Friday, October 09, 2009


JH: Sometimes a poem will arrive while I'm thinking of poetics and structure, which may be a coincidence, as the thinking is lengthy. Ditto my reading. A poem is often the illustration of a definition of a word. As a definition has its own words apart from the word it defines, so an illustration (an instance, an example) has its own words apart from the definition it is to illustrate. The examination of a word is larger than any one poem or poet, which permits poetry's perpetuation. Will a word ever be used completely? If ever a word is entirely representative of its language, because a poem encloses it beyond interpretation, does the language die? This brings me to "Colloquy". There is the possibility that all of "Colloquy" is what The Translator hears/translates, if Signum is mistaken about The Translator being out of earshot, yet correct about The Translator translating words into English immediately or near-immediately upon hearing them. If so, the pauses between sentences and speakers could be instances of The Translator hearing, or translating, an untranslatable word as silence. Would this possibility be lost in a performance of "Colloquy"? What does writing a poem in the dramatic or even the colloquy form do to the reading of the poem? Are performers to be envisioned? When reading a sonnet, do you see pictures as you would a novel (if indeed you see pictures when reading a novel. Sometimes I do. I read such pictures as peripheral sightings, as I would take note, out of the corner of my eye, of a physical fact such as a tree or another book)? Whether or not performers are envisioned when reading a play, a colloquy, or poem written in dramatic form (or using terminology found in theatre, or alluding to drama), the idea of performers may be noted, providing another facet, or hedgehog quill, to the poem. In such texts, another existence is projected, one as independent of a reader's knowledge as the dictionary definition of a word. I once had a fascination with theatre that lasted for about two years. I read almost as many plays and theatre histories as I did poetry. My interest in avant-garde writing was spurred by reading plays and performance texts of the surrealists and dadaists rather than by experimental poems. I have never acted, though. Have you? I have seen few plays and no operas or ballets. The perishability of performance, memories of a performance seeming more like personal memories than memories of letters, and the conjuring of a performance in the reading of a play are all things that drew me to theatre. Here is a recent poem of yours, posted to Wryting-L, titled "Scraps Guilt Pprocess":

Dense marvel child, thought is weight. Thought is Walt Whitman
Incorporated, along a smooth river in green tempo. Variance occurs on march, walking to process while alert, firmed, dilate. Now we read
hence, here, the momentous. There was a crash of young person, wishing to be. Event of crashing young is a noun. Event of crashing young is noun falling down. Event is young noun falling crash of event. So much for that phrase lodge. We talk of tempo bout look, magnitude sand puns. puns shape language with diversion. The apples of this fall are ready. Are you full of time like the rest? You stop and read the margins, then inward, until a sentence is filled. Stop when you are done. Do not smack the sat one, last in essence, last in judgment, last in how we weigh. A crash of taught magnifies and spells a thrifty sort of doom, numbers then and now.

* * * * *

The wonderfully-balanced opening sentence of six words is halved by a comma, opens with "Dense", and closes with "weight".  The word "thought" adds to both "Dense" and "marvel". Many more marvels in this poem! Could you speak of this poem, please?

AHB: I can say straightaway that I was not being clever with Pprocess, it is pure, if such they can be, typo. Which brings the question of the author’s purpose and influence on a work. Errors such as that occur, and the author gets to choose whether or not to accept.
I do not have a lot of experience with theatre. Mostly what I have seen is amateur (6 or 7 Shakespeare plays, for instance), tho I've been to the ballet a number of times. I like dialogue and have written dialogues since I first began writing. I say dialogues rather than plays, because mostly they have been without story. I have not attempted to tell a story, but I like how speech (which Robert Grenier hates) can function in a not wholly contexted way. Thru out Days Poem, for instance, there are 'speeches', usually sentences attributed to someone (Tarzan, Jane, Fu Manchu). A narrative is implied but not exalted. The implication of performance, and the variability possible is interesting.

Well, speaking of such implication, you posted an implicative poem to Wryting-L, derived (in some fashion) from the work of Eileen Tabios, her tiny novel. Speak of this, please. Unlike many of the classical and classic authors that bubble up in your work, Eileen is quite alive.

On Eileen Tabios' Novel Chatelaine

A silk pocket
(Unattached? Perhaps!)
blue as a watering can
an iron key.
Neglect oranges
a vineyard.
Are jettisoned, slowly, and,
despite poesy,
mortal as vines:
red roses
from immense crystal vases.
O hart,
from your horns: light once more!
From zero
bubbles no remorse.
From a pocket
blue and silk spumes
a key iron
as any iron sea.


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