Poetry News

Fanzine Infiltrates The Garden: Ed Steck and Paul Cunningham in Conversation

By Harriet Staff


Whoa, hey there buddy! Whatever you're doing right now, stop that and read this: it's Ed Steck and Paul Cunningham's conversation about writing, disappearances, borders, Eden, holograms, and more, now live at Fanzine and it will totally rock your world!

PC: [...] Why are you writing, Ed? Why did you write The Garden?

ES: [...] Presently, I’m writing primarily to include. The inclusion ranges from including myself into a larger presence to including others into complications that surround whatever this larger presence is. I also think that inclusion has a lot to do with exclusion – to position oneself into an indebted sector is to compromise one’s own presence, which begins to exhibit attributes of disappearing. To appear is to disappear. I guess this relates to ghosting. I don’t know if that makes sense. I write to appear. I write to disappear. To put it bluntly. Besides that, initially, writing was a therapeutic practice. It brought me out of a pretty dark space about nine years ago. It still is a therapeutic practice but it transformed after I started working on The Garden. It became about inclusion and operation, research, and testing the results of procedure. A lot of this came from my time at Bard College’s MFA program, and learning about conceptual art and conceptual writing, the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, and astonishingly learning a new way to read and see. I’m enthusiastically indebted to that program for the state I am in today. I’d probably be dead otherwise.

Anyways, a lot of why and what I write is working within the realms of these questions of disappearance/presence and inclusion/exclusion, residing mainly at the borders of these questions. Calmly and quietly retching at the tipping point, that’s where I like to be. That’s my interpretation of why I write at this very moment. I think my answer would be completely different if you asked me two hours from now. There’s the whole procedural and conceptual and whatnot idea of disappearance I proposed here, but there is also the other kind of disappearance that I experience in writing, which is completely disappearing into the content and world that is being built within the project. I want to take that world apart and bend the circuits. I want to manipulate the outcome of fucking something up. Sometimes that world is a direct reflection of our own. Other times, it is so alien and catastrophically uncanny that upon returning, your brain has to reassemble itself because the whatever-you-saw/whatever-you-experienced liquidated your command center. It’s about transformation, baby. If I had to answer this question in four words, I’d simply say: Writing is mad fun. That’s that. [...]

Do as the ghostly, apparitional visage of Ed Steck tells you to and read more at Fanzine!