This week, loving Donato Mancini's Buffet World.
Last week, loving Chris Nealon's The Matter of Capital: "And I hope to have at least suggested to my friends on the academic and poetic left that it is not only the poetries of witness and documentation, or movement poetries, that are worrying over the destiny that capitalism is forcing us toward." p. 35
Reminder that Auden has a Caliban poem also: "Caliban to the Audience."
Also the phrase, about Ashbery's work: "network of topoi." "...that reach across the books of fifteen years and make it possible to see, even in small gestures, whole thematics being touched on (I like to think, tugged on, as in pulled threads of a tapestry)." p. 74
Kept thinking about how I read Moxley's work as having similar "network of topoi" that makes me somewhat want to argue with Nealon's reading of "Our Defiant Motives" as part of the problem where "critique is seen as guilty, as an injuring act, one that hurts others more vulnerable than the critic." p. 9
So went back then to the Moxley of Often Capital. The "afterword" here using a similar metaphor for network of topoi: "Section one is made up of poems which, by virtue of their economical scattering of words, might be compared to connect-the-dot drawings." p.58 And also the Moxley of "Cell #103," which is, I admit, more about the prison industrial complex when it impinges on family than it is about capital but is not a poem that sees critique in poetry as a problem, and is still years later a poem that amazes me, provokes me to emotion. And the two that follow it, "The Right to Counsel" and "The Right to Remain Silent."
I also think this by Nealon is so crucial: "In psychological terms, it is hard to imagine a more durable twentieth-century victory of the right than the persistence of this structure of feeling, which dates at least to the 1930s, and the international left's horrified disavowal of Stalinism." p. 10
So Nealon again, a few pages later, and this feels more telling: "Ashbery, like Moxley, is keenly aware of what is, precisely, he's looking away from--in his case, something like the consolidation of capitalist spectacle in 1970s New York." p. 10
Anyway, kept wanting to think about both Moxley and Kevin Davies together, as both using peripheral vision to look at this consolidation of capitalist spectacle. Not looking away from. But the forms being so different, that their work feels on the surface as if they have nothing to do with each other.
And then kept thinking that I couldn't give up Moxley. Like I had to have her there. Otherwise, too few, too little.