Biography of Joshua Clover
Joshua Clover (born December 30, 1962 in Berkeley, California) is a poet, critic, journalist and author. He has appeared in three editions of Best American Poetry and is a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, and recipient of an individual grant from the NEA; his first book of poetry, Madonna anno domini, received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets.
A graduate of Boston University and the Iowa Writer's Workshop MFA program, Clover is a Professor of English Literature and Critical Theory at the University of California, Davis, and was the distinguished Holloway poet-in-residence at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002-2003.
He writes a column of film criticism for Film Quarterly, under the title "Marx and Coca-Cola," is a former senior writer and editor at the Village Voice, writes for The New York Times, The Nation, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and is a former senior writer for Spin. His film criticism includes a book on The Matrix for the British Film Institute, and the Criterion Collection essays for Band of Outsiders and Straw Dogs'.' Under the pseudonym "Jane Dark", Clover has written a number of film and music reviews for The Village Voice.
Clover is also a political activist. At UC Davis, along with eleven students, he engaged in a sit-in to protest the campus's financial arrangements with U.S. Bank. Clover and the eleven students, known as the "Davis Dozen," were each charged with 20 counts of obstructing movement in a public place and one count of conspiracy. All have been subsequently acquitted.
Clover's given name at birth was Joshua Miller Kaplan but via legal change he took his mother's maiden name. His mother, Carol J. Clover, is the originator of the final girl theory in a book on horror films and a professor emerita at the University of California at Berkeley.
Joshua Clover Poems
The Map Room
We moved into a house with 6 rooms: the Bedroom, the Map Room, the Vegas Room, Cities in the Flood Plains, the West, & the Room Which Contains All of Mexico.We honeymooned in the Vegas Room where
For 8 months he lay in bed over the difference between "the bell rings" & "he rings
They moved across the screen like a computer simulation. They moved across the screen like complex models & we learned to call this a nature show. Animals but set in gray shades for video capture with a lighter area for
Orchid & Eurydice
In one version you must convince every living thing one by one to weep until he climbs back into the marriage-house, that earth about which it is said that bread is the glue of the earth. Certainly glue is money, the phrase "the tears of things" is money,
What's American About American Poetry?
They basically grow it out of sand. This is a big help because otherwise it was getting pretty enigmatic. Welcome to the desert of the real, I am an ephemeral and not too discontented citizen.
Valiant En Abyme
Our grand peregrinations through these temporary cities, These pale window box poppies of the laughing class, Drifting as if time came in the same long dollops as starlight, Resemble an epic journey as a coffee bean resembles a llama's foot,
An Archive Of Confessions, A Genealogy O...
Now the summer air exerts its syrupy drag on the half-dark City under the strict surveillance of quotation marks. The citizens with their cockades and free will drift off
THE FIRE SERMON
The poem must be on the side of riots looting barricades occupations manifestos communes slogans fire and enemies. 1. Red Epic Mediators! matadors! how trivial and objective this world is! semiologists! stevedores! how objective and trivial! equally fucked we are well not equally I have an MCM aesthetic and a radio-controlled death drive there are two parties to every romance the waged and the wager and it has been getting harder to decipher the difference a throw of the dice will never reveal the real subject oh mediators! stevedores! etc. Madrid is sometimes in flames though confusingly the Spanish Stairs are in Rome which is often in flames Oakland is sometimes pleasingly in flames Athens is almost always aflame also Thessaloniki Big Data murmurs to me the likelihood that at a given profit rate in a given sector a given household debt a given wage deflation a given neighborhood would be in flames given fire is the unfettered substance of the situation To begin again from the beginning to write only for one's friends two lovers make a zero two speculations make a hedge if Tender Buttons had been written by capital instead of OBJECTS FOOD ROOMS it would have a single section called LABOR POWER though technical language is not conducive to enlisting popular support if Lunch Poems were the poetry of the future it would be all like I communize this I communize that
Music: Sexual misery is wearing you out. Music: Known as the Philosopher's Stair for the world-weariness which climbing it inspires. One gets nowhere with it. Paris: St-Sulpice in shrouds. Paris: You're falling into disrepair, Eiffel Tower this means you! Swathed in gold paint, Enguerrand Quarton
What's American About American Poetry?
They basically grow it out of sand. This is a big help because otherwise it was getting pretty enigmatic. Welcome to the desert of the real, I am an ephemeral and not too discontented citizen. I do not think the revolution is finished. So during these years, I lived in a country where I was little known, With the thunder of the Gods that protect the Icelandic tundra from advertising, Great red gods, great yellow gods, great green gods, planted at the edges of the speculative tracks along which the mind speeds from one feeling to another, from one idea to its consequence Past the proud apartment houses, fat as a fat money bag. I wish that I might stay in this pleasant, conventional city, A placid form, a modest form, but one with a claim to pleasure, And then vanish in the fogs of hypnoLondon. All are in their proper place in these optical whispering-galleries, The swan-winged horses of the skies with summer's music in their manes, The basic Los Angeles Dingbat, A housewife in any neighborhood in any city in any part of Mexico on a Saturday night. Every Sunday is too little Sunday, A living grave, the true grave of the head. In one shout desire rises and dies. Composed while I was asleep on horseback I drift, mainly I drift.
Valiant En Abyme
Our grand peregrinations through these temporary cities, These pale window box poppies of the laughing class, Drifting as if time came in the same long dollops as starlight, Resemble an epic journey as a coffee bean resembles a llama's foot, Though the kitchen table may be far from the desert It's near in spirit, a yellow oasis before the wind Starts its restless sweeping of white flower-dust across the lintel, Marking the fine edge of things like children asleep At the opera, piled up near the door, summer passing On its way out. Prince Valiant vowed to sew the horizons Into a single idea, to put on the blue dress of distance, Looping past rivers and mountains as one leaps from bed To bed to make loneliness lonely, the suburbs were for him A relief, a pageant of calm desire where he settled, All the king's horses grazing on forsythia out back While the evening tilts back out of the night, a kindly drunk Uncle, and asks you to stay. Was this the end of traveling? Or just a change in the story over time, as for example how Tous les chevaux du roi become Josie and the Pussycats From one version to the next? So all heroes are deranged By something quite common yet unexpected, a constellation Redrawn and named again through the stars Above the porch don't shift but seem to sink Through winter's pitcher of noircotic ink, Leaving a single streetlight that burned happily, Thinking it was the sun, after all it was the day Of the night and turned the world around it, We were good sentences and forgot where we started.
They moved across the screen like a computer simulation. They moved across the screen like complex models & we learned to call this a nature show. Animals but set in gray shades for video capture with a lighter area for the face. Almost white they moved across the screen like a compressed meditation. But the song was never familiar. Because this was the only room this was the only room where we undressed—: that was the plot. They moved across the screen across the room but it was not happening to us. The image burning in. Coated with hair & then a lighter area for the face meaning exposed skin. We have learned to wear the architecture despite the sky's numerous advances. All these things—the speed & the music & the room—happened but not enough. We undressed in the room we could not take off where I handcuffed you to the story. This is the work of the brain—itself a bloody spring or electric wire wrapped in ripe gray gauze— you like it. (2 lobes resembling the holy tablets delivered into the veldt's dry speed—the Laws prefigured in the neutral network's burning thicket.) They moved across the screen howling but the sound turned down. This happened over & over again—the blue light leaking into the room like sand. Burning into the brain in a finery of filamental fire. The Laws which do not unravel into noise & make a kind of story of kinked plot which can't be straightened like a motel wire hanger looped around your wrists. The loop like a computer simulation—the thought of the thought— the image burning in now. We began to understand what they were—: the Thou & the shalt & the not
Orchid & Eurydice
In one version you must convince every living thing one by one to weep until he climbs back into the marriage-house, that earth about which it is said that bread is the glue of the earth. Certainly glue is money, the phrase "the tears of things" is money, the revelation of the Woman Clothed in the Sun is money. The lake is a disc of bright money buying a few plain birds down, they climb back nervously as you hurry through, plain birds like a plain song, that moment when four or five are around your knees like Zeno's arrow, rising by halves, like Eurydice's bread, & still the possibility they might intersect, you would be the one who was struck by a flying bird, somewhere between a blesséd fool & village idiot, the only one to persist outside the local economy, drooling at travelers, holding yourself, slinging incomprehensible advice, you would learn the trick with museum wire where you snap the heads off quiet animals in front of the store, tempted equally by science & dirty work. . . . I am trying to invent a way for you to buy me back—
I Want to Read at the White House
I want to read at the white house. I want to read poems at the white house. I want to read poems at the white house with all the pomp available. With celebratory music and all my beloveds watching. With Baraka and DiPrima and Roque Dalton behind me I want to read at the white house. I want to read poems at the white house wearing my favorite clothes probably a hoodie or perhaps my Belgian suit. Belgium is a failed state in the heart of Europe which is something to aspire to. I like Belgium and one day I might like to read poems at the palace of the nation but for now I want to read poems at the white house. I want to read poems and sing karaoke and I will probably tell a few nervous jokes. It will be like all the other readings. We will be there together. I want to read poems at the white house and then like any house reading we will all clean up together. We will clean up the mess we have made together. All that rubble and all those ashes. These are my conditions
The Map Room
We moved into a house with 6 rooms: the Bedroom,
the Map Room, the Vegas Room, Cities
in the Flood Plains, the West, & the Room Which Contains All
of Mexico.We honeymooned in the Vegas Room where
lounge acts wasted our precious time.Then there was the junta's
high command, sick dogs of the Map Room, heel-
prints everywhere, pushing model armies into the unfurnished
West.At night: stories of their abandoned homes in the Cities
in the Flood Plains, how they had loved each other