Monday, June 13, 2005
I feel some defensive about Jonathan Mayhew's cliches concerning Coolidge as several said cliches have appeared on this very blogaroony. my sense of Coolidge the jazz drummer is very specific. I was told the fact some 33 years ago, after a reading by double C. I can't recall the book title but in class we read from the one featuring all those prefixes and suffixes. sure it was strange, but then, I hadn't faced any dada or whatever. lots was new to me then. Coolidge read very firmly, with a sense of time. the drumming thing comes in not so much in the sense of beat, but in the sense of space between beats. negative space, so to speak. his poems spoke, thus emphasized, only parts of words, yet a syntax existed. I suppose a syntax must exist, but at any rate his implication of this negative space was powerful, and drummerlike. my favourite drummer is Dave Mattacks, ex of Fairport Convention and all sorts of studio work. tho he certainly can go Keith Moon as needed (tho without losing the beat), his hallmark is that sense of time between beats. not all of Coolidge's work is percussive so. much is quite effusive. what I learned from Creeley's line is the sense of space and time. especially, I guess, his enjamnments. the negative space between lines is powerful and effective with Creeley. one sees his mind work within time, with the musical beat space. I don't think one needs to know that Coolidge is a drummer to appreciate his work, nor do I think one needs to know of Keats' tuberculosis. but those facts are in there, to use or misuse.