May 15th, 2012 / 7:50 pm
Web Hype

ii ii uh o

After reading the new issue of iO, I know some new things. Like some people will forgive you right to your face. Like every pier is out to get you. Like animals get into the distillery just fine. Like one thing you do is you want to hear someone say “that’s the one I want.” And the other thing you do is you know that, as you age, your desires start to feel less unusual. Then the way you know it’s real is when no one’s dreamed about you so much, or told you they dreamed about you so much, and in such detail. The way it is is a sad song about oranges. No one really cares about germs. The world moves even if you don’t take it out for a walk. My cereal tastes funny does your cereal taste funny? Some things I still don’t know, even with iO to help me. I still don’t know what roll tide roll means. Or how many corporations does it take, anyway, to make a dark that shreds the citydark like a bed of incriminating documents? How many years does running in the wrong direction become, if not right, at least something people stop niOticing?



  1. Mike James

      Yeah I was reading that too chief. Brodak kills it hilarious sometimes.

      right to your face

  2. jtc

      do you mean she kills it so well that it’s almost hilarious. Like, it’s absurd how well she executes?

      or do you mean it’s actually hilarious?

      I think you mean the former, which is fine and makes sense to me. But, I didn’t find the poems funny at all, and so…if you mean the latter, then you should help me because I’m afraid I have no sense of humor.

      I’m not trying to poke fun at you or your use of a strange modifier. If it is such, I actually kind of like it. I’m just worried I might have missed the entire point of her poems.

  3. Mike James

      The statement is a double entendre. The execution as well as the level of humor. I did not find the poems as a whole hilarious, but the line stands out for its hilarious multi-dimensional meaning among the sadness, the deconstruction of, not necessarily miscommunication, but the difficulty with coming to a proper translation of what one says or is attempting to say. Forgiving to the face, contrasting the usual phrasing of such a statement in relation to, most often, a situation of conniverous behavior. See, in Brodak’s poem you get a sense that whatever device we use to communicate (this device not specifically noted as the mouth, as to communicate we use a conglomeration of devices [ … it would appear like an organ, / your most dear external organ, both dutiful and corrupted ]), is somehow in a non-symmetrical state. Though I don’t think just because the poem is titled phone it is all about discourse, it also feels about distance.

      The comedy of the line may not come directly from the poem itself, but from the associations this specific combination of words conjures. Because to read the phrase you can easily assume that whoever is on that phone may be apologizing and the narrator is accepting an apology with exception, “You called and didn’t meet me in person?” Which is still pretty funny to me. So.
      would appear like an organ
      it would appear like an organ,

  4. jtc

      ok, first off, this is thorough and humbling and, i’m thinking, epiphanic. and really appreciated too. in short, i’m afraid i don’t take poetry seriously–i have either for too long read terrible poetry, or else for too long had the lazy, misguided belief that what is not to a reasonable extent directly accessible is not there. i’m thinking i haven’t learn how to read a poem. but thank you for that.

      now, on closer inspection of the poem, and knowing i have recently come to recognize i don’t know much about poetry…i’m yet wondering if you aren’t maybe stretching beyond the bounds to get the narrative you’ve got. you imagine the poem as a phone conversation. i don’t know how to imagine the poem, but it’s hard to imagine it as that.

      it’s titled ‘phone’ and that makes it seem like it could be a conversation.

      is the ‘you’ the speaker or the one being spoken to? is this self-referential?

      if not, then there’s another point for your reading.

      ‘the door you just came through’ = maybe connected to ‘the bridge you just burned’ . . . i googled the phrase (as i did your ‘kills it hilarious,’ but got nothing) and i mostly come up with game walkthroughs for ico and deadspace and tomb raider. no help there. let’s go with the idea that you can always turn around, go back. which ties in with

      ‘Some people will forgive you right to your face’ = either something the speaker has learned, or something the speaker is telling to ‘you.’ i think what you’ve said about this line is good and sufficient.

      ‘imagine then’ okay, stipulated on imagining only once we know the last two lines, or especially the second one. so once we know that someone will forgive us to our face, then we can imagine a

      ‘blue fog as the lifetime of your speech and noises’ – I can do this, but I don’t know why. That’s okay, I’m just mentioning it, that i can’t tell why i’m being asked to do it. I can’t make the connection, which is maybe obvious but not happening for me, between forgiveness and this blue fog.

      ‘From far away it would appear like an organ, your most dear external organ, both dutiful and corrupted.’ – so the blue fog of my speech and noises appears, from far away (through the phone? i have mostly forgotten the phone by this point), like an external organ both dutiful and corrupted, both good and bad, messed up and yet retaining some essential part of itself or me, true to me, but tarnished, okay.

      ‘It swells faintly.’ – I like this line for its sound, but…okay, so the fog swells faintly.

      ‘Who is in charge now, it wonders about you.’ – wha?! the fog WONDERS ABOUT (very impersonal) who is in charge, which could represent the speaker asking after ‘you’ or the ‘you’ asking after yourself or the ‘you’ asking after the speaker.

      From all of this, I just don’t get where it’s a phone conversation. I mean, that seems stupid, since the title is ‘phone.’ But,  don’t know. I feel more compelled to say that it’s about a person forgiving his/herself, though there’s not much support for that in the poem. Still, since the blue fog (YOU) is wondering about you, it would seem that the ‘you’ is in fact the speaker and the receiver for this poem. To me, at least, it would seem.

      I don’t know. from pretty much ‘blue fog’ after, the poem deals with something that seems far removed from its initial two lines.

      This is probably annoying. But you should tell me more.

  5. shaun gannon

      hi mike

  6. shaun gannon

      how are you

  7. shaun gannon

      you should come to carolyn’s thing on saturday

  8. Mike Young

      hi shaun! it’s kind of hard for me to get to DC because i don’t have a car. =( also my carolyn’s going to be in town on saturday, so i think we might stay in ballymore and go to the ethiopian restaurant and the transmodern festival and stuff. but i send good energy down the beltway!

  9. Mike James

      Word. I am 100% always guilty of over analyzing everything. Though some of the greatest personal achievements and creative revelations, for me, has come out of over analyzing things. Though I am very much a member of the “gut feeling school”. That’s another topic, so…

      I don’t think it is A phone conversation. I feel it is Conversation(s). But the tacked on parenthetical there is unnecessary as, for some reason, it feels as if this is dealing with the act of conversation and the follies of the devices we use to conversate. And although folly seems to indicate a failure of some sort, I think it is more correct to see it as the “madness of conversation”, which is the “madness of communicating”. But there is a distinct difference between having a conversation and communicating. Conversing indicates a shared understanding, while when communicating you are attempting to reach that understanding. “Phone” seems more in the former, dealing with a working device(s) that seem inherently maleficent co-pilots that do not know they are maleficent. (Dutiful and corrupt).

      Let’s break this down…

      “There is always the door you just came through.” — I see this line as less a literal walking through the door (though it could be literal, but the second line serves multi-dimensionally, so once reaching the next line, I believe it is safe to analyze and elevate additional meanings for superimposition). I see the line as an escape hatch for communication, which you nailed, but also that you can [almost] always get to that point of understanding. There is always an entrance point. There is always some way to hold the diamond sliver to the sun and see the varied fractals of reality to use as a shared dynamic w/ another individual.

      The blue fog is possibly representative of that wall we reach. Where you are on the same page, but we (people) always have the capacity to not see we that understand each other and needlessly convolute a discussion, and/or an agreement.

      “Who is in charge now, it wonders about.” — Notice how your organ indicates possession and yet this line advises it is a separate entity, wondering about you. Almost as if the conversation(s) or the act of conversation becomes its own entity that can be derailed in so many ways, its stupid.

      I don’t think it is the fog here. The fog became the external organ, and we would need to verify what is this external organ (which is, I believe, conversation).

      “It swells faintly”, and then followed by the line above, indicates an Ego is present. And an ego is usually only present in the aura of consciousness. Therefore, I feel as if the poem is personifying an act and an object simultaneously, the same way the lines within the poem have duplicate meaning.

      I know I didn’t trail in the order, so just to reiterate:

      [ … both dutiful and corrupted. ]

      Then the organ, after being personified (or, actually, objectified is the correct term), it swells [to indicate its acceptance of this objectification and then react to it] and then responds. It seems to respond to both “dutiful” and “corrupted”. [Who is in charge now] = corrupted [it wonders about you] = dutiful.

      That’s how a person would respond to a compliment that is also a diss.

      To me at least.
      There is always the door you just came through.

  10. jtc

       i like this. okay. the abstract, more general way of seeing it, yes, i can see that. and i do like it. i’ll think more on it. worked for a few hours today on a poem that’s formally in direct response to what happened here yesterday haha. good stuff. thanks.