsaritsa with rose
Alexandra Naughton does a lot of things and her name is very search engine friendly. Her first book, I Will Always Be Your Whore, was published by Punk Hostage Press in January, 2014.

 

     Love Song #1

      [Ava Adore]

 

             by

                                                                    Alexandra Naughton


poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)
poem a day alexandra X
Someone: “HTML Giant is so sexist…”

Nigel Tufnel: “What’s wrong with bein sexy?”
 
 
poem a day Jan 7th - copia

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

The Moon’s Jaw

Moon's Jaw hi res CoverThe Moon’s Jaw
by Rauan Klassnik
Black Ocean, Feb 2013
76 pages / $14.95  Buy from Black Ocean or Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Rauan Klassnik writes and makes ugly things seem kind of beautiful.

Rauan Klassnik is a writer I follow on Twitter. A while back he sent me a tweet asking if I would like to review his new book, The Moon’s Jaw, and of course I said I would. Several days later, a package arrived in the mail containing two books, The Moon’s Jaw and Klassnik’s previous work, Holy Land (2008), both with autographed and illustrated title pages.

There are recurring images in both collections of prose poetry: shooting guns and shooting cocks, the female body (sometimes bruised, sometimes being ejaculated on), circles, god, duality (simultaneously: man & woman, love & hate), birds, restraints, death.

The images in The Moon’s Jaw add up to bizarre dreamscapes of the fearful, beautiful, and grotesque. Lines read like excerpts from an erotic horror film script:

“Under the moon’s tightening wrists–Leaning down to pet yr dog, you looked up at me & shot the dog in its face. We fucked. & we fucked again. & when I came to you were sucking me off.” (page 15)

“Waves. & Flowers. Revolving. In black lace: Gurgling. You’re pushing me back down on the bed now. & you’ve got my wrists above my head. & you’re eating me out– Licking up between my breasts. It’s dusk. Lights, Wound, Up, In a Spiral: Hooked–Thru Me, Like Gut, On, Fire. Yr grip’s tightening. I’m sinking: Like fish–In cool shade. Birds, like planets–All ripped up.” (page 22)

Continue reading “The Moon’s Jaw”