Monday, January 31, 2011

Black Radish Books at AWP

Black Radish Books, Coconut, Ping Pong, and the Dusie Kollektiv are going to the AWP Book Fair -- table F19. Come by and see us!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A second Rebbecca Brown gives her take on Sonja Sekula: Grace in a cow's EYE : a memoir :

Inside Outing: Rebbecca Brown responds to Kathrin Schaeppi’s Sonja Sekula – Grace in a cow’s EYE : a memoir :

For you, seer of the line and circle, performing a new dance for a future undercurrent, painter poet, poet painter, whose words one only sees when not looking, caged prophetically by desire, a space marked by intrusion and collusion, waves wrought inside that special darling, sand and stones placed meticulously in each poem, each meditation box. Can you draw memory ringed round the sepia of a haiku’d, painted heart?

Bridged with voices, multiply me, tenor of unrequited light, articulating those spaces, evocative tongues dawning in a bird’s assembled nest, a very fine construction, bridged and arcing like crooked jaws grinding on the lonely cartography of an eager city start.  My beloved bird caged in invisibly, not flying – the ghost of a ghost next to me in the empty seat + unpainted canvas rolls.

Beyond these capricious boundaries, for you, for me, the long wait, the self-seeking, the unmistakable grace.  In the scent of your long-stemmed nouns, intersections limned and wrought, prayer, to you, living near the Bridge. Wheel of fortune, queen of cups, transverse the stunning dialectic, blooming wound, bent beneath the crook of knees dedicated to angelic viewing, preyed in the interstice with eyes that seek to listen.

How clear the inexplicable seems to me, loving loving, to love to be a rock.  I wait for someone to read with me + to realize what I try to convey, you say, and you see the angel’s eyes just begin to glimmer, moving beyond John’s cage of noisy silence.  Enough is enough is never enough of having enough she wrote, the compression of bricks, a blooming umbrella, a topography of tongues mingling down there where the lips slide and mechanizations shock.  These galleries of thought, electrocutions not much fun, the answer to our questions. . .  given in. . . spaceless time, or meetings on this earth. 

In double-silent speech bubbles, I am [. . .] the dark sister.  Words in an ecstasy of paint and blush, in the plural constraint of multitudes, have shaken away the sad sparrows that settled on [your] arms.  Those birds are angels beyond the light, blinking in a void, true to a mystically inclined nature, and their feathers glean, vividly rising.

The lyric, the note, the not, the trace, the wish, the want, boxes, cages, soon let loose. We are going to fly.  Through bridge and word and line and lust, we are going to fly, when we recognize the grace in our inward outward eye.

*all text in italics is Sekula or Schaeppi’s

Sonja Sekula – Grace in a cow’s EYE : a memoir :  is available from SPD:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sonja Sekula coming to SPD!

Rebecca Brown responds to Sonja Sekula: Grace in a cow’s EYE : a memoir : by Kathrin Schaeppi

This book came to me when I needed it.  It’s got grace and torment and beauty and it’s a memoir.  Whose?  Sekula’s?  Schaeppi’s?  Mine?  Yes, yes and yes, I guess.  That is, I think or need.  Therefore the way I read.  I read me in these words that tell me pictures I’ve not seen.  The words in black and white (well, creamy-white, but nothing is ever truly, fully just itself, is it? And no one is.  Like someone’s life.  Like hers or hers or mine, is mine, in that I take from hers from it to help me when I need (and I need it) are to describe the colors I can’t see, but do.

This book came when I needed it.  

“ + believe that I am so much aware of you... that you have given me friendship when I needed it +”   (39)

Crazy women see unreal things, think unkind thoughts about themselves and everybody else, the world in fact, the ones both out and inside of our heads.  Blake saw angels singing in the trees.  When he told his father, he beat him.  He did not then stop seeing them, he saw them more, in secret.  Then he painted them and wrote them when he could.  (His wife helped, and his dead angel-brother too.  They gave him friendship when he needed it.)

When you think you ought to stop,  you are so tired, you want to get it over with, to struggle not anymore, somebody else’s going on can help you.

It stops me for a moment and I get to see that someone else considered dying but went on, at least a while, kept trying, doing and not doing as she could.  Kept listening and seeing, making, saying.   Longing to....something....whether anyone did back to her or not.

The work remains.  Though she is gone, I see it.

“I am learning how to do nothing” (pg. 103)

Having done nothing, then less than that, and felt inert, undone, immobile, stopped and blocked, I tried to try to accept my doing nothing, incapacity.  I read the Buddhists and how Jesus became the most himself when he was handed over, made to wait, became an object as opposed to leader, healer, actor, savior, (The Stature of Waiting, V. H. Vanstone).   To wait is to endure.  To not demand.  To let them be and do while you do not.   You’re nothing.

As if she could, as if even I, too, as taught by her, could have the right to live although not working not producing not creating, not being useful but being naught.  But only sitting still taking up space and fretted waiting.  Or not even that, but sitting without waiting.  No sense of future, only forever miserably here, the breathing stuffy in the dark, as if what is is not a broken thing.

What is that is enough?  What if, as if, almost or sometimes even good?  As if it’s sometimes right to be poor. (32) The poor we will always have in us.

“Again and again patience and much waiting and much silence” (52)

It was really, really hard to read about her being locked away.  About her wanting to die.  About her doing it.  I don’t want to know this. 

I do not romanticize mental illness.  I do not romanticize suicide.  I do not romanticize an artist’s a woman’s a person’s being rejected (again and again...) or anger, envy, giving up, injustice or despair.  

We need the stories of others whose lives might help us.  

Whose memories are these?  If you recognize something does that make it yours?  Can you ever really understand somebody else?  Is it better to only know their art? Does that let you feel you know although you don’t?  

I do not know. 

I know that what I saw I think I see. 

She finds her after she is dead and lets us see.  

Sonja Sekula: Grace in a cow’s EYE : a memoir : is available from SPD: