Phenomenology of Giving: a Use Me Capitalism

Guest Edited by Arpine Konyalian Grenier

Giving Away The Metaphor By Firuz Kutal


   when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving-
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
   when more than was lost has been found
and having is giving and giving is living-
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
                  E. E. Cummings

The nuances here do not originate from a give & take dynamic. We're talking a developing act that creates agency and beneficiaries on both sides of the equation. Talk about meaningful opportunities, hope resisting the skewered. Both source and filters are necessary as we explore the vagaries bypassing socio-political norms, as we implore thrills and chills that will land us at the shores of an aesthetic and narrative, historically, culturally and privately invaluable. A life lived as specimen looks at us teary eyed. When is giving in a giving? What did just happen? What was given? There is no product in giving but a fullness pushing forward, giving as part of or because or, does it matter?

Here are eleven contributors with talent and focus. I hope you find them inspiring. From Kristin Abraham's "Can't/cogitate scapegrace, repetitions or rapture.../Mercy by now a million thumbs in our eyes." to Kasimor's "I play THE DRUMS/NEXT to/THE reVERSIBLE Blue", one is embraced by extent - virtual and geological - "guesses/confirmed by quiet yeses/... a magical promise from temporality", John Most adds. For me, two people are doing the tango, lament and rebellion greet them. Then there are Toscano's characters: Los Terrestriales, after aesthetic slavery (what?), and the MIT alumni (in El Alumno), heavy into self betterment?? I notice Harrison's "turns" come from spangled angles, and of giving, "... we are slightly overtaken", say Moctezuma and Garcia, "... like the maize that grows ... upturned/ unsheathed pinions of damascene haze ..."

The other day Keith Lehrer said to me, we find ourselves in a world that is not of our making, a secret as it were, permission granted, never to or for giving. Take a look. Halaby speaks of a father 'reaching down absently to hold his son's hand', and of a mother who 'unpeels you from the bumpy surfaces you slam yourself in'. Giving love or life, giving up, giving kisses, giving out - something.

- Arpine Konyalian Grenier               



Kristin Abraham (writer)    
Laila Halaby (writer)    
Jeff Harrison (writer)    
Mary Kasimor (writer)    
Arpine Konyalian Grenier (writer)    
Firuz Kutal (cartoonist)    
Keith Lehrer (painter/philosopher)    
Jose Luis Moctezuma & Edgar Garcia (writers)    
John Most (writer)    
Rodrigo Toscano (writer)