Saturday, March 17, 2007

Denunciation will make me powerful!

One of my students is headed back to Venezuela this weekend. She said if she ever starts her own company and becomes rich, she will be my patron.

Harlequin Knights reports that, at a recent UCLA lecture, Zizek castigated all the "experimental American poets" who are in love with Hugo Chavez. My student is not in love with Hugo Chavez and neither am I. Like Joseph, I wonder who he means. However, some of us must be prone to a romantic love of his rhetoric, that seems certain.

Here in the San Diego suburbs, having recently returned from a trip to Target, it's tempting to get all teary-eyed about Chavez addressing a crowd of protesters in his customary red shirt screaming "Gringo, go home!" or "Those who want to go directly to hell, they can follow capitalism" and "Those of us who want to build heaven here on earth, we will follow socialism."

This fire and brimstone rhetoric appeals to my Feminist WASP guilt complex. Yes, yes, I think, let the denunciations continue! Denounce me! I want to be denounced!

But I'm also tired, and have just had a big capitalist breakfast.

I work hard. And a lot. I want a big capitalist breakfast and also health care.

I wonder where a journal like Cross-Cultural Poetics might stand (or have stood) on loving Chavez or not. Has there been a recent issue of XCP?

In fact, what are the current magazines that feature a combination of poetry, critical pieces, reviews, and other stuff. I mean magazines in the tradition (if I can even say that) of XCP, Chain, Tripwire, Ecopoetics, Tinfish, Verdure, The Poker Magazine, Jacket, How2....

I have a copy of Pilot 2006 on my desk that I'm still going through. This might count. A fairly wide range of material. A fairly rigorous attempt at discussing poetics. Uneven but risky, so I like it.

Well. Given my list, it looks like that when I talk about magazines "that feature a combination of poetry, critical pieces, reviews, and other stuff" I often mean magazines connected to Buffalo. Or, magazines edited by people who are well versed in experimental poetics since 1920.

With the exception of Jacket and How2, I don't think any of the magazines above would make my favorites list. But Lorraine, what are your favorite contemporary magazines that are still active/in print? Um, um...

Tarpaulin Sky
Big Bridge
Fiction International
Submodern Fiction (which, yes, Mark edits and I will soon co-edit and which is on hiatus but will have another issue by this fall)


Small Fry said...

And Traffic Magazine, of course.

Mark said...

My friend Guillermo (who is definitively not in love with Hugo Chavez) has extensively translated numerous pieces on Chavez from Venezuela on his blog Venepoetics.

I'd also recommend his chapbook Caracas Notebook which deals obliquely with Chavez. I am saying that because I published it. Well, that and it is brilliant. And Guillermo wrote it. Well, you get my drift.

Small Fry said...

Well, it's important to enthusiastically recommend the things you publish. I'll order one apres le next paycheck.

I'll check out Venepoetics. Venezuela has been on my mind more than usual recently, and not just because of Chavez and Zizek, but mostly because of my student who was fun and intelligent and from Venezuela and whose brother is a poet. So.

Ian Keenan said...

If I get rich – I don’t know about ‘patron’ but I would show you and Mark a good time.

I’m surprised that he knows of any American experimental poets. CA Conrad has been an ardent supporter for a while as have I. That would be cool if Zizek reads Conrad. I don’t want to overreact to Zizek before I read a better transcript of what he said, but Stalinists tend to oppose all non-Stalinist leftists in sectarian fashion (as was the case with the PCF Stalinists’ sabotaging the leftist unity ticket in France this year) and they can’t realize how clownish it sounds for a Stalinist to deride ‘power-hungry tactics.’ A lot of writers and intellectuals hone their crocodile tears for the poor and war victims but whenever anyone actually does anything constructive with popular support they become ‘power-hungry.’

I’d love to get into a flame war with Zizek. I had chitchats with Mark’s friend Guillermo on Silliman’s blog (Sept 19 05 and May 16 06) and I remember the night before I was going to drive cross country folks were trying to bait me (Sept 23 06) but I couldn’t play and Guillermo said: ‘Ian and I have had a couple "debates" (more like arguments) here before. I'd rather not get into an exchange with him because I find it to be a futile endeavor, since he and I see Venezuela from such diametrically opposed stances. He says tomato I say tomahto.’