Streetnotes is a peer-reviewed journal for the interdisciplinary study of the city, its lifeways and social relations, with a special concern for the cultural and aesthetic forms that arise through its traffic.
Volume 24, 2016
Special Editor's preface to Streetnotes 24: Poietic Polis
The world wasn't born yesterday. The past inflects the present, and it is our knowledge, interpretation and use of history enables us to intervene there. I do not mean the kind of knowledge you learn in schools, but a lived political knowing, in language and action -- this is our natality. In my writing, and in my everyday living breathing body, I want to help to create a map to a future free from the terror of the world we've inherited. I want to write towards a place where we can find each other, now and then.
The poet expresses her alienation in a chaotic city through pictorial poetry. One poem depicts form in words and the other is a poetic map of her imagination longing for an order.
Do bodies create a city? Do minds create a city? How does movement shape geography? How does fragility alter architecture? This ekphrastic piece was created inside a structured movement improvisation. I invented a city, in the tradition of Italo Calvino, to contain the work influenced by my dance partner, who was experiencing extreme mind states of psychosis, and my own experiences with bipolar disorder.
Series of poems...
THE UNDYING PRESENT unfolds in a time not unlike ours, in a city between worlds, in the space between bodies, in the camera's flat gaze and the eyes of a crowd that exceeds it.
Excerpts from the Schizologues
A poetic sequence annunciating the schism between the poet and the city. The fragile observation of looking out while cruising along the avenues of reading writing/writing reading.
"Any Time, Any Place" is an attempted translation of the ineluctable. A lyric streetlevel engagement that draws resonance from wage labor melancholy, daydream, song, sickness and flanueristic desire.
This piece investigates the connections between the socio-political crisis in contemporary Greece and the lamentation embodied in Euripides’s Ancient Greek tragedy, The Trojan Women. It suggests that the notion of the barbarian and pinpointing the other have been diachronic symptoms of Greek society. The voice of this writing is a fusion of standpoints in an attempt to mirror the blurred space between multiple perspectives and definitions of truth.
Through conducting a critique on ideology and nationalism, I describe the development of the Greek economic meltdown and its growth into a humanitarian disaster through the reinforcement of the Golden Dawn, a prevalent neo-Nazi party in Greece that is perpetuating violence. My voice is of an observer who is intellectually and emotionally attached to the current socially disenfranchised members of society, the othered immigrants and refugees residing in Greece. One of the objectives of this piece is to remind and reveal the barbaric acts of fascism that interlink contemporary Greek social conditions to these of the ancient world.
"Eisen-Martin's syntax lands somewhere between Sphinx and Thelonious…through poem he makes spare, efficient, wild-eyed jazz…rubs mud and accountability into the pores of the zeros and ones in the glass and steel city. Throughout SOMEONE'S DEAD ALREADY, I return to the wonder of the writer's economy of language, how deftly the words infuse their amulet casings with blood temperature at the edge of boiling. This work is as hungry as revolution, a necessary, deadly still in these shifting times…"—Marc Bamuthi Joseph
These pieces are excerpts from the forthcoming book THE ROMANCE OF SIAM: A POCKET GUIDE, which is a subverted travel guide that interrogates the desire White people have to lose and reinvent themselves in Thailand. I track how this “White love” manifests in the tourism industry, popular American media and the western imaginary in order to reveal the connections between tourism and colonization.