Wednesday, August 24, 2005


JH: I don't bring up poetry, or literature, with non-poets. I'd prefer it if non-poets were conversant about poetry. With a poet, famous or otherwise, I'd speak of what s/he's reading, and other such topics. Probably not a lot of shop talk. Social talk has nuances? I'd bring this question up, at the end of the meeting. What questions would you bring up? What statements? Does everything have nuances, and how do these nuances get there? From within or without? Is opacity nuance, or is nuance / commentary used as artificial respiration?

AHB:I probably bored you with that last query, it doesn't exactly shiver my timbers as I read what I asked now. I don't bring up poetry with non-poets. With the few poets I meet, the conversation mostly is anything but poetry. If I went to more readings, and met poets that way, I am sure the conversation would be more poetical, owing to the ad hoc moment. I can't recall if I was being wry to use the word nuance in this context, because obviously there aint much by way of nuance in social talk. Nuance / commentary is often used as artificial respiration. I was just reading an article by a professor whose course I will be taking this fall (on my way to a late in life MA), Shaun McNiff, who does art-based research. he writes:

“the issue for me is one of recognizing the limits of description and what can be translated from one realm of experience to another.”

I like when Paul Blackburn said to Charles Olson, you go all around the subject, and Olson replied, I didn't know it was a subject. Focusing poetry into a subject performs a deletion or minimization. That's what I see in, for instance, the dismal dialectics on the Poetics list. Poetry is poetry, and then there is talk about poetry. The social nexus (for poets, I mean) provides what it provides, which varies from person to person. Tho I live within reach of a living poetry scene, I don't have much to do with it. I like the occasional jolt I get from my rare excursions (incursions) into that nexus, but I don't know that I suffer from not doing more. Who knows? Let me ask you a simple kind of question. What do you need to write? Do you need ambiance? Inspiration? Calm? A program? A reading?


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