August 16, 2005

no one wins it's a war of man


Am Am Not Am Not Willing, Carl Andre, 1972, ink on paper

"I was consciously writing poetry before I was consciously making sculpture. A typewriter has even spacing on the lines . [and] is essentially a grid. Rather than trying to achieve a certain look, I was using the same underlying abstractions, the same underlying forms, in both [poetry and sculpture]--working out of the grid system of the typewriter to the actual grid system of paper in poetry and also using the same kind of system to plan sculptures to try and find elements that would work within a system.--Carl Andre, 1972

Carl Andre wrote poems from an early age. His mother was a poet, his father a draftsman; as a child, he read dictionaries, encyclopedias, technical books, and geometry books. Primarily known for his Minimalist sculptures such as Slope 2004, Andre works with language in the same way that he handles sculptural materials. He often lifts the "material" from existing literary texts, then cuts it apart and rearranges it according to purely formal considerations. Words appear as words, letters as letters; the content and meaning of individual words are of secondary importance. This method merges the acts of reading and viewing, since what is to be read is contiguous with what is to be seen. In the end, the poems are very similar to the sculptures--the apparent simplicity of their geometric forms and familiar contents, as well as the scrupulous avoidance of straightforward meaning, act as a teaser to an experience of perception.

* A poem by Charles Bukowski:

the con job

the ground war began today
at dawn
in a desert land
far from here
the U.S. ground troops were
largely
made up of
Blacks, Mexicans and poor
whites
most of whom had joined
the military
because it was the only job
they could find.

the ground war began today
at dawn
in a desert land
far from here
and the Blacks, Mexicans
and poor whites
were sent there
to fight and win
as on tv
and on the radio
the fat white rich newscasters
first told us all about
it
and then the fat rich white
analysts
told us
why
again
and again
and again
on almost every
tv and radio station
almost every minute
day and night
because
the Blacks, Mexicans
and poor whites
were sent there
to fight and win
at dawn
in a desert land
far enough away from
here.

* A poem by Bernadette Mayer

the bush blues

george bush is president
he wasn't elected
he ain't the peoples choice
what am i gonna do
it doesn't help to say fuck bush but
let's say it anyway
things've gotten so bad
i have a friend who wants to see
bush executed for treason

* "Civil War is like the heat of fever; a foreign war is like the heat of exercise." -Sir Francis Bacon

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