Rebel Poetry: Words Absurd & Dirty

Mark Gunter, Northeastern Illinois University

Olivia Cronk is the faculty sponsor of this project.

Description

This presentation aims to showcase recent collaborative work written by Rebel Poetry, one of the student organizations here at NEIU. Rebel Poetry exploits the polluted discursive atmosphere we’re all breathing right now. We tear up and refashion the absurd and dirty and truth-shirking words that lodge in our ears and throats and make us cough and cackle. Our manifesto is inspired by the Surrealists and Dadaists, those other folks who labored to make poetry in and out of the ideologies that made them feel gross and sticky, too. We’re propelled by something like the spirit expressed in these words from Tristan Tzara’s “Dada Manifesto 1918”: Let each man [sic] proclaim: there is a great negative work of destruction to be accomplished. We must sweep and clean. Affirm the cleanliness of the individual after the state of madness, aggressive complete madness of a world abandoned to the hands of bandits, who rend one another and destroy the centuries. Rebel Poetry’s destruction has created three issues of O.S.I.F.U: The Journal of Rebel Poetry, selections from which we will read at this presentation. These poems were written using methods of language-play such as collage and erasure, as well as random text-producing methods borrowed from OuLiPo, including the “n + 7” technique. We want to shake up the solipsism of the lyric by yielding to found texts and by surrendering to chance operations. The poems in O.S.I.F.U. #1 were written toward the theme “allegation” and are mash-ups of senate and judicial hearings, academic articles on a variety of topics, popular magazine features, newspaper articles, and other texts. O.S.I.F.U. #2’s theme is “immigration,” and the poems therein were cobbled together from presidential pronouncements, historical documents on annexation, more academic journal articles, and stuff about walls, walls, walls. Our special issue of O.S.I.F.U. features poems Rebel Poetry has created together using the “exquisite corpse” technique, another borrowing from the Surrealists. Together, these poems seek 1) to re-establish a salutary distance from the language of, to re-cite Tzara, our contemporary “state of madness”; 2) from this distance, to re-discover the potential to play within this discourse; and 3) as a result of this play, to undermine the real violence that discourses of hatred and madness produce.

 
Apr 19th, 12:00 AM

Rebel Poetry: Words Absurd & Dirty

This presentation aims to showcase recent collaborative work written by Rebel Poetry, one of the student organizations here at NEIU. Rebel Poetry exploits the polluted discursive atmosphere we’re all breathing right now. We tear up and refashion the absurd and dirty and truth-shirking words that lodge in our ears and throats and make us cough and cackle. Our manifesto is inspired by the Surrealists and Dadaists, those other folks who labored to make poetry in and out of the ideologies that made them feel gross and sticky, too. We’re propelled by something like the spirit expressed in these words from Tristan Tzara’s “Dada Manifesto 1918”: Let each man [sic] proclaim: there is a great negative work of destruction to be accomplished. We must sweep and clean. Affirm the cleanliness of the individual after the state of madness, aggressive complete madness of a world abandoned to the hands of bandits, who rend one another and destroy the centuries. Rebel Poetry’s destruction has created three issues of O.S.I.F.U: The Journal of Rebel Poetry, selections from which we will read at this presentation. These poems were written using methods of language-play such as collage and erasure, as well as random text-producing methods borrowed from OuLiPo, including the “n + 7” technique. We want to shake up the solipsism of the lyric by yielding to found texts and by surrendering to chance operations. The poems in O.S.I.F.U. #1 were written toward the theme “allegation” and are mash-ups of senate and judicial hearings, academic articles on a variety of topics, popular magazine features, newspaper articles, and other texts. O.S.I.F.U. #2’s theme is “immigration,” and the poems therein were cobbled together from presidential pronouncements, historical documents on annexation, more academic journal articles, and stuff about walls, walls, walls. Our special issue of O.S.I.F.U. features poems Rebel Poetry has created together using the “exquisite corpse” technique, another borrowing from the Surrealists. Together, these poems seek 1) to re-establish a salutary distance from the language of, to re-cite Tzara, our contemporary “state of madness”; 2) from this distance, to re-discover the potential to play within this discourse; and 3) as a result of this play, to undermine the real violence that discourses of hatred and madness produce.