21.2.03

READING IN NYC

This Tuesday Feb 25 I’m reading, along with Kim Rosenfield and Rodrigo Toscano, at the Drawing Center in New York City. 6:30 pm.

I’m reading some sections from a 30 pages piece written in (sic) English. I hope this piece is nothing similar to poetry, but I guess it has something to do with that. It’s a piece on power. A bad comedy about readings, silence, politics. I hope it's something like Latin Am anti-poetry meets 9-11.

Don’t know yet what section I’m going to read.

Anyway, in case anybody wants to go, the Drawing Center is in Soho, below Houston Street—at 35 Wooster Street between Grand and Broome.

I'm reading. So, don't forget the tomatoes.



CIRCULARS

These ideas on poetry/politics/anti-war mvmnt and comments are very intelligent. Take a look: Circulars

18.2.03

ON THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST BLOGS

I’m aware of the American arguments against blogs. Foucault and Co.—even though I think blogs can be a post-mediatic strategy (Guattari).

Viva le Blogs!

Blogs are dangerous. Blogs can make us return to Self. Authority. Privacy. (“So Long the E-List!”).

But there’s clearly a need to reinvent autobiography. Blogs can be one door for that.

Hopefully another door out of it. And E-Lists shouldn’t be a monopoly.

And the Blogocracy needs, of course, the e-list and whatever is more collective.

From my side of the bed, I can tell you this: in Mexico, blogs have helped balanced who is published, who is considered a writer, what can be said, reviewed or what new agents appear.

That used to be a decision taken by a man in a Mexico City office. Now anybody can publish (even several times a day whatever she-he wants). And people get readers. An then readers turn into new writers. Some good ones have appeared—the left out by the State presses for “Young Literature”.

Mexico City controls almost all the magazines, publishing houses, national newspapers literary supplements. In my particular case, my blog in Spanish has been key to attack the literary politics of Mexico City. Blogs are being used here to put in risk literary authority figures and institutions, like Paper—“Literature”, the “Tradition”, Mexico City Scenes.

I’m been looking at the reactions many have in the U.S. against blogs.

I can understand those arguments when I look at the situation there. But I feel you’re not seeing the whole panorama.

American blogs are not just part of American poelitics, but of a rising international network.

If you want to be read by some people in Latin America, open a blog.

And know you’re going to be part of that very well known Bourdieu idea of being used in another production-reception field-context for foreign power struggles.

Of course, in the way we decide.

It’s pretty simple. American books can't get to Mexico. Not even think of Argentina. Just a very limited few ($) can have access to them. But thanks to the Poetics List, Blogs, Ubu, etc, material-ideas have the potential to circulate in our fields of re-action.

At the moment they are created. And not 20 years later or through the translator in Spain.

American arguments against blogs should consider the role blogs can play in the whole Internet, not just the American one.

American blogs help your ideas to have new readers—but also new re-writing of those ideas, new opposition to those ideas, new challenges to them.

And from what I can see from here (I’m aware I lack knowledge of the power struggles and the way poelitics works in the U.S.), blogs are an opportunity to change power in specifics scenes.

If you’re not part of reading series (a very important American institution), the mags, little presses, the disciple of the Big Daddies, etc. just open a fucking blog and mess around with the established power, practices and ideas.

You don’t have to be Anybody to open one.

Since the beginning of 2002, in Mexico blogs have helped to throw borders on how age, prior status, geography, gender, academic background, literary “style”, etc, affects literary “role playing”.

Mexican blogs from the North of the country mainly have popularized ideas against figures like Paz (our Robert Frost hehe), publishing houses, magazines, our so-called Republic of Letters and whatever one wants to argue.

I’m writing this I couldn’t even think of getting published into a book or magazine. I’ve become a terrorist thanks to this shit.

Americans should open blogs in big numbers not only to laugh at this Neo-Formalism or “Mainstream” thing, but also criticized and re-write the LangPoe and the different PostLangPoe’s.

I admire these authors, but if I were an American I would be arguing with them.

(I plan to do that, once I get the whole picture of what’s happening, once I understand better what these ideas and practices mean in the U.S. context itself).

Blogs should essentially be anti-authoritarian.

Numbers are the key. So many blogs that no map (canon) can be constructed. So many agents writing, respecting just a few of them becomes stupid. Don’t leave blogs for the already few, the identifiable ones.

Silliman is one of my favorites writers. But stop emailing Silliman and waiting for him to copy-paste you. Open a blog.

Blogs are a resource to create more agents, writers, more discussions.

Less authorities.

17.2.03

ANOTHER APHORISM ON "SILENCE"

My aim in philosophy is to shew the fly the way out of the fly-bottle just to quote Wittgenstein.

--And refute the Tractatus!

16.2.03

THIS PAGE HAS NO RESPECT FOR ITSELF!

The first rule of a Tijuana Bible is to have no respect for itself.

Today this Tijuana Bible will include 1 quoted cartoon! (completely free for You!)

("Authors are so Generous! —Sartre assured me").

A forward!

1:

"We've established a clear link!"

alQaeda.

iraQ.

ARRESTED FOR BEING AWAKE

"It turns out that the people arrested for taping up the pictures were Lytle Shaw and Emilie Clark. While taping a piture to a lamppost in Soho that had many other signs - moving van, apts, etc. - taped to it, two undercover police who had been sitting there in a cab came up to her and asked if she was putting up signs about the protest, and if she was going to the protest on saturday...then they told them they were under arrest. she told them she was 7 months pregnant and they had the nerve to say that she should have thought about that when she decided to put the pictures up! and that she should think about that saturday at the protest (!!) - (as if bombing doesn't endanger childrens lives, but...). when they were brought in all the police at the station were saying 'the liberals are here" - (Lytle held back from saying: hey! that's an insult! you guys are the liberals!)- they were kept in jail (complete with human feces) for 7 hours".

From Marianne Shaneen's blog Froth.

15.2.03

LETTER TO YOU, THE U.S.

I've having problems writing in English these days.

I think a great number of Mexicans are becoming basically anti-American State and if this new series of wars is conducted further, the United States needs to know this is going to damage greatly the relationship between our two cultures.

This war has no reason. This war is part of the system to make America richer, and dominant over the rest of the world. Bush is no more good than Saddam. He's just your Bin Laden.

The American government looks like a serial killer to us.

I come from a great series of cultures, and even though we have been sleeping for some time, now we are awake. And even this stupid blog is part of a campaign from our culture to try to communicate with you before language has no meaning left.

Is this war going to really happen? And then what other war is the United States government going to create next?

You're cloning yourselves all over the world. It appears like the United States wants to erase the Other, and wants to take resources from other cultures to continue your way of life. Your government and our corrupt politicians are uniting to turn Mexico, for example, into a slum. How can you help our interior enemies to destroy Mexico? This cannot continue.

The alliance between these two corrupt governments is turning the Mexican people into enemies of both, and now sees them as one force whose purpose is to destroy our freedom.

The American government and American companies are making money out of our future. The signs of a social disaster are everywhere. And a big part of the problem is the role of the U.S. in our economical, social and political life.

The U.S. is part of the present threat against our language and existence. We are starting a revolt against our government because we want to put an end to our racism and social injustice (40% of Mexicans live in extreme poverty because 90% of the wealth is property of less than 10% of the population, the TV system is erasing the real issues, and is part of the government, drug dealing is widespread and is, of course, part of the government).

We need to transform ourselves to fix the political life of our culture—and that involves the United States, because this government is corrupting even more our political life and is making us poorer and poorer.

And now we see how the American government is going into one more of its international lies, at the same time that is ruining our economy. The Irak war (the sequal!) is part of the same pattern that promotes the transformation of Mexico and Latin America into the employees of American interests.

The United States has been the leader of implementing a nuclear orden, a continuous war. The United States, because of that, is solely responsabile of stopping its blindness. First this new war, and then the total order your politicians and companies run.

You are headed to a disaster. This kind of world cannot go on more than two or three decades. Change before your population is subject of all kinds of attacks, from terrorism to world wide hate.

This is one of the most dark times of American History. Get out of it.

Do you know, for example, that burning American flags is becoming an increasing activity in Mexican life? Each day that goes by Antiamericanism grows in Mexico. I'm sure this is not something which your media let's you know, but this is happening here.

The feeling in Mexico is 9/11 happened because the U.S. asked for it. Spreading violence and inequality all over the world brings you this kind of karma. Every time I meet with my students, friends or talk with any people, the U.S. is strongly criticized.

We don't like violence. Can you explain to me why do you believe so much in it?

This has been happening all over the 20th Century, but now we have reached a point in which the Mexican national project is collapsing. This is a moment in which Mexican history is about to change drastically. Different groups are preparing to go to war against poverty, and popular culture is imagining a third quest for justice, after the first two in 1810 and 1910. Too many things have happened in the last decades and now the country is in a daily state of discontent.

The U.S. is criticized strongly here, radically. First the government, for behaving like a butcher, and then regular Americans, who appear to be powerless or lacking any desire to see what your country represents in the world.

You appear to have no respect for spirituality and others. You appear to be the leaders of destroying the Earth.

I would not say this to you, if I didn't know for sure this is not just me talking, but a whole culture. This is what is being discussed here. You.

You need to realize you must stop your government. It is destroying not only our cultures but also your own culture. You are a country with a great number of cultures, and you have created great things (like your different literatures and musics) but now you're turning into this monster which even your neighbors fear and are now preparing to resist.

You may say, "What is this young Mexic@n intellectual talking about? This e-dude must be crazy, exaggerating, have nothing to do". But believe me, your government and your silence is damaging the way we see, feel and think about the United States. Mexico is becoming basically anti-American.

You must take responsability for stopping Bush, the CIA and the companies that are runing the war. You're risking to live Vietnam again.

But this time all the world is going to be Vietnam.

The last time three American intellectuals (friends of mine) came to Tijuana, I was afraid we could encounter anti-American reactions. And it kind of happen. We were sitting in a dowtown bar, drinking a beer, and then a man came, directed his talk to my friends, and used the bottles to explain us in the table how he felt the U.S. is opressing Mexico and other countries, and then he asked if we had any work for him because he had no job thanks to both governments.

It was a completely miserable situation. Here I was sitting with American writers I admire, and here I was also hearing a Mexican poor man, with no future. Two worlds in a strange encounter. None of us knowing what to say or do.

Just last night somebody remembered to me, that the Indian uprising in Chiapas started the same day that Nafta oficially began working. It was the first war against the Mexican-U.S. goverments alliance. It was a war against what president Carlos Salinas represented: the poverty and opression of the Indian population in Mexico, the continuation of the PRI (which was the party who ruled Mexico, thanks to violence and fraud, for the last seventy years) and the strenghtening of the American influence in our daily life.

The Mexican 1910 Revolution started in a similar way. For similar causes.

And now after the PRI was beaten in an election we all prevented from becoming another electoral fraud, this new party arrived, PAN. We got out of the PRI perfect dictatorship (as it was called some years ago by Vargas Llosa, one of the most important writers in Latin America) but entered into this new way of functioning, less visibly corrupt but far more effective in widening the difference among the classes.

PAN is a party from the right wing. And guess what? The head of our first "democratic goverment" is a former president of Coca Cola.

(Literally. This is not a joke).

Mexico headed by a Coca Cola ex-president? This is simple humillating to what our culture means. Mexicans are people who dedicate a great part of their energy to understand our relationship with language, knowledge, the place we live in, and now, suddenly a bunch of crooks are humillating us with this Coca Cola Clown?

This will not stand. Americans need to understand you cannot play this role in Mexican life.

We are going to reconstruct the relationship with ourselves, because it has been damaged greatly due to our corruption and Mexicans selling our country to the best client. We are going to take care of ourselves, but you need to stop your companies and politicians.

They are going to fail.

So do what you have to do before they throw you into this non-sensical situation they are creating. Your culture is strong, it doesn't need this kind of generals, senators, ceo's and fools damaging it.

The Mexican population is thinking how to act on the threat of us becoming Americanized.

Even though our media and our government don't appear to be anti-American State, regular people are becoming that in great great numbers.

We used to be the country represented by maize, but know we buy corn from the U.S.

Mexico is realizing following the American way is destroying our culture.

I am telling you this because you need to know this is happening in the South. A couple of days ago, the most important newspaper (leftstist and anti-PAN-PRI) from Mexico City reported the poets stance against the war (click here). Guess why this makes front news in Mexico?

It looks to us as if the people of the United States, its politicians, intellectuals, don't care enough about the killings and injustice your government is spreading. That's why any news about resistence inside the U.S. is welcome.

To the Mexican mind, an American (a "gringo") is somebody who is a macho, doesn't understand his relationship with this planet, and wants to make more money, and would do anything to accomplish this, even organizing wars or trying to control other countries. This is the image your sending.

I'm convinced this is a moment you're going to regret if you don't act. This is a moment similar to that before and during the nazi regime. People knew what was being done to the jews, but many didn't do anything to stop the nazi government. Your government is behaving like a serial killer, like a sniper (the sniper from Washington), your government is the leading terrorist State, don't you see how this is turning the world against you?

Do you want to become a culture who is going to be blamed for the murder of many thousands, even millions of people, in two or three decades or even in a few years?

All of this is why, when I've tried to write in English these days, something happens in my hands. A discomfort.


5.2.03

POETRY IS OLD. LET'S DRINK COKE!

I can’t stop thinking poetry in general has become outdated, as painting and other language structures.

Poetry. God. Poetry got rid of rhyme, most metric formulas, “music”—or doing them is simply retro. Or that New Formula writing. It seems line has now exhausted itself. Its main reason to exist is believing in “rhythm”.

But what’s rhythm?
Something we must get rid of.

And, what’s line?
An idea that loves to be read in slow motion.
An idea that couldn’t make it to the end of the page.

So, what’s poetry?
A left margin thing.

The longer I think on the issues involving poetry, it looks to me as if the most interesting track we can take is to stop wanting to be “poets” (liners), and just did what visual artist did through out the 20th Century: abandon painting, the traditional structure of visual language.

Poetry is as traditional as painting was. But poetry remains in power. Poetry is something even the Bush family considers a good event to held before going to war.

Bush, he is such a butcher.

Writing lines implies one believes language is surround by silence. That’s why poetry prefers short lines. They need “breath”. That trick to make silence possible. “Rhythm”. That scapegoat.

Verse. An Absolute that became obsolete.

Another reason why poetry uses line is to make the “other” participate, filling the blanks.

Isn’t that lame? That’s why Readers are so fucking lame. Poets invented them.

I hate poetry. It bores me more and more every year. I even turn the TV on in order to stand the poetry I’m reading that evening. Or I put some electronic music, and imagine what I am reading is not that bad after all.

Lyrics is what poetry aimed at. All those ideas poets developed in the past have become true in pop. So, let’s put “poetics” to rest. Let Cristina Aguilera handle them.

When the extraterrestrials come I hope they don’t show us their poems. I hate anthologies.

If the extraterrestrials come and want to read to us something similar to poetry (before killing us, or taking oil or water away from us) let’s direct them first to slam poetry events.

And then laugh at them.

A simple trick to not fall into that left-margin-thing: instead of starting thinking about lines, we could think of paragraph as the structure to work with.

Let’s face it. We’ve already destroyed poetry. Let’s know destroy prose.

Prose. A more complex writing technology. Poetry. Nothing but Pepsi.



4.2.03

SPANISH ACCORDING TO VANITY FAIR

Just received this letter from an American friend:

"If you haven't seen the cover of this month's Vanity Fair magazine (Feb. 2003), you`ll be pleasantly surprised to see Salma Hayek on the cover, but that`s where the niceties end. In an advice column entitled "Ask Dame Edna", the drag queen author/comedian, Ms. Dame herself, replies to a letter with some of the most shameful racist remarks I`ve ever read in a magazine of this caliber. We thought you might be interested in reading what Drag Queen Dame thinks of Latinos and what the editors and Vanity Fair allowed to be published, so here you go:

"Dear Dame Edna,

"I would very much like to learn a foreign language, preferably French or Italian, but every time I ! mention this, people tell me to learn Spanish instead. They say, "Everyone is going to be speaking Spanish in 10 years. George W. Bush speaks Spanish." Could this be true? Are we all going to have to speak Spanish?" -Torn Romantic, Palm Beach

"Dear Torn,

"Forget Spanish. There`s nothing in that language worth reading except Don Quixote, and a quick listen to the CD of Man of La Mancha will take care of that. There was a poet named Garcia Lorca, but I`d leave him on the intellectual back burner if I were you. As for everyone`s speaking it, what waddle! Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The help? Your leaf blower? Study French or German, where there are at least a few books worth reading, or, if you`re American, try English."

We want you to use your power in numbers to tell Vanity Fair what you think of this columnist and her words.! Send your letters to the editors at: vfmail@vf.com

* * *

This reminded me of the incident some days ago when Richard Grenell was heard saying "He should hurry up... who cares what Mexico says?", when the Mexican embassador to the U.N. was giving the Mexican position on one of the issues involving the American attack against Irak.

1.2.03

POETRY, JUST A SCARF


With Bush as president, Americans sure look stupid.

GERIATRICS (1.2.03)

(Literature | A Swap Meet).

Writing poetry is like doing painting.

This is not the time to do that.