Ugly Duckling Presse

USO: I'll Be Seeing You
USO: I'll Be Seeing You

Kim Rosenfield

Poetry | $16 $14
Buy"Reading this text is a full body experience."

USO: I’ll be Seeing You is at it’s core a parable of performance and service. How does one perform/serve issues of identity, race, politics, and the essential vulnerability of what it means to be human? What is language in service of and when does it go too far? What degrades? What supports? What is heroic? What does it mean to put oneself at risk or in harm’s way? This book speaks via the poetry of stand-up comedy to the U.S. involvement in the Middle East and the difficulties of naming the unnamable.

This book treats themes of race, politics, religion, gender, power, sexuality, and trauma within appropriated, amalgamated frames of stand-up comedy and comedians entertaining the military via USO performances in war zones. As Freud theorized, humor, like dreams, carries unconscious content that makes the unspeakable explicit. The idea of this book is to investigate undigested collective cultural taboos that have historically only been able to be metabolized through vehicles of popular culture, especially comedy. Ideas of personhood and sense of self within the above mentioned themes is challenged through multiply subjective iterations, non-narrative structure, and appropriated language systems.

Cover: Ceramika I (1965) by Alina Szapocznikow © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 

Photograph by Piotr Stanislawski: courtesy of the Estate of Alina Szapocznikow / Piotr Stanislawski and Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris  

 

Excerpt ˇ

Excerpt

First

as good as

foremost

we

cruise it

an honor

as good as

pay off

to be asked

to come over

as good as

perform

for the troops

interesting

infantry

stationed

overseas

 

People

giggle

which

should

answer

the follow

up

subject:

yes

we are

essentially

unequivocally

funny

 

Close ˆ

About the Author

Kim Rosenfield
Photo credit: Lanny Jordan Jackson
Kim Rosenfield is a poet and psychotherapist in New York City. She is the author of several books of poetry, including Good Morning--Midnight-- (Roof), Tràma (Krupskaya),re:evolution (Les Figues) and Lividity (Les Figues). Her work has been included in the anthologies Bowery Women (YBK Publishers, Inc.), The Gurlesque (Saturnalia), Against Expression (Northwestern University Press) and I’ll Drown My Book (Les Figues). She co-founded and co-edited Object magazine (1993-2002) with poet Robert Fitterman. She is part of the artist/writer’s collaborative Collective Task.

Advance Praise

Reading this text is a full body experience. Breath and heartbeat shift, speed up and slow down. Kim Rosenfield sets this text somewhere between prayer and vaudeville shtick. A reader cycles through laughter and something like incantation. Between. Perhaps that’s the point. Limenal. Written to be read at the busy intersect of overlapping Venn diagrams, pulled many ways. A workout.—Adrienne Harris, Psychoanalyst
USO: I’ll Be Seeing You situates poet Kim Rosenfield’s fascinating ongoing performance of language’s late capital war on itself in the troop-entertainment industry. What better place? If in her last brilliant collection, Lividity, words from everywhere issue forth from a single loose fleshy mouth, in USO language laughs in long skinny lines like tears down the snout. It’s a “comic” performance of “nothing [i.e. memory-avoidance]” for mutilators or the soon-to-be mutilated that suggests no trace of thought is allowed to rise above the stench of disintegrating flesh in the war zone. Rosenfield’s riveting acting out of “finding the funny” once tragedy’s certain/volume/of/time/contingency/passes can be taken as a trope for a major issue facing the culture in our time.—Gail Scott, author of The Obituary
Just when you thought no book or nonprofit organization could ever attain greater heights of hoakiness, USO bursts into true reveries of lyric transcendence—offering a devastating critique of American imperialism at its most off-color. This may be the most important exposé of the off-duty American military since All In: The Education of David Petraeus. This is a pageturner—and a major contribution to conceptual writing in the twenty-first century. "for most/ tours/ we fly/ the categorical/ leg/ of the outing/ blurb/ thereafter/ it’s time/ to/ “soldier/ up”/ on the single/ trip/ the blurb/ moody/ had/ problems/ as good as/ we got" Need I say more?—Paul Stephens