Friday, April 10, 2009

Welcome, Don't Push


1932, from pre- + fabricate (q.v.). Shortened form prefab is attested from 1937. Meaning "prefabricated housing" is recorded from 1942.


mid-15c., from Gk. eulogia "praise," from eu- "well" + -logia "speaking," from logos "discourse, word," from legein "speak". Eu legein meant "speak well of."  Cont., often interchangeable with "elegy."

Prefab Eulogies

1) An advance eulogy or elegy, often referring to an obituary that is written prior to the subject's death.  

"For advance obits, we often inquire whether the subject would like to participate. I've only written a handful of advances and no one has yet agreed to talk, so for me, I'd have to say the toughest question has been: Would you like to be interviewed for your obituary?"

--Bruce Weber, New York Times staff obituary writer

2)  T
he title of an intermedia work (ongoing) by David Wolach. Text includes "Post-Avant Poetries, Inc., " a subsidiary of Wheelhouse Press; book arts-digital interface; super 8 mm film; audio booklet; and, of course, old fashioned poetry, i.e., the oft-thought-of obsolete tekne for world-viewing, used in Prefab Eulogies as a crucial slowdown and look scaffold for what has yet to come.

Aside from the Power Point Poetics workshops, which have been run on both coasts since late 2008, Prefab Eulogies seeks to celebrate, critique, converse with, organize (in the political action sense), and extend the monadic planes of contemporary poems/poetic cycles it is moved by, and, thru various means, to essay leaving the page behind--to collaboratively make use of such gifts.  Prefab Eulogies will be finished when a) there is no longer use for the graven practice of writing poetry, or b) someone organizes a well-executed art strike.  

"Things arrive in the forms they are given" -- Rae Armantrout

Prefab Eulogies also seeks by submission to critique capital, militarism, and neo-liberalism, the prefabricated power structures from which the poems brought under the microscope in Volume 1 have emerged.  In this way, Prefab Eulogies is also a critique of pure celebration (on the one hand) and pure lament (on the other) of our contemporary poetic lives--the gift economy that is our defaulted situation. Infected by the power structures into which these poems are born, the gifts that make up the poetic gift economy are very often attempts to overcome tropes of "fitness" (Kocik) that confront them.  Insofar as this is true, the poems that Volume 1 is in conversation with, as inversely analogous to the prefabricated news loops on our televisions, are therefore, also, evidence.  

Prefab Eulogies Vol. 1: Nothings Houses, is forthcoming from BlazeVOX [books] in late 2009. Excerpts of Prefab Eulogies have appeared in or are forthcoming from journals and anthologies such as 5_Trope, Dusie, No Tell Motel, Fact-Simile, CRIT, Aufgabe, Blue Fifth Review, Elective Affinities: An Anthology of New Poetry, Cannot Exist, Counterfactual Poetry & Poetics, and Bird Dog. The work has also been performed or will be performed in 2009 at such venues as The Buffalo Poetics Series, Bard College, The American Cybernetics Conference, and The Stain of Poetry Series (Amy King and Ana Bozicevic).

Thank you to the wonderful poets, editors, curators mentioned, who, like the works Prefab Eulogies 1 is engaged with, do seek to live poetically, and in so doing, are constantly pushing us to re-imagine and re-narrate social relationships.

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