Spring Freeze

Jayne Cortez (with the Firespitters) - "Global Inequalities" (3'58"). Cortez forces into conjunction two frames typically segregated in socio-semantic space: in one we find the first-world elites who steer the global economy and parcel out global resources, in the other, a kind of collective subject of suffering, the global sub-proletariat referred to by Fanon as "the wretched of the earth." Compassion for the latter is sublated into contempt for the inhumanity of the former in the poet's vocal line, a concoction of indignation-held-in-check and openly pissed-off sneer that negates even as it alludes to bluesy resignation. For Cortez, causal lines connect encroaching ecological catastrophe back to the boardrooms and governmental cabinets where it is engineered (as acceptable byproduct of economically-driven policies) and administered (as "aid"). So long as the causal chain terminates with "somebody else," it seems survivable. But "je est un autre," sooner or later.

Jayne Cortez homepage. About Taking the Blues Back Home (1996). Review by Nate Chinen. Cortez at MAP. Brief bio-bibliography at

Wednesday -- 12 July 2006 -- permalink

The Lipstick of Noise is a product of the Third Factory • Inspired by the music blogs • And by Paul Blackburn's reel-to-reel deck. Intending to make good use of PENNSound and other sources of digital audio files of poetry • Comments welcomeXML.