Notes on Violence & Community

Last week, Naropa hosted the inaugural Symposium on Violence and Community at which four writers presented an installation/event, read poetry, and participated in a panel discussion. I missed the installations/events on Tuesday but was able to attend the reading and subsequent panel discussion on Wednesday.

Each participant displayed the hallmark style of poets associated with Naropa and the avant-garde; a panoply of images, concepts, and tropes radically juxtaposed to provoke and transmit. The flow of language, intense and heady, was contagious. Automatist inflected writing–reminiscent of mediums and soothsayers–doesn’t want to convey information but to impart states of mind. In other words, the poetry was mind altering, and my notes reflect this.

Melissa Buzzeo submerges lovers in an ocean, down below the coral reef, among crustaceans and piranha. Refugees from an ancient forest, the lovers are simultaneously sacred and pariah. (shout out: Agamben) A sea change is possible in this context, and meaning becomes lost. The images are rich and strange; I’m not sure she says what I hear. Writing is like waste. Language […]