CAConrad recently asked Jamie Townsend to contribute some thoughts to the PhillySound David Wolach feature issue. You can read the entirety of all the wonderful contributions, including community commentary from Rob Halpern, Brenda Iijima, Thom Donovan and Jules Boykoff, an interview with David by CA, and new poetry by David as well. The post was on the 30th of August 2010.
Here is Jamie Townsend’s contribution:
“David Wolach’s writing enacts a radical mode of re-figuring, in the sense that it is deeply concerned with the necessities of body in a vacuum of cultural & economic violence (as in the repetition of the prefix ‘re’ in ‘Transit’ from Occultations:
we will have had to learn to surface, exhale in a burst of pre
rename, relearn, re
trace, redraw what hasn’t been
that it imagines a place of trapdoors, hidden expanses, of potentiality in the figure re-claimed). Attuned to the patterns of insistent consumerism, and the politics of comingled sensuality and destruction, David locates cultural sinkholes, points of negative force that bifurcate, exposes collective experiential fault-lines. It is work that maps the field of “commerce” and the fusing of its dual meanings; as an interchange of ideas between people, and as a pervasive, widespread exchange of commodities. How does the body (self and collective) become a commodity, become effectually dis-embodied (this place will have dreamed it was a body again)? How is it rendered (as a poem can be: as a political prisoner)? In what capacity can it re-emerge? (when emergency broken the body / defies occupation). David’s work disintegrates the ease of our categorization: the aesthetic and social borders within the pome, the conditions of resistance, ritual, & disease – all simultaneously generative and depletive modes of physicality.
What I find most valuable here is David’s allowance for the vulnerable (an opening to attack), itself a practice of dissent, to reenter the poem and form a basis for communal exchange. Occultations and David’s ongoing Hospitology series present a multivalent lyric that splinters the ‘I’ into an interpenetrated ‘We’ by invoking a sense of society’s increasing disequilibrium of power. What ultimately constitutes this ‘We’ in all of it, the backwash of economic exploitation, pop ephemera, endless war? In a poetic laying-bare David answers by encouraging all of us to become whole again through active, embodied struggle, through an intimate re-connecting.”