Thursday, November 01, 2007

Aesthetics of Resistance

Atticus/Finch will be releasing SNOW SENSITIVE SKIN by Taylor Brady & Rob Halpern next Wednesday. Once it is posted it will be available from the Atticus/ Finch site and at the reading below. The book is dedicated to “Lebanon’s war dead, Summer 2006, and to the promise of demilitarized time.” The work asserts an emotional and politically resonant musicality. It is self-critical yet celebratory, even optimistic, at least about the usefulness of making each next line. For me it evokes Peter Weiss' Aesthetics of Resistance because it is an antiwar book about working and living in a world of war. And, as a collaboration, it is about the intensity of the relationships that exist among "comrades" in this resistance.

Weiss uses visual art, the Pergamon Frieze in Berlin, as a way to frame his investigation and story of war but Brady and Halpern use music, specifically the music of Mazen Kerbaj, which they note as having "motivated and informed" their project both in his playing of the trumpet and in his blogging (and drawing) during the 2006 war in Lebanon. ( Making becomes the central action in the book. "The musicians play/ This allegory of making." The work details and drills down into the words and phrases, the "endless reasons" to resist the endless wars that are being fought for, in spite of, around and before us. Kerbaj: "now i feel bad to draw or play music while people are burning. i convince myself by saying it is my only way to resist."

Rob Halpern & Taylor Brady will read from
at the launch at
New Yipes
Sunday, Nov. 11
21 Grand
416 25th St., Oakland @ 7pm.



White rhythm, it’s basically militant.
-- Joni Mitchell

Interruption reads us. All the shells, cast up on the beach.

Signs of grace, they don’t ‘develop.’

No more themes, a full stop in the moving wind, a vacant mass dead center on the screen.

Having canceled the old notion of ‘shipwreck,’ too familiar now to mean.

True development might begin when development as such comes to an end.

Once they had been real on the horizon, these airs.

The sounds of interrogation pure duration coming from the other room.

Patience and fatigue, some absolute passivity, whatever won’t reduce to measure.

Low-level radiation, amphetamines, great leaps forward on whose prosthetic limbs.

Rehabilitative technologies all listed under current assets, positive externalities, unanticipated casualties affect costs.

Turning now to use, we wonder what it means ‘to produce new unoccupied places,’ and the dissident designs to live there.

Other sounds inside the clotted air, breeding species out of stem cells.

Out on the field the pep squad achieves this terrible generality.

Under the bleachers other billions hold our dirt and dust not land increasingly in common.

Shared tongues lick unspoken language against the other’s teeth.

We did it — limbs twine in blackout, signs abrade our skin, blown into the body.

Useful guts, an erose void eating space for the sibilant pact to couple, triple, multiply.

Small twitches of sinew make a move on time. Twenty-eight days.

Flesh absorbing and absorbed in reconstruction of groundwork.

‘May the road rise with you,’ means climb my heap of rubble into extraction’s rarefied airs. Parched. Thirty days.

‘No one has yet determined the power of the body,’ or what his meat might do, making time.

You notice the upper partials only in their absence, warning signals not to be heard.

One fucking billion people saying NO — can’t imagine what that would sound like, and there you have the problem.


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