Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This post contains things to do!

Doldrums and dustmites, Batman! This place smells like a rotten sandal.

Has anyone written fizzpo lately? Have we successfully conquered that urge? Does anyone want to nominate a new poetic movement? If you will name it, I come up with a very convincing theory.

Some people know that thought precedes and overrides language, which is true, but hardly what I would call fun. But it's still fun. It's sort of complicated. Since cognitive science and modern philosophy have sanded things down to gears and explained things away to sea, language is all super fucked.

It has been so cocksocked and shivved of significance and meaning that it can be nothing now but jester-riffic.

I know it's useless to distinguish between "whom" and "who." This is fine.

It means I can say whom for the real reason I want to say it: because it sounds funny, because it has a beautiful history of formality, an elegant "feeling" that precedes and overrides language, but that only language can gesture toward.

Language: stick around. We will bring you out after dinner with your lutes and funny shoes.

Leave two things in the comment box:
1) your favorite language cuddle-stories (or, um, bitch-ass language shit, Bryan, if you don't like the whole "cuddle" angle) and 2) easy things Mike can make to cook and then eat without puking or exploding.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Today we feature fizzpo from someone who delivers excellent curtain-lectures and nary tarries in the foul world of cockblocking.

into the snail gulag
--bryan coffelt

we returned to find the firewall had tipped over
and someone's contact fell out.
there was a mop in the corner
caked in old mug root beer.
someone sabotaged the barista!
we could see it from the road.
i was wearing times new roman, by the way.
solar ice cream honkey
is peddling outside the hat store.
you can see the social power
around his big fat ankles.
there are no market incentives,
but there are anti-aircraft milfs.
these see our numb fingers, buddy,
and they are putting the milk
from the paper bag to the fridge.


Um, some shit:

gu·lag also Gu·lag (gläg)
1. A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union.
2. A forced labor camp or prison, especially for political dissidents.
3. A place or situation of great suffering and hardship, likened to the atmosphere in a prison system or a forced labor camp.

With gulag, Bryan maybe makes a harsh assessment of the linked society that inspires fizzpo's primary communication mode. A self-righteous asshole might speculate that gulag is too diabolical a word, but if someone believed in a philosophy of every sensation funneling into pretty much the same thing no matter the ferocity, then sure, okay, our containment into linked networks sucks like a gulag.

Now, how the poem is fizzpo:

1) All sorts of leaps and jumps. Before you suspect that Bryan simply wrote everything he saw while sitting somewhere -- that's not true. He wrote this poem while in a sealed vacuum chamber at Harvard, similar to John Cage's heartbeat and nervous system game. The vacuum chamber, he reports, is very spiffy and smells like the bottom of a Pringles can.

But these leaps and jumps connect through single strands, exactly the hyperlinking nature of fizzpo. The hyperlinks occur sometimes conceptually, sometimes through linguistics. Tipped -> fell = concept linkage. Mop -> Mug root beer = linguistic.
Glitzy streams of hyperlinks = fizzy.

2) All sorts of things that would nearly break our heart were we to invest time. "someone sabotaged the barista!" + "social power / around his big fat ankles." But we don't invest time. This is 99% bang + abandon. We can only see it from the "road." Like we're meandering down the road and everything remains within our intimate proximity but infinitely outside our ability to know. I can't believe this analysis actually fits so well. It's kind of silly how well it fits.

3) Bryan colonizes shit. He jitters the camera toward font names, market incentives, milfs. He plants himself firmly in the graffiti-ridden neighborhood of the omf-rightnow-g. What's an anti-aircraft milf? I don't know. You don't either. It's not a milf that stops a war. That's asinine New Criticism. What the language portrays is an internet culture that does not distinguish between missiles and milfs, so absurdly democratic the medium. Milfs and missiles all wear Times New Roman. That's fizzy. No one ever said fizzy is always fun. Brain freezes anyone?

4) The poem breaks. The poem acknowledges the inertia of language. "from the paper bag to the fridge." What? Not IN the fridge? "solar ice cream honkey." What? Not A solar ice cream honkey? Whatever that is. The poem fizzes and bubbles and breaks. This is what liquid really does in the real world where people eat grilled cheese sandwiches with ham and tomatoes. You can't suspend water in mid-air without ridiculous amounts of magnetic equipment. Who operates this magnetic equipment? Upper class white male scientists. Thus the suspension of water or the grand artifical suspension of "timeless" poetry depends on the luxury of bourgeois exploition. These effects make the poem fundamentally "lame" and frustrating, a scowling testament (but a curiously fierce lovesong) to the lame and frustrating surroundings of low-class soda. That's fizzy.

5) Who is the honkey? Who drank the root beer? What's the "story" behind the poem? Why are our hands numb? Well, our hands are numb from that smudge of white heat shit in which we always indulge. These other people -- we don't give a shit about their story. We just want to skim them. What drains from us when we engage in our hyperlinking is a blunt and even fucking mean depersonalization. It's not cute or secretly "liberating." It's reality. It's a lack of compassion. So this poem is reactionary rather than constructive fizzpo, detailing compassion gaps more than constructing models to rectifiy them. But how can you construct with fizzpo, if its primary mechanism involves duplication and appropriation (of the language fizzing around our hyperlinked neighborhoods)? I'd like to think it possible. I'm a constructionary dude. I'm into construction, salvation, that whole biscuit.

So what do you think? How do you write the happy (or grim and noble) fizzpo liberation effort that razes and closes Bryan's snail gulag? (well and sharply captured in his poem, social commentary exploding like a pop rock against your teeth)