Tuesday, February 21, 2017

new from above/ground press: SWAMP / SWAMP, by Brenda Iijima

Brenda Iijima

Just walk in a straight line.

I think—I think I am, but thank you. Tall grasses overwhelm the viewfinder and we press along through the swamp, a space of nonexistent contours. You could be a scarce plant and grow according to the precarious circumstances of your immediate ecosystem or controlled and manipulated in a laboratory—a genetically modified organism designed to carry out very specific functions when reintroduced outdoors. A profusion of alternative modalities… My house was Tudoresque—a brick and stucco edifice. And the formative years, carefree—blithely unaware of what privilege consisted of besides the tree lined streets of the neighborhood where I would play unrestrained. How straight a line! How straight can I enter—logic to do with the body often foregrounds mechanistic functions, meanwhile hormonal impulses steer corporeal mass, meter motor control. Occasionally there is a sense of severe restriction—pumped chemicals and chain reactions cause a lockdown of muscle tissue. A confluence of biomorphic responses compels language and human systems as all relational actions correspond with a flood of meaning rushing to the gesticulating brain. Fatty exchanges generate syntax—subtitle actions. The constant compulsion to explain phenomena furthers the reliance on conventional language and pumps up the justification of human otherness—this feels outmoded, communicative cues abound in myriad forms. Navigating reality involves intuition, a form of perception that doesn’t necessarily participate in language structures because intuition can function beyond image, outside of object-oriented thinking. This affects Bob a lot, processing thoughts that have to do with commanding presence. Below the root systems are soggy rotten teeming microbial forms. Tangled coordinates. He bolts ahead, stumbles, gains equilibrium.

Straight in, to that clump.
It is ok now; you are on fairly solid ground. Straight in, just go right in.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
February 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Brenda Iijima’s
involvements occur at the intersections and mutations of poetry, research movement, animal studies, ecological sociology and submerged histories. She is the author of seven full-length collections of poetry and numerous chapbooks and artist’s books. Her most recent book, Remembering Animals was published by Nightboat Books in 2016. She is also the editor of the eco language reader (Nightboat Books and PP@YYL). She is the editor of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, located in Brooklyn, NY (http://yoyolabs.com/).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com

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