An inner process stands in need of outward criteria.
An inner process stands in need of outward criteria.
From Marjorie Welish (on Barbara Guest) from Jacket, 1999
LET US TAKE the lyric to be non-imitative, verbal music. Let us take the language of reference in decomposition. Let us examine the residuum. In the poetry of Barbara Guest, language stains the page with language: words, material yet not literal. The poet talking to herself is not at issue, given that, in her lyrics, indirect fragment re-cognizes the direct statement of intimate self- revelation. The impersonal, not the personal, is valid. The idiom is not that of speech but that of writing.
I woke up later than I expected and will be getting ready to teach my poetry 211 workshop and my class on South-Asian film (we are screening Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia). As of late, I have been reminiscing about poetry-related things that are far from Missoula: my communities, friends, mentors, and work I love. I’m going to use the tumbler to be nostalgic and celebrate what poetry-related and writing-related work has found me over the years; additionally, I’ll post about what I have found here in this lovely poetry-land of Missoula. I might also throw some South-Asian film and other things on my mind. Enjoy!
“I, too, have eaten paper from old books. I remember as a girl tearing and eating the corners of pages as I read. Victorian paper tastes dry—better actually, than the paper used in newer books, which, if uncoated, tastes dull like chalk, or, if glossy, like tilefish or squid. When I ate the paper I took each corner the way one takes a communion wafer, flat on the tongue, feeling it dissolve. I ate not from hunger but because the page came to hand. I ate my way especially through the corners of theElsie Dinsmorebooks.My mother (who used to eat library paste and paper too!) said that both of us must have suffered from a dietary deficiency. Therefore I am free to blame my behavior on an inherited craving.”
Rosamond Purcell, OWLS HEAD (The Quantuck Lane Press) (2003)
That’s it. Good night, everybody, a pleasure knowing you via this almost radio-like platform. Thanks to P.L. and the Academy, happy April. DW
Here’s Ron Padgett’s translation of Pierre Reverdy’s THE WRONG SIDE RIGHT SIDE OUT (The Brooklyn Rail Black Square Editions, 2007)
He climbs without stopping, without even turning around, and no one but he knows where he is going. The weight he pulls is heavy but his legs are free and he has no ears. At each door he called out his name. No one opened. But when he knew that someone was expected and who it was, he knew how to change his face. Then he went in, in place of the person who wasn’t coming.
AND NOW FOR AN AFTERNOON POETRY SAMPLER
I love the name of a camera that doesn’t exist.
(Cynthia Arrieu-King’s PEOPLE ARE TINY IN PAINTINGS OF CHINA) (Octopus Books)
Against a figure we cannot/Figure out…..
(Michelle Taransky’s BARN BURNED, THEN) (Omnidawn)
And every house is a beautiful ship/But there’s a parallel world attached to this world
(Anthony McCann’s I HEART YOUR FATE) (Wave Books)
That left me feeling in on it, chosen, a real fun-time guy
(Timothy Donnelly’s THE CLOUD CORPORATION (Wave Books)
My tribe gave me walking papers. Can you beat that?
But I’m on the case. I’ve got cousins.
(Ish Klein’s MOVING DAY) (Canarium Books)
Give Me One Kiss
The list is simple and comprehensive.
Despite popular belief you
can only be one of these.
I don’t care what you say.
Step from the woods into the clearing.
I will meet you in your red coat.
Love poems can sometimes get off
to a rough start.
(Michael Earl Craig’s JOMBANG JET) (Factory Hollow Press)
Lamb felt the need to be a favorite lamb.
Matthea Harvey’s OF LAMB (with paintings by Amy Jean Porter) (McSweeney’s Books)
There was an animal I could not identify and that also I lived with
(Heather Christle’s WHAT IS AMAZING) (Wesleyan University Press)
The great vision of art is one of simultaneity./So that there are many arcanes of the divine/Available to the readers of poetry at one time.
(Dorothea Lasky’s AWE) (Wave Books)
“There’re horse bones in the water,”/she says cool and simple….
(Arisa White’s HURRAH’S NEST) (Virtual Artists Collective)
and not even the same woods
the boys were sent to two different woods that were very far apart
(Rachel Glaser’s THANKSGIVING NEVER HAPPENED (in jubilat twenty)
But after all, it’s heaven
Even death will be forgiven
(D.A. Powell’s USELESS LANDSCAPE or A GUIDE FOR BOYS) (Graywolf Press)
Beginning with an if we are oarless.
(Lesle Lewis’s LIE DOWN TOO) (Alice James Books)
I am not bored//On this hidden fence/I erase everything
(Elizabeth Willis’s ADDRESS) (Wesleyan University Press)
…..I am so sorry every night/for whatever I have done/and for the certainty/
with which I can’t remember it
(Christopher DeWeese’s THE BLACK FOREST)
A HUNDRED BEAUTIFUL BOXES OF GEODES COULDN’T MAKE ME
SHIPS OF WET GUNPOWDER COULDN’T MAKE ME HAPPIER.
(Bianca Stone’s I WANT TO OPEN THE MOUTH GOD GAVE YOU BEAUTIFUL MUTANT)
Like how this is the big moment.
(Betsy Wheeler’s LOUD DREAMING IN A QUIET ROOM) (The National Poetry Review Press)
There was no baby involved when the gaunt/wolf entered and the musk of his hide congealed into an East African sculpture of a Venus…..
(James Grinwis’s THE CITY FROM NOME) (The National Poetry Review Press)
On his way to his beloved, one was led to a far pasture to see a donkey born.
(Zach Savich’s THE FIRESTORM) (CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY POETRY CENTER)
……..Mention/your blue cockatoo, reference friends/in candy conversations./Encourage lives of crime:
(William Waltz’s ZOO MUSIC (slope editions)
It was a simple mallet. It spoke simply, whammo, blam, I understood perfectly. Its oscillations filled the dark in waves of blue, some green and felt like no other mallet in my life.
(Peter Gizzi’s THRESHOLD SONGS) (Wesleyan University Press)
This is called The Saxophone, Found Inside a Pyramid.
That is what all our time is devoted to now…
(Ben Estes’s THE STRINGS OF WLNETTO ARRANGEMENTS) (flowers & cream)
……..He looks at her and says/It doesn’t end. It isn’t a story, it’s a poem.
(Mark Leidner’s BEAUTY WAS THE CASE THAT THEY GAVE ME) (Factory Hollow Press)
Out in my backyard there is a lot of activity, a lot of spring mating in progress, chipmunks (see Chris Bachelder’s essay on humor and jokes in THE BELIEVER), gray squirrels and little fiercely attentive red ones, mourning doves, cardinals, mockingbirds, wrens, bunnies, many bunnies, a pair of groundhogs, yellow finches who are almost nearly completely finally now yellow again, juncoes, other birds I can’t name, it is nearly disney porn out there.
Last night I listened to the writer and poet Andrea Lawlor read an homage to Joe Brainard’s I REMEMBER. So this morning I picked up Ron Padgett’s THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF JOE BRAINARD, read almost all of I REMEMBER but then found LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT PEOPLE which got me to thinking how well Brainard focuses on categories and possibilities within categories. Following through as directed by seemingly so-called narrow passages, one thing artists do.
What ye contemplate that ye become; John Cowper Popys; This is most likely but not definitely true. Anyway, the “ye” makes this amazing in its aphoristic glory.
Felix Feneon’s THREE LINE NOVELS
On the other hand who isn’t fond of his childhood’s countryside or neighborhood, a real place or an imaginary place from back before any awareness of civilization dawns on you. Those places you know not so much because you choose to know them but because they are all you know at the time.
Chance favoring a prepared mind according to Louis Pasteur will always be one of my fondest hopes.
I wonder what are a few of the many ways to prepare a mind. Particularly, what do poems encourage brains to do? That brains like to do. Or that brains do well.