Bio

Christoph Girard

I am sort of a shadow behind the candle light. I am finding lately my path coming in collaboration with grandiose artists. I’m so close to the flame, I never have a dull moment coalescing with people that intrigue me. I feel like I should have been Patti Smith to Mapplethorpe, but I have found my Mapplethorpe but this is not the reason why I am unsingle. (I have been boyfriended since 2012.)

I was born in 1983 in New York. I scored the highest IQ in elementary school and was given a plaque by the mayor and photographed in front of a Christmas tree for the town paper. I was also tested several times for ADHD. I grew up. I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder after being an inpatient for a week at a hospital for a week. I grew up some more:

"Chris has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder with depressive features (f41.8). Client’s symptoms and precipitated and/or exacerbated by numerous symptoms classified under autism spectrum disorder. Due to his anxiety, social interaction difficulties and communication challenges, he experiences difficulty regulating affect and negotiating conflict."

I try to be someone who doesn’t let himself get in the way of doing what he wants to do. No inhibitions, no regrets. I have ridden a bike in almost ten different countries. I lived many lives and I have never lived in the same place for more than two years until I moved to Los Angeles. I have a symbolic relationship with Los Angeles as living here is like living on a bunch of cracks and fragments. I think the fragments from around these cracks are the tectonic plates that keep this city moving. There is a hazy cloud of angelenos who literally live on separate tectonic plates and co-exist as a sub-community of the moving car. And I embrace the counterintuitive impulse to coexist on a tectonic plate, movement against movement, and I like the weather.

I work as a bouncer at a popular music venue and immerse in the bizarre psychodynamics of social interaction because I am able to sort things out in my mind more clearly while seeing how intricate and alive everything is. I am fascinated by the identities of poets who are dead, anti-social or otherwise disconnected from life. I collage, write, film and otherwise creates poetry installations that explore my interest in embodiment. I am interested in the evolution of the poetic process that transforms language into something that manifests a poetic or conceptual/artistic language.

Although I have a Ph.D., I do not enjoy talking about everything and am too fluent in existential conversations that I feel a glib disconnection to them nowadays, I’d rather make a good sex video.

Interests

Pseudopsychology

I have a certificate from a workshop I completed in the enneagram (5w4 sx/so) and Myers Briggs (IXTP).

Ayurvedic Stuff, Transcedental Meditation, Veganism, Massage

I’ve been obsessed with the Buddhist Bhavacakra (realms of existence) – if true, I am in the self-indulgent and larger-than-life god realm, which is a good and bad place for me. Since I am on the highest realm, I’ll be exhausting all of my good karma and not suffer enough to ascend to a higher level since I’m perpetually doomed to be at the highest one.

Bike Riding, Tattoos, Art, Writing, Poetry, Collage, Photography

Music

A very, very old and long list of my top 1,700 bands and musicians is here.

My Bloody Valentine, Jawbreaker, Knapsack, Placebo, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Ladytron, IAMX, The Misfits

Authors

Sylvia Plath, Albert Camus, Slavloj Zizek, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Clark Coolidge, William Burroughs, Michael McClure, Ann Lauterbach, Luce Irigaray

Movies

Before Sunset, Dogville, Mysterious Skin, The Graduate, Lucky Number Slevin, Goya’s Ghosts, The Battle of Algiers, Gone Girl, Nightcrawler

Selected Publications

Shampoo Poetry, Moria Poetry, The Diagram

Reviews

"Chris Girard’s poetry works with extremes: up against a sonic wall, emotively charged and furtively encrypted pieces of verses pushing out towards unforeseen continuities. A charged voice of Eros — in the lucid call of one of these poems:

         Steeped with obsession
         from cross-over webs of railroad intellectuality
         to become simple dignity, lonely handwork.

The intricacies and radical game enacted in the poetry reaches into a hidden pocket and steals a live-wire current, stumbling into exacting and hermetic song. The poem knows what is said can only be said in poetry. A mystery place gets exposed briefly, where, to steal meaning from these lines (one can’t help it),

         Mistakes insisting to one breath or one investigation
         in one organized work, tremulous seeking move
         take on a side trip here to the voice and present."

                                                                     Steve Dickison, Director
                                                                     The Poetry Center, 2006

"First of all, I appreciated the thoughtfulness and thoroughness (with respect to the pursuit of an idea) of Ten and One Left. From the concept behind it, to the careful execution of the poems themselves and their organization into a meaningful structure, the collection I thought was well done and successful as a thesis.

That said, I did have a problem with the work, and that was its homogeneity. Line length aside, the poems are all very similar – same tone, stylistic register, lexicon, etc. – such that, as a reader, the overall impression I came away with was one of an overwhelming sameness that in the end left me wanting. This feeling wasn’t mitigated by the rhythmic shifts resulting from sections with more than one poem per page: though this was a welcome change, since the poems in these sections were cut from the same cloth as the others, it almost felt like no change at all, and I found myself waiting for something to disrupt the evenness of the collection, though in the end nothing ever did. While I’m not suggesting that you introduce contrast for the sake of contrast, I do feel that some tear in the otherwise uniform fabric of Ten and One Left would be a welcome quality, and perhaps even serve to emphasize the "one left" that does not belong in the group with the other ten.

I also wonder about the necessity of the introductory note, which I think should be edited down considerably, if not eliminated altogether. I found your comments on the number 11 interesting, but much of the rest seemed to me inconsequential. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of explanatory forewords in books of poetry."

                                                                     Guy Bennett, Poet/Translator
                                                                     Otis College of Art & Design, 2009

"I truly enjoyed reading your poetry collection [] Many times throughout the poems there are wonderfulgatherings of words and phrases:

         metaphors ‘like blank skins that stare at lessons’
         and teasing phrases ‘voracious rap the ender is a blender vowels collapse’

         or ‘incompatible deserts complete the idioms moral’

         ‘Stormy weather hums a whimper’

I guess I prefer most the single poems on the page; they allow me to study and observe, working through your dense sense of language.

But the work is truly dense, and sometimes that leaves even a tongue-teaser poet like me facing a sort of wall of language that I can’t seem to move through. Particularly in the double poems, I can’t seem to truly interrelate the poems, to enmesh them either by reading across or down in the most discrete traditional poem-like manner. There’s also a sort of breathlessness, with imploding phrases upon phrases which piles up the language to such a degree that I can’t know where I’m/it’s going.

I think that you have a wonderful way with language, but you aren’t always ‘hearing’ the words as you move through them, but are ideationally piling them up in a way that is sometimes a bit frustrating.

Again, there are so many excellent moments ‘camouflage on the static injection buries below earth,’ but how does that interesting vision of camouflage relate to ‘and out of school during the day of sleep’? I’m not precisely seeking a narrative flow, but sometimes I can’t understand why the same phrases on the pages with the others.

I just think you need to think some of this out a bit more. I see that you are publishing in small journals, and that’s wonderful. I am sure that eventually, you will pare away the unnecessary flux that seems to crumble your beautiful phrases, metaphors, etc.

But it was fascinating work, and I’d rather have it difficult, as you know, tha[n] transparently simple."

                                                                     Douglas Messerli, Editor
                                                                     Green Integer, Sun & Moon Press, 2009