Friday, December 29, 2006
assemblage of components for poems about poetry - first draft
Some words it is necessary to sacrifice at the outset. Some words have every intention of subverting the entire deal, and can not be safely included in any delicate work. It is important to establish right away which are the dangerous words and deal with them. So which words are they? They are probably the words you would write if you were a keyboard without a human attached to it, or some mechanical fingers clicking away in space somewhere, lacking empathy with anything anywhere, just a wired heart beating like a metronome in the cold wash of an alien sun. Throw these words down the well and let them learn what it is to mean something. I'm trusting that you have a well, as it's unlikely you would have even read this far otherwise.
Then it is necessary to assemble the words to be used. This begins with establishing intent. In this case the intent is to speak about poetry, to unearth what is going on beneath the nomenclature, and the nomenclature here means not only words and names, but images, sensations, all the multi-media assemblage of our senses. At this level, the inner landscape of my knees is spoken of in terms of playing fields, rain, sadness of school days, retreat into long corridors and cloakrooms, insistent tapping of childhood threat, bone metastasis, osseous dream-fixes - the hidden language of the dreaming of the body. This requires particular words and materials, those which have been made active with both deep sympathy and fixity of poetic intent. Furthermore, it must be clear at the outset that some degree of failure is certain. The most one might hope for is to open the door at morning and find oneself naked and bereft on the doorstep with a mouthful of ash and a glimpse of something that ran around corners up ahead, never quite seen. I want to talk about mathematics and morphology, but I can't. Something is wrong, and it's possible that I'll never know what it is. Poetry is a little like that - like the awareness of brain damage. And now the moment has died anyway... I'm going to come back to this time and time again.