Parapoetics is an investigation into the array of possibilities and problems for a transspecies semiotics in various aesthetic modulations. Parapoetics exorcises the all-too-human quest for monopoly over voice, inscription, worlding. Parapoetics revises grammatical categories, pronominal demarcations, and experiments with alternative modes of (re)presentation within a 'we' of planetary proportions.
Parapoetics insists on multispecies storytellings. Parapoetics asks: Who speaks, and on behalf of whom? How do nonhumans, humans, inhumans articulate thenselves, and how can 'we' avoid the anthropocentric error of always measuring these articulations against the arbitrariness of human linguistic signs in order to find but an alleged absence or silence? As Wittgenstein pointed out, as long as our language remains the same, it will seduce us into asking the same questions over and over again. Parapoetics asks what other semiotic possibilities can be afforded to us. It asks how to speculate and engage in parallel vocabularies in unknown sign systems. Parapoetics challenges the ideas of what it means to signify, in what manner significations can manifest themselves, and what promises for our relations to Others a poetry in an expanded, transhuman field might hold.
Parapoetics is co-published with Broken Dimanche Press, and with cover designs created by André Fuchs (Fuchs Borst), who works conceptually with patterns, translating geometries found in nature that follow fractal, aleatory and aperiodic structures.
R.A.W. Assmilk Soap
Karin Bolender’s R.A.W. Assmilk Soap is an essay that describes a multigeneration barnyard-based performance-art practice, which hopes to sidestep Western logocentrism and enquire into human and non-human languages, bodies and companionship, names and unnameables, gender and species, alternative ways of knowing worlds and particular kinds of worldings. The essay involves Aliass, a white-brown-and-black pregnant American Spotted Ass who accompanies Bolender on a seven-week-long journey across the American South in 2002. Astonishingly, their journey is sparked by one simple word, ‘ass’, which is more than just the name of a donkey’s species: ‘ass’ is the American Spotted Ass, but also the “unladylike,” forbidden, dirty word that also appears in Holy Scriptures; ‘ass’ becomes a human-posthuman ambiguity that questions certain obstacles to intimacy that naming implies, to finally become a means of connection, an opening to becomings with (Ali)ass’s ways of knowing the world that are other than those of humans.
R.A.W. Assmilk Soap also comes in a special, limited edition of 25 with actual soap made with Assmilk. The soap deploys milk as a substance of inscription: a preservation of wordless interweaving of bodies and antibodies, as the milk becomes-with places that the ass’ gestating body has inhabited, as her immune system reacts to everything she eats, drinks, and breathes in her pregnancy.
Karin Bolender is an artist whose barnyard- and backroad-based performance practice negotiates between human logos and other embodied ways of knowing and becoming. She has lived and travelled with a family of American Spotted Asses since 2002. Through relational performance, writing, video, and sound, she explores dirty words and wisdoms of earthly bodies, in the company of she-asses Aliass and Passenger and their whole muddy ass herd.
'Language litters an ecosystem. Language inscribes a horizon.
The poem The Great White North explores the intertwining of place and language, and explores the im/possibilities of writing a 'here'.
a rawlings is a writer, interdisciplinary artist and arts educator. rawling's poetry publications include Wide slumber for Lepidopterists (Coach House Books 2006) and Gibber (digital publication, 2012)
Air Kissing is a short essay about the way in which perfume, and our undervalued sense of smell, operate molecularly, affectively, porously, poetically and semiotically. It tells a story of intimacy and fear, pleasure and disgust, intoxication and transcendence: the story of how bodies affect and relate to one another. The essay hovers through the Bubonic plague, bioterrorism and stain-removing solutions, neuroses and blood as a love-inducing ingredient, to interrogate scent’s cultural relativity and its organic origins.
Perfume, in Air Kissing, is not dead matter; it is rather a language to which we sometimes, perhaps, attach the wrong image system. Perhaps there is no dead matter at all.
Open this book and smell it: does it smell like disinfectant concoction against plague, or like the breath of an unknown giant?
Amanda Ackerman is the author of the The Book of Feral Flora. She is also the author of the chapbooks The Seasons Cemented, I Fell in Love with a Monster Truck, and Short Stones. She has co-authored Sin is to Celebration, the Gauss PDF UNFO Burns a Million Dollars, and the forthcoming book Man’s Wars And Wickedness: A Book of Remedies and Extreme Formulations for Curing Hostility, Rivalry, & Ill-Will. She is co-publisher and co-editor of the press eohippus labs. She also writes collaboratively as part of the projects SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS and UNFO. She lives in Los Angeles.
'Proteus - who dwells in the margins, in the fecundity of the ecotone, of the borderland - is beyond sexuality, beyond gender, beyond race, beyond human, beyond animal, beyond plant, beyond element, beyond machine.... and yet resides within and through and between all these categories'
Protean Poetics consists of 84 aphorisms spiraling around a 'protean nameless yeast permeating this thing called language.'
Aaron M. Moe is an assistant professor of English at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame. Protean Poetics takes his thinking found in Zoopoetics: Animals and the Making of Poetry in new directions.