Site Meter Peculiar Susceptibility: September 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

"and if I remained by the outermost sea"

I made it to the New Museum today for the last day of After Nature.

[by William Christenberry]

I had wanted to see it for some time for a couple reasons. First, it's an exhibition based on poetry. About time. So often the relationship works in reverse: poets write about museums and paintings and photographs and artists. And here's an exhibition that uses a collection of poems as a jumping off point.

Second, it's an exhibition based on the work of W. G. Sebald. I love his work. I save it up. I cherish it.

[by Brian Burkhardt]

Third, I think the exhibition ties in nicely to one Real Art Ways will be opening on Saturday, October 4. Archaeology of Wonder has work that punches you in the gut in a way that's similar to some of the work in After Nature. See for yourself.

[by Werner Herzog]

Monday, September 15, 2008

on writing; on not writing; on reading; on old and new beds

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of cataloguing and developing my ideas for poems and poetry projects when they were at their most embryonic. I've been quiet for a while now. It doesn't mean I haven't been thinking.

[This is me reflecting. Sorry. Bad pun.]

I've been reading a lot these days. I've been delving back into Charcot territory. In a turn that probably deserves a poem of its own, I uncovered some articles I had copied when I was researching that series this past weekend when I was dismantling my old bed. Ever since I moved out of 5 Willard Street, I'd been sleeping on the same, hard, rickety twin sized bed that I used as an adolescent. Well, now, thanks to my lovely parents I have a grown-up's bed.

But back to the old bed for a moment - it's the one on which I lost my virginity; it's the one that supported me through any number of teenaged traumas; it's the one on which I was inclined to martyr myself (in a manner of speaking) after the dissolution of my last relationship.

And it was during the dismantling of this bed - this carriage-of-so-much - that I found the unfinished aspects of my hysteria research. Have at it, Freud!

So, in addition to the satyrical self-psychoanalytic poem (maybe it should be a limerick!) I'll write about this, these are the things I've been considering adding to the series:
- a poem for/on Ada and Byron
- a poem on hysteria in Restoration comedies
- a poem that (somehow) messes with the accepted structural elements of bourgeois respectability
- inasmuch as hysteria can often be imitative, a poem in which the sufferer bears symptoms that match the mercury poisoning her husband would have contracted from producing daguerreotypes
- a poem on Charcot on art (based on Les Demoniaques dans l'art)
- a poem on Linda Santo and her daughter Audrey, focusing on the attitudes of Audrey's body
- I think there ought to be something, too, about epidemiology in the book (I just haven't figured out how I want to tackle that...)

What do you think, Charcot?