Tuesday, September 2, 2008

(Para)surrealistic Portraits

“It is a parasurrealism
that examines its own
lyrical structure…
a lively, dramatic
edginess, a visceral
sense of “being there.”

—Charles Borkhuis,
“Writing from Inside Language:
Late Surrealism and Textual
Poetry in France and the
United States, ”Telling It Aslant:
Avant-Garde Poetics of the 1990s

(This version of LangPo / Surrealism portraiture results from a Burroughs cut-up of the first and last 2 sections of the original Portrait of Lola. This is a cut-up machine working along similar principles to those used by Burroughs in his own work. A discussion of cut-up can be found here.


Basically it works along similar principles to photo-montage, create an new image of words out of whatever was put in. The reason I’ve done this is that it spreads the text out into a single boring block of prose. Even more boring than Ron Silliman’s LangPo pages. The purpose of doing this is not to bore the reader—but to experiment with non-linear narrative, lack of narrator, lack of closure, etc. Then within this boring slab of words—to follow certain dips & turns & detours that might have some significance. Either thru chance—or simply giving a different POV on the material e.g. Stein’s Tender Buttons, Bernstein’s Rough Trades, Zukofsky’s “A” etc. I realize certain readers will be totally turned off by this approach—but I’m a rather decadent fop like Poe & I’m bored with the usual prosody. The comparing & contrasting between early Surrealism (Breton, Buñuel) and contemporary LANGUAGE poetics is on my radar screen now because of Charles Borkhuis’ essay & Telling It Aslant: Avant-Garde Poetics of the 1990s. Again, I realize this may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but then I’m looking for a new approach to my own personal poetry. (The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse, The Son of the Male Muse, Bad Boy Book of Erotic Poetry, etc.) With Kay Ryan as the new poet laureate, I see the possibility of GLBT poetry expanding its horizon beyond gay marriage & the usual stuff. As I mentioned before, there isn’t that much gay LangPo online—except Silliman’s blog. Rather than don’t ask don’t tell or shut-up & go to the back of the bus—I’m more than willing to try out new forms ofSnark Poetry. Snark me, baby.)

Portrait of Lola #2

Charged detours—divagations, lovely digressions plague the closure-clique mind. A multiplicity of disruptive masturbatory discourses—seduce the reader into a shameless paranormal swoon. Automatic swoonery picks up where Miss Breton left off—shifting moodscapes beneath cheesy moons. Things get edgy—full of “been there” Borgesian déjà vu denouements. Modern snarky textual poetry today—has moved into a more sophisticated parasurrealist portraiture mode. Portraying Lola, for example, within language & snarky syntax—similar to Stein and Proust. But with a mix of you tube youth culture—and hard-edged deadpan directness. Lola be Lolitaesque—with a denial of linear storyline. It consumes and absorbs the “snark”—erases it. The snarky words disappear—they’re replaced by a snarky story. The story, as everyone knows, is a conspiracy of silence. The snarky narrative transgresses the meaning it elaborates by boring the reader—just as it bored the snarky author. Theatricality helps—to make the snarky storyline more ad lib, impromptu and improvisational. But little can save the snarky story—from being the usual snarky unreadable text. The snarky narrative shuts down the reader—yawning and bored the story stalls. Snarkabatory pleasures—subvert the casual risqué reader. Soon the snarky story—goes paratactic shorthand. Margins fill with magnetically but Smiling Smarm—Lola your snarky Bride. Read Chewy Koala Boyfriend—the Wild Rug these words—and weep. “The carney folk Burn Nobody knew. Lola just came—skulking around the midway” That’s what she was good at. Urban Dictionary—defines a lot of smarty ones. She really knows how— she’s able to do words. Smarty words so snarky—snarky nouns. Pull off something like that and snarky verbs, snarky adjectives, snarky adverbs, no one dares to ask. Snarky groveling gerunds, snarky this and that. But not much has been written—about snarky storytelling and snarky narratology. The snarky “snark”—is the visible sign of writing. Reading, insofar as Madame Medusa—with her bouffant of Sunken midways—spitting Cheesy Mystery Adolescent Snakes. As surely as she’s Elsa Sasquach—gifted Cross-Eyed wooden nickels Lancaster—with her Bride of Frankenstein nice ass. Everybody knew Skunk-Boy—her Mesmerizing deco wig. Designed by James Whale—just for his Illegal Nose-snot Stooped Florescent Boyfriend. When for your own special honeymoon in the circus—he comes to Lop-sided Hambone hell. You be Boss Cupid—cute Teenage Meat Throbbing Pulsating Half-bred Snarksville Kid. Lola goes down on Frankenstein. The Baron and Herr Doctor too. A startled town—in Cyclops Knobby Poughkeepsie. I created you for some Transylvanian Canker Sexy Overdrive. Looney Britney asked, fun and games. You’re the Prince—“Who is Lola anyway?” Little smirk there. Here She stayed and stayed—while her Dreadlocks snarled. There’s a schmuck—everywhere. A subtle guarded Subterranean Bulging Cherry Pie! Shades of snarky Snark. And when Her Moist Pussy Circus—in the back where we dream—it’s smarmy Stygian hell in the Sideshow Tent. Everybody knows better. The Queen of Dis—down there with Lola. Lola and her Supa Love Root Tool-Box—down in the Underworld. She be Lola—Her Caramel-Coated Spasm. Her Supernatural Linda not so gay Gaia—with her Lovelace throbbing Tonsils. Lola got to Lola—she looks at you. You turn to know them all—Lola knew them better still. As surely as Lola is a can of Worms. “There’s a lady in snarky robes—she never packed up. And headed for another—lived down there deep inside her town. “Hey, what’s happening?”—Burning Flaming Un-Dead snarky brain. Lola was them—and they Smoking Sex! A pretty town—one for her. Smarmy Snarkology—it came that day the circus decided to stay. Deep inside. Snark was super-surrealistic—it turned into Inferno Colossal Gurgling Teen Egoism. Lola’s Hydrophobic things inside out. Smarmy smirky snark—her Love Hips. When the circus came—it ruled the town. That’s the way to do it—Lola Honeydew’s Tripping Meatloaf owned Snarksville. That’s how they all went askew. Her Reclusive Pubic Commando wooden nickel world worked. A little—how it came so “too” too. Smarm here—a Lola came from within. She came “Sometimes Snark or Snarkism is basically from within—again and again.” Lola came defined as someone who is suffering. She grinned—she came and came; she had a bad case of snarkiness: came some more. The circus came “Woah, bitch, don’t give me none of that stuff today—and after that they lots of snarkism.” One night Lola left. They stayed and stayed—from a snarky dream. She dreamed all that day on. They never left the people in Snarksville—they were inside her brain—they stayed within. They never dismantled—all dreamy heads. All the campy carney—the crooked games and tents.

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