On the state of poetry.

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Frida Kahlo’s prosthetic leg http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11605809/Frida-Kahlo-fashion-The-artists-clothing-that-will-make-you-love-her.html

I keep wondering how I’m going to start this. Do I rehash everything that has happened in the last few months in poetry or do I just dive in? What can I impart that will illuminate a new thought to someone for a change for the better? I can’t really add much more than what I feel. I am person full emotions. They cloud me sometimes.

For now here are a few pieces I’ve already enjoyed and empathize with:

* Vanessa Place, The Mongrel Coalition and Sector 17: Notes on Poetry, Violence and Community http://jackkerouacispunjabi.blogspot.ca/2015/05/vanessa-place-mongrel-coalition-and.html

* On Being-Hated: Conceptualism, the Mongrel Coalition, the House That Built Me by Trisha Low: 

* On Vanessa Place, Gone With the Wind, and the Limit Point of Certain Conceptual Aesthetics by John K: http://jstheater.blogspot.ca/2015/05/on-vanessa-place-gone-with-wind-and.html

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The first time I wrote about the poetry world was when I had finished reading Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing. It prompted me to start my James Joyce projects. A new world had opened up to me in writing. Soon afterward I met Goldsmith and he introduced me to some of my local poetry heroes. I was so taken aback. He introduced me like I was “a very interesting and important poet.” I was overwhelmed with his kindness. Around the same time frame, I met Vanessa Place at an art show here in Toronto that featured conceptual poets and artists. We were both in line for the washroom and she asked me if I was a poet too. She suggested I should visit Los Angeles and take in the poetry scene there. I started reading on her work and it inspired me greatly.

I took on my lyrical and conceptual projects with fervour I hadn’t had since I was a teenager. A combination of writer’s block, a desk job, and then becoming a mother put all my writing on the back burner. It’s still very exciting to me to be in a world where I can produce work for myself and have others critique it, let alone be interested in it. I really haven’t done much, but film and literary criticism help me practice and expand my avenues. I would never have thought of turning my nerdy pursuits into a career. It’s a career I feel very passionate for and drives me. Words mean so much to me and I am very protective of them. Letting them go is cathartic and I’ve since learned it’s important for me to keep writing.

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Then in April this happened: http://jacquelinevalencia.com/2015/03/15/thoughts-on-kenneth-goldsmith-and-michael-brown/

Not only had that happened (I can’t even bring myself to appropriate that child’s name on this post. He’s suffered enough.), but conceptual poetry was to blame for all the problems of the poetry world which included racism, sexism, elitism, and add all the -isms you want here. Conceptual poetry had to be abolished because it was the platform of the rich, white, and privileged. Not only that, but somehow my words ended up in different news media platforms. Some of them had misconstrued and cut up my writing to suit their opinion and agenda, misidentified me as a Goldsmith student (I looked up to him as if he was mentor), or black (I’m mixed Hispanic and I don’t appreciate that a paper took it upon themselves to identify as they saw fit without consulting me first), while entirely dismissing my reasoned defence for conceptualism. I got a lot of support for it, but it didn’t feel right.

The one person that could have answered my confusion ran away because their work was being continually questioned and he was being continually burned. I still wait for an answer. Not that I’m owed one. I may have a lost a friend/mentor in the process.

I have no regrets.

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I’d known about the @VanessaPlace twitter account and added it on because I was interested in reactions to it. I was surprised no one had already. I wasn’t offended by it because Gone With The Wind is already so offensive. I also didn’t see it as my place to say anything because as a woman of mixed heritage, I’m still navigating that part of my identity with an awareness of my own privilege. I live in mixed girl limbo and that has it’s own problems that most don’t concern themselves with. No one speaks for me and I don’t speak for everyone. The outrage against Vanessa Place’s piece is right and I understand it. Everyone has the right to react the way they want to against racism or if they feel an injustice. No one wants to hear the art behind it (you can read the art behind in those links above). No one wants to hear what VP or KG were thinking and why they did what they did. They just want to condone and abolish.

That’s well within their rights to condone and call for action. Abolish? I’m not sure of that yet.

I am very grateful for the discourse this has provoked. My eyes were partially closed and now they’re wide open. Decolonize language. Decolonize your soul. But only against conceptualism? Really? So which poets of colour are being taught in school? Are we positive that no lyrical poets have ever been racist, sexist, or elitist? It’s all the same boiling pot of vanilla and we have a giant problem all around with this right now. Poetry has always had their cliques, it still doesn’t make it right. Decolonize all of it. Restructure all of it. No holds barred and no excuses. I demand you decolonize your own worlds for you.

No one prepared me for the onslaught of hate against a creative/uncreative process. For years I’ve been hearing the death of poetry, the death of lyricism, or the death of conceptualism. Pick a side and kill the other. Denounce and silence the brand of poetry that you hate. The “I” of lyricism will fall at the hands of conceptualists and the robots of conceptualism will be beheaded at the hands of the lyricists. Poetry right now is filled with feuding families pointing smug fingers at one another. At first I was amused, now everyone is hurting. Guess what? Poetry is personal again now.

The thing I’ve always loved about poetry is that I get to play with words. I get to experiment despite the colour of my skin or the constraints or traditions I utilize. I want to use both English and Spanish to explore the languages I grew up with and add a new one: Chibcha (the extinct native language of Colombia). Whether that be creatively or un-creatively, I have every right to do what I want.

Is conceptualism stained by racism? Yeah, it is, but so is lyricism. All of it is stained. I grew up speaking Spanish at home and learning English at school. These are two languages brought by conquerors that eradicated my ancestral people and their native tongue along with it. We use English every day on social media. At least most of us do.

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I’m still very confused and hurt by all the things said against all the camps. Seriously, poetry camps and coteries! Not that I matter in all of this any way. But Poetry (with a capital P) matters to me. It’s where all my forms of expression originate. It comes from a mind that aspires to be a poet; one that still has problems saying, “I am a poet,” because to say that means you earned a mastery of words. It’s an audacious claim. I don’t not hold a mastery of words. I’m a writer and deciphering the world with writing poetry and reading poetry is part of my learning process. It fulfills me and delights me. It will continue to do so. But now I’ve got this anger. This angering energy empowers me to make a deep change in how I use lyricism and conceptualism. I mean, look at this awesome work!:

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/ubc-student-writes-52438-word-architecture-dissertation-with-no-punctuation-not-everyone-loved-it

I love the idea of decolonizing language with conceptualism. You can do it lyrically, but the possibilities become limitless in a cut up and paste world. KG and VP have offended and I hope that more poets offend and provoke. I don’t believe in art that’s sole purpose is to offend. I believe in art that opens eyes, changes perspectives, or makes people see things they were once blind to. As it is, these controversies have made me think about the world of criticism, how it must change and how it must start proving its worth. But that’s another world altogether.

You will not repress me because I have a voice. You may judge my methods of expression, but I have a strong voice, and I will use it as I see fit. You may critique me or condone me, but no one will silence me.

I come from people that matter, my parents, my family, my chosen family, my teachers, my mentors, but I follow no one. And I continue to learn. Full heart, clear eyes, and pen at the ready.

Learn to know thyself.

Poetry is freedom. There is freedom in speech. The poet is the world’s unpaid politician.

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Thoughts on Kenneth Goldsmith and Michael Brown

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http://animalnewyork.com/2014/mike-brown-rip-mural/

On March 13, 2015, Kenneth Goldsmith read his newest work The Body of Michael Brown at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University (for Interrupt 3). Goldsmith remixed Michael Brown‘s autopsy report and presented it thusly. For what looks to have been an interesting conference, I have found very little documentation of the event (or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, except for hashtags on twitter –  https://twitter.com/search?q=%23interrupt3&src=tyah), but it was certainly noticed all over twitter and social media threads.

As an experimenter with uncreative writing and conceptual work, my first reaction was how did he use the report? I felt this resonated with my thinking at the moment.

However as the stream of reactive media rolled by, the more concerned I got.: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%40kg_ubu&src=typd

https://twitter.com/AgainstGringpo/status/576578056736804864

You can read the rest of Beaulieu’s thoughts here: https://twitter.com/BraydonBeaulieu/status/576817754520571904 which are what resonated with me right after.

It is no secret that reading Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing has been a continual influence in my own work in that it’s provoked experimentation. It’s opened up a new way of thinking and produced work that I’m pretty proud of. Goldsmith is also someone I consider a mentor and a friend. He pushes buttons and I support all of his work. He, in turn, has supported mine as well. I’m not a conceptual artist, nor do I consider myself a conceptual poet. I’m a poet that experiments with words, which is what a poet inherently does. Conceptualism is a subject I render, review, and talk about extensively in Canadian literature and it is, ironically, the birth of my lyrical work as well.

I find that the act of reading Michael Brown’s autopsy report extremely problematic. I believe that as a mixed person, even for me parsing the event is extremely problematic. I wrote a small blurb on twitter about it because I felt I should say something. Goldsmith is right. I wasn’t there. I don’t know the context. I don’t know the reaction of the crowd. I don’t know the discussions that came out of the reading. I want to know these things! I want to know the context and why this reading was a step forward for conceptualism or a step forward to something good for Michael Brown.

If he is just collating the data that is freely available to all of us, rendering it to make us think, well, he’s provoked a meaty discussion from the reactions. We can’t let Michael Brown’s death nor the events at Ferguson be forgotten because they are still happening every day. Is this what we are supposed to gather from a reading of Brown’s autopsy?

Scaling back, I have to think about the poet as a vessel of messages. In this case, Goldsmith is the vessel of the data of the autopsy report. We’re talking in a very clinical, conceptual state, where nothing that was read by Goldsmith was authored by Goldsmith. He is a computer capturing a state in time that we wouldn’t even think of placing ourselves in. From the reactions I gathered after the reading, it is clear that people were made uncomfortable by this idea. Maybe this is the reaction Goldsmith was looking for, if any, I can’t be sure.

Now think of Goldsmith again as the vessel of that report. He is not black. He is not from Ferguson. He is not related to Michael Brown. Did he speak to Brown’s relatives? If he didn’t are we to think that Brown’s death, because of that freely available autopsy report, are we to believe that Brown’s body is now freely available to the public? This is a black body that Goldsmith is rendering in his reading. That alone is the reason that concerned me. As a mixed woman with a black father who has had his rights (and life) questioned because of the colour of his skin, we both grew up subtly being told that our bodies belonged for appropriation. My Colombian dad is called negro in his homeland. I am still called negrita there as well. Negro there isn’t just the name of a colour, but it lives on as a derogatory term in Spanish. Slave labour is still alive and well for the blacks in South America. Black men still face great hardships in Colombia. Black suffering isn’t free and readily available to the public. Until the struggle is fought by those who suffer, we as people on the outside of it, must be allies and not silence black voices or speak over them.

Now I’m not saying 100 percent that this is what Goldsmith did, because, again, I wasn’t there. There has yet to be released a video or a transcript of the reading. If I am to defend a work, I would like to know all the details. But until then, I’d like to stand in solidarity with those concerned that Michael Brown might not have wanted this reading. Yes we are taking data of information and going with it, but that’s exactly what a reading like this incurs. As poets we present our work and some of us drop that mic. Some of us are so concerned with dropping it, we end up throwing it. Then we’re surprised when it gets thrown back.

I still think Kenneth Goldsmith is brilliant and one of the biggest champions of experimentation these days. Death threats against him because of this are ridiculous. We need discussions and get togethers where we duke these things and flesh them out. I like to think of Goldsmith’s reading like Madonna and Andy Warhol thought of Basquiat (http://jacquelinevalencia.com/2015/02/06/basquiat/). Basquiat wasn’t just a person or friend to them, he was a figure that came with the complexities and provocation they desired in their own work. They used him, but Basquiat used them as well.

I want to know what was said in Goldsmith’s reading. I want to know the aftermath in that room. I’m concerned that new divisions will be formed because we don’t know. Isn’t the work made more important by the discussion of it?

These are all questions I still have after posting these up:

https://twitter.com/JacqValencia/status/576923172383113216

https://twitter.com/JacqValencia/status/576923815290101760

Goldsmith messaged me and was shocked at my reaction. I was asked if I passed judgment. I would like to ask some questions because in the end I found the event to be viscerally upsetting. If people that were there weren’t as upset as the people that weren’t, why is that? We want to know more. I’ve been looking for information, essays, or reactive tweets besides, “I hate Goldsmith!” or “I love Goldsmith!” What did listeners get out of the reading? I want to know what his reaction is to the outrage considering that I know he would try his best to handle the subject matter with some form of compassion. At least, I still hope he did.

Until now, all we have is his twitter feed: https://twitter.com/kg_ubu

Edit: Or this facebook statement: https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.goldsmith.739/posts/354492771403205

These are just my two cents to personally parse what upset me, to question the artist, not to attack the person. The irony in all of it, is that both the reactions and the idea of the work, made me think.

I don’t believe that there is a “white supremacy, right wing” conspiracy in conceptual work. I practice it, as do many. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t question what I do with conceptualism or how I practice it. I must consider. I must provoke. I must consider. I must provoke. It means that as a woman, as a person of colour, as a person of privilege and disadvantage, that I must help to turn the tide, make the mark, and own my work fully, but most of all, take responsibility for it.

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Edited to add: Goldsmith posted a new statement on his Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.goldsmith.739/posts/354952974690518?pnref=story

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LINKS I’ve been reading (thanks to the many who are making a conversation. Racism & sexism exists in all poetic coteries. That’s the discussion we should still be having.)

* Response to Race and the Poetic Avant-Garde: http://bostonreview.net/poetry/erica-hunt-forum-response-race-avant-garde

* Race and the Poetric Avant-Garde: http://bostonreview.net/blog/poetry-forum-race-avant-garde

* The Mongrel Coalition Killed Conceptualism: http://gringpo.com/

* Delusions of Whiteness in the Avant-Garde: http://www.lanaturnerjournal.com/print-issue-7-contents/delusions-of-whiteness-in-the-avant-garde

* Goldsmith y el imperio retro-conceptual / Heriberto Yépez: http://venepoetics.blogspot.ca/2013/09/goldsmith-y-el-imperio-retro-conceptual.html

* The Brown Daily Herald: Racial controversy over poem ends conference early: http://www.browndailyherald.com/2015/03/18/racial-controversy-over-poem-ends-conference-early/

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Post-event analysis and reports:

http://www.vidaweb.org/why-are-people-so-invested-in-kenneth-goldsmith-or-is-colonialist-poetry-easy/

* http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/17/power-and-poetry-in-context-on-kenneth-goldsmith/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/17/kenneth-goldsmith-michael-brown_n_6880996.html

* http://queenmobs.com/2015/03/the-body-of-kenneth-goldsmith/

http://hyperallergic.com/190954/kenneth-goldsmith-remixes-michael-brown-autopsy-report-as-poetry/

http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/24127/1/kenneth-goldsmith-talks-about-reading-mike-browns-autopsy

http://www.inquisitr.com/1928367/death-threat-for-michael-brown-autopsy-poem-kenneth-goldsmith-responds/

http://dagwolf.tumblr.com/post/113734904950/thoughts-on-kenneth-goldsmith-and-michael-brown

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/finders-keepers-reactions/

On my last day of retyping Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

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Dear James Joyce,

This morning I had my cup of coffee, with two creams and six of those little packets of sugar, and typed out the last few sentences of your book, Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man. 

I’ve been kind of down thinking of today because I started this on March 11, 2013 (depression has its own agenda). On paper March doesn’t seem like such a long time ago. In reality, if you count down the amount of times I’ve sat at this desk to do this, that’s two hundred and seventy one days I’ve dedicated to retyping your book. I can’t say it was all wine and roses, because it wasn’t.

There were days were I was fascinated by what you were doing at the beginning. You tried to recreate an infantile brain and how it processes language (the infection of language is insidious, but it has to happen). However, my writing suffered indirectly at the time. I handed in stories to my writing groups and they all but spat them back at me wondering where the punctuation was and my odd ways of forming a story. I was experimenting without realizing it. I think I entirely missed the point then, but I look back at those works and have come the conclusion that they will stay without revision. Not everything I do has to be a possible published piece.

That brings me to why I did this. Well, to rehash what I’ve had to repeat to others:

I read Kenneth Goldsmith‘s Uncreative Writing. Everything he mentions there rings true. I think as a creative medium, as writers, we’re stuck when we write. We’re writing the same way, and while the art world has had its breakthrough with the avant-garde, poets stayed behind swimming in a lyrical oasis. At least, that’s my interpretation of it anyway. I’ve suffered fifteen years writer’s block. It comes and goes, but it’s a terrifying thing. Even worse than the block, was the feeling that I was trying way too hard at my poetry. Poetry is hard, but I wasn’t bringing anything new to the table. I wrote pantoums, villanelles, sonnets, and free verse. I am very proud of those works, but I felt like I was running around in a circle, discerning the world in 2D glasses.

Anyway, Goldsmith mentioned a project by Simon Morris who had retyped Jack Kerouac’s On The Road (http://gettinginsidejackkerouacshead.blogspot.ca/). I thought it was an interesting thing that I could do with one of your books. You see, Ulysses is my favourite novel of all time. Sir, you broke my brain when I read it, however, I didn’t want to retype something I had already read more than a dozen times. It’s my literary bible. So, I picked up A Portrait, made a blogger for it, and started.

Retyping A Portrait spun off other projects including:

The uncreative projects keep coming to me. I’m still sorting out a visual poetry project I had going on the side, but there’s only so many hours during the day. I am a mom of two children who are almost teenagers (they say “GAH!” to me!), and balancing a career and home has its own schedule. As for my creative projects since I’ve started retyping A Portrait:

And I’ve met so many like minded folk and inspiring writers/artists that it’s been overwhelming. I’m conversing, exchanging ideas, arguing, defending, reconciling, but never compromising. I mean, if you didn’t, why should I?

So here I am after having typed your words and I feel like I can’t let go of them. I don’t think I got inside your head, per se. Sometimes, and it’s weird for me to say it, but I’ll say it anyway: I’d be typing your words, and your head would appear in front of me obscuring my screen. You’d ask, “What the hell are you doing, woman?”

“I’m typing.”

“Why?”

“I like loosing myself in it. It’s like meditating. Like my morning coffee. May be it’s even better, for I am often unhappy too.”

“Poetry?”

And then you’d kind of go away. Each of our exchanges were different, but the gist of them is there.

I’ve decided that I haven’t had enough of you thus I’m taking on a new project. On Monday December 9th, I’m going to write every word of Ulysses, a page a day in a journal. I’ll take photos of the pages I write every day and post them on http://gettinginsidejamesjoyceshead.blogspot.ca/

Many thanks to the writers, the innovators, the cyborgs, the thinkers, and to all those who continue to challenge me and have given me a chance to do something with my words. I started all this way before I retyped A Portrait, but something about the retype stirred me on and asked something more of me. A great writer I admire quite a big deal, said once, “You can’t start from everywhere.”

I can’t start from everywhere, but I had to start somewhere. Does it matter than I reach out with tentacles at the possibilities? I focus. It’s how I function. I work. I create. I uncreate. I multi-do and I multi-undo. I am being. I am not a convention. I am a mathematical theorem. Dispute my method, but I still stand.

Retyping words that weren’t my own. It’s not a creative thing, but if I retyped the words and did the work; if I retyped the words (finding myself in a drunken stupor late at night remembering and then doing my daily retype regardless of my lack of sobriety) at all hours of the night; if I retyped the words and found myself pondering What Would James Joyce Do?, were these not my words? This work came out of me and went out into the ether. I thought upon them and breathed them back into my consciousness. I didn’t mind meld with you, Mr. Joyce, but as I finish this little ramble off, I have to wonder, where do the thoughts that inspired the words that went into the work, where did the thoughts go?

We have a quarrelsome comradeship, Mr. Joyce. I can not exile myself from the stagnant world. It will always spin in circles, because it’s what we do. But I can shake my wings still and look for the escape.

Photo on 12-6-2013 at 9.49 AM #2

Uncreative writing, the Derive and minutiae of life.


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I was about to start re-watching Enterprise (I’m one of the few who actually liked the series), when I remembered my friend reminding me to mute the theme song. Now I didn’t mind the theme song, but it did tend to take me out of the Star Trek feel. “It’s been a long road. Getting from there to here.” It got me thinking about journeys. As I wrote earlier, my cat died a few days ago. The past three years has been dealing with a death or two and coming to terms with life as a finite being. “What’s it for?” I ask myself.

Well, I’m at that point in my life where I don’t really give a shit about what we’re here for or why I’m still here. Looking at my kids’ faces every day is enough for me to stay, so I’m left with that despair. To deal with it I think about all the milli-seconds that got me to where I am now: Here, typing a rambling post at this desk when I should be deciding whether I’m going to start my review on Jacques Demy’s Bay of Angels or…..Redemption with Jason Statham.

Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending an uncreative writing workshop by Kenneth Goldsmith at The Power Plant in Toronto. He invited me to speak about Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head and some of the other projects that have spawned off of it. It was an enlightening experience and I’m forever grateful to Mr. Goldsmith and Christian Bök for letting me pick their brains. Anyways, in the workshop we used Against Expression and in it I found Georges Perec’s Attempt At An Inventory Of The Liquid And Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated By Me In The Course Of The Year Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Four. I read somewhere about it, but I suddenly had it in front me (I had to immediately order a hardcopy of it even though we were given it in class.). Perec does exactly that, writes down what he ate and drank for that year. Now there’s really no way to be sure about the veracity of his log book, but either way, there’s a bunch of hoarded information in there. It’s not unlike what we do with Facebook, Instagram (with pictures and videos), and on Twitter. Most of the updates I see or post myself, are of what we do each day or what we ate or who we saw. Imagine if you had all that information and could compile it in hardcopy form. It becomes a book, an odd narrative of what you did or what you ate or who you saw. You could flip through pages of this stuff, or even just read it online to scroll, copy and paste and distribute at your convenience. It’s a compilation of a journey of everything you did before you got to this moment in your finite life.

You might think it ridiculous, but there’s meaning in information. If Georges Perec had two snails for dinner one night, I wonder who he had them with. Did he throw away the shells or does he keep them like little trophies? Who knows, but some of us find that information fascinating. It doesn’t even have to mean anything. We throw so much information away on Facebook and on twitter, it’s ridiculous. But the connections we make through them shouldn’t be discounted; for those connections saw you through the two snails you might have eaten for dinner. Somebody might have liked that status and commented, “I really like snails too.”

I like journeys. It’s probably why I loved marathoning so much. The training regimen is a log book of what you have to do to get to run 42 kilometres. I logged everything, even the inconsequential stuff because it gave me an idea whether I had prepared myself for the long sojourn. Every meal, every stretch, every bit of everything meant something on the day of the actual marathon. It’s the same thing with life and each year, each month, each week, each day and each hour. This minute I’m contemplating walking to the kitchen and putting the kettle on for some tea. After I do all the steps that get me to drink my tea, I will sit and feel a bit more relaxed because tea just does that for me.

Guy Debord’s Theory of the Dérive is something I go back to a lot, mostly because if you’re an artist, it’s best to explore the mundane around you. We’re at a segment in time, ladies and gentlemen, where the walls and the dust bunnies are logged in to glowing boxes for the masses to read about. Some of us hide those stories or skim passed them. Some of us, like me, are intrigued by your seemingly humdrum agenda to write down where your cat is at any given moment. It’s the little things I miss about my cat. Right now I’m feeling achey. I’ve been fighting something in my system for weeks now and when I wasn’t feeling well, Asha would take the opportunity to place a big patch of her fur in my face. I’d be left with a mouth full of cat hair, but hey, it was enough for me to think she was giving me comfort. So yeah, your feline minutiae is appreciated.

I digress. My point is that there is no point. I find uncreative ventures to be invigorating and inspiring. They spark me to do more and more beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. I find reward in the meditative tasks of re-typing, rewriting, and reassembling language. There’s something intangible about reading Kafka’s Metamorphosis backwards and typing up sound poems that I’ve just started to analyse the data and it kind of blows my mind. It’s all about the solitary journey of it.

The uncreative logbook has power. I’ll even go as far as saying that it’s nuclear in strength.

I’m serious about my work and I’m happy to have found others who understand where I’m coming from with it. I’m not moving mountains here, but there are days I feel like I’m moving the internal walls that I’d often capitulate to. Something so punk rock about it. It’s like we all occlude this world that passes before our eyes. The subway poster reads, the poles we hold onto on the bus, the bums on the street….and I could go on, but we shut ourselves away all the while typing up to the world at large that we’ve had a bad day and we’re having some comfort food this evening.

I’m having a bourbon, biting into an apple, and thinking about taking a walk before deciding on what movie to review as my other cat, K2, winds herself around my legs. I might just sink into another Chris Marker cat movie instead.

P.S. Every book should have a white cover. My white covered books have grey fingerprints and as such, is unique to my shelf.

P.S.S. And now I have the Enterprise theme song stuck in my head.

A start

Today I began my first retyping project at Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head (I am retyping Portrait Of The Artist As Young Man a page at a time every day).

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I also started to write a book manuscript with the word count constraint of 216 words (whatever amount I retyped, I will type in my book immediately after my retype session). Today started with a sort personal gibberish journal entry, but I’m interested to see what this method will bring out in me.

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It took me about twenty minutes or so to type out today’s Joyce passage. I began it with a thought that had been replaying in my brain. Joyce was fluent in several languages, having taught himself basic Norwegian in order to write Ibsen a fan letter. I’m fluent in English, Spanish, and some basic French. Last night while riding home on my bike the thought popped up in my brain to learn German. I include that thought in today’s session.

A few have asked me why I didn’t choose Ulysses, my favourite and most influential of Joyce’s works. The point of this project is to expose myself to a different way of thinking about writing and I’ve never read Portrait of The Artist. This gives me a cleansed palate, so to speak.

Look for a review of Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing on this space in the near future. I’m still parsing what it has been doing to my brain these days. It’s hard for me to even elucidate my analysis in a coherent manner. I can say that Goldsmith may have just exposed me to a positive detriment.

I know that makes no sense, but as I approach the young age of forty next month, I have no time for sense.