Paul Cunningham

Volatile Translations: On Paul Cunningham and Sara Tuss Efrik’s Manias


In my last post about translation and Ali Taheri Araghi’s anthology of contemporary, underground poetry from Iran, I pointed out that a big reason for the anxiety about translation comes form our literary establishment’s anxiety about excess: Translation produces too many versions of too many texts, from too many lineages and too many languages.


Just as the reaction against the threat of the plague ground is to constantly make canons and lists of the truly good, truly “legit” poetry (prestige is the opium of the poets), I see the same thing going on in translation: we make hierarchies. We want there to be a foreign canon which will be as stable as the US canon – though there’s always a struggle to erect and maintain these canons since different people have different aesthetics and views.
Beneath this model and its anxieties we can sense what scholar-poet Susan Stewart has, in her wonderful book “On Longing” described like this: “… in the contextualist’s privileging of context of situation we see a Romanticism directed toward a lost point of origin, a point where being-in-context supposedly allowed for a complete and totalized understanding.” There is no origin where we can have “totalized understanding,” no matter how much such writers wish to demonstrate mastery. In the plague ground of poetry, poets and translations infect each other, deform each other. We lose the sense of the true original, the gold standard of interpretation, the master taste. READ MORE >

Random / 3 Comments
December 9th, 2016 / 12:31 pm

Paul Cunningham: Why Should I Read YOUR Journal ????

Photo on 8-18-14 at 10.49 PM (1)

ok, Paul, so why should we read YOUR journal ???

I genuinely enjoy seeing someone’s bogus sense of self-entitlement completely disrupted by the words or opinions of a Deluge contributor. I cannot help that this disrupted person is almost always a white heterosexual male.

I’m obviously not doing any of this for approval from others. I don’t care if anyone disapproves of the kind of writing I’m distributing. I’m doing this to challenge readers. I’m doing this so people who are pissed off about a specific experience or situation have an outlet other than Facebook. I’ve been doing this since 2009 and I plan to continue doing this.

All joking aside, I think everyone should read Deluge because it is a celebration of bodies in the sense that I frequently choose to publish work by writers opposed to phobic violence against all bodies. I am sharing stories of bodies engaged with the resistance of corporate bodies.

And here let me quote myself:

The contents of an issue of Deluge is so many things at once. It might involve a critique of whiteness or the regulations that exist within sociality. It might contain work that is belligerently orgiastic and, at the same time, it might even contain work that is anti- male orgasm. Deluge is a bookshelf on which Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto and Warhol’s Blue Movie transcript both rest. Deluge is when Kim Vodicka writes, “Yes, I am a big ‘ol bitch, and you best / stand behind me. / Feminist is next to godliness.” It is when Roberto Montes writes, “I hear an October voice / Telling me to fuck / Is this racist / The white boys ask / When they grab my butt / Really wondering / How anyone could be different / Or turned like a gasket out.” When Monica McClure writes, “But all I really want / is to live a good life / paid for by someone who feels / illiterate in symbolic systems of manhood / For him I will fill a bathtub / with expensive rosewater / that I got for free in swag bags / I’ll stuff holes with pure sugar cane / bought with the IMF budget of countries / who failed to understand the compromising / nature of relationships.” It is when you and Gary write lines like, “the wilderness knows i am a real fucking pig, and apples my mouth, over and over / i let myself get frosted by all the men dressed as trees.”

Shit happens. Poetry happens. “Same shit, different bidet,” READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 4 Comments
August 20th, 2014 / 5:35 pm

…Paul Cunningham’s Poetry Patriotism — Pump-Pump!…


black with stars strip

legs in air

black with stars strip


In this day and age when most people are so politically apathetic and so many writers (especially the deadbeat young) are loth to mix beautiful politics with their beautiful poetics it’s more refreshing than a Mexican Coke (you know the ones with extra yummy sugar) to find a True Poetry Patriot like Paul Cunningham who sits squarely in American’s Great Big Bulging Heart:


In amber waves of grain & purple mountains, above the fruited plain, Paul Cunningham, Paul Cunningham, God surely shed His grace on thee 
(—-from Paul Cunningham The Beautiful)


And, so, following but surpassing Joe Hall’s Poetry RoadReb Livingston’s Poetry Home, and Carina Finn’s Poetry Youth in sheer American Joy, Industry, Charity & Greatness this is the 4th such photo shoot/interview where, again, the only rule’s that Paul has to answer in language from his manuscript-in-progress, The Stylets of Paul Sorbet


staute liberty strip

Besides Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” Rammstein’s “Amerika ” (wunderbar!), The Ballad of Davey Crockett and all the rest of our beautiful and gauzy anthems what sort of ditties, aural-elevation sequences and rabid-hunting drum-beats (we have the right to bear! Yeah! we have the right to bear!) have you been listening to in the burning heart of your Poet Patriotism??

pump-pump READ MORE >

Author Spotlight & Random / 12 Comments
August 26th, 2013 / 2:02 pm