Thursday, January 25, 2007


JH: To throw a work to eternity, to refute or ignore a poem: these soon become past actions. How is a literary work a description of an author's past actions (which include the composition of, and the decision to compose, a literary work)? Isn't it ownership alone that allows a writing's author to make decisions regarding its survival, ownership that could be termed secrecy, the author being the only person who originally (and, potentially, ultimately) knows of the text? Allowing a text to survive, to whatever degree, is the only description of its author's actions. What is described when an author writes of the destruction or concealment of past writing? Could this be termed allusion rather than description, an allusion whose referent is coterminous with the allusion (since another reader cannot confirm, or speculate, the referent)?

AHB: I like that sense of allusion you make, allusions to a work's potential. there are so many works that never happen, projects that fail to be finished or just vague, wondrous ideas, maybe not even expressed, just floating in the brain. and the artist makes choices of what among the ideas will be the one to work on. so the artist seems to take possession of the work that he/she accomplishes. and can hide or destroy that work, or pump it up. these are strange issues. an artist chooses to be busy, to some extent. that's the main thing, really. the mind is timeless but the body isn't. the artist tries to coax some sense out of the work being done, as a means of motivation, I guess, and as an explanation or apologia to the world. yet that can be no more than a nudge. much of my own art life has been withheld from public view, for reasons of non-boldness or whatever the failing. now I make more effort, which serves to define my work as something. anyway, this odd, short poem of yours, which you posted to Wryting, has a quirky dazzle:

To the Vermeil Selene

This red shading but a rose, and although storied the frailest she the moon rose --- the red of you is the which of me? The running of the world is exceedingly silent --- as when the sky puts the fan to the moon's brow, to her locks. Selene!, were I equal foe against the drift of years!

it seems to be a disjunctive version of some 18th century or earlier English poem. it seems both channeled and filtered.


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