Tuesday, January 24, 2006


JH: I'm looking forward to Bob BrueckL's new book! The two books I sent you - one is # 4 in the PO25¢EM series

It may be purchased, for 25 cents, from Christophe Casamassima

The 12 poems in this pamphlet are brief, older poems - some of them (I think three) can be found in my book "Fickleyes, Futilears, & William Wormswork", from Mag Press

The other book is "Queen of Hearts", available from PERSISTENCIA*PRESS

"Queen of Hearts" is a poem which uses recurring lines and words. My "Lives of Eminent Assyrians" is written in this manner, but in a larger scale. While I'm hawking my wares, I may add that a chapbook from Writers Forum is available - "The Unread is Carefully Ancient"

I really like your poem "Soaring Kierkegaard"

depend on
all the names

creatures meet
the after effect

in the
sentence of going

in words
falling into play

a virtual
spice of light

says most
tremendous leading phrase

of silly
action figures alert

on dude
nice new explosion

viewed under
consciousness of having

final rupture
with Regina thereupon

work was
“accompanied” rather tardily

us assume
that Isaac knew

didst believe
it was God

stands at
dialectical turning point

can make
the repentance but

is what
the poets mean

regular clearance
sale everything is

ask them
where they are

time is
nobody content further

ancient Greeks
who also had

in the
morning everything was

Abraham to
oblivion or us

can bear
it would not?

Could you speak about this poem please? And, if you like to continue the thread of artwork as life-form, do you think the perishing of books, and authors, is a matter of "the few must die so that the many may live"? Is this a physical law, pertaining to all material things? And what does it mean for books, and for the symbiosis of books and humans?

AHB: hawking wares aint a bad thing. I'm sure I am erred in not doing more to get my own work into the public's eyes. And I do like speaking of other writers who interest me. With “Soaring Kierkegaard”, I had the rhythm of hay(na)ku in my ear. The form consists of stanzas of three lines, one word in the 1st, two words in the 2nd, three words in the 3rd, or variants of that. It is simplicity but even so places a metre to your writing. Just the matter of counting. Some of the stanzas in ”Soaring” were taken from “Fear and Loathing”, as that book was nearby when I wrote. It intrigued me that the rhythmic or formal overlay could change things so much, but formed into those stanza beads the words quoted took on a different meaning and dimension. One of the early discussions amongst the LANGUAGE poets was expressly decontextualization. I think it is right to think of poetry as language with a charge, tho to define poetry always seems to limit possibilities. Speaking to the life of artwork, I did four pencil drawings last december. I used the same subject, an ebony (or ebony like) sculpture consisting of a swooping figure that has two heads, as if a couple were dancing in space. It was something I found at a store called Home Goods, where there is no lack of gimcrack. It amuses me to see so much stuff, mostly made in Asia, aimed at the U.S.market. Visions of old-fashioned Christmas scenes and carvings of salty Cape Cod cap'ns, made in enormous lots by uncomprehending Malaysians. okay, back from tangent. The 1st drawing I did went okay, albeit painfully, drawing is a labour for me. Then I got the inspiration to cover the drawing with charcoal, to give it more depth and atmosphere. Which just about obliterated the drawing I made. Which anguished me so, as if I had injured the picture. My wife reminded me that I could use an eraser to bring the image back, which succeeded somewhat, but I felt I had betrayed the picture with my ill-advised use of charcoal. we all produce much more work than we can or would even want to show. I think a lot of that, even if 'good' work, is a sacrifice to whatever will live on. I was facing the loss of a large quantity of work trapped on a broken computer. In sooth, when I finally got around to getting the stuff rescued, I lost nothing. But I have lost work. Yes, more work can be made, but it still feels like a dearth. And one knows of writers who weren't noticed in their day (Dickinson, for one) who were later found. I think there's a hole in our collective whatsis that Sappho's and so many other ancients' work is a matter of a few surviving scraps. Doesn't the work, all the work, somehow stay around?


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