Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Conceptual Poetry and its Others"---Haunting Questions Found Hidden in Plain Site/Sight/Cite (Essay) & RubBEings Statements & 30 Visual Poetry Works

for the Symposium "Conceptual Poetry and its Others

Poetry Center of the University of Arizona
29-31 May 2008

These works are linked at the site for the Symposium at the Poetry Center of the University of Arizona---
they are all the works I submitted--an essay, followed by Statements accomp[anying the Visual Poetry works that were displaed during the Symposium

Thank you to Annie Guthrie for all her great help and support not only with myself but for the entire Symposium.

The essay was on line at the time of the Symposium, and I have added today the other Statements and RubBEings & Visual Poetry so all my contributions may be easily found in this one linked entry, pending the final, if any change is needed, arrangement for these with the Poetry Center.

for the Symposium "Conceptual Poetry and its Others

Poetry Center of the University of Arizona
29-31 May 2008

Haunting Questions Found Hidden in Plain Site/Sight/Cite

J'ai trop a ecrire, c'est pourquoi je n'ecrire rien. --Stendhal, Journal, 1804

Thoughts come at random, and go at random. No device for holding on to
them or for having them.
A thought has escaped: I was trying to write it down: instead I write that it has
escaped me.
--Pascal, Pensees, #542
“Poetry no longer imposes itself, it exposes itself”—Paul Celan

“If you would create, relax before moldy, wet walls and feel form shaping out of the chaotic patterns.”— Michelangelo

“The most beautiful world is a heap of rubbish tossed down in confusion.”—Heraclitus

“A final glossary, therefore, cannot be made of words whose intentions are fugitive.”
--William S. Burroughs, Junkie

To find among typos the unknown writings, the "Helltoy"--
camouflaged clouds, the voice-writings of the ground itself that speaks and moves in lines

for Petra Backonja

I find in thinking with what a Conceptual Poetry might be, that I've
begun with a point of view of paradox. That is, considering the
conceptual to be the absence of a material object, a conceptual poetry
would be the absence of the poem as a "realization" of its "idea." If
"the poem" as an object is not to be realized, in what ways may it
then be said to "exist"?

One may also ask—since language is the material of poetry, if
one is to create a conceptual poetry—does this mean then that the
absence of language is involved? That the poetry is not in language,
but found elsewhere?"

The predominant view of conceptual works in art and poetry is that it
is written language which becomes fore grounded, most often as the
"realization" and presentation of various directives, with their
various forms of pre-conceived constraints, and sets of instructions.
Yet does not the written language itself, as an object which
"constitutes" the directives and instructions, contradict the
"concept" of the "Conceptual?"

{See Appendix B below for some other "Science Fiction" aspects of Conceptual Poetry in Relation to the Work Place.)

The directives themselves, expressed in written language, become road
blocks to the Conceptual which is supposed to be "activated" by their

To use written language then to create a conceptual poetry is
not in a strict sense "conceptual" at all, if it produces yet another
object in written language.

It becomes instead a piling up, a massing, of materials
(language, words) which have "walled out" as it were, the conceptual.
Are the words then simply a gravestone or monument to a now absent

And what of the "poet" who is the "author" of "Conceptual Poetry?"

A builder of roadblocks, a maker of monuments and gravestones, a constructor of Walls--?

If a "poet" is the conceiver of concepts—and the realization of
the concept as a poem is no longer a concept—but an object—does this
then mean that the poet, in order to be "conceptual," must no longer
be a "poet?" Or in order to be a "poet," no longer be "conceptual" in
approach? And yet who but a "conceptual poet" can produce "conceptual

Perhaps true Conceptual Poetry is the creation of illiterates?
And, beyond that, persons who may even be very limited in
their "Conceptual capacities?"

I think often of all the Conceptual Poets and Artists who
have existed and worked through thousands of years, persons due to
their circumstances --gender being the most common among these--who
are not allowed to know how to write, nor instructed in "art," nor permitted to
be educated, yet all the same--may have produced Conceptually a good
deal of the greatest Poetry and Art of which there does not remain and
never was an "object," even as a "fragment."

What of these myriads of centuries of Conceptual Works--are they
still existing--? Are they alive in the Conceptual realm? The Ether?
Or have they found ways on their own, independent of their creators,
of camouflaging themselves among those things in the world which are
hidden in plain site/sight/cite?

In working with the found that is hidden in plain
site/sight/cite, I find often that a Conceptual poetry and art is
there--always already there--which I think I am finding yet may well
be finding me,

Some aspects of confronting these dilemmas, these "haunting
questions," are found among Conceptual Poets who emphasize an
"impersonation" via performance, camouflages, costumes, the uses of
heteronyms, pseudonyms and anonymity.

In "The Painter of Modern Life," Baudelaire is the first to
define Modernism and does so as a conjunction of the eternal and the
ephemeral. To find that element of the eternal in the ephemeral which
Baudelaire saw as embodying modernity, he turns to an emphasis on the
particular form of the living art/art as living of the Dandy. The
Dandy is the non-separation of art and life in the conceiving of one's
existence as Performance Art. The Dandy becomes not an expression of
Romantic personality and individuality, but a form of becoming an
animated Other, an impersonator going about performing the actions of a concept,
rather than producing the objects of a conception.

This stylized impersonating, non-producing figure begins to appear "dramatically"
in the works of Wilde and Jarry and in many ways in the "life and
works" of a Felix Feneon, who "creates at a distance" via anonymous
newspaper faits divers (discovered to be his and republished
posthumously as Novels in Three Lines), pseudonymous articles in
differing registers of language (working class argot, standardized
French) in Anarchist and mainstream journals, unsigned translations, and
the barely noted in their own pages of his editing of journals featuring the early efforts of rising stars of French literature. Quitting his camouflaged and concealed writing activities, Feneon works the rest of his life as a seller in an art gallery.

The actual "works" of Feneon, then, are not written objects per
se, but anonymous actions, ephemeral pseudonymous "appearances in
print," and the works of others which he affects a passage for in his
editorship and translations, in his promoting and selling the art
works of others. This "accumulation" which one finds "at a distance"
in time as his "complete works," is often unobserved and unknown to his contemporaries, who know of him primarily via his "way of acting," his manner
of dressing, his speech mannerisms, and as the public triptych of images of him existing as a painted portrait by Signac, a Dandy-pose
photo and a mug shot taken when tried as part of an Anarchist
"conspiracy." Feneon's "identity as a writer" does not exist as "an
author," but as a series of "performances," "appearances" and
"influences," many of them "unrecognized" and "unattributed."

Ironically, it his most "clandestine" activity—his Anarchist activities—which
brings him the most in to the public and tabloid spotlight. As one of "The Thirty" accused and tried for "conspiracy" in a much publicized trial, it is Feneon's severe mug shot that for a time presents his "public face."

The severe mug facing the viewer is actually producing a Conceptual Poetry "at a distance." By not penning a single line, by simply "facing the music" to which others pen the lyrics, Feneon, in doing nothing more than facing the camera "capturing" his image, proceeds to enact a series of dramas "projected" on to him, a series of "identities," and "revelations" which use the documentary material to produce a series of mass-published fictions.

The possible prison term facing the "Felix Feneon" in the inmate-numbered "anonymous" mug shot, "presents its face" to the viewer, a face "taken," "imprisoned" and "caught" by the image and its publicity. This publicized face facing camera and viewer and possible hard time, is "taken to be" the photo of the face of a being from whom the mask of the clandestine and conspiratorial have been torn off, revealing "the cold hard truth" of Felix Feneon.

Facing trial, however, all that is learned of this imprisoned face is that it is "the wrong man, an innocent man." This fixed image, acquitted of its "sensational" charges, is revealed not as a truth, but instead as simply a mask, a mask operating like a screen or blank sheet of paper, onto which are projected the dramas, fictions and "think piece" writings of others. Nothing is revealed other than an "identity" which shifts, travels, changes from one set of captions to another. It is via these captions written by others under his image in the papers and placards, that Feneon continues his "writing at a distance." Simply by facing the camera, facing charges, "facing the music," facing his accusers at trial and facing the verdict and judgment, Feneon is "writing" a myriad captions, breaking news items, commentaries, editorials, all of which change with wild speeds as they race to be as "up-to-minute" as the events themselves are in "unfolding."

The professionals, these writers, these journalists and reporters of "reality," chase desperately, breathlessly, after the unfolding drama in which the mug shot is "framed," and in so doing produce texts of "speculative fiction," a serial Conceptual Poetry with as its "star player" a writer whose own texts are deliberately written to be unrecognized, hidden, camouflaged, unknown. And all the while, this writer writing nothing is producing vast heaps of writing via the work of others, as yet another form of camouflaged clandestine Conceptual Poetry, "hot off the press."

Rimbaud writes of a concept of the poetry of the future in
which poetry would precede action—which in a sense he proceeds to
"perform" himself. If one reads his letters written after he stopped
writing poetry, one finds Rimbaud living out, or through, one after
another of what now seem to be "the prophecies" of his own poetry.
That is, the poetry is the "conceptual framework" for what becomes his
"silence" as a poet, and is instead his "life of action."

In these examples, one finds forms of a "conceptual poetry"
in which the poetry is in large part an abandonment of language, of
words, of masses of "personally signed" "poetry objects," "poetry
products." One finds instead a vanishing, a disappearance of both
language and "poet" and the emergence of that "some one else" Rimbaud
recognized prophetically, preceding the action--in writing—in the
"Lettre du voyant," "the Seer's letter"—as "I is an other."

An interesting take on a conceptual poetry in writing is
found in one of Pascal's Pensees, #542:

"Thoughts come at random, and go at random. No device for holding on to
them or for having them.
A thought has escaped: I was trying to write it down: instead I write that it has
escaped me."

The writing is a notation of the "escaped" concept's
absence, its escape that is a line of flight that is a "flight out of time" as Hugo Ball entitles his Dada diaries. Writing not as a method of remembering, of "capturing
thought," but as the notation of the flight of the concept at the
approach of its notation.

Writing, then, as an absence— an absence of the concept.
A Conceptual Poetry of writing as "absent-mindedness"!—A writing which does nothing more than elucidate that the escaping of thoughts "which come at random, and go at random" has occurred.

This flight of the concept faced with its
notation—indicates a line of flight among the examples of Rimbaud—a
"flight into the desert" as it were, of silence as a poet—and of
Feneon—the flight into anonymous writing of very small newspaper "faits divers"
items punningly entitled "Nouvelles en trois lignes" (News/Novels in Three Lines), of pseudonymous writings in differing guises at the same time
according to the journals in which they appear, and as translator and
editor as well as "salesperson" in a gallery of "art objects," a
conceptual masquerader among the art-objects embodying "concepts" and
becoming no longer "concepts' but "consumer items." Feneon's framed mug shot on to whose mug is projected a "serial crime novel," written by others and "starring" the mug in the mug shot, a writer of unknown and unrecognized texts who now vanishes into a feverish series of captions and headlines.

Anonymity, pseudonyms, impersonations, poets who write their own coming silence and "disappearance" as an "I is an other," the deliberately unrecognized and unrecognizable poet whose mug shot becomes the mass published and distributed "crime scene" for police blotters and headlines, speculative fictions and ideological diatribes, the writing which is a notation of the flight of the concept, the writing of non-writers who "never wrote a word," yet whose concepts may be found camouflaged, doubled, mirrored, shadowed, anonymously existing hidden in plain site/sight/cite—these nomadic elements which appear and disappear comprise a Conceptual Poetry in which the concepts and poets both impersonate Others and reappear as "Somebody Else," an Other unrecognized and unrecognizable found hidden in plain site/sight/cite.

"It is not the elements which are new, but the order of
their arrangement," is another Pascalian "pensee." One finds
arrangements of the elements of Rimbaud and Feneon into the various
forms of "conceptual poetry" in the works of Pessoa, Spicer and Yasusada.
Pessoa creates many others as poets, heteronyms with their own works
and actions, their own concepts of poetry. Spicer "translates" poetry "after Lorca" as well as exchanging letters with the dead poet, lives for a summer with his ghost, who provides a foreword to Spicer's Book.

In the Yasusada works, the
elements of a Feneon are rearranged via the concepts of Spicer's
After Lorca into a work which extends heteronymity to include a poet,
and his translators and editors, all of whom also function as critics
and theorizers of concepts of poetry by others and "themselves." These fictional writers create a "fake" framework impersonating those of "standard editions" of scholarly annotated texts for presenting the poetry and life of a fictional poet who "writes down" his own concepts for Conceptual Works as forms of performance. These impersonators and their fake framework create a fiction which is at the same time "real," its indeterminacy generating effects and after effects among the flood of texts, lectures, commentaries, translations which radiate from its real existence as a fake. and its fake existence as the real.

This flood of texts generated by the Yasusada in itself is a Conceptual Poetry generated by the "After" effects of its own "indeterminacy," in its impersonations, doublings, and its fictional exchanges with a dead Spicer who corresponded with a dead Lorca. The writings of "real, dead Poets," "fictional, dead Poets" and ghosts, perform impersonations in a Conceptual "play house" theater of haunting absences.

In After Lorca and Yasusada, one finds that the "Conceptual
Poetry" is not limited to the "real," the "living," "poet" alone, but extends
to and includes the dead, the fictional, the ghosts and "after" effects of "real"
and "forged" and "unreal" poets and poetries. In these works, the
"concepts" of both concept and poet of the term "Conceptual Poetry"
are further extended in their relationships with performance and the "haunting absences" which "performances of" make present within a "staged" space and temporality.

(The Yasusada includes several basically performance pieces, and both the
Spicer and Lorca of After Lorca and the many entities involved in the
Yasusada are basically "performances" themselves.)

Emily Dickinson wrote that "Nature is a haunted house, and Art
is a House that tries to be haunted."

I think that if one considers "haunting" via the impersonations of Others, themselves beings trying to be "haunted," and "haunting"
as a Conceptual
Poetry, one finds that the methods of "After Lorca" and Yasusada
(which Yasusada in a letter notes that he is going to call his "After
Spicer") provide a Way or Method by which one may enter the "haunting"
performances across media by which the impersonations of the would-be " Haunted House of Art" may
be examined in terms of a "play house," as a form of
"theater" like that of Shakespeare's Globe Theater where "all the
world's a stage." And in doing so find ways of "making contact" with that
"real" Haunted House" of Nature via Performance, actions taken not as
"oneself," but in the guise of an Other.

In my work with RubBEings and clay impression spray paintings, as well
as various media which may be mixed with these such as transfers of
Xeroxed images done using various chemicals—one finds such a Concept as
it were of "making Contact" in a very literal, "hands on" way. As I
work on one side of the page, that which is there—letterings, forms,
grass, leaves, glass, wood, dirt, stone, concrete, the found materials
I am able to take home to work with and those things fixed in the
landscapes and urbanscapes—these materials are working on their side
of the page also. The "making contact" is that which is the work
created out of this encounter, this collaboration made by the things
reaching to touch from one side and my hands from the other.

I have been fascinated for years by a statement of Robert
Smithson's that a great artist could make a work of art as a
glance—that is, there is no object, no material record of this "work."
This is to free "the time of the artist" from having a market value
fixed to it by means of the objects which are produced "on the
artist's time." To free the artist from the "wage slavery" of being
forced to produce an object or written text in order to "prove" the
action of the artist in the world as indeed being "of value," is a
paradoxical envisioning of the artist as at once "freed from
conventions of objects and texts," and at the same "excluded from
existence as a conventional artist and poet." It is a way of “making plain” the paradoxical
simultaneity of being "silenced" and "forced to speak, to produce, to
write," in order to participate in the social constructions of art
according to monetary values.

A Russian artist writes: "Language is fascism not because it censors, but because it forces one to speak."

"Forcing one to speak," is the purpose of torture; one may then ask if a Conceptual Poetry of directives, instructions, copying, is not from this point of view a method of torture? The object of torture is not to produce "truth" or "lies" or "silence," but simply to produce language—speech which becomes part of the "records" stashed in files as "evidence" that a prisoner has indeed "confessed."

By a paradoxical turn, does this then turn Conceptual Poetry of some kinds into a new form of "Confessional Poetry?"

And so produce a Conceptual Confessional Poetry of impersonal drones "following orders" who at the same time wish to be known of as "Conceptual Poets?" And so perhaps to "make a name for oneself" as an "outstanding employee," or as a "lyrically inclined soldier," a "poetic mercenary" who may become the "New Conceptual Poetry's Archilochus?"

Archilochus—creator of then Avant Garde poetic forms and a member of the avant-garde troops as a soldier.

One then is faced with the questions of a Conceptual Poetry as being a
way of making Poetry by means which are not recognized—as "art/poetic means,
methods, and materials." To make poems without words, and films
without film.

A Conceptual Poetry not of 'impersonality," nor of "Conceptual Poets" whose advocations of "impersonality" ironically "make a name for themselves."

A Conceptual Poetry that finds and is found by anonymous beings, who in working with Conceptual Poetry are for a space of time "Conceptual Poets," with or without being aware that they are even being "Conceptual Poets."

Perhaps in this way, strangely, Art Brut as originally found and later
conceived of by Jean Dubuffet comes close to a "Conceptual Art and
Poetry." It is art made outside any of the conventions of art, by
persons without often any awareness of "art" per se. Yet—since they
have been "recognized" by the Glance of A Great Artist—do they then
remain things which exist only in the glance—to exist that is truly in
a "Raw State"--or as things which could not be detected as Art Brut
without the knowledge of Art, of an Artist?

That is, in what ways do they exist before the Artist's glance
introduces the Concept of Art?

A similar question arises in the studies of Rock Art and Petroglyphs.
Since many forms are very hard to distinguish between being the work of
humans, or that of natural processes which produce things which "look
like" the works of humans—are they of the Haunted House of Nature—or
the one trying to be the Haunting of Art?

And further—which "came first"—the things in Nature which inspire via
imitation those which are the "copies" of the Haunted House of
Nature—or—things which humans see as made by humans because of knowing
the "copies"? And which paradoxically turn out by means of chemical
testings to be from the Haunted House of Nature—that is, "originals"
rather than "copies"? Or do humans see things in Nature which they
think are Nature "resembling Art" because they see them as also the
"Origins of Art" via the copies which enable them to see "Nature" as

These "haunting questions" emphasize an element of indeterminacy in
the "Conceptual" aspects of Poetry and Art. This is an indeterminacy which is found, not one that is imposed by the use of "procedures which generate randomness."

"The most beautiful world is a heap of rubble tossed down at random/in confusion."--Heraclitus

Is the only way to "know and recognize" a Conceptual work via its
being labeled so? Is that why a Conceptual Work of the kind found in
objects, in written language, has always also an author's name
attached to it? Does that particular Concept then "belong" to that
person only? And so even if one "follows its directions," is not one
simply replicating the author's concept? That is, one becomes
imprisoned not only by the object, and by the process, but by the
author also?

Or may not "Conceptual" works be "hidden in plain site/sight/cite,"
and simply to be found require a letting go, an absence of "Concepts" which are
predetermined, dependent on objects, examples, titles (and "poets" and
"artists") in order to be "noticed?" As indeed being "Conceptual Art
and Poetry" always already, and the conceptions emerging from them,
and not from the "poet" or "artist" or "viewer?"

The conceptual then emerges from OUTSIDE the "Conceptual Artist/Poet."

That is, the things themselves are their own Concepts, their Conceptual poetries
and arts and "call out" as it were to be "found."

"Poetry no longer imposes itself, it exposes itself," writes Paul Celan in a notebook.

In a sense this is the way that working with the Found takes place.
"I do not seek, I find," said Picasso. Instead of creating "methods"
of chance operations, or of copying things which entail a
predetermined "exercise" of a "Conceptual Approach" mapped out in
advance, to find means to be open to what is there in the moment as
being that which is the Concept that is calling to one—and with which
one responds. And in working with the found, one then is moving
within a collaborative flow, in which the give and take and effects of
the materials themselves directly affect what "takes place."

The "author" of the works is not a single person; it is a collaboration that emerges in the contact of a person with the found.

There are no "directions to follow," simply the directions of the
moving flow--with which one is moving--and along the way there
emerges, there calls, the Conceptual everywhere to be found, hidden in
plain site, sight/cite.

Disintegrations, corrosions, the effects of time and weathering, appearances and disappearances of shadows, Hauntings of ghostly "after effects" of disturbances from wars to demolitions to erosion are a presence of "change in the universe," Basho's "basis of art."

It is not the "poet" who creates "Conceptual Poetry."

Conceptual Poetry finds and is found by anonymous beings who for a
while during contact and working with this finding and found
Conceptual Poetry are "Conceptual Poets."

And then both move on----

into those unknowns in which are found the uncanny recognitions, the encounters among Conceptual Poetries hidden in plain site/sight/cite--

Appendix A: from "El Ojo de Dios" Part One: "Insects and Letters."

El Colonel smiles. Along with his great fondness for alliteration, El Colonel has an addiction for placing thoughts, those improvised compositions, in quotation marks. This brings "a deft touch of intriguing and entertaining irony to the most prosaic of ideas, events, and persons " Habituated to an imaginative isolation, El Colonel's intellectual companions are his "compositions" with their attendant "commentaries," "asides," "digressions," and "annotations." By means of this "ironic distancing" he continually invents "a hitherto unknown and as yet unpublished form of writing, never before seen nor heard."

El Colonel smiles. This writing is a method of creating for himself a reader who is in turn accompanied by his own doubling as a writer. Where there had been "no one with who to share his most intimate thoughts, the fullness and agility of his life," there is now not only such a companion; there is also a recorder of "his deeds and exploits." In such a way El Colonel simultaneously acts, writes and reads both for himself and to another, who is also both a reader and an other author in turn, providing El Colonel with his own role as a reader. By these means his life takes on an aura of legend, and he acts both as though creating the performance of something which is happening, and of something which has happened "already." By the latter means, his life is taking place in a futurity in which it is read, and in a present in which it is written. The simplest acts and words are invested with the immediacy of a drama "taking place," the glow of "great acts having taken place ," and, to heighten both drama and aura, the precisions of a prefatory "about to take place," which allows for the insertion of the necessary commentaries, directions, and asides. "For the benefit of the listener, for the pleasure of the reader, for the background material necessary to the writer," as El Colonel describes it with relish in a self-penned blurb . . .

El Colonel smiles. Going to the wide open window he gazes through aviator sunglasses at the bright birds, the luminosity of the landscape and "reflects on the irony that reflective glasses shield one's reflections from observing eyes by their mirrored reflections of a thwarted inquiry."

El Colonel smiles. Behind the reflecting sunglasses, "his own reflections concern themselves with a reflection found within the 'Author's Note' to the Second Edition of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, a copy of which he found when literally ransacking a small private library whose owner he had been ordered to take possession of." El Colonel "recollects in tranquility," that the passage had "greatly interested, inspired and amused him, for in it Conrad had written: 'Man may smile and smile but he is not an investigating animal. He loves the obvious. He shrinks from explanations. Yet I will go on with mine.'"

El Colonel smiles. Watching the play of light on large leaves upon whose surfaces insects have begun to gather "seems to remind him of the play of the light even in the cool dimness of the library on the leaves of the book, upon whose surfaces the letters had gathered." This "doubly reflecting" aspect of his seeing and his recollections strikes him "as an image of the intimate intercourse of the natural and human worlds, of the revelatory union of the exterior and interior of consciousness, and of the synchronistic simultaneity of the moment and a memory which doubles as its mirror."

El Colonel smiles. Conrad's man who may smile and smile, loving the obvious and shrinking from explanations, he finds himself to be the "paradoxical embodiment of the contradiction of." For, "reading Conrad's words crawling on the leaves of the book in the cool, shadowy light, he had found himself, not as the one described, but as the union of the description and its author. As both the smiler and the investigative explainer who describes and refutes him, as the one whose task it is to bring into being their union. As and in himself. And in that moment he experienced the recognition of his unique Vocation and of himself. "

El Colonel smiles. "To smile, to love the obvious, and to present and preserve the explanation which both the smile and the obvious conceal, the reflections behind their reflecting surfaces. This, this is his alone, this unique vocation, this great passion, this most confidential mission."

El colonel smiles. Checking his watch, he turns and approaches a chair on one side of the table set in the center of the large light filled room. This chair and the one on the table's other side are high backed, with strong arms of a wood hard as iron and painted in a still shiny black lacquer. The upholstered seats and backs are not uncomfortable and of a worn red fading into rose. With studied and precise, angular movements, El Colonel begins to arrange himself in the correct position in which to be found by his "immanent and eminent visitor."

El Colonel permits himself a barely audible and very brief laugh as "he takes possession of himself the better to assiduously arrange the head, the torso, the limbs, the folded hands, as though he were in the process of preparing a stuffed and mounted specimen of a representative example of a Colonel, whose taxidermist he himself was."

Appendix B: Conceptual Poetry and the Work Place: the Death of the Author and the Birth of the Drone, A Science Fiction Poetics of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The Concept of Conceptual Poetry one finds among some Conceptual Poets is one that resembles a form of training for the embrace of working in bureaucratic and corporate settings as an "impersonal" manipulator and mover of masses of material in the form of words. Conceptual Poetry becomes a "discipline" for the production of "well adjusted functionaries" carrying out the "boring" tasks of filing, copying, sorting and arranging word-data. The "unoriginality," "impersonality" and boredom raised to the level of "Conceptual Poetry" is perhaps a way to aestheticize the dystopian existences of millions of "lower level" workers in globalized corporations and bureaucratic State apparati.

Perhaps finding in this manner a Poetry in the Conceptions of themselves as bored, unoriginal, impersonal data copiers and processors, employees will become "happier" about their jobs and less questioning of their exploiters and exploitation. To be rid of all of the baggage of "the personal," the yearning to prove oneself "original," and to accept a lifetime of boredom, without wondering about "the meaning of all this," and "what is it doing for ME!"

The Conceptual Poet may in this manner be able to have their services be much in demand, and so "to make a name for oneself," by emphasizing the impersonality of others, and training them to "disappear" into the services they provide as handlers of all the unwanted, uninteresting masses of material that need somehow to be sorted, copied and stored.

Conceptual Poets becoming the creators of the glamorization of non-creation serve as "beacons" lighting this boring, dull, impersonal industriousness by which it may be seen "in a better light" by the industrialists and the Conceptual Poet consultants with their own cliques of admirers in the Management and Socio- Cultural spheres.

It is not "wage slavery" and "drones" one is providing the world with, but instead an exciting, "avant-garde" Conceptual Poetry taught in all the best universities! And so Conceptual Poetry becomes a new method of Consulting for firms interested in innovations in "employee relations."

Conceptual Poetry examined in this light may be seen as a form of preventing the kinds of breakdowns among lower level employees in the bureaucratic and corporate fields one finds in the writings that depict and explore the effects of the rapidly industrializing and mass data producing machines of "progress" of the 19th Century. These "breakdowns" appear in the forms of Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener," with his "I would prefer not to," and among the bottom level clerks and copyists in the works of Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Balzac and Dickens, several of which point to the works of Kafka, himself an employee in an immense bureaucracy.

Instead of the "troublesome" writers of previous eras, Conceptual Poetry offers an efficient, impersonal service worker, a copyist who unlike Bartleby will not "prefer not to," but "stay on the job" and simply do as is told via the directives and "Avant-Garde,"'Innovative" Conceptions of Conceptual Poets hired as Consultants.
Conceptual Poetry becomes the non plus ultra form of aestheticizing drones for their Conceptual management as Poetry for the analyses and admirations of their Bosses and Trainers, their Managers and Owners, their CEOs and Instructors, for all those at the top and their elite consultants, Conceptual Poets and the academies which train them.
"No more Kafkas!! No more Gogols!! No more Bartlebys!!"

The "death of the author" is the birth of the drone, a transformation that occurs when persons are asleep, as the pods from Outer Space give birth to the impersonal copies of the once human beings in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."


Selections from Statements re Various Aspects of Working with
RubBEings and Clay Impression Spray Paintings—

(with some comments in the present added--)

I began making rubBEings in Spring 1999. Walking a great deal, finding
materials to bring home to use—I realized I was already in an immense
work room—surrounded by letterings, words, signs—that I could copy on
site and make arrangements from directly. Immediately I purchased a
lumber crayon and cheap note pad and the rubBEings became not only
part of daily life but of my dreams and memories as well.

RubBEings may well be the oldest form of copy art. Rearranging found
signs and letterings, one arrives at visual poems that emerge from the
existent materials. By moving from site to site, one is collaging,
combining scattered elements to juxtapose and create new arrangements.

The Poetry of the Found, everywhere to be Found.

All my work is made with a profound faith in the encounter with the
Found, everywhere and at all times to be Found all around one.

Like Picasso, I work with the sense that "I do not seek, I find."

The poet Paul Celan wrote: "Poetry no longer imposes itself, it
exposes itself."

The Found is that which exposes itself, and with which one works via
an uncanny encounter, a call and response, a shock of recognition, out
of which collaboration emerges an Other, which is the BEing in/with

For this way of working, Conceptual Poetry is not imposed into or on
to a work, it is not a Conception from the mind alone, but one that
emerges via touch, seeing, hearing, contact with the site/sight/cite
with which one is working.

In much of my work with rubBEings and clay impression spray paintings,
what emerges is a notation of what Basho called the basis of
art--"change in the universe."

Language as material is not solid, but is disintegrating via the flows
of time, weather, the effects of man made interventions, including
War, as in the seres of "Wall" paintings and works.

This is a fugitive language, hidden in plain site/sight/cite, "over
looked," vanishing into its forms of the next moment in the flow.

Rather than "Conceptualize" it, one finds oneself encountering and
working with its ever shifting forms in the flows of Time.

In order to express "ideas" in pieces done with such an intention, I
have also worked with collage, the introduction of transfers, the
inclusion of elements of all kinds of materials directly into the
paint so that its leaves residues among the pieces to give an added
texture, a further haptic element. Some pieces have also been left
outside during wind, rain, and afterwards the drying out of the sun,
while others have been made during "blinding snowstorms." Even if it
is not "visible" there is a residue of these encounters with the
site/sight/cite as it travels through time and weather, through the
effects of differing elements.

Made with "next to nothing" on a budget of "next to nothing" one finds
in a sense--"everything," that is going on around one at any moment.
"necessity is the Motherfucker of Invention" is one way I use to
express what happens when one works with the "bare necessities."

To work "without" Walls in a world in which one is among
Walls--physical and virtual, in that the Virtual is Walled off via
wars, occupations, poverty, discrimination in the destruction of power
grids and the cutting off of electricity to huge populations, and the
physical Walls which Wall in large communities (Gaza, prisons,
detention camps) and Wall Out others--gated communities, Green Zones,
borders--is working with the cracks found among their disintegrations
and disruptures.

This is the Poetry that exposes itself of which Celan, a survivor of
the Concentration Camps, writes.

The Poetry of the Found, everywhere to be Found.

Haptic Visual Poems of Twilight Lowlight and Next to No light

From making rubBEings under all sorts of conditions I have been
developing seeing with my hands and touching with my eyes. These are
very good skills to have when working into the night now that it is
getting dark out earlier and earlier each evening. In the pieces here
I just ran my hands and fingers over the surfaces of trash cans,
plaques, telephone poles and a clay impression, "seeing" them in the
dark and rubBEing them on the spray painted or Xerox-copied images I
had brought with me to work on. A few pieces were done in alleys where
there was a bit more light from the occasional dirty dim orange-yellow
glow of a street lamp. Some are from a sliced outer section of a huge
truck tire I found and have hidden in some bushes in another alley.
Those were made in almost total darkness.

I like a lot working in this way--not just that one is learning to see by hand--but that one is also learning to touch by seeing--so that walking along the eye instead of finding a relatively limited and stable world of flattened or rounded forms is suddenly embarked in a wildly shifting universe of textures in a myriad scales--from tiny pockmarks to a sense of immense concavities--from gritty gravel feels to softness of skin and lips to jagged cold edges of metallic shards--eye moves among thousands of sensations, feeling them , caressing them, as if by hand--shaping them--while the hands in touching things are seeing them--rubBEing them with the lumber crayon a means of notation of both the seeing and the touching simultaneously--and via notation also evoking the sense of music and voices one hears with these exchanges among the senses . . . these pieces are for most part ones guided by the grid; as I wrote yesterday this is a way for me to work against the grain of my own impulses and habits and enjoy the tension between trying to "toe the line" so to speak and my natural character to be "out of line"--so the pieces once I finally see them by light of day or inside a brightly lit place--seem to me to be a dialogue of the "clean" and "dirty" . . . a dialogue literally "in the dark" . . . developed in the "dark room" of the outdoors of alleys and parks--and seen later on "by light of day"--to be seen/read/heard in a new way--from night before--
(btw--the spray painted backgrounds all done in the near darkness also--)

Haptic Visual Poetry of RubBEings--in the cold--& snow--& wind

Today we had the first snows here in Milwaukee. Temperatures to drop near
zero--while I was out working I was informed it was 16 degrees. Winds have
blown for days signaling changes on the way--and today they
arrived--swirling gusts of full flaked snow--drastic drop in the
Since I work by hand directly pressing paper to the material to be rubbed
with one hand--and then holding lumber crayon in other hand--touch and
temperature play a large part in my daily work outside. The cold will be
soon affecting the ways I work--I will keep a log of these.
Through time the hands learn to see and the eyes learn to touch--I
examine materials as they arise for possible rubbing--things that may look
good to the eye do not work by hand and vice versa--one has to go back and
forth in using both hands and eyes to tell if a given fence or telephone pole
or raised letterings on dumpsters may be of use. The same goes for any
surface in which there are cracks and knots and the swirled lines made by
circling knots--
One learns that what may look good to the eye when rubbed by touch is
nothing much at all--and one may feel by hand something that seems to be of
great beauty--and then when rubbed by eye sight--it is nothing at all--just
a mess.

RubBEings are a Haptic form of work--touch plays such a role--that I
have of late done much work in the dark or near dark literally feeling my
way--since it gets dark earlier, I have grown used to working by dimmer and
dimmer lights, fading into darkness--this is a fascinating way to work--one
has to use the hands as eyes--and yet one also knows that what may feel good
to the touch is unpleasing to the eyes--so this working by touch--one begins
to learn just how deep an impression or incision in wood or other materials
made by--numbers and letters on telephone poles for example, burdened into
the wood--or raises letterings--and then from this to being able to read by
hand the heights of raised lines of wood--how high they may be before
making truly a good series/set of lines on the paper--slowly but surely I
find that I can by touch find what will be pleasing to the eye--it takes time and
patience and much running of the hands over surfaces--that one cannot see.
I find this a purely Haptic approach--and that my rubBEings do feel
to the touch differently in the almost invisible differences in the heights
of the crayon wax on top of the paper--or the areas in white where it is
One may read subtly by the touch the crayon wax on paper--and see with
the eyes--the shifts in heights and shades and weights of the hands and
crayon as it varies according to the raisings and lowerings of the
The making and touching/reading of rubBEings are a way to introduce
the Haptic element directly into visual poetry--a visual poetry in which the
visual may be by touch--and the touch may be visual--- The Haptic
element is important in what I work with daily--and is another means by
which to extend visual poetry from the word/paper into the world of
Concrete--materiality of the word--physicality of letters and
words on a page--these names and phrases remain removed from the touch of
the world and are abstractions. In working with the Haptic, one essays a
finding through the working of a ways in which all these mere phrases may
truly be a part of the world and visual poetry a lived experience, one not

RubBEings and Public Art, Art Made in Public Spaces among the Public

I hope in my work that there is conveyed a sense that a public space
truly belongs to no one and is shared by everyone. This is in part
why in making my work I collaborate directly with what is there in
these spaces, so that they are present in the works literally, and
calling from these worlds hidden in plain site/sight/cite all around
one, everywhere to be found.

By using the simplest, very ancient and childlike techniques, by
using found materials only, and working only in public spaces or in my
room with things found in the streets, I hope that the work conveys
what the meeting of the hand on one side of the paper with the ground
on the other conveys in the creating of a collaborative work—no
separations, no Walls, no deliberate or trained overlookings and
unhearings—but an encounter, a "shock of recognition" and an awareness
of the world under everyone's feet ("Look under your
feet!"—Chuang-Tzu) as a shared space to be worked WITH. Necessity is
indeed the Motherfucker of Invention, and in the ever ongoing
non-recognition of others and of all that is hidden in plain
site/sight/cite is their vanishing—and in that vanishing—these methods
become a kind of guerilla survival toolkit, ways to keep open the
communications with the grounds and beings of the everywhere found
hidden all around one, the public spaces of a public without Walls,
without separations, without Publicity—

A public of uncanny recognitions and encounters and creation with
refuse as a way t refuse these endless barriers between peoples,
between "art" and "life," between the privatized and the public,
between the ground itself and those who walk upon it.

RubBEings and Reveries



dirtywrite said...

Once you begin reasoning with a negative definition (conceptual as the absence) it becomes impossible to produce positive findings if a context is rich enough - as poetry is. And so, there is no choice but to escape (mutate) the context until it's free from the initial negative definition; then, beauty becomes possible again.

David-Baptiste Chirot said...

Thank you dirtywrite for your response--

i don't think that i begin with a negative definition at all--

in part as i develop the Found--which
is a presence always already there, which is not an absence, but presence which is not defined ahead of time, not pre-conceived --

not defined nor directed by words ahead of the making of another object in words--

poetry that exposes itself, as Celan writes, and not one that imposes itself--

also , i do not think of absence as a negative--after all, the "absent" space of a bowl for example is what makes it a bowl--

i think that many things which i have read on current ideas of "conceptual poetry" ironically depend not on their definitions of it, which impose contrived constraints to simply produce/reproduce another heap of words which are anti-conceptual (Boring, dull, unoriginal, etc) in nature according to their creators--
this means that the "impersonality" which is demanded is dependent on attracting attention to itself by means of the creator's promotion campaign of an "act"--a shtick--by which to get persons interested in this dull, impersonal, unoriginal heap of words--

rather than being dull, unoriginal, impersonal--the creator of this kind is creating an act by means of which she or he lays claim to an originality, a performance, to being a "significant", "important" Author ,whose originality lies in the creation
of "defining works" of "Conceptual Poetry"--
and becoming identified with Conceptual Poetry as a "leading Brand name" to "headline conferences" and anthologies, critical works and the like--

which actually is a negation of "conceptual" work in favor of the further enhancement of the ego of the poet--

as most of the techniques employed by a number of the creators are ones that have been used by hundreds of writers for centuries, by re-presenting them as a"new" form of work, and labeling it with the impressive sounding title of "conceptual poetry," the present day creators are laying claim to an originality for themslves--

this form of "conceptual poetry" is al about finding a new and as yet supposedly untapped source of energy and material for the creation of another form of Author in what is a supposedly "new realm"--

the "concept" that is being developed is simply a new genre, with its new "stars," its "major players," and "Pioneers"--its new set of "critics and commentators and followers," and the creation of yet another job within Departments of English and/or Creative Writing--

it also has the potential to become used for the training of clerks and low level office works and etc into being perceived &/or self-perceived as "creative," "poets" and "conceptualizers"--another way to hook persons into the concept of an exciting job which is exciting for the thrill of the "concepts" of its dullness and unoriginality--

the "conceptual poet" then may be besides a professor of the new genre, an expert and big name--may become also in demand as a for of management consultant expert--for the discipling and handling of employees who chafe at their no where jobs and poor pay--and need to be convinced there is a "higher value" to their work in terms of its aestheticization--

a higher value aesthetically after all--which means a higher value monetarily not for them, but for the "conceptual poet"--

thanking you again--

dirtywrite said...

thanks, david.