Rise in the Fall
by Ana Božičević
Images by Bianca Stone
Birds, LLC, March 2013
80 pages / $18 Buy from Birds, LLC
Mary (Feng Sun Chen) and I are sitting in a bar on Friday afternoon. We are simple about asking. We are asking: What the fuck is a sad poem? What the fuck is a joyful poem? Bettye LaVette is pushing into the air a version of “I’m Not the One” that I like better than the original by The Black Keys. Soot everywhere. “You think that I’m normal. / All these years / I’m just trying to warn you.”
I go home and look the song up and find out Lavette is quoted. “I don’t know what’s he’s [Dan Auerbach’s] saying, but I’m saying don’t fuck with me.”
Sometimes a book of poems finds you, and you type out an email to your friend describing it as, “Now I have found the Winter of my Disco Tent.” Ana Bozicevic’s book, RISE IN THE FALL, pulls at how a woman might be when she has difficult and exhausting and hard things to write about. It pulls out at how she is a speaking, loving thing who must demand from us and and rub against us, despite the fact that she knows we still might miss it, that we might not hear her. (We’re not great listeners.) Also, the book knows that can still be fun. Also, the book knows that she can die and come back and die and come back shooting out breath she made powerful herself.
death. Even in that silence
there’s bird calls or meteors or something hurtling
through space: there’s matter and light. I’ve seen it
through the theater of the trees and it was beautiful
It cut my eyes and I didn’t even care.
-Death, Is All
March 25th, 2013 / 12:00 pm
23 brief replies to Blake Butler & Elisa Gabbert & Johannes Göransson & Chris Higgs re: (dear god, what else?) the fucking New Fucking Sincerity
I’ve decided that, from now on, all I’m going to write about at this goddamned site is this goddamned thing.
… No, seriously, I’m delighted that so many have chimed in. Thanks to everyone! I thought one massive reply would be easiest. If you read this whole thing, may your god shower blessings upon you. And if I missed any pertinent responses, kindly direct me to them in the comments. (I was traveling last weekend, and as such had trouble keeping up with all the discussion.)
I’ve claimed (here, here, here) that one thing at stake in the New Sincerity is the discovery of what maneuvers currently count as “feeling sincere.” That such maneuvers exist I consider more an observation than a topic for debate. E.g., Blake, in his recent post about Marie Calloway’s Google doc pieces, wrote that Calloway’s recent work:
War on a Lunchbreak
by Ana Bozicevic
Belladonna Material Lives Chaplet Series, #137
Belladonna Collaborative, 2011
17 pages / $4.00 each; $6.00 signed Buy from Belladonna
Croatian-American poet Ana Bozicevic’s new Belladonna chaplet, War on a Lunchbreak, is a short, intense collection both carefully and carelessly written, working against the confines of time in an always clocked-in environment, where we can’t afford to lyricize.
but all day long they’re looking over my shoulder.
I dofeel sorry for them. What’s it like
to care so much? Talking morning and night
to a proctor-god, tidy your toy box before bed:
to get degrees, have interests —
is that the anti-war?” (7)
I love this: writing about not having the time to write, and so positioning the poem as a reclamation of stolen time, founded in its own impossibility, embodying its own disembodiment. That is to say she completes the poem stealthily under the panoptic gaze of the boss, the clock, and so performs what French social theorist Michel de Certeau in The Practice of Everyday Life (University of California Press 1984) calls “la perruque”—“the worker’s own work being performed at the place of employment under the disguise of work for the boss. Nothing of value is stolen; what is taken advantage of is time” (Weidemann 2000). Bozicevic’s work speaks to this need to write in a society that has no need for poetry, and negatively appropriates the surveillance-productivist logic of our laboring culture into the content of the poem, informing us of the circumstance both preventing and, thru la perruque, producing the poem.
May 16th, 2012 / 12:00 pm
There is a small world nestled in a big sky. The small world has its own sky, land, people, animals, etc. etc., and although the world is small, if you take the world’s train, you begin to see that the world is vast, because the train travels a meandering route in a hypnotic motion.
We get on this world’s train when we read Ana Božičević’s book, Stars of the Night Commute. The passengers are intimates, yet they are covered with a film of remoteness, and the commute at times bores through this remoteness, and at other times travels the periphery. The abiding mystery of this commute is presented through lines in an early poem, “Always the beast has a remote heart.” And then at the end of the same poem, “At the end of poetry the poem can no longer be remote.” This tension between remoteness of the beast’s heart and intimacy of the poem’s heart causes the whole of the book to ache in the way of a taut muscle stretching to span these disparate realms.
How do we get from point A to B when we are involved in the physics of a dream? Is there a point A and point B in the physics of a dream? In the Stars of the Night Commute, there is a starting point, where the window is opened and air flows in. And, at the end of the book, is the closed and summerless room. But, the route between the two also climbs and descends, skips and glides, as we are woven through memory’s scaffolding. And, on this same variegated route, we are led round and round the circular path, an endless mulling that causes a thought to be worn down to a “white pebble.”
October 12th, 2010 / 3:09 pm