"TWIN ME"! -- AUTOBIOGRAPHY POETICS
"Twin Me" is an aphorism by Jose Garcia Villa which I was pleasantly surprised to discover in Laura Moriarty's fabulous poetry collection, SELF-DESTRUCTION. And it also relates to my thought that -- ATTENTION TEACHERS -- there are some new books out there that could comprise a very interesting syllabus for exploring autobiography. From recent readings, I include THE GRAND PIANO: AN EXPERIMENT IN COLLECTIVE AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Bob Perelman et al and DISPLEASURES OF THE TABLE: MEMOIR AS CARICATURE by Martha Ronk (as an aside, I happened to read these two books one after the other and they rub quite interestingly against each other).
Autobiography is on my mind as my two 2007 books continue my attempts to disrupt its notion. TOOTING MY OWN HORN ALERT! Here's an excerpt from the book description for my book SILENCES: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF LOSS which will come out next month from Blue Lion Books:
...extends a body of transcolonial writings. Here, she uses poetry to disrupt conventional autobiography. Utilizing an anthology structure, she presents poems, art criticism, prose poetry, and lists to convey a narrative arc for a poet's biography -- specifically how a poet's life logically lapses to a multiplicity of silences, to varied forms of Loss.
And here's an excerpt from the book description of my Fall 2007 book forthcoming from Marsh Hawk Press:
On April 11, 2006, Filamore B. Tabios, Sr. died of brain cancer and its complications. In writing about her father, Eileen R. Tabios explores reconciliation with Ferdinand Marcos’ legacy through deliberate empathy with the former Philippine dictator's daughter Imee; pays homage to Judas Iscariot whose Gospel, discovered during her vigil by her father's deathbed, reveals him to be the most loyal disciple, instead of greatest betrayer, of Jesus Christ; meditates on the murder statistics of the 20th century's leading killers, from Idi Amin to Adolf Hitler; considers the global Filipina pen pal phenomena; and engages with Dante Aleghieri's Purgatorio.
In enacting Nietzsche's notion that "Punishment is the making of memory," Ms. Tabios also makes poetry by using commodity lists to create autobiography, practicing ekphrasis to translate the painterly technique of scumbling, offering variations of the hay(na)ku [...], and blurring the boundary between poetry and prose through texts originally written as blog posts. In addition, the book's overall trajectory reflects her disruption of narrative linearity in favor of Dante's conception of the Trinity. For Dante, creation is simultaneous as regards What (God) creates, How (Son) creation unfolds, and the Form (Spirit) taken by what is created.
I hope you check out these books. SILENCES is interesting for another reason -- SEX ALERT!! -- it's my "authentic black book" (and isn't it synchronistic that it gets to be published by a publisher partly known for their black book covers!); SILENCES also sheds light on John Bloomberg-Rissman's reference to Moi "Decolonialism / As a / Poetics of dominant// Submissive Sex"? Heee--reading that phrase now, I crack up.)
Meanwhile, here below is my latest list of Relished Whines and Wines -- if you must know, and you must if you read this blog, Wine is what fuels my reading and writing books. Missy WinePoetics!
THE POSTMAN POEMS by Mark Young (you, too, can get a free pdf of this enchanting collection by simply emailing the author!)
ANOTHER SILENT ATTACK, poems by Franck Andre Jamme, trans. by Michael Tweed
ON HER FACE THE LIGHT OF LA LUNA, poems by Mairym Cruz-Bernal
SELF-DESTRUCTION, poems by Laura Moriarty
MEXICO CITY BLUES, poems by Jack Kerouac
BIRDS & FANCIES, poems by Elizabeth Treadwell
CENSORY IMPULSE, poems by Erica Kaufman
STIGMATA ERRATA ETCETERA, poems by Bill Knott & collages by Star Black
BODY OF CRIMSON LEAVES, poems by Celia Homesley
GREEN SQUALL, poems by Jay Hopler
WEDDING DAY, poems by Dana Levin
THE GRAND PIANO: AN EXPERIMENT IN COLLECTIVE AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Bob Perelman et al
DISPLEASURES OF THE TABLE: MEMOIR AS CARICATURE by Martha Ronk
DOOR WIDE OPEN: A BEAT LOVE AFFAIR IN LETTERS 1957-1958 by Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson
ELIZABETH BISHOP: THE COLLECTED PROSE, Ed. by Robert Giroux
I WAS VERMEER: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY'S GREATEST FORGER, investigative journalism by Frank Wynne
LEONARDO DA VINCI'S ADVICE TO ARTISTS, Ed. by Emery Kelen
AN ALPHABETICAL LIFE: LIVING IT UP IN THE WORLD OF BOOKS, memoir by Wendy Werris
TWENTY-FIVE CHICKENS AND A PIG FOR A BRIDE: GROWING UP IN A FILIPINO IMIGRANT FAMILY, memoir by Evangeline Canonizado Buell
MY LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES (A SURVIVOR'S TALE), essays by James Atlas
SUMMER OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN, novel by Tracie Peterson
1990 CNP Domaine De Marcoux
1999 Behrens & Hitchcock syrah Alder Springs Ranch "Homage to Ed Oliveira"
1999 Pietre Rosse Dalla Valle
1989 Barbaresco Riserva Asiti
2000 Ritratti Trentino cabernet
1978 William Hill Mt. Veeder cabernet
1990 Monticello Cellars cabernet