Friday, September 16, 2005


JH: Yes, Lanny Quarles is always astute, and it's a privilege to be in his gaze. I haven't done any critical writing in a long time - the closest I come these days is backchannel comments. When I did anything approaching critical writing it was in notebooks. I may try someday - as I mentioned earlier, I've idly thought about writing essays. Do you do any critical writing, or have you ever thought about turning to the essay? What are your thoughts on notebooks, when used for critical pensées? I hardly ever use notebooks for this purpose anymore. I would say that blogs have supplanted the notebook, but poets are sneaky and there are probably a lot of such notebooks out in the physical world.

AHB: The only critical writing that I do, leastwise regarding poetry, is on my blog. That writing is absolutely off the top of my head. I regard such writing as an exercise in reading and in bringing my thoughts together. It seems like a worthwhile enterprise, whether public or private, for a writer to enter the lists (I guess that's a pun) in this way. I'm not interested in writing formal essays. I used to use notebooks somewhat, as a way of working with the text, but that happens less often now (perhaps it's more important for the younger writer to do this, I dunno). Moreso, I underline and write airy little comments in the margin. There's a sort of physical tension in doing this, which satisfies perhaps in the same way that touching a sculpture or painting might (I don't mean defacing). I recently got Rodney Koeneke's book Rouge State, which compelled me happily to underline the many neat lines and phrases that jumped out. On the other hand, I couldn't bring myself to do so with the equally invigourating chapbook by Alli Warren, Hounds, a hand-made affair that just didn't want my scribbles on it. I can't recall if I've mentioned a journal project I had for some 5 years. It represented a large proportion of what I wrote at the time, a bloggy sort of reaction to whatever happened to slip over the transom. I love this sort of open formatted writing occasion. Ed Dorn's prose writing, for instance, seen as a single project, or Charles Olson's often screwy concentration bombs, and for that matter his letters. Are you at all interested in writing a blog yourself? I infer a degree of interest. I might add that I didn't think I'd be interested in doing one until I actually started doing it.


At 2:35 PM, Blogger phaneronoemikon said...

Thanks you guys.


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