Sunday, November 28, 2010

my apology for poetry

Crazy Brain II - Peter Ciccariello

How in this swank parade of fragments, erasures, selflesh, no one knows; interrogations and extraordinary renditions, surrendering to information, to mind as screen, surfing channels, survival of the flittest, self a locus where voces cross always. Voice is Latin for word. Where are the women in the litmags? Why aren't we submitting?

Because I am at home, taking care of my two metaphysics. Particular friendships are dangerous. Also the unobservable virtual unicorn particles. I am afraid they are right. The beginning of fear. The worse the better. The night the day.


dylan said...

Oh, I like this!

some guy on the street said...

I'm afraid I'm still chewing on it.

Incidentally, would that be a remedy against any of the first part's lamentations?

Another question: is it difficult? Or obscure? or both?

BettyDuffy said...

"Why aren't we submitting?"-- that's rich.

Dr. Thursday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meredith said...

some guy: I guess the reply contains remedies to the first part, but it's clear that they are scarier than the disease, so to speak. And difficult or obscure... :-) Both. There are allusions that can be explained, but there are also weirdnesses of syntax and transition.

Betty: I actually read an article (and some variations on it) that asked this question, and I was always amazed that no one caught the ironic double sense of "submit." When you submit your work to a magazine, you are also submitting to the taste of the editors.

some guy on the street said...

It's funny you mention "transition", Meredith, because I had a distinct impression of Markov Chains' echoing; only I didn't like to say, what with your being so much more personal and attentive than a table of word strings and weights.

But, for your enjoyment, here is a taste of ancient auto-flarf (if I understand the word aright).

Now, I really should be grading quizzes... stop being so durn'd interesting!

Meredith said...

Hmm! That is a great description of this method, I think. If only more poets were mathematicians... but I think I will use the Markov Chain in my critical writing someday.

Stop making math so durn'd inviting! I had resigned myself to being un-mathy years ago...

Dr. Thursday said...

I don't use Markov chains, as I am in another part of that world, but there is also another sense to "transition" even in math. Well, several, now that I think about it. And there are also transition elements... oh boy.

About math: probably you missed the fact that there are two branches, and the finite one has lots of fun things in it that nobody talks about...

Ahem. I wish to make a comment about the original post, akin to the one which I deleted earlier. I was gripped by sudden doubt that perhaps I had been insulting, or misunderstood. But I am not sure that "understanding" is a verb that can take such an object.... perhaps it's used INtransitively? Ahem.

All right. Now, let me see if I saved that thing I wrote and deleted... Ah yes. Well, perhaps it is not as bad as I thought... and you may send narsty little barbs of e-curses towards me if necessary.

(I wrote:)

Oh it is GOOD to know you are also writing Modery Poetry. It is the green elastic in the verb, the pungent violin of terror, the steel gerund of fear, the agnostic beef of perspicuity.

Of course you must already be aware of Chesterton's advice on this matter, the singular example (to my knowledge) of a GKC poem that does not rhyme.

If you'd like to see my own modery stuff, I have dozens; I will see about getting them to you. (Our mutual friend Sheila has some; she has laughed, I heard her.) Some people thought I used a computer to produce them, but technology isn't up to that sort of sophistication, and never will be.

These "forms" are, of course, what we techs like to term "thesaurus in a blender" creations... a convenient way of doing things, like so much modern "music" and "art". Lots of fun, and even funnier to mock. Dipping worms in paint and letting them wriggle across the canvas; dropping nails into a grand piano (or sitting at it doing nothing)... and tearing pages from a thesaurus, blendering them, then fishing with some transparent tape. Ah, to see the first goat of winter, like the terse dust of cantilever ivy on her face!

I feel like writing another today.

(end of my deleted writing)

SO if you understand, as I did, that there are greater purposes to writing poems than thought - like perhaps making people laugh... well, this is a good thing. I do not postulate that there can NOT be other motives to one's writing such things, but in general I suspect that there aren't.

I did like yours; it made me laugh. Particular/particles, and the Macbeth thing at the end!

So it "worked", by my understanding of the technique.

Dr. Thursday said...

And just to be fair, here are two of my own.

Dr. Thursday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meredith said...

I think I knew that GKC poem before; I think Sheila recited part of it to me. But Chesterton did write other free verse poems! Behold:

The Jazz

A Study of Modern Dancing, in the manner of Modern Poetry

Thrills of vibrant discord,
Like the shivering of glass;
Some people dislike it; but I do not dislike it.
I think it is fun,
Approximating to the fun
Of merely smashing a window;
But I am told that it proceeds
From a musical instrument,
Or at any rate
From an instrument.

It continues here. I think he also wrote bad (serious) free verse as a teenager. AND a marvelous parody of Whitman, which is so good that one of its lines has insinuated itself AS Whitman into my mind.

Yes, I can tell that Chesterton was not fond of Futurism/Vorticism/Whateverism... unlikeable movements, mostly. Didn't he learn to like Eliot though? Or did they always dislike each other? That would be sad.

CS Lewis despised Eliot and Co., at least at first. He wrote a poem called "A Confession" which harps on the same theme as GKC's poem. Maybe I will write a post on it.

Meredith said...

"The green elastic in the verb"! Excellent, Dr. Thursday! Keep it up! Sometimes we come up with sparkling modernist gems when we attempt to parody: think of Ern Malley and his line, meant to be bosh, which somehow haunts: "I am still the black swan of trespass on alien waters." Or your own wonderful "Ah, to see the first goat of winter, like the terse dust of cantilever ivy on her face!"

"SO if you understand, as I did, that there are greater purposes to writing poems than thought - like perhaps making people laugh... well, this is a good thing. I do not postulate that there can NOT be other motives to one's writing such things, but in general I suspect that there aren't."

I actually doubt that the purpose of most modern "experimental" poetry is to make people laugh. For the most part, it's an excruciatingly intellectual endeavor. If you haven't been keeping up with linguistics and literary theory, you're not in the conversation. "Making people laugh" is a damningly apolitical ambition, unless you're making them laugh at Ronald Reagan.

Ugh. I'm going to go finish reading the new Pavel Chichikov.

Meredith said...

My last comment was bitter. No movement is a monolith, and poets as various as Rae Armantrout, John Ashberry, and Paul Muldoon have a sense of play that hasn't yet been disciplined by that robo-word, "ludic." (way to take the fun out of fun, critics!) I need to read less criticism and more poetry, methinks.

Belfry Bat said...

There is no way you are the pine-scented air
that heaven's air in this huge rondure hems
And four huge beasts were coming up out of the sea
to sea in a rolicking boat!
Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing
Who would not envy silver wings?
Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hair!

Meredith said...

I think that's more of cento.

Belfry Bat said...

You say that like it was a bad thing!

As it happens, though, the inspiration was the confluence of "modern", and "making people laugh"; the more I think of it, the more Littany highlights as worth laughing about.

<aside>back when comments were by haloscan, there were also cookies and I didn't have to remember to call myself "some guy on the street" all the time.

On the other proverbial hand, I suppose I could have made that my blogger profile name, too. Funny, I can't even remember what was going on that day...

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