Sunday, May 31, 2009

back in our minds (again)

there was a word here
last resort
'portant as it was
my gosh
build your source on the bauble of rice
in a plaxo-taxic marriage vow
more on, that later

his own lights on means mild feathers
marry me boychik
don't force my synapse
barge again and again
i lil'
i's lil' a lil'
muh muh muh muh mumm
there was a word here
repeat ad naughtium

Saturday, May 30, 2009

An awkward song draft from the Caliche Poems

The Vertebrate Shuffle: or Mule Grinder’s Song

out on the Llano

short faced Arctodos simus

great shelled Geochelone

and teated Adelobasileus cromptoni

are doing it

Dicynodants and Aetosaurs

dancing in our dreams

Xenacanthus mooraiLeptostyrax macrorhiza

didn’t have’em and couldn’t do it

Creccoides osbornii

had ‘em but didn’t

while Capromeryx minimus was dainty

and good at it

the vertebrate shuffle

all the kids are doin’ it

all over the Llano

from the Pliocene to the Triassic

from the Cretaceous to the Pleistocene

come on now and do the shuffle

Borophages diversidensColognathus obscuras

Paleorhinus scurriensisTecovasuchus chaterjeei

Malerisaurus longstoni Leptosuchus crosbiensis

sediment n’ effluvium

all softly fossilized

Paleorhinus bransoniKoskinonodon prefectus

Rileymilleru cosgriffiRutiodon megalodon

Trilophosaurus buettneriLatiscopus disjunctus

all hoofing the shuffle

Turseodus dolorensisHemicalypterus

don’t got ‘em and don’t do it

Canis lepophagus

crepuscular or not

ate what it wanted

while squadrons of Platygonus bicalcaratus

did it in the brush

the vertebrate shuffle

all the kids are doin’ it

all over the Llano

from Muleshoe to Slaton

from Hale Center to Slide

come on now and do the shuffle

Palo Duro Canyon

Adobe Walls

Quita Que

White River

the Little Tule

Llano Dogtown Fork

it’s gonna be a vertebrate party tonight

Pachygenelus milleri

Adelobasileus cromptoni

Colognathus obscurus

Libognathus sheddi

Malerisaurus langstini

they are all vertebrates

and they’re doing it in Texas

Friday, May 29, 2009

Residents vs. inhabitants

"To a great extent, formal education now prepares its graduates to reside, not to dwell. The difference is important. The resident is a temporary and rootless occupant who mostly needs to know where the banks and stores are in order to plug in. The inhabitant and a particular habitat cannot be separated without doing violence to both. The sum total of violence wrought by people who do not know who they are because they do not know where they are is the global environmental crisis. To reside is to live as a transient and as a stranger to one's place, and inevitably to some part of the self. The inhabitant and place mutually shape each other. Residents, shaped by outside forces, become merely 'consumers' supplied by invisible networks that damage their places and those of others. The inhabitant and the local community are parts of a system that meets real needs for food, materials, economic support, and sociability. The resident's world, on the contrary, is a complicated system that defies order, logic, and control. The inhabitant is part of a complex order that strives for harmony between human demands and ecological processes. The resident lives in a constant blizzard of possibilities engineered by other residents. The life of the inhabitant is governed by the boundaries of sufficiency, organic harmony, and by the discipline of paying attention to minute particulars. For the resident, order begins from the top and proceeds downward as law and policy. For the inhabitant, order begins with the self and proceeds outward. Knowledge for the resident is theoretical and abstract, akin to training. For inhabitants, knowledge in the art of living aims toward wholeness. Those who dwell can only be skeptical of those who talk about being global citizens before they have attended to the minute particulars of living well in their place." -- David Orr, Ecological Literacy (1992) [article version]

Afield close by

Tyrone Williams interviewed by Brenda Iijima

Thursday, May 28, 2009

On bioregionalism

"We must create in every region people who will be accustomed, from school onward, to humanist attitudes, co-operative methods, rational controls. These people will know in detail where they live and how they live; they will be united in a common feeling for their landscape, their literature and language, their local ways, and out of their own self-respect they will have a sympathetic understanding with other regions and different local peculiarities. They will be actively interested in the form and culture of their locality, which means their community and their own personalities. Such people will contribute to our land planning, our industry planning, and our community planning the authority of their own understanding, and the pressure of their own desires. Without them, planning is a barren externalism."
-- Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities (1938)
from "Roaring Spring"

I will not be available so late
I’m suspicious, and I am darling you
holding your head, so sweet on you.

Sweet pomander. Salt your mouth.

Tell me no jughead ronnie’s gone

I was checking out books from the
inside of my head oval
room light at one end

A book about kiting

To make the banner language flap
on a long string
That will be
there/their, beautiful.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jade Hudson

Poetic Manifesto Draft 2

The Out of World Poet:

Must, 1, be willing to embrace the poem as both dissonant truth and beautiful lie-- the truth/lie being the poem's leniencies outside of its design, where its patterns yearn for destruction of patterns, where its self-destruction signifies its yearning for order, where its call to order is its own and its disobedience is its purpose.

Must 2, contemplate the following:

If I am the poet, I am the poem I write,
in that
my maker earnestly made me not as I can make myself

and I desire to make myself, in the absence
of how I am designed to be, truly

what I am meant to

Must, 3, view himself/herself as a creator incapable of designating poetic function; one can initiate the process, participate in eventual reapplication of the initiation (imitating the previous method of initiation), but cannot possess the process (manifested poem) itself.

In accordance with its nature, a poem cannot be controlled. This is because the poem must leave the realm of the artist's control to be considered written. A poem is recognized as a written (or at least executed) form. Therefore, one should not attempt to merely make poetry serve a personal objective, as poetry will belong to itself in its being executed.

Also, to impose a purpose onto poetry, after it has become such, robs it of its unique authority. The act is much like giving someone freedom, while enforcing quite contradictory sets of authoritative parameters. If it's controlled, it is not a poem (at least not yet), as "a poem" mandates a loss of control.

To create a poem with a function is to remove from the poem the function of the poem.

Must 4, realize that the poem exists as an alternate space, neither comprised (completely) of its initiation or its reception. It is capable of delivering initiated inclinations, but delivers them in accordance to its unique extension off of or upon its initiated path.

While a crate of unavoidably damageable goods can be carried from one continent to another, it is neither purely the packager of the goods nor the receiver of the goods that contributes to the shape of the goods. The vehicle in which the goods traveled from one destination to another is not merely a distance, but something of material. If the poem is an object handed from creator to reader, there is a moment where the poem is completely its own. When in transit, it belongs to neither hand. It is at this moment where it is under its own control (its design somewhat determines how its transfer is accomplished).

Poetry undeniably reflects a great amount of poet's inclination while, at the same time, reflecting attributes completely individual. These individual attributes are encapsulated in the extending half of the poetic form: which results from the poem's separation/ completion. Once a poem is beyond control, it gains an authority in its being a completion. This is much like a clone of a person. At the moment of separation, the clone is no longer a one, but a second, capable of being seen as a sum of attributes (both containing and) beyond those housed in the original.

We can call this poem an "Out-of-Poem" versus a "From-Poem," as the poem is not a product, but a whole new being.

Must 6, realize the poetic entity as neither the pure externalization of the internal or an externalization, but a construct of both (while neither completely). To say that a poem could exist without a poet would be ludicrous. Yet, to say that a poem could be received in strict adherence to the poet's wishes would be equally as inane.

A poem must remain ambiguous enough to call upon certain intended interpretations. A poem without ambiguity, at least in the poet's motive, suggests a comprehensiveness contrary to a poem. As readers of poems, we search for meaning. Though, more, we search for hidden meaning. When a poem is intended to mean nothing, we make nothing mean what we need it to (the poem loses all authority). When it means too much upfront, we don't see it as a poem (thus, it cannot function as such).

What is accomplished on the poetic stage is not merely what was intended for the stage or the acting out of what was intended. Instead, because of a poems ambiguity (a result of its essential purpose) a third area is created (the meaning of the show is not in its script and not in its being acted, but in the viewing of both simultaneously [still, neither in entirety]). The poem changes in relation to how it was let go, like how a bowling ball follows the curve of a hand when thrown down a hill. However, the bowling ball's reactions with rocks, further down the hill, have only a bit to do with the hand and a bit to do with the rocks. The shape of the ball as well as thrower and obstacles are what designate the course of the ball.

The conscious materialization of poetry is not materialization of poetry, but the synthesis of material that materializes itself.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Michelle Boisseau

I too attended Michelle Boisseau's reading, and I too found her work interesting and thought-provoking. Perhaps more interesting/provocative was her between-poem banter-- but onto the poems.

I respectfully disagree with Ellie's claim that Boisseau is interested in theology ("I don't believe a big mind regards all sparrows" [Monstrus]) or creating a "wholesome remembrance of the past"-- in fact, I'd say just the opposite is true. Boisseau does search for meaning, but that search is sidelined to a purpose for creating a mythos, an explanation of things she can hold onto. She puts herself in the role of God[dess] or at least prophet by exploring her family's geneaology then creating the (hi)stories from there. For instance, as Stepha and Steph pointed out, her extended poems about Gibson, a runaway slave owned by Boisseau's great-great-grandfather, ventriloquize both the grandfather's voices and Gibson's, in addition to using found language from the slave notice Boisseau senior posted. Boisseau crafts these poems carefully, but as Gibson says in his eponymous poem, "though you try to puppet me, what happened/ is not for you to know."

But that's the thing about poetry: "you play with the facts." So Boisseau continues her myth-making, from the creation of the world with "Hawaii's nipples steaming in the ocean" in "Elegy to Titanumus" to an exploration of both physical and psychological borders of "mountain ranges, threadbare frontiers" in "Across the Borderland, a Wind." It is here, outside of Boisseau's invented world-- here, reality-- that her authority falters; her position changes from god to observer. But it is here, for me, that her work is the most interesting; what Stepha calls confessionalism, I call apt description: "childhood is a nicked dark trunk/when you move, you move" ("Time Done Is Dark"), "full of petals-- feathers to the asphalt" ("Birthday") and smart wordplay: "spring snow sparking" ("Time Done is Dark"). Either way, Boisseau doesn't over-complicate or overstate; in "Ruminator", her narrator states plainly, "don't misunderstand/I am a cow...don't continue to misunderstand/there is a cow/there is a field."

Which seems, more than elegance, or spare beauty, or myth, to be the connecting thread between her poems: legibility. Whether making legible her own part in the responsibility of ancestor's sins or her place in this world, she plays with the facts but tells her stories straight.