No, Wait. Yep. Definitely Still Hate Myself by Robert Fitterman. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014. 78 pp. $16.00.
Rob Fitterman’s latest book comes without any jacket burbs or prefatory material except for an epigraph from the late New York School poet James Schuyler (1926-91) – from the title poem of his 1980 Pulitzer-prize-winning collection, The Morning of the Poem. An alert reader will likely notice that the line structure of the six-line excerpt is similar to the line structure of each two-line unit of the Fitterman.
However, in the publisher’s on-line catalogue, and reprinted from there by Amazon and other on-line booksellers, is this note:
Robert Fitterman's new book-length poem borrows its poetic form, loosely, from James
Schuyler's The Morning of the Poem, to orchestrate hundreds of found articulations of sadness
and loneliness from blogs and online posts. A collective subjectivity composed through the
avatar of a singular speaker emerges. But the real protagonist of No Wait, Yep. Definitely Still
Hate Myself is subjectivity as a mediated construct-the steady steam [sic] of personal articula-
tions that we have access to are personal articulations themselves already mediated via song
lyrics, advertising, or even broadcasters. No, Wait ... blurs the boundary between collective
articulation and personal speech, while underscoring the ways in which poetic form participates
in the mediation of intimate expression.
Fitterman is of course a well-known writer of conceptual and flarf poems, so perhaps his publisher was assuming that anyone who picked up the book in a bookstore or library would recognize that this was a book of “found articulations” – or perhaps they were assuming that all copies would be marketed on-line and that the purchaser would encounter the catalogue blurb.
No, Wait helps map the wide range of conceptual/flarf ‘transparency’ practices, with Kenneth Goldmith’s 2005 The Weather at one end, unabashedly acknowledging its source as a transcription of the the hourly weather bulletins on 1010 WINS, New York City’s all-news radio station, and Lisa Robertson’s 2001 The Weather at the other, with only a remark she made to surprised interviewer Kai Fierle-Hedrick that it was “all lifted” (Chicago Review 51/52:4/1 [Spring 2006]: 40) to reveal that it has been constructed of “found articulations.” In one sense it shouldn’t matter whether