10.31.2008

be afraid, very afraid

In its writing the poem should scare you at first.

10.30.2008

10.27.2008

bad trannie

It was automatic writing with a bad transmission.

10.26.2008

interruption of the poetic

Poetry as something happening among other things happening. As something happening in language, and to language under siege. Poetry as memory, sometimes memory of the future. Poetry as both fixed and in process, ever a paradox. Above all, poetry as experience, as Philippe Lacou-Labarthe would put it. (He would add, poetry as interruption of the “poetic,” but that’s for some other time.)

—Michael Palmer, “Poetry and Contingency,” Active Boundaries: Selected Essays and Talks (New Directions, 2008)

10.25.2008

tallied perfectly

Each line tallied perfectly into the sum of the last line.

10.24.2008

impact image

An image that aggressively rearranges the space of human experience.

10.23.2008

scroll through

The online poem was a scroll through.

10.22.2008

mangroves

Mangrove poetry: thickets of language with many roots sunk in psychologically murky waters.

10.20.2008

requisite madness

But if any man come to the gates of poetry without madness of the Muses, persuaded that skill alone will make him a good poet, then shall he and his works of sanity with him be brought to naught by the poetry of madness, and behold their place is nowhere to be found.

—Socrates (Plato), Phaedrus edited by R. Hackworth, Cambridge, 1952

10.19.2008

thereafter always moving

The moment you open the book to that page, the poem becomes the perpetuum mobili.

10.16.2008

not taken lightly

The poet humbles language by taking it seriously.

10.15.2008

descant / disgorge

Only an Ezra Pound could have descanted/disgorged The Cantos.

10.14.2008

preordained

When the poem is finished why is it that the words seem preordained?

10.13.2008

blank page block

Block: The letters lie buried in an avalanche of whiteness. You can hear only muffled cries, but can’t make out any words.

10.12.2008

row, row...

The meter was so strong and regular I thought of the poet as a coxswain with a megaphone calling out: ‘Row, row’…


10.11.2008

permanent things

Fashions, forms of machinery, the more complex social, financial, political adjustments, and so forth, are all ephemeral, exceptional; they exist but will never exist again. Poetry must concern itself with (relatively) permanent things. These have poetic value; the ephemeral has only news value.

—Robinson Jeffers, preface to The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, Random House, 1938,(p. XV)

10.09.2008

escape passage

Poem as escape passage from the din and flash of spatio-temporal reality

10.08.2008

word gourmand

The poet is a word gourmand: The savor of the syllables together with the texture of the meaning are an experience the poet deeply craves.

10.05.2008

wrinkled brow

The lines came at a cost of many years, and may as well have been wrinkles on the poet’s brow.

10.01.2008

hometown crowd

Poets in New York City read to each other all the time.