For her interaction, April Penn has done a review of Daphne Gottlieb's book Fifteen Ways To Stay Live, and she even included a video link to one of Daphne's performances.
A Review Of 15 Ways To Stay Alive
To what extent can slam poetry and performance poetry include not only identity but dissolution of the speaking self? Daphne Gottlieb’s cut-ups of Bukowski, news stories, white supremacist bullshit, Craigslist ads, St. Augustine, and even a Wikipedia entry about spontaneous combustion, push boundaries of what it means to be a writer. There is the usual model of thinking that people have an inner sense of self and that they try to represent that experience. Some people are successfully sarcastic and often say things they don’t mean to mean things they do mean. This work is so much more than sarcasm, however. This is utter frustration with being stuck in a world that deems you symbolically weak. In “No poetry after Auschwitz” Gottlieb notices:
“The protesters in white have forgotten
the difference between protest
the difference between comrades
It isn’t so much the protester’s fault as their being cut off from meaning what they once intended to mean. This is characteristic of anyone who tries to be anticapitalist, a commitment that Gottlieb remains true to throughout her poems, often referencing the “Capitalist machine.” In the poem “dog,” she writes,
“This is not my drama I did not create the drama”
The poet here is speaking of inheritance, at least an inheritance of violence, devastation and destruction. The poet is trying not to surrender to passivity or to use the tools of oppression to gain symbolic strength—a struggle that seems immensely contradictory.
Gottlieb is one of the best poets I have ever read. I could give up writing and stand back to watch her tick, but then she doesn’t consider this work hers. There is a dissolution in her act of creation that is pounding like a headache from a hangover that some Astrodon got millions of years ago from eating too many fermented berries. I mean few poets can match her incredible balance of primal and philosophical. This interview with her is definitely worth watching to see how she shatters ordinary consciousness to rebuild over stereotypes of marginalized categories.
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.