To bold the underword or underword bold wordings. Or just so. Or feasting fast unto death.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
I wouldn’t normally do this, but on advice, I am posting a tid-bit from a workshop I’m taking. It’s a tid essay on voice, which I have ambivalent feelings talking about. Also, a description of a project I’m working on. Umm.
A Voice within a Voice within a Voice within a Voice …
I have resented the cleanliness and elegance of tight and perfect writing. I have felt that writing should be dirtier and more excessive. I still feel this way. Often. Not all the time. A person has the right to feel in many different ways.
I cannot start with a magical notion of voice, the voice of ________ speaking through me. Rather, I want to think of voice as an end product and how this end product comes to be. That is, if there is magic, it’s the magic of microchips, moveable joints, and communication of associative thoughts via these instruments.
When I think voice (or poetics) I think syntax and lexicon. That is to say, when I write and a construction or word happens I often try to think of a replacement. For example, “a banana handed” can become “that yellow fruit gun.” Some (i.e. truncated list) of the poets, to me, that inspire surprise: John Berryman, Karen Volkman, Harryette Mullen, Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, Tenney Nathanson, William Carlos Williams (particularly “At the Faucet of June”) and others. They seem to offer a platter of interesting words in interesting situations. I, too, want to scramble words and see if they can come together in surprising and pleasant ways.
I find subject matter interesting when a strange lexicon is attached to it. I wrote a long poem about Antarctica because of the interesting language the early explorers used in their journals. Dry and optimistic, totally unreal to their situation. There is ice formation and equipment jargon as well. Though I do not restrict myself to subjects connected to a particular jargon, I find that most any subject produces a kind of jargon, and this results in the subject’s, and my own, voice. Love is a jargon of proclamations and silences. Lawn mowing a jargon of fits, grass spray, rock tings, and stained sneakers. If there is some magic in subject matter, it is the strange way we speak about things.
Overall I have noticed that my voice is objective. Not always, but most often. I like this objectivity because it gives me a chance to explore what would be my voice as well as other voices not mine; those outside my white, heterosexual male (whm) spectrum (to what extent that’s possible). I think this good, though my attempts at otherness probably fail more often than not because of my limited whm perspective.
I will describe my current project. It is composed in a Word document using words and space. The overall voice is composed of many smaller voices. That is, I started three different projects with different voices that had casual relations and which I want to bring together under one voice. The first sequence concentrates on emphasis (via Julia Carlson’s lecture last year) and repetition. To my ear these poems have very little voice, are very objective, very fragmented, have no pronouns, and at times are without much meaning to them at all. I enjoyed writing these very much. The next sequence I wrote moved away from emphasis and concentrated on imagistic renderings of light. I used pronouns in this series, but in universal ways so as to retain a somewhat objective voice. The images and use of pronouns, I think, give these poems some emotion. The third sequence came from a frustration of trying to get the first two sequences to talk each other. I tried and tried but they were resistant. So, I wrote a sequence that took a little from each of the previous sequences: a little emphasis, a little imagery, etc. As I wrote the last sequence I also began thinking of writing a thirty page poem. Why thirty pages I don’t know, it just seemed like a good number. I finally decided that the long poem was going to be a noir poem and this long noir poem would contain the three sequences. This came from a pedestrian interest in noir and recently watching Hollywoodland, not a bad movie. The noir voice is interesting to me and even comes with fun jargon. A jargon I’m going to have to do some more thinking about. So, what I am now attempting to write is a long voice that incorporates smaller voices to make one long and variant voice. I don’t know if all this is going to work together, but I’m having fun trying.
Monday, September 17, 2007
there is always the house
the heart of science
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Finally, the Truth
Who I Was
Who I Am
Who I Want to Be
by Michael Rerick
In Who I Was, Who I Am, and Who I Want to Be, Michael Rerick tells the almost too- remarkable-to-be-true story of his rise from villain to hero, including his struggle to overcome his sexual voraciousness, his troubled relationship with his partner and children, and his addiction to drugs, all of which lead him to a life of crime and to rehab, where he found redemption and the strength and wisdom to write this cautionary memoir about the power and resiliency of the human condition.
Thanks Wanda and Brock.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
this teapot spews black smoke
a factory of and factory for
letter s so found in mud made
holes for fallen round crater
like creator of teapots given
red oh give water cup packet
of tea for the teapot oh teapot
coffee battled give tea give
a hand for last night a table held
cups hot to cool not just talk
scrubbed new the grease all the
grease the teapot saw while cold
teaser of pot what tea wrote
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
a paralyzed figure meanders from statue
and out whispers: look, a pronoun. and
all clap. they, we, shook hands and a glass
boat appeared, appeared and appeared—
a pronoun appears and other pronouns appear.
still, the figure meanders. floats. some say
undulates as only a pronoun can. undulate.
some consult … but forget: pronouns
consult only so long. then consult again.
gets cover of grass and vine because
so slow, the figure. arms and legs oar air
so we/she/it/ they/my/their/he/our air turns
buttery and tagged as butter through
and through soft and malleable, a (pro).