April 8th poem

Friday, April 08, 2011

Notes from the Literary Conference

In keeping with the novel's cosmopolitanism 
I am at the Cheesecake Factory
in terms of a master text
It's very loud in here
upsets readers' assumptions
but I'll work on my poem anyway
a defamiliarizing literary pedagogy
I'm waiting for my mojito, wondering about the bread
It is a truism to state that rhetorical context shapes meaning
maybe a little bread
Packaged, marketed consciously to make an intervention
I'm eavesdropping, as per usual
Framing it to ask readers to see it as an ethical issue
It's too loud in here to eavesdrop effectively
The narrative "I" is one that demands to be recognized
This mojito is very sweet
How those different discourses are used and when 
I spent the day listening to papers about violence as textual intervention, violence as actual fact
Ethnic gaze-- ethnic gasp
My lime spontaneously jumps from the side of my glass
Who is "directing"/manipulating others at various moments
I've come here because the fish tacos were recommended 
Mexican wrestlers with superpowers
My server is an older white guy from Brooklyn (Are you from Philadelphia?  Do I look like a cheesesteak?-- I'm from Brooklyn, NY) 
Alienation effect of the italicized prose poems
Many of the wait staff are young attractive people of color
A larger ongoing national story
Old people and families dine so early
Emotional response vs. intellectual response
The guy to my left with the kelly green oxford shirt, the light through the blinds illuminating his face in an angel way-- he has a very kind face, like a poet or a hard of hearing person
The image of her face at the end, playing across fire and smoke

[Cheesecake Factory, Boca Raton FL, April 2011]

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