Beginning with the ‘it’ which is often (not) “gotten” in poetry (shhhh!)—ie. “do you get it?”—shhhh! it’s poetry by Jon Rutzmoser performs a contemporary ethics rooted in a process of seduction utilizing contemporary aesthetic discourses, childhood language games, open letters, and performance scores as combined technologies for understanding “subjectivity.” Centering around a “young male artist” at times evasive and at other times highly present, shhhh! it’s poetry, builds toward a quest for foundationlessness, moving the speaker through notions of Oedipal searching and psychoanalytic interpretation until he ultimately finds joy in the meaningful arbitrariness of language and performance. Often aligning this “young male artist” with the abject, Rutzmoser explores phallogocentricism in an attempt to reveal, revel (in), or rather revile (through) male shit. Obviously, this push towards metaphysics ultimately fails; nonetheless, it fails joyfully.
What in the hell is Jon Rutzmoser doing? I can’t tell you for sure, but if you’re ready to take a deconstructed joyride splattered with historical and socio-political provocations—dare I say seriousnesses—shhhh! it’s poetry is for you. If you take the ride, you may learn how to hear a mullet breathe, chuck your penis, dismantle/pay homage to the relationship between poetry and art, and become one joyful motherfucker.
Self-documenting as both code and self-recording craze, preemptive of its own critique. Not Cartesian but Trecartian (as in Ryan): I record myself, therefore I am. Jon Rutzmoser’s kinetic poems start in medias res, no establishing shots for context: Is the she lover, mother, alter ego? Enter the slash: and as well as or and line break. As in voyeurism / exhibitionism / alphabetized exhibits. As in shhhh / piss / hush poems. It’s poetry. Not just poetry. Is poetry not just—? Thanks for asking.
—Mónica de la Torre