Wednesday, October 05, 2005


JH: With me, it's a matter of immersion. I like Kunin's lively "The Mauberley Series". Your "House of Sorted Things Left After My Dad" is excellent - I really like your take on flarf - traditional flarf(!) for me works better in drama. I especially like the episode in your poems with the pregnant woman raising toad-like eyes to Minerva. The episode takes five lines (and immediately leads, instanter, to an insight provided by her "yes, I just learned then / that love is stronger" which is then intertwined with the further narration "She's on her path, just like me..." and narration featuring the speaker
"I sought on my plan: House of Childbirth" - related, in my mind, to the pregnant woman. It's the first mention of the narrator's plan, giving me the impression the narrator's plan was inspired by the sight of the gravid lady - much like the sudden directions a poet's mind takes when writing a poem, driven on by the content of seemingly any given line), and three sentences. How does episode react with, and against, the line? I mean this in general, though providing these lines as an example would be great. Do you typically write with episode and line as two separate functions, concentrating more on one over the other? In your poems they seem to have equal attention lavished upon them. And do you think that the longer you spend on flarf procedures in a poem, refining the poem, that the poem grows more personal, almost to the point where it could have, eventually, been conceived by your mind alone, with the exception of a few phrases - the flarf (or any) procedure assuming the function of a poetic vocabulary?

AHB: I think the point is to write so that the procedure disappears. well, of course it doesn't, and for those with a technical interest, they are going to foreground (I hate that verb) the procedure in a way that a non-writer probably wouldn't. A LANGUAGE poem or a flarf one is just a poem if one reads it as a poem and not as an exemplar. I do not know Gary Sullivan's work well (tho I enjoy it immensely), but can attest that his flarfy work seems to arrive fluidly from him. Whereas for me, who is just messin' with these techniques, the effort of writing shows (did I get the verb agreement right?). Working with flarf procedures (and it is presumptuous for me to attach myself in that way to the mode, I am largely just guessing at what 'they' are doing), I want the writer to disappear. Which is no different than if I'm typing great gulfs of words at hyper speed. I think (who the hell knows?) that I write with episode and line separate. I follow the rail of the idea, but also focus on the line's local meaning. I'm doing now what I did when I first started typing my work: I am lineating after the fact. I write in a block then form the lines. which isn't an intrinsic method, but allows me to focus on one thing at a time. I may've said that I had trouble when i first started using a computer. The rush of the keyboard obviated my ability to make lines. I've overcome that difficulty over the years but it remains an element of writing with the computer keyboard. You are, by the way, right about the drama quality of flarf. Flarf consists of these disparate voices, so it plays well into drama. Have you considered flarf as a technique? You have indicated an interest in drama.


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