by carl wilson

Brian Joseph Davis: A Riot In Your Pocket


The World's Last Day

Seen! Fred Durst and Germaine Greer making love!
noticed! Since studies showed the anti-malarial drug
quinine causes short-term sterility, stars ­ including a
recent Oscar grabber ­ have been lining up for quinine
smoothies and quinine bubble tea along Roh-day-oh

Hey, long-time vegetarian david duchovny!
What are you doing drinking blood from an ox's jugular
with the Masai?

Ski instructors everywhere, beware!
Claudine Longet is still alive!

Life's rich pathogens! A certain talk show host has
received so many Botox treatments that he is banned
from all a&p; and most Farmer Jack grocery stores for
fear of contaminating the canned goods as he walks past
them. Sounds like Maury Povich.

Ouch! Is there an arcane religious practice that the
celebs won't endorse? Kevin Spacey recently participated
in the Sioux ritual of the sun wherein he was
suspended for hours on long rawhide strands hooked
into his chest.

Some good questions and debate a-stirrin' at Mark's place with regard to Brian Joseph Davis' (see Zoiluses past) Ian Svenonius-approved Portable Altamont (as well as Jason Anderson's Showbiz): 1. Is there something inherently elitist (youth culture correlated) about the use of pop-culture shorthand as intense semiotic game? 2. Won't such a book go totally out of date more or less instantly?

The first question is kind of silly - sure, but a helluva lot less so than references to philosophers or Glenn Gould and Schoenberg, for instance. The second one is exactly what I like about Brian's book - it has no pretensions to timelessness, it doesn't use exclusively nostalgia-approved reference points, so it risks being a literature only enjoyable right now, which flies in the face of the official "for posterity" line, which doesn't actually relate to the fates of most books published or what we desire in reading. In this thanatic plunge it actually sips deep of another kind of realism - and not cynically but so very joyfully: Why not a genre of serious but disposable literature? (This is of course a repetition of old-as-JFK's-skull-wound "is-Warhol-art?" debates.)

(By the way does the title have anything to do with this? I take it for kinda the flipside of "A movable feast.")

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:57 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (10)



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Posted by Car Loans on October 27, 2005 12:26 AM



Hey, so having now had a chance to read Portable Altamont, I'm tending toward thinking there is a world of difference between it and Davis's and Anderson's talk Tuesday night (which is what I was talking about in my post) in terms of access. I'm going to think about this some more, and I'll likely post something on my blog in the next few days. Right now my thoughts are revolving around the role of artifice in Altamont, but who knows where they'll go. Anyway, thanks for the response to my post.

Posted by Mark on September 30, 2005 8:15 AM



the oulipians that's so boring (and so last year) go back to sleep pop boy don't worry about us big bad experimental poets bothering you again you missed the term vizpo thats what the clueless say now when there talking shit don’t worry you’ll always be famous and the internet is so big love

Posted by dfb on September 29, 2005 4:32 PM



Zend was kinda the raconteur on the 60s T.O. scene but he had his experimental moments, esp. w/ visual poetry, which was consonant with bp nichols' stuff & the like going on here AT THE TIME.

"Experimental" writing is a problematic term anyway (you can see it applying to, for instance, the Oulipians, whose methodology has some relation to a lab-experiment approach, but mostly not) but there's so little useful shorthand available that doesn't sound ridiculous. ... And of course the actual valence of the experimental as such is pretty debatable at this point in history.

In other news, going on about Frank Zappa = so. very. boring.

Posted by zoilus on September 29, 2005 3:49 PM



boy you really have very little clue as to what experimental writing is

first robert zend ( his “experimental work” never went past the really easy shape poem thang) and now this

news flash just like music there is a real underground of experimental writing that has nothing to so with grad school types, book worms, or pop culture

believe it or not

maybe you should stick to writing reviews of pop records.


Posted by dfb on September 29, 2005 3:07 PM



By the way the discussion @ Mark's blog is worthwhile for the coinage of the term "meta-fluency" alone.

Posted by zoilus on September 29, 2005 1:44 PM



Mark - To clarify - I realize that not all those points were yours - they were just things that came up in debate.

And my allusion to Glenn Gould & Schoenberg, though of course referring to your poem, wasn't a "dig." I *like* that poem. The point is just that a lot more people (right now) are going to recognize Brian's references to Jessica Simpson and Maury Povich than will understand "high" cultural references... & people who get either sorts of reference won't necessarily "get" what either of you are doing with them symbolically or linguistically - the game is a specialized kind of fun one way or another.

And i think part of the fun of Brian's book is maybe in provoking your complaint - at last, experimental poetry in which the bookworms and grad-student types might actually be *more* confused than other people (because they don't watch *enough* TV!) Which is part of its playfulness.

Posted by zoilus on September 29, 2005 1:28 PM



well your augment sounds good –but the text you quota (at the top) has one flaw – it just dumb. when one has the choice to tread BJD or Defamer i’ll take Defamer. when one has a choice to listen to the Beatles or Zappa – i’ll take Zappa. life is short. go to the place where you can jump off into new areas – not the replay in irony



Posted by dfb on September 29, 2005 6:57 AM



Hey Carl,

I have to say that as I think about this, I'm a little annoyed by your post. If I'm reading you (and my own comments) correctly, you conflate a number of people's points with mine and then take a little dig at my work to rebut.

Not to suggest there's malice involved. Maybe a hasty read and post?

Maybe I'm being too sensitive. (Too little caffeine at this inhuman hour.)

Sorry for the twosies comment above.

Posted by Mark on September 29, 2005 6:53 AM



Yeah, you’re probably right about the silliness, though I think you might be getting me a bit wrong. I have to defend myself and say I think I avoid accusing Davis of elitism, a charge I don’t think he deserves. I just found it striking that material that is otherwise considered accessible or common could become so impenetrable as a flurry of references. (And it sure didn’t help that I got exposed as the egghead I am through that contest.) Seriously, I dug the whole thing (well, except for the contest), and I’m looking forward to cracking the book.

Posted by Mark on September 28, 2005 10:12 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson