The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Please welcome to the world … Gabrielle Daniels Something Else Again: Poetry and Prose, 1975-2019 (Materials)

 

Poet, novelist and essay writer, Gabrielle Daniels should need no introduction. Yet, astonishingly, this is her first book-length publication, so permit this brief setting of the scene. Born in New Orleans in 1954, Gabrielle Daniels moved to California at the age of seven after her mother remarried, experiencing a deeply ingrained racism: “Color in the divided want ads / and in the neighborhoods. / Color on the discreet card or sign / in the shop windows and doors”. (‘I am Seven on the Train to Another World’) Studying at San Jose State University, from where she graduated in 1976, Daniels discovered San Francisco’s Small Press Traffic bookstore at the age of twenty-three, meeting writers Robert Glück and Anzaldúa, and attending Anzaldú’s workshop El Mundo Zurdo (The Left-Handed World), held at Small Press Traffic from September 1979 onwards. During this time, Daniels began publishing poetry, essays and reviews in magazines such as Off Our Backs, Soup and Mango, and her chapbook, A Movement in Eleven Days, appeared from Triton Press in 1980. In 1981, she was published in the ground-breaking anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga.

Employed in a clerical capacity at Stanford, Daniels moved to Palo Alto, and joined the Women Writers Union (WWU). Founded in 1975, the WWU initially grew out of student-led struggles at San Francisco State University for improved gender representation in employment and on the curriculum. At the time Daniels joined, the WWU also included politically committed writers such as Merle Woo, Susan Griffin, Anzaldúa, Nellie Wong and Karen Brodine. It was as a representative of the WWU that Daniels was invited to speak at the Left/Write conference, on a panel with Anne Finger and Margo Rivera. (Daniels’ talk is included in this volume.) Organized by poet, writer and critic Steve Abbott, along with fellow steering committee members Glück, Bruce Boone, Denise Kastan and John Mueller, Left/Write attempted to bring together various Left poetry communities in the Bay Area.

A key impetus within the conference was the so-called ‘New Narrative’ movement. After leaving the WWU, Daniels became friends with New Narrative writers Abbott and Bruce Boone, a period she calls an ‘apprenticeship’. Boone and Abbott suggested venues to which she might send work and took her on ‘field trips’ to art galleries, and, in particular, the cinema, in order to “get me out of my comfort zone”. Daniels recalls Boone and Glück breaking out of the crowd at the 1980 Gay Freedom Parade, embracing members of the WWU as they went past. “Those embraces would resonate beyond the barriers of color and gender and even neighborhoods that separated us from each other daily. That was fighting back, too”. (‘Remembering New Narrative’)

New Narrative’s frank writing about sex also enabled Daniels, who had hitherto avoided what she called the “hypermasculinist heterosexual politics” of some Black Arts Movement writing, to “return home” to African-American literature. In so doing, she found an alternative lineage which included, not only the celebrated work of writers such as Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, but still-obscure novels such as Carlene Hatcher Polite’s astonishing The Flagellants (1967). Such writing was stylistically experimental, sexually explicit, and frank in addressing the experiences of race and gender. Daniels’ own writing is part of that tradition: uncomfortable, raw and honest; aware of writing as a literary construct; refusing to water down politically unpalatable home truths; and refusing to compromise its stylistic experimentation.

During this New Narrative period, Daniels was primarily a writer of poetry. The first section of the present volume, ‘A Woman Left Behind: Poems 1975-80’, collects her earliest extant published work. It begins with the only published poems from a planned sequence entitled ‘Colored Women by Number’. Focusing on neglected figures from recent history and politics such as Anaïs Nin’s Antiguan maid, Millicent Fredericks, Daniels addresses the ways in which race and class cut across gendered solidarity, determining which stories get told and which stories get published. Other poems in this section, collected from magazine publications, address cinema, body image, and the historical traumas that impinge on intimacy. Daniels’ writing here is sardonic, incisive and moving, qualities that also characterize her 1980 Triton Press chapbook A Movement in Eleven Days. Hitherto extremely rare, A Movement is reproduced here in as full a version as we have been able to reconstruct.

Daniels ceased writing poetry for a number of years to concentrate on her criticism, journalism and fiction. Since 2015, however, she has returned to poetry with renewed intensity, and the second section of this book, ‘Something Else Again’, collects her more recent poems. Continuing the project of ‘Colored Women by Number’ by other means, the poems Daniels has been writing since 2015 include necessarily fragmentary attempts at reclaiming the lives of people of colour, from Jordan Russell Davis, a high school student whose murder has been credited with inspiring the Black Lives Matter movements, to La David Johnson, an African-American serviceman killed by ISIS fighters and literally dis-membered, and Khadija Saye, a photographer who died in the UK’s Grenfell Tower fire, having previously been harassed by police on false accusations.’ — David Grundy

 

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Further

‘Remembering New Narrative’, by Gabrielle Daniels
Poems by Gabrielle Daniels
Something Else Again
When the Smoke Clears
Sudan
RAISING VOICES
I am Seven on the Train from One World to Another
A Last Resort
The Music of Invisibility
Buy ‘Something Else Again: Poetry and Prose, 1975-2019’

 

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Extra


Marathon Reading: Grahn, Harryman, Daniels, Scott, Blake, Gladman, Halpern, Tremblay-McGaw

 

___________
from REMEMBERING NEW NARRATIVE
by Gabrielle Daniels

 

New Narrative writers are not exactly feminist, but they are certainly gays, lesbians, and bisexuals and straights. And the fact that we were out there on Gay Day 1980 marching bravely and joyfully on Market Street, when the world seemed to be against what we felt for each other, that would stir some spontaneity — those kisses and hugs. Those embraces would resonate beyond the barriers of color and gender and even neighborhoods that separated us from each other daily. That was fighting back, too.

I think now that when I marched for gays and lesbians, I also marched to be out front about love between whites and Blacks and people of color. In those days, interracial sex and love was fetishized and dehumanized as a thing that happened with a john and a trick, when it isn’t. It’s trying to get beyond labels and ways of seeing and living. It’s a lot more complicated, like life.

I think that my next memory comes from attending Gloria Anzaldúa’s Saturday morning course, “El Mundo Zurdo,” or The Left-Handed World. I don’t recall who suggested it to me; I know that I asked about it because it was on an announcement flyer in the hallway of Small Press. He or she did say that Gloria didn’t have many women writers of color attending, and perhaps I could give her some support by showing up, and to get what I needed as well. In those days, I went to poetry writing groups or classes just to show my work, to make myself known, and to get suggestions and feedback. Things were a lot more free-flowing. Sometimes you paid outright for an eight-week course which was in the poet’s home. Or you just hung out and figured whether this is where you belonged. Other times, being in a writing group was free, and El Mundo Zurdo was free at Small Press Traffic.

That’s how I was introduced to Gloria and to her work. I think that she was still attending San Francisco State at the time, getting her master’s degree. She was not affiliated — to my knowledge — with the Women Writers Union, or its rival, the Feminist Writers Guild, but I am sure that she knew individual members. There were less than ten people in the group, and white women predominated. I remember how bright the light was in the room, illuminating not just our work, but the writing to which Gloria was introducing us — her own as well as work by other women of color, gay as well as straight. I think Gloria was glad that I was there, and I was glad to be included and recognized. I either stayed for as long as the course went on, or until I got a steady clerical job at Stanford University and relocated for a while to Palo Alto. Gloria gave me my second reading in San Francisco at Small Press Traffic, and that is how I became aware of another, larger world. After I joined the Women Writers’ Union, Gloria included me, along with other women of color, in This Bridge Called My Back.

However, I was never in Bob Glück’s workshop. I wish that I had attended, because the rigor would have prepared me for what to expect in graduate school. My introduction to New Narrative came from Bruce Boone and the late Steve Abbott. It all came together — after all those readings and talks and socializing — after I left the Women Writers Union. I asked Bruce to take me on: I wanted to concentrate less on polemics and more on including what it all meant and what the activism was based on in the writing.

Call it an apprenticeship. They both suggested where I might place my work. Steve advised that I attend monthly readings of the Noh Oratorio Society; Bruce recommended I try responding to films like Terminal Station, which was being re-released at the time. (I don’t know whether you’ve seen Terminal Station or not, but it is a one-note about a couple, Montgomery Clift and Jennifer Jones, who just cannot break up — and it all happens in a train station. Oh, it drove me crazy. It drove me crazy at the time, because it could reflect my own love life at the time. Sort of like Hiroshima Mon Amour, and they both came out within a decade of each other!) And while those attempts may have had different outcomes, they were training; they led to my eventually reviewing books for the San Francisco Chronicle in the mid-eighties, and my attempting a first novel.

I also went on what I would now call “field trips” with Bruce and Steve. I recall attending an Expressionist art exhibition with Bruce at the site of the old Museum of Modern Art on Van Ness. I think that I was in shock seeing buxom, big-assed blue horses. It also meant that I had to do more reading about this literary and historic period before World War I, of things breaking down and giving way, of the apocalypse about to occur. I went to see a film with Steve about punk music at the old York Theatre, starring groups like The Specials, Selector, and The Beat. I also saw In the Realm of the Senses there with Steve, with the theater packed to the rafters (we were in the balcony); I’d never seen anything like that in my life, especially since it was based on a true story.

I think that it was time for my mind to be blown. These outings, as well as dinners, coffees, running into each other on 24th Street in Noe Valley —which was a lot less homogenized then than it is now, and more of a community—were also meant to educate me on their work and that of Frank O’Hara or Robert Duncan, and to get me out of my comfort zone. This was encouragement to keep writing. I needed all that to grow.

Eventually, I had to return home to my own writing, meaning Black literature. Before writing the essay on Our Nig, included in Writers Who Love Too Much (and that I also reviewed for the Chronicle), I hadn’t cracked poetry or novels or essays other than those by Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison, or Ntozake Shange. I had to
know what I was doing, where I was really coming from. I didn’t want to be a Black white girl any longer; that is, to extol every other literature except my own. So I went back, all the way back to the beginning. I even read from critics like Robert Bone, Addison Gayle, and Charles Johnson, holding my nose about their antipathy towards Black women’s writing. I went all the way through Wright and Baldwin, and finally what is now known as the Black Arts Movement, that I had had such a problem with, and I found out that I did like some of this stuff. The other stuff, some of which rejected any connection with whites, or promoted a Black hyper-masculinist heterosexual politics, I continued to leave behind.

I was able to discover Carlene Hatcher Polite, who wrote The Flagellants; Carolivia Herron, the author of Thereafter Johnnie; and Gayl Jones, who wrote Corregidora and Eva’s Man. These are novels about Black people—heterosexual couples and women who are trying to deal with each other and heal themselves beyond just racism. Some of it is very violent. A lot of it is sexually charged. And I found that if I hadn’t been with New Narrative, I wouldn’t have been able to go back to those things and critique them in a way that felt like I wasn’t withdrawing from them—that they were mine, and these were documents for me as well.

If I wasn’t as clear or as productive or as courageous then, I feel that I am more so now. And, as I am also fond of saying, I’m not dead yet. My new writing incorporates most of what I learned and experienced between those readings, those fights, and those dinners, and between the gossip, and especially, the laughter. If anything, all this is what I will always remember.

 

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Book

Gabrielle Daniels Something Else Again: Poetry and Prose, 1975-2019
Materials

‘Associated with the New Narrative movement and published in the ground-breaking anthology This Bridge Called My Back, Gabrielle Daniels’ work spans essays, fiction, poetry and novels. This book, Daniels’ first full-length collection, collects poems and prose from the 1970s to the present, including the complete text of Daniels’ now-impossibly rare chapbook A Movement in Eleven Days, a retrospective essay on New Narrative, and excerpts from her in-progress novel Sugar Wars.

‘From poems inspired by films, music, revolutionary figures, and recent political disasters, to prose pieces on neglected African-American women writers, and urban and wilderness environments, Daniels’ subject matter and media are vast. As Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian write in the anthology Writers Who Love Too Much:

“Daniels’ talents spin in every conceivable direction. Her writing continues to investigate and illumine corners of the world often neglected by the white capitalistic structures of patriarchy that shapes our lives from birth to death. Daniels’ work reveals a history, a legacy, a plan of action for the future. These are stories and poems with the punch of a novel in miniature.”

Something Else Again reveals a major voice in American literature.’ — Materials

 

Excerpts

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Hello,
this is my name
but this is not
who I am
The clothes are manufactured
elsewhere, but I was born here,
and so is the smile
in my voice
for a wage

Our relationship
must last
only a few moments
we’ll be lucky
if we meet again
some future evening,
so I am not your friend,
your mother, your brother,
or your lover whom
you broke up with
only a few days ago
and others are watching
the clock and listening in
to know

I will agree
only to disagree
in my mind
from which I will choose
not to disclose
or might when you hit
my last nerve
and I send you
not so sweetly but sternly
to my supervisor

Your taste
is not my taste
is not my color
is not my size
so if you are
at a loss
about what to get,
buy what I offer
from the pop-up list
of inducements
or not
decide what you must
decide, but don’t decide
just to please me

Speak as clearly
as you can.
Do not shout
Yiddish
or Hindi
or Spanish
at your husband
or teenage daughter
while speaking into the receiver
with me
thin your Bronx
and Alabama accents
don’t rapid fire dialect
as you would your neighbors
wait until your toddlers
are asleep or fed
or simply shut the door
so that I can take your order
without making
a mistake

I cannot wait on you
as if my time is all yours
while other customers must hold,
and hold and hold
I am not like a servant
anticipating the last bite
before they can take the plate away
Pulling item numbers
from you
while I hear the slap
slap slap
of shiny pages
from catalog after
inactive catalog saved up
just for this occasion
simply and stubbornly
you are unprepared for failure:
when we are out of what
you wanted months ago,
even when you had the money
you are disappointed
yet you keep
plowing on
for satisfaction

Working with four screens
or perhaps five
at the same time
does slow things up
when you change your mind
as unexpectedly as a gnat
from exchanging items,
to looking up your size,
what wedding gift
you purchased from 2005,
or to help you forget
the dullness of everyday
as though I am a lozenge
to suck on,
a pick-me-up to drain me
to the dregs of my shift.

Like Claus,
make a list, check it right,
and take your own time
especially when
you have been afraid
to measure yourself for years,
or to come out of doors
on a stoop or porch
the last in a neighborhood
turned dicey,
only to get some sun
on your face, a breeze
through your souring clothes.
I can only imagine,
approximate, guess,
and hope for the best

Don’t think
that you can change
your luck with me
on the whole cloth
that my voice
has strength as well as suppleness
and can lift you higher
than your woman tonight
and on the cheap too
if surfaces
are all that really matter
to you—save it for
those one 900 numbers

 

WORLDS OF WONDER

The baby is at that age
of moist wonder
when just standing up
is a great adventure
Pushing frames with wheels,
like empty cardboard boxes,
amuses like no other store-bought toy
but mommy and daddy have other ideas
it’s Halloween
A snow-white cap of cotton balls
is her wig, somebody’s wire rims
perches temporarily on her nose,
attached to a fake jeweled retainer
that hangs at her back
and a dress not long enough
to trip over in Mary Janes.
Her mommy wanted her to match
and a coral sweater completes
—it has a little white embroidered
butterfly near the right shoulder
but baby’s drunk with discovery
to ignore these fashion statements
she can’t walk in a straight line
towards who she’ll eventually be
flowers clashing with stripes
so why rush it?

Mommy must straighten her walker’s path
every few steps, while filming
and daddy photographing baby
and a third who could be grandma
taking it all in for us viewers
on social media
milk teeth and gums
can’t hold back the dribble
nothing can wipe the delight
from baby’s lips
even if she ventured off the curb,
she wouldn’t cry long at raising
a boo-boo, pink and warm
with blood rushing to the skin
perhaps unbroken,
she’d find any way
even without a hand
to climb back up
onto the pavement herself
roll up again slow and sure
from hands and knees,
push up, standing without a flag
but with a determined exhale
puff ball wig askew over one eye,
lips perhaps a line,
grip not as tight
as when first born,
but just to push those wheels again
moving faster than a crawl
so that the rosebud lips will part
and giggle in triumph
she’ll get it
it’s not hard
it’s all in her,
it’s all there
now
and sooner or later

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. Today the blog has the great pleasure of helping to welcome a long-awaited book collecting the writings of Gabrielle Daniels, one of the thus far lesser known authors associated with New Narrative, although her work extends far beyond that movement’s associations. Needless to say, I highly recommend you explore the post and get to know her writing if you don’t already. And, of course, spring for the book itself if you’re thusly directed. ** Golnoosh, Hi, G. Aw, you’re so kind, thank you so, so much. It’s a very emotional and personal novel, and it gets into deep stuff for me, and it wasn’t easy to read that piece. I’m so happy you felt that. Best of the best to you, my friend! ** David S. Estornell, He lives in Vincennes? I didn’t know that. Well, if I run into him on the metro 1 line, I’ll give him your number, ha ha. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Wow, I completely disagree with you. I don’t think Macauley Culkin is an example of that syndrome at all or ‘washed up’. Since he left mainstream movies he has been really creative and productive. He wrote a novel, ran an art gallery, has been in bands, etc., and continued to act in offbeat films. I think what he’s doing is far more admirable than if he’d evolved into a mainstream Hollywood adult movie star. In fact, I think he’s a role model for how to not just survive but thrive after having been a famous child star. ** Misanthrope, Works for David thus far. Thanks, George, that’s so nice of you, and it means a lot. I don’t know who was pretending to be Allen Ginsberg, but, yes, it was very annoying. I don’t think the marathon is being archived. They said they might share select readings on their site or youtube or something, and I’ll let you know if mine is among them. Rigby is a devil, no, wait, the devil. ** Jeremy McFarland, Hi, Jeremy! HNY to you! Wow, I haven’t seen you in ages. How are you, man? I never met Macauley. The closest was being in a restaurant with him at the same time. It was around the time of the Sonic Youth video he was in. He was at a big table with what looked to be his family. The only thing I remember was that his skin was a kind of amazing ghostly white. I’m good, and, yeah, you? I really hope so. Take care! ** Dominik, Good morning! He’s cool, yeah. I didn’t buy his novel, but I kind of paged through it in a bookstore around the time it was published, and it actually seemed pretty good. I should get it. Yeah, I felt like ‘Weak Species’ had a bead one what I do, enough so that I said okay to him expanding it into a feature. It’s kind of a shame it didn’t happen. I think the director probably should have tried to make it for less money. Poppy has a Patreon. huh. That makes sense. Half of everyone seems to. I’ll go find it and maybe join. He and I used to correspond years ago. It would be cool to get back in touch. Love seen shivering under a bridge and invited home, Dennis. ** Chris Goode, Mr. Goode! Sir, maestro, buddy, and, yes, dawg! Happiest New Year to you! I think I agree with you about MC now that you put it that way. And ‘need’ worked like the Hadron Collider. I maintain that no one has ever distilled the exact je ne sais quoi of New Years more resolutely than Abba. So I grab your wish out of the air through which it sailed. Love from here where we’re kind of hanging in there so far although very, very fed up. I hope I’ll get to see you one place or another as pronto as possible! ** h (now j), Hi. My … weekend … was … quiet. Usual story of late. Zoomed with some old friends. That was the highlight. And yours? Oh, thank you, thank, for whatever you mailed. Thank you! That’s so sweet. Oh, like I’ve said, don’t worry about the guest-post’s timing. The blog (and my mailbox) are open 24/7/365. Love, me. ** cal, Ha ha, sorry if I inadvertently doomed your ears to the Pizza Underground. I’m doing A-okay apart from the pandemic related stir-craziness. And you, sir? ** Sypha, Okay, cool, sounds good. Just send it to me whenever you like. ** _Black_Acrylic, The MC-starring ‘Party Monster’ has its charms, but of course don’t expect Kubrick or whatever. ** wolf, Whoopity wolf! And whatever HNY means back to you. I guess it’s as simple as it sounds? Be happy this year. Or, wait, while the year is new. Which is quite presumptuous if well meaning. I didn’t do resolutions, damn. If I had, hm … (1) get vaccinated, so … (2) I can travel to LA and Japan and wherever else (and back). (3) Find a great Ethiopian food restaurant in Paris as soon as stuff reopens and eat there. (4) stop procrastinating and buy a Switch. (5) clean my desk. I’ll stop there. As you guessed, I can not watch the BFI stuff here. My location is not authorised by it. Nationalism sucks. I wish you all the luck in the world and in outer space re: your job restart today. Boredom is the opiate of the masses? Or of the elite really? Love newly requiring a visa to be received properly, me. ** Steve Erickson, I feel absolutely certain that that far fetched conspiracy theory of yours does in fact exist and is accruing believers by the dozens as we speak. Culkin says that zip untoward happened with MJ. And he seems like an honest fella? ** Bill, Hi. I didn’t watch that Seth Green film, but it does look to be pretty dodgy, I must say. It’s only slightly more French that the curfew is only in the provinces. Thus far. That dance performance you linked to looks interesting and, at a glance, seems to have a butoh-y thing going on? Speaking of which, I have a Butoh post coming up that uses some of the stuff from the Butoh post we co-made ages ago, but hopefully is more up to date and in keeping with the blog’s more recent overkill post size thing. ** Thomas Moronic, Mr. Extremely Un-Moronic! Hey, pal! HNY! And thanks about the roundup. And about the blog’s recent goodness. Luck of the draw really. Your quiet is beautiful even if your non-quiet would be even more beautiful, but real life is so mysterious and important and must always one highly respected. You writing? ** Kyler, Thank you kindly, K. I’m torn between trying really hard to write an unusually interesting comment and making sure my comment is dull as dishwater. Iseem to have landed on the latter. So enjoy your sleep. ** Right. Explore and hopefully enjoy Gabrielle Daniels’s work, folks. See you tomorrow.

14 Comments

  1. David S. Estornell

    Morning Dennis, yes, he has been living in Vincennes for years, he left NY 2 years ago. it´s what a friend who met him told me, and I want to believe it ;). I really would like to meet him…hahaha. I’ve found this on internet:
    https://www.villaschweppes.com/article/le-soir-ou-j-ai-taxe-une-clope-a-macaulay-culkin_a5621/1
    and this too:
    https://www.elle.fr/People/La-vie-des-people/News/Macaulay-Culkin-emmenage-a-Paris-Chez-Pete-Doherty-2445243

    Bisous. Gross bisous.

  2. David S. Estornell

    THIS: “The only thing I remember was that his skin was a kind of amazing ghostly white” ♥♥♥

  3. David Ehrenstein

    Lovely poetry that we need now more thn ever,
    If MacCauley Culkin has found some degree of peace happiness and creativity that’s lovely. But the past cannot be escaped so easily — though his brither Kieran has managed to do so.

    Latest FaBlog: TrumpsAnswerphone

  4. Corey Heiferman

    I appreciate this introduction to Daniels and her work. Both the autobiographical essay and the poems struck a chord with me,

    In a belated add to the chewing gum post, here’s a delightful vintage Israeli commercial, “Don’t Get Caught Without Elite Gum”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1RGgnIGNrE&ab_channel=TalHart

    I’m still quarantined in my apartment and will be for another 8 days. My sleep schedule is totally thrown off. I never appreciated just how much I rely on daylight and lots of biking and walking to regulate my body clock. At least I’ve been reading and writing a lot.

    Started my new job today as a technical writer at one of Tel Aviv’s leading software companies. It’s a huge step up from my last full-time job and an about-face from a year ago when I was a film school student and then dropout. I’m intrigued by the Silicon Valley style perks, most of which revolve around the currently-closed office. I’ll work hard but it should definitely be worth it. Previously I’d freelanced alongside full-time work, so it might even end up as fewer total hours.

    Which Paris neighborhood do you live in and what’s your relationship to it? I plan to stay in my current peripheral nondescript neighborhood for around another year and then maybe move to a cooler more central neighborhood that’s closer to the sea. Still, aside from financial considerations I sometimes wonder whether living in a nondescript neighborhood is better for my creativity than living in the “the bubble” of the cool neighborhoods. It’s a case of dueling romantic projections, I guess.

    Attended a very good Zoom lecture by a contemporary art curator yesterday on video art post-Internet. The lecturer is going to send private links to the works she showed during the lecture and a few others she couldn’t get to. This got me thinking about how there doesn’t seem to be a good way to watch most video art at home unless you’re perched inside the art world as a curator, professor, student, or a friend of the artist. I guess I could probably find some normally gallery-only stuff that’s moved online due to the pandemic, but it still seems like there’s no good video art streaming service. Sure there are places like Video Data Bank and LUX, but they’re extremely expensive, geared more toward art venues and universities than individuals. Am I missing something? Is there some treasure trove I’m unaware of?

    I hope you can get vaccinated soon. Israel’s in the middle of a huge push to vaccinate everybody over 65. I’m disappointed that there’s no vaccine in sight for my parents in USA who are both over 65 and my dad also a cancer patient.

    That’s funny that the thing you’re procrastinating is buying a Switch. Procrastination can be so strange… sometimes difficult and dirty tasks with minimal reward somehow get done before simple tasks with high reward.

    I think there’s a concerted freakishly successful campaign to replace boredom with stupor for the masses and the elite alike, to the point where boredom has become more of a choice than a luxury.

  5. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Yet another excellent post!

    Yeah, I and many others are really looking forward to I Wished. We’re ready to go!

    Ah, I just assumed they’d archive it. Silly me. But yes, if your bit gets put up somewhere, let me know. Have a bunch of people who want to see it.

    Hahaha, he is the devil and loves every second of being so. 😀

  6. Jack Skelley

    Danke for these Daniels poems, Dennis. I appreciate the “Customer Service” role reversal and vow to retain patience when next on the line with Verizon billing. “Worlds of Wonder” brought back the daze of straining to mentally record fleeting toddler moments. I’ll dig into the links too. Zooming with dear longtime co-pals indeed the weekend highlight was and hope did not too deeply hijack into nostalgia! Double-plus thanx !!

  7. Bill

    Daniels is a local, but hasn’t been on my radar. Thanks for the very nice overview. “Customer Service” is sharp! I have to go look at her section in Writers Who Love Too Much Again.

    On a related note, I’m reading Guibert’s Written in Invisible Ink. The stories from Singular Adventures are so… New Narrative.

    Look forward to the updated butoh post!

    Bill

  8. Dominik

    Hi!!

    Really? I might look for it too, then. This is an absolutely unrelated question, but do you like reading ebooks? I do think they’re useful (you can carry a hundred books on your phone, etc.), and they’re a lot cheaper than “real” books (which is great because ordering books from Hungary is a pain because of the shipping costs), but I still don’t really like them.

    It’s a pity that “Weak Species” didn’t get to be a feature film.

    I’m thinking about supporting Poppy’s (or Billy’s) project too. It’d be lovely to read something new by him.

    Ah, I love this love. Little stray. Love selling horrible poetry with his irresistible charisma.

  9. David Ehrenstein

    Last word on MacCauley Culkin : Michael Jackson raodkill is “Not a Good Look” — as the kids say nowadays,

  10. _Black_Acrylic

    Thank you for this intro to Gabrielle Daniels. Having spent years in customer service purgatory myself, her words are appreciated here.

  11. Jeremy McFarland

    Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve visited! I recently got my old books from my mom’s house so I’ve been revisiting some of your books and I also remembered your birthday is soon! So, I wanted to send you some well wishes! (But I am withholding the birthday wishes for now hahaha)

    I’m doing really well! Lots of things have changed for me since the last time I commented. I graduated from college, got a ‘grown up’ job, and I even bought a house! So I’m feeling very old nowadays haha. Your writing reminds me what it was like to be a teenager! Looking forward to the upcoming novel :)!

    I hate that I missed your reading recently!! I hope they’ll post your reading so I can see it. Have you done any other pandemic-time virtual events (either for work or for fun)? I watched a couple of Zoom plays, which is such a cool concept I can really forgive just about any cheesy adaptation.

    I wasn’t familiar with Gabrielle Daniels’s work prior to this. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Golnoosh

    Thank you for introducing this gem! She reminds me a bit of Audre Lorde. I love her poem Customer Service. Sadly, I can’t find her book ‘Something Else Again: Poetry and Prose, 1975-2019’. Love this paragraph from her essay:

    ‘I think now that when I marched for gays and lesbians, I also marched to be out front about love between whites and Blacks and people of color. In those days, interracial sex and love was fetishized and dehumanized as a thing that happened with a john and a trick, when it isn’t. It’s trying to get beyond labels and ways of seeing and living. It’s a lot more complicated, like life.’

    Back to your reading… All I’m going to say is I hope they are smart enough to archive it so I (and others) can return to it again and again. Audiobooks aren’t my thing, but after your reading I’ve been thinking that I Wished would also work really well as an audiobook – if you can bear to read all of it in your own voice… either way, can’t wait for it!

    (I also found the Allen Ginsberg ghost profoundly annoying, even though I’m a huge fan of his poetry. I also missed out on Anne Carson’s reading, because I just had to shut down every thing after your reading for like an hour and didn’t realise she was going to be reading in the slot after yours… Anyway, it doesn’t matter now, you gave everything that was there to give… )

  13. cal

    Hey Dennis, dont worry it was a bonus havent thought about that song in so long. I’ve been doing decently. Working a covid-risky job which blows. I did get a short in a zine tho which is always neat. Here’s the link: https://crownandpenzine.wordpress.com/issue-4-haunted/
    Thanks for the post today I read Customer Service on my smoke break which was absolutely perfect.

  14. Brian O’Connell

    Hey, Dennis,

    Shame on me for not having heard of Gabrielle Daniels, given how wonderful her poetry is (“Customer Service” really struck me). I will definitely have to pick up the new book, which looks incredibly interesting. I also very much enjoyed Saturday’s Macaulay Culkin post. I agree with you; I don’t think he’s washed up at all. I remember seeing the FJM video and admiring the rather idiosyncratic approach he’d taken to post-child stardom.

    I finished “The Marbled Swarm” today, and am so (pleasantly) dumbfounded I don’t even know how to process it, which I guess is exactly the intent, partially. I don’t expect I’ll ever really understand it fully—although I’ll be damned if I don’t try—but the language itself was so mesmerizing that I don’t feel I need to. It really is, not to borrow too liberally from your book’s own metaphors, more like an architectural structure than a conventional “novel”. That’s how I felt reading it, anyway. I have no idea how you did it, but it fills me with wonder.

    I also caught the excerpt from “I Wished” this past weekend, and it moved me terribly. I await the book itself with baited breath.

    How was your first weekend of 2021? Hope it was as excellent as could be and a tone-setter for the year. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

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