Tag Archives: experimental prose

Springtime Inspiration from Lily Hoang

I have a confession: despite owning a copy of Lily Hoang’s The Evolutionary Revolution for over a year, I have yet to actually read it. The book was recommended to me by a classmate last spring when my writing was overtaken with evolutions of bodies and vocabularies. I bought it with enthusiasm, then failed completely in reading it.

My not reading this book is more an issue of time than it is desire. As a full-time MFA student with a habit of taking on far too many commitments, pleasure reading is a luxury I am rarely afforded. I can say that on several occasions, I’ve hesitated at this text, opened it to a random page, and absorbed some of Lily Hoang’s gorgeous words “rhizomatically” (to use a phrase of fellow Bombay Gin 38.1 contributor Bhanu Kapil). At the very least, these small moments I take with the text partially appease me, remind me of the worlds which wait on my bookshelf for the day when I finally have time. It is always the starting of something that is most difficult, isn’t it?

On the cusp of this 2012 spring, I am yet again drawn toward Lily Hoang’s writing. A recent blog post of hers spoke directly to what I (like many others) am feeling at the moment. There is an inherent and instinctual something about spring which makes us crave a new project, that clichéd fresh start. And along with it comes the anxiety of facing a fresh, open void of possibility. I am talking about my own writing. I am talking about the in-the-works next issue of Bombay Gin. I am talking about the garden I plant in my backyard every May which is officially dead by July. I am talking about that which you are on the verge of creating at this very moment.

May we all find some solace in Lily Hoang’s words (even if you only have time to scan them “rhizomatically”) so that we, too, can enjoy whatever bloom is about to occur.

– Jade Lascelles

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In the Current: A Night of Performance on the Threshold

This past weekend, I attended the CU Dance Department’s show In the Current. The second half of this show was dedicated to a piece entitled “VIofS,” which used questions inspired by Bhanu Kapil’s book Vertical Interrogation of Strangers.

For those of you who don’t know, Bhanu is an integral part of the Kerouac School. Our upcoming issue will feature pieces from her latest project, so it seemed almost too synchronistic that a performance which crosses the threshold of page to embodiment should occur the very weekend we editors completed our final proofreading.

The piece played with the line of structure and improvisation (a threshold in itself). Segments of set choreography were interlaced with moments where the audience members could approach a microphone and ask a question from a provided list (inspired by and working directly with Bhanu’s text). The performers would then break from the choreography to respond to the questions. The audience participation directed where the piece would go, and challenged the dancers to remain authentic in their improvised reactions.

During the discussion panel afterwards, the piece’s choreographer, Joan Bruemmer, noted the role bodies played in the piece — those of her dancers and of the audience. “They wrote the performance in their bodies,” she said, “And we just edited it.” There were themes of disassembly and repair in the conversation, with Joan reflecting on the challenge of “breaking the wall of performance and person.” Yet in this newly opened space, one dancer commended Joan’s ability to maintain an environment where one could “put the voice into the body (and still feel safe).”

We were so intrigued by the theme of threshold for this issue because of its multitudinous definitions. If you ask ten people to define “threshold,” you will get at least ten different answers. Seeing how Joan Bruemmer’s choreography approached the field of Bhanu’s page was yet another way threshold has appeared in my life lately. Despite what I am working on in the future, I imagine one type of threshold or another will always be pertinent in the tension of my writing, and possibly, eventually, in the translation of that writing into performance.

And what struck Bhanu most about watching her text cross the threshold into a performance space? “That little fragment that loops in the circularity of your creaturedom.”

Be sure to check out Bhanu’s blog  to keep up with her performance and writing projects, including the progression of the future novel we are highlighting in our upcoming issue!

Jade

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Coffee House Press, Bombay Gin: Jackets ON Jackets OFF–A Book Review Peepshow

Sleight

Kirsten Kaschock’s new book Sleight, just out from Coffee House Press (Oct 2011), is popping up in WordPress blogs daily.  Bombay Gin will be featuring a review of the text this year: and yes, I am on the Kaschock Groupie Kickoff Team.  If you call yourself an experimental prose writer (or if others refer to you as such), then you need to be reading Kirsten Kaschock.  If you call yourself an artist-mother-dancer-writer-poet-philosopher-humanbeing being, then you need to be reading Kaschock.

Please, enjoy this preview of our review:

“Sleight is a body of work; born in rupture—a text of scarring.  Kirsten Kaschock, in a stroke of prestidigitation, invites the reader to participate in an inter-dimensional-textual-disciplinary exploration of absence and presence in art, family, tragedy and language.  We enter the inter as intra: the punctum—“a site of atrocity.”

A sleight is not a dance.  A sleight is not a poem.  A sleight is not a piece of art.  A sleight is not a sister.  A sleight is not a mathematical equation.  A sleight is not a drawing.  A sleight is all and none of these—negative capability.  In the presence of these intersecting forms an architecture is built out of erasure: absence is Need and presence is Desire—one can buy and hold a Soul.  One can disappear: to wick.  Kaschock, a dancer-writer-artist-philosopher-mother, grants permission to her body, her body of work; she lays down for us.

Kaschok becomes the “hand” she writes of, and so writes us through a sleight.  Sleight is a sleight, and we become sleightists.”

For the complete review, please read our publication this year!

To hear what other WordPress bloggers are saying about Kaschock, follow these links:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/10/11/the-big-idea-kirsten-kaschock/

http://kaschock.wordpress.com/

http://www.coffeehousepress.org/2011/06/sleight/

Kristen Park

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