a short interview with the author, Jon Rutzmoser
What is the
working title of the book?
shhhh! it’s poetry
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wanted to write a book about the “it” that is often (not) “gotten” in poetry—i.e. Do you get it? or I don’t get it.
What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry—although I was thinking about it as a performance score as well.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
James Franco would play the lyric “I”. He’d be wearing a David Wojnarowicz mask for the entirety of the film.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The lyric poet is sifting through shit.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About two years, though I was working on other projects simultaneously. After the initial draft, I spent another year or so with the edits.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
CA Conrad’s Book of Frank was really important for the formal development of this project. Also, at the early stages of the project, I came across a video by Anna Molska—the one where she’s singing “Jesus Loves Me.” I wanted the same intensity and bodily reaction to sounds. Once the manuscript was finished and I was dealing with having to face what I’d done, I saw Richard Hawkins’ Third Mind at the Hammer. It gave me a lot of clarity and confidence to move forward with my edits.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Shit’s poetry. Also, I made a limited edition series of 9 prints that engage with the book’s content to varying degrees.
shhhh! it's poetry
by Jon Rutzmoser
Paperback, 66 pages
Dimensions: 5.5" x 8.5" x 0.25"
Insert Blanc Press is pleased to announce the PreSale of shhhh! it's poetry by Jon Rutzmoser, accompanied by shhhh!, a limited edition of prints also by the artist.
Beginning with the ‘it’ which is often (not) “gotten” in poetry (shhhh!)—ie. “do you get it?”—shhhh! it’s poetry by Jon Rutzmoser performs a contemporary ethics rooted in a process of seduction utilizing contemporary aesthetic discourses, childhood language games, open letters, and performance scores as combined technologies for understanding “subjectivity.” Centering around a “young male artist” at times evasive and at other times highly present, shhhh! it’s poetry, builds toward a quest for foundationlessness, moving the speaker through notions of Oedipal searching and psychoanalytic interpretation until he ultimately finds joy in the meaningful arbitrariness of language and performance. Often aligning this “young male artist” with the abject, Rutzmoser explores phallogocentricism in an attempt to reveal, revel (in), or rather revile (through) male shit. Obviously, this push towards metaphysics ultimately fails; nonetheless, it fails joyfully.
What in the hell is Jon Rutzmoser doing? I can’t tell you for sure, but if you’re ready to take a deconstructed joyride splattered with historical and socio-political provocations—dare I say seriousnesses—shhhh! it’s poetry is for you. If you take the ride, you may learn how to hear a mullet breathe, chuck your penis, dismantle/pay homage to the relationship between poetry and art, and become one joyful motherfucker.
Self-documenting as both code and self-recording craze, preemptive of its own critique. Not Cartesian but Trecartian (as in Ryan): I record myself, therefore I am. Jon Rutzmoser’s kinetic poems start in medias res, no establishing shots for context: Is the she lover, mother, alter ego? Enter the slash: and as well as or and line break. As in voyeurism / exhibitionism / alphabetized exhibits. As in shhhh / piss / hush poems. It’s poetry. Not just poetry. Is poetry not just—? Thanks for asking.
—Mónica de la Torre