Denise Bonetti, probs too late 4 a snog now, SPAM Press, 2018
With an affinity to other conceptual projects such as Nada Gordon and Gary Sullivan's Swoon, Noah Eli Gordon's Inbox, and Iphgenia Baal's Mercedes Benz, probs too late 4 a snog now is a remarkable publication that creaks and cascades with feeling and wit through the language of Facebook messages received by the author. "msgs received by the author" - that's what most books should be subtitled right?
This is a stream, an accumulation, paratactically arranged, of pronouncements, enquiries, desires, gags, and by the way serious complex thinking, meaninglessness, emoting etc:
"grey north face shorts and a black hoodie with hood up and black earphones playing usually a philosophy podcast
u get a wee lemon wedge with it too
tell him i said hello
i have only been able to attack bergson not you"
I got wrapped up instantly, these compelling, stitched together msgs function sort of like a play, the vying of different voices - I want someone to write this into some kind of score for multiple voices. I like to imagine for a second that the lemon wedge comes with the ear phone person - just to spritz you know? Except actually part of the joy is in not being able to discern characters, its intimacy and affect in the fibre optics of the language itself, rather than attached to individuals. Much of this text is in lower case, obv. And I'm reminded of Tom Leonard's the case for lower case:
"lower case posits in-the-presence-of
lower case is presence
lower case is company
lower case can jump from one proposition to another
across the page
lower case does not spurn its friends in the typesetting office
lower case may yet lean on a semi-colon for breath; on its way up the stairs"
The lower case in Bonetti's poem creates exactly this energy, this immediacy, this 'in-the-presence-of', this tenticular, propulsive pulsing locomotion. This writing is all about the shift:
"the jellyfish book is defo worth getting btw
how was yo shift did you go to hannahs"
But also about the politics of shifts:
"I'm not studying rn drafting this email to send to all ppl who do modern labour history"
We all do modern labour history whether we like it or not! And contemporary capitalism:
"ha ha abebooks is owned by amazon"
Maybe I'm just overly sensitive myself right now but I find moments in this text actually really heart breaking, even while accepting it might just be throwaway for whoever wrote these msgs originally. I think the reason is the movement from one msg to the next, the little flash or pulse between them, "it keeps me going / Like deciding how to split / gonna be living in the library this week". Those three lines together I just find so sad - and even more so because the cue is given to split them apart but I can't know I've read them together.
I could continue this excursion through the moments in this pamphlet I love the most ("SEND POEM" is a good one), and it is a text that bounces you back and forth - pinball-style. But you can just msg me for more if you like. (And buy the pamphlet).