Tuesday, August 22, 2006


JH: "The Henry Green of U.S. Civil War Battles" is a departure from the others poems in this series. The possessor is reversed, with the author belonging to what would typically be subject in this series. Green's writings are not described, unlike Shakespeare's sonnets in

"Shakespeare Sonnets of Francois Mauriac"

Green's writings are characters in this poem, instead of, as in the other poems belonging to this series, descriptions. Neither of the statements in the previous sentence are entirely true, but the sense, the invention, of their accuracy is what permitted me to write the poem. Is this a discussion point, that a blind eye is needed to write poetry? The physical blindness of certain poets (Homer, Milton) comes to mind here, and the fascination some commentators have with this blindness. I've only read mentions rhapsodizing on this sightlessness, that I can recall, but I'm sure there's an essay somewhere. I read a supposition that ancient tribes blinded their poets so they wouldn't wander off (from the tribe, I suppose, rather than the subject matter). There was sightlessness involved in this poem. I wrote half of it one day, and the second half the next day. The night between, I was awakened from sleep with these words in my head, which I immediately wrote down:

why abhor surprise
when it's the sole chimera
Fate provides us?

is not forgetfulness a surprise?
could not oblivion be the pounce
on that monolithic exposed nerve?

The lineation is the same as what I wrote down that night. As I read what I had just written, I decided to put it in "The Henry Green of U.S. Civil War Battles". I also got the idea then to add a line from two of my early poems, "all surprises should be filthy with dust". These stanzas and the line occur in a section of "The Henry Green of U.S. Civil War Battles" distinct from the other sections in having no title. The poems in this section are separated from each other by a tilde ( ~ ) rather than an asterisk. This gives it the look of a poem in a different series, a series as yet unintroduced apart from "The Henry Green of U.S. Civil War Battles", placed in the center of a similar poem in another series. And, indeed, I may interlock series in the future. I speak of sightlessness being involved in the poem, as there was no accompanying picture, that I can recall, in the formulations of these lines that woke me up. Something made me add them to my current poem instead of letting them become a new poem. There's is a blindness in all poetry, in all composition, in all human endeavor - is this list in descending order or is all equal? If descending, why must poetry be first in everything? Wishful thinking? Is "wishful thinking" part of a definition of poetry? What separates the wishful thinking of poetry from any other variety of wishful thinking? An asterisk, or a tilde? Also, please say something about your superb "ninjas in the expansion joints", also posted on Wryting-L

we rose in the great gust of gifted good morning. we ran the slope to its downward friction, smack dab into all that we left. that was the point all along, evidence (the tracks of our shoes) to the contrary. stories always head to some plain of typical reaction. not to say that we posed, good friends. we just read too much. ninjas on the roofs of everywhere, cracked and blighty with all they've had to tell: these essences of implosion constitute an accepted governing. smudges in primary documents cover the estimates of the ruling class. it will only take time to disagree, and love still lasts longer. Last Language executes a question by wondering if all that sand was worth the fight. amazed, you might be, dear Reader in your association, to learn of battles mentioned in newspapers and other sites of presentation. did you think the Kennedy Camelot helped you out of bed? you were loving way before that. I saw that very fact in a particular cloud that came to me, possibly just recently. way before the Philippine nugget bore its registered fruit, way before those insinuations of practice thru out the organizing system of economic contempt, the ball had rolled and rolled. too many people trip on the wording, haha, laughs Excellent English. Tundra sweats a bundle with the effort of the lower clime. Yeti looks freak out in the city that we share. we've expanded easily, to subways, parks and all the implements. this gestures toward the closing number, like a bell in the gloaming. we love, in situations of desperate cooling, while the land cracks up good and solid. Everest snow will muscle down on our apt phrases, just as the champion army stops for a bunch of water to enliven future situational ways. how far, wondered Excellent English aloud (where the problem world exists in dots and dashes), will the information go? no one knows but the creek rises. a creek! I cry. my god, I am given to yell for the flourish of rocks worn smooth by the water's delight. why do I say delight in a gravitational imperative? because plain things surround darkened excesses. so we came to a bridge over a river, a dynamic landscape in every respect. the river looked cool and precious. the view gave us an image of integrity divided by the ratio of our attention. we crossed in a pathetic equation of interest and the spark made softer by the dilation of love. oh love, the great what. love sees wars, even, in the elemental press towards exacting a place from the edge of nowhere. discussion doesn't diminish the fret of finding more oil in the garden, we just wonder why our vote always kills. we're at the same loose ends as always, as Reader frankly can distill. Yeti, our distinguished colleague and less than upbeat Wookie, yowls something strange without benefit of a word. made plangent by the test, we all agree. the story takes its toll, as you, rare Reader, perfectly know.
AHB: poetry as wishful thinking: maybe could be. in the sense of idealized. which may distinguish from wishful as in wanting or envious. in your series, you wish a collision of these disparates, a collision that makes sense, that synergizes. “Ninjas in the Expansion Joints” partakes of similar collisions, insofar as it and the series of which it is part bring together differing elements hoping that they will blend. this Everest series, as yet untitled, came out of my reading. I read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, about a disastrous climbing season on Everest 10 years ago. the story stuck with me, and I ended up reading 4 or 5 more accounts of the same events. with this "expertise" in hand I had a place of which or in which or to which to write. the pieces in the series share an elegiac tone. recently I began what I thought was an Everest piece then thought it was shrouded somehow, slack. so I googled a number of phrases and played with the text. it became much more disjunctive, but I managed to deflate what I came to realize was a corny phrase: sardonic wind. the tone no longer remains as was in the poem, and I don't know if I can add it to the series, tho I like the poem. one senses a story amidst it all but I don't comply with any exact telling. your series have a shared mechanical function, where you prepare the land for possibilities (seeds). I rarely avoid narrative completely, tho plot often irritates me. I'm more interested in novels that de-emphasize plot, unles he novel is strictly whizbang plot. anyway, I think in both cases we savour touchstones of characters. these repetitions instill a sense of process and development. do you think? I look forward to seeing a collection of these works of yours, so that I can fully perceive the relationships with series, and the relationships between series (assuming you would put these series all together). do dreams affect your work much? Charles Olson woke at least once in the middle of the night and wrote something on the wall.


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