He's right kids, that Kent Johnson: 45-year-old Slugger is. I'm obsessed
with him. In fact, I'm stalking that hunk of a scholar-fisherman. Little
does he know that at Highland Community College where he teaches I posed,
last semester, as a janitor just so I could sweep up the exfoliations left
in the hallway by his office inside the newly founded Department of
Heteronymical Sciences. During office hours I dreamed of rushing in to
congratulate him on sowing new authorships for those seeking to disseminate
identity in fluid configurations, and then of running him through with my
hot, dripping mop (or pent-up surplus, if you will).
He's like Verlaine and I'm Rimbaud! I can't wait until he ditches me in
London! Or flatland! Anywhere will do. Have me on the patio, on-the-side
Spanish teacher, I'll take it now. Treat me like the commodified duck
(quack! quack!) I am. Spank me with a pseudonym. Banish the petit-bourgeois
demons dwelling in my breast, O Johnson. Poetry's yearning cannot be
contained indefinitely by this system. Shoot forth your liberating juices,
marinate us with your man-sauce, O great one-eyed one, we have nothing to
lose but our names (and you, your wife). Outmoded words, useless
advertisements for last year's Christmas shopping season. Plaster me with
your breath, Master of the Anonymous. Fuck the collaborationist interregnum.
On with the espousal of a world beyond spines and by-lines. Meet me in the
basement of invisible conjoinings. Penetrate my overstarched dress pants
with anarcho-poetic rantings. Know what I mean.
And you heathens! Unworthy of these proliferating pleasures. Not on the
guestlist to the Club of Awesome Squiggles. The gates to the orgy of
heteronymous materialists are barred to you intil you repent for your sins
and answer this question, posed by Grover:
"Why is there Kent Johnson rather than Nothing?"
>From: kent johnson <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and
> poetics <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Interview between KJ and BF (uncorrected text)
>Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 15:37:20 -0500
>Well, now that I've stopped laughing, I can type.
>A bit of history, in case anyone was wondering what the hell was going on:
>David Hess sent me a postcard a few years ago, asking me what I thought
>about Language poetry. I can't remember what I wrote back to him, but
>whatever it was, it initiated a tempestuous relationship (don't let David
>tell you otherwise), one in which David's obsession with me sometimes comes
>to such a head that it suddenly and bizarrely shoots out into public view.
>This appears to be one of those times where David is relieving his pent-up
>surplus. It's always quite a show.
>If you haven't yet heard of David Hess, I can tell you this: He is one of
>the strangest people I have ever known in my virtual life; he is also one
>the funnest (yes, funnest) and most original critics writing right now.
>(Check out his various poetry conference reports at Read.me and magnum opus
>essay on Barrett Watten in Jacket). I think he's about as old as Rimbaud
>when he died.
>I hope he lives a few more years.
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