Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Saturday! Leslie Scalapino and Bruce Andrews

Please join us for this phenomenal night with two of our best: Leslie Scalapino and Bruce Andrews!

Saturday March 20, 2010
Timken Hall/CCA Campus San Francisco
1111 8th Street
$8-15 entrance/members and students FREE

American poet, Bruce Andrews was born in Chicago and educated at Harvard. He settled in New York in 1975, where he became a professor of politics at Fordham. He was editor of L-A-N-G-U- A-G-E with Charles Bernstein (1979–81). He is a performance artist and poet whose texts are some of the most radical of the Language school (see Language Poetry); his poetry tries ‘to cast doubt on each and every “natural” construction of language’. Small linguistic units, idioms, phrases, and single words, taken from different, sometimes mutually exclusive registers, especially discourses which are socially sensitive and resonant to contemporary ears, enable the poetry to ‘suggest a social undecidability’. I Don't Have Any Paper So Shut Up (or, Social Romanticism) (1990) comes as close as any American poet to fulfilling Whitman's aim of allowing the ‘forbidden voices, voices of sexes and lusts’ to speak, a vast cacophony of urban self-presentational idioms, even when these are in violent opposition to one another. Other works include Getting Ready to Have Been Frightened (1978/1988), Love Songs (1982), Give Em Enough Rope (1987), Tizzy Boost (1993), and Moebius (1993). His influential essays have appeared in The L-A-N-G-U- A-G-E Book (1984) and The Politics of Poetic Form (1990).

Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows, prose (new-novel) by Leslie Scalapino, is published by Starcherone, February 2010, 168 pages.
The extraordinary range of imagination on display in this slim gem engages as many wildly disparate and imaginatively scenes and situations as a massive Pynchon novel -- miners, polar bears, insurgents sweeping the desert in Toyota pickups, a detective on the trail of illegal fur traders, Venus Williams' deconstructed forehand, wild horses, blooming chrysanthemums, tadpoles eating corpses in the Euphrates, and so much more. These narratives or moments of riveting meaning arrive out of inchoate states--an alexia where unknown words create a future--and the reader is continually and unexpectedly moved by the buoyancy and breathtaking velocity of Leslie Scalapino's dazzling gifts with language and the seemingly endless paths and potentials she has exploded in Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows. (Starcherone editors)

“This is a jewel book that has come out of the spagyric hinterlands of purest imagination, where it has lain for an immeasurable time alongside Burroughs’ Cities of the Red Night, Hans Arps’ poetry, Monkey’s Journey to the West, and Mark Twain’s “Mysterious Stranger.”—and it blows with the elegance of a horse—or a wolf…Virginia Woolf.” —Michael McClure

“A rose is a rose is” not a rose in Leslie Scalapino’s new novel, Floats Horse-floats or Horse-flows. “A hartel is occurring.” But what is an event anyway? This is a question Scalapino has explored before, but never quite as she does here. Characters and events in this work are named with the dictionary’s most obscure entries. There is the known world where “one-box-fits-all-words” make “even plants indistinguishable from humans.” And then there is the world Scalapino creates, a world of fresh encounters where the “hartebeest is wandering” and the “vast shimmying fractionation is heard.” This other world isn’t Eden, though it might seem so at first. Like the one we know, this world is filled with disaster and violence. The difference is that here we don’t see it coming; we can’t hide behind dead verbiage; we can’t brace ourselves.

—Rae Armantrout

Floats Horse-floats or Horse-flows is an action novel. Using aspects of adventure, science fiction, crime and simultaneous time, Leslie Scalapino presents and represents an interwoven series of stories or vignettes that carry you along, ready or not. Among the many characters are the green fractionators, the people, the Comanche, Violet, powder monkey, Grace Abe, Fujimori, Venus, Serena (yes, that Venus and Serena), bugboy, Alice, infant Emmanuel, Lana Turner, Chrysanthemum, T, Demihunter, cougar, Gonzales and Rove (yes that Gonzales and Rove) and others. In fact, in this writing the sense of the present is the central action for the writer and the reader, as well as for the characters. “No really it’s one thing at a time but all at once…” There are horses and they do float and flow. In fact, there are pictures of this, as well as other photos. The sense of floating and flow is intricately, one might almost say intimately, maintained. There is time travel or, at least multiple times. “To produce the events before the present.” Everyday life enters into it. There is an insistence on life and a love (“No reason except love…) Politics and the war, the many wars, appear. There is a happy ending, a celebration of life. It is a wild ride. —Laura Moriarty

In Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows, people, the base runner, the powder monkey—Venus and herself as a young orphan—all, are moved to be in the same place that’s always the different stacked levels and times at once, all the places-levels at-one by being some configuration serially once. In the midst of it is a simulated ‘whole’ (it is the separated Grace Abe, not the Cheshire cat) splintered consciousness occurring only once. As each single place of the simultaneity, each is incandescence. You do it.—signed by Raymond Federman who likes to have the author write their own blurb, and if he approves of it, sign his name.

Leslie Scalapino is the author of thirty books of poetry, fiction, poem-plays, and criticism. Her new book is a work of new fiction from Starcherone titled Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows. It’s go in horizontal, Selected Poems, 1974-2006, was published by UC Press, Berkeley, 2008. Day Ocean State of Stars’ Night was published by Green Integer in 2007. Granary Books is publishing a collaboration by Scalapino and Kiki Smith of poetry and drawings titled, The animal is in the world like water in water (May 2010). She has taught at Bard College in the summer MFA program for the last sixteen years; and presently teaches at Mills College in Oakland.

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