Lisa Radon read tonight (accompanied on percussion by Tim DuRoche). She's been writing through manifestos, using various art (& dance, &c.) manifestos as source materials to pull pieces from.
As she read, I realized that manifestos use the word "no" far more often than most genres of writing do, which Lisa later confirmed. And I began to wonder if you could do some sort of measurement, figuring out the frequency range of the word "no" in manifestos compared with other genres of writing. Then you could see whether this frequency range could diagnose a manifesto. Or, you could just call any piece of writing in which the word "no" appears that frequently a manifesto. (Perhaps a law code would have the word "no" even more often, on the far side of the manifesto range, but maybe not! Someone should crunch those numbers. If I were going into grad school for English, that's the sort of project I would want to work on.)
Joseph Noble also read tonight. He's been writing poems riffing off various aspects of Orson Welles. One thing that interested in him about Welles is that so many of his works were taken away from him and finished by others. The Magnificent Ambersons, for instance, notoriously was reedited, with forty-odd minutes of material cut and an entirely new ending shot. And this calls into question the nature of authorship; film is a medium where many creators are needed to make one piece, but Welles's films end up pushing this idea even further.
After the reading I suggested to him that he have someone else finish up his poems -- without getting any authorship credit, perhaps nothing more than a special thanks. He would give up the final say as to the shape and content of his poems, which would be published under his name. Maybe his publisher could decide who would do the final edit. Poetry perhaps suffers from the opposite problem that film does -- it usually comes off as being entirely the work of one author, as being totally auteurist. I don't know if he will use my idea or not, but if he does, I hope he doesn't credit me (and I hope it takes a good long while before people connect it with this blog post).