Let me see: what could I lay before you to concretize the acedia that characterizes Conceptual writing? Well, how about this:
Yes, as trumpeted by both conceptualist “author” Vanessa Place and her dopey-eyed peeps at Harriet, Place’s … well, what it is? a “book”? a “work of art”? … let’s just say “latest release” (such as one might enjoy some onanistic evening while pondering the idea of a canvas Duchamp had sense enough never to paint: “Nude Barthes Descending Staircase”)…; to reprise mid-sentence, Vanessa Place, lawyer and con-woman, managed to “sell out” (are we surprised?) this work (is it fair to call it a “work”? oh why not—though it lacks the perfume of sweat and midnight oil) at the launch of this, “the first product of VanessaPlace Inc. […] on May 3, 2013 at Cage, NYC.”* Neither Harriet nor the freshly incorporated Ms. Place state how many copies constituted the “limited edition,” and as a poet I am loath to resort to math, so suffice it to say that VP managed to sucker a large enough number of those who live at the intersection of Credulous and Tasteless to earn (earn?) her “product” a mention on the Official Blog of the Poetry Foundation. All this attention isn’t surprising. After all, the ever-groundbreaking Vanessa managed to squeeze 50 bucks a copy out of her audience. (Audience can’t be right; there is nothing here to hear … except, oh yes, what Conceptualists love best: the rustle of money.) Anyway, what more could we ask for as we stumble toward another bankrupt weekend in corporatized America?
* Cage, NYC is evidently so ultra hip that a Google Search reveals nothing about it. Could it be a location akin to Nabokov’s Zembla? Was Place’s “launch” a fantasy launch? Does Place really exist? Is there a There there? Only the proprietors of Cage, NYC know the answers—and they’re probably too drunk to remember. That’ll teach ’em to serve absinthe at one of Vanessa’s soirées.